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Huntsman denies flouting hunt ban

19 Dec 2005 - BBC News

A huntsman has pleaded not guilty to breaking the hunting ban in Devon.

Tony Wright, from the Exmoor Kennels, Simonsbath, was summoned to court for allegedly defying the ban.

It is the first prosecution in England relating to a fox or stag hunt under the new law and was brought by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS).

Mr Wright appeared before Barnstaple Magistrates to confirm his name and address and enter a not guilty plea. The case was adjourned to 16 January.

The adjournment was made to allow the gathering of witness statements and expert reports.

It is alleged that Mr Wright hunted with hounds on 29 April 2005, contrary to Section 1 of the new Hunting Act.

The ban came into force on 18 February in England and Wales, making hunting with dogs a criminal offence.

The first conviction in England under the act was against a man from Merseyside who had been hunting rabbits with dogs.

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