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Police probe fox death at Boxing Day hunt

PUBLISHED: 13:01 05 January 2012 | UPDATED: 09:49 06 January 2012

The fox which was killed in a field near Axminster. Photo: KH/IFAW

The fox which was killed in a field near Axminster. Photo: KH/IFAW

Archant

AN animal lover has spoken of her ‘nightmare’ battle to prevent a fox from being torn apart by hounds in a field.

Priscilla Lynch, 52, from Sidmouth, and a young passer-by fought in vain to save the wounded animal from a pack of dogs after it sought refuge on land she owns at Shute.

Police are investigating the incident which is alleged to have happened at just after 4pm on Boxing Day.

Members of the Axe Vale Hunt have admitted being in the area at the time.

A spokeswoman for the hunt said they had been legally hunting there, using a false scent trail as permitted under the law.

But she it was possible one of the foxes living in the area might jump out and become an unintentional target for the hounds.

Miss Lynch said she was taking a walk in her field with her father, Patrick, aged 84, and her three dogs when she heard the hunt approaching.

She said: “I went to put our dogs in the car and then three hounds came in through the gate, then the fox came through the hedge and before I knew it the whole pack was on it.”

A young man, who had heard her shouting, came and helped her as she tried to get the dogs off the animal, but it was fatally wounded.

Miss Lynch is still shocked by the incident which she described as ‘a nightmare’, but would love to find and thank the man who helped her try and protect the fox, describing him as a ‘hero’.

Robbie Marshland, The UK Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said: “I am shocked to hear of yet another hunt that has let their dogs run amok and kill a fox.

“It’s important that the police investigate this case thoroughly as no one should be above the law.”

Officers investigating the allegations are asking anybody with information to call Seaton police station on 101, quoting reference KN/11/537.

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