HSA news release 28th December 2004

Boxing Day violence and intimidation at South West hunt

Hunt saboteurs in Somerset today told how they had to leave the Weston and Banwell Harriers in fear of their lives yesterday (27 December) as the hunt held its traditional Boxing Day hunt near Axbridge on the Somerset levels.

One of the saboteurs, Joe, said "Within the first hour a man pulled a knife on us. Shortly afterwards, another saboteur was ridden down by one of the mounted riders. Then it seemed like almost every supporter of the hunt was arming themself with sticks and iron bars. It was obvious someone was going to get seriously hurt."

Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson Nathan Brown said "Again we see how, even when hunts know they should be on their best behaviour, the bullying and intimidation continues. For the government to allow any delay in implementation of the hunting ban will mean they effectively condone and encourage more violence. If another hunt saboteur is killed out sabotaging a hunt the blood will be on their hands"