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UK Hunting News Archive

For full stories from seasons 2016/17 through to 2011/12, scroll to below this season's entries
For reviews of Hunting Seasons 2010/11 & 2009/10 scroll down further

                                               HUNTING SEASON 2017/18

 

AUGUST 2017

..... 31st August - NT Board recommends members vote against 'trail hunt' ban resolution

..... 31st August - Cumbrian Hunts join protest against NT 'trail hunting' restrictions

..... 31st August - South Tetcott FH cubbing meet 'shut down' by sabs

..... 30th August - Waveney Harriers supporters kick sabs and cars whilst allegedly cubbing

..... 30th August - New Atherstone FH JM signed Hunting Declaration vowing to ignore ban

..... 30th August - Demo at Kent WT AGM against hare hunter Chairman - Sept 23rd

..... 30th August - S.Herefordshire FH five in cub cruelty case rebailed yet again

..... 29th August - Blencathra FH admit still kill foxes, have little control of hounds

..... 29th August - Cheshire FH - cubbing, cakes, champagne

..... 28th August - Atherstone FH hunters on 'pleasure ride' can't resist attacking sab car

..... 28th August - Surrey Union FH have started cub hunting already say monitors

..... 26th August - Cottesmore FH 'steward' spits at sab as their cubbing is disrupted

..... 25th August - Lone Cambridge sab discovers very early morning cub hunt

..... 24th August - Sab acquitted as convicted Crawley FH hunter's lies exposed in court

..... 23rd August - Essex Farmers FH terrierman convicted of sex with child

..... 23rd August -  Quorn FH filmed apparently cub hunting on NT land

..... 23rd August - National Trust ignoring evidence that 'trail hunting' is a fiction

..... 23rd August - Two foxes saved by monitors from Crawley FH cub hunting

..... 22nd August - Did Melbreak FH supply fake fox urine certificate to Nat Trust?

..... 21st August - CA anger at NT's policy changes on 'trail hunting'

..... 20th August - CA official [ex senior cop] invited to Leics police hunting training day

..... 20th August - Sabs stop Cheshire Forest FH cub hunting effectively

..... 20th August - NT announces policy changes on 'trail hunting' to head off ban pressure

..... 20th August - Pressure grows on NT to ban 'trail hunting' on its land

..... 19th August - Three Counties MH flee off home before sabbing even starts

..... 19th August - Sabs cause instant pack up by Northants Mink Hounds

..... 18th August - Stressed stag chased on to LACS sanctuary by unstopped D&S SH hounds

..... 16th August - Aborted calf highlights neospora dangers from hunting hound packs

..... 16th August - Hunting fanatic Duke of Beaufort dies leaving vast fortune and estate

..... 14th August - Vile rape and death threats made online to fox rescuer monitor

..... 13th August - 'Thousands' protest killing of wildlife for 'sport'

..... 10th August - Alston Hare Week future in doubt as host pack forced into amateur status

.....  8th August - W.Somerset Vale FH filmed cubbing among other misdemeanours

.....  5th August - MoT says hunt quads must be fully taxed, MOT'd & not carry passengers

.....  5th August - Dove Valley MH large meet aggressive but pack up due to sabs

.....  4th August - W.Norfolk FH take pack on to NT Brancaster beach without permission

.....  3rd August - LACS Trustees squash plan to make investigator team redundant

.....  1st August - CPS say won't charge Cheshire Forest FH over fox kill in Macclesfield 

 

 NT board recommends members vote down 'trail hunt' ban resolution

31-8-17    Facebook - National Dis-Trust   The Board of the National Trust have now said that they are recommending that members vote against the resolution in a letter which demonstrates complete ignorance of the subject, relying on the fact that their panic-induced new 'measures' offer a veneer of change (in reality, they show that the Trust has been turning a blind eye to wildlife crime for 12 years; see -> http://bit.ly/2wyxJZB ).

Some thoughts... to explain how 'trail hunting' works to members who have witnessed foxes being eviscerated by hounds is insulting. It also ignores the fact that 'trail hunting' is fictional (http://g.ifaw.org/2kD1orC ) except as a false alibi for wildlife crime, despite Dame Helen Ghosh having read the report which proves this (http://bit.ly/2u8XKua ).

... the Trust don't monitor the activities they licence; this is an outright lie. They have both said that they don't have the resources to monitor as well as stating in a leaked internal memo to staff that the onus is on the Hunts for adhering to the licence and the law.

...if the Trust now think terriermen are a redundant element of 'trail hunting', what do they think terriermen have been doing on their land for the last 12 years?

...in a separate note, the Trust have also said that the vote at the AGM isn't binding, implying that the Trust are preparing to ignore the wishes of their own membership. Putting aside how disrespectful this would be to their members as well as the wildlife that will soon be terrorised & slaughtered by Hunts on their land, it also forgets that whilst a vote may not be binding, the law is. It is an offence to knowingly host a fox hunt (or a stag hunt).

If you're a member, we need you to help wildlife to live in peace on Trust land, to help the lands that you pay to care for become the sanctuaries for increasingly pressured wildlife that they should be.   #voteoffthehunts #AGM2017

 

                                          

Cumbrian Hunts join protest against NT 'trail hunting' restrictions

31-8-17   Facebook - Westmorland Gazette   Controversial campaign sparks anger over trail hunting tradition    A CONTROVERSIAL move to limit trail-hunting on National Trust land has angered supporters of the sport in South Lakeland. The National Trust has publicised a set of new rules which trail hunters must follow, and will hold a vote on banning the practice altogether on its land at its annual meeting on October 21st.

Fifty members of the Trust - which owns a large amount of land in the Lake District - have endorsed a motion to stop trail-hunting following the emergence of video footage allegedly showing hunts killing stags on its estates. Campaigners argue that the practice, which involves riders and hounds following a pre-laid scent, is a way of getting around the hunting ban.

A member of a major Cumbrian Hunt has highlighted the damage that regulations on the sport could have on the area, affecting both the traditions and the welfare of tenants who farm the land. Neil Salisbury, secretary for the central committee of fell packs [right, on left, credit WG], said: "We have been working with the National Trust in conducting legal hunting since the hunting ban. We have never had any problems or any prosecutions. The Trust has nationallyNeilSalisburyleftSecCommitteeofFellPackswithConistonFH.jpg been under a lot of pressure from animal rights groups to come up with these changes which they want to impose on us."

The rules initially proposed by the National Trust include the reporting of the location of any hunting meet and the banning of animal-based scents. "Putting all the details of the meets online is only going to benefit the hunting saboteurs," said Mr Salisbury. "Whenever the sabs find out where meets are they turn up in mini buses, some wearing masks, and cause as much unpleasantness as they can. They threaten the farmers or business owners where the meet is both physically and verbally, and also on social media. The National Trust is failing in its duty of care to the tenant farmers on its land in advocating these changes. Accidents happen if the hounds break off the trail. We use a natural scent that we know hounds will follow. We are very confident of that. The National Trust want us to use an artificial scent, like they do with hound trailing. Those dogs take years to be trained to follow those scents. We are not as confident that the dogs wouldn't break away and cause accidents with an artificial scent."

The Countryside Alliance has urged National Trust members to vote against imposing a full ban on trail-hunting on the Trust's property. “We cannot underestimate the importance of members using their vote to support legal trail-hunting on National Trust land," explained Polly Portwin, the Countryside Alliance’s Head of Hunting. There are currently more than 60 hunts that apply for a licence to enable them access to National Trust land, but if this motion carries at the annual meeting then a number of these Hunts may no longer be viable due to a lack of country."

Chief executive of the Countryside Alliance Tim Bonner added: "Following subsequent meetings between the Alliance and the National Trust, we made it clear that while we all understand that the Trust has again been dragged into a fight it would rather keep well out of. Some of the conditions that it is attempting to impose on hunts are simply unacceptable."

POWAperson adds -  The National Dis-Trust summarises the weaknesses in the Hunts' arguments -  

1-9-17   Facebook - National Dis-Trust    Interesting comments appearing from bloodsport nincompoops in a few articles recently, like the one below.

'"Putting all the details of the meets online is only going to benefit the hunting saboteurs,"' - Neil Salisbury, secretary for the central committee of fell packs, whinging about having to publicise hunt meets, which he has already had to do for at least 7 years as part of the National Trust licence criteria, as well as any meets for Forestry Commission land being subject to Freedom of Information requests (http://bit.ly/2uIXOjW).

'"Those dogs take years to be trained to follow those scents."' - Neil Salisbury. 'Trail hunting' was concocted after the Hunting Act 2004 came into force on 18/02/2005, and was then the practice (in theory) of Hunts from the 2005/2006 season onwards. So it didn't take 'years'; it took less than one year. Unless, of course, they never retrained the hounds at all?    #wethinksyoudothprotesttoomuch   #voteoffthehunts   #AGM2017

POWAperson adds -  Neil Salisbury cites 'accidents'. This is always the get-out for Hunts caught chasing live quarry - as the great majority still do. Clearly, when such 'accidents' happen all the time and a pretend system is used that makes them inevitable, they are not 'accidents' at all. As regards what he says about sabs, perhaps they could provide some evidence to back their assertions. There is plenty of video evidence of hunters 'terrorising' sabs and monitors, and numerous convictions of hunters for, often violent, offences against them, but virtually none to back Salisbury's claims.

The central problem with the National Trust's proposed changes to 'trail hunting' licences is that it relies a lot on self-policing by Hunts - which we know cannot be relied on at all - and intensive checking by Trust officials, which they probably are not capable of. Over the years the Trust itself has largely ignored complaints, usually backed by video evidence, of blatant licence-breaking and, though they have sanctioned a few Hunts, this has never involved more than short suspensions and finger wagging. An outright ban is the only feasible solution. 

 


South Tetcott FH cubbing meet 'shut down' by us, say sabs

31-8-17   Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs    South Tetcott cubbing meet shut down. No foxes killed on our watch.

    S.TetcottFHCubbingmeetShutdownbysabs31-8-17.jpg 

 

Waveney Harriers supporters kick sabs and car at cubbing meet

30-8-17    Facebook - Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs  VIDEO   AND SO IT BEGINS! Waveney Harriers – 26/08/16, Mettingham Castle - Mettingham.  Suffolk Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Sabs headed out early Saturday morning to sab the Waveney Harriers. Despite some funny business (huntsman driving around with an empty hound trailer, maybe he forgot the hounds?) the hunt were tracked down to Mettingham Castle.

While it wouldn't be fair to say we'd missed the Waveneys over the summer, we were a bit disappointed by their lack of warm welcome. Riders kicking sabs who were trying to step out of the way, Rhys the terrierman knocking a sab's wing mirror off, and a call to the police by the Hunt.

There seemed to be some confusion by the caller (land owner Harriet Servaes) - she couldn't quite work out what she was doing there, claiming in the phone call that they were 'trail hunting' (no trail was laid, and definitely not through the woodland they hunted), 'cub hunting' (illegal with a whole pack of hounds), 'exercising hounds' (this doesn't require horses), and that they had an Eagle Owl 'just in case' (not suitable for fox hunting, not required for trail hunting and not particularly helpful for exercising the hounds!). She also referred to us as 'threatening terrorists' - which we thought was a little distasteful considering all that has happened this year.

With the hunt starting later than usual, perhaps because of earlier mishap with the hounds, the Hunt weren't out for long. Travelling from woodland to woodland, clearly cub hunting, the weather was not great for hunting and with sabs close behind it was grumpy faces all round for the hunt. Come on guys, we thought this was what you did for fun?!

As ever, we welcome support, or donations. If you are interested in getting involved please PM us or email us at ns.sabs@yahoo.co.uk Donations can be made here - inthenameofnaturehsa@riseup.net.

Pic below -  Riders and foot followers helping to ring copse in which hounds have been entered to find foxes. There is really no other explanation for this than that they are cub hunting.

   WaveneyHarriersridersringingcopsecubbing26-8-17.jpg 

 

                                          

New Atherstone FH JM signed Hunting Declaration pledging to ignore ban

30-8-17  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   Atherstone Hunt's new joint master committed to breaking the hunting law    As the introduction of the Hunting Act became inevitable the Countryside Alliance organised the Hunting Declaration. The declaration pledged that, if a ban came into force, they would disobey the law and continue to hunt, risking criminal conviction. In 2003, the organisers of the initiative named 1st November 2003 as the Declaration Day, when a series of events were organised so hunters could physically and publicly sign the declaration. This saw 50,000 hunt supporters publicly sign declarations that they would break any future law that banned hunting. As we know hunts across the country stood by this declaration and continue to break the law to this day.

This list of signatures has conveniently disappeared so we can’t know exactly who signed it except of course for those who admitted publicly to signing it. For example Julian Barnfield is quoted as saying "I will not stop hunting, I am proud of what I do and I lead a very privileged life. I am prepared to go to jail for that life as well, several times if necessary." Ironically Barnfield was later convicted for just that, illegal hunting with the Heythrop Hunt.

Mark Halford was another person who publicly admitted to signing the declaration to break the law in this article that he had signed a declaration, among 1,000 other pro-hunters, to continue riding with hounds even if a ban was imposed. "I will continue to hunt and voice my opinions on fox hunting and put across my arguments."

Halford is the new joint-master of notorious fox killers the Atherstone Hunt. The Atherstone have killed numerous foxes over the last 2 years which have been well documented in the national media. Many more would have been killed if we had not been there, we see foxes being hunted on an almost weekly basis and have saved far more than have been killed. The Atherstone claimed all these kills were “accidents” but the more “accidents” they have the less believable this excuse becomes.

Halford is both a director of the Hunt and a joint master, he is one of the people who are in charge and running the Hunt. He is one of the few people who are publicly quoted as saying they will break the law and carry on hunting. The fact that a fox hunt well known for killing foxes have just appointed someone to run the Hunt who has a clear disregard for the law should set alarm bells ringing for Leicestershire Police. It is a clear statement of intent of what the Atherstone Hunt's intentions are.

 


Demo at Kent WT AGM against hare hunter Chairman for 23rd Sept

30-8-17    Facebook – Events    Demonstration at Kent Wildlife Trust AGM  Bridgewood Manor, Chatham Saturday 23rd September Arrive 10 am for 11 -   ALL WELCOME

Michael Bax, was appointed to the position of Chairman of Kent Wildlife Trust in April 2014. Bax served as both Huntsman and Joint Master for the Blean Beagles between 1971 and, according to both Bax and Kent Wildlife Trust, 2005. However, Baily's Hunt Directory claim he left the hare hunting group only last year. He is also still listed as Joint Master of the group in the 2015/2016 edition of the Horse and Hound Directory. His business partner, Stuart Sillars, of BTF Partnership still serves as Joint Master, Huntsman and Hare Conservationist for the group.

Bax also allows a driven-pheasant shoot to take place on his land and through his business, sponsors shoots of birds and ducks across Kent. He personally donated a shoot of wading birds on an environmentally-sensitive area of Kentish land, Greenborough Marshes. Bax's business also sponsors two fox hunts. It is worth noting that a previous chairman of the Kent Wildlife Trust for over a decade had been joint master of the Quorn Foxhounds!

KWT claim they are “neutral” on the hunting issue. How a Wildlife Trust can possibly take a neutral stance on the killing of wild animals for sport is beyond most people, and the revelations have led to many members cancelling their membership, as well as a petition of over 150,000 people demanding his resignation.

This is not an anti Kent Wildlife Trust protest by any means, it is simply so that people can express their outrage that hunters or shooters can be given positions of such power in our Wildlife Trusts! Please support this peaceful demonstration, all welcome. Bring banners, wildlife masks and good manners!”

   BleanBeaglesArticlereMikeBax.jpg

 



South Herefordshire FH five in cub cruelty case rebailed yet again

30-8-17   Kidderminster Shuttle   Five arrested in South Herefordshire Hunt investigation have been re-bailed   ALL five people arrested as part of an animal cruelty investigation at a Herefordshire hunt have been re-bailed until next month. Police are investigating reports of animal cruelty at the South Herefordshire Hunt kennels in Wormelow.

The first two people, a 37-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, both from Hereford, were first arrested in May 2016. A 37-year-old man from Abergavenny was then arrested in June of the same year, and a 53-year-old woman from Abergavenny and 45-year-old man from Powys were arrested in August 2016. All five have been re-bailed until September.

POWAperson adds -  The very nasty incidents that brought about the arrests occurred late last spring, filmed covertly by the Hunt Investigation Team. The police handed their file to the CPS several months ago. One has to wonder what on earth is taking them so long. The S.Herefordshire FH was suspended indefinitely by the MFHA and has effectively closed down.

Pics below -  1/  Person believed to be Hunt servant about to throw live fox cub to hounds   2/  Imprisoned cub

    S.Herefordshirehuntservantabouttothrowcubtohounds5-16.jpg   S.HerefordshireFHFoxcubimprisonedthenkilled1.jpg

 



Blencathra FH admits still kill foxes, have little control of hounds

29-8-17  Facebook - National Dis-Trust   The Blencathra Foxhounds are licensed by the National Trust to 'trail' hunt, so it’s particularly disturbing to watch this recent video of Huntsman Barry Todhunter, admitting that his hounds are often ‘4 or 5 miles away’. The National Trust intend to re-licence the Blencathra Foxhounds again this year, even though they admit to killing foxes and use the guise of following a trail of illegally imported fox urine...

'In Cumbria hunts describe any incidents of foxes being chased or killed by packs of hounds as accidental. Blencathra secretary Bob Fell said his Hunt’s hounds were following a scented trail last Saturday when a fox appeared. The hounds chased it while huntsman Barry Todhunter blew his horn to try to call them off. “It does happen,” Bob Fell told The Cumberland News. “You just can’t help that. The foxes haven’t gone away since the ban. You do get occasions when the fox jumps up among the hounds. We do our best to stop the hounds but there have been a few killed since the ban came in. I don’t know how many. Our huntsman keeps a diary.”' - Cumberland News. 17/02/2006,

'Their trail hunts use fox urine, supplied by Barry Todhunter at the Blencathra hunt. Alan (Cumbrian Farmers Hunt) says: “We’re using a fox-based scent so when the ban’s reversed they [the hounds] will know. We could have trained the pups with aniseed but then you’ve got two lots of hounds chasing different scents.”' Cumberland News. 17/02/2006,

Despite his defiance, Mr Todhunter, 49, acknowledges that the hunting he oversees is "a pale shadow'' of what it was. Instead of the hounds following a fresh trail, they set off in pursuit of a scent laid by a "drag man" up to two hours before the meet. Mr Todhunter opened a small bottle and held it out. "Disgusting isn't it?" he said with a laugh. "That is finest red fox urine, imported from America. I could have had grey fox, coyote, racoon, moose or mountain lion but I thought I would stay traditional." His hounds do not like the artificial drag.' - The Telegraph, 17/02/2006,

So, the Blencathra Foxhounds carried on killing foxes after the ban, and say that they obtain fox scent from America, even though there are restrictions on importing it. Huntsman Barry Todhunter even admits that hounds cannot follow a non-animal scent if they have been trained to follow fox scent.

This footage shows the Blencathra Foxhounds killing a fox on Trust land [still below]. Only NT members can stop this criminal persecution of the red fox from continuing, and they can do this by voting off the Hunts at the AGM on 21st October.   #voteoffthehunts   #AGM2017

   BlencathraFHkillfoxonNTland.jpg

 



Cheshire FH - cubbing, cakes, champagne

29-8-17   Facebook - Cheshire Monitors   Cheshire Hounds meet for cake and cubbing   Thanks to all our supporters who got in touch this morning about the Cheshire Hounds' first early morning cubbing meet near Rushton. Sadly, hounds were heard in cry (picking up a scent and monitors have already been able to covertly capture some very interesting footage - more on that at a later date. We can also report an unusual turn-out in relation to both members and followers for this first, somewhat lacklustre meet. Some riders did, however, decide to round off their first morning's brutal cubbing activities with cake and champagne.

 



Atherstone FH hunters on 'pleasure ride' can't resist attacking sab car

Damage to wing mirror by known assailants reported to police

Hunters' control loss seen by locals who are willing to testify

28-8-17  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   VIDEO     Local residents shocked at violent behaviour of the Atherstone Hunt    Our first outing of the season began yesterday with the Atherstone Hunt hound ride, not hunting but a money making fundraiser for a hunt in much need of some money. In fact the only way this Hunt can sustain itself is by having days like these.

The Atherstone is a very “accident prone” hunt so it would have been irresponsible of us not to have turned up and allowed the Atherstone Hounds to roam freely around the countryside. It wasn’t long into the ride before new huntsman Michael Lane lost some of his hounds in a maize field, embarrassingly it took 10 minutes of horn blowing to try to get them out. We overheard him say that maize fields attract hounds like magnets. Given that foxes also like maize fields you would have thought a hunt claiming to act within the law would avoid them at all costs… After 10 minutes he gave up and hoped the last hound would catch him up. We’re sure Mr Lane was very grateful to us for being there on standby in case any accidents did happen, luckily none of the hounds picked up on any scents on this occasion. This just highlights however the dangers of an unleashed pack of hounds in the countryside, even when supposedly under control on a hound exercise the hounds still ended up lost in a maize field - #strengthenthehuntingact

Like every year the Atherstone and its supporters have been told to stay out of trouble, not talk to the antis and scale back the violence. This lasted until the last part of the ride when ex joint-master and current Atherstone Hunt director Jo Clarke and another rider attacked our vehicle by trying to kick the wing mirror off. The whole incidentAtherstoneFHHuntertriestokicksabwingmirroroff28-6-17.jpg was witnessed by local residents who were disgusted by what they had seen. One resident said they would write a letter of complaint to the Hunt, whilst another said they’d be willing to make a statement to the police as an independent witness. They said it doesn't matter what your view is you shouldn't act like that, they even invited us into their house for a drink. We can always rely on The Atherstone Hunt to show people the real face of fox hunting. The incident has been logged with the police.

However much the Atherstone Hunt tries to change and be something else it will always still be the Atherstone Hunt. Their season hasn’t even properly started yet and already they have lost their hounds in a maize field and caused criminal damage by attacking our vehicle.

The Atherstone Hunt have recently posted up all of their pleasure rides on Facebook, however if they were acting within the law as they claim then they would post up their entire meet card for the season on Facebook... Please sign our petition to stop the Countryside Alliance meeting with Leicestershire Police.

 

 

Surrey Union FH cub hunting already say monitors

28-8-17   Facebook - Surrey Hunt Monitors  VIDEO   Surrey Union cub hunting season has started    Bank Holiday Monday 28 August 2017 found us with Guildford and N.Downs Sabs at the Surrey Union Hunt for the second Monday in a row.

The Hunt met at 06:00 just North of Jayes Park Ockley for a two hour hunt around Jayes Park chasing fox cubs. The normal motley crew of misfits in vehicles and quads following the poor show of riders with no sign of a trail layer. Mostly covert monitoring and long distance videoing where possible as Jayes Park is a large, private shooting estate with minimal access. Hunt packed up at around 08:00.

We will check through all video footage of the last two weeks before we post. Video of the hunt attached courtesy of Guildford Hunt Sabs.

 


Cottesmore FH 'steward' spits at sab as their cub hunting is disrupted

CottesmoreFHSupporterspitsonsab26-8-17.jpg26-8-17   Facebook - Northants Hunt Saboteurs  VIDEO   HIT REPORT: 26.08.17    This morning saw us up before the birds to travel up to the Cottesmore Hunt. We found them hunting just behind the kennels between Ashwell and Burley.

Cubbing, which the hunters like to call ‘Autumn Hunting’ to try and disguise the fact that they’re killing baby animals, takes place early morning or evening and trains the young hounds and disperses cubs to provide better hunting for them later in the year, it also ‘teaches’ the cubs to run rather than try to go to ground therefore also giving better ‘sport’ for the psychopaths on horseback.

Foot sabs were with the hunt for most of the morning, using horn and voice calls to keep the hounds heads up and off the scent of any foxes. One of the hunt stewards was so wound up by our presence it looked like he was forgetting to breathe, in the end he resorted to spitting at a sab [left]. It was clear by about 8.45 that the hunt were on the way back to the kennels looking somewhat pissed off and it was all over earlier than normal by 9 a.m.

   CottesmoreFHcubbing26-8-17.jpg  CottesmoreFHhoundscubbing26-8-17.jpg

 

Lone Cambridge sab discovers very early morning cub hunt

25-8-17   Facebook - Cambridge Hunt Saboteurs   In the early hours of this morning (0500) one of our Sabs was conducting a check up on areas alleged to belong to neighbouring hunt kennels. During the course of this check, a small entourage of riders arrived at the kennels in question. The sab was quick to respond and thankfully had all the kit required to do a full Sab in the back of their vehicle.

The situation quickly deteriorated as the hunt left the kennels and the hounds immediately went into cry prompting a quick call to local police. It is unclear at this point whether or not the hounds killed or whether or not the police will be investigating. Due to the police's lack of promptness in dealing with the matter, it is likely that any evidence of a possible kill has quickly been destroyed. We hope that the local police realise in retrospect that their lack of promptly dealing with the issue could potentially have had catastrophic consequences to both the Sab attending as well as wildlife in the area.

After a prompt analysis of the Hunt's actions, it is clear that this was not an example of the Hunt in question exercising the hounds, rather a blatant attempt at cub-hunting. CHS and other Hunt Sab groups routinely risk their well-being in order to defend and protect vulnerable wildlife, with only a few pounds a month you can help us help often overlooked wildlife.

 

                                          

Sab acquitted as Crawley FH convicted hunter's lies exposed in court

24-8-17   Twitter - Surrey Hunt Monitors‏   Justice was done at Worthing Magistrates Court yesterday when a young Guildford Hunt Sab [left, with supporters], was found not guilty of aggravated trespass. After hearing the prosecution witnesses and legal submissions, the Court threw out the case on the basis that there was no case to answer without even needing to hear evidence from Conor or his supporting witnesses, thanks to sab's own video evidence of the whole incident.

CrawleyFHSabacquittedafterHuntsmansliesexposedincourt20-8-17.jpgIncident started when Conor was ridden at by Neil Millard, convicted hunter, who alleged to police that he not Conor, had been assaulted, saying Conor had tried to pull him off his horse, and stabbed him with a needle, and that blood had been drawn. Millard, of course, did not show the police any stab wound or blood, but the police instinctively thought the redcoat and not the sab was telling the truth and searched Conor – but found nothing - not strictly true, because the arresting police officer seized as “exhibits” various items from Conor’s bag, which he recorded in his written statement and read out in court, including, items of huge evidential significance to the alleged offence. such as a hunt sab logo T-shirt, a Greenpeace sweatshirt, a South Wales HSA cap and an animal rights badge. So, despite a complete lack of evidence, Conor was arrested for assault and Conor’s complaint that Millard had assaulted him was ignored.

At the station his GoPro evidence was reviewed: police concluded, with no evidence of assault, to charge him with aggravated trespass. This offence requires 2 things, 1st trespass: the police relied on a street map which said nothing about the ownership of the land. and Millard’s say-so that the land was private. The second element of the offence is that of interfering with a lawful activity. Trial never got as far as having to consider the issue of whether what Millard & co were doing was lawful or in fact illegal hunting. Instead the case failed on whether there was even any interference at all by Conor. Police evidence was that they saw a person wearing a face covering amongst the hunt horses and trying to lead the hounds off the road.

However, video evidence showed that Conor was not wearing a face covering, leaving the prosecution case relying on Millard’s evidence that Conor had tried to stop the hunt from legal (so-called) trail hunting by shouting “leave it, leave it” at the hounds. But the video evidence (there were in fact four separate videos) showed no such thing – that Conor had not shouted anything. This is one of the highlights: In response, under cross-examination, Millard alleged that the video evidence must have been doctored, saying Conor had tried to pull him off his horse, and stabbed him with a needle, and that blood had been drawn, but failed to understand that Conor’s video was seized by the police at the time of the incident and had since been in Crown's possession, probably not the best point to argue. Also, included a threat to kill. 'If you touch those fucking hounds, I'll fucking kill you' The whole courtroom except Millard could hear it in the video. Remarkably, the CPS seemed not to have shown Conor's video evidence to Millard before the trial. It is perhaps no surprise then that the magistrates agreed with Conor’s excellent barrister that there was no case to answer.

The police and CPS truly are puppets for the hunting elitist scum at times, sickens me that this happens in the England I love!

 

Hunting fanatic convicted of sex with child and possess indecent images

Bryn Chittenden warned faces a substantial prison term

He was convicted of V.Disorder & affray against sabs in 1993

Mask-wearing follower also vowed to disregard Hunting Act

23-8-17  Facebook - Hunt Saboteurs   Bryn Chittenden is also a supporter of the Essex Farmers Hunt [left] and guilty of attacks on hunt saboteurs. More details here and here....

EssexFarmersFHBrynChittendeninmask12-04.jpg23-8-17  Essex Live    Paedophile branded a liar before he was found guilty of sexual activity with 14-year-old girl    A landowner was branded "a liar" during closing statements before he was found guilty of sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl. Bryn Chittenden [below right], 51, of St Lawrence Bay, was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with the child at Chelmsford Crown Court earlier today.

He was arrested on June 2, 2015, after an allegation was made by the victim's father. When he was arrested, police found indecent images and movies of children the same age as the victim. He pleaded guilty to one count of possessing indecent images of children and one count of possessing indecent movies of children. He pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child. The jury was told that it was not their duty to judge whether sexual activity had taken place, but that Chittenden had knowledge of her age at the time of the incident. Chittenden claimed that he had no knowledge of her age from meeting her in January 2014 until his arrest in July 2015.

Yesterday, the jury heard evidence from the victim's father, who recalled two conversations he had with Chittenden where he had knowledge of the victim's age. The second conversation, the court heard, took place after it had become clear that the victim had developed an obsession towards Chittenden. Her father told him about her affections and warned him that she needed to be told to stay away. He told the court that Chittenden was "very agreeable." The victim confessed to her father that a sexual relationship took place between herself and Chittenden in June 2015, after she became agitated seeing him with another female. She told her dad that she had kissed the defendant and performed oral sex on him.

Prosecuting, Nicola May told the jury: "We rely on the evidence of the vicitm's father, an honest andEssexFarmersFHBrynChittendenConvictedsexwithchild8-17.jpg compelling witness. We ask you to consider that the victim's father has nothing by way of malice towards this defendant. Bryn even mentioned that he considered him an honest person and that is precisely what he is. Do you think this man has lied?"...

Chittenden was arrested on June 2, 2015, while he was taking his kids to the school bus. In his interview with the police, the prosecution says that he was "very vague" about whether he knew the victim's age but suggested "he let his guard down". Ms May said: "It is all very vague until we get to the point where he says that she was 16 and at college. But then he let his guard down when he says she was having problems with her boyfriend at school. He then came up with the suggestion that school and college is all the same to him. If that is the case, why not say school at the beginning?"

Chittenden admitted in a prepared statement before he was interviewed for a second time that he was lying and that sexual activity between him and the victim did take place. He continued to deny that he had any knowledge of her age. Ms May said: "He is the liar. He lied because of the situation he was in. The reason he lied was not because he was a rabbit caught in the headlights running scared. He was deliberately manipulating the situation." Mr Bonehill added: "In his first interview, he accepts he lied. People lie for a number of different reasons. He accepts it is a lie, he gives a truthful version and then he goes into that witness box to give you more detail. He chooses to give evidence which is not easy."

Mr Bonehill [defending] asked the jury to not define Chittenden's character on his guilty plea to the indecent material found at his home. He said: "He pleaded guilty to those disgusting images on his computer. Just because someone has committed an offence does not mean they are guilty of everything...

In summing up the case, Ms May told the jury that the evidence given by the victim's father was "honest and compelling". She said: "The crown says at no time did this defendant think she was 16. We suggest honest and compelling evidence from the victim's father and I ask you to compare and contest that with the evidence of the defendant. I can be sure that he is guilty. I encourage you to return a verdict of guilty."

It took the jury 45 minutes to come to a unanimous verdict of guilty. Chittenden was released on conditional bail and is to return to Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday, September 22, for sentencing. Judge Jonathan Seeley told Chittenden he was granting him bail on compassionate grounds regarding his partner. He said: "You have been convicted by the jury with an extremely serious offence and you must know from that you are facing a custodial sentence and a significant one. The fact I'm remanding you on bail is mainly because of the condition of your girlfriends pregnancy."

 


Quorn FH filmed apparently cub hunting on NT land

23-8-17   Facebook - National Dis-Trust  VIDEO   The Quorn Hunt, who say they have an agreement with The National Trust, were hunting something this morning near Ingarsby Hall - and it clearly wasn't a trail. Is this the 'best version of a legal activity' that The Trust say they are about to licence for the coming season. Feel free to email this clip to their Director-General, Dame Helen Ghosh, at helen.ghosh@nationaltrust.org.uk and ask her if she thinks this is trail hunting, or something else. 'The Quorn Hunt has a similar arrangement with The National Trust to pass through its land at Ulverscroft Wood.

For an introduction to cubbing/autumn hunting & how it works, please watch this video from the League Against Cruel Sports.   #voteoffthehunts    #AGM2017

   QuornFHApparentlycubbingonNTland23-8-17.jpg 

 


National Trust ignoring evidence that 'trail hunting' is a fiction

23-8-17   Facebook - National Dis-Trust   'We believe the overwhelming majority of Hunts act responsibly...' - The National Trust, Updated 'Trail Hunting' Policy, http://bit.ly/2syAhnO.'Having

'Having looked over 4,000 hunt monitoring reports of over 30 hunt monitors from different organisations covering the majority of hunts in England and Wales (157), since the Hunting Act 2004 was enacted, these hunt monitors have reported witnessing someone laying a possible trail only in an average of around 3% of the occasions they monitored hunts, but they believed that only an average of around 0.04% of the occasions they may have witnessed a genuine trail hunting event, rather than a fake one.' - League Against Cruel Sports, http://bit.ly/2u0JfvA.

'During this reporting period 364 (42%) of all incidents reported related to illegal interference with badger setts... Unfortunately, 72 of these incidents related to alleged interference with setts by fox hunts.' - The Badger Trust, UK Badger Persecution 2014-15, P6, http://bit.ly/2r1ZnLf.'...in

'...in 99% of IFAW hunt monitors’ reports produced during the last 10 years (443 reports on supposed ‘trail hunting’ events covering 45 different registered hunts in England & Wales), the investigators reported not having witnessed anybody laying what they believed was a genuine trail.' - International Fund for Animal Welfare - IFAW, Trail Of Lies, P5, http://g.ifaw.org/2hbxOIR#Orly?  #naiveAF   #gobacktothedrawingtable

 


Two foxes saved by monitors from Crawley FH cub hunters

23-8-17   Facebook - West Sussex Hunt Sabs   The Crawley & Horsham fox hunt met at 5-30pm at Brick Kiln Farm, Shipley Road, Southwater today. Monitors watched as the hunt left the meet and headed across the fields. As hunt monitors entered through gates on a public footpath they saw men lined up along the outside of the wood. They could hear the huntsman pushing the hounds through the wood from the other end. A fox bolted from the wood and crossed the footpath in front of the monitors. One of the C&H hunt staff was quickly on his mobile, then cracking a whip on the ground to stop the hounds.

The Hunt left the wood and the hounds soon picked up the scent of the fox again. Two foxes were seen bolting from woodlands and the hounds were quickly on to them, the foxes ran towards another wooded area followed by the hounds. Fortunately another monitor was waiting in there and the huntsman had to call the hounds off. We saved these two foxes tonight, but no doubt they will be hunted again soon. We hope we will be there next time to save them again. We can state for the record that no trail of any sort had been laid for this meet and what we witnessed was blatant illegal fox hunting. We are very grateful for any donations that will help keep us in the fields protecting our wildlife. A big thank you shout out to those who have donated.

 

Did Melbreak FH supply fake fox urine certificate to Nat Trust?

22-8-17  Facebook - National Dis-Trust    This [below right] is a copy of the certificate provided to The National Trust by The Melbreak Foxhounds, to prove that the fox urine the hunt claims to use for trail-laying is ‘authentic’. The National Trust have accepted this certificate at face value, even though it looks like someone has knocked it up on their home computer. The certificate is conveniently dated 23/10/16, just before the hunt’s opening meet last year, when The National Trust licence commenced. A little bit of digging by the Trust would haveMelbreakFHPossfakecertificategiventoNT10-16.jpg produced the following information...

-> The website for the company which supposedly supplies the fox urine (http://bit.ly/2wki5ky ) doesn’t appear to exist nor is it registered with Companies House.   -> The company’s aliases, Harrier Contracting and The Animal Scent Company seem equally vague – Harrier Contracting (http://bit.ly/2vbF65B ) was dissolved in February 2017 and appears to have been set up purely as a dummy company in 2013, which never traded.

So where does the fox urine actually come from? We know that there are legal implications (http://bit.ly/2g1AjAT ) involved in importing fox urine, and that obtaining it in large enough quantities in the UK would contravene animal welfare legislation (http://bit.ly/1sxCoFL ).

Yet The National Trust were quite happy to accept this certificate as proof that The Melbreak Foxhounds were following a trail, even though this particular Hunt have never been witnessed laying a trail, but have been witnessed chasing and killing foxes (for example -> http://bit.ly/2wBywc5 ) on numerous occasions over the past few years, with footage being handed to police and The National Trust. A hunt monitor was assaulted (http://bit.ly/2xptfRN ) by a Melbreak supporter/convicted sex offender (http://bit.ly/2g2edhx ) at a meet of The Melbreak Foxhounds in January this year; the hunt monitor needed hospital treatment as a result of the attack. The National Trust still allowed the hunt to continue using its land having banned them for a mere 24 hours.

So why would we accept The National Trust’s updated hunting regulations, when Hunts have consistently breached the existing National Trust licence? The answer is that we won’t. Until yesterday, it has been ‘carry on as normal’, with The National Trust trotting out tired old copy and paste responses when challenged about illegal hunting, hunt violence, environmental damage and the presence of terriermen. The members resolution to ban hunting starts to raise public awareness, and The Trust suddenly attempts to hoodwink the voting membership by updating their rules. How convenient! We urge all Trust members to see through the smokescreen and use their vote to get the Hunts off Trust land.

 

                                          
CA anger at NT's policy changes on 'trail hunting'

21-8-17  Countryside Alliance   Countryside Alliance condemn the changes to the National Trust’s trail-hunting policy    Proposed changes to the National Trust’s trail-hunting policy appear to have been made as a “direct response to demands from the animal rights movement,” said Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance earlier today. The changes include the advance publication of meet information on the Trust’s website and the banning of animal-based scent used by most hunts to lay trails. The Trust announced on its website that it is introducing changes in the way that they license trail-hunts following an in-depth review of their current processes and procedures.

It is quite extraordinary that the National Trust’s ‘in-depth review’ has not included consultation with any ofTimBonner.jpg the individual licence holders or the associations that represent them prior to the changes being made, and it is no surprise therefore that some are so impractical”, continued Tim Bonner [right], “The changes will go down extremely badly with hunts, the majority of National Trust tenants who welcome them and the wider rural community. Many of the hunts that operate on National Trust land have been targeted by animal rights activists in the past and will take the view that it will be too great a risk to staff and members to have their meets advertised. On the face of it this seems to be another example of the Trust distancing itself from the rural community to appease metropolitan sensibilities.”

Trail-hunting is one of the legal forms of hunting that was adopted by packs of hounds following the implementation of the Hunting Act in February 2005. It involves the laying of an artificial trail across the countryside which the hounds follow, with the aim being to simulate traditional hunting.

#​A members’ resolution proposing to ban trail-hunting on National Trust land has also been put forward for consideration at the Trust’s AGM on Saturday 21 October.

