by David Holmes, Chester Chronicle
PUBLICANS in rural Cheshire are on the frontline in the battle between pro and anti-hunt supporters.
The North West Hunt Saboteurs Association has posted a blacklist of country watering holes on its website to put pressure on licensees to break all links with hunt members.
Drinkers are being urged by the anti-hunting lobby to boycott pubs which allow hunts to meet on their premises.
The website blurb reads: “Dying for a pint? – hunt pubs perpetuate the myth of hunting as a harmless rural tradition.
“By providing a venue for hunts to hold social or fundraising events or by hosting a meet prior to a day’s killing, these public houses are at the very heart of this callous, cruel and bloody ‘sport’.”
Saboteur spokesman Paul Timpson claimed some people continued to hunt illegally despite the Hunting Act 2004.
Carolyn Ross-Lowe, landlady of The Cholmondeley Arms, whose pub is blacklisted, says the Cheshire Hunt is welcome.
She said: “They only have one meet a year and when they do it is perfectly legal. I don’t have anything to do with it apart from holding the meet once a year. From our point of view, it brings in a lot of business.”
Tracey Williams, of The Bickerton Poacher, said the hunt hadn’t met there in the three years she’d been in charge, and added: “I would not encourage it.”
Chris Gleave, of The Tiger’s Head at Norley, said: “I would prefer that they didn’t meet here, but it would put me in an awkward position if asked because people say ‘you’re in the country’, but I don’t particularly approve.”