Fox cubs are usually born in March and remain underground with their mother until they are about three or four weeks old.
After this time spent in the den, they emerge and play outside with the vixen not too far away keeping a watchful eye.
At around five weeks, the cubs’ fur changes from brown to red and they start to search around for earthworms and beetles etc to eat although they still occasionally drink their mother’s milk.
At six to seven weeks the cubs are weaned and around June time, the earth where they were born is abandoned.
By July they are less dependent on the parents and by August, when they are six months old they are able to search for their own food, although the family is usually still together at this time.
By August, the fox hunters are about ready to start training new hounds.
Although cubbing has been illegal since 2005, it is no secret that hunts across the country seek out these six month old babies in order to give their new dogs a taste of fox blood and to train them to be vicious.
Cub hunting, like dog fighting, is a sick and cruel sport carried out in the early hours of the morning away from prying eyes. The hunters surround a covert where it has previously been established foxes are hiding. They send in experienced hounds with the new hound trainees, the riders and foot followers are there to chase the cubs back into the wood if they try to escape.
Older foxes may be allowed to escape as they will be considered good sport for later hunts.
Once cornered by the dogs, the fox cubs are ripped apart. Any trainee hound who does not show an aptitude for killing fox cubs is either shot or bludgeoned to death.
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.
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 happening now 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 has a past conviction 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.
As recently as June this year, three people from the South Herefordshire Hunt, were arrested on suspicion of causing suffering to animals.
The arrests came after footage was revealed which animal rights campaigners claim shows evidence of "cubbing", using fox cubs to train hounds to hunt and kill the animals.
Footage taken by a new group the Hunt Investigation Team, supported by the League Against Cruel Sports, shows members of the South Herefordshire hunt throwing live fox cubs into a kennel full of hounds. The dogs can be heard baying and snarling and later the bodies of two fox cubs were thrown in the trash. Three people have been arrested and released on police bail. Of course the hunting groups dissociate themselves from this cruelty, leaving their minions the kennel staff to carry the can.
The Master of Fox Hounds Association, which regulates and represents hunts around the country, said it had launched the inquiry "into conduct which suggests breaches of the association's rules at the South Herefordshire Hunt".
However, it would be interesting to hear how the Master of fox Hounds Association explains the training of new hounds if fox cubs are not used in the process.
Traditional hunting foxes with dogs has been banned for more than a decade, with hunts now allowed to only to trail hunt, which involves hounds following a man-made trail across country. But animal rights campaigners are well aware that most hunts break the law and kill foxes on a regular basis.
The only way to stop this cruel and barbaric sport is to ban trail hunting completely.
The hunters seem incapable of obeying the law so we must work towards strengthening the hunting Act and make killing foxes by setting packs of dogs on them a criminal offence.
Hunters caught hunting should receive a huge fine and a term in prison.
With a criminal record and a much lighter bank balance they may think twice before eviscerating one of the UKs small predators as a fun day out.
Country lover, amateur naturalist and fox lover fighting to preserve the ban on hunting
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