No action after fox killed at Royal shoot

Nobody will face prosecution over the killing of a fox during a Royal shooting party, it emerged yesterday. The RSPCA launched an investigation after a photographer captured images of a fox apparently being beaten with a large stick and after being shot.

Nobody will face prosecution over the killing of a fox during a Royal shooting party, it emerged yesterday.

The RSPCA launched an investigation after a photographer captured images of a fox apparently being beaten with a large stick and after being shot.

The animal had strayed into the middle of a pheasant shoot led by the Duke of Edinburgh.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said it had investigated whether the fox was caused unnecessary suffering and whether any legislation established to protect wildlife had been breached.

“We have investigated and concluded there are no grounds for a prosecution,” she said. “An independent post mortem examination was carried out and found that the fox died from gunshot wounds and no evidence of other injury or trauma was found.

“The enquiry benefited from RSPCA inspectors, working alongside Norfolk police, having the full cooperation of Palace officials and staff at Sandringham.

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“The only witness who could have supported the reported version of events refused to give a statement.”

She added an RSPCA superintendent had spoken to a number of people who had been present at the shoot but they had not interviewed the Duke of Edinburgh.

Last November, a gamekeeper on the Sandringham estate was fined £500 for illegally using a trap in which an owl was caught.

Dean Wright, 26, admitted breaching legislation established to protect wildlife after an RSPB investigation.