Campaigners from the League Against Cruel Sports were in Stroud today to launch a campaign to see fox hunting banned in Gloucestershire.
The campaign urges local authorities across the county to ban hunts from using public land to meet, for hound exercise, and for hunting.
Emily Lawrence, the League Against Cruel Sports regional campaign manager, said: “Gloucestershire is a hotspot for brutal fox hunting despite the ban and it’s time to end this cruel activity once and for all.
“We are calling on councils across Gloucestershire to ban fox hunting on public land and help make the area hunting free.”
The launch, which took place outside the Subscription Rooms, saw residents signing a petition asking councillors across the county to do everything in their power to end fox hunting in Gloucestershire.
Despite a fox hunting ban coming into force in 2005, the League Against Cruel Sports compiles hundreds of eyewitness reports across Britain every year that relate to suspected illegal fox hunting.
There are still 17 hunts operating across Gloucestershire with nine hunting near Stroud.
A report by the League – Hunt havoc: the human cost of hunting with hounds – showed Gloucestershire in the top five counties of those affected by the antisocial behaviour of fox hunts towards people living in the countryside.
New polling commissioned by the League and conducted independently by Find Out Now and Electoral Calculus showed that three-quarters of voters in Gloucestershire back moves to strengthen hunting laws (76 per cent).
Emily added: “It’s time for change. We need local authorities to step in and we need the support of local MPs who will back our calls for central government to strengthen the Hunting Act to end this repulsive activity.”