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2017/18 HUNTING 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   Likely to contain images you may find distressing 

 

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JUNE 2018

….. 29th June - Almost all consultees want stronger Scottish hunting law

….. 29th June - Cheshire FH Whip gets Community Order for railway trespass

….. 29th June - Sabs stage pop-up demos at various Leics police stations

….. 29th June - Cheshire FH withdraw from Darnall Show after protests

….. 28th June - Ten Cottesmore FH hounds killed in horror crash on country road

….. 28th June - Figures reveal only tiny % of illegal hunting reports lead to arrests

….. 25th June - CPS let Cheshire Forest FH fox killers off yet again

….. 20th June - Attorney General asked to review Belvoir FH case sentences

….. 19th June - S. Herefordshire FH fox cubs cruelty case adjourned to August

….. 19th June - Leics police commissioner 'will not tolerate breaking of law' by hunts

….. 18th June - LACS issues reminder of cruelty of the roe deer Hunts

….. 16th June - Sab group claims regional police op aims to facilitate illegal hunting

….. 16th June - Ex LACS Department Head sues League for unfair dismissal

….. 16th June - Sabs assaulted & radio stolen at Culmstock MH

….. 14th June - Belvoir FH 2 get suspended jail for severe attacks on LACS monitors

….. 14th June - Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman appeals against illegal hunting conviction

….. 13th June - NT 'monitoring' of Hunts grossly inadequate says Hounds Off 

….. 13th June - Nat. Trust is advertising for a 'Trail Hunt Manager'

….. 13th June - Convicted Belvoir FH thugs to be sentenced tomorrow

….. 12th June - 3 Middleton FH riders in court charged with attacks on sabs

….. 11th June - Cases against 2 female sabs are thrown out of court

…..  9th June - Sabs prevent Northants MH hunting on notorious Estate

…..  8th June - Berwickshire FH pull out of Haddington Show after social media storm

…..  4th June - Wildlife Witness launch campaign to keep Hunts off roads

…..  4th June - Did ex Beds police senior officer/hunter assist Hunt against sabs?

…..  4th June - Beagle pack exhibitor at Show tells visitor used for hare hunting

…..  2nd June - Sabs ruin Culmstock Mink Hounds' day

.....  2nd June - Sabs upload film of Badsworth FH chasing fox, rejected by police 

…..  2nd June - Dove Valley MH driver tries to damage sab cars as they stop meet

.....  1st June - 3 charged with Hunting & Badger Act offences day of Badsworth FH meet

.....  1st June - LACS local woman refused stall at Bromyard Gala 

 

Almost all consultees want stronger Scottish hunting law

29-6-18   The Ferret    Nearly all respondents to fox hunting consultation want law changed    Nearly all of the 18,787 respondents to a public consultation on fox hunting want the law to be reformed. The consultation, which closed five months ago, invited people to share their views on recommendations made by Lord Bonomy following his review of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act.

Analysis of the consultation, published today by the Scottish Government, shows that between 94 and 98 percent of respondents indicated support, or agreement, with Lord Bonomy’s proposals for reform of the current legislation.

Responding to concerns about fox hunting, the Scottish Government appointed Lord Bonomy in December 2015, to carry out a review of the operation of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 (the 2002 Act). The main purpose of the 2002 Act was to ban the use of dogs to chase and kill wild mammals. However, it also includes a number of exceptions which allow the limited use of dogs for certain situations.

Lord Bonomy’s report, published in November 2016, set out recommendations for addressing inconsistencies and a lack of clarity in the language of the Act, and strengthening aspects of it to enable more effective detection, investigation and prosecution of alleged offences. The Scottish Government then undertook a public consultation to gather views on Lord Bonomy’s suggested reforms.

 

Cheshire FH Whip gets Community Order for railway trespass

29-6-18   Facebook - Cheshire Monitors   VIDEO    Cheshire FH Whipper in receives community resolution order over railway trespass    We've witnessed the Cheshire Hounds hunt trespassing on a railway line on a previous occasion, with 'Fieldmaster' Keith Shore plus another figure (carrying a loaded shotgun, no less) wandering along the line at Beeston. More recently, we stumbled across Whipper In Jamie Whittles on the line at Marbury looking for a stray hound. As we all know, of course, this Hunt don't understand the definition of 'trespass'.

      CheshireFHWhipsnappedonrailwayline6-18.jpg 

 

Sabs stage pop-up demos at various Leics police stations

Protesting the force's favouritism towards Hunts

29-6-18   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    POLICE DEMONSTRATIONS    Today as part of our Operation Blackthorn campaign, to expose the police bias towards fox hunts at Leicestershire Police, we did a number of “pop up” demonstrations at police stations around Leicestershire, we started at Beaumont Leys Police Station.

We think there is a clear difference in the way Leicestershire Police deal with saboteurs and how they deal with fox hunters, we have seen this in the different ways they have dealt with recent investigations. We chose to start at Beaumont Leys Police Station because this is where DS Trott is based along with other officers who have also engaged in biased political policing. "You are hunt saboteurs that's what you do, you trespass on other people's property and harass people"

We currently have a petition asking the Chief Constable to remove DS Trott from Operation Blackthorn (Leicestershire Police’s hunting operation) due to inappropriate comments he made on the phone to a member of our group. You can sign our petition here https://chn.ge/2MXYNH5.

The complaint was upheld yet Trott was allowed to continue being part of hunting investigations. As a result we believe his personal opinions have affected these investigations. Two separate investigations of assault on members of our group by the same farmer with connections to the Atherstone Hunt were dropped despite statements and footage being handed in by the victims.

     LeicsPoliceOneofpop-updemos18-6-18.jpg

Contrast this with another investigation he headed where three members of the Atherstone Hunt were allowed to make allegations about a member of our group WITHOUT HANDING ANY EVIDENCE IN. Was this case dropped due to lack of evidence? No it ended up going all the way to court (despite the lack of evidence) where the member of our group was found not guilty after the allegations were proved to be false. This isn’t an isolated case. A few years before he issued two of our members with harassment notices again despite not having any evidence from the Hunt. The harassment notices were later overturned and Leicestershire Police were forced to apologise to us. This didn’t stop them issuing one to us again which we again successfully challenged and overturned. Trott was also part of a bodged investigation into blocked badger setts. Again we provided statements and footage. Leicestershire Police didn’t even bother interviewing one of the suspects and eventually the CPS dropped the case because Leicestershire Police didn’t hand the evidence in on time.

Beamount Leys is also where one of our group was taken to after they were arrested at the Quorn Hunt. On that day Leicestershire Police deliberately misused legislation designed for severe violence at football matches to stop and search a group of non-violent hunt saboteurs.

One of our saboteurs refused to be searched on the grounds that it was illegal and that Leicesterhire Police were abusing their powers. She was arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer. At Beaumont Leys Police Station she was given bail conditions which banned her from going near any fox hunt in the country and banned her from entering the entire county of Leicestershire. We managed to get these draconian bail conditions dropped based on the fact that Leicestershire Police were again abusing their powers by applying conditions that had nothing to do with the charges. This case went all the way to court where it was thrown out by the judge who agreed with us that Leicestershire Police had misused the legislation.

Afterwards we obtained emails revealing the CPS had wanted to drop the case because they too believed Leicestershire Police had misused the legislation, however the police sent an email back to the CPS saying that the case mustn’t be dropped because they believed the defendant was “defiant of the law” and had recently sued another police force so they were worried she would sue Leicestershire Police. Once the case got dropped she did indeed successfully sue Leicestershire Police.

If you haven't done so already please sign our petition https://chn.ge/2MXYNH5. Leicestershire Police need to start being made accountable for their actions. Leicestershire Police can be contacted on their Facebook page here https://m.facebook.com/leicspolice/. Please consider donating towards our campaign costs: https://www.paypal.me/westmidlandhuntsabs.

 

Cheshire FH withdrawn from Darnall Show after protests

29-6-18   Facebook - Cheshire Monitors   Cheshire Hounds Hunt removed from Darnhall Show    We are pleased to report that the Cheshire Hounds Hunt will no longer be appearing at this year's Darnhall Show. Thank you to everyone who expressed their concerns to the organisers.

We are aware, however, that they are still due to appear at The Nantwich Show on the 25th July, along with the hare-chasing Cheshire Beagles Hunt, where they will "entertain the crowds with children invited to meet the hounds". More here: https://nantwichshow.co.uk/whats-on/.You

You can voice your concerns once again by emailing the organisers of the Nantwich Show at AGL4nantwichshow@aol.com or by calling 01270 780306. The Cheshire Hounds are also due to appear at the Pony Club Championships at Cholmondeley Castle on Saturday 18th August. 

 

Ten Cottesmore FH hounds killed in horror crash on country road

28-6-18   Leicestershire Live    Pack of 10 Cottesmore hunting dogs killed in crash with car in Rutland - The horrific crash happened on a country lane near Oakham    Ten hounds died after an horrific collision involving the pack of hunting dogs and a car on a country road. The car was being driven along Whissendine Road, Ashwell, near Oakham, where two employees of the Cottesmore Hunt were out on bicycles exercising a group of hounds.

In the crash on Monday morning one of the employees – a young man – was knocked off his bike and suffered severe bruising. Five dogs were killed outright and a further five were put down by a vet.

Andrew Osborne, spokesman for the Hunt, said: “It’s obviously a very unfortunate accident. Two of our employees were on bicycles with the hounds and one of them was the first to be hit by the car. He suffered a lot of bruising but fortunately nothing more permanent than that. The vehicle then hit several of our hounds, with unfortunate results.”

