Since 1963 the Hunt Saboteurs Association have been at the forefront of the anti-hunting movement. Here are some important dates in our history.

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  • 1893

    In 1893 a man called Harrison was convicted for trespassing because he disrupted grouse shooting on the Duke of Rutland’s land, making him most likely the very first hunt sab. The plaintiff used a public highway to disrupt grouse-shooting upon the defendant’s land.

  • HSA roundfull


    HSA formed First Sab Boxing Day 1963 South Devon Foxhounds

  • 1964


    First Sab arrested 15th February 1964 for ‘insulting behaviour’ for feeding the Chiddingfold’s hounds.

  • 1964

    May 1964. Violence and criminal damage towards Sabs by the Culmstock Otterhounds.

  • 1965

    The first serious instances of anti-saboteur violence occurred during 1965. In February, three members of the Bournemouth group were attacked with an axe and a starting handle by thugs from the Sparkford Vale. Although a hunt supporter was fined £15 for breaking a saboteur’s guitar with the axe (!); eight sabs were fined £10 each […]

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    In 1967 there were 12 sab groups in existence

  • 1971

    First HSA AGM held.

  • 1971

    First HSA advert in the Private Eye, The Vegetarian, NME magazines.

  • howl73sml


    HOWL magazine established

  • seal


    Seal Cull in the Wash sabotaged by Hunt Saboteurs

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    HSA has 40 active groups.

  • open door 1975


    HSA appeared on the BBC’s Open Door programme

  • 1976

    First sab of the Waterloo Cup. The event is known in bloodsports circles as the ‘premier hare coursing event’, with three days of dogs chasing and tormenting hares.

  • 1977

    Waterloo Cup 1977. 130 Sabs, 36 arrested (31 convicted of action likely to cause a breach of the peace).

  • GrouseMoors


    HSA sab grouse shooting for the first time.

  • Eastern Counties OH


    Otters given legal protection in the UK.

  • 1979

    1979 HSA kicks out first racist member.

  • 1979

    Members of the National Front are barred from HSA membership.

  • 1979

    Two hunters convicted of assaulting two Sabs, who were then given 6 months for refusing to be bound over.

  • 1983

    Waterloo Cup 1983 – 350 Hunt Sabs attend. Sab Eddie Coulson is hit with a shooting stick and suffers brain damage. The attacker received 12 months in prison.

  • 1983

    In 1983 the HSA receives its first legacy.

  • 1983

    The HSA officially opposes Fishing as a blood sport.

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    In 1985 there were 91 active Hunt Sab groups.

  • 1986

    Public Order Act brought in to try to deter Hunt Saboteurs

  • 1987

    The Northumberland Beagling Festival sabbed.

  • lakeland


    HSA organises first ever week of action against Lakeland fell packs

  • 1988

    1988 – Fell Week. Sabs targeted the six foot packs who hunt the fells of the Lake District. The packs – the Blencathra, Coniston, Eskdale and Ennerdale, Lonsdale, Melbreak and Ullswater Foxhounds prioritise killing foxes. At the end of March 1988 Sabs from all over the country gathered in Cumbria to try to stop them.

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    In 1988 there were 140 active Hunt Sab groups

  • 1990

    HSA becomes a Not for Profit organisation.

  • 1990

    North Wiltshire Hare Week totally ruined by Hunt Sabs.

  • mike hill


    Death of Hunt Saboteur Mike Hill. At 4.00pm Saturday 9th February, 1991 Mike Hill became the first hunt saboteur to be killed whilst trying to protect wildlife.

  • 1991

    Alston Hare week in Cumbria sabbed.

  • 1992

    HSA AGM. Treasurer arrested during meeting over whether the venue allowed dogs.

  • tom worby


    Death of Tom Worby, a 15 year old. On Saturday 3rd April 1993, Tom and his girlfriend joined up with sabs at the closing meet of the Cambridgeshire Foxhounds near Cambridgeshire. The driver of the hound van, Huntsman Alan Ball, deliberately drove into Tom. Tom died at the scene. Ball was never charged.

  • 1994

    Criminal Justice and Public Order Act brought in to further try to deter Hunt Saboteurs.

  • 1996

    HSA office moved from Nottingham to Brighton.