 


CA official [an ex senior cop] invited to Leics police hunt training day

20-8-17  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Leicestershire Police invite Countryside Alliance's Phillip Davies to police training day   Leicestershire Police are holding a training day on the 5th September regarding the issue of hunting. This is something they have done for the past few years however it has come to our attention that this year there is “confirmation from Mr Phillip Davies [below left] that he will be attending the event and assisting officers should they need any guidance or advice around the activities.”

PhillipDaviesCAPoliceLiaisonOfficer.jpgWho is Mr Phillip Davies? Davies is the Countryside Alliance's Police Liaison officer. He was himself a police officer from 1980 till 2010 becoming a Chief Inspector. It's his job to influence police policy in relation to hunting and is on various advisory bodies. Last year he attended the National Police Chief Council conference where he did a 20 minute talk entitled “hunting without harassment” (never mind that hunting is illegal) in the talk he portrayed sabs as violent and dangerous criminals and pushed for the use of Section 35 anti-social behaviour dispersal orders and section 60AA powers.

Leicestershire Police need reminding that over the past three years the Atherstone Hunt and its associates have collected 20 convictions, cautions and community resolutions for violence and anti-social behaviour with possibly more to follow. 11 of these are convictions for assault. We on the other hand have none. Zero. We have not even been charged with anything. So quite clearly the violent dangerous criminals are the Atherstone Hunt. That is a fact.

The Atherstone Hunt has gained a lot of unwanted press for foxhunting over the past few years and because of this they are constantly looking at ways to get rid of us. However documenting and exposing illegal hunting is not a crime and neither is preventing any breaches of the Hunting Act.

Leicestershire Police should also remind themselves that the CA is a pressure group who want the Hunting Act repealed, an organisation who were behind the Hunting Declaration Day on 1st November 2003. This saw 50,000 hunt supporters publicly sign declarations that they would break any future law that banned hunting. How can a police force invite someone to an event whose organisation advocates breaking the law? And not just any law but one of laws being discussed at that meeting.

One of the signatories of that declaration to break the law on hunting was current Atherstone joint-master Mark Halford who in this article admits to signing the declaration saying "I will continue to hunt" proof if any more is needed of the intentions of the Atherstone Hunt this season to continue to break the law.

The Countryside Alliance is a dangerous organisation involved in organised crime and the promotion of violence and the breaking of the law. As such inviting them to this event will be legitimising criminality. It would be like inviting the mafia to assist and guide police officers on the issue of drug dealing.

You can contact Leicestershire police via Facebook. You can read more about Phillip Davies in the latest edition of HOWL the magazine of the Hunt Saboteurs Association and which is free for members. That article has also been posted in the blog More than just badgers.

 


Sabs stop Cheshire Forest FH cub hunting effectively

Say police acted as Hunt's 'private security'

20-8-17   Facebook - Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs    Yesterday we teamed up with our beautiful comrades from Lancashire & Welsh Border Hunt Sabs to check in on the Cheshire Forest who were meeting at Clough House car park in Wildboarclough.

From the off it became apparent this was more than just hound exercise, this was a cubbing meet, as just before we arrived we were met by one of their support vehicles who had stopped to ask us what we were doing in the area! It was quite obvious what we were doing in the area, haha! At this point he became a little confrontational and frantically circled our vehicle trying to take pictures of us all!

Dressed in tweed the few select people who had paid their cap for the day were reluctantly starting to unbox their horses whilst some sabs had a quiet word with Mr German by the hound van. His face was a picture! He looked absolutely gutted! German is renowned for these evening cubbing meets. Due to our presence the Hunt were not able to actually do any cubbing and literally all they could do was exercise the hounds.

The Hunt took us on a lovely scenic trip around the Peak District and as they couldn't really enter any of the woodland with us in tow, they stayed on the road. The last few riders tried to slow us down a number of times to let Huntsman and hounds gain ground on us, but we're all healthy, fit and active individuals so we just leapt out the vehicles and caught up with them on foot!

We briefly stopped outside a gorgeous pub call the Hanging Gate so Mr German could speak to his friends from Cheshire Police who he must of called who were now also part of the convoy! This gave us the time to speak to some local cyclists about what Cheshire Forest were up to and what they're all about... The killing of innocent foxes...

After some time following in our vehicles an oncoming vehicle allowed a hunt support vehicle and the police to get in front of all our vehicles. This is where it all started to get weird! We came to a sudden halt, a few words were exchanged between hunt support and police, then the police literally acted as private security firm and blocked the road...

As we mentioned before, we're all fairly healthy and fit so again we put toes to the ground and attempted to catch up with the hunt. By this time they were well in the distance but the police efforts of trying to block us in were futile as we have local knowledge of the area and our drivers just drove round another way, picked up foot sabs and drove us back to the Hunt!

We have not forgotten about the collusion between the Cheshire Forest and Cheshire Police. We have not forgotten about PC Clare Ford... So, to Cheshire Police, if you are not in cahoots with wildlife criminals, please act impartially from now on and stop acting as a private security force for these evil animal abusers!

Once we had caught up with the Hunt we were now not far from the meet where upon our arrival back there, Mr German just let himself into the back of the police car for a nice chat...

Still not doing yourself any favours Cheshire Police... We're not the bad guys here!! We protest what we know to be cruel and we will most certainly protest what we see as a massive injustice too! Work with us, not against us, we only exist as a group to try and stop crimes against wildlife and to save the lives of all hunted animals. Where is your compassion??

The Hunt packed up the fastest we had ever seen and got the hell outta dodge as quick as they packed up, haha! Once the hunt had all left, so did the police, which left us to take the obligatory group photo and leave ourselves! Job done!

 

NT announces changes to 'trail hunting' policy to head off ban pressure

Critics claim changes are 'smokescreen' to protect Hunts 

20-8-17   National Trust   Our position on trail hunting   We are introducing changes in the way we license trail ‘hunts’ this year following an in-depth review of our current processes and procedures. Our updated approach aims to further safeguard conservation and access by producing a clear, robust, and transparent set of conditions for licensing. The changes include: - Banning the use of animal-based scents as a trail for hounds or beagles to follow. This will reduce the risk of foxes or other wild animals being accidentally chased.

- Prohibit the presence of terriermen, who have no practical purpose on a trail ‘hunt’, and the use of their vehicles.  - More active management of hunts and how they operate including: mandatory reporting requirements after each meet; the provision of specified maps/areas; and requiring at the time of application details of all proposed hunt days.  - Probing the track record of each applicant and establishing a consistent charging regime across Trust land.  - Greater transparency for our members and the public. We will post on our website the agreed days and locations, in advance, for our members and supporters to view. This will include a primary point of contact for each Hunt.  - We are exploring how we can work more closely with the Police’s independent National Wildlife Crime Unit, which is the proper authority for handling alleged breaches in wildlife legislation.

The Hunting Act of 2004 - Hunting wild animals was outlawed in England and Wales by the Hunting Act of 2004: National Trust land is no exception. The law does allow what is known as trail ‘hunting’ to continue. This activity involves people on foot or horseback following a scent along a pre-determined route with hounds or beagles. It effectively replicates a traditional hunt but without a fox being chased, injured or killed.

Our position - The Trust does license trail ‘hunts’ in some areas and at certain times of the year, where it is compatible with our aims of public access and conservation. We believe the overwhelming majority of Hunts act responsibly, and we hope our clear, robust, and transparent set of conditions will allow participants to enjoy this activity in compatibility with our conservation aims. Any activity associated with the term ‘hunting’ continues to provoke strong emotions on both sides of the debate. We recognise our reforms will not satisfy everyone.

Our charity’s core aim is to look after the places in our care and that remains our top priority when considering whether to license any outdoor activity. This would be true whether it’s mountain biking or a food festival. But our charity was also established for the nation’s benefit and to provide the widest spectrum of public access and enjoyment. We therefore always look to welcome people to our places and to host the broadest range of outdoor activities on our land. We believe this should include trail ‘hunting’, where it is consistent with our conservation aims and is legally pursued.

24-8-17  The Canary   National Trust accused of playing fast and loose with the truth to protect violent elites   Critics have accused the National Trust of playing fast and loose with the truth in order to protect the violent elites involved in fox hunting. The National Trust recently announced new rules for licensing hunts on its land. In response to growing criticism of a practice known as “trail hunting” (in which hounds follow a scent rather than a live animal), the conservation charity publicly stated on 18 August that it is going to make changes that will “further safeguard conservation and access”. In turn, this makes hunting activity on National Trust land more transparent. Despite a warm reception to these changes from the public, however, some groups are warning that this announcement is just a “smokescreen”.

Concerns - Trail hunting is a practice where packs of hounds follow an artificially laid scent that mimics the path of a fox. It was introduced after the Hunting Act 2004 was passed to “simulate traditional hunting”. But concerns about trail hunting have been voiced since its earliest days. Many critics say it’s a loophole that allows hunting packs to continue chasing and killing wildlife. Evidence for doubts include the Cheshire Forest Hunt rampaging through a Macclesfield suburb; or another hunt attacking a cat in Newbridge, Cornwall.

The National Trust is Britain’s largest private landowner. Consequently, 79 hunts held licences to trail hunt on the charity’s land in 2016. Licences come with strict rules which need to be adhered to on National Trust land. It is these rules that have recently been revised. Or have they?

The announcement has been made just two months before the National Trust annual general meeting (AGM) on 21 October. This AGM is notable because of a resolution put forward to ban all hunting – including trail hunting – from National Trust land. And this timing is the reason that campaign group National Dis-Trust has suggested the charity’s recent announcement isn’t telling the whole truth.

National Dis-Trust highlights several inconsistencies. In particular, the National Trust’s change regarding hunts’ use of terriermen ( which are used to dig foxes out of the earth before being killed): - Prohibit the presence of terriermen, who have no practical purpose on a trail ‘hunt’, and the use of their vehicles.

Responding to this, National Dis-Trust says:- Terriers have been ‘banned’ from being used during ‘trail hunts’ on Trust land for years by licence criteria, yet terriermen continue to be present… What does The Trust think terriermen have been doing with ‘trail hunts’ for the last 12 years?!

Also highlighted is the National Trust’s desire for hunts to self-report:- More active management of hunts and how they operate including: mandatory reporting requirements after each meet; the provision of specified maps/areas; and requiring at the time of application details of all proposed hunt days.

The National Dis-Trust points out that this is already in place and doesn’t work. Self-reporting is something The Trust has already required of hunts for years & years – it doesn’t work, and The Trust has clearly ignored their promise to pay attention to the reports of hunt monitors, so they can jog right on with this ‘promise’.

The charity also takes aim at the use of animal-based scent for trails:- Banning the use of animal-based scents as a trail for hounds or beagles to follow. This will reduce the risk of foxes or other wild animals being accidentally chased.

But the National Dis-Trust explains that:- The Hunts The Trust licence don’t follow ‘trails’ anyway, so stating that they will be required to hunt a non-animal based scent is frankly idiotic (retraining hounds also cannot be done at the drop of a hat – so will they still issue licences for this current hunt season?).

The National Trust and a ‘trail of lies’. The statement that Hunts don’t follow trails is backed up by a study [pdf] published by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Uncovering the Trail of Lies, published in December 2015, states that:- In 99% of the 443 trail hunting events run by 45 different registered hunts observed by our investigators over the last 10 years, they did not see anyone laying genuine trails. These inconsistencies, alongside evidence showing trail hunting to rarely be undertaken, has led National Dis-Trust to brand the announcement a “smokescreen”.

The Canary contacted the National Trust about the allegations, and it responded by saying that the new rules are “absolutely not a smokescreen”. This update is the conclusion of a review which has been taking place since February and applications for trail ‘hunting’ licenses need to made in the coming weeks. The Board response to the AGM resolution will be published separately, on 4 September. It also stated that the six-month review was intended to allow trail hunting to continue where it is compatible with the charity’s conservation aims:- We have been carefully listening to both sides of a highly polarised and passionate debate for years. During our review, we carefully weighed up those arguments, but our first priority is always to protect conservation and access on our land. Members will have the opportunity to discuss trail hunting and vote on the matter at the charity’s annual general meeting in October.

The motion was brought forward by 50 National Trust members. These include Helen Beynon, who is leading the call, and Ranulph Fiennes. The explorer, famously pro-hunt for many years, had a change of heart in 2016. He has stated that, if “the National Trust wants to truly preserve and protect our environment, it needs to stop condoning hunting, in any guise, immediately”. Hunts know they are being backed into a corner, which is perhaps why hunt lobby group Countryside Alliance regularly paints itself as a victim. More than 618,000 acres of land is a large chunk of that corner to lose. And losing it would set a precedent that other organisations such as the Forestry Commission and Ministry of Defence might follow.

When passage of the Hunting Act 2004 became increasingly likely, Hunts across the UK signed a declaration stating they would continue hunting in defiance of the law. Despite this, and despite evidence exposing trail hunting as a sham, the National Trust seems keen to continue licensing the activity on its land. Nothing less than a total ban on hunting will stop this.

 


Pressure grows on National Trust to ban 'trail hunting' on its land

Sir Rannulph Fiennes says continued killing by Hunts must stop

20-8-17   Western Morning News    National Trust may vote to ban all hunting with dogs on its land in motion backed by Ranulph Fiennes    All hunting with hounds on National Trust Land could be banned in an unprecedented vote. Trail hunting – in which hounds and riders follow a scent that was laid earlier – is still allowed on Trust estates but has long been regarded by animal rights campaigners as a means of circumventing the hunting ban. Now 50 trust members, including the Exmoor explorer Sir Ranulph FiennesRanulphFienneswithcorpseoffoxkilledbyCheshireFH.jpg [right, with corpse of fox killed by Cheshire FH], have endorsed a motion that will be debated at the trust's AGM in October which would revoke all licences allocated to hunts, the Observer reported today. The National Trust owns many thousands of acres in Devon, on estates like Killerton and Knightshayes, and licences hunts on some of its Westcountry properties.

"These hunts are still killing foxes, hares and stags – and they are being allowed to do so on National Trust land," Fiennes, who lives near Dulverton, said. "Hunting is despicable, cruel and has no justification in modern Britain. If the National Trust wants to truly preserve and protect our environment, it needs to stop condoning hunting, in any guise, immediately."

A total of 79 annual licences were granted last year to applicants seeking to engage in trail hunting on trust lands. Licences are granted on the understanding that the hunt simulates a traditional chase but without foxes being deliberately pursued or killed.

The League Against Cruel Sports says that despite the 2005 Hunting Act hunts are being carried out as before the ban, with trail hunting providing "plausible deniability" to hunts when live animals end up being caught by hounds. Philippa King, the League's acting chief executive, said that the Trust had been shown video footage of hunts chasing and killing stags on its lands and there appeared to be "no will" to stop it. We know the majority of people in this country want hunting to stay illegal, and we know they are shocked to find out it still goes on illegally," she said. "The groundswell of public opinion against the National Trust allowing hunting is already massive and growing by the day, as more people realise it's happening."

The motion, put forward by Helen Beynon, asks that her fellow members "agree that the National Trust must stop issuing licences for trail hunting, 'exempt' hunting, or allowing hunts to exercise their hounds on National Trust land, to prevent potential illegal activity in breach of the Hunting Act 2004 and to prevent damage to flora and fauna by the hunt, hounds and followers".

Challenged about trail hunting earlier this year during a talk at Nottingham Trent University, Dame Helen Ghosh, the departing head of the trust, said that the issue had generated a lot of correspondence on social media and that she knew of scores of members who had left because of the issue. A Trust spokesperson said: "We can confirm a members' resolution has been submitted for our annual general meeting in October calling for the cessation of trail hunting on National Trust laand. Members will have the opportunity to vote on the resolution and discuss the matter at the AGM." In January the Trust said it would review its arrangement with a Hunt whose hounds had appeared to attack an elderly couple and their dog on a beach owned by the charity. Witnesses reported that the greyhound was chased by several hounds. While huntsmen attempted to bring them under control, onlookers described how the dogs turned on the greyhound's owner who fended them off with his wife's walking stick and was said to have been bitten, CornwallLive reported.

Polly Portwin, head of hunting at the Countryside Alliance, said that trail hunting had been adopted by the majority of registered hunts following the Hunting Act being enforced from February 2005. "Many National Trust members regularly follow hounds and it is disappointing that they are effectively being accused. To ban legal hunting activities on the grounds of protecting flora and fauna would suggest that dog walking and exercising horses across National Trust land should also be banned. There is nothing to suggest that hunts are regularly breaking the law while trail hunting either on private land or that owned by the National Trust."

She said Ministry of Justice data showed that of the 423 people convicted of offences under the Hunting Act since it came into force 12 years ago, more than 94% did not involve Hunts and were largely related to poaching and hare coursing offences.

POWAperson adds - This story was widely reported including in Observer, Mail, Times and Mirror. In pre-ban days, attempts to have fox and hare hunting banned on NT land were defeated by the Chair using proxy votes against them. One wonders if the Trust, who have received increasingly negative publicity over this issue, will dare use that tactic again. 

 

Three Counties Mink Hounds slope off home before sabbing even starts

19-8-17   Facebook - Bristol Hunt Saboteurs    Three Counties Minkhounds sabbed!    A few of us joined up with a collection of sabs from Bath, Severn Vale and S.Wales today, after receiving a local tip off that the rather illusive Three Counties Mink Hounds would be hunting around Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire, near to the Welsh border.

We arrived to find a number of followers positioned on a bridge over Escley Brook, awaiting the Hunt's arrival from further upstream, but they didn't get that far... as soon as sabs made their presence known, the Hunt threw the towel in. The usual laughable excuses were bandied about, ranging from "we're just out fishing" to "we're following a pre-laid trail." After a bit of standing around trying to hatch a plan, the hounds were boxed up and the hound van was outta there. Odd behaviour if there was nothing illegal going on!

We watched as hunt staff and supporters waited around looking rather fed up, before most of them drifted off. Sabs remained in the area ready to go back into action if they tried to sneak back, until we received word from a spotter's vehicle that they had picked up the hound van way to the east, heading back to the hunt kennels in Kinnersley, Worcestershire. Knowing that their attempts at killing wildlife were ruined for the day, it was job done and we were heading for home! Three Counties Mink Hounds, we'll be seeing you again...

   ThreeCountiesMinkHoundsandsabs19-8-17.jpg 

 

Sabs cause instant pack up of Northants Mink Hounds

19-8-17  Facebook – N.Cambs Hunt Sabs   Hit report: Kingsbridge farm, Steeple Claydon. Northants Minkhounds   Today Sabs from N.Cambs, S.Cambs, Northants and Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs discovered our old friends the Northants Mink/Otter Hounds hiding out at Kingsbridge Farm, in Buckinghamshire. They were actively hunting Padbury Brook, part of the Great Ouse Valley system - a sensitive river ecosystem made up of habitats for several protected species such as Otters, Water Voles and Great Crested Newts.

Unfortunately, the hunters did not see this as a big deal, and so carried on regardless with driving their pack of otter hounds upstream scenting out their quarry. Unbeknown to them, sabs were waiting, hidden upstream around a bend in the river. Just as the spade-carrying terrierman arrived on scene, sabs made their presence know and the entire hunt did an instant about turn and marched briskly back to their waiting cars. Unfortunately for them, they did have to traipse quite a long way, and some members of their ageing support were flagging by the end of the walk. This chap [below left] attacked a sab with his walking stick and had to be held back by his slightly concerned partner.

Sabs also assisted an otter hound who had become stuck in wires, after the panicked hunters tried to take a shortcut through a hedge to avoid a herd of cows... An effective showing of mink hound sabbing from all groups involved, the hunt were marked to ground at their car park, and staked out until the hound van was confirmed to have left the scene.

Pics below  -  1/  Supporter who attacked sab   2/ Hunters fleeing  

   NorthantsMHfollowerwhoattackedsabwithstick19-8-17.jpg   NorthantsMHfleeingsabs19-8-17.jpg

 




Stressed stag chased on to LACS land by unstopped D&S SH hounds

18-8-17  Daily Mirror  VIDEO   'Horrific' footage reveals runaway hunting dogs chasing frightened stag into a protected wildlife sanctuary    Hunting deer with stags is illegal under the Hunting Act, but three stag hunts use loopholes in the law to carry on with the cruel bloodsport. But even they are supposed to stop if the animals cross into sanctuary land.

Footage released by the League Against Cruel Sports today reveal two dogs from a Devon and Somerset hunt continuing to chase down the stag on land that is meant to be safe for wildlife. Paul Tillesley, head of conservation and education for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “It was truly horrific to see the hunt chasing this marvellous stag, in his prime, in the guise of ‘research’. We were relieved to see the stag reach the safety of the League’s Baronsdown sanctuary, but shocked the Hunt didn’t stop two of their hounds from continuing the pursuit of the stag and shattering the peace of this wildlife haven.”

Philippa King, acting CEO for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “This stag should have been safe when it crossed onto sanctuary land, but two of the Hunt’s hounds – not under proper control - relentlessly pursued it. Eighty-eight per cent of the public oppose deer hunting. This incident is a stark reminder that the Hunting Act needs strengthening, so exemptions like research and observation can no longer be flouted by the hunts in order to persecute animals for ‘sport’. Research has shown stag hunting to be terrifying and exhausting for a stag, with pursuits lasting for up to three hours. The poor animals literally have to run for their lives.”

League staff caught one of the dogs, which was later collected by a member of a local hunt group.

Pics below -   1/ The spent, sweating, salivating stag finds sanctuary   2/  Hound returned to shamefaced redcoat

   StagchasedontoLACSsanctuary8-17.jpg   HuntsmancollectstrespassinghoundfromLACS8-17.jpg

18-8-17    Facebook  League Against Cruel Sports   VIDEO   Yesterday, we were reminded in very real terms of the importance of our sanctuary land. While monitoring the Devon and Somerset Staghounds’ activities, League staff witnessed a mature stag being hunted down a wooded valley that forms a boundary with the League’s Baronsdown sanctuary. The frightened and exhausted stag managed to reach the safety of the Baronsdown sanctuary, but two hunting hounds continued to chase the terrified animal on to land that is meant to be safe for wildlife. One dog was apprehended by League.

 


Aborted calf highlights neospora dangers from hound packs' faeces

16-8-17  Farmers Guardian   Devastating effects of Neospora at Witcon Farm - caused by cows eating grass contaminated with dog poo.  Dog walkers - please bear this in mind.NeosporaNeartermcalfabortedduetodisease8-17.jpg

POWA person adds - This post, showing a near-term calf aborted because the mother had contracted neospora, highlights the dangers of this disease. The primary vector is dog faeces – yet thousands of farmers, many keeping livestock, including cattle, allow large packs of hunting hounds to roam across their pastures, defecating freely as they go.

The dangers of the potential spread of bTb by hunting hounds have been well-documented recently and historically hounds have been almost the sole vector for the spread of hydatidosis, which can cause not just sheep carcasses to be rejected at post-slaughter because of the presence of hydatic cysts but can, and has, infected humans, with potentially fatal consequences. We know of one hunt servant, we believe from the Warwickshire FH, who died of the disease and another who obtained substantial damages, a few years ago, from the Beaufort FH after the disease, which has a long latency period, seriously afflicted him after his retirement.

When will Hunts start taking seriously the multiple, severe dangers their hound packs can create, when will livestock farmers learn that allowing these packs access to their land is a seriously bad idea, when will our government recognise the multiple and varied harms of hunting with hounds and ban it properly? Strengthen the Hunting Act.

 



Hunting fanatic Duke of Beaufort dies in sleep aged 89

Leaves behind gigantic fortune and vast landholding

16-8-17  Daily Mail    Battle for the Badminton millions as Duke of Beaufort dies leaving an estimated £315million fortune to his eldest son - who separated from his campaigning ex-actress wife in 2013 - Leaves behind £315million including 52,000-acre Badminton Estate    The Duke of Beaufort, owner of one of biggest estates in England, has died aged 89. David Somerset, the 11th Duke of Beaufort, died in his sleep yesterday, leaving behind his widow, Miranda, and children Harry, Anne, Edward and John. He also leaves behind an estimated £315million fortune including the 52,000-acre Badminton Estate in Gloucestershire - home of the famous horse trials, and the place where the game of Badminton was invented in 1863. It is unclear how the death will affect the complicated divorce involving his eldest son and heir Harry, until now the Marquess of Worcester. The new Duke - known to his friends as Bunter – separated from former actress turned environmentalist Tracy Louise Ward in 2013, after 26 years of marriage. 

Old Etonian Harry confirmed his father had died yesterday afternoon and told the Daily Mail: ‘He was a wonderful father and died surrounded by his family. That is all I feel able to say at this stage.’

Last year the 65-year-old revealed that the couple were in the process of going through a divorce. Tracy Louise Ward, the granddaughter of the 3rd Earl of Dudley, is the mother of Bunter’s three children - Robert, Bella and Jordan - and has relied on being married to old money to fund her environmental campaigning, which has included making a film about the impact of industrialised pig farming in Britain...

POWAperson adds - The Duke was a highly enthusiastic follower of his ancestral tradition of fox hunting, leading the family Hunt for many years. His vast estate gives ample provision for hunting away from pryingPrinceWilliamhuntingwithBeaufortaged17.jpg eyes. Monitors have accused the Beaufort of hunting illegally on many occasions when hunting in publicly accessible areas. For example, on March 13th this year a monitor claims the Huntsman refused to pull hounds off a fox which they were close behind. The fate of that fox is unknown. On 9th March film was released of the Beaufort apparently hunting a fox in December. On 4th March monitors witnessed Beaufort hounds chasing a fox and later filmed bloodstained hounds and, later in the day, they observed the Hunt chasing a fox into the grounds of Prince Charles' home at Highgrove. The Prince was a frequent guest rider over decades when fox hunting was legal, as, latterly were Princes William [right] and Harry. In the early 1990s the Duke was threatened with prison by a judge, along with his long-standing Huntsman Captain Ian Farquhar, when they broke an injunction against trespassing on a farm. The late Duke's father freely admitted to using artificial earths and was in the peculiar habit of writing annually to newspapers saying he never lost lambs to foxes. His father, in turn, was the author of the 'Bible' of aficiandos of the 'sport', the 1900 volume 'Foxhunting'. The famous quotation about teaching young hounds to be 'savage with their fox' whilst cubbing comes from this book. The huge number of foxes whose suffering and death this ducal line has been responsible for can only be guessed at.

Besides his huge Badminton Estate in Gloucestershire, the Duke also owned tracts of land in south Wales. In 2009, Swansea paid him £280,000 for permission to build a bridge across the River Tawe and numerous wind turbines are currently being built on his land near the city, a development strongly opposed by locals, which will bring in millions for the Estate.



Vile rape and death threats made online to fox rescuer monitor

14-8-17  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   Shocking and alarming online abuse from hunt supporter - Death threats and threats of rape     Yesterday, violent and threatening comments were made under a dramatic video of a fox being rescued by a hunt monitor from the jaws of hounds about to kill it. The video was shot in 2012 at a meet of the Old Berks Fox Hounds in Oxfordshire.

The violent comments were made yesterday on YouTube and talk about the sab/monitor being raped and wanting her to die.  “What a hateful, pathetic old bitch. I'd have ripped the fox out her hand and snapped it's neck in front of her whilst the horse raped her bare arsehole. Dirty sab scum, die in your council flat.”

 



'Thousands' protest hunting and slaughter of wildlife for 'sport'

Chris Packham condemns 'psychopathic joy' of wildlife killers

13-8-17   Observer   Glorious Twelfth under fresh fire from protesters on moors and streets   New momentum for anti-hunting lobby as thousands march in London to warn of threat to wildlife The start of Britain’s grouse shooting season has been overshadowed by wildlife protection protests, marking the growing confidence of animal rights supporters that they are about to make their biggest breakthrough since the hunting ban in 2004.

As the countryside echoed to the sound of gunfire on the Glorious Twelfth, opponents took part in a protest ramble on Ilkley Moor, the site of the only shoot still taking place on public land. In central London, thousands of marchers were told by speakers including the BBC presenter Chris Packham [right] that the days of the West Yorkshire shoot were numbered, with Bradford council under unprecedented pressure not to renew the lease next year.

I think that when people now see others killing for the psychopathic joy of it they are increasingly sickenedChrisPackham.jpg and the reason for that is that our wildlife is running out,” Packham said. He told the Observer that public support for conservation in the UK had risen on the back of global outrage after Cecil the lion was killed in Zimbabwe in 2015. Social media is another factor. The RSPB published video of marsh harriers being killed on a grouse moor in Yorkshire and within hours of that material going on to YouTube it has been spread all around. Everyone is instantaneously angered as it gets shared and there is frankly nowhere for these criminals to hide,” Packham said.

The marchers, wearing fox head masks and carrying banners condemning the badger cull, made their way to Downing Street after speakers said that loopholes continued to allow hunting to go on. Danielle Flynn, 55, a former hunt saboteur from Glasgow, marched with her daughter Karen, who said social media had played a big part in the resurgence of interest in animal rights. “A lot of them might be apathetic about politics but they might, for example, take an interest when I talk to them about animal testing and makeup,” said the 24-year-old.

Jordan Psaros, 26, from Braintree in Essex, said: “I’ve always been an animal lover but I basically became involved in this after I saw videos online of foxes being killed by dogs set on them by hunters on horseback. A lot of people of my age are waking up to what is going on.”

Animal rights groups have been emboldened by the public reaction to recent controversies. Arsenal football club owner Stan Kroenke was forced to order his new TV streaming service to stop showing big-game hunting and Vinnie Jones was caught up in a row over a photograph of 100 dead foxes that appeared on his Twitter feed. Hunting also featured in the general election after Theresa May declared her support for a free vote on overturning the ban, with some Tories complaining afterwards that this contributed to “toxifying” the party brand. Focus group Britain Thinks also found that while the so-called “dementia tax” was key among older voters, the prospect of a foxhunting revival alienated many swing voters...

Shooting continues to be big money. Yesterday saw the Gleneagles Glorious Grouse Race, in which shooters race to deliver the first grouse of the season to the town and onwards to London. Grouse killed by shooters including the Olympian Peter Wilson were due to be helicoptered down to be served at London’s Harwood Arms gastropub.

All the evidence is there that it should be stopped and there is a lot of support for that locally,” said Luke Steele of Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor, who said that backing was coming from the local conservation group and a new Labour MP who recently took the seat from the Tories. We have seen that notable breeding bird species have gone extinct or declined by more than half, for example. Then there is the environmental damage caused by sections of the moor being set alight, and there are walkers who are fearful of the guns.”

But Edward Bromet of the Bingley Moor Partnership, which runs the shoot, insisted that grouse shooting aided the moor’s upkeep and described those organising yesterday’s protest as an “extreme” group... The Countryside Alliance has also turned its fire on Packham, sending a letter this weekend to the BBC arguing that it was unsustainable for him to be allowed an “unchallenged platform” on programmes such as Springwatch while he aligned himself with “the most aggressive elements of the anti-shooting campaign”. Packham said: “There is no conflict. I have a working relationship with the BBC. We have an agreed protocol and I have not deviated from it. The Countryside Alliance are upset because they are on the back foot. We are winning and they are lashing out.”

 

Alston Hare Week future in doubt as host pack forced into amateur status

WTV Beagles finances so bad they have to sell their kennels 

Hard sab pressure on the hare week for last three years may be cause

10-8-17    Facebook - Berkshire Hunt Sabs    ALSTON HARE WEEK...THE FINAL NAIL IN THE COFFIN?   News hasWeardaleandTeesValleyBeagleskennelsforsale8-17.jpg reached the HSA that all is not well with the Weardale & Tees Valley Beagles (WTV), organisers of the notorious Alston Hare Week hunting festival.

Until recently the WTV were one of the few beagle packs to still enjoy 'professional' status: they had their own kennels and a paid employee to feed and hunt the hounds. Now, however, they find themselves in such dire financial straits that they have been forced to sell off their kennels and become an 'amateur' pack. The hounds will be kennelled with a neighbouring foxhunt and their kennel huntsman, Gary Wingar, has already defected south to become huntsman of the Easton Harriers.

Why this sudden downturn in the fortunes of the WTV Beagles? It's all to do with the collapse of their annual hunting festival, Alston Hare Week. This event involved southern beagle packs travelling north every October to hunt hares in the WTV's wild upland country. The visitors paid through the nose for this privilege and were further fleeced at a series of social events held throughout the week. The HSA sabotaged Alston Hare Week in 2014 and, the following two years, prevented it from happening at all. Deprived of this extra revenue the WTV have hit hard times, and it seems less likely than ever that they will be able to resurrect their cruel hunting festival.

However, the HSA is not complacent and we are determined that Alston Hare Week will never happen again. Our specialist operatives are already monitoring the situation on the ground and we are grateful to the many Alston residents who continue to send us information about the decline of the Weardale & Tees Valley Beagles.

     

West Somerset Vale FH filmed cub hunting among other misdemeanours

8-12-17   Facebook - Somerset Hunt Saboteur Group    A very early morning for the group this morning, attending the very wet West Somerset Vale cubbing meet at 6am on the Quantock Hills. A member of the public kindly gave us the required info, otherwise we would have missed the pisspoor turn-out of the Huntsman, the amateur whip, a mummy and two young ladies, 40 hounds and a hunt vehicle. Even followed all early morning, the straggling bunch of bloodthirsty cubbers kept up a soggy attempt to cast hounds, with the mummy squealing that they were following a trail ! Shame that the Huntsman took the hounds in the opposite direction that mummy was dragging her sock !!

Meanwhile, both the AONB service and the Forestry ranger were very interested to hear of the transgressions committed by the Hunt, wilfully allowing their hounds to crap all over the car park, driving up tracks right past whacking great signs denying vehicle access, putting local dog walkers at risk ( this pack killed a sheep last season they are so poorly controlled). Some pics for your perusal and some film to come when film sab awakes ! And keep the info coming, folks !!  [Video is here]

8-8-17    FB - Somerset Sabs   Cubbing 21st century Style...   West Somerset Vale hunt truck - crafty reg number there, you bloodsport morons - up on top of the Quantocks where it ain't got permission to be, complete with terriers and whatever was hidden in the back of the loadbed. Naughty people going past all those No Vehicle signs that don't apply to Hunts, damaging trackways in the very heavy rain this week....the AONB were not happy bunnies, nor was the Forestry Ranger when he rocked up pad in hand for details !

Pics below -   1/ Hounds hunting      2/  Hunt vehicle illicitly on Quantocks

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DoT say quads following hunts must be fully taxed, MOT'd and not carry passengers

Hants, Surrey and Sussex police forces promise to enforce regulations

5-8-17     Facebook - Isle of Wight Hunt Sabs    We have been sent the following copy of the Department of Transport’s email to Sgt O’Leary of Sussex police on to Inspector Louise Hubble who heads Hampshire’s Country Watch police department. She replied as seen below. It means any quad following a hunt cannot be used unless it is taxed for road use and has an MOT. An agricultural licence does not cover hunting, so only forestry or agriculture would allow this exemption. This means only a farm worker could follow a hunt using an agricultural licenced quad, and then only on the farm he is working on, so he could cross and go a few hundred yards on a road of a farm in the same ownership. Even then he cannot carry a passenger. Sussex and Surrey police have promised they will enforce this during the coming year as well as Hampshire.

Dear PS O’ Leary, Thank you for your email dated 17 March 2017 to our IVS enquiries inbox. I have been asked to reply. In our opinion the quad bikes being used by a hunt are not being used for agriculture, therefore they are incorrectly taxed, and they should have an MOT. We would suggest that it is an offence to carry a passenger as the quad bike licensed as a Light Agricultural Vehicle (see attached) is restricted to one person the driver. I hope you find this reply helpful. Yours sincerely, James Brown Department for Transport.

Inspector Louise Hubble of Hampshire Police’s Countrywatch team replied on 3rd Aug. 2017 with the following:-  As promised, I have today written to the following hunts to remind them of their legal obligations in relation to the use of quad bikes at hunts:- Wilton, · Hursley & Hambledon, Tedworth, Vine & Craven, Kimblewick, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, New Forest.

Louise Hubble, Inspector 483 Lou Hubble OBE, Strategic Rural Policing Inspector (Hampshire and Isle Of Wight), Lyndhurst Police Station, Pikes Hill, Lyndhurst, Hampshire. SO43 7NR louise.hubble@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

                                      

Large Dove Valley MH hunt aggressive but pack up due to sabs

5-8-17   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   … Well there's certainly no rest for the wicked, and as our friends the Northants Mink Hounds had already had their plans scuppered we ventured further afield and joined up with sabs from Northants Hunt Saboteurs, Nottingham Hunt Saboteurs and Severn Vale Hunt Saboteurs for the trip north to visit the Dove Valley Mink (Otter) Hounds who were hunting the river Dove behind Fauld Hall, Tutbury.

It was quite a big meet with lots of support, all who seemed to be carry big sticks and spades, wonder what they were for? Sure enough we found them hunting illegally and they weren't too pleased to see us as you can imagine. The farmer was very aggressive driving his tractor at sabs before going very red in the face and we're sure we saw steam coming from his ears.

The hounds were gathered up and returned to the meet while an angry mob of support came to discuss the finer points of country life with us. With the hunting stopped our job was effectively done so no point in hanging around we returned to our vehicles to scoff LM sausage rolls.

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West Norfolk FH take pack on to NT Brancaster beach without permission

4-8-17   Facebook - National Dis-Trust   Looks like West Norfolk Foxhounds have gone on to Brancaster Beach, belonging to The National Trust, without permission. National Trust - East of England say they're looking into it; note what they say about public safety. Why not drop them a message on their Facebook page or to brancaster@nationaltrust.org.uk and ask them to tell the Hunt to stay away and to tell us how the Hunt respond? Feel free to remind them that there's a members vote on hunt access and no hunts should be allowed on for any reason until it's settled.    #votethehuntsoff     #AGM2017

Pics below -  1/  On the beach   2/  NT's response

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LACS Trustees squash plan to make investigator team redundant

3-8-17  Morethanjustbadgers   Sense Prevails    On Monday (1/8) the trustees of the League Against Cruel Sports voted unanimously to keep their investigation team and in doing so overruled the intentions of the current senior management team. This is of course fabulous news not only for those who had their jobs on the line but also for our wildlife which needs all the help it can get from those who wish to do it harm in the most heinous manner.

I have no doubt that the public outcry and huge number of complaints the trustees received would have played a significant part in their decision making and everyone who took the time to contact them should be proud of the role they played. Public opinion should never be underestimated and as a charity which relies on the generosity of said public the risk of losing a large part of their revenue stream was simply too great. I had many people contact me and declare that should the investigations team be removed then they would be sending their donations elsewhere.

So what next? Current CEO Eduardo Goncalves is still on long term sick leave however can still be seen regularly on twitter. Current acting head Phililpa King (who I wrote about here) is being labelled as CEO in the most recent press releases, however she would seem to be in a somewhat difficult situation having been completely undermined by the trustees and clearly has no idea what it really takes to run LACS or indeed even a real stomach for the fight. Whatever the outcome I hope that the recent restrictions placed on the investigations team will be removed and they can be completely let of the leash so they can effectively get on with the job of bringing more of these repeat offending criminal Hunts to justice.

POWAperson comments - Whilst equally relieved that the LACS investigation team will stay in place, POWA knows very little about Phillipa King and so cannot endorse the criticism of her above. 

