Fox Found Mutilated in Wood During Hunt

Warning: this post contains distressing images

The disembowelled body of a fox was found in an unnamed wood near Hankerton in Wiltshire on 7th February 2024, just moments after hunt hounds were seen leaving the wood, some covered with blood.

Hound with blood shortly after leaving the wood where the fox body was found

Cotswold Hunt Sabs (CHS) and Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch (CIHW) were in the area keeping an eye on the Vale of White Horse’s movements. Shortly before the incident, a VWH Redcoat and hounds were seen in the field by both group members going towards the wood. At first two redcoats were seen moving quickly along the lane towards the wood shortly joined by the one in the field. The hounds were stated to be in cry moving towards the wood.

Hunt on road shortly after leaving the wood where the fox body was found

A spokesperson for Cotswold Hunt Saboteurs who found the body said,

“When I came into the wood, I found the beautiful fox lying on the ground moments after it had been killed, as it was still warm. It was really upsetting to see such a beautiful fox just lying there with its’ insides ripped out. The pack had left the wood by this time but two hounds came back into the wood again.

The VWH are out hunting foxes four times a week, but to see this fox’s body, killed and abandoned there in the wood was shocking. The hunt just rode away quickly as if nothing had happened and off to chase another poor victim.”

Body of the fox found in the wood

Other members of the team arrived shortly afterwards to witness the dead fox along with local neighbours who had heard all the commotion. Wiltshire Police were contacted on 999 as a crime was in progress and attended the scene. There is a police investigation now in progress. [Incident 142 of 07.02.2024]

A spokesperson for CIHW said, “Seeing the fox lying there having died in such an horrific way is extremely upsetting. We witness hunts chasing and killing foxes on a regular basis. They say they are trail hunting but we all know this is a lie and not possible when hounds are trained on animal based scents. The 2004 Hunting Act is not fit for purpose and allows hunts to carry on with impunity killing our wildlife.”

Wiltshire Police officer records evidence

This is not the first time this hunt has been under investigation.  In 2022, Duncan and Verity Drewett, senior members of VWH Hunt were accused of hunting foxes and knowingly
permitting their land to be used for hunting after covert filming showed they were supplying
foxes to hunts
. After a series of errors in procedures were highlighted by the Drewett’s solicitor Stephen Welford, the court case against the couple was dropped.

On 4th December, 2023, Gloucestershire Police were appealing for witnesses to an incident
involving the hunt and hounds pursuing three young deer
along the A419 in Cirencester. The hunt caused a significant risk to drivers who were forced to stop in the road to avoid a possible collision with the deer. [Incident 177 of 04.12.2023]

If you have any information which could help the investigation, please call 101 and give the reference 142 of 07.02.2024 [Wiltshire Police]

Get involved!

Find out how you can be part of our campaign to strengthen the Hunting Act

Spread the word!

Please share our news

Sign up for our Newsletter

* indicates required