Yesterday The Duke of Rutlands' hounds, The Belvoir Hunt, chased and illegally killed three foxes.
The hunt met at The Wolds Farm near Holwell, Leicestershire. Initially sabs were able to take the hounds off huntsman John Holliday in two locations as he encouraged hounds to hunt a nearby covert and hedge. Unfortunately by the time sabs had caught up with him in a farmyard near Scalford Hall, hounds were already tearing apart a terrified fox they had cornered in the yard. Holliday sat watching making no attempt to control his pack. Sabs immediately intervened and were able to recover the still conscious fox. At this point Holliday dismounted and assaulted a female sab. The fox was unable to be saved due to extensive wounds and died in the sabs arms.
The police and Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, who were both present on the day, confirmed that immediately prior to this incident two other foxes were killed by the hunt in the grounds of a nearby nursing home. The police were alerted by a horrified member of the public. All three foxes have been taken as evidence by Leicestershire Police.
Earlier this year the Belvoir were implicated in the keeping of captive foxes to be illegally hunted. Members of the hunt subsequently attacked the two League Against Cruel Sports investigators who had exposed them, putting one of them in hospital with a broken neck. They are currently awaiting a court case in 2017.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “2016 has shown the world exactly what the Belvoir hunt are like. They were implicated in keeping captive foxes, then viciously assaulting those who had exposed them. Now as the year draws to a close they brazenly hunt and kill three foxes in the presence of Leicestershire Police. Members of Leicestershire Police, including former wildlife crime officer Sharon Roscoe, are known to ride with the Belvoir and we hope this doesn't influence any investigation. It is perhaps fortunate that the Leicestershire PCC was also present on the day to insist that this latest law breaking by the Belvoir is not brushed under the carpet.”