Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 30th June 2016
Undercover footage handed to the Hunt Saboteurs Association by independent investigators, shows the Pytchley Hunt rearing and hunting foxes in direct contravention of the Hunting Act. The footage shows the hunt terrier men keeping captive foxes in an artificial earth, an underground tunnel system built by the hunt to maintain the fox population in an area they plan to hunt. The terrier men introduce cubs to the earth and initially keep them caged to ensure they don't leave the area. Once they are attached to the area the cage is removed to allow the cubs free rein in the wood. As can be seen, not all the cubs survive captivity.
One cub dies and is removed from the cage and callously thrown into the undergrowth. The cubs are regularly fed by the terrier men to ensure they don't leave the area in search of food. Hunting day arrives and we see the hunt terrier men enter the wood with a terrier and a spade. They use the terrier to flush a fox out of the artificial earth in front of the approaching hounds. The hounds pick up the scent of the fox and chase it. The terrier men then put a block over the entrance to the earth, to stop the fox seeking refuge. We then cut to the fox escaping across a field and one of the hunt masters holding his hat in the air to indicate the fox's direction of travel. Fortunately on this occasion, despite the hunts best efforts, the fox escapes.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “Investigations like this, prove what hunt saboteurs already know, illegal fox hunting is not about pest-control it's about hunting and killing for pleasure. In the last two years the North Cotswold Hunt have been caught feeding foxes, the Middleton Hunt have been caught breeding them and the Belvoir Hunt are implicated in keeping a captive fox to be “bagged” and released on the day of the hunt. Only last week the South Herefordshire Hunt were caught throwing live captive fox cubs to their pack of hounds. Every time a hunt is investigated they are found to be committing some hideous act of animal abuse that contravenes not only the law but also their own MFHA (Master of Fox Hounds Association) rules. The Countryside Alliance always claim a bad apple and distance the rest of the hunting community from the latest act of cruelty but it is clear that these practices are endemic at hunts across the country.”
Hunters from across the country will descend on the Cotswold village of Broadway this Saturday 18th June to attend the AGM of the secretive Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles. The AMHB, which promotes the hunting of hares with dogs, hit the headlines two years ago when it attempted to organise a 'Young Hare Hunters Day' for children at Eton College.
Speakers at the event are set to include Brett Parker, a serving police officer and supporter of the violent Atherstone Foxhounds; and the notorious turncoat James Barrington of the Countryside Alliance. The day will conclude with a gathering of hare-hunting hounds at the venue in the centre of Broadway.
HSA Press Officer Lee Moon commented, "We were unsurprised to learn that the focus of the AMHB AGM is public relations, as the 2015-16 hunting season was an unmitigated PR disaster for the hunters. Shocking cruelty to foxes and hares was repeatedly caught on film and hunts were increasingly using gangs of masked thugs to attack anyone disagreeing with them. The hunters should realise that no amount of spin will convince the public that hunting and disembowelling wild animals for sport is acceptable."
Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 30th May 2016
Hunt saboteurs have been brutally attacked by staff and supporters of the Cheldon Buckhounds.
The hunt had met at the Poltimore Arms, Exmoor, Devon and were illegally hunting a deer when the sabs arrived. As the sabs intervened to save the hunted animal they were set upon by a large group of masked up men. Sabs have suffered head injuries and at least one has been taken to hospital with breathing difficulties. Another sab has got serious facial injuries after being head butted by an assailant wearing a motorcycle helmet.
Deer hunting is one of the unsavoury secrets of the hunting community and takes place in the summer months, mainly in the West Country. The Cheldon are such an unpleasant bunch that they were kicked out of the Masters of Deerhounds Association on 1993 after their master was filmed slitting the throat of a young buck and sitting on it while it bled to death. This is the second time in two weeks that they have attacked sabs.
Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, is endlessly whining on about sabs wearing masks. Maybe the hunting community needs to clean up its own shop first before commenting on the behaviour of others. The rise in violence from hunts and their supporters is alarming and we hope the police focus more of their attention on Bonner and his band of violent thugs. Such violence will not deter us and now the Cheldon and the other buckhound and staghound packs are firmly on our radar and will be receiving increased attention. As the mink hunts can testify it is no fun receiving a summers attention from hunt saboteurs.”
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.”
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