Police appeal for witnesses following claims huntsman near Warwick tried to turn fleeing fox back towards hounds

As we reported previously, hunt protesters said they have caught the incident on camera

An image from the video taken by the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs
An image from the video taken by the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward following claims that huntsman near Warwick tried to turn a fleeing fox back towards hounds.

As we reported previously, hunt protesters from the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs (WMHS) said they have caught the incident on camera and have spoken to police.

Warwickshire Police said today (Thursday) that they are investigating the matter and want witnesses to come forward.

"We received a third party report of an incident near Ashorne on Monday 12 September," said a spokesperson for Warwickshire Police.

"Enquiries are taking place. We would encourage any direct witnesses or anyone who has original footage to please contact our Rural Crime Team.

"Information can be given on our website www.warwickshire.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting incident number 64 of 12 September."

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Hunt protesters claim video shows Warwickshire Hunt trying to turn fleeing fox b...

The video by WMHS shows a fox making a successful bid for freedom in a field near Ashorn on September 12 while hounds are nearby.

A member of the Warwickshire Hunt is then seen galloping on a horse towards the fox - which the WMHS claim is an attempt to try to turn the fox back towards the hounds.

"It’s completely barbaric but unfortunately, we are witnessing these scenes on a daily basis at the moment," said a spokesperson for WMHS.

"The hounds are taken into these woods or crop fields and let loose. Any foxes in there will try to escape but are turned back towards the hounds by the riders on the outside who will be hitting their saddles, cracking their whips or in some cases really screaming at the foxes, basically making as much noise as possible to frighten the fox back in towards the hounds.

"Since it is such a small contained space any foxes that don’t break cover don’t stand much chance."

This is what WMHS claim it caught on video at the Warwickshire Hunt.

A spokesperson for the Warwickshire Hunt said: "The Warwickshire Hunt has operated legally since the Hunting Act came into force in February 2005.

"The saboteurs continue to harass those activities and arranging spurious complaints.”