Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 30th June 2016
Undercover footage handed to the Hunt Saboteurs Association by independent investigators, shows the Pytchley Hunt rearing and hunting foxes in direct contravention of the Hunting Act. The footage shows the hunt terrier men keeping captive foxes in an artificial earth, an underground tunnel system built by the hunt to maintain the fox population in an area they plan to hunt. The terrier men introduce cubs to the earth and initially keep them caged to ensure they don't leave the area. Once they are attached to the area the cage is removed to allow the cubs free rein in the wood. As can be seen, not all the cubs survive captivity.
One cub dies and is removed from the cage and callously thrown into the undergrowth. The cubs are regularly fed by the terrier men to ensure they don't leave the area in search of food. Hunting day arrives and we see the hunt terrier men enter the wood with a terrier and a spade. They use the terrier to flush a fox out of the artificial earth in front of the approaching hounds. The hounds pick up the scent of the fox and chase it. The terrier men then put a block over the entrance to the earth, to stop the fox seeking refuge. We then cut to the fox escaping across a field and one of the hunt masters holding his hat in the air to indicate the fox's direction of travel. Fortunately on this occasion, despite the hunts best efforts, the fox escapes.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “Investigations like this, prove what hunt saboteurs already know, illegal fox hunting is not about pest-control it's about hunting and killing for pleasure. In the last two years the North Cotswold Hunt have been caught feeding foxes, the Middleton Hunt have been caught breeding them and the Belvoir Hunt are implicated in keeping a captive fox to be “bagged” and released on the day of the hunt. Only last week the South Herefordshire Hunt were caught throwing live captive fox cubs to their pack of hounds. Every time a hunt is investigated they are found to be committing some hideous act of animal abuse that contravenes not only the law but also their own MFHA (Master of Fox Hounds Association) rules. The Countryside Alliance always claim a bad apple and distance the rest of the hunting community from the latest act of cruelty but it is clear that these practices are endemic at hunts across the country.”