Home > #Bateson > PRESS RELEASE: Stag hunting in Somerset Oct 2018

30th October 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Stag hunting in Somerset Oct 2018

Hunted stag runs for his life. Quantock Stag Hounds, 25.10.18 Photo credit: Hounds Off

SHOCKING FOOTAGE EMERGES OF STAG HUNTING JUST TEN MILES FROM TAUNTON

  • Campaigners have released shocking footage of a Red deer stag being hunted by the Quantock Stag Hounds in Somerset on Thursday 25 October 2018.
  • The hunt took place about ten miles from Taunton near the picturesque West Somerset Railway line at Crowcombe Heathfield and lasted for three hours.
  • Hunters used combination of horse riders, dogs and four wheel drive vehicles to harass and harry the stag through woods for nearly two hours before forcing him out into the open, and on his own, for another hour.
  • After being flushed from the woods, film clearly shows the stag running with his mouth gasping and tongue lolling. There is a heaviness to his gait.
  • About an hour later two hounds, which had been set to follow the stag by scent, have chased him to exhaustion. The stag is ‘at bay’ behind a tree in undergrowth.  Hounds can be clearly seen ‘marking’ their target; barking incessantly, rushing forwards and jumping back as the stag uses his antlers to keep them from attacking.
  • Gunmen from the Quantock Stag Hounds get within close range but the stag jumps up and makes a bid to escape. Hounds give chase and five minutes later, away from cameras, the stag is killed.
  • Hunt followers and riders gather in the woods for the traditional carve-up, where the body is divided into trophies for people to take away and remember their day.

The film can be viewed here.

Many people think that stag hunting was banned when the Hunting Act (2004) made chasing and killing most wild mammals with dogs illegal. But it hasn’t quite worked out like that. Stag hunters in the West Country have reinvented their bloodsport with subtle differences which allow them to exploit loopholes and exemptions which circumvent the law, including;

  • Claiming to be conducting Research & Observation according to Schedule 1 (9) of The Hunting Act (2004), in the same way as Japanese and other whaling nations carry on killing under the pretence of scientific research.
  • The Research exemption was intended to enable scientists to carry out their studies if they needed dogs to find a wild mammal. But it does not specify that people claiming Research under this exemption have to be scientists, that their research has to be genuine or that it should be non-lethal.
  • The Observation part only requires a hunter to be looking at the stag when it is killed.
  • Flushing to guns. The Hunting Act (2004) provides for this in Schedule 1 (1), so long as only two hounds are used and the stag is shot as soon as possible.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  • The National Trust banned stag hunting in 1997 after Professor Patrick Bateson published a report which found that hunting deer with hounds inflicted cruelty and distress far beyond anything they might experience in nature.
  • Stag hunting was prohibited on Forestry Commission land in 1997 too.
  • Campaigners have documented numerous incidents of trespass by the Quantock Stag Hounds on National Trust and Forestry Commission land during September and October 2018.
  • The Quantock Stag Hounds hunt deer with dogs Mondays and Thursdays throughout September to April.

For more information or interviews please contact:

Bobbie Armstrong
Somerset Wildlife Crime: 07572495309

Joe Hashman
Hounds Off: 07711 032697

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26 Comments | Leave a comment

  • Natasha says:
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    We’re the police called to attemp to prosecute – could the stag not be saved by the sabs?? 💔 totally disgraceful

    Reply to this comment >
    • HoundsOff says:
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:58 pm

      Many people think that stag hunting was banned when the Hunting Act (2004) made chasing and killing most wild mammals with dogs illegal. But it hasn’t quite worked out like that. Stag hunters in the West Country have reinvented their bloodsport with subtle differences which allow them to exploit loopholes and circumvent the law, including;

      Claiming to be conducting Research & Observation, in the same way as Japanese and other whaling nations carry on killing under the pretence of scientific research.
      Flushing to guns. The Hunting Act (2004) provides for this, so long as only two hounds are used and the stag is shot as soon as possible.

