Business as usual for hunts over Christmas in Gloucestershire

Christmas was a break for many people and a chance to see family, friends and unwind. For foxes it was just like any other week in the hunting season as there was no reprieve from the hunts who were chasing wildlife as usual.

In Gloucestershire, among many reports, the Mendip Hunt Sabs and Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch  (CIHW) saw five foxes fleeing from the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt.

The Beaufort were also caught trespassing on National Trust land, and the police attended when CIHW and Three Counties sabs found the Cotswold Hunt digging out, (digging down to find foxes that have fled underground during a hunt to flee the hounds).

On the 2 January Three Counties Hunt Sabs  reported stopping the Heythrop Hunt hounds from chasing a fox. The Heythrop hunt have since been making a nuisance of themselves, losing control of their hounds who were seen chasing a fox and causing chaos on a country lane  just across the border in Oxfordshire.

These reports are only the tip of the iceberg and from now until the end of March hunts will go out four to five times a week carrying on as if there is no fox hunting ban, wreaking havoc on rural communities and putting people and wildlife at risk.

Our campaign to end hunting in Gloucestershire has been growing and gaining support since its launch in Stroud at the beginning of November. We have seen our wonderful volunteers and friends join us on the streets handing out leaflets, encouraging people to sign the petition, and even handing leaflets out in their own towns and villages in Gloucestershire. Not only that, but 11 businesses in Stroud are supporting our call to end hunting in Gloucestershire too by signing up to our Businesses Without Blood Sports pledge.

The petition has more than 1,000 signatures, and later in January  we will be presenting it to policymakers in Gloucestershire asking them to do all in their power to end hunting!

We have had amazing support from Dale Vince at Ecotricity and his football club Forest Green Rovers who allowed us to campaign at the stadium at the Gloucestershire derby. It was fabulous to be at the greenest football club in the world.

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It was great fun. The League fox received lots of high fives, waves, and most people we spoke to want to see the end of fox hunting in Gloucestershire. We also had pieces in Gloucestershire LiveStroud News and Journal and the Stroud Times which spread our message to thousands of people across Gloucestershire.

With the help of our supporters we have spread the message that hunting should not take place in Gloucestershire, but we need to do more.

The county continues to be a hot spot for hunting with hounds.

Statistics collated by The League Against Cruel Sports from 1 August 2022 to 5 of January 2023 show there have been 98 incidents of hunt havoc and suspected illegal hunting in Gloucestershire alone and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

But it’s not just Gloucestershire. The League receives reports relating to suspected illegal hunting across Great Britain. Do check out our recent hunt havoc report and see what has been reported from your area and what you can do to combat this blight on rural communities.

It’s time for change. Join us and let’s get this barbaric ‘sport’ finished for good. 

If you live in Gloucestershire and would like some leaflets to hand out in your town or city, please email

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