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North Downs Hunt Saboteurs whip up social media storm against Kent Police after Chiddingstone hunt

By Natalie Tipping

An anti-hunt group has sparked a social media storm by asking the public to rally against the police. 

The North Downs Hunt Saboteurs posted graphic images and videos of a supposed hunt by the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt on Saturday, December 3. 

Two weeks later, the saboteurs say nothing has been done by Kent or Surrey Police to prosecute this group. 

The North Kent Downs Hunt Saboteurs took this photo of the dead fox

The North Kent Downs Hunt Saboteurs took this photo of the dead fox

Hunting various mammals, including foxes, deers, and hares, with dogs has been illegal since the Hunting Act 2004 came into force in February 2005. 

However, the 2004 Act does not ban the use of dogs in the process of flushing out wild mammals, or drag hunting, where hounds are trained to follow an artificial scent. 

The graphic images posted by the saboteur group, however, appear to show hounds ripping a fox apart. 

Despite the images posted online, the hunt group has denied wrongdoing. 

Mark Bycroft, of The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, told KentOnline: "My understanding of the day is that we were out on a trail hunt with our trail hunting pack.

"I'm aware they are making accusations that a hound killed a fox.

"I've not seen any evidence of the hounds killing a fox."

The graphic video taken by the saboteur group appears to show hounds ripping a fox apart

The graphic video taken by the saboteur group appears to show hounds ripping a fox apart

Lee Moon, spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, refutes these claims.

He said: "The hunt terrier men had shouted to say a fox had been spotted.

"Hounds then went into cry and chased it for between five and 10 minutes.

"Hunt saboteurs arrived just as the hounds were ripping the fox apart but were unable to save it."

Although police confirmed the incident had been reported to them, the saboteur group is now saying nothing has been done. 

On its Facebook page, a spokesman wrote: "We have made one very brief statement and given them a number of videos, but at no stage have the DI or DS contacted the witnesses or discussed the content of the videos with us."

The post went on to call on those opposed to hunting to contact Kent Police by various means to show their disgust at the apparent handling of the situation. 

Hundreds have tweeted police since the saboteur group's call yesterday. 

A police spokesman said: "Kent Police was called at 3.33pm on Saturday 3 December to a report that a fox had been killed by dogs in Oakenden Lane, Chiddingstone Hoath.

"Officers met with the informant and obtained further information.

"Officers have now explored all available lines of enquiry and would ask anyone who has further information to contact Kent Police."

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