The Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) has announced it will be conducting an independent inquiry into activities that suggest breaches of the Association’s rules have taken place at the South Herefordshire Hunt.
This follows the release of footage by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) taken at the hunt’s kennels in Wormelow, Herefords, by an independent group backed by LACS.
LACS claims the video shows fox cubs being kept in cages in the kennels. It also says that fox carcasses discovered during the undercover filming at the kennels were later removed for examination.
West Mercia Police confirmed they questioned a 37-year-old male and a 27-year-old female from Hereford on 28 May in connection with suspected animal cruelty. Another 37-year-old man from Abergavenny was also later questioned. They have all been released on police bail.
The South Herefordshire Hunt recently confirmed to its members that all salaried staff have been suspended and an internal enquiry launched.
A statement from the MFHA, which represents 186 packs of foxhounds in England, Wales and Scotland, said: “The South Herefordshire hounds are being looked after by other hunts which are members of the Association.
“The inquiry will be chaired by The Rt Hon. Sir John Chadwick — a former Appeal Court Judge — and will include Bill Andrewes, an experienced former master and hunt chairman, and Pauline Tolhurst BVSc, MRVCS, a practising veterinary surgeon.”
The Countryside Alliance said: “The Countryside Alliance is aware of a police investigation involving activities at the South Herefordshire Hunt kennels. We cannot comment on any criminal allegations, but welcome the independent inquiry set up by the Masters of Foxhounds Association. The allegations have nothing to do with normal hunting activity, and there is no place for such behaviour in registered hunts.”
A statement from LACS said the footage has been released as part on an ongoing League investigation.
In the statement, LACS CEO Eduardo Goncalves said: “We hope those administering the law, and the people of the UK, accept once and for all that there is no justification for the cruelty that seeps through every aspect of fox hunting.”