The North Cambs Hunt Saboteurs, which works to disrupt the activities of Hunts across the region, saidCottesmoreFHRoadwhere10houndskilled28-6-18.jpg the Hunt was irresponsible for allowing dogs on the road. A spokesman said: “There are laws to protect motorists from domestic animals on our highways. A driver would not expect a large pack of dogs to be in the road at any time – and they should never be in the road in our opinion – especially if they are still being trained. There have been a number of hounds killed on the roads over the years. We will be watching your Hunts very carefully next season. If, as Hunts claim, they are following trails and hunting within the law, there will be no need for hounds to be on the road during any hunt.”

However, Mr Osborne said the Hunt had rules for taking hounds on the roads and that they were acting within the law. He said: “It’s no different from a normal person walking their dog. We take great care.” No one has been arrested in connection to the incident.

A spokesman for Leicestershire Police confirmed the details of the collision, which led to the road between Ashwell and Whissendine being temporarily closed to traffic. He said: “We were called by the ambulance service to Whissendine Road in Ashwell, Leicestershire, just after 8am on Monday, June 25, to a road traffic collision. It involved a car, a bicycle and a number of working dogs and the cyclist suffered minor injuries. The driver of the car was unhurt and five dogs were killed, with five more being put down by a vet at the scene. The road was closed while the emergency services dealt with the incident.”

Pic above  -  The road where the hounds were killed 

Also reported in Stamford Mercury. 

POWAperson comments  -   This is the third instance of hounds being exercised since the end of last hunting season being killed on roads. Hounds, far from being beloved by hunters, as they claim, are simply disposable tools of their grisly trade. Taking hounds on to roads, often busy A routes, is commonplace, as is allowing them to charge on to highways in pursuit of their quarry. Not only are they careless of their dogs [and road users] safety, but they deliberately kill between 5 and 7,000 healthy hounds every year, mostly in slaughtering older hiounds to replace them with younger, more vigorous ones. See 'How Hunters "Love" Their Hounds'.   

 

Figures reveal only tiny % of illegal hunting reports lead to arrests

28-6-18   Daily Mirror    Animal campaigners outraged as just 5% of 'illegal' hunters arrested after 1,600 reports - The League Against Cruel Sports has demanded more police action and a tougher law to combat illegal hunting     Police have received 1,600 reports of illegal hunting in five years but have arrested just 83 people and charged only 30.

That means only 5% of complaints about breaches of the 2004 Hunting Act have led to legal action, Freedom of Information requests to police forces found. They showed 51 arrests over hare coursing and just four for fox hunting. Figures did not reveal how many prosecutions succeeded.

Animal rights campaigners have repeatedly accused officers of failing to crackdown on allegations of huntsmen and women breaching the law. The League Against Cruel Sports demanded more police action and a tougher law.

Campaigns director Chris Luffingham said: “These alarming figures indicate the sheer scale of brutal and illegal hunting activity still taking place across the British countryside 13 years after the ban came into force. “Foxes and hares are being literally torn to pieces by packs of hounds while exhausted deer are being chased for hours on end before being shot. The Mirror’s figures indicate that 95% of those allegedly hunting illegally get away with it so we need the police to put more resources and develop their expertise to properly tackle wildlife crime. We need to strengthen the Hunting Act and introduce prison sentences for those convicted of illegal hunting as we need a strong deterrent. Currently those who enjoy killing animals for fun get away with a slap on the wrist and are simply fined and then back out hunting the following day.”

PaulNethertonNationalPoliceChiefsCouncilhuntingspokesman2018.jpgPolice chiefs said reports were often invalid or “inadequate” but forces were working to improve prosecution rates. The 2004 Hunting Act banned the chasing of wild animals, including hares, stags and foxes, by two dogs or more. It came into force in February 2005 and polls consistently show it enjoys support of about 80% of voters. Details included in the responses revealed that 51 arrests were for alleged hare coursing, 18 arrests were for suspected deer hunting, six for allegations of rabbit hunting and just four for suspected illegal fox hunting.

National Police Chiefs’ Council hunting spokesman, Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton [pic left], said: “Police forces receive a large number of reports of illegal hunting activity. Unfortunately many of these reports are invalid and the evidence supplied to forces is often inadequate, meaning that police officers are unable to take action. We are committed to cracking down on illegal hunting and want to help improve the quality of evidence submitted to police forces. We are working with the League Against Cruel Sports to achieve this and using their guidance to help protest groups to provide usable evidence. Officers will be undertaking up-to-date training on how to effectively respond to illegal hunting and we are working with the Crown Prosecution Service in an effort to improve prosecution rates.”

POWAperson comments - The 5% figure in the headline is misleading. The vast majority of these arrests are of low-life, trespassing, hare and fox coursers. The % of people from organised Hunts who are arrested when they hunt illegally [which most do most of the time] is minuscule. Indeed, in some force areas, the witnesses reporting the illegal hunting are probably more likely to be arrested than are the criminals. In the 13 years since the Hunting Act came in only 100 people from organised Hunts have been charged with illegal hunting. Only 35 were convicted or cautioned - less than 3 per year. 39% of those charged had their cases dropped before or during trial. No less a figure than a former Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service has said that the hunting ban is being 'extensively flouted' by organised Hunts. There are still over 250 Hunts in England and Wales. Reports from monitors and sabs suggest that almost all of them illegally hunt live quarry most of the time. The Hunting Act is riddled with weak wording and loopholes which provide police and CPS - usually reluctant to take on Hunts' expensive lawyers - with plenty of excuses not to prosecute, even in the most blatant of cases.

 

CPS let off Cheshire Forest FH fox killers yet again

Police were confident of illegal hunting conviction 

25-6-18  Facebook - Cheshire Monitors    Third clear case of illegal hunting in a row rejected by CPS Mersey-Cheshire    On Boxing Day 2017, Andrew German, Huntsman with the Cheshire Forest Hunt, hunted and killed a fox on Crowders Lane in Byley, Cheshire. The fox was literally torn in two in front of numerous witnesses, and there were signs that it may have been held in a farm building on CheshireForestFHRemainsofkilledfox26-12-17.jpgMarsh Farm and released that morning for the hunt to chase.

A comprehensive case against the Hunt was submitted to CPS Mersey-Cheshire by Northwich CID, who were confident of a successful prosecution. However, the CPS failed to come to a decision within the required 28 days, and only following contact from two local MPs finally announced that they would not be sending the case to court.

During the incident, which took part during the traditional ‘Boxing Day Meet’ (hosted by The Three Greyhounds Inn in Allostock, regular supporters of this fox-killing hunt), where we believe the unusually large turnout of riders and followers expect the excitement of a kill – Huntsman German was witnessed hunting the fox for an extended period of time and giving encouraging voice and horn calls to his hounds on a number of occasions. After catching the fox, German and his ‘terrier man’ Shaun Watson then stood by and watched – without any attempt to intervene – as the hounds literally ripped the fox in two, before the pack ate much of one half of the body (an autopsy was later conducted on the remains).

CheshireForestFHHuntsmanandterriermanwithhoundsaskillfox26-12-17.jpgOne witness commented: “We saw riders cheering immediately following the kill, giving thumbs-up to one another, and even taking nips of whiskey from their saddle flasks. I recognised one of them as Liz Gorse.” Elizabeth Gorse is a joint master of the hunt – and domestic vet at Rose Cottage Vets in Sutton Weaver – who had been seen looking on as the kill took place; at a late stage in the investigation she came forward as the (so called) ‘trail layer’ on the day, something, we are led to believe, she wasn’t required to prove.

Members of our team were present on the day, and one clarifies: “We were around all day from early morning, and we certainly didn’t see anyone laying a trail. In fact, none of us have ever seen this Hunt lay a trail in all the years our group has been monitoring them. It just doesn’t happen.”

A number of anti-hunting groups were present on the day, including Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs and Bath Hunt Saboteurs, and have been involved in the case. All parties understand the difficulties in prosecuting under the Hunting Act 2004, commonly considered to be an incredibly flawed piece of legislation. However, reasons given by the CPS for not proceeding were numerous and, in our opinion, highly questionable. Furthermore, witnesses were told that appealing their decision would not be allowed.

This case is clear proof of how the current legislation to stop this kind of barbarity needs strengthening urgently. Fox hunting in its traditional form is a repugnant hobby to the vast majority of people, and will clearly never return. It has now been illegal for more than 13 years, and hunts have had all that time to adapt their behaviour to one that doesn’t involve the killing of foxes – whether intentionally or by accident – but they haven’t made any attempt to do so. All they have come up with is to claim they are ‘trail hunting’, which even the general public now understand to be merely a ruse to hide the truth.

The Hunt claim this kill was an accident, of course; they know that’s all they have to say to get awayCheshireForestFHHoundeatingdeadfox26-12-17.jpgwith it. We know this claim isn’t true, but even if it was, if you train hounds using real fox scent, and then take them hunting in areas known to contain foxes, then what can you expect?Enough is enough. The current situation is clearly ludicrous, and now is the time to plug the gaping holes in current legislation and put an end to this cruelty once and for all. This doesn't end here... please stay tuned to this page. In the meantime, please share this post and send an email as details below - Please take a moment to complain about CPS Mersey-Cheshire to Siobhan Blake, their Chief Crown Prosecutor at siobhan.blake@cps.gov.uk, and john Dilworth, their Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, at john.dilworth@cps.gov.uk. If you receive no satisfactory response from either then please contact Stephen Shaw CBE, Independent Assessor of Complaints for the CPS , by email: IAComplaints@cps.gsi.gov.uk (Further details can be found at https://www.cps.gov.uk/feedback-and-complaints). Case reference number 07W20561318. Also, if you live in Cheshire, please contact your local MP to lodge your complaints about this case and continued concerns about the serial fox-killing Cheshire Forest Hunt. [Release of video evidence to follow]

Pics above  -  Top right - Remains of killed fox    Left  -  Huntsman and terrierman watch as hounds kill fox    Bottom right -  Hound eating dead fox

25-6-18   Facebook - Bath Hunt Saboteurs     Cheshire police & CPS give licence to kill     On Boxing Day 2017, whilst our main group were successfully sabbing a meet of the Woolaston Bassets, one of our sabs joined up with Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs to sab the Cheshire Forest Hunt, who met at the Three Greyhounds pub at Allostock - (please leave them a review at https://www.facebook.com/threegreyhoundsinn). Also present were Cheshire Monitors. There was a great display of opposition to the hunt by local protesters, who booed the Hunt as they attempted to parade past. Soon after the Hunt left the meet a fox was seen fleeing from a nearby farm. It was followed suspiciously by two terriermen and we believe this could have been a 'bagged' fox - taken either the night before or that morning to be released before the hunt to ensure a 'good day's sport' for them.

