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LATEST UK HUNTING NEWS

For stories before JUNE 2017, go to UK HUNTING NEWS ARCHIVE
 

AUGUST 2017

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

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

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

.....  1st August - CPS confirm won't charge Cheshire Forest FH over invasion of Macclesfield 

 

Hunting fanatic Duke of Beaufort dies in sleep aged 89

Leaves behind gigantic fortune and vast landholding

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

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

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

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

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



W.Somerset Vale FH filmed cub hunting among other misdemeanours

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

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

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

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

   W.SomersetValeFHcubbing8-8-17.jpg  W.SomersetValeFHonQuantocksnopermission8-8-17.jpg

    

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

Hants, Surrey and Sussex police forces promise to enforce regulations

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

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

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

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

 

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

Horrified residents looked on as hounds killed fox in garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

JULY 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hunter imprisoned for online threats to prominent Welsh anti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

     AtherstoneFHSupporterswithstolenantibanner1-17.jpg 

 

  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Some MPs want five years jail for illegal hunting

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

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

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

 

Mendip Farmers FH hounds savaged my pet dog says owner

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

The League has issued the following statement -

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Dove Valley MH pack up as soon as sabs appear

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

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

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

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

 

Pressure grows on hare hunter Chair of Kent Wildlife Trust

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

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

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

  BleanBeaglesPressuremountsonBax5-7-17.jpg 

 

Antis protest against VWH FH appearance at the Cotswold Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  VWHFHatCotswoldShowJuly2017.jpg  VWHFHRedcoatrunningawaywithfoxcorpse1-4-17.jpg

 

Government officially confirms will not bring forward HA repeal vote

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

JUNE 2017 

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

Jedforest FH father and son pair are convicted of illegal hunting

First ever organised hunter convictions under Scottish law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pics below show how the incident unfolded...  

  JedforestFHLACSfootage1.jpg JedforestFHLACSfootage2.jpg

  JedforestFHLACSfootage3.jpg JedforestFHLACSfootage4.jpg

  JedforestFHLACSfootage5.jpg JedforestFHLACSfootage6.jpg

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

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

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

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

Social media backlash against hotel allowing Cheshire Forest FH at wedding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

Jedforest FH two illegal hunting trial should conclude today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sabs prevent Northants MH hunting again

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

N.Cotswold FH terrierman cautioned for riding quad in to sab

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

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

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

 
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

    AshfordValleyFHFollowersblocksabs25-2-17.jpg

 

 

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


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

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

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

Otter Trust expresses concern over mink hunts endangering otters

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

Lifelong 'hunter' jailed for shooting neighbours kitten

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

Atherstone FH hound parade may be dropped from Ashby show 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Kent Wildlife Trust had previous Chair who was Quorn FH JM

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

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

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

    BleanBeaglesoldhuntingreportfrom2004.jpg

 

LACS claims hunting issue played major role in general election

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

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

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

Ex Tory Chair says HA repeal dead in the water

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Son of Blackmore FH Huntsman convicted of ABH on woman sab

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

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

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Forestry Commission to review Isle of Wight FH hunting licence

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Grove & Rufford FH convicts seen canvassing for Tory candidate

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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For stories before JUNE 2017, go to page  UK HUNTING NEWS ARCHIVE

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