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Boxing Day Hunts run despite Covid restrictions

hunting dogs at Boxing Day Hunt dog-serious
© Shutterstock

2020 was a Christmas like no other but despite restrictions that affected family get-togethers, a number of Boxing Day hunts were permitted to go ahead.

By Natasha James

Published on the 29/12/2020, 18:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:23

According to reports from the Huffington Post, it seems that a small number of Boxing Day hunts were allowed to run as usual this year.

The hunts, which took place on Saturday 26th, saw a smaller number of participants than usual with a limited number of dogs but the fact that events were allowed to run at all has drawn condemnation from critics.

Differences for Tiers

The events were suspended in Tier 4 areas but allowed to run as normal in Tiers 1, 2 and 3.

The pro-hunting group, The Countryside Alliance, has insisted that in line with other outdoor sports, the events were right to go ahead under Covid-secure rules.

The 2004 Hunting Act made it illegal to hunt mammals (including foxes, mink and deer) with dogs but trail hunting, which involves following the scent of animals with packs of hunting dogs (such as Beagles, Pointers, and English Setters) and riders on horses, is still permitted to go ahead.

An ongoing debate

Animal rights campaigners say that this altered version can be just as dangerous to wildlife.

Whichever side of the debate you fall on, it’s difficult to see how the practice can continue if increasingly tough Covid regulations are introduced across the country.

Find out which dogs make the list of the UK's top hunting dogs.

Watch also: Dogs can help us to get through the worst of Covid-19