Hunt Saboteurs Left to Rescue Hunt Hound After Cliff Fall
Hunt saboteurs in the North West yesterday (30/01/02) condemned the Holcombe Hunt after its supporters, riders and staff showed little regard yet again for the fate of a hound which was injured after falling 30 feet off a cliff.
The incident occurred when the hunt met at Holt Lane Farm, Brindle, near Chorley, which is the home of Hunt Master, Arnold Greenhalgh. Hunt saboteurs were in attendance to use non-violent direct action in order to prevent the hunt from killing foxes or hares following a tip off from a from a local.
During the course of the day members of the North West HSA managed to save the lives of many hares and rabbits using tactics that have proved successful in the past. However, during the afternoon the pack of hounds were seen hunting near a cliff face, and one of the hounds fell. The saboteurs were at the incident within seconds to attend to the hound. One saboteur then picked up the severely injured hound, which had blood streaming from its mouth, and ran over to the nearby road to get help.
Despite the presence of 20 hunt supporters at the road they all ignored the saboteurs pleas for help and it was not until a member of the hunt staff decided to intervene after several minutes that a supporter reluctantly decided to put the injured foxhound in his Landrover. It is not known what happen to the injured hound but sabs present feared for its life, especially after the unnecessary delay in taking it for treatment.
Following the incident Paul Timpson spokesperson for the NWHSA said "The complete lack of concern shown by the hunt and their supporters over the incident is disgraceful and highlights the hunt's blatant disregard for life - whether it be fox, hare, horse or hound. It also goes to show that the hunt see the hounds as expendable as they just carried on hunting as if nothing had happened.
"Following an incident five years ago when sabs helped save the lives of two hounds from nearly drowning in an ice covered reservoir, it would be appreciated if the hunt would publicly thank the sabs for their help yet again".
Notes to Editors: -
For general information on NWHSA and past press releases please see the NWHSA website at www.nwhsa.org.uk
HSA news release 26th January 2002
Garth & South Berks Hunt: “arrogant, reckless and stupid”
The Hunt Saboteurs Association yesterday condemned the Garth & South Berks Hunt as “arrogant, reckless and stupid” after their hounds strayed onto a main train line at Grove, near Wantage in Oxfordshire. The Hunt, who are closing their kennels due to constant sabotage, had been hunting by invitation of the Old Berkshire Hunt.
Hunt saboteurs had spent the early part of the day with the hunt and successfully prevented them from catching 3 foxes when, towards the end of the day, huntsman Peter Swann took his hounds to woods and scrub on the edge of the train line. The line, consisting of four sets of tracks, forms part of the main Reading to Swindon line and serves the West Country and the Midlands.
A fox, which ran along the train line and then crossed it was chased by the hounds. Whilst hunt members were several hundred yards away, hunt saboteurs intervened and tried to stop the hounds running on to the track. They also managed to retrieve some hounds that were already running along the tracks. When the hunt eventually did arrive, their inaction meant that saboteurs had to continue removing the hounds from the line. Minutes earlier, police at the hunt had been informed that a criminal trespass by the hunt was likely and that they should intervene to prevent such an incident.
Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson Nathan Brown spoke of the incident: “The actions of the hunt today were arrogant, reckless to the extreme and plain stupid. Hounds have been mown down by Intercity trains before on countless occasions, yet the huntsman chose to hunt his hounds right next to the train line. It was only the quick thinking and action of hunt saboteurs that prevented a potential tragedy. We could have seen the whole pack killed, or even a major train accident caused by them.”
When protestors raised the issue with hunt members and the police, a hunt official allegedly told them “Trains don’t run today”. However, 2 trains had already passed the scene in the previous 10 minutes. Mr Brown continued: “Whether or not a train would have been passing is neither here nor there. Rail trespass is a criminal offence, and the arrogant disregard of this fact is typical of the way hunts treat other people’s property in the countryside. Protestors are reviewing video and still camera footage taken in order to pursue this matter with Transport Police.”
The incident was captured on video, some grabs from which appear below:
HSA news release 22nd January 2002
"Let's sort this out once and for all"
A hunt saboteur could easily have been killed today by the actions of an irate huntsman. Hunt saboteur Simon Wild was grabbed by the huntsman of the Chiddingfold Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt in Sussex and dragged along by his jacket. The huntsman, Jonathan Broise, dropped Mr Wild in front of the horse of his 'whipper-in' who then rode over him. Mr Wild, who somehow escaped with just hoof blows to his groin and legs and a throat injury where he was dragged along by his radio strap, later said "I was a hair's breadth from being seriously hurt". Another protestor was kicked in the ribs during the incident. Immediately before the attack, Broise allegedly shouted "Let's sort this out once and for all". A formal report has been lodged at Midhurst police station (However, whether they will be able to tear themselves away from the vital task of checking people's CB licences is not known).
Simon Wild is one of a group of protestors who have been regularly attending the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray hunt to prevent them from chasing and killing foxes.
Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, Nathan Brown, commented "The attendance of hunt saboteurs at the Chiddingfold has obviously had such an effect that the hunters have turned their attention away from their traditional quarry and decided to vent their rage and bloodlust on protestors. It is a miracle that Mr Wild escaped with minor injuries. A horse can easily crush a person's skull or cause irreparable spinal damage - let there be no doubt that another Hunt Saboteur could have been killed today."
Jonathan Broise has a history of violent behaviour - in February 2001 he received a conditional discharge after head-butting a disabled magistrate. He has also previously received a formal caution from the police for assaulting a hunt protestor and was the thug caught on film threatening 'war' on an ITN news crew back in 1994.
This incident follows incidents at several hunts on Saturday when hunt saboteurs were variously driven into by hunt supporters, assaulted or suffered threats to kill. One protestor was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured fibia and was almost dragged under the wheels of a horse trailer. A hunt steward was also arrested on Saturday after a protestor was attacked at another hunt. Mr Brown added "It is as if the hunting fraternity has declared war on anyone who dares oppose them. It is a shame the government does not have the guts to stand up to them and honour their election pledge to ban hunting."
The entire incident was captured on video, some grabs from which appear below:
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