Uncertainty over town's Boxing Day hunt due to Covid restrictions

waveney harriers

The Waveney Harriers will parade through Bungay on Monday, December 27. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A town's annual Boxing Day hunt is being plagued with uncertainty this year as more Covid restrictions could be put in place because of the surge in Omicron cases.

The annual Boxing Day Waveney Harriers hunt takes place in Bungay and last year was called off as the country entered the third national lockdown.

This year, the hunt will take place on Monday, December 27 at 11am in Bungay town centre.

The Waveney Harriers Boxing Day meet in Bungay. Picture: Andrew Atterwill.

The Waveney Harriers Boxing Day meet in Bungay. Picture: Andrew Atterwill. - Credit: Archant

A spokesperson for the Friends of Waveney Harriers said: "Parking for horse boxes will be at Upland Hall Farm, Bungay. Leave boxes at 10.55am to hack to town. Please keep horses off all cut grass.

"In the lead up to Christmas and on Boxing Day we will be collecting for our hardworking hunt staff.

"Buckets will be available on Boxing Day for collection or you can give directly if you would prefer."

But Hunt leader Chris McDaniel said the event will only be going ahead on Monday if government restrictions allow it.

The Waveney Harriers Boxing Day meet in Bungay. Picture: Trevor Page.

The Waveney Harriers Boxing Day meet in Bungay. Picture: Trevor Page. - Credit: Archant

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He said: "Everything is quite uncertain at the moment because the Omicron situation is moving at such a fast rate.

"We will only be running Monday's event if government restrictions allow it at the time.

"It would be nice to see it return after it was cancelled last year because it is a huge part of the town and thousands turn up to see it."

Protestors from Norfolk and Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs have attended the event in the past.

Since 2005 it has been illegal to hunt foxes with a pack of dogs.

Instead, dogs can be used to simulate hunting where mounted riders hunt the trail of an artificially laid scent with hounds.

"We hunt within the law and the protesters are entitled to their opinion," Mr McDaniel said.

"We don't plan on having any road closures in place while we parade in the town."

A spokesperson for Suffolk County Council confirmed there are currently no plans for road closures in Bungay on Monday.

They said: "Suffolk County Council has not received any applications for an event to take place on the highway on December 27 2021."