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LATEST UK HUNTING NEWS

    For stories before FEBRUARY 2019, go to UK HUNTING NEWS ARCHIVE

        Warning - contains images of animals killed/ mutilated by Hunts that you may find distressing 

Detailed stories follow each month's headlines below, all in reverse chronological order

 

                                 HUNTING SEASON 2019-20

 

JULY 2019

….. 15th July - Eggesford FH Huntsman fined £747 after attacking female sab

….. 10th July - Police shelve slam dunk Portman FH terrierman sett blocking case

….. 9th July - Calls for 'total ban' after police drop 5 Cheshire FH fox kill cases

….. 6th July - Sabs film Cheshire FH hound being exercised digging into sett

….. 5th July - Three more Cheshire FH fox kill cases dropped by police

….. 5th July - Eggesford FH Huntsman convicted of threatening behaviour

….. 3rd July - Wannabe PM Hunt says he wants to re-legalise hunting with dogs

….. 2nd July - Wynnstay FH kennel Huntsman charged with assaulting monitor 

 

Eggesford FH Huntsman fined £747 after attacking female sab

15-7-19   Daily Mail   Huntmaster, 37, 'saw red' and struck a female saboteur with his riding crop leaving her with a bruised liver and needing a week off work - Dartmoor huntmaster convicted after striking female saboteur with riding crop - Jason Marles was also filmed charging towards Jessica Groling on his horse - The incident happened in a field near North Tawton on Dartmoor last December - His own father was jailed ten years earlier for using his horse against a protester     A Dartmoor huntmaster who struck a female hunt saboteur with his riding crop was fined £1,750 at court yesterday. Jason Marles, huntmaster at the Eggesford Hunt at Wembworthy, north Devon, was filmed charging towards saboteur Jessica Groling on his horse before dismounting and grappling with her. He was convicted of using threatening behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress at Exeter Magistrates Court.

        EggesfordFHJason15-12-18.jpg 

                       Angry Huntsman Jason Marles about to attack female sab  

The incident happened in a field near North Tawton on Dartmoor last December and Miss Groling filmed it on her Go Pro camera attached to her chest.

She told Exeter Magistrates Court that Marles galloped straight towards her and a fellow sab saying: 'I was not sure he would not hit us.' She said Marles stopped a few yards away and jumped off his EggesfordFHSab15-12-18.jpghorse and raised his riding crop and locked her with one arm as he tried to grab her hunting horn which she had been using to distract his hounds. She said Marles 'stabbed my abdomen with his riding crop' and this caused bruising to her liver. She had to be airlifted to a Plymouth hospital for treatment and had to take a week off work.  

Prosecutor Lyndsey Baker said Marles prodded the victim with his riding crop after he angrily grabbed her from behind in a reckless act. Marles claimed he has been subjected to 18 months of harassment by hunt sabs and said there was 'no point interacting' with them. He admitted grabbed her horn and said he was frustrated but not angry during the incident.

Defence solicitor Daniel Gill said: 'It was entirely a response to the sabs breaking up and sabotaging the hunt.' A quad bike then turned up with Marles senior on the back and Ms Groling was dragged along the field before falling to the ground. Marles junior denied the offence but the magistrates convicted him after a trial and said he had 'seen red and lost control'.

A probation officer told the court Marles was 'wound up' by the disruption and acted impulsively but had taken 'a step too far'.

The trial magistrates said he had 'seen red and lost control'. The JPs ordered the married father of three to pay a £747 fine, £819 in court costs and £150 compensation to the injured hunt sab - a total of £1,746.

The father of James Marles, Christopher, was jailed ten years earlier for using his horse 'like a missile' to ram an anti-field sports campaigner into a ditch as she tried to film a fox hunt. Burly Marles senior, then 47, repeatedly barged into 61 year old Helen Weeks and laughed, saying: 'Whisper is a lovely horse - he loves you.' Marles senior was jailed for assault and breaching a suspended sentence for attacking another monitor at an earlier hunt, with the judge branding him a 'drunken lout'.

 

Police shelve slam dunk Portman FH terrierman sett blocking case

Hunt denied knowing their own man - police just accepted that 

10-7-19  Facebook - North Dorset Hunt Saboteurs   VIDEO   More police inactivity    Despite having clear and conclusive evidence of a terrierman from the Portman blocking up an active sett, Dorset Police fail once again to act on evidence.

This is video from one of our many hidden cameras showing a Portman terrierman blocking up an active badger sett in order to prevent foxes they are hunting going to ground. This is an offence under the Protection of Badgers Act.

Intelligence gathering from the coppers went as far as asking the Hunt if they knew who it was. Unsurprisingly, the Hunt denied all knowledge and then the case was archived.

Please feel free to go to the Dorset Police Facebook page and leave your thoughts on this. The laziness and unwillingness to act on this evidence is insulting to both us and the laws of this country. And let's not forget that the police refusing to act on this pretty much gives them a free pass to do whatever they want. We would like to see the coppers defend this one...

We are looking to buy more hidden cameras, so please, if you can, donate to our fundraiser at www.ko-fi.com/NDHSaboteurs/.

 

Calls for 'total ban' after police drop 5 Cheshire FH fox kill cases

9-7-19  The Canary    Hunting must be ‘banned completely’ activists say after Cheshire Police drop cases involving five dead foxes Cheshire Police investigated five incidents of foxes allegedly killed by a hunt during the last season. However, the police have said they’re dropping all the cases. And local activists said this has given Hunts the “green light” to continue killing foxes.

A national dialogue on hunting in early 2019 centred on Cheshire. It occurred after activists published images of foxes allegedly killed by a local Hunt. Between 15 November 2018 and 5 February 2019, activists claimed the Cheshire Hunt killed five foxes. During one such incident on 5 January, Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs said it even caught a member of the Hunt “kicking” a fox’s body into a river.

Activists took all five incidents to Cheshire Police. However, the force has dropped all five cases due to insufficient evidence of illegal hunting. Local paper CheshireLive reported that the “complexity” of the cases led to Cheshire Police seeking advice from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Police said: - The investigation team has now concluded that there is insufficient evidence that any of the incidents amounted to deliberate and intentional hunting, as required by the Hunting Act 2004. Consequently, no further action will be taken. All parties involved have been informed of the outcome. They also added that they would host “a number of engagements” involving both pro- and anti-hunting representatives before the next season begins.

However, a spokesperson for Cheshire Against Blood Sports, which works alongside Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs, told The Canary:- With the news that the police and the CPS dropped all five cases in Cheshire involving just one Cheshire hunt we feel it makes a complete mockery of the hunting act, it has failed to provide any justice for these foxes and is simply not fit for purpose. Three of the foxes were killed in the space of six weeks, we feel that this decision has now given the green light for the Hunts to carry on killing foxes as there is absolutely no incentive for them to stop.

Problems with the law - The spate of dead foxes came as the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Keane published a review of policing hunts in the county on 5 December 2018. Keane’s review said the Hunting Act presents “challenges to investigators and prosecutors”. As a result, he wanted to “explore” how the government could remove these obstacles. Meanwhile, following graphic images of a dead fox posted to social media on 5 January, local MP Chris Matheson called for an “outright ban” on fox hunting.

The Canary previously reported that Lesley Martin of Cheshire Monitors, which was present at the 15 November 2018 incident, believed the Hunting Act is “weak”. And Cheshire Against Blood Sports echoed this. The spokesperson told The Canary: - Unless the Hunting Act is changed and the loopholes closed, foxes all over the country will continue to die. We would like to see the word ‘reckless’ inserted into the Hunting Act. After all if you are taking hounds into the very areas foxes live and by the hunts own admissions they train the hounds on fox scent then it’s highly likely foxes will be encountered and chased. We would also like to see the Huntsman failing to call his hounds off when a fox is being pursued viewed as a clear sign of intent.

These mirror demands by the Campaign to Strengthen the Hunting Act. Such additions certainly remove some of the “challenges” of prosecutions under the Hunting Act, as mentioned by Keane. But Cheshire Against Blood Sports said that governments need to take stronger action: - The whole “sport” needs to be banned completely. We know we will be in this position again next season, foxes will die and nobody will be held accountable.

At present, no political party has committed to an outright ban on hunting. Labour recently said it’s considering a recklessness clause as well as jail time for prosecutions under the Hunting Act. The Green Party appeared to offer the same in its latest political programme, saying it would “tighten up” laws to end the excuse of accidental killing. Meanwhile, the Conservatives have continued talking about lifting the ban. And the Liberal Democrats are silent on the issue.

Hunts will continue killing animals unless a government eliminates the law’s loopholes completely. Introducing clauses to strengthen the ban would go a little way to achieving this. But prosecutions will still rely on ‘sufficient evidence’. There are hundreds of hunts across England and Wales, many of which ride out multiple days a week. Even with saboteurs exposing many of these with graphic documentation, attending every single hunt would be an impossible task. And Hunts could continue hunting as normal once they know they aren’t being monitored.

The only solution is to ban hunting completely. But with no parties currently willing to put that on the table, it remains up to saboteurs and monitors to continue holding Hunts accountable.

POWAperson comments  -   The failure to prosecute any of these five cases very clearly demonstrates the gross inadequacy of the Hunting Act. But, tempting as the notion is, it is unclear what a 'total ban' would actually mean. Would we be banning people going out with packs of dogs - if so, bye-bye genuine drag hunting, bye-bye to any pack being exercised. 

Hunting live quarry for 'sport' is,  in theory at least, already banned. It is the weak wording, feeble sanctions and loopholes of the Act that creates the problem - and it is only fixing those deficiencies which can remedy the situation. POWA has been campaigning for significant strengthening of the Act since before the ink was dry on it. A digest of amendments we believe are necessary and - hopefully - sufficient can be found here.     

 

Sabs film Cheshire FH hound being exercised digging into sett

CheshireFHHoundbeingexercised6-7-19.jpg6-7-19  Facebook - Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs   VIDEO    Whilst early morning sett surveying this morning, sabs and Cabs [Cheshire Against Blood Sports] came across the Cheshire hounds out ‘exercising’ their hounds.

It seems the hounds wanted to set survey too. One hound disappeared down a badger sett, (see video) there was no attempt to call the hound out.

We saw foxes earlier on our walk and even one fleeing at the time the foxes entered the field. Luckily the hounds were a little apathetic and one of us used voice calls to call the hounds off.

What a pity foxes choose to live next door to the kennels, if only they understood the dangers. It begs the question, what would of happened if we were not there?

Hounds get exercised daily, how many foxes get killed whilst doing so?

 

Three more Cheshire FH fox kill cases dropped by police

5-7-19  Facebook - Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs  The Hunting Act Does Not Work    The Cheshire Hunt will not be brought to justice for their crimes against wildlife, was the news our sabs woke upCheshireFHKilled5-1-19.jpg to this morning. After the 5 reported fox kills in Cheshire last season, the 3 presented by the police to the CPS have been dismissed.

Those who follow our hit reports will have seen the determination of sabs and Cheshire Against Blood Sports in preventing kills throughout Cheshire, and also seen that our runners’ ability to keep up with the hunt has allowed us to record and collect as much evidence as possible to bring the awful kills we have witnessed to justice.

The Cheshire Hounds (or Hunt as they are officially known), were seen, heard, and recorded breaking the law and cruelly fox hunting, with Huntmaster Jake Oppenheim and particularly whipper-in Jamie Whittles captured allowing the hounds to pursue foxes without intervening, drawing their hounds through coverts clearly likely to be inhabited by foxes, and attempting to dispose of fox bodies after the inevitable kills.

Together the evidence around these kills painted a strong picture of consistent, deliberate illegal hunting by the Cheshire Hounds – at least this is what we were told by Cheshire Police, who informed us they were collating these kills to put forward to the CPS as one case, to maximise the chance of putting these bastards to justice.

We have yet to be informed why the cases were then sent individually to the CPS, and sent immediately before the deadlines for submission with no time to review.

CheshireFHFoxkilled8-1-19.jpgWe trust that next season, the police commitment promised by David Keane (the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire) comes into play – the changes recommended in his report were damning towards the current behaviour of the three illegal fox hunts in Cheshire, and if put into action, will help Cheshire sabs and CABS prevent future kills, and finally bring the Hunts’ cruelty into the courtroom.

Of course, none of this is enough while the Hunt are able to abuse weaknesses in the Hunting Act and continue under the guise of trail hunting. Please support a total ban on fox hunting in the UK. It is the only way this barbaric cruelty will end.

5-7-19  Cheshire Police    In January this year, an investigation was launched following three separate allegations of ‘hunting a wild mammal with dogs’, contrary to the Hunting Act 2004. The three allegations were made following the deaths of foxes during hunts in Huxley on 5 January, in Darnhall on 8 January, and in Hack Green on 5 February. 

On each occasion, detectives gathered video evidence and interviewed a number of people present or with relevant information. As with previous cases, early investigative advice was also sought from the Crown Prosecution Service due the complexity of the case. The investigation team has now concluded that there is insufficient evidence that any of the incidents amounted to deliberate and intentional hunting, as required by the Hunting Act 2004.

Pics above   -   Right, fox killed by Cheshire FH on 8-1-19    Left,  Fox killed by Cheshire FH and dumped in canal 5-1-19 

        CheshireFHFoxkilledBurleydam5-2-19.jpg

                                          Fox killed by Cheshire FH 5-2-19

POWAperson adds  -  Anti reports on the three hunts concerned can be found here, here and here.  

 

Eggesford FH Huntsman convicted of threatening behaviour

His father jailed for assault on woman monitor years ago

Huntsman called him as character witness! 

5-7-19  Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs    After viciously attacking one of our sabs last season, Jason Marles (Huntsman for Eggesford Hunt) was found “Guilty of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour under section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986” in a Devon court today.

        EggesfordFHHuntsman15-12-18.jpg

                         Huntsman Jason Marles hunting with his pack

The magistrates said that members of Devon County Hunt Sabs appeared to be "calm, collected and genuine", and found Marles' evidence to be "uncredible", and completely contradictory to the video evidence. They determined that he did cause harassment, alarm and distress and that he intended to do so. They found that it is entirely uncredible that he did not ride his horse at the sabs. The magistrates agreed with the assertion that he "saw red" and that his actions were not reasonable. They also determined that an injury was sustained because of his actions.

        EggesfordFHJasonMarlesoff15-12-18.jpg

                         Marles jumps off horse before assaulting female sab 

After many years of sweeping it under the carpet we are pleased to finally see some action from the Devon authorities against the blatant law breaking of hunts in Devon. Eggesford Hunt is particularly nasty and the huntsman even produced his father, Chris Marles, as a witness despite the fact that he has previously spent 6 months in prison for violently attacking a hunt monitor.

Sentencing takes place on July 15th.

No matter what they throw at us and how violent they become we will never stop heading out into the fields to protect Devon’s wildlife as long as the cruelty continues. Please do support our work and keep us out there saving wildlife in Devon.

Pic below   -   Female sab being treated after assault by Marles 

                   EggesfordFHInjuredsabtreated15-12-18.jpg 

6-7-19  BBC News    Devon huntmaster 'struck saboteur with riding crop'    A Devon Huntmaster "saw red" and struck a hunt saboteur with his riding crop after galloping at her on his horse, a court has heard.

Jason Marles, 37, had denied using threatening and abusive behaviour to cause harassment, alarm and distress to Jessica Groling in December. He was found guilty by Exeter magistrates during a trial on Friday.

Ms Groling suffered a bruised liver and was airlifted to hospital [below] after the clash near North Tawton, Devon. Exeter Magistrates' Court saw footage of the incident recorded on Ms Groling's chest camera.

        EggesfordFHFsabairlifted15-12-18.jpg 

Ms Groling said: "Marles was galloping straight at us at high speed. I thought he is going to trample us. He was heading straight for us and I felt terrified... He then stopped a few metres away and leapt off his horse and came straight for me with a riding crop in his left hand."

The court heard Ms Groling had been using an antique hunting horn to distract the hunt's pack of hounds. She said Marles tried to grab the horn from her and "stabbed my abdomen with his riding crop", causing the liver injury. The court heard there was no claim that illegal hunting was being carried out.

Marles, who is the Huntmaster of the Eggesford Hunt based at Wembworthy, Devon, said he had been subjected to 18 months harassment by hunt saboteurs, whom he said wore masks to be more intimidating.

Magistrates told Marles: "You saw red and lost control, that was patently clear." They said his use of the riding crop was "reckless rather than deliberate". Marles, who has no previous convictions, will be sentenced later this month.

7-7-19   Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs   The BBC and other media have reported on Friday's conviction of Eggesford huntsman Jason Marles over his attack on a sab on 15 December 2018. Now the trial has concluded we are in a position to say a bit more about what happened that day.

As they do week after week, the Eggesford had been blatantly hunting foxes, and around 3pm two female sabs out on foot saw a fox and soon afterwards heard hounds in cry. Jason Marles was heard to blow 'gone away', the horn call used when a fox breaks from a covert, and was encouraging his EggesfordFHTuckerMarles15-12-18.jpghounds on a line through the field where the incident took place soon after. Sabs called the hounds back into the field, and much of the pack was milling around them peacefully when Marles appeared riding directly towards the sabs at a dangerous speed.

On reaching them he immediately got off his horse and grabbed one of the sabs, taking her hunting horn from her and injuring her with his riding crop. A quad bike arrived seconds later driven by Eggesford regular Duncan Tucker, with the Huntsman's father Chris Marles on the back [both pictured right]. The sab was then dragged across the field by the quad before falling to the ground.

As more riders began arriving in the field, and given the injuries and distress of the sab who was attacked, our foot team did their best to get to the nearest road and summon help, radioing to other sabs to call the police. It took the sabs around half an hour to reach the road by the most direct route, and this is crucial, because Marles claimed in court that he acted the way he did because we were calling hounds into danger or onto a road.

The court rejected entirely that this occurred and any suggestion that hounds were ever in danger due to our actions. The accusation that we call hounds towards roads is a knee-jerk one resorted to by Hunts every time they need an excuse to be angry at sabs. We hear this more or less whenever we call hounds, but we always consider carefully when it is appropriate to call, and to us the hounds' safety is every bit as important as that of the hunted fox. Marles also tied himself in knots in court claiming there were pregnant ewes in the field, even though he had just hunted through it, again contradicting the video evidence.

Some facts established in court:- 

- Sabs were nowhere near a road and did not call hounds into danger. The map shown in court made this very clear, as did the route taken by the sabs, and the account of the police officer who attended and gave an account of his long walk from the road to the crime scene.

- Marles admitted blowing 'gone away', ludicrously claiming it was because he tries to replicate hunting as it was pre-ban but now means something like "let's go and follow the trail".

- Marles admitted in his police interview a few days after the incident that his conduct could be seen as intimidating.

- The identities of all three hunt members involved was admitted by Marles. He even called his father and Duncan Tucker as witnesses in his defence, and they both gave an account the magistrates found completely implausible and contradictory to the video evidence.

- Marles admitted handing the horn to those on the quad, and says he does not know what happened to it. We have never had it returned.

The magistrates found that our sab's injuries were caused by Marles's actions.

The CPS did not charge Marles with an offence under the Hunting Act. These are difficult to prove. For that reason the court did not consider the question of whether illegal hunting had taken place, and the CPS did not put this accusation to Marles. This has been reported confusingly as there being no suggestion of illegal hunting, but this is not our position and not something the court ruled on. It was however clear to all that the hounds chasing a fox and being called off it by sabs was the context for the whole incident.

We have no reason to call hounds on a genuine trail hunt, or even to attend one, but as our many hit reports attest, the ban might as well never have happened in Devon, because it's business as usual for hunts, and unfortunately for foxes. This was made distressingly clear when the Eggesford killed a fox in front of us on Boxing Day just days after this incident.

Our sab was airlifted to hospital after paramedics became concerned about her breathing difficulties, lowered blood oxygen, and the possibility of internal injuries. The decision to airlift was made by them alone and on the basis of their medical expertise rather than anything our sab told them about her condition. Injuries to her liver were confirmed in hospital and she had to miss a week of work, but is now doing well.

While we would like to have seen Marles and his associates convicted of assault or robbery, not to mention illegal hunting, we have always found the authorities very reluctant to prosecute hunts, and the public order offence was the one they went with on this occasion. It is unusual for these matters even to reach court, and we are relieved that for once a limited form of justice has been done here. We hope the police and CPS will now treat illegal hunting and the violence associated with it with the seriousness it deserves.

Please help spread the word about illegal hunting in Devon, and keep us out there saving wildlife: https://www.paypal.me/dchs.

POWAperson adds  -  Once again we find a serious assault on an anti undercharged, another offence [robbery] not charged and other perpetrators [Tucker and Chris Marles] also not charged. This conviction brings to 444 the number of persons from organised Hunts known to have been convicted of or cautioned for 990 criminal offences since 1990.  253 of these were violent offences and, coincidentally, the number of offences [all types] committed by hunt officials or servants is also 253.

 

Wannabe PM Hunt says he wants to re-legalise hunting with dogs

Faces furious backlash and refuses 4 times to say if it's cruel

3-7-19  Daily Mirror   VIDEO   Jeremy Hunt wants to bring back fox hunting - as part of countryside’s “heritage” - The Foreign Secretary said he would hold a vote on the "barbaric" sport if he becomes Prime Minister - and he'd opt to scrap the ban    Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt [below right] has admitted he wants to bring back fox hunting. In a desperate bid to appeal to Conservative grass-roots, the Foreign Secretary voiced his support for the cruel sport which has been banned in England in Wales for nearly 15 years. He said it was part of the countryside’s “heritage” and should be legalised.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "Labour proudly banned this barbaric practice. This Tory leadership race is going from bad to worse." And Mr Hunt's surprise intervention will trigger dismay among Tory modernisers, who hoped he was the candidate to quell Boris Johnson's lurch to the right.

Sources stressed he would only seek to bring a free vote to the Commons – where MPs vote JeremyHunMP.jpegaccording to their consciences – if there was a majority in Westminster for such a view. Mr Hunt told the Telegraph: “I don't hunt myself, it's not particularly my thing. I think we have to recognise it's part of the countryside and I think we have to recognise that, in terms of the balance of the countryside, it's part of our heritage. So personally I'm happy for people to do it." He confirmed a commitment to have a vote in Parliament would be in the next Tory manifesto, if he was PM.

In reality, such a situation is highly unlikely, with the overwhelming majority of MPs fiercely opposed to a reintroduction of the bloodsport. Mr Hunt today was forced to insist "the law is not going to change" on fox hunting and "it wouldn't be my priority as Prime Minister". He said: "There isn’t a majority in the House of Commons and I don’t see there ever being one."

But he refused four times to give a straight answer when asked by BBC Radio 4's Today programme whether the practice is "cruel". Mr Hunt's vocal display of support for hounds ripping apart foxes risks derailing his No10 bid.

Theresa May's confession to the Mirror during the snap 2017 general election that she had always backed the rural past-time was widely blamed for fuelling her ballot box humiliation. She said then: "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 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." Polls consistently show around three-quarters or more of Britons are against bringing back the bloodsport.

Traditional Hunts now follow a scent trail instead of a fox, or work around loopholes in the law. Countryside campaigners repeatedly demand a shake-up, effectively repealing the 2004 Hunting Act. Mrs May’s predecessor David Cameron also promised Parliament a vote on repeal but had to scrap it after the SNP vowed to block it, even though it does not apply to Scotland.

Chris Luffingham, League Against Cruel Sports director of campaigns, hit back at Mr Hunt's comments and suggested they could be damaging to his chances in a general election. “The last time a politician said we should bring back hunting - Theresa May in the 2017 General Election – they were punished in the polling booths," he said. “Nothing has changed. The vast majority of the British public will be horrified by any attempt to revert back to the barbaric activity of fox hunting. The Hunting Act needs to be strengthened, not repealed, as the hunts are currently still getting away with chasing and killing British wildlife. Hunting needs to be consigned to the history books, and this decision shows quite how out of touch with public opinion Jeremy Hunt is. Fox hunting is a brutal nasty activity in which the hounds literally tear apart the foxes – this should have no place in a modern compassionate society.”

Labour Party Chairman Ian Lavery added: "This Tory leadership race is going from bad to worse. We’ve had Johnson’s tax cuts for the wealthy, a race to the bottom on no-deal Brexit , and now a pledge to bring back this barbaric practice that Labour had proudly banned."

Animal Equality executive director Toni Vernelli said: “Jeremy Hunt has a very short memory – It was this same pledge that lost Theresa May the youth vote at the last election. Hunting with dogs is a cruel relic of the past. Britain has long moved on from finding animal abuse entertaining, and Jeremy Hunt is living in a cave if he hasn’t noticed this.”

4-7-19  Daily Mirror   Squirming Jeremy Hunt refuses FOUR times to say if fox hunting is 'cruel'    The Tory leadership hopeful came unstuck in a car crash interview with the BBC after he said he wants to bring back the vile bloodsport. Squirming Jeremy Hunt has refused FOUR times to say if he believes fox hunting is "cruel". The Tory leadership hopeful was skewered on the radio today after admitting he'd want to bring back the bloodsport as PM.

SueHaymanMP.jpegMr Hunt was forced to insist "the law is not going to change" on fox hunting and "it wouldn't be my priority as Prime Minister". But in a car crash interview, he came unstuck when repeatedly asked by BBC Radio 4's Today programme whether the practice is "cruel".

Interviewer Mishal Husain told him the RSPCA said the practice involved "wild animals being chased to the point of exhaustion, set upon by dogs for sport". Asked if that was "cruel", Mr Hunt replied: "My view is a matter of public record. But what matters now are the things I want to change as Prime Minister."

