HSA news release 25th February 2004
Blanket arrest of saboteurs at Derbyshire hunt condemned
Hunt boasts of involvement with the local police force ring true
The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) has condemned the blanket arrest of 19 hunt saboteurs at the Barlow Foxhounds on Saturday (21 February). Nathan Brown, HSA spokesperson, said "They were released without charge after being arrested without reason."
Saboteurs had attended the hunt at Cutthorte near Chesterfield to use peaceful means such as hunting horns and sprays to stop the hunt killing foxes. The hunt reacted by chasing the saboteurs, riding them down with their horses, stealing a camera and one hunt member wearing a redcoat attacked them.
Police arrested all of the saboteurs.
Local saboteurs claim that a member of the hunt has boasted in the past of involvement with the local police force, which brings into question the way the police acted. The Barlow also has a reputation among protestors for the violence it dishes out.
The HSA spokesperson said "Time and again we see hunt saboteurs arrested with no evidence of wrongdoing but the word of hunt members. It is just a dirty tactic and the police play along with it. However, when hunt saboteurs are the victims of hunt violence, little or no action is taken. In the cases where 2 hunt saboteurs lost their lives at hunts, no arrests were made. The fact that hunt members will attack hunt saboteurs and make false accusations to get us removed from the killing fields is testament to how effective we are at saving lives."
A civil case against the police is thought to be "very likely".
Mike Hill died under the wheels of the Cheshire Beagles hound van on 9 February 1991
Tom Worby died under the wheels of the Cambridgeshire Hunt hound van on 3 April 1993