Hunt terrierman’s badger digging past

Jamie Butcher Isle of Wight Hunt

Jamie Butcher

What a difference 13 years makes! This is “Jamie Butcher” following conviction for dumping a dead horse with a stake through its heart at the Labour Party Conference in October 2004. Butcher is an Isle of Wight Hunt employee.

Pictured below is “James Butcher”, a hunt terrierman, following conviction for badger digging on the Isle of Wight in May 1991. He was convicted with Stephen Clifton, the Isle of Wight Hunt’s huntsman. In black and white picture: behind is a grim faced Brian Toon of the Master of Foxhounds Association and joint master Susan Payne: in the middle, an aggressive James Butcher and his girlfriend.

James Butcher badger digger

James Butcher (pointing) at his badger digging case

Both Butchers are the same person: Butcher disappeared to Ireland following the conviction in 1991, but recently has been welcomed back to the hunt and does “conservation work” for them; the hunt own or manage most of the best woodland on the Island. Butcher makes stick piles and cuts brushwood in order to increase the fox population. Interestingly in 1991, badger experts found most of the setts appeared to have been dug, and Clifton and Butcher were the main suspects; they found foxes had become resident in the setts!

The Isle of Wight Hunt introduced foxes to the Island in the 1840s and have never reached a conclusion in controlling the “pest” they introduced.

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