HSA news release January 24th 1995

Horrific video exposes cruelty of deerhunt

Labour MP for Nottingham South, Alan Simpson, will be hosting a Hunt Saboteurs Association press conference in London tomorrow at which dramatic video footage of a deer being drowned by the New Forest Buckhounds will be shown in public for the first time. Copies of the footage and stills from the video will be available at the Press Conference.

The video was taken by two hunt saboteurs who also carry out their own campaigning work under the name Wildlife Action at a Buckhounds meet in the New Forest on Friday 13th January 1995.

The hunt are allowed to carry out their revolting activities on Forestry Commission land under licence from the Commission, a government agency under the control of Agriculture Minister William Waldegrave. Campaigners are now calling for the licence to be revoked and for the hunting of deers to be banned. Not only do the Commission allow the hunt to carry on on their land, but they actually supply Commission keepers to help the hunt find deers to hunt and kill. These keepers are paid by the Commission with taxpayers’ money: the people of Britain who are overwhelmingly opposed to deerhunting are unwittingly subsidising this horrendous cruelty, courtesy of William Waldegrave, a known hunt supporter.

The video shows one of the hunt’s Masters and a hunt supporter holding the deer underwater, aftr a chase of over six miles, while the Master, David Marshall, appears to stand on the deer’s head. When the animal’s head is finally brought up out of the water so it can be shot, it is no longer moving – it is assumed they had already drowned the wretched creature, a horrendous way to die.

The HSA, Wildlife Action, and Alan Simpson MP are calling for Mr Waldegrave to take firm action:

  • the Buckhounds’ license to hunt in the New Forest must be immediately revoked;
  • an immediate suspension of all Forestry Commission involvement with, and support of, hunting;
  • an investigation of the hunt for possible criminal offences, specifically causing unnecessary suffering to a captive wild animal (Wild Animals Protection Act).

If Mr Waldegrave fails to take firm action immediately to stamp out this revolting practice, the British public will lose all faith in him and he should resign.

In addition, we call upon the Master of Deerhounds Association to prove they will stand by their much-publicised claim of not tolerating unnecessary cruelty by expelling the New Forest Buckhounds. The other three packs of Buckhounds are not recognised by the MDHA after a horrific incident in which a deer’s throat was slashed at the Cheldon Buckhounds: it is time the New Forest Buckhounds joined their colleagues in the wilderness.

Just two months after this incident, the New Forest Buckhounds were again caught out in horrific cruelty to a deer – this time ripping a deer’s throat out. Wildlife Action were again present and caught the incident on video, exposing the hunt once again .

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