Posted 29th January, 2020
A former Huntsman will be appearing at Taunton Magistrates’ Court on Monday, February 3 accused of illegally hunting a stag with a pack of hounds.
The case follows an investigation by Avon and Somerset Police based on evidence obtained by volunteers from Hounds Off and Somerset Wildlife Crime, who monitored the hunt on National Trust land at Trendle Ring in the Quantock Hills in Somerset on Monday, March 18, 2019.
Richard Down, formerly of the Quantock Staghounds, will appear in court in a case expected to last two days.
Peter White, a spokesperson for Somerset Wildlife Crime and Hounds Off, said:
“We welcome this prosecution against Richard Down and the Quantock Staghounds for the alleged persecution of British wildlife and we hope that justice is served.”
Richard Down faces a charge of hunting a wild mammal with a dog contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004.
Martin Sims, director of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports, who is also a former head of the police’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, said:
“We’d like to congratulate the monitors who obtained the footage that has led to this court case and we now await the outcome of the trial.”
The case comes nearly 15 years after hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales with the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004, which came into force on February 18, 2005.