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.
Hunt saboteurs association Press Release September 15th 2013
The Hunt Saboteurs Association is proud to announce it has donated a significant amount of money for hunt saboteurs in the badger cull zones to buy night vision equipment. The equipment will be used to locate the badger killers in the dark and enable saboteurs to quickly intervene between them and the badgers.
Sabs have been out in both zones since the cull began using non-violent direct action to save animals lives. They have been incredibly effective and are a significant part of the reason why the cull is going so badly. The mainstream media have reported that only a tiny proportion of the required amount of badgers have been shot in Somerset and it is believed to be a similar situation in Gloucestershire. Following the recent news that a shot badger has been recovered from the Somerset zone it is surely only a matter of time before the cull is stopped.
Hunt saboteurs association Press Release September 7th 2013
Animal rights campaigner Joan Court, 94, will stage a 24 hour hunger strike next week to highlight opposition to the badger cull and raise support for the Hunt Saboteurs Association. The protest will start at 8am on Tuesday in Tewkesbury Market place.
The government sanctioned badger slaughter is currently taking place in Somerset and Gloucestershire and if allowed to continued uninterrupted will see the death of 5000 badgers by the middle of October. Many more will be maimed or wounded and left to die a slow painful death. This is a pilot cull and could potentially be rolled out nationwide so it is vital we stop it now.
Joan said: "I think the cull is horrendous, unnecessary, unscientific and brutal.
"We are wiping out our wild animals when all the scientific advice is the same, that we should concentrate on vaccinating. I would like to be with the hunt saboteurs but I think the most useful thing I can do is to raise money to help stop the cull."
Hunt Saboteurs from across the country have been fighting the cull since it was first announced. Groups have thoroughly surveyed the cull zones to find the badger setts and are now camped out, directly intervening between the shooters and the badgers.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "We thank Joan for her tireless commitment to animals and for making such a sacrifice to highlight this cruel cull. It is deeply disappointing that in this day and age a 94 year old has to go on hunger strike about this issue. The badger kill is immoral and unscientific and it is criminal that the Con-Dem government has forced it to happen against all impartial advice."
Members of the hunt saboteurs from far and wide have been in proposed badger Cull zones for many weeks, gathering information on badger setts and other useful information to prevent the cull. This Saturday over 50 hunt sabs descended on Orchard Wyndham and other near locations including an impromptu inspection of peasant pens on a shooting estate much to the distress of the workers. Although police were aware of the sabs presence no attempt was made to communicate and sabs were free to roam at will across the sab zones.
Lee Moon of the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated:
“Our members will be back in the cull zones when the shooting stars and we save badgers by sabotaging the cull. The vast majority of the population is against this unscientific cull and we will prevent as many deaths as possible. We have been inundated with message of support from the public, as well as substantial donations. The British public is proving itself to be as pro animal as normal, but this government fails to represent the vast majority’s views and continues with their vendetta against the nations wildlife.”
Hunt saboteurs Association Press Release. 22nd May 2013
Hunt Saboteurs have today welcomed news that PC Sarah Ward, from North Yorkshire Police is no longer in position as a Wildlife Crime Officer. This comes after a complaint made by a saboteur about the officers link to the Badsworth & Bramham Moor Foxhounds.
On 9th March 2013, Sarah Ward had been involved in a case in which the York & Ainsty South Foxhounds had been accused of deliberately illegally hunting and killing a fox at a meet near Escrick Park, North Yorkshire. Saboteurs from Sheffield and Manchester had witnessed the huntsman lead the hounds into a large area of elephant grass, where they quickly picked up on a scent of a fox. They reported that the hounds were encouraged by the huntsman before catching and killing the fox. Two red coated members quickly rode away with the fox's body and only entrails were left. The saboteurs presented the entrails to police officers in attendance and Sarah Ward was called to take statements from witnesses. The questions asked by Ward were geared more towards gathering more information on saboteurs than the incident in question.
Sarah Ward had also been involved in a case where it was alleged that the Y&AS terrier men had dug into a badget set on 17th December 2011. No action was taken and we can only wonder if there have been other cases she has thrown out. She was also involved in a failed case of “trespassing to disrupt a lawful activity” against hunt sabs in 26th November 2011, when the saboteurs had stopped an unlawful dig-out of a fox.
Hunt saboteurs were informed that Sarah Ward rides with the Badsworth & Bramham Moor Foxhounds who saboteurs allege consistently and routinely flout the Hunting Act 2004. I an email, the hunt saboteur witnesses challenged Ward on her involvement with the hunt and she responded: "I do follow hounds occasionally and don't see what my hobbies have to do with members of the public as others wouldn't tell them they go bike riding.” , a few minutes later two attempts were made to recall the email. This information was then used to make an official complaint about Ward being biased in favour of the hunt.
Following the complaint, a letter from North Yorkshire Police, dated 12 April 2013 reported that Ward “will no longer deal with similar matters or any wildlife crime”. Saboteurs working in the North Yorkshire area welcome this decision and hope that Ward's successor is someone who actually cares about wildlife crime, and not potentially a part of it..
Lee Moon, press officer of the HSA stated:
“North Yorkshire Police have clearly made the correct decision in removing Sarah Ward from her post as Wildlife Officer, but the question should be asked what vetting procedure is used as well what training and expected skills are required regarding this post. Clearly there is a failure in the process so far. Although hunts ‘could’ be acting legally considering the frequent convictions using the hunting act, the claims made in the press by the Countryside Alliance, and the clear intention to return to legal hunting as soon as they can, any person who rides with a hunt cannot be seen as a fit person to be a Police wildlife officer. We assume all Wildlife cases she has been involved in will be reviewed, especially the most recent cases and appropriate actions taken by the police.”
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