       CheshireForestFHsabretrievesmangledremainsoffox26-12-17.jpg 

With two sab teams and the monitors, we managed to keep track of the Hunt for most of the day. At around 1330 the monitors alerted us that hounds were in cry close to Crowders Lane, Lach Dennis in Northwich. There we found the hunt positioned as per cubbing around a dense covert; where they surround the covert on horses ready to scare a fox back in should it try to escape. Sabs and Monitors were ridden at in an attempt to stop them from getting to the hounds.

Undeterred we got to the area where the hounds were in cry and found Andrew German, the Huntsman, off his horse and leading - not following - the hounds through the covert making voice and horn calls to encourage them on. A very strong smell of fox was present, indicating that the fox was very stressed - the more anxious foxes are, the greater the scent they release. A holloa was heard; this is where hunt support whoop to indicate they have seen a fox. German took the hounds with voice and horn calls in this direction with sabs in close pursuit. He was then heard to make a brrrr sound, which is a voice call used to scare a fox back towards the hounds.

German was told numerous times to call the hounds off the fox but did not do so. German was hunting in a covert, off of his horse, with terrierman Shaun Watson. The supposed 'trail layer' was present as one of those surrounding the covert. All the 'trail layer'* had to do was tell the police they had laid a trail that day- no evidence was required. Neither sabs nor monitors saw a trail being laid and this hunt has never been seen to lay a trail previously. Before the kill the hounds had been searching for around 30-40 minutes through dense undergrowth that was not accessible to riders, German knew there was likely to be a fox in that area and he admitted it on camera.

Using voice calls and citronella spray we tried to take the hounds off the fox's scent and believed we had been successful but just outside a barn in the covert, the hounds were discovered with what was left of the young male fox's body, we were just moments too late. It was a horrific end to the day and sabs and monitors were understandably devastated.

German looked gleefully on as the fox was ripped apart and sickeningly blew a kiss to the camera. The hunt supportCheshireForestFHHuntsmanandterriermanhavejustwatchedhoundskilfox26-12-17.jpg were pleased with the result of their day's 'sport', with celebratory drinks all round and thumbs up to each other. A sab removed the fox’s body, which was sent away afterwards for a post mortem. We returned to the barn and found items which led us to believe that the fox had been encouraged to live in there, including a dog bed and fresh straw. There was also a fox skeleton strung up from the rafter with rope. The post mortem results showed that the fox had been more than likely killed by hounds and had just cat food in his stomach, adding weight to our opinion that this was a fox that had been kept by the hunt for the purposes of being hunted, there being no nearby houses who could have fed him.

Statements and footage were given to Cheshire Police and the overwhelming evidence was then handed over to CPS Mersey-Cheshire. What followed was what we believe to be a deliberate delay tactic, with their decision to drop the case for 'lack of evidence' being given to us despite repeated chasing just days before the six month prosecution deadline expired. When we requested that they appeal against the decision, Cheshire Police refused. Although the police officers we had dealt with during the investigation had been helpful, it seems those higher up have an interest in German not being prosecuted. Hunt Support have said to Cheshire Monitors previously that German will never be charged with an offence, as he is being protected by those in high places. We will leave you to draw your own conclusions on this.

CheshireForestFHLizGorseJMandvetsoonafterfoxkill26-12-17.jpgWe have named the poor fox who died in such a horrific way Noel, given that it was Christmas time, and we will continue to fight for #JusticeForNoel. A video is being produced showing our footage from the day, which we hope to release very soon... #PoliceCorruption #NoJusticeJustUs.

To make a complaint to the CPS Mersey-Cheshire for enabling hunts repeatedly to break the law and go unpunished, please contact them: - Stephen Shaw CBE, Independent Assessor of Complaints for the CPS - by email:- IAComplaints@cps.gsi.gov.ukby email: IAComplaints@cps.gsi.gov.uk or by post to c/o Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS.

The supposed 'trail layer' was Elizabeth Gorse; Director of Rose Cottage Veterinary Centre Ltd, Runcorn and Director of the Cheshire Forest Hunt. If you feel that a person who enjoys murdering innocent animals should not be trusted to treat people's beloved pets, please feel free to contact Rose Cottage Veterinary Centre, Runcorn.

To complain against Cheshire Police for not appealing the CPS' ludicrous decision, please go to:- https://www.cheshire.police.uk/contact/make-a-complaint/.

Pics above  -    1/  Sab retrieves mangled remains of dead fox    2/  Huntsman & terrierman smug, having just watched hounds kill fox    3 - JM [and vet] Elizabeth Gorse, soon after fox kill   

 

Rannulph Fiennes & ex LACS CEO ask Attorney General to review Belvoir FH case sentences

Antis who feel the same invited to also write to the Attorney General 

20-6-18   Facebook - Eduardo Goncalves    Sir Ranulph Fiennes and I have today written to the U.K. Attorney General requesting that he review the sentence given to 2 hunt supporters who walked free from court after viciously assaulting a wildlife crime investigator.

Darryl Cunnington, a former police officer, was observing the Belvoir Hunt when he was brutally attacked by 6 men - 4 of them wearing balaclavas - who then pushed him off a 14 foot ledge. Darryl’s neck was broken in 3 places. 2 of the men were found guilty last week but received only suspended sentences. They repeatedly refused to help police catch the other members of the group, who remain at large.

As Ian Hislop would say, if this is justice then I’m a banana.

      BelvoirFHFeinnesandGoncalveslettertoAttorneyGre.lenientsentencing6-18.jpg 

20-6-18   Facebook - Green Future News    Are you ANGRY that 2 Hunt thugs escaped jail after their brutal assault on a wildlife crime investigator which left him with a broken neck? Here’s how YOU can demand the UK’s Attorney General review their sentences.

     BelvoirFHFiennesJailthem6-18.jpg 

    BelvoirFHHowtorequestsentencereview.jpg 

2-7-18  Daily Telegraph    Sir Ranulph Fiennes accuses judge of showing leniency to hunt attackers after Princess Diana's sister pleads for clemency - Sir Ranulph Fiennes has written to the Attorney General to complain about the sentence handed out    Sir Ranulph Fiennes has accused a judge of showing undue leniency to two violent huntsmen who were spared jail, following an intervention by the sister of Diana Princess of Wales. Lady Sarah McCorquodale, who is the joint master of the Belvoir Hunt, wrote to a judge offering character references for two of its members who had been convicted of attacking an anti-hunt campaigner. Darryl Cunnington suffered a fractured neck and was left with life threatening injuries during the assault. But despite admitting their role in the incident, George Grant and his son, Thomas, only received 16 month suspended sentences when they appeared in court last month.

Sir Ranulph, who is a supporter of the League Against Cruel Sports, has now written to the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, asking him to review the case under the unduly lenient sentencing scheme. The veteran explorer said he is concerned that the judge may have been influenced by Lady McCorquodale, who is the older sister of Diana, adding that such a lenient sentence could serve as a "green light" for hunt supporters to attack opponents of the sport.

In his letter, he wrote: "We strongly believe the sentences are not commensurate with the seriousness of the crimes committed. Darryl Cunnington suffered life-threatening injuries, including fractures to the neck in three places, as a result of the attack carried out on him. 

"By allowing the two men to walk free from court, this may be interpreted as giving a ‘green light’ for hunt supporters to commit serious assaults against local residents, charity staff or any other individual who may observe or be in the vicinity of a hunt." 

Mr Cunnington and his colleague, Roger Swaine were working as investigators for the League Against Cruel Sports and had been filming the activities of the Belvoir Hunt in Leicestershire in March 2016 when they were attacked by six men. George Grant, 57, who is a terrierman for the hunt and Thomas, 25, his son admitted grievous bodily harm, actual bodily harm, the theft of a camera and damage to an SD card. While Mr Grant senior did not physically attack Mr Cunnington himself, the court heard that the attack was a "joint venture" between him and the other men, four of whom have never been identified.

 

Mr Cunnington said: "They were completely dressed in black. They had got black balaclavas on so you could only see their eyes, and as soon as they got out of the vehicle they jumped on myself and Roger. Two or three approached me and basically kicked my walking pole out of my hand. As I bent down to pick it up I got punched in the chest, punched in the face, and one of them grabbed me and pushed me straight backwards off this 14ft drop." 

When the Grants appeared for sentencing last month, Judge Jinder Singh Boora told them: "Both of you flipped. Neither of you are by nature violent men." But Sir Ranulph said the evidence put before the court did not support that and he asked Mr Wright to consider overruling the judge's sentence. He said he feared the reference offered by Lady McCorquodale - who is Diana's older sister - may have swayed the judge when he was considering his sentence. She had written to the court explaining that Mr Grant senior would lose his job and home if he was jailed. She also told Leicester Crown Court that he was "very hardworking, good at his job", adding that she had "never seen him lose his temper like that".

The Attorney General's office has 28 days to consider whether the original sentence is appropriate.

