US huntress sparks outrage with pictures from Norfolk shooting party
PUBLISHED: 06:53 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:51 17 March 2020
An American huntress has sparked outrage by posing for pictures with animals shot in Norfolk.
It happened when controversial US TV host Larysa Switlyk led an all-female hunting party at an undisclosed location in the county.
Ms Switlyk, who has previously angered animal lovers by shooting goats and deer and posing for selfies with them, was pictured posing with freshly-shot soay sheep, muntjac and Chinese water deer.
Images from the trip are posted on Ms Switlyk’s Facebook page. Shooting Chinese water deer, sheep and muntjac is not illegal, but you would need a gun licence and permission of the landowner.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation tweeted: “Larysa Switlyk’s behaviour stands only to damage the sport she says she is trying to promote and will be rightly condemned by the UK shooting community.”
An RSPCA spokesman said: “The images of the trophy hunter in Norfolk are very distressing. The killing of an animal cannot be classed as ‘sport’ of any kind.
“We are wholly opposed to it and would like to see it outlawed both in the UK and further afield. These images remind us why we require effective laws to ensure we can build a world that is kinder to animals.”
John Watson, from Norfolk’s Hillside Animal Sanctuary, said of the sheep’s death: “Most people will rightly be shocked by this disgusting behaviour and it is hard to imagine how anyone could enjoy killing such a kind and defenceless animal.
“However, as Hillside’s farm animal investigations have repeatedly shown, sheep in the farming industry often suffer an even more terrifying end in a slaughterhouse before they are neatly packaged on our supermarket shelves.”
George Rockingham, administrator for Norfolk-based People for Animal Care Trust (PACT) said: “Hunting of this nature, or any hunting shouldn’t be allowed. She shouldn’t be allowed in the country as far as I’m concerned. She should be taken aside and taught about animals. I’m surprised she hasn’t been fined for killing the sheep. She should be punished, it’s absolutely disgusting.”
With one image, which shows her holding dead deer with female shooting companions, Ms Switlyk posts: “Muntjac morning fun in the United Kingdom with my hunting sisters - can’t wait for all of them to eat muntjac for the first time - these little deer are delicious and a blast to hunt.” With another, which shows her with fellow hunters and a shot Chinese water deer, she says: “First Chinese water deer hit the ground here in the United Kingdom with a perfectly placed shot by Jenna hunting with Alex Hinkins wings, hunting and shooting - amazing hunt and stalk tonight. These tiny deer are tricky to hunt, was a great challenge and looking forward to tomorrow.”
One post asks: “Happy Valentine’s Day. Have you ever eaten the heart of what you harvested? Absolutely delicious. Just don’t fall for the tradition of eating it raw like we both did.” Three female hunters pose with dead deer in a picture was captioned: “Had a fantastic girls’ hunt in England full of a lot of laughs and now memories for a lifetime. Love sharing hunting experiences with other powerful females.” Another picture shows her with her “favourite Brit” Jenna Gearing.
But Miss Gearing told Mailonline they were no longer friends.
She added: “All I can say is that if someone gets pleasure out of shooting an almost domestic animal walking around a small fenced field then that’s a real concern, especially to show to sheer lack of respect of the animal by doing that.
“If that’s what a famous ‘hunter’ is, it’s an embarrassment to the rest of us that do it as a way of life, to manage and take only what you need off the land to feed our family’s food, honest, free range meat.
“She is no hunter she is a killer and should be ashamed, and it’s people like her that give us a bad name. The fact she has no shame about any of the publicity she is getting says it all.”
Reports said the trip, which happened in February, was called off half way through by the organisers because of its “hen-do” atmosphere.
It is not clear which part of Norfolk it took place in, although pictures depict typical pine woods and coastal wetlands.