It’s just one week into the 2022-23 season and fox hunts are already dangerously out of control.
At the opening meet of Leicestershire’s Cottesmore Hunt, Northants hunt saboteur Lisa Jaffray was nearly killed after being mown down by a hunt supporter’s car. The video of this attack – which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times – is a powerful reminder of the danger brave hunt sabs place themselves in every week. Thankfully, Lisa survived the attack and has vowed to continue sabotaging the Cottesmore Hunt.
Less than a week after this outrage, multiple hounds from Norfolk’s Dunston Harriers were killed on the London to Norwich trainline near Diss. While the hunter’s claimed that six hounds were killed, eyewitnesses state it was up to twenty, with many of the poor animals being literally cut in half. Whether they were illegally hunting or ‘on exercise’ hardly matters – the hounds were quite obviously completely out of control.
Then, yesterday, David Thomas, Master of the Dwyryd Foxhounds in North Wales, was convicted of animal cruelty charges and sentenced to 24 weeks in prison. Thomas – who vowed from the outset to ignore the Hunting Act – has already served time in prison for running a badger baiting ring, which the RSPCA described as “coordinated and carefully planned cruelty, involving dogs, badgers and foxes.”
Yesterday’s conviction comes as a result of covert footage obtained by the League Against Cruel Sports, showing Thomas and his son kicking and abusing terrified foxhounds. The cruelty and neglect were so serious that the entire pack has been confiscated and Thomas has been banned from keeping any animal for ten years.
A HSA spokesperson commented, “This catalogue of appalling incidents comes in the same week that Viscount Astor III – Chair of the discredited Hunting Office – has claimed in an interview that hunting is ‘legitimate and legal and properly conducted.’ In a week that has seen foxes killed, hounds killed, and a hunt saboteur very nearly killed, we know the British public will treat Astor’s comments with the contempt they deserve.”
Please join the Hunt Saboteurs Association here.