RSPCA investigates 'upsetting' footage of woman 'kicking and punching horse in face'

9 November 2021, 21:14 | Updated: 9 November 2021, 22:09

The shocking footage has caused outrage online.
The shocking footage has caused outrage online. Picture: Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs

By Sophie Barnett

The RSPCA has launched an investigation into "upsetting" footage of a woman, believed to be a hunt rider, kicking and punching a horse.

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The shocking video was taken by anti-hunting activists called the Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs and has caused outrage online.

It shows a woman dressed in riding gear hitting out at the animal before putting it in a horsebox.

The woman appears to be violent with the horse after it cantered into a road during a meeting of the Cottesmore Hunt, one of the oldest hunts in Britain, over the weekend.

The campaigners claimed those in the footage were from the Cottesmore Hunt, which said it did not condone what happened "under any circumstances".

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Chris Packham, the wildlife TV presenter, has called on the RSPCA "to urgently investigate and definitively prosecute this appalling abuse - thus upholding our standards of animal welfare protection".

The RSPCA has asked for information about the incident and said it is actively inquiring into what happened.

"This footage is really upsetting. We will always look into complaints made to us about animal welfare," the organisation said.

"We would urge anyone with first-hand information about this incident to contact us on 0300 123 4999."

Leicestershire Police has also been made aware of the incident, and will be assisting the RSPCA with its investigation.

Cottesmore Hunt told ITV News: "We will be reminding all of our supporters that this will not be tolerated."

Traditionally dating back to 1666, the Cottesmore Hunt targets a space south of Melton Mowbray and usually meets three days a week.