South Hereford Hunt cruelty.....

CarlW

Well-Known Member
No worries jer, I was referring to the concept of full on fox hunting & not the incident. I don't believe such things are the norm & I don't think that the hunting community find such behaviour acceptable. I believe that the majority, knowing the scrutiny they're under and being ethical will operate within the law

My discomfort is with the idea of a pack of dogs chasing down and shreading a fox. It just doesn't seem that sporting to me. And from a numbers point of view I'm struggling to see how it could have a meaningful impact on keeping fox numbers down. From a physical and technical aspect it'll be exciting for the horsemen, exciting for the dogs & handlers but terrifying for the fox. Where as a bullet is instant lights out

But .... I've never been involved with a hunt or a village / community that supports one so I have no idea how correct or ill conceived my preconceptions are. Under those short comings it'd be pretty unfair / ignorant of me to come out against it. So I try to keep an open mind and I content myself with the hope that the hunting community will operate within the ethical and the legal parameters laid out for them.
Very honest and open-minded post.
 

Ooops

Well-Known Member
..... it either gets away or is killed swiftly please don’t belive the hype ......
Hudson12 I don't buy into the propaganda in any way and I have absolutely no doubt that the end is over in the blink of an eye. I just don't see the sport in it but that's just me and I've no wish to push my point of view onto others.

So as long as its legal & ethical I say live & let live, good luck to you & I'll support your right to enjoy it as a sport:thumb:
 

Ooops

Well-Known Member
I totally agree with everything you have posted and I have tried to get some enthusiasm for a collective approach from all field sports for a long time with little success
Yes unfortunately its unlikely to happen, we're our own worst enemy

After years of thinking it madness I've done a 180º turn and come to appreciate why the NRA in states is as radical as it is. As a group field sports could learn a few things from them but we won't we'll just whinge & get bent over until there's nothing left
 

Greenmist

Well-Known Member
Ooops, you raise some good points regarding the ethics of pack hunting. My answer is always the same, providing it is done properly, a pack of dogs hunting a fox is the fairest form of control, I'm not going to dress it up and say its nice, its not. But the foxes that are caught fairly (not ran ragged because of blocked earths) will be the weak ones, the old ones, the injured ones (much like any hunt by lions, wolves or hyenas, they target the weakest of the group for a reason). Does/did every fox die with a single bite to the back of the neck, no, but again there is no wounding with dogs, its caught its dead. I also firmly believe more foxes are being killed now , a decent shot with a rifle can remove more foxes in a night than some hunts would in a season. I've quoted my father many times with this, "the biggest threat to fox hunting,is fox hunters"
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
The problem with this part of your post is that it indiscriminantly punishes the law abiding majority in just the same way as the the antis, et al, seek to punish the shooting community, examples being the well intentioned knee jerk reactions to air rifle incidents, hand guns etc.

Put the responsibility where it belongs, punish the guilty & support the law abiding.
It's easy to condemn something across the board, especially if you're not that into it, it's also unfair.

If you see the law being broken and can't influence those responsible to change their ways report them

At all costs avoid vilifying a discipline and all its participants for the misdeeds of a few.


To be honest with you I'm not that keen on it either. However I have no experience of it, I don't know enough to understand the issues so rather than stand against it I prefer to keep an open mind, live and let live as it were, until such time as I have an informed opinion. However in return I expect that community to agressively police its self to the highest standard, uphold the law and behave accordingly

I also expect them to afford me the same courtesy & support me when the time comes




These points are well made. All the field sports, even when combined represent a minority interest but out on their own they have no future. As such all field sports need to come together and support each other, failure to do so will see the end of it all.

To start with it doesn't matter whether or not we approve of a specific discipline, what matters right here, right now is the good & future of the entire community.

