WAV Comment: They parade themselves through the villages trying to look squeaky clean; but this above is the other side reality of what hunts and its associates do.
Hidden camera video reveals a man repeatedly stabbing a fox with a pitchfork, leaving it writhing in agony.
The attack, which took place in east Essex, was described by a campaign group as “torture” and “some of the worst abuse” they had ever witnessed.
A man was later reported to have been arrested.
The man and a woman seen in the video visited Great Monks Wood near Braintree, according to the Hunt Saboteurs Association.
Hunts build artificial earths – an underground network of pipes and chambers – to encourage foxes into an area. The wild animals are then trapped, only to be released just before a hunt so they can be chased, it’s claimed.Activists say the artificial earth in the video was rebuilt last year, and they have been monitoring it since then with concealed cameras.
The North London Hunt Sabs said they filmed the man earlier this month arriving armed with a terrier, rods, a net and pitchfork.
The group reported the couple placed the net over one end of the earth then used the rods and terrier to force the trapped fox into the net.
The man then held the fox by its tail and repeatedly tried to stab it against a tree, including aiming at its head, before carrying it away by the tail.
The footage did not reveal whether the animal survived, but it would at least have been suffering acutely, the activists said.
A spokesperson for North London Hunt Sabs said hunting was “steeped in animal abuse” and that lawful “trail hunting” did not necessitate building artificial earths or capturing foxes.
Lee Moon, of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “This is some of the worst abuse we have ever witnessed, and the wanton cruelty is hard to fathom.
“Whilst most people who watch the video will be horrified, the calm and methodical manner in which the two individuals go about catching and torturing this poor fox show how commonplace their actions are.”
He said people who carry out such violence would have been indoctrinated into such behaviour since birth.
“Cruel and psychopathic individuals who see wild animals as their playthings to be tortured for their own sick ends.
“Acts like this are sickeningly commonplace within the hunting community.”
Essex Police told ITV News it had arrested a 48-year-old man from the Bures area after receiving reports of animal cruelty, adding: “He was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Hunting Act 2004, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Wild Mammal Protection Act 1996. He remains in custody at this time.”
The Independent has asked the Countryside Alliance, which supports hunting, to comment.