Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt filmed ripping up fox

For hunters whose bloodlust knows no bounds, it’s cub hunting season: a time when they can train their hounds to murder defenceless fox cubs. The Blackmore and Sparkford Vale (BSV) Hunt was caught and filmed on 24 August, the hounds appearing to tear up a fox that they had just killed.

Dorset Monitor was observing the hunt, and took the footage from a distance. The monitor tweeted the footage, and said:

The monitor continued:

It is unclear from the footage whether the fox killed was a cub. It could well have been a vixen, running onto open ground in order to protect her cubs.



All too common

Illegally hunting foxes without any pretence of trail hunting seems to be all too common for the BSV. Hunt saboteurs and monitors have repeatedly reported on the hunt openly hunting foxes. North Dorset Sabs caught the BSV blatantly cubbing just two day later, on 26 August. They reported that dozens of riders surrounded woods and maize fields to trap fox cubs inside. The sabs said:

“one of the many tree lined dew ponds was surrounded and hounds went into cry, we were unable to get close though. Then a maize field was surrounded and hounds chased foxes and deer round and round inside as riders and foot followers stood guard making noise to keep them inside.

Finally an animal broke from cover and the hunt took off after them grinning away, we don’t know their fate, the mood was disturbingly jubilant though.”

And a couple of days before that, on 21 August, sabs caught the BSV cubbing again. That time the sabs reported:

“briefly a cub came out and back in the maize followed a short time later by an adult fox likely to be a parent of the cub. No doubt the parent was trying to act as a decoy taking the hounds away from the cub. A rider observing the incident showed no inclination to stop hounds who a short while later was right on the line. The Hunt Master was told of the cub’s presence but completely ignored the sab.”

There are numerous incidents of the BSV acting illegally, and getting away with it time and time again. Earlier in 2023, North Dorset Sabs filmed BSV hunt staff jumping up and down on a bridge to try to coax a fox out of hiding. The hunt even made national news headlines after hounds chased a new mother fox.

Sabs have also caught the hunt on video pretending to lay an artificial trail directly on the line of a fox, showing that trail hunting really is just a smokescreen for illegal hunting for the BSV.

This is of course the same hunt that was parading just a week ago at the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show despite organisers’ promises that no criminal hunt would be invited to parade. We detailed this story at ‘Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show: Who’s not telling the truth?

Support those on the ground

There is little public awareness of cubbing (known as Autumn Hunting by hunters), which runs from now until October. During this season, hounds are trained to kill fox cubs, while hunt staff check which hounds are suitable for full hunting. Unfit hounds will also be killed during this period. It is thanks to monitors and sabs on the ground that many lives will be saved during cubbing season. They deserve our support.

North Dorset Sabs are fundraising for a vehicle. You can donate to them here.