A letter sent anonymously to Keep The Ban details how a hunt in Nottinghamshire ran rampage across a primary school playground. The email which was reportedly circled to parents at Kinoulton Primary School explains how the hounds were part of a local hunt and had "took a wrong turn".

If this isn't yet more evidence of hunts not following 'trails' as they claim then we don't know what is. The hunts couldn't care less about the wildlife they hunt and this is another shocking example of their recklessness which could have endangered small children. The hounds used for hunting are nothing more than tools.

Last year, a long running investigation carried out by the Hunt Investigation Team, supported by Keep The Ban, showed harrowing undercover footage of the Duke of Beaufort Hunt shooting dead several 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 with two of them needing to be shot again after showing signs of life. One of the hounds is then shown being picked up and dropped onto a wheelbarrow to be wheeled away.

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

Pictured: Staff member of the Duke of Beaufort Hunt shooting dead one of four hounds

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 absolutely 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 irrefutablee vidence 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 nothing more than disposable tools trained to kill wildlife.

Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban

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