Also covered by BBC News 

 

S. Herefordshire FH fox cubs case adjourned to August

19-6-18   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    The South Herefordshire Hunt fox cubs case has now been adjourned until August. No pleas were entered by the five accused. We await justice for the cubs. HIT. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/localnews/8224198-bartestree/10.

POWAperson adds -  Julie Elmore (55) and Nathan Parry, a hunt terrier man, (39) from Abergavenny - each face four counts of killing fox cubs. Paul Oliver (39), Huntsman of the S. Herefordshire FH at the time of the alleged offences and Hannah Rose (30) from Spalding - each face four counts of animal cruelty. Paul Reece (47) from Chepstow - faces two counts of causing unnecessary suffering. The five spoke only to confirm their names, ages and addresses.

Leics police commissioner 'will not tolerate breaking of law' by hunters

19-6-18   Leicester Mercury     Leicestershire Police commissioner proud of investigation into fox hunt supporters who attacked animal welfare monitors     'We will not tolerate any breaking of the law in relation to hunting' says Lord Willy Bach Leicestershire’s police and crime commissioner is "proud" of the force’s handling of a case which saw two fox hunting supporters handed suspended prison sentences for attacking animal welfare monitors.

Lord (Willy) Bach [right] spoke after father and son George and Thomas Grant, both supporters of the BelvoirLordWillyBach.jpg Hunt, admitted attacking two League Against Cruel Sports monitors – leaving one of the victims with a broken neck.

George Grant, 57, was employed as the hunt’s ‘terrier man’ when he and his 25-year-old son launched the attack in March 2016. Darryl Cunnington, a hunt monitoring investigator for the League Against Cruel Sports and a former police officer, suffered a broken neck after being punched, kicked and pushed down a 14ft slope. His colleague Roger Swain was also injured and had his video recorder stolen. Mr Cunnington and Mr Swain were monitoring the Belvoir Hunt at the time – although there was no suggestion that the Hunt was acting unlawfully on that day.

The Grants, who live in Belvoir, where the Hunt is based, had pleaded guilty to charges of causing grievous bodily harm, theft, criminal damage to property and assault causing actual bodily harm during an earlier trial. They appeared at Leicester Crown Court last week and were each given 13-month jail sentences, suspended for two years. They were also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and to pay each pay £500 compensation to their victim.

POWAperson comments - Lord Bach then needs to get a firm grip on those parts of Leicestershire police who appear to show blatant favouritism to Hunts, especially the Atherstone FH.

 

LACS issues reminder of cruelty of the roe deer Hunts

18-6-18  LACS website    No happy ending for Bambi    Roe deer are small, solitary animals that live in British woodland. The British Deer Society describe them as dainty creatures with large black eyes, which make dog-like barking noises when startled or alarmed. Roe deer are the species of deer that Felix Salten wrote about in his 1920s novel Bambi, later made into a Disney film, in which the eponymous hero loses his mother to hunters. Most of us would delight in them. Yet despite the ban on hunting being introduced 14 years ago, they are still being chased and killed by men on horseback with packs of baying hounds.

Driven to extinction in England and Wales by hunting, roe deer were reintroduced in the 19th Century. Since World War I they have been hunted again. Unlike larger breeds such as red deer whose mature stags can weigh nearly 200 kg and possess mighty antlers, roe deer do not have the size or power to hold the hounds at bay. When tired from the chase, many lie down in cover, only to be found and torn apart by the hounds, rather than being finished off by a huntsman with a shotgun.

Hunting takes place between August and May every year. Mature males, known as bucks, are targeted from August through October, before the females, known as does, possibly pregnant and caring for their young, are chased and killed throughout winter. The hunting season continues into spring, when the hunt switches to young bucks. The hunt itself takes place in the woodland that is home to roe deer, rather than the open ground favoured by the larger red deer, with the roe deer invariably chased round and round in circles before the kill. It’s the territory the roe deer know. It’s the territory, tragically, where the roe deer die.

They are also a species whose young emit a high-pitched whistle when they lose contact with their mother, according to experts. Tragically there is no happy ending if the mother doe is killed by the hunt today. This isn’t Bambi. This isn’t a novel or a film. The youngster dies too. This is happening. It’s happening here, and it’s happening now. 

The hunting is now confined to Devon and Somerset, although the League occasionally gets reports from around the country of fox hunts killing roe deer. It’s not as well-known as the hunting of red deer, Britain’s largest mammal, which also takes place in the west country. 

Three large, well-supported and financed hunts, chase and kill red deer. One of these, the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, exploits loopholes in the UK’s hunting law – the Research and Observation loophole – which many have caustically compared to the excuses used by the Japanese whaling fleet. The other two hunts – the Quantock Staghounds and Tiverton Staghounds – just hunt. Legally or illegally, they don’t seem to care. Killing is their passion.

The two surviving roe deer hunts are the Exe Valley Buckhounds and the Cheldon Buckhounds, throwbacks to an earlier age. The two hunts are secretive, with shadowy, operating practices. They are not much loved. They lack the big crowds which follow the red deer hunts, though in May, when the red deer hunts have stopped, they attract a few of the latter’s more ardent and barbaric supporters desperate for more blood. They generally meet in pubs and the alcohol fuels the violence they display towards the deer. 

The Cheldon Buckhounds are also known for their violence towards people monitoring their activity and masked followers recently broke the skull of an individual from a hunt saboteur group [above left]. The roe deer hunts are even shunned by the red deer hunts. Following a particularly unpleasant incident in the 1990s, the Master of Deer Hounds Association turned their back on them.

Paul Tillsey, the League’s Head of Conservation and Education, recently photographed the Exe Valley Buckhounds meeting next to St John’s Wood, a piece of land in Somerset, purchased by Sir Paul McCartney in the 1990s for the League Against Cruel Sports, to provide a sanctuary for deer.

He has also had the misfortune to witness the same hunt kill a roe deer before the hunting ban was introduced and has also seen the hunt chasing a roe deer recently. He saw their hounds chase a deer along a stream under the A396, witnessing the terrified animal trying to escape as it moved from one patch of woodland into another. This time he didn’t know the fate of the poor creature.

Kevin Hill worked for the League back in the 1990s and filmed the Cheldon Buckhounds as a huntCheldonBuckhoundsHuntsmansittingonroedeerin90s.jpgmember dragged a distressed roe deer off the fence of a League Sanctuary, sat on it for many minutes [right] before bundling it in to a Land Rover that had subsequently arrived, before it was undoubtedly killed. Kevin then went undercover and followed the deer hunts, posing as a supporter and uncovering the brutal and bloodthirsty practices taking place before the hunting ban. 

Kevin spoke passionately about his memories of witnessing a roe deer being hunted, saying: “There is no defence for subjecting a roe deer to the suffering it sustains during a hunt. This small beautiful deer does not have the strength for long runs and will be chased to complete exhaustion until it is unable to move. I have witnessed a roe deer at the end of a hunt – the scene of a hunter restraining the deer will be with me forever.” 

The horrible truth is that hunting is still taking place today. We know, thanks to a blatant admission in the Horse and Hounds magazine, that hundreds of red deer are being slaughtered by the Devon and Somerset Staghounds every year. We know too that roe deer are also being targeted. We don’t know yet how many are being killed. We do know it needs to be stopped. And quickly. 

We’re calling on the Hunting Act to be strengthened and for any loopholes in it to be closed. We’re calling for effective deterrents such as custodial sentences to be brought in. We’re calling for an end to the slaughter. The cruelty. The sheer, bestial savagery that is still taking place. C’mon everyone. Let’s all stand up for Bambi.

PETITION - If you want to see an end to the killing of animals by hunts in the UK, please sign the League’s petition, stop the killing of animals by hunts in the UK, here.

 

Sab group claims regional police op aims to facilitate illegal hunting

16-6-18   Facebook – W.Mids Hunt Sabs    Operation Blackthorn   Leicestershire Police are targeting West Midlands Hunt Sabs again. As you may remember one member has just won a case where the Atherstone Hunt supported by Leicestershire police tried to get a restraining order to effectively stop an individual being near key hunt members. Leicestershire Police’s hunting unit named Operation Blackthorn are continuing to targetour group. This is due to the success of the Atherstone Hunt Campaign which has left the hunt financially crippled and is only continuing due to the Master of Fox Hounds Association propping them up. The many high profile stories/videos that have followed has shaken the hunting community to the core. The police are trying to bully us, label us as difficult so they can try and justify their actions. The police want our group stopped. We will not be bullied or silenced by corrupt officers and their many friends in the hunting field and the Crown Prosecution Service.

So we are starting a campaign to expose Operation Blackthorn and to highlight exactly what treatment this group has suffered at the hands of Leicestershire police in their attempt to protect their hunting friends. Please consider donating to help us to continue campaigning: https://www.paypal.me/westmidlandhuntsabs.

W.Mids Sabs website article re. Operation Blackthorn is here. 

 

Ex LACS Department Head sues League for unfair dismissal

Claims sacked because objected to LACS pension scheme investments 

Rests his case on  'discrimination' because of his ethical vegan beliefs 

16-6-18    Observer      League Against Cruel Sports in legal battle with vegan ‘whistleblower’   Charity denies claim that employee was sacked for sharing details of its pension fund investments A leading animal welfare charity is locked in an acrimonious legal dispute with a former employee who claims he was dismissed for telling colleagues that its pension fund invested in companies that have been involved in animal testing. The ex-employee, a vegan, describes himself as a whistle-blower whose case will be the first to decide whether his beliefs should be protected under the Equality Act. But the League Against Cruel Sports, which was instrumental in securing the fox-hunting ban, has rejected Jordi Casamitjana’s claims that he was dismissed for the reasons he has given and has pledged to defend itself.

