On 18 March 2023, sabs from both Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch and Three Counties Hunt Sabs were out sabotaging the Cotswold Hunt in Miserden, Gloucestershire when the horrendous discovery of a vixen fox tied up in a bag, buried, and concealed in an artificial earth was made.
The incident was reported to 999 at the scene and an investigation by Gloucestershire Police ensued. The footage was released to Channel 4 News who’s exclusive report had a massive reach and forced hunting’s so-called governing body the British Hound Sports Association (BHSA) to suspend the Cotswold Hunt.
After six months of waiting, the Gloucestershire Police Rural Crime Sergeant determined that they were unable to proceed with any prosecutions and that there would be no further action taken by the police. Suspects were interviewed but they were unable to prove who put the vixen in the earth. There were multiple DNA samples on the retrieved bag thus no further evidence was obtainable to identify whose it was or where it came from.
The pathetic and ineffective BHSA sanctions included: the chairman and joint masters have been suspended for two years for ‘serious breach’ of BHSA core principles, a fine of £5,000, and the hunt has been banned from carrying our terrier work on hunting days with the understanding of appropriate supervision of its followers and supporters, particularly those on quad bikes.
The huntsman, Guy Fitzearle received a mere telling off and has since moved on to the Kimblewick Hunt. Anthony Axel-berg (from the VWH Hunt) is now huntsman, and it is believed the Cotswold Hunt are struggling to recruit a whipper-in. Multiple sab groups have been out against the Cotswold Hunt this season and although some of the faces leading this criminal gang look different, nothing has changed, with footage of clear and blatant cub hunting.
The incident took place on the Miserden Estate, inherited by current owner Nicholas Wills (Wills Tobacco) who has prohibited the hunt from accessing his land; we shall see if he keeps to that promise this season.
Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch commented:
“We are naturally very disappointed and upset that there will be no further action taken by the police, although not surprised. Of course, the police know who the terrier-men were who helped the hunt on the day as well as who oversaw the hunt where the fox was, so let us hope they keep these wildlife criminals under surveillance. One thing is for certain, the cruelty to wildlife will continue and sabs will be there to bear witness and expose this hunt and others as we always have.”
There is no justice – just us.
You can watch the Channel 4 News report here