Terriermen are individuals hired by the hunt to carry out three main roles.
- To dig/flush out foxes that have gone underground to find safety.
- To block up fox dens and badger set holes to ensure foxes can’t go underground.
- To intimidate and harass monitors and saboteurs disrupting the hunt.
Terriermen are often seen on quadbikes armed with tools to dig out foxes and usually have a box attached to the rear of the quad bike which contains their terrier dogs.
They are also referred to as ‘countrymen’ by those in the hunting community and often act independently to a hunt. Due to the ‘gamekeepers’ and ‘flushing to guns’ exemptions found in the 2004 Hunting Act, terriermen are still an ever-present fixture of most hunts. Before fox hunting was made illegal, terriermen were traditionally used to fight and flush out foxes that had gone underground.
Of course, the question continues to be asked as to why hunts require the presence of these individuals if they’re simply following an artificial trail as opposed to a live mammal. You can read more about the lie that is ‘trail hunting' here and how it has been used by the hunting community to confuse the general public.
Since the 2004 Hunting Act was introduced not a great deal has changed when it comes to the work of terriermen. The exemptions mentioned previously mean it is difficult for prosecutors to prove that the law has been broken. It is only when the ban is strengthened and these exemptions removed that the terriermen’s days will be numbered.
You can head to our campaign page to find out more about the 2004 Hunting Act and the ways in which you can get involved to help strengthen the existing legislation.