RSPCA investigates hunt woman kicking and punching a horse

RSPCA officers are looking into allegations of animal cruelty against a woman associated with the Cottesmore Hunt after a video was circulated on social media showing her kicking and punching a horse during a meeting.

Monday, 8th November 2021, 12:17 pm
Updated Monday, 8th November 2021, 5:10 pm
Hounds and riders with the Cottesmore Hunt are led away from the Play Close park on the way to Saxby Road during a New Year meet at Melton back in 2017 EMN-210811-114018001

The short film was posted on social media by Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs and was condemned as ‘horrific abuse’ by television wildlife presenter Chris Packham, who called for an urgent investigation.

We are awaiting comment from the Cottesmore Hunt, which organises trails hunts on land south of Melton, as well as in Rutland.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said of the allegations: “This footage is really upsetting.

A still from the video posted by Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs showing a woman kicking a horse during a meeting of the Cottesmore Hunt EMN-210811-121144001

“We will always look into 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 woman involved has not been officially named by either the RSPCA or the police but she is understood to be a primary school teacher in the Melton borough area.

A spokesperson for Mowbray Education Trust, which manages a number of local schools, issued a statement this afternoon which reads: “We are aware of an incident over the weekend involving a member of staff.

“As there may be the potential for an investigation, it is not appropriate to comment at this time.”

Leicestershire Police said: “We have been made aware of a video on social media in relation to a report of animal cruelty.

“The RSPCA is leading on this investigation and Leicestershire Police will assist as required.”

Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to call the RSPCA on 0300 1234999.