HSA news release 22nd February 2006

Police action condemned as ‘ludicrous’

Hunt saboteurs who attempt to prevent illegal hunting, are attacked – and then arrested!

The Hunt Saboteurs Association today condemned the ludicrous actions of police yesterday after they arrested 7 hunt sabotuers on Suspicion of ABH whilst attending a meet of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Fox Hounds, who met near Hastings, East Sussex. The hunt, believed to have been blatantly hunting illegally for several weeks, was seen to be hunting illegally from the start of the day and hunt saboteurs were present to get evidence of this. Within an hour of the hunt starting terriermen with the hunt were found to be digging out a fox which had gone to ground. Hunt saboteurs present tried to intervene in but were subjected to a vicious attack.

They returned to their vehicle and were then stopped by a police car, the occupants of which jumped out, smashed the vehicles windows, and arrested those inside – without stopping to ask any questions first.

Dawn Preston, spokesperson for the HSA, stated ‘This is an outrageous response by the police, but one which unfortunately doesn’t surprise us! Time and time again this season we are present to check on hunts, and when we find them hunting illegally we call the police – who either fail to respond or turn up some 2 hours later. However, as soon as the situation degenerates into a public order matter they suddenly find the resources to turn up – and then promptly arrest the very people who were trying to prevent a crime in the first place!

To recap, yesterday saw people intent on saving the lives of hunted animals attacked by hunt thugs, then attacked by police, and then arrested and held for being attacked. One person had to attend hospital as they suffered glass in the eye when the police decided it was necessary to smash the vehicle windows in order to deal with those inside, and 7 people remain in police custody for questionning. One thing we do know – the police have never been so quite so ready and willing to arrest and detain the hunters. Time for a massive change in attitude, and one which we will force if we have to.’