News has reached the HSA that all is not well with the Weardale & Tees Valley Beagles (WTV), organisers of the notorious Alston Hare Week hunting festival.
Until recently the WTV were one of the few beagle packs to still enjoy 'professional' status: they had their own kennels and a paid employee to feed and hunt the hounds. Now, however, they find themselves in such dire financial straits that they have been forced to sell off their kennels and become an 'amateur' pack. The hounds will be kennelled with a neighbouring foxhunt and their kennel huntsman, Gary Wingar, has already defected south to become huntsman of the Easton Harriers.
Why this sudden downturn in the fortunes of the WTV Beagles? It's all to do with the collapse of their annual hunting festival, Alston Hare Week. This event involved southern beagle packs travelling north every October to hunt hares in the WTV's wild upland country. The visitors paid through the nose for this privilege and were further fleeced at a series of social events held throughout the week.The HSA sabotaged Alston Hare Week in 2014 and, the following two years, prevented it from happening at all. Deprived of this extra revenue the WTV have hit hard times, and it seems less likely than ever that they will be able to resurrect their cruel hunting festival.
However, the HSA is not complacent and we are determined that Alston Hare Week will never happen again. Our specialist operatives are already monitoring the situation on the ground and we are grateful to the many Alston residents who continue to send us information about the decline of the Weardale & Tees Valley Beagles.
Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 16th May 2017
Three employees of the Derwent hunt in North Yorkshire have been charged with illegal hunting.
The three: huntsman Sean McClarron, kennel huntsman Jason Marles (now huntsman at the Eggesford Hunt) and whip Damian Readman are due to appear at Scarborough Magistrates Court on 22nd May.
This follows footage obtained on the 1st November 2016 by members of Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs, at a meet in Wilton in North Yorkshire. Towards the end of the day sabs filmed a fox being bolted from underground and then chased by the pack of hounds. The law stipulates that if a fox is dug out it must not be released to be further hunted.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It's telling that in practically the same week that the Tories are promising a vote on repeal, the hunting community are showing how above the law they believe themselves to be. Who else, apart from the Conservatives, would choose to reward law breakers by repealing the very law they so blatantly ignore?
Hunt saboteurs were around long before the hunting act and we'll continue to protect wildlife whatever the self serving lackeys of the Countryside Alliance in Westminster decide to do next.
At least 3 hounds were killed and more injured at the Middleton Hunt yesterday when the hunt took them across a busy main road.
The huntsman took the hounds across a main busy road, with no spotter to check oncoming traffic on an upcoming bend. After the incident, one distraught huntsman said "why did we take them over the road?"
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “The Middleton claim to be following an artificial trail. If that's the case why on earth would they lay a trail anywhere near such a busy road. In fact if they're trail hunting, as they claim, then surely they can plan their activities in such a way that they NEVER have to cross main roads. Their wanton disregard for animals lives extends to their own hounds as well as the wildlife they illegally chase and kill.
Only last week we reported that the Middleton had attacked hunt saboteurs. They have also been in the national media in recent months for sexually abusing a passerby and in 2015 they were implicated in keeping fox cubs in a barn near their kennels to be illegally hunted and killed. Every week, hunts across the country endanger human and animal lives with their reckless behaviour. The Middleton Hunt are clearly out of control and as usual it is hunt saboteurs who are bringing their illegal activities to the attention of police and public.”
Video of the incident can be viewed here.
Catch up on recent press releases and news item from the Hunt Saboteurs Association
Latest news from the HSA
Browse old press releases from the Hunt Saboteurs Association and find out more about how we have saved lives and barriers we have faced.
Official HSA Press Release
Page 7 of 127