Fitzwilliam huntsman, George Adams (now retired) and Bird of Prey Handler, John Mease have been charged with offences relating to the Hunting with Dogs Act for the killing of a fox near Wansford, Cambs earlier this year. There is also another cruelty charge which came to light during the investigation.
The charges relate to a hunt on New Years Day, one of the biggest occasions in the hunting calendar. Sabs observed the hounds go into cry and a fox was seen running along the river bank with the hounds in pursuit. The huntsman encouraged the hounds on and they finally caught and attacked the fox in a corner of a field with the huntsman looking on. It was still alive when sabs arrived although hunt support were trying to remove the evidence. The fox had been disembowelled. It was pronounced dead by a sab shortly afterwards.
The hunt were pretending to use the Bird Of Prey Exemption however the Eagle they had present was never unhooded and not in a position to fly. The hunt staff made no attempt to call off the hounds. Evidence and witness statements were supplied by Beds and Bucks & South Cambs hunt saboteurs to Cambridgeshire Police.
Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It is gratifying that Cambridgeshire Police have acted on the evidence gathered by hunt sabs. We now expect the Crown Prosecution Service to act with similar conviction in prosecuting these law breakers. George Adams was a very experienced huntsman who would have had full control of his hounds and knew he was breaking the law. If illegal hunting carried a stiffer penalty then maybe the hunts would think twice before blatantly flouting the Hunting Act.”
Charles Robert Walker, supporter of the York and Ainsty South Hunt, has pleaded guilty to assaulting a hunt saboteur at Beverley Magistrates Court. Walker also pleaded guilty to drink driving, driving without insurance, failing to stop after an accident and failing to stop for police.
All the offences occurred at a meet of the York and Ainsty South Fox Hunt at Sandhall, near Goole, East Riding in March this year. It was the hunts final meet of the season and hunt saboteurs from Sheffield and West Yorkshire were present to ensure no foxes were illegally hunted and killed. Drunken hunt supporters abused and assaulted sabs throughout the day, driving aggressively at them and attempting to steal and damage video cameras. Walker was eventually arrested after overtaking the sab vehicle at high speed on a bend, in front of watching police.
Walker received a suspended 16 week prison sentence and has been banned from driving for 2 years.
Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “We are pleased that Walker pleaded guilty and has been punished for this lengthy list of offences. We suspect however, that if a hunt saboteur had committed such offences they would currently be starting a prison sentence. These illegal hunts, and the thugs who support them, think they are above the law and only strict penalties from the courts will show them this is not the case.”
Hunt saboteurs Association Press Release 19th March 2016
Members of North East Hunt Sabs were attacked today by masked terrier men from the Middleton Hunt who met at Skirpenbeck near York. It was a cowardly attack on a female driver and their passenger.
The men used spades to smash the windscreen and a side window whilst a red coat from the hunt blocked the road. Excellent driving enabled the sabs to escape before further damage was caused. The sabs waited over an hour for the police before finally accepting they couldn't be bothered to turn up and investigate the crime. They will be reporting it to local police tomorrow.
Lee Moon, Press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Last week it was the Ross Harriers and this week it is the Middleton hunt smashing windows on hunt saboteurs vehicles. Add to that the broken neck suffered by a League against cruel sports employee at the hands of the Belvoir hunt in Leicestershire and it becomes apparent that these are dark days in the British countryside. Violent hunt thugs are acting with impunity knowing that the police, if not actively pro-hunt, will certainly turn a blind eye to violence from the powerful hunting community. Fortunately hunt sabs are a tough bunch who know they are supported by the majority of the population and we become even more determined to stop the hunts killing when faced with violence.”