The membership of all the agencies should be pressing for some sort of cooperative council to represent us as a cohesive field sports group & voting block with the respectability & the capability to defend against the potential damage of public knee jerk reactions and the sustained assault of the antis

It's essential that differences are put aside until such times as we're on a secure footing, at which time members can vote for change from within as their conscience dictates. We need to be self policing & squeeky clean across the board. If change is needed we need to make it before some poorly considered legislation is forced upon us. In short field sports needs to be super respectable, self policing and proactive

The only thing politicians listen to are votes, if we come together one hopes the numbers would be significant enough to gain some measure of respect, consultation and a decent chance of shaping legislation
Ooops, you raise some good points regarding the ethics of pack hunting. My answer is always the same, providing it is done properly, a pack of dogs hunting a fox is the fairest form of control, I'm not going to dress it up and say its nice, its not. But the foxes that are caught fairly (not ran ragged because of blocked earths) will be the weak ones, the old ones, the injured ones (much like any hunt by lions, wolves or hyenas, they target the weakest of the group for a reason). Does/did every fox die with a single bite to the back of the neck, no, but again there is no wounding with dogs, its caught its dead. I also firmly believe more foxes are being killed now , a decent shot with a rifle can remove more foxes in a night than some hunts would in a season. I've quoted my father many times with this, "the biggest threat to fox hunting,is fox hunters"
Funny how Fathers think alike. The exact words my father used, a real follower of hounds, and his pal was our local Huntsman.
For real foxhunting the video of Todhunter with the Blencathra is a classic. Quite difficult country to lamp so hounds were a good way of fox control. A fox is bowled over in that film and from its reaction it is dead as a single hound grabs it.
 

AndrewS

Well-Known Member
Hudson12 I don't buy into the propaganda in any way and I have absolutely no doubt that the end is over in the blink of an eye. I just don't see the sport in it but that's just me and I've no wish to push my point of view onto others.

So as long as its legal & ethical I say live & let live, good luck to you & I'll support your right to enjoy it as a sport:thumb:
Ooops - you make some very good points, but regarding your last sentence - with a few exceptions, it's not legal! [We'll leave the ethics out of it!]
 

Greenmist

Well-Known Member
Funny how Fathers think alike. The exact words my father used, a real follower of hounds, and his pal was our local Huntsman.
For real foxhunting the video of Todhunter with the Blencathra is a classic. Quite difficult country to lamp so hounds were a good way of fox control. A fox is bowled over in that film and from its reaction it is dead as a single hound grabs it.
My Dad used to follow the fell packs in his youth, he said there was nothing more disheartening than been overtaken running up scree by a woodbine smoking 70 year old wearing hobnail boots and a tweed jacket and carrying a pick and shovel:rofl:
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
My Dad used to follow the fell packs in his youth, he said there was nothing more disheartening than been overtaken running up scree by a woodbine smoking 70 year old wearing hobnail boots and a tweed jacket and carrying a pick and shovel:rofl:
Aye some of em even smoked Capstan full strength. I used to whip in to beagles on 50 Players Navy cut a day.
 

kes

Well-Known Member
What on earth is meant by 'sacrificial'? This was exactly that.
There is already a video of this as damning evidence - @ South Hereford Hunt on Youtube.
I find it difficult to accept the testimony of the terrier man involved, but the Court did so that’s it.

THE GUARDIAN - Steven Morris Mon 10 Jun 2019
Huntsman found guilty of animal cruelty after activists' secret filming.


A senior huntsman has been found guilty of animal cruelty after activists secretly filmed him apparently preparing to throw fox cubs to a pack of baying hounds.

Animal rights campaigners claim the conviction is significant because it shows a master of hounds “blooding” the animals – training them to kill foxes – 15 years after the ban on hunting with dogs was introduced.

The footage was obtained by members of a group called HIT (the Hunt Investigation Team), who say they include ex-services personnel and that they have had training in covert investigative methods.

They obtained evidence for the prosecution by fixing a tracking device to the vehicle of a man they believed to have connections to the South Herefordshire Hunt and mapping his movements out into the wilds, where they suspected he was catching fox cubs.

