On June 10, 2016 we learnt that Hereford hunt kennels based in Wormelow, was closed pending enquiries into cruelty to foxes.
Horses and hounds were moved elsewhere whilst police investigated and made two arrests.
A 37-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were subsequently arrested for animal cruelty, although at that time we did not know the nature of the allegations.
Then on June 13 a THIRD person was arrested in connection with the police investigation linked to the hunt in South Herefordshire.
June 23 we were treated to the full horror of what led to these arrests as a video was released showing fox cubs being thrown to the hounds.
Undercover footage by the Hunt Investigation Team (HIT) shows live fox cubs taken into the hunt kennels.
The League against Cruel Sports commented on the footage saying,
“The footage shows:
- The huntsman removing a fox cub from a cage in a trailer
- A live cub is taken towards the kennels
- The huntsman enters the kennel block with the cub
- The hounds are heard baying
- The huntsman can be heard vocally encouraging the hounds to kill
- The huntsman dumps the lifeless fox cub in a bin
- A second fox cub is taken into the kennel block.”
Eduardo Gonçalves added
“Once again we see evidence which destroys the deliberate deception of hunting as a means of fox control. Fox hunts hunt foxes because they like hunting foxes, not for any other reason. As we have seen time and time again, they will capture foxes, release them on hunt days just to make sure hunters get their gruesome chase, or as we believe this footage shows, throw them to the hounds as bait. There’s nothing sporting, nothing natural and nothing remotely honourable about this so-called tradition. It’s grimy, it’s cruel, it’s going to be offensive to most right-minded people, and we need the police and courts to punish all those involved.”
The HIT team managed to retrieve the lifeless bodies of two of the three cubs. Preliminary investigations showed one animal had been eviscerated and the other was covered in bite wounds.
The Hunt Investigation Team, which campaigns against fox hunting, secretly filmed two of the foxes alive inside the cage at night.
Later the cameras picked up a man removing them using a noose and taking two of them, one at a time, into the kennels nearby. Seconds later, the hounds inside can be heard barking.
A whooping noise, which sounds as though it is being made by a human, can also be heard. The Hunt Investigation Team claims this was to "call the hounds on" to attack the foxes.
On each occasion, the man emerges with a fox's apparently lifeless body and puts it in a bin. Later footage shows the bins being taken away. However, before then, the activists had retrieved two fox cubs' bodies from the bins.
One of the HIT investigation team, who asked to remain anonymous for her safety, said: "When our investigators took those fox cubs out, one of them was disembowelled; one of them had multiple bite wounds. Our feeling is that they were fed live to the hounds. The animals' bodies have been passed to the police.”
Cubbing, or autumn hunting to give it its sanitising term, is nothing new. Young foxes are brutalised to train the next season’s hounds on fox scent and to teach them to be vicious with their prey.
In 2012, a hunt master and a member of his staff were found guilty of illegally hunting fox cubs with hounds.
Johnny Greenall and Glen Morris both pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them after anti-hunt protesters covertly filmed the hunt in October 2011 Huntsmen from the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt were filmed surrounding a wood near Hilton. Experienced hounds entered the wood to hunt young foxes with new hounds in training in tow. The video footage showed two foxes trying to escape from the wood, on Suffield Farm in Sutton-On-The-Hill. One fox is scared back into the wood by the surrounding huntsmen clapping their hands.
This grisly form of entertainment is not a rare occurrence. It is happening all over the UK. The pro hunting lobby group, the Countryside Alliance is working hard to persuade us that killing foxes the ‘traditional way’ is a natural form of animal management. They also claim that any enjoyment from the activity is secondary to the useful service they are providing. To even admit that killing animals is pleasurable in any way shows indisputably that people who enjoy this form of entertainment are truly sick.
December 2015, a terrier man associated with the Lamerton hunt, took a tiny live fox cub home in his pocket after its mother had been killed. The same man n convicted in the past for starving fox hounds.
In May 2015 a League Against Cruel Sports investigation led to the discovery and rescue of 16 fox cubs on land linked to the Middleton Foxhounds Hunt. The League investigators believe these fox cubs were kidnapped for cruelty as a ready supply of animals to be chased by the hunt.
Red coat hunting is as inefficient as it is cruel. Apart from the fact that only 12% of foxes who die in any season are killed by red coat hunting, removing animals from their home ranges only leaves vacant territories for other wandering males to claim as their own. It is not necessary to ‘control’ foxes, they aren’t over populating, and neither are they a great threat to livestock. Even free range poultry farmers lose only a small number of hens to foxes, and with better protection for their stock, losses can be cut even further.
The vile treatment of young foxes, which aren’t even a year old yet, must stop. Hunting foxes with packs of hounds has been illegal for almost 12 years. If all hunts are hunting within the law, there is no need to train young hounds on fox scent. Hunters who use wild animals in this way are no different from those who enjoy badger baiting and dog fighting.
Time now to ban ALL trail hunting as it seems hunts across the board seem incapable of obeying the law.
Other related stories http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fox-hunters-slammed-letting-little-6785232 16 fox cubs rescued from a barn
News from POWA (Protect our Wild Animals)
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/robbie-marsland/a-busted-flush-as-scotlan_b_9571238.html Scotland’s hunting Act
Country lover, amateur naturalist and fox lover fighting to preserve the ban on hunting