HomeBuild on the ban, strengthen the ActHow should Hunting Act be amended?Videos of illegal huntingPost-ban prosecutions of organised huntersHunting News 2019-20Hunting News 2018-19Hunting News 2017-18Hunting News 2016-172015-16 Season2014-15 Season2013-14 Season2012-13 Season2011-12 Season2010-11 Season2009-10 Season2008-9 Season2007-8 Season2006-7 Season2005-6 Season
For purpose of this record - and to include whole year - 'Hunting Season' runs from start July-end June

N.B.   Entries are in REVERSE chronological order. Stories are below each month's headlines

WARNING - May contain distressing images of animals killed/mutilated by Hunts


This site  The Web 

JUNE 2008

….. 21st June - Bicester FH open new hunt kennels  


Bicester FH open new hunt kennels

14-6-08   Horse & Hound [no longer online]   New hunt kennels for Bicester with Whaddon Chase    A determination to keep hunting has seen the Oxfordshire-based Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase opening new kennels three years after the Hunting Act. More than 600 people gathered at the new complex at Stratton Audley on Friday, 30 May and cheered as Countryside Alliance (CA) president, Baroness Mallalieu QC, opened the new kennels…


MAY 2008

….. 25th May - LACS sell London HQ, move to Surrey as membership falls

….. 23rd May - Leading Huntsman, Michael Farrin of Quorn FH, dies aged 65

….. 19th May - Police charge Heythrop FH Huntsman with illegally hunting foxes 

….. 14th May - Nick Soames MP fined & given 2 month ban for traffic offences 

….. 14th May - Widdecombe calls for hunt bullies to be reined in & monitors licenced 

…..  1st May - Woman JM of Dunston Harriers, 84, died in fall out hunting 



LACS sell London HQ, move to Surrey as membership falls

25-5-08   Horse & Hound  [no longer online]    League Against Cruel Sports sells London headquarters - The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) is relocating from central London to Godalming, Surrey, amid suggestions that the group has money problems and plummeting membership. Former LACS director-turned hunting supporter Jim Barrington says that in 1995 it had 18,000 members now LACS spokesman Barry Hugill says it has just 4,500….


Leading Huntsman, Michael Farrin of Quorn FH, dies aged 65

Farrin rode horses loaned by Queen Mother - Prince Charles often rode with him

Was Quorn Huntsman 30 years and when fox bagging scandal broke in 1990

23-5-08  Daily Telegraph    Michael Farrin - Leading huntsman who rode with the Quorn and was considered a distinctive and iconic exemplar of the Shires tradition    Michael Farrin, who has died aged 65, was one of the most admired professional huntsmen of the postwar era, serving the Quorn for 30 years.

The Prince of Wales, and leading racing personalities such as Major Dick Hern, Barry Hills and Willie Carson, were among those who relished the classic Quorn Mondays and Fridays, riding behind hounds over the cream of High Leicestershire, with Farrin as Huntsman.

He was a fine hound man, and admired as an exceptional horseman; he rarely suffered a fall, and appeared to flit across the country in front of the mounted followers, making the most formidable obstacles seem negligible, until others tried to emulate him. He rode many horses of different types with equal skill; two of his mounts were ex-chasers loaned to the Quorn by the Queen Mother, who visited the hunt kennels to see them.

Michael Farrin was born on February 9 1943, the eldest of five children of Dick and Peggy Farrin, who farmed in the Atherstone country bordering Leicestershire and Warwickshire. At the age of nine Michael was driving a tractor to plough on his father's farm when he saw a dark brown fox crossing the bottom of the field. Suddenly a pack of hounds screamed across the field in pursuit. Michael rushed home, tacked up his brother's pony, and rode across country in an exciting line after the hunt for about five miles. Then he returned the pony home, and found the tractor engine was still running.

The experience ignited his lifelong passion for the sport... at 16 Michael entered hunt service as second horseman to Captain Parry, and whipped in to Parry when he took the mastership of the North Cotswold.

In 1963, aged only 20, Farrin made a career leap in being appointed first whipper-in of the Quorn under their Huntsman Jack Littleworth... Ill health caused Jack Littleworth's early retirement, and Farrin was appointed to replace him from 1968.

"If we looked for a new Huntsman we should try to find someone exactly like Michael Farrin – he crossed the country with consummate ease, was a very fine horseman and certainly had a flair for hunting the fox..." The country was inexorably changing from pasture to postwar arable farming, which reduced the riding possibilities. Roads became much busier, villages expanded, and hunting was increasingly receiving attention from saboteurs, and political attempts to achieve a ban.

A huntsman's performance is constantly judged and analysed by his supporters, similar to other leading sportsmen. Farrin… had to cope with all the increasing pressures, continuing the Quorn's four-day-a-week role in front of large visiting crowds during good times, and coping in the not-so-good times when there was much publicised internal dissent, and frequent mastership changes. Through it all he retained the loyalty and friendship of the vast majority of Leicestershire farmers and landowners who allowed access to large mounted fields.

Farrin's last day, at the end of his 30-year term, at the close of the 1997-98 season, was attended by a huge following, including the Crown Equerry, Sir John Miller, who was a great admirer and friend of the Huntsman.

Although he had regrets at retiring in his mid-fifties, Farrin admitted he was glad to have handed over the horn well before Labour's Hunting Act in 2002...


Police charge Heythrop FH Huntsman with illegally hunting foxes

19-5-08  Daily Mirror    David Cameron's hunt first on fox killing charge - On Tory chief's turf..  - Huntsman faces rap in key case    The professional employed by David Cameron's fox Hunt yesterday became the first person to be charged by police with illegally killing foxes under Labour's 2004 law. The move will shock hunting associations which have flouted the Hunting Act since it came into force in 2005. Heythrop Hunt's professional huntsman Julian Barnfield [below right], 44, faces three charges.

Tory leader Mr Cameron has ridden with the Hunt, in the heartland of his constituency, at least six times and has in the past described Labour's ban as "bonkers". Gloucestershire Constabulary said last night of Barnfield: "We can confirm that this man has been charged with illegal hunting under the 2004 Hunting Act. All the offences took place in Gloucestershire and involved hunting a wild mammal with dogs contrary to sections one and six of the Hunting Act 2004. "He is due to appear before Cheltenham magistrates court on July 21, 2008."

Barnfield is expected to be provided with a legal team by pro-hunt groups, who will fear a rash of officialJulianBarnfield.jpeg prosecutions may follow if the case is proven. Without their professional Huntsmen, Hunts which have defied the law would be paralysed. Landowners could also be charged with allowing property to be entered or used for illegal hunting.

Penny Little of Protect our Wild Animals - a monitoring group which supplied evidence for Barnfield's prosecution - said: "This is a turning point. It should be where we start to see things change. I commend Gloucestershire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for the way in which they have been prepared to go forward."

There have already been a handful of other privately initiated prosecutions but this case is the first to be launched directly by the police and CPS. The Heythrop's members include Guy Avis, one of Mr Cameron's friends in the West Oxfordshire village of Dean, where both have homes. Another member is Sarah Wilkes, a key local councillor and figure in Witney MP Mr Cameron's Tory association branch.

Barnfield lives at the Heythrop's Chipping Norton kennels, where he tends its hounds. Before the Hunting Act became law, he said: "I will not stop, I am proud of what I do." He has since listed his favourite music in the Heythrop Hunt magazine as "hounds in full cry" and preferred holiday as "stalking in Scotland and hunting mink in Ireland".

The Tory leader will be under pressure from his party grass-roots to support Barnfield. A leaked memo proves he was picked for his seat because of his pro-hunt views. In an article four years ago, Mr Cameron told of his thrill at being "out of control" chasing a fox on the back of a "powerful steed".

20-5-08   Western Daily Press [no longer online]    Police will prosecute Cameron's hunt pal    A West Huntsman with David Cameron's favourite Hunt is to become the first in the region to be prosecuted for hunting foxes, police confirmed yesterday.

Julian Barnfield, 44, of the Heythrop Hunt in the Cotswolds, has been summonsed to appear before magistrates in Cheltenham in July, charged with three counts of breaking the ban on hunting with dogs.

It is the first time a huntsman from a fox hunt in the region has been taken to court by the Crown Prosecution Service, and only the second time in Britain - a low-key case in north Wales was the first. Previous cases have been private prosecutions by the League Against Cruel Sports - most notably the case against Tony Wright, the Exmoor Foxhounds huntsman, which was eventually overturned on appeal.

The Countryside Alliance has pledged its support to Mr Barnfield and said it remained confident that he and the Heythrop had a strong case.

The charges relate to three separate incidents, all allegedly caught on camera by anti-hunt monitors, when the Heythrop hunted in Gloucestershire over the past six months. The first relates to the alleged killing of a fox in November last year, with two more similar allegations from January and February.

The Heythrop is probably the most monitored hunt in England, with several different anti-hunt organisations sending volunteer watchers to keep tabs on its activities. The Heythrop and its monitors were the subject of a BBC TV documentary this year, though it is understood none of its content is connected to the charges.


Nick Soames MP fined & given 2 month ban for traffic offences

Had driven quad & trailer carrying kids at Hunt meet & with no insurance

14-5-08   Daily Telegraph    Nicholas Soames banned from driving    Nicholas Soames, the Conservative MP, was banned from driving for two months after being caught riding a quad bike on a public road with no insurance. Soames, 60, was also fined £200 and ordered to pay £35 costs after he pleaded guilty to the offence at Crawley Magistrates’ Court. A charge of using a vehicle in a dangerous condition was withdrawn.

Following his court appearance the Mid Sussex MP, a grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, said: “I’m glad that the court has dealt with it and that it’s all over.”

Soames was filmed committing the offence by hunt saboteurs as he followed a New Year’s Day hunt in Slaugham, West Sussex. Footage showed a group of people, including three children aged three, five and seven and a pregnant woman, being carried unsecured and without helmets on his Honda quad bike and trailer. The vehicle was ridden on private land and then briefly on the public highway to cross from one field to another at about 10mph.

Prosecutor Nigel Pilkington said: “Mr Soames accepts that, as can be seen in the video, he was carrying a number of people in the vehicle and in the trailer, all of whom were unrestrained and all of whom were standing up. Had any injury occurred to his party, or any others, then there would have been no insurance in place to compensate the parties.”

The court was told that Soames had three previous endorsements on his licence, all fixed penalties. 

Tim Hayden, defending, said his client accepted there was a short period when he drove the vehicle on the public highway but he was “cautious and careful”. Mr Hayden said: “This being an era of modern hunting, Mr Soames would not have known where the trail would have taken place so he needed to get from one field to another. The cargo that he was carrying were people that were close to him and that was the reason why he drove extremely carefully. It is not contended, you have heard, that the use of this vehicle was in any way dangerous.”

Stills from the saboteurs’ footage were featured in a newspaper on Jan 3 following the death on Boxing Day of seven-year-old Elizabeth Cooke, who was involved in an accident while riding a quad bike on a public road in Blackmore, Essex. Mr Hayden described that as a “vindictive act” to embarrass Soames.

Addressing the court Soames said banning him from driving would make it difficult for him to cover his constituency. He told the court: “It would be very difficult to deal with my constituency in the way that it has come to be expected of me.” Soames, of Bells Farm, Warninglid, Horsham, apologised for his lack of insurance cover.

Magistrate Rosie McMahon told him: “We have noted that the vehicle was driven a short distance and it was cautiously ridden. However, the vehicle was not suitable for use on a public road and persons were carried, including children and a pregnant woman.”


Widdecombe calls for hunt bullies to be reined in & monitors licenced

14-5-08   Mirror  [no longer online]   Anne Widdecombe attacked by pro-hunting bullies    Tory Anne Widdecombe told yesterday of the "terrifying" moment her car was kicked by pro-hunting bullies. She revealed video of anti-hunt campaigners being hit, sworn at, threatened with death and their cars and cameras damaged. And she added: "I was in a car being very violently booted and it is terrifying."…

At a heated meeting in the Commons, she repeatedly challenged Countryside Alliance leaders to condemn the bullying on the film. They would not comment - although its head Tim Bonner said later: "I condemn completely any activity which is illegal."…

14-5-08  Western Morning News  [no longer online]   Tory MP wants hunt monitors to be licensed   Teams of camera-wielding monitors trailing huntsmen and their hounds should be licensed to ensure the legal ban is enforced, veteran Tory MP Ann Widdecombe has said.

A film screened in the Houses of Parliament yesterday showed scenes of what the former minister claimed were breaches of the ban on hunting with dogs. She insisted those behind the film, shot over the last three years, were "not hunt saboteurs" but simply monitoring the hunts… Jim Pascoe, chairman of North Cornwall's Four Burrow Hunt, condemned Ms Widdecombe's idea as "insulting"…


Woman JM of Dunston Harriers, 84, died in fall out hunting

1-5-08  Eastern Daily Press [no longer online]   Fatal fall out hunting   An 84-year-old huntswoman suffered a fatal fall from her horse when it tried to jump a barbed-wire fence, an inquest heard yesterday. Sheila Castle fell headfirst after her horse collapsed on its stomach in front of other members of the Dunston Harriers, of which she was senior acting joint master.

Mrs Castle, of Hellesdon Mill Lane, Norwich, was passionate about horse-riding and hunting and was one of the oldest active masters of the hunt in the country….


APRIL 2008

…. 30th April - Supporters step in to save South Downs Bloodhounds drag hunt

….. 24th April - Seavington/Taunton Vale FH rider found dead in his car, aged 38

….. 16th April - Nick Soames MP summonsed for traffic offences at Crawley FH hunt

….. 15th April - Otis Ferry charged with robbery after 2 female monitors attacked

….. 15th April - Dead fox dumped on woman Dorset monitor's car at her home

…..  3rd April - Cheshire FH ride illegally on towpath, horse falls in canal 

…..  3rd April - 3 Hampshire FH supporters cleared of robbing sabs of cameras 


Supporters step in to save South Downs Bloodhounds drag hunt

30-4-08   Petersfield Post  [no longer online]    Supporters' help secures Hunt's future    A Huntsman said he was "overwhelmed" by the response of supporters that have stepped forward to save his ailing Hunt. Jeremy Whaley, master and Huntsman of the Froxfield-based South Downs Bloodhounds, thought his career was over after the season finished at the end of March… But no sooner had Mr Whaley spread the news that the hunt was to fold than supporters began to offer their help… The hunting season resumes in late August and September but the hounds can be seen at Froxfield Fete on June 29th….


