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With only one fox hunting pack left in Kent, the clock is ticking on hunting in the county

Hunt saboteurs in Kent are celebrating the news that there will only be one hunt left in the county for the 2023/24 fox hunting season.

On 12 July, West Kent Sabs wrote:

“Over the last few months we have been inundated with information from sources within the hunting community that there was a significant amalgamation being planned within hunts in the South East…. today we received the confirmation that we had been hoping for!

The Ashford Valley Tickham Hunt kennels, also home to the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt, are for sale! Whichever way you look at it, this leaves ONLY ONE FOX HUNT left in Kent, kennelled at the East Kent with West Street in Elham.”

Indeed, a property advert for the “old site for the Ashford Valley Hunt Kennels” is advertising the 5.5 acre land for £1,000,000.

‘The writing is on the wall’

The sabs continued:

“The victory here for us is at a scale we could only dream of but have spent years fighting for. We also know that many landowners have also turned against hunting in the South East and this has helped fast track their demise.

Rest assured, with only one fox hunt left in Kent, the writing is on the wall. With all our resources and that of South Coast Hunt Sabs we will finish this last remaining hunt off in record time.”

Indeed, it’s been a notorious year for hunters in Kent. Back in January, the police raided properties in the county. Four men were arrested, and ten lurchers and terriers were placed in the care of the RSPCA.

Escaping prosecution

Meanwhile, the only fox hunt left standing in Kent, the East Kent Hunt with West Street, recently escaped prosecution after it murdered a fox in a residential garden in January 2023. West Kent Sabs shared a devastating photo of the dead fox, who had been torn apart. Despite the sabs capturing the incident on video, Kent police and the Crown Prosecution Service decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to press charges. The footage shows hounds around the body of the dead fox, but doesn’t show the pursuit itself.

The fact that the hunt wasn’t prosecuted is yet another example of how the Hunting Act is completely useless. It needs to be urgently replaced with a brand new Act.

As we approach the next hunting season, West Kent Sabs are intent on abolishing fox hunting once and for all in the county. They said:

“We are committed to being the first county in England without a registered fox hunt!”

Ban hunting for good

Hunts across the whole country are suffering, with a number of them amalgamating or closing completely. Meanwhile, more and more landowners are waking up to the fact that they, too, could be prosecuted for allowing illegal hunting on their land, and are pulling permission. This is on top of the fact that a number of major landowners have banned all hunting on their land, including trail hunting.

It is only a matter of time before the final hunt in Kent folds for good.

You can help hunt saboteurs in Kent to shut down the last remaining fox hunt by donating to the sabs here.

Sign Protect the Wild’s petition to introduce the Hunting of Mammals Bill, which aims to do the job the Hunting Act never did.