Controversial new ad campaign highlights sly tactics of fox hunts which flout the law

Controversial new ad campaign highlights sly tactics of fox hunts which flout th
Tuesday, 5 May, 2015
London, UK

Hunters are given a fox-like makeover in a controversial new advertising campaign launched by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) today to highlight illegal fox hunting.

‘The Sly Ones’ campaign, featuring photographs of models with subtle fox-like features in hunting attire, drives home the message that 10 years after the ban on hunting with hounds, foxes are still being illegally hunted and it is time to strengthen the Hunting Act. The images are captioned ‘It’s not the foxes who are sly’.

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said: “As we campaign for a strengthening of the Hunting Act, we wanted an impactful advert to highlight the fact that many hunts continue to flout the law and are slyly getting away with it.

“The Hunting Act is a vital piece of wildlife legislation but with hunts continuing to illegally chase or kill foxes and evade prosecution, it is time for the Act to be amended to make it more effective.

“With many hunts using a false alibi of trail hunting and other dubious tactics to get around the law, we wanted an image to reflect that and make people think about what is really going on.”

The vulpine-featured images of three mock hunters were created by the agency J.Walter Thompson (JWT) and will continue to be used as IFAW campaigns for the Hunting Act to be strengthened.

IFAW is calling for three amendments to the Hunting Act:

  • The introduction of a recklessness clause to prevent ‘trail hunting’ from being used as a false alibi;
  • The removal of the ‘observation and research’ exemption, which has been abused by stag hunts to avoid prosecution for illegal hunting;
  • An increase in the penalty for illegal hunting to include custodial sentences, in line with other wildlife crime legislation.

Mansbridge added: “The changes we are pursuing are simple and logical and would bring back the spirit of the Act. Amidst all the pro-hunt propaganda it should be remembered that the Hunting Act was introduced because the vast majority of the UK public found it abhorrent that British wildlife could be chased or killed for so-called sport.

“Only with these amendments can we end the sly abuses of the Hunting Act and protect our wildlife.”

IFAW was one of the key groups involved in successfully campaigning for the Hunting Act to be introduced and has continued to peacefully monitor hunts and collect evidence of illegal activity.

To view or download the advert click here.


For more information, interviews or to obtain high resolution images of the advert please contact Clare Sterling at IFAW on 020 7587 6708, mobile 07917 507717 or email

To find out more about IFAW’s work to strengthen the Hunting Act and protect foxes visit

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Clare Sterling (IFAW UK)
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020 7587 6708
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