Seavington/Taunton Vale FH rider found dead in his car, aged 38

24-4-08   Western Gazette [no longer online]   Tributes paid to a 'true countryman'    Tributes have been paid to "a perfect gentleman and countryman", found dead in his car last week. The body of James Gilbert Palmer, aged 38, of Midelney, near Drayton, was discovered on Black Bridge in Muchelney where, according to friends, he spent a lot of time in his childhood… Julian Temperley of Somerset Cider Brandy said: "James was hugely loved by a very wide range of people from all different walks of life … "He rode with the Seavington and Taunton Vale hunts, and was renowned for his skill in handling even the most difficult horses and dogs with quiet patience and understanding," said Mrs Willey…


Nick Soames MP summonsed for traffic offences at Crawley FH hunt

Drove quad and trailer carrying kids recklessly & no insurance

16-4-08  NWHSA website   Sussex MP Nicholas Soames is to be prosecuted over the use of his quad bike at a New Year’s Day hunt    Soames was filmed towing a trailer carrying adults and children on the road near his home. A summons has been issued to bring the 60-year-old Conservative to court on insurance and safety offences. Soames was filmed driving down a road in Plummers Plain, near Horsham, as he followed the Crawley and Horsham Hunt on New Year’s Day. Soames had a child perched behind him on the bike and was pulling four adults and two children on the trailer when the footage was taken. None of the passengers was strapped in or wearing safety helmets. He is accused of having no insurance for his quad bike and trailer and of using a motor vehicle or trailer on the road where its use could involve danger of injury to a person. On 16/4/08 Soames was summoned to Crawley magistrates however the case was adjourned until 14/5/08 at the request of the defence.


Dead fox dumped on woman Dorset monitor's car at her home

Victim suspects supporters of Cattistock FH, which she monitors often


14-4-08  Western Daily Press  [no longer online]   Hunters' sick stunt is meant to scare me off    An animal rights campaigner has accused pro-hunt supporters of intimidation tactics after a dead fox was dumped on the roof of her car this weekend. Hunt monitor Helen Weeks, from West Coker, near Yeovil, was left shaken and distressed when she and husband Paul discovered the creature's bloody corpse outside her house yesterday morning… In a chilling twist, the fox disappeared minutes after Mr and Mrs Weeks had made the grim discovery and filmed the macabre scene for evidence to give to the police - suggesting the culprits had been hiding nearby, waiting for the couple to find the body….


Otis Ferry charged with robbery after 2 female monitors attacked

15-4-08   Daily Mirror   Son of Bryan Ferry charged with attacks and robbery - Star's son allegedly laid into fox hunt activists     The son of rock star Bryan Ferry has been charged with attacking and robbing two women anti-fox hunt monitors. Otis Ferry, 25, friend of Sienna Miller, allegedly wrestled a video camera from them after he spotted the pair filming him.

Another man is said to have broken a window of the women's car and hit one with a radio antenna he snapped off the roof. They then apparently rode off on their horses as police were called. The women, who had been watching for illegal fox hunting, had to be treated for shock and bruising. Officers arrested Ferry at his home the next day.

Mum-of-one Helen Ghalmi, 38, one of the alleged victims, said: "He seemed to come out of nowhere and was shouting. He tried to pull me out of the car by the arm but I was still strapped in. The camera fell into the footwell and he grabbed it. Then he pulled the keys out of the ignition and we had a tug of war over them. My fingers were hurting and it was only later I found my arm was bruised where he grabbed me." Ferry had been riding with the Heythrop Hunt in Chipping Norton, Glos - near Tory leader David Cameron's Oxfordshire constituency - in November when the assault was said to have happened.

The court case is likely to embarrass Mr Cameron, who has ridden with the Heythrop and is friends with its Hunt Secretary. Its members helped him into Parliament by canvassing and leafleting for him when he stood as their MP.

Gloucestershire Police said: "We can confirm one man has been charged in connection with this incident. The other man has still not been identified and we would be grateful for any information the public might be able to provide in this matter."

Ferry will appear before Cheltenham magistrates charged with robbery and common assault next month.


                       Otis, centre, with father Bryan and brother Isaac 


                               One of the victims of the attack talks to police later 


Cheshire FH ride illegally on towpath, horse falls in canal

3-4-08  Email from monitor   The Cheshire Hunt rode on the Canal Towpath, which is illegal and then one of the horses fell in and had to be dragged out.

What is really bizarre about the whole thing, and just shows how they are putting two fingers up to everyone, including British Waterways, is that the photos were taken by a hunt enthusiast and posted on a pro hunt website, called Liams Hunting Directory [at bottom of page].

PS   You might like to know that, as with the rest of the country, Cheshire Hunts are carrying on as normal, they have even started to block up badger sets on the day of the hunt. We have given evidence to Police but they just are not interested.


3 Hampshire FH supporters cleared of robbing sabs of cameras

3-4-08  North West Hunt Sabs Assoc    On 3/4/08 three hunt supporters were cleared of robbing two hunt sabs of their camcorders at a meet of the Hampshire Hunt. At Winchester Crown Court Peter Bogris (30) of Petersfield, George Juer (26) of Alton, and Wayne Spencer (40) Billingshurst, West Sussex, all cleared of robbery and affray. The prosecution alleged that the trio took the cameras by force as the two sabs were surrounded by hunt followers on a path.

3-4-08  Hampshire Chronicle [no longer online]  Hunt trio cleared of robbery    Three hunt supporters have been cleared of robbing two "saboteurs" of their camcorders at a meet near Alresford. A four-week trial at Winchester Crown Court, which ended today, saw Peter Bogris, 30, of Petersfield, George Juer, 26, of Alton, and Wayne Spencer, 40, Billingshurst, West Sussex, all accused of robbery and affray. They were said to have attacked "hunt monitors" Iris Luppa and Stella Hardy, both from the Reading area, at a meet of the Hampshire Hunt on February 24th last year…. Labelling the alleged victims as "hunt saboteurs", the defence on behalf of Mr Bogris and Mr Juer said that the pair were on the path at the time and that an argument erupted over Miss Hardy filming children, but said the women fabricated what happened…


MARCH 2008

….. 30th March - BBC film shows awful treatment of monitors by Heythrop FH

….. 18th March - MP Soames faces court over quad bike misuse at Crawley FH hunt

….. 15th March - Monitors film High Peak Harriers hunting hare - dead hunt horse 

….. 13th March - FC ban IoW FH after see film of fox chasing and sett interference

….. 12th March - Deer remains dumped on LACS sanctuary gifted by Paul McCartney

…..  9th March - Residents upset as Amman V Hunt chase fox down street

…..  7th March - Cottesmore FH hounds riot in village, 2 enter man's house

…..  3rd March - MORI poll shows 73% support fox hunt ban, more for hare/deer hunting 


BBC film shows awful treatment of monitors by Heythrop FH

30-3-08  Oxford Mail [no longer online]  Appalling treatment of hunt monitors    I have just watched a short programme on BBC1 in which a camera crew recorded hunt monitors following the Heythrop Hunt. The intimidating manner of the hunters and their underlings towards the hunt monitors was incredible... George Morton, The Moors, Kidlington


Anti hands threatening letter from hunt supporter to police

29-3-08  Western Daily Press  [no longer online]     Incident echoes bull-baiting case   I recently received a letter through the post from a hunt supporter threatening violence against me unless I stopped speaking out against hunting. The letter is in the hands of Gloucestershire CID for forensic testing.

Meanwhile, it reminded me of a letter published in the Bury Post in 1843 after the law to ban bull baiting had been enacted. The similarities between the disgruntled, vicious bull-baiters and today's hunt supporters are striking and I am cheered by the fact that the victim in this letter is regarded as the hero... Gill Purser, Cheltenham


MP Soames faces court over quad bike misuse at Crawley FH hunt

18-3-08  Brighton Argus   MP to be prosecuted over quad bike   Sussex MP Nicholas Soames is to be prosecuted over the use of his quad bike at a new year's day hunt. The politician, a grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, was filmed towing a trailer carrying adults and children on the road near his home.

A summons has been issued to bring the 60-year-old Conservative to court on insurance and safety offences. He can expect to receive penalty points on his licence and a fine of at least £200 if he is convicted.

Mr Soames was filmed driving down a road in Plummers Plain, near Horsham, as he followed the CrawleyFHNicSoames1-1-08.jpgCrawley and Horsham Hunt on new year's day. Hunt monitors, who follow the Hunt to check if foxes are illegally pursued, passed the footage to the press. Mr Soames had a child perched behind him on the bike and was pulling four adults and two children on the trailer when the footage was taken [right]. None of the passengers was strapped in or wearing safety helmets.

The former minister and friend of Prince Charles is due to face two criminal charges before magistrates next month. He is accused of having no insurance for his quad bike and trailer and of using a motor vehicle or trailer on the road where its use could involve danger of injury to a person. He was unavailable for comment last night. When the quad bike footage was first published Mr Soames said the protesters were trying to claim a high-profile scalp by making the police complaint.

Simon Wilde, the hunt monitor who took the film, said: "I do welcome the prosecution. It was very dangerous even if they had been on private land."

He said hunt monitors face strict checks from police over the insuring of their vehicles, so members or supporters of hunts should get the same treatment.

Road safety charity Brake said it welcomes police enforcement of the laws surrounding quad bikes. A spokeswoman said: "If quad bikes are being driven on the road they must meet the legal requirements. Quad bikes need to be treated with the same respect as you would treat a car or motorbike. They are powerful machines which can kill if you mishandle them. They need to be treated with respect not like an oversized toy, which is unfortunately how they are often used."

All vehicles on the road must be registered with the DVLA, taxed and have an MoT certificate, lights and a number plate to be used legally. Offenders who receive police fixed penalty notices for driving without insurance are normally fined £200 and have their driving licence endorsed.

Mr Soames has been a Sussex MP for 25 years, representing Crawley from 1983 to 1997 and Mid Sussex for nearly 11 years. His career has taken him from Eton to the army, the stock exchange and a junior defence post in John Major's government. In December, when he was called as a witness at the inquest into Princess Diana's death, he said he had been a friend of Prince Charles for more than 50 years. He served as an equerry to the prince in the 1970s.

Mr Soames is due to appear at Crawley Magistrates' Court on April 16th.


Monitors film High Peak Harriers hunting hare - dead hunt horse

15-3-08  NWHSA website [no longer online]  High Peak Hunt filmed chasing a hare    On Saturday the 15th March the High Peak Hunt meet at 11.30am at the hunt kennels, near Bakewell, Derbyshire. Located around the area were a few hunt monitors, who during the course of the day filmed the hunt chasing a hare.

Also during the day the monitors filmed a hunt horse that collapsed and died. We will not be showing this film in respect to the horse. These incidents happen week in week out in they countryside and thanks to the sabs and hunt monitors they are being recorded for the public to see what's really going on.


FC ban IoW FH after see film of fox chasing and sett interference

13-3-08   Isle of Wight County Press [no longer online]   Hunt embroiled in badger dig claim    The IoW Hunt has denied it was banned from Forestry Commission land following allegations it chased a fox and disturbed a badger sett. Investigations have begun into claims by the League Against Cruel Sports the Hunt chased a fox and allowed hounds to dig out a badger sett on commission land at Combley Great Wood, near Mersley Down.

The incidents are said to have taken place this year and resulted in an agreement between the Commission and the Hunt it would not operate on Commission land on the Island until the matter had been investigated. However, the commission confirmed it was now investigating footage from the League Against Cruel Sports that appeared to show the Hunt breaching that agreement by hunting on its land... 

19-3-08  Guardian  Cut to the chase    The Isle of Wight Foxhounds used to be known for never knowingly catching a fox. Now it is the first to have its licence to hunt suspended by the Forestry Commission following claims by the League Against Cruel Sports that there has been illegal hunting. The League followed the IoW Hunt and claimed that its filming showed "a fox being pursued across [Forestry Commission] land ... [and] the Hunt, with hounds, present at a badger set." Stuart Trousdale, the Huntsman of the IoW Foxhounds, denies all.    

12- 3-08  League Against Cruel Sports [no longer online]



Deer remains dumped on LACS sanctuary gifted by Paul McCartney

12-3-08   Daily Mail    Paul McCartney's shrine to wife Linda is 'desecrated' by dumped deer remains     Sir Paul McCartney's woodland shrine to his dead wife, Linda McCartney, has been "desecrated" today after the macabre discovery of deer remains found dumped there.

The League Against Cruel Sports, which maintains the woodland shrine, says a sadistic poacher has savagely attacked a deer and left the mutilated remains in the five-acre woodland site dedicated by Sir Paul to his beloved first wife. The shrine lies on his Somerset estate near Bampton.

The grim discovery, which was made in the early hours of February 24th, was reported to both Devon and Cornwall and Avon and Somerset police forces. It came as Sir Paul joined ex-wife Heather as the face of a PETA campaign against animal cruelty, and threw his weight behind protesters in Australia battling against a planned kangaroo cull.

Rachel Jay, spokesperson for LACS, said the deer remains were found in the vicinity of St John's wood, which the League manages on behalf of Mr McCartney, and said that there had been a series of incidents.


Residents upset as Amman V Hunt chase fox down street

9-3-08  Wales on Sunday  [no longer online]   Campaigners probe ‘fox in street hunt’ claim   League Against Cruel Sports campaigners are probing allegations that 30 hounds chased a fox down a street, amid claims that police did not properly investigate complaints of illegal hunting.

Residents in Llwuncelyn Road, Glanaman, say they were “distressed” after dozens of dogs pursued the animal past their homes. It is believed the fox escaped... Emyr Jenkins, a Glanaman town councillor and member of Amman Valley Fox Control, claimed they were legally exercising dogs on land they had permission to use...


Cottesmore FH hounds riot in village, 2 enter man's house

7-3-08  Stamford Mercury [no longer online]    A villager is furious after 2 hunting hounds of the Cottesmore Hunt ran into his home. He said that the pack of approximately 20 hounds came through the village and were completely out of control. They were scattered around the village rampaging and barging through his neighbours' hedges. He was told that a drag scent had been laid which had gone off line. The police were called but no action was taken.


MORI poll shows 73% support fox hunt ban, more for hare/deer hunting

3-3-08  BBC News    MORI, in two surveys (sampled between 1-14 February) on behalf of several animal welfare organisations, found 71% who disagreed that people should be allowed to break the law banning hunting with dogs. They also found that 73% thought fox hunting should not be made legal again, compared with 96% who thought the same about dog fighting, 93% about badger baiting, 82% about hare hunting and coursing and 81% about deer hunting.



