Terriermen are often employed by the hunt (or are part of the hunt) to accompany them, often obstructing hunt saboteurs to conceal the hunt’s actions. They also bring equipment to dig foxes out when they go to ground including terrier and spades.
Many argue that if a hunt was complying with the rules set out by the hunting ban, there would be no need for terrierman, but many sabs still observe several of them tagging along behind hunts and being very aggressive.
Weak current legislation is what allows hunts to justify the use of terriermen, which allows hunts to use one dog below ground to flush foxes out under the gamekeepers exemption – an exemption that makes it legal to do so if they are protecting game birds or wild birds they are keeping for shooting from foxes, they can do this so long as:
- They own the land or have permission by the land owner
- Reasonable steps are taken to ensure that the mammal is shot as soon as flushed out and the terrier digging must be under control and not sustain any injuries.
How To Spot Terriermen
Terriermen don’t sport the red coat, and instead usually opt for tweed and rugged clothing, they usually drive quads with terrier boxes fitted to the back and are responsible for flushing out the fox if it goes to ground, and then either flushing the fox so the hounds can resume their chase or killing the fox once it has been dug up either by shooting it and disposing of it, or leaving it for the hounds.
The hunt claim that terrier men still attend hunts to provide a vital service for legal hunts, laying down the artificial scent for drag hunts and protecting game birds from foxes, but this has been disproved time and time again by hunt saboteurs.