'Freshly killed fox fed to hounds' in upsetting alleged incident near Ford

A foxA fox
A fox
A huntsman allegedly fed a freshly killed fox carcass to a pack of hounds by hand just moments after the dogs had killed it.

Thames Valley Police is investigating the incident which happened in Chapel Road, near Ford, on December 12.

Footage published by ITV News appears to show riders believed to be from Kimblewick Hunt entering a farm with a pack of dogs, pursuing a fleeing fox.

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Hounds baying as they chase their prey can be heard reverberating off the outbuildings.

Eventually the pack catch and kill the fox and a huntsman can be seen wresting the carcass from the swarming hounds.

Moments later he is seen on another camera seemingly feeding the dead animal back to the pack.

“I’m just heartbroken,” said landowner Linda Kemp to ITV News. “And I felt violated that they came onto my farm and did this.

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“I don’t know why people have the right to come and rip foxes to pieces on my land.”

Mrs Kemp’s husband Roger added: “Nobody called the hounds off, if anything it was opposite – they were egging them on.”

It is illegal to hunt foxes with a pack of dogs, under British law. ‘Drag’ or ‘trail’ hunting is permitted in which you may use dogs to simulate hunting.

If a fox is causing damage to a property or the environment, up to two dogs may be used to ‘flush’ or ‘stalk’ it out of hiding.

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According to ITV News correspondent Rupert Evelyn, Kimblewick Hunt’s hounds had been following a trail when some of the dogs “deviated off the scent”.

It told ITV News it stopped the hounds “as soon as they were aware they were no longer following the trail”.

It said the fox was killed “accidentally”, according to Evelyn’s report, adding it “removed the hounds and carcass as quickly as possible, and left the property”.

Two workers from Kimblewick Hunt were convicted of animal cruelty a year ago, having wrenched another fox from a tunnel just before a hunting party arrived.

Kimblewick Hunt has been approached for comment.

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A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said: “Thames Valley Police is investigating the incident and would appeal to anyone else with information to contact the force by visiting our website or by calling 101, quoting investigation reference number 43200420887.”