Wales

Fox cubs 'fed' to South Herefordshire hunting hounds

Julie Elmore and Paul Reece at Birmingham Magistrates' Court in August 2018 Image copyright PA
Image caption Julie Elmore and Paul Reece will be sentenced at a later date

A man and a woman have admitted causing unnecessary suffering to fox cubs at a hunting kennels.

Birmingham Magistrates' Court heard the cubs were "fed" to hounds belonging to the South Herefordshire Hunt.

Julie Elmore, 55, of Brynarw estate near Abergavenny, and Paul Reece, 48, from Itton, in south Wales both admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Three others deny the same charges.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Nathan Parry was the hunt's terrierman

Opening the case against the hunt's master of hounds Paul Oliver, kennel maid Hannah Rose and terrierman Nathan Parry, prosecutor Simon Davis said: "The unnecessary suffering involved the killing of fox cubs, effectively feeding the animals... throwing the fox cubs into the kennels of the fox hounds, thereby killing them."

The court was told a hidden camera was placed at the kennels by the Hunt Investigation Team after it received information animal welfare legislation had been allegedly breached in May 2016.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Paul Oliver and Hannah Rose deny the charges

Mr Oliver, was caught by the covert camera as he prepared to feed live fox cubs to the dogs, the court heard.

Mr Davis alleged the camera provided "significant" evidence against Mr Oliver, including footage which he claimed showed him lifting fox cubs out of a cage and entering the kennels.

Mr Parry, 40, also of Brynarw estate, denies four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Mr Oliver, 40, and Ms Rose, 30, both of Sutton Crosses, near Spalding, Lincolnshire, also deny four counts of animal cruelty.

Image caption Secret footage was taken of the South Herefordshire Hunt's kennels

Sara-Lise Howe, acting for Ms Rose, said: "She was not involved and did not cause the death of the foxes.

"She simply didn't know about it."

Clive Rees, representing Mr Oliver, submitted there was no evidence whatsoever to show he killed two of the foxes which are the subject of the charges.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The trial is being held at Birmingham Magistrates' Court

Mr Oliver claimed to have used an axe to kill foxes and denied throwing the animals to the hounds.

Elmore and Reece, will be sentenced at a later date.

The trial continues.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites