27th Nov 2012
Hounds Off extends total respect to the Hunt Monitors who were out with the Old Berkshire Hunt on 14 November and stepped in to rescue a fox.
In this act alone they did a most wonderful thing, but to capture the episode on film was just amazing. By showing the reality of hunting they have done wildlife protection a great service.
You should watch the footage here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkY7w8u6uEw
Notice how the gallant little fox tries to defend itself when initially mobbed by hounds. Keep watching. The second camera angle shows the fox rolled onto its back. If it wasn’t for the quick thinking Monitor then an unpleasant death by disembowelment was likely to be next.
The tally-ho brigade frequently gloss over their destruction of foxes. Instead of killing it’s ‘being dealt with’ or ‘accounted for’. Another euphemism is ‘rolled over’ and that, evidently, is closer to the truth than we might have realised.
This sort of thing is a minor miracle but not completely unheard of. There was Copper the fox, rescued by hunt sabs and police (!) in Sussex during the 1990’s.
And last year, just after 4pm on Boxing Day to be precise, a driver abandoned his vehicle at the side of the A30 in Devon to help a hunted fox just as it sank under the mass of biting dogs. He literally threw himself on the fox to protect it with his body like a shield. Sadly, the fox died later, despite the defender (and landowner, who ordered the huntsman to get his hounds off) trying to nurse the fatally wounded wild dog.
As it happens, an anonymous friend organised and paid for a vet to do an autopsy and provide us with a cause of death. It was, quote, “trauma and shock and likely pneumothorax [collapsed lung] following bite wounds.” There were puncture and bite wounds, protruding guts, damaged spleen, severe bruising and blood loss.
If you’re wondering, the Hunt involved claimed they were operating legally and escaped prosecution. If the latest alleged wildlife crime, candidly caught on camera, gets excused it’d provide a vivid example of why the Hunting Act should be amended to include the word “intent” and thus make it a whole lot stronger.
Posted by Joe Hashman
Photo Copyright © Colin Varndell
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