Anti-fox hunting campaigner welcomes police caution for teenage boy after abusive telephone message

Library picture
Library picture

An anti-fox hunting campaigner who was following a hunt in Northamptonshire has welcomed news that a teenage boy has received a police caution for sending her a threatening voicemail.

Penny Little, who is an associate of the group Protect Our Wild Animals, and an independent hunt monitor, received the aggressive expletive laden message in January this year after attending a hunt in south Northamptonshire.

The voicemail allegedly featured the song What Does the Fox Say, interspersed with a hunting horn being blown. At the end of the message, a male voice mentioned Mrs Little and called her an unprintable name.

She says she recognised the boy’s voice and reported it to police, who spoke with the 17-year-old.

Northamptonshire Police confirmed the culprit was later given a caution over the episode.

Mrs Little, who lives in Oxfordshire, said: “Monitors are subjected to appalling harassment and abuse. To invade my privacy in such an obnoxious way is a good example of the standard of behaviour we have come to expect.

“In this case I am pleased with the outcome and am grateful to Northamptonshire Police for dealing with the matter so efficiently.”

This week Prime Minister David Cameron backtracked on plans for MPs to have a free vote on relaxing hunting rules, following opposition from the SNP, Labour, Lib Dems and members of his own party.

The sport, which sees riders on horseback follow a pack of hounds in pursuit of a fox has long garnered strong opinions on both sides of the argument. It was banned by Tony Blair’s Labour government in 2005 – sparking protests from some countryside groups who said it would hit the rural economy. Hunts are no longer allowed to chase and kill foxes and other wildlife. Monitors says they observe the events to ensure that this law is upheld.