      Our position on a hunt is one of bearing witness and documenting what happens. In this way we are able, on occasion, to expose the truth to you and others. Without such evidence gathering the cruelty would continue and outsiders would be none the wiser.

      Reply to this comment >
  • Ruby Falco says:
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    All the excuses this Quantock Stag HUNT AND THEIR FOLLOWERS MAY GIVE. Its all done purely for the sadistic thrill. If you see them when they onto a stag, its shocking, they are so so excited its obcene and truly depraved.. Such a magnificent animal and horrible to witness a total lack of respect . To me these people are not right in the head.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Grahame Jones says:
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    I resigned from the national trust and forestry commission because of this, and on a similar subject I resigned from both RSPCA and RSPCB when they refused to answer a question on why do they not prosecute when the evidence is clearly defined. They are all bogus organisations designed to benefit the rich.

    Reply to this comment >
    • Lynn Stuart says:
      Posted November 04, 2018 at 8:53 am

      Excellent. I admire you for quitting! Good luck for the future! Best wishes

      Reply to this comment >
  • Ruby Falco says:
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    What kind of monsters enjoy doing this? I’ve watched them and they get to do this twice a week. Sadism and depravity is what I see. There is no reason to kill these magnificent animals and stags are alredy spent due to rutting at the moment. People say how beautiful the countryside is, and it is, but just below the surface its evil and cruelty is the name of the game.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Ruby Falco says:
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    I hear peopel say how beautiful the countryside is here, and it is. Just below the surface there are people who I judge to be depraved and sadistic and who encourage their children to enjoy the whole lengthy finding of the stag, the ensuing chase which can takes hours.
    There is no reason for this other than for their sick enjoyment . They teach their children to be hardened to enjoying the beauty of these animals and of course this also includes foxes that are also chased to exhaustion and ripped apart.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Mary Heap says:
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    When will these morons find something better to do with their time than inflict pain
    On animals and our government should be doing more to ban all this cruelty called sport. If this was a poor mans sport it would have been banned years ago but because it’s only the wealthy that can afford that much time to murder those beautiful animals the powers that be turn a blind eye to it. Remember this when the next election comes around.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Ali Goode says:
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    It’s barbaric and disgusting

    Reply to this comment >
  • Alan Kirby says:
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Very moving and well put together. Brief scene showed more hounds being transported. Do they use just the same 2 hounds throughout, or use relays? If not, why the extra hounds?

    Reply to this comment >
    • HoundsOff says:
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      This season so far they are mostly employing the ‘relay’ method developed by the DSSH.

      Reply to this comment >
  • Lorraine Garrett says:
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    This level of barbaric cruelty has no place in our modern world.We must all do everything within our power to get this abhorrent blood-sport permanently and irreversibly banned.
    How can we, the 85% of the British people who are against hunting,make our voices heard and ensure that this disgusting terrorising and killing of innocent creatures is stopped ?

    Reply to this comment >
    • HoundsOff says:
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 11:00 pm

      Inform people that this is going on. Lobby your MP. Ask the National Trust to enforce their own ban on stag hunting. Use your voice. And if you can support our work financially then please do because we are all volunteers. Exposing the shocking truth behind hunting’s glossy facade is fuel, equipment and infrastructure-hungry. But whatever you do, thanks for caring.

      Reply to this comment >
  • Heather Newton says:
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:20 am

    How can anybody get enjoyment out of this barbaric behaviour??
    Why are these ——–not prosecuted?
    Such a beautiful creature doesn’t deserve to be killed for fun!!

    Reply to this comment >
  • Antony C Cotterell says:
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:25 am

    How can the public help stop this barbaric pursuit?

    Reply to this comment >
    • HoundsOff says:
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:51 pm

      Inform people that this is going on. Lobby your MP. Ask the National Trust to enforce their own ban on stag hunting. Use your voice. And if you can support our work financially then please do because we are all volunteers. Exposing the shocking truth behind hunting’s glossy facade is fuel, equipment and infrastructure-hungry. But whatever you do, thanks for caring.

