HSA news release 31st July 2003
Persecution of fox cubs starts again.
This picture has not been digitally altered other than to be cropped.
The fox cub hunting "season" begins again on 1 August. For fox hunters it means the chance to train young inexperienced fox hounds with the lives of young foxes - For the sake of "sport".
For hunt saboteurs it means getting up before dawn to find the hunts and stop them killing - For the sake of wildlife.
Members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) across the country will be staking out kennels and trailing hound vans, or receiving information from locals to establish the whereabouts of the cub hunts. Meets are not advertised as the hunters know what bad publicity these meets generate. The masters and hunt staff will have been told in advance where litters of fox cubs have been living by local farmers and gamekeepers. Then, as the huntsman uses his horn to direct the pack into the woods where the cubs are located, the "sabs" will use hunting horns and holloas to call the pack out - and save the young foxes' lives.
Cub hunting, or "cubbing" as it used to be known before the hunters re-branded it "autumn hunting", often involves the "holding up" of woods. Riders and supporters may surround the wood and make enough noise to prevent the frightened young foxes from leaving the wood whilst encouraging the hounds to stay in there. If the vixen leaves the wood to try to draw the hounds away from her cubs, the hunters will let her go and whip the hounds back into the wood to find the cubs. If the cubs cannot escape, it is only a matter of time before they are mauled by the pack who then receive great praise from the huntsman. This provides training for the younger hounds in how to hunt foxes. Those not showing sufficient promise or inclination to hunt will suffer the same ultimate fate as the fox cubs, albeit with the aid of a bullet.
Nathan Brown, HSA spokesperson, explained the importance of sabotaging cubhunts: "Hunt saboteurs can have a spectacular impact upon the killing ability of a pack of hounds if their training is effectively disrupted. 40% of the foxes that hunts kill are killed during cubbing. That is why we will be there - no matter how early we have to get up!"
"We would like our 40th Season to be our last, and when hunting is outlawed, to see the beginning of a new era of care and respect for this country's wildlife"
Notes for Editors:
The Hunt Saboteurs Association is starting its 40th season of actively and directly saving animals' lives this month.
The main fox hunting season opens at the begining of November.