Police investigate after Warwickshire Hunt tears apart fox

Warwickshire Police has announced that it is investigating the Warwickshire Hunt after hounds tore up a fox on 9 October. But we need concrete action from the police: saying it is investigating isn’t enough. All eyes will be on the force to prosecute this criminal gang.

The announcement comes after Labour MP Matt Western sent a letter to Philip Seccombe, the Police and Crime Commissioner for the county. Western demanded answers from Seccombe about the dubious policing of the hunt, and he questioned whether the police will investigate hunt staff for killing the fox on 9 October.

Murder and assault

Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs and West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs were on the ground that day. A Three Counties saboteur tried to prevent the fox from being ripped up, but was assaulted in the process. West Midlands Sabs wrote:

“a sab from Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs positioned further inland on top of Idlicote Hill saw a fox trying to make its escape from the hounds. Unfortunately the hounds caught the fox and began tearing into it. The sab attempted to save the fox by pulling it from the pack but was physically prevented from doing so after being assaulted and thrown to the floor by hunt member Owen Dillon. The body was then taken by rider Ben Field.”

The groups posted a video of the brutal kill. The footage is heartbreaking, and shows the fox being torn up. She is then carried off by Field to dispose of the evidence.

A brazen hunt

This video is so incriminating that you would be forgiven for thinking that Warwickshire Hunt staff would be immediately charged under the Hunting Act. But as we have previously covered, there is an obvious police bias when it comes to policing this hunt. Back in December 2022, the hunt was issued with a Community Protection Notice (CPN) for causing road chaos. But in August 2023 the police backtracked, having negotiated with the hunt to come to a “sensible working arrangement”, an apparent protocol which is non-binding and hasn’t been shared with the public. Hunt sabs are suspicious that PCC Seccombe, a member of the pro-hunting lobby group Countryside Alliance, had something to do with the police’s decision.

Since then, sabs say that the hunt is even more emboldened to break the law. West Midlands Sabs stated that the hunt is “even more arrogant and out of control than before”. The group also said:

“This shady decision has emboldened the crime gang to more blatantly hunt foxes and cause chaos on the local roads, seemingly with the green light from the police and the pro-hunt Police Crime Commissioner, Philip Seccombe.”

Indeed, being caught redhanded on camera on 9 October hasn’t made the hunt more cautious. On 14 October, West Midlands Sabs stated that the hunt ran rampage across a busy road as the hounds chased foxes. Had it been implemented, the CPN would have prevented the hunt from doing this. The sabs said:

“This morning (14.10.23) we filmed the arrogant and emboldened Warwickshire Hunt cause road chaos on the B4035 after foxes were filmed running from the hunt meet (Roundhills Farm, Brailes) towards the road. Motorists were forced to stop as the full pack of hounds spilled out onto the busy road. Hunt riders took over the road expecting everyone else to stop and wait whilst they use our roads as their personal hunt playgrounds.”
The sabs also said:
“We’d like to know exactly how this secret protocol is far wider reaching than the original CPN because so far on the ground not only has this “protocol” not stopped any of the anti-social and dangerous behavior on public roads that the CPN would have sorted but Warwickshire Police have made the situation worse. The Warwickshire Hunt now clearly believe they can do what they want and senior officers will intervene and let them off the hook if they get into any trouble.”
On the same day, the sabs witnessed the brazen hunt chasing SIX foxes. And yet Wiltshire PCC Seccombe insists that the hunt acts within the law and lays artificial trails!

Will the police take concrete action?

Time will tell whether the police will actually take further action. It’s all very well saying that it is investigating, but it needs to take further steps, arresting and charging hunt staff for illegal hunting. If it took the Hunting Act seriously at all, it would also prosecute the landowners who regularly allow the Warwickshire Hunt to chase foxes. West Midland Sabs keeps track of who is allowing illegal hunting on their land – an offence under Section 3 of the Hunting Act.

Even if hunt staff are prosecuted and there is a court hearing, the Warwickshire Hunt can rely on numerous loopholes in the law to get away with its crimes. We need to scrap the Hunting Act and replace it with a law that will shut down all loopholes and actually end hunting for good.


  • West Midlands Hunt Sabs states that it is attending 3-4 cubbing meets each week. The group has expensive vehicle costs to cover. Please consider donating to the group here.
  • Read Protect the Wild’s proposed Hunting of Mammals Bill, which is legislation drafted by lawyers that could replace the Hunting Act and, if implemented, would shut down hunts forever.