A leading animal welfare charity has released video footage showing the reality of fox hunting foot packs. The footage was given to the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland anonymously after it was filmed by members of fox hunting foot packs.

The footage includes three clips showing the enjoyment hunters get from setting packs of dogs onto foxes for nothing other than sport.

The League has released the footage ahead of the full hunting season getting underway next month as a reminder that this is not simply about pest control as the hunters argue, but about killing foxes for fun.

Robbie Marsland, Director of the League Against Cruel Sports, Scotland said:

“These three incidents are stomach churning evidence, provided by the hunts themselves, of the brutality at the heart of Scottish fox hunting.

"For years the Countryside Alliance has tried to smear the League by saying that our videos of packs of hounds chasing foxes are fake. Now we have footage filmed by the hunt supporters themselves which completely backs up our own films. I don’t know which is worse - the sight of a fox being pursued by a pack of fox hounds or the obvious enjoyment of those egging the dogs on.”

Last year the Scottish Government announced plans to bring forward a Bill to strengthen the existing law on fox hunting. This proposal included measures to reduce the number of hounds from a full pack to two but in addition, introduce a licensing system to allow hunts to use a full pack in exceptional circumstances. These circumstances are expected to include foot packs, hunting in rough terrain.

The League claims this footage illustrates why a licensing system should not be introduced as it will simply act as a loophole for this type of cruelty to continue.

Robbie Marsland added:

"These scenes graphically show why the Government is, without doubt, right to make it illegal to allow packs of hounds in the Scottish countryside. They also reveal that foot packs, without mounted riders, appear to be just as venal as those on horseback.  

"Now their own footage has emerged, any suggestion that licenses could be given to foot packs to use more than two dogs is clearly laughable.”

The Scottish Government Bill on fox hunting was among a raft of Bills postponed earlier this year due to Covid-19 but is expected to be brought forward after the 2021 elections. 

League Scotland logo for PR

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Notes to editor

  1. 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).
  2. The footage can be viewed here.
  3. Foot packs hunt foxes with people on foot and a pack of hounds to drive foxes forward to waiting guns where they are shot as a means of pest control.
  4. Media enquiries to Louise Robertson on 07930 539832 / [email protected]