POWA Press Release 22nd November 2012
A young vixen owes her life to the quick thinking and courage of a hunt monitor who literally dived in and grabbed her from amongst the hounds that were just about to maul her to death..
The young woman was out monitoring the Old Berks Fox Hounds last Wednesday, 14th November. The Hunt met at Elmwood House, Black Bourton in Oxfordshire. Not long after the hunt moved off , the Huntsman sent the hound pack into woodland and thick undergrowth.
Just after 11.30 am, the hounds found the fox in scrub next to large slurry tanks on the edge of a farm.
Fortunately for the fox, her "guardian angel" was only feet away. With no thought for her own safety, the monitor shouted at the hounds as they closed in on the fox, and running forward, was able to snatch the terrified animal. She then scooped her up, away from amongst the hounds, which would in moments have undoubtedly torn the young animal to pieces. The fox had already been bowled over onto her back, leaving her stomach exposed.
Despite having been bitten by the terrified fox, the monitor hurried the traumatised animal away, cradled in her arms, whilst her colleague, who filmed the whole incident, called for help.
Being followed by a Hunt participant, they reached a fellow monitor's car and the fox was then driven away to safety. She was checked for injuries, and thanks to the monitor's lightening reactions, was found to have no serious bites.
The fox's rescuer (who wishes to remain anonymous) said of her actions:-
“I just reacted. I couldn't leave the poor little thing to be torn apart by the dogs. But it was worth all the pain and stress and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I feel privileged to have been able to rescue her. Words cannot express my contempt for people who terrify and kill defenceless wild animals."
The fox has now been rehabilitated into an area where she will be safe from the hunt. The footage clearly shows that when the hounds reach the fox, there is no "quick nip to the back of the neck", as claimed by hunters, a claim always disputed by post mortem evidence of foxes killed by hounds.
The Chairman of the Old Berks Hunt is Lord Astor, the stepfather of Samantha Cameron
The incident has been reported to the RSPCA.
Since September 2011, hundreds of acres of land are known to have been made out of bounds to bloodsports, affecting dozens of Hunts nationwide. In reality the figure could be much higher because we have no system for monitoring Warning Off emails and letters sent by individuals. Hounds Off encourages autonomous action. We deliberately make no demands regarding feedback or membership.
Following 26 complaints regarding Hunt trespass during the season 2011/12, Hounds Off offered practical advice and support in warning Hunts off land in twelve different counties, including:
- 170 acres lost to North Ledbury Hunt after alpacas were attacked by hounds.
- East Studdal, near Dover, forbidden to West Street Tickham Hunt following a hunt invasion and fox killing in the village.
- At least seven Dorset properties banned to Portman Hunt in weekend of action, 22/23 October.
- Securing hunt-free zone status for a Yorkshire property where the family cat was killed in December following trespass by Staintondale Hunt.
- 15 Kentish acres forbidden to Ashford Valley Hunt including woodland inhabited by foxes.
- Over 300 acres in Somerset and Dorset confirmed as Hunt-free, affecting at least two foxhunts there.
- Confirming the hunt-free status a 227 acre woodland Nature Reserve in Dorset following hunt trespass in November.
Leaflets and cards promoting the work of Hounds Off are available direct via the website or from the HSA. They’re perfect for keeping in your vehicle and handing to sympathetic or beleaguered landowners whilst you’re out in the field.
Hounds Off is supported by individuals and organisations from across the campaigning and political spectrum.
Hounds Off encourages the creation of hunt-free sanctuaries to stop the illegal hunting of wild animals with dogs in Britain via engagement with our website, www.houndsoff.co.uk. By following the simple process explained here, involving Warning Off notices being sent to the hunters, Hounds Off is spearheading a campaign which invites everyone to join in regardless of who you are or where you live.
Please visit our website. Take action. Tell your family and friends to do the same. Support the Hunting Ban. Support Hounds Off. Be part of the people’s campaign against bloodsports.
Hounds Off, September 2012
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