More than 33,000 people have signed a petition to stop the Ledbury Hunt holding its annual Boxing Day meet in the town centre.

And a parish meeting will be held in the New Year to allow members of the public to have their say on the issue.

The petition, started by a group called Ledbury Anti Fox Hunt, calls on Herefordshire Council’s highways department not to grant the road closure needed for the event to take place.

It accuses the hunt of actually hunting foxes, an activity that was banned in 2004.


But the hunt says it engages only in trail hunting, which involves hounds following a scent trail laid earlier in the day.

Traditionally, the Ledbury Hunt parades through the High Street with hounds and horses each Boxing Day.

Last year, the meet took place on December 27 and saw security needed to keep apart supporters and protestors.

John Rose, of Ledbury Anti Fox Hunt, said “an astonishing amount” of people had signed the petition, which is on

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“This is the huge depth of feeling against the Ledbury Hunt, both locally and nationally,” he said.

The petition calls on Ledbury Town Council to put pressure on the county council not to allow the Boxing Day meet.

Council to hold public meeting on Ledbury Hunt

The town council said last week it would not interfere, nor would it debate the merits of the meet after doing so earlier in the year.

But it has now announced a public meeting will be held in January, saying it wants to “encourage and promote more public debate on matters such as the hunt and other items of public interest”.

The meeting will take place on January 25, 2023, with more details announced in the New Year.


“Ledbury Town Council recognises the Ledbury Hunt is an emotive subject, and one that every year generates passion for debate from both sides,” a spokesperson for the council said.

“Although some residents are concerned that not discussing the item at the next council meeting is stifling public debate, this is not a suitable forum for such debate, given that council meetings are not public debate forums, but for the conducting of council business.

“Therefore, the council proposes to call and hold a public Parish Meeting at which the Ledbury Hunt will be one of the subject matters for discussion, to which the public on both sides of the debate can have their say.”

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