• Becci Pigeon

Hunters say: rules for thee, not for me

Updated: Jan 20

While most of us are sacrificing to curb the rise of COVID-19 infections and 'the rule of six' is enacted to various degrees across the UK, there is, as usual, one rule for us and an entirely different one for the wealthy. (No, Dominic Cummings isn't involved this time.)

The Independent reports that about 130 people from the Devon and Somerset Staghounds met for a stag hunt in England over the past weekend, mixing and mingling without masks or social distancing. Not only is hunting stag illegal in the rest of the UK as of 2004 (it is still legal to hunt stag, hares and foxes here in Northern Ireland) gathering for the purpose of sport is exempt from the groups of six rule. It is unclear what the limit for sport is in England at this point, but surely 130 people exceeds it.

This was after the Devon and Somerset Staghounds received a £10,000 grant and a £50,000 loan from taxpayer-backed coronavirus schemes. (They're not the only hunt groups who benefited this way, either.) Coincidentally, anyone not exempt from the rules who organises large gatherings may be fined up to £10,000. It appears that when you're wealthy and powerful enough, you don't get fined for breaking the law--you get rewarded.

(Vkind activists participating in the 2020 New Year's Hunt protest in Northern Ireland)

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