Fitzwilliam huntsman, George Adams (now retired) and Bird of Prey Handler, John Mease have been charged with offences relating to the Hunting with Dogs Act for the killing of a fox near Wansford, Cambs earlier this year. There is also another cruelty charge which came to light during the investigation.
The charges relate to a hunt on New Years Day, one of the biggest occasions in the hunting calendar. Sabs observed the hounds go into cry and a fox was seen running along the river bank with the hounds in pursuit. The huntsman encouraged the hounds on and they finally caught and attacked the fox in a corner of a field with the huntsman looking on. It was still alive when sabs arrived although hunt support were trying to remove the evidence. The fox had been disembowelled. It was pronounced dead by a sab shortly afterwards.
The hunt were pretending to use the Bird Of Prey Exemption however the Eagle they had present was never unhooded and not in a position to fly. The hunt staff made no attempt to call off the hounds. Evidence and witness statements were supplied by Beds and Bucks & South Cambs hunt saboteurs to Cambridgeshire Police.
Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It is gratifying that Cambridgeshire Police have acted on the evidence gathered by hunt sabs. We now expect the Crown Prosecution Service to act with similar conviction in prosecuting these law breakers. George Adams was a very experienced huntsman who would have had full control of his hounds and knew he was breaking the law. If illegal hunting carried a stiffer penalty then maybe the hunts would think twice before blatantly flouting the Hunting Act.”
Charles Robert Walker, supporter of the York and Ainsty South Hunt, has pleaded guilty to assaulting a hunt saboteur at Beverley Magistrates Court. Walker also pleaded guilty to drink driving, driving without insurance, failing to stop after an accident and failing to stop for police.
All the offences occurred at a meet of the York and Ainsty South Fox Hunt at Sandhall, near Goole, East Riding in March this year. It was the hunts final meet of the season and hunt saboteurs from Sheffield and West Yorkshire were present to ensure no foxes were illegally hunted and killed. Drunken hunt supporters abused and assaulted sabs throughout the day, driving aggressively at them and attempting to steal and damage video cameras. Walker was eventually arrested after overtaking the sab vehicle at high speed on a bend, in front of watching police.
Walker received a suspended 16 week prison sentence and has been banned from driving for 2 years.
Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “We are pleased that Walker pleaded guilty and has been punished for this lengthy list of offences. We suspect however, that if a hunt saboteur had committed such offences they would currently be starting a prison sentence. These illegal hunts, and the thugs who support them, think they are above the law and only strict penalties from the courts will show them this is not the case.”
Hunt saboteurs Association Press Release 19th March 2016
Members of North East Hunt Sabs were attacked today by masked terrier men from the Middleton Hunt who met at Skirpenbeck near York. It was a cowardly attack on a female driver and their passenger.
The men used spades to smash the windscreen and a side window whilst a red coat from the hunt blocked the road. Excellent driving enabled the sabs to escape before further damage was caused. The sabs waited over an hour for the police before finally accepting they couldn't be bothered to turn up and investigate the crime. They will be reporting it to local police tomorrow.
Lee Moon, Press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Last week it was the Ross Harriers and this week it is the Middleton hunt smashing windows on hunt saboteurs vehicles. Add to that the broken neck suffered by a League against cruel sports employee at the hands of the Belvoir hunt in Leicestershire and it becomes apparent that these are dark days in the British countryside. Violent hunt thugs are acting with impunity knowing that the police, if not actively pro-hunt, will certainly turn a blind eye to violence from the powerful hunting community. Fortunately hunt sabs are a tough bunch who know they are supported by the majority of the population and we become even more determined to stop the hunts killing when faced with violence.”
Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 13th March 2016
The Notorious Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent fox hunt killed a fox at the last meet of their season yesterday. The hunt met at the Landhurst Estate and the neighbouring Culver Farm, Hartfield, just east of East Grinstead, Sussex and were being monitored by local hunt saboteur groups.
During the afternoon the hounds, encouraged by huntsman Mark Bycroft, hunted and killed a fox. The hounds took 3 large chunks out of the fox; to the chest, the side and the hind quarter. Sabs recovered the fox, which was still alive, and scrambled to get the fox to a vet. One of the sabs present was a vet, who rushed to examine the fox and try and save its life. The fox died about fifteen minutes after the sabs first picked him up. The fox has now gone for autopsy in London, to get documented proof that death was caused by hounds.
Also during the day hunt saboteurs experienced violence from the hunt and their supporters including having their land rover pushed into a ditch by a tractor. Again the police refused to investigate this dangerous and reckless driving.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “The Old Surrey and Burstow are notorious both for illegal hunting and violence against saboteurs. It is typical that on the final meet of the season hunts are desperate to kill and huntsman Mark Bycroft proved this today. We hope that Sussex police investigate these crimes but previous experience suggests this won't be the case and they will instead close ranks to protect their hunting chums. Well done to these sabs who did everything possible to save this fox despite being on the receiving end of violence from the hunt. Our thoughts today also go out to the two League against Cruel Sports investigators who were viciously attacked and robbed by the Belvoir hunt in Leicestershire.”
Hunt Saboteurs association News Release 6th March 2016
Masked up supporters of the Ross Harriers hunt attacked a vehicle belonging to hunt saboteurs yesterday, smashing the rear window and showering the passengers in glass. The police are investigating and have retrieved the weapon used in the attack.
The hunt had met at the Red Lion pub in Peterstow and were being monitored by members of South Wales Hunt Saboteurs as well as other local groups. The hunt had been illegally hunting foxes throughout the day but their attempts to kill had been thwarted. As the day drew to a close increasingly angry support took their frustration out on the sabs. Two masked up men left the main body of hunt supporters and ran up behind the sab landrover and used a metal bar to smash the rear window. They then fled the scene in a vehicle. The police were immediately called and are investigating the incident.
Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "The timing of this attack is ironic as the Countryside Alliance are once again bleating on about hunt saboteurs wearing masks. Time and again we see that the only masked up thugs in the countryside are those following the hunts. There is hard evidence in this case of a violent, unprovoked attack and we look forward to a swift resolution to the police investigation. Hunters head out with the intention of illegally chasing and killing wildlife and when their efforts are thwarted they take their frustrations out on those that have stopped them. Violence against sabs has been going on for decades but as the hunts now it doesn't deter us, rather it makes us more determined to get out there and stop them killing.”
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