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The huntsman for the Seavington Hunt appeared at Yeovil Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to hunting a fox with dogs, contrary to S1 of the Hunting Act 2004. David Parker, 39 was fined £500, ordered to pay £500 costs and a £50 victim surcharge. District Judge Lynne Matthews dismissed the defence’s plea for a conditional discharge and made the point that Parker had admitted the offence of fox hunting by his own guilty plea. The case related to an incident in January 2013 in which hounds from the Seavington Hunt were filmed pursuing a fox in the area around Causeway Lane, Winsham in Dorset. The pursuit was filmed by investigators from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the footage was used in the case which was brought by the RSPCA. RSPCA Inspector Jo Daniel said: “The footage, provided by IFAW, clearly shows the members of the hunting party searching the area, along with the hounds, before the fox fled and the huntsman pursued it. We cannot stand by whilst laws which are there to protect wild animals are broken and, if sufficient evidence is provided to us, we have an obligation to act to prevent such offences from occurring”. Robbie Marsland, IFAW’s UK director said the group’s monitors would “remain vigilant in case anyone else thinks they are above the law”.