This is why Pewsey Parish Council shouldn’t permit a Boxing Day hunt parade for the Tedworth Hunt

The Tedworth Hunt is expected to hold its annual parade in Pewsey this Boxing Day. However, hunt saboteurs and monitors have repeatedly exposed the hunt as a perpetrator of anti-social and criminal acts. Does Pewsey Parish Council want local residents and the wider public to view it as a supporter of such behaviour?

The Tedworth Hunt has faced down a previous attempt to stop its Boxing Day parade through Pewsey. Local paper Gazette & Herald said in 2021, for example, that the parish council faced “controversy” over its decision to permit that year’s parade. As with many other local council responses to anti-hunt campaigns, Pewsey Parish Council minimised its actions by saying that the hunt only used a car park to meet and reflected a historic decision made by Wiltshire County Council, which had previously owned the car park.

Yet hunt saboteurs have shown that the Tedworth Hunt illegally hunts foxes like other hunts in Wiltshire and across the country. In January 2018, for example, Severn Vale Hunt Saboteurs captured the moment the Tedworth Hunt’s hounds nearly caught a fox. The pack was just seconds behind the fox and it was the sab group’s quick actions that helped the fox escape. Meanwhile, in December 2021, the hunt reportedly killed a fox while Reading Hunt Saboteurs was present.

The hunt is also no stranger to anti-social and other types of suspicious behaviour. Wiltshire Hunt Saboteurs have made multiple reports of the hunt assaulting sabs and causing havoc on the roads and even caught the hunt trespassing on Canal & River Trust land in January 2022.

In February 2023, Reading Hunt Saboteurs caught the hunt’s terriermen with terriers in boxes on their quad. The following month, Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs then found the hunt’s terriermen lurking around badger setts. There is, of course, one explanation for both these incidents: the terriermen were present in case a fox needed digging out.

Like every other pack of hounds, evidence has shown the Tedworth Hunt engaging in criminal behaviour. Is this really the image Pewsy Parish Council wants for its village?

Council response

Protect the Wild contacted Pewsey Parish Council about the Tedworth Hunt holding its Boxing Day parade. We provided the incidents above as examples of why the council shouldn’t allow the hunt to use its land. It said:

“Pewsey Parish Council has not received an application from the Tedworth Hunt to meet at the North Street car park on Boxing Day. Any such application is usually submitted much later in the year and would be considered by the Parish Council at that time, following a democratic process and vote.”

Boxing Day parades are public relations events for hunts. The Tedworth Hunt will use its Pewsey event to try and portray a hunt that is law-abiding and community-minded. However, sabs have repeatedly shown that behind the misleading exterior lies a hunt as involved with cruelty as any other. Pewsey Parish Council can disassociate its village from this barbaric activity by taking a stand against the Tedworth Hunt’s presence – if it wants to.

Help us persuade Pewsey Parish Council that the Tedworth Hunt shouldn’t hold its Boxing Day meet in the village. Sign the petition here.