6 July 2015
Leicestershire Police have charged an employee of Rutland’s Cottesmore Hunt with an offence of Interfering with a Badger Sett contrary to the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Dean Jones is alleged to have unlawfully obstructed a badger sett, following evidence submitted to the police by the League Against Cruel Sports.
Mr Jones, listed on Cottesmore Hunt’s website as its ‘countryman’ (or terrierman), is charged with stopping up entrances to a badger sett near Sauvey Castle, Withcote, Leicestershire, on the morning of Saturday 29th November 2014, a few hours before the Cottesmore Hunt set off from a meet nearby.
Before hunting was banned ten years ago, blocking up badger setts to prevent chased foxes from escaping underground was allowed. But with the introduction of the Hunting Act in 2004, amendments were made to the Protection of Badger Act 1992 to outlaw the practice.
Tom Quinn, Campaigns Director for League Against Cruel Sports said: “Badger setts are protected by law and it is a criminal offence to obstruct access to, or any entrance of, a badger sett. The Cottesmore Hunt claims that it only practices trail hunting – a pursuit which should not involve any live quarry”.
Dean Jones is due to appear at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on 22nd July.
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