is for information only and does NOT apply whilst the hunting
ban is in force. For more details see the MFHA website (in the links
The Master of the Foxhounds Association sets guidelines to ensure
hunting takes place humanely and effectively to control the fox population.
MFHA Hunts are regulated by strict and detailed rules which hunt officials
must obey. The standard of behaviour of followers has long been governed
by an informal code. For this reason hunting's conventions, and the
responsibilities of its followers are set down in this Code.
The MFHA sets out three 'golden rules' for anyone who
Foxhunting as a
sport is the hunting of the fox in its wild and natural state with
a pack of hounds. Nothing must be done which in any way compromises
Hunting exists entirely because of the goodwill
of landholders and farmers. No-one who goes hunting should do anything
that might jeopardise this goodwill. It must be remembered that
for most of a day's hunting you are a guest on someone else's land.
Masters of Foxhounds, (i.e. those in charge of
a hunt), or their appointed deputies, are solely responsible for
the conduct of each day's hunting and are bound by the strict rules
and instructions of the MFHA. Their authority is absolute and their
instructions must always be willingly obeyed.
The Hunt followers also have a responsibility, they
should ensure that:
appreciate that they are guests of those on whose land they walk.
They are punctual at the 'meet', and their turnout
is clean, tidy and safe. Punctuality is good manners. Special instructions
may be given at the meet about the conduct of the day's hunting
-thus it is important that you are there to hear them.
... as well as ensuring that:
They make every effort to avoid causing damage
to land, fences or crops. However, if there is damage it must be
reported to the Field Master (i.e. the hunt official in charge of
the riders) or Secretary.
They do not ride or drive on mown verges, or
ride several abreast through villages and along busy roads.
They do not cause obstruction when parking vehicles,
horse boxes or trailers at any time.
They do not park on both sides of roads and so
interrupt the flow of other traffic. Help should be afforded to
passing traffic. Remember, every delayed motorist or lorry driver
becomes a potential enemy of hunting.
They do not park or drive on private land without
the express permission of the landholder.
In addition, hunt followers' behaviour may affect the management of
the hunting day. Mounted followers will be controlled by the Field
Master. Stragglers are liable to get on land where they are not welcome
and interfere with the process of the hunt. Care must be taken not
to impede the progress of the fox. If it should come towards you remain
quiet and still until it has passed by. Then you may holloa, or signal
to the huntsman with your cap or handkerchief in the air. But appreciate
that he and his hounds may be hunting a different fox.
autumn hunting season is a vital part of controlling the fox population
and strict rules apply to ensure that it is only carried out for controlling
Terrier work is no part of the enjoyment of the sport and
Terrier work is no part of the enjoyment
of foxhunting, but it plays an important role in fox control.
Digging may only take place with the expressed
permission of the landowner or farmer. MFHA Rules state that when
a fox is run to ground there shall be no digging other than for
the purpose of humanely destroying the fox.
Terrier work can only be carried out by those
licensed by the MFHA. The terrierman will normally be accompanied
by one assistant only. Due to the possible use of a humane killer,
and to avoid unnecessary noise and disturbance, participation is
limited to the terrierman and his assistant with sometimes the presence
of the relevant farmer or gamekeeper.
who follow hunting must be aware of other countryside users. People
work at a wide variety of businesses in rural areas, and there are
increasing recreational and leisure uses of the countryside. Other
people's views must be taken into account and respected. Every effort
must be made to avoid giving offence. Common courtesy, particularly
in the form of a simple "please" or "thank you",
Every effort must be made to prevent hounds and
followers from straying into places where they are not welcome,
or onto roads and railways.
The wishes of all landowners, no matter how small,
must be respected. Never do anything that would be detrimental to
The aims of saboteurs are to disrupt hunting
and provoke hunt followers. Confrontation with saboteurs should
be avoided whenever possible and, in any event, followers must not
retaliate whatever the provocation. Frequently saboteurs are breaking
the law. You can help by recording details of vehicle registration
numbers, making identifications and listing times and places of
incidents. Be prepared to make written notes and report incidents
to an appropriate hunt official.
Do all you can to help the hunt, be it with farming
interests, passing traffic or the enjoyment of the day. Above all
always obey the requests of those in charge - the Masters. Strict
observance of this Code, politeness, and where appropriate, reasoned
argument are what is needed to ensure hunting continues.
Finally there is only one organisation that promotes
and defends all Country Sports and that is the Countryside Alliance.
Everyone who wishes to continue to go hunting should be duty bound
to be a member.
The content of this Code of Conduct has been examined and approved
by the Commissioners of the Independent Supervisory Authority for
Hunting. This code is part of a series prepared on behalf of the following
Hunting Associations: The Masters of Foxhounds Association, The Masters
of Minkhounds Associations, The Masters of Deerhounds Association,
Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles and the Central Committee
of Fell Packs.