Footpaths and Cross Compliance with GAEC 7b
Jean Roberts made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.
Dear Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
A lot of hunts are using supporters, horses or quad bikes to stop monitors, and even genuine walkers, from using footpaths, often in a threatening and dangerous manner
My questions are:
Can the land owner be held for breach of cross compliance of GAEC 7b given they would have implicitly invited (not banned) the hunt from their land?
In SMR3 the landowner is expected to monitor and be liable for employees and sub-contractors behaviour on their land. Would you expect the land owners to lay out expectations for invitees behaviour and monitor them under GAEC 7b
How do we, the public, best advise you when this happens?
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Dear Jean Roberts,
Thank you for your email below which we received on 13 January 2019. I can
confirm that this will be passed to our policy team to respond under
general correspondence and will not be replied to under the FOIA or EIR
legislations. This is because your request does not ask for recorded
information as defined within the legislations and you will hopefully
receive a more informative response under general correspondence.
I will send your email below to the relevant Defra policy team today. So I
hope they will get back to you via our Defra Helpline as soon as possible.
Should you wish to contact them directly then please email:
Information Rights Team
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Email: Information [email address]
Address: Area 4a, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
Dear Jean Roberts,
Thank you for your emails of 13 January about hunts, badger setts and
Cross Compliance. I understand that you have been informed that your
emails are being dealt with as normal correspondence rather than Freedom
of Information requests.
The Hunting Act 2004 bans all hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England
and Wales, except where it is carried out in accordance with the
exemptions set out in Schedule 1 to the Act.
Anyone who believes an offence has taken place during a hunt, whether it
concerns hunting activities themselves or the actions of hunt supporters,
should report the matter to the police. Decisions on the arrest and
prosecution of those taking part in illegal hunting activities are matters
for the police and prosecuting authorities.
Claimants of farm payments can be held liable for the actions of
employees, workers and family members, and in some circumstances for the
actions of third parties, for example, agents, contractors and
agronomists, where the third party has an obligation or responsibility to
carry out activities on the claimant's behalf. This principle of
"vicarious liability" extends across Cross Compliance and is not limited
to SMR 3.
We cannot comment on specific cases; the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is
responsible for the enforcement of Cross Compliance. If you have evidence
of a Cross Compliance breach you can contact the RPA at
It is worth mentioning that ultimately, public rights of way are the
responsibility of local authorities, which have a duty to assert and
protect the rights of the public to the use and enjoyment of any highway.
You may therefore wish to contact your local authority about your
Ministerial Contact Unit
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