Casamitjana [below left, Credit IFAW], who is crowdfunding to raise money for his legal action, has instructed the leading law firm Bindmans to fight his case which will draw attention to the practice of “ethical JordiCastimajana.jpgveganism”. Unlike “health vegans” who choose not to eat meat, fish and dairy for their own personal wellbeing, ethical vegans consider the broader impact of how they spend their money on animal welfare.

On his crowdfunding website, Casamitjana says that this belief has “informed my daily existence, including my career and employment”. It was only after checking the small print on the League’s pension, he says, that he discovered it was apparently “investing in companies, including pharmaceutical and tobacco companies, who are known to engage in animal testing”.

He had previously worked for the league from 2004 to 2007 and is understood to have had no problems with its pension fund investments then. But the fund changed its investment strategy three years ago. On the website Casamitjana, who returned to the league in 2016 as head of policy and research, said: “When I wrote to my colleagues to tell them that their pension was being invested in non-ethical funds, and that there were alternatives to the single alternative that the company was suggesting, I was sacked. I was given no appeal hearing.” Casamitjana was dismissed in April.

The League explained to the Observer that, until 2015, its staff were automatically enrolled into an “ethical” pension fund, but the Financial Conduct Authority, the body responsible for pensions, changed the regulations and the fund became ineligible. We followed financial advice and changed our pension, while still offering the chance for individuals to change their own fund to an ethical fund,” said Andrew Knott, the league’s interim chief executive. “Mr Casamitjana was not dismissed because he raised concerns about the pension, either internally or externally, so there is no substance to his claims that he was ‘whistleblowing’. All staff were informed about the situation and the processes in place to enable them to make their own choices. The reason for his dismissal is different from that which he states but clearly this is confidential information which we are respecting.”

The case comes at a difficult time for the League. Its chief executive has stood down for health reasons and its chair is due to depart soon. Given the nature of our work, the League is often the subject of attacks from all sorts of quarters,” Knott said. “As a charity, we hold the views of our colleagues and supporters dear. While our main focus is on preventing cruel animal sports, we of course have many vegans in our workplace. We share vegan practices across our wider staff and when meeting with supporters, many of whom are not vegan. We reject any suggestions otherwise.”

When approached for comment, Casamitjana said: “Regrettably, I have been forced into a position where I am required to litigate to protect my rights as an employee and an ethical vegan. However I have no desire to cause any unnecessary difficulty for the charity or the wider animal protection movement. As a result, I will not be making a public statement at this time, save for the statement I have had to make in order to crowdfund my legal fees.”

LACS statement of their staff pensions investment and Jordi's case is here. 

 

Sabs assaulted & radio stolen at Culmstock MH

Hunt blockaded in kennels then tailed by sabs

Eventually gave up and returned to kennels

16-6-18   Facebook – S.Wales Hunt Sabs   Culmstock Mink Hounds – 16.06.18    Together with Bristol Hunt Saboteurs and Bath Hunt Saboteurs we joined up with Devon County Hunt Saboteurs to pay a second visit to the Culmstock.

We set up early and watched the Huntsman arrive at the kennels in Dulford near Cullompton, with hound trailer in tow, obviously thinking he was in for a day's hunting. Once he was safely inside the kennels weCulmstockMHPoliceresponsetoHuntcall15-6-18.jpg moved in to prevent him leaving with the hounds. The terrier thugs arrived and tried to bully and threaten us but ended up sulking and skulking. Next they tried calling in their mates, but no-one seemed interested. Eventually, after 3 hours or more, the police arrived – 5 vehicles and blue lights(!) - helping the hunt to leave with a small number of hounds. We were prepared for this, covering all exits and ready to pursue. We kept tabs on them along A roads, the motorway and country lanes – for an hour or so before the hound trailer returned to the kennels.

There was a markedly different police response when two sabs, who were waiting for a pick up, were assaulted by passing hunt supporters who then stole the sab radio. Funnily enough Devon and Cornwall police couldn't find the perpetrators vehicle, despite having the registration number.

Whilst all this was going on a separate South Wales sab team was sett mapping in one of the new cull zones. You can help keep us in the fields for the price of a coffee @ http://ko-fi.com/swhuntsabs. Thank you.

17-6-18    Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs    ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER ROBBERY ON OUR SABS     Yesterday we paid another visit to the Culmstock Otter Hunt, together with sabs from Bristol Hunt Saboteurs, Bath Hunt Saboteurs and South Wales Hunt Saboteurs. We turned up at their kennels just after Huntsman Mickey Hibberd arrived with the trailer to load up the hounds. To our surprise, Mickey donned a balaclava for the occasion. We're not sure why, seeing as he didn't bother to cover his face last time and had made a point of calling sabs cowards for covering their faces. "You only cover your face if you have something to hide", he said on that occasion. Hmm...

CulmstockMHDeadharedangledinfrontofsab15-6-18.jpgOur presence delayed the hunt from leaving the kennels until the afternoon as they made frantic phone calls to all their 'loyal supporters' to lend them a hand. Just three of the usual suspects obliged: Modbury Harriers terrier boy Mark Warnett, Dart Vale & South Pool Harriers terrier boy George Bailey and the ever-amusing Marie Walters, who stopped off for a burger at Mole Valley Farmers on her way to the kennels.

They pushed and shoved, made threats about knowing where we all live and told us how they were looking forward to killing lots of animals. Mark Warnett: "I kill animals all the time. I just like watching my dogs do it". Eventually they decided to call the police as they weren't getting their way. 5 police vehicles turned up from Cullompton and Honiton to escort the Hunt out of the kennels and block our vehicles.

Sab vehicles went off in different directions to catch up with the hounds. Not long after, we received a call to say that two of our sabs who were waiting to be picked up on the main road had just been violently attacked by a few latecomer thugs driving a black Mitsubishi. The two thugs were wearing full balaclavas and got out of their vehicle to punch one of our sabs in the face, injuring his jaw. As he was knocked back, they stole the radio from his hand. They got back in their vehicle just as a police car drove past and our sabs flagged them down. Police went in pursuit and managed to confirm the thugs' number-plate but were unable to stop the vehicle. Fortunately, we have footage of the incident and police are investigating.

This is the true ugly face of the Culmstock Hunt. When they're unable to get their kicks by killing animals, they go after humans instead. Unlucky for them, they are the only mink hunt in our neck of the woods, so if they wanted our attention, they've certainly got it now. See you again soon!

To join us or find out how you can help, contact us via Facebook or email to devoncountysabs@riseup.net. If you are in a position to help us replace the stolen radio, you can do so via https://www.paypal.me/dchs.

POWAperson adds -  A photo [above left] with this report shows what appears to be a large dead hare being dangled in front of a sab by, presumably, a hunt follower. I don't know how or when this hare was killed nor why it's not mentioned in the report.  

 

Belvoir FH two get suspended sentences for severe attacks on LACS monitors

Also ordered to do 200 hours work, pay £500 each to one of monitors 

Princess Di's sister, Belvoir JM, gave character reference for older defendant  

14-6-18    LACS Press Release    Fox hunt supporters given suspended prison sentences for brutal attack on League investigators    Two men received suspended prison sentences today at Leicester Crown Court for seriously assaulting two League Against Cruel Sports professional investigators who were attacked whilst monitoring a fox hunt on behalf of the animal welfare charity. One of the investigators, former policeman Darryl Cunnington, had his neck broken in three places during the assault, which took place as they monitored the activities of the Belvoir Hunt.

Lady Sarah McCorquodale [below right], older sister of Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, joint master of the Belvoir Hunt and former High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, gave a character reference in court for George Grant, one of the men being sentenced.

    BelvoirFHLACSinvestigatorseriouslyinjured3-16.jpg 

George Grant, the Belvoir Hunt terrier man [below left], and his son Thomas Grant [right, below father] – both of whom pleaded guilty to charges of grievous bodily harm on investigator Darryl Cunnington [above, at scene], actual bodily harm on investigator Roger Swaine [below, at scene],theft of a video camera and criminal damage of a memory card – received the following sentences:- For the charges of grievous bodily harm to Darryl Cunnington, both received 18 months imprisonment with 25 per cent discount making 13 months and two weeks suspended for two years. Additionally, over the next 12 months they have to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and to pay a victims surcharge. For the charges of Actual Bodily Harm to Roger Swaine and theft of camera and damage to a SD card, a three months custodial sentence to run concurrently, suspended for two years for both of them. Both have to pay £500 compensation to Darryl Cunnington to be paid in full within 28 days.

      BelvoirFHLACSmanRogerSwain12-3-16.jpg 

The attack took place on March 12, 2016 close to the village of Stathern in Leicestershire and involved the two convicted men and four unidentified masked men who punched and then pushed the investigators off a 14-foot ridge before escaping with one of the investigator’s cameras. 

Martin Sims, League Against Cruel Sports Director of Investigations, and former Head of the Police’s British NationalLadySarahMcQuorcodaleJMBelvoirHighSherrifLincs.jpeg Wildlife Crime Unit, said:- “The people who are employed by or support Hunts often act like gangsters and this case illustrates what a dark and menacing blight they are on the countryside. The Hunts are a barbaric throwback to crueller times and should have no place in a modern, compassionate society. The Hunts have been conning the British public about their bloodthirsty hunting with hounds ever since the ban was introduced and they are clearly prepared to resort to desperate measures to maintain that deception. The fact that both guilty men made ‘no comment’ throughout this investigation shows their lack of courage when confronted with the part they played in this brutal and unprovoked attack on our professional investigators. Why didn’t the Hunt come forward with the names of the people who escaped prosecution when in court today it was stated that those individuals had been given the role of shadowing the investigators?”

