A badger expert has told a court that hunt employees illegally dug into an active sett to get at a fox.
Pam Mynott, of Leicestershire Badger Group, gave evidence during an appeal at Leicester Crown Court yesterday.
Huntsman Derek Hopkins and terrierman Kevin Allen, of the Fernie Hunt, were found guilty of breaching hunting laws after a trial in January.
Hunt monitors filmed them apparently chasing a fox and digging it out of a badger sett for it to be chased again, in breach of the Hunting Act and Protection of Badgers Act.
Dr Mynott said the badger sett was clearly in use, with evidence of bedding, hairs, claw marks and fresh dung.
Hunt monitor Shaun Reeves said he filmed part of the digging out of the sett, near Mill Farm, Stonton Wyville, on January 27, 2010.
Mr Reeves said he saw riders following hounds chasing the scent of a fox nearby.
Another investigator, Paul Tilsley, said he heard the “hounds in cry” and someone shouting “go on get after him”.
When convicted, Hopkins (46), of Welham Road, Great Bowden, was ordered to pay £2,115 and Allen (52), of Nether Green, Great Bowden, £1,565.
Their appeal continues.