Hunt sabs say huntsman sacked for ‘beating a hound almost to death’

Hunt saboteurs have announced that huntsman Guy Fitzearle has been sacked from the Kimblewick Hunt.

East Herts Sabs wrote that he beat a hound “almost to death”. They said:

“Well the truth is out. The hound wasn’t doing as it was told so he grabbed it by the tail, beat it around the head until it was covered in blood and the screams and howls were heard by all of the field riders. He apparently then turned on his horse.”

Stealing hounds

Fitzearle has also allegedly taken the Kimblewick’s hounds with him, meaning that the hunt has no pack. The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) reported on its website that when he was sacked, the ex-huntsman took the hounds to the Thurlow Hunt kennels in Suffolk. The HSA said:

“We understand this was the fallout from Fitzearle’s savage beating of a hound during a hunt which was witnessed by some of the field riders. There is no information on the condition of the hound, but some reports claim they did not survive.”

A disgusting man

This isn’t the first time Fitzearle has shown absolute contempt towards animals. He was huntsman of the Cotswold Hunt when it bundled a fox into a sack and buried her alive. The BHSA – hunt’s governing body – suspended the hunt in March after Channel 4 exposed harrowing footage of the fox.

But the BHSA can’t be trusted to govern its own. It failed to take any meaningful action against Fitzearle. The association’s idea of punishment was to send Fitzearle:

“a written reprimand and reminder of his responsibilities as a Huntsman to ensure the good conduct of all those over whom he has authority.”

This complete lack of action against him meant that he was free to move hunts and terrorise defenceless animals elsewhere. Therefore, the BHSA is complicit in any cruelty that the huntsman has inflicted on dogs, horses and foxes since.

Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch (CIHW), whose footage captured the vixen being buried alive, was rightfully disgusted by these previous ‘sanctions’ against Fitzearle. It said at the time:

“Guy Fitzearle was in charge of the hunt that day and in the wood hunting when the fox was found. Just a telling off for him and a new hunting job to go to with Kimblewick Hunt.”

An industry of animal cruelty

Although they openly terrorise foxes, hunts want the public to believe that they are actually an industry of animal lovers. They attempt to portray this through social media posts and articles, centred around how much they love their hounds. See, for example, recent Instagram posts by the Kimblewick and Thurlow Hunts:


kimblewick hunt instagram


thurlow hunt instagram


And a 2018 Horse & Hound photo shows the alleged dog-killer Fitzearle petting a hound. The caption reads, “an unbreakable bond…”


Guy Fitzearle 2018 horse and hounds

But hunt saboteurs and monitors on the ground know that this narrative is largely a lie. East Herts Sabs said of Fitzearle:

“These are the actions of a despicable brutal person that shouldn’t have anything to do with any animals, but then again we know of a number of hunt masters and huntsmen whose actions to their horses and hounds are pretty disgusting and questionable. Only the other week we watched as one of the Puck and Essex hounds cowered and urinated when the whipper-in went towards it.”

Indeed, George Pullen, a master of the Mendip Farmers Hunt, was filmed in February 2023, abusing a hound. Footage, shot by sabs, showed the master bringing a whip down with a sharp crack across the back of a hound. The hound immediately ran away, whining.

But the abuse of hounds isn’t just down to a few rogue individuals. Rather, it is endemic in the industry. Hunts routinely murder their hounds. Calculations carried out by Protect Our Wild Animals have suggested that between 4942 and 7302 foxhounds are killed per year across 195 packs, with approximately 3,250 to 4,500 of those in English and Welsh hunts. These approximate to 15% of hounds killed per pack.

In 2021, a long running investigation, carried out by the Hunt Investigation Team and supported by Protect the Wild, revealed harrowing undercover footage showing the Duke of Beaufort Hunt shooting dead four of their hounds.

And then in 2022, renewable energy company Ecotricity published Uncovered: Murdered hunt dogs powering our homes. It contained undercover footage filmed at the kennels of the Carmathenshire Hunt. Its huntsman Will Pinkney is seen shooting hounds before throwing their bodies into bins. The Hunt Saboteurs Association later revealed the footage captured Pinkney shooting nine hounds in 40 minutes.

Protect the Wild has previously stated:

“Historical evidence of hunts shooting hounds has rarely made it to the public. In November 2020, Herefordshire Hunt Sabs posted a photo on Facebook of a dead North Herefordshire Hunt hound in a bin. And anti-hunting database Wildlife Guardian posted archival images of shot hounds belonging to the Cambridgeshire Hunt and Ludlow Hunt. But evidence and details of the practice had otherwise relied on writings by the hunts themselves.”

On top of all this, hounds are killed in road traffic accidents or on railway tracks after hunts have deliberately and recklessly taken dogs into unsafe situations. They have been abandoned after falling down mineshafts while the riders continued to hunt; and they have been tangled in barbed wire and being rescued by sabs. They are also kept in squalid conditions, with very little comfort, little access to fresh water, and desperate for attention and affection.

A proper ban

It goes without saying that anyone who takes delight in watching a live fox being torn up isn’t really going to care about the welfare of other animals. So hounds, horses and foxes will only be truly safe when the hunting industry is shut down for good. We are seeing time and time again how the Hunting Act and the Animal Welfare Act are failing. We need to change the law, scrapping the Hunting Act and replacing it with watertight legislation that will shut down hunts forever.

Protect the Wild is campaigning for the government to introduce the Hunting of Mammals Bill, which would replace the Hunting Act. The Bill would shut down all loopholes, making hunting as we know it impossible to continue.

This Bill would also ensure that the forgotten victims of hunting – hounds – are finally freed from this brutal industry.


  • You can read about our campagin for a proper ban on hunting, and read our Hunting of Mammals Bill here.