with Horse and Hound

Unmanned Drones to Spy on Foxhunters in England

The League Against Cruel Sports (LAS) has announced its intention to use unmanned drones with video cameras to bolster their prosecutions in court against illegal hunting in England. A spokesman said they would provide the evidence to police.

The LAS claims that the airspace above private property is free and open to their surveillance. They plan to use the services of ShadowView, a non-profit company that provides surveillance by remote-controlled aircraft.

The Hunting Act went into effect in England and Wales in 2005, making it illegal to hunt the fox with a pack of hounds. To comply with the law, hunts putting a pack of hounds into the field must lay a drag.

Foxhunters claim that the law is unworkable because hounds may come across the line of a live fox and give chase. When that happens, the prosecution must prove that the huntsman and staff intended to hunt the fox in order to gain a conviction. Intent has been so difficult to prove in court that police have been loathe to bring charges and waste the courts’ time. The LAS believes that aerial videos will help provide the needed proof.

The LAS announcement has raised questions of privacy. Click to read the complete BBC article.

Posted March 18, 2013