   

CPS confirm won't charge Cheshire Forest FH over invasion of Macclesfield

Horrified residents looked on as hounds killed fox in garden

Legal expert says HA poorly drafted, offences are hard to prosecute 

1-8-17   Macclesfield Express    No charges after fox hunt invaded quiet street    Anti-hunt activists Cheshire Monitor have slammed the decision by CPS after the incident in Macclesfield in February Fox hunt activists have slammed the decision by CPS not to charge anyone after residents claimed a pack of foxhounds caused mayhem in a quiet street. Cheshire Police launched an investigation after an allegation that the dogs chased a fox – which was later found dead in a back garden in Macclesfield. Residents told of pandemonium when the pack of animals came hurtling across a field and into Penningtons Lane on February 25th. A video of the incident recorded by Cheshire Monitors, the anti-fox hunt campaigners, was provided to police.

Now after a three-month probe, the Crown Prosecution Service has decided no one involved from Cheshire Forest Hunt will be charged because there was ‘not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction’. A spokesman said: “The Hunting Act needs re writing to close its many loopholes. What any government should be doing now is totally banning all forms of hunting for sport rather than making it legal again.” The Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with dogs. However in order to commit an offence a person must intentionally hunt the animal. The offence cannot be committed by accident.

Prosecutors said that a review of the video footage determined it was insufficient to prove that the actions depicted were deliberate. A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said: “Earlier this year the police referred two files to the Crown Prosecution Service relating to the Cheshire Forest Hunt. In both cases our prosecutor decided there was not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction.” Cheshire Forest Hunt failed to respond to our request for a comment.

In July the government ruled out trying to lift the ban on fox hunting ban for another two years. Meanwhile Labour MPs want a vote on tightening existing law. Under the plans fox hunters could face five years in jail if they kill animals illegally. There have been 280 successful prosecutions since the Hunting Act came into force 12 years ago [though only a small fraction of these convictions have been of organised hunters, POWAperson].

Pics below -   1/  Hunt chasing fox in residential street    2/  Hunters try to hide fox corpse    3/ The corpse    4/  Huntsman Andrew German confronted by police

  CheshireForestFHHoundslooseinstreet25-2-17.jpg  CheshireForestFHHunterstrytohidefoxcorpse25-2-17.jpg

  CheshireForestFHFoxkilledinMacclesfieldgarden25-2-17.jpg  CheshireForestFHHuntsmanAndrewGermanwithpoliceinMacclesfieldwherehoundskilledfox25-2-17.jpg

4-8-17   BBC News   Fox hunt law: Calls for changes after Macclesfield decision   Campaigners are calling for a change in the law after a decision not to charge anyone involved in a hunt that spilled on to a residential street. Police probed reports hounds filled a street in Macclesfield, Cheshire, in February and allegedly killed a fox.

Lesley Martin from Cheshire Monitors said "the law needs to be strengthened" and loopholes must be tightened. The CPS said there was not enough evidence to prove the animal's death was caused deliberately. Ms Lesley, from the anti-hunting campaign group which monitors hunting groups in Cheshire, said the law is inadequate in its current form.

Resident Julie Clarke, 47, who witnessed the hunt in Penningtons Lane said it was "horrific" and the "dogs were out of control", leaving some locals "traumatised... scared and outraged".

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokeswoman said police referred two files to them relating to Cheshire Forest Hunt, one on 25 February and the other on 2 January. "In both cases our prosecutor decided there was not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction", she said. A spokesman for Cheshire Forest Hunt said at the time they had "apologised" for what had happened. Witnesses said hunt members on quad bikes retrieved the dead fox from a garden.

Ms Lesley said the law "really needs to be strengthened... plus we need to have stronger sentencing so it sends a really good message to have these people brought to account". Legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg said: "I think the problem with the Hunting Act is that it wasn't very well drafted and it's really quite difficult to bring prosecutions. I think those who thought it was going to stop hunting as a sport have been disappointed".

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs said they could not comment on individual cases, but whether an offence under the Hunting Act 2004 is taken to court would depend on whether there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. He said: "The government's manifesto includes a free vote on the Hunting Act. There are no plans for a vote in this session, as with the EU negotiations beginning, this is clearly not a top priority for the first session."

BBC North West Tonight news report is here. 

 


JULY 2017

..... 27th July - Hunter imprisoned for online threats to prominent Welsh anti

..... 26th July- Petition to remove hare hunter as Kent WT Chair reaches 100,000

..... 23rd July - Yet another Atherstone FH supporter convicted - for theft of anti banner

..... 23rd July - Charles's letters to Blair re. hunting must be released rules Info Commissioner

..... 22nd July- Some MPs support five year sentence for illegal hunting 

..... 14th July - Mendip Farmers FH hounds savaged pet dog claims owner
..... 12th July - Reports suggest major troubles within LACS yet again
.....  8th July - Dove Valley MH pack up as soon as sabs appear
.....  5th July - Pressure grows on hare hunter Kent Wildlife Trust Chairman
.....  5th July - Antis protest VWH FH appearance at the Cotswold Show
.....  4th July - Government officially confirms will not bring forward HA repeal vote
.....  3rd July - 5 Atherstone FH supporters convicted re. attacks on antis at New Year's town meet

 

Hunter imprisoned for online threats to prominent Welsh anti

27-7-17  Daily Post   A man who threatened a prominent anti-hunt campaigner has been jailed   Ivor Derek Wilkinson appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court having previously pleaded guilty to three counts of sending offensive messages on Facebook to Judith Hewitt [left], from Rhyl. Following the case Ms Hewitt welcomed the sentence, explaining how she hoped it would act as a warning to others making threats.

JudiHewitt.jpgThe court heard Ms Hewitt was an admin for online site ‘Stop Terrier Work’, and she was accused of putting up a Facebook message regarding Wilkinson’s son, something she strenuously denied. Wilkinson, 49, of Chapel Street in Upper Brynamman, Ammanford , took it upon himself to send a number of Facebook messages to Ms Hewitt - believing she was the one responsible for the posts. He said: “You picked on the wrong guy, how dare you pick on my son. If you ever post it again I will come for you.” She responded that it was the first time she had seen his son, but he responded further, with threats that he would “put a bullet” in her.

Wilkinson’s messages were sent on the dates of November 22, 2016, January 25, 2017 and January 26, 2017. A personal statement from Ms Hewitt read to the court said she was “shocked and scared” believing Wilkinson would come to her door and shoot her. Mitigating, Laura Sherwood said: “He is sorry for his actions. He did it out of anger over the posts about his son. His son received a number of death threats and took it very personally and reacted in the wrong way.”

District judge Richard Williams said: “You were aggrieved by something you saw on so-called social media and decided you were going to raise your concerns about it with the person you thought had been responsible. Your tone was menacing saying you would come for her and threatening you would put a bullet in her. There was determination on your part that you wanted to frighten and intimidate her. I have come to the conclusion that only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified. This gratuitous behaviour on social media is a plague. People say hurtful and offensive things which are there until they are deleted and have a significant impact on the recipient. This type of behaviour is intolerable. Your thoughts of hunting with animals or not hunting with animals are irrelevant.”

Wilkinson was sentenced to 28 days in prison for each of the three offences, to run concurrently, meaning he will only serve 28 days. A restraining order was also made for him not to contact Ms Hewitt.

Speaking after the hearing, Ms Hewitt, who has been campaigning against the practice of hunting with dogs for the last 26 years, said: “I’m glad that justice has been done. I do think it should have perhaps been a little bit more because I think the court sends a message to people they can’t get away with treating people like this online - especially people they don’t even know. It can be quite frightening when it’s someone you don’t know. You should not be receiving death threats from people you do not know. It’s been a horrible experience and has affected my health. I have suffered a lot of online abuse through my campaigning and suffered with depression after 2014, so seeing Wilkinson’s messages to me, it was very tough.”

POWAperson adds -  This is, I think, the first time a hunter has been prosecuted for online threats towards an anti, though it's by no means the first time it's happened. It's gratifying that the judge treated it very seriously. This brings to 216 the number of convictions/cautions for violence [or threats thereof] I have recorded against organised hunters in the UK since 1990, 27 of which have resulted in custodial sentences.

 

                                          

Petition to remove hare hunter as Kent WT Chair reaches 100,000

26-7-17   The London Economic   Charity boss facing calls to resign after it emerges he was chairman of hunting society for…30 years!    Campaigners are calling for the head of a wildlife boss who ran a hare hunt for more than 30 years – because he still allows hunting on his land. More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling on Michael Bax [right] to step down from the Kent Wildlife Trust after it emerged he was chairman of the Blean Beagles from 1971 to 2005. It has also been revealed that the animal protection chief allows pheasant shooting on his £800,000 farm.

Tom Fitton, who set up the petition and is a member of the wildlife trust, said that Mr Bax was not a ‘fit andMikeBaxChairKentWildlifeTrustisJMofBleanBeagles.jpg proper person’ to be running the organisation. He said: “The brown hare is an endangered species across the UK and Mr Bax does not represent the views of Kent Wildlife Trust’s membership who pay their fees to protect wildlife, not slaughter it for pleasure. Mr Bax is damaging the reputation of not just Kent Wildlife Trust, but the wildlife trusts in general. He is not a fit and proper person to be running a wildlife conservation charity and we call for Kent Wildlife Trust to cut their ties with him immediately.

He added: ”I am a member of the trust and I saw a few rumours going round on social media about Mr Bax’s past and I did a bit of digging. I felt a mixture of shock and disbelief when I found out, it just didn’t make sense to me at all. There is a feeling of betrayal among members, how can we ask members of the public to change their behaviour when our chairman has engaged in activities like that.

Responding to the petition Mr Bax said that he understood hare hunting was an ’emotive issue’. He said: ”Having lived all my life in the Kent countryside I grew up with beagling, actively involved until 1995 and one of seven joint Masters of the Blean Beagles until 2005. While hunting hares with beagles is now consigned to history, there are still many in the countryside who participate in managed field sports and hunt within the Act. ”I understand that it is an emotive issue. We need to work together if we are to reverse the crisis for wildlife in the countryside.” When asked about the petition the trust said that they ‘had to remain neutral’.

John Bennett, chief executive of the Trust, said: “We recognise the level of concern reflected in the scale of the response to this petition. In order to work with the widest possible community we remain neutral on the personal positions of our 30,000 members, 1,056 volunteers and trustees with regards to hunting, fishing and field sports. We don’t allow hunting on our nature reserves where we have control of the shooting rights. Wildlife Trusts like ourselves do raise concerns and challenge aspects of field sports and hunting where they have a damaging impact on the conservation of the county’s populations of wild animals and plants.” He added: “Mike Bax’s commitment to the Trust over 30 years has proved invaluable in helping us to nurture these relations, which over the last five years has seen us manage and advise on nearly 31,000 acres of land across Kent for the benefit of wildlife and the public.”

 

                                          
Yet another Atherstone FH supporter convicted - for theft of anti banner

23-7-17   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   Another Atherstone hunt supporter convicted    The shocking violence of the Atherstone Hunt towards peaceful protestors at their New Years Day meet in Atherstone Market Square has been widely reported and showed the world the real violent face of fox hunting. This resulted in 11 convictions for violence which proves what we have been saying for a while, that the Atherstone Hunt is a violent organisation with extreme views.

We can now report a 12th conviction for the Hunt from that day. On the 18th July Richard Mathews pleaded guilty to stealing a banner from one of the protestors and was convicted of theft. He was ordered to pay £35 compensation to the victim. Some Atherstone Hunt supporters posted a photo of themselves holding the stolen banner in one of the pubs in the Market Square later that day [below].

     AtherstoneFHSupporterswithstolenantibanner1-17.jpg 

 

  

Charles's letters to Blair re.hunting must be released says Info Commissioner

23-7-17   Daily Mirror   Prince Charles lobbied Tony Blair not to introduce fox hunting ban in secret letters   The royal bloodsports enthusiast lobbied the then Prime Minister - and the Freedom of Information watchdog ordered the correspondence should be revealed. Prince Charles [right, hunting] wrote a series of secret letters to Tony Blair over the fox hunting ban before it became law, it emerged yesterday (SUN). The royal bloodsports enthusiast lobbied the then Prime Minister - and the Freedom of Information watchdog ordered the correspondence should be revealed. However, the Government is stalling over releasing the files, the Mail on Sunday reported.

It requested “all correspondence and communications” exchanged by the Prince and Mr Blair which “in any wayPrinceCharleshunting.jpg referred to hunting and or a ban on hunting and or the impact of hunting and the impact of a ban on the countryside”.

At first the Cabinet Office refused to say if it held any relevant information. But Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham confirmed letters exist and ruled there was a “clear and compelling public interest” for them to be made public. The correspondence “raises legitimate questions about the role of the heir to the throne in a parliamentary democracy and increasingly the role he may play when he succeeds to the throne”, she added.

Hunting with dogs has been banned in England and Wales since 2005. David Cameron was forced to abandon a backdoor bid to reintroduce the hated bloodsport in 2015. And Tory MPs believe Theresa May’s outspoken support for hunting and a secret plot to bring it back, revealed by the Mirror during the Tories’ disastrous election campaign, helped deny her a Commons majority last month.

25-7-17   royalcentral.co.uk    Secret letters between Prince Charles and Tony Blair green-lit for publication    Letters written to former Prime Minister Tony Blair from Prince Charles over banning fox hunting will be published. The Freedom of Information watchdog has green lit the private letters, saying that they should be made public.

Two years ago the Ministry of State asked that “all correspondence and communications” between the Prince and Mr Blair which “in any way referred to hunting and or a ban on hunting and or the impact of hunting and the impact of a ban on the countryside” originally reported The Daily Mail. The letters were “clear and compelling public interest” said Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. Adding on that the letters between the two “raises legitimate questions about the role of the heir to the throne in a parliamentary democracy and increasingly the role he may play when he succeeds to the throne”.

As Monarch, Prince Charles will be expected to remain politically neutral on matters. As of now, he has been actively outspoken on matters that the heir is passionate about. Most famously the black spider memos sent to many members of parliament. Banning fox hunting has been a passion of Prince Charles for some time. In 2002, Prince Charles said “If the Labour government ever gets around to banning fox hunting, I might as well leave this country and spend the rest of my life skiing,” to the guests of a private event.

The Hunting Act 2004 banned fox hunting with dogs in England and Wales. Ten years later, Prince Charles then urged the current Prime Minister David Cameron to not reintroduce the sport. While campaigning, Theresa May also expressed interest to open a free vote on bringing back fox hunting, but the vote was scrapped after the public backlash.

The Independent reached out to Clarence House who declined to comment on the matter. A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office said that the Government was “considering the decision of the Information Commissioner’s Office and will respond in due course”.



Some MPs want five years jail for illegal hunting

22-7-17   Daily Mirror  Fox hunters could face five years in jail if they slaughter animals illegally as MPs aim to tighten laws    MPs want a vote on tightening existing laws – even though Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out bringing back hunting before 2019 MPs are pushing to get the penalty for killing a fox illegally increased from six months' jail to five years. Prosecutions are difficult now because killing a fox by accident IS legal. So drag or trail hunters can claim their hounds scented a real fox and were uncontrollable.

Labour MP Stephen Pound is backing a change in the law to raise the current penalty of a fine or six months’ jail to a maximum five years. He said: “Killing foxes in this way is medieval barbarism which should be banned.” Current rules allow drag or trail hunters to claim their hounds killed a fox by accident.

Jon Proctor of pressure group Keep The Ban claims to have support of Labour, Lib Dem, and SNP MPs for stiffer punishment. He said: “People who shoplift a can of beans are more harshly punished.” The group also wants the police and Crown Prosecution Service to enforce the law more stringently. There have been 280 successful prosecutions since the Hunting Act came into force 12 years ago.

 


Mendip Farmers FH hounds savaged my pet dog says owner

14-7-17  Facebook – Bath Hunt Sabs   BREAKING: Hounds from the Mendip Farmer's Hunt have attacked and seriously injured a pet dog close to their kennels at Nine Barrows Lane, Priddy, Wells. The dog is currently receiving veterinary treatment and we will update when we receive more information. The incident has been reported to the police but will they do anything? Who else but hunts would be allowed to exercise large packs of unleashed dogs, that are specifically trained to kill other animals, in public areas. There have been a spate of attacks by hunting hounds on people's pets lately, when will this be stopped?

Pic below - the injured pet dog
       MendipFarmersFHPetdogsavagedbyhounds7-17.jpg
13-7-17   Facebook – Dave Mullin   Just had the Master of foxhounds on the phone "sorry to hear that your dog was injured" was his "apology". He then went on to say that it was my word against his Huntsmans about what happened and that as his hounds "walk past dogs and children all the time and this has never happened before" that it must therefore be my fault. I was also told that I seemed unconcerned that one of his hounds also needed to see a vet. He was slightly taken aback when I quoted the Dangerous Dogs legislation at him. This is far from over.
Pic below - the Mendip Farmers FH
     MendipFarmersFH.jpg

 

15-7-17   The Canary    Shocking images emerge of the latest attack by ‘out of control’ fox hounds  There has been another attack by fox hunting hounds. And this latest in a long line of shocking incidents demonstrates why the law surrounding fox hunting should remain in place, or even be further enhanced. As the victim of the attack says the hounds were “out of control”.

Dr David Mullin was walking his two dogs, a lurcher and a whippet, at around 8am on Thursday 13 July. The incident, which Mullin claims involved the Mendip Farmers Hunt happened on Eastwater Lane in Priddy, Somerset.  

'There were about 36 hounds in total and about 10 of them attacked my dogs. The Huntsman used his whip on my lurcher, who was also bitten and my whippet received extensive injuries which so far have cost us £350. The anticipated bill will be around £500. The Hunt are claiming that my dogs started it, despite the fact that they were both on lead and off the path. They have a photo of a dog with a bite in it’s flank but they have not provided any evidence that this happened on the day, or that my dogs did it.'

He said that the Master of the Hunt contacted him after the incident, and said he was “sorry that [his] dog was injured”. But Mullin claims the Master said “it was my word against his”. And he then said the hunt’s hounds “walk past dogs and children all the time and this has never happened before”. But Mullin quoted the Dangerous Dogs Act to him, and “he was slightly taken aback”.

When Mullin went to Avon and Somerset Police, they allegedly told him that the Dangerous Dogs Act only applies if a person is attacked or feels threatened and it doesn’t apply to animals or dogs. Mullin said: 'I asked him what would happen if the dog was killed and he said that wasn’t covered by legislation either and that I’d have to mount a private prosecution. The upshot? A Hunt can attack or kill dogs with impunity.'

Mullin, a lecturer in archaeology, used to live in the village, so knows the area and the Hunt well. He is currently in the area conducting an archaeological dig with students from the University of Worcester. But he says that having lived in the village with his partner Dr Jodie Lewis, he is aware:- 'The Mendip Farmers Hunt are very unpopular here – even with pro-fox hunting people. Our old next door neighbour has banned them from her land as they were always out of control.'

The Canary contacted both Avon and Somerset Police and the Mendip Farmers Hunt for comment. Avon and Somerset Police told The Canary that “a dog on dog attack is a civil matter”. But the law surrounding controlling your dog in public appears to contradict the police’s line. It states that a dog is considered “out of control” if it:- 'attacks someone’s animal.'  [This is wrong, only persons and assistance dogs are protected, POWAperson] or: 'makes someone worried that it might injure them.' So it does seem as though Avon and Somerset Police should at least be investigating the incident. No comment from the Mendip Farmers Hunt was received at the time of publication. 

Opposition to fox hunting is at an all-time high. And it seems that Theresa May is heeding public feeling, as she has backed down on giving parliament a vote to repeal the Hunting Act. But shocking incidents like this will only serve to add more fuel to the argument that fox hunting should remain severely restricted. Or made completely illegal with even harsher penalties.

 

Serious troubles within LACS reported [yet again]
Claimed that investigations staff to be made redundant
Worry that League has again fallen under pro-hunt influence

12-7-17 
Facebook – Stop the Cull   The League’s AGM on Saturday 15th July will take place at the Grand Connaught Rooms, Holborn (the room is called Cambria Suite). The event will run from 10.30am – 3pm. Official start at 11.00. A few days ago we did a very controversial post about the League Against Cruel Sports, it covered two specific points:-
1) the League is planning to close down it's in house investigations department and make it's current investigators redundant.  2) the League has been infiltrated by pro hunt influences.
The first part has been widely acknowledged as true and the investigators are currently in consultation which may well end with them being unemployed. The second part is much harder to prove, BUT we have been contacted by a number of ex-staff and employees with some very disturbing allegations. One ongoing theme we have heard is that things started changing for the worse since the new CEO came in Eduardo Goncalves, one thing that kept getting repeated was his insistance that risk assessments basically meant that investigations could no longer continue. Eduardo is currently very seriously ill and won't be expected to return to work for some time.

We have today received this email, and we have checked with several employees to check if it is genuine, they ALL said the same thing, that it is true, but also that the CEO also has to shoulder some of the blame for the investigations team being seriously hindered. We urge ALL league members to go to the AGM this Saturday, for the sake of the organisation and the animals they protect.
email sent to us today - The recent events at The League Against Cruel Sports and the attempt to get rid of investigators has caused a lot of distress, anger and confusion for LACS members, those that are just against bloodsports, animal rights campaigners and staff members themselves. As somebody who operates within the league and has a first hand account of day to day events I felt that I must intervene and clear up one or two points. This is not an official statement as you will see below.  First, many of the staff at the League are a great dedicated team of people, working hard to help protect animals from bloodsports, but it only takes one or two in a high level position, with their own personal agendas, to cause a company or organisation to go off target and here is a sad example below.
Much comment on social media has been made of the Chief Executive Officer Eduardo Goncalves, but you should be looking at the person who really is controlling the league at the moment, Phillipa King and question her position and motives. A person who owns horses and rides among a fox hunting community, deep within hunting country in the South of England, lives an exceptionally lavish lifestyle and has never had any interest in animal protection in her life, including to present day. She came here to LACS not very long ago and her role was a relatively minor one, but then she was suddenly made head of operations, basically controlling the day to day operations of the whole organisation, including how the investigators worked. She has NO knowledge, NO former experience and absolutely NO skills in operational work whatsoever, coming from a background of modelling and other unsuited jobs, but here she is, earning well over fifty thousand pounds a year and HEAD of operations, earning almost three times as much as what the investigators earn and as Eduardo, the CEO, is sick for the next few months, incredibly, Phillipa King is now acting Chief Executive Officer.
Her decisions and general behaviour has caused members of staff to reluctantly resign and many hundreds of thousands of pounds to be wasted. She is responsible for huge amounts of League money to be squandered on ill thought out ideas which come to nothing. She is now persuading the League to move away from hunting and onto other non hunting related issues. She stays at 5 star hotels and recently permitted people, working for her and on behalf of the League, to stay at the Hilton Hotel on League money.
Since Phillipa became acting CEO she has instigated and implemented the removal of ALL League employee investigators and has attempted to keep the plan from as many staff as possible until she was ready to role the plan out. The "consultation" is just a legal process before the investigators are all sacked. Phillipa has already begun employing outside source investigators who know nothing about the issues and work just for the money and not for the animals. They cost far more than the present, experienced, knowledgeable and highly motivated investigators and so again we must question her motives, not just about this but about all of her actions and decisions since she has been in the position to influence trusties, staff and even members.
Phillipa has clearly not realised the repercussions of her actions, but she will understand the damage it is causing this charity. If people want an organisation that works hard, spends prudently and gets results which actually makes a difference then people should be concerned that this person has control and influence of such an organisation.
Just unfit for purpose or somebody who has been sent in to disrupt and corrupt the genuine work and aims of the League? You decide. If you are a member then go to the AGM on the 15th July and ask those questions that need answering. Don't let the League go to the dogs! 

The League has issued the following statement -

 

14-7-17   Facebook - League Against Cruel Sports   Statement from the Board of Trustees of the League Against Cruel Sports The League has a long and proud history of monitoring and investigating hunting, both before and since the passing of the Hunting Act 2004. Our experienced investigators are widely regarded for their hard work and the wealth of knowledge they have built up over many years. They are devoted to the wildlife they strive to protect – often in difficult and dangerous situations.

As a Board we also work to protect wildlife. At the same time we have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the League, and are committed to ensuring that our charity’s resources are directed in a way that best fulfills our aims. Our supporters fund our work. We understand the expectations they have of the League and we are determined to honour those expectations. With that in mind we continually review how we spend the funds we receive in an ongoing process that looks at all aspects of the work of the League and its staff.

This includes our monitoring and investigative activities. As many supporters of the League are aware we are undergoing an internal consultation process relating to Investigations. This is to determine whether we are still supporting our Investigations Team in the right way, whether resources should be deployed into different areas, or whether our focus on certain hunting activities should perhaps change. It is right and proper that we do this, because that is how we will best protect wildlife into the future. Without a full and thorough consultation process we simply can not be certain that we are responding to threats to wildlife in the right way.

We are at the start of that consultation process. We intend the process to be thorough and inclusive. We intend to make very clear to our supporters what we learn, but that will be at the end of the process when we will be in a position to clarify exactly what we intend to put in place. We do not intend to release information piecemeal as that is open to misinterpretation.

As a Board we are overseeing this consultation process and we have full faith in the senior members of staff that we have put in place to carry it out. All of us are working hard to ensure that the outcome of the process will be fair to any members of staff impacted by any decision we may have to make, that our actions will be fully justifiable, and that there will be absolutely no diminishment of efforts to protect wildlife from the horrors of cruel sports and wildlife crime.

The motto of the League Against Cruel Sports is Investigate, Educate, Protect. As a Board, as people who care deeply about wildlife and the environment, we fully stand behind those words and through continual review and careful consideration we intend that the charity we look after will become stronger and more effective now and into the future.

Signed on behalf of the Trustees - Ian Blake-Lawson (Chair), Charlie Moores (Deputy Chair), Andrew Wood (Treasurer)

 

POWAperson comments - I, along with some other POWA people, was involved in two civil wars within the League in the 90s. Those struggles were absolutely bloody and I just pray this is not happening again. The first arose from the treachery of Jim Barrington and the inexplicable support for him of some then Executive Committee members. It took months of toil, sweat and tears to finally expel him and his toxic coterie. The second was about three years later when the then CEO, Graham Sirl, appeared likewise to have fallen under hunt influence, and was behaving in bizarre and unacceptable ways. On this occasion we 'rebels' were not able to convince the LACS hierarchy that he needed to be gone and a number of volunteers, including myself, executive members and staff members split away. This led to the formation of POWA.  It was another year before Sirl was fully exposed and resigned. None of us, who'd been proved right and who had been viciously attacked by LACS figures at the time, received so much as an acknowledgement, let alone an apology.
The two imbroglios caused the League a lot of damage and POWA remained at loggerheads with LACS for many years, indeed until Douglas Batchelor was replaced as CEO by Joe Duckworth several years ago. Since then we've been on good terms with the League and impressed by much of their work. In particular, LACS investigators have done brave and invaluable work, not just in bringing some hunt miscreants to justice but also in supplementing the volunteer work of other monitors and of sabs in exposing just how much and how often organised hunters can get away with continuing to chase and kill defenceless wild mammals by exploiting the weaknesses of the Hunting Act, thereby illustrating how desperately it requires significant strengthening.

We just pray that the concerns expressed in the Stop the Cull post above are unfounded and, in particular that the hunt side has not once again infiltrated the heart of the League, as they have done in the past. We know nothing about Phillipa King and have not heard her side of the story. We can only hope a mountain is being made from a molehill.

                                    

Dove Valley MH pack up as soon as sabs appear

8-7-17   Facebook - Severn Vale Hunt Saboteurs   We got a tip off that the Dove Valley Mink Hounds [right] would be out killing animals from the riverbank near Sudbury, Derbyshire today so we joined our comrades from Bristol & Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs to stop them.

Bit of info: Mink hunting replaced otter hunting after all the otters were killed. American mink were brought toDoveValleyMH7-7-17.jpg the UK by abhorrent fur farmers and although they can prey on native animals, their numbers are dropping as otter numbers are recovering, the mink cant compete against the otters. The Dove Valley were seen bashing down the vegetation on the river bank, potentially doing a lot more damage to the water voles living there than any mink would do, this in itself is illegal: The water vole is fully protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it's illegal to intentionally capture, kill or injure water voles or to damage, destroy or block access to their places of shelter or protection, on purpose or by not taking enough care. We don't think the otter / mink hounds differentiate between killing rats, water voles, mink or otters. Otters are similarly protected as water voles. It is illegal to hunt mink with a pack of hounds.

As sabs approached the hunt they were gathered on the Dove river. We let them know they'd been covertly filmed for a while before intervening. Realising they'd been caught out, the guilty party gathered their hounds and along with their supporters, scarpered! Possibly a world record for the quickest sab ever.

As we left the area in our vehicles, the landowner thought he'd get his bumpkin pals to try blocking us in with tractors, all they managed to do was upset the locals who lived there! As we eventually drove off we passed some support who'd gone to the pub after having their day ruined. Result! If you want to donate to help us with fuel and equipment costs please go to https://www.paypal.me/SevernValeHuntSabs. Cheers!

 

Pressure grows on hare hunter Chair of Kent Wildlife Trust

5-7-17   Facebook - Stop the cull   Another newspaper article [below] about Michael Bax, Chairman of Kent Wildlife Trust and a former Hunt Master and Huntsman, has appeared today, this time in The Times of Tunbridge Wells. Here is our original story if you didn't see it. Here is the petition to sign to ask for him to stand down over this conflict of interest.

We have new information today showing that Michael Bax's company BFT Partnership sponsored a Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust killing spree in 2014! Page 3 shows that Bax personally donated a shoot in the environmentally sensitive area of the Medway Marshes. The area, known for wildfowl shooting is of great importance to flora and fauna and the disturbance to birds here is well documented.

SHAME ON The Wildlife Trusts & Kent Wildlife Trust for allowing Bax to remain chairman and for defending his disgusting activities and for trying to silence genuine nature lovers by ignoring and deleting their comments!

  BleanBeaglesPressuremountsonBax5-7-17.jpg 

 

Antis protest against VWH FH appearance at the Cotswold Show

CIWH say they filmed Hunt chase and kill fox on 1st April 

5-7-17  Wilts & Glos Standard    Campaign group protests against involvement of Vale of White Horse Hunt hounds at Cotswold Show    ANTI-FOX hunting protestors [right] were camped at the gates of Cirencester Park during the Cotswold Show, to object to the involvement of the Vale of White Horse Hunt (VWH) in the event. Members of campaign group Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch (CIHW) said they were angry at the inclusion of the organisation’s huntsmen and hounds in demonstrations at the countryside show last Saturday.VWHFHCIWHprotestatCotswoldShow5-7-17.jpg The group has alleged that VWH hounds 'killed a fox on April 1st in a field across the road from Cirencester Park' and has a photo of what they claim is a member of the Hunt carrying away a dead fox [below].

Speaking to the Standard, a group member who did not wish to be named, said they received a lot of support at the protest. They said: “We were pleased to have support from so many members of the public entering through Cecily Hill and Deer Park School entrances. People agreed that the claims of hunt groups across the UK, that they only trail hunt, are now wearing very thin in the light of evidence collected by hunt monitors and sabs throughout the country." They said CIHW is also concerned about the possible bio-security of hounds potentially carrying bovine TB around agricultural animals, following news that hounds at Kimblewick Hunt kennels had to be euthanased following an outbreak of the disease. "One member of the public was so disgusted to hear that VWH hounds were being paraded at the show that they decided to go home."

Meanwhile, Gloucestershire Police recently pinned a notice to a tree about a quarter of a mile from Fairford on the A417 Southrop Road, warning people against dumping animal carcasses after 12 dead foxes were found. The notice says: “It is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to dump animal carcasses here. 12 dead foxes were removed on February 22, 2017. This area is now being monitored by the police.” The spokesperson for CIHW said: “Without knowing how the foxes met their end, we can only guess that a farmer had shot them."

Fox hunting in its traditional form was banned in 2002 in Scotland and two years later in England and Wales, thanks to the Hunting Act 2004. However, certain modified forms of hunting foxes with hounds are still within the law and shooting foxes as vermin also remains legal. During this year's General Election, Prime Minister Theresa May said she intended to hold a free vote on overturning the ban in England and Wales. However, this was not included in the Queen's Speech, leading many to think the idea had been scrapped.

A Fairford resident, who did not wish to be named, in response to the notice on Southrop Road, said: “The content of the notice does imply that management of the countryside fox population has aspects that go beyond the simple fox hunting debate.”

The Vale of White Horse Hunt has been approached for comment.

Pics below -    1/  The Hunt at the Show    2/  Carrying away hunted and killed fox 1-4-17 

  VWHFHatCotswoldShowJuly2017.jpg  VWHFHRedcoatrunningawaywithfoxcorpse1-4-17.jpg

  

Government officially confirms will not bring forward HA repeal vote

4-7-17    Sky News    Fox hunting ban repeal vote dropped, Government confirms   A free vote on repealing the fox hunting ban has been scrapped, the Government has confirmed. Environment minister Therese Coffey said the Conservatives are not planning to bring forward a vote in "this session", suggesting it will be at least two years before such an idea is even considered.

The Tory manifesto contained a pledge to hold a free vote on overturning the ban, which was introduced under Tony Blair's Labour government in 2004. It bans the use of dogs to hunt foxes and other wild mammals in England and Wales. But Prime Minister Theresa May has been forced to shelve a number of key policies after losing her Commons majority in the General Election. 

The first indication that the plan had been put on the back burner came when it was omitted from the Queen's Speech, which outlined the Government's legislative programme for the current parliamentary session from 2017 to 2019. Ms Coffey's disclosure came in response to a written parliamentary question from Labour MP Catherine West. The minister said: "The Government's manifesto includes a free vote on the Hunting Act 2004, but we are not planning to bring forward a free vote in this session." 

Anti-hunt Conservative MPs warned against offering a free vote during the General Election campaign, with Sir Roger Gale insisting MPs would have "more than enough to occupy" their time without considering "yesterday's argument" of repealing the Hunting Act.

Animal protection charity Humane Society International said it was "delighted" at the news. Executive Director Claire Bass said: "Fox hunting is not only a barbaric assault on an iconic species of British wildlife, it is also extremely unpopular with the public. A recent poll showed that 84% of the British public support the ban on fox hunting. There is a growing list of Conservative MPs who reject this horrifically cruel excuse for a 'sport' and we look to them to keep this archaic policy out of future Tory manifestos."

 

Five Atherstone FH supporters convicted for role in attacking antis at town meet

3-7-17   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   VIDEO   Atherstone hunt supporters plead guilty to violenceAtherstoneFHsupportersconvictedofoffencesattownmeet2-1-17.jpg - 11 convictions for Atherstone Hunt supporters responsible for Market Square violence. Supporters of the Atherstone Hunt have pleaded guilty to numerous offences and received multiple convictions for the shocking violence at the Atherstone Hunts New Years Day meet.

George Bentley-Brown who was filmed throwing manure at peaceful protesters pleaded guilty and was convicted of 8 counts of common assault. He received a six month conditional discharge plus £135 costs and £20 to victims services.Jake Mitchell who was filmed waving a fox tail in protesters faces and also stealing part of a protesters fox costume  pleaded guilty and was convicted of theft and two counts of common assault. He was fined £211 and £165 costs. James Farrands admitted to his part in the theft of a banner and had to write a letter of apology to the victim. Two more offenders received police cautions.

Some of these individuals were seen regularly supporting the Atherstone Hunt last season. The number of convictions and cautions that the Atherstone Hunt and those associated with it have received for violence and public order offences is rapidly growing and is now in double figures. This reinforces what we have been saying for a while now that the Atherstone Hunt is a violent organisation with extreme views who frequently use violence against peaceful non-violent protesters.

We believe that the Market Square violence on peaceful protesters was a pre-planned attack. Whilst we welcome these convictions, the sentences handed down are far too lenient and in no way act as a deterrent. There are still unanswered questions relating to the Market Square violence that need answering. Why did Warwickshire Police choose not to police the event despite knowing what could happen? And why did Atherstone Town Council let the event take place in the first place despite being warned about the likely violence from the Atherstone Hunt? Will they continue to allow the hunt to use the Market Square in the wake of these convictions?

YOU can HELP by -  1/ Contacting the Town Councillors and asking again that they do not allow the Atherstone Hunt to meet in the Market Square.   2/ Contact North Warwickshire Borough Council and ask them to look into the licensing of all the pubs in the Market Square for New Years Day. In our opinion the fact that a lot of the hunt supporters had been drinking alcohol added to their aggression.

 

                                               HUNTING SEASON 2016/17

 

JUNE 2017 

..... 29th June - Jedforest FH father and son pair are convicted of illegal hunting
..... 29th June - Blackmore FH Huntsman's son fined for racial abuse of woman
..... 29th June - Social media backlash against hotel that allowed Cheshire Forest FH at wedding
..... 28th June - Shock and anger as police drop Atherstone FH horror fox kill case
..... 27th June - Jedforest FH 2 illegal hunting trial should conclude today
..... 24th June - Two Tory hunter MPs face probes for breaching Commons Code of Conduct 
….. 24th June – Sabs prevent Northants MH from hunting again
….. 23rd June – N.Cotswold FH terrierman cautioned for riding quad into sab
..... 23rd June - Police won't act on Ashford Valley FH followers blocking road
….. 21st June – Tory plan to repeal HA missing from Queen's speech [presumed dead]
….. 21st June – Otter Trust expresses concern over mink hunts endangering otters
….. 20th June – Lifelong 'hunter' jailed for shooting neighbours kitten
….. 20th June – Atherstone FH hound parade may be dropped from Ashby show
….. 18th June – Northants Mink Hounds stopped from hunting by sabs again
….. 15th June – Leading vet says evidence that hunting hounds are spreading bTb
….. 15th June – Make Hunting History & anti-cull London demo set for August 26th
..... 15th June - Kent Wildlife Trust had previous Chair who was Quorn FH JM
….. 14th June – LACS claims hunting issue played major role in general election
….. 12th June – Ex Tory Chair says Hunting Act repeal dead in the water
….. 12th June – Son of Blackmore FH Huntsman convicted of ABH on woman sab
.....  9th June - Forestry Commission to review Isle of Wight FH's hunting licence
…..  5th June – Grove & Rufford FH convicts seen canvassing for Tory candidate
.....  2nd June - Ex police WCO tells court he was 'invisible' Jedforest FH gunman
…..  2nd June – Hunter Kent WT Chair allows pheasant shooting on his land
…..  1st June – CPS won't prosecute Cheshire Forest FH over 2 hunting incidents
.....  1st June - Jedforest FH Huntsman says were working within law when fox was killed
 
Jedforest FH father and son pair are convicted of illegal hunting

First ever organised hunter convictions under Scottish law

29-6-17   BBC News   LACS VIDEO   Huntsmen found guilty of Jedburgh fox-hunting charge    Two huntsmen from the Scottish Borders have been found guilty of breaching fox-hunting law. It is the first conviction of a traditional fox hunt under legislation introduced in Scotland in 2002.

Johnny Riley, 24, and his father, John Clive Richardson, 67 [both right], of Bonchester Bridge, were fined £400JedforestFHJohnnyRileyandCliveRichardsonConvictedillegalhunting29-6-17.jpg and £250 respectively for deliberately hunting a fox with dogs near Jedburgh last year. They plan to appeal against the decision. During their trial, the pair had denied breaching the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002.

Their defence lawyer David McKie said they had worked within the terms of the legislation by using hounds to flush out a fox from cover to waiting guns. However, depute fiscal Fiona Caldwell argued the two men had clearly broken the law at Townfoothill near Jedburgh on 16 February last year. She said evidence had shown it had been a "deliberate course of acts culminating with those responsible for the hunt, hunting the fox with dogs".

