HSA news release 21st January 2006
So the Government is 'satisfied' the hunting act is working...
Do they know their arse from their elbow?
Hunts all over the country being caught on film hunting as normal and the police and media do nothing about it - doesn't mean the act is working, it just means they can't be bothered or are too scared or biased to do anything.
Just take a few examples from the first season after the ban:
- The Essex hunt at Good Easter on Saturday 21 January 2006
The hunt had cornered a fox in a drain and as North & East London Sabs arrived, the huntsman was off his horse in the ditch by the drain with the hounds all around. The terrier 'men' were at the other end of the drain. Wonder what could have been going on here? With the arrival of sabs, the hunt and hangers on left with the terrier idiots shouting "we're gonna kill that fox later"
Sabs noticed blood at one end of the drain and feared the worst but chose to inspect the drain and after a few minutes noticed a fox cowering inside. Thinking it might be injured, they contacted a local wildlife resuce center and via them the rspca who arrived and after a concentrated effort and despite regular grief from the terriermen the fox was checked over and released unharmed.
How different it would have been if there were no sabs or they had stayed on a road miles away as the hunt want them too.
- East Cornwall hounds killed falling over a cliff and others attack a pet goat. Would have been unlikely to happen if they were following a drag, but the increasingly empty excuse of 'they were following a drag, but a fox crossed the line and they were away' was trotted out.
- Tourists confronted by gun toting welsh foxhound pack in a nature reserve are fobbed off with the ridiculous excuse that 'we were rabbiting on the farm next door' and the hounds somehow found their way into a nature reserve. Even the Countryside Alliance wouldn't make the claim to be hunting rabbits with a full pack of hounds - rabbits run 50m at the most before going down a hole, so how stupid do the Gogerddan foxhounds think people are? well, if you are a government minister you might give them the benefit of the doubt, but most of us know what is going on.
- The Cattistock hunt in Dorset who have had no end of footage of them hunting foxes this season handed into the police were at it again last Thursday from an unadvertised meet at Bradford Peverell near Dorchester. The hounds chased a fox into the village and killed it in a garden and continued to chase pets and cause chaos until their huntsman plucked up the courage to enter the village.
The excuses wheeled out once again were that the hounds diverted from a drag and the huntsman could do nothing about it. To quote the Countryside Alliance spokeswoman Delly Everard (yes, really - they are normal people you know) "it's awful that it happened but dogs do kill animals. Huntsmen go to great lengths to keep hounds together because it's difficult to control them once they split up". Paradoxically, this has been their huntsman's excuse for his hounds hunting foxes this season - he couldn't keep up with them or wasn't aware they were hunting a fox. This is a man that has been hunting hounds for decades and knows every line a fox takes from every meet. It is also a hunt which got rid of their whippers-in (who control the hounds) this season with this very excuse in mind. Now the police appear to be finally waking up to the fact that the hunt have been taking the piss out of them all season. Couldn't have been anything to do with one of the hunt masters being the High Sheriff of Dorset and the biggest landowner in the area that was clouding their view of the matter could it?
Still, at least it's nice and local for South Dorset MP Jim Knight (who answered the parliamentary question on the workings of the hunting act) to look into further, although he might realise he is not quite as in touch with the countryside as he thinks when he does. Come out with us Jim and see what is happening up the road from you.....