Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 26th June 2019

 

Convicted Conservative MP Chris Davies is a former master of two fox hunts and threatened in 2004 that members of his Golden Valley Hunt would break the law when hunting was banned. During his mastership both the Golden Valley and Banwen Miners hunts carried out violent attacks on hunt saboteurs.

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In March of this year Davies was convicted of making false expenses claims. He received a £1500 fine and had to carry out 50 hours of community service. This led last week to the electorate of his Brecon and Radnorshire constituency raising a recall petition to have him de-selected as their MP and forcing a by-election. He has now been re-selected by the Conservative Party as their candidate in the upcoming by-election.

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Davies was master of the Banwen miners hunt in the Swansea Valley from 1993-99 before moving to the Golden Valley Hunt on the Welsh Border in 2000. In 2004 in the run up to the ban he did not have the bottle to say he would personally defy the law, but told the BBC that some of his members would (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4026351.stm).

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Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It's hard to think of a less useful member of society than an ex-hunt master, corrupt Tory MP. We hate to kick a man while he's down but we'll make an exception in this case. Davies is clearly a man who can't be trusted. Whilst master of the Golden Valley Hunt he implicated himself in flouting the Hunting ban and now as a public servant he has deliberately falsified accounts to rip off the public purse. It’s testament to the low moral standards of the Conservative Party that they’ve re-selected him for the upcoming by-election and we wanted the Brecon and Radnorshire electorate to know the type of man they’re potentially voting for.

 

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Over the first weekend of May, we visited two partridge rearing sites belonging to Caçabrava, a game breeding company based near Tomar, Portugal. The barren wire cages, that hold two red legged partridges each, are as far removed from the birds' natural habitat as is possible. Light bulbs are situated either in front of or above the cages in order to mimic daylight and so increase egg production and the netting above each cage causes head injuries through repeated attempts to escape. Perversely, 'Caçabrava' literally translates as 'wild game' but our exposé reveals that these birds' lives are anything but wild.
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Caçabrava supply two hatcheries in the UK; Meadow Game and Iberian Game, both of whom in turn supply shoots with day old chicks. We found that partridges hatched at Meadow Game were being reared on at a site on land owned by the Duke of Somerset, just a few fields from one of the 'top ten shoots in the UK', the Brixton Deverill Shoot in Wiltshire. The Brixton Deverill Shoot is a member of the British Game Alliance (BGA), a new initiative brought about to market game as 'wild' and 'ethical' to the public. However, the BGA's only standard regarding where shoots source their birds from states that, 'birds released on to your shoot must have been reared to the Government game rearing standards, or equivalent if sourced from abroad.' This standard is so deliberately vague so as to allow birds whose parents are confined to wire cages already made illegal for use with chickens to be shot on BGA member shoots. It also gives a green light for factory farms such as Caçabrava in Portugal and L’Envol de Retz and Gibovendée in France to supply the UK's shooting industry with vast numbers of birds to simply be blasted out of the sky by wealthy shooters.
 
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Over 27 million gamebird chicks and eggs were imported from the EU during the last 12 months alone (this vast number even excludes partridge eggs due to a lack of data), and so ending these imports will have a huge effect on this cruel bloodsport. However, we need your help!
 
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P&O Ferries are the only ferry company that have stopped allowing gamebird chicks and eggs on board their ferries. Although Brittany Ferries have stopped transporting chicks, they currently still allow hatching eggs. DFDS say they allow livestock imports on a 'case by case' basis and still allow hatching eggs.
 
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Please contact Brittany Ferries and DFDS to ask them to stop providing a lifeline to this horrific industry and cease transporting gamebird hatching eggs.

Brittany Ferries email addresses: [email protected]ferries.fr[email protected]brittanyferries.comThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.[email protected]brittanyferries.com, [email protected]com.
DFDS email addresses: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
 
Dear Sir/Madam,
 
      Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on your stance to no longer allow your vessels to carry gamebird chicks. However, the battery farming of gamebirds in Portugal and elsewhere in the EU will continue as long as you allow hatching eggs to be transported. I implore you to join P&O and copy their policy to not carry gamebird chicks and hatching eggs.
 
     I eagerly await your reply.
 
     Yours faithfully,
 
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Judge Cooper today announced that the Fitzwilliam hunt had failed to overturn their conviction for illegal hunting that they received in April 2018. Their appeal was heard at Cambridge Crown Court two weeks ago but the Fitzwilliam huntsman George Adams was unsuccessful in claiming he'd hunted within the law by flushing a fox to be killed by a bird of prey.

 

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The case was brought using video evidence gathered by Beds and Bucks hunt sabs who filmed the kill. The appeal court upheld the original conviction despite attempts by the defence to discredit witnesses and ambushing the court with last minute legal claims and the questionable addition of their own so-called expert witness, a computer forensics expert with no background in animal sciences.

 

 

We hope this finally signals the end of the Bird of Prey or Falconry exemption within the Hunting Act. Other hunts which use this loophole will now have to reconsider their options as they will no longer be considered to be taking part in exempt hunting just by having someone with a bird of prey present. The use of birds of prey alongside hunting with hounds is not, and never was falconry. There are serious welfare issues for the raptors used in this manner alongside the abhorrent cruelty involved in setting 1 or 30 animals against another.

 

 

Judge Cooper, in summing up stated: “Something significant" must change in the planning and training of the hounds and the characteristics of hunts in the future if they don't want to be charged with illegal hunting”.

 

 

We will continue to actively target all hunts in an effort to stop their abuse of wildlife with all and every means at our disposal. The Hunting Act is in desperate need of strengthening, all the loopholes should be closed and hunting with dogs finally consigned to history. We will continue to work towards that end but in the meantime you will find us defending our wildlife in the fields no matter what violence, abuse and intimidation we face.

 
 
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