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We work to expose and end the cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of sport

Brutal assault on League staff by Belvoir Hunt followers

12 March 2016

League Against Cruel SportsLeicestershire, Saturday 12th March:  Two members of staff from the UK’s leading anti-hunting campaigning organisation have today been seriously assaulted and robbed of their cameras while monitoring Leicestershire’s Belvoir Hunt.

The two League Against Cruel Sports employees were attacked by a gang of hunt followers, some of which were on quad bikes and wore masks.

Having been attacked by the gang, League employee Darryl Cunnington sustained injuries so serious that a specialist ambulance was called and he was rushed to hospital. League colleague Roger Swaine sustained blows to the head and suffered heavy bleeding.

Leicestershire police immediately started an investigation and a police helicopter was called in to search for the gang of men who fled on the quad bike.

Eduardo Gonçalves, Chief Executive for League Against Cruel Sports said:  “Our number one priority is the wellbeing of our injured staff and I am on my way to visit them now.

“We are all shocked by the violence of the Belvoir Hunt followers and this barbaric thuggery must not go unpunished. Our courageous investigators play a critical role in peacefully monitoring and enforcing the anti-hunting law that some people consider themselves to be above.

“Clearly some hunt followers are not satisfied with violence against our wildlife. They now satisfy their bloodlust by attacking people."

Last year, the Belvoir Hunt hit the headlines when the same investigator (Darryl Cunnington) discovered – and subsequently released - a captured fox in a shed on land hunted by the Belvoir Hunt.  Soon after, the hunt was in the national media spotlight again when it was revealed that an animal welfare officer for the Leicestershire Police also hunted with the Belvoir.

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Further press information:  Please contact the League’s Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email  

Note to editors:  

1. 24 December 2015: Fox found captive on Belvoir Hunt land:
2. Leics wildlife PC also hunts with the Belvoir: l

League Against Cruel Sports is a registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (SC045533) that brings together people who care about animals. Like the majority of the public, we believe that cruelty to animals in the name of sport has no place in modern society. Find out more about our work at