16 Baby Foxes Rescued From A Cruel Hunt

Good news for animal lovers! Sixteen baby foxes, aged from about six to eight weeks old, have been rescued from the dark shed where they were incarcerated in the north of England.

Activists from the League Against Cruel Sports filmed a video in late May that shows a man entering the shed with dead chickens and exiting shortly after. Later during the night, the activists entered the shed, and made the horrifying discovery of these fox cubs cowering in the dark, terrified. There were no vixens or any adult foxes, an indication that these babies had been forcibly removed from their homes.

You can watch the video here:

They immediately alerted the police, who removed the foxes and arrested the man who had been feeding them. Sadly, one of the foxes died shortly after the rescue, but the other 15 are being cared for in an animal sanctuary at an undisclosed location.

According to the League Against Cruel Sports, the shed is on land linked to the Middleton Foxhounds Hunt in North Yorkshire, and the man under arrest is an employee of the hunt.

Why would people working for a hunt decide to round up baby foxes and hold them in captivity?

“The answer is simple but terrible,” says Dr. Toni Shephard, Head of Policy and Research for the League. “They capture foxes so there is always a ready supply of animals to be chased by the hunt. Put bluntly, these foxes were kidnapped for cruelty.” She adds: “Footage, the intelligence we have received, and testimony from people who have been involved in hunts all show that raising foxes to be hunted was, and still is, a common practice among hunts.”

Fox Hunting Banned In 2004

But wait, wasn’t fox hunting banned? Tony Blair’s government approved the Hunting Act in late 2004, banning the practice of foxes being hunted by dogs in the UK.

So why are there still hunts? 

It is officially illegal to kill foxes with dogs. However, the law allows “drag hunts,” where hounds follow a chemical trail laid across the countryside, or “trail hunts,” where the hunt’s path loops and overlaps to simulate the unpredictable meanderings of foxes. 

And even though it’s illegal, some foxes are still pursued to their deaths.

The British Hunting Tradition Continues

Hunting foxes is a popular tradition for many people in the UK. For a few years before the Hunting Act was passed, there had been numerous protests and rallies, violent exchanges between supporters and opponents were frequent.

One of these took place within my own family: my cousin Gilbert, outraged that his son was marching in protest against fox hunting, declared that he would never speak to him again. That was over 10 years ago. Father and son have not spoken since.

Not only do hunts still exist, they still draw large numbers of (mostly white, upper-class) Brits. It’s estimated that over 45,000 people in the UK regularly take part in hunting. Last Boxing Day (December 26), traditionally the biggest day in the hunting calendar, more than 250,000 U.K. citizens turned out to show support for their “sport.”

According to Lee Moon, the spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs’ Association, who make it their business to track and disrupt hunts, “[the hunters] do exactly now what they used to do before the Hunting Act. Some of it changes slightly when we or the police are there, but we believe that when there’s no one watching them – and often when we are there – they continue to hunt illegally.”

Paul Tillsley, head of investigations for the League Against Cruel Sports agrees: “Hunts are breaking the law quite regularly. As far as we can tell, when hunts think they are not being watched, they get on as they always have done.”

In spite of this, there have been only 30 prosecution cases under the Hunting Act involving registered hunts, these have resulted in just 12 convictions.

One reason for this is that the police mostly aren’t interested in spending their Saturdays trying to track down hunters. Even when they do give chase, they’re not always sure what’s legal and what’s not. They have to determine things like whether the hunting horn is being blown in the correct way, or the hunt leader is bellowing out directions that abide by the law, not exactly easy tasks.

Fox hunting is a UK sport which dates as far back as the 15th century and as far as I’m concerned, that’s where it belongs.

At least these adorable fox cubs won’t be subjected to the trauma of being hunted down and killed by horsemen and a pack of hounds.

 

213 comments

Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago

Noted

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Mark Donners
Mark Donner3 years ago

Any supporters are criminals and all should be arrested along with the psychopaths calling themselves "hunters". Cameron loves killing both people and foxes.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Valentina R.
Valentina R3 years ago

Ban fox hunting NOW!

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Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey3 years ago

Tyfs

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Sheri D.
Sheri D3 years ago

Fox hunting is a "sport"? Stop this cruelty!

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mari s.
Mari S3 years ago

It's so cruel, so unconscionable, irrational, merciless, hateful, so insane -- we must continue to be incessantly relentless in bringing this horrific fox hunt to a permanent stop -- this brutal sport should be abolished -- the more on board fighting those who are "pro" fox hunting, the better. Let's not give up nor give in -- someone MUST speak for the foxes. They, too, deserve to live!

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Deborah W.
Deborah W3 years ago

ONLY A FEW ARE THIS LUCKY ...

... when do we pit hunter against hunter to see who actually has any skill when evenly matched? In the meantime, my wish is that they're all bad shots and take an even amount of human toll during this "event". Seems more than fair ...

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Yvonne Offline two months
Yvonne Wey3 years ago

Sadistic scumbags of humans This is banned but behind closed doors this barbaric bloody sport still continues.The laws need changing that anyone caught doing this kind of hunting gets a stiff jail sentence!!!! Thank you for letting us know what horror still happens in england against the foxes

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Molly D.
M. C3 years ago

Traditions (bad) need to end. Wankers !!!!!!

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