The Hunting Act 2004 (c 37) is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament that prohibits the use of dogs in the hunting of wild mammals (most notably foxes, deer, hares, and mink) in England and Wales; the Act does not apply to the use of dogs in the process of flushing out an unidentified wild mammal, nor does it affect drag hunting.
In Scotland, the hunting of deer is prohibited except with written permission from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
In Northern Ireland, the hunting of deer is prohibited except with written permission from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development.
In addition, it is against the law to import or export hunting equipment into the UK.
Anyone over 17 years old can apply for a hunting license. You must be able to show you have a good reason to want to shoot one of these animals. This includes animals used for sport, food, or clothing. It also includes animals used for scientific purposes.
Those who break the law will be fined between £300 and £5,000 depending on the severity of their offense. License holders are required to report any incidents of illegal hunting to the police. License holders who fail to do so could face further charges.
The Hunting Act 2004 is the legislation in England and Wales that prohibits chasing wild animals with dogs—this effectively implies that fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting, hare coursing, and mink hunting are all prohibited, as they are all cruel activities dependent on dogs chasing wild mammals. This undermining of the law is still going on today. The Hunting Act outlawed the use of hounds for hunting except under certain conditions. It is possible to hunt with a pack of foxes or other animals instead.
It is an offense to hunt with dogs in every country of the world. Even in countries where it is legal to hunt with dogs, many people consider this activity to be unethical because there are more humane ways to manage wildlife populations. Whether hunting with dogs is allowed or not, if you go out to pursue game you should always carry identification documents to prove that you are who you say you are. If you are arrested for hunting with dogs, you will need to show that you have a license for each dog you used.
Hunting with dogs is not only illegal but also dangerous for the dogs. They can be poisoned by farmers who claim that they are protecting their livestock, they can be struck by cars while running after their prey, and many other dangers exist because these animals are used in cruel practices designed to chase down and kill their prey.
There have been efforts made to abolish hunting with dogs across Europe. In England, hunting with dogs was banned when Victoria became queen in 1847.
The act was passed into law by Parliament in 2004.
It is an offense to take part in an illegal hunting activity. Penalties include up to £5,000 and six months in prison. To check if it's legal to hunt in your area, you should contact the Countryside Council for England (CCE), Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR).
There is an exception when using a crossbow or gun mounted with a stabilizing device. These activities are allowed if done under the supervision of a master trainer and with a permit issued by the CCE.
Illegal hunting activities include organized hunts where riders use horses to chase down and kill animals for pleasure or profit, as well as individuals who pursue their own game. Organized hunts can be regulated by statutes, private clubs, or national organizations such as the British Deer Society or French Association pour la Protection des Animaux en Cours (APCA). Statutes may also apply to individual members of these groups who aren't licensed hunters themselves but who help organize hunts for other people.
As a result, they are currently governed by a number of Acts of Parliament that impose close seasons (when deer may not be hunted), gun restrictions, and poaching laws. Hunting deer, stags, and most wild creatures with dogs is prohibited in the United Kingdom for animal welfare reasons.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. The law allows farmers and landowners to shoot certain species of deer if they cause damage to crops or livestock; in some cases hunters can pay to shoot these "problem" animals. Deer stalking (hunting from a hidden spot) is legal if you have a license and are within your rights under the law.
Illegal hunting activities include using high-powered rifles or crossbows outside of permitted times or places, such as during rutting season. Also forbidden is hunting without a license, stalking (following an animal for the purpose of shooting it), killing deer with a vehicle or aircraft, and trading in illegally taken wildlife.
Conservation efforts have increased public awareness about deer issues in the UK, so today there are estimated to be between 1 and 1.5 million deer living on farmland and rural areas across the country. That's a large population compared with other countries where deer farming is common -- for example, Canada has around 25 million deer.
However, in the early twenty-first century, efforts to eliminate the sport increased, and Scotland banned foxhunting in 2002. Two years later, the British House of Commons banned the killing of wild animals in hound-led hunts in England and Wales, with certain exceptions. The law does not affect dogs used in herding competitions or hunting trials.
In 2007, France became the first country to ban hunting with hounds entirely. Since then, several other countries have followed suit; for example, Germany and the Netherlands both outlawed hunting with hounds entirely by 2010. Switzerland passed a law in 2009 prohibiting hunting with hounds but allowing hunters to use snares instead.
Hunting with hounds is also illegal in Australia, but this prohibition only applies during peace times. During wartime, the government allows hunting as part of its effort to reduce starvation levels among the population.
In North America, hunting with hounds is prohibited in Canada and most states in the United States. Exceptions include Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin, which allow hunting with hounds on a limited basis.
In Latin America, hunting with hounds is forbidden in Brazil. In Europe, hunting with hounds is popular in some countries such as England and France, while unpopular in others such as Poland and Spain.