Asked a second time if it was cruel, Mr Hunt said: "My view is a matter of public record." Asked a third time, he said: "I'm here to talk about the things I want to change as Prime Minister. That is not something that's going to change. "Rural broadband is something that urgently needs to be speeded up. Business rates..."

Exasperated Ms Husain tried a fourth time, saying: "You're swerving away from the subject! I asked you if you think that fox hunting is cruel. And for some reason you're not willing to say if it is or it isn't." He replied: "I have never hunted and it's not my thing but the way I voted is a matter of public record."

Labour's Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman [above left] said: "It is incredible and shocking that Jeremy Hunt, who aspires to be the next Prime Minister, can not bring himself to even acknowledge the barbaric cruelty of fox hunting. Once again it shows this Tory government’s lack of understanding and sincerity on issues of animal welfare."...

Mr Hunt's surprise intervention will trigger dismay among Tory modernisers, who hoped he was the candidate to quell Boris Johnson's lurch to the right...

Mr Hunt stressed he would only seek to bring a free vote to the Commons – where MPs vote according to their consciences – if there was a majority in Westminster for such a view. He told Today: "There isn’t a majority in the House of Commons and I don’t see there ever being one." But he did back putting a commitment to a free vote in the Tory manifesto.

Labour MP Angela Rayner said his pledge was "absolutely disgusting" and a naked bid to win 160,000 Tory members' votes. She said: "The vast majority of the public want this cruel & vile practice consigned to the dustbin of history. Jeremy Hunt thinks it might appeal to a few Tory tally-ho types in the shires. We will not go back to this repulsive pastime!"...

 

Wynnstay FH kennel Huntsman charged with assaulting monitor

2-7-19  Facebook - Cheshire Monitors  VIDEO   Sacked?    After we caught the Wynnstay illegally hunting a fox [on 5-1-19], trespassing on an industrial estate and causing road chaos Mark Hogg - who WAS at that time their kennel-man - lost his cool and assaulted our monitor, pushed them, nearly into a passing car.

During the police investigation Hogg, who was a long standing employee of the Wynnstay, was 'moved' to Dorset and now works as kennelman for the South and West Wilts Hunt. So we can only assume that the masters of the Wynnstay Hunt wouldn't accept this kind of behaviour and sacked him. Good riddance we say!

Just by the way, North Wales Police took far too much time looking into the assault, which is all on film here, including the apology. We had to constantly push this force to find Hogg and interview him.

This poor performance by North Wales Police could be down to the fact that they have, at best, a reputation for having very little interest in hunting cases and possibly because of their internal corruption which was witnessed last season by both North Wales Hunt Saboteurs and Welsh Border Hunt Sabs.

They did however finally charge Hogg but their policing makes Cheshire Police look keen.

Pic below   -   Kennel Huntsman Wayne Hogg about to assault female monitor 

                        WynnstayFHKennelHuntsman5-1-19.jpg 

 

                           HUNTING SEASON 2018-19

 

JUNE 2019

….. 30th June - Illegal hunting case against Lauderdale FH is dropped

….. 27th June - Puppy walker in Eggesford FH country seen beating young hound

….. 27th June - Sabs say Atherstone FH risk assessments grossly inadequate

….. 26th June - 2 Kimblewick FH terriermen charged with cruelty to fox during hunt

….. 26th June - Convicted fraudster, now ex, Tory MP was Master of two fox Hunts

….. 25th June - Bo-Jo is getting massive donations from prominent hunt supporters

….. 24th June - Green MSP bids to fully ban quarry hunting as SNP drags feet

….. 22nd June - Three Counties MH beat retreat when sabs descend on them hunting

….. 21st June - Sabs out sett-checking save baby mink in distress

….. 18th June - CPS drops Cotswold VF FH fox cub kill & assault sab cases

….. 18th June - Wife of cub cruelty case PC says evidenced institutional corruption in police

….. 14th June - Grafton FH supporter convicted after driving into monitor

….. 11th June - Lamerton FH rider killed after horse spooked by passing lorry

….. 10th June - Sabs who started investigation reveal background to fox cub cruelty case

….. 10th June - Suspension of jail sentences in S. Herefordshire cruelty case angers antis

….. 10th June - S. Herefordshire FH Huntsman & kennel maid convicted of cruelty to fox cubs

…..  9th June - Fire Brigade persuaded to withdraw from fundraiser event for Hunts

…..  6th June - S. Herefordshire FH Huntsman struggles to explain severe injuries to cubs

…..  4th June - Cheshire PCC to 'scrutinise' recent police decisions on fox kill cases

…..  3rd June - Yet another Cheshire fox hunt kill case dropped 

 

Illegal hunting case against Lauderdale FH is dropped

Hunting witnessed & reported by Scottish Green MSP 

30-6-19  Sunday Times    Hunting law is hopeless, says Scots animal charity    An animal welfare charity has branded a law banning foxhunting as “hopeless” after a case was dropped because of insufficient evidence.

Footage showing a fox being chased by hunt hounds across a field in the Scottish Borders wasAlisonJohnstoneMSP.jpg reported to police by the League Against Cruel Sports, as a potential breach of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002.

The incident occurred during the Lauderdale hunt in November and was witnessed by Alison Johnstone [right], co-leader of the Scottish Greens, who believed that the law, designed to minimise distress caused to foxes, had been breached.

At present, hunting with dogs is banned in Scotland but they can be used to flush foxes out of cover, so they can be shot as a  pest-control measure. However, critics argue that foxes are not always dispatched quickly and are chased by hounds.

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said: “We are extremely disappointed that the evidence, which in our view clearly illustrated a blatant breach of the law, has been deemed insufficient. The latest debacle is just another nail in the coffin for a hopeless hunt law.”

Johnstone has launched a member’s bill aimed at closing “loopholes” in foxhunting laws. The bill would also clamp down on culling of native mountain hares. Tens of thousands are thought to be killed in Scotland every year to protect game, such as grouse, from disease. “After everything I’ve seen, I’m resolved to end foxhunting for good,” said Johnstone.

 

Puppy walker in Eggesford FH country seen beating young hound

27-6-19  Facebook – Devon Against Hunting    Ever thought about where hounds live before joining the pack? Well, they go to ‘Puppy-walkers’ until they are old enough to learn to kill. The idea being they learn the ‘basics’- to not chase/kill farm animals, and to be obedient. Let me introduce one in the Eggesford Hunt area.

Whilst walking my elderly dog, (on a lead), on a public road, used by locals driving their children to school, or going to work, we were approached by two young pups loose on the road excited to meet another dog.

The person then passed riding the bike, calling to the pups. They didn’t respond, so this person grabbed one by the scruff, making it yelp, then repeatedly hit the other over the head with a small stick-like implement! The pup was cowering and didn’t want to go with her, (shock!), I said I wouldn’t want to either if that’s how she treats them. Her reply is very telling of their attitude to animals-‘If I hit you over the head, you’d behave!

When I confronted her and said ‘Is that what you call ‘Puppy-walking’? She became a little shy and cycled off, (with one pup), leaving one of the two to join her later - if it hadn’t caused an accident or been run over! Remember, they love animals! Usual consideration of road safety and safety of the public!

 

Sabs say Atherstone FH risk assessments grossly inadequate

27-6-19  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Atherstone Hunt New Years Day security exposed - Atherstone Hunt lied in their event plan submitted to the Town Council    The risk assessment provided to Atherstone Town Council for their New Years Day meet is wholly inadequate. It fails to mention the risk of violence and anti social behaviour from the Hunt's own supporters and what steps they will take to prevent it.

It seems that the event plan handed in by the Atherstone Hunt to the town council was also not adequate. The claim they would be using a company called Saltem has been proven to the incorrect as with your help we have uncovered that the company themselves have said they were contacted and told they would not be needed this year. Instead it seems the hunt used their own supporters as stewards and for road closures.

 AtherstoneFHStewarding1-1-19.jpg 

This raises serious questions for the town council as how can stewards prevent violence and anti-social behaviour from the Atherstone Hunt if they themselves are part of that violent and antisocial Hunt? Indeed one of the stewards/hunt supporters was filmed grabbing the hair of an anti-hunt protester during the Atherstone Hunt's Boxing Day meet in Market Bosworth. Let's not forget that the Atherstone Hunt have over 20 convictions for violence and anti social behaviour, many of which were from supporters' actions at previous New Years Day meets. We will be publishing the Hunt's full risk assessment shortly to show badly written and amateur it was.

7-7-19   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   Atherstone Hunt risk assessments for Boxing Day and New Years Day   Recent elections in May mean that the Conservatives now only have a majority of 1 on Atherstone Town Council. Please contact them regarding the Atherstone Hunts risk assessment.

These [below] are the risk assessments made by the Atherstone Hunt for it’s New Years Day hunt meet and Boxing Day hunt meet. Despite first appearances they were not put together by a child - however we regard them as wholly inadequate as a risk assessment.

        AtherstoneFHRisk1-1-19.jpg 

        AtherstoneFHRiskassessment2_1-1-19.jpg 

Given that there has been substantial violence, anti-social behaviour and drunkenness from Atherstone Hunt supporters at this event in previous years there is no mention in the risk assessments of potential violence from members of the Hunt. There is no mention of potential anti-social behaviour from members of the Hunt. Specifically for Atherstone Market Square, there is no mention that all the surrounding pubs are open serving alcohol to these Hunt members increasing the risk of violence, anti-social behaviour and general drunken behaviour from hunt supporters. There is no mention of riders from the Hunt throwing bottles at anti-hunt protestors. No mention of hunt supporters throwing horse manure at anti-hunt protesters. As a result there is also no mention of the likelihood of these risks happening and how the Atherstone Hunt are going to prevent them from happening.

As a risk assessment then these documents failed to identify many major risks that have actually happened in previous years. There is a brief mention that the Hunt will have it’s own stewards at the event but these stewards are actually Atherstone Hunt supporters who themselves have been involved in anti-social behaviour in the past.

Please politely contact both Atherstone Town Council and Market Bosworth Parish Council and ask them for a guarantee that the points raised above should be addressed in any future risk assessments submitted by the hunt. Atherstone Town Council clerk@atherstone-tc.gov.uk. Individual Councillors http://www.atherstone-tc.gov.uk/about-us/councillors. Market Bosworth Town Council - clerk@marketbosworth-pc.gov.uk.

 

2 Kimblewick FH terriermen charged with cruelty to fox during hunt

26-6-19  HSA Press Release    Two members of Kimblewick Hunt charged with animal cruelty    Two men have been charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after the Kimblewick Hunt were filmed hunting a captive fox Ian James Kirby Parkinson, aged 64, of Lower Road, Haddenham, Bucks and Mark Anthony Vincent, aged 53, of Kimblewick, Aylesbury are charged with one count each of causing unnecessary suffering.

        3KimblewickFHTManarranging1-1-19.jpg 

Footage filmed by undercover investigators was handed to the Hunt Saboteurs Association in January. The footage was filmed on New Years Day when the hunt met at Moreton, Thame, Oxon. It shows the hunt terrier men using draining rods to force the fox, that they’ve been holding captive, out of a drainage pipe then being thrown into the wood for hounds to chase. The terriermen can clearly be heard communicating with the Huntsman agreeing when the best time is to release the fox which is given a brief head start so that the hunt riders experience a chase rather than a quick kill.

        4KimblewickFHTManpullsfox1-1-19.jpg                            Terrierman pulling fox out of the artificial earth 

Both are due to appear at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 23 July.

       5KimblewickFHReleasedfox1-1-19.jpg                                                 Terrierman releases fox 

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “We’re pleased that Thames Valley Police have finally charged the suspects in this obvious case of animal cruelty. When we released the footage in January both the media and the general public were outraged by what we showed them and the Kimblewick Hunt were widely vilified. Once these two are found guilty we would expect the Kimblewick as a corporate entity to be taken to court as it’s clear these two were carrying out the commands of the Hunt.

        6KimblewickFHHoundsreleased5-1-19.jpg                            As arranged, hounds released after fox 2 mins later 

Footage and the original story can be found here.

 

Convicted fraudster, now ex, Tory MP was Master of two fox Hunts

Astonishingly, Tories have picked him to fight Brecon by-election!

26-6-19  HSA Press Release    De-Selected Conservative MP is Former Hunt Master   Convicted Conservative MP Chris Davies [right] is a former Master of two fox hunts and threatened in 2004 that members of his Golden Valley Hunt would break the law when hunting was banned. During his Mastership both the Golden Valley and Banwen Miners Hunts carried out violent attacks on hunt ChrisDaviesexMP.jpgsaboteurs.

In March of this year, Davies was convicted of making false expenses claims. He received a £1500 fine and had to carry out 50 hours of community service. This led last week to the electorate of his Brecon and Radnorshire constituency raising a recall petition to have him de-selected as their MP and forcing a by-election. He has now been re-selected by the Conservative Party as their candidate in the upcoming by-election.

Davies was Master of the Banwen Miners Hunt in the Swansea Valley from 1993-99 before moving to the Golden Valley Hunt on the Welsh Border in 2000. In 2004, in the run up to the ban, he did not have the bottle to say he would personally defy the law, but told the BBC that some of his members would (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4026351.stm).Lee

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It's hard to think of a less useful member of society than an ex-hunt master, corrupt Tory MP. We hate to kick a man while he's down but we'll make an exception in this case. Davies is clearly a man who can't be trusted. Whilst Master of the Golden Valley Hunt he implicated himself in flouting the Hunting ban and now as a public servant he has deliberately falsified accounts to rip off the public purse. It’s testament to the low moral standards of the Conservative Party that they’ve re-selected him for the upcoming by-election and we wanted the Brecon and Radnorshire electorate to know the type of man they’re potentially voting for.

  

Bo-Jo is getting massive donations from prominent hunt supporters

£109k gifted to him just in 2019 by Christofferson & the Bamfords 

25-6-19  The Canary   One of Boris Johnson’s biggest donors has a controversial past hunting foxes    Boris Johnson’s second largest donor* in 2019 is a hunter and hedge fund manager with a controversial past. And even the Spectator said this could “come back to haunt” the leadershipJohanChristoffersonJMJedforestFH.jpg candidate.

Johan Christofferson [right] is a partner in hedge fund management firm Christofferson, Robb & Co. He’s also been the joint-master of the only hunt in Scotland to so far have been prosecuted for illegal hunting. And in 2019, Christofferson has been Johnson’s second largest donor.

Electoral Commission records show Christofferson has made two donations to Johnson so far in 2019. There was a £20,000 donation, which Johnson accepted on 15 January, and a £16,000 donation accepted on 6 March. Christofferson’s £36,000 makes him the Conservative leadership hopeful’s second largest private donor this year, after construction equipment manufacturer JCB.

Commenting on the £16,000 donation, Spectator columnist ‘Steerpike’ said Christofferson’s donations “could come back to haunt” Johnson [below left]. And it’s because of the hunter’s controversial past.

Christofferson has been joint-master of the Jedforest Hunt, based in Scotland, since the mid-2000s. In June 2017, two members of the Hunt were convicted of breaching the Protection of Wild Mammals Act, the law that effectively bans hunting in Scotland. It’s the only successful hunting prosecution in Scotland to date.

Before joining the Jed Forest Hunt, Christofferson was a joint-master of the Isle of Wight Hunt. Under his mastership, hunt staff including Stuart Trousdale [Huntsman] dumped the dead bodies of two calves, a horse and a bullock on the streets of Brighton during the October 2004 Labour Party conference in the city. BBC News reported at the time that: 'The court was told the pair dumped the animals on the day of Tony Blair’s keynote speech to show their opposition to a proposed ban on hunting.'

BorisJfoxhunting.jpgTrousdale’s actions were so extreme that the Master of Fox Hounds Association suspended the Isle of Wight Hunt for a month. It also “upbraided” Christofferson for failing to control his staff. Trousdale was later charged with illegal hunting in 2007. But the League Against Cruel Sports eventually dropped a private prosecution after a 2009 High Court decision made convictions under the Hunting Act more difficult.

None of this appeared to worry Christofferson, though. Trousdale joined the hedge fund manager as joint-master and Huntsman of the Jedforest Hunt in 2008.

Christofferson has been a frequent donor to the Conservatives. Most notably, he donated £40,000 to Simon Hart’s bid for a seat in parliament in 2010. Hart was, at the time, chief executive of pro-bloodsports group the Countryside Alliance. The hunter also donated to former policing and justice minister Nick Herbert several times between 2009 and 2015.

As the Daily Record pointed out: 'In [2009], the League [Against Cruel Sports] wrote to the parliamentary standards commissioner asking him to look into donations made to Herbert by people linked to fox hunting.'

And a Scottish Labour official accused Christofferson’s donations to Herbert as being “clearly designed to influence the decision to repeal the ban”. The Canary contacted Johnson and Christofferson for comment but hadn’t heard back at the time of publishing.

When Theresa May campaigned for the 2017 general election, she promised a parliamentary vote on repealing the hunting ban. In the end, she dropped the pledge after recognising that the public was staunchly against the proposal. May went on to rule out any vote during her term in parliament. But she’s now on her way out, and Johnson’s support for hunting is well-known. He consistently voted against laws on hunting before the ban was brought in and even suggested urban foxes ought to be hunted during his term as London mayor.

Could he have had a change of heart, though? On 19 June, the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation uploaded a photograph of Johnson with its co-founder Lorraine Platt. Johnson’s partner, Carrie Symonds, is also patron of the group. Platt is also a long-time anti-hunting campaigner. But in the end, money speaks. And with wealthy backers that are not just pro-hunting but deeply involved in the vile ‘tradition’, it’s difficult to see why Johnson would change his stripes.

The Hunting Act is deeply flawed and hunting needs to be banned outright. But that may be further from our grasp than ever before if Johnson becomes prime minister.

        BorisJohnsonextract6-19.jpg 

                             Extract from Electoral Commission political party donor's list 

POWAperson adds  -  * The article author seems unaware that the Bamfords [who own the JCB group] are not just a massive donor to Johnson personally but also hugely to the Conservative party and that they are closely associated with the Heythrop FH, of which Sir Anthony's wife, Carol Bamford, is a member. Bamford donations this century total many million pounds, from both the JCB company and individual family members.   

** Apart from suggesting that London' urban foxes should be hunted, Johnson is such a strong supporter of blood sports that he has even proclaimed in favour of bullfighting. Any interest he has displayed in Blue Foxes founder Lorraine Platt may be simply trying to muddy the waters on his taste for live quarry hunting, though I'm sure the fact that she happens to be a very striking looking blonde would have nothing to do with it.   

Incidentally, Christofferson resigned his mastership of the Jedforest FH in 2017, after two of his hunt servants were convicted. I do not know if he is still hunting or, if so with whom.    

 

Green MSP bid to fully ban quarry hunting as SNP drags feet

24-6-19   Herald     Green MSP bids to ban fox and hare hunting with new bill    They are a familiar sight in Scotland’s cities and suburbs, even trotting casually through the garden at the heart of the Scottish Parliament from time to time. But now Holyrood is being asked to give its foxes the same protection as mammals as rare and elusive as wild cats and pine martens, and finally end their hunting with dogs.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone [right] yesterday published legislative plans to protect foxes and haresAlisonJohnstoneMSP.jpg by outlawing their killing except under a strict licensing regime. Her proposed member’s bill is also intended to end hunting with dogs by closing a series of loopholes in the 2002 Holyrood law which was meant to ban the practice, but is often circumvented.

Ms Johnstone said her Protection and Conservation of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill was partly in response to the SNP Government’s lack of action on the issue. Although ministers promised in January to tighten up hunting law after a report on its shortcomings by Lord Bonomy, there have been no concrete proposals to date.

The 2002 Holyrood Act ended the deliberate hunting of foxes with dogs, but permitted the use of dogs to flush foxes towards guns so they could be shot when it was safe to do so. Ms Johnstone said there was a widespread concern that this exception was being abused, with foxes flushed by dogs, but with guns absent or a reluctance to fire.

She said mounted hunts kill up to 800 foxes per year, and Lord Bonomy’s inquiry had found one-fifth of the foxes disturbed by hunts ended up killed by the dogs.

Ms Johnstone’s bill would effectively end fox hunting by removing all exceptions in the law and create a new offence of “intentionally or recklessly” hunting a wild mammal with a dog. Dog walkers whose pets chase a wild mammal are not affected. The bill would also outlaw the hunting of brown hares and mountain hares all year round, not merely in the “close seasons”.

Around 26,000 mountain hares are killed each year on grouse moors, half reportedly to stop them passing the tick-borne louping-ill virus to the birds, 40 per cent for sport, and 10 per cent for forestry protection. The bill would allow foxes and hares to be killed for pest control, but only under licence and “as a last resort” that minimised suffering and protected any dependant young. 

Ms Johnstone gave the example of “emergency action by an authorised person if a fox was attacking livestock”. Licences would only be issued for specific purposes, subject to a public interest test, after non-lethal methods had failed, with the costs borne by licence holders. Information on how many animals had been killed would be public.

Ms Johnstone, the MSP for Lothians, said: “Foxes and hares deserve our compassion and respect, yet they are routinely slaughtered across the country in huge numbers. My proposal would give these animals the protection they so urgently need. Fox hunting was meant to have been banned in Scotland in 2002, but little has changed. Hunts still go out, pursuing and killing foxes, and foxes are MairiGougeonMSP.jpgstill being killed by hunting dogs. The Scottish Government and the First Minister herself have expressed their support for action but have been unable to find the time to bring forward a legislative proposal themselves. I’m confident they will get behind my proposal.”

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said: “We are confident that hunting as we know it will soon be a thing of the past.”

But Jamie Stewart, director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: “Ms Johnstone is ignoring all the available evidence on fox management and welfare, and she knows it. The protection of foxes is a ludicrous idea which is a slap in the face to every sheep and free range poultry farmer in the country. Fox control has always been focused on lowering the population to a level that makes attacks on livestock, game and ground nesting birds less likely. Mrs Johnstone is now proposing that farmers will have to wait until a fox has killed a lamb before it will be legal to shoot it. Her proposed legislation jumps on every available bandwagon and has no justification on the basis of evidence or principle. The proposals would remove the rights of farmers and land managers across Scotland to control foxes effectively and protect their livelihoods, with no evidential justification whatsoever.”

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon [above left] said the Government was committed to animal welfare and would soon consider an expert review on grouse moor management, including mountain hare culls. On fox hunting, she said: “Not only will it be taking forward many of the recommendations in Lord Bonomy’s report, we will go further by implementing measures that will do more to clarify and strengthen the Protection of Wild Mammals Act. In doing so, we will work constructively with any MSPs to achieve our objectives.”

See also article by Alison Johnstone on why foxes and hares need more protection

23-6-19  The Scotsman    Scottish government moves towards total ban on fox hunting   Scots are being asked to give their views on proposed new laws that would completely ban fox hunting and end the mass slaughter of wild hares.

Alison Johnstone, co-leader of the Scottish Green Party, is tomorrow unveiling plans for a member’s bill aimed at closing “loopholes” in existing legislation, which has failed to effectively stamp out hunting of foxes and allows unlimited numbers of native mountain hares and brown hares to be killed at certain times of the year.

The Lothian MSP is launching a public consultation on the draft bill, seeking feedback on measures aimed at protecting the three species and stopping them being killed for sport. The consultation will run until mid-September.

In the consultation document, Johnstone states: “Wild mammals belong to no-one while they are free-living, but UK legislation has long held that animal welfare is a public good and that animals should therefore be protected in the public interest. The aim of the proposed bill is, therefore, to improve the protection of some wild mammals in Scotland, specifically by ending the use of dogs in the hunting of wild mammals and improving the protection of certain wild mammals.”

The Scottish Government outlined intentions to tighten up laws after commissioning a review of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 by Lord Bonomy, but has so far failed to take action. Johnstone said: “Foxes and hares are iconic species that are widely celebrated in popular culture and valued by rural and urban Scots alike. They deserve our compassion and respect, yet they are routinely slaughtered across the country in huge numbers.”

Existing rules ban the use of packs of dogs to chase and catch foxes, but permit the use of dogs to flush a fox into the open. The proposed new bill has been welcomed by animal welfare campaigners, who have said it could be “game-changing”.

But a spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association said: “We hope to engage with Scottish Government on its intentions, particularly any licensing scheme to allow vital pest control.”

 

Three Counties MH beat retreat when sabs descend on them hunting

22-6-19  Facebook - Bristol Hunt Saboteurs   Three Counties Mink Hounds – 22/06/19    Today we made another trip to visit the riverside vandals of the Three Counties Mink Hounds. They were in the same area as when we last sabbed them a month ago, south of Cleobury Mortimer on the Worcestershire/Shropshire border.

A motley crew of around 30 sabs from Bristol, Severn Vale, Bath, Nottingham, Lincoln & Sheffield (cheers for the visit!) descended on the Hunt who were on the River Rea.

As soon as they saw sabs the game was up. The hounds were called away from the river and the Hunt retreated to Reaside Manor Farm to seek refuge, before a traditional walk of shame to box up with sabs in tow. Job done!

 

26-6-19  Facebook - Nottingham Hunt Saboteurs   VIDEO   The 3 Counties Otterhounds - I mean Minkhounds - picked a bad time and place for their bloodsports fix this weekend. They had breakfast so close to several badger cull zones that within minutes a local tip-off had brought all the sabs to the yard.

After their big fry up the hunters arrived at the River Rea just in time to see Notts Sabs, Lincoln Hunt Saboteurs, Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs, Bristol Hunt Saboteurs and Severn Vale Hunt Saboteurs jogging down the opposite bank.

They immediately blew for home before traipsing back to their host (High Court judge Sir Gerald Barling) with their tails between their legs.

