Hounds 'chasing fox cause havoc on the roads' as hunt spills onto lanes near Shipston
The film follows a Warwickshire Hunt meet at Talton Farm on Saturday, November 11. The West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs (WMHS) claim their film shows foxes attempting to escape, horses and hounds blocking roads and hunt followers ‘assaulting’ one of the activists. They say police had told them to leave the area.
Warwickshire Hunt said the allegations were ‘spurious’ and saboteurs were wasting police time. Warwickshire Police said they are investigating.
The WMHS described officers telling them to leave the area was ‘audacious’.
"Despite illegal hunting and numerous foxes hunted, hounds causing havoc on the roads (and) assaults on sabs, Warwickshire Police had the audacity to tell us to leave the area. This would have allowed the Warwickshire Hunt to carry on and break the law as much as they wanted,” they said.
"We weren’t going to let that happen so refused the police request to leave and ended up filming even more illegal hunting. What this has done is further damage trust in Warwickshire Police’s ability to deal fairly with the issue of illegal hunting.”
The saboteurs gathered at Talton Farm where they tracked the hunt. They claimed the hunt went over a councillor’s land where foxes had been found in the past. They say a fox broke cover and crossed a road with hounds following.
"The hounds again hunted it spewing out onto the road with hounds and riders holding up traffic and weaving in and out of cars,” they said.
“None of this would have happened if Warwickshire Police had had the courage to stand up to organised crime instead of doing deals with an illegal fox hunt and torn up the Community Protection Notice. Warwickshire Police are clearly prioritising enabling illegal hunting over (motorists’) safety.”
The saboteurs claimed a hunt member hit a saboteur in the face while they were trying to encourage hounds out of a ditch. It is understood the hunt also made allegations of assault by saboteurs.
“The police were completely unwilling to deal with the illegal hunting that had been going on literally moments before they arrived, simply telling sabs to report it to the Rural Crime Team,” said WMHS.
“Warwickshire Police then had the audacity to order sabs to leave the area despite the Warwickshire Hunt, being the ones illegally hunting all day, putting motorists at risk with their dangerous antics on public roads and assaulting those people trying to stop them."
A police spokesperson said: “We are investigating a number of allegations made by both groups. We would like to remind the public the videos referred to do not comprise raw, unedited footage.”
Police said that because the claims are subject to a live criminal investigation they would not indicate where they believed footage could be edited.
A spokesman for the Warwickshire Hunt said: “We have an agreement with the police that ensures, as much as possible, our activities take place without incident.
"We conduct our lawful hunting activities to minimise any additional strain on police resources when they are already under considerable pressure, so it’s a shame that anti-hunting activists do not take the same into consideration when continuously making spurious allegations about the hunt.”