Two plead guilty during a trial about live fox cubs being fed to hunting hounds

A person carries a fox cub in a noose as a second person looks on
Support us and go ad-free

Two people linked to a hunt have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges. And it comes during a trial that’s taken three years to reach court.

Admission of guilt

On 30 May, Julie Elmore and Paul Reece both admitted guilt on two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to foxes. Their admission came during a trial of five people accused of feeding living fox cubs to hunting hounds. The Hunt Investigation Team (HIT) filmed the acts, which happened in May 2016, with a hidden camera at the South Herefordshire Hunt’s kennels. The BBC exposed the case to the public in June 2016.

Elmore and Reece’s admission comes after the judge threw out an abuse of process application by the defence. HIT told The Canary this application was based around “allegations that the police had not followed procedures correctly”. But it’s not the first time those linked to the case have made such accusations. In May 2018, the BBC reported that at least one person linked to the South Herefordshire Hunt accused an investigating officer of misconduct. Claims included having affairs with anti-hunting activists and leaking confidential information.

PC Richard Barradale-Smith was cleared of any wrongdoing, but it delayed the fox cubs case from going to trial by two years. Barradale-Smith’s family described the accusations against him as a “smear campaign”.

The trial continues

Huntsman Paul Oliver, terrierman Nathan Parry, and kennel maid Hannah Rose pleaded not guilty and remain on trial over charges of animal cruelty.

The South Herefordshire Hunt has disbanded since the acts came to light.

Featured image via Hunt Investigation Team/YouTube

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us