Anti-hunt protesters will gather at flashpoints across the countryside in the morning to demonstrate against the annual Boxing Day meets.




Fox hunting is still as contentious as it was when the ban came into force


More than 300 hunts are taking place today, including 194 fox hunts with pack of hounds.
Most of the hunts will use the "trails" method where a scent is laid artificially and an already-dead animal is usually the reward for dogs at the end.
But some hunts are expected to use the "bird of prey" exemption to the Act, which allows the flushing out of a fox by hounds for a bird of prey. Many of the hunts even have their own eagle owl or golden eagle.
And a number of hunts use an exemption that allows the use of two dogs to flush out the quarry from woodland for shooting.
Nearly four years after [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] was banned in England and Wales, and seven years since the practice was outlawed in Scotland, opposition to the events is as fierce as ever.
Protesters claim that hunters are exploiting loopholes in the law that allow them to act "with impunity" in killing foxes, deer and hares.
And the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] is demanding the Act be strengthened.
Spokesman Lee Moon said: "If the public and parliament knew what was really going on in the countryside they would be shocked.
"It's hunting as usual, with hundreds of foxes and hares being tortured and killed in the name of sport every week. Nothing has changed.
"We've given the Hunting Act a fair crack of the whip, but it's not stopping the killing.
The [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] has hit back with a new petition against the Hunting Act, demanding the "confusing, unnecessary and divisive" law is scrapped.
Pro-hunt campaigners even say the impact of the Hunting Act has been so bad for the countryside that it means more foxes, deer and hares are killed by snares and shooting.
Countryside Alliance spokesman Tim Bonner said: "It does no good at all for animals' welfare, is a huge cost of police time and puts innocent people at risk of prison."



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