….. 23rd February - Cumbria police investigate 'several' illegal fox hunting reports

….. 22nd February - Coniston FH Huntsman convicted of smashing sab's car window

….. 21st February - ALF in graffiti/damage attacks on 3 Cotswolds Hunts' premises

….. 19th February - Cameron again pledges Tory govt will hold vote on scrapping Hunting Act

….. 19th February - 'Appalling behaviour' to monitors by hunters has ended with police cautions

….. 19th February - East Cornwall FH snapped breaking 2 Highway Code rules

….. 14th February - Passer-by sees hounds & hunters invade Lincs airfield

….. 13th February - 2 Crawley FH hounds run over on A281 - hunters abuse motorists

….. 13th February - Motorist almost kills hound as Cotswold FH pack spills onto road 

….. 13th February - Grafton FH hounds chase fox into empty house, kill it in bathroom 

…..  8th February - Residents resist Mendip Farmers FH's new kennels plan 

…..  2nd February - Cattistock FH supporter cautioned for threatening monitors 


Cumbria police investigate 'several' illegal fox hunting reports

Focus is particularly on the Blencathra FH 

23-2-08  West Cumberland Times & Star [no longer online]   ‘Foxhunting is going on illegally’ – claim Police in Cockermouth and Keswick are investigating reports of illegal foxhunting taking place in the area. Inspector Martin Connolly said inquiries were taking place into “several reports” of illegal hunts... Some of the inquiries are thought to centre on one of the north’s oldest established and most famous fell foot packs, the Blencathra Fox Hounds...


Coniston FH Huntsman convicted of smashing sab's car window

22-2-08  North West Evening Mail [no longer online]   Fox huntsman smashed saboteur's car window     A Huntsman smashed the window of a hunt saboteur’s car. Michael Gerald Nicholson, who works for Coniston Foxhounds, smashed the window of a Ford Escort with three saboteurs inside. Nicholson, 40, pleaded guilty to criminal damage when he appeared before South Lakeland Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday...

Prosecuting, Mr David Dunk told the court that a group of anti-hunt activists met in Grasmere on the morning of January 10 to monitor Coniston Foxhounds... The planned hunt meeting was cancelled due to bad weather and the saboteurs headed to Ambleside in an attempt to find Coniston Foxhounds’ kennels.... “Mr Nicholson walked towards the car and according to the driver, Mr Cain, he was shouting. “He banged with the umbrella on the windscreen then turned his attention to the driver’s side window. He hit it a number of times, causing it to smash.” The driver, Dean Cain, suffered a minor cut to his face...

Presiding magistrate Mrs Margaret Stamper said: “We feel that because of your good character we can make a conditional discharge of 12 months for criminal damage.”

POWAperson adds  -  The Huntsman was also ordered to pay £150 compensation. Attacks on sabs' and monitors' cars by hunters are very common, often made while antis are inside them.  


Cumbria police investigating reports of illegal fox hunting

22-2-08   News and Star Cumbria [no longer online]  Allegations of Illegal hunting   Police in Cockermouth and Keswick are investigating reports of illegal fox hunting taking place in the area. Landowners in the area are being approached by the police to canvass opinion about hunt activity.


ALF in graffiti/damage attacks on 3 Cotswolds Hunts' premises

21-2-08  Wilts & Glos Standard   Animal rights attacks on Cotswolds Hunts    A MILITANT animal rights group marked the third anniversary of the ban against fox hunting with dogs by launching covert overnight attacks against two Cotswold hunt headquarters. ALF (Animal Liberation Front) was daubed over the main building at the Vale of White Horse hunt's base near Daglingworth and at the Cotswold Hunt near Cirencester. The vandals also slashed the tyres of horse boxes and lorries parked at the Overley Yard horse stables adjacent to the Vale's office which were not connected to the Hunt.

Ian Farquhar, Master of the Beaufort Hunt, said: "This was a cowardly and senseless act of vandalism by people creeping around in the night like terrorists." A similar attack took place at the Masters of Foxhounds Association headquarters in Badminton. Police are linking the attacks, believing them all to be the work of Animal Liberation Front.

MFHA spokesman Brian Fanshawe said: "It was a really cowardly way to get at people, and it's sad when people who aren't even involved are attacked. They attacked horse boxes and lorries next door when they are nothing to do with hunting."

Mike Hellens had all the tyres on his horse box slashed and ALF scrawled on the side during the attacks which took place overnight on Saturday. “It's despicable. They targeted the wrong people and it's just stupid really," he said. "We have got absolutely no association with the Hunt, we are just next to their office. There's a lady up here who has multiple sclerosis. She has a horse box which was attacked and she just uses her horse for riding as therapy."

Police are appealing for anyone with any information on the attacks to contact Gloucestershire police on 0845 0901234.


Cameron again pledges Tory govt will hold vote on scrapping Hunting Act  

19-2-08  Western Mail  [no longer online]   Cameron to allow free vote on ending ‘idiotic’ hunting law    A TORY Government would give MPs a free vote on reversing the hunting ban, David Cameron said last night. The current law had been made to look “idiotic” due to the number of people breaking it, he suggested. In an exclusive interview with the Western Mail, three years to the day since the ban become law, Mr Cameron said, “We have a very clear position on this, there will be a free vote, and if there is a vote to repeal the hunting ban there will be a government Bill in government time...


'Appalling behaviour' to monitors by hunters has ended with police cautions

19-2-08     Halifax Evening Courier    Pro-hunters' appalling behaviour    C. J. Horsman ("Find out the truth about hunting", Your say, February 8) describes my reply to his earlier letter as "vitriolic claptrap". I imagine that he will view this similarly... I have been peaceably monitoring hunts for 14 years, from the roadside... Every season since the ban we have been subjected to such appalling behaviour that police have cautioned hunt followers many times. At this very moment, one is on police bail … Peter Bunce, Church End, Haddenham, Bucks

POWAperson adds -  The Hunt most monitored by Mr. Bunce, a POWA Associate, since the Hunting Act came into effect, is the Heythrop FH. Four hunt followers have been cautioned in that time, one for a vicious assault on a 60 year old woman by a male which, extraordinarily, police deemed only worthy of a caution. But these are just the tiny tip of an iceberg of obstruction, abuse, threats and violence, as well as frequent criminal damage to monitors' property from hunters and followers.  


East Cornwall FH snapped breaking 2 Highway Code rules

19-2-08  Western Morning News  [no longer online]   Hunt picture is a giveaway   The letter by Tess Nash (February 5), together with the photograph of the East Cornwall Hunt on Boxing Day, will displease many readers.... The photograph appears to show horsemen riding, several abreast, on a road with a pack of hounds. The Highway Code, Paragraph 35, says horse riders should wear light-coloured or fluorescent clothing in daylight. The East Cornwall huntsmen are wearing dark green uniforms, with most other riders having black coats... Paragraph 39 of the Code says horses should never be ridden more than two abreast, but the photograph shows the East Cornwall riding with five or six horses alongside each other...   John Phelps, Exeter


Passer-by sees hounds & hunters invade Lincs airfield

14-2-08  Hunt Watch  [no longer online]   Hounds invade Lincs airfield   On 6th Feb 08, a member of the public was passing Sturgate airfield near Gainsborough at approx 3pm and noticed some very large dogs bounding down the runway and realised huntsmen accompanying them. They then saw 20 riders. A spokesman for the airfield confirmed that they did not give permission for the hunt to use their land and that it could have caused a serious problem.



2 Crawley FH hounds run over on A281 - hunters abuse motorists

Woman's car badly damaged as hit pack chasing fox across road 

13-2-08  West Sussex Wildlife Protection [no longer online]   Crawley and Horsham Hunt, West Sussex hounds killed and injured after chasing a fox over a busy road (A281) - 12-2-08   Crawley and Horsham hounds chased a fox over the road just north of Shermanburry, Partridge Green, W. Sussex, which resulted in two hounds being struck by a woman motorist (Helen Daniel) returning from a mother and toddler group. 

Although the car was badly damaged the woman driver claimed a huntsman shouted "its not CrawleyFHWomandriver12-2-08.jpgdamaged, just drive on." When monitors tried to video the huntsman with the injured hound, hunt Whipper in, Freddie Morby shouted "are you fucking sick" as he desperately tried to ensure the injured hounds were not filmed.

Another member of the mother and toddler group (Lisa Morris) pulled up immediately behind Helen Daniel and was told by the Hunt to move on. When she saw the injured hound still blinking, and demanded the huntsman deal with it, she claims she was abused. When she pulled up further, the hounds crossed back over the road, and she stated she said to the Hunt: "I expect you are upset you did not get your fox," and was met with a "torrent of abuse."

Hunt master Anthony Sandeman, who was on foot and was not a witness but arrived later, told hunt monitors, the "driver was going too fast".

Hunt monitors from West Sussex Wildlife Protection, said: The Crawley and Horsham hunt are entering their hounds in the most dense woodland undergrowth in a deliberate attempt to chase foxes. 

Occasionally they play a charade with riders having new dusters on the end of a whip who run wildly around when monitors turn up, and for the first time last week, when filmed by a Country Sports TV company, they used two runners with "Trail Layer 1" and "Trail Layer 2" on their backs; although monitors claim their was not an atom of scent on the socks they dragged!

This incident reveals the truth, with hounds crossing a busy road at least twice in full cry and running from dense woodland when no trail could ever be laid.

In the 2006-7 season the Crawley and Horsham hunt tried to circumvent the Hunting Act 2004 by using an Eagle Owl, and claiming an exemption allowed their hounds to flush out foxes from cover. While the hunt has abandoned this method on police advice, they continue to hunt illegally.

Pic above  -  Woman motorist who drove into pack is comforted  


                               Hunter tries to hide injured [dead?] hound 


                      Serious damage to car - what did that collision do to hounds? 


Motorist nearly kills hound as Cotswold FH pack spills on to road

Driver says no hunters nearby and hounds very excited 

13-2-08  Huntwatch [no longer online]   Another Hunt endangers public - again   At 12:47 on Thursday, February 13th, Lee Russell was driving his car from Birdlip to Gloucester along the Buckholt road - running from the B4070 westwards to the A46. Suddenly, a hound ran across the road causing him to perform an emergency stop. His brakes locked. He narrowly missed the animal by only feet. A pack of approximately 40-50 hounds from the Cotswold Hunt then ran onto the road in front of him, causing havoc.

Lee Russell said "There was no one in the area in charge of the pack, I could see for about 50 yards on the right side of the road and about 25 yards on the left side." He continued "The dogs were running from right to left across the road and were obviously in a state of excitement. It seemed to me that the hounds were clearly not under control."

Andrea Hill of Huntwatch said, "Are we meant to believe that the Cotswold hunt laid a trail over a public road, or is it more likely that they were hunting a live fox? We have lost count of the number of times that we have both witnessed and heard of Hunts endangering the public, themselves and, not least, their hounds. Responsible caretakers of our countryside? We think not."


Grafton FH hounds chase fox into empty house, kill it in bathroom

JM admits it, says was 'just one of those things'  

13-2-08  Northampton Chronicle  [no longer online]    Hunt 'chased fox into empty village house'      Hounds chased a fox into an empty house in a Northamptonshire village before cornering and killing the animal in the bathroom.

Villagers said dogs from the Grafton Hunt gained access to the house in Chapel Lane, Maidford, near Towcester, through an open backdoor before pursuing the fox inside and then killing it, leaving behind what one called a "bit of a bloodbath". The owners of the Wesley Cottage no longer live in the property, which is up for sale.

Village resident, Ian Smith, who saw the hounds run into the property, said: "The hound chased a fox into a house, which was empty." A Chapel Lane resident, who did not want to be named, added: "I saw the hounds coming down the road and thought they were going to the farm." Another villager said: "The hounds pursued the fox into the house and it was a bit of a bloodbath. I saw the fox being chased across a field."

The incident happened on Saturday, February 2, but was not reported to Northamptonshire Police.

Colin Richmond-Watson, Hunt Master of the Grafton Hunt, said: "I don't know the details because I wasn't hunting that day, but I think it did happen. We regret it, if it did. It's just one of those things unfortunately." Mr Richmond-Watson said there had been a "big clean-up" following the killing of the fox.

After the Hunting Act came into force three years ago, Hunts are no longer allowed to use dogs to chase down and kill foxes, but instead use techniques such as drag hunting, where dogs set off on the trail of a scent laid about 20 minutes in advance by a runner or rider dragging a lure.


Residents resist Mendip Farmers FH's new kennels plan

8-2-08  Fosse Way Magazine  [no longer online]  Campaign group prepares to fight kennel proposals   A group of Priddy residents are trying to stop the local hunt from moving closer to their homes. The Mendip Farmers’ Hunt has been based at Harptree Lodge on the outskirts of the village for around 85 years. The owner of the Plummer’s Lane premises recently announced plans to sale the property so the Hunt is planning to renovate a derelict dairy farm to create new kennels for around 60 foxhounds within the village. But some local people claim the proposed site is too close to their homes and fear that the busy kennels would cause an intolerable noise nuisance…


Cattistock FH supporter cautioned for threatening monitors

2-2-08  Western Daily Press [no longer online]  Coming face to face with the other side   This was the moment a hunt supporter lost his temper with anti-hunt monitors and ended up with a police caution in the latest in a series of confrontations between the two sides in the bitter countryside war.The incident, captured on the video camera of a hunt monitor, happened earlier this season.

Hunt supporter Paul Martin's spat with anti-hunt monitors Helen Weeks and Graham Forsyth led to police giving Mr Martin a formal caution for threatening behaviour, after they judged that the strained relationship between the two sides out in the field had reached breaking point...

Police acted after two similar incidents in November and December last year involving the Cattistock Hunt in South Somerset and Dorset.... The Cattistock Hunt said its members, supporters and followers put up with intimidation from the two monitors constantly filming them and their children...



…..  ? January - BBC reporter joins Heythrop FH monitors - sees chase & evidence of kill 

….. 31st January - Quorn FH senior JM badly hurts neck in hunting fall

….. 14th January - Surrey Union FH kill fox on cricket pitch in middle of Ockley

….. 10th January - 'Frenzied' Bicester FH hounds cause up to £4k damage to garden 

….  7th January - Minehead Harriers Huntsman & Whip plead guilty to illegal hunting

…..  1st January - Crawley FH follower Nick Soames MP recklessly carries kids on quad 


Quorn FH senior JM badly hurts neck in hunting fall

31-1-08   Horse & Hound [no longer online]    Quorn senior joint-master Joss Hanbury suffers neck injury   Quorn senior joint-master Joss Hanbury was admitted to hospital with a severe neck injury after a heavy fall while hunting with the Quorn on Monday, 28th January, near Old Dalby...



BBC reporter joins Heythrop FH monitors - sees chase & evidence of kill

Also shown video of follower attacking car monitor filming kill from 

?-1-08  BBC Inside Out, West Midlands website  VIDEO  Fox Hunting – Alive and Well?   Three years after the hunting ban was introduced Inside Out has been investigating exactly what is happening. Footage shot by the BBC and anti-hunt protestors shows foxes being chased by hounds but huntspeople insist they’re staying within the law.