Donations will pay for new equipment to fight bloodsports over the summer.

 

Sabs out sett-checking save baby mink in distress

22-6-19  Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs    Also yesterday, 21st June 2019. On returningBabymink21-6-19.jpg to the car after sett-checking, a huge rumpus was heard in a stream. On closer examination 4 of these little ones were clearly in distress. It appeared they couldn't get up a bank and this one ended up being left behind. After asking someone who knows more, this chap was placed on the side of the stream where he cried his heart out as sab' sat within hearing distance. In a short time some more squealing was heard and his Mum and family had come back to him.

This is a baby mink. The mink hunting season is well underway and if hounds had been going down this stream he and his siblings would have been ripped apart. If he had escaped into a hole they would have dug him out.

Mink were bred on a huge scale in the UK for the fur industry before the practice was banned.

Out sett-checking again today in Glos zone 1... and hoping that we find no more destroyed setts. 2 found last year and 1 so far this year. Please continue to support us with information and paypal.me/threecountiessabs.

 

 

CPS drops Cotswold VF FH fox cub kill & assault sab cases

18-6-19  Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs  VIDEO    Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt case dropped following CPS decision [Hunt kill fox during cub hunting meet - sab suffers whiplash after assault]   We have delayed putting out our report due to the coverage of the South Herefordshire Hunt trial.

In late May we were informed that investigations into illegal cub hunting by the Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt and an assault on one of our sabs (which led to her suffering whiplash for several days) by hunt staff were dropped. Despite work put in by police officers, following a CPS decision the case was dropped.

On 23rd October 2018, the Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt held a cub hunting meet in the area of Norton, Gloucestershire and hunted around land owned by Master of the Hunt, Mike Smith. Three saboteurs from Three Counties Sabs were present on the day, two inland on foot and another in the vehicle.

        CotswoldVFHHoundsathedge23-10-18.jpg

                                             Hounds at the hedge

Towards the end of the meet, the two sabs inland could hear hounds speaking (an excited baying which indicates that they have picked up a scent and are following it) and noticed hounds and hunt riders in the field the sabs were heading towards. Huntsman Gary Williams could clearly be heard encouraging hounds on from the opposite side of the hedge that hounds were interested in and was using voice commands and horn calls consistent with ‘traditional’ fox hunting.

        CotswoldVFHHoundssurround23-10-18.jpg 

From their position, the saboteurs present could only monitor as any noise or attempt to distract hounds could have ‘headed’ a hunted fox back into the pack. It was shortly evident that the hounds had killed, Williams was heard ‘blowing the kill’ (a horn call not often heard since the Hunting Act 2004 came into force as it shows that that the Huntsman is aware of a kill taking place and is informing the remainder of the hunt riders and the hounds of it). He was heard praising the hounds and telling them to “break him up, break him up” which means to eat the remains of the fox.

In interview we have been told that Williams, Huntsman of the Hunt at the time of the incident but since ‘let go’ by the Hunt, said that hounds had gone off on a trail (of which no evidence was provided) and that he realised that they were spending time within the hedge. He claims to have realised that there was a fox in the hedge but that it was obvious that it had been dead for several days so he allowed them to have it and encouraged hounds to tear the body up.

        CotswoldVFHHuntsmaninstructs23-10-18.jpg 

                     The Huntsman instructs hounds to dismember the hunted fox 

Saboteurs involved on the day state that their issues with his story are as follows:-

1. Gary Williams handed the remains of the fox in a plastic sack (minus intestines which were found by sabs) to another hunt rider who rode off with the bag away from sabs. This hid any evidence that would prove if the fox was several days dead or recently killed – a post-mortem could have been carried out at sabs’ expense if necessary to prove cause and time of death.

2. A fox that was several days old at time of being ripped apart would not bleed and the intestines found by sabs were bloody and fresh, still hot and smelled of dead fox. When police arrived later the intestines had been removed but fresh and still wet blood was left where they had been along with splashes of blood on various blades of grass around the area of the kill – all evidenced by Gloucestershire police officers.

3. A sab was assaulted whilst trying to get to the site of the kill, the perpetrator being Hunt Master Mike Smith of Prior’s Norton. Having first ridden repeatedly at her and her colleague, he then jumped off his horse and tackled her to the floor. With him distracted, the second sab made it to the kill site at which point the hunt riders moved off. If the assault occurred because sabs were trespassing, why did the trespass matter less once evidence of the kill had been found and recorded? Why assault the sab if the Hunt had done nothing wrong?

        CotswoldVFHBagcontainingfoxremainshanded23-10-18.jpg

                         Rider is handed bag containing remains of hunted fox 

4. If the fox had indeed been dead for several days – a ‘fact’ not accepted by sabs or police – cause of death would not have been known by the Hunt. If the fox had been poisoned, remnants of the poison may still have been present in their system, putting hounds’ lives and health at risk. This wouldn’t be a massive surprise though considering the lack of care taken to protect hounds by this Hunt – sabs state that the Hunt are notorious for losing control of hounds, have had hounds killed on the nearby A38 in the past and have been reported by members of the public for losing stray hounds on roads and in private gardens on numerous occasions.

5. Hounds are generally not interested in dead foxes.

6. Cub hunting is the initial stage of the hunting season, running from around the end of August until the beginning of November. One of the purposes of cub hunting is to train new hounds, new hounds learning from those with experience as to what they should do when they pick up on a scent of a fox. It is a time when hounds will learn the taste, smell and sight of a fox and will learn also from the Huntsman who will praise or tell them off based on their actions. Even if the fox were already dead, the Huntsman’s actions in praising the hounds, telling them to “break him up” (a reward for the hounds after a successful hunt) and ‘blowing the kill’ will have taught them that ripping up a fox gets them praise, teaching them that they have done something right. Which is precisely what traditional cub hunting would achieve and set them up to do once the main hunting season arrives: chase and rip apart foxes.

Pics below  -  1/ Rider makes off with fox remains   2/  Huntsman rides at sab group    

  CotswoldVFHRidermakesoff23-10-18.jpg   CotswoldVFHHuntsmanrides23-10-18.jpg    

Gary Williams has since lost his job with the Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt and is rumoured to be moving over to the Ross Harriers Hunt (who operate closer to Ross-on-Wye and share some of the same hunting country as the CVFH). In the remainder of the hunting season Gary was filmed encouraging hounds on to a fox scent by another member of Three Counties Sabs and was also suspected to be involved in the blocking of badger setts in the Hunt’s country – a tactic used to prevent foxes being able to escape underground during a hunt, in contravention of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.

See also our webpage. Please share if you like what we do, help spread the message and, if you can, chuck a few quid our way to cover fuel and equipment costs: paypal.me/threecountiessabs. Thanks!

 

Wife of cub cruelty case PC says evidenced institutional corruption in police

Claims elements in West Mercia force traduced her husband to try to derail case

18-6-19  Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    The following account was sent to us by Jane Barradale-Smith, the wife of the police officer who received the bodies of the dead fox cubs from HIT and began the investigation. It is a powerful and personal account of a three year nightmare at the hands of fellow officers, crown prosecutors, local judiciary and senior officers from other forces. It is shocking. please read and share widely. HIT

"This is certainly not news to me as my name is Jane Barradale- Smith. I had a search warrant served on my home address simultaneously to the HIT operative. My personal laptop was seized. I reported this to the IOPC independently from my husband who was the original investigation police officer who received the dead fox cubs from HIT. I have reported the Police Officer to Professional Standards Department of WMP for Perverting the Course of Justice regarding false and malicious allegations of adultery, in what is a clear attempt to get the case dropped, this has not been addressed by West Mercia Police.

When the search warrant was executed on my home the police officer who signed the warrant application form , stood in my dining room and said “ there is no evidence of an affair but they have been ordered to do it”. I have repeatedly questioned the legality of the search warrant as I believe that Birmingham Magistrates Court was mislead in to issuing 2 warrants.

Three years ago, my husband, Richard, commenced this investigation into animal cruelty. He conducted this investigation fairly, impartially and with transparency, securing overwhelming evidence from witnesses. His work was recognised and praised by senior officers, so much so that he was nominated for a commendation.At the end of July, 2016 Richard challenged the discriminatory comments of a senior CPS Solicitor. The following day, Richard was removed from this case.

Richard has since, and over the past two and a half years, been subjected to the most intense and intrusive scrutiny which not only questioned his professionalism but has severely and adversely affected our private life and his health.

West Mercia Police and West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service failed and refused to acknowledge his status as a Whistleblower, instead choosing to attempt to ostracise and repress him for standing up to the establishment and questioning the evidenced institutional corruption that has taken place during this investigation.

Following the execution of a search warrant on our house, I have been given evidence to show that Birmingham Magistrates Court were deliberately mislead into issuing this warrant and that officer/s perverted the course of justice in obtaining it.

Richard has been criminally interviewed twice with no evidence to support the justification for this. Richard only ever wanted to deal with this investigation fairly and impartially which is what the public would expect from any officer. He retires in July following 30 years of service in the police, sadly despondent at how his career will end.

Questions now have to be asked as to why West Mercia Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have conducted themselves in this way. Happy for this to be shared.   Jane Barradale-Smith "

19-6-19  morethanjustbadgers.net    What a load of B*ll*x    … While I was away the case of the South Herefordshire Hunt fox cub killers finally reached it's conclusion. Here was a case that had been dragging on as long as my own one against Fitzwilliam but for very different reasons. The Hunt Investigation Team had secured some very damning evidence against the accused and it did finally get to court although it has now come to light that the reasons behind the delays were insidious to say the least.

There was a concerted effort by some individuals within West Mercia Police to make sure those responsible for the heinous crimes against those fox cubs would never see the inside of a court room. Follow this link for a personal account by Jane Barradale-Smith who is the wife of the officer who received the bodies of the dead foxes.

The case was very widely reported in the national press and TV with the main focus not just on the convictions but the totally laughable sentences handed out with probably the best article in the Independent. It's a sad indictment of our legal system that the people responsible avoided a custodial sentence and were in fact not even banned from keeping animals in the future. This is no deterrent at all and another reason in a long list that we need a complete overhaul of sentencing options for hunting and animal cruelty offences along with judges who are prepared to give the maximum sentences where appropriate...

POWAperson adds  -  It is always hard to be sure looking on from outside - and as a former criminologist who worked with police a lot I am very far from being anti-police - but Mrs. Barradale-Smith's testimony, added to that of many sabs and monitors from lots of different areas, seems to confirm that there are, in certain forces, elements that are willing not just to turn a blind eye to illegal hunting and other unlawful behaviour by Hunts but to actively aid them. Needless to say this, if true, is extremely disturbing and threatens the very rule of law.

 

Grafton FH supporter convicted after driving into monitor

14-6-19  Facebook - Grafton Hunt Watch   VIDEO   Another Grafton hunter found guilty   Today at Northampton Magistrates Court, Grafton Hunt supporter Jenny Jackson Stops was found GUILTY of refusing to provide her name and address at the scene of an accident, and also failing to report the accident to the police. She was fined £692, plus costs and victim surcharge, total £1336 and given 6 penalty points on her licence.

On 13 January 2018 the Grafton Hunt chased a fox into Sulgrave, witnessed by one of our monitors. She was looking to her left for the hounds, or indeed the fox, when she heard a thump. Voices were raised in protest and she realised a car had struck monitor Lara Abbiss Stubbs. Fortunately her dashboard camera had recorded the incident.

Jackson Stops frequently obstructs the monitors and in particular she drives extremely slowly in front of them, to prevent them from keeping up with the hunt. We are in no doubt on this occasion she wanted to get in front of John in order to delay him yet again. As she drives forward, Lara turns and the car strikes her, spinning her body round. The impact dented the car and knocked the wing mirror off, leaving it dangling.

Jackson Stops’ incredible defence was that she did not hit Lara, claiming instead that Lara threw herself at the car in order to cause criminal damage to her vehicle! Yes, really!! She actually claimed Lara threw her body against her vehicle deliberately.

Some may think Jackson Stops was lucky not be facing more serious charges today.

 

Lamerton FH rider killed after horse spooked by passing lorry

11-6-19  Cornwall Live   Woman killed in freak accident after lorry spooked hunt horses - Linda Sandercock lost her life in a tragic accident after a slow-moving lorry passed her on a country lane     A 64-year-old horse-rider suffered a fatal injury after a passing HGV spooked hunt horses she was exercising, an inquest heard.

Linda Sandercock from Trebursye, near Launceston, had ridden out with her friend Maria Lewis, on the morning of December 14th last year along a link road off the A30 from Stowford Cross to Hayne Cross.

In a statement read out at the inquest, presided over by senior coroner Ian Arrow at Plymouth Coroner's Court, Mrs Lewis explained how the pair had ridden horses together over the past five years and described her friend as an "experienced horsewoman".

On the day, Mrs Sandercock was wearing a bright pink fluorescent coat and a new riding helmet and both riders were on a horse each, but leading another, resulting in four horses on the road. Mrs Lewis explained she was a groom and looked after horses and dogs for the Lamerton Hunt. She said the pair intended to exercise the horses on the roads around the Lamerton Hunt kennels. She said it was a bright, cold and clear morning and the roads were dry and they road the horses at a walking pace, occasionally slow trotting.

They walked past Haynes Farm in single file on a two way road, with Mrs Lewis at the front and Mrs Sandercock at the rear. Mrs Lewis spotted a large lorry up ahead which she said "slowed right down" at spotting the horse riders. She said she raised her hand to thank the driver who continued past them slowly.

However, she said she "heard air-brakes from the lorry" and then heard horses hooves on the ground. One of the horses being led ran forwards onto a grass bank and as Mrs Sandercock tried to hold onto the rope, her own mount bucked and threw her off. The two horses cantered up the road and Mrs Lewis said that even her own horses "were spooked". The lorry continued up the road, the driver seemingly oblivious to what had happened.

Mrs Sandercock appeared to be in pain and very disorientated and Mrs Lewis called upon the help of farm workers from a nearby field. One chased after the spooked horses which were heading towards the A30 carriageway while the other call the emergency services. Sadly, within a few minutes, Mrs Lewis said her friend was no longer sitting upright and "stopped breathing".

Efforts were made to resuscitate her and an air ambulance attended the scene, taking her to Derriford Hospital. She received treatment for a severe head injury but sadly died the following day. A post mortem found Mrs Sandercock had suffered significant brain injuries and her cause of death was determined as traumatic acute subdural haemorrhage.

Police arrived at the scene and closed the main road between Sprytown Cross (Sprytown) and A30 (Stowford Cross, Broadwoodwidger), in both directions, for around three hours to investigate the incident.

As part of the inquiry the driver of the lorry was later traced and interviewed. He told police he recalled coming up the hill, seeing the horses and slowing down, which was recognised by one of the riders with a thank-you wave. He recalled passing the riders at a very slow speed before "carrying on as normal". It was accepted that he had no knowledge that anything had happened and police determined the driver had committed no offences and there were no faults with his Mercedes articulated lorry. The police investigation also examined Mrs Sandercock and found there was nothing wrong with her kit.

Lead investigator Sgt Nicholas Bloomfield told the inquest it was likely a noise emanated from the lorry at the moment it slowly passed Mrs Sandercock's mounts which had "sadly led to the horses being spooked and caused them to ride off down the road, throwing [her] from her horse." He told the inquest there was "no suggestion the driver did anything wrong".

Senior coroner Ian Arrow said the evidence presented led him to the conclusion that the death of Mrs Sandercock was "entirely accidental". He passed on his condolences to Mrs Sandercock's sister and brother who attended the hearing, noting how her death was "quite unusual and extremely sad".

 

Sabs who started investigation reveal background to fox cub cruelty case

Believe were present when at least one bagged fox hunted by SH FH 

10-6-19  Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs    South Herefordshire Hunt (SHH) Fox cub case   Today in court Paul Oliver was found guilty on all four charges brought against him. He received a 16-week suspended prison sentence (suspended for one year). Hannah Rose was found guilty on three counts 12 week suspended sentence for one year. Julie Elmore received a conditional discharge for one year. Paul Reece received a conditional discharge for one year. Nathan Parry was found not guilty.

Background - The trial of three members of the South Herefordshire Hunt has just been concluded in Birmingham Magistrates Court. Two others previously pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal after covert footage was obtained in spring 2016 of hunt members with caged fox cubs at the kennels. Two mauled bodies of fox cubs were retrieved from the kennel bins and taken for post mortem.

2014 - We began to pay attention to the South Herefordshire Hunt in November 2014 - other groups had sabbed them years before but their meets hadn't been attended in some time. Mal Williams was huntsman at the time. It was clear during a number of meets that they were hunting without any adherance to the Hunting Act (contrary to what has recently been said in court) and we regard thePaulOliver.jpg story of hounds ‘being trained to hunt an aniseed trail since 2005’ as absolute nonsense; we have never seen a trail being laid.

In March 2014 we had met the South Herefordshire Hunt when the Cotswold Vale Farmers' Hunt held a joint meet with them. Earlier in the season the SHH were rumoured to have run riot in a field of sheep with hounds mauling and killing several of the ewes before being driven at by hunt staff and supporters in order to stop them.

2015 - New Year’s Day 2015... during the day, we called hounds off a fox who then escaped. Hounds went on to chase another fox into a badger sett at Caradoc [Major Patrick Darling’s (then Master) estate]. Sabs were there to pull hounds out and were promptly assaulted and thrown down a bank by hunt staff and supporters.

On 3rd January the Hunt met with the Carmarthenshire Hunt for a joint meet. A fox was dug out of a badger sett and hounds were encouraged on to that fox – when a sab went to investigate she was injured after being assaulted next to a barbed wire fence. Paul Reece (who recently pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal) was present in the group who assaulted her. Lance King was also present and since moved to the Ledbury Hunt as a terrierman. After the sab was assaulted, hounds were then came to the Hunt on 1st May as Huntsman [above right]. Just prior to his arrival one of our sabs was approached by a pro-hunt person in our area who said they had information about the Hunt. Initial information was minor with time being taken to build trust with the source as they wanted to ensure that we were not violent, wouldn't harass anyone and would keep their identity secret.

As the hunting season began after the summer, we obtained details of various hunt meets from this person (alongside information from other sources). As we have known some of the hunt supporters for many years due to living in the area, we often have brief conversations with them; we were watching hounds pass through a field of sheep during a meet when one supporter nudged us and said “don't worry, the ‘sheep problem’ is apparently being dealt with"... rumours are that this is when the hounds started to be ‘trained more intensely’ on killing foxes.

S.HerefordshireFHPaulReece_aterrierman12-12-15.jpgOn 12th December the South Herefordshire Hunt had a joint meet with the Crawley and Horsham Hunt and Paul Oliver made a speech to welcome the visiting hunt with Paul Reece and Nathan Parry standing beside him. Having been tipped off about the meet from a source, we attended alongside friends from other sab groups. Hounds marked a fox to ground at a badger sett but sabs intervened and the Hunt moved off. The hounds went on to chase another fox down a drain and after a stand off between sabs and terriermen from both Hunts (including Paul Reece and Nathan Parry) the terriermen backed off.

Shortly afterwards our car was blocked and the quads rushed past. The hounds were clearly hunting – on entering the land Paul Reece was observed and filmed walking away from us [left], shoving a bag up his coat – other sabs saw a fox running away from the area and heard whistles being blown (used instead of holloas to signal a fox breaking cover). The fox had his head up and his fur was bristling, signs that he may not have known where he was – a suspected bagged fox released for the hounds to chase. They hunted until it was pitch black that day...

2016 - On 16th January at Kentchurch Estate the hounds were stopped from hunting by our sabs. Paul Oliver encouraged the hounds on past sabs and you can distinctly hear him holloaing on the footage. This holloa and encouragement is, in our opinion, the same as can be heard on the footage filmed by HIT as Paul takes cubs to the flesh house. When sabs intervened again he started to become aggressive but soon calmed down and gave up the chase.

On 12th February they had a children’s meet at Courtfield. No one was on point at the top of the covert being drawn and so there was no one from the Hunt to stop the pack as they chased two herds of deer around the area and terrified the sheep. One fox ran past a sab’ and another ran towards Courtfield itself - Paul Oliver hunted this fox and again you can hear him holloaing on the footage. He was challenged on the fact that hounds rioted and endangered the lives of the deer and sheep to which he replied that the sab’ was spinning a story.

As the 2015 - 16 season started to wind down the source who had been speaking with our sab told her that fox cubs were being obtained by the Hunt. There had been rumours of this happening before. Other information was put together regarding identities of those potentially involved, etc and the Hunt Investigation Team who had recently set themselves up, were fully briefed on the situation. Our initial information suggested that the cubs were being kept to release as bagged foxes at hunt meets, something we strongly believed was happening on many occasions, but what was filmed showed a different story.

Late spring saw the footage being obtained, the police being handed the evidence and the Hunt's kennels being raided – a supporter from another Hunt told us later that Paul Oliver was enjoying himself at the Ledbury Hunt ball when this happened and had to return to be arrested at Hereford police station.

Ledbury Hunt - We have been sabbing the Ledbury Hunt for many years and in the 2017 - 18 and 2018 – 19 seasons they have had what is described as a ‘marriage’ with what is left of the South Herefordshire Hunt. When the activities of the South Herefordshire were initially published in the media, the Ledbury Hunt were the only hunt we know of to publicly speak out against the “alleged activities" by sending out letters to their supporters explaining their stance. As the South Herefordshire were suspended from hunting by the MFHA (Masters of Fox Hounds Association) and the kennels were closed, the Ledbury were brought in to hunt their country. The former masters of the SHH are often out riding with them.

The Ledbury Hunt do not follow a trail and later this week we will post specifically about what they have been up to. It is rumoured that what is left of the SHH pack of hounds are at the Ledbury kennels now. As hounds are innocent victims of the hunt, it was sad to hear of Paul Oliver’s breeding programme which meant that there were four litters of puppies on site when the hunt were suspended. The bitch who Paul Oliver claimed had picked up the fox cubs after he had killed them had 11 puppies. Hannah Rose described hand-rearing three other puppies and there were two more litters on site. Where are they all now? What was their fate?

Prior to trial 2016 – 2019 - It took three years for the defendants to be brought to trial. Some of this time was understandably taken up putting together evidence, obtaining statements from sabs, HIT operatives and the defendants themselves and getting the case ready for court. The rest of the time was taken up by West Mercia Police investigating one of their own officers based on two separate malicious allegations (by an anonymous farmer, according to the media) being that a police officer involved in the investigation was having relationships with those involved in anti hunt activity . No claim was found to have any standing but it had stalled the investigation into the killing of the cubs by about two years, as well as impacting horrendously on all those involved...

 

Suspension of jail sentences in S. Herefordshire cruelty case outrages antis
MP patron of Blue Foxes says shows need for strengthening of Hunting Act 

10-6-19   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    Cub killers escape jail    The judge has handed the following sentences: Paul Oliver, 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. Hannah Rose, 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. Paul Reece and Julie Elmore received a conditional discharge. No disqualification from keeping animals. This is not enough, this is not justice for the 4 fox cubs. Yet again the judiciary has failed in its duty to protect wild animals. Please share. HIT.

10-6-19  Birmingham Mail   VIDEO   Huntsman who fed fox cubs to bloodthirsty hounds SPARED jail - and can still keep animals - Paul Oliver, who was master of hounds with the now disbanded South Herefordshire Hunt, was not banned from keeping animals    A senior Huntsman convicted of allowing his hounds to kill four fox cubs has been handed a 16-week suspended jail sentence for causing their "painful, terrifying" deaths. Paul Oliver, who was master of hounds with the now disbanded South Herefordshire Hunt, was not banned from keeping animals because he would lose his job at a stud yard.

Passing sentence at Birmingham Magistrates' Court, District Judge Joanna Dickens also imposed a 12-week suspended sentence on Oliver's partner, Hannah Rose, the Hunt's kennel maid.

Oliver and Rose, both of Sutton Crosses, near Spalding, Lincolnshire, were also ordered to pay £300 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge after being convicted of causing unnecessary suffering.

District Judge Dickens convicted Oliver, 40, and Rose, 30, after a seven-day trial was told live fox cubs were used to "blood" hunting hounds at the hunt's kennels in Wormelow. The pair were charged with animal cruelty offences after covert footage of them was captured by cameras placed at the Hunt's premises by anti-bloodsport activists in May 2016.

Suspending the sentences for a year, District Judge Dickens said: "Four fox cubs were killed by hounds whilst in the kennels. They did not have the chance of escape. It is not clear if this was a single lead hound in a pack or just one hound on its own. Thankfully, the veterinary evidence shows that they died quickly. I consider that Mr Oliver took the lead role in this and it is clear that Ms Rose was acting on his direction. This was a very serious offence of its type. The fox cubs suffered a painful, terrifying death."

Explaining her reasons for not banning the couple from keeping animals, the judge added: "I think the chance of any reoccurrence is minimal. I also take into account that to disqualify them from being in control of animals would cause them to lose their current employment and any hope of future work, as this is their livelihood."

Julie Elmore, 55, of Brynarw estate near Abergavenny, and Paul Reece, 48, formerly of Itton, near Chepstow in South Wales, admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to cubs which were distressed by being transported to the kennels. Accepting that neither Elmore nor Reece had any idea that foxes would be killed, the judge said the pair had been "motivated by consideration" for the cubs while trying to stop them being shot.

A fifth defendant, Nathan Parry, 40, also of Brynarw estate, was cleared of four animal cruelty charges after the judge accepted that he believed foxes taken to the Hunt's kennels would be relocated in the wild.

During sentencing, the judge said Elmore and Reece had been subjected to an "unjustified and outrageous" hate campaign on social media.

