Saturday, August 05, 2006



Britain's first foxhunter prosecuted under a hunting ban has been found guilty of animal cruelty by a judge in the county of Devon, England.

Professional huntsman Tony Wright was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $500 of the $134,000 in legal expenses the League Against Cruel Sports incurred, London's Telegraph reports.
Wright claimed he was only using his dogs to flush a fox toward a marksman, but the judge said the fox was not shot as soon as possible and the dogs were not under close control, as the law requires.

"I might have been found guilty, but I certainly don't feel like a criminal," Wright said.
The animal-rights group hailed the ruling as a landmark victory, saying it would force police and hunts to rethink what is allowed under the controversial law, which went into effect in February.
The league said hundreds of hunts -- not just foxhunts -- could be prosecuted as a result.
The group said it was considering prosecutions against some 250 other hunts it said were illegal.

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