In January 2008, Inside Out producer Robert Murray spent four weekends with so-called "hunt monitors", Judy Gilbert and Penny Little, who were filming the Heythrop Hunt in Gloucestershire andHeythropFHMonitorPennyLittleBBCreporter1-09.jpg Oxfordshire.

In one incident, Robert [right, with Penny] stopped to film on a public road where Heythrop supporters had gathered to watch the hunt. He saw a fox running across a field and the hounds changing direction to give chase. Then a Heythrop hunter is caught on camera asking "where did it go back in?"

The Hunt's view - The Joint Master of the Heythrop, Liz Wills, watched footage of the incident and denied that her colleagues were deliberately hunting foxes. She said, "They were hunting a trail and then they would have crossed onto the fox. There was no intent meant by that at all... that’s what we try and avoid but it does happen."

After another visit to the Heythrop in late January, one of the monitors called our reporter Ashley Blake to say that a dramatic incident had taken place. Penny Little had filmed the incident from her car.

Footage of "a kill"? The footage shows the pack of hounds streaming into a wooded area directly to the right of Penny's car. They descend on something hidden in a ditch, in a frenzied fashion. Seconds later, three men pull up next to Penny's vehicle on a quad bike, and one of them kicks her door shut. The force of the kick knocks the camera out of her hand.

A few minutes later, another anti-hunt campaigner comes back from the woodland with what she describes as evidence of a kill: "It’s fresh red blood that we found. We believe the hunt took away the carcass. But this is what we found and it’s bright red blood on this leaf and also on this twig here, and it was still wet when we picked it up."

HeythropJMLizWills2008.jpgThe Heythrop Hunt refused to comment on the incident because it was filmed by hunt monitors, not the BBC.

Trail hunting. But Joint Master, Liz Wills [left], says her colleagues don’t hunt live foxes, they trail hunt, which involves dragging the scent of fox urine across fields and woodlands. The scent is then followed by the hounds and the Hunt. She admits that hounds occasionally kill foxes accidentally, but insist there’s no intent.

To the Heythrop, the hunt monitoring is an unnecessary irritant. "We find it very, very intrusive and I’m not at all surprised that temperatures do get raised sometimes," says Liz Wills. "I’m sorry if anything ever untoward happens but it does."

Police response. The police say they will respond to complaints about hunting, but only if their workload allows. PC Jon Palfrey, a Rural Beat and Wildlife Crime Liaison Officer for Gloucestershire Police says: "It would be wrong of us to pull away from an incident of higher priority but that is sometimes very hard for us to get across to the individual, who, understandably if they’re upset by it, feels that we’re not interested because we didn’t turn up."

Few people thought that the fox hunting issue would just fade away after the ban came into force. But three years later, away from the public eye, the battle going on is as fiercely as ever.

        HeythropFHHoundskilling23-1-09.jpg                                                                    Hounds killing fox next to road 

        HeythropFHSeconds23-1-09.jpg                                        Terrierman on quad kicks monitor car v. hard trying to stop her filming kill 

POWAperson adds  -  By this time the monitor group led by Penny, despite being obstructed, harassed, threatened and even assaulted by hunters and followers had filmed the Heythrop hunting foxes on numerous occasions and taken that evidence to the police. It had been rejected by the police or CPS every time - but that was about to change.


Surrey Union FH kill fox on cricket pitch in middle of Ockley

14-1-08  HSA Press Release   Death on the Village green   Remember that hunting ban? The Surrey Union Fox Hunt managed to kill yet again in public on Saturday 5th January. For the second year running they allowed their hounds to pursue and kill a fox in open view [below right]. Last year it was after trespassing on a golf course at Newdigate.. This time it was in Ockley, Surrey. The hounds chased a fox into the middle of the village and caught and disembowelled it in the centre of the cricket pitch.

The police eventually turned up after a 999 call and took a statement from a bystander who SurreyUnionFHkillfoxOckley5-1-08.jpgwitnessed the horrific scenes as the animal was ripped apart by a full pack of hounds. This happens almost every day the length and breadth of the country, but usually safely away from public scrutiny.

Hunt Saboteurs have to witness such scenes week in and week out, nearly three years after the Hunting Act came into force. Not surprisingly, foxhunts in England feel they are above the law. The Surrey police present in three vehicles on Saturday were miles away from the hounds when the fox was killed. The hunt packed up straight away, leaving the carcass in the village. Based on the previous treatment of numerous submissions of video evidence, the police investigation will lack the gravitas and scrutiny it deserves.

Lee Moon, spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: “Foxes are hunted and killed as if the ban never came into effect. By laying a trail through fox habitat, or having an owl in a box, the Hunts can kill with impunity. We have tried to let the law work, but with the police not interested, and a paltry number of cases brought to court, it has to be the time for a return to direct intervention; to no longer put up with the cosy relationship the hunts seem to have with the local constabularies; to make sure the wildlife of this country is safe from the barbarous practices of the past. Animals are protected from Hunts by law, but if the law won’t help them then hunt sabs will have to.”



Coniston FH follower arrested after smashed window of car carrying monitors

13-1-08  North West Hunt Saboteurs Association PR [no longer online]   Hunt supporter arrested following attack on anti-hunt monitors     A supporter of the Coniston Foxhounds was arrested on 10th January 2008 after allegedly smashing the window of a vehicle containing anti-hunt monitors.

The three anti-hunt monitors were on their way to a meet of the Coniston Foxhounds to gather evidence of any illegal hunting when their vehicle was attacked near Ambleside, which resulted in them being covered with glass splinters.

During the alleged attack the hunt supporter climbed onto the bonnet of their car and tried to smash their windscreen. Failing to break the windscreen he then tried to enter the vehicle by the drivers side door. Finding the door locked he then smashed the window to try and grab the driver. The monitors then managed to drive off and report the incident to the police at Ambleside where they made statements.

North West Hunt Saboteurs Association (NWHSA) spokesperson Paul Timpson stated 'It is clear that this Hunt has something to hide or they would not have attacked the monitors. Violence and intimidation is a tactic used to try to prevent monitors from recording hunts that are breaking the law. The police need to take action when these incidents are reported to them.'

He added 'Members of the NWHSA have been attending various hunts in Cumbria this season and have often seen illegal hunting. Hunt saboteurs have switched to monitoring hunts in order to provide evidence for prosecutions under the Hunting Act. However, if the Crown Prosecution Service and police allow Hunts to ride roughshod over the law, the HSA's members will have to return their tried and tested tactics that have saved the lives of 1000's of animals over the years.'


'Frenzied' Bicester FH hounds cause up to £4k damage to garden

10-1-08   Northants Chronicle [no longer online]   Stray hunting hounds that rampaged through a Northamptonshire garden have caused up to £4,000 in damage Sonia Hawes, who lives in High Street, Eydon, says now she can never leave her home for the weekend for fear the dogs will destroy her garden again.

The 51-year-old artist was finishing her lunch when she saw around 20 hunting dogs from the Bicester Hunt enter her garden, damaging her pond, swimming pool and woodpile.

She said: "The dogs ploughed straight through the fence and wrecked two fencing panels. I've got quite a large pond and at one point there were 12 hounds in it. They've pierced the liner and our swimming pool cover has been wrecked because it has been stretched. I went out into the road to see if there was anyone there because these dogs have no collars, so there's nothing to grab them with. It wasn't until 10 to 15 minutes later that the Hunt got into the village. The Master apologised and agreed to pay for the damage. It's all very well paying for the physical damage but it doesn't cover the stress of that afternoon. I've got an elderly dog and the shock if nothing else could have killed it. They looked like frenzied dogs that were totally out of control," she said.

The Hunting Act 2004 bans hunting wild mammals with dogs except in certain circumstances. There are situations when dogs pick up the scent of a fox while out on a hunt, even if the Hunt did not go out with the intention of hunting foxes. The maximum fine for breaching the hunting law is £5,000.

Damage to the garden during the incident on December 29 has already amounted to £1,000 and could reach £4,000 depending on the damage to the swimming pool.

Christopher Hodgson, Master of the Bicester Hunt, said: "We have apologised profusely for this intrusion into Mrs Hawes's garden at Eydon which has never happened before. The hunt staff will do everything possible to prevent such an event happening again."


Minehead Harriers Huntsman & Whip plead guilty to illegal hunting

Both fined, Whip also convicted of threatening behaviour 

7-1-08   Huntsman William Goffe and Whipper-in Gary Bradley of the Minehead Harriers pleaded guilty at Bridgwater Magistrates’ Court to hunting a wild mammal with dogs in a private prosecution brought by the League Against Cruel Sports.

The offence took place the year before in February 2007 during which Goffe and Bradley were video recorded by League investigators pursuing a fox with a pack of hounds.


                    Fox about to jump fence - lead hound also in shot 

The Hunt’s solicitor, Tim Hayden, told the court that hounds had been following a trail but picked up the scent of a fox. Mr Goffe allowed the pursuit to continue when he realised the fox had mange.

Tom Gliddon, chairman of the Minehead Harriers, said “William Goffe and Gary Bradley have acknowledged that during a trail hunt on the 7th February there was one short pursuit of a mammal which was in contravention of the Act”, adding “there was no suggestion that a fox was killed”.


                   Hounds jump fence after fox - Huntsman nearby does nothing 

Both defendants were fined £300 and each asked to pay £500 towards legal costs. Gary Bradley, who rode a horse at an anti-hunt monitor, also pleaded guilty to a public order charge and has been fined £100.


                          Whip Gary Bradley charges horse at monitor, swearing 

See also video on YouTube.

Crawley FH follower Nick Soames MP recklessly carries kids on quad

1-1-08  Hunt Watch [no longer online]  Hunt Fanatic MP Puts Children Lives at Risk - Nicholas Soames MP Flouts Road Legalities on New Years Day Hunt   Just days after a seven year girl tragically died after the quad bike she was driving hit a Range Rover, pro-hunt fanatic Nicholas Soames MP is filmed driving a quad bike on a road overloaded with children and adults following the notorious Crawley and Horsham Hunt.

Tory MP Nicholas Soames, who The Sunday Times famously dubbed Fat Boy Dim, filmed driving the quad bike and trailer bearing no registration plate contrary to the Road Traffic Act and illegally loaded with five adults and several unrestrained children.

A spokesman for West Sussex Wildlife Protection, which monitors the Crawley and Horsham hunt for offences under the Hunting Act, said: "Initially we heard Nicholas Soames was on a quad bike that was overloaded. We thought nothing of it, because with his considerable bulk this was quite likely. However we were astonished to see him on a public road just north of his home at Bells Farm, Slaugham, West Sussex, with several unrestrained young children and adults racing along on a quad bike with no registartion plate. He was desperate to keep up with the hunt and seemed unworried if the children lost their teeth on the metal rim of his quad bike trailer."

Nicholas Soames MP is a key supporter of the Countryside Alliance and a close friend of Prince Charles. Between 2003 and 2005 Soames served as Shadow Secretary of State for Defence and as a member of the Shadow Cabinet and well as being on the Council of the National Trust.

In 2002 a letter to the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and signed by Prince Charles claimed that farmers suffered more discrimination than blacks or gays was widely condemned. Even agricultural experts attacked the comments as inaccurate, saying that the issues bore no comparison and pointing out that the many billions of pounds worth of subsidies and grants for farmers dwarf the millions awarded to ethnic minority communities and the negligible amounts given to gay groups. The letter is thought to have been written by the princes close friend Nicholas Soames, a Tory MP.

According to the book Women in Parliament published in 2005, Soames has been named as the 'most sexist' MP, with several female MPs stating that he has made vulgar comments. One says they retaliated by shouting "click" at him — a reference to a claim that having sex with him was "like having a wardrobe fall on you with the key still in". It has frequently been alleged that Soames makes repeated cupping gestures with his hands, suggestive of female breasts, when women are trying to speak in parliament, to sexually harass and distract them from performing politically.

In a vicious attack on Princess Diana, Nicholas Soames told BBC Newsnight that the Princess was paranoid; Soames has no medical qualifications.

Political comedian Mark Thomas accused Soames of dishonestly registering some inherited heirlooms, including a "three tier mahogany buffet with partially-reeded slender upright balustrade supports", as conditionally exempt works of art, which do not attract inheritance tax if the public has access to them. Thomas claimed the public had not been granted access.



….. 30th December - Ab Fab star goes out with Mid Devon FH accused of illegal hunting

….. 28th December - Cars of Golden Valley FH JM vandalised at his home

….. 28th December - Woman Holcombe Harriers rider saves horse from drowning

….. 27th December - Vote OK to mobilise hunters to canvass in electoral marginals

….. 21st December - West Wales golfer's round interrupted by Hunt chasing a fox

….. 20th December - North Wales 'fox control' groups warned to observe Hunting Act

….. 18th December - Crawley FH terrierman fined for throwing dead rabbit at monitor

….. 11th December - Ex Hunt JM convicted of three counts of child cruelty 

…..  6th December - Ex MFHA Chair and Thurlow FH JM Edmund Vestey dies aged 75 


Ab Fab star goes out with Mid Devon FH accused of illegal hunting

30-12-07  People  [no longer online]    Ab Fab Jennifer joins 'fox hunt'    Ab Fab star Jennifer Saunders has joined a Hunt accused of illegally chasing foxes. She was snapped riding with the Mid-Devon Hunt just eight days after cops launched a cruelty probe. Police acted when the Hunt was reported to have pursued a fox with 20 hounds... Jennifer, 48, was seen with daughter Freya, 17, at the Mid-Devon's Boxing Day meet - advertised as a trail hunt - in Chagford, Devon...

31-12-07  Western Morning News  [no longer online]    Hunt group reported to police   The Hunt joined by Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders has been accused by the League Against Cruel Sports of chasing foxes illegally. Ms Saunders was pictured with daughter Freya, 17, at the Mid Devon Hunt's Boxing Day meet, days after a complaint was made to the police about illegal hunting...

POWAperson adds   -   The Mid Devon FH had been filmed, from a distance, by a LACS monitor. The film, which mysteriously disappeared from the LACS website some time later, showed a number of riders, including redcoats, plus a couple of people on foot, at a pile of rocks on Dartmoor. The hound pack are nearby. Hunters are seen moving some of the rocks. A fox pops out of the rock pile and sprints away Huntsmen allow the pack to chase the fox. Both soon disappear from sight.

LACS gave this evidence to the police, who failed to do anything with it before the six month time limit expired. The League were very angry about this as it was, provided any of the hunters could be identified, very clear evidence of wilful illegal hunting. They submitted a formal complaint, but nothing sees to have come of it.


