DESPITE the ban on hunting, most of the prospect pleases: Hunts thrive, subscriber waiting lists lengthen, hound breeding and staff recruitment return to normal. Political indicators are optimistic as the chance of a Labour victory at the next General Election diminishes. All in all, the view is bright. So now, hack on!
As another season opens, this is a good time to take a long, hard look at where the politics of hunting have reached. The answer, as always in politics, is not entirely straightforward, but a rapid stock-take of the current position, followed by a brave forward cast, may well give rise to cautious optimism.
At the risk of stating the obvious, nobody expected us to be where we are today. Hunting as we have known it was banned three seasons ago. We expected Hunts to fail, hounds to be put down, and our world to turn upside down. No Hunts have failed, no hounds were put down (although far fewer were bred), few Hunt staff lost their jobs or homes, and our world did not collapse. In fact, the reverse is more accurate. Read