  • 1999

    December 1999. The Home Secretary Jack Straw announces a Government inquiry into hunting with dogs, to be chaired by Lord Burns, the ‘Burns Enquiry’.

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    In 2000 there were 54 active Hunt Sab groups.

  • steve


    On 1 September 2000, Steve Christmas was at a dawn meet of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt attempting to stop them from killing fox cubs. He was driven over by a hunt supporter at the wheel of a four wheel drive vehicle. Steve almost died and was left seriously injured.

  • Scottish fox hunt


    Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 supposedly bans hunting with dogs, only to flush to a gun(s).

  • 2005


    Hunting with hounds supposedly banned in England and Wales under the Hunting Act 2004.

  • 2012

    Derby Hunt Sabs got the Meynell Hunt convicted under the Hunting Act in the first Sab led conviction under the Act.

  • badger car stickers


    The Badger cull begins – and is sabbed.

  • 50th anniversary


    In 2013 the HSA was 50 years old.

  • AlstonCancelled2


    HSA sabs the long-running Alston Hare Week out of existence.

  • nid


    In 2014 Hunt Sab ‘Nid’ was ridden down by huntsman Mark Doggrell of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Fox Hunt during an evening cubbing meet. She was left with 7 broken ribs. An ambulance was immediately called but was stopped from reaching the casualty by hunt vehicles.

  • SealCull.Barcaldine.day1 .resized


    Seal cull in Scotland sabbed by Hunt Saboteurs, in a joint operation with Sea Shepherd

  • 2014

    The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) announced its affiliation to the Anti-fascist network (AFN).

  • melbourne


    Melbourne (Australia) Hunt Sabs created.

  • huntsman  supporter at kill.resized


    April 2018 Fitzwilliam Huntsman George Adams was found guilty under Section 1 of the Hunting Act for killing a fox on New Years Day 2016. This was the first conviction of a hunt using the Falconry Exemption.  

  • atherstone


    After six long years of an unrelenting and unstoppable campaign by West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs the 200 year old Atherstone Hunt finally threw in the towel and folded in October 2019. The North Warwickshire Beagles had also received the attention of West Midlands Sabs and shut down in the same month.

  • dead fox.resized


    In April 2019 the original illegal hunting conviction against the Fitzwilliam hunt was upheld after the hunt appealed.

  • HSAI


    Hunt Saboteurs Ireland created.

  • Mancroft


    The hunting world was rocked in 2020 by a leaked webinar. The panel, including an ex-police officer, talked openly about using trail hunting to create a “smokescreen” to allow them to continue to hunt illegally and referred to terrier men as their “soft underbelly”.

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    In 2021 there are 58 affiliated sab groups.

  • hanky guilty


    Master of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) director Mark Hankinson was found guilty on 15th October 2021 of encouraging others to break the Hunting Act. This followed a HSA expose of online webinars run by the Hunting Office in August 2020.  The webinars evidenced a nationwide conspiracy by hunters to flout the 2005 hunting ban.

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    In December 2022 there are around 61 HSA affiliated sab groups.

  • finnegan


    On 6th December 2022 Ollie Finnegan – ex-huntsman of Leicestershire’s Quorn Hunt – pleaded guilty to Hunting Act offenses. The evidence consisted of dozens of WhatsApp messages found on Finnegan’s phone after it was seized by police.

  • Group shot


    At 11th December 2022, the HSA has given out £90,000 to affiliated groups so far this year.

  • HSA 60th logo timeline jpg


    2023 is the 60th anniversary of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, the oldest direct action organisation in the world. To celebrate we’ve given away sixty thousand pounds, one thousand to each of our affiliated local groups. The HSA is run entirely by volunteers.

  • Glasgow Hunt Saboteurs


    On 24th January 2023, in an historic vote in the Scottish parliament, MSPs voted to tighten up its legislation against hunting with hounds and close the loopholes that have allowed hunts to continue despite the 2002 ban.

  • avon vale hunt fox 1


    A shocking video released by the HSA on 8th February exposes the Avon Vale hunt digging out and throwing a fox to the hounds, another is chased by hounds. They are subsequently kicked out of the British Hound Sports Association, hunting’s ‘governing body’.