Cars of Golden Valley FH JM vandalised at his home

28-12-07   Horse & Hound   [no longer online]    Welsh pro-hunting homes attacked by vandals    Two hunt-supporting homes in Wales have had property sprayed with hunt saboteur groups' initials ALF (Animal Liberation Front) and HRS (Hunt Retribution Squad) in a suspected animal rights attack. Police have confirmed that Charlotte Vangersteegen-Drake and husband Peter of Llowes had two cars vandalised overnight on 5-6 December — Mrs Vangersteegen-Drake is a joint-master and Hunt secretary of the Golden Valley Hunt...


Woman Holcombe Harriers rider saves horse from drowning

28-12-07   Liverpool Daily Post  [no longer online]    Plucky huntswoman takes plunge in dramatic bid to rescue fallen horse from reservoir    A YOUNG woman rider believed to be from Merseyside had a lucky escape after she jumped in a reservoir to save her horse that had fallen in during a hunt. The woman and horse escaped serious injury in the dramatic incident on Boxing Day. The horse had bolted as they rode through Lead Mines Clough, near Anglezarke reservoir at Rivington, near Chorley, with the Holcombe Hunt..


Vote OK to mobilise hunters to canvass in electoral marginals

27-12-07  Daily Telegraph    Hunt supporters to campaign in marginals    Thousands of hunting supporters have been drafted in to the 100 key seats that will decide the next election, to campaign for Conservatives who support an immediate repeal of the ban.

The revelation will put pressure on David Cameron to honour his pledge to overturn the ban. On what is traditionally the biggest day in the foxhunting calendar, some 250,000 people turned out to Hunts in defiance of the ban.

Vote-Ok's army of hunt supporters is expected to number close to 30,000 in the run-up to the next election. The campaign's volunteers are already embedded in key seats where Labour or Liberal Democrats MPs and candidates are pledged to keep the hunting ban in place. They are working in crucial urban marginals such as Battersea, where Labour has a majority of just 163. They are providing hours of their time to knock on doors, deliver leaflets, and address envelopes.

With the average age of Tory activists close to 64, the deployment of thousands of young hunt campaigners has provided a huge fillip both to sitting Tory MPs and to candidates who have been chosen to fight the next election. In the marginal seats where the repeal of hunting is not an issue, the volunteers do not mention field sports on the doorstep. The operation is being co-ordinated within the Tory party by David MacLean, a former chief whip and the MP for Penrith.

The Countryside Alliance has canvassed 108 of the 138 candidates in constituencies the Tories have to win, and all of them are seeking an immediate reversal of the hunting ban. The alliance estimates that support for hunting in the Tory ranks has hardened since the ban came into effect in February 2005.

A Countryside Alliance spokesman said: "This is not about chasing foxes around the countryside. It is about a bad law which needs to be eradicated. It was a bad law brought in for nasty reasons. None of the 108 candidates we canvassed were opposed to repealing the ban. It is clear now that if there is a Conservative majority after the next election there will be a majority in favour of a free vote for the repeal of the Hunt Act."

The campaign work by Vote-Ok is far more sophisticated than the effort launched at the 2005 election, which will cause concern to the Labour and Liberal Democrats. The Tories already have a £2 million fund to help their candidates in marginal seats. The fund is directed by Lord Ashcroft, who is in charge of campaigning at party headquarters.

The Ashcroft operation has led to demands from many Labour MPs for a cap on campaign spending in constituencies in between elections, even though the unions pump millions of pounds into Labour seats each year. Mr Cameron has pledged a free vote if he becomes prime minister. An early vote would cement his support in the shires, where activists have not always been comfortable with his modernising agenda.


West Wales golfer's round interrupted by Hunt chasing a fox

Police say can do nothing as they didn't witness it!

21-12-07   Tenby Observer [no longer online]   Fox shock for golfer    A local golfer who was enjoying an afternoon round of his favourite pastime was alarmed to have his game interrupted by a fox being chased by hounds. Peter Scrivens, of East Williamston, was playing on the Treyfloyne Golf Course last week when at around 1.30 pm on a quiet Wednesday afternoon he was amazed to see a fox being pursued across the green by the dogs.... Mr. Scrivens contacted the Police authorities, but their response left the golfer even more infuriated. “The police said that there was nothing they could do about it unless they had seen it for themselves which was extremely infuriating and makes a mockery of the ban on this kind of activity,”...


North Wales 'fox control' groups warned to observe Hunting Act

20-12-07   Daily Post [no longer online]   Hunters warned to mind the law – or face prosecution     POLICE and foresters are joining forces to clamp down in illegal hunting. Forestry Commission Wales warned fox control groups that “appropriate legal action” will be taken if they hunt in woodlands without licences. Forest district manager Ruth Jenkins said some groups also appeared to be ignoring the two-hound limit when flushing foxes. In a letter to control societies, she wrote: “Please understand that hunting without a licence is against the law, and further action will be taken in the event of FC Wales becoming aware of illegal activity on its land.”...




Crawley FH terrierman fined for throwing dead rabbit at monitor

18-12-07  NW Hunt Sabs Association [no longer online]   Hunt terrierman fined £80 fixed penalty for abusive behaviour   Jeremy Charman, a hunt terrierman of the notorious Crawley and Horsham Hunt based in Sussex has been fined £80.00 by police after throwing a dead rabbit at hunt monitors in November '07.

Hunt monitors attending the hunt near Shipley, W. Sussex were followed by "hunt stewards" to a veterinary practice when they found a rabbit suffering from myxamatosis. In an attempt to mock this humanitarian assistance for a sick animal, Charman was later videoed throwing a dead rabbit at monitors, shouting :"Try to revive this fucker."

In Nov. '06, Charman was videoed digging into a badger sett at the Heaselands estate, W. Sussex after the Crawley and Horsham Hunt had chased a fox to ground. As a result, Sussex police have issued new guidelines to police and are determined not to allow Hunts to dig out badger setts in future.


Ex MFHA Chair and Thurlow FH JM Edmund Vestey dies aged 75

6-12-07   Horse & Hound   Hunting community mourns passing of Edmund Vestey Edmund Vestey, former chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA), has died of cancer aged 75. He was the third-generation leader of the Vestey business empire, which amassed a colossal fortune in the integrated meat trade. As master of the Thurlow hunt for the past 41 years, and MFHA chairman from 1992-95, he was committed to country life and a vehement opponent of the hunting ban...


Ex Hunt JM convicted of three counts of child cruelty

11-12-07  Facebook – Hunt Watch    Anthony Robson (63) who was the Master of the Dunston Harriers Hunt between 1998 and 2001 stood by and watched as pupils at Banham Marshalls College, formerly the Old Rectory, fought each other and forced one child to eat his own vomit, Norwich Crown Court heard on 11/12/07. Robson was convicted of three counts of child cruelty. His brother George Robson (66) the school’s owner and head, was convicted of five counts of child cruelty two years ago. The judge sentenced Robson to 12 months in prison, suspended for one year.



….. 30th November - Exmoor FH Huntsman wins appeal against illegal hunting conviction

….. 30th November - 82 year old given ban and fine for driving at hunt gathering

….. 29th November - Woman & 5 year old see Croome FH hounds rip fox apart in garden

….. 27th November - Emaciated Dunston Harriers found straying, rescued by a local

….. 27th November - Dunston Harriers invade Wildlife Trust nature reserve

….. 24th November - Essex & Suffolk FH hunter rides down women sabs, repeatedly rides over one

….. 19th November - Avon Vale FH Huntsman & steward convicted of stealing monitor camera

….. 19th November - Hunt in Essex seen chasing fox reported to police

….. 18th November - Villagers get ASBO warning served on 3 JMs of Cotswold FH

….. 16th November - Resident reports illegal fox hunt near Colchester

……  9th November - Crawley FH follower who broke woman sab's arm gets suspended sentence 


Exmoor FH Huntsman wins appeal against illegal hunting conviction

30-11-07  BBC News   Huntsman conviction appeal upheld   The first Huntsman to be convicted of breaching the Hunting Act has had his conviction overturned. Tony Wright of the Exmoor Foxhounds was found guilty of hunting a wild animal with dogs after a prosecution by the League Against Cruel Sports in 2006.

An Exeter Crown Court judge allowed his appeal and said he was satisfied that Mr Wright had thought he acted to ensure he complied with the law. The Countryside Alliance said it was a "nail in the coffin" of the Act. “If the courts cannot be sure what is hunting and what is not, how on earth can anyone else”.

After the hearing, Mr Wright said: "I am delighted with the result, which is what I believed all along." He said it was a "very difficult law to interpret" and was "probably not very well written for people like myself to understand. It shows we were trying our best and that is all anyone can do," said Mr Wright, adding that the Act was not "black and white".

The chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, Simon Hart, said: "This verdict is an absolute vindication of Tony Wright and the Exmoor Foxhounds and another nail in the coffin of the Hunting Act. The Hunting Act is not only a pointless and prejudiced piece of legislation, it is also a very bad law. If the courts cannot be sure what is hunting and what is not, how on earth can anyone else?"

Mike Hobday, the head of the prosecution unit of the League Against Cruel Sports, which brought the private prosecution, said it was a "deeply surprising decision". "We shall be taking urgent legal advice about the prospects of appealing on some of the findings of law." He said he was "shocked and disappointed" at the legal interpretation of the Hunting Act.

The court heard from Richard Furlong for the Crown Prosecution Service that on 29th April 2005 Wright hunted two foxes with two hounds on Exmoor in circumstances which were in "clear breach" of the Act. Wright told Exeter Crown Court that he had read the Act, which came into force on 18 February 2005. He said Exmoor farmers had asked the hunt to "come and kill these bloody foxes" after experiencing losses during the lambing season. He told the court: "We wanted to ensure we worked within the Act."

At Exeter Crown Court judge Graham Cottle allowed his appeal saying he was satisfied that Mr Wright had proved that he reasonably believed, perhaps optimistically, that he had put in place safeguards that he thought would ensure compliance with the Act.

30-11-07     Tony Wright, huntsman of the Exmoor Foxhounds won his appeal against his conviction for illegal fox hunting at Exeter Crown Court. The Judgment was delivered by Judge Cottle who stated in his conclusion “During this appeal we have enjoyed an extended opportunity to observe and to hear from the appellent and we have no doubt that he and the Master of the hunt genuinely wished to comply with the Act. On that day, with the benefit of hindsight, the arrangements in place may not have been sufficient to ensure compliance with the Act but we are satisfied that the appellant has proved that he reasonably, perhaps, optimistically, had put in place safeguards that would ensue compliance with he Act”.

POWAperson comments  -  It is hard to reconcile the comments of Judge Cottle with what the original trial judge said about the way Wright conducted his hunting.  


82 year old given ban and fine for driving at hunt gathering

30-11-07  BBC News    'Irritated' man drove at hunters    A man of 82 who accelerated his car into a hunt gathering has been given a three-year driving ban and a £400 fine. Robert Wilson [left], from Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, revved his engine and accelerated down a narrow village lane RobertWilson82_30-11-07.jpgwhere three hunts were meeting in 2006. He had previously admitted a charge of dangerous driving and another of failing to stop after an accident.

The Swansea Crown Court judge said his driving arose out of an "unfounded irritation" with hunt members. The pensioner, who is almost completely deaf and suffers chronic breathing difficulties, appeared for sentencing on Friday.

Frank Phillips, prosecuting, said the incident had happened in November last year in the village of Cilycwm in Carmarthenshire. "There were 40 horses and children spread along the street. It was a busy morning," Mr Phillips said. "It is clear it is a narrow street with cars and trailers parked along both sides of the road."

He said Wilson was driving a silver Volvo along the lane and "appeared to be forcing its way through the crowd revving the engine and appeared to be approaching close to several people".

Mr Phillips said that Edward Keer, who was part of the Hunt, felt he was driving towards him "showing no respect to people or horses". As a result he decided to act by standing in the road to stop Wilson in his tracks. "He stood in the road to stop the car in the interests of public safety. His wife was also on a horse," Mr Phillips said. "But he realised that the vehicle was not going to stop." He said that Mr Keer was forced to dive for cover as the car accelerated and sped on without stopping.

The court heard somebody who recognised Wilson later phoned him at home and warned he was going to report him to the police. "The defendant then threatened him with hunt saboteurs," Mr Phillips said. Wilson went to Carmarthen police station on 11 December, 2006 where he was arrested.

Patrick Griffiths, defending, said Wilson had already been given an interim driving ban and understood the effect it would have. "His deteriorating health would have made his driving in the future a questionable activity anyway. But the order of a disqualification in itself will be a very considerable punishment," Mr Griffiths.

Passing sentence, Judge Christopher Morton said: "Your manner of driving was dangerous and arose out of a wholly unfounded irritation with members of the Hunt and people in the road. The public interest does not require a prison sentence, though you drove at a person. But I have road safety very much in mind. The appropriate sentence in my mind is a £400 fine plus a ban from driving for three years. I bear in mind that this is probably a lifetime ban because of your health."


Woman & 5 year old see Croome FH hounds rip fox apart in garden

29-11-07   Worcester News    Grandson watched as hounds ripped fox apart    A WOMAN and her grandson have been left traumatised after a fox was torn to shreds by hunting hounds in their Worcestershire garden.

Elizabeth Cash was with her five-year-old grandson at her home in Upton Snodsbury when the hounds entered her garden.

"We were suddenly surrounded by a pack of very noisy and excited fox hounds tearing around our garden, trampling over flower beds, pushing through fencing and terrorising my grandson who was lost among the pack of hounds," she said.

The incident happened last Saturday when the pack was flushing out a fox, which the hunt later planned to kill using a bird of prey - a practice still legal in Britain. But instead the hounds got hold of the fox and killed it, although the Hunt has since said it was an accident.

"The hounds dragged it (the fox) out in our full view to be torn apart before our eyes," Mrs Cash said. "I felt physically sick and could do nothing apart from try to shield my small grandson from the horror he was witnessing. This to me is totally unacceptable."

Mrs Cash, who does not agree with hunting but says she respects other people's views, did not report the incident to the police but has written to the parish council. She was later visited by the Master of the Hunt who apologised.

Joint master of the Hunt for Croome and West Warwickshire Foxhounds, Robin Palmer, said: "Unfortunately the hounds found a fox and the Huntsman tried to call them back but it resulted in this unfortunate incident. It was an accident."

Chairman of Upton Snodsbury Parish Council Terry Eagle said members would be discussing the incident at their next meeting in January.

Mike Foster, MP for Worcester, who initiated the fox hunting ban in a Private Members Bill in 1997, urged Mrs Cash to contact the police. "What has happened is exactly what the whole process to stop it was about," he said. "It is to protect people from having to witness what she did. So if they have broken the law they can be prosecuted for it."

Penny Little, a spokesman for Protect our Wild Animals, called for the law to be tightened. "Every time this happens it is said to be an accident," she said. "This is not acceptable and there needs to be a tightening of the law."

A police spokesman said officers would now investigate the matter by speaking to Mrs Cash. He said: "Fox-hunting is illegal and we respond positively to reports that it is taking place, from whatever the source."


Law Lords dismiss 'human rights' challenge to Hunting Act

28-11-07  Worcester News    Law lords dismiss hunt ban challenge    THE Law Lords today threw out the latest challenges to the ban on hunting with dogs when they ruled that the Hunting Act did not contravene any human rights.

The House of Lords, the highest court in the land, rejected an appeal two years ago in which the pro-hunt lobby claimed that the Parliament Act, used to force through the Hunting Act, was unconstitutional.

Today Lords Bingham, Hope, Rodger and Brown and Baroness Hale dismissed a second challenge by the Countryside Alliance and other campaigners to the lawfulness of the Hunting Act.

The same panel of Law Lords also dismissed an appeal from the Scottish courts by Brian Friend and Jeremy Whaley, both members of the Union of Country Sports Workers. They also claimed that the ban, introduced in Scotland under the Protection of Wild Mammals Act, is an infringement of their human rights.

Lord Bingham, the former Lord Chief Justice who headed the panel of Law Lords, said in his ruling: "Fox hunting in this country is an emotive and divisive subject. For some it is an activity deeply embedded in the tradition, life and culture of the countryside, richly portrayed in art and literature, a highly cherished, skilful, healthy and useful form of communal outdoor exercise. Others find the pursuit of a small animal across the countryside until it is caught and destroyed by hounds to be abhorrent."

He said the House of Lords had never given its consent to the Hunting Act but they were a judicial committee who had to give their views without reference to their personal sympathies.

The Countryside Alliance, along with various individuals, claimed at a hearing last month that the Act - which prohibits fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing with dogs in England and Wales - violates the fundamental human rights of thousands of people whose livelihood and way of life revolve around the meet and the chase.

Between 6,000 and 8,000 were expected eventually to lose their jobs, and many would also lose the homes that went with the jobs, the Law Lords were told. Others would lose businesses and the commercial "goodwill" attached to them.

See also BBC News report  



Emaciated Dunston Harriers found straying, rescued by a local

RSPCA demanded sanctuary return it to Hunt without seeing it

They then seized the dog and gave it back to Hunt

Antis concerned hound will be put down

27-11-07    Email from Hunt Watch   Emaciated hound found straying in South Norfolk faces execution - Hunt Watch slams Hunt and South Norfolk Dog Warden   The dog pictured below was found straying at Denton near Harleston, Norfolk on Saturday November 24th 2007 and rescued by a local resident. She contacted a Norfolk Animal Sanctuary on Monday and told them of the stray dog and the terrible condition it was in. She described the dog as looking as if it had been running for days. (The Hunt had been hunting in that area the Saturday morning). The sanctuary asked the ladyDunstonHarriersEmaciatedhound11-07.jpg to bring the dog into them and she kindly did.

The South Norfolk Dog Warden then became involved. The dog was identified as Flora belonging to the Dunston Harriers, a small South Norfolk hunt that used to legally hunt hares before the Hunting Act banned the pastime. Without even seeing the condition of the dog the dog warden demanded that the animal be returned to the Hunt and threatened to get the police involved.

Not surprisingly the sanctuary refused. There was no formal identification of the dog and in any case she was in a shocking condition.

Andrea Hill, spokeswoman for Hunt Watch that monitors hunting activity throughout Norfolk and Suffolk, says: “Before the hunting ban when they were hunting live quarry hounds would regularly stray. For hounds to stray now when they are supposed to only be hunting a drag or trail in a closely controlled way is baffling. We are very concerned for the welfare of Flora. You would have thought the dog warden, who is also a trained vet nurse, would have wanted to see the animal before making these demands, especially as the sanctuary had already said this dog was in a bad way. Anyone can see this dog is severely underweight and it didn't just happen overnight. We have monitored the Dunston Harriers for years and have always had concerns about their hounds being on the thin side, but this dog isn’'t thin it’'s emaciated. We hope the RSPCA will investigate and if necessary prosecute.”

Finally we are concerned that poor Flora will simply be shot if returned to the Hunt. Every year UK hunts kill many perfectly healthy hounds so the chances of any Hunt keeping a somewhat disobedient dog, in poor condition, are remote. This would be a tragic waste of life because Flora is a lovely dog that if given a caring, loving home would make a great companion.”

Hunt Watch will be contacting South Norfolk Council asking for answers about the actions of their dog warden in this incident; and also contacting Norfolk Police about the dangers of hounds being allowed to stray over Norfolk’s roads.”

Hunt Watch has learnt this dog has now been seized by the RSPCA.

UPDATE - Hunt Watch has just learnt the RSPCA returned the dog to the Dunston Harriers Hunt and have refused to prosecute. Apparently the hunt had a vet who was prepared to stand up in court to say the dog in question was perfectly healthy. We will be contacting the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons about them.

The sanctuary in question received a number of threats from the hunt members during the time of the RSPCA investigation.


Dunston Harriers invade Wildlife Trust nature reserve

27-11-08  Email from Hunt Watch    On the 10th of November 2007 the Dunston Harriers meet at Popular Farm Wreningham, where they allowed their hounds to invade Lower Wood, Ashwellthorpe, which is a nature reserve owned by Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The NWT were very concerned at this incident.


Essex & Suffolk FH hunter rides down female sabs, repeatedly rides over one

Sabs say police ignored repeated illegal fox hunting and racist abuse 

24-11-07  HSA News Release   Protestors attacked at illegal fox hunt    Anti-hunt protestors claim that this afternoon police ignored blatant illegal fox hunting and failed to prevent a serious assault against them.

At the Essex and Suffolk Hunt, held at Bluegate Farm, Wherstead today (Sat 24th November) a hunt rider was seen to ride his horse over a female protester repeatedly, causing significant injuries to her legs and back.

While the Hunt were in the vicinity of Freston Church, it is alleged that the hounds were chasing a fox over a road after emerging from a wood in pursuit. It is claimed that the Huntsman was close by and was doing nothing to prevent the hounds from chasing the live quarry.

The protesters saw no sign of an artificial trail having been laid, though the Hunt did have a bird of prey. This would allow them under the Hunting Act 2004 to use two hounds in order to flush a fox out of woodland to be killed by the bird*. The fox however was seen being pursued by the whole pack of about 20 hounds, and the bird of prey was not in the vicinity.

When protesters attempted to turn the hounds back from the public road, they say the hunter galloped at two females, knocking one to the ground, then rode his horse over her on four or five separate occasions, a hoof only narrowly missing her head.

Lee Moon, spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association commented, "It would appear to be business as usual in East Anglia almost three years after the hunt ban came into force. We are still seeing fox hunts acting as if they are above the law. Chasing and killing foxes and indiscriminate violence are traditions in this part of the country, and the Essex and Suffolk Hunt seem to embody these customs.

Several Hunt stewards from this very hunt were convicted of violence against protesters earlier in 2007, and two huntsmen in Essex have been found guilty of assault in recent years, one for assault on the police. The Hunts are the lawbreakers and we will be pressing the police to fully investigate this horrific incident.

Several complaints had earlier been made to Suffolk police attending the hunt of illegal hunting and racist abuse, and with three vehicles and a video camera there would appear to have been sufficient resources to gain evidence of the Hunt's potential law breaking, but no police were accompanying the hounds when they were seen chasing the fox."

*  The writer has this wrong The absurd falconry exemption - surely included to help sabotage the Act and strongly opposed by the Hawk Board on bird welfare grounds - actually allows any number of dogs to be used to flush quarry.   


Avon Vale FH Huntsman & a steward convicted of stealing monitor camera

19-11-07   HSA News Release   Camera shy? - Two Thieving Hunters Convicted    In Swindon crown court today (19th November) two hunt servants were convicted of theft of a video camera from a hunt monitor. The charges related to an incident in October 2005 involving the Avon Vale Fox Hunt, at Bromham, near Melksham in Wiltshire. The Hunt had been putting their hounds through some scrubland and hunt monitors suspected illegal hunting and started filming with a video camera in order to gain evidence of a breach of the Hunting Act 2004. A quad bike was driven at them and then David Gibbons, a hunt steward, who then grabbed hold of the female monitor. Then Malcolm Scobie, a huntsman on horseback grabbed the video camera and rode off with it.

Both were initially charged with robbery, but in court today both pleaded guilty of theft. The main reason for this guilty plea would appear to be that the event was captured on film by another monitor giving them little opportunity to launch a feasible defence.

Mr. Scobie claimed in court that he had lost his job and his home as a result of the charges, and both men were given a 12 month conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £350 compensation. They have been given two months to pay. It would appear that Mr. Scobie has however found gainful employment with another hunt, the South Hereford Fox Hunt.

Lee Moon, spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: “Yet again we see the Hunts literally getting away with murder. They know that illegal activity will be captured on film and handed to the police, so again and again we see the hunts going after the cameras, often accompanied with violence. If foxhunts are operating within the law as they claim, then why are they so keen to remove the possibility of being filmed? What do they have to hide?

We want to see the police out there with cameras gaining evidence for themselves, and protecting legal monitors from intimidation and violence from these hunt thugs. Several cases similar to today’s are in the offing, and we hope that the courts will hand down suitably severe sentences. The fact that these two convicted criminals were not ordered to pay the costs of their prosecution means that the people of Wiltshire will have to bear the burden of bringing them to justice, and the risible sentence is no discouragement for similar behaviour in future.”

23-11-07   Wiltshire Gazette [no longer online]    Hunt supporters admit theft    A pair of hunt supporters have been ordered to pay £350 to a saboteur after admitting stealing her camera. Malcolm Scobie, 41, and David Gibbons, 52, had been charged with robbing Melanie Bates during the incident on Wednesday October 5, 2005.

But on the day of trial at Swindon crown court the two men pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of theft. And Judge Douglas Field imposed one year conditional discharges on the men and ordered they each pay £175 compensation to the owner of the camera. Miss Bates, from Reading, Berks, was using her camera to get footage of the Avon Vale hunt near Melksham. She claimed that Scobie, of Spye Park, Lacock and Gibbons, of Padfield Gardens, Melksham, had robbed her of the device. Video footage from other anti hunt activists was used in the prosecution against the two men. But the robbery charges were dropped when the two men admitted the theft of the camera.

POWAperson adds  -  The Hunt servants behaviour comes as no surprise but one has to wonder why the original charges of robbery were downgraded to the much less serious theft - and even then why the sentence was so very lenient. Their actions met the very definition of robbery - the removal of property from a person employing violence or intimidation.


Hunt in Essex seen chasing fox reported to police

16-11-07  Essex Gazette   Colchester: Hunters deny chasing fox    Police were called to an alleged fox hunt in Friday Woods, Colchester. A Berechurch resident called officers after spotting about 10 riders and about 30 hounds racing through the woods at noon on Wednesday. The caller claimed they had heard someone shout: "The fox went this way."

The Hunting Act 2004, which came into force in February 2005, makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with a dog. Under the legislation, hunting foxes with dogs is illegal, but hounds can be used to follow a pre-laid scent.

The man said that the Hunt may have disturbed a fox en route, but insisted they were carrying out a legal drag hunt only.


Villagers get ASBO warning served on 3 JMs of Cotswold FH

Hunt had been repeatedly 'terrorising' their hamlet

One time they chased deer in garden & killed it in woods nearby 

18-11-07   Independent on Sunday [no longer online]   Cotswold ASBO campaign   After her village was terrorised by a pack of rampaging hounds, and their equally aggressive owners, Denise Ward [below left] decided to fight back. Here, she explains how she served an Asbo warning on her local Hunt.

The first time it happened was around two years ago, in mid-November. It was a beautiful day and a small group of us had got together in the hamlet. I was chatting to my elderly neighbour when we all heard a terrible noise. It was a blood-curdling, snarling uproar – as if some wild animals were smashing about in the undergrowth.

DeniseWard.jpgA deer came crashing down through all the gardens in the hamlet, pursued by baying hounds. It leapt along the lane past a resident it was too terrified to notice, and back up again into the woods just behind my neighbours' house, where it ran frantically up and down the slope, crashing noisily around with the hounds close behind.

As we stood there helplessly, they caught it. It screamed piteously and we could hear the hounds savaging it in loud and hideous detail. It was horrific. It was so sudden and so violent it was like a car crash. No one knew what to do; we all just stood there.

The next thing we knew, several hounds burst out of the woods into the village. They were frenetic and rampaging around. We've all got pets, and were immediately fearful for them; the hounds were out of control and we didn't know what else they were looking to kill. I'm used to animals – I've got a horse and we work with cows – but these dogs were hunting; they were like something else.

We found out later that the hunt master had lost control of the pack and the hounds had run on to the nature reserve next to our village – an open hill popular with dog-walkers and families where hunting is not allowed.

One of my neighbours managed to catch two of the dogs and tie them up. Shortly afterwards, the hunt people came out in a Land Rover, looking for their dogs. The hunt master was incredibly rude and dismissive; the only reason they even bothered to speak to us was because we had two of their dogs.

I tried to explain how dreadful and frightening it had been to hear an animal being killed like that. They had no comprehension of what I was talking about. We told them it was private land, but one of them said, "Tell me who your leader is", as if we were a tribe.

The hunt master kept coming closer to me until their face was within an inch of mine, "If you appoint a leader, we'll tell them when we are coming and that way you can put all your animals away."

Meanwhile, another hunter was brandishing a horn. I knew at that point we had to be very careful. They didn't even bother discussing the hunting ban; they claim they are trail-hunting, and that's how they get around it. We called the police but they never came. Hunt calls are apparently a low priority.

We wanted to make sure they never came back, so on the advice of a solicitor, 10 householders in the hamlet sent a formal letter to the Hunt explicitly forbidding entry on to the land. They didn't respond.

It turns out we were wasting our time. A couple of months later, on a peaceful February morning, the whole hound pack exploded into the village. They were in full cry. The noise was terrifying, something you cannot imagine unless you have been close to a pack of baying hounds. We leapt to the window. Twenty to 30 hounds were in the village, streaming up our neighbours' driveway. They milled around the house, spreading over the garden before exploding into action again.

It was clear from the noise that they were chasing something and when they got up the slope behind the houses, uproar broke out. This time the cries sounded like a smaller animal, but as a stag then roared in distress, we feared it could again be a deer. Sick with the apprehension that I would find either the remains of a village pet or a mangled deer, I climbed up to look but the hounds had gone and there were only splashes of blood.

