It’s a sickening spectacle: An undercover video filmed in 2016 revealed that members of the UK’s South Herefordshire Hunt repeatedly threw live fox cubs into dog kennels.
The secret footage appears to show live fox cubs being delivered one by one to the Hunt’s kennels. In the video, the hungry dogs can be heard baying. The lifeless bodies of the cubs are subsequently removed from the kennels and dumped into bins.
The Hunt Investigation Team, the group responsible for the secret footage, described what happened:
These cubs were taken from their mothers and thrown live to the pack of hounds, to instill in the dogs a bloodlust for hunting. This barbaric training ritual is used so that the hounds are more effective in the next season. The SHH cubs’ bodies were retrieved from the waste bins by HIT investigators, taken for a veterinary post-mortem and are part of the evidence in the criminal investigation.
You can watch some of HIT’s video here, but be warned that it is gruesome viewing.
Repulsed and angered by such cruelty, Mrs. Bee created aCare2 petition demanding that the perpetrators of these animal murders be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“There is no place in the modern world for this so-called sport,” she wrote. “Please help me stop it and sign my petition! If enough people sign, it will put pressure on the police and Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that justice is served, and other hunts will be deterred from carrying out similar cruel practices.”
A Care2 Success!
It’s taken almost two years and a tremendous amount of work, but with the help of over 398,000 Care2 activists, the petition has succeeded: Five people are being prosecuted on animal cruelty charges.
These individuals are accused of throwing the fox cubs into the dog kennels so that the fox hounds could get “a taste for killing.”
The group, including three men and two women,appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on May 15 and faced charges of animal cruelty; of killing fox cubs, contrary to the 2006 Animal Welfare Act; and of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
When arresting them, Detective Inspector Jonathan Roberts, of West Mercia Police, said: “Cases of animal cruelty are treated very seriously and we actively seek to protect animals from cruelty and to prevent their suffering.”
Care2 is happy to note that the South Herefordshire Hunt has now disbanded completely, although other hunts still exist around Britain.
A Cruel Tradition
The fact that fox hunting with dogs still happens in the UK is reprehensible — especially given that it was banned in 2004. Prime Minister Theresa May even made an election pledge to hold a vote on the ban in the current parliament, but she had to back down, given how poorly her Conservative party did in the last general election.
But somehow traditional hunts have continued, despite the ban prohibiting the use of dogs to hunt foxes or any other wild mammals in England and Wales — not to mention the fact that 85 percent of the UK population opposes hunting.
Encouragingly, Mrs. Bee’s Care2 petition has helped to bring about the demise of the South Herefordshire Hunt — and perhaps will inspire others to take action against animal cruelty.
Congratulations to her and to the almost 400,000 Care2 members who signed her petition, ensuring that no more live fox cubs will be fed to dogs in South Herefordshire.
This article was first published by Care2.com on 31 May 2018