New figures show the shocking impact of fox hunts on the British countryside
Posted 16th November 2022
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
They show 180 reports that relate to suspected illegal hunting and 171 reports of hunts marauding on private and public land. These include hunts intimidating individuals and communities, hunting on railway lines and roads, and chasing livestock and pets.
They relate to the cub hunting season – which takes place between August and October every year – when hunts train their hounds to kill young foxes in small patches of woodland or cover in the British countryside.
Chris Luffingham, director of external affairs at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “These incidents clearly show the impact hunting has on rural communities, as well as wildlife, despite it being banned.
“It’s time for change and to strengthen legislation to properly ban hunting and end this brutal and sordid so-called sport once and for all.”
Cub hunting is used as a way to train young hounds ahead of the main fox hunting season, which officially begins in November.
There were 90 incidents in which eyewitnesses reported foxes being chased, 10 cases of reported fox kills and nine cases of suspected fox kills.
- Reports related to suspected illegal hunting and hunt havoc by 76 hunts across 40 counties.
- The counties with the highest number of incidents were Dorset, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Devon and Somerset.
- The worst offenders were the Warwickshire Hunt, the Dorset-based Portman Hunt and the Dorset/Somerset based Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt.
- One hunt, the Eggesford Hunt in Devon, was seen chasing five foxes in just one day by Devon County Hunt Saboteurs.
The League collates the figures annually from a number of sources, including its Animal Crimewatch service.
Polling commissioned by the League and conducted independently by Find Out Now and Electoral Calculus showed that voters across Britain backed moves to strengthen the Hunting Act by a wide margin (78%).
Rural voters across Britain were also in favour of strengthening the Hunting Act 2004 (76%).
Chris added: “The League is clearly representing the views of the majority of rural residents in our calls for the law to be strengthened and seeing an end to the havoc hunts cause in the countryside.
“It’s harrowing to hear about the impact that the anti-social behaviour displayed by hunts is having on people’s lives and their communities. In response the League has created a supporter pack offering advice to ordinary people on how to tackle this disruption to their lives.”
Notes to editors
Enclosed is an infographic which highlights the scale of cub hunting and hunt havoc across Britain.
The League has created a supporter pack which offers advice for ordinary people on how to deal with the antisocial behaviour of the hunts.
Polling was conducted online by Find Out Now between June 11 and June 14 2022, and the total sample size was 5,187 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). MRP Analysis was conducted by Electoral Calculus. Both Find Out Now and Electoral Calculus are members of the British Polling Council.
For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org