Warning – distressing image below
Wiltshire Hunt Saboteurs yesterday witnessed a hunting hound used by the Mendip Farmers Hunt – whose website proclaims “We love to see visitors and children and we hunt Wednesday and Saturday in the season” – killed on the busy A39.
Apart from the absurdity of even being able to state openly that they ‘hunt twice a week in the season’ (‘hunt’ not ‘trail’ or ‘drag’ hunt, and how is there even a season for this disgusting hobby?), apart from the chilling notion of involving children in bloodsports, how – all right-minded people will be asking – if hounds were following a laid-down scent as they were supposed to be (hunting with hounds is illegal, but following a scent trail or ‘trail hunting’ is technically legal), how could they have ended up on a main road dodging cars?
As is explained above, the hunt as out ‘cubbing’. ‘Cubbing’ is a particularly disgusting form of animal abuse that is practiced at this time of the year.
We wrote it about recently (see – Cubbing – an autumn sickness), saying that :
Cubbing is a really nasty form of animal abuse. It is essentially training young hounds to kill foxes by targeting cubs, because dogs don’t naturally kill foxes – they ‘need’ (according to fox hunters anyway) to be trained to kill them. They ‘need’ (ditto) to be trained to know what a fox smells like and feels like, and they need to know how to hunt them down. And what better way than to use younger, inexperienced foxes…
Given that hunting wild mammals with hounds was made illegal by the Hunting Act 2004 (and fox cubs are wild mammals), you would imagine that hounds don’t ‘need’ to be trained to hunt foxes at all because there is no fox hunting. A reasonable assumption to make, but then when it comes to fox hunts ‘reason’ rarely applies. Thanks to the invention of ‘trail hunting’ after the passing of the Hunting Act and connivance with landowners (we’re still looking at you National Trust) and politicians (we’re looking at you Boris Johnson), hunts are still going out and still killing foxes. And the nasty, nasty ‘tradition’ of cubbing is when the law-breaking starts for another ‘season’
This incident will have occurred under the guise of ‘trail hunting’. The truth – as most people know – is that ‘trail hunting’ is a lie. There is no such thing. It’s a fabrication. Hunts are still going out, illegally chasing after animals that are fleeing for their lives, day in and day out, breaking the Hunting Act 2004, and hounds regularly end up running across main roads endangering both themselves and road users – with some hounds sadly being killed (which hunts treat as an inconvenience: see eg Cheshire Monitors 01 Feb 2020). And now of course hunts are also ignoring the restrictions that the rest of us adhere to in our shared efforts to fight the spread of Covid-19.
Amongst the very people who don’t seem to recognise that (apart from the hunts themselves) are the National Trust and Forestry England – both of which are still licencing these rural hooligans to so-called ‘trail hunt on their land. If you’re not sure what any of this means or are confused what ‘trail hunting’ is (and if you are it’s no surprise – it was designed by hunts to BE confusing), then do please follow these links where all is explained: posts by Jack Riggall (an independent hunt monitor working to expose the licencing of hunts by Forestry England), and a series of posts and podcasts looking at the National Trust and ‘trail hunting’ – including how a member-led vote to ban trail hunting at the Trust’s last AGM was only defeated by the Chair’s use of proxy votes.
Why do we focus on these two organisations on this site? Because hunts need land to hunt over, and the Trust and Forestry England are amongst the largest land owners in the country. Without support (or wilful blindness) from these two bodies many hunts would find themselves with literally nowhere to go.
In the meantime if you witness an illegal hunt:
- Contact the police – hunting with hounds is illegal. If the hunt is breaking restrictions on outdoor meeting, explain that the rules against gatherings of more than six people are being broken NOW. Ask for an incident report – the police may do nothing but it helps to build up a picture of repeat offending.
- Contact the Hunt Saboteurs on their tip-off line: 07443 148 426
You may just be able to help prevent THIS from happening again: