Press Release 13th March 2014
On Boxing day 2012 at the meet of the South Down & Eridge fox hunt, the driver of the South Coast Hunt Sabs was the subject of a vicious and sustained attacked by supporters of the hunt. The groups Land Rover windscreen was smashed, the door bent back on its hinges and the keys and an ipad stolen. The driver sustained seven deeps cuts to his hands when he was hit with a rock, and subsequent swelling of the hands as he tried to protect his head. The wounds were so bad that the first police officer on the scene thought they were dog bites.
This assault was videoed by a static camera and two men were identified by name to the police. When questioned by the police one of the men gave a twenty page statement identifying two other individuals involved in the attack. There was also clear video evidence from earlier in the day identifying the same men by their clothes as being part of the attack. Earlier in the day police had been called as some of the same group were firing stones from a catapult at hunt saboteurs and the police questioned and videoed these men, although no arrests were made.
The police at the scene refused to take any action until a statement was made, stating that they were too scared to enter the meet where the hunt was packing up due to the threat of attack by hunt supporters. A statement was made by the driver even though he was suffering from severe cuts and bruising to his hands and possible concussion and before he received any medical treatment (the ambulance service had refused to attend the scene due to the nature of the incident and the danger to their staff). Eventually three arrests were made and two men charged. They were given bail conditions not to attend the hunt. One of the men broke these conditions but no action was taken against him.
Charges of Criminal damage, theft and ABH were dropped and the two men were charged with common assault by battery. The maximum sentence for which is 6 months in jail.
After two visits to court where the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had failed to hand over evidence, the case finally went ahead on the 12th March 2014. All the above evidence was heard including the damning 20 page statement made by one of the two defendants naming his co-defendant as being part of the attack and also being a paid terrier man for the hunt. One the three magistrates admitted to stabling her horses at the same location as one the men named in the paperwork (but not in court) but did not excuse herself. The defendants did not take the stand.
Even with all this evidence the magistrates found both men not guilty.
Lee moon of the hunt Saboteurs Association said:
“Once again we see hunt saboteurs being the subject of a violent attack and the police doing everything possible to avoid getting involved. Even with clear evidence of the perpetrators guilt magistrates refuse to convict. It seems that no matter what level of evidence hunt saboteurs present they are destined not to have justice from our legal system, which also fails time and again, to prosecute and convict hunts for breaking the Hunting Act. Luckily for the hunted wildlife this travesty of justice just makes hunt saboteurs more determined to protect our wildlife as it is clear we are their last line of defence”.
Video of the attack can be seen here:
Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release 23rd February 2014
On 25th February 2012 members of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs and Northampton Hunt Saboteurs attended a meet of Otis Ferry's South Shropshire Foxhunt at the Mytton and Mermaid public house in Atcham near Shrewsbury.
The attached film shows the totally unprofessional and biased approach the police took during this incident and the subsequent violent arrest of one of the female sabs.
The sab in question later successfully sued West Mercia police for assault and unlawful arrest and received significant financial compensation. The release of this footage was delayed whilst this legal action took place. During the whole incident sabs were assaulted and spat at by hunt supporters in clear view of the police without any action being taken.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “This incident is a shocking example of West Mercia Police’s pro-hunt leanings.
The force have a justified reputation as one of the most biased in the country and we hope this public shaming, and financial penalty, will force them to modify their behaviour. We are pleased that the compensation received by the victim was used for essential repairs of the group vehicle which enabled them to be out in the field saving hunted animals.”
Note to editors:
Photos of the incident attached.
Please use either and credit the Hunt Saboteurs Association.
For any further enquiries please contact our Press Officer by email, or phone on 07928 714122
At 3pm, on Saturday 8th Feb 2014, hunt saboteurs from West Sussex, South Downs, South Coast and South London Wildlife Group (SLWG) were sabbing the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and cowdray Hunt and came across a road traffic collision on a country lane.
A qualified First Aider from SLWG checked for casualties and then, assisted by the South Downs navigator, directed emergency services to the scene and administered first aid to a nineteen year old female casualty until a doctor took over.
The casualty was the niece of Lord March, who owns the Goodwood estate, who arrived at the scene shortly afterwards. The SLWG First Aider and South Downs van remained at the scene until the emergency services took over, whilst the other vehicles went in search of the hunt, who, as it turned out, had packed up.
While many foxhunts make Boxing Day their one public meet of the year, the hare-hunting beaglers remain as secretive as ever. On hunting's premier day not a single beagle pack, anywhere in the country, chose to avail themselves of the chance to engage with the public.
However, many hunt sab groups have been busy tracking down their local beagle packs, knowing that they are even more likely than the foxhunts to
be illegally hunting.
As a result, several packs were successfully sabbed over the festive period (including the Colne Valley/Holme Valley, the Old Berkeley, the New Forest
and the Warwickshire); but many more across the country were placed under covert surveillance in a major intelligence-gathering operation designed to ensure the success of future sabbing.
These packs included: the Black Combe who met in Waberthwaite, Cumbria; the Leadon Vale Bassets who met at the Lower Lode Hotel, Gloucester; the Wilts and Infantry who met at the Longs Arms, Steeple Aston and, most revealing of all, the new Severn Vale Beagles who foregathered at the Salutation Inn, Berkeley.
Crucial information, including identification of key personnel and vehicles, was obtained and this will be put to good use in the next phase of the campaign against hare hunting.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Over 50 different beagle and basset packs have been targeted by hunt saboteurs in the past year and many more are being covertly monitored. The evidence gathered shows that the majority of these packs are hunting illegally and we will continue to make them a focus of our activities.
Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 30th December 2013
On Saturday December 28th hunt saboteurs from Yorkshire attended a Pony Club meet of the York & Ainsty South Foxhounds at Escrick Park. Three foxes that were deliberately hunted were aided in their escape by the sabs through the course of the day and, as the sun was going down, three terrier men were found just as they were about to finish digging the second fox out of an active badger sett.
The sabs began to obstruct the men from continuing this illegal activity and the situation began to escalate, with about 8-10 more men with spades soon arriving at the scene. One sab was smashed in the head with the pistol the men planned to shoot the fox with and was also knocked down in a field by a hunt pickup truck. The sabs were not deterred by this, fought off the attackers and stood their ground.
On stopping the dig-out the sabs had to prise a terrier from the fox as it had locked on to the fox's face. Sabs then had to help the fox free from the earth as the earth around it had been caved in, leaving only its head exposed. The fox escaped with little visible injury but the terrier's face was badly wounded from fighting the fox. The group are now preparing to prosecute the hunt for their actions and ask Escrick Park to stop facilitating these criminal acts by the hunt and to refuse them access from now on.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Only two days after Boxing Day we see the real face of fox hunting. Boxing Day is the sanitized, media friendly press stunt that the hunting community use each year to pull the wool over the eyes of the British public. This is the grim reality of what occurs the rest of the time when the media spotlight is elsewhere. Escrick Park are a major supporter of the York and Ainsty South Hunt and are just as guilty as they allow these illegal acts to take place on their land. We call on them to ban the hunt from their estate before they become embroiled in any legal action taken against the hunt.”
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