Advice to Hunts during Coronavirus (Covid-19) Outbreak

The Hunting Office is monitoring the Government advice and will update guidance to hunts as applicable or if any changes occur that affect the running of Hunts, Hunt Kennels or Hunt Stables. 

The Hunting Office urges all Hunts, their Members and Staff, to continue to follow the Governments Guidance and Restrictions regarding Coronavirus (especially with respect to Washing Hands, Social Distancing and Self-Isolation).

As of Monday 23rd March, the Government has ruled that everyone should stay at home unless it is essential to do otherwise. 

Hound and Horse welfare is of critical importance, and we therefore advise that those required in the day to day care of the Hounds and Horses should prioritise work as necessary so standards of care are maintained, whilst still following the Government advice on social distancing, self-isolation and regularly washing hands.  Those people that are not essential for the day to day care of the hounds or horses, should remain at home. 

Provision of cover for staff - It is of paramount importance that all Hunts have contingency plans in place in case key members of staff become ill or have to self-isolate, so that the level of care for the hounds and horses is maintained.  Hunts should make sure there is someone capable and trained available to step in if necessary.

Exercising Hounds and Horses – Hounds should continue their normal routine of daily exercise in a sensible manner and ideally away from villages and public areas if possible.  (England Only) Now that the NHS is operating within capacity, exercising horses - including hacking - is acceptable, but we would urge that people still do not take unnecessary risks when riding. Travelling horses to venues for exercise or schooling is permitted but people can only meet one other person from outside their household. If there is more than one person transporting the horses together, they must be from the same household. 

Services to Farmers – Hunts should continue to provide the vital services to farmers as much as is feasibly and safely possible.  Staff should ensure that biosecurity and social distancing protocols are strictly followed and hand sanitiser should be provided in kennels and in the collection vehicle for staff to use between all visits.

Government Schemes supporting Small Businesses – The Hunting Office will continue to monitor Government policies and advise hunts accordingly regarding possible financial support. 

Hunting Office Training Programme – The Hunting Office had a full list of training courses for Hunt Staff and Hunt Officials planned for the Spring and Summer, at this stage all those planned for April, May and June have either postponed or cancelled.  We are examining how we might deliver these courses by other means or at a later date.

Travelling hounds and horses (England Only) 
Hounds and horses can be travelled between different locations. Hound puppies can be taken to and from walk, draft hounds can be collected and dropped at kennels and potential stallion hounds can be viewed at kennels. Horses can be transported to move premises as well as for schooling or exercise. 

Maintenance work in the country and walking country (England Only)
Hunt staff and officials can travel to walk their country as necessary as well as carry out work in the country such as covert laying and fence building.

Updated: 14th May 2020