Between 24th December 2021 and 24th January 2022, there were 16 foxes, 4 dogs, two deer and one horse killed by hunts. And these are just the kills that have been observed.

You'd be mistaken for thinking fox hunting is still legal if these shocking numbers are anything to go by. Despite the cruel pastime having been made illegal in 2004 there are still countless animals being hunted and killed by hunts and it isn't just foxes that are falling victim. Indeed in the space of just one month there were hounds hit and killed on a railway track belonging to the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt in Somerset and a horse had to be put down after hounds from the Essex and Suffolk Hunt caused the poor animal to bolt and injure himself.

We cannot sit back and let this madness continue. It is beyond clear that the hunts are not 'trail hunting' as they claim and they continue to deliberately and intentionally pursue wildlife. What's more is that they simply do not care about the often sickening repercussions of their actions and continue to act as if they are above the law.

Only a week or so ago the Essex and Suffolk Hunt merely "offered its condolences" after its hounds rampaged on to private land and terrified a horse which subsequently had to be put down. Barney the horse who was looked after by Lisa Lane in Wormingford, was panicked after dozens of hunting hounds gained access to the land without their permission. The animal which has been with Lisa for over 20 years bolted and ran straight through a gate which resulted in the poor animal breaking his leg. He then laid on the ground in immense pain for over 40 minutes before the decision had to be made to put the animal out of his suffering.

Four hunting hounds from the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt in Somerset have been struck and killed by a train after running onto a railway line during a so-called 'trail hunt' on New Years' Day.

In responding to the incident, Network Rail gave the following statement:

“The driver of a train reported seeing a pack of dogs. Sadly, the train collided with four dogs near Templecombe, Somerset.

"As a result, we had to run trains at a reduced speed until we could confirm it was safe.”

The organisation added: “Trespassing on the railway is not only incredibly dangerous, but it’s also illegal.

"It risks terrible injuries to the people and animals involved, as well as causing unnecessary delays to passengers.”


What needs to change?

  • The 2004 Hunting Act needs to be strengthened and properly enforced
  • The National Wildlife Crime Unit needs to make Fox Hunting one of its' priority delivery groups
  • Packs of hounds should no longer be exempt from animal welfare legislation such as the proposed 'Animal Welfare Bill'
  • Major landowners and local councils should end all 'trail hunt' licences with immediate effect
  • Insurance companies must turn their backs on providing insurance to those who hunt

Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban

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