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RSPCA probes prominent lawyer’s claim he killed fox with baseball bat

Investigation into lawyer's tweet: Jolyon Maugham, QC PICTURE: PA

THE RSPCA is looking into claims made by prominent lawyer Jolyon Maugham that he killed a fox with a baseball bat.

Mr Maugham, founder of the Good Law Project, tweeted yesterday: ‘Already this morning I have killed a fox with a baseball bat. How’s your Boxing Day going?’

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: ‘We’ve been made aware of this and are looking into it.’

Backlash: Maugham attracted criticism over his Boxing Day message on social media

The RSPCA said on Twitter that the incident was ‘distressing’, after site users tagged the animal welfare organisation in Mr Maugham’s post.

Mr Maugham, who stated he was dressed in his wife’s kimono at the time of the incident, claimed the fox had ‘got caught up in the protective netting around the chickens’ and he ‘wasn’t sure what else to do’.

Government guidelines state that if a fox is caught in a trap or snare on a person’s property, they must ‘humanely kill any fox you catch while it’s in the trap or snare’.

Gassing or poisoning foxes is prohibited.

Mr Maugham later apologised on Twitter to anyone who had been ‘upset’ by the tweet.

Police investigate after ‘dead fox hit against van window’

POLICE are investigating after footage emerged appearing to show a dead fox being hit against a van window.

Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs posted a video of the incident, saying on social media that it had taken place during a Boxing Day hunt in Kirk Smeaton, North Yorkshire.

The footage shows a man aggressively swinging a seemingly dead fox against a van window.

The anti-hunting group, which disrupt hunts to prevent harm to animals, said the supposed hunt supporters had become aggressive and blocked their vehicles.

The saboteurs said the men they were filming had become angry and decided to ‘smash our window with a roadkill fox whilst also smashing bits off our vehicle’.

North Yorkshire Police said it was investigating the incident, understood to have happened at about noon yesterday.

A force spokesman said: ‘Police are investigating an incident in the Kirk Smeaton area… Inquiries are at an early stage.’