Four other individuals were involved in this attack on Daryl and Roger and the League will consider a reward for any information that leads to their conviction.” Darryl Cunnington, League Against Cruel Sports Head of Field BelvoirFHGeorgeGrantterrierman10-4-18.jpgOperations, said:- “l am very lucky that the assault has left me with no long-term serious injuries. After falling fourteen feet, finding myself unable to move, I feared I was paralysed. The offenders refused to cooperate with the police and showed no remorse or concern. They must both think they are very fortunate not to have gone to prison today.”

Roger Swain, League Against Cruel Investigators Field Operator who was also assaulted, said:- “The Investigations team have a policy of non-interference and we are there purely to record any hunting or other cruelty offences. We were filming the Belvoir Hunt from a public bridleway from a distance of 1km. This violent response by an employee of the Hunt and five others was unprovoked and a complete overreaction.”

The East Midland BBC Inside Out programme filmed with the investigators during the 2016 fox hunting season and took footage of the aftermath of the assault and shared it on their Facebook account here and here.

The case comes 14 years after fox hunting was banned in England and Wales with the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004 which came into force in 2005. Professional investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports monitor hunts across the UK to obtain evidence that they are still illegally chasing and killing foxes, hares and deer.

In traditional fox hunting a Hunt would employ one or more terrier men. Their role was to stop up fox earths andBelvoirFHThomasGrantterriermanssonOutsideCourtPledguilty10-4-18.jpg badger setts before a hunt to prevent foxes from taking refuge below ground and to ‘deal’ with foxes that had managed to go to ground during the day’s hunting.

Martin Sims added:- “This case highlights the sheer thuggery and lawlessness of fox hunts and their blatant disregard for the laws of this country. Despite being banned in 2004, hunting is still widespread and endemic across the British countryside hence why we employ professional investigators to monitor their activities and bring them to justice. The presence of terrier men exposes the lies of the Hunts and shows they are clearly targeting foxes.”

Andrew Knot, Interim CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports, said:- “We are proud of Darryl Cunnington and Roger Swaine – their courage and integrity stands head and shoulders above the people that attacked them.”

Petition - The League is encouraging members of the public to sign their petition titled ‘stop the killing of animals by Hunts in the UK’. http://www.league.org.uk/huntingkills.15-6-18

15-6-18   The Canary    Two men receive ‘farcically lenient sentences’ after breaking the neck of an investigator    Two men with the Belvoir Hunt have been sentenced for attacking two anti-foxhunting investigators. But their penalty has provoked outrage for being “farcically lenient”.

Darryl Cunnington and Roger Swaine, two investigators for animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports (The League), were monitoring the Belvoir Hunt on 12 March 2016. But they were approached and attacked by father and son George and Thomas Grant. George Grant is the Belvoir Hunt’s terrier man.

The pair were involved in punching Swaine before pushing Cunnington from a 14-foot drop, breaking his neck in three places. And the pair also stole an investigator’s camera. Four other people were allegedly involved. Cunnington says he and Swaine were at least half a mile from the Belvoir Hunt. And according to BBC News, George Grant told his son to: 'Go and get the boys and come back'...

Speaking to The Canary, The League said:- 'Two men who broke a charity worker’s neck have received a suspended sentence. Many people will be questioning whether that’s an appropriate sentence. To say that we are disappointed would be an understatement.'

The animal welfare charity has no plans to appeal. But it is seeking information on the four other individuals involved with the assault. The Hunt Saboteurs Association called the sentencing “farcically lenient”.

It’s not the first time bad behaviour by the Belvoir Hunt has reached the public. In March 2018, gamekeeper Nigel Smith was found guilty of holding a fox captive. On the same day the Belvoir Hunt was meeting nearby, investigators from The League filmed him retrieving the fox. Cunnington headed up the operation to expose Smith’s actions.

In February 2018, police began investigating the Belvoir Hunt after it allegedly killed a fox in Melton Country Park. Melton town council said horse riding and hunting in its parks are prohibited by local bye-laws. And in March 2016, police officer Sharon Roscoe quit her wildlife officer role after being exposed as riding with the Belvoir Hunt.

See also  BBC News, Leicester Mercury  and Melton Times

 

Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman appeals against illegal hunting conviction

14-6-18   Morethanjustbadgers.net    You think it’s all over . . .    At least I did, but apparently not. I thought I'd written my last piece on the Fitzwilliam case as I explained here. However I have been informed by the court witness liaison that George Adams [below left] is going to appeal his conviction. This immediately bought into question the issue of the time limit for any appeal. As already stated in my blog post previously this is 21 days and those 21 days have long since past. I have asked the witness liaison to question this and he will be getting back to me in due course. Further examination of this rule was clearly required and indeed there is an option to apply to a Crown Court for permission to appeal.

FitzwilliamFHHuntsmanGeorgeAdams.jpgAt the time of writing I can't be sure that the appeal wasn't submitted within the 21 day limit and it has just taken this long to filter back to me however even by British Judiciary standards this would seem to be excessively slow. If indeed it was submitted after the date and permission for an appeal needs to be sought then I would imagine they would have to cite some fairly important reasons to justify this and there is still possibility this will be thrown out before any trial hearing. 

So what does this mean? Well, assuming it goes ahead then the case will be reheard in a Crown Court. This is a hugely risky strategy for the so called Countryside Alliance. Bearing in mind the original case was heard by a District Judge and not a normal Magistrate (which would normally be the case) the original decision may have more bearing.

Also should the decision once again go against them the verdict will be written into case law, all Hunts which use the Bird of Prey Exemption will have to use another method to circumnavigate the law as that one will have been proven in a Crown Court to be illegal. One wonders why the CA would put that at risk? Are they really that desperate to clear a retired huntsman's name? Is it in fact the hunt which are pushing this to clear themselves of having a conviction next to the name? I've no doubt there will be a team of expensive lawyers in an office somewhere pawing over the law books looking for a chink of light with which they think they can overturn the original conviction. Both the CA and the Fitzwilliam certainly have the necessary resources to alloy this.

The only real concern is a more sympathetic judge for the defence. It wouldn't be the first time a less than impartial member of the judiciary has ruled in a Hunting Act case and I doubt it will be the last. We can only hope that if it does go to court once again we get the same outcome with an impartial judge and we strengthen our case on this particular part of the Hunting Act. One has to wonder what their angle of attack will be considering the complete failure of the previous defence. I guess we'll wait and see.

UPDATE: After a further conversation with the court liaison it would appear that the appeal was submitted just within the time limit. Apparently there was some sort of delay between the submission to the Magistrates Court for the appeal and that transferring to the Crown. Well, I'm going back to court . . .

 

Convicted Belvoir FH hunt thugs to be sentenced tomorrow

13-6-18   Facebook - Hunt Saboteurs     George Grant and Thomas Grant, terriermen from The Belvoir Hunt, are due to appear at Leicester Crown Court tomorrow to be sentenced after pleading guilty to GBH, ABH and theft after breaking the neck of a League Against Cruel Sports investigator.

 

Nat. Trust are advertising for a 'Trail Hunt Manager'

13-6-18   Facebook - National Dis-Trust   The National Trust are now advertising for a 'National Trail Hunting Manager', to oversee the monitoring of hunts that are licensed to use National Trust land. The Hunts that use Trust land, however, have been regularly monitored already, and found to be pursuing foxes regularly...

See footage of the Warwickshire Hunt from West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, for example -> bit.ly/2ESCsdI. . Some of this footage was publicised before the Warwickshire Hunt received a licence for the 2017-18 season, but it was not taken into consideration.

We look forward to hearing how the National Trust will ensure that the successful applicant has no connections to any fox hunt, stag hunt or hare hunt, licensed or otherwise, or any organisation that lobbies on behalf of bloodsports, given that Countryside Alliance Hunting are already encouraging their followers to apply in public (bit.ly/2JVsnP7).

We also hope that whoever takes up this role takes seriously the constant stream of documented wildlife crime & hunt trespass (bit.ly/2hpoRwq) from Hunts that the Trust licences, something that has not happened at all to this date, and look forward to meeting the successful applicant.

For information, see the report from Jordi Casamitjana/International Fund for Animal Welfare - IFAW that demonstrated 'trail hunting' to be a false alibi and nothing more -> bit.ly/2Eh8Y8m. Hounds Off's response to this advert can be seen here -> bit.ly/2HLd8mD.

Our position is unchanged; we continue to call for a complete ban of so-called 'trail hunts' and ask that people sign Keeptheban's petition to this end -> bit.ly/2hjaB7Q. 

 

3 Middleton FH riders in court charged with attacks on sabs

12-6-18   Facebook – N.Yorks Anti Fox Hunting Group - Tommy Woodward    3 riders from the Middleton Hunt were in court in Scarborourgh yesterday to face charges of affray and assault as a result of attacking peaceful hunt sabs last year. They will next appear in York Crown Court on 9th July along with a fourth defendant.

13-6-18   Gazette & Herald    3 men deny affray charges at Scarborough Magistrates' Court   TWO Ryedale men and a man from East Yorkshire have appeared in court charged with affray. Richard Robertson Tierney, 30, of Cross Lane in Snainton, Robert Howard Robertson Tierney, 56, also of Cross Lane in Snainton, and Roger Marley, 50, of Church Lane in Langtoft, East Yorkshire, all appeared at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday. Richard Tierney appeared in jeans and a t-shirt, the other two men wore brown blazers.

In a hearing lasting about ten minutes, the men were all charged with affray - using or threatening violence towards other people - relating to an incident in Thixendale in March last year, while they were riding out with the Middleton Hunt. Marley was also charged with assault causing actual bodily harm. All three men pleaded not guilty to the charges of affray and Marley also pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault. District judge Adrian Lower said the case will be referred to York Crown Court on Monday, July 9. All three men received unconditional bail.

 

Cases against 2 female sabs are thrown out of court

Sabs say they often attacked by Oakley FH thugs

One charge ruled 'no case' the other 'self-defence' 

Sabs to make several complaints against hunters 

11-6-18   Facebook- Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs    OFFICIAL STATEMENT    We can finally announce that after well over a year of court appearances two of our female sabs were acquitted on appeal at Luton Crown Court.

After viewing the video evidence which clearly showed the sabs being attacked by a group of Hunt Stewards representing the Oakley Hunt, the Crown Court judge ruled one case of "no case to answer" and a second of legitimate "self defence". We are now in the process of putting several complaints to police from all the sabs who were assaulted, abused and violently robbed of camera equipment on the day in question and will be furthering discussions with Bedfordshire Police on how a more balanced approach toward the policing of hunts in the county can be achieved.

We will not tolerate the sustained physical abuse from this particular group of Hunt Stewards who assault us during hunts, threaten us with their vehicles, harass us at our homes and in our work places. We find it particularly upsetting that female sabs are regularly singled out and assaulted by large male hunt stewards and such a complaint was not taken seriously by the police on the day in question.

It is our opinion that the primary aim of Hunt Stewards is to protect Hunts who’s intention is to carrying out illegal hunting, we will continue to pressurise the police into taking action against flagrant illegal hunting. We will also continue to demand the police make efforts to become more aware of the issues around hunting and always treat both sides fairly and equally when called upon to attend hunt meets.

 

Sabs prevent Northants MH hunting on notorious Estate

10-6-18   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs    The Northants Mink (Otter) Hounds don't seem to accept their days are numbered. A rather pathetic attempt by a very small number of hunters to abuse wildlife on the Tyringham Estate today, proving once again that the owners not only support the Oakley Hunt in the winter but also this horrible collection of individuals. Tyringham is on the main river Great Ouse, a known Otter stronghold as well as a whole host of other river species.

But once again we caught them out along with sabs from North Cambs and Northants Hunt Saboteurs. As usual once sabs were spotted they high tailed it back to the meet in utter disgrace. Another job done and more wildlife saved and a delicate habitat spared. We believe the NHMK will soon cease to exist in the very near future, we'll always find them and they have no support, not a good mix for a Hunt's survival, but we shan't shed any tears.

Help us keep the pressure on, every donation goes towards saving lives and making change for the better. We rely on your generosity. https://ko-fi.com/bedsbuckshuntsabs.

     NorthantsMHPitifulturnout9-6-18.jpg 

 

Berwickshire FH pull out of Haddington Show after social media storm 

8-6-18   Scottish Sun    FOX OFF Scotland’s oldest fox hunting group forced to cancel appearance at East Lothian country fair after being deluged with ‘threats’     The Berwickshire Hunt were due to appear at Haddington Show but some voiced their displeasure SCOTLAND’S oldest fox hunt have pulled out of an agricultural show after a backlash and “threats” on social media. The Berwickshire Hunt were set to attend the Haddington Show in East Fortune, East Lothian, on June 30 but have now withdrawn.

When the Hunt’s presence at the Haddington Show was announced, the show’s Facebook page was flooded with complaints from furious locals. And now, the hunt, which dates back to 1740, claim that due to “threats” on social media they will not be attending the agricultural show. Some social media users celebrated the news, while others said they were “embarrassed” that the Hunt could not attend a country show – as it is part of country living.

Fox hunting with dogs has been banned in the UK since 2004, however Hunts have been known to use loopholes in the law – i.e. using dogs to “flush” out the fox so it can be caught by birds of prey.

     BerwickshireFHterriermenwithillegallykilledfocorpsesnatchedbackfromsab18-11-17.jpg 

Pic above  -  Berwickshire FH Terrierman has just snatched corpse of illegally killed fox back from anti 18-11-17

Simon Winpenny, the Hunt’s secretary said: “It’s the usual kind of threats, from animal rights activists and hunt saboteurs. “It’s not just on Facebook, but different parts of social media, so we had to make the difficult decision to pull out of the show. We don’t want to put anyone at risk in a public space, these sort of people come out and case trouble when it’s just us. It’s something we have to deal with when we are out on our own, and it’s on us to make the decision. We just don’t know what’s going to happen. It was the first time we were set to go to the Haddington Show, as far as I’m aware. It’s difficult for us because although there were people who didn’t want to see us, there were people that did.”

The saga kicked off on May 24th when the Haddington Show took to Facebook to announce the Hunt’s attendance at the show – which has been running since 1804. They added the caption: “We are delighted that Berwickshire Hunt will be joining us at Haddington Show with a parade of hounds. Come and see them and their smart red coats in the main ring on show day.”

The show removed the post after it was flooded with messages from furious locals threatening a boycott. And now locals seem pleased that the Hunt has pulled out. Kerry Kirk said: “Good. Bunch of sick b******s. Not so brave when it’s them that’s under threat.” Gill Mcgrath added: “They should never have been invited in the first place.” Isabél Combe wrote: “Never have I seen any posts of threats. Only people saying they would not be going. I think the fact that so many said they would not go was going to have a huge impact on the financial side. Great decision.” Karen Forbes commented: “Threats my backside. I’m thinking as soon as it became apparent that this was going to affect revenue the Haddington Show cancelled on them. What on earth were they thinking? Absolutely appalling to be promoting bloodsports even indirectly, in this day and age.”

Also reported in the Times 

 

Wildlife Witness launch campaign to keep Hunts off roads

4-6-18   Facebook - Wildlife Witness   We will shortly be meeting with Dorset Police to demand action against the Hunts in the county that on a regular basis cross busy roads and endanger road-users. Many traffic laws specifically include exemptions for "working animals" however trail-hunts no longer fall in to this category.

Trail-hunting is a recreational activity, much like cycling and cross country running, and they should be policed in the same manner. If a local cycling club created this level of disruption on the roads or rode through private gardens, week after week then something would be done about it.

If, as they claim, hunts are following a trail laid by them then there is no need to go anywhere near major roads and we will be pushing Dorset Police to take action to move Hunts away from busy roads next season.

         HuntsonRoadsWildlifeWitnesscampaign6-18.jpg

 

Did ex Beds police senior officer/hunter assist Hunt against sabs?

And did he also ensure Oakley FH not charged with illegal hunting? 

4-6-18  Morethanjustbadgers.net    This Explains a Lot    I’ve had this blog post written for some time but due to an ongoing legal case I’ve held back it’s publication. That case has now been concluded (successfully) so it’s time for this to be in the public domain and may go some way to explain a few things when it comes to the policing of hunts.

I have long suspected that there was a high ranking police officer within our local Hunt – The Oakley FH. In the pastGordonhouseOpeningMeetsthere.jpg their supporters would often brag about it and claim it was down to this person that no action was ever taken against the Hunt. You may remember I’ve blogged about this several times in the past and thought I was getting closer to revealing who this was. Each time my lines of inquiry came up short, sometimes I was well wide of the mark but that was largely due to information I was supplied which turned out to be inaccurate.

My suspicions initially arose when multiple police units would attend the hunt, as well as air support which would stay on scene for a significant amount of time and at significant expense to the tax payer, so it was easy to assume that only someone with some serious clout could authorise these kind of resources to be deployed and potentially leave other parts of the county dangerously low in policing.

I had never really given up trying to identify the person behind this, although due to one thing and another it had be pushed to the back burner and we seemed to be making progress in our dealings with Bedfordshire Police.

 

DCIGordon.jpgA Breakthrough - The Oakley’s opening meet of the season is always traditionally held at a venue called the Dower House in Melchbourne, Bedfordshire [above right]. The location is in the same village as the Oakley Kennels and in the heart of their country and support. This location has recently opened its doors as a business for hosting weddings.

Now, I seem to remember someone mentioning the owner as being a “Jason” and as this was now a registered business I popped over to Companies house and did a search to see who indeed owned the business. Sure enough a Jason Gordon was listed as a Director, along with a female who I assumed was his wife, Alexandra Gordon.

Now the logical next step was to do a quick Google search for Jason Gordon to see what popped up. Needless to say I think I’d found my man. So things were getting interesting now. We have a very senior police officer (Detective Chief Inspector - pic left) with connections to a Hunt. Was he still a serving officer? A search for a Linked In profile produced this:-  It would seem he left the police around March 2015 and then took up the role of an Inspector with the HMIC. For those that don’t know the HMIC is the independent body which;- “Independently assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of police forces and fire & rescue services – in the public interest.”

So, in essence, he works for the service that polices the police and was definitely an acting officer when the incidents of the multiple attending units took place. His role at that time was head of the Serious Crime Office for the tri-force area, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. This guy had some serious clout and ironically also worked for the professional standards department!

Now bells were ringing loudly in my head, this guy looked very familiar and I recollected a couple of incidents fromJimbelievedJasonGordonatkennels3-17.jpg the past where we were treated exceptionally badly by the police present on the day. He was present at least one of these but referred to himself ‘Jim’ [right, at kennels, Mar '17]. Jason Gordon was known to his friends as Jim. So not only was Jim hosting the hunt as his house but it would seem he was a regular rider and someone of some influence not only with the police but also within the hunt. Further investigation revealed he was also listed as a master of the Oakley, from 1996-98 and again between 2004-06 which was incidentally the transition period when the ban on hunting with hounds came it.

If you look at the full photo right [on FB page] you’ll notice the police vehicle in the background parked in the Oakley kennels. Had Jim been speaking to the officers present and using his previous position to influence they way they behaved? A couple of seasons ago a previous Master of the Oakley, Guy Napier was less an than impressed with the violent behaviour of the thugs that followed the Oakley and did their dirty work. This included assaulting monitors/sabs, theft of their equipment and preventing them from accessing public rights of way. However Mr Napier was clear he didn’t want the Hunt to be associated with these people and in his defence they were instructed not to attend further Oakley meets. Unfortunately Mr Napier left the Oakley the following season and now the thugs have been welcomed back even though some now have multiple convictions for assault.

