Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release 7th October 2013
HUNT protesters are to use 'spy in the sky' technology in the on-going battle to stop hunters flouting the ban on hunting with dogs.
The Hunt Saboteurs Association says it will be using 'drones' mounted with cameras to gather evidence during a week-long 'hare hunting' festival, set to take place in the Pennines later this month.
During the Alston Hare Week, which starts Monday, October 14, hunters with packs of beagle hounds, bred and trained to hunt hares, will travel from across the country to hunt the moors outside the market town of Alston.
The HSA, which promotes non-violent direct action to save hunted animals, is concerned that the event, which is open only to hardcore hunt supporters and takes place in remote terrain, could provide an opportunity for illegal hunting.
It says a team of 'unmanned aerial vehicle' operators will be at the event helping to locate hunters and capture vital evidence of any illegal hunting.
A HSA spokesperson Lee Moon said: "Our new camera 'drones' will ensure people are always in the best tactical position to try to stop hares being ripped to shreds by packs of dogs. This week the hare hunters of Alston will find there is no hiding place for any illegal activities."
The recent convictions of the Heythrop, Middleton and Seavington hunts prove that hunts across the country are continuing to use packs of dogs to hunt and kill wild animals despite the practice being banned in 2004.
Notes to editors:
(1) 2013 is the 50th Anniversary of the Hunt Saboteurs Association. The HSA marked this occasion by sabotaging 50 of the usually elusive hare hunts. (Photos/video available)
(2) 'Beagling' is the practice of hunting hares with a pack of beagles. The hounds are followed on foot by hunters and supporters.
(3) There are 68 beagle packs operating in Britain today. Since the hunting ban, hare hunters have become increasingly secretive about their activities. Because hare hunting take place on open farmland and moors it very difficult for hunters to falsely claim they are 'trail hunting' as many foxhunters do. The HSA believes illegal hunting of hares is widespread amongst beagle packs.
(4) Alston Hare Week is organised by the Weardale and Tees Valley Beagles. Between 70-100 beaglers attend annually, making it one of the most important events in the hare hunting calendar.
(5) The Alston Hare Week is followed by a similar, equally secretive event: the Northumberland Beagling Festival organised by the Newcastle and District Beagles.
Lessons in cruelty and law breaking: Top public school to teach pupils how to hunt hares with dogs - despite being illegal
Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release 4th October 2013
The Young Hare Hunters' Day is set to take place on
The event will see pupils from
Nearly 10 years after the ban on hunting with dogs, the HSA is asking why such an event is taking place at all.
HSA Press Officer Lee Moon said: "Why are they teaching
One of the 'tutors' on the day will be Mr Steven Duckmanton, of the Gloucester-based Dummer Beagles, who will be giving lessons in 'handling hounds'.
Mr Moon said: "Steven Duckmanton is well known in hunting circles for having one of the highest kill rates of any beagle pack in the country”.
Last season he reportedly claimed to have killed '37 brace' of hares (hunting speak for 74 individual animals) whilst out with his pack. The HSA believes it is unacceptable that an individual who is blatantly and routinely breaking the law should be training school children in law breaking activities at
The HSA will be holding a peaceful demonstration at the college for the duration of the event; and, as the hunting season approaches, will continue to closely monitor the activities of the Eton College Beagles.
Notes to Editors
(1) The Prime Minister David Cameron attended
(2) 'Beagling', which sounds quite cuddly and innocuous, is the practice of hunting hares with a pack of beagles. The hounds are followed on foot by the hunters.
(3) There are 68 beagle packs operating in
(4) Since the hunting ban beagle packs have become extremely secretive about their activities. The HSA believes illegal hunting of hares is widespread amongst beagle packs.
Hunt saboteurs association Press Release September 17th 2013
Nick Bycroft, professional huntsman with the financially troubled Crawley and Horsham Hunt appeared today before Worthing magistrates court charged with a Hunting Act offence dating from January 2013. The crime occurred during a meet at Angmering Park, near Arundel, West Sussex on land owned by the trustees of the Angmering Park Trust. He pleased guilty and was sentenced to a conditional 12 month conditional discharge, £150 costs and a £15 victim surcharge by magistrates. The magistrate is a neighbour and knows Mr Bycroft but this was not considered a conflict of interest.
The compelling footage of the incident was taken from more than a mile away by a hunt saboteur using state of the art equipment, and presented to Sussex police who commissioned Professor Stephen Harris of Bristol University to examine and report on the footage. It is understood Bycroft refused to answer questions at interview and gave only a prepared statement: this could be because he was concerned Sussex police were keen to bring a body corporate prosecution under the Hunting Act (This could have included the Directors and Masters of the hunt). It is to be remembered Sussex police have successfully prosecuted three members of the same hunt in 2012 for Hunting Act offences – they were convicted of five offences and fined a total of £10,000 fines and costs. The indications are that Bycroft’s refusal to answer questions was intended to ensure he did not reveal who was present. The guilty plea and the corresponding paltry sentence indicates the plan has been successful.
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