During the latter part of the 2021/22 hunting season, West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs put a stop to the Warwickshire Beagles illegal activities four weeks in a row. Instead of packing up, they chose to hunt on and were filmed chasing hares on five separate occasions.
After having the later part of their hunting season wrecked, a joint master of the Warwickshire Beagles made a false allegation about members of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs. As a result, Thames Valley Police were only too happy to spring into action and pour whatever resources were needed to act upon these unfounded allegations. They used a variety of aggressive tactics including posing as postal workers in early morning dawn raids and visiting workplaces to try to find the location of two known sabs. Following a surveillance operation, they eventually located the two sabs and used a dawn raid to seize property and arrest them for ‘Stalking and Harassment with Fear of Violence’.
One sab was assaulted by Thames Valley Police during the arrest and then denied basic human rights – such as access to vegan food – at the police station. They were also refused a phone call to a friend so they could go round to the property to ensure the welfare of the sab’s dogs.
The hunt master had apparently claimed that he and his mother were being stalked at their homes by the two sabs and that he feared the use of violence. Bail conditions were put on the two sabs to not communicate with the hunt master or enter the Parish of Hornton, Oxfordshire.
However, Thames Valley Police have now dropped the case, taking no further action.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs commented:
“We know all too well how corrupt and in bed with hunting criminals the police can be. Instead of acting upon actual crimes happening in the countryside week in week out in the form of illegal fox and hare hunting, Thames Valley Police’s Rural Crime Team have instead chosen to side with the hunters, using who knows how many resources to target the very people trying to put a stop to their animal abuse and criminal activities. Such bullying and harassment tactics by the state do not deter us and never have.
We remind Thames Valley Police that we have recently successfully sued another police force and due to the sheer amount of police harassment we have faced over the years we are by now getting pretty good at it.
To the Warwickshire Beagles – we accept your invitation to focus more of our attention on you. Hare hunting in South Warwickshire has been overlooked for far too long, we are only too happy to make it a priority and rectify that situation.
We would like to thank the Hunt Saboteurs Association for their support.”You can find out how to support West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs here.