HSA news release 2nd March 2002
Huntsmen take out anger on protestors - Another Saboteur badly injured

The Hunt Saboteurs Association is claiming that the prospect of a ban on hunting has caused an upsurge in violence against its members following another violent incident, this time in Yorkshire.

Hunt Saboteurs from Leeds and Sheffield were present at a joint meet of the Bramham Moor and Badsworth hunts at Monk Frystton near Pontefract. The 2 hunts are being forced to merge next season following regular disruption from protestors.

During the afternoon, terriermen bolted a fox from an earth right in front of the protestors, who then succeeded in preventing the hounds from catching it using non-violent tactics such as spraying scent-dullers and blowing horns.

A hunter in a red coat then rode his horse at full speed towards the saboteurs. His horse tried to jump right over the sab, resulting in a suspected broken arm, but which could have been far worse. The protestor was taken away by air ambulance but later released from hostpital with severe bruising.

HSA spokesperson Nathan Brown said "I fear that we will see even more violence from the hunting fraternity. They know their days are numbered. A ban is imminent, and in the meantime we will continue to represent the will of the majority, directly preventing these people from chasing and killing foxes and hares. Strangely the police are slow to arrest the perpetrators of violence against protestors, yet are more than willing to arrest someone just for blowing a hunting horn or running across a field."

He continued to comment on the merger between the hunts, saying "This season will see 3 sets of hunt amalgamations. The Bramham Moor and another hunt thatis merging, the Garth & South Berks, have been under constant pressure from hunt saboteurs and it is paying off. If the government won't stop them, we will!"

ENDS.

HSA news release 23rd February 2002

Another hunt saboteur (this time in Cheshire) has been seriously injured by hunt supporters in an atmosphere of increasing violence from beleagured hunters.

On Saturday 23rd February 20 members of The North West hunt Saboteurs Association (NWHSA) attended a meet of The Cheshire Forest Hunt which was being held at The Cock O’ Budworth public house, Great Budworth, near Northwich.

Throughout the course of the day hunt saboteurs were subjected to threats and intimidation from hunt supporters. An incident occurred at 3.30pm when members of the NWHSA were using non-violent direct action tactics to prevent the hunt from killing a fox when they were confronted by 15 hunt supporters. During this confrontation one NWHSA member from Liverpool was pushed to the floor, pinned down and a hunt supporter picked up a large boulder and deliberately smashed it down onto his legs.

These hunt supporters then tried to leave the area, however, Cheshire Police officers who were in attendance managed to stop one of their vehicles and arrested one of the occupants who was then taken to Northwich Police station. (At the start of the day the police had warned various supporters of the hunt)

Paul Timspon a spokesperson for the NWHSA said ‘This season there seems to be an upsurge in violence from hunt supporters as they realise that bloodsports will soon be banned’. He also said "We know we are winning the argument when hunts start resorting to violence and intimidation" The injured hunt saboteur was taken to hospital for further treatment.

 

Notes to Editors: -
Taking one day as a snapshot, Saturday 19 January 2002, attacks were made on hunt saboteurs at 5 different hunts across the country showing how widespread the problem of hunt violence is:

  • Woodland Pytchley Hunt, Northants. A hunt steward was arrested and taken to Corby police station after a hunt saboteur was attacked.
  • Four Burrow Hunt, Cornwall. A hunt saboteur was taken to hospital in an ambulance after being run over by a horse trailer.
  • Vale of Aylesbury Hunt, Hertfordshire. A hunt saboteur was driven at by an angry hunt supporter and had to throw himself clear to avoid being hit.
  • High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire. A hunt supporter drove at hunt saboteurs. She hit one female sab who landed on her bonnet and became trapped between two vehicles.
  • Vale of White Horse Hunt, Gloucestershire. Hunt sabs driven at by van and one of them 'clipped'.

For further information please see the NWHSA website at www.nwhsa.org.uk

HSA news release 11th February 2002
HSA Calls for Prosecutions Before Another Hunt Saboteur is Killed

On 22 January 2002, hunt protestor Simon Wild was attacked at a meet of the Chiddingfold Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt in West Sussex. He was then ridden over by a member of the hunt on a horse. The League Against Cruel Sports has announced its intention to use bodyguards to protect protestors from similar incidents. The huntsman has gleefully admitted his part for last Saturday's Independent, and pro-hunt commentators are laughing about the situation.

11 years ago this Saturday, on 9 February 1991, Hunt Saboteur Mike Hill was killed by a vehicle belonging to the Cheshire Beagles Hunt. On 3 April 1993, Tom Worby died under the wheels of the Cambridgeshire Foxhounds hound-van. On 1 Sept 2000, hunt saboteur Steve Christmas came close to losing his life when he was run over by a 4x4 at a meet of the Old Surrey, Burstow & West Kent Hunt. Steve had to be airlifted from the scene and spent months in intensive care.

Today the Hunt Saboteurs Association called for more appropriate policing at hunts. Spokesperson Nathan Brown said "We have recently seen approximately 100 police officers mobilised in Sussex to prevent hunt saboteurs from blowing horns or spraying the ground with a harmless mix of citronella oil and water. Meanwhile, no concerted attempt has been made to tackle the violence dished out to protestors by hunts and their supporters."

Taking one day as a snapshot, Saturday 19 January 2002, attacks were made on hunt saboteurs at 5 different hunts across the country showing how widespread the problem is:

  • Woodland Pytchley Hunt, Northants. A hunt steward was arrested and taken to Corby police station after a hunt saboteur was attacked.
  • Four Burrow Hunt, Cornwall. A hunt saboteur was taken to hospital in an ambulance after being run over by a horse trailer.
  • Vale of Aylesbury Hunt, Hertfordshire. A hunt saboteur was driven at by an angry hunt supporter and had to throw himself clear to avoid being hit.
  • High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire. A hunt supporter drove at hunt saboteurs. She hit one female sab who landed on her bonnet and became trapped between two vehicles.
  • Vale of White Horse Hunt, Gloucestershire. Hunt sabs driven at by van and one of them clipped. Driver reverses and announces " If you f***ing get in the f***ing way of my f***ing car again I'm going to f***ing kill you... you 're gonna f***ing die!!"
With the exception of the Woodland Pytchely arrest, police have taken very little interest. The HSA spokesperson commented "Hunt saboteurs have always received threats and violence, but this season we have seen an escalation in the severity of attacks. We are not talking about a few punches being thrown, we are talking about protestors being run over. A lot of resources are spent protecting the right of people to hunt, yet none are spent on protecting our right to protest and, more seriously, our right to life. This season has been one of the most violent experienced in the Hunt Saboteurs Association's 39 year history. The fact that nobody was prosecuted in the cases of Mike Hill, Tom Worby or Steve Christmas has given hunt supporters the green light to attack saboteurs and has given hunt protestors very little faith in the legal system. Other than seeing an increase in prosecutions of hunt thugs, a solution would be for the government to honour its election pledge and enable Parliament to ban hunting once and for all"

Aside from numerous cases of violence, this season has already seen other incidents such as hunts trespassing on railways, hounds being killed, trespass through villages, and sheep being disturbed during the lambing period. Reports have been received of disturbance by a hunt causing 2 pregnant ewes to abort their lambs.

Notes to Editors:-
  • Jeremy Whaley, 51, from Duns (but about as Scottish sounding as Prince Charles) and the Master of the Berwickshire Hunt, was arrested after he tried to break through a police cordon in Regent Road, Edinburgh last Thursday. Police later said a 51-year-old man had been arrested for public order offences.
  • The Scottish Parliament votes on whether or not to ban hunting on Wednesday 13 February.

ENDS

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