Calls for disgraced hunt fundraiser to be cancelled

Plans to hold a point-to-point fundraising event for the “disgraced” Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt have been slammed by national animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports.

It follows a shocking incident aired on Channel 4 News late last week in which the hunt –which was filmed by North Dorset Hunt Saboteurs – was shown chasing and killing a fox while their staff looked on, something which was banned nearly 20 years ago.

The hunt, based near the Somerset/Dorset border, has been suspended by hunting’s own governing body the British Hound Sports Association following the sickening kill.

Emma Smith, director of operations at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The hard-hitting expose of the disgraced Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt revealed sickening animal cruelty which will appal the vast majority of the public.

“We’re calling on the organisers of their fundraiser to distance themselves from the sordid and savage behaviour of the hunt and to cancel the event.”

The League has written to the organisers of the point-to-point fundraiser asking them to cancel the event. 

Animal welfare campaigners are also being urged to politely contact the organisers Weatherbys to request the cancellation of the meeting which is scheduled to take place in early March in Charlton Horethorne, which is also home to the hunt’s kennels.

The League has also written to the organisers of the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show which takes place in August urging them to not to repeat last year’s invitation to the hunt to attend.

The Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Hunt which operates across Somerset and Dorset is, according to League figures, the worst offending hunt in the country for suspected illegal hunting and incidents in which it wreaked havoc on rural communities.

The League Against Cruel Sports has compiled figures showing over 300 foxes have been seen being chased by hunts across England and Wales since the start of the fox hunting season in November.

Emma, added: “This isn’t an isolated incident but it was for once caught on film and highlighted the barbaric behaviour of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt who don’t deserve to be the beneficiaries of a fundraising event.

“It’s time for change. We’ll be pushing the next government to strengthen hunting laws to end fox hunting once and for all and we’ll be calling on ethical businesses to back us.”

The League is urging businesses to sign up to its pledge not to support, promote or otherwise enable blood sports such as fox hunting.


Notes to editors

The Hunting Act 2004 came into force in England and Wales in February 2005, and outlawed hunting with hounds. However, its many loopholes and the invention of so-called ‘trail’ hunting, described by the police as a smokescreen for illegal hunting, means it needs to be strengthened or replaced with more robust legislation.

Figures showing the scale of fox hunting carnage in the countryside.

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 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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