Recent research of French court documents showed that Eurotunnel are the last remaining company transporting day old gamebird chicks from France to the U.K. Brittany Ferries and DFDS are still transporting hatching eggs.

 

 Dead pheasant
 
According to DEFRA, around half of all gamebirds released in the U.K. are from French battery farms. This estimate is confirmed by a question asked in parliament, the answer to which was that 15,513,447 pheasant and partridge hatching eggs and chicks were imported from France in 2015.
 
Angers2
 
 
 
Our previous exposés of British battery game farms show just how awful these birds’ lives are in conditions that have already been made illegal for chickens. This footage taken last weekend shows that these horrific methods of farming gamebirds are the same in France but take place on a far greater scale. Row upon row of barren wire cages house these birds as they peck at each other due to overcrowding.
 
FoxTrap
 
As seen on British farms, these French farms also contain male pheasants housed in solitary confinement in tiny cages. These birds, who will replace those killed in breeding cages, also suffer from ‘scalping’, an industry term used to describe the wounds on their head caused by multiple attempts to escape. As well as this, these birds were seen to display stereotypical behaviour such as repetitive head movements, indicating that they have been driven mad by their unnatural environment.
 
Two Partridges
 
The two game farm co-operatives, Gibovendée and L’ Envol de Retz, are situated in villages near Nantes, meaning that day old chicks are forced to travel for up to ten hours before reaching the Eurotunnel in Calais. Each co-operative represents dozens of farms.
 
Angers 3
 
These birds need your help. The transportation of their chicks and hatching eggs must end as a matter of urgency as the majority of these will cross the Channel over the next few months.
 
We are on the cusp of a historic victory. Stopping the transportation of chicks and hatching eggs from France will mean that millions fewer gamebirds will be shot in the U.K.
 
Please copy and paste our template email (or even better, write your own) and send it to Eurotunnel:
 
     Dear Sir/Madam,
 
     After seeing the footage of pheasants and partridges in tiny barren cages, I am appalled to find out that Eurotunnel transport hatching eggs and chicks. This indefensible industry can only operate with your support. I read with some interest that Eurotunnel regulations specific that animals will not be transported for slaughter or animal testing, surely this should extend to gamebirds as they slaughtered for sport?
 
     I eagerly await your reply.
 
     Yours faithfully,
 

 

 
Ring Eurotunnel customer services and ask them when they will stop the transportation of chicks and hatching eggs into the U.K.:
 
From the UK:+44 (0) 8443 35 35 35 
From France: +33 (0) 810 63 03 04 
 
Contact Eurotunnel via social media:
 
 
Of the 15 million gamebirds imported into the UK, over 9 million enter as hatching eggs. Please also contact Brittany Ferries and DFDS:
 
 
     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 France 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,
 
 
Contact Brittany Ferries and DFDS by email:
 
 
 
Or via social media:

On March 13th 2019 at Ipswich Crown Court, the former huntsman of the Thurlow Hunt, Chris Amatt, was found guilty of illegally hunting with a pack of dogs.

 Still 1

 

The case related to a fox killed on Boxing Day 2017 and the prosecution was brought using evidence and witness testimony from Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs and North Cambs Hunt Sabs. 

Still 2

Amatt was also found guilty of assaulting one of the sabs present who recorded his crime. Likewise, hunt member Archie Clifton Brown (who is the nephew of the owner of the Thurlow Hunt) was also found guilty of assault on the same sab, while cynically trying to take the body of the killed fox from him in an attempt to conceal evidence.

Still 3

 

The judge Nick Watson, in summing up, commented that the sabs were honest and credible witnesses, whereas the defendants had fabricated a number of lies to cover for their crimes. At no point had the sabs present in the wood had anything to do with the death of the fox and indeed had not turned it into the hounds as the defence had claimed. The huntsman was clearly heard encouraging the hounds and had made no attempt to stop them. Archie Clifton-Brown only avoided the Hunting Act prosecution due to the doubt in the level of involvement he had in the proceedings.

 

The defence utilised a hugely expensive legal team, including the now multiple hunting act case loser Stephen Welford, and two QC barristers, clearly hoping that their bottomless wallets could buy them immunity from the law.

 

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Hunt saboteurs primary aim is always to save lives but on the sad occasions when this isn’t possible we will seek justice for the hunted animal. Congratulations to these two groups for having the fortitude to see this process through to a successful conclusion. We call for the MFHA to suspend the criminal Thurlow Hunt and then for them to be permanently disbanded.”

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.

signal 2019 03 04 165314

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.

signal 2019 03 04 165314 1

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.

signal 2019 03 04 165254 1

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”

 1  signal 2019 02 13 204749

 

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.

2

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.

signal 2019 02 13 204853

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.”

signal 2019 02 13 205254

Video of the aftermath of the kill can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/WeymouthAnimalRights/videos/2011534245807055/

Video of the fight can be seen here

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.

The 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.”