HSA news release 5th March 2005
A member of the Essex Farmers and Union hunt was arrested today (5 March 2005) after a hunt saboteur was struck on the head with a riding crop. The victim, a 29 year old woman, was not treated at the scene, but will be attending a doctor's surgery on Monday.
The Essex Farmers and Union Hunt, which has a reputation for violence against anti-hunt protestors, had met at the Star public house in Steeple near Maldon, Essex.
The hunt attempted to use a loophole in the Hunting Act which allows two hounds to be used to flush foxes out to waiting guns. The saboteurs at the scene made noises by the waiting to guns to scare foxes back from that direction so they would not be shot by the waiting hunters. This tactic proved succesful three times at which point the hunters set about attacking the saboteurs.
Riders with the hunt charged at the saboteurs while terriermen on quad bikes drove into them and punched them. The saboteurs then attempted to leave. As they were leaving, the assault with the riding crop took place.
Until this point, police had not been present, and were called to the scene. When they arrived, one of the saboteurs went with officers and identified the alleged assailant, who was arrested and then immediately bailed pending further enquiries.
Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson Nathan Brown said, "Flushing foxes to guns in this manner has nothing to do with controlling wildlife - it is a bloodsport carried out for kicks. We have had to adapt our tactics to carry on saving lives since the law made traditional hunting illegal. The violent reaction by hunters goes to prove how effective our tactics are at saving wildlife."
Timeline: the recent wave of violence against anti-hunt protestors since the Hunting Act was passed...
- 18 November 2004
Parliament passes Hunting Bill. Hunting to be illegal on 19th February.
- 20 November
3 saboteurs injured. One has to undergo emergency surgery to save his finger. South Devon Hunt, Devon
- 27 November
Saboteur receives 5 stitches to head wound after attack. High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire
17 year old saboteur receives broken nose after repeatedly headbutted. Crawley and Horsham Hunt, West Sussex
- 4 December
Saboteurs threatened by terrierman wearing balaclava. Numerous assaults on saboteurs including a broken nose. Essex Farmers and Union/East Essex Hunt, Essex
- 11 December
Saboteur's wrist broken in 2 places by terrierman. Essex Hunt, Essex Saboteur threatened by hunt supporter in front of police. High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire
- 18 December
Saboteur ridden over by hunt rider twice. Essex Farmers and Union Hunt, Essex.
Saboteurs punched and equipment stolen. Attempts made to smash saboteur's van window with log. Van whipped, kicked and thumped. Attempts made to drag saboteurs from van. Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, Dorset.
- 24 December
2 cars smashed up and dead fox left on passenger seat of car. Chiddingfold Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt, West Sussex
- 27 December
Saboteurs threatened with knife. One ridden down. Hunt supporters then armed themselves with iron bars and sticks. Weston and Banwell Harriers, Somerset.
2 saboteurs rugby tackled to ground. Puckeridge Hunt, Suffolk.
- 31 December
12 hunt saboteurs injured by mob of 30 thugs. East Essex Hunt, Essex.
- 1 January 2005
Pregnant woman taken to hospital with head injuries after being whipped and ridden over twice by hunt staff. Essex Hunt, Essex.
- 3 January
Hunt monitor's car destroyed in arson attack. West Sussex
- 4 January
2 saboteurs receive broken rib, facial injuries and equipment is stolen. Surrey Union Hunt, Surrey.
- 8 January
4 female saboteurs attacked receiving limb injuries / fractures, vehicle badly damaged. Crawley & Horsham Hunt, West Sussex.
- 15 January
Saboteurs threatened and attacked, vehicle damaged. Cotswold Vale Hunt, Gloucestershire.
- 20 January
Hunt supporter armed with a metal spike punctures sab Landrover door, barely missing the driver's leg. Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, Wiltshire
- 22 January
60 year old female aboteurs ridden down - receives head and neck injuries. Dunston Harriers, Norfolk.
- 29 January
2 hunt ‘stewards’ arrested after attack on hunt saboteurs. Avon Vale Fox Hunt, Wiltshire.
- 05 February
2 hunt saboteurs injured, 15 attacked by 30 hunt thugs. East Kent Fox Hunt, Kent.
- 05 February
Hunt saboteurs threatened with violence by hunt followers in front of police, obstruction and theft from motor vehicle ignored. Hampshire Fox Hunt, Hampshire.
- 09 February
Saboteurs hit by quad bike, ridden down and whipped. Essex Farmers and Union Hunt
- 12 February
Saboteur's finger broken, female sab had head held under water by hunt supporters, female saboteur repeatedly kicked in the head and head stamped on suffering a suspected broken jaw, gang of over 40 hunt supporters ambushed saboteurs. Essex Foxhounds, Essex.
- 17 February
8 Saboteurs attacked and ITN film crew ambushed by 30 thugs and riders. Chiddingfold Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt, West Sussex.
- 19 February
Saboteurs attacked and beaten by 15 - 20 hunt supporters in full view of BBC film crew. East Kent Hunt, Kent.