Fox hunt rampages through Shropshire farm
Posted 5th February 2024
A farming couple have been left horrified after a hunt trespassed on their land in what appears to be a bid to illegally kill a fox.
The pair, who have asked to remain anonymous from fear of repercussions, watched as hounds from the United Pack rampaged through their farm in Shropshire, near the Wales border.
Not only did the hunt disturb and scatter pregnant and nursing ewes and their lambs, plus scare a horse into bolting down a country lane, but so-called terrier men from the hunt also approached the couple asking for permission to dig up a fox that had sought sanctuary in the couple’s orchard – a request the couple denied.
The female farmer said: “The whole incident really upset me to be honest. They’ve been on our land before going after fox cubs and chasing foxes, taking no notice of the law whatsoever.
“They are a hundred years behind the times, and I really hate what they are doing – nobody believes in their arguments about trail hunting, and I really wish there were stronger hunting laws to prevent this from happening.”
Trail hunting is where hunts purport to be following a pre-laid scent, and was invented after the introduction of the Hunting Act nearly 20 years ago. However, illegal hunting has been described by Chief Superintendent Matt Longman, the leading police officer in England and Wales specialising in fox hunting crime, as “prolific”, and who has also described trail hunting as a “smokescreen” for the continued illegal persecution of animals.
Emma Judd, head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “There is only one reason huntsmen would want to dig up a fox hiding on private land, and that’s to force it to flee so the hounds could chase it.
“It’s barbaric, it’s cruel, and it’s time for change and for the law to be properly strengthened so the police can properly enforce the hunting ban and end fox hunting for good.”
The shocking incident was reported to the national animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports whose Animal Crimewatch service enables the public to report cruelty towards animals in the name of ‘sport’. The League receives hundreds of reports every year of fox hunts engaged in suspected illegal hunting and of anti-social behaviour in which they wreak havoc on rural communities.
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.
Figures showing the scale of fox hunting carnagein the countryside.
For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 07496 496454 (24hrs) or email email@example.com
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 www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).
Photograph courtesy of Sue Pooley Wildlife Photography