Five people are to be charged with animal cruelty in relation to the police investigation into events filmed by hunt saboteurs using hidden cameras at the South Herefordshire hunt kennels in 2016.

The three men and two women charged have been summoned to appear at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (15 May).

The footage appears to show a fox being carried into a building, and the sound of hounds can be heard. Later footage appears to show the body of a dead fox being disposed of.

Polly Portwin, the Countryside Alliance’s head of hunting, said: “The South Herefordshire Hunt was immediately suspended following the allegations that were made in May 2016, and remains in suspension [from the Masters of Foxhounds Association] pending the conclusion of the criminal investigation.”

The alleged behaviour of the five people who will face charges in relation to the case has been universally condemned by hunting figures.

John Holliday, professional huntsman of the Belvoir and a Horse & Hound columnist, said: “If the distressing allegations against an employee of the South Herefordshire Hunt are true, it would be very sad indeed. I have never heard of this kind of appalling behaviour before; it has never and never will play any part in hunting.”

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