Christmas is the time of year for seeing friends and family, the time for eating and drinking way too much and receiving yet another pair of socks but for some it’s the time of year to chase and kill animals for fun. The Boxing Day hunt is the biggest day of the year for fox hunting in this country and organisations like the Countryside Alliance trot out their usual press release claiming hundreds of thousands are out to support what they claim to be the rural way of life.

Record turnout for North Cotswold Boxing Day hunt parade | Wilts and  Gloucestershire Standard

Hunts parade through village and town centres with their poor horses and hounds and present a cuddly façade to onlookers of what they claim to be the legal activity of trail hunting. Members of the public look on and I’m sure many are completely unaware of the realities of this cruel pastime. The hounds are treated appallingly and for the first time ever Keep The Ban supported the Hunt Investigation Team in filming undercover footage of the most prestigious hunt in the country shooting their hounds dead. This is standard practice across the country and is something the hunts want to keep a secret.

BREAKING: Duke of Beaufort Hunt filmed shooting hounds following covert  investigation


The reason for these killings is simple, even at half their life expectancy these hounds were deemed no longer strong or fit enough to keep up with the pack. They can’t be bothered going to the vets and it is quicker and cheaper to just fire a bullet into the animals head.

Two of the poor animals had to be shot twice after showing signs of life. 

We also released follow up footage just a few weeks later of the very same Beaufort Hunt violently hitting their hounds.

And then further images and video in recent days have shown the terrible condition of hounds from a Staffordshire based hunt, with shocking footage showing hounds being thrown over a barbed wire fence.

May be an image of animal and outdoors

This is what they won’t tell you at the Boxing Day Hunts – they’ll present this cuddly, happy façade of animals that are loved and cared for but this literally couldn’t be further from the truth.

Therefore, it’s not just landowners across the country that have a decision to make when it comes to allowing hunts on their land, but councils too. It was brilliant to see last week that Keswick Town Council in Cumbria decided to revoke their invitation to the John Peel Hunt and we urge other councils to follow suit. Foxes and other animals continue to be chased and killed across the country week in week out and these hunts parading through town centres are showcasing a pastime that celebrates in the torture of wildlife – it should not be allowed to stand. The public are beginning to wakeup to the lies and can see these criminals for what they are. If you’re reading this I would urge you to contact your local council and ask them to stand up for wildlife and ensure no hunt is given access to council land on Boxing Day or any other day.

Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban

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Keep The Ban is a non-profit organisation that campaigns to end wildlife persecution and we fund anti-hunting groups across the country such as the brilliant Hunt Investigation Team. We rely solely on our supporters and donations. If you'd like to support what we do please head to our shop or back us with a small donation.