Hunting protocol - co-operation is essential

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 23rd November 2013

DUP Annual Conference at the La Mon House Hotel in Belfast.

Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 23rd November 2013 DUP Annual Conference at the La Mon House Hotel in Belfast. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
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In 2012 Countryside Alliance Ireland (CAI), the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and the Northern Ireland Masters of Hounds Association (NIMHA) signed a ’Memorandum of Understanding and Co-operation’ (MOU) to inform and advise on best practice and protocol for those engaged in hunting with hounds on agricultural land, and to encourage compliance.

This MOU sets out the basis on which CAI, the UFU and NIMHA will co-operate for the good of country sports and the rural way of life in Northern Ireland.

Co-operation is crucial between farmers and those organising hunts on agricultural land and ongoing communication is key. Good relationships protect the interests of all concerned and CAI and the NIMHA has asked all hunts to re-familiarise themselves with the MOU.

Chief Executive Countryside Alliance Ireland, Lyall Plant (pictured) said: “Countryside Alliance Ireland continues to fully support the Memorandum of Understanding and Co-operation for the good of country sports in Northern Ireland and for the rural way of life.

“I believe that such co-operation is essential in light of the many threats currently facing Northern Ireland’s countryside, which must be addressed constructively and collaboratively by all like-minded people and organisations.”

Sad Passing of Billy Vance

The Fermanagh Harriers’ senior master, Billy Vance, of Scarva House, Clones, passed away peacefully on Saturday 16th January, aged 84. He was one of the best known and most deeply respected country sportsmen in Ireland and the huge turnout of fellow huntsmen, farmers, friends and neighbours at his funeral service bore witness to the great affection in which he was held.

Billy was huntsman and master to the Fermanagh Harriers for over 50 seasons and was hunting right up until his death on his brilliant mount, Sonnet, who he bred 24 years ago.

Billy was also a well-respected point to point rider who rode in excess of 20 winners in the 1970’s. He has had some significant racing successes, both in riding and training and the family have had some special horses over the years.

Countryside Alliance Ireland would like to extend sympathy to his wife Maeve, children Johnny, Andrew, Susan and Clare, and to the wider family circle, and feel privileged that they were able to know Billy.