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HISTORIC HUNT RIDES AGAIN...

Byline: By Peter Collins South Wales Echo

The vale of Glamorgan countryside is once again resounding to the sound of huntsmen as the new fox hunting season gets into its stride.

Of course, this year there is a major difference. The 50-plus members of the historic Glamorgan Hunt, the history of which can be traced back to the 1750s, and their 37 hounds are not hunting foxes.

The Glamorgan Hunt season began two weeks ago and will continue until the end of February.

Huntsmen and their hounds will be galloping around the Vale countryside every Monday and Thursday, with plans being made for another defiant display of solidarity at the Boxing Day hunt, in Cowbridge.

John Thomas, Master of the Glamorgan Fox Hounds, said: 'We started two weeks ago and are hunting within the law by laying a trail using a scent. We will continue to act within the law until the ban is repealed.

'We are going around the same places as usual, but obviously it's different. It is not what we particularly want to do, but we are still here and that's the important thing.'

Mr Thomas, who is a Vale of Glamorgan councillor and the authority's cabinet member for housing and community safety, said they were still allowed to flush out foxes with guns and two hounds.

'We have decided not to do that unless a farmer has a particular problem with a fox and asks us to do it.' he added.

Mr Thomas said there had been no incidents on the hunts so far this season.

He said: 'Of course, if a fox popped up in front of the hounds they would chase it because that is what they have done all their lives, But we would stop them as soon as we could.'

He said the Glamorgan Hunt had cut back on conservation work like laying covers for foxes because there was no point.

'We have always said that we do not want to see foxes annihilated Without hunting there will be too many foxes in some places and not enough foxes in other areas. In some areas already a lot more foxes are being shot,' said Mr Thomas.

'We are determined to carry on and get the ban repealed. We'll be out again on Monday and are looking forward to Boxing Day.'
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 5, 2005
Words:388
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