The activists also set up cameras at the hunt’s kennels and obtained footage that showed the then master of hounds, Paul Oliver, taking fox cubs into the kennels. Although the footage does not show what happened inside the kennels complex, the prosecution at Birmingham magistrates court claimed he was blooding the hounds.

Paul Oliver, 40, and kennel maid Hannah Rose, 30, both of Spalding, Lincolnshire, were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to fox cubs. Joanna Dickens, the district judge, convicted Oliver of four counts of animal cruelty and Rose of three counts of the same charge.’

Julie Elmore, 55, of Abergavenny, south Wales, and Paul Reece, 48, from Chepstow, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to fox cubs.

HIT said it began investigating after a tipoff. In March 2016, activists put a tracking device on to the Land Rover of man said to be connected to the hunt and followed his movements. They claim it became evident he was catching cubs and then heading straight to the hunt kennels in Wormelow, near Hereford.

The investigators took legal advice from lawyers and animal welfare organisations to work out their next step. The advice they received was that they could not try to recover any cubs as this would amount to theft. They said they did not turn the case over to the police because they did not believe officers would have the resources to follow it up.

Instead they trespassed – a civil rather than criminal offence – on to the land where the hunt kennels were based and set up hidden cameras. They argued it was the only way to expose what was happening and compare it to undercover journalism.

A team of four or five were involved in setting up and monitoring the cameras and in May 2016 they found what they claim was evidence that fox cubs were being taken from their mothers and thrown live into the hounds’ kennels.

The prosecution alleged the footage showed Oliver preparing to throw fox cubs in with the hounds. It was claimed that Rose, like Oliver a hunt employee, stood by as he did so.

Oliver denied feeding cubs to the dogs. He claimed the dogs did not hunt foxes but only followed aniseed-based scents. Rose said she knew nothing about cubs being fed to the hounds.

The prosecution claimed it was the vehicle of a man called Nathan Parry that the HIT activists tracked. The court was told he was not employed by a hunt but was a terrier man. Traditionally terrier men work with hunts. Parry was found not guilty of causing suffering to four foxes after the judge accepted that he believed the animals would be relocated in the wild.

One of the activists involved in the operation, who asked not to be named, said the case gave the lie to the idea that hunts were not chasing foxes but simply scents.The activist said HIT had received reports about other hunts across the country, which it was investigating. The HIT members are worried about reprisals and one who gave evidence during the trial was allowed to do so from behind a screen.

On its website, HIT says of the case that it had exposed the “hidden side of fox hunting” and added: “This investigation was groundbreaking. HIT believes such practices are commonplace amongst fox hunts. These cubs were taken from their mothers and thrown live to the pack of hounds, to instil in the dogs a bloodlust for hunting. This barbaric training ritual is used so that the hounds are more effective in the next season.”

Martin Sims, the director of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports and former head of the police’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, said: “We believe the incidents show that hunts are clearly still hunting as the poor fox cubs were thrown into the kennels to give the hounds a taste for blood. “ The barbarity of these incidents is sickening. ”

Deborah Marshall, a spokesperson for the Hunt Investigation Team, said: “We are clearly pleased that the hard work and integrity of the Hunt Investigation Team has resulted in convictions. This case has taken far too long to come to court and we have faced false allegations against investigators and obstruction throughout. We are glad that justice has finally taken its course.

“The capture of fox cubs to be used to train hounds is nothing new and is widespread across Britain.. We will continue to expose cruelty and wildlife crime and our message to hunts everywhere is ‘Expect Us’.”
Sacrificial in the context in which I meant it seems not to be as you have taken it.

My point was that I hoped that these fox cubs were not 'sacrificed' to achieve the objectives of the hunt investigation team. Since covert filming was involved that would not be the case, I suspect. I am also assuming it was impossible for the HIT to intervene.
The meaning of the word should now be clear.
 

