Hunt filmed chasing new mother fox through graveyard

‘In Somerset, you could witness a hunt every day’

Harry Cockburn
Wednesday 06 March 2019 20:22
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Hounds Off and Somerset Wildlife Crime release video of hunt chasing new mother fox through graveyard

Footage has emerged of hunting hounds on the trail of a fox which ran into a graveyard in Somerset.

At least 20 dogs are seen flushing the animal out of a hedgerow and chasing it round the church in the village of Charlton Horethorne, and then into open countryside.

An animal welfare charity said the animal appeared to be a vixen who had recently given birth.

The video shows the animal streaking across a field as a huntsman sounds a horn from a neighbouring field. More people on horseback in hunting attire can be seen in the distance.

Another hunter on a white horse is then challenged by an animal welfare campaigner as a hound closes in on the fox.

The campaigner who filmed the clip tells him: “You pull him off. You pull him off that fox right now!”

The hunter replies: “I’m doing it – get out the way.”

The five-minute video, captured on 23 February, was released by animal welfare campaigners Hounds Off and Somerset Wildlife Crime.

The village of Charlton Horethorne is the home of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt which meets at least three times a week.

Bobbie Armstrong, spokesperson for the Somerset Wildlife Crime, said: “When the fox crossed in front of us we told a red-coated hunter to call hounds off.

“At this point, they were right on her and it looked grim.

“It was all a bit tense for a while.

“During hunts, we will find vantage points and plot the direction they will travel so we can get ahead of the hounds.

“People don’t realise that hunting still goes on and it happens all through the week – in Somerset, you could witness a hunt every day."

Huntsman blows into his hunting horn as hounds chase fox across fields in Charlton Horethorne, Somerset

Penny Little, founder of the Little Foxes charity, reviewed the footage and said: “I am confident this fox is a vixen that has recently given birth to cubs as her teats are visible and show clear evidence of lactation.”

The Independent has contacted Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt for comment.

Additional reporting by SWNS

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