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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
North East and Cumbria: Hunting the ban
Jonathan Swingler
Politics Show, BBC North East and Cumbria

Hunting: The Countryside Alliance lost its case in the Lords

So it is all over. You will never see a fox legging it across a field chased by a pack of dogs ever again. After all, hunting was banned in February 2005.

Or was it? Hunt supporters in the North East are intent on finding new ways of hunting foxes.

And they have come up with the idea of calling in an air strike.

South Durham Hunt is training a young eagle to swoop down and kill any fox that is startled out of the woods by the hounds.

It is early days yet and the hunt says it is all very experimental.

Risk to life

The RSPCA have voiced concerns that it would pose a risk to all the animals taking part in this altered version of hunting.

Whatever your view on this, it sounds like if you take a trip to the woods anytime soon you are sure of something unusual.

They fear the eagle might not kill a fox cleanly, hounds might get attacked by the eagle and the eagle might be attacked by the hounds.

Is it legal?

Hunt supporters in our region believe it is, but the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says: "In our view, the falconry exemption does not allow the use of a token bird of prey to allow hunting with dogs to continue.

"But it is a matter for the courts to interpret the Act."

Talking of what is legal; hunt supporters are still hoping to question the whole legality of the ban on hunting by using the Human Rights Act.

They point to a few parts of the Act such as Article 8, which says, "everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life".

Politics Show

On the Politics Show we discuss this issue and talk to the Blyth MP, and hunting critic, Ronnie Campbell and the Countryside Alliance about whether they think the legislation is working.

That is the Politics Show, Sunday 16 October at Noon with Richard Moss and Mary Askew.

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North East and Cumbria
11 Sep 05 |  Politics Show


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