The verdict was welcomed by the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland which supplied video footage to the trial. Its director Robbie Marsland said: "Today's guilty verdict is the first successful prosecution for mounted fox hunting in Scotland and while we're delighted with the outcome, and our role in this, we remain of the view that the law needs strengthened. "The Scottish government has committed to consult on the hunt ban following a review by Lord Bonomy, who clearly stated there was evidence of lawbreaking by Scottish hunts." He said the guilty verdict had confirmed that to be the case and said they looked forward to working to help "strengthen the law".

However, the Countryside Alliance voiced disappointment at the conviction claiming the huntsmen had been subjected to "trial by television". It said footage which had been given to the BBC had put pressure on police and prosecutors to take the case forward. Director Jamie Stewart said: "Scottish mounted packs not only adhere to the law but also work under an enhanced protocol." He said they were disappointed with the verdict and would await the full transcript of the judgement before making further comment.

30-6-17  The Herald   Father and son are found guilty of fox hunting in landmark ruling   TWO huntsmen have been convicted of breaching Scotland’s fox hunting legislation in a landmark ruling. Father and son John Clive Richardson, 67, and Johnny Riley, 24, are the first members of a mounted hunt to be successfully prosecuted since the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act was introduced 15 years ago. Both are members of the Jedforest Hunt, in the Borders, and were secretly filmed by investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports.

Following eight days of evidence, Sheriff Peter Paterson ruled in two incidents Richardson and Riley were in breach of the act and found them guilty of deliberately hunting a fox with dogs.

Riley – who was in charge of the hunt – was fined £400 at Selkirk Sheriff Court and Richardson who was described as having a lesser role was fined £250. Lawyers for the two men indicated they would appeal against the conviction.

In finding the men guilty, Sheriff Paterson said: “We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to strengthen the law and hope today sends a clear message to hunts that flouting the law will not be tolerated and those who continue to hunt illegally in Scotland will be brought to justice.”

Most the evidence during the trial focused on the video which showed 34 hounds from the Jedforest Hunt chasing a fox into a hole on farm land at Townfoothill near Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, on February 16 last year. After a terrier man spent 40 minutes digging at the hole, the fox then bolted and was again pursued by the dogs before disappearing out of sight of the footage into a gulley. The defence claimed a waiting gunman shot and injured the fox after it had been flushed from cover by the hounds, which is permitted in law. Witnesses for the Crown said they saw no gunman and heard no shots when the fox was being pursued.

Sheriff Paterson accepted the evidence of the defence that there were two gunmen in place but ruled that in two incidents the huntsmen were still guilty.

29-6-17  ITV News   Father and son found guilty of breaching fox hunting law    A father and son from the Jedforest Hunt have been found guilty of breaching Scotland's fox hunting laws. 67-year-old John Clive Richardson and his son, 24-year-old Johnny Riley, have been fined a total of £650. The pair denied the accusation after a video filmed by investigators showed a fox being dug out of a hole and then chased by a pack of hounds.

The video was filmed at Townfoothill near Jedburgh in February 2016, by an employee of the League Against Cruel Sports. The trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court had several days of evidence from members of the League Against Cruel Sports, police and the two accused. It's the first ever conviction under legislation for the protection of wild mammals Scotland act 2002.

Pics below show how the incident unfolded...  

  JedforestFHLACSfootage1.jpg JedforestFHLACSfootage2.jpg

  JedforestFHLACSfootage3.jpg JedforestFHLACSfootage4.jpg

  JedforestFHLACSfootage5.jpg JedforestFHLACSfootage6.jpg

  JedforestFHLACSfootage7.jpg JedforestFHLACSfootage8.jpg

    


Blackmore FH Huntsman's son fined for racial abuse of woman

29-6-17   Somerset Live   Sherborne  man  fined  for  racially aggravated abuse at Royal Bath and West Show   A young man from Dorset has pleaded guilty to racially abusing a man during the Royal Bath and West Show. Ben Richard Doggrell, of Bishops Down near Sherborne, appeared at Yeovil  Magistrates Court on Friday (June 23) to face charges relating to an incident which occurred at the Shepton Mallet showground on June 3. Doggrell, 21, had been due to appear before the court last Tuesday (June 20) but failed to appear, resulting in a warrant being issued for his arrest.

He was charged that, on June 3 at the Bath And West Showground in Shepton Mallet, he used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour designed to caused harassment, alarm or distress to Tunde Sanni. Doggrell pleaded guilty to the charge, and the magistrates ruled that the incident had been racially aggravated. He also admitted being in breach of an 18-month conditional discharge order, which had been imposed at Weymouth Magistrates Court on August 10. The magistrates made a determination not to impose the conditional discharge, but fined Doggrell £150 and ordered him to pay £150 compensation, a victim surcharge of £30 and £85 costs, which must be paid by July 7.

POWAperson adds - This is the same person who was, earlier this month, was convicted of ABH, after he attacked a female sab and broke her elbow. He was given a 100 hour CSO. It comes as no surprise that a violent, bigoted lout should be the son of a man who makes his living by helping to torment and kill animals for others 'sport'.
                                    

                                 
Social media backlash against hotel allowing Cheshire Forest FH at wedding

29-6-17  Liverpool Echo   Facebook storm after hunting group pose for wedding pictures at top hotel - Anti-hunting campaigners have criticised the luxury hotel    A TOP Wirral hotel is at the centre of a social media storm after allowing a hunting group on to its grounds for a wedding reception. The Hillbark Hotel , based in Royden Park, Wirral has been widely criticised after images of a hunt group posing for wedding pictures were circulated online. Posts on the hotel’s Facebook page suggest the group, who campaigners say are the Cheshire Forest Hunt [right, at venue]. were appearing at the venue as part of a wedding ceremony for two of their members on Saturday, June 24th.

The wedding venue defended the move and claimed they were “simply following a bride and groom’s wishes”. They also reassured concerned campaigners that “no fox hunting took place whatsoever”. However anti-fox CheshireForestFHathotelweddingvenue24-6-17.jpghunting groups have criticised their decision to grant permission for the group to pose for pictures - which they say was risky as it took place during a time when fox cubs would be around and their scent could have distracted the dogs. While fox hunting was made illegal in the UK in 2005, groups up and down the country still meet to take part in ‘drag’ or ‘trail’ hunts - where the hounds follow a scent that has been laid over a course.

In February, the Cheshire Forest Hunt hit the headlines after their dogs chased and killed a fox on a Macclesfield housing estate - and again earlier this year when it was revealed their hunt director, Elizabeth Gorse, also owned a veterinary surgery in Runcorn.

Cheshire Monitors, a voluntary group which monitors hunting groups in Cheshire, said people were “horrified” to see the pack of hounds near Royden Park. A spokesperson said: “We weren’t at all surprised at people’s horror at seeing the Cheshire Forest Hunt in the area, which included public roads. There are many fox families living in and around Royden Park and Thurstaston Hill, particularly vulnerable at the moment as young cubs are reared at this time of year. It was pure luck that the hounds didn’t pick up a fox scent while in the area, otherwise the dozens of families with young children and people walking their dogs in Royden Park at the time may have been witness to some very upsetting scenes.”

The hotel’s Facebook page was flooded with messages from both anti-fox hunting campaigners and those who support the bloodsport. Sean Dutton posted: “Shame on you for allowing the ‘hunt’ on your land and to spoil our beautiful Wirral. You’re a blight.” Marilyn Wilcockson added: “How sad to see such a beautiful establishment allowing and condoning fox hunters on their premises. Surely you rely on good reviews and recommendations? Bottom of the ladder now I’m afraid.” John Hughes, however, commented to point out that nobody had broken the law. He said: “I think you will find the hounds etc were part of the wedding you fools, and all perfectly legal.”

A spokesperson for the hotel said they “are not here to judge each individual bride and groom’s wishes” - and that they’d “carefully planned” the arrival. They said: “Hillbark Hotel were simply following a bride and groom’s wishes for a staged arrival onto the hotel private grounds. At no point did any fox hunting take place whatsoever, nor would this ever be considered. As part of a private wedding, it was decided that this would take place purely for photographic terms and for the bride and groom arriving onto the hotel grounds only. This was discussed at length with our event managers and the arrival was planned by the bride and groom. We have had numerous bride and grooms choosing to arrive in many different manners, whether it be by helicopter, horse and carriage or hot air balloon! We are not here to judge each individual bride and groom’s wishes on how they want to arrive to the hotel on their special day.”

A spokesperson for Cheshire Monitors added: “We understand that the Hillbark were just fulfilling the couple’s wishes by allowing the Hunt to be present for photographs, but it was clearly a very misguided judgement on the part of the hotel management.” The ECHO attempted to contact Elizabeth Gorse and The Cheshire Forest Hunt but at the time of publishing had not received a reply.

                                     


Shock and anger as police drop Atherstone FH horror fox kill case

28-6-17   Coventry Evening Telegraph  VIDEO   Police drop investigation after fox killed by hunting dogs inAtherstoneFHSabtryingtosavefox14-1-17.jpg Warwickshire  -  Activists claimed the huntsmen were part of the Atherstone Hunt near to Shuttington, Warwickshire    A police investigation launched after hunting dogs were filmed ripping a fox apart in Warwickshire [right, with sab trying to rescue fox] has been dropped by officers, it has been revealed. The probe into alleged illegal fox hunting began after the creature was shown on camera fleeing from hunters during an incident in Shuttington, North Warwickshire, just a few miles from Twycross Zoo, in January. The exhausted fox then ran into a garden, chased by hounds and activists from West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, reports the Tamworth Herald. The activists claimed the huntsmen were part of the Atherstone Hunt near to Shuttington, Warwickshire.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs said: "This is not the first investigation into the Atherstone Hunt for illegal hunting that has been dropped, in fact over the past three years we know of five foxes that this hunt have killed. The Atherstone Hunt claim these kills were all 'accidents' but there are only so many 'accidents' one hunt can have whilst still expecting people to believe them. They seem to be a very accident prone. What needs to happen now is that the Hunting Act should be strengthened to eliminate the loopholes. It needs to be a total ban with no exemptions, no room for excuses and no room for accidents."

It has been illegal to hunt foxes with dogs since 2005 – with a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine. Police can also confiscate and destroy equipment and dogs used in hunting. Hunting remains deeply unpopular with the general public as we saw after repeal of the Hunting Act was included in the Conservative Manifesto," the spokesperson added. "Most people are shocked that hunting is still going on and that foxes are being hunted and killed just as much as they were before the ban. We are urging everyone to contact their MP and talk to them about how the Hunting Act should be strengthened."

Warwickshire Police confirmed, that following the investigation, they have dropped the case. A spokesperson said: "Following reports made to the police regarding alleged offences under the Hunting Act 2004, specialist wildlife officers conducted a thorough investigation. Following this investigation, police took the decision that there was insufficient evidence to take any further action."

A spokesperson for The Atherstone Hunt added: "We understand that Warwickshire police will be taking no further action following an alleged incident involving the Atherstone Hunt on January 14."

 Pics below - 1/   Huntsman moments after fox was killed     2/  Sabs retrieved the savaged corpse

    AtherstoneFHHuntsmanjustafterfoxkilled14-1-17.jpg    AtherstoneFHFoxkilledby14-1-17.jpg

26-6-17  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Sabs   VIDEO    INVESTIGATION INTO FOX KILLED BY ATHERSTONE HUNT HAS BEEN DROPPED  Contact your MP and tell them that the Hunting Act needs strengthening.

The police investigation into illegal fox hunting by the Atherstone Hunt has been dropped by Warwickshire Police. The Atherstone hounds were filmed tearing into the fox on someone's driveway in Shuttington on Saturday 14th January. One of our sabs managed to rescue the fox from the hounds but it died latter in our arms. At no point did huntsman Stuart Barton attempt to stop the hounds.

This is not the first investigation into the Atherstone Hunt for illegal hunting that has been dropped, in fact over the past 3 years we know of 5 foxes that this hunt have killed. The Atherstone Hunt claim these kills were all “accidents” but there are only so many “accidents” one Hunt can have whilst still expecting people to believe them. The Atherstone Hunt seem to be a very accident prone hunt. The fact that the case has been dropped does not mean that the Atherstone Hunt are telling the truth and not illegally hunting, it just means that the current legislation isn’t strong enough.

What needs to happen now is that the Hunting Act should be strengthened to eliminate the loopholes. It needs to be a total ban with no exemptions, no room for excuses and no room for "accidents". These people clearly can not be trusted to let their hounds loose in the countryside without them killing something, so really their hounds shouldn't be let loose in the countryside. We are urging everyone to contact their MPs and talk to them about how the Hunting Act should be strengthened. https://www.writetothem.com/

  

Jedforest FH two illegal hunting trial should conclude today

27-6-17    ITV News   Closing statements due in Borders fox hunting trial    Closing statements are due to be heard today in the trial of two huntsmen accused of breaching Scotland's fox hunting laws. 67-year-old John Clive Richardson and his son, 24-year-old Johnny Riley, from the Jedforest Hunt, have denied the accusation after a video filmed by investigators showed a fox being dug out of a hole and then chased by a pack of hounds. The video was filmed at Townfoothill near Jedburgh in February 2016, by an employee of the League Against Cruel Sports.

The trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court has already had several days of evidence from members of the League Against Cruel Sports, police and the two accused. The Crown and the defence teams will now sum up their cases to Sheriff Peter Paterson.

POWAperson adds - This trial, concerning events of more than a year ago, has proceeded in fits and starts over the last 3 months and its conclusion is long overdue.  


Two prominent Tory hunter MPs face Commons breach of code of conduct prSimonHartMP.jpgobes

24-6-17  Western Telegraph   Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart under investigation for alleged breach of code of conduct    CONSERVATIVE MP Simon Hart [right] is one of four MPs under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. Mr Hart was re-elected for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire in May with a reduced majority of 3,110. An investigation into an alleged breach of paragraph 15 of the MPs' code of conduct started in May, but no decision could be made during the dissolution of Parliament. This paragraph states: "Members are personally responsible and accountable for ensuring that their use of any expenses, allowances, facilities and services provided from the public purse is in accordance with the rules laid down on these matters. Members shall ensure that their use of public resources is always in support of their parliamentary duties. It should not confer any undue personal or financial benefit on themselves or anyone else, or confer undue advantage on a political organisation." 

Other MPs subject to an inquiry are Labour’s Keith Vaz and the Conservatives’ Michelle Donelan and Chris Davies [below left]. Mr Hart told the Western Telegraph he had been advised by the commissioner not to comment, but that she would 'publish full details in due course'.

POWAperson adds – At this stage we do not know the details of the alleged breaches. Simon Hart MP is a former CEO of the Countryside Alliance and was in that position when the CA facilitated the mass signing of the 'Hunting Declaration' in 2004. Signatories, of whom there were a purported 50,000, pledged to ignore any law banning hunting.

ChrisDaviesMPwhenJMG.ValleyFH.jpgMr. Hart is allegedly at present in receipt of a £47,000 p.a. 'consultancy' retainer from the hunting lobby. During his campaign to become an MP in 2010 he received very substantial donations from Johan Christofferson, an American hedge-fund manager who was then JM of the Isle of Wight FH. In 2004, his Huntsman and terrierman staged a repellent stunt in Brighton City centre while the Labour Conference was on there. They dumped carcasses of a horse and cattle in the city centre as a protest against the impending Hunting Act. Following this action, which caused public outrage, They were convicted of public order offences but just got slapped on their wrists. Christofferson was suspended by the MFHA for not controlling his hunt servants. He is now JM of the Jedforest FH, whose huntsman and terrierman are on trial for illegal hunting now.

Hart also received a donation of £2000 from Lord Daresbury, then Chair of the MFHA. It was Daresbury who had written earlier in 2004 to Hunt Masters, urging them to ask 'their farmers' to help foxes out with breeding, because they were running short of quarry. This only became public knowledge because Simon Hart's scathing email to Daresbury, criticising him for being so stupid in handing ammunition to the antis, was leaked.

Chris Davies, the Tory MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, is a former JM of Golden Valley FH. He was in post when the Hunting Act came into effect. He did not have the bottle to say he would personally defy the law, but told the BBC that some of his members would.

Prior to the recent election both MPs were on the EFRA Select Committee and were instrumental in that Committee calling, by a majority of one, for the RSPCA to be investigated, a move largely prompted by the Society's prosecutions of packs for illegal hunting and badger sett interference.

                                     

Sabs prevent Northants MH hunting again

24-6-17   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   After our recent success against the Northants Mink/Otter Hounds which was largely down to vigilant members of the public we thought we'd be a little more proactive this week and visit some areas where we've know them to hunt in the past. So we gathered a team of lovely people from North Cambs Hunt Sabs, Northants Hunt Sabs and Nottingham Hunt Sabs and sett off to look for them.
With Notts & Northants in one vehicle and 2 others with a combo of B&B and North Cambs we scoured likely looking areas and surprise surprise, we recognised some vehicles heading to a known area.
This was close to where they hunted a few weeks ago and on the same bit of river - Claydon Brook.
With eyes on them they lead us to a farm near the big equestrian centre at Addington Manor. So with some proper military planning we moved in with a classic pincer action. Notts & Northants going in from the South on foot while the B&B/North Cambs teams in vehicles watched their only route out. By now they hunters knew they had been rumbled and did what they always do and called the police. Once again some officers arrived from Thames Valley but we had a cordial chat with them in the sunshine and discussed the Wildlife & Countryside Act and the Hunting Act. The police also told us there were some very pissed off people at the hunt meet! Perhaps they should find a less blood thirsty and acceptable pass time. With the hound van leaving to return to the kennels and the hounds not even getting out we enjoyed the sunshine while making sure they didn't try to pull a fast one. 
 
North Cotswold FH terrierman cautioned for riding quad in to sab

23-6-17   Three Counties Hunt Sabs   VIDEO  On December 28th 2016, our group split to keep an eye on two different Hunts, the Ledbury and the North Cotswold. Both groups, along with Bristol Hunt Saboteurs, were subject to violence and intimidation. Both Hunts were still disrupted while attempting to kill wildlife.
Not long ago we wrote this update about the Ledbury terrierman involved in the assault on sabs – Terrierman charged with affray – and now we bring an update on the North Cotswold case too. The video shows some of the footage from the day, including falconer Calvin Crossman’s behaviour towards sabs in a field and terrierman WillN.CotswoldFHWillHainesJrridesquadintosabCautioned6-17.jpg Haines riding his quadbike into a sab [right].
Following the discovery of the artificial earths the Hunt packed up and the sab attended Gloucester hospital with suspected concussion and a swollen jaw. Statements were made to the police soon after. West Mercia Police have dropped the case against Crossman, as they say it is unclear how he and the sab ended up on the floor, whether he intended to hit her in the face and whether he did actually knee her in the groin.
Regardless of this, we believe that his behaviour in the run-up to the fall still constitutes an assault (assault does not require physical contact) and is still unacceptable, especially the fact that he puts his eagle in danger. Haines admitted that he had ridden into the same sab on purpose and was given a caution due to previously having a clean record. If you think the name is familiar you may well be thinking of Will Haines senior, a farmer from Castle Farm in Chipping Campden (supplier to M&S, Whole Foods and others). Will Haines junior was identified by the North Cotswold’s huntsman, Nigel Peel, and confirmed as being employed by him as terrierman and is also known to be involved in helping to organise the hunt ball, so the hunt can’t easily pretend that he has nothing to do with them.

The violence is believed to have been sparked by a previous incident in October 2016 when terriermen were caught attempting to dig out an active badger sett in order to get to the hunted fox who had sought shelter within the sett and who then thought it acceptable to abandon their terrier (a “much-loved family pet”) in the sett with the frightened fox and numerous badgers. Gloucestershire Constabulary looked into an allegation that sabs had stolen the terrier and found no evidence to suggest this; the investigation was dropped earlier this year. Unfortunately, despite evidence supplied, we believe they have also dropped the investigation into the illegal dig-out.

The Hunt continue to intend to hunt illegally, the blocking of badger setts prior to hunt meets being one giveaway of this and we intend to keep a closer eye on them in the coming seasons. If you hear any information about the Hunt or have any tip-offs as to hunt meets (or a hunt meet card) please contact us on 07891 639803 or via our Facebook page or email address: threecountiessabs@live.co.uk  Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years, whether with moral support, driving sabs to hospitals, throwing us a few quid here and there or giving us information. If you can help us out financially so that we can continue what we do (and keep an eye on this bunch of lawbreakers next season) please do so via www.paypal.me/threecountiessabs .

 
                                     

Police won't act on road blocking by Ashford Valley FH followers

23-6-17  Facebook - East Kent Sabs  VIDEO   Ashford Valley Tickham Fox Hounds supporters blocking public highway 25th February 2017 [below]  -  You may remember back in February, we put up a post about our vehicle being blocked in at the Ashford Valley hunt kennels, by some hunt supporters in 4x4’s…we also had a video clip on our YouTube channel which we were asked to take down by the police while they investigated our allegations of blocking a public highway.

Well that investigation is over, and guess what? Kent police are going to do…NOTHING! Yes - as per usual the Hunts can do what ever they like, with no legal action being taken against them!

Kent police had all the footage of the mornings events, which showed the driver of the blue pickup- on top of that they also had the name of the driver, because he put in a bogus claim against us! They obviously had a good chat with him though, as with no hard evidence, they then sent a letter to our vehicles registered keeper, threatening to summons us for 4 road traffic offences…!!!! 1) failure to stop and to report an accident (which did not happen); 2) dangerous driving; 3) driving without care; 4) driving without consideration.

To then add insult to injury, our hunt liaison officer said that the people who had obstructed our vehicle on the highway could not be prosecuted “retrospectively”..UTTER BOLLOCKS!!!

So… after getting other parties involved and with us pressing them on this issue, our list of summonses were dropped, and a promise to investigate was made by the police… which we now know is going nowhere, and the hunt supporters who blocked us in are free to do the same again next season - making sure that they can illegally hunt in peace. So, no surprises there.

    AshfordValleyFHFollowersblocksabs25-2-17.jpg

 

Tory pledge to repeal HA is missing from Queen's speech [presumed dead]


21-6-17  
LACS PR   No mention of hunting in Queen’s speech    Reacting to the Queen’s speech today, Eduardo Gonçalves, CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports said: -

“We are pleased to see that there is no mention of hunting in the Queen’s Speech. We hope that, following the outcry during the election campaign, Theresa May has now abandoned the manifesto pledge for a free vote on repeal of the Hunting Act. The reality is that the ban has overwhelming support from the British public. We have no doubt that a vocal minority will continue in their attempts to weaken or repeal the ban – either openly or via the back door. We therefore remain vigilant and there should be no doubt that we will continue to be the voice speaking up for animals, vigorously opposing any effort to weaken their protection. The Government should be clear that what the British people want from them is to get on with the job of improving animal protection, not undermining it.”POWAperson adds -  Whilst all of the above is true, the fact is that the Hunting Act remains of very limited utility against organised Hunts and all antis need to press hard for it to not just be retained and enforced but substantially strengthened.

POWAperson adds - It's great that the threat of repeal of the Hunting Act has gone, though almost certainly it would not have got through the new House. However, this does not get us anywhere nearer the strengthening that is essential to restrain organised Hunts from continuing to hunt and kill live quarry.

                                    
Otter Trust expresses concern over mink hunts endangering otters

21-6-17   Morethanjustbadgers.net    POWA has just learned of the following statement from the UK Wild Otter Trust regarding mink hunting...
18-6-17  UK Wild Otter Trust  
MINK HUNTING   As a leading charity dealing with the European otter, we are concerned that mink hunting can & does cause issues for otters. The Hunting Act of 2004 bans the hunting of mammals with dogs whether they are native or not including mink. The control of any predator if required should be done in the most humane way – hunting with dogs is not. Unfortunately, this type of hunting still continues and therefore poses an ongoing risk to the otter.UKWOT would question the methods used during illegal mink hunting as the dogs would not be able to distinguish between an otter or a mink. There are several points that require intervention by the law because it will cause disturbance to otters at the holt, place of rest or shelter and of course will disrupt its territory. There is also a very huge risk that the “mink hounds” will “accidentally” take an otter but of course that would be covered up. Do we believe that these packs actually hunt mink? No, we don’t but having proof is paramount to any such investigation and subsequent prosecution. The UK Wild Otter Trust would not hesitate to take legal proceedings should this ever be proven against any such hunting packs and we will never endorse this barbaric act.
Pic below - Otter hunting in the old days -
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Lifelong 'hunter' jailed for shooting neighbours kitten

20-6-17   Daily Mail    Retired Cambridge rowing coach, 73, who SHOT a Siamese kitten who wandered into his garden is jailed for 12 weeks - Christopher Boswell, 73, shot eight-month-old kitten Pia with an air rifle - He shot the panicked cat in neck and right hip and dumped her over the fence -Her owner, who lives three doors down, said Pia's back leg had to be removed - 'Alcoholic' Boswell said he hated cats and had turned garden into haven for birds    A retired Cambridge college rowing coach who shot a Siamese kitten [below left, credit Geoff Robinson] after it wandered into his garden has been jailed for 12 weeks. Christopher Boswell, 73, pleaded guilty to shooting eight-month-old kitten Pia with an air gun.  He shot his neighbour's cat in the neck and right hip and dumped her over the fence because he hated cats and had made his garden into a haven for birds. Owner Caroline King spent £6,000 on vets bills for Pia, whose hip was so badly Catshotbylifelonghunter6-17.jpgshattered that she had to have her back leg removed.
Cambridge Magistrates Court heard that Caroline knocked on Boswell's door in Eden Street, Cambridge, on April 7th this year after Pia went missing to ask if he had seen her cat. He said he had shot Pia and thrown her over the fence and when Caroline's partner investigated he found their cat in the neighbouring garden. They took Pia to the vets, who found a pellet in her which matched the air gun Boswell had used. The court heard that Boswell had been hunting since he was 17 and moved to Cambridge in 1989 when his marriage broke up. Boswell, who spoke only to identify himself, was also said to be an alcoholic and suffering from cancer. His defence said he had been 'horrendously stupid' and the act was 'completely out of character.' 
Boswell was given a 12-week prison sentence by the magistrates, who described it as 'a nasty incident which deserved a jail sentence.' He has been bailed until an appeal hearing on the condition he lives at home and does not contact Caroline.
Pia is now back at home recovering with her sister, Cleo, but Caroline is keeping her inside the house. Neighbours of Boswell on Tuesday described there being a spate of between 12 and 20 cat disappearances in the past five years. Mother-of-two Frankie de Vorms, 56, told how her nine-year-old rescue cat Kitty was shot in the face in 2015, appearing at her front door with blood coming out of her nose. She added that a 'substantial' number of missing cat posters had appeared on a post outside her terraced home. She said: 'I'd say between 12 and 20 cats have disappeared over the last five years. The feeling in the neighbourhood is one of horror and disbelief that some one could hurt little creatures. I'm very aware that he's shot cats, I've seen what he's done to Caz's (Catherine's) cat. 'Whereas I was ready to say hello to him now I think, 'I'm sorry, I can't have a relationship with you because what you've done to my cat is so immoral. It's an immoral thing to do and he has hurt us very badly by doing that.
Ms de Vorms said other cat-owning neighbours had overheard Boswell saying he 'hated cats' to Ms King. She added: 'I didn't see him shooting my cat but it would seem a very strong correlation that it was him.' Her daughter Phoebe de Vorms said passers-by often saw Boswell sitting on his sofa wearing only a sarong through his open front door. She said: 'Everyone [at school] used to refer to him as the creepy guy who sat naked in his lounge. We know everyone who lives in the community but I couldn't imagine anyone else shooting an animal.'
 
                                     
Atherstone FH hound parade may be dropped from Ashby show 

20-6-17   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   Ashby Show update   It seems like the Ashby Show are having an emergency meeting on Wednesday. The hound parade has been cancelled. The Atherstone Hunt have been investigated numerous times for illegal hunting with one case still ongoing. There have been at least 5 foxes killed by the Atherstone Hunt that we know of in the last few years so it is obviously a good development that the Ashby Show will not be promoting cruelty.

However the Atherstone Hunt Supporters Club still have stall at the show. Atherstone Hunt supporters have numerous convictions for using violence. There are cases ongoing. To continue to allow them to have this stall will be condoning the use of violence. Please politely contact the Ashby Show and ask why a violent organisation with convictions for using violence are allowed to have a trade stand at the show - https://www.facebook.com/ashbyshow/ 


19-6-17  Facebook - This is Hunting UK    Whilst this photo was taken of the Fitzwilliam at last year's Burghley Horse Trials, it clearly demonstrates the popularity of the Hound Parade. Please let us not forget our opponents are actively out there trying to persuade Show Committees to ban the Hounds from attending. We must rigidly stand up for the traditional Hound Parade wherever they may take place across the UK. One example is Ashby Show in Leicestershire where well known Saboteurs have already vented their feelings to the Committee about the annual parade of the Atherstone, North Warwickshire, Beagles and the Dove Valley Mink Hounds. This type of action cannot be allowed to continue.... Please all we ask is keep liking and sharing these messages further and further afield so our supporters are well aware as to what is going on. 
 
 
                                 
Northants Mink Hounds stopped from hunting by sabs

18-6-17   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   Hunting goes on all year round in some form or another, well done to these Sabs for shutting down a Mink hunt   Summertime . . . and the living is easy . . . except of course if you're a low life hunter, something the Northants Mink (Otter) Hounds found out once again yesterday. Another tip off from a concerned member of the public saw us quickly assemble a team which included sabs from Northants Hunt Sabs and Cambridge Hunt sabs.
We found them hunting along the river Ouse at Ravenstone Mill, just north of Tyringham. Incidentally the estate here is owned by one of the major sponsors of the Oakley Hunt and of course the Northants Minks Hounds are kennelled with the Oakley hounds. No surprises there. This part of the river also has a recovering Otter population, the Mink have been largely pushed out by the Otters as they are the dominant predator here and of course rampaging a pack of hounds through a river in breeding season in never a good thing for any wildlife. Once caught red handed they were forced to pack up immediately and do the walk of shame back to the meet. Some pathetic attempts were made at intimidation but it's all in a days work to us sabs.
The police (Thames Valley) arrived a short time later at the request of the hunt and had to be educated in the details of the hunting act (no repeal for a repeal now hehe). They seemed more interested in eating cake with the real criminals and harassing sabs rather than doing their job. More training needed for these guys, they'll be getting more calls in the future. Still a good result and no kills, which is what it's all about. 
 
Leading vet says evidence that hunting hounds are spreading bTb

15-6-17  LACS Press Release  VIDEO   Has bTB been spread by hunting hounds? New evidence   Evidence that bTB – the devastating disease which has caused thousands of cattle deaths and led to the controversial badger cull – could be spread by hunting hounds is mounting following the release of new government figures.

An outbreak of bTB occurred at the Kimblewick Hunt kennels in Buckinghamshire in December 2016. Concerns that the hounds could have spread the disease into farms across the six counties covered by the Hunt were LordGardinerofKimbleKimblewickFH.jpgquashed by Defra – however new official figures show that there have been 55 new bTB cattle herd breakdowns there in just the first four months of the year. There are currently 90 recorded outbreaks in the area – meaning the number has more than doubled since the Kimblewick infection. The startling figures have caused veterinary scientists and animal welfare charities to raise the issue with Defra – however FOI requests have been stonewalled, leading to concerns that information is being withheld.Other aspects of concern include the fact that Animal Welfare Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble [right] is a member of the Kimblewick Hunt, as are the two local vets who dealt with the Kimblewick outbreak.
Vet Dr Iain McGill [below left], Director of the Prion Interest Group and former MAFF and ZSL scientist, and animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports, are calling for all hunting to be suspended until an independent inquiry has taken place to discover if hunting hounds are spreading bTB. Dr McGill said: “As a vet and a scientist, I’m extremely concerned that the government is ignoring significant evidence that this disease is being carried by hunting hounds. Because of TB, cattle are being slaughtered, badgers are being culled and now hunt hounds are being euthanized – we have a responsibility to examine every possible explanation for the spread of the disease, and that isn’t happening.
DrIainMcGillvet.jpgCausality may be difficult to prove, but can Defra prove that they have done the research to rule out the possibility that the entire bTB epidemic in cattle is being spread and amplified by hunting hounds? Conversely, I have evidence that research on diseases of hunting hounds has been suppressed and not pursued by the Government for 27 years.
Cover up?  Eduardo Goncalves, CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “If the government doesn’t set up an independent inquiry into the potential spread of bTB by hunting hounds as a matter of urgency, they are playing fast and loose with the lives of animals and the livelihoods of farmers. Mapping of hunting areas and bTB outbreak zones reveal concerning trends. There are hunts present in every area in which bTB has spread in cattle. The sudden leap in new outbreaks in the Kimblewick hunt area – 55 in the four months since the hounds were diagnosed compared with under half that pre-dating their infection – cannot be written off as a coincidence without evidence.
The League has tried to get to the bottom of this but to no avail. Defra have refused to release information about the Kimblewick outbreak, or other outbreaks in hound packs elsewhere in England. Defra also refused to reveal details of communication with the Kimblewick Hunt, citing privacy laws, even though bovine TB is a notifiable disease, not a private matter.
Conversations with the local vet in charge of the outbreak suggests that it was hunting authorities who prevented publication of the data, fearing a “PR disaster” for hunting with hounds. I think the UK’s farmers would prefer a PR disaster for hunts rather than further devastation of their herds.” 
Dr McGill added: “One of the Chief Veterinary Officer’s main arguments for badger culling in 2013 was that pet dogs could catch TB in areas where TB contamination of the environment was high, and then transmit TB to their owners. By contrast, now Defra considers the risks and dangers presented to other animals and humans by TB infected hounds as ‘low’. So there is a change of opinion from Defra, and an absence of evidence to support such a conclusion.
Risk to humans -  Because of the latest outbreaks in the Kimblewick area, bTB – which can lead to TB, particularly in immunocompromised humans – is encroaching on London. The reason given by Defra for euthanasia of the Kimblewick hounds was that they were a risk to their handlers. The Master of Fox Hounds Association said the Kimblewick hunt immediately suspended their hunting activities “to protect farmers and landowners”. This suggests that there was indeed some risk from having the hounds on land with livestock, or in close contact with people.
Although immunosuppressed humans are at risk from M bovis, human deaths from bTB are currently low in number. However, it is the contrast between the stance in 2013, which played up human health risks, to Defra’s ‘low risk’ assertions now, which are of major concern. Both positions simply cannot be correct as they directly contradict each other.
 
13-6-17   Times  Bovine tuberculosis ‘spread by packs of fox hounds’   After a nearby pack of hounds became infected, 90 outbreaks were recorded in Hampshire and Hertfordshire. Campaigners have called for an investigation into whether fox hounds spread tuberculosis after outbreaks doubled on farms near an infected pack of dogs. Farmers blame badgers for spreading bovine TB, which led to almost 40,000 cattle being slaughtered prematurely last year, and have called for more badger culls to control the disease.
Government figures have shown that the number of TB outbreaks in or near one of Britain’s biggest hunts, which covers countryside from Hampshire to Hertfordshire, doubled in four months after the disease was first detected in its dogs last year. Thirty-five outbreaks of bovine TB were recorded in and around the Kimblewick Hunt when the hounds were first confined to their kennels in December. By April that figure had risen to 90.Iain McGill [Director of Vets Against the Badger Cull, who previously exposed the government cover-up during the foot and mouth epidemic] said  'There is a TB epidemic spreading out of control. I’m extremely concerned that the government is ignoring significant evidence that this disease is being carried by hunting hounds.'...   
See also this article in The Canary There was another article in The Smallholder reporting Dr McGill's suspicions, but today [16-6-17] it seems to have been removed, even though on one page it is listed as the most visited article on the news site But the link there to it just produces a 'Sorry' message.  
 
                                     
Make Hunting History & anti-cull London demo set for August 26th

15-6-17  Facebook – Keep the Ban   Keeptheban shared their event   Are you free on August 26th? Although there's still a while to go, please register your interest by clicking on the link below. The key aim of the protest march will be to call on the new Conservative minority government to bring an immediate end to the cruel, costly and ineffective badger cull policy and to strengthen rather than seek to repeal the Hunting Act. This event is expected to be the largest ever British wildlife protection protest held in the UK, bringing together thousands of caring compassionate people united in their determination to stop the government from playing politics with the future of our wildlife. The march will leave Cavendish Square at 1.30 pm and proceed down Regents Street, Pall Mall, around Trafalgar Square down Whitehall ending at Richmond Terrace opposite Downing Street. Speakers at Cavendish Square and Richmond Terrace will include leading wildlife protection campaigners, naturalists and broadcasters, politicians and vets. 

Kent Wildlife Trust had previous Chair who was Quorn FH JM

As the controversy over hare hunter Mike Bax as Trust Chair rages, further material regarding the Blean Beagles and the Trust comes to light. It is not pretty reading. 

15-6-17  Facebook - Stop the cull   We have been sent an horrendous account taken from Hounds magazine in 2004 [below] reporting on the killing sprees of the Blean Beagles over a season. The record of hunting worn out hares is sadistic. Note that a 'leash' means 3 and a 'brace' is a pair. 'Accounted for' means to have been killed; torn to shreds by the hounds, urged on by the hunt staff. One of those people who formed part of the hunt was Michael Bax, Chairman of Kent Wildlife Trust who was in the recent past both huntsman and joint master. Stuart Sillars who is mentioned is Bax's work colleague and a current master.

We have also discovered that Kent Wildlife Trust previously had another dubious Chairman, James Teacher, a master of the Quorn Hunt http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1429392/James-Teacher.html. It would seem that Kent WT don't care about ethics but would rather brownnose wealthy landowners. Please urge the trust to rethink the appointment of Bax.

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LACS claims hunting issue played major role in general election

14-6-17   LACS website   The Verdict's In - Fox Hunting Played Major Election Role    Elections can be curious affairs. For political junkies, the polling, the projections, and the posturing are their bread and butter - but away from that there is something much deeper. Elections have a way of distilling how a nation feels and what it values. This was supposed to be the Brexit election, but in the end, that wasn’t a major issue. To everyone’s surprise, it was usurped by a different issue: hunting. In Conservative manifestos past, the party has committed a free vote on repeal of the Hunting Act.
Previously, when only a handful of Conservative MPs supported the ban, this was barely commented on. But we know that prior to this election, more than 50 Conservative MPs supported the ban. More than that, we know that the vast majority of the British public support the ban. So it came as something of a surprise when Theresa May affirmed her own support for hunting, and a repeal of the Hunting Act. What happened next was little short ofSarahWoolastonMP.jpg remarkable.
Like never before, fox hunting became an election issue.
That’s not my just view. Buzzfeed analysed what was being shared online during the campaign. Throughout the campaign, hunting was the fourth most-shared topic, ahead of Brexit. It wasn’t just online that it was making a stir, either. BritainThinks ran focus groups with swing voters in marginal constituencies. After social care, the most commonly mentioned manifesto commitment was the Hunting Act. YouGov said that the words brought up most during the campaign were “social care” and “fox hunting” c
andidates - both Labour and Conservative - spoke time and time again about how fox hunting repeatedly came up on the doorsteps.
Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston [right] said Theresa May’s comments on hunting were a “turning point” in the campaign. Another Conservative MP, Michael Fabricant [left], said that raising the issue was “very foolish”. The victorious Labour candidate in Canterbury - held by the Conservatives for decades - said it was fox hunting that swung it.
Jim Waterson, Political Editor at Buzzfeed, tweeted that “Anecdotally and based on our most-shared data, I really think fox hunting (& ivory ban) cost the Tories some marginal seats”. 
At the same time all this was going on, League Against Cruel Sports supporters were contacting their local candidates as part of the Votes for Vinny campaign. Tens of thousands of emails were sent, and in the days before polling day, thousands of people logged in to the League website to see how their candidates responded to the pledges.
Clearly, hunting is not a party political issue. No party has a monopoly on compassion. Along with those many anti-hunting Conservative MPs, over 70% of Conservative voters support the ban on hunting. Party colour was not the vote loser here - the misjudgement was pandering to a vocal minority who want to see a return to a more ignorant time. Vinny himself was in cities across Britain, spreading the word about animal cruelty. Candidates from all parties contacted their constituents - and us at the League - to say that they opposed repeal. In the final two weeks of the campaign, an additional 30 Conservative candidates, almost all of whom were elected, said that they would vote against repeal. So, where do we stand now? Well, it is very difficult to see a repeal vote on the Hunting Act being passed. Former Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps says it “stands absolutely no chance” of repeal.

