Hare Hunters In Our Sights

On 5th February, West Mids Hunt Sabs shot damning footage of the Warwickshire Beagles in action. It is extremely distressing to watch: over the course of an afternoon, five terrified hares are closely pursued by the hounds, with one leaping over a dry stone wall in their desperation to escape. Only determined action by West Mids sabs prevented any kills.

Such footage of beagling in progress is extremely rare. In the infamous leaked Hunting Office webinars, the beagle packs were specifically instructed by their governing body – the Association of Masters of Harriers & Beagles (AMHB) – to pack up and go home the minute hunt sabs arrive on the scene.

Look out for beaglers in traditional garb…those white breeches stand out a mile…
Look out for beaglers in traditional garb…those white breeches stand out a mile…

West Mids’ footage makes it clear why: as beagling takes place in open fields, it is impossible to even attempt the ‘smokescreen’ of trail hunting. So, when beagle packs disregard the AMHB’s advice – as the Warwickshire so unwisely did – they are immediately exposed as the hare hunting thugs that they are.

But the Warwickshire are just one of many beagle packs to be sabbed this season. In Wales, the Emylyn have been hit, the west of England’s RAC, Severn Vale and Dummer Beagles have also been regularly sabbed. Further east, the Old Berkeley, Blean, Bolebroke and Stour Valley Beagles have all faced persistent sab attention. Best of all, a sick ‘festival’ of hare hunting in remote Northumberland was abandoned in the face of mass action by hunt saboteurs.

…but many packs have ditched their uniform to try and keep a low profile.
…but many packs have ditched their uniform to try and keep a low profile.

A HSA spokesperson commented:

“In the uncertain years after the Hunting Act, the hare hunters were largely free from sab attention as we grappled with fox hunting under the new law. Those days are well and truly over, and beagle packs are firmly back in our sights. As the hare hunters were not as well-known as their fox hunting cousins, we have worked hard to educate the public about their existence. That hard work has paid off and we now regularly receive tip offs about beagle packs all over the country. Please help us save more hares by keeping that information coming in.”

If you have any information on beagle packs, please call our confidential hot line on: 07443 148 426.

Sign up for our Newsletter

* indicates required