“THIS DESPICABLE HEINOUS CRIME MUST STOP….PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION BELOW. How can anyone say that chasing an animal with the intention to kill it is a normal act! These POS get a buzz out of chasing a small animal, purely to kill it…it’s the thrill of the chase; & they love it!!”
By LIZZIE EDMONDS - 27 January 2014
- Images, released by anti-hunt campaigners, show men setting dog on fox
- They then use spades to dig creature out of a hole before shooting it dead
- Critics have today condemned ‘cruel’ and ‘horrific’ incident
- But Countryside Alliance say the men acted legally under Hunting Act
This is the moment a fox was dragged out of a hole and shot dead while children as young as five watched on.
The images, released by anti-hunt campaigners, show a group of terriermen setting their dog on the creature.
The fox tries attempts to hide in a badger’s sett – but the three adults fire into the ground and use spades to dig it out.
A farmer who captured the killing on camera says the group then called over three children to show them the remains.
The men can then be seen walking away with two dead animals. It is unclear where and how the second fox was killed.
The shocking incident happened shortly after a hunt on December 28 by the Modbury Harriers, which rides in south Devon.
The League Against Cruel Sports has handed the photos over to the RSPCA and asked them to investigate it as a possible breach of the Hunting Act..
The law bans hunting foxes with a pack of hounds – however it doesn’t cover the use of dogs to flush out animals underground.
The farmer, who has asked not to be identified, said the fox was initially chased across the field by hounds.
“Just read the above comment on the picture…how can any sane animal lover, who owns just a dog or cat; say this is normal!! I see no difference in this than I do inhumane POS chasing & killing elephants or rhino…they are all sentient beings FFS!!”
The huntsmen moved on but before it could climb out of the badger’s set three men with guns and spades arrived – with three children following close behind.
The farmer said: ‘I sat there in disbelief – how could those guys think any of what had played out was fit for young children to witness?
‘I watched in horror as a whole pack of hounds poured into our neighbour’s field then piled into our meadow.
‘They made that hideous blood-curdling squealing – known as ‘speaking’ – which means they are on the scent of a fox.
‘I saw a beautiful vixen flash across the meadow and disappear into an old badger sett on my neighbour’s farm.
‘At the top of the hill I saw a couple of guys carrying spades and a terrier on a lead. They were going to dig her out and kill her right then and there.
‘The men came down and filled in the exit holes to stop the fox escaping and then called the children over to watch as they dug out and killed the young vixen.’
The farmer said the three men came across a second badger inside the hole which they also shot dead as the children craned their necks to see what was happening.
He added: ‘This is the dirty underbelly of fox hunting, the bit they don’t like even their followers to see.
‘But I was disgusted to see the terriermen had brought three youngsters to watch – one was only about five years old.
The farmer, who keeps a flock of 140 breeding ewes and a few chickens, is strongly anti-hunting and has complained about huntsmen trespassing on his land.
oe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), said: ‘This horrific incident of animal cruelty shows not only a total disregard for the dogs and foxes but also for the welfare of the children.’
The Countryside Alliance, however, said there was ‘no question’ the behaviour was legal – describing the killing as ‘professional and humane’.
Spokesman Tim Bonner said the outrage merely demonstrated that outsiders do not ‘understand the realities of the countryside and country life’.
Mr Bonner said he had spoken to the hunt, who told him the killing had been carried out as ‘pest control” with the permission of the landowner.
He said: ‘The children were not in the hole – they were close by – and as far as we are concerned it was a totally professional operation and nothing which should upset anyone.
‘They were using the terrier work exemption and properly, professionally and humanely managing the killing of those two foxes.
‘There would be plenty of children of that sort of age involved in pheasant shoots and ferreting.
‘The vast majority of children eat meat and at the end of the day it is a dead animal.’
The Hunting act:-
The Hunting Act came in to force in February 2005 and was passed under the 1997 Labour government. It bans hunting any wild mammal – including foxes, deer and hares -with dogs in England and Wales.
Under the Act it is completely legal to ‘flush out’ – i.e. coax an animal from a hole or a sett – with dogs.
It is also legal to drag hunt with hounds. This is when the dogs are trained to follow an artificial scent and is now common practice across the country.
Hunting mammals with dogs was banned in Scotland two years earlier under the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002.
It is still legal to hunt in Northern Ireland.
Breaking the law is a summary offence. Those found guilty of doing so would be fined.
There were 181 convictions under the Hunting Act up to the end of 2010.