HSA news release 24th December 2004

Windscreens smashed and dead fox dumped in car at Xmas Eve hunt

Fox dumped in sabs car

Today (24 December) hunt saboteurs at the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt in West Sussex had the windows on 2 of their cars smashed and a dead fox dumped in the passenger seat of one of the cars. The incident happened whilst the saboteurs were in fields using hunting horns and harmless sprays to stop the hunt killing foxes, after the hunt had met at Coombelands, Pulborough, West Sussex.

Throughout the day, the protestors have been pursued and threatened by men driving round in three cars claiming to be football hooligans known to the police. Protestors at the scene say that the men claimed to have no interest in fox hunting and were just there to harass the saboteurs. At a meeting with Sussex Police on 13 December, saboteurs were told that foxhunts in the area would begin using hunt stewards/security again in the run up to the 18th in the hope of provoking a situation.

Nobody witnessed the damage to the cars but the dumped fox carcass makes it clear that the blame lies with the hunt or their supporters. A windscreen on a saboteur’s car was smashed at the same hunt on Saturday.

Nathan Brown, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association said "Boxing Day could be a bloody affair if Christmas Eve is anything to go on. Since the passing of the Hunting Act on 18 November we have seen an increase in violence and intimidation against hunt saboteurs. This is the action of bullies. They persecute animals, attack anti-hunt protestors, and even bully the government.

"It seems that the government is going to let them win by failing to oppose an injunction to delay the implementation of the Hunting Bill. The longer the delay, the more acts of violence will be committed against wildlife and the people trying to protect that wildlife".

Notes for Editors:
Still and video images of the smashed cars and dumped fox carcass will be available later today.