Four member of the Middleton Hunt, including the Huntsman and the Whipper-in, have been summonsed to appear at Court on 15 July 2013 for offences under the Hunting Act 2004 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
A report was made to Humberside Police by The League following an incident on land near to Full Sutton in East Yorkshire in December 2012 following investigations conducted by the League.
The four men have been charged with two offences under the Hunting Act and one further offence under the Animal Welfare Act following an incidence of alleged illegal fox hunting in December 2012.
The Animal Welfare Act is most commonly used for cases where unnecessary suffering has been caused to a domesticated animal such as a dog or cat. However, wild animals such as the fox can be given protection under the Act in certain circumstances such as when caught in a trap or prevented from having their natural freedom.
Rachel Newman, Director of Operations at League said: “We believe this is a clear case of illegal hunting and animal cruelty. We are very hopeful that this case will lead to prosecutions”.
A Humberside Police spokesperson stated “Our role in this case is to uphold the law and bring to court those who choose to break the law by continuing as they did prior to changes in the legislation.”
The League is involved in a number of cases resulting from the 2012 – 2013 hunting season. The case against the Middleton Hunt is one of two live cases at present, with further cases in the pipeline.