RSPCA appeals for information after ‘hunt rider’ filmed hitting horse

RSPCA appeals for information after ‘hunt rider’ filmed hitting horse
Chris Packham urges RSPCA to investigate the ‘appalling abuse’

The RSPCA is appealing for information from witnesses after it was alerted to “upsetting” footage of a hunt rider apparently kicking and hitting a horse.

Anti-hunting group Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs posted a video to social media showing a woman being aggressive with the animal after it ran into a road.

The rider, from the Rutland-based foxhound pack Cottesmore Hunt, is shown kicking the horse before pulling it by the reins into a vehicle.

Conservationist and TV presenter Chris Packham alerted the RSPCA to the video on Twitter, adding: “Good afternoon [RSPCA] as a VP [vice president] can I call upon you to urgently investigate and definitively prosecute this appalling abuse – thus upholding our standards of animal welfare protection. Thank you.”

RSPCA, the animal protection charity, is urging anyone with “first hand” information to get in touch with them.

It said in a statement: “This footage is upsetting. We will always look into, and if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare. We would urge anyone with first hand information about this incident to contact us on 0300 123 4999.”

The handling of the horse was also condemned by Britain’s national body, the Hunting Office, which said it “expects the highest level of animal welfare at all times – both on and off the hunting field”.

The organisation added that the woman in the footage is “not a member of the hunting associations.”

Cottesmore Hunt said it did not condone the actions shown in the video “under any circumstances”, and that it “will be reminding all of our supporters that this will not be tolerated.”

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