ENFORCING THE hunt ban will not be high priority for police the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, has admitted.

The admission came after the publication in a national newspaper on Sun (Feb 13) of an internal document from the Association of Chief Police Officers.

This document said policing the hunting ban “has not been afforded high priority in the national policing plan”.

Several of Monday‘s (Feb 14) national newspapers including the Daily Telegraph and T he Times report the Home Secretary‘s statement.

With the ban due to come into effect on Fri (Feb 18) the Countryside Alliance estimates that over 250 hunts will meet on the first weekend following its introduction.

It is not known how many hunts, if any, are planning to intentionally break the law when they meet on Sat (Feb 19) or how many are expected to partake in legal activities.

But the Daily Telegraph suggests about 50,000 people will engage in some form of hunting activity.

“I don‘t think there will be civil disobedience, with people offering themselves up for arrest, on the scale some envisaged,” one hunt member told the Telegraph.

But he added: “We are going to test the new law and show where its pitfalls are.”