A leading animal welfare charity has slammed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) following a ‘key case’ being abandoned against a huntsman and three terriermen involving in pursuing foxes, blocking a badger sett and damaging an ancient monument on the border of North and West Yorkshire.

Professional investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports filmed the incidents at Rougemont Carr Wood, near Weeton, during a meet of the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt on Tuesday 21st November 2017, resulting in charges being brought. However, despite clear video evidence implicating each of the individuals and witness testimonies, the CPS dropped the prosecution only two days before a crucial hearing at Harrogate Magistrates Court, citing ‘identification issues’.

Martin Sims, Director of Investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports, says:

“This is yet another hugely frustrating case involving this Hunt and not for the first time this year. Here we have a case of known individuals attached to an organised hunting pack, having targeted foxes and badger setts, going unprosecuted, despite the efforts of North Yorkshire Police in gathering evidence for the matter to be dealt with.

“The Crown Prosecution Service has serious questions to answer surrounding why it abandoned a key wildlife crime case, despite clear evidence being presented outlining the commission of offences and the suspect’s identity. The absence of any prosecution has allowed those who have targeted ‘protected’ wild mammals to simply cock a snook at the law without fear of being brought to justice.”

The League campaigns for greater protection of animals who are subjected to cruel sports, including through performing strategic investigations to ensure those who break animal welfare laws are brought to justice. Our enforcement work is performed by a team of specialist investigators, many of whom are former police officers with decades of experience between them, headed up by Martin Sims, a former Chief Inspector and previous-Head of the National Wildlife Crime Unit.


 
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Notes to Editors

  1. A complete breakdown of the diseases transmitted by hunting hounds and other findings of the League’s independently-commissioned report into biosecurity can be found at:
    league.org.uk/news/hunting-hounds-pose-a-significant-risk
  2. A print-quality photograph for which the right of republication is attached.
  • For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected]
  • The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).