On Wednesday over 50 sabs joined Devon County Hunt Sabs to take part in a mass sab on Dartmoor to scupper the day’s fox hunting planned by the Two Bridges Hunt Club: the Dartmoor Hunt, Spooners & West Dartmoor Hunt, Mid Devon Hunt and the South Devon Hunt.
Perversely, the meet – which was hosted by the Dartmoor Hunt at Prince Hall Country House – is held every year to mark the anniversary of the Hunting Act. Their plan was to spend the day killing Dartmoor’s foxes, however sabs from all over the south – and Ireland – totally ruined their day, with a number of foxes helped to safety.
Groups included: Plymouth & West Devon Hunt Sabs, Somerset Sabs, Bath Hunt Saboteurs, Mendip Hunt Sabs, Bristol Hunt Saboteurs, Reading Hunt Saboteurs, Weymouth Animal Rights, North Dorset Hunt Saboteurs, Wiltshire Hunt Sabs, Surrey Hunt Sabs, South Coast Hunt Sabs and Leinster Hunt Saboteurs.
Dartmoor landowner Alexander Darwall owns the 4,000-acre Blachford estate. His estate is used for hunting and shooting and he is listed as a member of the Dartmoor Hunt. He recently got wild camping banned on his land. This mass sab was also in solidarity with the Right to Roam movement. Dartmoor should be a safe place for wildlife, not a playground for bloodsport junkies.
The weather was typically wet and wild, there was even snow! Between all of the sab groups and excellent sab runners, there was no escape for the hunters.
This year is the 60th anniversary of the HSA. The South Devon Hunt was the first hunt ever to be sabbed in 1963. While they keep hunting, we will keep sabbing.