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Council motion questions suitability of Festival of Hunting in Peterborough

Peterborough City Council is to vote on whether it will support the future of the Festival of Hunting in Peterborough.
Picture: Peterborough Hunt Sabs

The Festival of Hunting is taking place today, July 21, at the East of England Showground. 

The annual event was built around the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show, which is in its 132nd year and is considered to be a major world event in its field. 

But the landmark decision taken in 2020 by Peterborough City Council to ban hunting on its land has prompted a motion questioning the suitability of the city as the host of the festival.

Labour councillor for the North ward Ansar Ali has submitted a motion which states: “In 2020, this council resolved to ban ‘trail’ hunting, exempt hunting and hound exercise on council land.  

“This resolution is a clear reflection of members’ rejection of the facilitation of hunting for sport in Peterborough.  

“This council believes that Peterborough is no longer a suitable place to host the Festival of Hunting. 

“This council resolves to ask the leader of the council to write to the chairman of the East of England Agricultural Society to request that it does not host the Festival of Hunting at the East of England Showground in future.”

The motion will be discussed and a vote taken in a council meeting held next week, on July 28.

A spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance, which campaigns for the future of hunting with hounds, said in 2020 that the vote was “clearly a politically-motivated stunt that has nothing to do with animal welfare and everything to do with grandstanding”. 

The organisation said that councils should instead be focused on dealing with local matters that affect residents.