MichaelFabricantMP.jpgDespite the Conservatives losing seats, the number of Conservative MPs supporting the Hunting Act has increased, and is possibly as high as one third of their MPs. The election has made clear how unpopular - not to mention politically toxic - the idea of repeal is.

Yet there is more work to do. The Brexit process may open the door to weakened environmental and animal welfare legislation. That must be stopped. In the last Parliament, good progress was made towards tougher sentencing for animal cruelty. That must be seen through. It is not just politicians that should now be left in no doubt as to how unpopular hunting is. In a couple of months, ‘cub hunting’ - the illegal slaughter of fox cubs - will begin again, and hunting continues under the false alibi of “trail hunting”. Public bodies like the National Trust, the Forestry Commission, and the Ministry of Defence continue to allow this on their land. The British public do not tolerate animal cruelty, and neither should those organisations.With a hung Parliament, the election may have had an indecisive outcome, but in another way, it was utterly decisive. The idea that the Hunting Act should be repealed has been roundly rejected and the hope now is that we can move on from any notion of repeal or weakening. The British public believes in compassion and they believe that animals should be protected from persecution. Politicians surely now accept that. It must be time, therefore, that we seek to strengthen and extend those protections. 

 

Ex Tory Chair says HA repeal dead in the water

12-6-17  Daily Mirror   Former Tory Party chairman says Theresa May's dream of bringing back fox hunting is dead in the water    Theresa May's manifesto promised a free vote in Parliament on repealing the Hunting Act, but this could now be impossible after the Tories lost seats  The former chairman of the Conservative Party says Theresa May's manifesto promise to hold a vote on bringing back fox hunting is now dead in the water.

Grant Shapps [right] said it was "absolute insanity" to try to change the fox hunting laws the light of the Tories' general election humiliation. She said on the campaign trail: "As it happens, personally, I have always been in favour of fox hunting and we maintain our commitment - we have had a commitment previously as a GrantShappsMP.jpgConservative Party - to allow a free vote."  And the Mirror exposed on its front page how hunt masters were "mobilising" to get Mrs May back into power to legalise their sick bloodsport once again.

But Mr Shapps now says the chances of this happening are zero given the Tories' non-existent parliamentary majority. He told the BBC's Daily Politics: "It's absolute insanity to start talking about passing and changing fox hunting laws, what an Earth was that about? "I thought a mistake had been made, perhaps an off-the-cuff comment. Then I read the manifesto and discovered not only were were planning to allow a free vote, but it was going to be a government bill and on government time. This now stands absolutely no chance. It's a silly idea."

The weakened Prime Minister is desperately clinging to power after losing her overall majority in the House of Commons.

12-6-17   Sun   MAY FOXED CAMPAIGN - Theresa May’s support for fox hunting lost Conservatives huge election majority, say campaign chiefs  Tory candidates claimed the PM offering a manifesto commitment to overturn the popular ban was hugely unpopular while doorstepping. The PM offered a manifesto commitment to overturn the popular ban with a vote in government time. Hundreds of angry candidates reported back to CCHQ that the move proved almost as toxic as Mrs May’s social care policy debacle on the doorstep. One campaign boss told The Sun: “The fox hunting thing really resonated.

Rather than sticking to the Tories’ line of promising a vote on it, Theresa May came out in support for fox hunting. “It helped seed doubt about Tory motives, that we’re just in it for rich. It was a really disastrous stereotype that we just couldn’t shift after that.” Another senior MP said: “Fox hunting came up a lot on the doorstep. It was really unpopular.”

Campaigning in Leeds on May 9, the Tory leader was asked about her views on the activity, outlawed by Labour in 2004. Many Tory candidates claimed the policy came up while doorstepping and voters weren’t impressed. And Mrs May’s election manifesto promise read: “We will grant a free vote, on a government bill in government time, to give parliament the opportunity to decide the future of the Hunting Act”.



Son of Blackmore FH Huntsman convicted of ABH on woman sab

12-6-17   Facebook - Dorset Against Blood Sports   SON OF MARK DOGGRELL PLEADS GUILTY TO ASSAULTING A HUNT SAB  In March 2015, Ben Doggrell kicked a sab's feet from underneath her causing her to land heavily on tarmac. As a result, she broke her elbow as well as having cuts and bruises to her legs. Initially the CPS refused to prosecute although the video evidence was clear. This mirrors the case where Ben's father, Mark Doggrell "accidentally" rode his horse into a sab causing serious injury. After using the Victim's Right to Review, Mark's case eventually went to court and he was found not guilty, much to the disgust of many people. However, his son has not been so lucky and after two years of waiting, the senior prosecutor agreed there was a case to answer and on Friday June 9th, Ben Doggrell pleaded guilty to a charge of ABH and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and payment of costs/compensation. A big thank you to Outpaced who helped tremendously.

Pic below - Ben Doggrell, having been harassing sabs for some time, attacks female sab, in March 2015. Convicted of ABH June 2017. 

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Forestry Commission to review Isle of Wight FH hunting licence

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Grove & Rufford FH convicts seen canvassing for Tory candidate

5-6-17   Wildlife Guardian   Conservative politician campaign supported by convicted hunters   After the cash for questions and the expenses scandals, trust in politicians and democracy has never been so low. Rather than clean up their act, some prospective MPs are secretly receiving help from the hunting lobby during the general election. Ben Bradley’s (the Conservative Party candidate for Mansfield) campaign is being supported by members of a Hunt recently convicted of a criminal act.
In March of this year, three members of the Grove and Rufford Hunt were found guilty of illegal fox hunting after a three day trial. Huntsman Paul Larby was fined £800, Peter White was fined £550 and whipper-in Jane Wright was fined £180. All three were ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge, at Mansfield Magistrates Court. In GroveandRuffordFHConvictscanvassingforTory5-6-17.jpghis summing up, District Judge Spruce said the three defendants had failed to cooperate with the police, giving no comment interviews when they were interviewed.
On Saturday, 3rd June 2017, 27 year old Ben Bradley was seen handing out packs of campaign leaflets to Paul Larby, Peter White and five or six other members of the Grove & Rufford Hunt outside Tesco’s in Mansfield [left]. A lady who was shopping at Tesco spotted Bradley and took a couple of photos. When she posted them on Facebook one of her friends recognised Larby from the press coverage of the trial and contacted us.It’s likely that the Grove & Rufford Hunt are acting on behalf of the pro-hunting Vote-OK group run by Otis Ferry, son of Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry. Otis Ferry’s own criminal record includes drink driving, failing to provide a breath sample after he was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and the cowardly assault on two women.
Knowing how unpopular hunting is with the public, Vote-OK volunteers are not to mention hunting when campaigning for candidates. It is also worth noting that Vote-OK don’t seem to be coordinating the “legions” of activists as claimed in the Telegraph and by pro-hunt MPs. The Grove and Rufford Hunt could only muster about half a dozen people for campaigning on a sunny Saturday afternoon!Although Mr Bradley is very active on social media, he’s been rather reluctant to share photos of himself with his bloodsport friends. If elected, Ben Bradley won’t listen to the constituents he is meant to represent when it comes to any vote on the repeal of the Hunting Act. Instead he will reward the criminal minority.


POWAperson adds - Alas, these law-breakers may have assisted in the election of the Tory candidate. Worse, the sitting Labour MP was Sir Alan Meale. He had been in the Commons for decades and was a strong opponent of hunting. It was he who piloted through the Wild Mammals Protection Act in 1996, as a Private Members Bill. It was the first legislation giving any protection from cruelty to wild mammals.


Ex police WCO tells court he was the 'invisible' Jedforest FH gunman

2-6-17   BBC News   Borders fox-hunting trial hears shotgun evidence    A retired police wildlife crime officer has told the trial of two men accused of breaking Scots fox-hunting laws he was waiting in a gulley with a shotgun. Investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports said they saw no gunmen and heard no shots when they filmed the Jedforest Hunt in February 2016. However, Malcolm Henderson told a court he had been there with a shotgun.

John Clive Richardson, 66, and his son Johnny Riley, 24, both deny deliberately hunting a fox with dogs. Mr Henderson, who has worked with the Hunt for the past two years, said he had been at the site near Jedburgh on the day in question. He told Jedburgh Sheriff Court he was present when a fox was flushed from cover and pursued by hounds towards his gun which the law permits. He told the trial: "I was there. I was down in the dip but they (the investigators) would not see me from where they were standing."

Earlier in the trial, Mr Richardson had told the court that Mr Henderson had shot and wounded the fox. Mr Richardson and Mr Riley, of Bonchester Bridge, deny breaching the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002. The trial will continue later this month.

 

Revealed - Kent WT Chair allows pheasant shooting on his land
Thousands call for Mike Bax to be removed from his post

2-6-17   Daily Mirror   Thousands call for wildlife chief to be sacked for letting bird killers shoot on his land for 10 years   Property entrepreneur Michael Bax [left] allowed pheasants to be shot on his land for 10 years and caused a storm in March when it was learned he was once master of a hare hunt  A wildlife protection MikeBaxChairKentWildlifeTrustisJMofBleanBeagles.jpgboss has allowed pheasants to be shot on his land for 10 years.  Now 2,600 people have signed a petition calling for business-man Michael Bax to be sacked.

The property entrepreneur caused a storm in March when it was learned he was once master of a hare hunt. Now it has emerged he “makes land available” near his home for pheasants to be shot. Paying members of Kent Wildlife Trust say Mr Bax’s role as chair­­man is at odds with his in­­­­­­­volvement in hunting.Member Tom Fitton said: “We pay our fees to provide sanctuaries for wildlife from hunters yet they are being given top positions in the Trust.”  Bax now 'makes land available' near his home for the birds to be shot. 
Elisa Allen, director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals , fumed: “It’s nothing if not ironic for the chair of a trust dedicated to protecting wildlife to have been the master of a Hunt in which terrified hares spend hours running for their lives before being torn apart. And today Mike Bax allows bloodthirsty hunters on to his land to gun down pheasants, many of which die in agony.”
POWAperson adds - This story hit the headlines several weeks ago when Mike Bax was exposed to be not just listed as a current joint master of the Blean Beagles, but that he had been their Huntsman for many years last century Despite him being clearly identified as a blood sports exponent, and numerous protests, including a highly critical and explicit letter from POWA, Kent Wildlife Trust seem determined to stick by him.  


CPS won't prosecute Cheshire Forest FH over 2 hunting incidents

1-6-17  
Facebook - Cheshire Monitors  VIDEO   This film is a shortened version of the evidence gathered by Cheshire Monitors of what we believe is the Cheshire Forest Hunt breaking the law ON 2-1-17. Cheshire Police did their utmost to get this Hunt into court, sending both this film and the Macclesfield kill evidence [28th Jan] to the Crown Prosecution Service. Sadly the CPS have decided to drop both cases.
This incident was filmed on 2nd January 2017, just after this Hunt was caught with a policewoman seeming to act as private security for them and before the same Hunt killed a fox (very publicly) in Macclesfield.Here is a reminder of the incident with the police woman. Here is a reminder of the fox kill in Macclesfield.
What you can do... We've been asked by several people how to complain to the CPS. You can do so on this address , quoting case number 07/EZ/01745/17. *Please note* this for the case shown in the video only, and not the Macclesfield case. 
Pics below - 1/ Cheshire Forest FH chasing fox 2-1-17     2/ Same pack hunting in Macclesfield 27-1-17
   CheshireForestFHChasingfox2-1-17.jpg   CheshireForestFHHoundslooseinstreet25-2-17.jpg
 
 

 

Jedforest FH trial Huntsman says were working 'within the law' when fox killed

1-6-17   BBC News   Men on Borders fox-hunting charge acted 'within legislation' - Mr Richardson told the court that he and his son were simply doing their job    Two huntsmen accused of breaching Scotland's fox-hunting laws were acting within the current legislation, it has been claimed at Jedburgh Sheriff Court. John Clive Richardson, 66, and his son Johnny Riley, 24, are charged with deliberately hunting a fox with hounds at a Borders farm. They both deny committing the offence near Jedburgh in February 2016. Mr Richardson told the court they had been doing their job and had done it within the law.

The case centres on a video shot by two investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports on the activities of the Jedforest Hunt members and shows the fox being dug out of a hole and then chased by a pack of hounds. The fox disappears out of sight of the video into a deep gulley with the hounds in pursuit.

The law states a fox can be flushed by dogs from cover to waiting guns, but the two investigators have already given evidence saying they saw no gunmen or heard any shots. However, Mr Richardson told a trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court that there was a gunman in the gulley who wounded the fox with a shot before it was "accounted for" by the hounds.

He said that gunman Malcolm Henderson had been put in position in a deep gulley which was out of sight of the video being secretly filmed. Mr Richardson also took over a shotgun when another man had to leave and was about 35 yards from Mr Henderson but missed with his shot. He said: "I heard the shot and I knew he hit it. The hounds then accounted for it. If he had not hit it they would not have caught it as foxes can run twice as fast as hounds."  Mr Richardson told the court the hounds had been used to flush out the foxes and "evict them towards the gun. We were doing a job and doing it within the legislation we are allowed to work in," he said.

The Huntsman - who first got involved in fox control as a teenager - said farmers often witnessed their pest control service to ensure they were working within the law as they would not want to be associated with any illegal activity on their land. He said that foxes had been prevalent in the area and, with the lambing season coming up, the farmer wanted them controlled. Mr Richardson said he was "not in the slightest aware of being observed" by the two investigators but even if he had been he would have carried on doing the same regardless. He said: "It is not the first time we have been monitored before. We just carry on doing our job."

Mr Richardson and Mr Riley, of Abbotrule, Bonchester Bridge, deny breaching the Wild Mammals Protection (Scotland) Act 2002 at Townfoothill near Jedburgh. The trial continues.

                                     

Man charged over fox found captive near Belvoir FH kennels
Charge comes 17 months after incident - Hunt deny involved

24-4-17    Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   A man has been charged with animal welfare offences regarding the fox which was found in an outbuilding in preparation for the Belvoir Hunt which was meeting close by. Nigel Smith (59), of Stainby, Lincs, is due in court next month. Of course, the Hunt are denying everything claiming no knowledge or involvement. This is pretty standard behaviour. Get the serfs to do the dirty work then let them carry the can when and it they get found out.

POWAperson adds - The original story can be found here and here. Pic below - the fox found in the shed by LACS' investigators.

    BelvoirFHFoxfoundcaptiveonBuckminsterEstat12-15.jpg 

 

MAY 2017

….. 29th May – Thousands attend anti-hunt march in London
..... 28th May - S.Herefordshire FH paying £55k to Ledbury to hunt with them next season, says HIT
..... 27th May - Wildlife Rescue Centre badly damaged by online attacks from hunters
..... 26th May - Melbreak FH supporter/rapist who punched sab given 80 hours CSO
..... 26th May - Isle of Wight FH terrierman fined £80 after clash with sabs in January
 ….. 25th May – Court - Essex Farmers FH must pay £131k over illegally evicting farmer
..... 24th May - HIT refutes SHFH claim that their hounds are alive and well
..... 23rd May - NT anti members present resolution to ban 'trail hunting' on Trust land
….. 22nd May – S.Herefordshire FH five are re-bailed yet again by the CPS
….. 22nd May – Anti arrested at PM campaign rally after thought he'd 'shouted ''Kill May"'
..... 20th May - Sabs stop Northants MH from hunting
….. 18th May – Ledbury FH terrierman charged with affray aftter attacking sab
….. 18th May – 'Biggest ever' anti fox hunting demo scheduled for 29th May
..... 18th May - Police drop Surrey Union FH rider assault on sab case
….. 16th May – Theresa May confirms she will hold free vote on repealing Hunting Act
….. 16th May – S.Herefordshire FH asks 'false allegations' be removed from Facebook
….. 15th May – S.Herefordshire FH said to have killed all but four of their hounds
….. 12th May – 9 year old girl killed in accident while hunting with the Cotswold FH
….. 12th May – Labour Shadow Chancellor says HA must be enforced & strengthened
..... 11th May - CA to pay £62k after Kinnego Hunt invades lofts and kills prize pigeons
…..  8th May – Leak reveals hunters asked to make huge push for Tory landslide
…..  5th May – Isle of Wight FH appeals for funds to fix 'dire' finances
…..  4th May – Three Derwent FH hunt servants charged with illegal hunting
…..  3rd May – RSPCA and Save Me come out for strengthening of the Hunting Act
…..  2nd May – Kimblewick FH bTb outbreak was advised on by vets close to the Hunt

 
Thousands attend anti-hunt march in London

29-5-17   Evening Standard   Make Hunting History protest: Thousands descend on Downing Street in anti-hunting march   Thousands of people have descended on Downing Street in a huge protest [below right] against the Conservative Party’s stance on the fox hunting ban. Prime Minister Theresa May has said that if the Conservatives win the General Election on June 8, she will offer Parliament a free vote to repeal the ban on fox hunting.

On Bank Holiday Monday the Make Hunting History march, which is expected to be the largest public protest of the entire General Election campaign, saw thousands make their feelings on the subject known. The protest left Cavendish Square at about 1.30pm, proceeding down Regents Street, Haymarket and around Trafalgar SquareAntihuntdemo28-5-17.jpg before entering Whitehall.
The event was organised by an alliance of anti-hunt campaign groups and individuals, and speakers included actor and animal rights activist Peter Egan, wildlife campaigner and writer Dominic Dyer and and TV presenter Bill Oddie. He compared the possibility of changing the law on fox hunting to changing speed limits just because "people like driving fast". Speaking ahead of the rally, Oddie said: "I cannot believe that I'm standing here today saying to the Prime Minister this is ridiculous. It's a bit like some years ago they had a speed limit and they decided 'Speed limit? 30. On the motorways we'll go up to 60'. And then 15 years later somebody said 'Can we change it?' And they said 'Why?' - 'Well people like driving fast''... We'll change the law for no sensible reason except purely there are people who want to go fox hunting." Egan said at the protest: “I’ve been voting now since 1966, for 51 years I’ve been voting for various governments. None of them have ever got everything right, in fact some of them have got nothing right, most of them get perhaps one thing right. In 2004, Tony Blair’s government got it right when he brought in the hunting ban In 2002, Theresa May in opposition got it right when she described her party as the nasty party. In 2017 she’s about to get it right because they are becoming the nasty party if they vote to repeal the hunting ban.”
Speaking on the campaign trail in Yorkshire earlier this month, Prime Minister Theresa May said she would push for Parliament to vote on the reversing the ban having “always been in favour” of the controversial country sport. She said: “This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against. As it happens personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting and we maintain out commitment - we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party - to allow a free vote. And that's what it will allow, would allow, Parliament the opportunity to take a decision on this."
Professor Andrew Knight, who is standing for the Animal Welfare Party against Mrs May in the constituency of Maidenhead, said it is "profoundly disturbing" that the Prime Minister thinks fox hunting is acceptable. "We need to have leaders of our country that have basic compassion for animals and other vulnerable members of our society," he said. "Theresa May clearly, I think, is unfit to lead this country, if she clearly and demonstrably lacks these basic qualities."
 
                                     

S.Herefordshire FH paying £55k to hunt with Ledbury next season, says HIT

28-5-17   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team   SPOT THE DIFFERENCE COMPETITION    The South Herefordshire Hunt have tried to pedal the myth of an amalgamation with the Ledbury Hunt. Nobody is fooled anymore by the smoke and mirrors magic trick that Patrick Darling is trying to pull. With no kennels, no hounds, no Huntsman and no supporters anymore this is a total capitulation, not an amalgamation.

The dregs of what is left of the SHH need someone to hunt with next season so they can get their perverted pleasures from seeing animals chased and killed. They are paying the Ledbury £55,000 per year to do this and keep up the pretence of amalgamation.

 

Wildlife rescue centre badly damaged by online attacks from hunters

      BexhillWildlifeRescuedamagedbyonlineattackfromhunters27-5-17.jpg 

 
Melbreak FH supporter/rapist who punched sab given 80 hours CSO

Had previously served 4 year sentence for raping a woman

26-5-17   Facebook - National Dis-Trust   On May 19th 2017 a Melbreak Foxhounds supporter pleaded guilty to assault by beating after he attacked a hunt monitor at a meet of the Melbreak Foxhounds in the Ennerdale area. Carl McGrady punched the monitor after McGrady's accomplice attempted to steal his camera. The monitor had to be taken to hospital where he had to have stitches. McGrady has several previous convictions, including a four year sentence for rape in 2011. After hearing about the assault, the National Trust, which licences the Melbreak Foxhounds, banned the hunt from its land for A WHOLE 24 HOURS! Why is the National Trust licensing violent behaviour from wildlife criminals? The Melbreak Foxhounds pay on average around £10 per meet on National Trust land, and have been filmed illegally hunting and killing foxes on numerous occasions. The National Trust condones violence and wildlife crime by licensing this Hunt.

The report of McGrady's unsuccessful appeal against his rape conviction, in 2011, is here.

27-5-17   Facebook - Lancashire Hunt sabs  VIDEO from meet on 10th January 2017  Melbreak Foxhounds supporters attempt to steal a camera from a monitor who is a passenger in a vehicle. Failing to do so, Carl McGrady punches the monitor, who has to be taken to hospital for treatment. McGrady pleaded guilty to assault by beating [and was given an 80 hour CSO]

  MelbreakFHsupporterpunchessabaftertriedtostealcamera10-1-17.jpg MelbreakFHSabattackedbysupporter10-1-17.jpg

 

Isle of Wight FH terrierman fined after clash with sabs

  isleofwightfhsupporterfined80afterclashwithsab26-5-17.jpg 

POWAperson adds - In addition to the above, a sab was attacked by an I0W FH supporter and 'whacked over the head' in March this year.  

Court says Essex Farmers FH must pay £131k after illegally evicting a farmer


25-5-17   Daily Express
   Essex fox hunt punished with £100,000 court fees after booting farmer off land    A HUNT has been slapped with crushing court fees after booting a farmer off land his family had worked for generations.  A fox hunt was slapped with £100,000 in court fees after booting a farmer off his land. 
Terence Grimes, and his father before him, had farmed near Burnham-on-Crouch, in Essex, as tenants. But the trustees at the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt [left] wanted more cash and granted the lease to someone else in September 2012.  The Hunt sent crucial papers to the wrong address, where Mr Grimes hadn't lived for seven EssexFarmersUnionFH.jpgyears. But the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt granted the lease to someone else in 2012.

Mr Grimes left the land “under silent protest”, but later took legal action and has now won his appeal case at the Court of Appeal in London. It follows that the notice to quit was not validly served on him and his tenancy was not validly terminated. Now top judges have ruled his tenancy had not been validly terminated and he had been “wrongfully dispossessed”.
The trustees of the Hunt, which now operates as a “country riding club”, must now pay £31,500 in damages. And, on top of the that, they must pay £100,000 towards Mr Grimes’s lawyers' bills by 2 June. The Hunt sent crucial papers to the wrong address, where Mr Grimes hadn't lived for seven years.
Lord Justice Henderson ruled he had never been validly served with notice to quit the land. That was because the notice was sent to a property where Mr Grimes had not lived since 2005. He had given notice in writing of his move to Maple Way, Burnham, but the crucial document had been served on the wrong address. The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Beatson and Lady Justice Macur, allowed an appeal against an earlier ruling in the trustees' favour. Lord Justice Henderson concluded: “It follows that the notice to quit was not validly served on him and his tenancy was not validly terminated.”

 

HIT refutes SFFH claim that their hounds are alive and well

24-5-17  Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    Update on shot hounds...    It's been ten days since we announced the shocking news that we believed that the SHH had shot all their hounds, bar four. This is what has happened since...

Patrick Darling (hunt chair) rushed to various local media outlets the next day. He said that he could produce all the hounds and take local journalists to see them. He threatened to take legal action if we didn't remove the post from our page. We stood firm and informed Mr Darling that we had in our possession comprehensive records of all the SHH hounds since 2009. We also have all the microchip numbers and hound names.

This was the standard of proof that we set. Mr Darling probably hoped to take journalists to see a pack of foxhounds somewhere but given the standard of proof required has failed to do that. Local journalists have said that Mr Darling has stopped answering their calls about this.

We leave it to the public to consider what has happened here, but bear in mind that if somebody accused you of shooting your dog, how long would it take you to prove them wrong. Please share this update.

                                     

Anti-hunt NT members present resolution to Trust to stop licensing 'trail hunts' 

23-5-17   Swindon Advertiser   Hunting campaigners take their fight to Swindon's National Trust HQ A GROUP of National Trust members have brought their campaign to end trail hunting to the organisation's Swindon headquarters [pic right].

The 2004 Hunting Act banned traditional fox hunting where live animals were chased by packs of dogs for the entertainment and enjoyment of participants. The legislation has resulted in more than 430 prosecutions since it came into effect, the equivalent of one every 10 days. But while the Act banned fox hunting, it did continue toNationalTrustantispresentresolutiontobantrailhuntingonNTland23-5-17.jpg permit trail hunting which is an adapted version of the sport. It involves the use of an artificially laid scent, usually fox, hare or rabbit based, to provide hounds with a path to follow. In theory it avoids the suffering and killing of foxes, but campaigners argue that the trail hunts often end with the dogs coming across foxes - participants say by accident - and that animals are still being killed.

The National Trust, based in Swindon next to the Designer Outlet, issue licences for trail hunts to take place on a number of their properties across the UK. A group of Trust members is now seeking to use the organisation's procedures to challenge the policy by submitting a resolution, supported by 50 members, to be debated later this year.

Helen Beynon, campaigner and author of the resolution, said: "As members of the National Trust who support the majority of the positive work they do - notably their recent commitment to increase efforts for declining wildlife - we have been dismayed by the constant media coverage given to stories of blatant criminal bloodsports on National Trust land. Our resolution to permanently bring an end to these so called trail hunt licenses has been submitted. "I'm pleased to see that in addition to this, an ongoing petition calling for the National Trust to drop this trail hunting sham has now surpassed 100,000 signatures."

A National Trust spokesman said: "A members' resolution has been received by the National Trust concerning trail hunting. Members are entitled to present resolutions each year and, if they are supported by a minimum of 50 National Trust members, those resolutions are then discussed and voted on by members at our Annual General Meeting in the Autumn. The Hunting Act 2004 made hunting wild animals with dogs illegal and it is banned on all public and privately owned land in England and Wales. The Act allowed what is known as trail hunting to continue. Trail hunting involves laying a scent for hunts to follow, effectively simulating a traditional hunt but crucially without foxes being deliberately chased or killed. The National Trust does licence trail hunts in some areas and at certain times of the year, where it is compatible with our aims of public access and conservation. We expect our licence holders to comply fully with the law and the terms of our licence. We will, and have, taken strong action (including suspension, revoking and refusing to grant further licences) against licence holders who breach their licence conditions or the law."

 

S.Herefordshire five are re-bailed yet again by the CPS
A year on, still no charges in cub-killing scandal

22-5-17   Hereford Times  Five arrested in South Herefordshire Hunt investigation have been re-bailed   FIVE people who were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty at the South Herefordshire Hunt's kennels in Wormelow have been re-bailed. The police are investigating an alleged offence in May last year.

The first two people, a 37-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, both from Hereford, were first arrested last May. A 37-year-old man from Abergavenny was then arrested in June, and a 53-year-old woman from Abergavenny and 45-year-old man from Powys were arrested in August. All five were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and have been rebailed until June. 


Anti arrested at PM camaign rally after 'shouts ''Kill May"'
Man denies wrongdoing and is released without charge
22-5-17   ITV News   Fox hunting protester arrested after shouting 'kill May' as PM arrived at campaign event in Wales   An anti-fox hunting protester has been arrested after shouting "save our wildlife, kill May" as the prime minister arrived at a election campaign event in north Wales. The 25-year-old, who said his name was Connor, played a hunting bugle before shouting out as Theresa May was driven to a community centre in Wrexham. He continued to demonstrate before police grabbed him and carried him away to nearby police vans. The man was later released without charge.The protester had yelled "this is the fascist state that we are living in under Theresa May's regime" as he protested his innocence during his arrest. The man said he was protesting about the repeal of the fox hunting act, fracking, austerity, "the lot" and added: "I've not done nothing wrong." Another demonstrator told police the man had "done nothing wrong" and described their response as a "farce" as they pulled him and then carried him into a van.North Wales Police Superintendent Nick Evans said a crowd of around 50 people had gathered, including onlookers and protesters. "In the main they were well-behaved; however, one particular person, despite a number of warnings, was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace," he said. "The man was arrested due to his behaviour and conveyed to a local police station. He has since been released without charge."
Mrs May did not appear to be affected by the nearby protest as she was greeted outside Gresford Memorial Hall. The prime minister has pledged to call a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting if she is re-elected. The Conservative leader said she has "always been in favour" of the blood sport, which was outlawed in 2004. 
POWAperson adds - We are assured that what the protester shouted was actually 'Cull' not 'Kill' May, presumably meaning vote her out of office.
     

Sabs stop Northants MH from hunting

20-5-17  Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   Us sabs are busy little bees. Even when the main hunting season is several months away we still keep our ears to the ground and get on with other stuff to help our native wildlife. However when you get a tip off it's time to get back into full on sab mode and spring into action. That's what happened today. We received some intelligence that the Northants Mink Hounds would be out hunting so a few calls later and we were hot footing it over to the meet which was at Tuckey Farm just south west of Winslow.

Mink packs are the last remnants of the Otter packs which used to hunt Otters before they became a protected species. Although they claim to hunt Mink it should be noted this is still illegal. Also otters are making a huge comeback in our rivers and they are displacing the Mink. It should also be noted that at this meet the farm had dug a commercial fishing lake and spent a lot of money on installing an anti-Otter fence to protect their fish stocks so they were fully aware that Otters were in the area. We also noted an Otter slide with prints leading to Claydon Brook where they would be hunting. Hounds also can't tell the difference and just putting a pack of hounds up a river course in the middle of breeding season is nothing more than environmental vandalism.

A small B&B team inserted upstream to monitor and shortly after we were happy to be joined by another team from Nottingham and Northants Sabs. By this time the assorted coffin dodgers and sicko's that were the followers had gathered along the river bank. We made our presence known with the Otter hounds actively hunting the river. It was pretty had work for the poor hounds, the overnight rain had swelled the river and it was running faster than normal.

The hunters, now realising they had been well and truly rumbled immediately pulled the hounds out of the water and headed back to the meet. Needless to say they weren't very happy and the language was enough to make a sailor blush. Sad thing is they had a young girl with them who had to not only take part in a sick illegal blood sport but also witness her parents spouting a tirade of 4 letter abuse. Such charmers!

With the hounds safely packed back in the hound van we retired to revel in our glory in the sun with the obligatory cake. Job well done.

Pics below -  1/ Hound struggling in swollen river    2/ The throwbacks 

 NorthantsMHHoundinswollenriver19-5-17.jpg NorthantsMHOn9-5-17.jpg

 

Ledbury FH terrierman charged with affray aftter attacking sab

18-5-17  Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs   We've just been informed by West Mercia Police that Ross Loader, Malvern tree surgeon and Ledbury Hunt terrierman has been charged with 'Affray' today.
December 28th last year was an intense day with our sabs at the North Cotswold Hunt assaulted by hunt staff while Bristol Hunt Saboteurs were being assaulted by Loader and the other Ledbury Hunt terriermen and supporters. The Hunt had been hunting in Castlemorton and Bristol Sabs were with the hounds when they were attacked by the terriermen. Knowing that there was a sett nearby our sabs returned to the scene, while Bristol kept tabs on the hounds. Sure enough the terriermen were attempting to dig out a fox from the sett. Angry at being disturbed they threatened our sabs and, following a short stand-off, filled in the hole they had started to dig and left.
Pic below - Loader attacking sab -  
        LedburyFHterriermanattackssab28-12-16.jpg
 
 

'Biggest ever' anti fox hunting demo scheduled for 29th May

18-5-17   Facebook - Dominic Dyer   Thousands confirmed & rising fast. If you care be there, join biggest ever anti fox hunt protest in London on Bank Holiday Monday 29 May.

    Antihuntcampaignday29-5-17.jpg

  

Police drop Surrey Union FH rider assault on sab case

18-5-17   Facebook - Guildford Hunt Saboteurs   More hunt violence given the all clear by police   3 months ago one of our sabs was assualted by Lulu Hutley (Joint master of the Surrey Union Hunt) with a whip. However today the police decided not to investigate any further due to lack of evidence despite there being a clear video of the entire incident. This was hardly a surprise, Surrey police's stance on this issue has been made very clear.

Please contact Surrey Police on the below links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SurreyPolice/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/SurreyPolice (@SurreyPolice)

     SurreyUnionHPolicedropriderassaultonsabcase18-5-17.jpg

 

May confirms will hold free vote on repealing Hunting Act

16-5-17  Independent   Theresa May says she supports fox hunting because other ways of killing foxes are 'cruel' - The PM wants to hold a vote on bringing back the animal killings   Theresa May [below right] has defended her support for fox hunting, arguing that foxes must be killed and that hunting them with dogs on horseback is the most humane way of doing so. The Prime Minister said she had “always supported fox hunting” and that she would give Parliament a vote on bringing back the animal killings. “Some of the other forms of dealing with foxes can be cruel, so my view is it should be a free vote for Parliament so members of parliament individually should be able to exercise their view on this matter,” she said.

Fox hunting with hounds was outlawed by Tony Blair's Labour government in 2004 but successive Conservative manifestos have pledged to bring the animal killings back. A plot by pro-hunt Tories to bring back the spot was revealed in a leaked email this month. Lord Mancroft, the chair of the Council of Hunting Associations, describedTheresaMay.jpg the 8 June vote as “the chance we have been waiting for” to overturn the ban.

A large Tory majority in the House of Commons would likely give pro-hunt Conservatives insulation from any rebellion by anti-hunt Conservatives to stop the repeal of the ban. David Cameron had planned to hold a vote on repealing the ban but never did so after the threat of rebellion reared its head. Ms May said she did not consider the issue “important” and that MPs would be able to decide what happened to the animals if she became PM.

This is a subject on which you are either for it or against it. I have always supported fox hunting, but clearly I'm not saying I'm going to bring it back,” she told a Facebook Live session hosted by ITV News. What I'm saying is we will have a free vote in Parliament so MPs will be able to make up their own mind on this issue. This isn't the most important issue facing people at this election. I think the most important issue is about who's going to provide the leadership for the future to take us through Brexit and beyond."

A poll conducted in the run-up to Boxing Day 2016 found that opposition to fox hunting has hit an all-time high. A full 84 per cent of the public now believe fox hunting should not be made legal again, according to a survey by Ipsos MORI.

18-5-17   Daily Mail   Outrage as Theresa May confirms a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting WILL be held - Manifesto pledge will outrage animal rights activists ahead of the snap election   Theresa May provoked outrage today as she confirmed she would call a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting. The League Against Cruel Sports said there was 'no justification' for scrapping the law against hunting with dogs. The lobby group said the controversial laws should instead be properly enforced, insisting the public as a whole did not back hunting. Mrs May promised a free vote on Government laws for the measure - but did not put a timescale on when the vote would be held.

The Prime Minister has said she would vote to lift the ban on fox hunting despite never having taken part in a hunt - insisting it was less cruel than other ways of controlling foxes. But it is hard to forecast how the new Commons might split on the issue. The 2015 Parliament was thought never likely to endorse repealing the ban.

Eduardo Gonçalves, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: 'We're disappointed to see the commitment to a free vote on the Hunting Act included in the manifesto given the strong support the ban on hunting has among Conservative MPs and Conservative voters. 'Hopefully any attempt to repeal, weaken or replace the Hunting Act will be prevented by those members of all parties who oppose the killing of animals for fun. I think most people can see through attempts to claim that hunting is somehow good for the animals that are killed, and these figures show the reality. The intention of the Hunting Act was to stop animals suffering because of hunting – and if the law had been properly enforced we believe it would have helped up to 2.8 million animals.'

He added: 'Contrary to what the Prime Minister mistakenly said, anyone who feels the need to kill foxes should never use hunting with dogs, as it is in fact one of the cruellest methods available. This is due to the long chases of the target animal involved. There is enough evidence to suggest that hunted animals suffer whilst being chased by dogs regardless of how they are then eventually killed.' The Prime Minister has said she would vote to lift the ban on fox hunting despite never having taken part in a hunt.

Speaking earlier in the election campaign Mrs May said she would personally vote to repeal the ban. She said: 'This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against. 'As it happens personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting and we maintain out commitment - we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party - to allow a free vote. And that's what it will allow, Parliament the opportunity to take a decision on this.'

The manifesto pledge said: 'We will grant a free vote, on a government bill in government time, to give parliament the opportunity to decide the future of the Hunting Act.' David Cameron was thwarted in his attempt to call a vote on repealing fox hunting after the 2015 election. While he also promised a free vote he sought to win and the SNP announcing they would vote against it left the measure ripe for defeat and the motion was withdrawn.

 

S.Herefordshire FH asks 'false allegations' be removed from Facebook

16-5-17   Hereford Times  South Herefordshire Hunt asks for false allegations on Facebook to be removed   SOUTH Herefordshire Hunt has asked for a Facebook post to be taken down which makes false allegations about the Hunt's hounds. The Hunt Investigation Team claimed in a post on Facebook that all of the Hunt's hounds had been put down, besides four of the animals. But chairman of the Hunt, Patrick Darling, said this is groundless and false and the hounds referred to are in kennels elsewhere. He invited members of the editorial team at Hereford Times to visit the kennels and see the hounds.

Mr Darling has got in touch with the Hunt Investigation Team and asked for them to take the post down. The kennels at the Hunt's base in Wormelow are currently being leased to a third party, not related to hunting, as the hunt placed itself under a voluntary suspension while a criminal investigation continues.The investigation started last year and five people were arrested following an alleged offence of animal cruelty at the Wormelow kennels. They are currently on bail until a date this month. 


S.Herefordshire FH said to have killed all but four of their hounds

15-5-17  Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team   Shocking news has reached us   'The South Herefordshire Hunt have shot all their hounds'. We received this message from a highly trusted source from within the Hunt. This source has provided accurate intelligence throughout. They went on to clarify that 4 had been spared, to make sure the bloodline survives presumably. We estimate that 30+ dogs will have been shot (they are normally shot in the head).

This is devastating news, no attempts were made to rehome these dogs and it is just the latest example of the brutal and callous disregard that Hunts generally and the South Herefordshire in particularly have towards the lives of animals. These are just 4 of the hounds - we don't know of their individual fate. We also know that the kennels are empty of hounds and hunt personnel in preparation for the sale and redevelopment of the site. Please share this story.

