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Why do I see hunting on the hills, I thought it was banned?

The Hunting Act 2004 (c 37) banned the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales. There are some exemptions under the Act though these are very limited and specific such as the use of 2 dogs in the process of flushing out an unidentified wild mammal, nor does it affect drag hunting, where hounds are trained to follow an artificial scent.

Some landowners have given the hunt permission to use their land for exempt hunting (flushing wild mammals with 2 dogs), in some cases allowing vehicles following the activity onto the common providing the hunt stays within the law. If you believe that you have seen the hunt engaging in activities that are not permitted under the Hunting Act, then please contact the police on the 101 non-emergency number to report the incident or 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger or you need police help immediately.  It is not within the remit or the powers of the Quantock Hills AONB to investigate or take enforcement action in respect of illegal hunting.

Impacts of the activity are discussed between the landowners and Natural England because the common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  The Quantock Hills Deer Management Group also liaise with landowners and interested parties about the deer population.

Illustration of a fox.
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