Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 9th October 2019
After six long years of an unrelenting and unstoppable campaign by West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs the 200 year old Atherstone Hunt have finally thrown in the towel and folded.
The sabs have faced harassment, extreme provocation and regular violence from those associated with the Atherstone Hunt. They’ve received death threats, had tyres slashed, cars burnt out and have been hospitalized. They have also faced a hostile campaign of police harassment from Leicestershire Police who have actively sabotaged investigations against the Atherstone Hunt whilst constantly seeking to prosecute members of the group.
Over the last six years they have sabbed almost every single meet of the Atherstone Hunt who have collected over 20 criminal convictions and cautions for their violence and antisocial behaviour and at their worst they were making the national press every other month for their hunting and violence. As well as stopping them killing foxes twice a week every week sabs have been able to expose the real face of fox hunting.
For six years the Atherstone Hunt have been completely sabotaged and as a result they have now folded. This means that for now the 908 km² area of West Leicestershire and North Warwickshire are completely hunt free and hundreds of foxes lives will now have been saved Ultimately the Hunting Act needs to be strengthened however sabs are not waiting around for politicians to change the law or corrupt police forces to enforce the law. Fox hunting is cruel and barbaric and has no place in the 21st century. Hunt saboteurs will shut hunts down one by one until hunting is consigned to history.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated:
“This is a fantastic achievement by West Midlands Hunt Sabs and testament to what direct action can achieve. The Countryside Alliance will have done everything in their power to prop up the Atherstone but they still haven’t been able to save the hunt in the face of such determined opposition.
The pro-hunt lobby blame urbanisation, motorways and changing farming practices for hunts struggling but the reality is that theirs is a dying sport that has no place in the 21 st Century and is abhorred by the majority. West Mids sabs have dedicated the victory to their fallen comrade Leanne Bridgewater and that sums up the true calibre of the group.
Sab groups across the country will take inspiration from this victory and we expect to see an increase in groups focusing their efforts on a particular hunt. As always the Hunt saboteurs Association will support their efforts in whatever way we can.”
The HSA has received a hotline tip-off that a number of English beagle packs are travelling to Scotland at the invitation of a recently-convicted Scottish fox hunt.
The hare-hunting beagle packs have been invited by the notorious Lee Peters, new huntsman of the Jed Forest Hunt. These “hunting holiday” are designed to train the new hounds before the season proper begins in late October.
The Brighton, Storrington, Surrey & North Sussex Beagles will conduct illegal leveret and hare hunting for the whole of next week. The hounds will be kennelled at the Jed Forest Hunt, Abbotrule, Hawick, TD9 8J.
HSA Press Officer Lee Moon commented, “Trouble just follows loose-lipped Lee Peters wherever he goes. He’s only just arrived in Scotland but is already annoying the locals by bragging about his English hunting mates killing Scottish wildlife. Fortunately, hunt sabs will be there in numbers to stop the slaughter.“
Notes for editors:
(1) When Lee Peters was huntsman of the Ross Harriers, he regularly subjected hunt saboteurs to violent attacks and racist abuse.
(2) His new pack - the Jed Forest Hunt - was convicted of illegal hunting in 2017. https://www.league.org.
(3) By travelling to Scotland the BSSNS Beagles and others are defying their own governing body, the Association of Masters of Harriers & Beagles. The AMHB have instructed their member hunts not to travel to Scotland, so as not to “cause trouble” for Scottish hunting which is facing a variety of political threats.
Word has reached the HSA that three hare-hunting beagle packs are to fold. The Claro Beagles, the Vectis Beagles and the North Warwickshire Beagles are all set to close this season due to lack of support.
This leaves just 55 beagle packs operating in the UK. These hunts use packs of beagles to hunt hares by scent. Like their fox hunting friends, beaglers employ the lie of “trail hunting” to disguise their illegal activities.
HSA Press Officer Lee Moon commented, “These closures are great news for wildlife and further evidence that beagling is in terminal decline. Hunt sabs have always sabotaged beagle packs and it is clear our actions are having a long-term effect. As the season gets under way, we are even more determined to target hare hunts across the country.”
(The Claro Beagles operated across North Yorkshire; the the Vectis Beagles were based on the Isle of Wight).
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