HSA news release 30th November 2002

Body of fox "arrested" after protestors attacked

"Modern Hunting is not cruel and has nothing to hide"

Today a fox that had been killed by the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt near Rowner farm, Billingshurst, West Sussex was driven away in a police van after hunt saboteurs who had taken the body were attacked. A 15 year old protestor was also arrested.

After hounds from the hunt had mauled the fox, causing it to die a slow death, protestor Carol Tibbits took the fox to have a post mortem carried out. She shoved the corpse up her jumper to prevent members of the hunt taking it.

In the ensuing brawl in a ditch, angry hunt members allegedly pushed police officers around when they tried to halt the attack on the saboteurs. Carol was guarded by police officers for her own safety and dragged into the back of a van. However, the police would not allow the saboteurs to retain the corpse and drove off with it in the van.

Foxes previously killed by this hunt have had post-mortems carried out, and the reports have been discussed in parliament because the evidence showed death was due to multiple bite wounds and not instantaneous. Local protestors believe the vicious attack was to prevent evidence of the way the animal died reaching the public domain in time for Tuesday's announcement on the future of hunting.

Animal lover Chris Black (15), who had filmed the incident, was thrown to the floor by 5 police officers and arrested after an officer knocked into his camera. He was interviewed in the back of a police car in Pulborough police station car park as the station was shut. He was subsequently 'de-arrested'. No custody record was created and the interview was not taped - contravening Police And Criminal Evidence Act regulations. Officers would not allow the interview to be filmed by his appropriate adult.

Notes to Editors:-

  • Graphic video footage of the incident is available
  • Past post mortems of foxes killed by the Chiddingfold showing that death was not instantaneous are available

The entire incident was captured on video, some grabs from which appear below:

 

Chiddingfold hunt member fights to get the fox body and is restrained by police Police intervene to stop hunt supporter (Kelvin New) from getting the fox body
Police lead Carol to safety and into landrover with fox up her jacket Fox body placed in police landrover