      Reply to this comment >
  • Jennifer wilson says:
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:51 am

    This is so shocking & cruel , i cant believe people get pleasure in pursuing & killing such a beautiful creature in this barbaric way , no animal deserves to be treated in this way , please stop now !!

    Reply to this comment >
  • Jennifer wilson says:
    Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:55 am

    So shocking & cruel to chase this poor animal to exhaustion then when everyone has had their fun ? Kill it , so sick , what is wrong with these people ? Barbaric , this really has to stop now !!

    Reply to this comment >
  • Sheila Conway says:
    Posted November 01, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Stop cruelty to animals Stop hunting with dogs

    Reply to this comment >
  • Liz Farr says:
    Posted November 01, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    There should be no hunting with dogs at all, hounds terriers any dogsLet’s keep the ban but enforce it in addition there is no thing such as trail hunting it’s all rubbish. We need a leader who will stop this ridiculous and farcical hunting and make the ban work properly, and the Police blatantly ignore it. A ban is a ban and I am hoping our wildlife will have a safe future with no hunting or digging or killing animals. These are our wildlife not the blood lusting huntsmen. We need to protect our wildlife badgers, foxes, deer hedgehogs birds otherwise nothing will be left

    Reply to this comment >
  • Mandy Ollis says:
    Posted November 02, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    This level of cruelty, disrespect and exploitation is totally unkind, uneccasary and furthers us and our children into a dark bleak future.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Mary says:
    Posted November 03, 2018 at 11:31 am

    I’m absolutely heartbroken: I knew this stag! I live at Crowcombe Heathfield and one of our delights are the glimpses of the deer pack that we see at times, from our window and on walks.

    One of my husband’s most cherished experiences was riding his bike last winter when, just by the Avenue at Crowcombe Heathfield, the deer pack crossed the road in front of him and the stag stood in the road and watched him for a moment. That he died like this is utterly heartbreaking.

    I did not know that this was what the regular hunt meetings were doing. I just assumed it was drag hunting. There were a lot of children and young adults out that day. I’m still numb with the knowledge that this is happening.

    What a waste. What a terrible waste.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Mary says:
    Posted November 03, 2018 at 11:32 am

    I’m absolutely heartbroken: I knew this stag! I live at Crowcombe Heathfield and one of our delights are the glimpses of the deer pack that we see at times, from our window and on walks.

    One of my husband’s most cherished experiences was riding his bike last winter when, just by the Avenue at Crowcombe Heathfield, the deer pack crossed the road in front of him and the stag stood in the road and watched him for a moment. That he died like this is utterly heartbreaking.

    I did not know that this was what the regular hunt meetings were doing. I just assumed it was drag hunting. There were a lot of children and young adults out that day. I’m still numb with the knowledge that this is happening.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Paris newton says:
    Posted November 05, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Perhaps rather than show a picture of the stag the post should show the hunters/barbarians!
    Social media could then take over and share across the land and shame them! Mock them in the street publicly away from their little gang of murderous Villens!!

    Reply to this comment >
  • Denise says:
    Posted November 06, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    I am absolutely disgusted with this barbaric cruelty. I have been anti hunting of any kind, not just with dogs, for some time. The sick evil scum who do this need to be stopped now. The government must be made to step up and do what the majority of the public asked for and enforce the ban and ensure the hunts are prosecuted and their rights taken away so they can’t continue to break the law and get away with it. I can’t say enough how strongly I feel about this and how much I despise all the people who are part of the hunt. It must be stopped Now.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Denise says:
    Posted November 06, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    My heart breaks for the poor stag. How dare these evil scumbags decide they have the right to take its life claiming they’re acting within the exceptions of the law passed and in such a disgusting vile way. Hunting of any kind, not just with dogs, should be banned NOW with NO exceptions. I am absolutely appalled the government and police let these inhuman scum get away with blatantly flouting the law. I’d like to see them hunted and run until they’re exhausted and then set their dogs on them, see how they feel after that. End this barbaric practice now.

    Reply to this comment >

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