The judge said the pair were present on two dates in May 2016 when foxes were "removed from their earth" and accepted that the transportation of two cubs would have caused them distress. Imposing six-month conditional discharges and costs of £50 on Elmore and Reece, the judge added: "They took the cubs to the kennels believing that they were rescuing them from being shot. They believed they were being relocated. What Mr Reece and Ms Elmore did was right at the bottom of the scale for offences of this kind."

Opening the case at the start of the trial, prosecutor Simon Davis said: "The unnecessary suffering involved the killing of fox cubs, effectively... throwing the fox cubs into the kennels of the fox hounds, thereby killing them."

The court was told hidden cameras were placed at the kennels by the Hunt Investigation Team (HIT) after they received information that animal welfare legislation had been breached. As part of the HIT inquiry, two sites were identified where foxes were thought to have been "dug out" and police inquiries established gamekeepers had given permission for the animals to be destroyed on the land. The court was told a camera recorded Oliver handling foxes and dumping the bodies of two cubs in a wheelie bin. The footage also showed a stick with a noose attached, known as a grasper, being used by Oliver, who had previously been a senior member of Cornwall's Western Hunt.

Defence lawyer Clive Rees, mitigating for Oliver and Rose, said the pair now looked after a private SueHaymanMP.jpegstud yard, caring for 14 horses and a number of dogs. Oliver suffered from serious kidney disease, Mr Rees said, and was "finished" in the field of hunting. Mr Rees said of Oliver: "There has been abuse from both sides of the fence from day one. As a result of this the South Herefordshire Hunt no longer exists. Obviously that doesn't make him the most popular person." Mark Thompson, addressing the court on behalf of Elmore and Reece, said: "Their criminality is negligible. They had no intention to cause any suffering to any animal. That is just not the people they are."

Giovanni D’Alessandro from the CPS said: ‎"Animal cruelty is a serious offence. Instead of killing them in a quick and humane way, as they knew they should have done, Paul Rees and Julie Elmore handed two fox cubs to Paul Oliver, joint master of the South Herefordshire Hunt, and to kennel maid Hannah Rose. Rees and Elmore had no thought to the suffering their actions might have caused to the fox cubs or indeed to what might happen to them next.

Oliver and Rose, in fact, chose to feed those cubs and two others to a kennel full of dogs. One can only imagine the distress suffered by the fox cubs as they were carried from their cage and their pain when thrown into the kennel. Thanks to the strength of video footage provided by one of the witnesses, the CPS was able to work with West Mercia Police and the RSPCA to present a robust case which resulted in the convictions. The four convicted defendants are now facing the consequences of their crimes.”

 

12-6-19  Independent     ‘Obscenely lenient’: Outrage as huntsman who fed fox cubs to his hounds is not banned from keeping animals - ‘I can’t begin to get my head around how shockingly lenient that is. No served time, no ban on keeping animals, no deterrent’    A judge’s decision not to ban from keeping animals a Huntsman and kennel maid who fed live fox cubs to hounds has prompted an outpouring of anger and calls forSirDavidAmessMP.jpg tougher laws.

Hundreds of social media users have branded the decision “disgraceful” and “a joke”, saying the “obscenely lenient” sentences make a mockery of animal-welfare legislation. And the shadow environment secretary called for plans for longer jail terms to be brought forward immediately.

Paul Oliver was handed a 16-week suspended jail term for allowing his hounds to kill four cubs, causing their “painful, terrifying” deaths. However, Oliver, who was Master of the now-disbanded South Herefordshire Hunt, was not barred from keeping animals because he would have lost his job at a stud yard. District Judge Joanna Dickens also imposed a 12-week suspended sentence on Hannah Rose, the hunt’s kennel maid.

The trial was told how live fox cubs were used to “blood” hounds at kennels, teaching the dogs to kill foxes. Suspending the sentences for a year, the district judge at Birmingham magistrates’ court said: “The fox cubs suffered a painful, terrifying death.” Explaining her reasons for not banning the couple from keeping animals, she added: “I think the chance of any reoccurrence is minimal. I also take into account that to disqualify them from being in control of animals would cause them to lose their current employment and any hope of future work, as this is their livelihood.”

But Anthony Joynes, an RSPCA inspector, said that in a similar situation a few years ago, in which a live fox was put in a cage containing dogs, the suspects were jailed and given a lifetime ban on keeping animals. “It’s very frustrating how there is no apparent consistency when it comes to sentencing,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t lose sleep if the pair had lost their jobs. By contrast, shoplifters are routinely jailed. Last month, Kevin Monk, 40, was jailed for four months in Dundee for stealing more than £100 worth of goods. His solicitor said Monk’s benefits had been stopped and he was unable to buy food or heat his home. The Birmingham court heard how Oliver and Rose look after a private stud yard, caring for 14 horses and several dogs.

Andrew Cooke, a biologist and vet scientist, tweeted: “I can’t begin to get my head around how shockingly lenient that is. No served time, no ban on keeping animals, no deterrent. I can’t fathom why lengthy or lifetime bans aren’t more commonplace.”

The couple could potentially have been jailed for up to six months – the maximum term for animal cruelty under current legislation. The government plans to raise the sentencing limit for such offences to five years on hold.

Sue Hayman [above left], the shadow environment secretary, said: “This case of appalling cruelty highlights the need to get serious about tackling wildlife crime and animal cruelty. The government has dragged its feet on extending sentences for cases of animal cruelty and must bring forward this legislation without further delay. Last Boxing Day, Labour announced our intention to close a number of loopholes in the Hunting Act to prevent illegal hunting.” Labour proposals include possible jail terms for illegal hunting.

The Hunt Investigation Team, which took the footage that formed the basis of the prosecution, said: “This is not enough, this is not justice for the fox cubs. The judiciary has failed in its duty to protect wild animals.”

MP Sir David Amess [above right], a patron of Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, said the sentencing showed the need for law reform. “The case is absolutely appalling, and shows nothing but sheer cruelty and utter disregard for an animal’s life,” he said. “What is worse is the shockingly lenient sentencing means that these people have walked free from jail. That such cruelty can go unpunished shows that we now more than ever need to strengthen the Hunting Act and reform our laws to stop those convicted of such horrendous acts from keeping animals ever again.”

 

S. Herefordshire FH Huntsman & kennel maid convicted of cruelty to fox cubs

A terrierman & a woman already pled guilty to cruelty in transporting cubs

4 given suspended sentences as subject to long vilification on social media

Antis outraged by very weak sentences, esp. failure to disqualify from keeping animals 

Hunt terrierman cleared, claiming thought cubs would be released

10-6-19  Guardian   VIDEO   Huntsman found guilty of animal cruelty after activists' secret filming -   Footage shows then master of hounds Paul Oliver [Huntsman] taking fox cubs into kennels    A senior Huntsman has been found guilty of animal cruelty after activists secretly filmed him apparently preparing to throw fox cubs to a pack of baying hounds.

Animal rights campaigners claim the conviction is significant because it shows a master of hounds “blooding” the animals – training them to kill foxes – 15 years after the ban on hunting with dogs was introduced.

The footage was obtained by members of a group called HIT (the Hunt Investigation Team), who say they include ex-services personnel and that they have had training in covert investigative methods.

They obtained evidence for the prosecution by fixing a tracking device to the vehicle of a man they believed to have connections to the South Herefordshire Hunt and mapping his movements out into the wilds, where they suspected he was catching fox cubs. The activists also set up cameras at the Hunt’s kennels and obtained footage that showed the then master of hounds, Paul Oliver, taking fox cubs into the kennels.

         S.HerefordshireFHHuntsmanconvicted10-6-19_27-5-16.jpg

             Huntsman carrying cub, about to throw it to hounds [Credit Dave Evitts / SWNS.com] 

Though the footage does not show what happened inside the kennels complex, the prosecution at Birmingham magistrates court claimed he was blooding the hounds.

Oliver [below right, credit Mark Cooper/PA wire], 40, and kennel maid Hannah Rose [below left, Credit SWNS], 30, both of Spalding, Lincolnshire, were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to fox cubs. Joanna Dickens, the district judge, convicted Oliver of four counts of animal cruelty and Rose of three counts of the same charge. The pair and two others who pleaded guilty were due to be sentenced later on Monday.

HannahRose10-6-19.jpgThe Masters of Foxhounds Association suspended the South Herefordshire Hunt after the footage emerged and it has disbanded.

A spokesperson for the association said Oliver’s actions were “completely disgraceful” and had no place in hunting. “It is incumbent on everybody involved in hunting to see that this sort of behaviour never happens again.” It insisted that it was an isolated incident.

HIT said it began investigating after a tip-off. In March 2016, activists put a tracking device on to the Land Rover of man said to be connected to the hunt and followed his movements. The group said it believed it was permissible in law to put a tracking device on a vehicle it suspected of involvement.

The activists claim it became evident the man was catching cubs and then heading straight to the hunt kennels in Wormelow, near Hereford. The evidence obtained through the use of the device was admitted in court.

The investigators took legal advice from lawyers and animal welfare organisations to work out theirPaulOliver10-6-19.jpg next step. The advice they received was that they could not try to recover any cubs as this would amount to theft. They said they did not turn the case over to the police because they did not believe officers would have the resources to follow it up.

Instead they trespassed – a civil rather than criminal offence – on to the land where the hunt kennels were based and set up hidden cameras. They argued it was the only way to expose what was happening and compare it to undercover journalism.

A team of four or five were involved in setting up and monitoring the cameras and in May 2016 they found what they claim was evidence that fox cubs were being taken from their mothers and thrown live into the hounds’ kennels.

The prosecution alleged the footage showed Oliver preparing to throw fox cubs in with the hounds. It was claimed that Rose, like Oliver a hunt employee, stood by as he did so.

Oliver denied feeding cubs to the dogs. He claimed the dogs did not hunt foxes but only followed aniseed-based scents. Rose said she knew nothing about cubs being fed to the hounds.

The prosecution claimed it was the vehicle of a man called Nathan Parry that the HIT activists tracked. The court was told he was not employed by a Hunt but was a terrier man. Traditionally terrier men work with Hunts. Parry was found not guilty of causing suffering to four foxes after the judge accepted that he believed the animals would be relocated in the wild.

One of the activists involved in the operation, who asked not to be named, said HIT had received reports about other Hunts across the country, which it was investigating. The HIT members are worried about reprisals and one who gave evidence during the trial was allowed to do so from behind a screen.

Julie Elmore, 55, of Abergavenny, south Wales, and Paul Reece, 48, from Chepstow, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to fox cubs.

Deborah Marshall, a spokesperson for the Hunt Investigation Team, said: “We are clearly pleased that the hard work and integrity of the Hunt Investigation Team has resulted in convictions. This case has taken far too long to come to court and we have faced false allegations against investigators and obstruction throughout. We are glad that justice has finally taken its course. The capture of fox cubs to be used to train hounds is nothing new and is widespread across Britain.. We will continue to expose cruelty and wildlife crime and our message to hunts everywhere is ‘Expect Us’.”

10-6-19  Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team   Trial verdicts...    The judge has today delivered her verdicts. 4 suspects are guilty on multiple counts of animal cruelty. Paul Oliver guilty on all 4 counts, Hannah Rose guilty on 3 counts, Paul Reece guilty on 2 counts, Julie Elmore guilty on 2 counts. Nathan Parry acquitted. This is a very good result!

The 4 fox cubs were dug out of their homes at 8 weeks old, taken from their mothers', through the gates of hell and were thrown alive to a pack of hunting dogs. We can only imagine the terror that they endured as they met the most brutal of deaths. This is the true face of hunting in 2019.

We would like to thank numerous people, the team that procured the original intelligence, the most excellent ground team that HIT dispatched to the kennels who secured the evidence, everyone on social media and in the national media that has fought hard to keep this case alive and secured these ground breaking convictions and thank you to our most 'special' of friends that have given so much and yet remain in the shadows. Please share and support our ground breaking work. HIT.

Details of trial, provided by 3C Hunt Sabs, can be found, along with background to the investigation, here. 

POWAperson comments  -  Mixed emotions. The guilty verdicts were very welcome, though how Parry escaped is mystifying. But the sentences are pathetic, especially the lack of disqualification from keeping animals. What exactly to you have to do to actually get disqualified?

It has taken three whole years to bring these heartless, perverted excuses for humanity to some form of justice. The hunt side has tried all manner of dirty tricks to delay or prevent it coming to court including lies about the investigators and a police officer investigating the case. It's the clearest example of their ruthlessness, their willingness to do almost anything to cover up their crimes and protect their perverted 'sport'. And they have the resources and the clout to succeed far more often than they fail. How else, despite all the well-known failings of the Hunting Act could so many packs continue to get away, time after time, with hunting live quarry absolutely blatantly?

It is down to the courage and persistence of everyone involved in carrying forward the original investigation [which the police could not be trusted with] and overcoming every obstacle thrown in their way to bring it to court that a severe body blow has been dealt to the hunting community. The pitiful sentences delivered was a slap in the face. You'd hope the CPS would appeal the sentences, but it appears this is not permitted in case of offences not regarded as serious enough, such as this.

Unsurprisingly, given how horrendous and disgusting this case was, the trial and verdicts received wide media coverage. ITV evening News ran a substantial story on it but national BBC evening News mentioned it just in passing. Among much press coverage were the Independent,  Mirror, Evening Standard, Telegraph, Mail

 

Fire Brigade persuaded to withdraw from fundraiser event for Hunts

Clifton-on-Teme & North Ledbury FHs were to get most of proceeds

9-6-19  Facebook - Herefordshire Hunt Sabs    Bromyard fire brigade taking part in Clifton On Teme Hunt Fundraiser and kennels open day A major fundraiser for the Clifton on Teme Hunt and North Ledbury Hunt, a country show and open kennels day is to have Bromyard Fire Brigade taking part, it has been announced.

Challenged on Facebook, an event organiser has said that a percentage of profits will go to Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity. Clearly the remaining proceeds and the larger percentage will go to the Hunts.

We're sure the brave men and women of Bromyard Fire Brigade would not wish to be take part in any event supporting illegal bloodsports. There is barely any mention of the hunts on the Facebook event page. We are sure the Fire Brigade have agreed to attend this event without a full understanding of its links to the two Hunts.

          CliftononTemeFHNLedburyFHinfo9-6-19.jpg

9-6-19  Facebook - Herefordshire Hunt Sabs   Statement from Bromyard fire station re. hunt fundraiser    In reply to one of our supporters, Bromyard Fire Station have confirmed that they are no longer involved in this event. It remains unclear if they ever knowingly were. We are shocked that hunt support will stoop to such underhand tactics to involve our firefighters in their fundraising events.

Thank you to everyone who has contacted the relevant authorities and above all to Bromyard Fire Station for everything they do.

         CliftononTemeFHNLedburyFHFire9-6-19.jpg 

 

S. Herefordshire FH Huntsman struggles to explain severe injuries to cubs

6-6-19  BBC News  South Herefordshire hound 'probably gave fox cub a bite'    A Huntsman accused of animal cruelty killed two fox cubs with the blunt end of an axe ahead of a government inspection, a court has heard.Paul Oliver, 40, denies he "fed" the cubs to hounds, saying their bodies were picked up by a dog. He told Birmingham Magistrates Court the hound "probably gave [the cubs] a bite", causing extensive injuries.

Terrierman Nathan Parry and kennel maid Hannah Rose also deny four counts of causing unnecessary animal suffering.

Mr Oliver said he intended to rehome four fox cubs taken to the South Herefordshire Hunt's site in Wormelow, but "didn't think it was right to have them on the property" ahead of a Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs inspection in May 2016. I decided to get rid of them and kill them," he said, using an axe in a "flesh house" at the site. Two were rehomed in woodland as they did not need to die, he said.

When asked why one cub had 14 broken ribs and no head injury and the other had 23 broken ribs, Mr Oliver said it was probably down to bites from a hound.

The Hunt's terrierman Nathan Parry is also on trial at Birmingham Magistrates Court. He was recorded by a covert camera - placed at the kennels by an anti-bloodsports group - dumping fox carcasses in a bin.

Prosecutors allege Mr Oliver, the former master of hounds, was using cubs to "blood" the dogs. He told the court he trained them using an aniseed-based scent and the dogs "had no idea what a fox was".

Mr Oliver and his partner Ms Rose, 30, of Sutton Crosses, near Spalding, Lincolnshire, are on trial alongside Mr Parry, of Brynarw estate near Abergavenny, south Wales. The trial continues.

 

Cheshire PCC to 'scrutinise' recent police decisions on fox kill cases

4-6-19  Knutsford Times   PCC for Cheshire comments on fox hunting decision   The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire has issued a statement following the announcement by Cheshire Constabulary that it will be taking no further action in relation to an allegation made under the Hunting Act 2004 following the death of a fox in Wrenbury, Nantwich in December 2018.

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “On the back of the independent review I commissioned into the policing of hunting, I have already outlined the need for a parliamentary review into the way the Hunting Act 2004 is laid out. The legislation presents challenges to both investigators and prosecutors. Although it would be inappropriate for me to get involved in the decision making process in individual cases, in my role as police and crime commissioner, I’ll be looking to carefully scrutinise the decisions made by Cheshire Constabulary in this case and in a similar case from November 2018 to ensure it followed due process in both investigations and it is fulfilling its obligations under the Hunting Act 2004.”

 

Yet another Cheshire fox hunt kill case dropped

3-6-19   Northwich Guardian    'Insufficient evidence' for charges in fox hunt death investigation   AN investigation into the death of a fox near Nantwich in December will not result in illegal hunting charges, Cheshire Police say An allegation of 'hunting a wild mammal with dogs' – contrary to the Hunting Act 2004 – was investigated after a fox was killed in Wrenbury. But the probe has found CheshireFHHuntsman5-12-18.jpg'insufficient evidence' to reach the benchmark for prosecutions under the Act.

A Cheshire Police spokesman said: "Detectives gathered video evidence and interviewed a number of people present or with relevant information. Early investigative advice was also sought from the Crown Prosecution Service due the complexity of the case. As a result, the investigation team have concluded there is insufficient evidence that the incident amounted to deliberate and intentional hunting, as required by the Hunting Act 2004, and it has been decided that, on this occasion, no further action will be taken. All parties involved have been informed of the outcome. The constabulary is still actively investigating a number of other incidents, alleged to have occurred during the hunting season. We reiterate our commitment that where allegations of unlawful activity are made, they will be fully investigated."

3-6-19  Facebook - Cheshire Monitors    *Case closed* - can there ever be "sufficient evidence" under the Hunting Act? Another clear reminder of why a complete ban on hunting is so urgently needed. The Hunting Act not only fails dismally to protect our wildlife, but actually protects those breaking the law.

Please contact your MP today and ask them to add their name to the campaign for a #RealHuntingBan. The incident in question, from Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs: https://bit.ly/2Wkt3o0.

3-6-19  Facebook - Cheshire Police    In December 2018, an investigation was launched by Cheshire Constabulary concerning an allegation of ‘Hunting a wild mammal with dogs’, contrary to the Hunting Act 2004.

The allegation was made following the death of a fox in Wrenbury, near Nantwich, which occurred during the 2018/19 hunt season. Detectives gathered video evidence and interviewed a number of people present or with relevant information. Early investigative advice was also sought from the Crown Prosecution Service due the complexity of the case.

As a result, the investigation team have concluded there is insufficient evidence that the incident amounted to deliberate and intentional hunting, as required by the Hunting Act 2004, and it has been decided that, on this occasion, no further action will be taken. All parties involved have been informed of the outcome.

The Constabulary is still actively investigating a number of other incidents, alleged to have occurred during the hunting season. We reiterate our commitment that where allegations of unlawful activity are made, they will be fully investigated.

 

MAY 2019

….. 31st May - Court hears SH FH terrierman tracked to disturbed fox earths

….. 30th May - 2 plead guilty as S. Herefordshire FH cub cruelty trial starts at last

….. 27th May - Sabs stumble upon artificial earth in Northants woodland

….. 25th May - Ashford V FH supporter cautioned & pays damages for attacking sabs

….. 25th May - E. Counties MH Huntsman found in river and sent home by sabs

….. 25th May - Storm over barring of prosecution's expert witness in Grafton FH case

….. 25th May - Three Counties MH stop & flee as soon as sabs find them

….. 22nd May - Grafton FH Huntsman acquitted of illegally hunting a fox

….. 22nd May - New Quorn FH huntsman is violent illegal hunting suspect

….. 20th May - Oakley FH supporter convicted of serious damage to sab vehicle

….. 18th May - Eastern Counties MH packed up by sabs

….. 17th May - Police drop yet another Cheshire FH fox kill case

….. 17th May - Stray Cheshire FH hound snapped scavenging rubbish near kennels

….. 16th May - Essex County Council rejects bid to ban 'trail hunting' on its land

….. 16th May - Naturalist and anti-hunt activist Chris Packham awarded CBE

….. 12th May - Leics cop who wrongfully arrested sab promoted to Inspector

….. 11th May - Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman's defence attempt to discredit expert witness failed

….. 11th May - Sabs find 3 Counties MH hounds in cry - they pack up immediately

….. 11th May - Masked S. Shrops FH supporters intimidate monitors at their workplace

….. 11th May - Sabs stumble across Dove Valley MH digging & scare them off

….. 11th May - Essex County Council to debate banning hunting on its land

….. 10th May - 2nd horse lorry in 3 months burnt out at Atherstone FH kennels

…..  9th May - Sabs accuse Clifton on Teme FH after finding dug out sett

…..  9th May - Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman appeal against conviction dismissed

.....  7th May - Trial of Grafton FH Huntsman set to start 20th May 

…..  5th May - Monitors prevent Border Counties MH from hunting 

…..  2nd May - 2 JMs, 2 servants leave United FH after dig-out reported to police 

 

Court hears SH HD terrierman tracked to disturbed fox earths

Data shows him returning soon after to kennels both times 

31-5-19  BBC News    South Herefordshire fox cubs cruelty accused's car 'tracked'    A Land Rover linked to hunting kennels where live fox cubs were allegedly thrown to the hounds was tracked to two areas of disturbed ground, a court has heard. Prosecutors say Nathan Parry's vehicle was tracked to the sites by anti-bloodsport investigators in 2016.

The 40-year-old denies four animal cruelty charges at Birmingham Magistrates' Court. Hounds master Paul Oliver and kennel maid Hannah Rose also deny four counts.

Hunt saboteur, Karl Garside, told the court he had helped to place covert cameras at the kennels in South Herefordshire in 2016. He also said a tracker had been attached to Mr Parry's vehicle. It showed that the terrierman's vehicle was near the Mynde estate in Herefordshire the morning of 14S.HerefordshireFHNathanParryTerrierman31-5-19.jpg May 2016, then at the hunt's kennels a few hours later, the witness said.

Mr Garside said he attended the first site, where foxes were allegedly dug out, to discover that the "earth had been freshly disturbed and levelled". He later visited the Hunt's premises and filmed a fox cub being held in a cage.

Tracker data presented in court allegedly showed the vehicle leaving the second site in Pencoyd, Herefordshire, the following day, before arriving at the kennels about ten minutes later.

Covert video footage was played to the judge apparently showing Mr Oliver gripping a live cub by the neck and a dead animal being dumped in a bin.

Mr Parry [right, credit Press Association], of Brynarw estate near Abergavenny, south Wales, denies four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal as do Mr Oliver, 40, and Ms Rose, 30, both of Sutton Crosses, near Spalding, Lincolnshire.

Two other defendants pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to fox cubs on dates in May 2016. The trial continues.

 

31-5-19  Metro     Hidden camera ‘caught huntsman feeding live fox cubs to dogs’    An animal rights investigator allegedly caught the moment a Hunt’s master fed live fox cubs to his dogs. Paul Oliver, 40, is accused of throwing the animals to his hounds before the two foxes were later found dead in a wheelie bin. He denies charges.

On Friday Birmingham Magistrates Court was played the covert recordings, after anti-hunt activists installed the hidden cameras at South Herefordshire Hunt kennels on May 16, 2016. Three people have gone on trial accused of animal cruelty charges after the covert footage came to light. The video is believed to have shown a man carrying a fox cub into the kennels as hounds can be heard barking. Minutes later the man comes out of the kennel and dumps the dead animal into a bin before spraying it with a liquid. The footage showed the man carrying a live fox to the kennels. Its dead body was seen thrown into a wheelie bin.

Oliver, kennel maid Hannah Rose, 30, and terrierman Nathan Parry, 40, deny four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. Julie Elmore, 55, of Abergavenny, Wales, and Paul Reece, 48, from Itton, Wales, have admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

The court heard how an animal rights investigator, Karl Garside, captured the incident after placing a magnetic tracker on Parry’s Land Rover. He said the cameras were installed near white trailers on site of SHH Kennels, where he also found a fox cub in a cage. Mr Garside pointed out that fox hunting was banned in 2005, so he installed the camera to establish why the fox cub was in there.

He said footage showed a man in a cap putting the dead fox into a bin [below], before he is seen taking another fox cub into the kennel. Mr Garside added: ‘He is then seen spraying something onto the foxes in the bin, we went the to site later and saw the fox cubs in the bin, they looked blue.’

        SHerefordshireFHDeadcub5-16.jpg 

A rural practitioner told the court he believed the foxes may have been killed by being battered with a hammer before being given to the dogs. The defence witness, who was only referred to as Dr Lomax, said: ‘We know that injuries to the head and chest occurred about a minute of each other. ‘One would assume that the blow to the head would’ve been first.’ He added: ‘In my opinion the chest injuries to the fox cubs were caused by one big dog. ‘The crushing injuries to the chest could also have caused instantaneous death. Fox cub bones are soft, the jaws of large dog would crush the heart. I’m not saying that is what happened, but it is possible.’

