Hunt members will not face police action over video showing hounds kill fox

There is ‘not enough evidence’ to prosecute members of a hunt – despite shocking footage showing a fox being killed by their hounds.

Even though hunt members admitted the fox was killed after the video was released by a hunt saboteur group, the hunt will not face police action.

The graphic clip, filmed at Fields Farm in Grendon, Warwickshire last November, shows a pack of dogs chasing a fox while members of the Atherstone Hunt follow on horseback.

One of the dogs wrestles the fleeing animal to the ground before the rest of the group pounce on the fox.

The hunters, wearing traditional gear, are then confronted by a protester, but turn and ride away.

FILE PICTURE - A pack of dogs appearing to chase a fox. No action will be taken against a Warwickshire hunt despite video footage being released of a fox being killed by its hounds. See NTI story NTIHUNT. Warwickshire Police said there was ënot enough evidenceí to prosecute members of the Atherstone Hunt over accusations the fox had been illegally killed - despite the video, witness statements and the hunt itself admitting that it killed the fox. The video footage was taken by West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs and shows members of the Atherstone Hunt on horseback as a pack of about 20 dogs chase down the animal in a field. As the hounds attack the fox, a member of the hunt reaches down and pulls the lifeless body of the animal from underneath the pack and slings the carcass over the back of a colleagueís horse. The group then rides away towards colleagues in the distance with the limp body of the fox clearly visible. But despite the footage, a spokesman for Warwickshire Police said: ìFollowing an investigation by Warwickshire Police, the decision has been made that there is insufficient evidence to support a realistic prospect of a conviction in relation to any hunting offences connected to the Atherstone Hunt in Warwickshire.î
Footage shows the dog catching the fox (circled) (Picture: SWNS)

The hunting ban

It has been illegal to hunt foxes with dogs since 2005.

But anyone caught hunting will get away without a prison sentence.

The maximum penalty is a £5,000 fine, but any dogs used in hunting could be destroyed.

Despite the release of the footage, Warwickshire Police said their investigation has ended without charges being brought.

A spokesman for Warwickshire Police said: ‘Following an investigation, the decision has been made that there is insufficient evidence to support a realistic prospect of a conviction in relation to any hunting offences connected to the Atherstone Hunt in Warwickshire.

‘Warwickshire Police thoroughly investigate all reports of wildlife crime, we have specialist wildlife crime officers who investigate rural crime and work very closely with a range of partners to raise awareness.

‘Our campaign ‘Rural Matters’ seeks support from the public to help put an end to wildlife crime and to report suspicious activity.’

A statement released by Atherstone Hunt last year read: ‘Unfortunately while riding across an open field between trails, what we strongly suspect was an injured fox appeared in front of the Hunt within yards of the hounds who very quickly dispatched it.

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‘The incident was immediately reported to Warwickshire Police.’

At the time, West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs said the group was ‘blatantly hunting’ and the incident was not a ‘one off’.

FILE PICTURE - A huntsman (L) rides off with the fox draped over his saddle. No action will be taken against a Warwickshire hunt despite video footage being released of a fox being killed by its hounds. See NTI story NTIHUNT. Warwickshire Police said there was ënot enough evidenceí to prosecute members of the Atherstone Hunt over accusations the fox had been illegally killed - despite the video, witness statements and the hunt itself admitting that it killed the fox. The video footage was taken by West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs and shows members of the Atherstone Hunt on horseback as a pack of about 20 dogs chase down the animal in a field. As the hounds attack the fox, a member of the hunt reaches down and pulls the lifeless body of the animal from underneath the pack and slings the carcass over the back of a colleagueís horse. The group then rides away towards colleagues in the distance with the limp body of the fox clearly visible. But despite the footage, a spokesman for Warwickshire Police said: ìFollowing an investigation by Warwickshire Police, the decision has been made that there is insufficient evidence to support a realistic prospect of a conviction in relation to any hunting offences connected to the Atherstone Hunt in Warwickshire.î
The man dressed in black appears to have the dead fox over his saddle (Picture: SWNS)

Article taken from: http://metro.co.uk/2016/08/09/hunt-members-will-not-face-police-action-over-video-showing-hounds-kill-fox-6057735/

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One thought on “Hunt members will not face police action over video showing hounds kill fox

  1. This is a stigma resting firmly on the Conservative Government – DC and his chums still rule the roost as far as preventing meaningful action against perpetrators of any form of animal cruelty. Hunts/police/judiciary apparently have too many masons and/or positions of power making sure a phone call or two will prevent any prosecution. I think a better name for “huntsmen” and all others who purposely initiate or support animal cruelty would be “animal perverts” .

    Like

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