Five members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt have appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court today, accused of hunting fox cubs.

The five accused entered not guilty pleas and a trial date was set for five days from Monday, August 19. Joint Master William Tatler had a medical exemption today but also faces charges.

The case follows an investigation by Derbyshire Police based on evidence captured by the animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports.

Martin Sims, director of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“We’d like to thank Derbyshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for bringing this case to court under the Hunting Act, and we will now await the outcome of the trial.”

The six men are joint masters William Tatler and Peter Southwell, former huntsman Sam Staniland, whipper-in John ‘Ollie’ Finnegan, terrier man Andrew Bull and assistant terrier man Sam Stanley, face a charge of hunting a wild mammal with a dog contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004.

The alleged offence is said to have been committed on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 in woodland near Sutton on the Hill in Derbyshire.

Before the Hunting Act was introduced, hunts would train their hounds to kill adult foxes by first training them to hunt and kill young fox cubs living in patches of woodland. When the Hunting Act was introduced that practice was made illegal.

The case comes 14 years after hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales with the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004, which came into force in February 2005.

ENDS

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]

  • Joint masters manage the hunt.
  • A huntsman is employed by the hunt and is responsible for directing the pack during the day’s hunting. A whipper-in helps the huntsman with the control of the hounds.
  • The traditional role of a terrier men and their assistants was to use terriers to find foxes that have gone to ground.

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).