Sickening footage passed to ITV News by the Hunt Saboteurs Association appears to show Somerset’s Seavington Hunt releasing a ‘bagged’ fox in front of the hounds
In the video, shot in March this year, a seedy gang of hunt terriermen are seen taking a sack from one of their quad bikes. An animal – believed to be a fox – is then tipped out, while the uniformed Seavington huntsman rushes forward to encourage the waiting hounds after the fox. The poor animal is then pursued out of shot by the baying pack.
Although rarely filmed, ‘bagging’ foxes is common practice amongst illegal fox hunts who want to keep their hounds ‘in blood’ by ensuring an easy kill. Terriermen dig a fox out of her earth, mutilate the poor animal – usually by slashing her pads – then stuff her into a sack. The fox – injured, terrified, and completely disorientated – is then dropped in front of the hounds. She doesn’t stand a chance.
The Seavington Hunt, based near Ilminster in Somerset, have a track record of criminality: in 2013, their huntsman was found guilty of hunting a fox, but continued to enjoy the total support of the Countryside Alliance and the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA).
The Hunt Saboteurs Association commented,
“Releasing bagged foxes in front of hounds has never been legal, but to see it happening in 2022 shows just how mired in cruelty and criminality today’s fox hunters are. If there is anything more sickening than the video itself, it is the hollow words of the MFHA and the so-called ‘British Hound Sports Association’ – the new name for the disgraced Hunting Office – pretending to condemn this activity. While these organisations campaign for so-called ‘trail hunting’ they know their member packs are in fact throwing live foxes in front of hounds.”