VIDEO: Fox hunting group ‘caught’ blocking badger sett so foxes have nowhere to hide

Fox hunting group accused of blocking badger sett to prevent foxes from hiding during hunts. Covert footage exposes alleged illegal activity as thousands participate in Boxing Day hunts across the UK
The dogs and people riding horses at the annual Boxing Day hunts around the UK.
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Fox hunting group members have allegedly been caught illegally blocking an active badger sett so foxes cannot hide in them.

Covert video cameras were set up hours before hounds rampaged the woodlands.

The footage comes as thousands joined annual Boxing Day hunts around the UK.

The three-minute and five-second-long clip allegedly shows two male members of a fox hunt group.

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Video grab of the two men blocking the badger sett.
Video grab of the two men blocking the badger sett. (Picture: Jam Press)

The men can be seen digging into the ground with spades – appearing to interfere with the badger den.

They plough into the sett spoil heaps and fill the entrances with mud.

It is an offense under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 to interfere with a badger sett, including obstructing access.

Badger setts are blocked to prevent hunted foxes from going to the ground – seeking refuge underground and prolonging the chase.

The cameras were set up by the Hunt Saboteurs Association who alleged the men were from the Mendip Farmers Hunt.

The video was filmed on the edge of fields near where the Mendip Farmers Hunt allegedly attended their traditional Christmas Eve meet in Litton, Somerset.

The dogs and people riding horses at the annual Boxing Day hunts around the UK.
The dogs and people riding horses at the annual Boxing Day hunts around the UK. (Picture: Jam Press)

Men can be seen leaving the scene on quad bikes.

The hunt arrives on the scene four hours later.

Horns and voice calls from the huntsmen encourage the hounds to explore the area.

Hunt members can then be seen on the adjacent field on horseback.

The footage allegedly shows the hounds running over multiple blocked entrances.

The hunt gathers the hounds before moving on.

The dogs and people riding horses at the annual Boxing Day hunts around the UK.
The dogs and people riding horses at the annual Boxing Day hunts around the UK. (Picture: Jam Press)

The Mendip Farmers Hunt also allegedly held a Boxing Day parade which was overtaken by animal rights activists.

In 2019, protesters slammed Tory MP, Jacob Rees-Mog after his country estate hosted a meet for the group.

On Tuesday, thousands attended a Boxing Day hunt – with many clashing with protesters.

In August this year, 38-year-old Christopher Woodward was fined a total of £785 for blocking a sett on the Wales-England border.

A spokesperson for Mendip Hunt Saboteurs said: “This footage shows once again the reality of so-called trail hunting in England.”

There is no need to block earth or badger setts when hunts operate within the law.

Rowan Hughes, a spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: “It is only through the tireless work of hunt saboteurs and our diversity of tactics, with hidden cameras used alongside direct intervention that we can show the true reality of what hunts get up to on a weekly basis.

“Hunts are clearly still under the impression that their ‘smoke screen’ is keeping them hidden.

“However footage like this is tearing down their facade, and showing the true reality of hunting since the 2004 Hunting Act.”

“Blocking a badger sett can only be for one reason – to stop a fox escaping underground when fleeing from the pack of hounds, so this footage is a clear indication of their intentions to chase and kill.”

Video grab of the two men blocking the badger sett.
Video grab of the two men blocking the badger sett. (Picture: Jam Press)

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: “We received an online report on Sunday 24 December reporting that a badger sett had been tampered with in Peak’s Girt Wood, near Litton, the previous day.

“We are investigating the allegation and will be reviewing footage as part of our enquiries.”

The Mendip Farmers Hunt has been approached for comment.

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