Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release 20th October 2013

Hunt Saboteurs from across northern England have travelled the length of the country to protect badgers in the recently-extended Somerset cull. Northern hunt saboteurs  were in the final stages of planning disruption of a major hare hunting festival- the Alston Hare Week-when news of the cull extension came through. Badger-4751-300x204

HSA spokesperson Lee Moon explained, "Following the terrible news that the Government was to extend the badger cull,our activists felt duty-bound to support their colleagues in the south,many of whom have been fighting the cull every night since it began." 
The HSA instead passed its intelligence relating to Alston Hare Week to a number of other anti-hunt organisations, and it is believed that Investigators from one of these undertook a surveillance operation during the event. 


Notes to Editors

1. The Somerset  Badger Cull was extended on October 11th for a further three weeks. 

2. Alston Hare Week is organised by the Weardale and Tees Valley Beagles. Between 70-100 hunters attend the highly secretive event annually.  

3.The HSA was passed detailed information relating to the Alston Hare Week 2013 by sources close to the West Somerset Beagles,one of the hunting packs attending.

Hunt saboteurs association Press Release October 9th 2013

Following the news that that the National Farmers Union are trying to illegally extend the badger cull by several weeks, hunt sabs in the cull zones have promised to focus their attention on the pheasant shooting industry which they say is one of the main groups backing the cull. The shoot owners claim that badgers kill young pheasants (poults) and make a hefty dent in their profits. They know this profiteering argument will not go down well with the general public so instead claim to be supporting the dairy industry to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (bTB).

Hunt saboteurs have noticed that the big shooting estates in the somerset cull zone: Orchard Wyndham, Coombe Sydenham and Chargot have all been focal points for culling activities with shooters and vehicles full of traps seen coming and going around the clock.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt saboteurs Association stated: "Hunt sabs on the ground are telling us that the pheasant shooting industry and the badger cull are inextricably linked and that they will ensure that not a single pheasant shoot takes place as long as the cull continues. The cull has failed on its own methodology as well as the weight of public opposition and it is time the Government and the NFU gracefully accepted defeat and looked at more humane alternatives"



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Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release 7th October 2013


HUNT protesters are to use 'spy in the sky' technology in the on-going battle to stop hunters flouting the ban on hunting with dogs.

The Hunt Saboteurs Association says it will be using 'drones' mounted with cameras to gather evidence during a week-long 'hare hunting' festival, set to take place in the Pennines later this month.

During the Alston Hare Week, which starts Monday, October 14, hunters with packs of beagle hounds, bred and trained to hunt hares, will travel from across the country to hunt the moors outside the market town of Alston.

The HSA, which promotes non-violent direct action to save hunted animals, is concerned that the event, which is open only to hardcore hunt supporters and takes place in remote terrain, could provide an opportunity for illegal hunting.

It says a team of 'unmanned aerial vehicle' operators will be at the event helping to locate hunters and capture vital evidence of any illegal hunting.

A HSA spokesperson Lee Moon said: "Our new camera 'drones' will ensure people are always in the best tactical position to try to stop hares being ripped to shreds by packs of dogs. This week the hare hunters of Alston will find there is no hiding place for any illegal activities."


The recent convictions of the Heythrop, Middleton and Seavington hunts prove that hunts across the country are continuing to use packs of dogs to hunt and kill wild animals despite the practice being banned in 2004.





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Notes to editors:


(1) 2013 is the 50th Anniversary of the Hunt Saboteurs Association.  The HSA marked this occasion by sabotaging 50 of the usually elusive hare hunts. (Photos/video available)


(2) 'Beagling' is the practice of hunting hares with a pack of beagles. The hounds are followed on foot by hunters and supporters.


(3) There are 68 beagle packs operating in Britain today.  Since the hunting ban, hare hunters have become increasingly secretive about their activities.  Because hare hunting take place on open farmland and moors it very difficult for hunters to falsely claim they are 'trail hunting' as many foxhunters do. The HSA believes illegal hunting of hares is widespread amongst beagle packs.


(4) Alston Hare Week is organised by the Weardale and Tees Valley Beagles. Between 70-100 beaglers attend annually, making it one of the most important events in the hare hunting calendar.


