Hunt Sabotuers Association Press release 04/03/2013
Three men have been jailed after capturing themselves on camera committing sustained and horrific levels of animal cruelty in a case the RSPCA described as “the most disturbing” he has handled in 23 years.
The crimes came to the light after a Hunt Saboteur passed on photographic and video evidence, first to the League against Cruel Sports (LACS), who then handed it onto the RSPCA. Mark Wesley Smith, Liam Patrick Ardito and Gary Cannon, all from Grimsby, admitted setting their dogs on a trapped fox in a sickening cage fight on the town’s golf course, where they had posed as pest controllers.
The trio also filmed themselves and took photos as they laughed and joked, while their dogs tore wild animals to pieces. A fourth man is being sought for similar charges.
All three were given 16 week jail sentences for a total of 30 charges – which also included keeping premises for use for dog fighting. Two defendants were banned from keeping dogs and birds for life, while the third defendant was given a lifetime ban on keeping dogs. District judge Daniel Curtis expressed his horror at the shocking levels of “organised, methodical cruelty against defenceless disadvantaged animals.”
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “This case goes to show that there is no place to hide for animal abusers, and that pro-animal organisations will put aside all differences over tactics when it comes to protecting our wildlife. We congratulate both the LACS and the RSPCA in their handling of the information and the case.”
Hunt saboteurs Association Press Release. 26th December 2012
A hunt saboteur has been viciously beaten by supporters of the South Down and Eridge Foxhunt during their prestigious Boxing Day meet at the White Heart pub in Lewes, East Sussex. The saboteur was on his own in a vehicle when a hunt supporter got in through an unlocked rear door. A group of seven men then attacked him with walking sticks and he was forced to curl up to protect himself. He suffered severe injuries to his hands which he had used to cover his head. The attackers also stole an ipad, the vehicles keys and caused damage to the vehicle, including smashing the windscreen. One man has been arrested following the incident.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Boxing Day is the most prestigious, high profile day in the hunting calendar, the day when the national press are watching them and they are on their best behaviour. Yet still their violent supporters cannot control themselves and viciously attack those who peacefully oppose them. We are pleased the police have acted so promptly and are hopeful that more arrests will follow.”
Note to Editors
For photos of the smashed windscreen please see:
Previous incidents involving the South Down and Eridge can be seen here:
The prestigious Heythrop Hunt, based in the Cotswolds, has been found guilty of illegal hunting. Heythrop Hunt Ltd, the Huntsman Julian Barnfield, and the Master Richard Sumner all admitted four counts of illegal hunting during a hearing at Oxford Magistrates Court. This is the first occasion since hunting was made illegal in 2005 that there has been enough evidence to take an entire hunt to court rather than specific individuals. The case was brought by the RSPCA using evidence filmed by Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) and both organisations should be congratulated for their hard work and dedication in bringing such a watertight case against a powerful and influential adversary.
The hunting community will now try and confuse the issue by talking about this as a politically motivated case and complaining about how much it has cost the RSPCA. And they’re right, it shouldn’t have cost the RSPCA a penny. This case should’ve been brought to court by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service but it is their reluctance to take action against these well connected hunts that forces charities to act. The Heythrop have repeated broken the law of the land, and happily admitted to doing so, because they think they are above the law and that their powerful friends in Westminster, the police and the judiciary will protect them.
How dare Tim Pattinson, the District Judge who ruled on the case, feel it is his place to comment on how much the RSPCA chose to spend on enforcing the law. He should be using his position to call on the police to enforce the Hunting Act not to pass comment on those who dare challenge his cronies.
As the Heythrop Hunt has pleaded guilty to these charges we would like to see their hounds confiscated and re-homed and the hunt forced to close down as a lesson to all the other hunts that obeying the law is not optional, however well connected you may be.
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