Over 80 hunt saboteurs and anti-cull campaigners descended on Forthampton Estate near Tewkesbury today to show their disapproval at the proposed badger cull. The 3000 acre shooting estate covers 3% of the Gloucestershire cull zone and fully supports the cull. The saboteurs took full advantage of the estate's many footpaths to legally survey for badger setts as well as looking for evidence of the shooting industries guilty secrets and bad practices. They were followed by concerned, and occasionally aggressive, estate staff who were keen to keep them away from the game bird breeding facilities and release pens. The estate also had private security guarding key buildings. The police were out in force and even felt it necessary to send out their helicopter to keep an eye on events.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Today was an exercise in showing the cost of being involved in the cull. No one broke the law or went anywhere they weren't allowed yet Forthampton estate felt the need to bring all their staff in on a Sunday and even employ extra security while the police were out in force to watch people strolling around the countryside. With so many footpaths Forthampton Estate, and many other landowners in the cull zones, will find it difficult to stop legal opposition to the un-scientific, immoral badger cull”
Knock knock knockin' on the Tory's door!
Yesterday saw Hunt Saboteurs from all round the country give up their precious Sunday to travel to Birmingham and join other Anti-Badger Cull activists in displaying their support for the Hunting Act and their opposition to the Coalition Government's plans to tackle Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) by attempting to cull up to 70% of the native badger population, despite strong opposition by countless animal welfare groups, scientists and activists.
The day started with West Midlands police showing hostility to various people attempting to join in the protest and turning them away citing that the protest “was full”. Amusingly it wasn't just activists being turned away, but also furious members of the public who were simply trying to pass through the area. Undeterred, activists who were turned away found other routes to the protest rendering the Police's attempt at subverting democracy a failure.
Prior to the protest, a protest pen had been set up across the road from the entrance to the conference which the Police tried to force the activists into. However, standing their ground the activists refused to move and sat down in a line in front of the Police to avoid being pushed away from the entrance.
As the protest peaked, several Hunt Saboteurs equipped with HSA flags and poles made their presence known and made an attempt to enter the conference building, but it turns out they weren't on the list. Imagine that.
Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release September 26th 2012
This morning hunt saboteurs, from the Three Counties and Coventry groups, witnessed the Ledbury Hunt chase a fox down an active badger sett that had had most of its entrances blocked by hunt staff.
The hunt had met at Redmarley, Gloucestershire, and were clearly observed to be illegally cub hunting. They had already chased an adult fox and only the intervention of saboteurs had enabled the animal to escape. They then chased a second fox and a saboteur filmed the hounds follow it to an active badger sett. All but one of the entrances had been blocked with logs and soil and fresh spade marks could be seen where the sett had been disturbed. When they realised they were being monitored the hunt staff quickly removed their hounds from the scene.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “At a time when badgers are such a hot topic, particularly in Gloucestershire, it is incredible to witness the arrogance of the hunting community. They not only illegally chase foxes but are also illegally interfering with badger setts. With the increased public interest in these issues due to the imminent badger cull, which has led to an influx of new members, we look forward to being able to gather more evidence of illegal hunting and save more persecuted wild life.”
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