    Pic below - Four of the hounds - not known if any of them have survived

    S.HerefordshireFH4ofthepackallbut4killed15-5-17.jpg 

15-5-17  Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs    The South Herefordshire Hunt have killed all but 4 of their pack according to sources. One couple sent to the Ledbury, we do not know about the others. This is following a year of not hunting because of the ongoing police investigation concerning cruelty at the kennels. Killing unwanted foxhounds is something most hunts do. Hounds are culled if they don't fit in, are too old, or there are too many of them for the hunt's requirements. Hounds are also victims and they were probably terrified as they were taken out one by one to be shot.

Pic below - The S.Herefordshire pack before they stopped hunting 

    S.HerefordshireFHThepackallbut4killed15-5-17.jpg 

15-5-17  Facebook - Welsh Border Hunt Sabs     So - the crows have been gathering around the now redundant SHFH kennels- but not for road kill. A mass murder is alleged to have taken place very recently of all but 2 couple of their hounds-(one of which, we are told, the Ledbury hunt now have and not sure of the whereabouts of the other). The plot indeed thickens! It would appear the SHFH have now decided to form a "Hunt Club" with the intention of inviting other packs to come and hunt their country- obviously pocketing what ever revenue that would bring in. And lets not forget their new forged allegiance with their very "special Friends The Ledbury!" Clearly there is unrest amongst the creatures of the countryside as the birds, big and small continue to chatter, alerting all to the evil in our midst.....

                                     

9 year old girl killed in accident while hunting with the Cotswold FH
Inquest hears criticism of level of supervision of child riders

12-5-17  
Swindon Advertiser   Greater supervision needed for youngsters riding as part of a hunt, inquest hears   The level of supervision of children at a hunt meeting where a nine year old girl died after being kicked by a horse was 'far short of what could reasonably be expected,' an inquest was told. Health and Safety expert Philip Park, who investigated the tragic death of Bonnie Armitage, said he believes children under eleven taking part in hunts should be supervised by adults on a one to one basis.

The inquest has heard that tragic Bonnie, of Faringdon, Oxon, was one of five children all under the supervision of one adult rider, Melissa Kennedy, at the meeting of the Cotswold Hunt in Miserden, nr Stroud, Glos, on April 2nd last year. Bonnie was a pupil at St Hugh's preparatory school in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, where her father is deputy head. Bonnie was riding her Shetland pony, Lindsay, when she was kicked in the chest by a large horse called Harvey which was being ridden ahead of her by farmer and circus owner Toti Gifford, the inquest jury at Gloucester has been told.The Gloucester inquest jury returned a conclusion of accidental death.

Mr Park, a manager at Stroud district council, told the inquest "It is my view that the level of supervision fell short of what could be reasonably expected. My conclusion was that had Bonnie been actively supervised by a responsible adult who was in close contact with her there was a possibility she would have been instructed not to get too close to the horse in front. That could have had the effect of preventing the injury. If she had not got too close to the horse in front of her it could not have kicked her."

He told the inquest he believed it would be helpful in future if Hunts set a stipulated level of competence for child participants. It would also be helpful to have guidance on the ratios of children to supervising adults, he said. "I did not see any evidence that the Cotswold Hunt makes any enquiry about the competence of child riders. They rely in parents to make the decision themselves on the level of supervision that children should have at a hunt. "It is important for the Hunt to make a decision about the level of supervision otherwise there will be no consistency in the way it is implemented."

Asked to expand more on his views of what should happen at hunts where young children are taking part he said "Close supervision would mean one to one - one adult supervising one child. I would expect that adult to stay with the child as much as possible during the hunt. "I accept there is a chaotic and fast moving atmosphere but an adult could exercise more control over one child than one adult in charge of two or three children. I would suggest one to one supervision is reasonably practicable."

James Chamberlain, who was senior Master of the Hunt at the time but has now retired, told the jury agreed that the Hunt had not made any rules about children taking part. "If poor Bonnie had been supervised one to one I fail to see how it would have made any difference," he said. He believed that the real issue was the competence of both the young rider and the horse, he said. When he took his own children hunting in the past he had always made sure they stayed behind him, he added. But it had to be remembered, he said, that 'horses are dangerous at both ends' and riders should all be aware from an early age of the need to keep space around them at all times.

Mr Gifford told the inquest he was cantering across a field on his horse Harvey - 'a lovely, calm, gentle giant' - when the tragedy happened as Bonnie rode up alongside him. "My horse went irregular," he said. "He just didn't feel right. Then I heard a yell. I looked back. My horse is really big and there was this really little horse, the Shetland, underneath my feet almost. It went really fast, past me, and then carried on. Then I looked back and I saw Bonnie. At the time the incident happened I was going forward, looking ahead. You never think there is anything behind you because you are going forward. I just heard this yell. When I looked back she (Bonnie) was still landing. I pulled up. It's a bit of a blur really. I can't really remember....I just jumped off my horse. I didn't hang on to him but he followed me back. I went over. Then others all arrived. I can't really remember what happened, it was such a mad.....I grabbed all the horses and led them away. Then she was lying there. Big blue eyes... The emergency services and ambulance came and then we realised a helicopter was also coming."

He said his horse had been hunting for several years and is a 'fantastic animal.' I think it (what happened) was an instinctive thing, he was a bit shocked or frightened or spooked. I think, I don't know." He added "At the moment it happened it felt like the horse had gone lame. I thought maybe I had gone into a hole or the horse had stumbled. I didn't think he bucked. I just thought he had put his foot down a hole or lost a shoe or something had happened or he had stumbled on something."...

Det Inspector Wayne Ussher of Gloucestershire police said he had investigated the tragedy and concluded that the accident 'could not have been prevented.' "She was following the main body of riders in company with other children and under the care of a responsible adult. Her company approached the rear of a much larger horse which took an irregular stride and struck her. She died as a result of injury sustained from a kick to the chest by the horse but in the circumstances presented to me it could not have been prevented."

The inquest at Gloucester has heard Bonnie was one of about fifty riders at the last meeting of the season of the Cotswold Hunt at Miserden House. A jury of ten people has been sworn in to hear the case. The inquest heard a statement from Bonnie's dad, teacher Nick Armitage, formally identifying his daughter and describing her as a 'bright girl, fit and healthy, a good runner, she enjoyed everything... She was a very competent rider. She could walk, trot, canter and gallop, She had been hunting many times at different hunts. She would sometimes be out for many hours. She had hunted off a lead rein for two years. " He said the pony was eight years old and was 'experienced, dependable, safe and doesn't spook.'...

The jury heard that after the incident paramedics and an emergency doctor battled for 45 minutes to resuscitate Bonnie in the field before she was airlifted to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. But she was certified dead 15 minutes after arrival in the hospital. After a retirement of one hour the jury of ten people brought in a verdict of accidental death without any further comment. The coroner, Katy Skerrett, said she would consider over the next ten days whether to make recommendations about a minimum level of competence being required for child riders at hunts, whether safety equipment should be a requirement and whether children should be supervised...

POWAperson comments - We send our condolences to Bonnie's family and friends for their tragic loss. However, we believe it is simply wrong for Hunts to induct children, often much younger than nine, into the brutality of hunting with hounds and think it tantamount to child abuse. It is, of course, also inherently dangerous.
 

Labour Shadow Chancellor says HA must be enforced & strengthened

12-5-17  Ellen Hope Cobb   EXCLUSIVE film with John McDonnell, Rachael Maskell, and Anna Turley on keeping and enforcing the Hunting Act. For fox sake vote Labour on 8th June and remember to sign the petition.  
 
                                     

CA to pay £62k after N.Ireland Hunt invades lofts and kills racing pigeons

11-5-17  Belfast Telegraph   Hunt club loses appeal against £62,000 payout over dead pigeons   The Countryside Alliance has lost its appeal against a Co Armagh pigeon fancier being awarded £62,000 damages for the alleged slaughter of his stock by hunt club hounds. Senior judges in Belfast today rejected arguments that the killing of 59 racing birds by dogs breaking into Maurice Weir's premises on the Kinnego Road in Loughgall eight years ago never happened.

Kinnegohuntmichaelweirawarded62kafterhoundskilledprizepigeons11-5-17.jpgLawyers for the Alliance suggested it had been a fraudulent and fabricated claim by a man who destroyed his own pigeons by wringing their necks. But after the Court of Appeal threw out all grounds of challenge Mr Weir [left] declared himself fully vindicated. He said: "My credibility was called into question, and I'm just happy that it's been dismissed as tittle-tattle."

Mr Weir sued the Alliance over the alleged intrusion into his property by the Kinnego Grange and Canary Hunt Club's animals. At a previous hearing he recalled emerging from having lunch in February 2009 to discover "a bloodbath". Up to 15 hounds had broken into lofts and aviaries and killed pigeons highly sought for their ability to fly home from as far away as France, according to his account. He said he saw dead and injured birds lying on the ground and in dogs' mouths. Mr Weir also told of hearing crunching noises and witnesses two hounds pulling a pigeon apart as he tried to chase the pack off.

At the time of the incident he had planned to start up a small stud business at his home, the court heard. He sought damages for the killing of his pigeons, consequential loss, the cost of repairing his aviaries and a further payout for distress and injury to feelings. Counsel for Mr Weir claimed the huntsmen were negligent in failing to control their dogs.

In February last year a High Court judge held that the plaintiff was an honest and straightforward witness whose account was corroborated by others at the scene. She ruled that the hounds had been on his property, gained entry to the lofts and aviaries and, on the balance of probabilities, killed the pigeons. Mr Weir was awarded £59,580 in damages, with a further £2,500 for distress and injury to feelings.

The Alliance sought to have her verdict overturned, arguing again that the hunt's dogs were never on the premises. In a wide-ranging challenge its barristers questioned the credibility of Mr Weir and an independent expert. To succeed, according to the three appeal judges, the Alliance had to establish the hounds had no propensity to attack or kill pigeons, were not on Mr Weir's land and that the scenario he depicted was "a complete farrago of lies". However, Lord Justice Gillen held there was ample evidence for the conclusion that the dogs can inflict heavy losses on the birds. He also ruled: "We are therefore unable to conclude that (the trial judge) has gone plainly wrong in arriving at the conclusion that on the balance of probabilities the incident alleged by the plaintiff did occur." Rejecting all other grounds advanced, he confirmed the appeal was being dismissed and awarded costs to Mr Weir.

                                     

Leak reveals hunters asked to make huge push for Tory landslide
CA vice-chair mobilises Hunts to ensure Hunting Act can be repealed
Says they have assurance repeal vote will be in Tory manifesto

8-5-17   Daily Mirror    'This could be the chance we've been waiting for': Fox hunt bosses' leaked Tory campaign email in full - The email urges hunt masters to “mobilise supporters” and campaign for pro-hunting Tories in marginal seats   Tonight, the Mirror revealed fox hunt masters' secret plan to round up support for Theresa May, because they believe a Tory landslide would lead to the fox hunting ban being scrapped. The email, sent to Hunts across the country by Tory peer Lord Mancroft [right], urges Hunt Masters to “mobilise supporters” and campaign for pro-hunting Tories in marginal seats. He said a Tory majority of 50 or more MPs should be enough to secure a repeal of the 2004 Hunting Act in a Parliamentary vote later this year.LordBenjaminMancroft_2.jpg “This is the chance we have been waiting for,” Lord Mancroft wrote.

Here's the email in full - 'While anything can change in a six-week election campaign, and we know that the polls cannot be relied on, there is a real chance that on 8th June, Theresa May could achieve a majority significantly in excess of the seventeen seats she currently has. A majority of fifty or more would give us a real opportunity for repeal of the Hunting Act (HA), or perhaps an alternative legislative measure – but only if that leaves hunting in a better position than it is now. It must be clearly understood that repeal is our primary objective, but also that politics is “the art of the possible”, and we will take whichever option is the most advantageous to hunting when the time comes. It will only become clear what our best option is after 8th June.

First, we need a cast iron manifesto commitment from the Conservative Party, as we had in the last four election manifestos. Like everyone else, we will have to wait until the manifesto is published on 8th May to be certain, but Simon Hart MP and I have received assurances that such a commitment will be carried forward to the 2017 manifesto. I have made it clear that we will only provide support on that basis, and that if the manifesto does not contain an acceptable commitment, we will withdraw our support.

It is important that everyone understands why the idea that “the Government did not honour the manifesto commitments after the 2010 and 2015 elections” is incorrect. On both occasions David Cameron made it clear that he would authorise and fully endorse a vote in a manner, and at a time, of our choosing.

During the Coalition Government a vote could only take place if the Liberal Democrats agreed, which they did not. After 2015 the Scottish Nationalists reversed their earlier commitment to abstain from any votes that did not impact Scotland, and opposed the proposed Statutory Instrument, and consequently the Government Chief Whip did not think we could win a vote in the House of Commons.

All the advice we received was that we should not risk such a vote unless we had a reasonable expectation of winning. We therefore concluded it was not in hunting’s best interests to put the matter to a vote. I am sure that was the correct decision. We have repeatedly made clear that we need a Government that has both a manifesto commitment to repeal the HA, and a big enough majority to get repeal through the Commons and then the Lords.

It now looks, unexpectedly, as if there is a very real chance we could get such a Government. While nothing in politics is certain, this is by far the best opportunity we have had since the ban, and is probably the best we are likely to get in the foreseeable future. On that basis, we must do everything we possibly can to maximise the chance of getting repeal of the HA. I am confident that every Master will give the leadership and direction that our community needs at this seminal moment. Vote OK, under the direction of George Bowyer, has already started to plan what we are all going to do during the campaign. A number of constituencies do not yet have candidates, so there is a role for us in making sure that only candidates supportive of hunting are selected. Vote OK will advise how best to achieve this.

We will only help candidates who give us an unequivocal commitment to support repeal when the time comes. Nor do we need to help candidates in “safe seats” with large majorities. Instead we will concentrate on those seats where we can make the most difference. Unless specifically advised to the contrary, every Hunt should assume that it will be needed to assist with political work and start making arrangements to mobilise supporters now. Please make sure that your Hunt has an active and effective Vote-OK Coordinator in place and that they are making regular contact with your Regional Vote-OK Director (RVOD). Please do not wait to hear where your Hunt should go, but contact them as soon as possible. If you do not know who your RVOD is, contact George Bowyer by email at [address redacted].

In the face of everything that has happened over the last two decades, the hunting community has never given up fighting for our sport, for our hounds, and to enable our children and their children to enjoy both, as we have. This is the chance we have been waiting for. We have six weeks to show, yet again, what we are made of, and our undying commitment to our way of life. We have six weeks to win back all that has been taken from us. Masters, if ever there was a time to give a lead, this is it. Please don’t waste a single day of those six weeks.

Thank you. Benjamin Mancroft   Chairman, Council of Hunting Associations

POWAperson adds -  Old Etonian Lord Mancroft became JM of the Vale of the White Horse FH in 1987, the same year in which he inherited his father's baronetcy, and held the Mastership for 11 years. In 1992, he became vice-chair of the British Field Sports Society and then a Director, when it changed its name to the more user-friendly Countryside Alliance. He was made vice-chair of the CA in 2005. His somewhat lurid past includes a time as a heroin addict, during which time he acquired a conviction for theft. In February 2008, Mancroft claimed that NHS nurses who had treated him at the Royal United Hospital in Bath were "grubby, drunken and promiscuous". The hospital's Chief Executive, James Scott, called the accusations "damaging and distressing", and requested that the peer retract them. Mancroft has so far refused to do this, or to apologise. Nice guy.

It's no surprise that a commitment for a repeal vote will be in the Conservative manifesto. The leadership has always seemed determined to ignore the mass of public opinion, including an estimated 72% of their own voters, and push through Hunting Act repeal to please their bloodsports loving friends if they got the opportunity. They probably thought that had come with the surprise election result in 2015 and must have been aghast to find that many of the new intake of Tory MPs refused to support repeal. They may find the same applies to the potential newbies this time round. Whether or not, they will face massive parliamentary and public opposition and risk reviving the 'Nasty Party' image, just to get rid of a law that does not seem to much inhibit organised Hunts anyway. Doubtless Vote OK will once more send out hunt supporters into marginal with instructions to wear plain clothes and not bring up hunting on the doorsteps.  


                                    

Isle of Wight FH appeals for funds to fix 'dire' finances

5-5-17   Isle of Wight Country Press 

    IsleofWightFHAppealsforfundstofixdirefinances5-17.jpg 

 

Three Derwent FH hunt servants charged with illegal hunting

4-5-17   Wildlife Guardian   Three Derwent Hunt members charged with illegal hunting   Three members of a North Yorkshire hunt have been charged with illegal hunting under Section 1 of the Hunting Act. Hunt master Sean McClarron, kennel-huntsman Jason Marles and whipper-in Damian Readman will appear at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on 22nd May 2017. The charges relate to an allegation that a fox was hunted on 1st November 2016 at Wilton, Thornton-le-Dale.Sean McClarron runs McClarron Insurance Brokers in Malton, whilst Jason Marles is the new huntsman of the Eggesford Hunt in Devon. Readman was formerly a whipper-in for the Staintondale Hunt.The Derwent Hunt’s chairman is Viscountess Diane Downe of Wykeham Abbey. Its directors include John Swiers, of Broxa Farm, near Scarborough, and Robert Sword the manager of the Dawnay Estates at Wykeham.
 
     DerwentFH.jpg

16-5-17  HSA Press Release    Three Employees of Derwent Hunt Charged with Illegal Hunting   Three employees of the Derwent hunt in North Yorkshire have been charged with illegal hunting. The three: Huntsman Sean McClarron, Kennel Huntsman Jason Marles (now huntsman at the Eggesford Hunt) and Whip Damian Readman are due to appear at Scarborough Magistrates Court on 22nd May.

This follows footage obtained on the 1st November 2016 by members of Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs, at a meet in Wilton in North Yorkshire. Towards the end of the day sabs filmed a fox being bolted from underground and then chased by the pack of hounds. The law stipulates that if a fox is dug out it must not be released to be further hunted.

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It's telling that in practically the same week that the Tories are promising a vote on repeal, the hunting community are showing how above the law they believe themselves to be. Who else, apart from the Conservatives, would choose to reward law breakers by repealing the very law they so blatantly ignore? Hunt saboteurs were around long before the Hunting Act and we'll continue to protect wildlife whatever the self serving lackeys of the Countryside Alliance in Westminster decide to do next."


                                    
RSPCA and Save Me come out for strengthening of the Hunting Act

3-5-17  Guardian Letters    Why the environment must be at the heart of the UK general election   Fears about climate change, air pollution, waste and possible changes to the Hunting Act concern readers from Brian May and Ranulph Fiennes to James Marsden of Much Marcle As party leaders prepare to sign off on their election manifestos, we would like to draw their attention to a policy that has the overwhelming support of the British public.

While 52% of British people voted to leave the EU, 84% want the ban on hunting foxes to stay, according to the latest Ipsos Mori data. In addition, 88% support the ban on deer-hunting, and 91% back the ban on hunting hares. Support for the ban among people in the countryside is at similar levels. Ipsos Mori projections indicate that there is a clear majority in favour of the ban in every constituency in England and Wales, including that of all party leaders, and that voters view more favourably those candidates who support the ban by a margin of more than seven to one over those who want it repealed.

We call on all party leaders not only to rule out any repeal, weakening or substitution of the Hunting Act but also to support its strengthening and enforcement.

The Hunting Act is one of the most popular pieces of legislation on the statute book today. We’re asking party leaders to send a clear, unambiguous message at this election that they fully intend to preserve Britain’s great natural heritage, and ensure that cruelty to animals in the name of “sport” remains firmly in the past.

Eduardo Goncalves Chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports, Jeremy Cooper Chief executive, RSPCA, Anne Brummer CEO, Save Me Trust, Philip Mansbridge Director, IFAW-UK, Bill Oddie President, League Against Cruel Sports, Dr Brian May Founder, Save Me Trust, Chris Packham, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Peter Egan...

POWAperson adds - Whilst POWA has been calling for strengthening of the Hunting Act since before the ink was dry, LACS and IFAW only committed to it 2-3 years ago. To our knowledge, however, this is the first time the RSPCA and SaveMe have publicly come out in favour, which is gratifying.

 
Revealed that Kimblewick FH btb outbreak advised on by vets close to the Hunt
Limited past national hound testing showed a 10% bTb infection rate 

2-5-17   Morethanjustbadgers.net    Kimblewick Cover Up?    I think most people will be aware by now that the Kimblewick Hunt had to destroy a large number of their hounds due to being infected with bTB. The original story broken by our friends over at Hounds Off can be read here. There is, justifiably a significant amount of concern from all sides regarding this news. Defra have always maintained that the risk of contracting bTB for pets and dogs in particular is very low but when you consider that hunting hounds are far from pets and live in conditions few would let their own companion animals live in you’ll start to get closer to the point.

Hounds are kept in a pack, they eat, sleep and live in close proximity. Most importantly they are fed on “fallen Stock”. These are animals which have died on surrounding farms for various and probably untested reasons, that the hunt will collect as a service to the farmers, which are in turn given to the hounds as food. In this instance it doesn’t take a genius to work out where the infection has come from. Another important point is the hunting country of the Kimblewick. Although based at their kennels just outside Aylesbury they cover parts of the counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Hertfordshire. An area which in total is roughly the size of Cornwall. Now consider that some of these counties are considered as part of the edge zones in the fight against bTB and the potential for the hounds to be spreading the disease over a vast area including those considered free from TB.

Obviously the risk of spreading the disease by hounds, regardless of the what Defra claim, is going to be high. The M.Bovis bacterium can survive for a significant time in the excrement left behind by the hounds, and they do leave a lot of it all over the place during a day's hunting and is obviously never cleaned up by the hunt staff. So what is being done? Well obviously the kennels were put under quarantine and the poor, affected hounds were shot. However that didn’t stop them from hunting. Visiting packs were used and hunted on the Kimblewick’s ground. Further revelations came to light when once again Hounds Off were sent a note which they in turn passed on to me. See below -

     KimblewickFHAnonnotetoHoundsOfbTbvetadvisorsclosetoHunt5-17.jpg 

There are only two listed vets in Berkhamstead I can find. St Johns and Clarke & Marshall. One would have to assume that is it one of these vets that are involved (feel free to contact them and find out which one). With all due respect to the practices shown you would have expected an organisation which specialised in bTB to be more appropriate. The equine vet in question, Bob Baskerville was originally a partner in the Baskerville Horgan & Partners practice which is now part of Hampden Vets. Although he is not currently listed as one of their equine staff, a quick Google search picks out several links between Baskerville and the Kimblewick so it’s safe to assume he is indeed a member of the Hunt.

Lord Garnider of Kimble is as described in the note, he was also chief spin doctor for the Countryside Alliance and is still an executive director. Clearly the hunting fraternity were so deeply concerned about the implications of a hunt having bTB infected hounds they brought out their big guns in collaboration with the CA in order to suppress the information for as long as they could (thank heavens for loose-lipped hunt followers) and then be seen to be dealing with it properly once it became public knowledge. Of course the real problem with this is a complete lack of impartiality. Any and all information which could have a negative effect on hunting in relation to bTB will be withheld once again. Hunting simply cannot afford to have this sort of negative publicity and potentially lose much of the ground they hunt over as concerned land owners withdraw their permission to hunt on their land. Many land owners have already banned the Kimblewick from using their land and rightly so.

Perhaps it’s now time for all Hunts to have their hounds tested, especially those in the high risk areas and all hunting suspended until each and every pack is given a clean bill of health. Considering it is now the hunting closed season you would expect this to be the perfect time. The only previous data relating to TB in hounds came from a FOI request by Keep the Ban and published by TB Free England and he summed up the response thus: “In the last 7 years, only 50 hunt hounds have been tested for Bovine TB, 5 of those were positive of infection (10%). 45 samples from hounds were taken over the same period, of which 7 were potentially infected (16%).

The sample sizes are too small to determine the statistical significance, but it does call Defra’s line that “M.bovis infection in dogs is extremely rare” into question… If they haven’t looked, how do they know it’s rare? And when they did look and found more than 10% to be infected, doesn’t this suggest it might be more of a problem than they thought?”

It’s fairly clear to me that this rabbit hole goes a lot deeper than those at Defra will admit, but while they’re so thoroughly within the sphere of influence of the CA then we will probably never know the full extent of the problem and hunts will continue to spread the disease over our countryside and badgers will continue to get the blame and die in their thousands.

 


APRIL 2017 

…..  29th April – Farmer involved with Fife FH kills restrained pet dog in front of owner
…..  28th April – Jedforest FH 2 defence claims 'invisible' gunman made fox hunt legal
…..  28th April – Eggesford FH official convicted of stealing supporter & riding club funds
…..  27th April – Court shown film of fox dig, flushing and chase at Jedforest FH trial
…..  25th April – Fitzwilliam FH illegal hunting case is adjourned yet again
…..  24th April – Man charged over fox found captive near Belvoir FH kennels
…..  24th April – Anti gets to see her apology letter from hunter abuser after 4 months
…..  24th April – Sabs stop Cheriton Mink Hounds from hunting
…..  21st April – Motorists appalled by horrific death on road of deer after hunt on Exmoor
…..  20th April – POWA presses for strengthening commitment in Labour manifesto
…..  20th April – Town Council secret meeting with Atherstone FH exposed by sabs
…..  14th April – Badsworth FH filmed trespassing along a canal towpath, not for first time
…..  11th April – Minehead Harriers hunt on NT land where recent bTb breakdown
..... 10th April - Monitors blocked, abused, menaced by VWH support as Hunt search for foxes
…..   7th April – Police powers to demand face mask removal are enhanced
…..   6th April – VWH FH run away as monitors find hounds marking to ground
…..   6th April – Badsworth FH filmed trespassing along a canal towpath, not for first time
…..   6th April – VWH FH relentlessly hunted fox late in day and may have killed
…..   2nd April – Film of monitor's car windscreen being smashed at S.Dorset FH meet
…..   1st April - 'Notorious' hunt supporter to be charged at last over 'vicious assault'

 
Farmer involved with Fife FH kills restrained pet dog in front of owner
Was in sheep field, but shooter had already tied dog up before he shot it

The man who allegedly killed the dog is the son of the Secretary of Fife FH and the estate he was working on is owned by one of the JMs

29-4-17    Facebook - Tracy Ward‎   On Thursday 27th of April, my sons dog, Stark, in my eyes was brutally murdered at the hands of a farmer by the name of Dave Bell, near Collinsburgh, Balarres Estate.

Stark managed to escape from his family home, and in the short time he was out, he managed to get into a field of sheep. I fully understand that if a farmer feels like his livestock is under threat of an animal, whether it being a wild animal or family pet he has completed authority to shoot the the animal.

The law also states that if the farmer FIRSTLY attempts to catch the dog, and restrain him with no further threat that it should be left alone and dealt with through law. This was not the case, the farmer FIRSTLY caught Stark, TIED him to a tractor, THEN fired a warning shot, THEN shot him dead.

The law also states that the dog can be shot if the farmer has attempted to contacted the dogs owner with no joy. My son was in the field trying to get to Stark at the time of the shooting. He just didn't make it from where he was standing in time to save his pet. The farmer had clearly seen him, and two family friends with in eye sight.

My son takes full responsibility for the dog being in the field, he knows this is a serious matter. But none of us can understand why a fully restrained dog should be shot dead in front of his owner. Stark was such a gentle wee guy. He will be sorely missed. R.I.P our handsome boy ������. Meet Stark, and the farmer who took his life.

    FifeFHSonofHuntSecwhokilledrestrainedpetdoginfieldinfrontofowner27-4-17.jpg


 
Jedforest FH 2 defence claims 'invisible' gunman made fox hunt legal

28-4-17  ITV Border News   Father and son deny deliberately hunting fox with hounds    A father and son from the Jedforest Hunt have denied breaching Scotland's fox hunting legislation, after a video filmed by investigators showed a fox being dug out of a hole and then chased by a pack of hounds. 66-year-old John Clive Richardson and his son, 24-year-old Johnny Riley [right, Credit ITV Border], have gone on trial accused of allowing the hounds to chase the fox ,which took place near Jedburgh in February 2016. Jedburgh Sheriff Court was shown a videoJedforestFHHuntsmanCliveRichardsonandsonJohnnyRiley28-4-17.jpg which had been filmed by an employee of the League Against Cruel Sports, which showed members of the Jedforest Hunt - including the two accused. 

James Hood told Jedburgh Sheriff Court that while it was illegal to deliberately hunt a wild mammal with a dog there were some exceptions to that. Commenting on the video of the Jedforest Hunt, he said: "A fox can be flushed by dogs from cover to guns. My opinion from the footage of the two incidents is that the fox is pursued by a number of hounds across open ground with one or two horsemen and other persons present. The pursuit is beyond what is allowed in the exception." The footage shows the fox disappearing into a blind spot with the dogs still chasing, so what happened to the fox was not captured on film.

The court was told that lawyers acting for two huntsmen, intend to lead evidence saying that the dogs were flushing the fox towards a gunman who was in the blind spot, where the fox was then shot. But Mr Hood - a retired police officer - said he could not hear any gunshots on the videos or any sign of gunmen. He also visited the scene three weeks after the alleged offence and discovered the carcass of a fox in the dead ground area. All that was remaining was a vertebrae and three legs intact and round the paws there was some red fur. Mr Hood said a post-mortem was carried out on the carcass and there was no evidence that the fox had been shot.

But he agreed under cross-examination from defence lawyer, David McKie, that he could not say for certain that it was the same fox which the video had shown being pursued by the dogs. The trial of the pair has been adjourned until next month. The case is due to resume on May 8th.

  

Eggesford FH official convicted of stealing supporter & riding club funds
Gets 20 month suspended sentence and CSO for embezzling £84,000

28-4-17    Western Morning News    Huntmaster took £84,000 from Devon countryside clubs    A Devon huntmaster has admitted stealing £84,000 while acting as treasurer for two country sports clubs. Graeme Holmes [left], 59, took the cash while in charge of the purse strings of the Eggesford Hunt Supporters' Club and the Sid and Otter Riding Club. He defrauded both clubs of funds for almost a decade and used the money to keep up his EggesfordFHofficialGraemeHolmesconvictedofstealingsupporterclubfunds28-4-17.jpgimage as a pillar of the local rural community. The successful IT salesman was a joint leader of the hunt, kept a stable of horses and bought a large house near Lapford.

But Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC told him his reputation now lay in tatters. He added: “What you did as I see it was very dishonest and it isn't clear to me why it was necessary to do it at all frankly. But it was a gross breach of trust. You treated money and funds of these organisations of which you were the treasurer as if they were your own and you've been caught."

Holmes pleaded guilty to abusing his position as treasurer of the Eggesford Hunt Supporters' Club between January 15, 2007 and April 15, 2016. He also admitted the same offence against the Sid and Otter Valley Riding Club between August 26, 2008 and April 8, 2016. He has since paid all the money back.

Prosecutor William Hunter said Holmes had volunteered to take up the role of hunt treasurer in 2004. He job was to hand the cash to the bank and bank cheques, among other duties. But when suspicions were raised the club checked the account and found almost £48,000 missing, leaving them with just £580.

Holmes had been a member of the riding club since 2006 and took the treasurer role in 2008. He had control of the debit card which he used to draw money for himself and had cheques made out to him. The club expected to find £30,000 in its account but when it checked the figure was much less. Holmes admitted taking £36,000 for himself.

Richard Crabb, mitigating, said: “He is a man of previous good character who used about £84,000 of hunt funds for his own purposes. Every penny has now been paid back." He said Holmes was a man who earned a lot of money as an IT sales team leader in the Home Counties. He moved to Lapford with his wife and bought a large house 'that needed a lot of work'. He became part and parcel of the local equestrian scene and lived beyond his means."

He hunted on a regular basis and was regarded as a 'pillar of the community'. When the post of treasurer came up the club 'considered his trappings of wealth and thought he was a very successful man' and was delighted to have him. But he estimated that he lived beyond his means by £8,000 a year.

Mr Crabb said there had been a backlash in the local community against Holmes after what he had done. Holmes had cashed-in his pension to pay the money back but was not left with a large tax bill.

Judge Mercer said he was lucky the Conservative government had changed the law to allow pension pots to be cashed in early. “The amount of money is substantial," said the judge. “Your saving grace is that you have been able to pay back the money you took and it's fully repaid."

Holmes was sentenced to 20 months in jail, suspended for 18 months. He must do 150 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £550.

                                    

Court shown film of fox dig, flushing and chase at Jedforest FH trial
LACS monitor says 'appalling' acts illegal and against MFHA rules

27-4-17   Border Telegraph   Video footage shown in fox-hunting trial   Video evidence showing a fox being dug out of a hole and then chased by a pack of hounds has been described as "appalling" at Jedburgh Sheriff Court [right]. Witnesses claimed that the footage proved "traditional" fox hunting is still going on despite legislation being introduced 15 years ago.

An investigator from the League Against Cruel Sports gave the court his verdict on two videos filmingJedburghSherriffCourt.jpg the activities of the Jedforest Hunt at Townfoothill Farm near Jedburgh, on February 18 last year. Peter Cross filmed the incident on a video camera from a distance of 650 metres along with fellow investigator Terence Hill after they both set an observation point for a covert operation. The footage captured a fox being chased into an earth by the hounds and then a man spending more than 20 minutes digging a hole to locate the fox.

The law says the fox should then be dispatched or killed by a hand pistol or shotgun. But the footage shows the fox being released from the hole and immediately pursued by the hounds. The fox goes out of sight behind a land ridge - a blind spot for the cameramen - and its fate cannot be confirmed.

Mr Cross told the court: "What we have witnessed there is in direct contradiction of the Masters of Foxhounds Association rules. It is not only an illegal act but I think their governing body would like to have words about their behaviour too. If it is known a fox is in the earth they can be dug down and dispatched with a pistol if the farmer requires pest control." Referring to the hounds chasing the fox he said: "It is just not necessary to do that to a fox. Personally I find it appalling."

Father and son John Clive Richardson, 66, and 24-year-old Johnny Riley from the Jedforest Hunt are on trial accused of deliberately hunting a fox with hounds - which has been illegal in Scotland since the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002. The trial of Richardson and Riley of Abbotrule, Bonchester Bridge, continues.

Pic below shows Jedforest FH allegedly hunting a fox on 18-2-16

     JedforestFHhuntingfox18-2-16.jpg 


 

Fitzwilliam FH illegal hunting case is adjourned yet again
Trial now due to start 20 months after alleged offences

25-4-17  Morethanjustbadgers.net   Court Politics   Just a short update this week as I had hoped to be making the final preparations for my time in court as a witness for the prosecution of the 2 members of the Fitzwilliam Hunt. When you consider the offence took place on the 01/01/16 you begin to understand that the legal process is not something which proceeds quickly and there is good reason for that. However the when dates and locations for the hearing get changed multiple times it can get somewhat frustrating.

The case was supposed to be heard this week (26/27th) at Chelmsford Magistrates but I was contacted by a court official only last week and informed that the case would now be heard in August at Colchester Magistrates. While this delay is annoying the reasons behind it could be deemed to be in the prosecution's favour. Due to the high profile of the case it couldn't be heard in the county where the offence took place (Cambridgeshire) so other courts and magistrates had to be considered. I was informed the reason for the late delay was due to "court politics". According to a legal expert who has been advising me court politics usually refers to a "magistrate that was due to hear the case that had obviously expressed some views about hunting which compromised their ability to hear the case objectively".

This being the case, I guess I should be pleased with the delay although that statement could be taken in the both for and against (hunting) points of view. Further details from the court official once again highlighted that this particular case was more akin to that of a murder trial (to be honest I consider it a murder trial of the fox on that fateful day) in that it is being heavily scrutinised and is also the first time the use of the Bird of Prey Exemption has been challenged in the courts.

The investigating officer also contacted me the day after asking if we were all ready to go and I had to inform him of the further delays as he was unaware. From his point of view it made no difference as he wouldn't have to attend the court on the day. Even though he was the investigating officer he didn't conduct any of the interviews so wouldn't be cross examined by the defence, as this was done by more senior colleagues from the serious crime section, another sign that things were being taken very seriously indeed.

While preparing for my day in court I did go over my statement and also reviewed the video footage. It doesn't get any easier to watch and of course in my mind there can be only one outcome but, this is the Hunting Act and nothing is straight forward where that is concerned.

Pic below - The accused. Huntsman George Adams and bird handler John Mease.

    FitzwilliamFHGeorgeAdamsandJohnMease.jpg

POWAperson comments - I really hope the writer is correct in his assessment of the reasons for these extraordinary delays [though 20 months must be a record], and if a hunt sympathising judge has been recused, that must be good. But I have my doubts. Time and again we see illegal hunting cases being stretched out, often by defence manoeuvring, and how often that ends with acquittals or the CPS dropping charges - and that's just in the rare cases where the CPS do summon up the bottle to take on the hunt side's 'expensive lawyers'. 

 

Man charged over fox found captive near Belvoir FH kennels
Charge comes 17 months after incident - Hunt deny involved

24-4-17    Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   A man has been charged with animal welfare offences regarding the fox which was found in an outbuilding in preparation for the Belvoir Hunt which was meeting close by. Nigel Smith (59), of Stainby, Lincs, is due in court next month. Of course, the Hunt are denying everything claiming no knowledge or involvement. This is pretty standard behaviour. Get the serfs to do the dirty work then let them carry the can when and it they get found out.

POWAperson adds - The original story can be found here and here. Pic below - the fox found in the shed by LACS' investigators.

    BelvoirFHFoxfoundcaptiveonBuckminsterEstat12-15.jpg 

  

Anti gets to see her apology letter from hunter abuser after 4 months
His tirade of sexist abuse got him a conditional caution including apology
Police previously refused to allow victim to see his apology letter

24-4-17  Daily Mail   Anti-hunt activist who was called a 'f*****g slag' and a 'whore' at a protest battles for FOUR MONTHS to see a copy of her abuser's apology letter - Hunt spectator subjected Cathy Scott to barrage of foul-mouthed sexist abuse - He called her 'a f****** fat s***' and told her to 'f*** off back to Coventry'   After a video of the incident went viral, the unnamed man received a police caution over the incident on the condition he provided a written apology. Ms Scott said she had to battle police for four months to get a copy of the letter.

Cathy Scott was labelled a 'f****** slag' and a 'whore' by a 59-year-old man in Sutton Cheney, Leics,AtherstoneFHsupportertofemalemonitorYoufuckingfatbitchafterramminghercar29-11-16.jpg last November. After a video of the incident went viral on social media sites, the unnamed man received a police caution over the incident, on the condition he provided a written apology. The video emerged just days after a local councillor on horseback told a hunt protester that he would 'quite like to s***' her.

But after Ms Scott asked Leicestershire Police why she hadn't received the letter, she claims she was told she would have to view it at a police station but wouldn't be able to touch or keep it due to its 'sensitive nature'. When Ms Scott, 41, complained about the 'bizarre' decision, she says she was then offered a version of the letter with the perpetrator's name redacted. It was only after Ms Scott lodged a formal complaint that she eventually got given a copy of the letter - some four months after the incident, and two months after it was written.

AtherstoneFHSupportercautionedafterramssabcarthensubjectsfemaletotorrentofabuse29-11-16.jpgMs Scott, from Coventry, Warwickshire, said: 'Leicestershire Police were essentially protecting the perpetrator and treating me, the victim, like a criminal. If I have to jump through hoops like that to get a simple letter of apology, what chance do other victims of more serious crimes have? They told me I could come and read the letter at arm's length - what sort of rule is that? It was agreed that as part of his conditional caution he would write me a letter of apology and take a victim awareness course. Did they think I would never ask about the letter? This man called me some of the most horrible, misogynistic names under the sun. He waved his fist at me and another woman and we really did feel threatened."

