THOSE employed within the country sports industry are raising money to help pay the cost of a legal case at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The ban on fox hunting is at the centre of the case, with a claim that it infringes the human rights of people following hunting, a traditional pastime followed by successive generations.

Its supporters say country people have rights in the same way that Inuit, bushmen and Aborigines do.

Rob Lowe, a farrier from Weobley and national vice-chairman of the Union of Country Sports Workers, said fellow member Brian Friend had challenged the Government on the issue.

“The Law Lords in their wisdom deemed themselves unable to rule on the case and referred the matter to Strasbourg,” he said.

No date has been set for the hearing but Mr Lowe said it would cost money and his union, formed 12 years ago, was planning to raise funds to help pay for it.

Next month, his horse, Mel’s Moment, has been entered in a charity race at Southwell, with jockey Harry Crump, from Winforton, in the saddle.

Mr Lowe is inviting hunt supporters in Herefordshire to sponsor the pair. Mel’s Moment won a maiden at Chaddesley Corbett last year and is being prepared for this year’s point to point season.

Mr Lowe, a farrier since 1969, also trains apprentices for the profession locally.

He said the UCSW was set up to try to preserve the tradition of country sports, namely hunting, shooting, fishing and falconry but with particular emphasis on the jobs of those involved in the sports.

He said if the case in Strasbourg proved to be successful, hunting would become entrenched as a human right under the Human Rights Act and no Government would be able to ban it again. To add your support, phone 07970 808489 or the union office on 01295 712719.