The trial, which is due to last a week, will resume on Monday.

31-5-19  Lincolnshire Live   Court told covert mission 'caught hunt members cruelty to fox cubs'   Covert video footage which allegedly shows a Hunt's Master of Hounds grabbing a fox cub by the scruff of the neck has been shown to a jury in court.

Master of Hounds Paul Oliver and kennel maid Hannah Rose [both below, Credit Press Association], both of Sutton Crosses, near Spalding, have each denied four charges of animal cruelty after live fox cubs were allegedly thrown to the hounds at the South Herefordshire Hunt's kennels in 2016.

Hunt saboteurs set up covert cameras to film at the Hunt’s kennels allegedly showed Oliver carrying fox cubs at the kennels. One of the clips also seemed to show a live cub being gripped by the scruff of the neck and another appeared to show a dead animal being dumped in a waste bin.

        S.HerefordshireFHDefendants31-5-19.jpg

Anti-bloodsport investigator Karl Garside, who gave evidence from behind a screen which shielded his face from the public gallery and the jury, said that he was able to attach a magnetic tracking device to a Land Rover linked to the kennels in a bid to investigate into the hunt's practices.

The Land Rover belonged to terrierman Nathan Parry, who is also on trial and has denied four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. The tracker showed the Land Rover had been to land in Pencoyd, Herefordshire, where a fox was allegedly dug out of its den.

Mr Garside told the court he went to the site and found "a rural location, a wooded area backing on to fields." He added: "At the location that the tracker indicated, we found an old badger sett with four of five entrances. We knew foxes inhabited it because we could smell them and we found (poultry and pheasant) carcasses scattered around. "There was a small area on top of the sett where the earth had been freshly disturbed and levelled."

Mr Garside said then tracker showed had arrived at the kennels 10 minutes after it left the site of the badger setts. He said he then filmed footage of Oliver carrying the fox cubs inside. The footage was shown to the judge during court proceedings today, Friday, May 31. The hunt saboteur then visited the Hunt’s premises and filmed a cub being held in a cage, the court heard.

During cross-examination, Mr Garside said HIT had "special friends with special skills" but declined to name an organisation that had helped its members with specialist training.

Two other defendants have pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to fox cubs on dates in May 2016. The trial continues.

 

2 plead guilty as S. Herefordshire FH cub cruelty trial starts at last

Trial of the other 3 defendants, including Huntsman, will continue

30-5-19   Daily Mail   Senior huntsman among three people facing fox cub cruelty claims   A Hunt’s master of hounds [Huntsman] was caught by a covert camera as he prepared to feed live fox cubs to his dogs, a court has heard. Birmingham Magistrates’ Court was told Paul Oliver, who worked for the South Herefordshire Hunt, claimed to have used an axe to kill foxes but denied throwing the animals to his hounds at their kennels.

A terrierman linked to the hunt and a woman accused of cruelty pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to fox cubs as Oliver’s trial began on Thursday. Julie Elmore, aged 55, of Brynarw estate near Abergavenny, and Paul Reece, 48, from Itton, near Chepstow in south Wales, will be sentenced later after admitting two counts of causing unnecessary suffering on dates in May 2016.

Opening the case against Oliver, kennel maid Hannah Rose and terrierman Nathan Parry, who are accused of the same offence, prosecutor Simon Davis said: “The unnecessary suffering involved the killing of fox cubs, effectively feeding the animals… throwing the fox cubs into the kennels of the fox hounds, thereby killing them.

Oliver and Rose were employed by the South Herefordshire Hunt, based at Wormelow, as master of hounds, and a kennel maid or groom. Mr Parry was not employed there but was known locally as a terrierman. Reece was a terrierman and an associate of Parry.”

The court was told a hidden camera was placed at the kennels by the Hunt Investigation Team (HIT) after they received information that animal welfare legislation had been breached. As part of the HIT inquiry, two sites were identified where foxes were thought to have been “dug out” and police inquiries established that gamekeepers had given permission for the animals to be destroyed on the land.

But prosecutors claim fox cubs were killed by hounds at the kennels, where hidden cameras caught them being moved around, before two were found dead in a wheelie bin. Mr Davis alleged that the camera provided “significant” evidence against Oliver, including footage which he claimed showed him lifting fox cubs out of a cage and entering the kennels. A stick with a noose attached, known as a grasper, is also said to have been used during the alleged cruelty.

Parry, 40, also of Brynarw estate, denies four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

At the start of the hearing, lawyers acting for the defendants standing trial made brief submissions to the district judge trying the case. Sara-Lise Howe, for Rose, said: “She was not involved in any hunting activity. She was not involved and did not cause the death of the foxes. She simply didn’t know about it.”

Clive Rees, representing Oliver, submitted that there was no evidence whatsoever to show that he killed two of the foxes which are the subject of the charges. The court heard that Oliver claimed he had relocated fox cubs ahead of a Defra inspection, killing them with an axe blow to the head, and had never fed any animals to his hounds.

Veterinary surgeon David Martin was the first witness in the case, telling the court one cub had no sign of any head injury, while another had a “blunt trauma” injury to its head.

Pics below   -  1/   Imprisoned fox cub  2/ Cub about to be thrown to hounds in kennel  

  SHerefordshireFHFoxcub5-16.jpg SHerefordshirehuntservant5-16.jpg

 

Sabs stumble upon artificial earth in Northants

27-5-19  Facebook - Northants Hunt Saboteurs    Today we carried on with the quest to sett survey in areas where there could be a badger cull. It all started well and we found some beautiful badger setts.

Then the usual happened and we came across the violent contraptions that humans think up for their own pleasure. An artificial fox earth so that people can readily flush out a fox or two for the hunt was found : see terracotta pipe and hole with brick entrance. We then found the area in the middle of the earth where the fox would be flushed . Close by was a hunting tower and bullet cartridges.

Now we all know fox hunting is not about the control of foxes and is all about the sick fun and money generation this “sport “ brings in . If you are out and about and find artificial earths , please photograph them and send them into us with the locations.

Help us to keep up our work by donating to our second vehicle fund. Many thanks.

  ArtificialearthNorthants27-5-19.jpg Artificialearthentrypipe27-5-19.jpg

 

Ashford V FH supporter cautioned & pays damages for attacking sabs

25-5-19  Facebook - West Kent Hunt Sabs   VIDEO    Ashford Valley & Tickham Hunt supporter pays damages after Boxing Day violence   On Boxing Day 2018 at the Ashford Valley & Tickham hunt meet in Tenterden, drunken hunt supporters attacked a group of peaceful anti hunt protesters.

The cowardly attack took place when Kent sabs had moved off - unfortunately this left the remaining protesters without coverage by our cameras. As a result, many of the assailants have so far not been arrested, although there is still a live police investigation into the attacks in Tenterden (and Elham on the same day).

However, we have recently heard that one of the attackers has accepted a conditional caution, and has agreed to pay £500 to their victims, which is great news!

Whilst we wait for the investigation to run its course, and for more hunt supporters to feel the weight of the law, we would like to thank Kent police for the hard work that they have so far put into bringing these people to justice.

Violence will never deter us from exposing the law breaking hunts and their thuggish supporters.

POWAperson adds   -   This caution brings to 437 the number of persons associated with organised UK Hunts known to us to have been convicted or cautioned for criminal offences since 1990, of a total of 970 offences. 252 of these have been violent offences. 242 of the 970 offences were committed by servants or officials of Hunts.  

 

E. Counties MH Huntsman found in river and sent home by sabs

25-5-19  Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs   Otter hunter caught short in the water- Hit Report Sat 25 May, 2019 - Eastern Counties Mink/Otter Hounds, Waples Mill Farm, River Roding, Essex North     Cambs Hunt Sabs again joined with several midlands sab groups, to rumble a meet of the Eastern Counties Mink/Otter Hounds just east of Harlow in Essex, provided to us yet again by the ever helpful HSA tip-off line.

The Huntsman was caught red-handed, up to his waist in the River Roding attempting to flush for prey with his pack of hounds around him. This week's excuse was, "We're exercising the hounds and they needed a drink". Usually that doesn't involve the huntsman getting into the river with the pack, Paul.

Sabs crossed the muddy river, showing the Huntsman he wasn't going to be able to get away from us, and two groups on both banks then escorted him, with the Whipper-in and a small number of elderly spectators, back to the meet.

The walk of shame back to the ECMH scruffy transit van was then a procession with sabs from Suffolk & Essex, Norwich, Cambridge, South Cambs and Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs as well as North Cambs making certain the hounds went nowhere except back in the van.

This is a pack that we have been warned by informants will kill with ease whatever they find in the river, in addition to the fact that they are illegally disturbing river habitats with their hunting dogs in flagrant contravention of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Once the hounds were packed away and had left the meet, we were happy to chalk this up as a job well done with the wildlife of the River Roding safe from the countryside terrorists for another day.

This is what direct action for animals looks like. Vegan events who distance themselves from hunt sabotage are missing the point and we stand in solidarity with Nottingham Hunt Saboteurs.

 

Storm over barring of prosecution's expert witness in Grafton FH case

25-5-19  Daily Telegraph    Expert dropped from hunting case after kissing prosecution witness     An expert witness in the trial of a huntsman was banned from giving evidence by a judge after he was spotted kissing a prosecution witness Professor Stephen Harris, one of Britain’s leading authorities on foxes and a long-standing opponent of hunting, was excluded from the trial of Mick Wills after the incident was reported to District Judge Tim Daber. Mr Wills, a huntsman with the Grafton Hunt, was subsequently found not guilty of illegally hunting a fox with dogs in Alithorn Woods, Northamptonshire, in September 2017. It is the second time in recent years that Professor Harris’s involvement as an expert witness in a hunting case has raised questions.

In the latest case Mr Wills’ defence counsel Stephen Welford claimed that as a result of Professor Harris greeting Judy Gilbert, a veteran anti-hunting campaigner, with a kiss as they arrived at court, he could no longer be regarded as an independent witness, given his apparently close relationship with her.

In his ruling Judge Daber told Wellingborough Magistrates Court: “The defence submission rests on the admitted fact that Professor Harris and Judy Gilbert greeted one another warmly with the witness kissing the Professor. If a relationship exists between a proposed expert and the party calling that expert which a reasonable observer might think is evidence of bias, then he must be excluded on the grounds of public policy. Justice must be seen to be done.” The judge added: “The allegation of bias specific to this particular case is something that in my view the court cannot ignore. A reasonable observer would consider him to be partisan. “However unbiased he may be, this court must exclude Professor Harris’s evidence.”

Professor Harris told The Telegraph that Ms Gilbert kissed him before he could stop her and claimed they had not seen each other for nearly two decades. He said: “She walked up to me in court, greeted me, and kissed me before I could stop her. I am not responsible for someone who I have not seen for so long kissing me.”

Mr Wills was acquitted of the charge of illegal hunting after using dogs to flush out a fox. He was cleared after the court heard that the plan had been to use a golden eagle to kill the fox once it had been flushed out. Using dogs to flush out wild mammals for a bird of prey to hunt is permitted under the Hunting Act 2004.

In delivering his verdict last week Judge Daber stated: “The plan had been agreed by the Master and the huntsman the day before. Things didn't turn out as expected. Mr Wills is a man with good character. It is true the hounds were not brought under control quickly enough. However there is no offence of reckless hunting. I find Mr Wills not guilty of this charge."

Professor Harris, a former professor of environmental sciences at the University of Bristol, had been employed by the CPS to give evidence on behalf of the prosecution, despite earlier questions being raised over his independence.

In December 2015 a private prosecution brought by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) against six members of the Lamerton Hunt collapsed after Professor Harris failed to inform the court about his friendship with Paul Tilsley, the LACS’s head of investigations, and his other connections to the group. The court heard he had written a book published by the LACS, appeared at its campaign events and had published an academic paper sponsored by the group.

Following Mr Wills’ acquittal the Countryside Alliance called on the CPS to abandon its use of Professor Harris as an expert witness. Tim Bonner, the chief executive of the alliance, said: “He cannot be regarded as an independent witness. I will be writing to the Attorney General about the involvement of Prof Harris in charging decisions, and about the CPS’s continued use of Prof Harris as an independent expert in trials involving Hunts.”

Professor Harris rejected the Countryside Alliance's claims, stating: "Tim Bonner represents a campaigning organisation and so has a partisan view, whereas I am an independent academic. For more than half a century, I have known and worked with people who support hunting and those who are anti-hunting. However, I base my opinions on the facts, not the preconceived objectives of others.”

A CPS spokesperson said: “We are aware of the judge’s comments and are looking into what happened in this case. The gathering of evidence and identification of witnesses is a matter for police and it is for the court to determine whether an expert’s evidence is admissible.”

A highly experienced hunt monitor and prosecution witness responds  -  The Hunting Act needs strengthening to make it easier to prosecute these people who continue to hunt our wildlife with impunity and consider themselves to be above the law.

The prosecution witness featured in the article, Judy Gilbert, who greeted Prof. Harris with a handshake and a brief kiss on the cheek, had been acquainted with Prof Harris for decades though only met him on a very few occasions at public events. There is no “close relationship.” as the defence would like you to believe.

Mick Wills’ defence team were trying to make something out of nothing and seized on their perceived opportunity to try to discredit Professor Harris, probably because they are scared of his professionalism and expertise in the witness box and were determined not to let him speak. 

When our witness greeted Stephen Harris, in a professional manner by shaking his hand, because she regards him as a very intelligent acquaintance of integrity with unparalleled knowledge of foxes, also a quick kiss on his cheek in a “warm” (to quote the defence lawyer) manner.

Naturally the defence are trying to make much of this claiming that Professor Harris could not be impartial. This is quite ridiculous as we're sure Tim Bonner, the CA and their defence council know full well. In our opinion they were simply trying to unfairly discredit Professor Harris to get their client acquitted.

Judge: “However unbiased he may be, this court must exclude Professor Harris’s evidence.”

Sadly the Grafton Hunt - and not just Mick Wills the Huntsman, but all of them including the Masters, the Whippers-In and the mounted field - will continue to hunt foxes and claim they are hunting within the law by using loopholes in the Hunting Act.

The Hunting Act urgently needs strengthening to remove these loopholes and make it vastly easier to prosecute these people who continue to hunt our wildlife with impunity and consider themselves to be above the law.  https://www.facebook.com/foxcubhunting/

 

Three Counties MH stop & flee as soon as sabs find them

25-5-19  Facebook - South Wales Hunt Saboteurs    Three Counties Mink Hounds – 25.05.19   It was lovely to be out on a nice sunny day with our favourite sabs from Bristol, Severn Vale and Bath Hunt Saboteurs. Some undesirables had been spotted in the Neen Sollers area and we went to investigate.

It wasn't long before we found Three Counties Mink Hunt vehicles and followers. They had half a dozen vehicles parked in a field next to the river, but when they spotted us they hurried back to their vehicles and started to skulk off down a wooded track. They had clearly notified the Huntsman who called the hounds out of the river and lead them back into the farm yard.

        ThreeCountiesMHdog25-5-19.jpg 

There was the usual posturing and threatening but they knew the game was up. Then the terrier men, complete with two terriers and spade, emerged and also headed into the farm – they spent the rest of the afternoon lying next to the hound van lazing in the sun.

The police came and were irritating but ultimately harmless. Nothing left to do but for the hound van to leave – suitably followed by sabs to ensure they were heading back to the kennels. Time for a pint. Lovely.

 

Grafton FH Huntsman acquitted of illegally hunting a fox

Falconry Exemption defence accepted despite recent Fitzwilliam FH precedent

22-5-19  Facebook - Grafton Hunt Watch    The Huntsman of the Grafton Hunt was found not guilty of illegal fox hunting today at Northampton Magistrates Court. The defence claimed that they were hunting to a bird or prey using the Falconers exemption in the Hunting Act as their defence. Our report to follow shortly.

23-5-19   Facebook - Grafton Hunt Watch   VIDEO  Judge Daber, in his summing up, before he acquitted the Huntsman: I don't believe a man like the Hunt Master would perjure himself! Presumably he considered that our decent and honest hunt monitors would, when he stated that he "preferred" the Hunt's version to that of our Monitor regarding the position of the Falconer.

        GraftonFHFoxrunning23-9-17.jpg                                Fox flushed from wood runs from hounds 

        GraftonFHHoundsand23-9-17.jpg                                            Hounds and hunters chasing the fox 

        GraftonFHfoxfleeing23-9-17.jpg                                             Fox fleeing up the road 

        GraftonFHHoundssearching23-9-17.jpg.jpg                                            Hounds searching for scent of fleeing fox 

An article, with video, about the incident in the Sunday People is here. It talks about Andrea Leadsom MP, a strong supporter of the Grafton FH. Leadsom resigned from the Cabinet in advance of a second attempt to become Tory Leader and Prime Minister.

This is the original report of the incident, in September 2017, and my comment on it and the video...

24-9-17  Facebook – Help Hunt Monitors   VIDEO    The Grafton Hunt Watch team were out yesterday at Helmdon, Northamptonshire, to film the Grafton hunting fox cubs. Anarchy in the countryside, but the authorities will do nothing about it!

POWAperson adds - Three monitors separately filmed a fox darting out of a copse past a group of hounds and running across a field. The hounds give chase, as do riders on the ridge above. The fox bursts through a small copse with hounds in hot pursuit and is then seen running up a road, then darting back into a copse. The Huntsman is heard blowing the hounds to hunt on. Hounds, with riders in the background, search the road verges. As the film clip ends, hounds are on the wrong side of the road. It is all absolutely clearly wilful fox hunting and if this is not enough to secure a prosecution it is hard to see what would be.

 

New Quorn FH huntsman is violent illegal hunting suspect

22-5-19  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs  VIDEO    As former Atherstone Huntsman Ollie Finnegan takes over as Huntsman of the Quorn Hunt here is a reminder of what he was like at the Atherstone Hunt. Here he can be seen using his horse as a weapon against a sab.

Finnegan has also recently been charged with illegal hunting.

Pics below  -  Finnegan using his horse as a weapon against a female sab. This went on for a couple of minutes.

        AtherstoneFHHuntsmanFinnegan.jpg 

        AtherstoneFHHuntsmanOllie.jpg 

 

16-5-19   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    VIDEO     As we continue to upload all of our old videos to YouTube we come to our second visit to the Atherstone Hunt five years ago. In the video a terrified Atherstone hound hides from the Hunt under the Hunt's hound lorry. Then huntsman Ollie Finnegan can be heard saying “giver her a slap” to a hunt supporter in an effort to get the hound out from under the lorry. The hound can then be heard yelping in pain as she is hit by the Hunt. Fox Hunts love to tell anyone who will listen how well they treat their horses and hounds. This video shows the reality. Although filmed five years ago at the Atherstone Hunt this footage could easily have been filmed at any hunt around the country this season.

 

Oakley FH supporter convicted of serious damage to sab vehicle

20-5-19  Facebook - South Cambs Hunt Saboteurs   VIDEO   Whilst sabbing the Oakley Hunt on 30th September 2017 in Melchbourne, Bedfordshire, our sabs were subjected to a completely unprovoked and shocking attack by James Lea.

Sabs had just arrived to the area and had driven down a dead end road whilst searching for the Hunt and other sab groups. Sabs on foot had just been dropped off when James Lea arrived, driving dangerously and aggressively. The sabs tried to return to the safety of the vehicle but after attempting to block their escape James intentionally drove into and rammed the sab vehicle. You may recall our fundraising campaign for this at the time.

James was completely out of control and also almost ran a sab down with his car, and was shouting and throwing pieces of the sab vehicle at the sabs. Sadly this is typical behaviour from hunt supporters but this time we had some karma as we secured a conviction against James.

At the hearing on 4th April 2019 at Luton Magistrates Court, James Lea pleaded GUILTY to Criminal Damage. He received a Conditional Discharge for 6 months/ Court costs of £85/ Compensation to us £526.79. All of which keeps us ticking over and our vehicle taxed and MOT-ed.  Thanks James.

Pics below   -   1/  Lea rams sab vehicle    2/  Lea throws parts of damaged sab vehicle at sabs whilst threatening them 

  OakleyFHSabvehicle30-9-17.jpg OakleyFHSupporterthrows30-9-17.jpg

23-5-19  Daily Mail    Saboteurs who tried to disrupt a hunt are filmed clashing with supporter after he rammed his 4x4 into their vehicle and unleashed foul-mouthed tirade - James Lea, 50, clashed with hunt saboteurs in Melchbourne, Bedfordshire - He rams his 4x4 into their vehicle and says 'Go on... try it with a f***ing gypsy' - Lea received a conditional discharge for six months, paid court costs of £105 and compensation to the hunt saboteurs of £562.79    A fox hunt supporter was filmed clashing with saboteurs after ramming his 4x4 into their vehicle and launching a foul-mouthed tirade. Footage shows James Lea, 50, driving his Mitsubishi Shogun into a Range Rover after activists try to disrupt a hunt in Melchbourne, Bedfordshire. Lea is then recorded on a saboteur's mobile phone calling one female protester 'a f***ing b****' during the incident on September 30, 2017.

Video of the incident emerged after Lea admitted criminal damage at Luton Magistrates Court on April 4 this year. The confrontation happened as the South Cambridge Hunt Saboteurs confronted supports of the Oakley Fox Hunt. The video shows Lea ramming the saboteurs with his car and then telling protestors; 'Go on then, try it with a f***ing gypsy.' Lea is also seen throwing parts of the smashed up Range Rover at the saboteurs.

The woman who filmed the video had been dropped off on a public footpath to search for the Oakley Hunt with their Range Rover parked on public property. Lea then pulled up behind the Range Rover, forcing the car forward and screamed out of his driver side window: 'F***ing w***ers.' 

Lea, who is believed to be a supporter, but not a member of the Oakley Hunt says to the only female protester: 'F*** off. Go on, f***ing try it with a f***ing gypsy. F*** off down there you f***ing b****.'

During the ordeal the saboteur group tell one another not to interact with the furious Lea, and continue to walk away from him while filming. Lea continued to threaten the group and threw broken car parts at them. He says: 'Go on, you f***ing b******. Do you want to f***ing try it or not? Do ya? Do you want to come over here on private property. Do you want to take it on, get in the f***ing car you c***.'

During the attack, a member of the South Cambridgeshire Hunt Saboteurs in the Range Rover called the police as the vehicle drove out of the private property and back onto the public road. The hunt saboteurs get back into their car and leave.

Lea received a conditional discharge for six months, paid court costs of £105 and compensation to the hunt saboteurs of £562.79.

 

Eastern Counties MH packed up by sabs

18-5-19  Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs  Riverside vandals stopped in their tracks  - Hit Report - Sat 18 May 2019, Eastern Counties Mink (Otter) Hounds, Hill Farm, Ford End, Essex   North Cambs Hunt Sabs joined with a number of other groups today to act on a timely tip-off received via the HSA information line. We had received information that the Eastern Counties Mink were to be taking their hounds out along the River Chelmer. Locals were concerned for the safety of the resident otters known to live there.

Along with Suffolk And Essex, Beds & Bucks, Norwich and Cambridge Hunt Saboteurs, we picked up the Hunt who were just about to put their hounds into the river as we arrived.

       EasternCountiesMHGorgeous18-5-19.jpg                                        'The nasty men made me do it... ' 

After an initial protestation that they were 'hunting rabbits', they changed their story to 'dog walking' as soon as we pointed out that rabbits don't live in rivers.

Just like every other mink/otter hunt we have sabbed, they simply gathered up their hounds and terrier and walked back to their meet. An illegal hunting pack cannot continue when there are 21 sabs surrounding their hunt.

After a short farce where their hound van pretended to leave the meet, then drove back to the riverside, they gave in after realising they could not escape our gaze.

        EasternCountiesMHDisgruntled18-5-19.jpg                        Some of the nasty men less than happy with sab attention 

Another criminal hunting pack sent home with their tails between their legs, thanks to a tip off from the public!

Hunt sabs protect wildlife as volunteers, funding their fuel and camera equipment personally. If you would like to help our cause, you can do so at: https://ko-fi.com/northcambs.

See also report by S.Wales Hunt Sabs 

 

Police drop yet another Cheshire FH fox kill case

17-5-19  Knutsford Times    In November 2018, an investigation was launched into the death of a fox killed while a hunt was taking place in Church Minshull. During this investigation detectives have gathered video evidence and interviewed a number of people present or with relevant information.

Early investigative advice was also sought from the Crown Prosecution Service due the complexity of the case. As a result, the investigation team have concluded there is insufficient evidence that the incident amounted to deliberate and intentional hunting, as required by the Hunting Act 2004 and no further action will be taken. All parties involved have been informed of the outcome.

The Constabulary is still actively investigating a number of other incidents from the last hunting season and we are grateful to all those who continue to work with and support us. We reiterate our commitment that where allegations of unlawful activity are made, they will be fully investigated.

17-11-19  BBC News    No further action in Cheshire fox death probe - Cheshire Police said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute     Police say there will be no further action over the death of a fox allegedly killed during a hunt. Footage appeared to show a dead fox being placed in a bin bag - the aftermath of a hunt in Cheshire in November, an anti-hunting group said...

A spokesperson for Cheshire Monitors, the anti-hunting group which said it filmed the footage, said "pitifully weak legislation" had undermined its efforts to seek prosecution.

18-5-19  Facebook - Cheshire Monitors  VIDEO   Here is the evidence - “No further action" - Cheshire Hounds Hunt evade prosecution yet again despite clear evidence of fox hunting   On Thursday 15th November 2018, a team of 10 monitors, including independents, witnessed the Cheshire Hounds Hunt trespassing into fields around Aston Gorse woodland near Church Minshull to hunt a fox for 15 minutes, resulting in its death...

