RSPCA celebrates success of Hunting Act with landmark case

Guilty of deliberately hunting foxes with dogs

The RSPCA celebrated the success of its first ever prosecution of a traditional hunt when the Heythrop Hunt today pleaded guilty to four charges of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs on several occasions* (17 December) – an activity illegal under the Act.

The case, based on footage of foxes being deliberately chased by dogs, is thought to be the first where a hunt has faced corporate charges.  It is also the first taken by the RSPCA involving the prosecution of a hunt itself.

Recently retired huntsman, Julian Barnsfield (06/09/63) of Chipping Norton and recently retired hunt master Richard Ward Sumner (27/07/44) of Salperton, Gloucestershire also pleaded guilty to the same charges.  Both defendants retired after summons were laid in this case.

Oxford Magistrates are considering sentencing today


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