Calls for fundraising company to stop hosting online auctions for fox hunts in North Yorkshire
Posted 23rd March 2021
The League Against Cruel Sports is calling on the fundraising company Jumblebee to stop fox hunts from hosting online auctions on its website after the North Yorkshire based Sinnington Hunt raised over £13,000.
The League, one of the UK’s leading animal welfare charities, has uncovered reports from two members of the public who witnessed the Sinnington Hunt chasing a fox in Yearsley Woods in the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty early last year. According to reports on social media, the fox was killed.
The Sinnington Hunt auction ended last summer and raised £13,522. Among the prizes was a day of ‘legal’ coursing at Lingmoor Farm. Coursing in England and Wales was outlawed when the Hunting Act was introduced in February 2005.
A series of auctions held by Jumblebee across England and overseas have now helped fox hunts pocket more than £200,000. Jumblebee profits by taking five per cent of the total proceeds from these auctions.
This is set against the backdrop of a recent expose in which senior members of the hunt lobby are caught on camera seemingly admitting that trail hunting is a smokescreen for the chasing and killing of foxes – something the League has been saying for more than a decade.
Nick Weston, head of campaigns, at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:
“Polling shows the vast majority of the British public are opposed to fox hunting and would be shocked to learn that hunts such as the Sinnington are being allowed to use Jumblebee to raise large amounts of money to fund their barbaric blood sport.
“It’s time for Jumblebee to stop allowing fox hunts to raise money on its online auction site. The recent revelations from the hunts themselves about trail hunting seemingly being a smokescreen for the chasing and killing of animals should be a clear sign of where the thousands of pounds raised for hunts is really going.”
Despite fox hunting being banned in 2005 and national lockdowns, the League Against Cruel Sports received more than 300 reports of suspected illegal hunting during 2020/21 – 11 of these reports were of hunts that have held auctions on the Jumblebee website including the Sinnington Hunt. Fox hunting is currently suspended due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The League also commissioned polling from Survation in February 2020 which showed that 67 per cent of the public would think more positively or much more positively of a company that promised not to allow, promote or support ‘blood sports’ such as hunting, shooting, or animal fighting.
Five other auction sites – including Auction Direct, GalaBid, and Give Fundraising – have now gone on the record to state that they would not host an auction for a fox hunt.
Nick Weston, added:
“It’s time for businesses to disassociate themselves from fox hunts and animal cruelty – a decision that would be popular with their customers.”
Notes to Editors
The 11 hunts which were witnessed being involved in suspected illegal hunting are:
Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds
Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt
Hursley Hambledon Hunt
Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt
The Berkeley Hunt
The Vine & Craven Hunt
Survation polling February 2020:
If a company promised not to allow, promote or support ‘blood sports’ such as hunting, shooting or animal fighting, would this make you view them more positively or more negatively?
Much more positively: 34%
Somewhat more positively: 33%
My view would not change: 25%
Somewhat more negatively: 2%
Much more negatively: 3%
Don’t know: 2%
Survation conducted an online survey of 1,012 people aged 18+ living in Great Britain, 26th – 27th February 2020. Data tables are available here.