We have been informed that the blatantly illegal activities shown in this video fail to meet the "evidential threshold" set by the Crown Prosecution Service when considering a prosecution under the Hunting Act 2004, legislation designed to stop the hunting of wild mammals with a pack of dogs, but which fails dismally to do so.

Cheshire Monitors, along with other groups, local MPs, and a number of advisors, are now working towards a real hunting ban, and we need your help. Please keep checking our page over the coming months on practical ways in which you can help. Demand a #RealHuntingBan

POWAperson adds  -  Cheshire Monitors report on the fox kill can be found here 

Pics below   -  1/   Hounds hunting fox while redcoat shouts 'Get on it!'     2/   Whipper-in clears up remains of killed fox   

        CheshireFHHoundshunting15-11-18.jpg 

        CheshireFHWhipclearsremains15-11-18.jpg 

See also Cheshire Live report and Metro

 

Stray Cheshire FH hound snapped scavenging rubbish near kennels

17-5-19  Facebook - Cheshire Monitors    Lost hound seen scavenging from local refuse    The Cheshire Hounds Hunt have lost a hound today, 17th May 2019, which was seen rummaging through rubbish bags near the Whitegate Way. The kennels are located just off this popular public footpath.

One of our supporters, who was not far from their kennels, spotted this hound wandering the streets around The Paddocks on the Whitegate Way. They tried but failed to coax her to them. If you spot her, please get in touch.

       CheshireFHHoundsnapped17-5-19.jpg 

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION* Keep an eye out if you see the hunt "exercising" the hounds along the Whitegate Way, which they do often, usually between 6am-8am while there aren't many people around. They have previously been spoken to by the council due to them not picking up after the hounds, who have also limited them to one handler per five hounds under new council regulations. If you see any different get evidence and get in touch!

 

 

Essex CC rejects bid to ban 'trail hunting' on its land

16-5-19  Clacton Gazette    Bid to prevent trail hunting on Essex County Council land rejected   A BID to ban hunting with dogs on council-owned land has been rejected. Colchester councillor Lee Scordis put forward the motion calling on Essex County Council to not to allow any future trail hunting and exercising of packs of fox hounds on its land.

Trail hunting involves laying of a scent across the countryside which a pack of hounds then searches for and follows. The practice, and exercising hounds, are legal and the Countryside Alliance said there was “no justification” for the motion.

Hunting foxes with dogs is illegal but there are a number of exemptions which Labour councillors said were being used to get round the law. But councillors disagreed and branded the move “illogical” and “a nonsense”. Independent councillor Kerry Smith said he could not support the motion. He said: “This motion is not sound as it seeks indirectly to remove the rights of the common man to freely use public rights of way. “These are hard won rights I will not seek to tamper with.”

Fellow independent Jo Beavis, who represents Halstead, said she could see no reason for the ban as no Essex huntsmen had been questioned by police for a breach of the law. She said: “This motion has caused much alarm in my division. Huntsmen are confused because without any serious reason a motion has been moved to consider this legal activity. The motion is entirely illogical.”

Labour councillor Ivan Henderson spoke in support of the motion and urged councillors to help stop hunting on council land. However, the motion was rejected.

Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance: “We are pleased the council voted against a motion to ban the legal activities of trail hunting and hound exercise. It is a great shame councillors had to waste time on such a pointless and divisive debate but we are grateful they rejected the proposal. Hunts in Essex have been hunting an artificial scent legally since the Hunting Act came into force in 2005. There are at least eight packs of hounds operating in the county throughout the autumn and winter yet none has ever been charged with a hunting offence. The suggestion they are not hunting lawfully is completely unfounded.”

 

Naturalist and anti-hunt activist Chris Packham awarded CBE

Has to withdraw from event due to threats from pro-bloodsports people 

16-5-19  Express & Star    Packham celebrates CBE and vows to keep fighting for British countryside    Chris Packham vowed to continue his fight to defend Britain’s natural world – despite receiving death threats – as he was made a CBE by the Prince of Wales. The naturalist and TV presenter, who has spoken out against fox hunting, badger culling and the killing of birds of prey, has been given the award for his services to nature conservation.

Packham [left] last month revealed dead crows had been strung up outside his home and he had ChrisPackhamCBE.jpgreceived death threats after Natural England revoked licences for controlling 16 species of bird following a legal challenge by the Wild Justice group he founded.

On Monday, his appearance at a festival for dog lovers was cancelled as the organisers of Dogstival, at Pylewell Park Estate, near Lymington in the New Forest, Hampshire, said they feared protesters would use the event to target the BBC Springwatch presenter.

Packham, 58, said after the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony: “A lot of people aren’t as well versed with the problems, they read the headlines, they knee jerk, they feel that they’re threatened and therefore they lash out. I have to accept that and I will accept that and continue to try to make progress. For me all of those things are part of a process I will have to go through to achieve what I want to do – and that is to make the UK countryside a better and healthier place for wildlife and for people, too. I know that’s not going to be an easy ride but that doesn’t put me off.”

The passionate defender of wildlife has worked on BBC Two’s Springwatch and its other seasonal spin-offs since 2009, and presented numerous natural history programmes. Earlier this year he took part in Blue Planet Live, examining the impact of ocean pollution.

Packham has spoken often of how his Asperger’s syndrome and bouts of depression have affected his screen career. He added: “One of the characteristics of my condition is that we are intolerant of injustice and we see things in black and white and we say what we think, and those are key assets when it comes to the sort of campaigning work that I do.”

The TV presenter was interested in the natural world from an early age, with a bedroom full of tanks and jars of wildlife, before becoming involved in the punk scene and adopting its defiant spirit. He began experimenting with photography and camera work before moving from behind the camera to presenting duties on The Really Wild Show in 1986. Packham is vice-president of the RSPB and the RSPCA, and supports other conservation and animal welfare charities.

The TV presenter said he would be celebrating the award at London Zoo with a group of people, from his former school teachers to television executives, who had mentored him over the years.

He said about the CBE: “To a great extent I feel I’m taking one for a team of people, there aren’t that many people who are honoured for working in major conservation and environmental care and there are a lot of people who work hard, and a lot harder than I do, and I’m fortunate to be a small figurehead for them.”

 

Leics cop who wrongfully arrested sab promoted to Inspector

12-5-19  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   VIDEO  What do Leicestershire Police do with bent coppers? They promote them.   Five years ago PS Paul Allen deliberately misused Section 60 stop and search powers on a group of hunt saboteurs. The powers are meant to be used for when there is a serious threat of violence. A member of our group refused to be searched by Allen and was subsequently arrested. The CPS wanted to drop the case however Allen put pressure on the CPS to continue with the prosecution warning them that Leicestershire Police risked being sued if the case was dropped. The case was thrown out of court and Leicestershire Police were successfully sued after it was proved the section 60 had been misused. The video of the incident can be viewed here.

Five years later Allen has been promoted to Inspector. Here he is [see video] talking about stopping and searching people at a football match.

 

Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman's defence attempt to discredit expert witness failed

Prosecution's expert said to have tried to discredit defence's 'expert 

11-5-19  Daily Telegraph    Professor employed as independent witness in hunting prosecution tried to discredit opposition using secret 'intelligence files' from League Against Cruel Sports - Professor Stephen Harris was said to have 'ambushed' Mr Adams’ appeal against conviction by producing documents relating to his rival expert evidence    A professor employed as an independent witness in a hunting prosecution tried to discredit opposing witnesses using secret “intelligence files” from the League Against Cruel Sports.

George Adams, 67, was found guilty of using hounds to kill a fox despite the scientist who gave the main evidence against him being accused of “bias”. Professor Stephen Harris was said to have “ambushed” Mr Adams’ appeal against conviction by producing documents relating to his rival expert evidence Dr Daryl Hamilton Wallace half way through the case.

Peter Glenser QC, defending, told the court it was the second time during a hunting trial that evidence had emerged relating to the retired professor’s links to the anti-hunting charity with which “he has had an association which goes back decades.” He told the judge that Mr Harris was “biased”, adding: “This all paints a picture of somebody who is antipathetic to those accused of hunting.”

The professor also gave key evidence to parliament in support of the hunting ban. One of the documents produced, Mr Glenser told the court, was a “subject profile said to be a restricted document from the League Against Cruel Sports”. The “intelligence file”, which included personal details including what was believed to be his home address, was created in 2015.

Prof Harris also sent prosecutor David Matthew a series of documents relating to Mr Hamilton Wallace that he found online, the judge was told. Mr Glenser said that he was concerned that Prof Harris’ evidence was the “principle evidence” in the trial along with videos shot on the day. In 2015 a private prosecution of the Lamerton Hunt collapsed after an email emerged detailing how the League’s head of enforcement had recommended the Bristol Professor as an expert. Prof Harris noted in the email, to a solicitor in another case, that it “fortunate” that was not the route by which police contacted him as if it had been it would have been “very damaging”.

Despite the questions over the independence of the expert, Judge Jonathan Cooper upheld the decision to find Mr Adam guilty and ordered him to pay £11,332 in costs, as well as a £1,000 fine.

Speaking directly to the allegations against Prof Harris, the judge told Cambridge Crown Court: “We heard that he was met with a file of material that was said to undermine his credibility. It was most unfortunate that that file was incomplete, because an explanatory document from a previous case had not been put before us. There was a prospect that the picture being painted may not have been as full as it should have been. That is a matter of regret.”

The appeal boiled down to the key findings made at Peterborough Magistrates court, and Judge Cooper said: “Whatever might have been the intentions, it degenerated into a simple matter of fact that it descended into hunting with dogs.”

Mr Adams, who joined the Fitzwilliam Hunt in 1981 and became a Huntsman in 1984, has always insisted that the hounds only killed the fox because it had been spooked by the sabs and turned back into the pack. But the judge rejected this claim, saying: “The dogs were not called off the chase of the fox at any relevant point. Mr Adams exerted no effective control.”

Falconer John Mease, who had been tried alongside Mr Adams at the Magistrates Court and cleared, said to his knowledge in 14 years of hunting with the Fitzwilliam that was the only time that a fox had been killed by the hounds. Normally the hounds flush the fox to cover and then he releases his eagle to kill the animal, he told the court, but he did not release his bird that day because of the “balaclava-d sabs”.

Mr Adams was first interviewed by the police in March 2017 about the events of the New Year’s Day hunt in a field near Wansford, Cambridgeshire in 2016 and was convicted after a trial before Magistrates in April last year.

See also blog by 'Accidental Activist', who was the main prosecution witness, here. 

 

Sabs find 3 Counties MH hounds in cry - they pack up immediately

11-5-19  Facebook - Bristol Hunt Saboteurs    Three Counties Mink Hounds – 11/05/19    Today we joined up with Bath and Severn Vale Hunt Sabs to pay a visit to the Three Counties Mink Hounds, after receiving a tip off that they would be hunting around Cotheridge, Worcestershire.

When checking out the area we heard horn calls and hounds in cry, which gave us their location on the River Teme. Sabs popped out on the opposite river bank and the Hunt quickly gathered the hounds up and had a huddle before heading back to their vehicles.

        ThreeCountiesMH11-5-19.jpg 

We got round the other side of the river in time to see an annoyed Huntsman leaving in the hound van. Supporters then blocked the roads to stop us following, with no regard to other road users who were also held up.

Shortly after the hound van was seen heading to their kennels down the road in Kinnersley and we retired to the pub, knowing that their day was done!

Mink hunting is the summer pastime of the hunting community, with only die-hard enthusiasts who are usually out with fox or hare hunts taking part, meaning they’re particularly secretive and illusive.

Mink hunting supposedly replaced otter hunting in the 1970s, when the species was given special protection after a massive population crash due to pesticide use and hunting. However, they still use otter hounds and with an increasing otter and declining mink population it is thought some packs have reverted to hunting their old quarry.

The hunters claim to support conservation efforts and help animals such as the water vole by hunting mink, but we fail to see how a couple of dozens hounds and a bunch of people with sticks and spades trampling over and tearing up fragile river bank habitats is in any way good for conservation. The riverside vandals are firmly on our radars this summer. Watch this space...

Please donate to keep us in the fields! Paypal.me/bristolhuntsabs

See also report by Severn Vale Sabs

 

Masked S. Shrops FH supporters intimidate monitors at their workplace

11-5-19  Facebook - Shropshire Monitors   Today the South Shropshire Hunt have stooped to an all-time low. Two monitors were subject to intimidation and harassment whilst they were at work today. The people responsible were known South Shropshire Hunt Supporters and Staff. Everything has been reported to the police.

All this has done is made #ShropshireMonitors more determined to expose this Hunt for what they are and ensure we now keep a very close eye on them for this coming season. We take this behaviour as an admission of guilt, as why would grown men cover their faces and attempt to intimidate monitors during their work? How unprofessional and desperate of the South Shropshire Hunt.

We can assume that they are not pleased their #NationalTrust licence was revoked for illegally hunting on the #Longmynd as one of the old men supporters mentioned the Longmynd during today’s harassment. Surely National Trust Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd NT this bullying behaviour has now blown any chance they would have had of getting a licence renewed for the coming season? Bit warm for woolly hats and scarves boys?

#SouthShropshireHunt #Guilty #WeGotThemRattled #SeeYouSoon

   S.ShropsFHterrierman11-4-19.jpg  S.ShropsFHsupporter11-4-19.jpg

 

Sabs stumble across Dove Valley MH digging & scare them off

11-5-19  Facebook - Nottingham Hunt Saboteurs      Today whist out sett surveying ahead of the proposed badger cull a couple of our sabs stumbled on the Dove Valley Mink Hunt who had met at Blithford Farm, North of Blithbury, Staffordshire. After spotting their well known hound van we saw the hunt in a field, close to the road and a group of them digging at the river bank, presumably after a mink that had taken refuge. We filmed them and this was enough to make them gather their spades and terriers and move on.

        DoveValleyMHCaught11-5-19.jpg 

We called in reinforcements and stayed in the area to keep an eye on them but before any more sabs could get into the area the hunt had called it a day.

If you see a similar group of vehicles parked up over the summer please contact the HSA tip off line on 07443 148426. The Dove Valley hound van is a dark Toyota Landcruiser Reg R148 VUX and will be towing a trailer with the hounds in. If you spot this vehicle in Derbyshire or Staffordshire please let us know. https://ko-fi.com/nottshuntsabs.

 

Essex County Council to debate banning hunting on its land

11-5-19  Gazette Standard    Call to ban ALL fox hunting on Essex County Council-owned land   A MOTION calling for a ban on all forms of hunting with dogs on council-owned land is set to be debated. The bid, put forward by Colchester councillor Lee Scordis, will go before Essex County Council next week.

It calls on the council to “not to allow any future trail hunting and exercising of packs of fox hounds” on its land. Trail-hunting involves laying of a scent across the countryside which a pack of hounds then searches for and follows. Mr Scordis’ move comes weeks after Nottinghamshire County Council voted to ban hunts on all land it owns.

Hunting foxes with dogs is illegal in Britain, but there are a number of exemptions which Labour councillors said were being used to get round the law. Mr Scordis, who represents Abbey ward on the county council, said his motion had been inspired by colleagues in Nottinghamshire. He said they hoped the move would close loopholes which the party claims hunters use to avoid the ban.

It had been put forward by Nottinghamshire County Council, however, our motion is worded slightly differently,” he said. “We are all passionate about animal welfare in the Labour party. It would only encompass Essex County Council owned areas as we can only enforce that as a council.”

A number of hunt events are held across Essex each year. These include the annual Maldon New Year’s Day hunt and in recent years the Castle Hedingham Boxing Day hunt.

Mr Scordis said it was time for the council to get behind opposition to the Hunts from the public. “I completely abhor any type of hunting that goes on,” he said. “Killing any animal is disgusting. I think it speaks for itself. We are passionate about making sure the loopholes are covered on fox hunting. We have to be much more progressive - we don’t live in the 18th century any more.”

The motion, which was seconded by Laindon Park councillor Allan Davies, will go before the council on Tuesday.

8-5-19  Facebook - Cllr Lee Scordis - Labour Borough and County Councillor   Next Tuesday I will be moving a motion to tighten the rules on fox hunting in Essex. Fox hunting is a despicable activity and I can still not understand how someone gets pleasure watching an innocent animal being torn apart. I hope all parties can support this.

This Council notes that the hunting of wild animals with dogs is illegal under the terms of the Hunting Act 2004, except where an exemption applies. This Council therefore calls upon the Cabinet not to allow any future trail hunting and exercising of packs of Fox hounds on Essex County Council land.’

 

2nd horse lorry in 3 months burnt out at Atherstone FH kennels

10-5-19  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    It seems that a horsebox at the Atherstone Hunt kennels was burnt out last night. Apparently this is the second time in the past three months. We have reported previously that the Atherstone Hunt are struggling financially, so much so that their accounts show that over the past few years they have been steadily selling off all of their tangible assets. This has included the selling off of all of the horses owned by the hunt. One of the few assets left that the Atherstone Hunt still had was the hound lorry used to transport the hounds and horses to hunt meets. It seems this has now been burnt out…

9-5-19  Facebook - Atherstone Fire Station    At 00:02 this morning the Retained crew were called out to a horse lorry on fire on Kennel Lane, Witherley, Leicestershire. Upon arrival it was well alight. 2 BA, an extended Hose reel and 45mm jet was used to extinguish the fire. The vehicle was completely destroyed but the fire was limited from spreading to surrounding property. The crews returned to station shortly after 2am.

This is the second horse lorry fire at the same address within the past 3 months. Investigations are ongoing as it is believed to have been targeted by arsonists. If anyone has any further information then please contact Leicestershire Police.

        AtherstoneFHLorry9-5-19.jpg 

                                                 [Credit Atherstone Fire Station] 

 

Sabs accuse Clifton on Teme FH after finding dug out sett

9-5-19  Facebook - Herefordshire Hunt Sabs   Badger sett dig out    While out sett surveying our sabs made a chilling discovery on Easter Sunday. After finding several clear badger signs and a small outlier sett, a main sett was located only to discover unmistakable evidence of a recent dig out.

Wider investigation showed that a Hunt had been in the area within the time frame of the dig out. We estimated it was about a month old; horses hoof marks and hound prints remain clearly visible in the heavy clay soil of North Herefordshire.

The Hunt in question would have been the Clifton on Teme Hunt. At least half the entrances on the sett show evidence of soft blocking, although most are now active again. There is a fresh latrine nearby, so the badgers fortunately survive. The size of the dig out indicates this was for a fox that had gone to ground.

         Clifton-on-TemeFHDugout9-5-19.jpg 

Until the 2018/2019 season the Clifton on Teme Hunt have avoided sab attention for years. This is pretty indisputable proof that they are hunting illegally. We're gutted we weren't there to intervene on this occasion but they can expect more attention from us next season.

A Land registry search shows the sett is on the boundary between two farms but we believe the landowner to be Gerald Whistance of Wild Perry Farm. A specially built hunt jump on his land, and very close to the dig out, proves that the hunt have permission to hunt the land. The Clifton like to boast that they have access to almost all the land in their country. Let's start putting pressure on some of those landowners. Please contact Mr Whistance and ask him why he allows illegal hunting on his land. Be polite.

Your contributions towards our fuel costs are always appreciated. Thank you. Ko-fi.com/herefordshirehuntsabs

 

Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman appeal against conviction dismissed

9-5-19  Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs    Guilty verdict    Ex-Huntsman of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, George Adams, was once again found guilty of illegal hunting.

Adams and his expensive legal team demanded an appeal and full retrial after he was originally found guilty in 2018. Today, it was ruled *again* that he hunted and killed a fox unlawfully in January 2016.

The Hunt relied heavily on the presence of an (unused) Golden Eagle with their Hunt in an effort to circumvent the law, this was today ruled irrelevant in what has now become case law.

Pic below   -  Adams [mounted] just after the kill  

      FitzwilliamFHkilledfox1-1-16.jpg 

9-5-19  Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs    Fitzwilliam conviction upheld by the courts   Official Statement.

We are clearly very happy with the decision to uphold the conviction of George Adams that we achieved back in April last year. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the prosecution team, in particular the excellent David Matthew QC who performed admirably against the defence who persisted in attempts to discredit the witnesses and ambushing the court with last minute legal claims and the questionable addition of their own so-called expert witness, a computer forensics expert with no background in animal sciences.

We hope this finally signals the end of the Bird of Prey or Falconry exemption within the Hunting Act. Other Hunts which use this loophole will now have to reconsider their options as they will no longer be considered to be taking part in exempt hunting just by having someone with a bird of prey present. The use of birds of prey alongside hunting with hounds is not, and never was falconry. There are serious welfare issues for the raptors used in this manner alongside the abhorrent cruelty involved in setting 1 or 30 animals against another.

Judge Cooper, in summing up stated; “Something significant" must change in the planning and training of the hounds and the characteristics of Hunts in the future if they don't want to be charged with illegal hunting”.

We will continue to actively target all Hunts in an effort to stop their abuse of our wildlife with all and every means at our disposal. The Hunting Act is in desperate need of strengthening, all the loopholes should be closed and hunting with dogs finally consigned to history. We will continue to work towards that end but in the mean time you will find us, and all hunt sabs standing up to defend our wildlife in the fields no matter what violence, abuse and intimidation we face.

See also reports in Peterborough Telegraph and The Canary 

 

 

Trial of Grafton FH Huntsman set to start 20th May

7-5-19  Facebook - Grafton Hunt Watch    Case against Michael Francis Wills - Huntsman Grafton Hunt -  Hunting a wild mammal with dogs - Hunting Act 2004. Notice to attend at Wellingborough Magistrates Court. A trial has been arranged to take place at Wellingborough Magistrates Court on 20 May 2019, the trial is listed for 21 May at Wellingborough Magistrate Court and 22 May at Northampton Magistrates Court.

 

Monitors prevent Border Counties MH from hunting

5-5-19  Facebook - Shropshire Monitors      Border Counties Mink (otter) Hounds - Hit Report - 05/05/2019   They met at 10am, Manor Farm, Lea Brockhurst, SY4 on a SUNDAY!, they had a big suprise as monitors were in wait along the River Roden to greet them. Monitors being there early, saw no trail laid, but had evidenced signs of Otters along the river. We heard the Hunt making burring (rolled tounge) noises.

They were such a small hunt in number, with a mixture of hounds and around 10 people. We are interested to know what they were doing? As hunting otters and mink is illegal, it is also illegal to disturb the resting place of otters. They ran and hid away for a few hours, past Thistleford bridge and went up the Roden to Soultan wood.

        BorderCountiesMH5-5-19.jpg 

We caught up with them as they approached Aston Hall, where they then hid and awaited a pick up. Using the footpath there, we watched them hiding and loading up the dogs. Here a very dishevelled looking Nick Mapp as huntsman and his mate Ryan Backhouse Jones had to load bored looking hounds at only 2pm. Whilst loading a rather unsavoury character verbally abused hunt monitors, who were filming from a public footpath. Why be so aggressive Mr?

A message to all Hunts, if you come into #Shropshire we will be there to monitor your activity.

Thanks to the independents out today with us and also a big thanks to the monitor from Cheshire Against The Cull.

 

2 JMs, 2 servants leave United FH after dig-out reported to police

2-5-19  Facebook - Shropshire Monitors   VIDEO   The United Pack from Bishops Castle were caught by us digging into a badger sett. They need to now dig up 2 new masters and a new huntsman and a new whip, as we hear. Josh, Padraic, Ellie & Sophie have all left. good riddance.

We have had them in front of Police in 2018 & 2019. So watch out United Pack in 2019/2020 we shall be watching.


 

APRIL 2019

….. 30th April - Judge to give Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman appeal verdict on Friday

….. 30th April - Meynell FH officials & servants trial date set for August 19th

….. 30th April - LACS lists known infractions by N.T. licenced Hunts during season

….. 29th April - Deer hunt season ends as criminal Quantock SH Huntsman retires

….. 28th April - Fox-killing Cheshire FH Joint Master resigns post

….. 27th April - LACS figures point up widespread illegal fox hunting in Cheshire

….. 24th April - Weston & Banwell FH planning application for new kennels refused

….. 23rd April - Another stag killed by Quantock SH - at 'children's meet'

….. 23rd April - Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman's illegal hunting appeal tomorrow

….. 22nd April - S. Shropshire FH spokeswoman struggles to explain 'trail hunting'

….. 22nd April - Monitor report on licence breaches & violence by R.A. FH ignored

….. 21st April - Meynell FH rider boasts of cub hunting on social media

….. 20th April - Cheshire FH hold emergency meeting to discuss their any problems

….. 19th April - Venue will not host Puckeridge FH Ball after anti online campaign

….. 19th April - R.A. FH rider who lied re. sabs endangering her horse is named

….. 18th April - Walker's account suggests Blencathra FH lied to LDNPA re. chasing fox

….. 18th April - Top Hunts' lawyer Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden drowns while surfing

….. 17th April - LACS say season's 400 illegal hunting reports 'tip of iceberg'

….. 17th April - Sanctuary owner thinks starving fox cubs were being raised to be hunted

….. 17th April - LACS urges N.T. to ban South Shropshire FH permanently

….. 16th April - FC staff prevent Quantock SH pursuing stag on to their land

….. 15th April - LACS officer witnesses D&S SH 'tormenting' stag for six hours

….. 15th April - Antis ask MoD to ban violent R. Artillery FH from their land

….. 14th April - Sabs attacked, cars badly damaged by R. Artillery FH supporters

….. 14th April - Hounds Off founder assaulted by Quantock SH thug on public access land

….. 13th April - Quantock SH chase another stag to exhaustion and death

….. 12th April - CA & Cheshire PCC criticise each other over hunting review

….. 11th April - Pevensey Marsh Beagles to close down 

….. 10th April - Six from Meynell FH charged with illegal fox hunting

…..  9th April - Garden Centre withdraws sponsorship of Cottesmore FH Pony Club event

…..  8th April - Monitor captures moment hunted stag shot dead by Quantock SH

…..  8th April - Welsh huntsman convicted over gruesome/insanitary state of kennels

…..  7th April - Lord Middleton's son works with prosecutor who dropped sab assaults case

…..  7th April - Stevenstone FH hunt on after fox even after warned by sabs

…..  5th April - Waveney Harriers chase fox across road at closing meet

…..  5th April - Antis think pair bagged foxes released at 4 Burrow/Beaufort FHs meet

…..  5th April - Sab film refutes claim that they endangered a hunter's horse

…..  5th April - Quantock SH kill another young stag for 'sport'

…..  5th April - Cotswold FH filmed trespassing on private railway

…..  4th April - WO course at Leics police doesn't seem to cover organised illegal hunting

…..  3rd April - Leics police recruitment ad features pro-hunt Wildlife Officer

…..  2nd April - Vale of White Horse FH trespass on Nat.Trust land

…..  2nd April - Sabs upload video of Stevenstone FH fox kill

…..  2nd April - Man says saw Surrey Union FH hunting fox on/near Wildlife Trust land

…..  2nd April - Portman FH rider who kicked horse in belly owns the Daily Mail

…..  2nd April - Portman FH terrierman kicks sab, rider steals hat

…..  1st April - Atherstone FH supporter exposed as violent misogynist

 

Judge to give Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman appeal verdict on Friday

30-4-19  Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs    For those FitzwilliamFHSabkilledfox1-1-16.jpgfollowers of this page waiting for an update on the long running Fitzwilliam court case, a verdict will be delivered at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday.

