Hunt protesters claim video shows Warwickshire Hunt trying to turn fleeing fox back towards hounds
Hunt protesters claim they have caught a member of the Warwickshire Hunt on camera trying to turn a fleeing fox back towards hounds.
The video shows a fox making a successful bid for freedom in a field near Ashorn on September 12 while hounds are nearby.
A member of the Warwickshire Hunt is then seen galloping on a horse towards the fox - which the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs claim is an attempt to try to turn the fox back towards the hounds.
The West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs (WMHS) said both the Warwickshire Hunt member on the horse and the land owner whose land the incident took place on have been reported to the police by a member of the public.
"It’s completely barbaric but unfortunately, we are witnessing these scenes on a daily basis at the moment," said a spokesperson for WMHS.
“At this time of year for the next two months hunts around the country are taking part in what is called cub hunting. This is where the hounds are trained to kill foxes by members of the hunt surrounding the perimeters of small woods or crop fields.
"The hounds are taken into these woods or crop fields and let loose. Any foxes in there will try to escape but are turned back towards the hounds by the riders on the outside who will be hitting their saddles, cracking their whips or in some cases really screaming at the foxes, basically making as much noise as possible to frighten the fox back in towards the hounds.
"Since it is such a small contained space any foxes that don’t break cover don’t stand much chance."
This is what WMHS claim it caught on video at the Warwickshire Hunt.
"Two riders saw a fox trying to escape and began shouting and screaming at it, when the fox made it’s second and ultimately successful bid for freedom one rider, a master of the hunt even went as far as galloping over to try to head it back in the direction of the maize field," they said.
"Fox hunts often use the smokescreen of trail hunting once the main hunting season starts in November but they can’t hide behind that with cub hunting because they can spend up to an hour stationary around the same small wood.
"You can’t claim to be hunting trails if you're just sitting on your horse in the same spot for an hour occasionally screaming at the wildlife."
We approached the Warwickshire Hunt but they did not respond directly to the claims made by the WMHS.
In stead, a spokesperson for Warwickshire Hunt said: “The Warwickshire Hunt has operated legally since the Hunting Act came into force in February 2005.
"The saboteurs continue to harass those activities and arranging spurious complaints.”
This means it is illegal to hunt foxes with a pack of dogs but you can use dogs to simulate hunting, for example ‘drag’ or ‘trail’ hunting.