The Hunt Saboteurs Association are today celebrating the complete abandonment of the Alston Hare Week hunting festival.
On their fifth consecutive day in the field, sabs were greeted with the sight of dejected hunters leaving Alston and beginning the long drive south.
This is a total victory for hunt saboteurs, who have prevented any animals being killed at what was meant to be the highlight of the hare-hunters year.
HSA Press Officer Lee Moon commented, "Simon Beckett, the organiser of Alston Hare Week, seriously underestimated the complexity of the HSA operation against his hare-hunting festival. We spent months developing contacts in the local community, employed drone technology and, most importantly, had incredibly brave and dedicated sabs in the field all week."
Hunt saboteurs will continue to patrol the area until tomorrow evening. Attention will then turn to the Northumberland Beagling Festival organised by Rupert Gibson of the Newcastle and District Beagles.
Hunt saboteurs are to use aerial drones to coordinate disruption of a hare-hunting 'festival' taking place in Cumbria this week.
During the Alston Hare Week, which starts Monday, October 13,hunters with packs of beagle hounds -bred and trained to hunt hares-will travel from across the country to hunt the moors above the market town of Alston.
Members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association will be in attendance throughout the week using non-violent direct action to save the lives of any hunted animals.
HSA spokesperson Lee Moon said: "Our new camera drones will be used to locate the hunters and ensure our activists are always in the best tactical position to stop hares being ripped to pieces.This week the hunters will become the hunted."
Notes to Editors:
(1)'Beagling' is the practice of hunting hares with a pack of beagles. The hounds are followed on foot by hunters and supporters.
(2)There are 68 beagle packs operating in Britain today. Since the hunting ban, hare hunters have become increasingly secretive about their activities.The HSA believes illegal hunting of hares is widespread amongst beagle packs.
(3)Alston Hare Week is organised by the Weardale and Tees Valley Beagles. Between 70-100 beaglers attend annually, making it one of the most important events in the hare hunting calendar.
The first night of the badger culls began last night with Hunt Saboteurs out in full force in their hundreds across both zones doing their level best to stop the cullers from killing any badgers.
In Gloucestershire at about Midnight, a couple of experienced Hunt Saboteurs came across a badger trapped in a cage, just as they approached two shooters were spotted nearby, part of the team employed to kill badgers. A tense standoff then went while sabs prevented the killing of the Badgers, eventually the police arrived on the scene.
Hunt Saboteurs knowing the best practice guidelines of the cull informed the police that the badger had to be released for two reasons:
- Cage trapped badgers are to be shot between dawn and noon.
- Shooters must release trapped badgers if third parties are on the scene.
The police then released the badger after telling the shooters to leave, while hunt saboteurs were in attendance. We congratulate them for enforcing the guidelines. The video of the release can be viewed below:
A hunt saboteur has been rushed to hospital after being ridden down by a member of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Fox Hunt during an evening cub hunting meet at the hunt kennels in Charlton Horethorne, somerset.
Two hunt saboteurs were standing on a public road watching the hunt in a field when the attacker rode at them from behind, throwing the female saboteur up in the air with the force of the blow before she was dragged along the ground. An ambulance was immediately called but was stopped from reaching the casualty by hunt vehicles who deliberately blocked the road. An air ambulance also attended the scene. The female has been taken to hospital with a possible collapsed lung and back injury. The hunt then callously carried on hunting before returning to their kennels for a BBQ.
The attack was filmed by a vehicle mounted camera and this footage will be handed over to the police so that the cowardly attacker can be identified and arrested.
Cub hunting or “cubbing” takes place before the official hunting season when the hunts train young hounds to kill by setting them on naïve fox cubs who are easy quarry. Any of the young hounds who don't show an inclination to hunt are killed by the hunts. Cubbing has been illegal since 2005 but is till common practice by most hunts.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “The Blackmore and Sparkford Vale have a long history of violence towards hunt saboteurs but this is a particularly cowardly attack even by their standards. Cubbing is a vital time of the hunting season for the hunts as they are training young hounds to kill. Disruption by hunt saboteurs can affect their whole season which is why they often react with violence at this time of year.”
Recent reports have confirmed what hunt saboteurs already knew - the marksmen shooting badgers in the government culls were marauding across the countryside, trespassing on land that was not part of the cull with high powered rifles.
In theory these hired killers were subject to stringent rules and regulations but more and more evidence is coming to light that these were just ignored in a bid to kill as many badgers as possible with the minimum amount of effort on the killers part.
Gloucestershire police are now carrying out a criminal investigation into the shooters law breaking. Much of the shooting activity was filmed by AHVLA (a Government department) monitors and the HSA demands that the police are given full access to these tapes in order to carry out a thorough investigation.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "Everyone already knew that the badger cull was a scientific farce and it's now becoming clear it was also illegally carried out. The only option for the government is to suspend the culling licenses until the criminal investigation is concluded."
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