This case relates to the illegal hunting and killing of a fox by the Fitzwilliam Hunt in January 2016. The killing occurred near Elton, south of Peterborough. The Fitzwilliam have been convicted once already over this, yet have appealed in an attempt to spend even more on court costs.

All evidence has now been heard. The judge has retired and will consider his verdict which will be delivered on Friday. We get to wait some more.

As a note to this and regardless of the outcome we would like to say thanks to the prosecuting QC who was excellent and the judge who certainly didn't bow to any of the dirty tricks by the defence team.

Pic  -   Sabs guard corpse of killed fox 

 

Meynell FH officials & servants trial date set for August 19th

Six are accused of illegal cub hunting in October 2018

30-4-19  LACS Press Release    Hunt accused of illegally targeting fox cubs    Five members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt have appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court today, accused of hunting fox cubs. The five accused entered not guilty pleas and a trial date was set for five days from Monday, August 19. Joint Master William Tatler had a medical exemption today but also faces charges.

The case follows an investigation by Derbyshire Police based on evidence captured by the animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports.

Martin Sims, director of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:- “We’d like to thank Derbyshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for bringing this case to court under the Hunting Act, and we will now await the outcome of the trial.”

The six men are joint masters William Tatler and Peter Southwell, former huntsman Sam Staniland, whipper-in John ‘Ollie’ Finnegan, terrier man Andrew Bull and assistant terrier man Sam Stanley, face a charge of hunting a wild mammal with a dog contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004. The alleged offence is said to have been committed on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 in woodland near Sutton on the Hill in Derbyshire.

Before the Hunting Act was introduced, Hunts would train their hounds to kill adult foxes by first training them to hunt and kill young fox cubs living in patches of woodland. When the Hunting Act was introduced that practice was made illegal. The case comes 14 years after hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales with the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004, which came into force in February 2005. That's if they get to trial

POWAperson adds   -   Let us hope the trial will begin at the due date, but it will be astonishing if it does. Most Hunting Act cases have taken well over a year to get to trial from incident date and some much longer than that. That's if they get to trial at all, as the CPS has a habit of dropping cases before [sometimes during] trial, usually without meaningful explanation.  

See also Derbyshire Live  

 

Known infractions by N.T. licenced Hunts during season listed

30-4-19  LACS website    ...Listed below are the reported incidents of Hunts trespassing onto National Trust land during the 2018/19 hunting season.

- The Horton Court Estate, Gloucestershire, has granted a license to the Beaufort Hunt, which was filmed hunting a fox through a churchyard in the nearest village to the estate on 17 March, showing the Hunt is operating unlawfully in its daily activities. It is clear unlawful hunting was taking place on that day as the full pack of hounds were ‘in cry’, the Huntsman was giving short horn and voice calls - something done to ‘egg the hounds on’ to follow the scent of a hunted animal. A number of badger setts were also found blocked up — a common tactic used by Hunts to prevent a pursued fox from ‘going to ground’ — in a wood which was surrounded by terriermen after the animal took refuge. It is notable that nearby Tetbury Town Council has refused permission for the Beaufort Hunt to meet in the town centre on New Year’s Day on 10/12/2018.

- The Kingston Lacy Estate, Dorset, has granted a license to the Portman Hunt, which was witnessed by wildlife monitors chasing a fox over National Trust land in March 2017. The Hunt has since been witnessed chasing a fox at a meet in Manston on 27/10/2018, where a badger sett was found blocked up nearby. Terriermen – people on quadbikes whose purpose is to dig out foxes which have taken refuge underground during a hunt – were filmed when the Hunt met on the estate on 21/11/2018. This is in direct breach of the National Trust’s licence, which expressly prohibits terriermen and their vehicles from operating on its land during the course of any hunt meet. The National Trust is clear that “terrier men have no place in a trail hunt”.

- The Farnborough Hall Estate, Warwickshire, has granted a license to the Warwickshire Hunt, which was filmed trespassing on the estate on 11 November 2017, when no license was issued. It is clear unlawful hunting was taking place on that day as the full pack of hounds were ‘in cry’ and the Huntsman was giving short horn and voice calls - something done to ‘egg the hounds on’ to follow the scent of a hunted animal. Had a trail been laid the Hunt would not have gone near, let alone onto, the grounds of Farnborough Hall. A number of recent incidents also show the Hunt is operating unlawfully in its daily activities: the Hunt was seen chasing a fox in Hunningham on 01/11/2018 and the Hunt was again seen chasing a fox, which went to ground in a badger sett in Admington on 03/11/2018.

- The Buscot and Coleshill Estate, Oxfordshire, has granted a license to the Old Berkshire Hunt, which was then witnessed chasing and killing a fox on the estate on 17/11/2018. The National Trust launched an investigation, however no outcome has been announced. The same Hunt was witnessed by monitors chasing a fox in Alvescot, 10 miles north of the estate, on 07/11/2018, showing that the Hunt is operating unlawfully in its daily activities. This was on the same date the Hunt was scheduled to meet on the estate, but switched hunt meets for unknown reasons. It is understood the incident has been reported to Thames Valley Police.

- The Penrose Estate, Cornwall, has granted a licence allowing access to Porkellis Moor by the Four Burrow Hunt, which had on 24/11/2018 six of its hunting dogs becoming trapped for four days down a mine shaft - resulting in one of the animals dying.

- The Woolbeding Countryside Estate, West Sussex, granted a licence to the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt. Terriermen – people on quadbikes whose purpose is to dig out foxes which have taken refuge underground during a hunt – were filmed when the Hunt met on the estate on 24th November 2018. This is in direct breach of the National Trust’s licence, which expressly prohibits terriermen and their vehicles from operating on its land during the course of any hunt meet. The National Trust is clear that “terrier men have no place in a trail hunt”.

- The Hanbury Hall Estate, Worcestershire, granted a licence to the Worcestershire Hunt. This Hunt was photographed chasing a fox at Goosehill Green, two and a half miles from the estate, on 7th November 2018.

- The Shropshire Hills Estate, Shropshire, has granted a licence for two Hunts to access its Long Mynd Estate. On 10 December a fox was seen fleeing the South Shropshire Hunt, one of those licensed, alongside terriermen being present, during a meet on the estate. On 11 December, terriermen were filmed accompanying the United Pack, the other licensed Hunt, on the estate as well as the Hunt conducting activities on areas outside of the licensed area.

So far, the Trust has failed to give a satisfactory answer as to how they will prevent this from taking place, and what the repercussions of these offences will be.

2-4-19  Facebook - National Dis-Trust    We're starting a new National Trust trespass round-up for the 2018/19 season:-

09/03/2019 - Radley College Beagles met on The Buscot and Coleshill Estates NT, documented by Severn Vale Hunt Saboteurs and Surrey Hunt Monitors: tinyurl.com/y3kg3ne2.

09/03/2019 - Eryri Hunt were witnessed by walkers illegally hunting on National Trust land within Snowdonia National Park.

03/03/2019 - A Hunt was witnessed illegally hunting on National Trust land by members of the public. More information here: tinyurl.com/y3kg3ne2.

09/02/2019 - Surrey Union Hunt trespassing in the National Trust's Cockshot Woods. Field report from Guildford Hunt Saboteurs here: tinyurl.com/y6ql5dm4.

28/01/2019 - Quantock Staghounds (again) on Beacon Hill. Information from Hounds Off & Somerset Wildlife Crime here & here: tinyurl.com/ycnyrwao & tinyurl.com/yau3s9mr.

26/01/2019 - South Shropshire Hunt were trespassing on Long Mynd as reported by Shropshire Monitors & Welsh Border Hunt Sabs: tinyurl.com/ybxhp4mz, tinyurl.com/y8pbx6b4 & tinyurl.com/ybbybwhe.

17/01/2019 - Kimblewick Hunt were on Ashridge Estate NT as reported by Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs: tinyurl.com/ydbjrvj9.

03/01/2019 - the Melbreak Foxhounds were on National Trust land (Crag Fell, Ennerdale). 29/12/2018 - the Blencathra Foxhounds were trespassing on National Trust land in Cumbria. Report from Lancashire Hunt Saboteurs here: tinyurl.com/yc2dw52v.

26/12/2018 - the Eryri Hunt were using National Trust land in Snowdonia National Park, near Beddelgert. See these updates from North Wales Hunt Saboteurs - tinyurl.com/ycps5cey, tinyurl.com/y8gw3hun, tinyurl.com/ycohgdrk, tinyurl.com/ybnb92av, tinyurl.com/yahdr44m & tinyurl.com/ydaaotvc.

24/12/2018 - the Cheshire Hounds illegally hunted inside Bulkeley Hill Wood, documented by Cheshire Monitors. More information here: tinyurl.com/ybg2algl & tinyurl.com/y7dtd36q.

17/12/2018 - the Surrey Union Hunt were trespassing on National Trust land just days after cancelling their own licensed meets to use Trust land. Footage from Guildford Hunt Saboteurs can be seen here – tinyurl.com/ycje9335.

15/12/2018 - the Ullswater Foxhounds were illegally hunting on National Trust land in Cumbria, see this update from Lancashire Huntsabs - tinyurl.com/ycz892a6.

11/12/2018 - the United Pack using Long Mynd, but out of their licensed area and with terriermen. See information from ourselves & Shropshire Monitors: tinyurl.com/y865x3v6 & tinyurl.com/y9s87rok.

10/12/2018 - the South Shropshire Foxhounds hunted outside of their licensed area. More information here: tinyurl.com/yc9s52el.

03/12/2018 - the Melbreak Foxhounds were trespassing on National Trust land again. Information to follow.

26/11/2018 - the Melbreak Foxhounds were observed by Cumbria Hunt Watch to be on National Trust land; please see this update from Lancashire Huntsabs on the incident: tinyurl.com/yb4ahz5q.

14/11/2018 - the Purbeck & Bovington Beagles were rumbled by Weymouth Animal Rights when they met in a National Trust car park ready to hunt across Trust land. Full report here: tinyurl.com/yd495fdw. You can contact the relevant staff at Ringstead Bay at westdorset@nationaltrust.org.uk or 01297 489 481.

10/11/2018 - the Staintondale Foxhounds were on Bay Ness, witnessed by East Yorkshire Coast Hunt Saboteurs. Information can be seen here in four parts: tinyurl.com/y6wgwm78, tinyurl.com/yajay3d3, tinyurl.com/y82t9ydt & tinyurl.com/y9b6mpuk. Please bring this to the attention of the relevant Trust staff by emailing yorkshirecoast@nationaltrust.org.uk or calling 01723 870 423.

22/10/2018 - the Surrey Union Hunt were at Hydon's Ball, filmed by Guildford Hunt Saboteurs & North Downs Hunt Sabs. Hydon's Ball staff can be contacted on hindhead@nationaltrust.org.uk & 01428 681 050. Footage here: tinyurl.com/ycso4sxr. 20/10/2018 - the Pennine Foxhounds were on Marsden Moor. The Trust staff at this location can be contacted at marsdenmoor@nationaltrust.org.uk and/or 01484 847 016. Thanks to Manchester Hunt Sabs for this one.

1/10/2018 - the Quantock Staghounds were on Trust land. Thanks to Hounds Off for telling us about this.

19/09/2018 - the Surrey Union Hunt who were documented by Guildford Hunt Saboteurs at Ranmore Common: bit.ly/2ppQutf. Contact northdownswest@nationaltrust.org.uk& 01306 887 485 about this and let us know what they say. Alternatively, call the head ranger (Henry Barnard) on 07769 283 374.

10/09/2018 - the Quantock Staghounds were on Trust land. Thanks to Hounds Off for telling us about this.

If you see Hunts on Trust land, let us know when & where (with photos if it's safe to take some) and we'll check that they have a licence.

Please remember to keep calls & messages polite as these incidents are the fault of the criminal hunts only, but the Trust does need to take action and let us know what they are doing. We'll keep this post updated as & when we see what's going on.

To see the National Trust trespass round-up for the 2017/18 season see here: bit.ly/2hpoRwq.

 

Deer hunt season ends as criminal Quantock SH Huntsman retires

Thankfully they could not mark the occasion with a kill 

29-4-19  Facebook - Somerset Wildlife Crime   Today marked the end of Stag Hunting for the 2018-2019 season on the Quantocks.

Also the retirement of the Quantock Stag Hounds Huntsman Richard Downs. With a record of over two decades hunting the hills and two convictions for illegal hunting, his career as Huntsman ended with a somewhat lacklustre and feeble day. With some support furious to see us and Hounds Off, as they made puerile threats, others were simply as bemused as we were at the non-event. To the best of our knowledge - today the stag won.

 

Fox-killing Cheshire FH Joint Master resigns post

CheshireFHHuntsman5-12-18.jpg28-4-19   Facebook - Cheshire Against Blood Sports  VIDEO   Taxi for Barlow    Word has reached us that Charlie Barlow the Huntmaster of the Cheshire Hunt [left, on foot] has hung up his red coat and resigned his position.

Will we miss having his phone shoved in our faces … no. Will we miss him riding his horse into us... probably not. Will we miss hearing his monotonous voice telling us “you’re trespassing”, “go back to the foot path”, “go back to the road”, “this is private property”... well maybe a little bit, as we have an end of season award for the best Charlie Barlow impression! Will the foxes miss him... definitely not, he has a lot of fox blood on his hands.

We are unsure of the reasons why, maybe he is sulking because he couldn’t wear his red coat, maybe it’s because he has grown a conscience (highly doubtful) or maybe he just didn’t fancy seeing Cheshire Against Blood Sports or our friends the Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs in ever increasing numbers next season... whatever the reason, good riddance.

 

LACS figures point up widespread illegal fox hunting in Cheshire

27-4-19   Cheshire Live    Shocking scale of illegal fox hunting in Cheshire revealed - 14 years after it was banned - New figures have shown the extent of the bloodsport in the county The shocking scale of fox hunting still taking place in the Cheshire countryside 14 years after the bloodsport was banned has been highlighted in new figures.

The League Against Cruel Sports has gathered 268 reports of illegal hunting activity and 43 reports of fox kills by hunts across the country, from November when the season opened and now at its close. Of these, 21 of these reports took place in Cheshire.

Foxes have been chased to exhaustion across the Cheshire countryside before, on some occasions, being torn apart in the jaws of the Hunts' hounds.

In early February, a police investigation was launched after a fox was killed following a hunt near Nantwich.

Badger setts have also been blocked up near hunt meets to stop foxes taking refuge during the chase and horses and hounds trespassed in pursuit of wild-animals.

The figures were compiled from the League’s Animal Crimewatch service, which consists of reports from members of the public and from the League’s professional investigators, as well as from evidence gathered from social media.

Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "These figures sadly show the scale of the killing still taking place in the British countryside by fox hunts. We know these reports are just the tip of the iceberg, with fox hunts killing indiscriminately across the UK and lying about their bloodthirsty activities to cover up their crimes. However, I believe the tide is turning. Political parties are now recognising the need to take animal welfare much more seriously and put in place stronger legislation to protect British wildlife.”

An online petition was launched earlier this year calling for Cheshire police to prosecute illegal hunters. Hunting remains a key political issue in Westminster in terms of animal welfare, with the focus now on the need to strengthen the Hunting Act. Animal welfare has increasingly become a vote winner with it being one of the most talked about issues during the 2017 general election.

In Parliament, concerns over the fact fox hunting is still taking place and the sheer scale of it, are getting a lot more exposure. A parliamentary debate on wildlife crime in mid-March led to calls by MPs from across all parties for the Hunting Act to be strengthened.

The Cheshire Hunt in Tarporley on Boxing Day attracted both supporters and some detractors in the High Street.

   CheshireFHKilledfox5-1-19.jpg CheshireFHFoxkilledatDarnall8-1-19.jpg

It followed a recent review of the policing of illegal fox hunting arranged by Cheshire’s Police and Crime commissioner David Keane, late last year, which highlighted the challenges posed by the current legislation, and proposed strengthening it.

Mr Luffingham added: “The issue of animal welfare has never been such an important issue for the public and political parties and it is becoming vital to electoral success. We are calling for the hunting ban to be strengthened with the introduction of prison sentences for those caught illegally hunting. We need a proper deterrent to stop the barbaric activities of the Hunts and we also need to remove the loopholes that allow Hunts to get around the law.”

However, a spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance commented: “Hunts are regularly subjected to spurious allegations regarding their legal hunting activities yet packs of hounds within Cheshire operate within the law to comply with the Hunting Act 2004. These figures cannot be taken at face value since they were compiled from the League’s Animal Crimewatch service, which consists of reports from members of the public and as well as from evidence gathered from social media. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest these allegations are true. Even a Cheshire police spokesperson recently commented that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on social media and confirmed that action can only be taken when evidence exists.”

Any suspected illegal hunting activity can be reported to the League’s Animal Crimewatch service at www.league.org.uk/animal-crimewatch. Alternatively, phone in confidence on 01483 361 108 or email on crimewatch@league.org.uk.

Pics above  -  Mangled corpses of foxes killed by Cheshire FH on the 5th and 8th January 2019.  

POWAperson adds  -  Contrary to what the CA spokesman says, the number of reports received by LACS emanating from Cheshire, just 21, is clearly a tiny fraction of the illegal hunting by Cheshire's 3 fox hunts. All are frequently monitored and/or sabbed throughout the season - including cubbing. Antis report actual or attempted illegal fox hunting virtually every time. So we are talking about hundreds of incidents, including several recorded kills and also much illegal sett blocking and attempted dig outs. But there is no real reason to think there is any more illegal hunting in Cheshire than in many other counties - it's just that it has more antis able to observe and report it.

 

Weston & Banwell FH planning application for new kennels refused

24-4-19   Facebook - Somerset Anti Blood Sports     We have some great news it looks like North Somerset council has refused the planning application! We couldn't be happier. Thank you to everyone that supported us on this even if we didn't submit the petition 476 signatures is amazing ! For our Wildlife always.

        WestonBanwellFHrefused12-4-19.jpg 

 

Another stag killed by Quantock SH - at 'children's meet'

23-4-19  Facebook - Somerset Wildlife Crime    Another stag was killed on the Quantock Hills today. The Carew Arms pub in Crowcombe hosted the ‘children’s meet’ of the Quantock Stag Hounds this morning. No excuse. No Trail. No Science. Just bloodlust.

 

Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman's illegal hunting appeal tomorrow

23-4-19  morethanjustbadgers.net    Final Throw of the Dice [by Accidental Activist]    This time tomorrow I'll be at Peterborough Crown Court for what I assume will be the final instalment of what feels like the never ending Fitzwilliam Hunt conviction saga. I've covered the story in great depth through previous blog posts so it's pointless to go over everything again but if you want to catch up then see here, here, here and here.

I'm not really sure how things will pan out but you can never tell with Hunting Act cases in particular and I'm sure the main chance for the Hunt overturning the conviction is the hope for a more sympathetic judge. The simple fact is their evidence isn't going to get any better and having faced the defence's cross examination for over 2 hours previously I wonder what they are going to come at me with this time.

        FitzwilliamFHHuntwithkilledfox1-1-16.jpg.jpg 

                      George Adams [mounted], the pack and killed fox, 1-1-16 

There's also the wider implications this may have for the Bird of Prey Exemption within the Hunting Act. If the original decision of the court is upheld other hunts which use this smokescreen will have to seriously reconsider how they operate.

Regardless of the outcome I have to be pleased we've dragged them through the courts and secured a conviction first time round. That's a rarity in itself. From my own point of view and certainly that of everyone else who witnessed the proceedings on the day there's no doubt of the guilt of George Adams (the now retired Fitzwilliam huntsman). I just hope the Judge presiding tomorrow see's it the same way as District Judge John Wollard did on the original case.

In his summing up his statement spoke volumes... "You are either taking part in Falconry, or hunting foxes with hounds. If you are taking part in Falconry you do not need a full pack of hounds to flush the animal, you would use only 2 or 3 of a more suitable breed. Therefore I can only assume you were taking part in hunting foxes".

Fingers crossed.

POWAperson adds  -  The wheels of the legal system often seem to grind exceeding slow, but always to move at arthritic snail speed when dealing with organised hunting cases. The incident that, eventually, resulted in the conviction for illegal fox hunting by George Adams, the Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman, took place on New Year's Day 2016, nearly three and a half years ago. Illegal hunting is a summary offence, meaning it is relatively minor in seriousness and is not supposed to cost both sides tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds. 'Summary' justice is meant to be speedy. Another pending case - of the five accused of Animal Welfare Act offences against tiny fox cubs at S. Herefordshire FH kennels - has not even got to trial yet, almost three years after the case was reported to police. As the old saying goes 'Justice delayed is justice denied'.  

As does 'Accidental Activist', POWAperson wonders what 'cynical subterfuge'* the 'clever lawyers'** representing George Adams have come up with to get him off this apparent slam-dunk of a conviction. We'll soon find out.

* Words used by Judge Pert, who, in 2011, convicted the Fernie FH Huntsman and terrierman of illegal hunting and interfering with a badger sett, to describe the attempts by them and other hunters to convince the court that they'd been 'trail hunting'. 

**  A Dorset CPS spokesman once cited the face that the CA have 'clever lawyers' as a reason to decline to prosecute a case against the Cattistock FH where the video evidence had been provided by a highly experienced professional hunt monitor working for IFAW.  

 

S. Shropshire FH spokeswoman struggles to explain 'trail hunting'

22-4-19  Facebook - Shropshire Monitors  VIDEO   South Shropshire Hunt spokesperson Camilla Corrie explains trail laying and artificial scent to monitors! Seems she does not know which lies she needs to tell! This Hunt have been required by LAW to be trail laying since Feb 2004, so SSH should be able to explain.... Read more here and here.

 

Monitor report on licence breaches & violence by R.A. FH ignored

22-4-19  Facebook - Wildlife Witness     In 2018 we submitted to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation the following document [1st page below]. It was a summary of observations we had made of the Royal Artillery Hunt's (RAH) behaviour in the few visits we made to the Hunt in the 2017/2018.

It highlighted a number of specific breaches of the "License to Hunt" that the RAH had committed and also contained some recommendations to ensure that the Hunt were more transparent in their actions; a copy was sent to Wilts Police.

The police were very interested in following up on our suggestion that we should meet with themselves, the Hunt and the DIO to discuss ways of moving forward to ensure more openness and less need for the police to expend valuable resources to hunting related matters on the Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA). Needless to say, the Hunt were not at all interested and the DIO office failed to follow up.

For too long the RA have viewed SPTA as their own playground, ignoring the licence conditions and exploiting the DIO's inability to properly monitor their activity to carry on hunting foxes. The Hunt officials, committee and staff all abuse their positions to unduly influence those around them and openly lie to put pressure on those in authority to act against their opponents.

This was displayed by the official hunt "trail-layer* posting an alleged incident involving an anti's land-rover and her horse which it emerged was entirely fabricated.

Until that culture of entitlement is stripped from the RAH then they will carry on flouting the law and lying to the authorities and to the public - they are an embarrassment to the Regiment that shares its name and to the armed forces as a whole.

We will again be submitting a report on this year's activities by the RAH - it will include evidence of plans to organise violent disorder, video of numerous breaches of the licence to hunt, video of obstruction by their supporters, video of supporters attacking vehicles with stones and of masked thugs brought in to intimidate and assault those who act to expose their arrogant behaviour.

          R.ArtilleryFHMonitorreport.jpg

For the rest of the 6 page report submitted see photos attached to Wildlife Witness's post

 

Meynell FH rider boasts of cub hunting on social media

21-4-19  Facebook - Staffordshire Hunt Sabs    Meynell and South Staffs Hunt rider Kelly Lees openly admitting to cubbing (she obviously didn't get the Countryside Alliance's message to call it autumn hunting). Cubbing is where the new hounds are trained to kill by hunting fox cubs usually in a small covert, hunt riders will surround the wood [see pic below] and scare back in any cubs that try and escape the hounds. (See Kelly's pic of the horses surrounding the wood).

