What is Poaching? Poaching is the illegal trapping and hunting of animals such as deer, hares, pigeons etc.
Before 1750 - Forbidden by contradictory laws in the 14th Century.
- Some poachers did it for a profit by supplying food to the black market. - The black market came about because it became illegal to trade game.
- •Some people poached to provide food for their family.
- Saw poaching as an attack on their own right and as an invasion of their property.
- Owned the game so they believed they were the only ones who could hunt.
- Not a harsh offence - no intrusion into or a house or persons clothings.
- imprisonment or fine
After 1750 - Why Poach? Need& Greed
- Lots of rural poverty
- Enclosure movement of 18th Century deprived people of land --> many became labourers. --> Wages were low, diet was worse. ---> Poaching
- Poachers thought of as HEROES, people rescued them from keepers and Police and intimidated people who took them to court.
- Poaching could never be justified
- Police & Estate owners thought there was no connection between Poverty and Poaching.
- Thought profits spent in pubs instead of food. --> Many did.
- Most poaching gangs in pubs
- The gangs grew in size between 1830 and 1970.
- Poaching became more tempting as Estate Owners were building up their game.
- Authorities introduced a variety of man-traps and spring-guns - to kill, mutilate or break legs - DETERRENT
- Punishments became worse
- Longer time of imprisonment
- Less fortunate, 1816, transported to Australia for 14 years.
- Poaches hanged between 1750 and 1820 - especially for carrying a firearm or injuring a gamekeeper.
- During 1830s man traps etc were made illegal.
- ACT in 1883 allowed tennants to kill rabbits, hares and hares on their own farms - ending old game laws.
- BUT law still heavy in poachers. Poaches still transported, or imprisoned up to 7 years.
- POACHING PREVENTION ACT of 1862 - anyone suspected of poaching could be searched.
- in 19th centurys, poaching treated more harshly than any other types of theft/
This shows that the views of poaching changed more slowly than many other forms of theft on property since 1750.