Channel 4 News expose a sickening fox hunt kill

A hard-hitting expose of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt’s illegal behaviour in chasing and killing a fox, aired on Channel 4 News late last week.

The report contained “sickening” footage of the kill which was filmed by North Dorset Hunt Sabs using a drone over farmland in Dorset in December.

It also featured League Against Cruel Sports 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 Judd, head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “Fox hunting is sadly still rife in the countryside with hunts behaving as they did before the ban came into force, and chasing and tearing apart foxes.

“This footage dispels the myth that fox hunts are ‘trail’ hunting as they claim, and shows the brutal reality of a blood sport in action.”

The news item also featured an interview with Matt Longman, the police’s lead on fox hunting crime in England who said of the hunting law that it “has a high level of ambiguity within in” and is, “without doubt being used at times, by some, as a smokescreen to allow them to continue hunting as they said they would 20 years ago – everybody know this.”

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.

It has now been suspended by the fox hunts governing body the British Hounds Sports Association, which threw out the Avon Hunt last year after another horrifying incident in which a fox was dug up and thrown into a pack of baying hounds.

Emma added: “This sickening incident will repel the vast majority of the public but is sadly indicative of the brutal behaviour of hunts across England and Wales.

“It’s time for change. The next government needs to strengthen the hunting ban and introduce tougher penalties for those convicted of chasing and killing foxes, to end the sordid world of fox hunting once and for all.”


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.

Link to Chief Superintendent Matt Longman’s comments last summer on ‘trail’ hunting being a smokescreen.

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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Chief Superintendent Matt Longman, the police’s lead on fox hunting crime in England

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