exposed

Undercover investigation exposes shooting of hunting hounds.

Duke of Beaufort Hunt shoots dead Four hounds.

Following a long running investigation carried out by the Hunt Investigation Team, supported by Keep The Ban, harrowing undercover footage has been released showing the Duke of Beaufort Hunt shooting dead four of their hounds. 

The shocking videos were acquired through a covert operation in which cameras were hidden within the kennels of what is one of the oldest and most prestigious hunts in the country. In the sickening footage, members of the hunt can be seen firing bullets into four hounds. 

You can watch the undercover footage below, but do so at viewers discretion, the footage is distressing and will upset most viewers.

The footage secured from the investigation is the first time that a hunt has ever been caught on camera shooting their hounds, but this is not to say that the incident is a one off.

Although it may be the first time they’ve been caught out, hunts across the country routinely kill their hounds before the start of each hunting season. It is estimated that up to 7,000 hounds are unnecessarily killed by hunts every year and very few make it past the age of five or six despite having a life expectancy of around fourteen.

A Sad Existence: the life of a hunting hound

Hounds like the ones shown mercilessly killed by the Duke of Beaufort Hunt are often deemed worthless for not showing enough hunting instinct or bloodlust.

It is worth remembering that hounds are taught to kill and the barbaric pastime of cubbing plays a key role in ensuring hounds get a taste for blood.

Further evidence ‘trail hunting’ is a smokescreen

The notion then that the Duke of Beaufort Hunt and the other 300 registered hunts across the country carry out “trail hunting” as opposed to hunting foxes and other live mammals is farcical. If hunts genuinely were following artificially laid trails as opposed to hunting foxes, then why would they need to kill their hounds prior to the start of the hunting season?

Of course, the reality is that “trail hunting” is nothing but a smokescreen for illegal fox hunting and this investigation provides yet more irrefutable evidence that this is the case. The Duke of Beaufort Hunt are not unique in the fact they couldn’t care less about the hounds they claim to love. The vast majority of so-called “trail hunts” treat their hounds as disposable tools trained to kill wildlife.

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Be part of the movement to end fox hunting for good

In 2019 the National Trust gave licences to the Duke of Beaufort Hunt to use their land despite ongoing calls from Keep The Ban for these licences to be permanently ended. We have been campaigning on this issue since 2017 and now more than ever it is time for organisations such as Forestry England and the National Trust to stand up against the hunts and protect wildlife.

If like us you’re sickened by the shooting of the hounds and you want to take action then please support our campaign to end hunting licences given out by major landowners. You can add your name to our open letter to Hilary McGrady, Director of the National Trust asking that all licences be permanently scrapped.

The charade that is “trail hunting” has been well and truly exposed and we will not sit by and watch as our wildlife is chased and killed for entertainment. This is the beginning of the end for foxhunting in this country. Be a part of the movement and help us consign this barbarism to the history books.


Dear Hilary McGrady,

This week following an undercover investigation carried out by the Hunt Investigation Team, supported by Keep The Ban, harrowing footage was released showing the Duke of Beaufort Hunt shooting dead four of their hounds. The images show members of the hunt firing bullets into the heads of these poor animals deemed no longer suitable for hunting purposes. The footage secured from the investigation is the first time that a hunt has ever been caught on camera shooting their hounds, but this is not to say the incident is a one-off. Although it may be the first time they’ve been caught out, hunts across the country routinely kill their hounds before the start of each hunting season. It is estimated that up to 7,000 hounds are unnecessarily killed by hunts every year and very few make it past the age of five or six despite having a life expectancy of around fourteen. The hound shooting exposé has provided yet more irrefutable evidence that hunts across the country do not "trail hunt" as they claim.

However, the Beaufort Hunt alongside many others were given licences to conduct so-called ‘trail hunting’ on National Trust land. As of right now, these licences have quite rightly been suspended by several major landowners including the National Trust and we welcomed this decision. Keep The Ban has been campaigning for the National Trust to permanently end these permissions since 2017 and now more than ever the “trail hunt” lies have been well and truly exposed. If evidence of chasing and killing wildlife, use of terrier men, artificial earths, destruction of badger setts, assaults on monitors, invading private properties, and attacking domestic animals wasn’t enough, now we are confronted with sickening footage of a previously licenced hunt firing bullets into their hounds and carting them away as if they’re garbage. Two of the hounds can still be seen moving after the first shot and both are then shot again for good measure. This isn’t right. This isn’t normal. This isn’t the sort of behaviour that the National Trust should be condoning.

It is about time the National Trust stood up to the hunts and permanently ended the charade that is trail hunting. We the undersigned ask that all trail hunt licenses are permanently ended with immediate effect. We ask that the board of trustees vote FOR the trail hunting resolution at this year's AGM. Together we can and we will end the suffering of British wildlife at the hands of so-called “trail hunts” and put an end to this madness for good.


Robert Pownall - Founder Keep The Ban
Chris Packham, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Peter Egan, Dr Amir Khan

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