Huntswoman being prosecuted for alleged illegal hare hunting


The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised proceedings against Libby Gilbert, former huntswoman and joint master of the Royal Agricultural College Beagles, for allegedly hunting  a hare with dogs on the 20th February 2013, contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004. The case is based on evidence gathered by the League Against Cruel Sports which was passed to Wiltshire police. The case against Gilbert is listed for hearing by Swindon Magistrates' Court on the 16th October 2013 at 10.00 am.

Huntsman for the Ledbury Hunt charged with illegal hunting as a result of joint League and RSPCA case


The League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA are working jointly on a Hunting Act prosecution following an operation by the League's investigations team. Evidence was submitted to the RSPCA's prosecutions department and as a result the RSPCA has served a summons on William Goffe, huntsman for the Ledbury Hunt, for allegedly breaching the Hunting Act 2004. A preliminary hearing will take place at Worcester Magistrates' Court at 2.30 pm on the 3rd October 2013. Having carefully considered the available evidence the RSPCA has decided there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to instigate a private prosecution in this case. This decision was taken having regard to the guidance to prosecutors set out in hte Code for Crown Prosecutors.




On 18 November 2004 hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales with the passing of the Hunting Act 2004. The ban on hunting with dogs became law three months later on 18 February 2005. The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 pre-dated legislation on hunting in the rest of Britain by two years.

Before the Hunting Act came into effect many hunters announced their intention to flout the law. A ‘Hunting Declaration’, founded by Prof Roger Scruton, accumulated over 50,000 signatures from people prepared to break the law in the event of a hunting ban.

The Hunting Act was the culmination of many years of campaigning by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports, along with other groups and individuals. A 2009 Ipsos MORI poll showed that three out of every four people in Britain (75%) thought that fox hunting should remain illegal and 72% of those in rural areas do not want fox hunting legalised.

Since the implementation of the Hunting Act, professional hunt monitors have continued to document the activities of hunts. IFAW, the League and the RSPCA are now working closely with enforcement bodies and their evidence has led to successful public and private prosecutions.

This website has been produced for police officers and the Crown Prosecution Service as a means of sharing the wealth of expertise that has been built up on the enforcement of the Act.

International Fund for Animal WelfareLeague Against Cruel SportsRoyal Society for the Protection of Animals