On Saturday 22nd March the Wye Beagles, in Kent, held their last ever meet, bringing to an end 67 years of hare hunting.
Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Officer Lee Moon commented "The demise of the Wye Beagles comes as no surprise to hunt sabs. Since we started targeting the hare hunts three years ago we've noticed a significant drop in the number of their supporters. They have gone virtually underground to try and avoid us and this means they cannot recruit new members. With the HSA stepping up its anti-beagling campaign, it is only a matter of time before other beagle packs fold."
The Wye famously had their entire pack liberated by the Animal Liberation Front in 2001. Only one beagle, Sexton, was ever found and returned to the hunt. The rest were happily retired to loving homes, safe from the cruel fate that usually awaits hounds too old to hunt.
On the day of the Wye's final meet, hunt saboteurs were in action against both the Sandhurst & Aldershot Beagles and the Palmer Marlborough Beagles. Both packs had the same pitifully small 'field' of supporters that have led to the end of the Wye Beagles.
We the 'Hunt Saboteurs Association' are all about direct action in the field, indeed we are the only organisation that directly saves the hunted animal, whether that is a fox or a pheasant or more recently badgers during the cull. Sabs for over 50 years have intervened and disrupted countless hunts saving many thousands of animals.
Right now though we are asking everyone to contact their MP as a matter of urgency, This government is trying to amend the hunting act to allow any number of hounds to “flush to guns”. This will make the already difficult process of getting convictions under the hunting act even harder and it is with that in mind that we would ask you to push your MP to not only reject this weakening amendment of the act but to urge for an amendment to the hunting act to actually strengthen it.
Ways of strengthening the act could include:
- Removing the 'Bird of prey' exemption
- Removing the 'Digging out' exemption
- Require all hounds to be muzzled
- Include a recklessness clause i.e. If a huntsman puts his hounds through an area where he would reasonably expect to pick up the scent of a fox he could be prosecuted.
- Make the offence recordable - so it carries a criminal conviction
You can find your MP on this link, please email them telling them you want to see the hunting act enforced more rigorously and that you will not vote for anyone who votes for any watering down of the act.
Week in, week out, hunt saboteurs across the country witness clear breaches of the hunting act, often with police present and yet few arrests are ever made. Those saboteurs are all volunteers and pay for the fuel costs each week out of their own pockets, they often face physical assaults, criminal damage to property and police harassment whilst simply trying to stop animals being cruelly killed for somebodies “entertainment”. All saboteur groups rely on the HSA for grants to maintain vehicles, buy or replace broken cameras etc
The easiest way for you to stay up to date with whats going on in our countryside and ensure that our wildlife is protected is to buy membership to the HSA, at only £15 a year it gives you 3 copies of Howl and the piece of mind that sabs can continue doing what they do best...
To make a one off donation please click here.