Quite a few people I know stay in during the hunt season. There's a man on the Isle of Wight who stays in every Wednesday and Saturday when the hunt is on. His wife and grandson were outside in the back garden and the hound pack – again out of control – came over his hedge. The woman managed to grab the baby just in time. 

Last season a fox, followed by hounds, came rampaging through a children's Halloween party in a public garden near Taunton. And one woman had her pet terrier skinned alive in front of her face by hounds. Her story was in the news until they offered her compensation, along with a gagging clause. That's a common strategy.

There is a strong sense of the old rural hierarchies and power structures going on and people are afraid to speak out. The police don't do anything; they claim the laws are unenforceable. The Hunt only has to say it was an accident and that's it.

After the second invasion we decided we needed to do something. Getting a civil-law injunction against hunt trespass, the only legal tool available, is not only expensive (it costs around £10,000), but also difficult to obtain.

It was my neighbour who suggested an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Asbo). It sounds a bit unusual but Asbos are related to repeated, anti-social behaviour. We read the legislation and realised it fitted our case in every way. By massive, concerted effort, the residents of my hamlet managed to get an Asbo warning served on the Hunt.

This was achieved because we are an articulate group of people demanding protection with the support of our MP. Initially the Asbo officer, a retired policeman, was horrified at the thought of giving an Asbo to the master of the hunt, but he found that we had a "compelling" case and went out on a limb for us. The warning was issued to three hunt masters, so this caused a bit of a ripple locally.

If we have another incident, it will be grounds for instigating a full Asbo, which would go on their record. But their attitude and the fact that they can't control their dogs means we still don't feel totally safe. No one in a hunting area is.

This is especially sad for me, because I love the autumn, and here, with the beech woods, it is especially beautiful. But for me, it is now tainted. The Hunts are out several times a week.


Resident reports illegal fox hunt near Colchester

16-11-07  Colchester Gazette    Hunters deny chasing fox   Police were called to an alleged fox hunt in Friday Woods, Colchester. A Berechurch resident called officers after spotting about 10 riders and about 30 hounds racing through the woods at noon on Wednesday. The caller claimed they had heard someone shout: "The fox went this way."

The Hunting Act 2004, which came into force in February 2005, makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with a dog. Under the legislation, hunting foxes with dogs is illegal, but hounds can be used to follow a pre-laid scent.

Hunters deny chasing the fox. The spokesman said that the Hunt may have disturbed a fox en route, but insisted they were carrying out a legal drag hunt only.


Crawley FH follower who broke woman sab's arm gets suspended sentence

9-11-07  BBC News    Man avoids jail after hunt attack     An elderly hunt supporter who broke the arm of a protester when he attacked her with his stick has avoided jail. John Hawkins was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm at an earlier trial, and was given a suspended jail term at Hove Crown Court on Friday.

Hawkins, 69, of Cowfold, Sussex, struck Lynn Phillips during clashes at a hunt near Horsham in January 2005. Trouble had flared between pro and anti hunt supporters at Spear Hill at the end of the Crawley and Horsham hunt. Ms Phillips said she was approached and struck twice on the head and hand by Hawkins when she was looking for a dog she believed was injured. An X-ray two days later revealed she had a broken arm, the court heard.

Andrew Selby, defending, said it was a "spur of the moment" reaction and Hawkins deeply regretted the incident.

Recorder Heather Norton told Hawkins: "Your action to strike Lynn Phillips deliberately with your stick takes this case over the threshold of the imposition of a custodial sentence. However, in my judgment, the exceptional circumstances permits me to suspend the order of imprisonment that I will impose." She sentenced him to eight months imprisonment, which was suspended for a year.

POWAperson adds  -  The Crawley FH has an appalling record of violence - see, for instance, this video  



….. 19th October - Appeal against hunting convictions by 2 Quantock SH huntsmen dismissed

….. 18th October - PM linked to Hunt with 'some of the nastiest followers' - Heythrop FH

….. 16th October - Blackmore FH hunter arrested after hounds attacked pet dog

….. 10th October - Lords to hear case to overturn hunt ban on human rights grounds

…..  5th October - Essex Farmers FH jailed ten weeks for beating up his wife

…..  4th October - Blackmore FH hounds badly injure pet terrier being walked 


Appeal against hunting convictions by 2 Quantock SH huntsmen dismissed

19-10-07   North West Hunt Sabs Assoc     Richard Down and Adrian Pillivant, two huntsmen convicted of breaking the law prohibiting hunting have had their appeal against conviction rejected. Huntsman Richard Down (44) of Bagborough, Somerset and whipper-in Adrian Pillivant (36) of Willand, Devon both of the Quantock Staghounds, were convicted after being filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports. The league filmed the pair chasing a deer for more than an hour, and the hunters were convicted. A judge at Taunton Crown Court on 19/10/07 rejected their appeal, saying the pair were hunting for sport. Both were convicted at Bristol magistrates on 7/6/07.


PM linked to Hunt with 'some of the nastiest followers' - the Heythrop FH

18-10-07  Daily Mirror   David Cameron link to violent hunt - Tory Cameron linked to hunt with some of nastiest followers in Britain    Violent huntsmen who attacked elderly protesters helped propel Tory leader David Cameron to power, the Mirror can reveal today.

Members of the Heythrop Hunt have been captured on video roughing up demonstrators and damaging their cars. But they helped Mr Cameron get elected as an MP in 2001 by canvassing votes for him.

Mr Cameron openly supports hunting and pledges to end the ban on using hounds if elected. He has ridden with the Heythrop, has friends who work for it and its members work as Tory activists to help him in election campaigns. But leaked documents reveal the sickening violence behind this Hunt.

Police have repeatedly investigated it over allegations that members hunted foxes illegally. And six CameronandAvis.jpgHeythrop supporters have been cautioned by police for attacking protesters. Anti-hunt campaigner Peter Bunce, 68, said: "We have been driven at, ridden at, sworn at, threatened, tailed and intimidated whilst monitoring the Heythrop hunt since the ban. And Cameron wants to reward such behaviour by re-legalising hunting." Former Ministry of Defence engineer Mr Bunce was knocked on to a car bonnet and his camera damaged by a hunt supporter who yelled at him: "I'm telling you to get the f*** out of it or I'll f*****g fill you in." Police cautioned his attacker.

Gran Judy Gilbert, 60, was knocked flying by a burly farmer as she filmed Heythrop which hunts near Mr Cameron's constituency in Witney, Oxfordshire, and Stowon-the-Wold, Glos. She said: "It was terrifying. I felt a painful massive thud in my back and suddenly I was in mid air. I went headlong and landed in bramble bushes about 6ft down the steep slope. It was difficult to get up and my hands were bleeding. I was shaking, feeling sick and shocked and appalled that someone could behave that way towards a woman. Once I got to my vehicle I saw the hunt followers laughing and jeering. The whole thing was sickening. My attacker was cautioned but has never apologised to me."

In March, another Heythrop Hunt supporter was fined £80 for trying to run over a woman. Others have been fined or cautioned for trying to sabotage cars, including putting nails stuck in Mars bars under their tyres, stealing a CB radio aerial and kicking vehicles. Mr Cameron - who has shot deer in Scotland, and ridden with the Old Berks Hunt, run by his wife's stepfather Lord Astor - wants to repeal the 2005 fox hunting ban. He has said: "We've passed a law that everyone is openly flouting and it makes the law look stupid."

Guy Avis, secretary of the Heythrop Hunt [above right, with Cameron], is friends with Mr Cameron and recruited volunteers to his election campaign because he was a "very supportive" candidate. Roderick Fleming, also a Heythrop backer, is based at Mr Cameron's Chipping Norton HQ. He and the owner of Heythrop Park, the Hunt's historic home, have made sizeable political donations to the Tories.

Mr Avis said yesterday: "Those antis are bloody annoying. They are asking for it." But when asked about pensioners being attacked, he replied: "I'm not condoning that but I don't know anything about it. We abide fully with the law. I don't know anything about these cautions and accusations."

Mr Avis also claimed it was a coincidence that hounds were caught on film chasing a fox. He added: "There are occasions when foxes appear during the hunt and the hounds being hounds chase them. There's nothing we can do. There has been one time since the ban that we accidentally killed a fox but we informed the police. We use trails like most hunts. This footage could mean anything. It could happen if the fox runs across the trail. If this is what it shows then that is what must have happened."

POWAperson adds  -  For more about the nastiness of the Heythrop FH see here 


Blackmore FH hunter arrested after hounds attacked pet dog

16-10-07   North West Hunt Sabs Assoc     On 16/10/07 the police arrested a man following an incident in which a Jack Russell was attacked by hounds from the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt in Somerset. The man was walking along a footpath when two men brought hounds into the field and 20 to 30 of the pack raced towards him and nine-month-old terrier. He said: “I was concerned and picked Spike up. The hounds came over and were jumping up as I tried to hold him out of their reach. They skinned his stomach and leg and I got a nip on the nose. “It was very upsetting – if I hadn’t had Spike on a lead I am sure he would not be here today. There was no provocation for this and it is worrying.”

He reported the incident to police and a police spokesman said yesterday that a man in his 30s had been arrested and interviewed. Joint master of the Hunt Mike Felton said: “It is a very regrettable incident, and I perfectly understand that they don’t want their dog molested. It is not something that we would want to happen in any circumstances."


Crawley FH follower convicted of GBH after broke female sab's arm

11-10-07 [no longer online]    John Hawkins, a supporter of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt has been found guilty of breaking an anti-hunt Campaigner's Arm in an unprovoked attack.
The jury at Brighton Crown Court (Lewes Combined Court) found John Hawkins a 69 year old supporter guilty of Grievous Bodily harm, after deliberating for more than nine hours to reach a majority verdict. Hawkins, who runs a private slaughter house at Singers Farm, Cowfold, will be sentenced on November 8th.

The case relates to an incident on 29th January 2005, where Hawkins struck anti-hunt campaigner, Lynn Phillips with a stick, causing a "night-stick fracture" of the forearm. This is a fracture caused where a person brings their arm up to defend their head from an overhead blow. The incident ocured at Spear Hill, near Ashington, West Sussex.

At the time fox hunting was still legal, but parliament had voted to ban hunting with dogs. Hunt supporters were furious, and two months before the incident, the Crawley and Horsham hunt master, Kim Richardson issued a chilling threat to anti hunt campaigners: "You are all fair game now, I've fucking told everyone."

Richardson is the son of the late Sir Michael Richardson, who was known as "Mr Privatisation" and was a darling of Lady Thatcher. Mind you, General Pinochet was a darling of lady Thatcher also!
Following the incident and while Ms Phillips was being taken for medical treatment in the West Sussex Wildlife Protection Group's minibus, the driver was assaulted by a hunt supporter (Surrey Union Whipper in, Andrew Hazletine), while another hunt supporter (Surrey Union hunt groom, Joscelyn Cleveland) stole the keys. Both hunt supporters later received formal police cautions, with thief Cleveland paying compensation in an out of court settlement.


Lords to hear case to overturn hunt ban on human rights grounds

10-10-07  Worcester News    Pro-hunt campaigners return to Lords    THE ban on fox hunting with dogs has today been labelled a violation of human rights. Pro-hunt campaigners returned to the House of Lords, claiming that the 2004 Hunting Act was having a devastating impact on the economy of rural communities like Worcestershire.

Two years ago, the Lords rejected an appeal in which the pro-hunt lobby claimed that the parliament act, used to force through the Hunting Act, was unconstitutional. Campaigners are now asking Lords Bingham, Hope, Rodger and Brown and Baroness Hale to overrule the Court of Appeal judgment.

However this afternoon, MP for Worcester Mike Foster - who, in 1997, published a Private Member's Bill to ban hunting with dogs - said it was time people learnt to live with the new law. He said: "I despair at times with this argument. The campaigners say that the rural economy will come to a grinding halt without hunting. I've not noticed any impact on the employment in rural areas since the ban came into force. It's time to move on, to live with the change and get on with our lives."

The Countryside Alliance, along with various individuals, say that the Act - which prohibits fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing with dogs in England and Wales - should be declared unlawful. The hearing is set to last until Wednesday.


Essex Farmers FH jailed ten weeks for beating up his wife

Had previous convictions for attacking hunt sabs 

5-10-07  Basildon Recorder   Huntsman Simon Upton jailed     A FARMER and Hunt master who kicked his ex-wife and hit her with a tool from his stables has been jailed for ten weeks   Essex Union Hunt master Simon Upton was sentenced less than a year after a previous court appearance saw him fined for assaulting an anti-hunt protester.

Chelmsford Magistates were told he attacked ex-wife Sarah-Jane Upton, when she dropped their three children off at his home at Coptfold Hall, Margaretting. The couple had argued over access arrangements for their children, aged nine, eight and five.

Denise Holland, prosecuting, said: “She was sitting on a low stone wall when he threw his diary at her, and pushed her off the wall into a flowerbed. He struck her with a horse de-sweater then kicked her with both feet.” Upton admitted common assault.

Mrs Holland said Upton’s ex-wife then went to get the children from his house but he threatened to break her car windows if she entered the home. She added: “He picked up a bridle hook to enforce that threat.”

Hugh Roland, mitigating, said Upton, 41, was “emotionally charged” because of a row about the children’s holidays. He added: “My client has full remorse. He knows he has let his family down, children down, the community and himself down.”

In October 2005, Upton was fined at Basildon Magistrates’ Court after admitting three counts of common assault on anti-hunt protesters near Brentwood on February 9, 2005.


Blackmore FH hounds badly injure pet terrier being walked

4-10-07  Western Gazette [no longer online]   Horror as hounds savage pet terrier   The heartbroken owners of a pet dog have spoken of their devastation after it was mauled in an attack by hounds last week.

On Monday morning John Pettinger was walking his nine-month-old Jack Russell called Spike on its lead when it was pounced on by a 30-strong pack belonging to the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt. Mr Pettinger, aged 60, managed to break them free but only after Spike suffered serious injuries and "will never be the same again."

His wife Julie, 59, said: "John was stuck in one corner and the hounds came flooding through the gate 300 yards away. There were 20-30 of them and they went straight for Spike. But by the time John got them away the damage was already done."

Spike was taken straight to the vets in Wincanton and is now recovering from his injuries at their home in Charlton Horethorne. She said: "They tore all his tummy and a lot of skin off his leg, narrowly missing vital organs."

A spokesman for the Hunt said they had permission from the farm owner to be on the land but Mrs Pettinger said more controls needed to be introduced as it is a popular walking spot for dog owners.

