On Wednesday 15th January West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch and an independent hunt monitor attended a meet of the Warwickshire Hunt in Oxhill. Whilst hunting just outside the village of Oxhill the Warwickshire hounds were seen killing a fox. A member of the hunt can be seen wading into the middle of the pack of hounds and using his whip to move them off the fox. He can then be seen stepping on the body of the fox as one of the hounds goes back to the fox and attempts to drag the body out from under his boot.
A spokesperson for West midlands Hunt Saboteurs said “The first thing we saw when we arrived at the hunt was a fox running for it’s life across the road away from the hunt. The Warwickshire Hunt were ruthless and relentless in their hunting all day. In total there must have been 6 – 7 foxes hunted throughout the day. At this time of year foxes are pairing up and mating so when they are hunted there are quite often two of them about together. Unfortunately one of those foxes was killed by the Warwickshire Hunt near Oxhill. We tried to get into the field to try to save the fox however we were assaulted and physically prevented from getting into the field by the Warwickshire Hunt stewards (who wear pink high-viz). One sab managed to run into the field only to be attacked and taken to the ground by one member of the hunt. We faced extreme provocation all day from members of the hunt especially as the fox was being killed. The Warwickshire Hunt swiftly moved on to the next fox and within minutes were hunting another one. They hunted into the darkness and ended the day hunting on a blind bend on the busy A422 on Edgehill. The huntsman then recklessly started blowing his horn on the road and caused the hounds to spill out all over the road and across to the other side. This was on a blind bend of a busy road as the light was fading. Hunting foxes is clearly more important than the safety of the hounds and horses.
The fact that we were physically blocked from helping the fox speaks volumes. Most compassionate animal loving people would go out of their way to help any animal in distress, instead the Warwickshire Hunt not only stopped us getting to the fox but also attacked us and violently brought one of our group to the ground. This disgusting behaviour is completely unacceptable and extremely concerning. There has been a noticeable escalation in both blatant hunting and violence at all of the hunts we have been to in recent weeks and this is deeply worrying.
The Warwickshire Hunt sees the countryside as their own personal playground and clearly does not see the Hunting Act with its many loopholes as a deterrent. The Hunting Act needs to be strengthened and all forms of hunting completely banned. Unfortunately we had to witness our wildlife being hunted and a fox lost its life because of the actions of the Warwickshire Hunt”
Hunt saboteurs release video of hunt as Banbury – Leamington train is halted because of hounds on the line – Banbury Guardian
Police investigate after Warwickshire Hunt hounds stray on to railway track – Coventry Live
Warwickshire Hunt denies hound died after being struck by train – Stratford Herald
Warwickshire Hunt apologises after hounds ran across the railway between Leamington and Banbury – The Leamington Courier
Hounds on New Year’s Day hunt run over railway line near Fenny Compton, claim animal rights activists– The Leamington Courier
During the Warwickshire Hunts New Years Day 2020 hunt meet in Knightcote the hunts hounds ended up out of control and hunted over a train line between Leamington and Banbury. Transport Police have confirmed that a hound was hit and killed by a train. As a result trains were delayed for over half an hour. West Midlands Hunt Sabs were not present with the huntsman or hounds when the incident occurred but were on the other side of the hill at Watergall. Passengers on the train who filmed the hunt from out of the train windows contacted the saboteurs and informed them what was going on. The footage filmed by passengers was sent to the saboteurs and shows members of the hunt trespassing on the tracks.
This is the Fourth week in a row that the Warwickshire Hunt hounds have rampaged out of control and caused chaos. Previously they have run riot through peoples gardens, through a church and graveyard and caused livestock to escape. Earlier in the year they were caught trespassing on MOD land.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs said “It was inevitable that sooner or later the Warwickshire Hunt were going to cause an accident that killed them, their hounds or a commuter. Their arrogance is astonishing that they think they can use busy roads and railway lines as their own personal playgrounds. Sadly because of their sense of entitlement and overriding need to hunt foxes one of their hounds has now been killed by a train. The Warwickshire Hunt need to start taking some responsibility for their actions and stop trying to pass the blame on to saboteurs. On this occasion saboteurs were nowhere near the trainline, the huntsman or the hounds. There is no excuse for happened on New Years Day, clearly they hunted a fox across the tracks. What can they say? Who in their right mind would take a pack of hounds anywhere near a main train line? They can’t even say they ended up there accidentally because the hunt meet took place at a farm in Knightcote only a few fields away from the train line and at the time the incident happened they were hunting a small wood right next to the trainline. Whose bright idea was it to meet and hunt there in the first place? This is a clear example of why packs of hounds should not be allowed out in the countryside, especially by people who quite clearly have no control over them. Trespassing on railway line is a criminal offence so we hope that British Transport Police take action and prosecute the Warwickshire Hunt who clearly have no concern for their horses or hounds or for any inconvenience they cause for commuters
Senior hunt joint-master Barbara Hester was more concerned with trying to harass hunt saboteurs by playing loud anti-social music next to them than having any concern that one of her hounds had just been hit and killed by a train.