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BREAKING: Three arrested after fox killed in residential garden

Norfolk Police has announced that it has arrested three members of the West Norfolk Foxhounds after a fox was brutally murdered by hounds in a family’s garden.

Two of the men have been arrested on suspicion of hunting wild mammals with dogs, criminal damage and having a dog dangerously out of control. The third man was arrested on suspicion of hunting a wild mammal with dogs and having a dog dangerously out of control.

Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs said on Facebook:

“We believe the men in custody to be Huntsman Mikey Bell, Whipper-in Adam Egginton & Hunt Master Andrew Kendal. All three men are also under investigation for assault and robbery on one of our female sabs back in October.”

Tearing up a fox in a residential garden

The arrests come after a family in Norfolk shared footage of the moment when the West Norfolk Foxhounds’ dogs ran into their garden, cornered a fox, then tore up the poor creature on the patio.

The incident, which took place in Hingham, was all caught on the family’s CCTV cameras, and was subsequently broadcast on ITV News. The footage shows one of the hunt’s terriermen scaling a fence, trespassing in the family’s garden, retrieving the fox’s dead body, and then – clearly hoping not to be caught – rushing out of the garden gate. He then tries to conceal the fox under his jacket.

Jay and Daisy, whose garden was invaded by the hounds, spoke to ITV News. Daisy said:

“The dogs were totally out of control. They couldn’t control the dogs. And when they were trying to call them off, they had to remove the fox to get the dogs to stop.”

She continued:

“They left our patio covered in blood and intestine and kidney from the fox, they took the fox body and discreetly took it away, he put it inside his coat and then walked to the end of the driveway with it and passed it off to the quad bike that had no plates that was driving on the road.”

Meanwhile, the hunt completely ignored Daisy’s mother Kim, who was in the house throughout the whole ordeal, even though she’d confronted the hunt staff to ask them what they were doing.

 

West Norfolk Hounds tear up fox in garden
The hounds corner the fox before tearing her up in Jay and Daisy’s garden

 

West Norfolk Hounds tear up fox in garden
The terrierman scales the fence as hunt staff look on

 

‘Huge egos’

Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs reported on the actions of the senior members of the hunt, who were also caught on camera at the top of the family’s drive. The sabs said:

“They do nothing to intervene despite the obvious situation they can see and hear happening.”
They continued:
“A normal course for any adult whose dog enters anyone’s property would be to knock and ask for help and permission. What we see in these videos is senior members of the hunt and their employed terriermen casing the house like burglars before deciding to let themselves in.”

Meanwhile, Jay told ITV News:

“There’s thousands of acres that they can go and do this activity. Because of their huge egos, they insist on doing it in plain sight, along roads, along public highways and in people’s back gardens. It can’t be acceptable.”

It’s of little surprise that the West Norfolk Foxhounds insists that it was “conducting lawful trail hunting activities” when its hounds murdered the fox in the garden. The smokescreen of trail hunting – that hunts are using an artificially-laid trail instead of following the scent of a real animal – is used as an excuse for every single death that takes place at the hands of hunts.

Reckless clause

Although these arrests are welcome, hunts continue to get away with murdering foxes, with court cases often falling through, or hunt staff being found not guilty. This is because the Hunting Act has so many loopholes that it isn’t worth the paper it is written on. Perhaps the main problem with the law is that someone can only be found guilty of hunting illegally if the prosecution can prove a motive of intent.

But on top of this, hunts also continue to act recklessly, with perhaps even more impunity. They repeatedly trespass onto railway lines and onto people’s properties, cause crashes or near-misses on roads, or cause the death of family pets as hounds run into people’s gardens.

On top of this ordeal in Norfolk, in the past four months alone, we have seen the following incidents:

 

Protect The Wild and other anti-hunt organisations are calling for a reckless clause to be added to the Hunting Act. The addition of a recklessness provision would mean that a person could be convicted not only if they intended to hunt a wild mammal, but for all the carnage they cause, whether intended or not.

Support the hunt saboteurs on the ground

Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Sabs said that they:

“regularly attend illegal hunts conducted by the West Norfolk Foxhounds. We have observed and recorded them routinely hunting outside of the law as well as a litany of associated crimes. The West Norfolk Foxhounds have a well earned reputation for violence and intimidation meted out to sabs and local residents alike.”
It’s essential that hunt saboteurs and monitors across the country receive our support as they continue to actively stop foxes and other mammals from being murdered.
You can support the sabs by donating to them here.
Featured images via Jay and Daisy’s CCTV, broadcast on ITV News