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Hunt accused of breeding foxes to chase

PUBLISHED: 10:54 15 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 March 2010

THE League Against Cruel Sports has accused a Suffolk hunt of deliberately encouraging foxes to breed in its area so that they are available for hunting.

THE League Against Cruel Sports has accused a Suffolk hunt of deliberately encouraging foxes to breed in its area so that they are available for hunting.

A spokesman for the organisation claimed that undercover workers had secretly filmed a number of artificial earths in Suffolk woodland designed so that foxes would breed in the area.

The claim has been strongly denied by hunt supporters and a spokeswoman for the Countryside Alliance said that opponents of hunting had "stooped to new levels" with the claims.

"In one wood close to the village of Beyton, beween Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, we have discovered three artificial fox earths.

"This represents one of the largest concentrations of artificial earths ever discovered and proves that claims that fox hunting is a form of pest control are far from the truth," said a spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports.

The Suffolk Foxhounds hunt over a large part of the county after being invited on to land by farmers and owners.

A spokeswoman for the Countryside Alliance said: "As there is a voluntary ban on hunting at the moment because of the foot-and-mouth situation opponents have had to come up with something else to attack hunting.

"It is against the laws of hunting to provide artificial breeding areas and is something that is simply not done by any hunt in Suffolk"

She said it was possible that old drainage pipes were put in woods by farmers several years ago in a bid to encourage foxes to breed in areas well away from livestock or pheasants.

"In many cases these pipes are now used by breeding badgers and cannot be removed," said the Countryside Alliance spokeswoman.

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