Sickening footage shows brutal fox hunting by Avon Vale Hunt

The video, released yesterday by ITV News, and believed to be taken recently, shows members of the hunt digging into a den, retrieving a terrier that would have been used to find its quarry, before a fox is released into the path of the hunt hounds.

Simultaneously another fox bolts from the den and then both foxes are chased by the pack of hounds accompanied by the haunting sound of laughter from hunters on foot and on horseback.

The incident drew condemnation from leading animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports. Emma Smith, director of operations at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “This sickening footage shows that hunts are still targeting foxes and that ‘trail’ hunting is a sham and a smokescreen being used to deceive the public, police and courts.

“It’s time for change – hunting laws need to be strengthened and the brutal world of fox hunting ended once and for all.”

The release of the video has sparked outrage across the world of animal welfare with musician Brian May and broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham condemning fox hunts for their use of the trail hunting deceit.

The video itself shows terrier men in action – people who use terriers to flush out foxes that have fled underground and in this case release them before the hounds to provide ‘sport’ for the hunt.

The fate of these two foxes is not known but fox hunting traditionally involved hounds ripping and tearing apart live foxes to kill them.

Emma Smith added: “This incident highlights what has become apparent since the hunting ban came into force – that hunts are still out chasing and killing foxes when they catch them.

“This is not an isolated incident – the hunts are an ever-present menace in the countryside killing animals and wreaking havoc on rural communities.”


Notes to editors

A fox hunting ban came into force in England and Wales in February 2005 with the introduction of the Hunting Act (2004).

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 07496 496454 (24hrs) or email

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading animal 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 2004 and the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021. 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 wildlife reserves. Find out more about our work at Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).

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