HSA News Release 17th February 2007
Violence erupted at a meet of the Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds today at Whatfield, north of Sudbury in Suffolk. After chasing it through a farmyard, over a fence, across a road and into a wood, the hounds caught and killed an fox. Hunt stewards then warned monitors that they would “end up in hospital today”. Police were in attendance all day, yet the stewards came upon the group of 6 monitors and savagely assaulted them. Two of the stewards were subsequently arrested by Suffolk Police on suspicion of Violent Disorder, and later another steward, and the terrier man of the hunt were also arrested for the same offence.
It is almost exactly two years since the hunting ban came into effect, yet there has still not been a single Crown Prosecution charge levelled against any of the more than 200 foxhunts in England, despite continuous verifiable allegations of breaches of the Act.
One monitor needed hospital treatment for a broken nose and other facial injuries, but the question remains why were the hunt allowed to act in this way, when the police were there supposedly to prevent breaches of the act and public order offences?
Hunt stewards are renowned for their disposition towards violence, and surely we have reached the stage where the police should be watching the law breakers.
Lawrence Moore, spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association said; ”Every single week somewhere in England hunt monitors, (volunteers who have to give up their time to monitor illegal foxhunts, because the police do not) are threatened, harassed and assaulted by hunts, hunt servants and hunt supporters. Foxhunts kill foxes, their goons assault those trying gain evidence of it, and the police are still only attending hunts to prevent public order offences. If they can’t even manage this objective, how can anyone possibly imagine they are going to be able to catch the hunts breaking the Hunting Act. The work of the Hunt Saboteurs Association continues each week because we are the only people trying to catch the hunt criminals.
“Perhaps now is the time to reconsider the provisions of the Hunting Act, in order to ensure that what MP’s voted for is actually having an effect on the behaviour of the countryside killers.”