Reports have emerged today that the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt have savagely attacked and killed a deer. According to the anti-hunting group Somerset Wildlife Crime hounds from the Dorset based hunt attacked the poor animal who was "left to suffer despite pleas from monitors to hunt staff to assist the animal. Both huntsman and terrier man refused. George Pierce fled the scene before police arrived. Firearms officers had to be called to euthanise the animal who was left shredded after the hounds tore into it. There is so much wrong with this entire scenario it’s hard to know where to start."

Images have been circulated online showing the deer with a large wound surrounded by a huntsman and hounds. The following statement was also put out by North Dorset Hunt Saboteurs:

"Yesterday we witnessed truly awful and unbelievable scenes with the BSV. Huntsman George Pierce was on foot in an area of inaccessible rough ground that the hunt are not permitted to be in (we met the a man there earlier in the day and he said that he'd padlocked the gate and didn't want them in there disturbing the horses). Having seen him doing this at previous meets, we were in there early spraying the area with citronella to mask any fox scents. Sure enough he turned up and we accompanied the hounds in their draw, chatting to them and further spraying the area to avoid them picking up a scent.

Image: North Dorset Hunt Saboteurs

Suddenly a small deer broke from the hedge and immediately half a dozen hounds were on it. We raced over shouting at them to leave it and the deer managed to break free and run. As the deer was pursued towards the huntsman we repeatedly shouted at him to stop them but, although being just meters away, he simply turned his back and began quickly walking away and clambered off through a hedge. The hounds caught the deer again and mauled her fatally before we could get there. All the injuries were to her hind end, with internal organs hanging out. Nothing like the quick fatal nip to the neck that the hunt always claim.

Image: North Dorset Hunt Saboteurs

The deer was still alive, but sadly beyond help, with horrific wounds and no control over her hind legs. We called 999 and a wonderful monitor from Somerset Wildlife Crime  stayed to keep an eye on the deer while we followed the huntsman and hounds who were still hunting in the rough ground. We pleaded to him and the terrier men and even riders to get help for the deer as we know the hunt own a bolt gun or other means of euthanising animals, but they were all extremely rude and refused.

After another 10 mins or so hunting in the hedges, there was hollering from point riders and support on the road, meaning a fox had been seen bolting. The huntsman immediately started blowing his horn to hunt the dogs on. We tried to stop the dogs with voice calls but were blocked by Charlie Mayo riding his horse into us. Thankfully it seems the dogs lost the scent and they ranged over to Droop and Stoke Wake in search of it.

The police arrived and were directed to the poor deer. They were then able to call in the firearms unit to relieve her suffering. Sadly the officers had to come a long way, and it was hours from the initial attack before the deer was finally able to be helped. The monitor reported that the police showed great empathy for the deer and the situation, and did all they could in the circumstances. They even confronted the hunt, asking them to help the deer and telling them to pack up. Obviously the hunt completely ignored this and carried on."

Image: Somerset Wildlife Crime

The group went on to make the following statement:

"There is a storm in our countryside. It’s not even brewing, it is full and raging. Blood is being splattered from one end of the countryside to the other. Animals tormented and torn to pieces for fun. Hunters, riders, grooms, supporters, sponsors, landowners, you all have blood on your hands. From the very inception of the hunting ban, the hunting community vowed that they would not comply, they proudly stated their intention would be to break the law. That is, that they would continue to perversely and sickeningly hunt wildlife to its grotesque and violent death. They set out in their finery, so proud of themselves, but what a red coat and some shiny boots can never hide is the twisted and vile soul which bubbles underneath the surface of these individuals, salivating and engorging themselves with excitement for the kill.

The absolute terror on which these ghouls feed is only too visible to anyone who has spent time watching them. They have contempt for animals and humans alike. There is a stench around these people, so thick that it is impossible to mistake it for anything other than what it is, pure evil. For too long the excuses have been heard, that there aren’t enough resources, that there are other priorities, that the legislation is the problem, whilst the police forces in Dorset continue to avoid the inevitable - and make no mistake - IT IS INEVITABLE, which is to address the blatantly illegal hunting in their county - and many others across the country. The Blackmore have gotten away with murder, they laugh at the police in Dorset. They are above the law, yesterday proved that to everyone. But they will never be above justice."

Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban

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