Fox-hunting is no more a traditional countryside sport than a number of other activities that were developed in the 18th century by a prosperous middle class as an entertainment. In that respect it ranks alongside croquet, cricket, football (soccer and rugger), game hunting, polo, point-to-point, tennis and a variety of other sports. The Countryside Alliance (CA), which exists mainly to promote fox-hinting has no genuine claim to charity status as many other genuine charities –such as the League against Cruel Sports, Badger Trust or the International Fund for Animal Welfare– do.
The Charity Commissioners are to be congratulated for their unequivocal decision to remove CA from their list. Perhaps it’s now time for CA members to quietly fade away and join one of the many countryside protection and re-wilding organisations that are now becoming characteristic of the new post-manufacturing epoch taking shape around us.