Hunt saboteurs have been in action twice this bank holiday weekend against the Devon-based Culmstock Mink Hounds.
On Saturday 3rd May 50 sabs descended on their meet on the River Yarty near Chard and brought hunting to an immediate halt. A convoy of sab vehicles spent the rest of the day pursuing the hunt's hound van through the Devonshire countryside. The pursuit eventually ended in Honiton where four police cars blocked off the High Street to allow the hound van to return to kennels.
Today,Monday 5th May,10 saboteurs attended the hunt's kennels at Cullompton while a further 40 patrolled their anticipated meet at the Culm Valley Inn. The hunt did not venture beyond the kennels and no hunting took place.
The hunt saboteurs used a drone (unmanned aircraft) to track, and monitor, the hunt. Members of the hunt were so concerned by the presence of the drone that they threw stones at it to try and make it crash.
HSA Press Officer Lee Moon commented, "This weekend the hunters have become the hunted.The Culmstock Mink Hounds have had a disastrous start to their season and,with sab groups up and down the country making similar plans, it promises to be a long hot summer for the minkhunts."
Photographs and video are available.
Notes to Editors:
1.The Culmstock was formed in 1790 and hunted otters for almost two hundred years. They claim to have switched to mink hunting in 1978 and to hunting rats in 2005.
2.The Culmstock are kenneled with the East Devon Foxhounds at Cullompton.
3.There are approximately 20 mink hunting packs operating in Britain today. As with the Culmstock, many of these were formerly otter hunts.
4. Photo from the drone attached shows a hunt supporter (between the yellow and blue cars)
throwing a stone. More stills from the drone are available on request.
The Scottish Wild Salmon Company, which announced last week that it was going to stop shooting seals at Gardenstown due to pressure from sabs and SSUK, has now removed all its nets from the area and seems to have closed down its operation there.
SWSC are thought to have killed up to 70 seals in this area last year. Since sabs arrived this year they have killed none. Around 150 seals are now using a haul out close to Gardenstown, safe from SWSC's killers. The wild salmon heading to spawn in the rivers on this stretch of coast are also safe for now.
Sabs and Sea Shepherd will continue to defend seals and salmon in Gardenstown and the next stage of the operation is being planned.
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