We the 'Hunt Saboteurs Association' are all about direct action in the field, indeed we are the only organisation that directly saves the hunted animal, whether that is a fox or a pheasant or more recently badgers during the cull. Sabs for over 50 years have intervened and disrupted countless hunts saving many thousands of animals.
Right now though we are asking everyone to contact their MP as a matter of urgency, This government is trying to amend the hunting act to allow any number of hounds to “flush to guns”. This will make the already difficult process of getting convictions under the hunting act even harder and it is with that in mind that we would ask you to push your MP to not only reject this weakening amendment of the act but to urge for an amendment to the hunting act to actually strengthen it.
Ways of strengthening the act could include:
- Removing the 'Bird of prey' exemption
- Removing the 'Digging out' exemption
- Require all hounds to be muzzled
- Include a recklessness clause i.e. If a huntsman puts his hounds through an area where he would reasonably expect to pick up the scent of a fox he could be prosecuted.
- Make the offence recordable - so it carries a criminal conviction
You can find your MP on this link, please email them telling them you want to see the hunting act enforced more rigorously and that you will not vote for anyone who votes for any watering down of the act.
Week in, week out, hunt saboteurs across the country witness clear breaches of the hunting act, often with police present and yet few arrests are ever made. Those saboteurs are all volunteers and pay for the fuel costs each week out of their own pockets, they often face physical assaults, criminal damage to property and police harassment whilst simply trying to stop animals being cruelly killed for somebodies “entertainment”. All saboteur groups rely on the HSA for grants to maintain vehicles, buy or replace broken cameras etc
The easiest way for you to stay up to date with whats going on in our countryside and ensure that our wildlife is protected is to buy membership to the HSA, at only £15 a year it gives you 3 copies of Howl and the piece of mind that sabs can continue doing what they do best...
To make a one off donation please click here.
On Saturday the 15th March a group of over 40 hunt saboteurs attended the Sinnington Hunt's final meet of the season at Kirkdale, North Yorkshire.
The hunt was targeted in response to the violent assault of a lone hunt monitor two weeks earlier which left him requiring x-rays. His camcorder was stolen and his mobile phone smashed by members of the hunt. The attack could have been worse had an off-duty police officer not stopped to offer assistance.
Not one of the dozen or so hunt followers present during the attack came to the assistance of the lone monitor who had gone out that day to ensure the hunt obeyed the law. One member of the hunt has already been arrested and further arrests are expected.
After the complete disruption of the hunt's final meet (coincidentally also the final meet for retiring huntsman Adrian Dangar) it can only be
hoped that the followers of the Sinnington, as well as their new huntsman, have learnt that a 'lone' monitor is never truly alone.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated:
“These brave monitors deserve our respect for putting themselves in dangerous situations to ensure the law is being upheld. These violent hunts need to know that hunt saboteurs will always come to the aid of monitors who have been attacked as we know only to well how it feels to be on the receiving end of hunt violence”
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:
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