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Secret video of 'hounds pursuing fox' shown in Borders hunting trial

Photo: PA

A video showing two members of a Borders hunt allegedly breaching Scotland's fox hunting legislation has been shown in court.

41-year-old Timothy Allen and 28-year-old Shaun Anderson, from the Buccleuch Hunt, are charged with deliberately hunting a fox with a pack of dogs.

The film footage features a fox being pursued by a pack of hounds before disappearing out of shot into a farmyard.

Terence Hill, an investigator from the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said he witnessed the hounds pursue a fox across a field during a hunt at Whitton Farm near Morebattle, on December 20 last year.

He said the actions breached the Protection of Wild Mammals Act introduced north of the border 16 years ago.

52-year-old Mr Hill told a trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court that his primary purpose for covert filming at Scottish hunts was to gather evidence for the League's campaign to convince the Scottish Government to strengthen the legislation.

But he added that if he witnessed any illegal activity, he would also film things like car registration plates which maybe of assistance to any police inquiry.

Under cross-examination, defence lawyers pointed out that a horn could be heard on the video recalling the hounds and also a gunshot.

The main purpose of the Act is to ban the deployment of dogs to chase and kill wild mammals. But it also provides a number of exceptions which allow the limited use of dogs for certain situations and the fox to be dispatched by a gun.

Allen and Anderson deny the charge.

The trial continues.