The huntsman of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, Shaun Parish, pleaded guilty to illegally hunting a fox at Peterborough Magistrates Court this morning.
The offence took place near the Cambridgeshire village of Barnack in March last year, during which a fox was dug out from their underground hiding place and flushed out to the hunt’s pack of hounds. Unfortunately for the Fitzwilliam, however, saboteurs were present and recorded the whole incident.
A trial was scheduled for today, but instead Parish chose to plead guilty half an hour beforehand and was subsequently fined £421.
Peterborough Hunt Saboteurs and Beds and Bucks Hunt Saboteurs released a joint statement, saying,
“We are obviously hugely pleased with this outcome. The strength of evidence supplied in this case meant that the Fitzwilliam had no defence to offer. The Fitzwilliam are fast becoming one of the most convicted hunts in the country and it’s clear to everybody that they are simply a criminal gang”.
A HSA spokesperson commented,
“Today provides yet further evidence that fox hunts are nothing more than rural organised crime gangs. Police investigations are currently ongoing around numerous other hunts and the evidence that fox hunting is rife not only in Cambridgeshire but throughout the UK is now totally irrefutable.
Well done to our Peterborough and Beds & Bucks groups for keeping the pressure on this criminal hunt and saving the lives of many foxes targeted by it.”