She said: "They had no whistle or horn and nothing to control them and how can they be free to do something like this with no provocation? Everyone here is very concerned. It has always been a safe place to walk dogs. If he had not been on a lead, they would have killed him. It could have been a child, God knows what would have happened.”

A spokesman for the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hunt said: "The staff of the hunt were very concerned for the terrier's welfare after this accident happened. Hunt staff have a wealth of experience with dogs and hounds and wanted to help as much as they could. We have a very good relationship with the farmer whose land it is and have permission to use all the land."



….. 25th September - Seven, including a 'Fat Lady', to face trial re. hare coursing event 


Seven, including a 'Fat Lady', to face trial re. hare coursing event

Celebrity cook & champion racehorse trainer are among accused 

25-9-07  Yorkshire Post [no longer online]   Celebrity chef faces court over hare coursing allegations    Celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright and sporting baronet Sir Mark Prescott are to face private prosecution for allegedly hunting hares with dogs in North Yorkshire    Details of the case emerged yesterday following a separate hearing at Scarborough Magistrates' Court involving five other defendants – including Yorkshire's former champion racehorse trainer Peter Easterby.

Easterby, 78 – charged under his birth name of Miles Henry Easterby – of Habton Grange Farm, Great Habton, is accused of permitting land to be used for hare coursing and attending hare coursing. Elizabeth Dixon, 44, of Appleton-le-Street, near Malton, is charged with knowingly facilitating a hare coursing event, while John Shaw, 54, of Welburn Manor, Welburn, near Kirkbymoorside, faces an allegation of permitting land to be used for hare coursing. Andrew Lund-Watkinson, 56, of Pine View Lodge, Newton-on-Rawcliffe, and Jacqueline Teal, 42, of Scarborough Road, Norton, are accused of attending a hare coursing event.

The charges relate to an alleged hare coursing event at Easterby's farm at Great Habton, North Yorkshire, in March of this year. The case was adjourned until November 19 at Scarborough. During yesterday's proceedings brought by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) it emerged a separate private prosecution is being brought by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

The Scarborough court later confirmed the defendants were Clarissa Dickson Wright, the former barrister who found fame as one half of the former Two Fat Ladies celebrity chef team, and Sir Mark Prescott.

Court officials stated each defendant faces four charges – including two allegations of hunting hares with dogs, one at Nunnington on March 2 this year, and another at Amotherby, near Malton, on March 3. The other two charges relate to their alleged attendance at the events.

A spokesman for the IFAW said: "All we can confirm at the moment is that we are taking a private prosecution against two individuals." The charity said legal reasons preventing it explaining why the case, due to be heard at Scarborough on November 9, was not being dealt with by the CPS. Hare coursing, using two dogs to chase a live hare, was outlawed by the Hunting Act.

Sir Mark, 59, is a Newmarket-based trainer who has groomed more than 1,200 winners since 1970. He said he was unable to comment because he had not seen anything in writing and had only heard the charges read out over the telephone yesterday morning. Dickson Wright, 60, who lives in the village of Inveresk in East Lothian, could not be contacted yesterday.



….. 30th August - Minehead Harriers JM, Huntsman & Whip summonsed for illegal hunting

….. 25th August - Retired racehorse trainer among 3 charged over hare coursing event

….. 15th August - Tiverton SH Huntsman not punished for letting hounds kill pet terrier

…..  4th August - Cattistock FH filmed cub hunting early in morning


Minehead Harriers JM, Huntsman & Whip summonsed for illegal hunting

Prosecution to be brought by LACS after police declined to act 

30-8-07   Western Morning News     Three face charges of illegal hunting Three huntsmen face prosecution in the third Westcountry case to be instigated by the League Against Cruel Sports. The members of Minehead Harriers, based in Somerset, face charges under the Hunting Act. It is understood the LACS has footage which it claims shows the trio hunting illegally.

The case will be the third brought by the League in the region. So far, all of them have been in Somerset.

But yesterday, Barry Hugill, spokesman for the organisation, denied the county was being targeted exclusively. He said a case was also under way against a hunt on the Isle of Wight. Mr Hugill said: "We constantly receive footage taken of hunts. Where we believe that illegal hunting has taken place, then we will always consider going to court."

Last week, papers were served on Minehead Harriers hunt master Sydney Westcott, as well as William Goffe and Gary Bradley.

All three stand accused under the Hunting Act, but Gary Bradley, the Hunt's whipper-in, is also alleged to have committed a public order offence. The allegations relate to an incident in January this year.

Mr Hugill said he was unable to release much detail surrounding the case, because it was going through the legal system.

Caroline Clifford, joint master of the Minehead Harriers, confirmed that the three members had received the papers served against them. She said: "The League has produced some footage with which the police and the Crown Prosecution Service saw no evidence to bring a prosecution."

She said the Hunt had no information regarding the hearing. It is understood the case will be heard sometime next year, with a preliminary hearing later this year, likely to take place in either Minehead or Taunton magistrates courts.

Yesterday, Alison Hawes, regional director of the Countryside Alliance, which supports Hunts, said the three charged in Minehead had the organisation's backing. She said: "We encourage all our members to hunt within the law. Those who have been charged have our full support."

So far, the League Against Cruel Sports has succeeded in two prosecutions. In June, huntsman Richard Down and whipper-in Adrian Pillivant, of the Quantock Staghounds, were convicted at Bristol Magistrates Court. They were each fined £500 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

And in August last year, Tony Wright, of the Exmoor Foxhounds, became the first person to be found guilty of hunting illegally. He was fined £500, but he has lodged an appeal, which is scheduled to be heard at Exeter Crown Court on November 5. [was postponed from July 9th because of lack of a Judge].


Retired racehorse trainer among 3 charged over hare coursing event

25-8-07  Northern Echo    Renowned trainer denies hare coursing    A renowned racehorse trainer is facing charges of hunting with dogs in a landmark court case. Miles Henry Easterby, known as Peter, was arrested after an investigation by police into an alleged hare coursing event.

Mr Easterby, 78, from Habton Grange Farm, Great Habton, near Malton, North Yorkshire, denied two charges of attending a hare coursing event and allowing the practice on his land, when he appeared at Scarborough Magistrates' Court.

Mr Easterby appeared in court with John Shaw, 54, of Welburn Manor, Welburn, near Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, and Andrew Lund-Watkinson, 56, of PineView Lodge, Newton-on-Rawcliffe, near Pickering, North Yorkshire. They were also charged with two charges of allowing a hare coursing event and allowing the practice on their land.

The defendants denied the charges, and the hearing was adjourned until Monday, September 24. The three were bailed.

Mr Easterby declined to comment yesterday when contacted by The Northern Echo.

However, a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: "Those concerned are taking legal advice, but we strongly believe that everything on the day was carried out within the framework of the legislation."

It is understood to be the first time anyone has appeared in court charged with hare coursing since the Hunting Act 2004 came into force in 2005.

Before his retirement, Mr Easterby was one of the country's most successful flat and National Hunt trainers. He won the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle five times and the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice. He was named the Champion National Hunt trainer three times from 1979 to 1981.

One of his most famous horses was Sea Pigeon, which won the Chester Cup in 1977 and 1978 and the Ebor Handicap, at York, in 1979. In 1996, after 46 years in the business, he passed on the reins to his son, Tim, who continues to train successfully at Habton Grange.

Hare coursers usually use two greyhounds or lurchers to chase a live hare across a field. Under the Act, a person found guilty of hare coursing could face a fine of up to £5,000.


Tiverton SH Huntsman not punished for letting hounds kill pet terrier

15-8-07   Daily Mirror   Hunt that killed pet is let off   A huntsman was yesterday cleared of letting his hounds rip a terrier apart after a judge said: "Dogs will be dogs." A huntsman was yesterday cleared of letting his hounds rip a terrier apart after a judge said: "Dogs will be dogs."

Judge Jeremy Griggs ordered the jury to find John Norrish not guilty after hearing his hounds had previously been allowed to roam through the private garden where the attack took place.

Christine Hodgson, 59 - whose terrier Pippa had to be put down after the attack - had accepted £1,000 compensation from the Hunt and a further £450 to buy a new dog. Tiverton Staghounds also paid her vet bills and put down the hound that led the attack, Exeter crown court heard.

Judge Griggs ruled the case was flawed as Mrs Hodgson admitted she regularly allowed the hounds in her garden in East Worlington, Devon. She also said a fence around the garden had been recently removed. Judge Griggs said: "What happened was appalling but unforeseen. Dogs will be dogs."

13-8-07   BBC News   Pet terrier torn apart by hounds    A senior magistrate fought with a pack of staghounds as they ripped apart her pet terrier, a court has heard.

Catherine Hodgson, 59, from Devon beat the Tiverton staghounds as they "peeled apart" her jack russell Pippa. When they refused to let go she used her hands and body as a human shield to try and protect her 14-year-old pet.

John Norrish, from the East Worlington kennels, has pleaded not guilty at Exeter Crown Court to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Mrs Hodgson told Exeter Crown Court how she had let Pippa and her other terrier out at as she was preparing breakfast at her farmhouse in East Worlington. By the time Tiverton Staghounds hunt staff called the staghounds off, Pippa was badly injured. She was later put to sleep by a vet.

Mrs Hodgson said: "I took hold of Pippa and I tried to beat the dogs off but they obviously weren't going to let go. One hound was attached to the front of her neck and the other to her back, she was getting peeled apart. Pippa was bleeding very badly and all the other hounds were piling in on top of her. The only way I could stop them was to try and cover her with my body." 

The garden of Mrs Hodgson's property opens directly onto a country lane regularly used by Huntsman John Norrish, who is based at kennels two miles away. The court heard that Mr Norrish decided to take the main pack back to kennels before returning to apologise.

Mr Norrish, who lives at the East Worlington kennels, has pleaded not guilty to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act alleging that he allowed dogs to enter a private place without permission and inflict injuries on Mrs Hodgson. Mrs Hodgson, who together with her husband farmed on Exmoor for 30 years, was later treated for scratch wounds by her doctor.

The incident happened on 12 August 2006. The case continues.


Cattistock FH filmed cub hunting early in morning

Fox chased through churchyard

4-8-07   HSA Press Release  [no longer online]  Cattistock FH cub hunting   This is the Cattistock FH cub hunting near Corscombe, Dorset - meet 6.30am 4th August 2007. Huntsman and Whipper-in in tweed jackets to avoid identification, less than 10 riders, hardly any support, no police, apparently cub hunting as normal. It is reported a fox ran through St Mary's churchyard with hounds in full cry not far behind. It's fate is not known.

Unfortunately the film is no longer available 


 JULY 2007

….. 30th July - Flint & Denbigh FH terrierman convicted of 4 Hunting Act offences

….. 12th July - Middleton FH riders, inc. ex-JM, accused of entering ringer in race 

…..  2nd July - Isle of Wight FH 4 plead NG, will rely on Falconry Exemption


Flint & Denbigh FH terrierman convicted of 4 Hunting Act offences

31-7-07   North West Hunt Sabs Assoc    On 31/7/07, William Francis Armstrong (69) of Cefn Home Farm, St Asaph was ordered to pay £60 costs in addition to a £200 fine at Prestatyn magistrates. Armstrong who was the terrierman with Flint & Denbigh Hunt was prosecuted for four breaches of the Hunting Act all designed to ensure foxes were killed humanely.

The court heard how an off-duty police sergeant stumbled across the hunt in the Clwydian mountain range, in Denbighshire. He saw a pack of 15 to 20 foxhounds gather around a hole in a steep bank while a group of horse riders looked on. He then saw Armstrong put a terrier down the hole, before digging out a fox and shooting it with a pistol. The Act also said those involved in hunts must gain written permission from the landowner for the hunt, but Armstrong had failed to secure this.

The court also heard the fox had run into a “single-entry hole”, and it was forbidden to send a terrier into a hide of that nature. The law said terriers should only be used where there was a second entry hole to allow the fox to be flushed quickly and prevent the two animals fighting. Armstrong had also used a .22 pistol to kill the fox, when the legislation said a shotgun must be used.

The court also heard that Armstrong’s health had suffered as a result of media interest in the case and he had given up his position as terrierman. Armstrong had since given away the dog he sent down the hole and handed back his pistol and shooting licence to the police. Charges were withdrawn against his co-defendant, land owner Robert Peter Rowley Williams, of Llangwyfan, Denbighshire. Armstrong has been involved with terrier work since the age of 12.

  Edit Text

Middleton FH riders, inc. ex-JM, accused of entering ringer in race

12-7-07  North West Hunt Sabs Assoc     On 12/7/07 Charles Gundry, the former master of Middleton Hunt, was accused of entering a ringer in a point-to-point race. Horse owner Robert Tierney and his son, Richard, from Malton, North Yorkshire, have also been charged, as have Roger Marley and his wife, Ruth, from Langtoft, between Malton and Driffield. The charges were issued by the Horseracing Regulatory Authority (HRA) following a six-month investigation by its officers. The inquiry centred on three point-to-point races that took place last year. It is alleged that the horse was entered in a race as another ride during the Staintondale Point-to-Point. The horse was prevented from running after stewards became suspicious of its identity. Robert and Richard Tierney face two charges, Gundry, Robert Tierney and Roger and Ruth Marley have been charged for the alleged substitution. The four have also been accused of misleading HRA officers during an interview. Robert Tierney faces a separate charge of using threatening behaviour towards a witness. The HRA will conduct two inquiries into the alleged substitutions. No date has yet been set. The five face disqualification from racing if they are found guilty.

UPDATE   At a later HRA hearing all defendants were found guilty. Robert Tierney was banned from racing for 72 months, Roger Marley for 26 months. Tierney was again found guilty of the same offence the next year and this time banned for 91 months. Sanctions imposed on the others, including the former Middleton FH JM not known.

  Edit Text

Isle of Wight FH 4 plead NG, will rely on Falconry Exemption

2-7-07   North West Hunt Sabs Assoc   On 2/7/07, four men from the Isle of Wight pleaded not guilty to illegally hunting with dogs in a private prosecution brought by the League Against Cruel Sports. Stuart Trousdale (huntsman of the Isle of Wight Foxhounds) , of The Kennels, Gatcombe , Jamie Butcher, of Ashey Road, Ryde, and Liam Thom, of Highwood Lane, Rookley, are charged with hunting a fox with dogs. Malcolm Purcell, of Blackwater Mill Farm, Blackwater, is charged with hunting with dogs. They are expected to argue they were using an eagle owl, in the case brought by the LACS.

It is the first time the falconry exemption would be tested in the courts since the Hunting Act came into force in February 2005. The League Against Cruel Sports brought the prosecution at Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court after the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to proceed with the case against the men. The case was adjourned for a pre-trial review at the Newport court on 17/9/07.


Enter content here

Enter supporting content here