ITV News shows Kimblewick Hunt killing a fox

Fox hunting has been in full-on recovery mode after the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) leaked webinars hosted by the ludicrous Hunting Office which talked of ‘smokescreens’ and the hunts’ accursed terrier men being the ‘soft underbelly’ of pro-wildlife claims that so-called ‘trail hunting’ is just an excuse to get around the Hunting Act 2004 (see – Hunts on the Run). With an increasingly angry public watching fox hunts ignoring Covid-19 tier restrictions (even after being granted exceptions to the ‘Rule of Six’ the rest of the country suffered through), even the most tone-deaf of fox hunting lobbyists knew that Boxing Day fox hunts (when hunts traditionally stick two fingers up to pro-wildlife members of the public and flaunt how little has really changed since 2004) needed to be at least seen to be doing the right thing…

Clearly, though, the notorious Oxford-based Kimblewick Hunt – no strangers to a bit of lawbreaking – didn’t get the memo and ended up just where they didn’t want to be: on national television, their hounds filmed killing a fox…

Recorded from multiple angles by cc cameras on private property, the Kimblewick’s hounds are seen chasing the fox into a yard where he/she tries to hide behind a metal container. Footage then shows huntsmen running in and dragging the ragged corpse of the fox from the hounds. The site-owners are interviewed by ITV’s Rupert Evelyn (who has been behind several news items on fox hunting recently, and our thanks go to him for his measured but hard-hitting reporting) and they are as angry as the rest of us.

 

 

The hunt – as they always do – blame ‘lack of awareness’, the hounds, the weather, the location, the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter, pinko antis, Dominic Dyer and Carrie Symonds …we’re exaggerating, but of course, but hunts are well-used now to making the absolute minimum of apologies (always after being caught of course), telling fairy stories that even the most staunchly Santa-believing seven-year-old would be able to pick holes in, and carrying on as usual…(see for example – Fitzwilliam Hunt sorry for wrecking funeral)

And as Mr Evelyn points out in the interview, the Kimblewick are no strangers to being caught breaking the law. Monitors regularly accuse the hunt of lawbreaking, and almost a year ago exactly Kimblewick terriermen Ian Parkinson and Mark Vincent were convicted of animal cruelty after being filmed by the HSA brutally dragging a fox out of an artificial earth and releasing it in front of baying hounds to provide ‘sport’ for the hunt on New Year’s Day 2018.

 

That a hunt should be filmed breaking the law is nothing new (though every single occasion helps bring their demise closer of course), but there is a little twist to this particular report that is worth highlighting. The so-called ‘Countryside Alliance’ (a diminishingly relevant loose grouping of pro-hunt lobby groups formed to fight the Hunting Act) recently released a video to promote ‘trail hunting’. Barely anyone watched it (certainly compared with the ITV News) but who did the CA choose as their exemplum optimi: the Kimblewick Hunt of course, the foxhunting group favoured by the CA’s very own Head of Hunting Polly Portwin (who is known in some pro-wildlife circles as Pinocchio).

You couldn’t make it up, but then fortunately for those of us that loathe the lies, the cruelty, the two-fingered salute to decent people everywhere, we don’t have to…

 

We don’t like putting up warnings of the ‘Graphic Footgae Ahead’ type because illegally killing a wild animal is always going to be graphic and the longer people hide from the truth the longer this ritualised lawbreaking will go on – BUT please be aware that while this footage has clearly been edited carefully by ITV it is still upsetting:

 

If you’d like to support this growing movement towards a better countryside, please let your own council know that you want hunts banned. And why not consider joining LACS or the Hunt Sabs as a ‘feel-good’ Christmas present to our wildlife – or at the very least please let the Hunt Sabs know when you see hunts out and about breaking the law: