HSA news release 9th January 2002
Same Bloodsport, Same Attitude, Different Day!
Prince William (Monday) at the Duke of Beaufort FH to Photographer before riding at him: “F***ing Piss Off!”
Farmer (Tuesday) at the CL&C Foxhounds to sabs before attacking them with an iron bar: “You’re going to get the f***ing kicking of your life!”
The violent attitude of foxhunters has already started to rear its ugly head despite the fact that the hunting season is only a few weeks old. Several incidents over the last week, one including Prince ‘not nice, but dim’ William, give the lie to the hunters’ claim that “confrontation is not the country way”. Attacks and intimidation against hunt saboteurs have been reported from the North West, down through Oxford and Northamptonshire to the South East.
Violence broke out once again yesterday on the Chiddingfold, Leconfield & Cowdray FH as West Sussex Wildlife Protection activists were attacked by hunt supporters wielding iron bars as they attempted to film the hunt packing up near Midhurst, West Sussex.
The previous week, when the hunt were the only one known to be hunting in the South of England on a Saturday, the most serious offence the police could find to deal with was the alleged absence of DTI licences for CB radios some of the sabs were using. With over 40 hunt saboteurs in attendance, no kills and no violence, the hunt appear to have taken their revenge yesterday.
The four WSWP activists were set upon by CLC supporters armed with iron bars and were forcibly prevented from reaching the safety of a nearby road. Dramatic footage taken by WSWP (stills from the video shown here) shows the supporters attempting to seize the group’s video cameras, threatening to give activists the “f**king kicking of your life”, and throwing one into a ditch. Throughout the 15 minute incident the CLC supporters threatened and used violence.
One camera is reported to have been damaged in the incident. It comes less than a fortnight after three hunt supporters on the notorious adjacent Crawley & Horsham FH were arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage following an incident during which a hunt monitors’ camera was smashed and an anti hunt protester injured. Nicolas Soames MP – so keen to accuse anti hunt campaigners of violence – was seen scuttling away from the scene. The Chiddingfold FH was recently exposed for breaching FMD regulations and is being investigated by DEFRA.
During the sabotage of the Grafton foxhunt in Northamptonshire earlier in the new year, saboteurs split into two groups to stop the Bicester with Whaddon Chase foxhunt also killing. The two hunts were in very close proximity on the day and after one group of sabs made towards the pack of screaming hounds, they realised they had found a different hunt.
The Bicester see themselves as the darlings of the media, but when there are no cameras around, they are one of the nastiest hunts in the South. They count Baroness Mallalieu and Michael Heseltine’s daughter as riders, but have also had convicted violent criminals in their ranks. Two hunt supporters were jailed several years ago for their part in an attack with a quad bike which left a sab with serious spinal injuries. Of the sabs attacked at the hunt last week, one of them received head injuries and broken glasses after being punched in the head. Others were threatened by supporters with alsatian dogs.
Video footage of the Sussex incident has been passed to Sussex police. Breath not being held. On previous experience, there would have been no point involving Northamptonshire police!