Cadex

Well-Known Member
Forgive my ignorance as I know little about fox hunting so here's a question for those in the know . .

With the plethora of fancy lamps, night vision and high velocity rifles available what value would the hunt bring to an area of land (with a fox problem) that couldn't be easily achieved with a competent lamping duo?

I'm speaking hypotheticaly of course as I am aware the actual killing of fox by hound is now illegal, so I suppose my question is better related to pre ban times.

I don't mean to be inflammatory, I'm genuinely curious.
 

Greenmist

Well-Known Member
Forgive my ignorance as I know little about fox hunting so here's a question for those in the know . .

With the plethora of fancy lamps, night vision and high velocity rifles available what value would the hunt bring to an area of land (with a fox problem) that couldn't be easily achieved with a competent lamping duo?

I don't mean to be inflammatory, I'm genuinely curious.
Hunts would tend to keep the population fluid and healthy, as I've already said, its the old unfit and crippled that get/got caught. I also agree with the point that a decent person with a rifle will be more effective, but too effective, hunts will get a couple, rifleman will take the entire litter and the parents plus any helpers. A situation on Dartmoor happened when stag hunting was banned, the local farmers used to rely on the hunt to keep the deer moving so they didn't congregate in one area and so do lots of damage, when the hunt stopped iirc 98 deer were shot in a single weekend
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
Forgive my ignorance as I know little about fox hunting so here's a question for those in the know . .

With the plethora of fancy lamps, night vision and high velocity rifles available what value would the hunt bring to an area of land (with a fox problem) that couldn't be easily achieved with a competent lamping duo?

I'm speaking hypotheticaly of course as I am aware the actual killing of fox by hound is now illegal, so I suppose my question is better related to pre ban times.

I don't mean to be inflammatory, I'm genuinely curious.
Foxhunting was as much a field sport as game shooting and stalking in it's day. The value was a sport and could not really be compared to lamping as a control method. A competent duo however can only cover ground they have permission on, where as hounds in halcyon hunting days could cover quite an area. It is however as you say no longer legal.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
With the plethora of fancy lamps, night vision and high velocity rifles available what value would the hunt bring to an area of land (with a fox problem) that couldn't be easily achieved with a competent lamping duo?
No wire. That's the biggest benefit to ALL wildlife. I'll explain.

No wire = no barbed wire (fences) dividing fields. Instead traditional hedges with, oftentimes, ditches and fences. Known as "oxers" and if on both sides "double oxers".

Wire fences are dangerous to horse and rider so are disfavoured in good hunting country. So fields remain divided up by traditional hedges that support many wildlife species that elsewise wouldn't thrive.

Now having said that my family hunted with the Quorn in George Barker's day. And then with the Atherstone after the M1 Motorway "detached" that part of the Quorn country and it was "ceded" to the Atherstone.

And at University I followed a beagle pack. So I have some knowledge but do now,yes, think it is cruel. And, yes, I have seen whilst still alive both foxes and hares being torn apart by hounds.

But the most effective control "up North" was probably always ever the traditional fell pack followed on foot.
 
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countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Forgive my ignorance as I know little about fox hunting so here's a question for those in the know . .

With the plethora of fancy lamps, night vision and high velocity rifles available what value would the hunt bring to an area of land (with a fox problem) that couldn't be easily achieved with a competent lamping duo?

I'm speaking hypotheticaly of course as I am aware the actual killing of fox by hound is now illegal, so I suppose my question is better related to pre ban times.

I don't mean to be inflammatory, I'm genuinely curious.
In Scotland it's perfectly legal for hounds to kill a fox, even a pack as long as u intended to flush it to guns.

