Press reports of 'accidental' fox hunting

Below is a sample from the scores of press reports where hunts claim to be trail hunting when they are caught chasing foxes. Every single time hunts are seen chasing foxes, they trot out the same excuse by claiming it was an accident, in an - almost invariably successful - attempt to evade prosecution.

This is why the law needs a Recklessness Clause, to put a stop to this all-purpose excuse of "unintentional" hunting. Foxes are not on a suicide mission - they will keep their heads well down when hounds are around, and hide right away until they have gone. If the hunts are to be believed, foxes constantly dice with death by running around and making themselves a target for the hounds.

For more information on this see "The Myth of Accidental Foxhunting" on this site.

Warwickshire Hunt admits foxes may be chased in error 

Leamington Spa Courier 06/12/13

Sam Butler, chairman of the Warwickshire Hunt explained that the hunters - typically around 80 people on horses - follow fox scent-soaked rags, meaning that sometimes the hounds may chase actual foxes by accident…”

Warwickshire Hunt apology after hounds go on run

Banbury Guardian 19/2/14

A huntmaster has apologised after hounds ran through a village garden and towards a nursery school in possible pursuit of a fox:

Hunt master Sam Butler said: ...We laid a trail in one of the fields outside the village and I’m afraid the dogs must have lost the smell and caught scent of a fox in the village..."


Somerset County Gazette 02/11/06

Shocked parents watched in horror as hunt dogs, one dripping in blood, rampaged through Hestercombe Gardens near Taunton during a children's Hallowe'en event. The dogs stormed through the gardens shortly after a terrified fox dashed past children dressed in fancy dress.

Hunt Master Alison Brown said, "We were hunting in the area and unfortunately the hounds were trail hunting and picked up the scent of the fox and took off after it."


Sunday Sun Newcastle 15/01/06

Furious residents on an estate dubbed Millionaires' Row, whose neighbours include football star Alan Shearer have slammed hunt bosses after a pack of hounds chasing a fox rampaged through their gardens.

A spokesman for the Tynedale Hunt said the smell of a fox had diverted the hounds from a laid scent...

Beaufort Hunt have denied deliberately hunting foxes 

Western Daily Press - 10/11/12

Hunt saboteurs have released video footage of what they claim shows illegal fox hunting by the renowned Beaufort Hunt. The video shows hounds running around a thicket and then a fox racing across a field and through a lane full of hunt followers’ cars.

Beaufort spokeswoman Jo Aldridge said the fox had simply crossed the trail laid for the hounds and some of the hounds began chasing the fox accidentally.

Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt says sorry for fox chase chaos in Stalbridge

Blackmore Vale Magazine

A hunt master has apologised after hounds and hunt followers caused chaos in Stalbridge on the last meet of the season. Residents called the police as hounds chased a fox in the cemetery and gardens in Gold Street with followers in hot pursuit. 

Michael Felton, joint master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt said hounds picked up the scent of a real fox and left the trail that had been laid for the final meet of the season on Saturday, 1st March. He said: 'The hounds switched from the trail to a fox and hunt staff immediately tried to stop it.'

Police probe hounds in gardens claim

Western Gazette 22/02/07

Police are investigating claims that a pack of hounds ran through people's gardens in Sturminster Newton and killed a fox. Residents had been horrified to see hounds cross the river and race through the gardens. A dead fox was found in the garden of a property.

A spokesman for the Blackmoor and Sparkford Vale Hunt said, "...the B and V Hunt were hunting legally using an artificial scent. A trail was laid which the hounds were following but unfortunately picked up a fox scent and crossed the river Stour."

Axe Vale Harriers escape prosecution, claiming Boxing Day fox kill was an 'accident'

Express & Echo 15-3-12 Seaton PC

Steve Speariett confirmed, "Following interviews with hunt members the Axe Vale Harriers was identified as being the hunt involved after they admitted they were trail hunting in the area and their dogs were involved with the incident with the fox," 


Teeside Mercury - 08/10/12

Police are investigating an allegation of illegal hunting after it was reported the historic Teesdale Hunt had been seen chasing a fox with dogs:

Hunt secretary Andrew Spalding denied any illegal behaviour, “We weren’t doing anything wrong. We went out and laid scent trails in the morning and were chasing them. We were hunting within the law.”

Fox was torn to pieces in front of shocked residents

Wilts & Glous Standard 01/3/14

A Tetbury man is spearheading a new campaign which he hopes will stop foxes being killed by hunting hounds. Peter Martin was inspired to set up the campaign after a fox was torn to pieces in front of shocked residents in Chesterton, Cirencester, earlier this month, which he described as “repellent”:

“We do not come into towns intentionally. If the hounds see something moving, they are going to go for it. Who is going to stop them?” Guy Dibble, of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt, dismissed the proposals as impractical, saying: “If they wear a muzzle and end up hunting a fox they corner, it could end up being bruised to death.


Gloucester Gazette 13/01/06

The Berkeley Hunt were accused of illegally hunting foxes near Slimbridge after the law was passed.

Berkeley Hunt members have admitted that at one point during the hunt they were chasing a live fox but they stressed it was a one-off accident.

Fox killed by hounds on Cumbria National Trust land 

Whitehaven News 16/02/06

The Northwest Animal Welfare group allege that the Blencathra Foxhounds killed a fox on National Trust land at Newlands and a Hunt steward then tried to harass and intimidate a member of the public who filmed the fox being chased and killed.

The Hunt said the fox suddenly appeared in the midst of a legal drag trail.

Fox was alegedly chased and killed by the East Kent Hunt

Faversham Times 09/03/12

A Disembowelled fox, retreived by undercover campaigners, was alegedly chased and killed by the East Kent Hunt. Joint master of the Hunt Mallowry Spens denied that any foxes had been killed and stressed that the hunt had been above board.

She said: "There's always a risk that something can go wrong with the trail hunts, but as far as I'm concerned it all went according to plan..."