HSA news release 14th November 2004

Saboteurs beaten up by terrier men at 'prestigious' Midlands hunt

Three hunt saboteurs were beaten up by a gang of terrier men at the Atherstone hunt near Shuttington, Warwickshire yesterday (13 November 2004).

The incident occurred at approximately 1 p.m. after a small group of saboteurs had successfully prevented the hunt from killing foxes on several occasions using hunting horns and harmless scent-dulling sprays.

5 terrier men on quad bikes chased 4 saboteurs across a field. One was able to escape but the gang set upon the other three. Two of them were attacked by 2 men at once and were head butted then punched 7 or 8 times. The saboteurs called the police but they did not attend. When 2 Land Rovers full of known violent hunt supporters from the Northamptonshire area arrived, the saboteurs were forced to leave the area. They were followed as they drove to a nearby police station to log the attack.

One of the saboteurs had to have his ear glued back together in hospital and will return today to check if his nose was broken.

When one of the group returned to the scene at about 3 p.m. with police to identify the attackers, the whole hunt had packed up early and left.

The saboteurs have been told that police are hoping to make arrests this week for two common assaults and one charge of Actual Bodily Harm.

Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson Nathan Brown said "Our tactics are highly effective at saving animals' lives. As the hunt ban gets closer we have noticed an increase in what appear to be highly organised and pre-meditated attacks on our members. Hunting is all about violence and intimidation - whether to defenceless animals or people who try to save them. This is the truth behind the picture postcard image."

Notes to Editors:-

  • Pictures of the injuries sustained can be made available
  • The Atherstone is famous in hunting circles as one of the "Shire packs" and among the top hunts in the country.