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Six members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt entered not guilty pleas when they appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court on Tuesday, April 30th, accused of hunting fox cubs with dogs, contrary to S1 Hunting Act 2004. Joint Master William Tatler had a medical exemption but also faces charges. A trial date for the six defendants has been set for five days from Monday August 19th at the same court.

The men are charged with hunting a wild mammal with dogs at Spath Covert, in Sutton-on-the-Hill, in Derbyshire, on October 2, 2018. The accused are:

Former huntsman Sam Staniland, 31, of Hadleigh, Ipswich, formerly of Sudbury, Derbyshire; joint-master William Tatler, 45, of The Green, Idridgehay, Belper, Derbyshire; joint-master Peter Southwell, 60, of Tolldish Lane, Great Haywood, Staffordshire; whipper-in John Oliver Finnegan, 33, of Gaddesby Lane, Kirby Bellars, Leicestershire; terrier man Andrew Bull, 50, of Meynell Hunt Kennells, Ashbourne Road, Sudbury, Derbyshire; and assistant terrier man Samuel Stanley, 25, of Burton Road, Needwood, Staffordshire.

The case follows an investigation by Derbyshire Police based on evidence captured by the animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports.