Members of an English hunting organization are coming under fire after video footage showed members of the Avon Vale Hunt engaging in apparently illegal hunting activities.
The event occurred in Wiltshire, a large rural county in southwest England.
During the hunt that was captured on video, onlookers cheered as individuals dug a fox out of its den. A second fox then leapt out of the den, closely followed by hounds hot on the pursuit.
The illegal hunting was roundly condemned. The Avon Vale Hunt was suspended by the British Hounds Sports Association (BHSA), with an investigation launched into the event.
In a statement, the BHSA denounced the activity caught on video:
“The British Hound Sports Association (BHSA) was yesterday, Tuesday 7th February, given footage of activities of the Avon Vale Hunt which would appear to contravene the Core Principles of the BHSA, and possibly the law.
“The hunt, and individuals within the hunt, were immediately suspended from all hunting activities. The Hound Sports Regulatory Authority were informed, and the hunt has been asked to appear before a disciplinary panel on Thursday 9th February.
“The BHSA is the governing body for all of the hound associations. It has a remit to preserve, protect and promote the future of hounds and hunts.
“This will be achieved by ensuring strict compliance with, and enforcement of, the law and its own principles. Any breach of these is strongly condemned.”
Animals rights and anti-hunting activists have clashed with the Avon Vale Hunt before. Arrests were made in 2021 following a protest at a Boxing Day hunt meet.
Wiltshire Police are reviewing the video evidence to determine if criminal conduct was committed.
Additional Sources: ITV News