HSA news release 29th January 2005

Hunt 'stewards' arrested after attack on hunt saboteurs

Two men operating as hunt "stewards" for the Avon Vale Hunt were arrested on Saturday 29th January after attacking hunt saboteurs from Pewsey Vale and Bath.

The stewards attacked 2 saboteurs as they walked along a bridleway between Great Chalfield Manor and Little Chalfield Farm near Holt in Wiltshire.

The saboteurs, who had been closely followed by between 2 and 6 police officers all day, were attacked as they attempted to walk round a hunt vehicle blocking the bridleway. When the male saboteur was violently pushed to the ground, the female sab called for the police to intervene. She was also violently forced to the ground.

Both of the men were arrested for 'breach of the peace' and taken to Melksham police station for questioning. The saboteurs while severely shaken by the attack were otherwise unharmed and continued their activities.

The Avon Vale Hunt has seen regular intimidation and violence directed at hunt saboteurs from stewards, and huntsman Jonathan Seed recently boasted in hunting magazine 'Horse and Hound' (20 January 2005) "We have a policy of zero tolerance for antis. If they step on private land, they will be nicked by our marshals."

HSA spokesperson Nathan Brown said "The use of stewards by hunts invariably results in violence against our members, who are only there to save the lives of wild animals. By organising people specifically to target hunt saboteurs, Major Seed ultimately carries responsibility for their actions. We are glad to see that Wiltshire police took action over these attacks and hope that it is a signal that they will enforce the imminent hunting ban"

Contacts
Nathan Brown Hunt Saboteurs Association 07815 313181
Jonathan Seed, Avon Vale Hunt 01380 850695

Ends

Timeline: the recent wave of violence against anti-hunt protestors since the Hunting Act was passed...

  • 18 November 2004
    Parliament passes Hunting Bill. Hunting to be illegal on 19th February.
  • 20 November
    3 saboteurs injured. One has to undergo emergency surgery to save his finger. South Devon Hunt, Devon
  • 27 November
    Saboteur receives 5 stitches to head wound after attack. High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire
    17 year old saboteur receives broken nose after repeatedly headbutted. Crawley and Horsham Hunt, West Sussex
  • 4 December
    Saboteurs threatened by terrierman wearing balaclava. Numerous assaults on saboteurs including a broken nose. Essex Farmers and Union/East Essex Hunt, Essex
  • 11 December
    Saboteur's wrist broken in 2 places by terrierman. Essex Hunt, Essex Saboteur threatened by hunt supporter in front of police. High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire
  • 18 December
    Saboteur ridden over by hunt rider twice. Essex Farmers and Union Hunt, Essex.
    Saboteurs punched and equipment stolen. Attempts made to smash saboteur's van window with log. Van whipped, kicked and thumped. Attempts made to drag saboteurs from van. Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, Dorset.
  • 24 December
    2 cars smashed up and dead fox left on passenger seat of car. Chiddingfold Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt, West Sussex
  • 27 December
    Saboteurs threatened with knife. One ridden down. Hunt supporters then armed themselves with iron bars and sticks. Weston and Banwell Harriers, Somerset.
    2 saboteurs rugby tackled to ground. Puckeridge Hunt, Suffolk.
  • 31 December
    12 hunt saboteurs injured by mob of 30 thugs. East Essex Hunt, Essex.
  • 1 January 2005
    Pregnant woman taken to hospital with head injuries after being whipped and ridden over twice by hunt staff. Essex Hunt, Essex.
  • 3 January
    Hunt monitor's car destroyed in arson attack. West Sussex
  • 4 January
    2 saboteurs receive facial injuries and equipment is stolen. Surrey Union Hunt, Surrey.
  • 8 January
    4 female saboteurs attacked receiving limb injuries / fractures, vehicle badly damaged. Crawley & Horsham Hunt, West Sussex.
  • 15 January
    Saboteurs threatened and attacked, vehicle damaged. Cotswold Vale Hunt, Gloucestershire.
  • 20 January
    Hunt supporter armed with a metal spike punctures sab Landrover door, barely missing the driver's leg. Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, Wiltshire
  • 22 January
    60 year old female aboteurs ridden down - receives head and neck injuries. Dunston Harriers, Norfolk.