         MeynellFHRideradmitsonpoint21-4-19.jpg

                           Pic of 2 young females on point with the Meynell FH 

Her comment of "we've been all over it... love it" sums up the mindset of the Hunt. Seems a rather odd thing to do considering they claim to follow trails and do not hunt foxes anymore...

Come August we will be out stopping the blood junkies please support us by buying us a kofi https://www.ko-fi.com/staffordshirehuntsabs.

Pics below   -   Kelly Lees and friend Zoe talking about cubbing with the Meynell  

  MeynellFHRideradmits21-4-19.jpg MeynellFHBestmorningshunting21-4-19.jpg

POWAperson comments   -  Six Meynell FH hunt servants and officials have recently been charged with illegal hunting, specifically cub hunting. The Meynell is also the only Hunt yet to have members convicted of cub hunting - a JM and a terrierman - in August 2012. The Meynell is, of course, very far from the only fox Hunt to continue to practise cub hunting.

 

Sabs find many blocked setts in Warks FH hunting areas

21-4-19  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Sett surveying in Warwickshire    We continue to survey in preparation for a badger cull in Warwickshire. Most of our surveying takes place in the Warwickshire Hunt's area. We are finding many setts that have clearly been blocked by the hunt as well as healthy/active setts. We are also finding other interesting things in their area.

We are currently surveying twice a week, any help towards fuel costs would be appreciated. DONATE – https://www.paypal.me/westmidlandhuntsabs.

 

Cheshire FH hold emergency meeting to discuss their any problems

20-4-19  Facebook - Cheshire Monitors     Cheshire Hunt finally fears it's own (inevitable) demise     Information has reached us from one of our sources that the Cheshire Hounds Hunt held an emergency meeting at The Swan in Tarporley last Monday to discuss their woes.

He stressed quite how concerned the directors are for their future after the worst hunt season on record, which included being investigated by police for numerous incidents (still ongoing), having to abandon numerous hunt meets, and even being forced to abandon traditional hunting pinks (redcoats) to avoid identification of key figures in any subsequent police investigation.

This once "mighty" Hunt are now desperately trying to think up ways to boost their dwindling membership as those who don't want to be associated with the repeated killing of foxes drop off one by one; they are also trying to rally volunteers to get involved in positive PR exercises in the run up to the next season.

No doubt they'll resort to the only idea they ever have, and pull out another paltry cheque for the air ambulance service any moment now, as in previous years (see photo from 2016), and like the equally desperate Cheshire Forest and Wynnstay hunts did recently.

#TrailHuntLies #DemandARealHuntingBan

 

Venue will not host Puckeridge FH Ball after anti online campaign

19-4-19  Facebook - South Cambs Hunt Saboteurs    Thank you to everyone who pointed out to them the endorsement they provide by hosting criminals. It's never acceptable to support, host or sponsor criminal activity.

Burloes Hall Weddings   17 April at 17:31   Following a recent on-line campaign, the Puckeridge Hunt will not be holding their ball at our venue. We would like to stress that we are a small company which holds events for couples celebrating their weddings, families, companies and organisations. We are not involved in any hunts.

Whilst this cancellation will impact our business, we are adamant that we will never host an event which will put anyone at risk. We would also kindly ask all those who gave us a 1 star review to remove them as they are doing a great deal of harm to our business. Thank you.

 

R.A. FH rider who lied re. sabs endangering her horse is named

She is the Hunts "trail layer" - even they put it in quote marks 

19-4-19  Facebook - South Coast Hunt Sabs    You may recall the silly rider who blocked our Landy with her horse backed into us, and then edited her video claiming we have driven right up to here. We exposed her lies with our own edited video which you can view here. Well this is her - Samantha Bialek.

Help keep us in the killing fields by making a donation: PayPal.me/SouthCoastHuntSabs. Any info on Hunts call the tip-off hotline: 07443148426.

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Walker's account suggests Blencathra FH lied to LDNPA about chasing fox

18-4-19   Facebook - Lancashire Huntsabs    We were sent a link to this excellent blog by Aspen Outdoors Ltd and of particular interest is this blog entry from August 28th 2017, where the writer is walking from Skiddaw to Blencathra and encounters a fox hunt taking a place.

The writer states - 'We descended north to a waterfall called Whitewater Dash and noticed small groups of people looking across to the western slopes of Little Calva. Soon after we heard the yells of a huntsman’s voice and a big pack of hounds bounding through the deep heather. Then we saw the fox; sometimes running ahead, sometimes sitting motionless in the heather. At one point the fox reached the top of Dry Gill (a steep mountain gully on Little Calva) with hounds in chase. Then hounds appeared from the top of the gully and cornered the fox. With amazing speed the fox ran, hurtling back down the gully, past all the pursuing foxes. Incredibly it avoided getting caught and headed to lower ground and out of view. I was thankful the fox got away. I’d never seen a fox hunt before and was surprised and shocked by the drama of it.'

As the writer was describing events from the previous weekend, the hunt must have taken place on Saturday 26th August 2017. Sure enough, the daily record sheet submitted by the Blencathra Foxhounds for that day shows that they were indeed hunting in that same area, licensed by LDNPA. Yet the record sheet tells a different story - 'one fox was seen on the move disturbed, but not chased' (see photo). So either there were two Hunts operating in that area on the same day, which is unlikely as the LDNPA only licence the Blencathra to hunt there, or the other option is that the Blencathra are lying wildlife criminals.    #keepwildlifecriminalsoutofkeswick

Below  -  The Blencathra FH report of the day concerned 

         BlencathraFHReporttoLDNPA18-4-19.jpg 

 

Top Hunts' lawyer Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden drowns while surfing

Promoted strategy of injunctions to stop monitors 'harassing' Hunts 

Represented Crawley FH in disastrous 2009 attempt to injunct antis

18-4-19  Daily Mail    British lawyer to the rich and famous dies in Gibraltar 'after getting into difficulty while body surfing' - Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden, 64, was discovered by police on Wednesday - The former triathlete and army lieutenant was reportedly visiting his daughter - Mr Lawson-Cruttenden had represented David Walliams and The Clash - Cambridge graduate had a 40-year career specialising in harassment claims     A British lawyer to the rich and famous died after he was found in the water off of Gibraltar on Wednesday morning. Timothy TimothyLawson-Cruttenden2_4-19.jpgLawson-Cruttenden [left], 64, reportedly got into difficulty while body surfing off the coast of the British overseas territory. The former triathlete and army lieutenant was hauled from the waves by traffic police after he was seen in the water at the East Side Reclamation, by Catalan Bay.

Mr Lawson-Cruttenden had represented the Sex Pistols' John Lydon (Johnny Rotten), David Walliams, as well as rock bands The Clash and The Blockheads in his 40-year career specialising in harassment claims...

Mr Lawson-Cruttenden conducted cases involving harassment on social media, 'revenge pornography,' and 'passing off.' His profile on the DG Law website says: 'In his free time he is an enthusiastic squash player and loves to swim in open water.'

A statement from the Royal Gibraltar Police said: 'Arthur Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden, an ex-triathlete who was visiting family in Gibraltar, got into difficulties after going body surfing at the East Side this morning, having to be pulled out of the sea by Traffic officers who were the first on scene. 'Despite intense and protracted efforts by the officers, GHA Ambulance Service personnel and the staff in the A&E Department at St Bernard’s Hospital Mr Lawson could not be revived.' They confirmed that Mr Lawson-Cruttenden's body was with the coroner and said: 'The RGP wishes to convey to Mr Lawson’s family and friends its most sincere condolences for their loss.'

 

LACS say season's 400 illegal hunting reports 'tip of iceberg'

17-4-19  LACS Press Release    Fox hunting figures show the scale of the killing - Animal welfare increasingly influencing the political agenda    The shocking scale of fox hunting still taking place in the British countryside 14 years after the blood sport was banned has been highlighted by a new set of figures.

The League Against Cruel Sports has gathered 268 reports of illegal hunting activity and 43 reports of fox kills by hunts, from November when the season opened, and now at its close.

Hunting remains a key political issue in Westminster in terms of animal welfare, with the focus now on the need to strengthen the Hunting Act.

Chris Luffingham [right], Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:- “These ChrisLuffinghamLACS.jpgfigures sadly show the scale of the killing still taking place in the British countryside by fox hunts. We know these reports are just the tip of the iceberg, with fox hunts killing indiscriminately across the UK and lying about their bloodthirsty activities to cover up their crimes. However, I believe the tide is turning, and political parties are now recognising the need to take animal welfare much more seriously and put in place stronger legislation to protect British wildlife.”

Separately, 129 cases of fox cub hunting were received by the League between the beginning of August and the end of October, which is when they are typically targeted. This is a practice where the Hunts’ hounds are trained to kill in the run-up to the fox hunting season – by being let loose in woodland to target fox cubs and literally tear them to pieces.

The figures were compiled from the League’s Animal Crimewatch service, which consists of reports from members of the public and from the League’s professional investigators, as well as from evidence gathered from photos and videos shared on social media.  

Animal welfare has increasingly become a vote winner with it being one of the most talked about issues during the 2017 general election. In Parliament, concerns over the fact fox hunting is still taking place and the sheer scale of it, are getting a lot more exposure. A parliamentary debate on wildlife crime in mid-March led to calls by cross-party MPs for the Hunting Act to be strengthened.

It followed a recent review of the policing of illegal fox hunting arranged by Cheshire’s Police and Crime commissioner David Keane, late last year, which highlighted the challenges posed by the current legislation, and proposed strengthening it.

Elsewhere, the Scottish Government announced plans in 2018 to strengthen hunting laws in Scotland, reducing the number of hounds in a pack to two, and introducing measures that would prevent Hunts using the ‘trail’ hunting deception used in England and Wales.

The National Trust has also come under pressure recently to stop issuing licences allowing the hunts to access its land. The number of hunts issued licenses in the 2018/19 hunting season was down to 24 compared with 67 in 2016/17, due to pressure from the League. This fell to 20 after four hunts had their licences withdrawn this season following allegations of illegal hunting.

Chris Luffingham said:- “The issue of animal welfare has never been such an important issue for the public and political parties and it is becoming vital to electoral success. We are calling for the hunting ban to be strengthened with the introduction of prison sentences for those caught illegally hunting. We need a proper deterrent to stop the barbaric activities of the hunts and we also need to close down the loopholes that allow Hunts to get around the law.”

Any suspected illegal hunting activity can be reported to the League’s Animal Crimewatch service at www.league.org.uk/animal-crimewatch. Alternatively, phone in confidence on 01483 361 108 or email on crimewatch@league.org.uk.

Professional investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports filmed hounds from the Mendip Farmers Hunt chasing a fox in the Mendip Hills in January 2019.

 

Sanctuary owner thinks starving fox cubs were being raised to be hunted

17-4-19  Coventry Live    Horror as tiny fox cubs found starving amid claims they were being reared for hunting - Sanctuary founder: "I think they either escaped or were abandoned butFoxcubsWithsanctuaryowner17-4-19.jpg I reckon they would have only lived for another 24 hours"    Tiny fox cubs were just a day away from dying says Nuneaton's horrified wildlife sanctuary owner who fears they were being reared for hunting. Geoff Grewcock [right, with the cubs], of the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, said the two six-week-old cubs would not have survived another 24 hours had they not been rescued. "If we had not got to them, they would have died," he said. "I think they either escaped or were abandoned but I reckon they would have only lived for another 24 hours."

What alarms him even more is the state in which they found the siblings, now named Winston and Mabel. "They were light coloured, could hardly eat and could barely walk, they are so wobbly on their feet," he said. I knew something wasn't right, I have been working with foxes for 20 years and have never seen them like that. "I think they were being hand reared for fox hunting, which is just horrific. I think they were being kept in small cages, given little to eat and not allowed to roam around. I have had a vet check them over and he thinks the same."

Geoff, who founded the haven in Oaston Road, said he is now caring for the pair round the clock. "The female is poorlier than her brother," he said. "Both are being fed goats milk, every two hours, through the night as well, to help them. They are both gorgeous, I think they were being hand-reared as they are not scared of people or other animals, that is not the behaviour of wild foxes."

He is unable to give the location of where the cubs were found, other than 'local'. This is because the Wildlife Police are set to investigate. "We were called out last Thursday and rescued one, then we had another call the next day to report another cub," he said. "I understand that this is going to be investigated."

For now, Geoff is concentrating on helping the cubs build strength. "Hopefully they will both be okay," he said. "It may be that we have to keep them as they are unlikely to be able to survive in the wild."

 

LACS urges N.T. to ban South Shropshire FH permanently

17-4-19   Shropshire Star    Group urges Trust to ban Long Mynd hunts    The League Against Cruel Sports has written to the Trust asking for the hunt never to be allowed again on land managed by the conservation charity. In January, the Hunt had its trail hunting licence suspended after a photographs were taken by Shropshire-based protesters of foxes escaping from hounds.

Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “On behalf of the 85 per cent of the population who oppose the brutal blood sport of fox hunting, we call upon the National Trust to act decisively and ban the South Shropshire Hunt from their land for good. To allow them back on National Trust land would be a grievous error in judgement and a betrayal of the reasons for which they were suspended.”

Hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales for 14 years, however, trail hunting is legal and is allowed on some National Trust properties. The Trust said it involves people on foot or horseback following a scent along a pre-determined route with hounds or beagles and replicates a traditional hunt without a fox being chased, hunted or killed.

But Mr Luffingham said trail hunting does often end with the death of a fox. He is also asking on other National Trust properties to ban the act on their land. “We would also call on the National Trust to stop issuing trail hunting licences elsewhere,” he added. “Banning the hunts already suspended will undoubtedly get the backing of a grateful animal loving British public.”

Paul Adcock from the National Trust said a decision has not yet been made regarding next season’s trail hunt licences. The South Shropshire Hunt did not wish to comment.

 

FC staff prevent Quantock SH pursuing stag on to their land

16-4-19  Facebook - Somerset Wildlife Crime  VIDEO    Thanks to Forestry England, this young stag got away! Yesterday the Quantock Stag Hounds set out yet again to hunt and kill a spring stag. We were there with Hounds Off to expose the reality of modern day stag hunting on the Quantock Hills. Soon after the fleeing stag was filmed running across a road between the cars of supporters keen to see the hunt. The stag entered Forestry Commission land and the Hunt and support gathered there But the FC deployed staff to ensure the stag was not pursued on to their land – and as a result it escaped!

Want to help? Please donate here - https://www.paypal.me/somersetwildlife. Hounds Off - https://ko-fi.com/A0A258OD.

Pics below   -   Left - Stag fleeing across a field   Right  -  Stag rushes across a road between hunt supporters cars 

  QuantockSHStag15-4-19.jpg QuantockSHStagflees15-4-19.jpg

 

LACS officer witness DS SH tormenting stag for six hour

Stag ran close by him, its eyes 'bulging in terror'  

15-4-19   LACS website blog    Bloodlust - the sheer brutality of stag hunts  Author: Paul Tillsley - Head of Conservation & Education    I am quite relieved that, even after many years of watching hunting, I have not become immune to the sheer brutality of the stag hunts and the bloodlust of their supporters.

Thursday was an average sort of day. I was aware that the Devon and Somerset Staghounds were meeting at a local farm at 11 o’clock and so I was on high alert on the League’s Baronsdown wildlife sanctuary, just in case the hunt came our way.

Sure enough, at about midday hunt supporters’ vehicles started arriving on the road adjacent to Baronsdown and I knew that some unfortunate stag in the valley opposite would be forced to run for its life. Vehicles lined the roadside, their occupants desperate to get a glimpse of their tormented quarry.

After a while the entourage moved on down the hill, although several hunt supporters stayed up high to get a grandstand view of the action. The hunt had moved onto the Pixton Estate and, as is often the case, everything went quiet. Hunt supporters looked eagerly through binoculars at precisely nothing happening and at around 3:30pm horseboxes started arriving and some of the hunt supporters began drifting away.

Then it suddenly became apparent the hunted stag had been found again and horses, quad bikes and 4x4 vehicles raced off in pursuit. The commotion caused the stag to change direction and head down the Exe Valley. I saw the terrified animal as it ran alongside the A396 with hunt supporters pointing and shouting at it.

       DevonSSH11-4-19.jpg

                       Hunters looking down on the fleeing stag, 11-4-19 

The stag sought temporary refuge in a conifer plantation, but the hounds were brought up and the stag was made to run again. As it made another dash for freedom the stag ran past me again, just metres away, with its eyes bulging in total terror. The stag again tried to hide, this time in an area of scrub, but he was seen, and the Huntsman went in to move him on and continue the chase.

There were frantic shouts as the stag ran towards a disused railway bridge and a hunt gunman leapt up onto the bridge in an attempt to shoot it. Only last year, a hunted stag had jumped to its death onto the road below from the same bridge. The stag ran on and burst across the A396 down to the River Exe below. The huntsman was soon on the spot, encouraging the hounds to follow the scent. It was clear that the stag was heading back to Pixton Estate.

Then everything went quiet again. The remaining hunt supporters sat with their vehicles on the roads surrounding the estate, while the hunt searched again for the stag. Small children with their parents, climbed on the backs of vehicles, straining to get a view. Every so often a shout would go up to indicate the stag had been spotted and the hounds would start barking for a few seconds. The sound of hounds ‘speaking’ always sends shivers down my spine. One old supporter shouted, “Now they’ve got ‘im!” and I despaired that anyone could have so little empathy with a fellow being.

This continued for another hour and only the most diehard hunt supporters remained when finally, the hunt petered out. It was after 6pm and the hunt had been torturing this stag for over six hours. I don’t know what happened to the stag in the end, but I do know that it will have been totally traumatised and even if it did survive it may never recover.

Maybe it’s impossible to become desensitised to such cruelty, which is just as well really, as I never want to forget what the League is fighting for. Days like this remind me why the League Against Cruel Sports is so vital, and we will not rest until they only exist in the past where they belong.

 

Antis ask MoD to ban violent R. Artillery FH from their land

15-4-19    Facebook - Wildlife Witness    Please support this petition to ban the Royal Artillery Hunt from publicly owned MOD land The violence inflicted on sabs and monitors on Saturday was pre-meditated and organised by violent hunt supporters via social media groups with no effort by the hunt staff to stop it - in fact the Huntsman actually went online that evening to thank those who came down and caused all the trouble. Let's put pressure on the organisation that issues the hunting licences to make a stand and ban this hunt from MOD land.

4-19  change.org    Petition - Ban the Royal Artillery Hunt from MOD land Wildlife Witness started this petition to Defence Infrastructure Organisation   Following a violent attack by hunt supporters at the Royal Artillery Hunt's meet on 13 April 2019, we call on the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to suspend the licence of this Hunt to use Ministry of Defence land.

The R A Hunt have a history of breaching the terms of their licence and have faced suspensions in the past but the DIO continue to allow this Hunt to carry on. We believe it is time, once and for all, to put an end to their activities on MOD land.

On 13 April 2019, a number of co-ordinated, unprovoked attacks were carried out by masked hunt supporters brought in to the area via Facebook appeals by known individuals responsible for violence and intimidation in the past.

During a series of incidents throughout the day, anti-hunt monitors and protestors were assaulted, threatened, abused and had their vehicles damaged. All of this was captured on film to be passed on to the DIO and to Wiltshire Police, who had been made aware in the week before the attack, that violence was being planned via groups on social media.

R A Hunt staff and officials did nothing to stop the violence and one senior member of the hunt staff posted on social media that evening "Thanks to the guys who came down, the scum will never stop us".

The actions of the Hunt on the day are an embarrassment to the Regiment that bears its name and to the armed forces as a whole. It is time that action was taken by those who issue the R A Hunt their licence to use MOD land, to take firm and decisive action to deal with this illegal activity and violence - now is the time to ban the Royal Artillery Hunt from all MOD land.

         R.ArtilleryFHCollage4-19.jpg

19-4-19  Facebook - Wildlife Witness    The Royal Artillery Hunt have been busy trying to muster up some good news to gloss over their shocking behaviour last weekend, when sabs and monitors were attacked, but it won't work. If the thuggery we saw on Saturday had taken place in a city centre or at a football stadium it would be front page news and those responsible for organising it would be in court within hours. 

Let's keep the pressure on the R A Hunt to make a public apology and to disown and ban those taking part in the lawlessness that took place at the closing meet. 

We understand that further video will be released from other groups, this weekend showing other incidents that took place on the day. These and everything else will be passed on to the office that issues the RA's licence to hunt on MOD land. Make no mistake, the behaviour of the masked supporters was with the knowledge of the hunt and its officials...

 

Sabs attacked, cars badly damaged by R. Artillery FH supporters

Sab had liquid containing ammonia sprayed in eyes - hospitalised 

CPSO - the only police present - watched on & did nothing

13-4-19  Facebook - North Dorset Hunt Saboteurs   VIDEO   Saturday 13th April - Royal Artillery Hunt at The Old Carter Barracks, Bulford    3 weeks ago, local Scummer Jason Powell invited boys down to the RA’s closing meet to cause trouble and to have a “rumble in the jungle” in his own words. Because of this, we were cautious, but joined by our good friends at Weymouth Animal Rights, alongside Dorset Against Blood Sports and South Coast Hunt Sabs and West Wilts Hunt Saboteurs, we attended to show that we aren’t scared of them.

Leaving after 11am, the Hunt and their mass of support headed north east towards Ablington Furze. Here they searched for a fox, but didn’t manage to find anything. This would set the theme for the day, which no doubt riled the hunt support even more. From here, Moffat zigzagged his hounds up to Hound Plantation, he would spend a vast majority of the day in this area.

In an attempt to lose sabs, he decided to race north up to Bake Barn where the field split, half headed back home and the other half continuing with hounds up to Rainbow Bottom, where we found hound prints and signs of fox and badger activity. It was at this point when we got a radio call from WAR and South Coast that support was needed urgently as their sabs and vehicles were being chased cross country.

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With a convoy of sabs and support in tow, they headed back south to Hound Plantation and then Sun Plantation. Clearly frustrated with not being able to hide from the watchful eye of sabs, the huntsman unenthusiastically zig-zagged again back towards Ablington Furze for yet another fox search. Again, finding nothing.

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                   Some of the hunt thugs surrounding and attacking sab landy

        Man in peaked cap is Adrian Bull who heads the Grafton FH goon squad

Yet again, he had now changed direction, this time he took hounds south to the Ablington Penning area where hounds went into cry, a gizmo from our vehicle was deployed. Something which clearly annoyed a pickup full of scum, driven illegally and in breach of the Hunt’s license by Will Day [above], a Solicitor from Southampton.

R.ArtilleryFHSomedamage13-4-19.jpgSabs raced into the area and were met with an extremely violent reaction. Our vehicle was blocked in on a public byway in front of a community support officer. Masked-up hunt support surrounded our vehicle, destroyed a wing mirror, ripped off external parts of the vehicle, and tried to smash in the windows with no reprimand from the lone officer. They then moved off to target one of WAR’s vehicles which resulted in damage including a slashed tyre, ripped off number plate and smashed front grill.

Hunt support, the majority male, seemed to mainly target our female sabs today in a disgusting and unprovoked show of abhorrent behaviour, especially given the fact that there were always male sabs with the females in the group.

South Coast had their Landy rammed various times throughout the day, WAR have had thousands of pounds of damage, and we have had hundreds of pounds of damage done to our vehicle. Despite this, the police still tried to blame us for causing trouble at the end of the day and tried to make us go home.

After today’s events, a complaint will be made to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation in regards to the hunt support’s behaviour, and the Huntsman condoning that behaviour. And a complaint will be made to the IPCC, as we have been in contact with the police all week, and were aware today would be a bloodbath but still only sent out one PCSO in a van, who was totally out of his depth, so much so we had to wait about half an hour after we had been attacked for proper police to arrive [below].

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Please help us to repair damage to our vehicle by donating to our PayPal which can be found at PayPal.me/NorthDorsetHuntSabs.

13-4-19  Facebook - EmziDimitri Christoforakis    Before the Hunt even met today, Dimitri was told he was going to be killed, today he was going to die. As the day went on, they got more violent, surrounding the landy and tried to attack sabs. They were carrying knives and slashed the tyres of the landy. These people are evil, they’re violent thugs and they must be stopped!!!! It’s time the police did their job before someone gets killed!! More footage to follow.

18-4-19  Facebook - South Coast Hunt Sabs    Update on the sab that had fox scent sprayed in their eyes on Saturday by disgruntled hunt scum whilst sabbing the Royal Artillery. At the time they suffered pain and discomfort whilst idiots tried to perform a ridiculous citizens arrest on them after the assault.

By Monday they were unable to open their eyes due to the ammonia burns received and needed urgent treatment. They had 2 irrigations and are on a course of antibiotics. We wish them well and a speedy recovery.

 

See also reports by  Mendip Hunt WatchSouth Coast Hunt Sabs, Weymouth Animal Rights, Brighton Hunt Sabs

South Coast Sabs video showing support blocking green lane is here 

 

Hounds Off founder assaulted by Quantock SH thug on public access land

14-4-19  Facebook - Somerset Wildlife Crime   VIDEO  What have they got to hide?   Hounds Off founder Joe Hashman is subjected to rough treatment at the hands of Quantock Stag Hounds supporters who object to our efforts to expose the cruelty of modern day stag hunting.

Want to help us expose the truth?  https://www.paypal.me/somersetwildlife      Hounds Off -  https://ko-fi.com/A0A258OD.

Pics below   -   Left,  Joe H. being assaulted by hunt thug    2/  Sign just a few yards from the scene 

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