In upland areas or areas off big forestry blocks hounds can be very effective, not so much mounted packs but gun packs or I know some use scramblers too
The gun pack I used to go out with used to draw massive forestry blocks with just a few couple. I'm talking blocks hundreds or even 1000 acres, with folk surrounding it the best u can with shotguns and rifles.
The only other way to effectively control them would be wires/snares

1 thing with hunting is no foxes are injured, even now in Scotland if a gun injures a bolting fox the pack can carry on the line, not true with shooting.
More numpties taking pot shots at foxes now than ever before
 

jer

Well-Known Member
No worries jer, I was referring to the concept of full on fox hunting & not the incident. I don't believe such things are the norm & I don't think that the hunting community find such behaviour acceptable. I believe that the majority, knowing the scrutiny they're under and being ethical will operate within the law

My discomfort is with the idea of a pack of dogs chasing down and shreading a fox. It just doesn't seem that sporting to me. And from a numbers point of view I'm struggling to see how it could have a meaningful impact on keeping fox numbers down. From a physical and technical aspect it'll be exciting for the horsemen, exciting for the dogs & handlers but terrifying for the fox. Where as a bullet is instant lights out

But .... I've never been involved with a hunt or a village / community that supports one so I have no idea how correct or ill conceived my preconceptions are. Under those short comings it'd be pretty unfair / ignorant of me to come out against it. So I try to keep an open mind and I content myself with the hope that the hunting community will operate within the ethical and the legal parameters laid out for them.
Thanks for the explanation Ooops, I certainly respect your views on it and I know its not for some of us. I never cease to be amazed at the different views held on this subject. I used to ride to hounds years ago and think there is something magical about a pack of hounds in full cry, there is also something a little primeval about it and for me it connects with and seems closer to nature than most other things we do. My youngest son who is nearly thirty years of age has been a vegetarian for many years for ethical reasons (because of the way most meat is reared). Some years ago we had a discussion about fox hunting, he was against it so I asked him to come along to watch the hunt which in all fairness he did. He loved the hounds and horses and watched them set off. We observed the hounds draw a wood and he discovered that he found it fascinating and he enjoyed it. A couple of years later whilst on a family holiday in South Africa he accompanied me on a hunt when I shot an Oryx and he thoroughly enjoyed the long and quite difficult stalk for that which surprised me as its the killing for "sport" he doesn't agree with, but the thing is he "gets" the chase and stalk aspect. And yes I'm still trying to work him out. :lol:
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the explanation Ooops, I certainly respect your views on it and I know its not for some of us. I never cease to be amazed at the different views held on this subject. I used to ride to hounds years ago and think there is something magical about a pack of hounds in full cry, there is also something a little primeval about it and for me it connects with and seems closer to nature than most other things we do. My youngest son who is nearly thirty years of age has been a vegetarian for many years for ethical reasons (because of the way most meat is reared). Some years ago we had a discussion about fox hunting, he was against it so I asked him to come along to watch the hunt which in all fairness he did. He loved the hounds and horses and watched them set off. We observed the hounds draw a wood and he discovered that he found it fascinating and he enjoyed it. A couple of years later whilst on a family holiday in South Africa he accompanied me on a hunt when I shot an Oryx and he thoroughly enjoyed the long and quite difficult stalk for that which surprised me as its the killing for "sport" he doesn't agree with, but the thing is he "gets" the chase and stalk aspect. And yes I'm still trying to work him out. :lol:
Your son sounds more open-minded than many shooters, never mind vegetarians...
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
No wire. That's the biggest benefit to ALL wildlife. I'll explain.

No wire = no barbed wire (fences) dividing fields. Instead traditional hedges with, oftentimes, ditches and fences. Known as "oxers" and if on both sides "double oxers".

Wire fences are dangerous to horse and rider so are disfavoured in good hunting country. So fields remain divided up by traditional hedges that support many wildlife species that elsewise wouldn't thrive.

