Campaigners stage protest against 'inherently cruel' Bungay Boxing Day hunt

The parade through Bungay town centre attracted big crowds.
The parade through Bungay town centre attracted big crowds. Credit: Juliet Stibbe

Dozens of activists have staged a protest against an "inherently cruel" Boxing Day hunt that has been held in a town for more than a half a century.

The Boxing Day parade has been a tradition in Bungay, Suffolk, for decades, with hundreds of people lining the streets to watch riders and hounds make their way through the town before going trail hunting nearby.

It comes after Labour recommitted to closing “loopholes” in the law and warned trail hunting – where a scent is laid for dogs to follow instead of a live animal – is being used as a “smokescreen” for the illegal hunting of foxes.

Despite a petition from the Action Against Animal Cruelty campaign group gathering more than 42,000 signatures, the traditional parade in Bungay went ahead as planned on Boxing Day.

The protestors in Bungay town centre. Credit: Juliet Stibbe

Just over 40 protestors turned up to voice their objections, with many holding placards.

Among the messages were one that said: "Stand up for wildlife, don't support the hunt," while another said: "You can care for animals by not hunting."

When the petition was launched in the autumn, a spokesperson for the campaign group labelled the Bungay tradition "unnecessary, detrimental to wildlife and inherently cruel."

Following Monday's event, the organisers of the parade, The Waveney Harriers, told ITV News Anglia that they were "extremely humbled" by the support they received from onlookers.

"The parade went very well and we are extremely humbled by the support we receive in the town," a spokesperson said.

"There was a small, peaceful, protest which we expected. However, this was suppressed by the outstanding support we received yet again for our annual Boxing Day meet."

The group also pointed out that they used the meet as an opportunity to raise money for the YANA: You Are Not Alone charity which provides support to people who affected by stress and depression in farming and rural businesses.

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