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New Forest Foxhounds suspended for unauthorised digging

8 July 2002

The League Against Cruel Sports today demanded the complete withdrawal of the New Forest Foxhounds' licence claiming they are "not fit and proper" to hold one.

It follows a Forestry Commission decision to ban the hunt for one month for digging out a fox on its land without permission - described as a "major breach of conditions of their licence."

The hunt failed to obtain permission to dig on Newlands Plantation, at Linwood, near Ringwood, Hampshire, on March 19. The ban will come into force at the start of the hunt season on September 1 this year.

The four-hour dig, of what may have been a badger sett, culminated in a fox being shot. It was witnessed and filmed by League Against Cruel Sports member, Ronald White.

The huntsman involved was Paul Woodhouse, who was jailed last year for attacking a motorist.

League Against Cruel Sports chief executive, Douglas Batchelor, said today: "We are shocked that the New Forest Foxhounds have only been banned for 31 days for this appalling behaviour. Not only have they dug without permission, but the huntsman involved also has a previous conviction for violence. This evidence shows that this hunt and its staff are not fit and proper persons to hold a licence."