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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 February 2007, 10:06 GMT
Drag-hunt marks two years of ban
Hounds at Crawley and Horsham Hunt
Crawley and Horsham hunt has said it is acting within the law
Campaigners who want to repeal laws banning hunting with dogs have met in Kent to show their support.

East Kent Hunt gathered to follow the trail of a fox-scented drag at Chilham on Saturday, to mark Sunday's two-year anniversary of the ban.

The ban allows dogs to be used to follow a scent, but not to kill.

In Sussex, Crawley and Horsham Hunt has been accused of continuing to hunt foxes with dogs. It denied the claim and said it used simulated activities.

On Thursday, the League Against Cruel Sports said it had given footage of illegal fox hunting by the hunt to Sussex Police - officers said they would review and evaluate the film.

'Ripped to pieces'

Spokeswoman Jenny Barsby said it showed a fox being thrown to a pack of hounds.

She said: "You see them getting a lot of pleasure out of watching this fox being dug up, and then the fox being thrown to the hounds.

"They sit and watch it - they're enjoying watching this animal being ripped to pieces."

These hounds have been bred to hunt foxes for hundreds of years
Antony Sandeman

But Antony Sandeman, from Crawley and Horsham Hunt, said nothing contrary to the Hunting Act took place.

He said: "If a fox has been shot and it is given to the hounds as a reward there is nothing wrong about doing that.

"These hounds have been bred to hunt foxes for hundreds of years and we're doing our damnedest to try and keep simulated hunting going until we repeal this act."

East Kent huntsman Nick Onslow said Saturday's hunt at Chilham Castle would carry out activities within the law, including following the trail of a fox-scented drag.

He said drag-hunts were a "stop-gap" activity until fox-hunting and other forms of hunting were restored.


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