Hunters chase stag for hours before shooting it for fun

This is the moment a majestic stag loses its life after being chased to exhaustion by hunters and their hounds. 

WARNING: contains graphic content

League investigators watched as the Quantock Staghounds chased the stag for three hours before the exhausted animal was executed.

First it was shot, and then it had its throat slit.

At least eight hunters milled around the body, and onlookers soon gathered.

Hunting animals with dogs was outlawed by the Hunting Act 2004, but there are exemptions which allow hunters to get around the law.

One of those is hunting the animal for research or observation purposes, as long as the hunters only use two dogs at a time to track and chase the animal.

But those hounds can be changed continuously during a chase, and no-one has ever seen any research being published following a hunt. Deer are also not adapted to long periods of running.

Nick Weston, head of campaigns at the league, said: “The poor animal was cruelly chased for ‘sport’ for three hours before being cornered and shot, clearly weak and exhausted. 

"This sickening killing of a stag clearly demonstrates why the government needs to strengthen the Hunting Act. Hunting with dogs is still going on in the UK despite the ban, with the hunts cynically abusing exemptions in the hunting laws. 

"It’s time for change.”

Devon and Somerset are home to the UK’s only three deer hunts — the Tiverton Staghounds, the Devon and Somerset Staghounds and the Quantock Staghounds. 

In 2020 a judge said an illegal hunt was caught on camera but dismissed charges against two Quantock Staghounds members because they could not be identified in the evidence.

Nick added: "Those who hunt these animals with dogs often try and describe it as deer management, but there's only one reason you'd chase a stag for hours before killing it - just for the thrill."

Sign up for our newsletter

We'd love to keep in touch. With your permission we'll let you know the very latest news on our fast-moving campaigns, as well as appeals and other actions (such as petitions) so you can continue to help protect animals.

If you would like to know more about your data protection rights, please read our privacy policy.

© 2024 The League Against Cruel Sports. Registered charity in England and Wales (1095234) and Scotland (SC045533).
Registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee, no. 04037610.
Registered office: New Sparling House, Holloway Hill, Godalming, GU7 1QZ, United Kingdom.