HSA news release 19th February 2005

Yesterday, 10 members of the East Kent Hunt saboteurs attended the first meet of the East Kent Hunt, after the hunting ban came into force. Their reasons for being there, were to gather evidence of any illegal hunting, and to take non violent direct action, if hounds were put onto a fox. The meet was at Crundale house, near Wye, were two weeks previously, saboteurs were attacked by around 30 hunt supporters, leaving many injured, and one saboteur needing 16 stitches to a head wound. This incident (footage of which was broadcast on local BBC news), is being investigated by local police.

Fearing more violence, the saboteurs were accompanied by a BBC reporter and camera man. Trouble flared in the afternoon, when a member of the hunt blocked the saboteurs vehicle with his own, on a public highway, then attacked the BBC cameraman, and had to be restrained by saboteurs.

When the hunt had finished, saboteurs returned to the hunt meet, where previously in the day, it had been pointed out to officers that some of the men responsible for the previous attack, where at the meet. Whilst getting ready to leave, a pick up truck with around 15-20 men drove past the car park at Crundale church. The vehicle slowed, and the men started to dismount, shouting and jeering, until they noticed that a police vehicle was parked in the car park. They then drove down the road, and dismounted, running into a field, were 3 saboteurs were filming vehicles leaving, and attacked them.

The other saboteurs, and the BBC film crew, entered the field to try to help, but were shot at with high powered catapults, and hit by rocks thrown by the men (catapults were also used in the previous attack at Crundale). The attackers set about a lone saboteur, punching him unconscious, then kicking him on the ground, in a sustained attack, which left him with severe bruising, and two broken ribs.

Unfortunately for the attackers, this was filmed by the BBC, and two other cameras. Clear footage of the incident, with the attackers faces, were broadcast on national BBC news throughout the evening, and will be part of a BBC South East documentary.

Witnesses at the scene claim that some of the men were also responsible for the earlier attack. The East Kent hunt have already claimed that the attackers were not with the hunt, even though on both occasions, they followed the hunt all day, and the second attack happened just yards from the hunt meet.

Statements have been given to the police, and it is hoped those responsible will be brought to trial, for this vicious and cowardly attacks, and the masters of the hunt will call off their thugs.

ENDS

Timeline: the recent wave of violence against anti-hunt protestors since the Hunting Act was passed...

  • 18 November 2004
    Parliament passes Hunting Bill. Hunting to be illegal on 19th February.
  • 20 November
    3 saboteurs injured. One has to undergo emergency surgery to save his finger. South Devon Hunt, Devon
  • 27 November
    Saboteur receives 5 stitches to head wound after attack. High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire
    17 year old saboteur receives broken nose after repeatedly headbutted. Crawley and Horsham Hunt, West Sussex
  • 4 December
    Saboteurs threatened by terrierman wearing balaclava. Numerous assaults on saboteurs including a broken nose. Essex Farmers and Union/East Essex Hunt, Essex
  • 11 December
    Saboteur's wrist broken in 2 places by terrierman. Essex Hunt, Essex Saboteur threatened by hunt supporter in front of police. High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire
  • 18 December
    Saboteur ridden over by hunt rider twice. Essex Farmers and Union Hunt, Essex.
    Saboteurs punched and equipment stolen. Attempts made to smash saboteur's van window with log. Van whipped, kicked and thumped. Attempts made to drag saboteurs from van. Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, Dorset.
  • 24 December
    2 cars smashed up and dead fox left on passenger seat of car. Chiddingfold Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt, West Sussex
  • 27 December
    Saboteurs threatened with knife. One ridden down. Hunt supporters then armed themselves with iron bars and sticks. Weston and Banwell Harriers, Somerset.
    2 saboteurs rugby tackled to ground. Puckeridge Hunt, Suffolk.
  • 31 December
    12 hunt saboteurs injured by mob of 30 thugs. East Essex Hunt, Essex.
  • 1 January 2005
    Pregnant woman taken to hospital with head injuries after being whipped and ridden over twice by hunt staff. Essex Hunt, Essex.
  • 3 January
    Hunt monitor's car destroyed in arson attack. West Sussex
  • 4 January
    2 saboteurs receive broken rib, facial injuries and equipment is stolen. Surrey Union Hunt, Surrey.
  • 8 January
    4 female saboteurs attacked receiving limb injuries / fractures, vehicle badly damaged. Crawley & Horsham Hunt, West Sussex.
  • 15 January
    Saboteurs threatened and attacked, vehicle damaged. Cotswold Vale Hunt, Gloucestershire.
  • 20 January
    Hunt supporter armed with a metal spike punctures sab Landrover door, barely missing the driver's leg. Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, Wiltshire
  • 22 January
    60 year old female aboteurs ridden down - receives head and neck injuries. Dunston Harriers, Norfolk.
  • 29 January
    2 hunt ‘stewards’ arrested after attack on hunt saboteurs. Avon Vale Fox Hunt, Wiltshire.
  • 05 February
    2 hunt saboteurs injured, 15 attacked by 30 hunt thugs. East Kent Fox Hunt, Kent.
  • 05 February
    Hunt saboteurs threatened with violence by hunt followers in front of police, obstruction and theft from motor vehicle ignored. Hampshire Fox Hunt, Hampshire.
  • 09 February
    Saboteurs hit by quad bike, ridden down and whipped. Essex Farmers and Union Hunt
  • 12 February
    Saboteur's finger broken, female sab had head held under water by hunt supporters, female saboteur repeatedly kicked in the head and head stamped on suffering a suspected broken jaw, gang of over 40 hunt supporters ambushed saboteurs. Essex Foxhounds, Essex.
  • 17 February
    8 Saboteur's attacked and ITN film crew ambushed by 30 thugs and riders. Chiddingfold Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt, West Sussex.