HSA news release 11th December 2004

Saboteur's wrist broken in attack at Essex Hunt

A hunt saboteur was taken to Colchester hospital today (11 December 2004) after his wrist was broken in two places in an attack carried out by a terrierman with the Essex Hunt. The 33 year old saboteur from Essex may need to undergo surgery. Meanwhile a hunt supporter was arrested at the High Peak Harriers in Derbyshire.

Saboteurs had attended the Essex Hunt meet at Tile House Farm, Thaxted to use hunting horns and scent dulling sprays to prevent the hunt from killing foxes. At the start of the day, the huntsmen said to some of the saboteurs "You're going to get f***ing hurt today". Threats of violence continued and saboteurs were deliberately ridden into by hunters on horses.

At about 11.30 a.m. the huntsman and whipper in started hitting saboteurs over the head with their whips. The terrierman for the hunt dismounted from a quad bike and approached the saboteurs armed with a cudgel. Whilst lashing out with the weapon, he struck one of the saboteurs on the wrist. A paramedic was called to the scene but the injured saboteur had to attend hospital.

The police were called and informed of the incident but declined to take any action until the injury was confirmed and a statement can be made by the victim. They have informed local saboteurs that they intend to arrest a terrierman in connection with the incident.

At a meet of the High Peak Harriers near Buxton in Derbyshire, a saboteur who had received stitches to a head wound following an attack on her at that hunt on 27 November was told by a hunt supporter he would give her stitches in the other side of her head as he approached her with his stick raised. He then verbally abused her in front of police officers and was arrested. There were 5 police cars and a helicopter in the air for approximately 2 hours.

Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson Nathan Brown said "Since the Hunting Act was passed on 18 November we have received reports of attacks on saboteurs every week. It is no surprise given the 'fighting talk' of the Countryside Alliance. We can only expect these attacks to increase when the hunting ban comes into place in February and their activities are illegal. We will not be deterred from saving animals' lives." Commenting on the use of a helicopter at the High Peak Harriers he said "If these resources can be made available to monitor the activities of saboteurs, we expect them to be used to pursue people who hunt illegally after 18th February".

Notes for Editors:
Last week at the neighbouring Essex Farmers and Union Hunt joint meet with the East Essex Hunt at Roundbush near Maldon, several saboteurs were injured in attacks and one received a suspected broken nose.