Cub hunting is the practice of killing fox cubs by a pack of young hounds. It is the hunting fraternity’s ‘dirty little secret’, and what’s more, it is illegal.
Hunts prefer to now use the term, “Autumn Hunting”, or “Hound Exercise” to make it sound more publicly acceptable.
In practise, it is the method used to train young hounds bloodlust and killer instinct, so they know what to do when the main hunting season begins.
A vixen and her cubs may live inside the covert until the cubs are strong enough to venture further.
The huntsmen and a few invited riders will surround a wood (covert) containing a fox den, forming a circle to prevent the cubs escaping.
They then send in the young pack of hounds to train them ready for the main hunting season. If the cubs try to escape, the hunters will shout and smack their riding boots with their whips to frighten the cubs and drive them back inside the covert – and into the waiting jaws of the hounds to be ripped apart.
Many hunts pre-kill the adult foxes which, given a loop hole in the law, then allows them to kill the cubs.
Hunts know that the public would be horrified if they knew about the practice of cubbing. It is abhorrent to most right thinking people.
The practice looks very different from the traditional hunt that we would normally recognise. There are normally no ‘red coats’ for example. The usual attire for this particular pastime is known as ‘Ratchatcher’ or ‘Tweeds’. It occurs very early in the morning , between 5 and 6am or early evening when the fox scent is at it’s strongest. It will often contain children from the local pony club, or children whose parents are part of the hunt.
The terrier men will also play a part. They will have arrived on a quad bike with a metal box at the front containing their terrier dogs and another box containing their tools for digging out.
They block up all the hiding holes a fox cub might use which often includes protected badger setts.
If a fox manages to seek refuge and hides in a hole (goes to ground) they will dig out and send their terriers (Law : only one allowed at a time) underground to either :
* Fight & kill the cubs.
* Drag the cubs out for the hounds to rip apart.
* Bagged. A term used for capturing live cubs to rear for the purpose of hound training (ie thrown to the hounds alive to teach them blood lust) or rear to hunt at a later date where there is a shortage of foxes. There has been a number of arrests for bagging and rearing cubs.
The vixen will try desperately to defend her cubs, which will result in a cruel dog fight below ground.
Dog fighting is suppose to be banned in the UK; yet a loophole in the Hunting Act allows terriermen to send a dog underground into a fox den (foxes are also a species of dog) where cruel and barbaric fighting takes place. The foxes are dragged out of their dens by a terrier (if not killed underground) and thrown to a pack of hounds/dogs to be ripped apart.
The law states the fox must be quickly and humanely shot, NOT ripped apart. The fox must also be flushed out, not dug out.
Cubbing is usually done in secret and is totally un-policed or investigated.
This must be one of the cruellest hunting activities and one which is blatantly illegal.
If the hunts are caught doing this illegal activity, they will try to convince you they are ‘trail-hunting’ or ‘hound exercising’ . This is a nonsense. Why would you go into a covert and lay a trail inside a small piece of woodland and then surround it before sending in the dogs? It is illegal, it is abhorrent and the people who do this need prosecuting and their hounds need to be removed.
Link : Webinars (Hunts admitting on camera they lie and create smokescreens to fool the public, police and courts).
February 2021 : Mark Hankinson, director of the Masters of Fox Hounds Association, has been charged with intentionally encouraging or assisting others to commit an offence under the Hunting Act 2004, contrary to section 44 of the serious Crimes Act 2007.
The Law States :
It is illegal to chase a fox using a pack of hounds.
Terriermen can use up to 2 dogs max to flush foxes out of hiding if threatening wild or game birds kept for shooting – only one dog can go underground at any time.
The law does not mention they can dig the foxes out, however terriermen use the excuse that they are digging to retrieve their dog.
- Shoot the fox quickly after it’s been found. (Gun licence required).
- Carry proof you own the land you’re shooting on or written permission from the landowner.
- Reasonable steps are taken for the purpose of preventing injury to the dog.
- Badger setts are not disturbed or blocked.
It is against the law to : intentionally capture, kill or injure a badger, also damage, destroy or block access to their setts, disturb badgers in setts, treat a badger cruelly, deliberately send or intentionally allow a dog into a sett bait or dig for badgers.
There is no reason for terriermen to be present on “legal” trail hunts :
- They do not fall under the game keepers exemption law (ie permitting the use of a dog underground to hunt foxes to protect game birds. Therefore unless on a game shooting estate they have no reason to be there or dig out foxes).
- To dig out foxes the person must have a gun licence and ensure a gun is present to ensure the quick dispatch of a flushed fox as required by law. (the police never question this or asked to see gun licences or written land owners permission).
- Why don’t the police ever impound their road illegal quad bikes ?
The police rarely ask to see a terriermans gun licence, question there presence on trail hunts, inspect their vehicles are road legal, or stop and search their vehicles for proof of illegal intent.
You must also prove to the chief officer of police that you’re allowed to have a firearms certificate and pose no danger to public safety or to the peace. (Therefore terriermen who have been arrested for violence, abuse or intimidation should not be allowed a gun licence …. if they do not have a gun licence they can not dig out foxes legally under game keepers exemption).
A shotgun certificate won’t be given or renewed if the chief officer of police has a reason that you shouldn’t be allowed to have a shotgun under the Firearms Act. Or if they don’t think you have a good reason to have, buy or acquire a shotgun.
Be able to show your firearm or shotgun certificate if asked by the police.
Lack of monitoring and law enforcement
Unbelievably loop holes in the law still allow hunting & terriermen. The law states that terrier men are allowed to flush out a fox using two dogs but one dog allowed underground at a time if this comes under the game keepers exemption …. once a fox has been dug out, it must be shot.
This rarely happens and law enforcement is never around to ensure that :
* The law is enforced.
* If terriermen actually have a gun licence.
* Terriermen have written permission to be on the land and are acting under the game keepers exemption law.
* A gun is present to ensure the quick dispatch of a flushed fox as required by law.
* Badger setts are not disturbed or blocked.
* No illegal hunting with a pack of hounds takes place.
There is no closed season for this practice and it happens all year round, even at a time when fox cubs are present and the fox parents are frantically trying to protect their cubs.
Article Series : The Truth about Hunting
This series of articles has been written for public awareness and designed to give members of the public basic information regarding “The Truth About Hunting”.
.It allows wildlife lovers the chance to raise awareness and educate the public on the real truth behind hunting by sharing links.
.Please feel free to share these links and help us to get the truth out to the public.
.· The Truth about Trail Hunting
· The Truth about Hunts Causing Chaos
· The Truth about Hounds Spreading Disease
· The Truth about Cub Hunting
· The Truth about Scent Laying
· The Truth about Terrier Men
· The Truth about Policing
· The Truth about Hounds Running Riot
· How do the get away with Cub Hunting
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