22nd January 2020 – Beaufort / Glamorgan joint meet

*** Terriermen try to bolt a fox into a net at a Beaufort hunt meet ***

The Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt held a joint meet with the Glamorgan. We attended alongside Cirencester Illegal Huntwatch.

In a covert just off Oake’s lane to start with where there was a blocked sett and a blocked rabbit warren. A was evicted physically from there whilst drinking a cup of tea by a man who got off his horse and said he was working for Mr Smith (the owner), Mr Smith and 2 women in fluorescent jackets back to Oake’s lane. They avoided that area for a bit.

Then several terriermen were lurking down a bank. The 3C sab’ present said the following: “Near the motorway we stopped to get a view of the hunt and I noted a badger sett at the bottom of the bank . Going down it to investigate further I found 4 men on a badger sett with a net over one entrance and other entrances filled in. They were clearly waiting for a fox to bolt into the net. I approached them and they packed up and ran to the quads which were parked nearby, there were no registration plates visible and the men were masked up. One had who I think was a Patterdale terrier under his arm.They ran away. The huntsman and hounds who were nearby drawing a covert also disappeared rapidly. On going back to the sett there were fresh spade marks and down one entrance some bright yellow substance was noted, it also had a strong smell soapy/disinfectant/lemony.

I retrieved what were small yellow capsules which were melting in the damp earth and am looking into getting them analysed. They smelt very strong and out of concern for any badgers or foxes who may inhabit the sett I removed 8 of these capsules and believe them to be heavy duty cleaners placed in an entrance with the intention to stop any fox coming out of that entrance, or from going to ground in it or maybe some attempt to encourage a fox to leave, stinking out setts and earths is well documented after all in old hunting texts. In the next field more sett entrances were found that had been blocked. It is not know as to which hunt is responsible for putting noxious chemicals down the sett, could be Beaufort, could be the Glamorgan or, more likely, a joint enterprise.

This is thought to be within the Avon cull zone which has just undergone it’s first year of the badger cull. Avon and Somerset police and the Badger Trust have been notified”.

Nets are put over the entrances of holes so that we the fox bolts out of it they are captured within the net and are then shot, or in some cases released in front of hounds. we do not know what the intention was here.

They left the area and were hunting around Badminton until dark.

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