"I had to chase the letter up time and time again and they gave me this most peculiar excuse that because it had details of a 'sensitive nature' they couldn't let me keep it. Obviously I questioned this but they were adamant that I couldn't have it and would have to meet a police officer to look at it. It was absolutely ludicrous and if I hadn't have fought it, I'd probably still be waiting for the apology."

The shocking footage was shared on Facebook by members of the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, who were on the country road to protest against the Atherstone Hunt. Ms Scott and another member of the West Midlands Hunt Saboteur group were involved in a confrontation with two men. after a collision between their cars during a hunt on November 29th last year. One man got out of his vehicle and said to Ms Scott: 'You want some of this, f*****? Eh?' before adding: 'F*** off back to Coventry where you belong you f****** w****.'

Ms Scott said: 'We were there to monitor activity on the hunt. We stopped our vehicle on the lane because weAtherstoneFHAntisapologyletterforabusebysupporter29-11-16.jpg could see them coming down the track. They drove their vehicle into us and that's when I was met with this tirade of abuse. It was really nasty stuff. He was effing and blinding and calling me all the names under the sun, all on camera. It was completely unacceptable language. I told him it was some of the worst abuse I had ever heard. It was unprovoked and unnecessary. I was feeling massively intimidated and that's why I reported it to the police. To be fair, they dealt with the initial incident swiftly. But I didn't expect to be waiting on an apology all this time later. He wrote the letter in January for goodness sake and I only got it in March.'

It is believed the unnamed man must now attend a victim awareness course which he must pay for himself and he must write a letter of apology to the victim. The letter read: 'I am writing this letter of apology to you as instructed, I apologise to you for the coarse language and derogatory comments used against you on Tuesday the 29th of November 2016. On the gated road [in] Sutton Cheney. The comments were made in the heat of the moment, and for that I apologise.'

A Leicestershire Police spokesperson said: 'An initial decision was made by an officer not to provide a copy of the apology letter due to some of the content within. A complaint was made from the victim regarding this which coincided with a review from a more senior officer on the original decision. After a review, this officer agreed to provide a copy of the apology letter to the victim. A complaint from the victim is still under investigation by our Professional Standards department therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage.'

Tory councillor Charles Carter, 33, quit his position at Breckland Council after a video of him being sexist and misogynistic to a hunt protester went viral. Carter told Linda Hoggard, who filmed his derogatory comments, that she was 'very pretty' and asked if he could take her to bed.

Original story and video can be found here. 

                                    

Sabs stop Cheriton Mink Hounds from hunting

22-4-17  Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs   Today we stopped the Cheriton/former Devon & Cornwall Minkhounds from killing wildlife on the river Torridge. Together with Somerset Sabs and South Devon Animal Rights we turned up to their meet at the Stevenstone Hunt kennels in Torrington and packed them up before they even got the hounds out of the trailer. A fairly relaxed stand-off ensued while the hunt members (all 6 of them) considered their options. One of them entertained us with the usual drivel about wildlife 'management', immigration, townies and ISIS. When we reminded him that hunting a wild mammal (including otters and mink) with hounds was illegal, out came the familiar excuse, "oh but we're just here to exercise them". When asked why he minded us observing the hounds being 'exercised', he said "well they might bump into an otter... and then we'd be doing what you're suggesting we're going to do". ... After an hour of standing around in a field, the hunt made the sensible decision to head home to avoid any 'accidental' hunting. Two hours and many country lanes later they were safely tucked up back at the kennels. Job done.

                                     

Motorists appalled by horrific death on road of deer after Exmoor Hunt
Quantock Stag Hounds believed to be responsible for outrage
Exmoor resident Sir Rannulph Fiennes says he feels 'ashamed'
LACS brands the deer killing as 'utterly horrific' 

21-4-17  Devon Live   Drivers horrified to witness 'public execution' of terrified deer A scared deer leaped from a bridge on to a road and was 'executed' by a huntsman yesterday in front of several 'disgusted' members of the public, according to someone who witnessed the incident.

An eyewitness, who does not wish to be named, said the shocking ordeal left her 'horrified and deeply saddened'QuantockSHSceneofdeerkillhorror21-4-17.jpg after the 'exhausted' animal was cornered by hounds on a bridge above a public road near Dulverton [right]. She watched as the scene played out and said she was left in 'pure disgust', and questioned how such a 'barbaric ordeal' was legal.

Speaking to DevonLive, she said: "I am not the usual type to complain about anything to this degree but yesterday I witnessed something which deeply saddened and disgusted me along with many other members of public present at the time. "The staghounds were out on a hunt close to the Mason's Kings, not far from Black Cat, Dulverton way and they had clearly been chasing a poor stag for some time when it came to the old railway bridge. he hounds had it cornered and the poor animal was so exhausted it could hardly stand, it's tongue hanging out and it's body wobbling all over the place."

She said she, along with others, were held up on the road when quad bikes and other vehicles blocked the animal's escape routes and a gunman scrambled up the side of the bridge towards the animal. She said: "The animal, clearly distressed, took one look at its only route to potential escape and threw itself off the top of the 30ft bridge and crashed on to the road below in front of all of the members of public. The animal lay in the road - seriously injured but still alive - to which the gunman then shot and ended the prolonged suffering."

She and many others watching were horrified by the 'barbaric ordeal'. She said: "Members of the public were frantic, shouting at the huntsmen in pure disgust. All of this is actually completely legal - how is this allowed? I think the law has a great deal to answer for. I am not against controlling populations of wildlife such as deer and foxes. I live on a nearby farm and have studied wildlife related subjects at a university level so have a good understanding of the countryside. I do not, however, think there is a place for such practices in this day and that alternative more humane and effective ways exist to manage wild populations and it is about time that these animals were protected and respected."

DevonLive has contacted several local staghound groups to ask who organised the hunt, but none of them have yet responded.

POWAperson adds - We have been privately informed that the Hunt responsible was the Quantock Stag Hounds. This Hunt already carries 2 convictions for illegal hunting. Sir Rannulph Fiennes, an Exmoor resident who turned against hunting after his local hunt killed a fox that used to visit him, has made the following Facebook post -

21-4-17   Facebook - Sir Ranulph Fiennes   As a resident of Exmoor I am ashamed!

Pic below, credit DevonLive -  

     QuantockSHHunteddeerleapsfrombridgeontoroadinfrontofmotorists21-4-17.jpg 

25-4-17   Devon Live   League Against Cruel Sports brands deer killing on busy road as 'utterly horrific'    A charity which vows to protect animals from cruelty in sports has branded the public killing of a deer on a main road as "shocking and utterly horrific". The League Against Cruel Sports contacted DevonLive after reading our story about a scared deer leaped which from a bridge on to a road and was 'executed' by a huntsman. The incident took place last Thursday (April 20) in front of several 'disgusted' members of the public, according to a driver who saw the events unfurl. The eyewitness, who did not wish to be named, said the shocking ordeal left her 'horrified and deeply saddened' after the 'exhausted' animal was cornered by hounds on a bridge above the A396 road near Dulverton.

Now the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), a charity which campaigns to ban hunting in the UK, has condemned the incident and says deaths like these need to stop. Eduardo Goncalves, chief executive of LACS, said: "This was utterly horrific for the stag and shocking for the members of the public who witnessedQuantockSHBloodontheroadwherethedeerwaskillednearDulverton21-4-17.jpg it. Unfortunately the killing of stags like this isn't as uncommon as people might hope. "Stag hunting is banned, but some hunts in and around Devon and Somerset continue to chase these animals, and continue to make excuses as to why deaths occur. Frankly it needs to stop. Don't think this was a one off. The League Against Cruel Sports has a wildlife sanctuary near Dulverton and we have to keep guard on a regular basis to stop hunts from chasing deer onto our land. I can't put a figure on the number of deer and stags who have run full tilt onto our land to reach safety. Reports from this incident say the stag appeared exhausted – that suggests it had been chased over a long period. Any suggestion that it was merely discovered by the hunt, or was accidentally chased for a short period before reaching the bridge, doesn't seem to match the facts. Sometimes hunts claim they are 'helping' an injured stag by chasing it to put it down. That doesn't sound like animal welfare to me."

Speaking on Friday, an eyewitness told DevonLive how the incident left her in "pure disgust", and questioning how such a "barbaric ordeal" could be legal. She said: "I am not the usual type to complain about anything to this degree but this deeply saddened and disgusted me. The staghounds had clearly been chasing the poor stag for some time when it came to the old railway bridge. The hounds had it cornered and the poor animal was so exhausted it could hardly stand, it's tongue hanging out and it's body wobbling all over the place." She said she, along with others, were held up on the road when quad bikes and other vehicles blocked the animal's escape routes and a gunman scrambled up the side of the bridge towards the animal...

DevonLive has contacted Avon and Somerset Police to see if they are aware of the matter. No hunt has yet claimed responsibility for the incident. DevonLive has tried to contact several hunts in the area, but none have got back to us.

Pic above right - Blood stains left on A396 

 

POWA presses for strengthening commitment in Labour manifesto

20-4-17    Protect Our Wild Animals has written to the Labour Party leadership and MPs requesting that a commitment to strengthen the Hunting Act 2004 be included in the Party's manifesto for the election on June 8th. Even if Labour do not win power this time, such a commitment will make it easier to get it made official party policy and included in any future manifesto. Penny Little, POWA member and highly experienced hunt monitor, has also launched a petition requesting a strengthening commitment. Please sign this urgently and share as widely as you can.  

To: Jeremy Corbyn

Include in the manifesto a commitment to strengthen the Hunting Act

Why is this important?

The Hunting Act of 2005 is far too weak to restrain the hunters. Illegal hunting is absolutely rife. The animal welfare consequences of this are horrendous. People who demanded a ban on hunting did not want a law that was weak, unenforced and laughed at by the hunters. The police refuse to even try to crack down on this anarchy. The only solution is a stronger - much stronger - law, with harsher penalties. A ban is supported by 84+% of the population. Labour can gather many, many votes from making this commitment in their manifesto. Please sign this petition and share it far and wide - the animals desperately need your help.

 

 

 

 


Town Council secret meeting with Atherstone FH exposed by sabs

20-4-17   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Atherstone Town Council in secret meeting with Hunt    Despite the public interest in The Atherstone Hunt, who have had their violent, abusive, and criminal behaviour reported on by the media over 80 times, Atherstone Town Council have seen fit to accept the hunt's request for a private meeting over the violent events in the Market Square on the 02/01/2017. This meeting took place on 15/03/2017. We have no way of knowing what the Council and the hunt discussed as there are no notes or minutes that can be scrutinised. We will keep a closer eye on the activity of the Council from now on. Further unaccountable 'shadow' meetings with criminal bloodsport fanatics are unacceptable and disrespectful to all those who want justice & respect for wild animals.

The Council claim they have yet to make a decision over the Atherstone Hunts future use of the Market Square and are due to have a secret meeting with senior officers from Warwickshire Police. The same police force who are partially responsible for the violence by choosing not to police the event and who have subsequently lied and tried to cover up their involvement.

How can Atherstone Town Council make an impartial decision over this issue when the Councillors who have vested interests in the hunt are allowed to vote on the issue? All vested interests in the Atherstone Hunt should be declared and anyone with interests in the hunt should abstain from decision making. Complaints should be directed to http://www.atherstone-tc.gov.uk/contact-us.

    AtherstoneFHHoldsecreetingwithTownCouncil15-3-17.jpg

 

Badsworth FH filmed trespassing along a canal towpath, not for first time
Reported to landowners the Canal and River Trust

14-4-17   Wildlife Guardian   Fox hunt ignored warning signs to trespass on canal towpaths   A fox Hunt’s actions have been branded as extremely irresponsible for endangering public safety after repeatedly ignoring warning signs and galloping down narrow canal towpaths with a pack of foxhounds. The Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt have been reported to the Canal & River Trust for riding along towpaths on the New Junction Canal at Sykehouse and Fishlake, nr Doncaster, on several occasions during the past six months.

The Canal & River Trust, who manage the canal, prohibit horses using towpaths due to the serious risk to the public as well as the horses. During the latest incident, a local resident, who did not wish to be named, claimed that the Hunt, along with 30 foxhounds, spent up to an hour on the towpaths at Sykehouse and Fishlake, despiteBadsworthFHHuntsmanandJMtrespassingontowpath4-17.jpg warning signs clearly prohibiting horses on the towpath.

Mobile phone footage seen by the Wildlife Guardian shows Huntsman Richard Mould and Joint Master Nigel Dickson galloping down the towpath as the hounds are in cry. The Hunt then head to the opposite towpath, where the hounds are encouraged to hunt through wildlife habitat owned by the Canal & River Trust. The Hunt’s terriermen and terriers were later seen joining the Hunt on the towpath. The trespass occurred in full view of a Canal & River Trust manned station, and despite previous incidents being reported to the Trust, no action was taken to stop the Hunt.

A spokesman for the Wildlife Guardian stated, “The Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt behaviour is utterly reckless and they are endangering the safety of legitimate users of the towpaths, such as dog walkers and cyclists. They also demonstrated a blatant disregard for the safety of the horses. This is not an isolated incident, it’s occurring five or six times a year. It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured. The Canal & River Trust cannot keep turning a blind eye to the trespass and the extremely irresponsible actions of the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt.”

In 2014, a photo of the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt trespassing on the same towpath, led by then huntsman Nigel Dickson, was published on the Countryside Alliance Facebook page. Last year the Hunt made the national news when hunt saboteurs were driven at by terriermen in balaclavas on a quad bike.


                                    
Minehead Harriers hunt on NT land where recent bTb breakdown

11-4-17  Facebook - Chris Tasker    Do hunts give a toss about biosecurity ? Er, No ! On 1st December 2016, Cloutsham Farm, nr Minehead was listed for a bTB breakdown. So on 29th January 2017, the Minehead Harriers had a meet at the farm and spent 4 hours on the farm fields pretending to trail hunt, complete with equipped terriermen, a dozen riders, riders on point and overloaded quad bikes. To compound the issue, they had invited another hunt to join them, the Tiverton Foxhounds, so spreading whatever they picked up another 25 miles when they went home. The farm is National Trust property, and the Hunt had a trail licence from NT.

   MineheadHarriers29-1-17.jpg  MineheadHarriersandTivertonFHhuntingonNTland29-1-17.jpg

    

Monitors blocked, abused, menaced by VWH support as Hunt tries to find foxes

Police called out three times by threatened monitor group 

10-4-17   Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch    Both the VWH and Cotswold hunts were out on Saturday, presumably able to hunt this late as they have access to large private estates and therefore don’t have to stop because farmers are growing crops. The fact that the foxes they hunt probably have cubs that need feeding is not considered by these people. With the help from a Three Counties sab, we covered the VWH meet which was in Cirencester Park the home of Allen Bathurst the 9th Earl of Bathurst and his Countess wife Sara who came out and attended the hunt in their 4x4.

The Hunt left the meet area quickly and disappeared into the large area of sloping woods behind the polo ground. It took a long time to track them down but eventually we did, finding them putting the hounds to search through the undergrowth. They continued to do this, but when the hounds picked up two of our team were able to get their heads up, much to the annoyance of the Huntsman. They moved on quickly, in fact they kept moving on, hunting when they could but as the huntsman told one of our team, the warm day and the wild garlic made it hard for the hounds to find scent.

Supporters were starting to gather and these included some of the Bicester Boys – ‘Tommy Gadget Man’ who seems to have swapped his ‘gadget’ for a mobile phone and also a truck load of ‘anti-antis’ from Dorset who presumably wanted to prolong their fun after their own hunts had all finished. They basically think it’s clever to surround monitors cars to try and harass and intimidate and to show off in front of their friends. During the day, we had 2 instances of drunken hunt thugs banging their fists on the window of our vehicles threatening and abusing the occupants. At one of these instances, a redcoat was watching. After the driver called the police, the redcoat suddenly decided he needed to apologise for the hunt thug. At another point in the day ‘anti-antis’ lay in the road and surrounded one of our vehicles to prevent it from moving! Foot-walkers were subjected to tactics of harassment designed to avoid legal action as well. This all resulted in us having to contact the police three times.

Despite extensive searching, the hunt found nothing in Overley Wood and went back down the park to the bottom end, trying to hunt the wood near the polo ground entrance but prevented by the timely arrival of two lots of foot-walkers. They changed horses at the polo ground and immediately set off again towards the north of the park, not seeming to find much and not heard on cry just repeatedly searching. Two women hikers in the park were shocked to learn what was taking place, and wished us luck. Sadly, towards the very end of the day after most of the field had gone home, they went quickly back up from the south end of the park to the Overley Ride area where they were heard in cry. As we only had one monitor in that area, they were able to hunt for some time- sadly we don’t know the outcome. It is pretty sure they returned to where they knew there was a fox – maybe the one that had gone to ground last Wednesday or maybe the one that our team had earlier protected.

The ‘anti-antis’ followed our vehicle at the end of the day. As we went towards the bend on the A419 near the polo ground entrance, a female pheasant was knocked by a car coming the other way and staggered to our side of the road. Our driver put on hazard lights and stopped while we collected the bird to try to help it. The ‘anti-antis’ in the vehicle behind, jeered and laughed at this action showing their complete inability to empathise with injured wildlife. Luckily we knew of a safe haven where the pheasant could be kept and monitored. We have since heard that it recovered and flew off. Stay safe little bird!

The Hunt went on until around 6pm. It was a terrible and disturbing sight on a beautiful spring day to see young children being escorted by veteran hunt riders actively indoctrinating them by pointing us out to be misguided.

 

Police powers to demand face mask removal enhanced

7-4-17    Countryside Alliance   New power to remove face coverings from violent protesters comes into effect today   Today (3rd April) police have been given new powers to remove face coverings from violent protestors. Last month, Minister of State for Policing, Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, wrote to all Police Constables making them aware of a new power to make it easier for police officers to request that face coverings be removed from violent protestors. The Minister’s letter follows a Countryside Alliance led campaign.

Last December the House of Lords passed a Government amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill which will make it easier for the police to tackle violent masked protestors. The amendment was in response to concerns raised regarding the inability of police to request the removal of face coverings from violent protestors without prior written authorisation from a senior police officer. Last months letter by the Minister’s informed Police Constables that the new provision will commence on today (3rd April).

The amendment means that a senior police officer will be able to give immediate oral authorisation for a constable to remove face-coverings, where it is impracticable for that authorisation to be given in writing. The law had required prior written authorisation that the police have grounds for reasonable belief that activities may take place in an area that are likely to involve the commission of offences. The conditions and protections remain exactly the same, but the fast track process will now allow the police to tackle a serious issue both in rural communities and elsewhere.

Research by the Countryside Alliance using the Freedom of Information Act published last year revealed that the powers had only been used on one occasion in the past three years to require animal rights activists at a hunt to remove face coverings, despite the use of masks to intimidate and hide identity being a standard tactic of hunt saboteurs. The powers had been used on many occasions in relation to pre-arranged demonstrations and football matches.

Alliance Chief Executive, Tim Bonner said:- “There are only two reasons for wearing masks and face-coverings in the context of a protest: to intimidate and harass, and to hide identity with the intention of committing criminal offences and avoiding prosecution. This is a tactic that has worked, not only by creating alarm and distress in rural communities visited by groups of extremists who have adopted the uniform of the paramilitary complete with standard black face coverings, but also in allowing offences to be committed crimes without any legal consequences. From Wiltshire to Derbyshire; from Gloucestershire to Yorkshire there have been a series of violent assaults by hunt saboteurs in the last few years, none of which have seen anyone brought to justice. It doesn’t matter if violence and intimidation are happening in urban areas or the countryside, it is wrong and it’s only right that police officers are in the position to be able to tackle effectively potentially criminal behaviour wherever it arises. We are therefore delighted that the Government has recognised the need to amend the law, recognising that the police need greater flexibility faced with modern types of protests. The amendment does not extend police powers, but makes it more practical to use existing powers and we now expect the police to make full use of them. For too long a small minority have hidden behind masks and disguises to intimidate people and to escape being held account for unlawful behaviour. This change in the law will discourage unlawful activity, whilst allowing lawful and peaceful protest.”

POWAperson comments -  The CA and their hunting friends could well find the old saw 'Be careful what you wish for...' coming back to bite them. Hunt thugs and even some redcoats commonly mask up in order to conceal their identities from anti cameras, so they can carry out their illegal hunting and assaults on antis with even greater impunity than they currently enjoy. If the police apply these new powers fairly [admittedly, this is far from a given] they will lose that anonymity and the chances of their being arrested and charged will be that much greater. 

 

VWH FH run away as monitors find hounds marking to ground

6-4-17  Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch    5th April. Not enough for you VWH?   On Wednesday 5th April, a walker came on them [the Vale of the White Horse Hunt] yet again hunting in Cirencester Park. This time a secretive meet with a small field of followers, horseboxes and hound lorry all clustered together near the polo ground. It was late in the day but we managed to rally a couple of people and, trying to make a good guess, came in from the Overly Road where we came right on the Hunt with the hounds searching.

Just as we arrived and got seen by the redcoats, they went on cry and as we were already slightly behind them all we could do is follow. Just as we heard the disappearing sound of the hunting horn we rounded a bend to find part of the pack marking to ground and the rest of the Hunt completely vanished. The hounds were frantically digging at a hole, making it clear that the fox they had been pursuing had escaped underground. We got them off and they hung around as the Hunt had apparently abandoned them - maybe worried after the witnessed kill last Saturday? But they eventually drifted off and we guarded the area until we were sure they were not coming back for this fox, and visited again later to check. The Hunt had really run and we could not find them again, but we felt that at least we had managed to save this fox - for now.

 

Vale of the White Horse FH slaughter fox in front of monitors
Charged recklessly on to A roads before and after the kill
Monitors filmed them and have reported Hunt to police

Quote from monitor - "I know that what I saw today will stay with me the rest of my life. One moment that beautiful creature was in front of me running for his life, and the next I was looking at his blood soaking into the ground." 

6-4-17  Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch   Vale of the White Horse FH, Saturday 1st April   The Hunt met at a farm behind Coates and after bursting out onto the main Tetbury A433 road, chased and killed a fox in front of four of our team in the fields behind Cirencester Agricultural University The fox never had a chance as there were Hunt officials and groups of riders blocking every escape. Just like Wednesday, they seemed to be hunting recklessly with no heed for cameras or the law. A redcoat tried to block our view, but one of our monitors was coming from the other direction and was able to film. The Huntsman got off his horse and ran off with the body, leaving gobbets of flesh, hair and blood on the ground. We are talking to the Police and will be putting up footage in due course.

This event did not stop the VWH hunting foxes that day. They went on cry again between Tarlton and the A433 Tetbury road, but 3Cs sab working with us that day rated the hounds off the fox. We managed to get monitors in to the areas they were drawing around Tarlton Wood and towards the Tunnel Inn, and once again a CIHW monitor got the hounds heads up as they started on a scent. they finally disrupted the very busy A419 Stroud Road to take the Hunt across into the main park, where they went up the length of the park and back, seeming to be at last inhibited by a public event within the park, packing up at around five.

    VWHFHRedcoatrunningawaywithfoxcorpse1-4-17.jpg 

A member of CIWH [also of POWA] told us - Monitors saw no 'trail' laid before hunting began next to the main Tetbury road. The hounds burst out onto the main road, disrupting the traffic before going towards the back of the University farm.

When the hounds went into cry the huntsmen made no effort to stop them until it was too late A fox was seen by a monitor fleeing for its life, just before the pack caught it. The Hunt officials seemed to panic. The Huntsman galloped over, viciously whipped the hounds off and rushed away on foot with the body, running from the camera [see pic above]. Monitors filmed the remains - chunks of flesh, hair, skin and blood.

‘The worst of it is,’ she said 'orphaned fox cubs may have been left underground, where they will experience a slow and terrible death by starvation. Wildlife rescue centres are currently taking in fox cubs, some born as early as February. The Hunt will claim there were trails laid, but they were seen searching near main roads and through fields of oil seed rape, where they would be likely to find foxes resting up in cover. Like many other Hunts, they will claim the kill was an 'accident', but we filmed them chasing more foxes later in the day. We are supplying footage to the police and call for the law to be enforced against Hunts that we believe repeatedly chase and kill foxes 'accidentally on purpose’.


 

 

VWH FH relentlessly hunted fox late in day and may have killed

6-4-17   Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch   VWH Hunt, Wednesday 29th March   We were tipped off that the Vale of the White Horse FH were in Cirencester Park and two of us, plus a Three Counties sab managed to attend. It was a 'children's meet' but as we have witnessed before, once the children have left in the middle of the day, the Hunt gets down to it.

From mid afternoon they hunted up and down the main section of the park on the Sapperton side, where weVWHFHHoundshunting29-3-17.jpg found them. 3Cs sab got the hounds off one tired fox, but they were relentlessly after another - just glimpsed by CIHW at the Overly Road as it ran across with the hounds in cry after it, just too far away to try and stop them. The redcoats came blasting out onto the road after the hounds and refused to call them off even though they were told a fox had been seen.

The fox ran in a large circle, across the road and back into the main park and round again. The redcoat did retreat once when he came on a CIHW monitor with a camera. They had clearly lost the scent at one point, and were witnessed by CIHW bringing the hounds back to the spot and putting them to search through the thick undergrowth until they picked up on the scent again.

We have seen this before, but this time there was a difference. The redcoats and the small hardcore of riders left in the last hours of this hunt were avidly and blatantly hunting, totally ignoring our presence and absolutely relentless in pursuit of the fox, which they chased the length of the park and back again, for around one and a half hours, finally going quiet at 6.30. We strongly believe it was the same fox because the monitors trying to track the Hunt in the extensive woodland of Cirencester Park could hear the hounds go off cry, losing the scent followed by a shortish pause when they would be back on again. We have heard many times that at the end of the season Hunts become even more determined and bloodthirsty. We saw it. We do not know how it ended as a hunt suddenly going quiet can mean a kill or that the fox has gone to ground, to be dug out by terriermen and killed.

  

Film of monitor's car windscreen being smashed at S.Dorset FH meet
Video also has stills of young riders struggling to escape bog

2-4-17  Facebook - Dorset Hunt Sabs  VIDEO   Hit Report Thursday 30th March 2017, South Dorset Hunt Meeting at Rollington Farm, Corfe Castle    This [2nd] report focuses on two specific incidents of the day.

During the early part of the day, while the field were travelling through the forestry not far from the Oil Gathering Station, three young riders not knowing the all-consuming bogs in the area rode off track. Their horses sunk intoS.DorsetFH2youngridersstrugglingtoescapebog30-3-17.jpg the bog and threw the young riders. The horses, now under some stress, thrashed around to get a footing in the brown foul-smelling bog [right]. The monitor who was close by stopped videoing and carefully ‘danced’ over to the area trying to avoid the deepest of the bog sumps and gullies.

He was concerned the horses would endanger the young riders by falling on them and pushing them into the bog. After asking the young riders if they were okay he beckoned over adult riders. Two of the ponies came out of the bog without to much stress. The third was seriously struggling and moving the wrong way. Eventually the pony was persuaded to turn and came out the bog in the direction from which he came. Riders and ponies looked to be okay on exit from the bog, although probably stressed.

When the very same monitor returned to his car at the end of hunting he found his windscreen smashed. It appeared to have been smashed with a hard object [Dash-cam still below]. Police, who were on site all day, were called and attended. Frankly they were furious at what had happened and will follow up the crime. After the monitor was on the scene of the bog incident and standing by to help earlier in the day he was extremely disappointed that a hunt follower should resort to such vandalism.

Note: The vehicle had a ‘dash cam’. The video from the dash cam is now being studied for evidence of who committed the crime. We have set up a GFM to pay for the damage to the monitors car, we have worked closely with him this season. We are in awe of his experience and he is one of the kindest and caring gentlemen you will ever meet. https://www.gofundme.com/dorset-sabs-vandalised-vehicle

     S.DorsetFHMomentmonitorswindscreensmashed30-3-17.jpg 

'Notorious' hunt supporter to be charged at last over 'vicious assault'

1-4-17   Facebook – Outpaced   We hate to tease with half a story but sometimes we have no choice. Outpaced, after a two year case have had a significant result in which one of the hunts most notorious and odious individuals is about to be prosecuted. It's even more satisfying that he thinks he has long got away with his vicious assault. We took it to the highest of review level with the CPS and at last to a specialist prosecutor. Given a couple of outrageous acquittals recently our compliments to the CPS in recognising that public interest is best served in bringing this case. We are only not giving more detail as we don't want to spoil his surprise. At such a time, I f the victim gives permission, we will publish the full story.

 

MARCH 2017 

..... 30th March - Police stop S.Dorset FH dig out, monitor has car windows smashed, kids ride into bog

..... 28th March - Lord Bonomy says even total ban wouldn't stop Scottish Hunts chasing foxes

..... 27th March - Wilts & Infantry Beagles filmed chasing a hare

..... 27th March - Charity Commission refuses Countryside Alliance bid for charitable status

..... 26th March - Middleton FH hounds killed/injured as taken across busy road 

..... 26th March - Portman FH blocks Wessex Ridgeway path and tries to stop walkers using it

..... 26th March - Sabs write to AAC after police fail to deal with multiple attacks at Woodland Pytchley FH

..... 26th March - Dart Vale Harriers chase deer for 2 miles before gizmo-aided escape

..... 26th March - Monitor uploads video compilation of hunt horse mistreatment

..... 25th March - Campaigners seek sacking of Kent Wildlife Trust hare hunter

..... 24th March - Old Surrey hunt foxes, hit sab, retiring Huntsman Mark Bycroft charges others

..... 24th March - As S.Herefordshire FH 5 re-bailed, sab gets threatening mail re. case 

..... 24th March - Anti hunt FB page responds to CA attempt to shut it down

..... 23rd March - DEFRA response to bTb in hunt kennels... do nothing

..... 23rd March - Chairman of Kent Wildlife Trust is JM of the Blean Beagles!

..... 23rd March - Director of NT contradicts official who said they can't monitor hunts on NT land

..... 23rd March - Sabs take hounds off 'Shag' Carter as Middleton FH have kill-free day

..... 22nd March - Ledbury FH shows solidarity with scandal-hit S.Herefordshire Hunt

..... 21st March - Sabs upload more film of Atherstone FH New Year meet violence & abuse

..... 19th March - Sab hospitalised, another hurt, in attacks by Pytchley FH thugs

..... 19th March - Reports that sabs badly hurt, property damaged/stolen at Middleton FH meet

..... 19th March - Isle of Wight FH Huntsman whacks sab around head with his crop

..... 18th March - South Dorset FH hound run over as hunt thug harasses sabs

..... 17th March - Heythrop FH very nearly caught fox then caused road rage on A424

..... 17th March - Sabs try to save hares hunted by Waveney Harriers as police look on

..... 16th March - Eight blocked setts found day after Heythrop FH closing meet

..... 16th March - Beaufort FH Huntsman refuses to pull hounds off fox they close behind

..... 16th March - Trial of two Jedforest FH hunt servants begins [adjourned on 2nd day]

..... 16th March - 'Two foxes pushed from van for Zetland FH to chase' allegation

..... 16th March - Bizarre hound blessing by Anglican priest at Chiddingfold FH meet

..... 15th March - Landowner finds Beaufort FH trotting through his wood without permission

..... 15th March - Monitors think Cotswold FH killed, as they hunted many familiar coverts

..... 14th March - Three Grove & Rufford FH members convicted of illegal hunting

..... 14th March - Terrierman trying to hit sab almost falls off speeding quad

..... 13th March - Woodland Pytchley FH Director resigns as Wildlife Trust trustee after short campaign

..... 13th March - Sabs stop 2 Essex/Suffolk FH dig outs, quad hits sab, redcoat endangers own horse

..... 13th March - Fife FH hunt foxes - no guns - sabs think first was bagged

..... 12th March - Sabs stop hare pack from hunting and fox pack from killing

..... 12th March - Sabs stop two dig outs by Taunton Vale FH as Hunt chase foxes

..... 12th March - Southdown FH follower punches out car window, injuring sab

..... 12th March - Call to boycott Atherstone FH as JM revealed to run pet kennels

..... 12th March - Another hunting vet is exposed

..... 11th March - Local monitors Axe Vale Harriers - sees blatant fox hunting

..... 11th March - Badsworth & Branham FH kill hare near day's end

,,,,, 11th March - Seavington FH cease season with no kills day thanks to antis

..... 11th March - Sab whipped as Fitzwilliam FH stopped from killing foxes

..... 11th March - Sabs get shock as Old Surrey FH spend all day trail hunting

..... 11th March - Hunts running riot in bTb hotspot risks spreading disease

..... 11th March - Blean Beagles head home as soon as sabs appear

..... 10th March - Fitzwilliam killed twice, 8-3 - follower admits hunting but 'nobody to know'

..... 10th March - Hunt causes havoc in Kent village named, ironically, Hunton

.... 10th March - Atherstone FH in disarray as sacked Huntsman & groom sue them

..... 10th March - Melbreak FH hounds seen hunting unsupervised on Nat Trust land

..... 10th March - LACS gets strong with NT over allowing illegal hunting on its land

..... 10th March - CA contests £60k award after racing pigeons killed by hunting hounds

.....  9th March - Film released of Beaufort FH apparently hunting fox

.....  9th March - Pet rabbit killed by hounds as Oakley FH trespass - owner 'devastated'

.....  9th March - Fox killed by Fitzwilliam terriermen died from 'blunt force trauma'

.....  8th March - Southdown FH supporter smashes sab landy window, rider badly hurt later

.....  8th March - Row over vet who is also Director of Cheshire Forest FH

.....  7th March - Four setts found blocked in area being hunted by Heythrop FH

.....  7th March - Two Jedforest FH hunt servants plead NG to illegal hunting charges

..... 7th March - bTb in hounds at Kimblewick FH kennels confirmed - 25 shot so far

..... 7th March - Hunting Surrey Union FH trespass and anger landowner

 ..... 7th March - Illegal hunting trial of Grove & Rufford FH three begins

.....  6th March - Senior equestrienne dies after fall during drag hunt [a real one]

...... 5th March - One fox has a very lucky escape from the Lamerton FH

.....  6th March - Vale of the White Horse FH hunt openly on roads and in gardens

.....  5th March - National Trust beefs up its policy on field sports - a smidgen

..... 5th March - Cheshire Forest FH massed thugs attract police attention at final meet

..... 5th March - Atherstone FH hunted fox out of nature reserve - escaped down sett

..... 4th March - Monitors believe Beaufort FH hunted fox at Prince Charles's place

..... 4th March - Oakley FH thugs assault sabs, steal cameras while police do nothing

….. 4th March – Antis' teamwork denies Portman FH kill, furious farmer tells Hunt off

..... 4th March - Huff Post reporter spends day with sabs visiting the Crawley FH 

..... 4th March - Equestrian business offering 'fox hunting days' on their website

..... 3rd March - Rumours of bTb outbreak at Kimblewick FH - 40 hounds shot?

..... 3rd March - Cotswold FH meet cancelled after 'redcoat fell off horse drunk'

..... 3rd March - Bloodsports lobby attacks anti-hunt Blue Fox again

..... 3rd March - Atherstone FH hounds all over roads, sometimes unaccompanied

..... 2nd March - Sabs violently assaulted by Flint & Denbigh FH 'security'

..... 2nd March - Old Surrey FH have to run gauntlet of derision to reach their Hunt Ball

..... 2nd March - Hunt for lost boy - S.W.Wilts FH hound missing for several days

..... 1st March - Crawley FH redcoats 'pinned sab to fence and kicked him in the face'

..... 1st March - Sabs told fox killed by Hunt - find Surrey Union FH in the area

..... 1st March - S.& W. Wilts FH hounds and horses blessed by 'countryman' priest

.... 1st March - Sab tyres slashed as hares saved from Waveney Harriers

..... 1st March - Veterinary practice hosts meet of the Cottesmore FH

 

MAY 2017

….. 29th May – Thousands attend anti-hunt march in London
..... 28th May - S.Herefordshire FH paying £55k to Ledbury to hunt with them next season, says HIT
..... 27th May - Wildlife Rescue Centre badly damaged by online attacks from hunters
..... 26th May - Melbreak FH supporter/rapist who punched sab given 80 hours CSO
..... 26th May - Isle of Wight FH terrierman fined £80 after clash with sabs in January
 ….. 25th May – Court - Essex Farmers FH must pay £131k over illegally evicting farmer
..... 24th May - HIT refutes SHFH claim that their hounds are alive and well
..... 23rd May - NT anti members present resolution to ban 'trail hunting' on Trust land
….. 22nd May – S.Herefordshire FH five are re-bailed yet again by the CPS
….. 22nd May – Anti arrested at PM campaign rally after thought he'd 'shouted ''Kill May"'
..... 20th May - Sabs stop Northants MH from hunting
….. 18th May – Ledbury FH terrierman charged with affray aftter attacking sab
….. 18th May – 'Biggest ever' anti fox hunting demo scheduled for 29th May
..... 18th May - Police drop Surrey Union FH rider assault on sab case
….. 16th May – Theresa May confirms she will hold free vote on repealing Hunting Act
….. 16th May – S.Herefordshire FH asks 'false allegations' be removed from Facebook
….. 15th May – S.Herefordshire FH said to have killed all but four of their hounds
….. 12th May – 9 year old girl killed in accident while hunting with the Cotswold FH
….. 12th May – Labour Shadow Chancellor says HA must be enforced & strengthened
..... 11th May - CA to pay £62k after Kinnego Hunt invades lofts and kills prize pigeons
…..  8th May – Leak reveals hunters asked to make huge push for Tory landslide
…..  5th May – Isle of Wight FH appeals for funds to fix 'dire' finances
…..  4th May – Three Derwent FH hunt servants charged with illegal hunting
…..  3rd May – RSPCA and Save Me come out for strengthening of the Hunting Act
…..  2nd May – Kimblewick FH bTb outbreak was advised on by vets close to the Hunt

 
Thousands attend anti-hunt march in London

29-5-17   Evening Standard   Make Hunting History protest: Thousands descend on Downing Street in anti-hunting march   Thousands of people have descended on Downing Street in a huge protest [below right] against the Conservative Party’s stance on the fox hunting ban. Prime Minister Theresa May has said that if the Conservatives win the General Election on June 8, she will offer Parliament a free vote to repeal the ban on fox hunting.

On Bank Holiday Monday the Make Hunting History march, which is expected to be the largest public protest of the entire General Election campaign, saw thousands make their feelings on the subject known. The protest left Cavendish Square at about 1.30pm, proceeding down Regents Street, Haymarket and around Trafalgar SquareAntihuntdemo28-5-17.jpg before entering Whitehall.
The event was organised by an alliance of anti-hunt campaign groups and individuals, and speakers included actor and animal rights activist Peter Egan, wildlife campaigner and writer Dominic Dyer and and TV presenter Bill Oddie. He compared the possibility of changing the law on fox hunting to changing speed limits just because "people like driving fast". Speaking ahead of the rally, Oddie said: "I cannot believe that I'm standing here today saying to the Prime Minister this is ridiculous. It's a bit like some years ago they had a speed limit and they decided 'Speed limit? 30. On the motorways we'll go up to 60'. And then 15 years later somebody said 'Can we change it?' And they said 'Why?' - 'Well people like driving fast''... We'll change the law for no sensible reason except purely there are people who want to go fox hunting." Egan said at the protest: “I’ve been voting now since 1966, for 51 years I’ve been voting for various governments. None of them have ever got everything right, in fact some of them have got nothing right, most of them get perhaps one thing right. In 2004, Tony Blair’s government got it right when he brought in the hunting ban In 2002, Theresa May in opposition got it right when she described her party as the nasty party. In 2017 she’s about to get it right because they are becoming the nasty party if they vote to repeal the hunting ban.”
Speaking on the campaign trail in Yorkshire earlier this month, Prime Minister Theresa May said she would push for Parliament to vote on the reversing the ban having “always been in favour” of the controversial country sport. She said: “This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against. As it happens personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting and we maintain out commitment - we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party - to allow a free vote. And that's what it will allow, would allow, Parliament the opportunity to take a decision on this."
Professor Andrew Knight, who is standing for the Animal Welfare Party against Mrs May in the constituency of Maidenhead, said it is "profoundly disturbing" that the Prime Minister thinks fox hunting is acceptable. "We need to have leaders of our country that have basic compassion for animals and other vulnerable members of our society," he said. "Theresa May clearly, I think, is unfit to lead this country, if she clearly and demonstrably lacks these basic qualities."
 