(5) The Alston Hare Week is followed by a similar, equally secretive event: the Northumberland Beagling Festival organised by the Newcastle and District Beagles.

Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release 4th October 2013


ETON College is planning to host a hare hunting 'training day' to teach pupils how to chase and kill hares with dogs, the Hunt Saboteurs Association can reveal.

The Young Hare Hunters' Day is set to take place on Eton College premises on Sunday, October 13th.

The event will see pupils from Eton, which still has its own pack of hunting beagles, being trained in all aspects of hare hunting by huntsmen from around the country.

Nearly 10 years after the ban on hunting with dogs, the HSA is asking why such an event is taking place at all.

HSA Press Officer Lee Moon said: "Why are they teaching Eton College pupils how to hunt hares with dogs when this vile practice was quite rightly banned almost 10 years ago."

One of the 'tutors' on the day will be Mr Steven Duckmanton, of the Gloucester-based Dummer Beagles, who will be giving lessons in 'handling hounds'.

Mr Moon said: "Steven Duckmanton is well known in hunting circles for having one of the highest kill rates of any beagle pack in the country”.

Last season he reportedly claimed to have killed '37 brace' of hares (hunting speak for 74 individual animals) whilst out with his pack. The HSA believes it is unacceptable that an individual who is blatantly and routinely breaking the law should be training school children in law breaking activities at Britain's top public school."

The HSA will be holding a peaceful demonstration at the college for the duration of the event; and, as the hunting season approaches, will continue to closely monitor the activities of the Eton College Beagles.




Notes to Editors

 (1) The Prime Minister David Cameron attended Eton College and is a committed supporter of all forms of hunting. The Heythrop Foxhounds, with whom he used to ride, were convicted of illegal hunting in December 2012.


(2) 'Beagling', which sounds quite cuddly and innocuous, is the practice of hunting hares with a pack of beagles. The hounds are followed on foot by the hunters.


(3) There are 68 beagle packs operating in Britain today. Three of these are run by public schools (Eton College, Radley College and Stowe). These packs are often regarded as a training ground for the foxhunters of the future.


(4) Since the hunting ban beagle packs have become extremely secretive about their activities. The HSA believes illegal hunting of hares is widespread amongst beagle packs.

Hunt saboteurs association Press Release September 17th 2013

Nick Bycroft, professional huntsman with the financially troubled Crawley and Horsham Hunt appeared today before Worthing magistrates court charged with a Hunting Act offence dating from January 2013. The crime occurred during a meet at Angmering Park, near Arundel, West Sussex on land owned by the trustees of the Angmering Park Trust. He pleased guilty and was sentenced to a conditional 12 month conditional discharge, £150 costs and a £15 victim surcharge by magistrates. The magistrate is a neighbour and knows Mr Bycroft but this was not considered a conflict of interest. 


The compelling footage of the incident was taken from more than a mile away by a hunt saboteur using state of the art equipment, and presented to Sussex police who commissioned Professor Stephen Harris of Bristol University to examine and report on the footage. It is understood Bycroft refused to answer questions at interview and gave only a prepared statement: this could be because he was concerned Sussex police were keen to bring a body corporate prosecution under the Hunting Act (This could have included the Directors and Masters of the hunt). It is to be remembered Sussex police have successfully prosecuted three members of the same hunt in 2012 for Hunting Act offences – they were convicted of five offences and fined a total of £10,000 fines and costs. The indications are that Bycroft’s refusal to answer questions was intended to ensure he did not reveal who was present. The guilty plea and the corresponding paltry sentence indicates the plan has been successful.


 Bycroft also pleaded guilty earlier this year to Criminal damage during an unprovoked attack on a hunt saboteurs land rover on the 3rd November 2012.


Lee Moon ,Spokesperson for the Hunt saboteurs Association, stated: “With numerous convictions against him it will be interesting to see if the financially troubled hunt will continue to employ their criminal huntsman, or is illegality now just a part of modern day hunting? The convictions of the past year strongly suggest collective wrong doing at the Crawley and Horsham and we urge Sussex Police to consider a corporate prosecution of the hunt”






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Note to editors: Details of Bycrofts previous guilty plea can be found here:




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