Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release 7th October 2013


HUNT protesters are to use 'spy in the sky' technology in the on-going battle to stop hunters flouting the ban on hunting with dogs.

The Hunt Saboteurs Association says it will be using 'drones' mounted with cameras to gather evidence during a week-long 'hare hunting' festival, set to take place in the Pennines later this month.

During the Alston Hare Week, which starts Monday, October 14, hunters with packs of beagle hounds, bred and trained to hunt hares, will travel from across the country to hunt the moors outside the market town of Alston.

The HSA, which promotes non-violent direct action to save hunted animals, is concerned that the event, which is open only to hardcore hunt supporters and takes place in remote terrain, could provide an opportunity for illegal hunting.

It says a team of 'unmanned aerial vehicle' operators will be at the event helping to locate hunters and capture vital evidence of any illegal hunting.

A HSA spokesperson Lee Moon said: "Our new camera 'drones' will ensure people are always in the best tactical position to try to stop hares being ripped to shreds by packs of dogs. This week the hare hunters of Alston will find there is no hiding place for any illegal activities."


The recent convictions of the Heythrop, Middleton and Seavington hunts prove that hunts across the country are continuing to use packs of dogs to hunt and kill wild animals despite the practice being banned in 2004.





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Notes to editors:


(1) 2013 is the 50th Anniversary of the Hunt Saboteurs Association.  The HSA marked this occasion by sabotaging 50 of the usually elusive hare hunts. (Photos/video available)


(2) 'Beagling' is the practice of hunting hares with a pack of beagles. The hounds are followed on foot by hunters and supporters.


(3) There are 68 beagle packs operating in Britain today.  Since the hunting ban, hare hunters have become increasingly secretive about their activities.  Because hare hunting take place on open farmland and moors it very difficult for hunters to falsely claim they are 'trail hunting' as many foxhunters do. The HSA believes illegal hunting of hares is widespread amongst beagle packs.


(4) Alston Hare Week is organised by the Weardale and Tees Valley Beagles. Between 70-100 beaglers attend annually, making it one of the most important events in the hare hunting calendar.


(5) The Alston Hare Week is followed by a similar, equally secretive event: the Northumberland Beagling Festival organised by the Newcastle and District Beagles.

Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release 4th October 2013


ETON College is planning to host a hare hunting 'training day' to teach pupils how to chase and kill hares with dogs, the Hunt Saboteurs Association can reveal.

The Young Hare Hunters' Day is set to take place on Eton College premises on Sunday, October 13th.

The event will see pupils from Eton, which still has its own pack of hunting beagles, being trained in all aspects of hare hunting by huntsmen from around the country.

Nearly 10 years after the ban on hunting with dogs, the HSA is asking why such an event is taking place at all.

HSA Press Officer Lee Moon said: "Why are they teaching Eton College pupils how to hunt hares with dogs when this vile practice was quite rightly banned almost 10 years ago."

One of the 'tutors' on the day will be Mr Steven Duckmanton, of the Gloucester-based Dummer Beagles, who will be giving lessons in 'handling hounds'.

Mr Moon said: "Steven Duckmanton is well known in hunting circles for having one of the highest kill rates of any beagle pack in the country”.

Last season he reportedly claimed to have killed '37 brace' of hares (hunting speak for 74 individual animals) whilst out with his pack. The HSA believes it is unacceptable that an individual who is blatantly and routinely breaking the law should be training school children in law breaking activities at Britain's top public school."

The HSA will be holding a peaceful demonstration at the college for the duration of the event; and, as the hunting season approaches, will continue to closely monitor the activities of the Eton College Beagles.




Notes to Editors

 (1) The Prime Minister David Cameron attended Eton College and is a committed supporter of all forms of hunting. The Heythrop Foxhounds, with whom he used to ride, were convicted of illegal hunting in December 2012.


(2) 'Beagling', which sounds quite cuddly and innocuous, is the practice of hunting hares with a pack of beagles. The hounds are followed on foot by the hunters.


(3) There are 68 beagle packs operating in Britain today. Three of these are run by public schools (Eton College, Radley College and Stowe). These packs are often regarded as a training ground for the foxhunters of the future.


(4) Since the hunting ban beagle packs have become extremely secretive about their activities. The HSA believes illegal hunting of hares is widespread amongst beagle packs.

