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.”
The Hunt Saboteurs Association are today celebrating the complete abandonment of the Alston Hare Week hunting festival.
On their fifth consecutive day in the field, sabs were greeted with the sight of dejected hunters leaving Alston and beginning the long drive south.
This is a total victory for hunt saboteurs, who have prevented any animals being killed at what was meant to be the highlight of the hare-hunters year.
HSA Press Officer Lee Moon commented, "Simon Beckett, the organiser of Alston Hare Week, seriously underestimated the complexity of the HSA operation against his hare-hunting festival. We spent months developing contacts in the local community, employed drone technology and, most importantly, had incredibly brave and dedicated sabs in the field all week."
Hunt saboteurs will continue to patrol the area until tomorrow evening. Attention will then turn to the Northumberland Beagling Festival organised by Rupert Gibson of the Newcastle and District Beagles.
Hunt saboteurs are to use aerial drones to coordinate disruption of a hare-hunting 'festival' taking place in Cumbria this week.
During the Alston Hare Week, which starts Monday, October 13,hunters with packs of beagle hounds -bred and trained to hunt hares-will travel from across the country to hunt the moors above the market town of Alston.
Members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association will be in attendance throughout the week using non-violent direct action to save the lives of any hunted animals.
HSA spokesperson Lee Moon said: "Our new camera drones will be used to locate the hunters and ensure our activists are always in the best tactical position to stop hares being ripped to pieces.This week the hunters will become the hunted."
Notes to Editors:
(1)'Beagling' is the practice of hunting hares with a pack of beagles. The hounds are followed on foot by hunters and supporters.
(2)There are 68 beagle packs operating in Britain today. Since the hunting ban, hare hunters have become increasingly secretive about their activities.The HSA believes illegal hunting of hares is widespread amongst beagle packs.
(3)Alston Hare Week is organised by the Weardale and Tees Valley Beagles. Between 70-100 beaglers attend annually, making it one of the most important events in the hare hunting calendar.