The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that positive news was in short supply this year. Despite all the misery, the Hunt Saboteurs Association has continued to protect our wildlife and inflict damage on the hunters.
The biggest anti-hunt story of the year was undoubtedly our exposé of Hunting Office webinars which fatally damaged the ‘smokescreen’ of trail hunting.
The HSA has been saying trail hunting was a lie for 15 years, but it was good to have it confirmed by the director of the Master of Foxhounds Association!
Significant though it is, our webinar scoop is only one success in another busy year.
Back in March, many sabs used their lockdown exercise to rid their local area of illegal traps and other detritus left by the shooting industry.
As summer came, and the rules relaxed, sab bubbles tracked down highly secretive mink and otter hunts and prepared to disrupt the seventh annual badger cull.
On the so-called Glorious Twelfth – the start of the grouse shooting season – the HSA mobilised over a hundred sabs. This Covid-secure sab army prevented any shooting in the Peak District and shut down a Pennine grouse shoot in short order!
With the virus taking off again in autumn, the Tory government predictably gave hunting a ‘sport’ exemption. Once again, sabs were forced out into the killing fields, saving countless hares and foxes.
As 2020 ends, with the webinar fall-out repeatedly making national news, it is easy forget that the media were initially wary of going near it.
It was only after the HSA courageously self-published the footage that the mainstream media and other anti-hunt groups got on board. Success, as they say, has many parents.
So, the year ends with hunting weaker than it has ever been. Its administrative body – the Hunting Office – is mired in a police investigation; land owning bodies like the National Trust and United Utilities are falling over themselves to suspend trail hunting licenses; and members of the public are sending the HSA more tip-offs than we can act on!
We will do everything we can to increase the pressure in 2021.
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