Death of Clifford Pellow (1943 – 2016)
We are saddened to hear of the death of Clifford Pellow and wish to send our deepest condolences to his family.
The League knew Clifford as a very courageous man who put his principles first. From being a committed huntsman in his early years, Clifford then turned his back on the cruel sport, sickened by the brutality. He became an outspoken critic of the hunting world, using his insider knowledge to expose the barbarity of fox hunting.
As award winning author Andrew Tyler describes, for more than twenty years, Clifford Pellow worked as a professional Huntsman with several packs of fox hounds in England and Wales. The last eight years of his hunting career were spent with the Tredegar Farmers Fox Hounds in South Wales.
“Always a stickler for the rules, Mr Pellow became more and more outraged at the abuse of foxes ordered by his Hunt Master in breach of hunting codes of conduct, until, unable to stomach it any longer, he protested. As a result he lost his job.”
Rejected by the hunting world, he made contact with the League Against Cruel Sports. He addressed a House of Commons press conference, at which he denounced not merely the rule-breakers but the whole 'cruel and pointless' hunting business.
Death threats awaited him on his return home and a potentially costly libel action brought by the Master of the Tredegar Hunt would soon follow. But Clifford was cleared by the Judge.
From that day on, Clifford devoted himself to speaking up against hunting and supporting anti-hunting campaigners. The League arranged for journalist Andrew Tyler to help write up Clifford’s account of his life in hunting and the many cruelties which he had seen and been involved with. This was published in 1991 as 'A Brush with Conscience' and was a devastating indictment of the blood sport.
More recently, when the government announced a free vote on the repeal of the hunting ban in July 2015, Clifford was quick to offer his help by exposing the brutality of people involved in fox hunting.
In a front-page exclusive in the Daily Mirror, Clifford described the horrendous moment when hounds pulled a pregnant fox from her den and ripped it apart. Afterwards, the hunt master put the heel of his boot on the three squirming pups that had been inside her and crushed them.
In the same newspaper report, he recalled another moment when a hound of his grabbed a vixen around the middle with his teeth. The animal ran another 50 yards with its entrails hanging out before the other hounds finished her off.
Clifford dismissed the claim that fox hunting is an effective type of pest control. He said: “It is nonsense and lies to say hunting has anything to do with controlling a pest in the countryside. When I worked on a farm, it was more effective to flush foxes out with two sheepdogs than with a pack of dogs …..”
League Against Cruel Sports CEO Eduardo Gonçalves said: “Clifford was hugely supportive of the League and had a big impact on our anti-hunting campaigning. Without any doubt, the incredible power of his ‘warts and all’ accounts of his former hunting experiences have contributed immensely to the public’s distaste for hunting and the high level of support for keeping the ban.
“As we remember Clifford and revisit his descriptions of the unspeakably vicious actions of the hunting community, it’s a timely reminder why the Hunting Act should be kept and strengthened.
“The anti-hunting world has lost a courageous and kind man. We will miss Clifford.”