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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 07:04 GMT
Hunts promising to abide by law
A mounted huntsman jumps a fence
Hunts across Dorset say they will act within the law
Police in Dorset say local hunts have vowed to abide by new legislation outlawing hunting with dogs.

Force chiefs say they have liaised with both huntmasters and protest organisations and do not expect any major breaches of the new Hunt Act.

They say they have accepted the hunts' promise and will "police accordingly" to maintain the peace.

On Friday, it will become against the law to hunt foxes with dogs across England and Wales.

In terms of the formally constituted hunts in Dorset, we have absolutely no indications of any intent to contravene the law
Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Whiting
The hunts say they will continue to meet after the ban comes into force but will try to hunt within the law.

Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Whiting said: "Dorset Hunts have assured us that, come 18 February, they intend to hunt an 'artificial line' which will be legal.

"We have accepted these assurances and will, therefore, police accordingly. Our clear priority is to maintain the peace.

"In terms of the formally constituted hunts in Dorset, we have absolutely no indications of any intent to contravene the law."

A force spokeswoman said that officers across the rural areas of the county have been trained in the detail of the new legislation.




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