The latest ‘strictly confidential’ revelations from Hunting Leaks are some of the most shocking yet. They demonstrate both the incredible effectiveness of hunt saboteurs and the fanatical desperation of those trying to stop us.
The Hunting Office’s meeting minutes outline a three-stranded anti-sab strategy costing hundreds of thousands of pounds of their members money.
The first strand involves attacking hunt sabs in the field. The Hunting Office is trying to establish regional hit squads of “stewards” – paid thugs – to prevent sabs from interfering with illegal fox hunting.
However, the document shows that most hunts were reluctant to buy into the scheme and, anyway, Cheshire sabs and friends easily dealt with goons from a pilot scheme run by Matrix Security.
The hunters have tried this failed tactic before. Way back in 1992, Tory Peer Nick Herbert – recently appointed as Chair of the College Policing – was Press Officer for Countryside Alliance forerunner, the British Field Sports Society. Herbert instigated a “stewarding” scheme at hunts across the country that massively raised levels of violence but failed to deter sabs. It was abandoned by the mid-90s.
The second strand involves targeting sabs when they are ‘off duty’. The Hunting Office plans to spend £10,000 on a sinister “intelligence gathering operation” against hunt saboteurs. They will be assisted in this process by the Countryside Alliance, who have been gathering information on sabs for decades.
This is a very worrying development. There is a long history of sabs – and those mistaken for sabs – being attacked in their own homes. As recently as last year, a sab couple had to move to a new house after repeated arson attacks.
Another troubling aspect is that this operation is being overseen by Polly Portwin and Eleasha Sallis, two particularly fanatical hunters associated with the criminal Kimblewick Hunt.
The third strand aims to attack us on an institutional level. The Hunting Office is trying to find “vulnerabilities” in the HSA and other anti-hunt groups. Absurdly, CA boss Tim Bonner even suggested calling in the Health & Safety Executive, so ideas on this front are clearly a little thin…
Taken together, these measures amount to an all-out assault on sabs and sabbing by our wealthy and influential opponents.