Fitzwilliam huntsman, George Adams (now retired) and Bird of Prey Handler, John Mease have been charged with offences relating to the Hunting with Dogs Act for the killing of a fox near Wansford, Cambs earlier this year. There is also another cruelty charge which came to light during the investigation.
The charges relate to a hunt on New Years Day, one of the biggest occasions in the hunting calendar. Sabs observed the hounds go into cry and a fox was seen running along the river bank with the hounds in pursuit. The huntsman encouraged the hounds on and they finally caught and attacked the fox in a corner of a field with the huntsman looking on. It was still alive when sabs arrived although hunt support were trying to remove the evidence. The fox had been disembowelled. It was pronounced dead by a sab shortly afterwards.
The hunt were pretending to use the Bird Of Prey Exemption however the Eagle they had present was never unhooded and not in a position to fly. The hunt staff made no attempt to call off the hounds. Evidence and witness statements were supplied by Beds and Bucks & South Cambs hunt saboteurs to Cambridgeshire Police.
Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It is gratifying that Cambridgeshire Police have acted on the evidence gathered by hunt sabs. We now expect the Crown Prosecution Service to act with similar conviction in prosecuting these law breakers. George Adams was a very experienced huntsman who would have had full control of his hounds and knew he was breaking the law. If illegal hunting carried a stiffer penalty then maybe the hunts would think twice before blatantly flouting the Hunting Act.”