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Anger over hunting with hounds qualification plans

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: September 26, 2011

Boxing Day hunting in Cirencester

Boxing Day hunting in Cirencester

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THE Government has controversially given the go-ahead to an official qualification in hunting, despite the sport being banned for six years.

Anti-hunt protesters have hit out at the course which has been set up in conjunction with the Masters of the Foxhounds Association, based at Daglingworth, near Cirencester.

The course is a specialism option in a regular animal care diploma, which is a vocational NVQ used in everything from stables to dog grooming parlours.

It includes a residential part for young hunt workers to learn about hunting with hounds, beagles and harriers, and is being run by Haddon Training, based in Marlborough in Wiltshire.

As well as learning first aid, maths and English skills, those on the course learn about keeping packs of hounds too.

But the League Against Cruel Sports dismissed the qualification.

Spokesman Steve Taylor said: "It would be interesting to know if there's a section on how to 'accidentally hunt', which is how many hunts are getting around the law and still killing foxes cruelly.

"Whoever the comedian was who said that NVQ stood for 'no value qualification' has now been proved right. This is a qualification rooted in the past – what will be next, an NVQ in slavery?"

The specialist hunting NVQ, which is recognised by the Government's education and qualifications body, was devised by the association's Tim Easby and by Lesley Seed, who works for Haddon Training.

Mr Easby, deputy director of the association, said the NVQ was a "fantastic development".

"It will help to formalise the training needed to work with animals in a hunting context. But not only that, it will provide transferable skills for people wanting to work with animals in any other walk of life, whether it's on a farm or at a zoo," he said.

"I'm surprised the League Against Cruel Sports isn't more supportive of the idea. After all, this is a qualification for people to learn how deal with animals more safely."

Ms Seed said the course was specifically tailored for hunt learners who are working in hunt kennels.

She said: "We're thrilled to have this relationship with Haddon Training to allow the boys and girls we now have in hunt service to leave with a qualification which has transferable skills to other areas in the animal industry. In future if the youngsters leave hunting, they've got a prospect of employment elsewhere."

Hunting foxes and deer with more than two hounds was made illegal in the controversial 2005 ban, but hunts have continued to operate, using some of the many loopholes in the law.

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  • Desenchanter  |  September 28 2011, 12:55PM

    Dolly_Willets "Totally with you Kay. Scrolling down through the comments feed it appears only Desenchanter is completely pro hunting. When issues are pointed out to him he ignores them. 'Riding roughshod' over the facts. This is a barbaric illegal 'sport' and if any of us 'common folk' behaved the way the various 'Hunts' did, in the name of 'farmers interests', we'd be (quite rightly) arrested!" I think you will find that there has been a big increase in people supporting the right to hunt with hounds since the ban has been introduced - why ? - because it was just a nose rubbing exercise by Labour to stick it to the tories. The laws are totally unworkable and were an unneccessary diversion tactic which wasted many hundreds of hours in parliament to take the heat off Blair when the UK invaded Iraq along with the Yanks. Hunting is still legal in Eire, all over the continent as well as America. It is only right that if packs of hounds are kept for what ever incarnation of the law which Hunting is permitted, that they are looked after by competent handlers.

  • HuckiePhil  |  September 28 2011, 12:45AM

    You do all, of course, realise that the large amount of publicity and response this piece and thread has had almost inevitably means that MrP will soon be serving Fox Toasties? Izzat wot you want? Cozzats wattal 'appen.

  • JBNTS  |  September 27 2011, 9:44PM

    It's true that hunting with dogs is illegal but way too many of the "country set" feel that statute law doesn't really apply to them. Plenty of protected species (especially predatory birds) get "disappeared" if they inconvenience the shoot. Odious Ferry is just the tip of a particularly unpleasant iceberg....

  • amy86  |  September 27 2011, 8:44PM

    I agree Dolly, Desenchanter obviously has selective reading habits as he tried to call me a townie (which is no bad thing btw) when i clearly wrote i live in the country!

  • Dolly_Willets  |  September 27 2011, 4:13PM

    Totally with you Kay. Scrolling down through the comments feed it appears only Desenchanter is completely pro hunting. When issues are pointed out to him he ignores them. 'Riding roughshod' over the facts. This is a barbaric illegal 'sport' and if any of us 'common folk' behaved the way the various 'Hunts' did, in the name of 'farmers interests', we'd be (quite rightly) arrested!

  • Kay_Powell  |  September 27 2011, 3:30PM

    The hunt doesn't really have control over the hounds once they are out as a pack. That's why they attack other animals. On Saturday it was a herd of alpacas, but hunts can kill cats and small dogs as well. If I allowed my pet dog to savage an alpaca on someone else's property, how long do you think that it would be before my dog was destroyed by the police?

  • Sheba2010  |  September 27 2011, 9:39AM

    Mummyhare – what I was actually referring to was the following comment by Amy: "There is a reason foxes kill and sometimes eat like this, they are wild animals and should be left that way. If a farmer cannot control his stock so it doesn't get taken then more fool him" I don't have strong feelings about hunting either way but got the impression form the comment above (rightly or wrongly) that Amy felt the rights of the wild animal outweighed anything else.

  • mummyhare  |  September 27 2011, 8:06AM


  • mummyhare  |  September 27 2011, 6:41AM

    Ha! He's a cheeky beggar that Ray, Emma! ; )

  • emma_lee77  |  September 26 2011, 11:18PM

    Ray Powell!!! Come from a very shallow gene pool, be called Piers, Jonty, Jemima or EMMA and have no chin!!! Well really Ray, how disappointing!!! : ( I ll have you know that my chin is near on PERFECT!