HSA news release 25th November 2003

Don't make us do another 40 years, Mr Blair

The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) is "cautiously optimistic" that the Bill to ban hunting will be included in tomorrow's Queen's speech. This December marks the 40th anniversary of the HSA.

The Association are having a party at the end of this season and hope to make it a double celebration as it marks the last full season of hunting with hounds before it is banned. Even if a ban on hunting is not mentioned in the Queen's speech, we expect the Parliament Act to still be used.

Nathan Brown, HSA spokesperson, said "They say life begins at 40 and a ban on hunting with hounds would give us a new lease of life to focus on other bloodsports. Many people only heard of hunt saboteurs in the '80s or '90s and don't realise how long we've been about. Michael Howard tried to ban us with Aggravated Trespass clauses in the Criminal Justice Act in 1994 but we kept on saving lives. We have faced criminalisation of our legitimate right to protest and faced extreme violence including the death of 2 sabs. We have faced all this adversity and now we are celebrating the ripe old age of 40."

The HSA started in 1963 when people first used aniseed trails & hunting horns to disrupt hunts in Devon. The realisation that the political process would take a long time and that every day without a ban meant animals being chased and killed is what motivates hunt saboteurs to this day. The HSA spokesperson added "Without our intervention, more than 20,000 animals will be persecuted by hunts every year in the UK until there is a ban. We will be there for the animals, but we hope it will not take another 40 years for the ban that the people of this country want to become law. I would say we want to be out of a job, but despite rumours to the contrary, none of us get paid!"

Hunt saboteur Dave Wetton has been involved since the HSA's inception, has become their unofficial historian, and is more than happy to give interviews reflecting on how things have changed over the last 40 years in the battle to stop bloodsports.

Journalists may also be able to join hunt saboteur groups in action but must accept that the purpose of the day is to save lives rather than provide a media stunt. They will have to come prepared for fast moving action, and the risk of getting wet and muddy!

Things as they used to be... Things as they have to be

Notes to Editors:-

  • There has been widespread speculation about the inclusion of the Hunting Bill in the Queen's speech
  • Hunt saboteurs use non violent tactics to save lives at hunts across the country every week
  • 2 hunt saboteurs have been killed and hundreds of others seriously injured by hunters and supporters
  • 40 years is a long time to suffer physical attacks, beatings, abuse, arrests, lies and slagging off in the media when all you are trying to do is save a small animal from suffering at the hands of a bunch of inadequate bullies.