Hunt saboteurs association Press Release 25th March 2015
Four hunt saboteurs were today found not-guilty of committing aggravated trespass after a two day trial at Redhill magistrates. The trial took place following their arrest at a meet of the Surrey Union Hunt near Ewhurst, Surrey in October last year. The saboteurs were trying to come to the aid of an injured deer that had been chased and injured by the hunt. Instead of allowing the sabs, who had years of animal sanctuary experience, to help the animal Surrey Police arrested them for failing to leave private land. They left the deer with the hunt terrier men who shot it.
During the trial a leading vet, Professor Andrew Knight, criticised the way the terrier men had treated the animal as they dragged it around by a broken leg and said it was almost certain its injuries had been caused by a pack of hounds. It became clear from video footage that the police had lied about the events of the day and the district judge in his summing up said that the hunt and police had caused unnecessary suffering to the deer due to their handling of the situation and that if the sabs had been allowed to help the animal they would have been able to reduce it's suffering. He also praised the saboteurs saying: "All of you contribute immensely to society not only in your working lives but in your free time. [on the day] You deserve high praise for managing yourselves and your behaviour."
Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Surrey police have a history of acting as private security for the Surrey Union Hunt. In this case they allowed their bias to lead to the unnecessary suffering of an animal. Despite the saboteurs informing the police that a crime had occurred they allowed the hunt to take the deer's body and dispose of it and arrested the saboteurs who were trying to minimise the animals suffering. We hope that the Surrey Union hunt will now be investigated for illegal hunting and that there will be an independent investigation into the actions of Surrey Police. Whilst we are pleased at the not-guilty verdict it is disgusting that this case ever came to trial.”