Yesterday The Duke of Rutlands' hounds, The Belvoir Hunt, chased and illegally killed three foxes.
The hunt met at The Wolds Farm near Holwell, Leicestershire. Initially sabs were able to take the hounds off huntsman John Holliday in two locations as he encouraged hounds to hunt a nearby covert and hedge. Unfortunately by the time sabs had caught up with him in a farmyard near Scalford Hall, hounds were already tearing apart a terrified fox they had cornered in the yard. Holliday sat watching making no attempt to control his pack. Sabs immediately intervened and were able to recover the still conscious fox. At this point Holliday dismounted and assaulted a female sab. The fox was unable to be saved due to extensive wounds and died in the sabs arms.
The police and Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, who were both present on the day, confirmed that immediately prior to this incident two other foxes were killed by the hunt in the grounds of a nearby nursing home. The police were alerted by a horrified member of the public. All three foxes have been taken as evidence by Leicestershire Police.
Earlier this year the Belvoir were implicated in the keeping of captive foxes to be illegally hunted. Members of the hunt subsequently attacked the two League Against Cruel Sports investigators who had exposed them, putting one of them in hospital with a broken neck. They are currently awaiting a court case in 2017.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “2016 has shown the world exactly what the Belvoir hunt are like. They were implicated in keeping captive foxes, then viciously assaulting those who had exposed them. Now as the year draws to a close they brazenly hunt and kill three foxes in the presence of Leicestershire Police. Members of Leicestershire Police, including former wildlife crime officer Sharon Roscoe, are known to ride with the Belvoir and we hope this doesn't influence any investigation. It is perhaps fortunate that the Leicestershire PCC was also present on the day to insist that this latest law breaking by the Belvoir is not brushed under the carpet.”
Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 3rd Dec 2016
The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt illegally chased and killed a fox today despite the efforts of hunt saboteurs who were seconds away from saving it.
The hunt met at the Spotted Dog Pub, Smarts hill, South West of Tonbridge, Kent. Huntsman Mark Bycroft and his gang of bully boys have history of illegally killing foxes and attacking anyone who tries to stop them. They had already chased one fox before killing one in Frienden Gill Wood at approximately 3pm. The hunt terrier men had holloaed to inform the Bycroft that a fox had been spotted. Hounds then went into cry and chased it for between 5 and 10 minutes before ripping it apart in the wood. Hunt staff were nearby throughout and made no attempt to stop the hounds. Hunt saboteurs arrived just as the hounds were ripping the fox apart but were unable to save it. They retrieved the body and it has been taken to a sympathetic vet for autopsy. The incident is now being investigated by Kent Police.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Mark Bycroft has previous convictions for assaulting hunt saboteurs. His hunt have also been filmed illegally chasing and killing foxes but have never been prosecuted for this due to the inadequacies of the police and the Hunting Act. We hope this time it will be different but won't hold our breath. Whether they get prosecuted or not this video footage speaks for itself. The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent are a bunch of rural law breakers who think they are above the laws of the land. Well done to the sabs present who, although they weren't able to save this particular fox have again highlighted the reality of hunting since the ban.”
Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 21st November 2016
Lord Bonomy has agreed with anti-hunt organisations and Police Scotland that the current law offers too many loop holes, and is unworkable, in his review of the Protection of wild Mammals (Scotland) Act. He goes as far as to say “there is a basis for suspecting that there may be occasions when hunting, which does not fall within one of the exceptions, does take place and that the grounds for that suspicion should be addressed”
Sadly the review does not focus on the welfare of the fox or how much suffering the fox may endure before death.
Scottish Hunt Saboteurs who have experience of the current situation at Scottish Hunts have studied the review and have the following observations:
The proposed changes would only strengthen the outcome of an illegal kill and does nothing to address the illegal hunting that still takes place, or does anything to protect the fox on the day of a hunt.
The idea of part time monitors would only work if those involved are impartial from both sides of the hunting argument and have enough knowledge to be able to correctly convey what is happening in front of them. We feel it is not a role that just anyone can take without substantial knowledge of how hunting actually works and then this leaves the role open to people who could also be biased. If the role is voluntary then again the wrong type of person without the correct knowledge could be in place and in a situation they simply would not understand.
We welcome the concept of tighter rules and a recklessness clause being applied to the hunts who pretend to accidentally kill outwit the current law. But again the recent story regarding the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire hunt shooting and not killing a fox and causing it to suffer before being killed by hounds needs to be addressed.
We also welcome the idea of all participants of the hunts being registered to the police making it easier to identify those breaking hunting laws, which would include landowners who allow hunting to take place on their land.
We call on the Scottish Parliament to take Lord Bonomy’s words into account when drafting new legislation to remove loop holes but to take it further and finally ban hunting from Scotland once and for all.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Only weeks ago Scottish sabs retrieved the body of a fox that had been shot by the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Hunt. This poor creature took 5 minutes to die and was savaged by the hounds after being shot. Whilst we welcome Lord Bonomy's review, hunters have shown consistently over the past decade that they aren't willing to abide by any laws and regulations relating to their barbaric pastime. The only remaining course of action is to disband all the hunts.”
Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 21st November 2016
Hunt Saboteurs witnessed the Easton Harriers kill a hare, for the third time this year, at their meet on Saturday the 19th November. The hunt met at the White Horse Pub, Badingham, Suffolk and were illegally hunting hares from the start.
The huntsman Alun Thomas deliberately put his hounds into crop fields and other areas where hares were likely to be sheltering and sure enough in the middle of the afternoon the hounds picked up the scent of a pair of hares. One of them escaped but the other was heard screeching as hounds pounced on it. It escaped from their jaws but was quickly pulled out of a ditch by other hounds - cold, wet, bloody and dead. The hunt saboteurs managed to retrieve the body and it is currently being autopsied. They remained with the hunt for the rest of the day and their actions saved other lives as the hunt continued to actively pursue hares.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Hare hunting doesn't have as high a profile as fox hunting but it was also made illegal under the Hunting Act. Beagle and harrier packs continue to flout the Act and illegally hunt and kill hare. The Easton Harriers are repeat offenders and received national press coverage just last month when one of their members was filmed with a dead hare stuffed inside her jacket. When questioned she claimed it was a very large rabbit. This was subsequently refuted by the British Rabbit Association who confirmed that it was a hare. Our thanks go to those brave saboteurs whose actions continue to highlight this barbaric “sport”. We ask Suffolk Police why they are allowing blatant illegal hunting to go unchallenged in their county?”
Press coverage of their previous kill is here:
Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 6th November 2016
The Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Hunt illegally chased and killed a fox on Saturday the 5th November. The body was retrieved by hunt saboteurs who were present at the time and is currently being autopsied by a vet. The hunt had met at Monkland near Kilbrachan, Renfrewshire at 11am and were being monitored by hunt saboteurs to prevent the killing of foxes.
At approximately 1.30pm sabs saw the hounds in a valley all gathered around something. Sabs ran in from the bottom and the top of the valley and one sab saw the fox as he approached being attacked by the hounds. He got the fox away from the hounds but it was sadly already dead. The sabs took the body back to their vehicle which was then blocked in by the hunt in an attempt to retrieve it. Sabs managed to escape and took the body away to be autopsied while others stayed with the hunt for the rest of the day.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Well done to the sabs involved who tried their best to save this poor fox. Although they were unsuccessful on this occasion their efforts save many lives and the evidence they gathered yesterday shows that the hunts across Scotland are blatantly flouting the Hunting Act. Seeing such distressing images will only strengthen their resolve and turn more people against the sickening blood sports that still take place in this country.”
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