Fox death probe dropped
AN investigation into a video of a fox apparently being killed by a pack of hunting dogs has been dropped by police.
The footage was shot by animal rights activists from West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs who claim the fox was savaged by a pack of hounds connected to the Atherstone Hunt.
The animal is shown on camera fleeing from the dogs during an incident in Shuttington, North Warwickshire, just a few miles from Twycross Zoo, in January this year.
In the video, a woman leaps out of a car and screams: “They’re in someone’s b****y garden, someone’s started killing it. Oh my God! Get off it!”
The fox died in the arms of one of the protesters a short while later.
The incident was reported to Warwickshire Police who have now said that no further action will be taken. A spokesman for the force said: “Following reports made to the police regarding alleged offences under the Hunting Act 2004, specialist wildlife officers conducted a thorough investigation.
“Following this investigation, police took the decision that there was insufficient evidence to take any further action.”
Hunting with dogs was banned in 2005 in a reaction to the strength of public feeling against the cruelty of wild animals being chased, often to the point of exhaustion, before being purposely set upon by packs of dogs for so-called sport.
But there are a number of exemptions and hunts are allowed to follow arti- ficially laid trails and there are complaints from both sides of the debate that the law is not clear enough.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs said: “This is not the first investigation into the Atherstone Hunt for illegal hunting that has been dropped.
“The current legislation isn’t strong enough.
“What needs to hap- pen now is that the Hunting Act should be strengthened to eliminate the loopholes. It needs to be a total ban with no exemptions.”
A spokesman for Atherstone Hunt said: “We understand that Warwickshire Police will be taking no further action following an alleged incident involving the Atherstone Hunt on January 14.”