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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 February, 2005, 09:23 GMT
Hunts go ahead despite new laws
Annabel Holt
Annabel Holt has been campaigning against hunting for many years
Hunts across Yorkshire met on Saturday despite the ban on hunting with dogs which came into force on Friday.

One of the biggest turnouts was at Birdsall near Malton in North Yorkshire for the meeting of the Middleton Hunt.

There were 140 riders and up to 300 people following on foot for a ride through the countryside.

They were met by about 10 hunt protesters who carried banners and talked to the riders and hunt supporters.

'Show of solidarity'

Annabel Holt has been campaigning against fox hunting for many years.

"They're gathering for a show of solidarity," she said as she watched the Middleton Hunt arrive. It's sad for them."

She added she hoped drag hunting would replace hunting for foxes to avoid horses and hounds having to be destroyed.

One of the people arriving was Ms Holt's cousin, William Legard, who is a long-time supporter of the Middleton.

"It's sad but there is plenty of talking to go on," he said. "It's not yet over."

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said eight hunts were known to have met in the county on Saturday but no incidents had been reported.

Although hunting with dogs is now a criminal offence in England and Wales, exercising hounds, chasing a scent trail, and flushing out foxes to be shot are still legal.





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