Now having said that my family hunted with the Quorn in George Barker's day. And then with the Atherstone after the M1 Motorway "detached" that part of the Quorn country and it was "ceded" to the Atherstone.
The Atherstone used to be a bigger hunt than the Quorn with two separate packs North & South. Their country was very large and covered part of what is now B'Ham. From Leicester to Lichfield and from Ashby dlz to Rugby and Coleshill. I lived on the border between them and the North Warw'ks. I must admit though I hunted beagles and rode to hounds I never found it cruel. Perhaps it was stronger in my Gene's than in other peoples.
 

Cyres

Well-Known Member
I say I must concur with some of the very well balanced and obviously knowledgeable comments that have been posted on this topic.

I agree that fox hunting with hounds is very selective at removing old/sick/weak and injured animals but as a pretty committed fox shooter I personally shoot more foxs than many hunts used to catch in a year. Also a rifle can control foxs in areas which could not be hunted with hounds. Conversely when watching the Scottish/lakeland packs drawing huge areas of hill side they are very effective and in theses areas shooting is some what difficult. Use of thermals has probably made detection easier but as previously stated if you have large areas of forestry then hounds excel.

As for the kill, I have on several occasions I have seen foxs caught by a single hound, in particular I remember seeing a big dog hound called Wenlock take a fox, it was dispatched by a quick bite across the back of the neck/shoulder and was pretty instantaneous. That hound probably weighed 60+lb fox being no more than 17 lb.

In some cases packs dont break up the dead fox, in others when the pack over runs a fox then it will be broken up. Whilst quite graphic it should be remembered that the fox is dead, aka hyenas fighting over a carcass

Clearly in this case illegal activity by hunt staff have been exposed and the full weight of the law has been brought to bear. Rightly so.

D
 

Hudson12

Well-Known Member
To also add the hunt in question the actual huntsman was the one at fault the others prosecuted had to be as they had already entered guilty pleas as instructed by the legal team the terrierman had been informed of a litter of orphaned cubs the huntsman said he knew where they could be relocated and tended to until the time they were old enough to fend for themselves the lady and another guy who were also done were led to believe this is what was happening to them the video only shows the huntsman with the foxes the clips with other people in are from a different day footage can and does get edited to suit sometimes what Oliver did was terribly wrong in anyone’s eyes including the others that were done.This video clip just sums up the antis and how animal welfare is fairly low down on there list of priority’s if they knew what was going to happen to the cubs why on earth did they leave the one in the trailer that they filmed why not rescue it they had sacrificed its life for a conviction you could then look at it from another point of view they also aided and abbeted as they knew there was a life animal and also knew its fate before it happened
 

dartmoordog

Well-Known Member
I agree that the perps got what they deserved. The bigger message is the techniques used to gather the evidence, trespass and tracking. This is not new but the equipment is becoming cheaper. These methods will be used to target any field sportsman for the purpose of vandalism, public shaming or prosecution for the foolish. There are alot of aspects to our sport or work that are unpalatable for those that don't participate. Vigilance is required by all and integrity in our actions.
Firstly, I absolutely agree with the very vast majority on this site, I feel this type of behaviour TOTALLY unacceptable. But oneeyeopen has a very valid point.

I don’t wish to go into detail of what I did for a living for 3 decades, but it involved Covert Rural Surveillance to gather evidence for certain crimes in the rural environment as part of my duties. I was professionally trained in this skill, a major part of this training was the legal aspect of using technology, cameras, video, night vision, thermal etc and the M1 eyeball!

Now we had to, strictly, abide by the regulations under RIPA, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, this made a big issue of the seeing or collection of “Collateral Intrusion”. Seeing or recording people going about their day to day, legal, activities, especially people totally unconnected with the activity we were gathering evidence for.

We had to forwarded ALL the evidence gathered, including, perhaps, the young couple who decided to have some outdoor fun, or the young kids enjoying a splash around in the paddling pool.

Do the actions of these people entitle ALL of us to set up cameras, or spy on people, on private land and record whatever we want. A very dangerous precedent to set in my opinion.

I was under the impression that if one wanted to set up a CCTV system, then it had to be placed in such a way that it could not collect collateral intrusion.
 

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