Secret footage, filmed over the summer by hunt saboteurs, shows employees, believed to be from the North Cotswold hunt, carrying out activities that would strongly suggest they are flouting the Hunting Act.
The hunt can be seen feeding foxes near a disused badger sett that is used by foxes in order to maintain a steady supply of foxes in a particular location. This location is a popular meet of theirs and the footage shows them actively hunting their hounds in that precise spot. Members of the hunt can also be seen blocking up an artificial earth in order to stop the fox being able to seek refuse when being chased by hounds. A fox can then clearly be seen running past the blocked earth closely pursued by hounds who are being encouraged to chase it by hunt supporters.
Some of these acts, such as encouraging hounds to chase the fox, are illegal in their own right. Others, such as the feeding of foxes, while not illegal in themselves show an intent by the hunt to encourage foxes to an area where they like to hunt. Presumably this can only be because they wish to hunt these foxes in direct contravention of the Hunting Act.
The Hunt Saboteurs Association believe such activities are endemic amongst hunts in the UK and this is the first expose of many that we will be giving to the national media over the coming months.
On Saurday 25th October the Surrey Union Foxhunt had their opening meet at Gosterwood Manor ,Forest Green. They moved quickly from the meet to the Lukyns estate near Ewhurst in an effort to lose the hunt saboteurs who were in attendance.
Just before one o'clock the hunt were drawing a small wood when the hounds chased and quickly caught a Roe deer. Several hounds savaged it causing horrendous injuries and the screams of the deer brought one saboteur to the scene. He managed to get the hounds off it and frantically tried to call other sabs to help.
It was at this point that Surrey Police showed that they didn't give a damn for the torment of the deer and prolonged its suffering by refusing to let the other saboteurs present come to it's aid. Four sabs were arrested for aggrevated trespass in their efforts to get to the deer. Many of the sabs have worked at animal sanctuaries and could have quickly accessed its injuries and by their actions the Police only protracted the animals agony for a further twenty to thirty minutes. Eventually some more reasonable police went to the deer and the lone saboteur and realising that it was beyond saving arranged for the poor animal to shot.
The four arrested saboteurs were taken away to spend many hours in the cells and the rest of the sabs continued to stick with the hunt until the end to prevent further loss of life.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, Stated: “Chasing and savaging a deer is in contravention of the hunting Act and we would expect to see Surrey Police prosecuting the Surrey Union Hunt. Quite the opposite happened on Saturday however when the police were happy to act as private security for these law breakers and even arrested the saboteurs who were trying to prevent this poor animal from suffering further. Time and again we have said there should be a recklessness clause added to the Hunting Act and this is further evidence that it is needed. These illegal hunts deliberately put their hounds into areas they are likely to chase and kill wildlife and they should face prosecution as a result. Such behaviour by the hunts and the police only makes us more determined in our fight to protect wildlife.”