Pressure builds on Lewes council to cancel boxing day hunt parade

Despite assurances that there will not be a Boxing day parade this year, Lewes council will allow the Southdown and Eridge hunt to peacock their way through the town on 27 December.

Fox hunting is an immoral practice that has been illegal in the UK since 2005. And yet, Lewes council has authorised a rolling road block on Monday 27 December to allow the Southdown and Eridge hunt to parade through the town.

The parade itself is not in breach of fox hunting laws, and the group reportedly practices legal ‘drag hunting’. However, public opinion is firmly against all forms of hunting.

In recent times councils across the country have moved to outlaw both hunts and their performative parades:

Keswick Town Council banned Blencathra Foxhounds from organising the parade through the town centre, Peterborough banned hut parades last year, and Chester council has legislated against hunt groups this winter.

In Sussex, the Southdown and Eridge parade is one of the last being enabled by a local council, despite widespread outcry.

Members of the general public have inundated the council with emails, letters and calls, imploring them to ban the parades, and still the council do nothing.

In previous years the Southdown and Eridge parade has resulted in public disturbances and physical assault. Lewes council has done little to acknowledge the negative impact of the parade, nor the tax payer outlay needed to support its happening.

One source, who wishes to remain anonymous, has revealed that the police and paramedic presence at the parade could cost up to £20,000.

A spokesperson for Brighton hunt saboteurs commented:

“Over the past year more and more cases, sentences and undercover footage have shown that hunts around the country have no regard for the law and this includes the Southdown and Eridge Hunt.

“Mark Hankinson, former Master of Fox Hounds Association, was convicted of encouraging others to break the hunting act, and following the sentencing, big landowners like National Trust and Natural Resources Wales have permanently banned the hunts from their land.”

If you wish to oppose this parade of utter barbarism you can:

Call Lewes district council on: 01273 471600

Email a complaint to: customerfirst@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk

Below is an email template you can use. (Courtesy of Brighton Hunt Sabs)

“To whom it may concern,

I am contacting you to make a formal request to stop enabling the Southdown and Eridge Hunt from organising their Boxing Day parade through Lewes’ town centre. Over the past year more and more cases, sentences and undercover footage have shown that hunts around the country have no regard for the law and this includes the Southdown and Eridge Hunt.

Mark Hankinson, former Master of Fox Hounds Association, was convicted of encouraging others to break the hunting act, and following the sentencing, big landowners like National Trust and Natural Resources Wales have permanently banned the hunts from their land.

A few days ago, Keswick Town Council banned Blencathra Foxhounds from organising the parade through the town centre, and without looking too far away, Brighton and Hove’s council banned the hunt from their land many years ago.

It is time to stop enabling animal abuse and to show that Lewes council cares about the law and will not encourage others to break the Hunting Act. It is also important that Lewes Council takes steps to protect ordinary people from being assaulted by hunt members and support, as seen in previous years during the Boxing Day parade. The majority of the public are opposed to fox hunting.

The council should not allow the hunt to organise their parade and certainly should not enable them with any form of infrastructure or road closures.

Please do the right thing.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s