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Hunting hounds killed on A43 in ‘shocking incident’

Northants Hunt Saboteurs have received a number of reports that hounds from the Pytchley with Woodland Hunt have been killed when the hunt lost control of them. The incident took placed on 19 February on the A43 between Broughton and Sywell, Northamptonshire.

The sabs posted photos on Facebook, sent to them by motorists, which show a rider and hound running along the road. The sabs stated:

“We are appealing for any information or footage you may have of this shocking incident and ensure that all information will be kept anonymous. You can PM us here or contact us on our tip off line – đź“ž07936 001015″

Not the first time

The sabs continued:

“Before the Pytchley claim this was a one off, [there was] a near identical incident from February 2019 where a Pytchley hound was killed on the very same road as today.

Indeed, during that incident one hound was photographed dead at the side of the road, while a local news report also stated that the whipper-in was seen dragging the dead dog by her legs.

Of course, such shocking events would never happen if hunts were not acting illegally. Hunts across the country claim to be trail hunting – that is, following an artificially-laid trail instead of a real fox. But if they were doing this, we wouldn’t see riders galloping down busy A-roads, and we wouldn’t have to bear witness to hounds being knocked down by cars.

Hounds are the forgotten victims of fox hunting

Protect the Wild regularly reports on hounds being mistreated and killed by hunts. This is the second such tragedy that we know of in the last two months. On 30 December 2023, two dogs, suspected to belong to the Mid Devon Hunt, were killed after being hit by cars. One was still alive and in critical condition with a broken back when found. Another was found lying dead at the side of the road.

There are numerous other reports of hound deaths on roads and railway tracks. On 29 November 2022, a Grove and Rufford Hunt hound was hit and killed by a car on the A614. The pack was out of control, forcing cars and lorries to come to a standstill. On 31 October 2022 at least four Dunston Harriers hounds died after the pack ran onto a railway line in Norfolk. The dogs, which are used to chase hares, were struck by a high-speed Greater Anglia train on its way from Norwich to London. Just one day after that, the sabs reported that one hound was still running loose on the A410. And on 1 January 2022 four Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt hounds were killed when they were run down by a train in Somerset. It was the second time in the space of two weeks that the hunt’s hounds were seen on the tracks.

Of course, there have been a number of near-misses, too, where cars have come to a standstill or swerved out of the way to avoid hitting hounds. And there are likely many more hunt havoc incidents on roads and railway lines that have gone unreported.

15% of hounds killed by hunts themselves

As we campaign against fox hunting, it is important to remember that hounds are the forgotten victims of this cruel blood sport. Prior to the hunting season starting, hunts will shoot dogs that are slow, or who are starting to age.

Protect the Wild’s Glen Black previously wrote:

“Looking at how many are killed, POWA’s calculations suggested between 4942 and 7302 foxhounds killed per year across 195 packs, with approximately 3250 to 4500 of those in English and Welsh hunts. These approximate to 15% of hounds killed per pack. For one specific example, Hunting Leaks’s 2020 documents from the Mendip Farmers Hunt describe the hunt having killed 6.5 couple, or 13 hounds, between April and June of that year. This translates to roughly 16%.”

In October 2021, Protect the Wild published covert footage from the Duke of Beaufort Hunt’s kennels. The videos show men shooting multiple hounds before carrying them off for disposal in wheelbarrows.

In February 2022, Dale Vince’s renewable energy company Ecotricity published undercover footage filmed at the kennels of the Carmarthenshire Hunt. 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.

Let’s shut down hunting for good

It’s clear that we need strong legislation that protects both foxes and hounds alike. The current Hunting Act, with all its loopholes, has allowed hunts to continue business as usual since it was implemented in 2005. Until it is scrapped and replaced with watertight legislation, foxes will continue to be mauled by hounds, and hounds will continue to be run down by cars and shot by hunting staff.

Protect the Wild is campaigning for the Hunting of Mammals Bill to replace the Hunting Act. This legislation, commissioned by us and drafted by lawyers at Advocates for Animals, gets rid of all of the loopholes and exemptions that were inserted into the current Act. If it were passed, the Hunting of Mammals Bill would ensure that hunting with dogs would be banned forever.

The Hunting of Mammals Bill will stop hunting in its tracks, and finally give wildlife and hounds much-needed protection from illegal hunting. Please support it and help us make it law.

  • Sign our petition, calling for a proper ban on hunting, here.
  • You can read the Bill in its entirety by downloading a pdf version here.