Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 4th March 2019
Hunt saboteurs from across the South and West sprung into action this week to sabotage the ‘Ilminster Hare Week’, a hare hunting ‘festival’ taking place in Somerset. The festival is hosted by the Ilminster Beagles, with other beagle & basset packs travelling to hunt hare in the area.
On Sunday, the opening day of the festival, over 50 saboteurs shut down a meet of the Ryeford Chase Rabbit Hounds at Beercrocombe, Somerset.
This was followed up by a meet of the Ilminster Beagles on Monday at Aller, Somerset. With sabs present the hunt did little more than hang around at the meet and take sabs on a short walk around nearby lanes.
With saboteurs in the area ready to disrupt meets throughout the rest of the week and the travelling packs under close observation, the hare hunters are promised to have an equally hard time going forward.
The brown hare population is in serious decline in this country and recent cases of diseases such as myxomatosis and RHDV2 further threatening the species. It is disgusting that organised hunts such as those taking part in this ‘festival’ continue to illegally persecute hares for sport.
Hunt saboteurs will not stand idly by whilst animals are chased and killed for fun and are prepared to take non-violent direct action whenever necessary to protect them.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “These secretive “festivals” are the last feeble kicks of a dying hunt tradition. Beagle and basset packs throughout the UK are on their last legs and are made up almost entirely of the older generation as youngsters want nothing to do with their “sport”. The hunts become ever more secretive and have to come together from all over the country to meet others who share their cruel and outdated views. Sabs will be out in Somerset for the rest of this week to ensure no killing takes place and that any packs that have travelled for the hare week have a wasted journey.”
A video has circulated on social media showing Mark, Ben and Edward Doggrell from the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt involved in a brawl outside the William Dampier pub in Yeovil on the evening of Saturday 9th February. The incident occurred after 4 men (presumably the Doggrell's) were ejected from another pub in the town and were then refused entry to the William Dampier. Avon and Somerset police commented on the footage saying: “We want to assure people that violence of this nature will not be tolerated”
Earlier on the same day the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale were witessed killing a fox and Mark and Edward were filmed disposing of the body. Mark Doggrell is the huntsman whilst his son Edward was field master on the day. Other son Ben is terrier man of the Cattistock Hunt. Hunt saboteurs from Weymouth Animal Rights, Dorset Hunt Sabs, North Dorset Hunt Sabs and Southampton sabs witnessed the kill and were assaulted by Mark Doggrell whilst trying to retrieve the body.
Ben Doggrell has previously pleaded guilty to ABH after assaulting a hunt sab and Mark Doggrell was famously found not-guilty, despite clear video evidence of him riding down and almost killing a sab.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated: “Violence is a way of life for the Doggrells. They're used to violently chasing and killing foxes and violently assaulting anyone who opposes them. It's no surprise to see them involved in this mass brawl as it's just an extension of their violent ways. They're also used to a free pass from Dorset Police who do little to curb their behaviour. It's interesting that the police are so vocal in their criticism of the pub brawl when they've turned a blind eye to the Doggrell's lawbreaking for so many years.”
Video of the aftermath of the kill can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/WeymouthAnimalRights/videos/2011534245807055/
Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 11th February 2019
On Friday the 8th February 2019, after a five day trial at the Crown Court in Lewis, West Sussex, a 64 year old member of West Sussex Hunt saboteurs was found not guilty of two charges of serious stalking.
The charges were brought against her by employees of the Crawley & Horsham hunt after she stood on a public bridleway to see if the hunts hound van had left the kennels. In July 2017 she attended a voluntary interview with Sussex Police and was then informed in January 2018 the CPS had authorised the charges.
Despite Sussex Police recording threat, harm and risk as low, they put the most serious level of stalking to the CPS. In January 2018 the CPS decided to prosecute even though they had no evidence. Consequentially she was suspended from her job when Sussex Police told her governing body that she was a domestic extremist (the judge summed up monitoring hunts as lawful and reasonable) and lost her income. Her life since the charge has been made unbearable; her family life and her health have suffered. On Monday 4th February 2019 the case went to Crown Court for trial, and after five days the jury took only an hour to unanimously find her not guilty.
Present in the court was Kim Richardson from the Crawley & Horsham Hunt and Serena Soames a director of the hunt and also the wife of Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “All this 64 year old grandmother did was stand on a public bridleway and watch to see if the hound van had left the hunt kennels. Sussex Police and the Crown Prosecution Service decided it was in the public interest to waste five days of court time to charge this individual with stalking. We wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that the wife of a Conservative MP is a director of the hunt? Sussex Police have no integrity and it's clear they're nothing more than lackeys for the hunting community and their influential supporters.”
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