Shocking footage showing hounds from the Duke Of Beaufort’s Hunt chasing a fox has been released by leading animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports.

The fox is filmed running for its life and jumping through a barbed wire fence with hounds following closely behind.

Hunting a wild mammal with dogs was made illegal with the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004.

The incident was filmed by the League’s investigators and took place on Hawkesbury Common in Gloucestershire on Wednesday, October 28.

The main body of the hunt was seen pursuing the fox and hounds on horseback, and no attempt was made to call the hounds back.

The footage is being passed to Avon and Somerset Constabulary so police can investigate.

Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “This footage clearly shows that fox hunting is still taking place in the English countryside despite being banned 15 years ago.

“It shows that the trail hunting excuse being used by hunts is a smokescreen to cover up the chasing and killing of foxes – if trail hunting was real, foxes wouldn’t be pursued by baying hounds.”

Three professional investigators followed the hunt throughout the day to monitor its activities and to establish it was hunting foxes.

Trail hunting purports to mimic traditional hunting by following an animal-based scent trail, but on the day our investigators were out there was no indication at any point of a trail being laid.

Mr Luffingham added: “Fox hunting is a cruel blood sport which involves hunt hounds chasing and literally tearing apart the body of the live fox when they catch it.

“Landowners such as the government and the National Trust which license trail hunting on their land need to act now and call an end to this barbaric behaviour.”

The League Against Cruel Sports has compiled 677 reports which pointed to suspected illegal fox hunting, witnessed by members of the public across England and Wales during the last fox hunting and cub hunting season.

 

ENDS

Notes to Editors

View the footage here.

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).