Video from hunt saboteurs in Kent shows hounds killing a fox. The group that captured the incident says it once again shows the lie of so-called ‘trail hunting’ and the reality of illegal fox hunting.
West Kent Hunt Sabs posted an image of a dead fox to Facebook on 14 January. The group said that hounds from the East Kent with West Street Hunt had killed them. And later that day, the group posted a video showing the moment that sabs pulled the body from the pack of hounds.
Harry Blackhurst, a spokesperson told for West Kent Hunt Sabs, told local paper Kent Online that the hunt had pursued the fox for two hours and the group had seen them “several times” during the day. However, the group was ultimately unable to prevent the hounds from killing the fox. And as the footage showed, the hounds attacked the fox in someone’s front garden.
However, a full report from the day suggested the fox that the hounds killed may not have been the one they’d chased through much of the day. Instead, the group suggested, it may have been a bagged fox. This is when a hunt will literally release a fox from a bag or sack for the hounds to hunt. The sab group said in its report:
“We are unsure of what happened here, was this the same fox they had been worrying all day or a dropped fox from the terrier men?
“[They] were close by and we had not seen much of them all day, coincidental that they were near to the kill!?”
West Kent Hunt Saboteurs also said that the huntsman knocked a sab over with his horse not long before the hounds killed the fox.
The incident was reported to police.
They can kill foxes by ‘accident’
Speaking to Kent Online, Blackhurst said:
“The police are investigating but the problem is that the Hunting Act has various loopholes and one of them is that they are legally allowed to trail hunt, so they can hunt the scent of the fox, but they are not allowed to hunt an actual fox.
“If they end up killing a fox by accident, then can get off because that’s allowed.”
The Hunting Act legislates against the chasing of wild mammals, not killing them. At the same time, it doesn’t even mention trail hunting as this invention of the hunting industry was specifically tailored to exploit loopholes in the law. As a result, the act makes no mention of what trail scents must be made of. And both of these loopholes are stitched together by part of Section 3 that states a person must “knowingly” permit their hounds to hunt in order to commit an offence. Proving intention is, of course, very difficult.
Hunting was supposed to have ended in 2005, when the Hunting Act came into force. But as the East Kent with West Street Hunt’s actions showed, hunting continues unabated. And that won’t change until we make it change, both in the fields and in the laws.
Featured image via West Kent Hunt Sabs