Family left 'shocked and appalled' after pack of hounds kill fox in their private garden

ITV News has seen graphic footage of a how an apparently out of control fox hunt spilled into a domestic garden, as our Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports

Update 24 February 2023: Three men have been arrested after CCTV footage captured a group of dogs entering a private garden and killing a fox that was trying to escape them. This article was originally published on 22 February 2023.

A family has told ITV News they are shocked and appalled after a pack of hounds killed a fox in their private garden.

The moment of death at the hands of the hunt was caught on numerous CCTV cameras at the home in Hingham, Norfolk.

The fox is seen hiding before making a break for freedom but running into the jaws of the hunting hounds.

Homeowner Daisy told ITV News: “The dogs were totally out of control. They couldn't control the dogs. And when they were trying to call them off, they had to remove the fox to get the dogs to stop.

"They left our patio covered in blood and intestine and kidney from the fox, they took the fox body and discreetly took it away, he put it inside his coat and then walked to the end of the driveway with it and passed it off to the quad bike that had no plates that was driving on the road.”

Daisy said her patio was left in blood, intenstine and kidney from the fox. Credit: ITV News

The West Norfolk Hunt were seen passing by on the road outside the home at the exact moment the hounds are tearing into their prey.

Without permission one of their members jumps into the garden, retrieves the carcass, and leaves.

The West Norfolk Hunt told ITV News: “The hunt is aware of an incident which took place while it was conducting lawful trail hunting activities in the Hingham area on Monday 20th February.

The hunt has been in contact with the occupiers of the house and apologised for any distress this isolated accident may have caused. The hunt has also been assisting the police with their enquiries.” Norfolk Police say: “Police were called to Hingham on Monday 20 February 2023 following a report that a group of dogs had entered the garden of a private property in the village without permission and killed a fox.

"The matter is now being investigated by Norfolk Constabulary’s Operation Randall rural crime team."

The Hunt Saboteurs Association told ITV News: “Our sympathies go to the householder on what must have been a traumatic and upsetting experience.

"Sadly such incidents are all to common and provide further evidence that trail hunting is nothing but a smokescreen for illegal hunting. Hunts routinely trespass on private property and roads which wouldn't happen if they were following pre laid trails as they claim.” This type of “out of control” incident involving fox hunting is not isolated. ITV News has been sent numerous examples from this month alone of chaos in private and public places.

Footage shows a van driver avoiding a group of dogs on an Essex road

In Essex, a van driver was filmed by a Hunt Saboteur drone hitting the breaks to avoid marauding hounds. And in Wiltshire another homeowner catches a pack on his CCTV all over his garden and jumping into the road.

It’s not the first time Bill Butler has had uninvited guests.

“I could scream. It's inexcusable. It's not just the fox hunting it's also the chaos they cause on the roads with traffic. It’s just total disrespect to people that have different views.

"They think they have the audacity to do what they like, how they like and when they like and I think that's that's the really big thing that comes across.” Emma Judd, head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “This case [Wiltshire] shows the importance of the public reporting hunts for their behaviour, whether it’s trespass as in this case, or chasing foxes.

"Hunts often claim they’re following pre-laid trails, and use that as an excuse to avoid prosecution, but cases like this show – often – the hounds cannot be following any such trail.” A spokesperson for the British Hounds Sports Association said: “The BHSA mandates the highest standards in kennels, in stables and out in the field and condemns any illegal activity. We will be investigating all of the incidents described.”

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