On Saturday the 10th January hunt saboteurs attended a meet of the Royal Agricultural College (RAC) Beagles who were meeting at the Holford Arms, Knockdown, Gloucestershire. From previous visits the hunt saboteurs know that the RAC hunt hares which was made illegal by the 2004 Hunting Act.
Upon sabs arrival they discovered the hunt chasing a hare in the fields behind the meet. They quickly stopped and headed back to their meet. The sabs then returned to their vehicles ready to depart.
As they approached their vehicles they were confronted by a large group of supporters, presumably from the University, some of whom were obviously very intoxicated. In a clear attempt at provocation one of the young men pulled a foxes brush and a dead rabbit out of his pick-up, thrusting it at sabs. Others were pushing and shoving people around, trying to separate and single out sabs from the rest of the group.
Refusing to rise to this, sabs got in their vehicles in an attempt to leave. Four vehicles driven by hunt supporters then blocked the small lane preventing them from leaving. One of the sab land rovers had it's windscreen smashed and the large group of hunt supporters then started to rock the land rover from side to side, chanting 'We are the boys of the RAC' as they did so, with the occupants still inside and fearing for their safety. The dead rabbit was then thrown on the bonnet of a land rover and mud was smeared over the drivers side of the wind screen and side window to obscure their vision. Several attempts were made by these thugs to enter the vehicles, as threats of violence were dished out. Whilst this was happening two whippers-in of the hunt, including Tom Ind, were present in full hunting attire, laughing at the behaviour of their peers and egging them on.
The saboteurs eventually managed to escape but were followed for a considerable distance by 5 vehicles full of intoxicated hunt supporters.
Lee Moon. Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “We have to ask the Royal Agricultural University if they think this violent and unlawful behaviour, as well as clear flouting of the Hunting Act by its students and staff, is acceptable? The RAC are supposed to be a respectable institution yet their students are acting more like a bunch of football hooligans, drink driving and causing criminal damage. We would like to hear the RAC officially distance themselves from illegal hunting and this loutish behaviour and take disciplinary action against those involved.”
Dead rabbit dumped on sab landrover
Note to editors:
The video of the incident can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Hl43PNUqAE
The RAC beagles are the official hunt of the Royal Agricultural College. They are kenneled at the college and hunted by RAC students.
Libby Gilbert, former master-huntsman of RAC Beagles had charges of illegal hunting against her dropped in 2013 after she failed to show up in court. She had returned to her home country (USA)
Prince Charles isPresident of the Royal Agricultural University.
Tory MP for Newbury, Richard Benyon, went there, as did UKIP MEP, Stuart Agnew