Calls for fundraising company to stop hosting online auctions for fox hunts in the Midlands
A campaign has been launched to stop fox hunts from raising the money they need to continue with their barbaric activities after a League Against Cruel Sports investigation.
The League has called on the Jumblebee fundraising company to drop hunts from its books after the Midlands-based Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt raised over £4,000 from an online auction hosted on its website – despite evidence showing the hunt chasing foxes during the 2019/20 season and two convictions for fox hunting since 2012.
The League, one of the UK’s leading animal welfare charities, has uncovered reports revealing the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt were witnessed chasing foxes on six separate occasions last season. Terrier men attached to the hunt were also caught digging up badger setts to get to foxesthat had hidden underground. There was also a report of livestock worrying with hunt hounds attacking and injuring a sheep.
The Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt auction raised £4,169 in its auction for its hunt ball last year. 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 Meynell and South Staffordshire 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 Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt.
The League also commissioned polling from Survation in February 2020 which showed that 67 per cent of the public would think morepositively 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.
For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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. 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 sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).