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Footage of supposedly ‘illegal’ deer hunt coves to light

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Media caption Protesters claim this footage shows an illegal deer hunt on Exmoor

A video which appears to show a member of a hunt chasing a female deer has been released.

The League Against Cruel Sports recorded the footage in Exmoor, Somerset, in December.

It claimed the video showed an illegal hunt, and accused Devon and Somerset Stag Hounds of exploiting loopholes in the law to continue hunting.

The hunt said it was legally controlling herd numbers, as part of a conservation programme.

The Hunting Act has three exemptions which allow a hunt to take place, including research and observation.

 

But The League claims there is no data to support this defence, and branded it a “scam”.

Director of Campaigns, Chris Luffingham, said: “Hunting deer with dogs, chasing them for miles on end, shooting the exhausted animal, and then carving them up for trophies, can never be justified.

“At this time of year, many of the hinds being chased will be pregnant.”

It has tried to bring three cases to court over allegations of illegal hunting but all of them have collapsed.

Hunters say all research they gather is published online and covers the health of deer, transmission of diseases and population counts.

Guy Everard from the hunt said his group worked with the Exmoor and District Deer Management Group to control numbers.

The hunt has said they are legally controlling herd numbers, describing their actions as “a great force for conservation”.

The League said it had seen “no credible research” supporting the claims published in more than a decade.

Hunt protesters said they observed one of the hunts in Exmoor where a female deer – a hind – was pursued by two hounds at a time in a relay for several miles.

 

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-47144948

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