Kimblewick Hunt pulls out of Thame Show following disease concerns from animal welfare charity.

The Kimblewick Hunt has withdrawn its controversial hound parade scheduled to be held at the Thame Show on Thursday, following concerns about the risk of disease being spread to livestock being raised with show organisers by a leading animal welfare charity.

The League Against Cruel Sports, which monitors hunting activity in the region, contacted show organisers warning that the Kimblewick Hunt – which had advertised the parade on its website - has recently been at the centre of a high-profile biosecurity scandal, following nearly 100 hunting hounds being killed as a consequence of an outbreak of bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) at their kennels. Causes included the dirty, overcrowded and dilapidated conditions in which the animals were housed, according to an official report cited by the League.

The Charity notes, however, that the Kimblewick incident is only the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Hounds used for hunting carry a number of infectious diseases which are often contracted after being fed the carcasses of diseased livestock, a common practice of hunt kennels across the country. Hunting hounds contribute to a substantial number of infections each year when crossing the countryside, costing the farming industry ‘millions’ – a problem exacerbated when hunts ignore biosecurity measures which are designed to prevent disease spreading.

Chris Luffingham, Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, says:

The organisers of the Thame Show are to be commended in the strongest terms for ensuring the Kimblewick Hunt will not be holding a hound parade, and in doing so demonstrating the show’s clear commitment to animal welfare, biosecurity and the farming community.

“There is a clear link between hunting hounds and the spread of disease across the countryside, which places both animal health and the rural economy at considerable risk. No case shows this more than the recent reports of nearly 100 fox hounds being euthanised at the Kimblewick Hunt kennels, after contracting bTB from the dirty, overcrowded and dilapidated conditions in which they were housed.”

Individual members of the Kimblewick Hunt will still be attending the Thame Show to help out in a personal capacity, show organisers have confirmed.

Biohazard warning

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