AFTER a video was posted online supposedly showing mutilated animals on the Ramsbury Estate, the grounds manager has responded saying that no illegal activity has taken place.

The video, which was posted on the Ramsbury Estates’ Facebook page, showed a number of dead foxes which had been allegedly killed by the estate’s groundsmen. The footage, which was obtained by RAID, an animal welfare group, claims to show desecrated bodies of foxes as well as badgers, which it is illegal to kill.

A member of the RAID group said: “I have witnessed it. We went round the estate and there are a lot of illegal traps to tempt animals into the area. There were about 60 dead animals like decapitated foxes and bones everywhere. It is disgusting, people don’t like it at all. You can see by the video, there are mutilated animals and it is really gruesome. It has been going on a long time.”

Since the video appeared online, the Ramsbury Estate grounds manager Alistair Ewing has dismissed the claims that his workers have broken the law.

Mr Ewing said: “The video was posted on our Facebook, showing dead foxes in a pit. After that we received a number of abusive calls. One of the calls said the police had been up to the pit as it is a criminal offence to kill badgers. I gave the police a call to ask about the police log and they told me that nothing had been reported. The keepers know that if they were to kill a badger or do anything illegal then they would be instantly dismissed. I hold the highest regard for our keepers.”

Although it is illegal to kill badgers on private land, Mr Ewing has admitted that the groundsmen have killed foxes and squirrels, something that is not illegal unless they are set upon with dogs or mutilated.

“I cannot say that we don’t kill foxes and squirrels but I cannot believe what is being said about us. The only things in the pit are maybe half a dozen dead foxes which were shot not that long ago. The video was brought to my attention about ten days ago, but the claims people are making are ridiculous. We had a survey carried out by the Game Conservation which was actually rather good. We feel we have a good record with animals and trees on the estate,” added Mr Ewing.

The manager of the adjacant Ramsbury Manor Estate Tim Taylor has since contacted the Gazette asking us to make clear the allegations apply to the Ramsbury Estate and not to his property.