Otters Under Threat From Hunters

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Conservation group the UK Wild Otter Trust have expressed concern for otters following hunt sab action against the Wiltshire-based Courtenay Tracy Hounds last Saturday. The group told its Facebook followers that hunters “need to be reminded of the laws surrounding the Eurasian otter and its disturbance as “if” they do or had disturbed an otter then they could be liable for prosecution.”

Hunt sabs caught the huntsman waist-deep in the river with hounds repeatedly questing over the same stretch of water in search of a scent. As usual with the Courtenay Tracy, sabs had to endure threats and abuse from the hunters before they scuttled back to their filthy kennels.

Blatant: the Courtenay Tracy Hounds in action last Saturday.
Blatant: the Courtenay Tracy Hounds in action last Saturday.

The Master of Minkhounds Association say there are 12 such hunts operating in the UK today. These highly secretive vandals venture out twice a week to hunt mink, otter, and any other riverbank wildlife they come across.

The HSA is the only group to oppose mink and otter hunting where it matters – on the riverbank. Indeed, Saturday’s sabbing of the Courtenay Tracy is the just latest action in a long hot summer against the mink and otter hunters. From Wiltshire to the Scottish Borders, sabs have repeatedly found the riverbank hunters and sent them packing.

Sabs keep a close eye on the Northern Counties Hunt, May 2022.

Mink and otter hunting is completely illegal, and the hunters come up with some truly ridiculous excuses in an attempt to provide a smokescreen for their activities. Some claim to be hunting rats or rabbits, others claim to conduct riverbank surveys (whatever the hell that means), others still say they are “dealing with nettles.” The transparent stupidity of these excuses would be funny if it weren’t so serious.

Brave sabs wade in to stop a joint mink/otter hunt between two packs, August 2021.
Brave sabs wade in to stop a joint mink/otter hunt between two packs, August 2021.

A HSA spokesperson commented:

“This has been yet another successful summer against the mink and otter hunters with packs across the country seeing sabs on a regular basis. Since we started exposing them a few years ago, we’ve noticed a big reduction in the numbers of supporters they can muster and its clear that many of these packs are now struggling to survive. We will of course be opposing the mink and otter hunters just as vigorously next summer and appeal to our supporters to pass on intelligence about them to our tip-off line: 07443 148 426.”

Please support our work against all forms by joining the HSA here.

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