Video evidence shows fox hunting by Royal Artillery Hunt

November 3, 2022
Glen Black
royal artillery hunt salisbury plain

Video evidence shows fox hunting by Royal Artillery Hunt


 

This footage was captured by members of Salisbury Plain Monitors on 30 October 2021. It shows a fox running ahead of Charles Carter, huntsman of the Royal Artillery Hunt (RAH), as Carter blows his horn. The fox then turns into a covert of trees and, as the cameraperson runs to keep up, a supporter can be heard shouting “hold up” into the covert.

 

Salisbury Plain Monitors told Protect the Wild that Carter’s horn call is known as ‘doubling the horn’, a command used to encourage the hounds onto the scent of a fox. Meanwhile, the supporter’s command of ‘hold up’ stops individual hounds straying from the pack.

This video led to police charging Carter in May 2022. The incident occurred at Larkhill, Wiltshire, which is under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Defence (MOD). As a result, it was the first time MOD Police brought a charge of illegal hunting. However, after two plea hearings in which Carter plead not guilty, the charge was dropped due to what Sgt Clive Wooding told Salisbury Plain Monitors was a “legal technicality”.

MOD Police had missed its file submission date to Swindon Magistrates Court by just one day, owing to a bank holiday weekend.

Both MOD Police and the CPS believed the case was strong enough to take to court. And Salisbury Plain Monitors say their version of events was backed up by CCTV mounted at the Larkhill barracks. The failure to prosecute came down to the rigid deadline of the law and not the quality of evidence submitted. Carter, it seems, dodged a bullet.

 

CAUGHT ONE TOO MANY TIMES

Hunt monitors and saboteurs have repeatedly shown Carter and the Royal Artillery Hunt to hunt in contravention of the law. On 24 December 2021, sabs found the remains of a recently killed fox in the same spot where Carter and the pack of hounds had been positioned just moments earlier. And three days later, on 27 December, sabs captured footage of hounds killing a fox on MOD land.

Despite the Royal Artillery Hunt’s record of criminal activity, and despite charges against Carter having been dropped only due to a technicality, the MOD chose to license the hunt for the 2022/23 season. As a result, on 29 October 2022, Moonraker Hunt Sabs were present as the hunt killed another fox during its opening meet at Larkhill. It even went so far as to spend more than £100,000 on upgrading the hunt’s kennels.

The first case of charges against landowners responsible for hosting an illegal hunt is already on its way to trial. And with the way the Royal Artillery Hunt is openly and belligerently breaking the law, the MOD could find itself in similar dire straits. But it can avoid that by joining other major public landowners such as the National Trust in refusing to license hunts.

Join thousands of others in asking the Ministry of Defence to end hunting on its land. And support local activists taking action against the Royal Artillery Hunt including Salisbury Plain Monitors, Moonraker Hunt Sabs, Wiltshire Hunt Sabs and Reading Hunt Sabs.

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