Press Release: Last nail in the coffin for fox/drag huting


Last nail in the coffin of foztrail hunting

Statement from Brian May and Save Me:

Since the beginning of Save Me’s battle to end fox hunting, many years ago, we have always known that there are three types of Hunt, Drag Hunting, Clean Boot Hunting and Fox Hunting

1. Drag Hunting

Drag hunting has a field of mounted riders following a pack of fox hounds following an artificial scent laid by a person dragging a rag soaked in aniseed or another smelly synthetic scent
It’s set up like a cross country course, following a predetermined route that can be tailored made to suit the riding abilities of the field. The scent, or line, is laid 10 to 30 minutes prior to the start of the hunt and there are usually four lines laid for a day of hunting. This can vary and each line is approximately 2 miles long.
When Oxford and Cambridge set up their drag hounds packs in the early 1800’s it became very popular
Drag hunting became popular with The British Army , the Household Cavalry established packs in 1863 and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Royal Military Academy Woolwich both established packs in 1870 . It was seen as the perfect training for those that were about to enter the cavalry divisions.

It doesn’t involve the hunting of live animals and was not affected by the hunting act

2. Clean Boot Hunting

Hunting the clean boot generally uses a of packs of blood hounds who follow a natural human scent trail.
The ‘clean boot’ refers to the absence of either an artificial scent such as aniseed or the scent of a live quarry as used in fox hunting
Usually bloodhound packs are used but other breeds of dog can be taught the skill individually with varying degrees of success
Clean boot hunts have a field of mounted riders following a pack of bloodhounds which trails the scent of runner.
It doesn’t involve the hunting of live animals and was not affected by the hunting act

3. Trail Hunting

Trail hunting did not exist before the Hunting Act 2004. When the act came into force, the Masters of the Draghounds and Bloodhounds Association (MDBA), a humane and completely above-board organisation, were concerned that illegal live quarry hunting under the guise of following an artificially laid scent would bring the legal sport of drag hunting into disrepute. To prevent this the MDBA insisted that the term ‘drag hunting’ should remain their exclusive property. The Masters of the Foxhounds Association, and Association of Masters of Harriers & Beagles complied with their wishes, and the new term ‘Trail Hunting’ was coined. Under this smokescreen, the sadistic pastime of torturing foxes to death continued exactly as before the ban, but now illegally.

The Hunt Saboteurs Association continued monitoring the activities of the blood hunts, and saving foxes where possible.
At a Trail Hunt, in reality, since the trail is purely bogus, the riders do not follow a pre determined route. Since 2005, these hunts have hidden behind the legal Clean Boot Hunts and Drag Hunts, pretending to be similar. For these ‘Trail Hunters’ nothing has materially changed since the Act came into being, except that now their whole existence is a lie.

Over the last 16 years we have seen:

– Foxes torn apart by packs of hounds on a regular basis.
– Fox cubs fed to hounds in brutal cubbing (training) operations.
– Foxes bred specifically for hunts to kill for amusement.
– Fox hounds on roads hits by cars as they pursue a fox encouraged by the trail hunters
– Fox hounds recklessly allowed to run across train tracks
– Hunt monitors verbally and physically abuse

The three hours of videos we have now watched over the last few days reveal the whole disgraceful truth, directly from the mouths of the perpetrators at the highest level. In the leaked Zoom conference, Lord Mancroft, chairman of the Masters of the Foxhounds Association, and the directors of the Hunting Office calmly discuss every aspect of illegal hunting and the deceptions used to evade detection and avoid prosecution. It is the final admission that their so-called sport is nothing but a scam. The master Fox Hounds association and the Hunt Office have condemned themselves as not only callously cruel but dishonest to the core.

We are now asking the Government to amend the Hunt Act, to close the loopholes which have until now enabled this appallingly outdated activity to continue. No government can defend these illegal and immoral actions, now that they are so clearly laid out for all to see.
We call on Boris Johnson and his government to finally accept our amendment to the hunting act and stop the illegal and heinous act of fox hunting once and for all, removing the controversy and cruelty

Our direct comment on the actual videos Master Fox Hounds Association Undercover video

The contents of these videos are truly shocking, and will undoubtedly put the last nail in the coffin of the sadistic traditional ’sport’ of fox-hunting, which has been illegal since 2005. Why are they shocking ? There are three hours of zoom discussion here, between a group of men at the highest level of the Fox-Hunting community. They are not only openly encouraging a whole audience of about 100 fox hunters to break the law, but they’re seen and heard tutoring them in how to convincingly lie about it, to avoid being prosecuted. It scarcely matters whether this leads to prosecution. This evidence will ensure that no-one in the future will ever believe a single wod uttered by members of the Master Foxhounds Association or the Hunt Office. Out of their own mouths they have branded themselves habitual liars and criminals.

As campaigners against the continuing cruelty of blood sports, we have always known that the term “Trail Hunting” is nothing but a false front. But to see this group of men coolly engaged in conspiring to support a whole network of deception is actually spine-chilling. If we were looking at a group of people discussing how to bend the law in order to do a good deed, it would be something unusual, to say the least. But here we are looking at an elaborate smokescreen of lies constructed purely so that grown men and women can go on torturing and killing wild animals purely for amusement. This is an explosive and shocking revelation.

The term “Trail Hunting” was specifically invented following the ban on hunting in 2005, to build the false claim that these ‘blood hunts’ would be acting within the law. It’s entirely separate from the DRAG HUNTING community, which has for many been laying legitimate trails by dragging a rag impregnated with a synthetic scent – not fox – and following the trail for real – not pursuing foxes. It’s important to note that Drag Hunt community have refused to allow the term to be used by the blood hunts, because it would have brought their entirely humane and legal activities into disrepute.

We have long known that the old claim that the Hunts were about ‘controlling pests’ was entirely false, because hunts personnel have been caught rearing foxes to be used as kill, transported in bags and thrown in a pitiful state in front of a pack of starved hounds. We have long known that the practice of appearing to lay a scent trail was put there purely a ploy, to embroider the pretence that the hunt was following a predetermined trail and could only kill a fox ‘by accident’. We’ve long remarked that if there had been any intention to hunt legally, Trail Hunts would not be using fox scent at all. We’ve long known that the so-called Terrier Men – the accomplices who brutally dig out foxes and their cubs from their earths – would be completely irrelevant on a true trail-hunt scenario – since foxes would not be involved. So why are they there ?

The material in these recordings confirms beyond doubt all these ‘lame claims’, as we have called them, and more, are grounded in deliberate falsification at top level.
We actually feel sad to see our worst fears confirmed in this way, but it must now be own-up time for a ‘sport’ whose complete extinction is long overdue.
Brian May and Anne Brummer
Save Me Trust

Well done to the Hunts Saboteurs Association for getting this shocking footage from three zoom calls – full zoom calls below

The full videos can be viewed here:
Video 1 –
Video 2 –
Transcript of video 1 –…/2020/11/Video-Transcript.pdf
Transcript of video 2 –…/11/Video-2-Transcript.pdf
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