Four members of the Middleton Hunt are to face prosecution for Hunting Act and animal cruelty offences

28 June 2013

Four member of the Middleton Hunt, including the Huntsman and the Whipper-in, have been summonsed to appear at Court on 15 July 2013 for offences under the Hunting Act 2004 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

A report was made to Humberside Police by The League following an incident on land near to Full Sutton in East Yorkshire in December 2012 following investigations conducted by the League.

The four men have been charged with two offences under the Hunting Act and one further offence under the Animal Welfare Act following an incidence of alleged illegal fox hunting in December 2012.

The Animal Welfare Act is most commonly used for cases where unnecessary suffering has been caused to a domesticated animal such as a dog or cat. However, wild animals such as the fox can be given protection under the Act in certain circumstances such as when caught in a trap or prevented from having their natural freedom.

Rachel Newman, Director of Operations at League said: “We believe this is a clear case of illegal hunting and animal cruelty. We are very hopeful that this case will lead to prosecutions”.

A Humberside Police spokesperson stated “Our role in this case is to uphold the law and bring to court those who choose to break the law by continuing as they did prior to changes in the legislation.”

The League is involved in a number of cases resulting from the 2012 – 2013 hunting season. The case against the Middleton Hunt is one of two live cases at present, with further cases in the pipeline.


Notes to Editors

1. Please contact the League’s Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email with any queries or comment requests.

2. About the League Against Cruel Sports
The League Against Cruel Sports is a registered charity that brings together people who care about animals. Like the majority of the public, we believe that cruelty to animals in the name of sport has no place in modern society. Registered charity number 1095234. Find out more about our work at

3. A CPS prosecutor has authorised proceedings against each of the following members of the Middleton Hunt:
Huntsman Tom HOLT,
• Whipper-in Shaun MARLES,
• Terrierman Lee MARTIN,
• Amateur Terrierman Brian CUTHBERTSON.

Each of the accused is to be charged with the following offences concerning their activities on 17th December 2012:
1. Hunting a Wild Mammal with a Dog – S.1 Hunting Act 2004
2. Permitting a Dog to be used in the course of a S.1 offence – S.3(2) of the Hunting Act
3. Causing Unnecessary Suffering to an animal – S.4 Animal Welfare Act 2006



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