Cub Hunting: Just when you think fox hunting couldn’t get any worse

There’s nothing hunters like more than a good boast. OK, maybe there’s the needless killing, cruelty, violence, environmental destruction, disregard for bio-security, intimidation of locals and more needless killing. But apart from those things, boasting about the day’s hunt is very common about those that practice fox hunting.

But there is one part of hunting with hounds that is rarely spoken about. Something so sordid that even the hunters don’t want their supporters to know about as it will be too hard to stomach. Something they euphemistically call ‘autumn hunting’ or ‘hound training’.

Cub Hunting.

Yes, that’s right. Not contented with killing healthy adult foxes, fox cubs are the victims too.

But don’t worry, there’s plenty of perfectly logical and rational *ahem* reasons for the slaughter of infant animals. Take a look:

  1. To teach new hounds how to hunt- contrary to what the hunters say, hunting a live animal does not come naturally to a fox hound. As such the young dogs have to be taught how to hunt ready for the main season. This is done by hunting fox cubs over a much reduced area which pushes the fox cubs into the pack, rather than involving a long chase.
  2. To disperse foxes– the practice of hunting fox cubs means the family of foxes in an area are more likely to be separated and take up residence elsewhere, especially if only some of the family are killed. This provides for better ‘sport’ later in the season. 
  3. To kill foxes– The new hounds cannot be trained without learning about the kill. The killing of fox cubs will also be a key reason why farmers and other landowners give the hunt permission to cross their land, under the misguided notion that foxes need controlling, or that killing them is the best way to control numbers.

To get a better idea of what cub hunting looks like, watch this video.


Despite the hunts referring to cub hunting as ‘Autumn Hunting’, it in fact starts as early as August, and we have already started getting reports into our Animal Crimewatch line. If you see anything, please visit www.league.org.uk/animal-crimewatch and fill in a report form or call 01483 361 108.

If you wish to raise awareness, we have new cub hunting leaflets. To request a selection please email campaign@league.org.uk

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