As the traditional boxing day hunts come around, it is a timely reminder that this area of law is still far from clear. Hunts with hounds and birds of prey remain an area open to interpretation as mentioned in the interim injunction case of Fitzwilliam Land Company and others v Cheesman and others  EWHC 3139 (QB).
A key issue in the response to this injunction was whether the hunt was illegal due to the use of hounds and birds of prey. The Hunt suggested that they were not acting unlawfully as they were hunting on an artificial trial laid, with hounds. On the occasion the hounds would find a fox, they would continue to flush the fox into open ground upon which a bird of prey, a Golden Eagle, would be used to kill the fox. The Respondents argued as recorded in paragraph 37 of the judgement that:
The judge noted that it was persuasive at this stage that the Hunt may have been acting unlawfully when hunting in this manner. The Respondents did not take part in the final determination of the issues in the matter, and it appears it was never determined. As such it remains a live, ongoing issue.