Footage has been passed to the BBC which appears to show fox cubs being put into the kennels of hunting hounds allegedly to train the dogs to kill.
The video, filmed at the South Herefordshire Hunt kennels, then shows apparently lifeless bodies of two fox cubs being removed and dumped in a bin.
Police are investigating the footage and the animals’ bodies. Two men and a woman were arrested earlier in June.
South Herefordshire Hunt has suspended a paid huntsman but refused to comment.
The Masters of Foxhounds Association said an independent inquiry, led by former Court of Appeal judge Sir John Chadwick, would take place into “conduct which suggests breaches of the association’s rules”.
The South Herefordshire Hunt’s kennels, situated at its headquarters, have been closed.
Barking and whooping
The video, taken with hidden cameras positioned outside the kennels, show four live fox cubs kept in a cage.
The Hunt Investigation Team, which campaigns against fox hunting, secretly filmed two of the foxes alive inside the cage at night.
Later the cameras picked up a man removing them using a noose and taking two of them, one at a time, into the kennels nearby. Seconds later, the hounds inside can be heard barking.
A whooping noise, which sounds as though it is being made by a human, can also be heard. The Hunt Investigation Team claims this was to “call the hounds on” to attack the foxes.
On each occasion, the man emerges with a fox’s apparently lifeless body and puts it in a bin.
Later footage shows the bins being taken away. However, before then, the activists had retrieved two fox cubs’ bodies from the bins.
‘Gruesome training secrets’
One of the investigation team, who asked to remain anonymous for her safety, said: “When our investigators took those fox cubs out, one of them was disembowelled, one of them had multiple bite wounds.
“Our feeling is that they were fed live to the hounds.”
The animals’ bodies have been passed to the police.
The Hunt Investigation Team and the League Against Cruel Sports said they were increasingly concerned about activities allegedly used to support illegal hunting.
They say fox hounds are still being taught to kill young foxes through a practice known as “cubbing”.
Since the hunting ban, they are less likely to encounter foxes and it is claimed some hunts have a problem with their hounds attacking animals other than foxes. …read more
Source:: BBC UK