HSA news release 16th November 2003

Hunt Saboteurs Beat Living Crap out of Gamekeeper, Hunt Saboteur Assaults Horse - Fact and Fiction Blurred?

These were the headlines and mentions we attracted on the BBC and elsewhere this week. One was as a result of a press release put out by the Countryside Alliance (CA) yesterday, and reported through various outlets including the BBC and Teletext, the other was the slanderous reference to us in Radio 4's 'The Archers' after gamekeeper Greg Turner got a beating supposedly by 'a group of sabs'. The fictional element is a strong feature of both in our view.

How likely does it sound to anyone who knows what Hunt Saboteurs actually do (rather than what the Countryside Alliance tell the media we do) that a sab has assaulted a horse? Also, to anyone knowing the history of the Ashford Valley foxhunt and their methods of 'deterring' sabs, the fact that a sab was arrested for allegedly assaulting a hunt supporter will raise an eyebrow or two (although given the past relationship between the hunt and the police, maybe it won't). When a hunt that regularly enlists 5 or more 4x4's full of roving thugs to deal with saboteurs has to allege that they suffered an assault, that's got to be embarrassing.

One interesting aspect of the CA release was that it managed to make the news at all when all the other previous outbreaks of violence at hunts this year have somehow not appeared in the media. They did involve huntsmen and supporters nearly killing sabs - but then, is that news any more?

Now that we have hit the headlines in this way, maybe a journalist might like to look into the truth (shock horror!) of what happens to Hunt Saboteurs when they try to stop hunts from killing. You don't have to follow the polite lines you normally use when contacting hunts to get their sanitised view of hunting with dogs, here are some helpful tips:

  • just buy a camo jacket at your local army surplus store,
  • put on some clothes that you don't mind getting muddy or ripped on brambles and barbed wire,
  • get out of your nice warm 4x4 and into a field near a hunt,
  • shout a little or try to blow a hunting horn and generally act like you think a sab might
  • ...then see what happens when the hunt and their followers or the police come over for a 'chat'.

If and when you get out of the hospital / police cells drop us a line letting us know how sorry you are for believing the lies and rubbish put out by the our opponents, your colleagues in the media and the police.