HSA news release 27th November 2004

‘You’re all fair game now!’
Hunters show true colours as attacks on hunt saboteurs escalate

The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) today called on the Countryside Alliance to reign in their supporters after violent attacks were launched on saboteurs in different parts of the country. Two saboteurs were attacked whilst attending a meet of the Crawley & Horsham Fox Hounds, who met at Ashington, West Sussex. One 17 year old saboteur was repeatedly head butted, and had to attend hospital for a suspected broken nose. Elsewhere in Derbyshire, a female hunt saboteur was attacked whilst attending a meet of the High Peak Hunt who met at Flagg, near Buxton. An ambulance was called by police already present, and the saboteur received 5 stitches to a head wound at hospital. Police have arrested one person on suspicion of assault.

A further incident came at a meet of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Fox Hounds where saboteurs present reported a large influx of what were described as ‘hunt thugs’. Discreet sabotage of the hunt by those present meant trouble was avoided. These incidents come just one week after a huntsman at the South Devon Fox Hounds was caught on camera attacking a hunt saboteur.

Dawn Preston, a spokesperson for the HSA stated ‘Prior to the attack in West Sussex a redcoat (hunt staff member) was heard to say to saboteurs present ‘You’re all fair game now!’. This outrageous statement confirms what we have known for many years – that the hunters have no regard for life, be it human or animal, and will stop at nothing to try and continue their sordid activities. It looks like the period to February 18th, when the ban takes effect, will be one of the most dangerous for hunt saboteurs up and down the country. But the hunters should take note that we have not come through 40 years of hunt sabotage to give up now, and we will continue to save the lives of hunted animals despite such intimidation and physical injury. If the Countryside Alliance had any conscience they would publicy call on their supporters to cease such violent attacks, but as they lack such basic moral standards we know not to hold our breath on that one.’

She continued ‘And so we see, pretty much before the ink is dry on the Hunting Act, the real face of the hunters and their supporters. We have been subjected to both verbal and physical abuse from the bloodsports fraternity since the HSA began some forty years ago, but have never before seen such blatently displayed violence on such a scale. The attack on the female saboteur in Derbyshire was conducted before the hunt had even left the road from the meeting point! The key thing for the hunters to note in all of this is that despite such attacks saboteurs continue to sabotage hunts. And so it will continue.’

Notes to Editors:-

  • The High Peak Hunt Huntsman, Nigel Cox, was filmed two weeks ago threatening saboteurs and trying to ride them down on a public road. Footage can be viewed at www.nwhsa.org.uk
  • Nigel Cox has a previous conviction for firearms offences and was given a 3 year suspended prison sentence in 1985 after he blew a hole in the radiator of an occupied sab minibus with a shotgun. He was also given a conditional discharge for assault (he had struck a sab with the gun) and criminal damage to a camera.