The Hunt Saboteurs Association would like to extend its thanks to the thousands of members of the public who have provided us with information over the last year.
Hunting became increasingly secretive after it was made illegal in 2005. Since the explosive Hunting Office webinars – which exposed ‘trail hunting’ as a smokescreen for traditional hunting – the hunters have been driven even further underground.
However, the publicity surrounding the webinar case means that we now receive an ever-increasing deluge of tipoffs and other forms of intelligence.
So, to join our army of eyes and ears in the countryside what should you look out for? Sometimes hunts are obvious – a red-coated huntsman and a pack of hounds is a pretty clear give away! Increasingly, however, both mounted and foot packs are ditching their uniforms in effort to conceal their illegal activities, so don’t be surprised if they are not dressed as you might expect. It goes without saying that when they tell you they are ‘trail hunting’ they are lying.
Vehicles are often a giveaway too. That collection of horseboxes at a house, pub or in a field is likely to be fox hunt meet; that convoy of muddy vehicles parked on the verge may well be ghoulish hunt supporters vying for a view of the hunted fox. The small number of cars parked discreetly at a remote barn could be a beagle pack trying to keep a low profile.
A HSA spokesperson added:
“Since the infamous ‘smokescreen’ webinar story broke over a year ago, hunting has rarely been out of the news. A direct result of this is that the HSA now receives an unprecedented number of tip-offs from members of the public. We always try to respond to reports of a hunt in progress, but even if hunt sab volunteers cannot attend, all intelligence is recorded for future use.”
We encourage our thousands of supporters to save our confidential tipoff hotline number – 07443148426 – into their phones and keep their eyes and ears peeled when out enjoying our beautiful countryside.