Slap on the Wrist For the Cotswold Hunt

Terriermen wanting to dispose of the evidence

Hunting’s so-called ‘governing body’, the British Hounds Sports Association, has banned the Cotswold Hunt from carrying out terrier work on hunting days following a ‘disciplinary hearing’.

In March, Channel 4 News delivered a damning report showing a vixen tied up in a bag and buried alive in an artificial earth right where the Cotswold Hunt were hunting that day. The footage was taken by local HSA group Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch on the Miserden Estate, Gloucestershire. After rescuing the fox, saboteurs on the ground even recorded the hunt’s terriermen discussing the need to get the bag back as it could be used as ‘evidence’ against them in a criminal court.

The poor fox is rescued
The poor fox is rescued. Image: Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch

The BHSA’s farcical hearing determined that, ‘that no one involved in the management of the Hunt had prior knowledge of the fox being placed in an artificial earth, or would have condoned such conduct.’ Yet again, the hunting community lies to the public to save face.

Terriermen wanting to dispose of the evidence
Terriermen wanting to dispose of the evidence. Image: Three Counties Sabs

Despite this, the BHSA did decide to prohibit the Cotswold from carrying out terrier work during hunting days as well as fining the hunt £5,000. It’s chairman and joint masters will be suspended from BHSA membership for two years and shockingly but highly unsurprisingly, its huntsman will simply receive a ‘written reprimand’.

An HSA spokesperson commented,

“After the abhorrent actions of the Cotswold Hunt, the only correct course of action is to disband the hunt. The BHSA has once again clearly proven that self-governance within the hunting community is a farce. Leading figures within the BHSA regularly attend illegal hunts – in what other walk of life would organised crime gangs be allowed to police themselves?”

With the news that the Avon Vale Hunt are planning to continue as an ‘unregistered’ pack outside of BHSA membership, coupled with the slap on the wrist received by the Cotswold Hunt, it’s clear that nothing short of a total hunt ban is needed. Until that time, saboteurs will continue to take action and force hunts to disband, one by one.

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