                                     

S.Herefordshire FH paying £55k to hunt with Ledbury next season, says HIT

28-5-17   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team   SPOT THE DIFFERENCE COMPETITION    The South Herefordshire Hunt have tried to pedal the myth of an amalgamation with the Ledbury Hunt. Nobody is fooled anymore by the smoke and mirrors magic trick that Patrick Darling is trying to pull. With no kennels, no hounds, no Huntsman and no supporters anymore this is a total capitulation, not an amalgamation.

The dregs of what is left of the SHH need someone to hunt with next season so they can get their perverted pleasures from seeing animals chased and killed. They are paying the Ledbury £55,000 per year to do this and keep up the pretence of amalgamation.

 

Wildlife rescue centre badly damaged by online attacks from hunters

      BexhillWildlifeRescuedamagedbyonlineattackfromhunters27-5-17.jpg 

 
Melbreak FH supporter/rapist who punched sab given 80 hours CSO

Had previously served 4 year sentence for raping a woman

26-5-17   Facebook - National Dis-Trust   On May 19th 2017 a Melbreak Foxhounds supporter pleaded guilty to assault by beating after he attacked a hunt monitor at a meet of the Melbreak Foxhounds in the Ennerdale area. Carl McGrady punched the monitor after McGrady's accomplice attempted to steal his camera. The monitor had to be taken to hospital where he had to have stitches. McGrady has several previous convictions, including a four year sentence for rape in 2011. After hearing about the assault, the National Trust, which licences the Melbreak Foxhounds, banned the hunt from its land for A WHOLE 24 HOURS! Why is the National Trust licensing violent behaviour from wildlife criminals? The Melbreak Foxhounds pay on average around £10 per meet on National Trust land, and have been filmed illegally hunting and killing foxes on numerous occasions. The National Trust condones violence and wildlife crime by licensing this Hunt.

The report of McGrady's unsuccessful appeal against his rape conviction, in 2011, is here.

27-5-17   Facebook - Lancashire Hunt sabs  VIDEO from meet on 10th January 2017  Melbreak Foxhounds supporters attempt to steal a camera from a monitor who is a passenger in a vehicle. Failing to do so, Carl McGrady punches the monitor, who has to be taken to hospital for treatment. McGrady pleaded guilty to assault by beating [and was given an 80 hour CSO]

  MelbreakFHsupporterpunchessabaftertriedtostealcamera10-1-17.jpg MelbreakFHSabattackedbysupporter10-1-17.jpg

 

Isle of Wight FH terrierman fined after clash with sabs

  isleofwightfhsupporterfined80afterclashwithsab26-5-17.jpg 

POWAperson adds - In addition to the above, a sab was attacked by an I0W FH supporter and 'whacked over the head' in March this year.  

Court says Essex Farmers FH must pay £131k after illegally evicting a farmer


25-5-17   Daily Express
   Essex fox hunt punished with £100,000 court fees after booting farmer off land    A HUNT has been slapped with crushing court fees after booting a farmer off land his family had worked for generations.  A fox hunt was slapped with £100,000 in court fees after booting a farmer off his land. 
Terence Grimes, and his father before him, had farmed near Burnham-on-Crouch, in Essex, as tenants. But the trustees at the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt [left] wanted more cash and granted the lease to someone else in September 2012.  The Hunt sent crucial papers to the wrong address, where Mr Grimes hadn't lived for seven EssexFarmersUnionFH.jpgyears. But the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt granted the lease to someone else in 2012.

Mr Grimes left the land “under silent protest”, but later took legal action and has now won his appeal case at the Court of Appeal in London. It follows that the notice to quit was not validly served on him and his tenancy was not validly terminated. Now top judges have ruled his tenancy had not been validly terminated and he had been “wrongfully dispossessed”.
The trustees of the Hunt, which now operates as a “country riding club”, must now pay £31,500 in damages. And, on top of the that, they must pay £100,000 towards Mr Grimes’s lawyers' bills by 2 June. The Hunt sent crucial papers to the wrong address, where Mr Grimes hadn't lived for seven years.
Lord Justice Henderson ruled he had never been validly served with notice to quit the land. That was because the notice was sent to a property where Mr Grimes had not lived since 2005. He had given notice in writing of his move to Maple Way, Burnham, but the crucial document had been served on the wrong address. The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Beatson and Lady Justice Macur, allowed an appeal against an earlier ruling in the trustees' favour. Lord Justice Henderson concluded: “It follows that the notice to quit was not validly served on him and his tenancy was not validly terminated.”

 

HIT refutes SFFH claim that their hounds are alive and well

24-5-17  Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    Update on shot hounds...    It's been ten days since we announced the shocking news that we believed that the SHH had shot all their hounds, bar four. This is what has happened since...

Patrick Darling (hunt chair) rushed to various local media outlets the next day. He said that he could produce all the hounds and take local journalists to see them. He threatened to take legal action if we didn't remove the post from our page. We stood firm and informed Mr Darling that we had in our possession comprehensive records of all the SHH hounds since 2009. We also have all the microchip numbers and hound names.

This was the standard of proof that we set. Mr Darling probably hoped to take journalists to see a pack of foxhounds somewhere but given the standard of proof required has failed to do that. Local journalists have said that Mr Darling has stopped answering their calls about this.

We leave it to the public to consider what has happened here, but bear in mind that if somebody accused you of shooting your dog, how long would it take you to prove them wrong. Please share this update.

                                     

Anti-hunt NT members present resolution to Trust to stop licensing 'trail hunts' 

23-5-17   Swindon Advertiser   Hunting campaigners take their fight to Swindon's National Trust HQ A GROUP of National Trust members have brought their campaign to end trail hunting to the organisation's Swindon headquarters [pic right].

The 2004 Hunting Act banned traditional fox hunting where live animals were chased by packs of dogs for the entertainment and enjoyment of participants. The legislation has resulted in more than 430 prosecutions since it came into effect, the equivalent of one every 10 days. But while the Act banned fox hunting, it did continue toNationalTrustantispresentresolutiontobantrailhuntingonNTland23-5-17.jpg permit trail hunting which is an adapted version of the sport. It involves the use of an artificially laid scent, usually fox, hare or rabbit based, to provide hounds with a path to follow. In theory it avoids the suffering and killing of foxes, but campaigners argue that the trail hunts often end with the dogs coming across foxes - participants say by accident - and that animals are still being killed.

The National Trust, based in Swindon next to the Designer Outlet, issue licences for trail hunts to take place on a number of their properties across the UK. A group of Trust members is now seeking to use the organisation's procedures to challenge the policy by submitting a resolution, supported by 50 members, to be debated later this year.

Helen Beynon, campaigner and author of the resolution, said: "As members of the National Trust who support the majority of the positive work they do - notably their recent commitment to increase efforts for declining wildlife - we have been dismayed by the constant media coverage given to stories of blatant criminal bloodsports on National Trust land. Our resolution to permanently bring an end to these so called trail hunt licenses has been submitted. "I'm pleased to see that in addition to this, an ongoing petition calling for the National Trust to drop this trail hunting sham has now surpassed 100,000 signatures."

A National Trust spokesman said: "A members' resolution has been received by the National Trust concerning trail hunting. Members are entitled to present resolutions each year and, if they are supported by a minimum of 50 National Trust members, those resolutions are then discussed and voted on by members at our Annual General Meeting in the Autumn. The Hunting Act 2004 made hunting wild animals with dogs illegal and it is banned on all public and privately owned land in England and Wales. The Act allowed what is known as trail hunting to continue. Trail hunting involves laying a scent for hunts to follow, effectively simulating a traditional hunt but crucially without foxes being deliberately chased or killed. The National Trust does licence trail hunts in some areas and at certain times of the year, where it is compatible with our aims of public access and conservation. We expect our licence holders to comply fully with the law and the terms of our licence. We will, and have, taken strong action (including suspension, revoking and refusing to grant further licences) against licence holders who breach their licence conditions or the law."

 

S.Herefordshire five are re-bailed yet again by the CPS
A year on, still no charges in cub-killing scandal

22-5-17   Hereford Times  Five arrested in South Herefordshire Hunt investigation have been re-bailed   FIVE people who were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty at the South Herefordshire Hunt's kennels in Wormelow have been re-bailed. The police are investigating an alleged offence in May last year.

The first two people, a 37-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, both from Hereford, were first arrested last May. A 37-year-old man from Abergavenny was then arrested in June, and a 53-year-old woman from Abergavenny and 45-year-old man from Powys were arrested in August. All five were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and have been rebailed until June. 


Anti arrested at PM camaign rally after 'shouts ''Kill May"'
Man denies wrongdoing and is released without charge
22-5-17   ITV News   Fox hunting protester arrested after shouting 'kill May' as PM arrived at campaign event in Wales   An anti-fox hunting protester has been arrested after shouting "save our wildlife, kill May" as the prime minister arrived at a election campaign event in north Wales. The 25-year-old, who said his name was Connor, played a hunting bugle before shouting out as Theresa May was driven to a community centre in Wrexham. He continued to demonstrate before police grabbed him and carried him away to nearby police vans. The man was later released without charge.The protester had yelled "this is the fascist state that we are living in under Theresa May's regime" as he protested his innocence during his arrest. The man said he was protesting about the repeal of the fox hunting act, fracking, austerity, "the lot" and added: "I've not done nothing wrong." Another demonstrator told police the man had "done nothing wrong" and described their response as a "farce" as they pulled him and then carried him into a van.North Wales Police Superintendent Nick Evans said a crowd of around 50 people had gathered, including onlookers and protesters. "In the main they were well-behaved; however, one particular person, despite a number of warnings, was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace," he said. "The man was arrested due to his behaviour and conveyed to a local police station. He has since been released without charge."
Mrs May did not appear to be affected by the nearby protest as she was greeted outside Gresford Memorial Hall. The prime minister has pledged to call a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting if she is re-elected. The Conservative leader said she has "always been in favour" of the blood sport, which was outlawed in 2004. 
POWAperson adds - We are assured that what the protester shouted was actually 'Cull' not 'Kill' May, presumably meaning vote her out of office.
     

Sabs stop Northants MH from hunting

20-5-17  Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   Us sabs are busy little bees. Even when the main hunting season is several months away we still keep our ears to the ground and get on with other stuff to help our native wildlife. However when you get a tip off it's time to get back into full on sab mode and spring into action. That's what happened today. We received some intelligence that the Northants Mink Hounds would be out hunting so a few calls later and we were hot footing it over to the meet which was at Tuckey Farm just south west of Winslow.

Mink packs are the last remnants of the Otter packs which used to hunt Otters before they became a protected species. Although they claim to hunt Mink it should be noted this is still illegal. Also otters are making a huge comeback in our rivers and they are displacing the Mink. It should also be noted that at this meet the farm had dug a commercial fishing lake and spent a lot of money on installing an anti-Otter fence to protect their fish stocks so they were fully aware that Otters were in the area. We also noted an Otter slide with prints leading to Claydon Brook where they would be hunting. Hounds also can't tell the difference and just putting a pack of hounds up a river course in the middle of breeding season is nothing more than environmental vandalism.

A small B&B team inserted upstream to monitor and shortly after we were happy to be joined by another team from Nottingham and Northants Sabs. By this time the assorted coffin dodgers and sicko's that were the followers had gathered along the river bank. We made our presence known with the Otter hounds actively hunting the river. It was pretty had work for the poor hounds, the overnight rain had swelled the river and it was running faster than normal.

The hunters, now realising they had been well and truly rumbled immediately pulled the hounds out of the water and headed back to the meet. Needless to say they weren't very happy and the language was enough to make a sailor blush. Sad thing is they had a young girl with them who had to not only take part in a sick illegal blood sport but also witness her parents spouting a tirade of 4 letter abuse. Such charmers!

With the hounds safely packed back in the hound van we retired to revel in our glory in the sun with the obligatory cake. Job well done.

Pics below -  1/ Hound struggling in swollen river    2/ The throwbacks 

 NorthantsMHHoundinswollenriver19-5-17.jpg NorthantsMHOn9-5-17.jpg

 

Ledbury FH terrierman charged with affray aftter attacking sab

18-5-17  Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs   We've just been informed by West Mercia Police that Ross Loader, Malvern tree surgeon and Ledbury Hunt terrierman has been charged with 'Affray' today.
December 28th last year was an intense day with our sabs at the North Cotswold Hunt assaulted by hunt staff while Bristol Hunt Saboteurs were being assaulted by Loader and the other Ledbury Hunt terriermen and supporters. The Hunt had been hunting in Castlemorton and Bristol Sabs were with the hounds when they were attacked by the terriermen. Knowing that there was a sett nearby our sabs returned to the scene, while Bristol kept tabs on the hounds. Sure enough the terriermen were attempting to dig out a fox from the sett. Angry at being disturbed they threatened our sabs and, following a short stand-off, filled in the hole they had started to dig and left.
Pic below - Loader attacking sab -  
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'Biggest ever' anti fox hunting demo scheduled for 29th May

18-5-17   Facebook - Dominic Dyer   Thousands confirmed & rising fast. If you care be there, join biggest ever anti fox hunt protest in London on Bank Holiday Monday 29 May.

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Police drop Surrey Union FH rider assault on sab case

18-5-17   Facebook - Guildford Hunt Saboteurs   More hunt violence given the all clear by police   3 months ago one of our sabs was assualted by Lulu Hutley (Joint master of the Surrey Union Hunt) with a whip. However today the police decided not to investigate any further due to lack of evidence despite there being a clear video of the entire incident. This was hardly a surprise, Surrey police's stance on this issue has been made very clear.

Please contact Surrey Police on the below links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SurreyPolice/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/SurreyPolice (@SurreyPolice)

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May confirms will hold free vote on repealing Hunting Act

16-5-17  Independent   Theresa May says she supports fox hunting because other ways of killing foxes are 'cruel' - The PM wants to hold a vote on bringing back the animal killings   Theresa May [below right] has defended her support for fox hunting, arguing that foxes must be killed and that hunting them with dogs on horseback is the most humane way of doing so. The Prime Minister said she had “always supported fox hunting” and that she would give Parliament a vote on bringing back the animal killings. “Some of the other forms of dealing with foxes can be cruel, so my view is it should be a free vote for Parliament so members of parliament individually should be able to exercise their view on this matter,” she said.

Fox hunting with hounds was outlawed by Tony Blair's Labour government in 2004 but successive Conservative manifestos have pledged to bring the animal killings back. A plot by pro-hunt Tories to bring back the spot was revealed in a leaked email this month. Lord Mancroft, the chair of the Council of Hunting Associations, describedTheresaMay.jpg the 8 June vote as “the chance we have been waiting for” to overturn the ban.

A large Tory majority in the House of Commons would likely give pro-hunt Conservatives insulation from any rebellion by anti-hunt Conservatives to stop the repeal of the ban. David Cameron had planned to hold a vote on repealing the ban but never did so after the threat of rebellion reared its head. Ms May said she did not consider the issue “important” and that MPs would be able to decide what happened to the animals if she became PM.

This is a subject on which you are either for it or against it. I have always supported fox hunting, but clearly I'm not saying I'm going to bring it back,” she told a Facebook Live session hosted by ITV News. What I'm saying is we will have a free vote in Parliament so MPs will be able to make up their own mind on this issue. This isn't the most important issue facing people at this election. I think the most important issue is about who's going to provide the leadership for the future to take us through Brexit and beyond."

A poll conducted in the run-up to Boxing Day 2016 found that opposition to fox hunting has hit an all-time high. A full 84 per cent of the public now believe fox hunting should not be made legal again, according to a survey by Ipsos MORI.

18-5-17   Daily Mail   Outrage as Theresa May confirms a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting WILL be held - Manifesto pledge will outrage animal rights activists ahead of the snap election   Theresa May provoked outrage today as she confirmed she would call a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting. The League Against Cruel Sports said there was 'no justification' for scrapping the law against hunting with dogs. The lobby group said the controversial laws should instead be properly enforced, insisting the public as a whole did not back hunting. Mrs May promised a free vote on Government laws for the measure - but did not put a timescale on when the vote would be held.

The Prime Minister has said she would vote to lift the ban on fox hunting despite never having taken part in a hunt - insisting it was less cruel than other ways of controlling foxes. But it is hard to forecast how the new Commons might split on the issue. The 2015 Parliament was thought never likely to endorse repealing the ban.

Eduardo Gonçalves, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: 'We're disappointed to see the commitment to a free vote on the Hunting Act included in the manifesto given the strong support the ban on hunting has among Conservative MPs and Conservative voters. 'Hopefully any attempt to repeal, weaken or replace the Hunting Act will be prevented by those members of all parties who oppose the killing of animals for fun. I think most people can see through attempts to claim that hunting is somehow good for the animals that are killed, and these figures show the reality. The intention of the Hunting Act was to stop animals suffering because of hunting – and if the law had been properly enforced we believe it would have helped up to 2.8 million animals.'

He added: 'Contrary to what the Prime Minister mistakenly said, anyone who feels the need to kill foxes should never use hunting with dogs, as it is in fact one of the cruellest methods available. This is due to the long chases of the target animal involved. There is enough evidence to suggest that hunted animals suffer whilst being chased by dogs regardless of how they are then eventually killed.' The Prime Minister has said she would vote to lift the ban on fox hunting despite never having taken part in a hunt.

Speaking earlier in the election campaign Mrs May said she would personally vote to repeal the ban. She said: 'This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against. 'As it happens personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting and we maintain out commitment - we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party - to allow a free vote. And that's what it will allow, Parliament the opportunity to take a decision on this.'

The manifesto pledge said: 'We will grant a free vote, on a government bill in government time, to give parliament the opportunity to decide the future of the Hunting Act.' David Cameron was thwarted in his attempt to call a vote on repealing fox hunting after the 2015 election. While he also promised a free vote he sought to win and the SNP announcing they would vote against it left the measure ripe for defeat and the motion was withdrawn.

 

S.Herefordshire FH asks 'false allegations' be removed from Facebook

16-5-17   Hereford Times  South Herefordshire Hunt asks for false allegations on Facebook to be removed   SOUTH Herefordshire Hunt has asked for a Facebook post to be taken down which makes false allegations about the Hunt's hounds. The Hunt Investigation Team claimed in a post on Facebook that all of the Hunt's hounds had been put down, besides four of the animals. But chairman of the Hunt, Patrick Darling, said this is groundless and false and the hounds referred to are in kennels elsewhere. He invited members of the editorial team at Hereford Times to visit the kennels and see the hounds.

Mr Darling has got in touch with the Hunt Investigation Team and asked for them to take the post down. The kennels at the Hunt's base in Wormelow are currently being leased to a third party, not related to hunting, as the hunt placed itself under a voluntary suspension while a criminal investigation continues.The investigation started last year and five people were arrested following an alleged offence of animal cruelty at the Wormelow kennels. They are currently on bail until a date this month. 


S.Herefordshire FH said to have killed all but four of their hounds

15-5-17  Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team   Shocking news has reached us   'The South Herefordshire Hunt have shot all their hounds'. We received this message from a highly trusted source from within the Hunt. This source has provided accurate intelligence throughout. They went on to clarify that 4 had been spared, to make sure the bloodline survives presumably. We estimate that 30+ dogs will have been shot (they are normally shot in the head).

This is devastating news, no attempts were made to rehome these dogs and it is just the latest example of the brutal and callous disregard that Hunts generally and the South Herefordshire in particularly have towards the lives of animals. These are just 4 of the hounds - we don't know of their individual fate. We also know that the kennels are empty of hounds and hunt personnel in preparation for the sale and redevelopment of the site. Please share this story.

    Pic below - Four of the hounds - not known if any of them have survived

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15-5-17  Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs    The South Herefordshire Hunt have killed all but 4 of their pack according to sources. One couple sent to the Ledbury, we do not know about the others. This is following a year of not hunting because of the ongoing police investigation concerning cruelty at the kennels. Killing unwanted foxhounds is something most hunts do. Hounds are culled if they don't fit in, are too old, or there are too many of them for the hunt's requirements. Hounds are also victims and they were probably terrified as they were taken out one by one to be shot.

Pic below - The S.Herefordshire pack before they stopped hunting 

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15-5-17  Facebook - Welsh Border Hunt Sabs     So - the crows have been gathering around the now redundant SHFH kennels- but not for road kill. A mass murder is alleged to have taken place very recently of all but 2 couple of their hounds-(one of which, we are told, the Ledbury hunt now have and not sure of the whereabouts of the other). The plot indeed thickens! It would appear the SHFH have now decided to form a "Hunt Club" with the intention of inviting other packs to come and hunt their country- obviously pocketing what ever revenue that would bring in. And lets not forget their new forged allegiance with their very "special Friends The Ledbury!" Clearly there is unrest amongst the creatures of the countryside as the birds, big and small continue to chatter, alerting all to the evil in our midst.....

                                     

9 year old girl killed in accident while hunting with the Cotswold FH
Inquest hears criticism of level of supervision of child riders

12-5-17  
Swindon Advertiser   Greater supervision needed for youngsters riding as part of a hunt, inquest hears   The level of supervision of children at a hunt meeting where a nine year old girl died after being kicked by a horse was 'far short of what could reasonably be expected,' an inquest was told. Health and Safety expert Philip Park, who investigated the tragic death of Bonnie Armitage, said he believes children under eleven taking part in hunts should be supervised by adults on a one to one basis.

The inquest has heard that tragic Bonnie, of Faringdon, Oxon, was one of five children all under the supervision of one adult rider, Melissa Kennedy, at the meeting of the Cotswold Hunt in Miserden, nr Stroud, Glos, on April 2nd last year. Bonnie was a pupil at St Hugh's preparatory school in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, where her father is deputy head. Bonnie was riding her Shetland pony, Lindsay, when she was kicked in the chest by a large horse called Harvey which was being ridden ahead of her by farmer and circus owner Toti Gifford, the inquest jury at Gloucester has been told.The Gloucester inquest jury returned a conclusion of accidental death.

Mr Park, a manager at Stroud district council, told the inquest "It is my view that the level of supervision fell short of what could be reasonably expected. My conclusion was that had Bonnie been actively supervised by a responsible adult who was in close contact with her there was a possibility she would have been instructed not to get too close to the horse in front. That could have had the effect of preventing the injury. If she had not got too close to the horse in front of her it could not have kicked her."

He told the inquest he believed it would be helpful in future if Hunts set a stipulated level of competence for child participants. It would also be helpful to have guidance on the ratios of children to supervising adults, he said. "I did not see any evidence that the Cotswold Hunt makes any enquiry about the competence of child riders. They rely in parents to make the decision themselves on the level of supervision that children should have at a hunt. "It is important for the Hunt to make a decision about the level of supervision otherwise there will be no consistency in the way it is implemented."

Asked to expand more on his views of what should happen at hunts where young children are taking part he said "Close supervision would mean one to one - one adult supervising one child. I would expect that adult to stay with the child as much as possible during the hunt. "I accept there is a chaotic and fast moving atmosphere but an adult could exercise more control over one child than one adult in charge of two or three children. I would suggest one to one supervision is reasonably practicable."

James Chamberlain, who was senior Master of the Hunt at the time but has now retired, told the jury agreed that the Hunt had not made any rules about children taking part. "If poor Bonnie had been supervised one to one I fail to see how it would have made any difference," he said. He believed that the real issue was the competence of both the young rider and the horse, he said. When he took his own children hunting in the past he had always made sure they stayed behind him, he added. But it had to be remembered, he said, that 'horses are dangerous at both ends' and riders should all be aware from an early age of the need to keep space around them at all times.

Mr Gifford told the inquest he was cantering across a field on his horse Harvey - 'a lovely, calm, gentle giant' - when the tragedy happened as Bonnie rode up alongside him. "My horse went irregular," he said. "He just didn't feel right. Then I heard a yell. I looked back. My horse is really big and there was this really little horse, the Shetland, underneath my feet almost. It went really fast, past me, and then carried on. Then I looked back and I saw Bonnie. At the time the incident happened I was going forward, looking ahead. You never think there is anything behind you because you are going forward. I just heard this yell. When I looked back she (Bonnie) was still landing. I pulled up. It's a bit of a blur really. I can't really remember....I just jumped off my horse. I didn't hang on to him but he followed me back. I went over. Then others all arrived. I can't really remember what happened, it was such a mad.....I grabbed all the horses and led them away. Then she was lying there. Big blue eyes... The emergency services and ambulance came and then we realised a helicopter was also coming."

He said his horse had been hunting for several years and is a 'fantastic animal.' I think it (what happened) was an instinctive thing, he was a bit shocked or frightened or spooked. I think, I don't know." He added "At the moment it happened it felt like the horse had gone lame. I thought maybe I had gone into a hole or the horse had stumbled. I didn't think he bucked. I just thought he had put his foot down a hole or lost a shoe or something had happened or he had stumbled on something."...

Det Inspector Wayne Ussher of Gloucestershire police said he had investigated the tragedy and concluded that the accident 'could not have been prevented.' "She was following the main body of riders in company with other children and under the care of a responsible adult. Her company approached the rear of a much larger horse which took an irregular stride and struck her. She died as a result of injury sustained from a kick to the chest by the horse but in the circumstances presented to me it could not have been prevented."

The inquest at Gloucester has heard Bonnie was one of about fifty riders at the last meeting of the season of the Cotswold Hunt at Miserden House. A jury of ten people has been sworn in to hear the case. The inquest heard a statement from Bonnie's dad, teacher Nick Armitage, formally identifying his daughter and describing her as a 'bright girl, fit and healthy, a good runner, she enjoyed everything... She was a very competent rider. She could walk, trot, canter and gallop, She had been hunting many times at different hunts. She would sometimes be out for many hours. She had hunted off a lead rein for two years. " He said the pony was eight years old and was 'experienced, dependable, safe and doesn't spook.'...

The jury heard that after the incident paramedics and an emergency doctor battled for 45 minutes to resuscitate Bonnie in the field before she was airlifted to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. But she was certified dead 15 minutes after arrival in the hospital. After a retirement of one hour the jury of ten people brought in a verdict of accidental death without any further comment. The coroner, Katy Skerrett, said she would consider over the next ten days whether to make recommendations about a minimum level of competence being required for child riders at hunts, whether safety equipment should be a requirement and whether children should be supervised...

POWAperson comments - We send our condolences to Bonnie's family and friends for their tragic loss. However, we believe it is simply wrong for Hunts to induct children, often much younger than nine, into the brutality of hunting with hounds and think it tantamount to child abuse. It is, of course, also inherently dangerous.
 

Labour Shadow Chancellor says HA must be enforced & strengthened

12-5-17  Ellen Hope Cobb   EXCLUSIVE film with John McDonnell, Rachael Maskell, and Anna Turley on keeping and enforcing the Hunting Act. For fox sake vote Labour on 8th June and remember to sign the petition.  
 
                                     

CA to pay £62k after N.Ireland Hunt invades lofts and kills racing pigeons

11-5-17  Belfast Telegraph   Hunt club loses appeal against £62,000 payout over dead pigeons   The Countryside Alliance has lost its appeal against a Co Armagh pigeon fancier being awarded £62,000 damages for the alleged slaughter of his stock by hunt club hounds. Senior judges in Belfast today rejected arguments that the killing of 59 racing birds by dogs breaking into Maurice Weir's premises on the Kinnego Road in Loughgall eight years ago never happened.

Kinnegohuntmichaelweirawarded62kafterhoundskilledprizepigeons11-5-17.jpgLawyers for the Alliance suggested it had been a fraudulent and fabricated claim by a man who destroyed his own pigeons by wringing their necks. But after the Court of Appeal threw out all grounds of challenge Mr Weir [left] declared himself fully vindicated. He said: "My credibility was called into question, and I'm just happy that it's been dismissed as tittle-tattle."

Mr Weir sued the Alliance over the alleged intrusion into his property by the Kinnego Grange and Canary Hunt Club's animals. At a previous hearing he recalled emerging from having lunch in February 2009 to discover "a bloodbath". Up to 15 hounds had broken into lofts and aviaries and killed pigeons highly sought for their ability to fly home from as far away as France, according to his account. He said he saw dead and injured birds lying on the ground and in dogs' mouths. Mr Weir also told of hearing crunching noises and witnesses two hounds pulling a pigeon apart as he tried to chase the pack off.

At the time of the incident he had planned to start up a small stud business at his home, the court heard. He sought damages for the killing of his pigeons, consequential loss, the cost of repairing his aviaries and a further payout for distress and injury to feelings. Counsel for Mr Weir claimed the huntsmen were negligent in failing to control their dogs.

In February last year a High Court judge held that the plaintiff was an honest and straightforward witness whose account was corroborated by others at the scene. She ruled that the hounds had been on his property, gained entry to the lofts and aviaries and, on the balance of probabilities, killed the pigeons. Mr Weir was awarded £59,580 in damages, with a further £2,500 for distress and injury to feelings.

The Alliance sought to have her verdict overturned, arguing again that the hunt's dogs were never on the premises. In a wide-ranging challenge its barristers questioned the credibility of Mr Weir and an independent expert. To succeed, according to the three appeal judges, the Alliance had to establish the hounds had no propensity to attack or kill pigeons, were not on Mr Weir's land and that the scenario he depicted was "a complete farrago of lies". However, Lord Justice Gillen held there was ample evidence for the conclusion that the dogs can inflict heavy losses on the birds. He also ruled: "We are therefore unable to conclude that (the trial judge) has gone plainly wrong in arriving at the conclusion that on the balance of probabilities the incident alleged by the plaintiff did occur." Rejecting all other grounds advanced, he confirmed the appeal was being dismissed and awarded costs to Mr Weir.

                                     

Leak reveals hunters asked to make huge push for Tory landslide
CA vice-chair mobilises Hunts to ensure Hunting Act can be repealed
Says they have assurance repeal vote will be in Tory manifesto

8-5-17   Daily Mirror    'This could be the chance we've been waiting for': Fox hunt bosses' leaked Tory campaign email in full - The email urges hunt masters to “mobilise supporters” and campaign for pro-hunting Tories in marginal seats   Tonight, the Mirror revealed fox hunt masters' secret plan to round up support for Theresa May, because they believe a Tory landslide would lead to the fox hunting ban being scrapped. The email, sent to Hunts across the country by Tory peer Lord Mancroft [right], urges Hunt Masters to “mobilise supporters” and campaign for pro-hunting Tories in marginal seats. He said a Tory majority of 50 or more MPs should be enough to secure a repeal of the 2004 Hunting Act in a Parliamentary vote later this year.LordBenjaminMancroft_2.jpg “This is the chance we have been waiting for,” Lord Mancroft wrote.

Here's the email in full - 'While anything can change in a six-week election campaign, and we know that the polls cannot be relied on, there is a real chance that on 8th June, Theresa May could achieve a majority significantly in excess of the seventeen seats she currently has. A majority of fifty or more would give us a real opportunity for repeal of the Hunting Act (HA), or perhaps an alternative legislative measure – but only if that leaves hunting in a better position than it is now. It must be clearly understood that repeal is our primary objective, but also that politics is “the art of the possible”, and we will take whichever option is the most advantageous to hunting when the time comes. It will only become clear what our best option is after 8th June.

First, we need a cast iron manifesto commitment from the Conservative Party, as we had in the last four election manifestos. Like everyone else, we will have to wait until the manifesto is published on 8th May to be certain, but Simon Hart MP and I have received assurances that such a commitment will be carried forward to the 2017 manifesto. I have made it clear that we will only provide support on that basis, and that if the manifesto does not contain an acceptable commitment, we will withdraw our support.

It is important that everyone understands why the idea that “the Government did not honour the manifesto commitments after the 2010 and 2015 elections” is incorrect. On both occasions David Cameron made it clear that he would authorise and fully endorse a vote in a manner, and at a time, of our choosing.

During the Coalition Government a vote could only take place if the Liberal Democrats agreed, which they did not. After 2015 the Scottish Nationalists reversed their earlier commitment to abstain from any votes that did not impact Scotland, and opposed the proposed Statutory Instrument, and consequently the Government Chief Whip did not think we could win a vote in the House of Commons.

All the advice we received was that we should not risk such a vote unless we had a reasonable expectation of winning. We therefore concluded it was not in hunting’s best interests to put the matter to a vote. I am sure that was the correct decision. We have repeatedly made clear that we need a Government that has both a manifesto commitment to repeal the HA, and a big enough majority to get repeal through the Commons and then the Lords.

It now looks, unexpectedly, as if there is a very real chance we could get such a Government. While nothing in politics is certain, this is by far the best opportunity we have had since the ban, and is probably the best we are likely to get in the foreseeable future. On that basis, we must do everything we possibly can to maximise the chance of getting repeal of the HA. I am confident that every Master will give the leadership and direction that our community needs at this seminal moment. Vote OK, under the direction of George Bowyer, has already started to plan what we are all going to do during the campaign. A number of constituencies do not yet have candidates, so there is a role for us in making sure that only candidates supportive of hunting are selected. Vote OK will advise how best to achieve this.

We will only help candidates who give us an unequivocal commitment to support repeal when the time comes. Nor do we need to help candidates in “safe seats” with large majorities. Instead we will concentrate on those seats where we can make the most difference. Unless specifically advised to the contrary, every Hunt should assume that it will be needed to assist with political work and start making arrangements to mobilise supporters now. Please make sure that your Hunt has an active and effective Vote-OK Coordinator in place and that they are making regular contact with your Regional Vote-OK Director (RVOD). Please do not wait to hear where your Hunt should go, but contact them as soon as possible. If you do not know who your RVOD is, contact George Bowyer by email at [address redacted].

In the face of everything that has happened over the last two decades, the hunting community has never given up fighting for our sport, for our hounds, and to enable our children and their children to enjoy both, as we have. This is the chance we have been waiting for. We have six weeks to show, yet again, what we are made of, and our undying commitment to our way of life. We have six weeks to win back all that has been taken from us. Masters, if ever there was a time to give a lead, this is it. Please don’t waste a single day of those six weeks.

Thank you. Benjamin Mancroft   Chairman, Council of Hunting Associations

POWAperson adds -  Old Etonian Lord Mancroft became JM of the Vale of the White Horse FH in 1987, the same year in which he inherited his father's baronetcy, and held the Mastership for 11 years. In 1992, he became vice-chair of the British Field Sports Society and then a Director, when it changed its name to the more user-friendly Countryside Alliance. He was made vice-chair of the CA in 2005. His somewhat lurid past includes a time as a heroin addict, during which time he acquired a conviction for theft. In February 2008, Mancroft claimed that NHS nurses who had treated him at the Royal United Hospital in Bath were "grubby, drunken and promiscuous". The hospital's Chief Executive, James Scott, called the accusations "damaging and distressing", and requested that the peer retract them. Mancroft has so far refused to do this, or to apologise. Nice guy.

It's no surprise that a commitment for a repeal vote will be in the Conservative manifesto. The leadership has always seemed determined to ignore the mass of public opinion, including an estimated 72% of their own voters, and push through Hunting Act repeal to please their bloodsports loving friends if they got the opportunity. They probably thought that had come with the surprise election result in 2015 and must have been aghast to find that many of the new intake of Tory MPs refused to support repeal. They may find the same applies to the potential newbies this time round. Whether or not, they will face massive parliamentary and public opposition and risk reviving the 'Nasty Party' image, just to get rid of a law that does not seem to much inhibit organised Hunts anyway. Doubtless Vote OK will once more send out hunt supporters into marginal with instructions to wear plain clothes and not bring up hunting on the doorsteps.  


                                    

Isle of Wight FH appeals for funds to fix 'dire' finances

5-5-17   Isle of Wight Country Press 

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Three Derwent FH hunt servants charged with illegal hunting

Marles is to become Eggesford FH Huntsman next season

4-5-17   Wildlife Guardian   Three Derwent Hunt members charged with illegal hunting   Three members of a North Yorkshire hunt have been charged with illegal hunting under Section 1 of the Hunting Act. Hunt master Sean McClarron, kennel-huntsman Jason Marles and whipper-in Damian Readman will appear at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on 22nd May 2017. The charges relate to an allegation that a fox was hunted on 1st November 2016 at Wilton, Thornton-le-Dale.Sean McClarron runs McClarron Insurance Brokers in Malton, whilst Jason Marles is the new huntsman of the Eggesford Hunt in Devon. Readman was formerly a whipper-in for the Staintondale Hunt.The Derwent Hunt’s chairman is Viscountess Diane Downe of Wykeham Abbey. Its directors include John Swiers, of Broxa Farm, near Scarborough, and Robert Sword the manager of the Dawnay Estates at Wykeham.

 
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16-5-17  HSA Press Release    Three Employees of Derwent Hunt Charged with Illegal Hunting   Three employees of the Derwent hunt in North Yorkshire have been charged with illegal hunting. The three: Huntsman Sean McClarron, Kennel Huntsman Jason Marles (now huntsman at the Eggesford Hunt) and Whip Damian Readman are due to appear at Scarborough Magistrates Court on 22nd May.

This follows footage obtained on the 1st November 2016 by members of Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs, at a meet in Wilton in North Yorkshire. Towards the end of the day sabs filmed a fox being bolted from underground and then chased by the pack of hounds. The law stipulates that if a fox is dug out it must not be released to be further hunted.

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It's telling that in practically the same week that the Tories are promising a vote on repeal, the hunting community are showing how above the law they believe themselves to be. Who else, apart from the Conservatives, would choose to reward law breakers by repealing the very law they so blatantly ignore? Hunt saboteurs were around long before the Hunting Act and we'll continue to protect wildlife whatever the self serving lackeys of the Countryside Alliance in Westminster decide to do next." 

12-5-17  Facebook - Kernow Sabs, Monitors and Animal Rights Team   New Eggesford huntsman to face illegal hunting charges    The Eggesford Hunt are in disarray. Only a few weeks after Eggesford Hunt Master Graeme Holmes was found guilty of stealing £48,000 of the hunt's funds, news has just reached us that their new huntsman is due in court in Scarborough later this month on charges of illegal hunting!

Earlier this season we began hearing rumours that young Jason Marles, formerly of the Derwent Hunt, was due to take over from previous huntsman Gary Boon, much to the disappointment of many of the hunt's long-standing supporters. We received messages and phone-calls about it and one member of the hunt even pleaded with us to do something about it, because "Marles doesn't deserve to hunt the Eggesford hounds". Perhaps there simply weren't that many takers for Gary's position, and who can blame them!

Jason Marles comes from a hunting family. His father, Chris Marles, was jailed for 6 months in 2009 after he used his horse to repeatedly ride at an elderly female hunt monitor. This was while he was whipper-in for the East Devon Hunt. He had previously received a 9-month suspended sentence for a serious assault on another hunt monitor. What a time to come back to Devon, Jason, and what a Hunt to choose!