Hunt saboteurs association Press Release September 17th 2013

Nick Bycroft, professional huntsman with the financially troubled Crawley and Horsham Hunt appeared today before Worthing magistrates court charged with a Hunting Act offence dating from January 2013. The crime occurred during a meet at Angmering Park, near Arundel, West Sussex on land owned by the trustees of the Angmering Park Trust. He pleased guilty and was sentenced to a conditional 12 month conditional discharge, £150 costs and a £15 victim surcharge by magistrates. The magistrate is a neighbour and knows Mr Bycroft but this was not considered a conflict of interest. 


The compelling footage of the incident was taken from more than a mile away by a hunt saboteur using state of the art equipment, and presented to Sussex police who commissioned Professor Stephen Harris of Bristol University to examine and report on the footage. It is understood Bycroft refused to answer questions at interview and gave only a prepared statement: this could be because he was concerned Sussex police were keen to bring a body corporate prosecution under the Hunting Act (This could have included the Directors and Masters of the hunt). It is to be remembered Sussex police have successfully prosecuted three members of the same hunt in 2012 for Hunting Act offences – they were convicted of five offences and fined a total of £10,000 fines and costs. The indications are that Bycroft’s refusal to answer questions was intended to ensure he did not reveal who was present. The guilty plea and the corresponding paltry sentence indicates the plan has been successful.


 Bycroft also pleaded guilty earlier this year to Criminal damage during an unprovoked attack on a hunt saboteurs land rover on the 3rd November 2012.


Lee Moon ,Spokesperson for the Hunt saboteurs Association, stated: “With numerous convictions against him it will be interesting to see if the financially troubled hunt will continue to employ their criminal huntsman, or is illegality now just a part of modern day hunting? The convictions of the past year strongly suggest collective wrong doing at the Crawley and Horsham and we urge Sussex Police to consider a corporate prosecution of the hunt”






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Note to editors: Details of Bycrofts previous guilty plea can be found here:



Hunt saboteurs association Press Release September 15th 2013

The Hunt Saboteurs Association is proud to announce it has donated a significant amount of money for hunt saboteurs in the badger cull zones to buy night vision equipment. The equipment will be used to locate the badger killers in the dark and enable saboteurs to quickly intervene between them and the badgers.

 Sabs have been out in both zones since the cull began using non-violent direct action to save animals lives. They have been incredibly effective and are a significant part of the reason why the cull is going so badly. The mainstream media have reported that only a tiny proportion of the required amount of badgers have been shot in Somerset and it is believed to be a similar situation in Gloucestershire. Following the recent news that a shot badger has been recovered from the Somerset zone it is surely only a matter of time before the cull is stopped.Stop The Cull Logo

Lee Moon spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated: “Hunt Saboteurs are being very effective in both zones and with this new equipment will be in an even stronger position to sabotage the shooters and stop this immoral slaughter. The HSA is proud to support the autonomous local groups that make up our organisation and believes this is money well spent as it will finally ensure the end of this barbaric cull and ensure the Con-Dem government is unable to role it out across the country.”
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Hunt saboteurs association Press Release September 7th 2013

Animal rights campaigner Joan Court, 94, will stage a 24 hour hunger strike next week to highlight opposition to the badger cull and raise support for the Hunt Saboteurs Association. The protest will start at 8am on Tuesday in Tewkesbury Market place.

The government sanctioned badger slaughter is currently taking place in Somerset and Gloucestershire and if allowed to continued uninterrupted will see the death of 5000 badgers by the middle of October. Many more will be maimed or wounded and left to die a slow painful death. This is a pilot cull and could potentially be rolled out nationwide so it is vital we stop it now.

Joan said: "I think the cull is horrendous, unnecessary, unscientific and brutal.

"We are wiping out our wild animals when all the scientific advice is the same, that we should concentrate on vaccinating. I would like to be with the hunt saboteurs but I think the most useful thing I can do is to raise money to help stop the cull."

Hunt Saboteurs from across the country have been fighting the cull since it was first announced. Groups have thoroughly surveyed the cull zones to find the badger setts and are now camped out, directly intervening between the shooters and the badgers.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "We thank Joan for her tireless commitment to animals and for making such a sacrifice to highlight this cruel cull. It is deeply disappointing that in this day and age a 94 year old has to go on hunger strike about this issue. The badger kill is immoral and unscientific and it is criminal that the Con-Dem government has forced it to happen against all impartial advice."


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