Hunters release wild animal from sack into excited pack of foxhounds

Hunters release wild animal from sack into excited pack of foxhounds

August 27, 2022

Hunters release wild animal from sack into excited pack of foxhounds in shocking video footage

  • Members of the Seavington Hunt appear to release a fox into a pack of hounds
  • British Hound Sports Association condemned the behaviour as ‘unacceptable’ 
  • Anti fox hunting group said ‘bagging’ is common but called the video ‘shocking’
  • Avon and Somerset Police investigating the incident which took place in March

‘Sickening’ footage has emerged which appears to show members of a hunt releasing a ‘bagged fox’ directly into a pack of hounds.

Police are investigating the incident, which took place in Somerset in March and which has been condemned by many within the sport of hunting.

In the video, which was taken by a member of the public and released to ITV news, a group of men from the Seavington Hunt are shown taking a sack from one of their quad bikes.

The hounds are held back while an animal – believed to be a fox – is tipped out and then the chase begins.

It is not clear from the video whether the animal survived.

According to the Hunt Saboteurs Association, ‘bagging’ foxes is a common practice among illegal hunts who want to keep their hounds ‘in blood’ by ensuring an easy kill.

The group said: ‘Terriermen dig a fox out of her earth, mutilate the poor animal – usually by slashing her pads – then stuff her into a sack.

‘The fox – injured, terrified, and completely disorientated – is then dropped in front of the hounds. She doesn’t stand a chance.’

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed to ITV News that ‘a man in his 20s has attended a voluntary police interview in connection with a report made to police concerning alleged illegal hunting’.

The British Hound Sport Association said it condemned the behaviour of the Seavington Hunt and that the group have been suspended pending a full enquiry.

But it is not the first time that this hunt has been in trouble. In 2014 one of its huntsmen, David Parker, was fined £500, ordered to pay £500 in costs and a £50 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to hunting a fox with dogs.

This is contrary to the Hunting Act 2004 which made it illegal to hunt foxes with a pack of dogs.

The group was also investigated by police in 2011 when a video emerged showing a fox being chased along a railway line by up to a dozen dogs. 

The British Hound Sports Association said: ‘In March the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) was made aware of a serious incident involving the Seavington Hunt.

‘The MFHA unequivocally condemned this behaviour which was wholly unacceptable and would not be tolerated by any of the hunting associations. The MFHA committee immediately suspended the hunt and revoked the membership of its Master. Following a police interview the huntsman left the employment of the hunt.

‘The hunt remains suspended from the British Hound Sports Association, the new governing body for hunting with hounds, until a full enquiry is carried out by the Hound Sports Regulatory Authority, the new regulatory body that is responsible for disciplinary matters. This will take place following the conclusion of the legal process.’

The Hunt Saboteurs Association commented: ‘Releasing bagged foxes in front of hounds has never been legal, but to see it happening in 2022 shows just how mired in cruelty and criminality today’s fox hunters are.

‘If there is anything more sickening than the video itself, it is the hollow words of the MFHA and the so-called ‘British Hound Sports Association’ – the new name for the disgraced Hunting Office – pretending to condemn this activity.

‘While these organisations campaign for so-called ‘trail hunting’ they know their member packs are in fact throwing live foxes in front of hounds.’

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