Hunt Saboteurs Association AGM Cancelled

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Hare hunters sent packing by sabs

With regret, the HSA committee has decided to cancel this year’s AGM due to be held at Reading International Solidarity Centre on 24th July 2021. The safety of sabs, supporters and the public are our priority and continued uncertainty around Covid-19 means that we do not feel it can go ahead.

In normal times, the AGM is a chance for sabs and our supporters to gather, eat a lot of vegan food and celebrate our achievements. While we cannot have our AGM this year, there is still much to feel proud of…

Way back in August 2020, well over 100 sabs gathered in the Peak District to disrupt the start the so-called Glorious Twelfth, the start of the grouse shooting season. With so many sabs in attendance, most shoots did not dare venture out. Those that did quickly regretted it!

Grumbling grouse shooters in full retreat.
Grumbling grouse shooters in full retreat.

Late summer also saw the cruel and unscientific badger cull rolled out to 11 new zones with the aim of killing 65,000 of one of Britain’s favourite wild animals. As in previous years, sabs from across the country mobilised to fight the cull, using military-grade thermal imaging equipment to get between the shooters and the badgers. The 2020 figures show that a horrifying 38,642 badgers were killed in this cull. While this figure is heart-breaking, it would have been far higher without the amazing efforts of hunt sabs supported by the HSA.

Sabs shine a light on cruelty, badger cull 2020.
Sabs shine a light on cruelty, badger cull 2020.

As lockdown eased, the hunts – bolstered by £10,000 Covid-19 government grants – wasted no time in getting back to killing our wildlife. Fortunately, sabs had developed Covid-secure protocols and were able to sabotage countless fox and hare hunts across the country.

Hare hunters sent packing by sabs.
Hare hunters sent packing by sabs.

November saw the now-infamous Hunting Office webinars- which revealed trail hunting as a ‘smokescreen’ for illegal hunting – hit the national headlines. The ensuing media storm meant that hunting has rarely been out of the news since, and over 2.3 million acres of land have been lost to hunting as a result!

The HSA has ensured that hunting remains in the headlines.
The HSA has ensured that hunting remains in the headlines.

With lockdown reimposed in December, sabs used their permitted exercise to patrol their local areas. What they found was truly horrifying: many parts of our countryside are littered with a grotesque array of traps, snares, and stink pits. The shooting industry use these cruel devices to wipe out any animals that threaten the artificial over-abundance of pheasants and grouse.

Grim: gamekeeper’s ‘gibbet line’ of dead moles.
Grim: gamekeeper’s ‘gibbet line’ of dead moles.

Restrictions began to ease in April, just in time for Britain’s fifteen or so mink and otter hunts to head for the rivers. This form of hunting is notoriously secretive, but sabs have already managed to disrupt the Dove Valley, Northern Counties, Courtenay Tracy and Three Counties Mink Hounds. With the public increasingly aware of this vile activity, it promises to be a long, hot summer for the mink hunters!

Sab drone closes in on the Courtenay Tracy Hounds, May 2021.
Sab drone closes in on the Courtenay Tracy Hounds, May 2021.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we’ve also managed to donate over £60,000 to our affiliated sab groups and welcomed our 58th group to the network.

So, while we cannot gather for our AGM, this most difficult of years has still seen incredible success for the Hunt Saboteurs Association.

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