Two men from the Quorn Hunt pleaded not guilty at a pre-trial hearing at Leicester Magistrates Court this week after being charged with offences under the Hunting Act 2004.

They now face trial at Loughborough Magistrates Court on January 11 in a trial expected to last three days.

Huntsman John Oliver ‘Ollie’ Finnegan, aged 35, from Melton Mowbray and whipper-in Rhys Matcham, aged 29, from Badminton, are accused of hunting a wild mammal with a dog, namely a fox, on February 4, 2020.

The case follows an investigation by Leicestershire Police based on evidence obtained by professional investigators working for animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports – an animal welfare charity founded in 1924 with the aim of ending blood sports in the UK.

The charges relate to an incident on land at Breedon-on-the-Hill on 4 February 2020.

The case comes 15 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 to arrange interviews following the trial, please contact [email protected] or call 01483 524250.

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 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).