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The Banwen Miners Hunt Boxing day Neath 2013

Mike Davies reports

Now in its 51st year, the Banwen Miners’ Hunt was given an enthusiastic send off from outside the Castle Hotel in Neath town centre.

   Master Huntsman Peter Astle with the hounds

The Boxing Day hunt in Neath went off peacefully, despite calls for a relaxation in hunting restrictions.

The hunt, which went from the town centre to Cilfrew and into the forestry to Crynant, was led by Master huntsman Peter Astle.

He said the traditional event was as popular as ever, with 62 riders taking part, the youngest aged 8. The hunt continued until late afternoon.

"The conditions are much better than they were last year, it was very wet last year," said Mr Astle.

Off on the trail

 

Some 250 hunts will ride out on the biggest day of the hunting calendar, some following an artificial scent while others are expected to hunt foxes within the law.

The poll suggests opinions on hunting are the same in urban and rural areas

The survey commissioned by animal welfare organisation The League against Cruel Sports reveals 80% of the public think hunting should not be made legal again.

It came as farmers called for packs of dogs to be allowed to flush out foxes on hill farms in Wales. Currently, only two dogs can be used, but some claim their incomes are being affected by attacks on lambs.

Animal welfare campaigners are against any change. huntsman Peter Astle said

"There were no protesters, it’s been quiet on that front today."
More pictures  of the Boxing day hunt in Neath can been seen by viewing the slide show here.

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