HSA news release 1st November 2006
Hunt Saboteurs write to all Police forces to say ‘For Fox Sake – Enforce the Ban!’
The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) has today written to all police forces in England and Wales in order to ascertain current plans for enforcement of the ban on hunting with hounds. November 1st has traditionally been the start of the publicised hunting season (hunts have been out Cubhunting since August), and this year it also marks the start of the second full season under the hunt ban. Although some hunts marked the start of the season last Saturday (28th October), the majority will hold their full opening meets today, or this coming Saturday.
Dawn Preston, spokesperson for the HSA, stated ‘As we go into our second full season under the ban brought in by the Hunting Act 2004, we thought it prudent to ask all the relevant police forces about their approach to ongoing reports of illegal hunting, how they wanted such reports made, and how they planned to enforce the law. Since the close of the last season we have seen a successful (private) prosecution of the first fox hunt caught hunting illegally, and only last week seen a hunt supporter receive a prison sentence, albeit suspended, for a violent attack on a hunt monitor. The first public prosecution against a hunt is also being brought by Avon and Somerset Constabulary, against the Devon and Somerset Staghounds. What we need now is a clear message of enforcement being sent by the police to the hunts in their locality – after all the law was brought in for a reason – so for fox sake enforce it!’
She continued ‘Whilst we welcome the prosecution being brought by Avon and Somerset Constabulary, it is our experience that despite the ease of switching to drag hunting – a cruelty-free alternative to traditional hunting – many hunts continue to hunt illegally. The HSA is an anti-hunt organisation with over 40 years of campaigning and non-violent activity against bloodsports and, as the very people who are out in the fields with the hunts – both prior to and subsequent to the ban – we are well placed and experienced enough to know exactly what the hunts themselves are getting up to. As such, besides asking the police to tell us what they plan to do, we have offered to lend them our expertise in this area. We have excellent knowledge of the hunting fraternity, are not afraid to capture evidence of law breaking, and are willing to pass such information on in the hope of helping the police enforce the law. Indeed proof, if it were needed, that we know precisely what we’re doing out in the field can be found in the fact that the Countryside Alliance has just dedicated 3 pages to us in their recent ‘Hunting Handbook 2006-2007’. Praise indeed.’