An appeal for more information on the activities of fox hunts across the country has been launched as reports have emerged of them training their hounds to kill by targeting fox cubs in woodland areas.

Animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports is currently investigating potential incidents of cub hunting and is calling on the public to help them put an end to what it calls ‘hunting’s dirtiest secret’.

The sickening practice of ‘cub hunting’ sees hunt followers surround a small copse, prevent fox cubs from escaping by shouting and slapping saddles while the huntsman enters it with the pack of hounds – with the result that fox cubs will be ripped to pieces.

It is estimated that 10,000 fox cubs are killed every year across the UK in such a fashion.

Cub hunting takes place in early morning or late evening, beginning in August and continuing through to the start of the fox hunting season on November 1. The hunts avoid wearing their red coats to detract attention from their activities.

Chris Luffingham, Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“Despite hunting being banned 13 years ago, hunts sadly continue to illegally target foxes and cub hunting teaches their hounds how to kill and get a taste for their blood.

“Thousands of fox cubs are literally being torn apart in this gruesome practice which exposes the lamentable lies of the hunts that they have stopped targeting British wildlife.

“You can help us to by reporting the illegal and barbaric activity of cub hunting to the League Against Cruel Sports Animal Crimewatch line.”
 

Help us to stop cub hunting

Information leading to a conviction could earn a reward of up to £1,000.

Please get in touch if you

  • Have heard people talking about ‘autumn’ hunting or a ‘meet’ taking place
  • Have seen a hunt going out early in the morning or late in the evening from August to October, not dressed in red coats
  • Have been told by the hunt that they are ‘exercising the hounds’ or are ‘out for a social

Cub hunting is illegal so report it to the police on 101 – and get an incident number.

Cub hunting trains young and inexperienced hounds to follow the lead of older more experienced hounds and learn how to hunt and kill foxes. Without learning how to hunt a live animal – something that does not come naturally to a fox hound – hunts would not be able to continue fox hunting, something they continue to do despite the fox hunting ban.

Hounds that don’t learn how to hunt foxes may later be shot for being ‘under-performers’.

The hunting fraternity confessed they were killing up to 10,000 fox cubs a year before the fox hunting ban, as part of their testimony at the Government-led Burns Enquiry in 2000.

Chris Luffingham, said:

“Cub hunting is one of the hunting world’s dirtiest secrets and which will shock the vast majority of the public who may be unaware that it is going on.

“Help us to investigate, expose and stamp out this cruel practice and really bring about an end to the barbaric sport of fox hunting.

“Armed with the right intelligence we can monitor and prosecute the hunts responsible for cub hunting and ensure the courts bring the perpetrators to justice.”

 

Members of the public can contact the confidential League Against Cruel Sports Animal Crimewatch reporting service by calling 01483 361108, email [email protected] or visit the website at https://www.league.org.uk/animal-crimewatch

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Notes to Editors

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 www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).