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A rider downs a 'stirrup cup' of port before setting off on the hunt - The Duke of Beaufort Hunt meet at Worcester Lodge, Didmarton, Gloucestershire, UK, on Boxing Day, 26th December, 2011. Credit: Graham Lawrence/Alamy Live News

A rider downs a 'stirrup cup' of port before setting off on the hunt - The Duke of Beaufort Hunt meet at Worcester Lodge, Didmarton, Gloucestershire, UK, on Boxing Day, 26th December, 2011. Credit: Graham Lawrence/Alamy Live News Stock Photo
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Image details

Contributor:

Graham M. Lawrence / Alamy Stock Photo

Image ID:

C9GJW4

File size:

52.4 MB (1.5 MB Compressed download)

Releases:

Model - no | Property - noDo I need a release?

Dimensions:

3487 x 5250 px | 29.5 x 44.5 cm | 11.6 x 17.5 inches | 300dpi

Date taken:

26 December 2011

Location:

Worcester Lodge, Didmarton, Gloucestershire, UK

More information:

This image could have imperfections as it’s either historical or reportage.

Oscar Wilde once described fox hunting as ‘The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable’. The Duke of Beaufort Hunt territory lies in the counties of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire and take in some 760 square miles of countryside. Earliest records show that hounds were kennelled at Badminton as early as 1640 when the then Marquis of Worcester hunted mainly deer but also hare and fox. Apparently in 1762 after an unsuccessful day out with the Staghounds, the 5th Duke of Beaufort put his hounds into Silk Wood – now part of the Westonbirt Arboretum – and had such a good run with the fox that he continued to concentrate on foxhunting the area around Badminton – now the Beaufort – as well as a large area north of Cirencester. Today, allegedly, The Duke of Beaufort Hunt will not be hunting foxes but merely following a trail of scent laid down specifically for the hounds to follow. A private members bill to ban foxhunting was introduced by Michael Foster, the Labour MP for Worcester in 1997. The aim of the Wild Mammals (Hunting with Dogs) Bill is to prevent wild mammals from being pursued, killed or injured by the use of dogs. The Hunting Act 2004 became law in February 2005 when the House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin invoked the Parliament Act. With a few exceptions, it is now illegal under the Hunting Act 2004, to hunt wild mammals with a dog in England and Wales. However the Countryside Alliance – a group formed to fight for the right to hunt - say that the law is unworkable and too difficult to police. There are many loopholes and hunts have taken advantage of these. Although many hunts have been prosecuted, some mavericks hunters continue their illegal activities and ‘cock a snoot’ at the law. On occasions a hunt meet can be violent and dangerous day out when hunt saboteurs and hunt monitors are confronted with the aggressive hunting fraternity.

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