HSA news release 27th March 2002
HUNT SABOTEURS ATTACKED WITH PICK AXE AND IRON BAR
Hunt Saboteurs from the South West were today considering themselves lucky not to have been killed after they were attacked with an iron bar, whips and a pick axe at a joint meet of 2 hunts in Cornwall.
10 activists from Devon, Cornwall and Somerset had been present throughout the day near Goon Hill Down, Helston where the Cury and Western foxhunts had converged, and prevented the hunts from killing any foxes using our usual tactics of non-violent direct action.
During the day one saboteur had his ear split open when a hunt official in a red coat whipped him round the head.
Events took an even more serious turn in an alleged incident as the hunt packed up. A group of hunt supporters approached a car driven by one of the activists, smashed up its roof, used a wrecking bar on the body work and then, almost unbelievably, put a pick axe though the bonnet. The occupants of the car were lucky not to be seriously injured.
Spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, Nathan Brown, spoke of the incident: "The success of the sabs and the recent vote in the House of Commons must have inflamed tempers. There can be no justification for this aggravated attack which shows that people involved in hunting are far from a respectable minority - they are rural thugs and vandals."
The government has announced a 6 month period of consultation to find a 'compromise' between an outright ban and allowing hunting to continue unregulated. Mr Brown continued: "There can be no compromise on the issue of cruelty. The government should honour the wishes of the majority. Two hunt saboteurs have already been killed at hunts, and many others injured.
"The government should stop wasting time and ban hunting before another protestor loses their life and to stop the pointless slaughter of thousands of foxes, hares and deer."
The saboteurs are having to make an official complaint at Falmouth police station.
Notes to Editors:-
Video footage will be available from 28th March.
Huntsmen take out anger on protestors - Another Saboteur badly injured
The Hunt Saboteurs Association is claiming that the prospect of a ban on hunting has caused an upsurge in violence against its members following another violent incident, this time in Yorkshire.
Hunt Saboteurs from Leeds and Sheffield were present at a joint meet of the Bramham Moor and Badsworth hunts at Monk Frystton near Pontefract. The 2 hunts are being forced to merge next season following regular disruption from protestors.
During the afternoon, terriermen bolted a fox from an earth right in front of the protestors, who then succeeded in preventing the hounds from catching it using non-violent tactics such as spraying scent-dullers and blowing horns.
A hunter in a red coat then rode his horse at full speed towards the saboteurs. His horse tried to jump right over the sab, resulting in a suspected broken arm, but which could have been far worse. The protestor was taken away by air ambulance but later released from hostpital with severe bruising.
HSA spokesperson Nathan Brown said "I fear that we will see even more violence from the hunting fraternity. They know their days are numbered. A ban is imminent, and in the meantime we will continue to represent the will of the majority, directly preventing these people from chasing and killing foxes and hares. Strangely the police are slow to arrest the perpetrators of violence against protestors, yet are more than willing to arrest someone just for blowing a hunting horn or running across a field."
He continued to comment on the merger between the hunts, saying "This season will see 3 sets of hunt amalgamations. The Bramham Moor and another hunt thatis merging, the Garth & South Berks, have been under constant pressure from hunt saboteurs and it is paying off. If the government won't stop them, we will!"
HSA news release 23rd February 2002
Another hunt saboteur (this time in Cheshire) has been seriously injured by hunt supporters in an atmosphere of increasing violence from beleagured hunters.
On Saturday 23rd February 20 members of The North West hunt Saboteurs Association (NWHSA) attended a meet of The Cheshire Forest Hunt which was being held at The Cock O’ Budworth public house, Great Budworth, near Northwich.
Throughout the course of the day hunt saboteurs were subjected to threats and intimidation from hunt supporters. An incident occurred at 3.30pm when members of the NWHSA were using non-violent direct action tactics to prevent the hunt from killing a fox when they were confronted by 15 hunt supporters. During this confrontation one NWHSA member from Liverpool was pushed to the floor, pinned down and a hunt supporter picked up a large boulder and deliberately smashed it down onto his legs.
These hunt supporters then tried to leave the area, however, Cheshire Police officers who were in attendance managed to stop one of their vehicles and arrested one of the occupants who was then taken to Northwich Police station. (At the start of the day the police had warned various supporters of the hunt)
Paul Timspon a spokesperson for the NWHSA said ‘This season there seems to be an upsurge in violence from hunt supporters as they realise that bloodsports will soon be banned’. He also said "We know we are winning the argument when hunts start resorting to violence and intimidation" The injured hunt saboteur was taken to hospital for further treatment.
Notes to Editors: -
Taking one day as a snapshot, Saturday 19 January 2002, attacks were made on hunt saboteurs at 5 different hunts across the country showing how widespread the problem of hunt violence is:
- Woodland Pytchley Hunt, Northants. A hunt steward was arrested and taken to Corby police station after a hunt saboteur was attacked.
- Four Burrow Hunt, Cornwall. A hunt saboteur was taken to hospital in an ambulance after being run over by a horse trailer.
- Vale of Aylesbury Hunt, Hertfordshire. A hunt saboteur was driven at by an angry hunt supporter and had to throw himself clear to avoid being hit.
- High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire. A hunt supporter drove at hunt saboteurs. She hit one female sab who landed on her bonnet and became trapped between two vehicles.
- Vale of White Horse Hunt, Gloucestershire. Hunt sabs driven at by van and one of them 'clipped'.
For further information please see the NWHSA website at www.nwhsa.org.uk
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