Thousands cheer Boxing Day hunts

THOUSANDS braved sub-zero temperatures to support Boxing Day hunts yesterday as campaigners called for a vote to scrap the Hunting Act.

Deep snow curtailed hunting in many areas, but in Corbridge, Northumberland, crowds cheered on the Tynedale Hunt.

Joint master Frank Houghton-Brown said he hoped a new, Conservative government would overturn the hunting ban.

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He said: "They (the Tories] have promised a free vote on the future of hunting.

The MPs will vote that way because they can see that the ban has been completely ineffective."

Animal rights group the International Fund for Animal Welfare said hunts must act within the law or risk prosecution.

UK director Robbie Marsland said: "We have no problem at all with hunts meeting to enjoy a gallop through the countryside, as long as this does not involve wild animals being cruelly chased and killed."

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