In the June exec committee, it was already resolved that this hunt would be “cutting costs” as much as possible when it came to the upkeep and care of their hounds. This section of the hunt accounts includes all costs relating to keeping hounds other than their food, which is provided by the fallen stock service.
Repairs and upkeep to their living quarters, cleaning products, medical supplies? All of these are areas which could have been targeted for cost savings.
15th June Exec Committee
In these sections of meeting minutes, the hunt hint at just how many hounds they kill each year. Since the end of the previous season only three months beforehand, the phrase “GP reported that we are 6 ½ couples lighter” shows that they have put down / killed (likely using a firearm) 13 dogs.
Point 4.12 shows us that the hunt currently have 80 dogs (40 couple), although they agree that by the autumn they should have killed 10 of these (to reduce to 35 couple). Brian Clothier suggests that they kill a further 5 dogs in addition to the planned death toll.
These are of course replaced by the hunts continual and irresponsible breeding of new puppies, none of which will die of old age.
22nd June Committee
2nd November Committee
Since the June meeting, we see that the huntsman (Mathew) has been hard at work killing off dogs in accordance with the committees wishes
So how much does the hunt spend on looking after their huge pack of hounds? Food is generally taken care of by the fallen stock (flesh round) service. However there are of course many other costs as any dog owner will tell you.
October 2020 Accounts, budgeted spend on hounds £3,000, actual spend nil.
By December 2020, the budget for upkeep of hounds was in fact reduced by £2k to only £1,000, of which, only £96 had been actually spent.
This is a hunt which have opted to put down significant numbers of hounds for “business reasons”, and aim to reduce kennel expenditure as much as possible for the poor souls remaining living there. They plan to charge up to £100 to their followers to sponsor a hound, but it is not discussed how they deal with the situation of the huntsman inevitably shooting a sponsored hound.
Hound numbers are clearly a source of financial strain and yet, they continue to breed replacements who will live a short life which is property of the hunt and ended by decision of the committee.
You can find the documents here.