Press Release 13th March 2014
On Boxing day 2012 at the meet of the South Down & Eridge fox hunt, the driver of the South Coast Hunt Sabs was the subject of a vicious and sustained attacked by supporters of the hunt. The groups Land Rover windscreen was smashed, the door bent back on its hinges and the keys and an ipad stolen. The driver sustained seven deeps cuts to his hands when he was hit with a rock, and subsequent swelling of the hands as he tried to protect his head. The wounds were so bad that the first police officer on the scene thought they were dog bites.
This assault was videoed by a static camera and two men were identified by name to the police. When questioned by the police one of the men gave a twenty page statement identifying two other individuals involved in the attack. There was also clear video evidence from earlier in the day identifying the same men by their clothes as being part of the attack. Earlier in the day police had been called as some of the same group were firing stones from a catapult at hunt saboteurs and the police questioned and videoed these men, although no arrests were made.
The police at the scene refused to take any action until a statement was made, stating that they were too scared to enter the meet where the hunt was packing up due to the threat of attack by hunt supporters. A statement was made by the driver even though he was suffering from severe cuts and bruising to his hands and possible concussion and before he received any medical treatment (the ambulance service had refused to attend the scene due to the nature of the incident and the danger to their staff). Eventually three arrests were made and two men charged. They were given bail conditions not to attend the hunt. One of the men broke these conditions but no action was taken against him.
Charges of Criminal damage, theft and ABH were dropped and the two men were charged with common assault by battery. The maximum sentence for which is 6 months in jail.
After two visits to court where the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had failed to hand over evidence, the case finally went ahead on the 12th March 2014. All the above evidence was heard including the damning 20 page statement made by one of the two defendants naming his co-defendant as being part of the attack and also being a paid terrier man for the hunt. One the three magistrates admitted to stabling her horses at the same location as one the men named in the paperwork (but not in court) but did not excuse herself. The defendants did not take the stand.
Even with all this evidence the magistrates found both men not guilty.
Lee moon of the hunt Saboteurs Association said:
“Once again we see hunt saboteurs being the subject of a violent attack and the police doing everything possible to avoid getting involved. Even with clear evidence of the perpetrators guilt magistrates refuse to convict. It seems that no matter what level of evidence hunt saboteurs present they are destined not to have justice from our legal system, which also fails time and again, to prosecute and convict hunts for breaking the Hunting Act. Luckily for the hunted wildlife this travesty of justice just makes hunt saboteurs more determined to protect our wildlife as it is clear we are their last line of defence”.
Video of the attack can be seen here:
The IEP was appointed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to evaluate the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of the Gloucestershire and Somerset pilots.
The leaked report shows that up to 18% of shot badgers took between five and ten minutes to die. This completely contradicts Defra's assertion that “all badgers killed as part of the pilot culls have been shot cleanly and killed instantly”.
The panel also found that less than half the required numbers of badgers were killed in each area during the six week trial. This failure may lead to an increase in bovine tb in both the cull zones themselves and in the surrounding areas.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "The IEP has only confirmed what everyone already knew. The trial badger cull was cruel and didn't work. Surely the Government won't continue with this farcical policy, but if they do, the hunting season is almost at an end and hunt saboteurs across the country will once again mobilise to fight the culls. We have learned from last year and will be even more effective at disrupting the killing this time round".
Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release 23rd February 2014
On 25th February 2012 members of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs and Northampton Hunt Saboteurs attended a meet of Otis Ferry's South Shropshire Foxhunt at the Mytton and Mermaid public house in Atcham near Shrewsbury.
The attached film shows the totally unprofessional and biased approach the police took during this incident and the subsequent violent arrest of one of the female sabs.
The sab in question later successfully sued West Mercia police for assault and unlawful arrest and received significant financial compensation. The release of this footage was delayed whilst this legal action took place. During the whole incident sabs were assaulted and spat at by hunt supporters in clear view of the police without any action being taken.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “This incident is a shocking example of West Mercia Police’s pro-hunt leanings.
The force have a justified reputation as one of the most biased in the country and we hope this public shaming, and financial penalty, will force them to modify their behaviour. We are pleased that the compensation received by the victim was used for essential repairs of the group vehicle which enabled them to be out in the field saving hunted animals.”
Note to editors:
Photos of the incident attached.
Please use either and credit the Hunt Saboteurs Association.
For any further enquiries please contact our Press Officer by email, or phone on 07928 714122
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