BACKLASH – A sick stunt in which four dead foxes were strung up by the neck from a tree looks to have seriously backfired on hunt supporters.
The gruesome spectacle – accompanied by a sign reading ‘Tally Ho Mr Blair’ – has incensed local residents.
No one has claimed responsibility for the outrage, but residents of Holcombe Rogus, near Tiverton, are furious at whoever organised the grisly demonstration in what is an idyllic part of the Grand Western Canal country park, around two miles from the village.
Scores of shocked drivers, some with children, passed the spot on their way to and from the village, and saw the dead foxes, which had apparently been shot, before they were cut down.
One driver was Shirley Hewitt, postmistress at Holcombe Rogus Village Stores, who said she believed hunt supporters would encounter some negative reaction in the village following the gruesome display.
“I usually enjoy my drive to work, as I live in Westleigh and follow that same route every day.
“But to see that was disgusting and really made me feel physically sick.
“I believe that hunts people are arrogant if they think they can do things like this and that people will continue to support them.”
She added: “Most people around here tend to support the hunt, but this might just change their opinion.
“Whoever did it are cowards as well. They did it in a fairly isolated spot so they could not be caught.”
Devon and Cornwall police have said they cannot investigate as they did not know where the carcasses were.
Joyce Wethercomb, from nearby Westleigh, said she walked her dogs regularly at the spot where the foxes were hung.
She said: “It is pitiful to think this is what the hunting argument has been reduced to.
“Kids go walking down there on an almost daily basis and if they saw this, they would almost certainly have nightmares.”
Pro-hunt campaigners have strongly denied any involvement with the incident.
Regional director for the Countryside Alliance, Alison Hawes said: “It is typical that whenever anyone sees a dead fox they think of hunt supporters.
“It is just as likely to have been an angry gamekeeper.”