Horrifying footage passed to the HSA shows Oliver Thompson of the Old Berkshire Foxhounds baiting a terrified young fox with a terrier.
In the first of two videos – shot by Thompson’s wife Felicity – Thompson is seen setting the terrier against the caged fox, while Felicity is heard praising the terrier and delighting in her husband’s capture of the fox. In the second video Thompson torments both animals by taking the fox from the cage and repeatedly lunging her at the terrier.
Back in May we revealed that following raids in January this year, 6 people were arrested by various police forces, and 22 terriers were seized by the RSPCA. The huntsmen from three hunts were suspended by the BHSA, and one of those was Oliver Thompson, who was arrested at the hunt kennels. It is also believed that they had their dogs seized at the time, and so concerned are the powers-that-be, that they have not been returned to Thompson.
In terrier work, so-called ‘soft’ terriers are sent underground wearing a locator collar, upon finding the fox, they would stand ‘at bay’ barking underground, and as soon as the terrierman knows the location, he will dig down and ‘dispatch’ the fox, or sometimes terriermen will bolt foxes to be hunted by the hounds. Other terriers are sent down to attack the fox, but they must be ‘hardened’ to do so – this is what the Thompsons are doing in this video.
We don’t know the fate of the fox, it certainly is not unusual for them to end up being finished off with a shovel, heavy stick or a fork, or whatever takes the fancy of the cruel terrierman.
A Hunt Saboteurs Association Spokesperson commented:
“Terrier work is routinely undertaken by hunters, the process of training terriers to find and attack foxes underground doesn’t end well for either animal. What we have here is a young terrier being hardened to attack foxes, and undoubtedly this is for use on hunt days. The young fox will most certainly have met with a brutal end at the hands of Thompson and his wife.
With the Old Berks celebrating a wildlife criminal whilst he is under suspension and police investigation, essentially Thompson is being rewarded by his hunt for his criminality and cruelty. Once again, this isn’t an isolated incident, and shows the routine way unspeakable cruelty is inflicted on wildlife and their own dogs by hunts.”