The CPS was handed footage of a fox fleeing for its life, chased by hounds across fields in Cheshire – followed by terriermen on quads and hunt members on horses.
Cheshire Monitors – a group of hunt saboteurs – captured the chase from two different locations and gave the footage to the police, who took statements and did site visits.
But after six months of investigating, the CPS said the case “didn’t meet the evidential test” so dropped the case.
The protesters are calling on law makers to strengthen the “weak and pretty useless” Hunting Act which outlaws the hunting of foxes by hounds.
But the hunt said it “welcomed the news” the CPS had “stood up to the inappropriate pressure being exerted by these self-appointed monitors”.
Cheshire Monitors spokeswoman Lesley Martin, 63, who captured some of the footage said: “This goes to show how urgently we need the Hunting Act strengthened.
A police investigation into a hunt has been dropped by the CPS due to a lack of evidence – despite officers being given a VIDEO of a fox being chased by hounds filmed by Cheshire Monitors – a group of Hunt Saboteurs. Calls to strengthen the "weak and pretty useless" Hunting Act which outlaws fox hunting.Full story: https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/fox-hunt-investigation-dropped-due-to-lack-of-evidence-despite-police-having-this-video-of-fox-being-chased/03/05/
Posted by The London Economic on Thursday, 3 May 2018
“Once again the monitors involved put in a lot of their volunteer time on this case and Cheshire Police spent many hours putting this case together.
“However, yet again the CPS felt that they couldn’t progress this case to court within the confines of the weak and pretty useless Hunting Act, specifically issues with identifying hunt staff.
“And people wonder why there is a growing battle in the countryside between August and April during the hunting season.”
The incident took place in Tiverton, Cheshire, on October 21, last year.
Hunt saboteurs claim they were on public footpaths and the Cheshire Hunt was riding on land owned by its own members.
Video shows a field full of riders before the dogs congregate on one side, and a fox can be seen darting across the grass, followed by hounds.
It appears to shows a hunt member following the hounds, and the sabs claim the dogs were not called off.
Lesley claims she gave two statements and submitted the video footage to police, who prepared a file for the CPS.
“Following the review, the prosecutor discussed the case with an officer from Cheshire Police who had involvement with the investigation.
“The review of this vase was completed on 5 April 2018 and the decision was made that the case did not meet the evidential test and a charge was not authorised.”
A spokesman for Cheshire Hunt said: “We welcome the news that the CPS has stood up to the inappropriate pressure being exerted by these self-appointed monitors and has therefore saved the taxpayer the cost of a pointless trial.
“It is the policy of the Cheshire Hunt to operate within the law and we are looking forward to the start of the 2018/19 season.”
A CPS spokesperson said: “CPS Mersey Cheshire recently received a file from Cheshire Police regarding incidents arising from a hunt in Tiverton which took place on 21 October 2017.
“After reviewing the file, it was decided the allegation did not meet the evidential test as set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors, as there was not a realistic prospect of conviction.
“A charge was not authorised and therefore we advised police that no further action should be taken.”
By Ben Gelblum and Laura Elvin