I think it would be safe to assume that Mr Gordon (given his connections) would be well aware of the violent record of these people and willingly accepts them and their behaviour provided they are of service to the hunt. Here [below] you can see Jim (with a female) once again riding with the Oakley. In front of him, on the left hand image, is Kelvin Pestel, hunt supporter and well known thug who is often present and likes to target female sabs in particular. Despite any protestations to the contrary, Mr Gordon is no doubt linked to them and accepts their thuggish actions.

     DCIGordonatopeningmeet11-17.jpg

So the implications seem fairly clear. Have we had a previously high ranking police officer and member of professional standards department bending the rules to suit his dirty little hobby and also wasting large sums of public money at the same time? Was he still using this influence to his advantage with local policing and was he advising the Hunt on the best way to carry on hunting while remaining free from prosecution? The Oakley openly hunt and make no pretence of laying a trail or using any other exemptions. The image below right was taken during one of their hunts last season, a day when Jim was once again riding with the Hunt.

We have built a good working relationship recently with Bedfordshire police with meetings and open discussionsFoxescapesOakleyFHhounds.jpg regarding hunting and the policing of, and I don’t believe any of the officers we met with were aware of this situation. If they were they certainly didn’t make it known to me. To say there was (and maybe still is) a conflict of interest here is an understatement and while people like Jason “Jim” Gordon are riding with Hunts its easy to see why so little action against them takes place.

Although the HMIC is an independent body you may with to write to them and ask a few questions. They can be contacted here. Should this man be part of an organisation whose role is described below? I don’t think so.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) independently assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of police forces and fire & rescue services – in the public interest. In preparing our reports, we ask the questions that citizens would ask, and publish the answers in accessible form, using our expertise to interpret the evidence and make recommendations for improvement. We provide authoritative information to allow the public to compare the performance of their police force – and, in future, their fire & rescue service – against others. Our evidence is used to drive improvements in the services they provide to the public.”

Help keep us active by donating here: https://ko-fi.com/bedsbuckshuntsabs

 

Beagle pack exhibitor at Show tells visitor used for hare hunting

4-6-18    Western Daily Press – Letter    Surely hunting the hare is not OK?    Although we had a lovely day at the Royal Bath and West Show today, I was quite upset when we were walking to the woodland section of the show we found a pen of beautiful beagles there, and when we stopped to look at them we were joined by one of the people looking after them.

We chatted away about the dogs, and were told they were used for hare hunting. While I am generally in favour of fox hunting I find it difficult to understand the reason for hare hunting. Admittedly beagles are not lurchers or greyhounds with their incredible speed, but surely hunting with any dog is, at the moment, banned. I'm afraid I wasn't very polite and quite quickly walked away.

We have lost about 80%of our brown hare population over the years, and I cannot understand why anybody would want to destroy such a beautiful and protected animal.

Hare coursing is another matter, being carried out across the country in a secretive and vile way - but this person explained quite openly to everyone looking at the dogs that hunting the hare was ok. Surely it isn't "OK" surely it is illegal. Not only because hunting animals with dogs is illegal, but also hunting a protected species in itself is illegal. Perhaps Roger Evans can help me.

Sarah Allen, via email

 

Sabs ruin Culmstock Mink Hounds' day

2-6-18   Facebook - Bristol Hunt Saboteurs   Today a few of us headed to Devon to join local sabs in a visit to the Culmstock Hunt, a mink hunt who were meeting at Collacott Barton near the village of Winkleigh.

Arriving in the area early, we were able to position ourselves perfectly so that when the hunt left the meet and started working along Bullow Brook at 12.30 we were ready and waiting to intercept them. Initially the hunt staff and hounds tried to hot foot it away from us, but were soon stood around trying to justify what they were doing before spending a considerable amount of time scratching their heads deciding what to do next.

So as not to lose face, their plan was to hunt up the River Taw, and despite a prolonged tantrum from the terrierboy in an attempt to stop us following to observe their ‘legal activity’, they half-heartedly attempted to hunt for half an hour with us in tow. Turns out the terrierboy was just pissed off that we had ‘ruined his day’ - validation if we ever needed it!

    CulmstockMHUnderstrictsabsupervision2-6-18.jpg     

After leaving their few bored foot followers behind, drawing a blank and with sabs ready to intervene if they picked up on a scent, they pulled hounds away from the river and hung around chatting for a while longer, before boxing up at 3.30.

The Huntsman then drove at ridiculous speed (with the hounds in the trailer behind) in a bid to lose us, but this was to no avail as we caught sight of him racing down the track back to the meet. Foot sabs then went in unbeknown to the hunt and hung about around the corner, listening in as they (you guessed it) stood around chatting for another hour before making themselves scarce.

All in all a successful day - we scuppered their planned day’s hunting and they spent more time trying to figure out what to do than they did anything else - a result for wildlife in the area. A message to the mink hunts active this summer - we can strike anywhere and at any time.

Mink hunting is the secretive Summer pass time for those who would usually be out hunting fox and hare. Most of the packs that hunt mink today previously hunted otter (and we’ve heard that the Culmstock have recently been hunting stretches of river where otter are known to inhabit), until a massive population decline and public outcry resulted in that practice becoming illegal in the late 70s. They often use the argument that they are somehow supporting conservation efforts by controlling the population of an ‘invasive species’, but in reality their actions cause great harm to the fragile habitats of river dwelling creatures, such as otter and water vole. Put simply, yet more lies from the blood sports lobby to try and justify their outdated and backwards actions.

We rely on donations to keep us in the field saving wildlife. For the price of a coffee you can help us to help them. https://ko-fi.com/A37126JE.

 

Sabs upload film of Badsworth FH hunting fox, rejected by police 

2-6-18  Facebook - Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs    VIDEO   In December last year, Sheffield Hunt Sabs along with West BadsworthFHFoxfleeingHuntinfarmyard12-18.jpgYorkshire Sabs disrupted the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt at Stutton. At one point during the day, hounds were led into what can only be described as a tip of a farmyard. Not the kind of place anyone would lay a trail, not even these idiots.

When the inevitable happened, sabs got over 30 minutes of footage on 3 different cameras. All the footage was handed into North Yorkshire Police. N.Yorks Police Task Force, led by Jonathon Grainge, decided there was insufficient evidence to prove intentional hunting because the footage didn't show the fox and hounds in the same clip - showing Jonathon Grainge's ignorance of both hunting and the law.

Strangely he doesn't show the same lack of interest when working class people are chasing wildlife, evidence of which will follow. Here are some clips from the footage that day. Just to add the fox did get away, but the ending would have been so much different without the presence of sabs.

Pic above right  -   Fox fleeing from hounds     Pic below  -   Hounds chasing fox  

  BadsworthFHHoundschasingfoxinfarmyard12-18.jpg

 

Dove Valley MH driver tries to damage sab cars as they stop meet

2-6-18   Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs    Hit Report 2nd June 2018: Dove Valley Minkhounds, New Inn, Shardlow     Continuing our summer campaign against the secret shame of the countryside, minkhound packs, hunt sabs acted on a local tipoff to find the Dove Valley Minkhounds at their meet at the New Inn in Shardlow, Derbyshire.

The pack of hunting hounds had not even been unloaded out of their trailer, when several vehicles full of hunt saboteurs arrived outside the car park meet of this group of environmental vandals.

      DoveValleyMHOhsodit_sabs2-6-18.jpg 

After sending in incognito sabs to the meet itself to ascertain their intentions, the Hunt immediately abandoned their plans to hunt, knowing full well that it would not be possible with so many activists at hand.

The field support scattered in all directions from the pub car park, leaving the core hunters deciding their plans. The hound van then pulled out of the meet - with the driver attempting to damage sab vehicles on his way out. After a short game of cat and mouse on the A50, other sab vehicles present were able to confirm the hounds had been returned to their kennels.

      DoveValleyMHAbusivesupporterwhopunchedsabcar2-6-18.jpg

Pic above   -   Abusive supporter who punched sab car 

Overall a low key but successful outing, with hunting by this pack completely averted today. Groups present at today's shut-down were: North Cambs, Nottingham, Suffolk And Essex, Beds & Bucks and Lincoln Hunt Saboteurs.

Hunt sabs are all volunteers giving up their free time to prevent the hunting of wildlife in our countryside. If you would like to support our work in any way, you can join by messaging this page, or donate to the cause on https://ko-fi.com/northcambs.

 

3 charged with Hunting & Badger Act offences day of Badsworth FH meet

1-6-18   LACS Press Release     Wildlife crime and heritage crime court case     North Yorkshire Police have confirmed that three men – Sean Stringwell, Michael Sharp and Danny Smithson – are due to appear before Harrogate Magistrates’ Court at 09.30 on Thursday 14th June 2018, charged with offences under the Hunting Act 2004, the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

The alleged offences are said to have been committed in Rougemont Carr Wood, North Yorkshire on Tuesday 21st November 2017. The Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hounds were due to meet nearby on that same day. The police investigation was conducted as a result of evidence provided by professional investigators employed by animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports.

Martin Sims, Director of Investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:- “We welcome the news that three people will face a range of charges at Harrogate Magistrates Court including offences under the Hunting Act 2004, the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.”

PETITION - The League is encouraging members of the public to sign their petition titled ‘Stop the Killing of Animals by Hunts in the UK’. Full details can be found here.

 

LACS local woman is refused stall at Bromyard Gala

1-6-18   Hereford Times    Animal rights campaigner snubbed at gala    A RESIDENT who is against blood sports was shocked to be refused a stand at this year's Bromyard Gala. Karen Rock [below left, credit Hereford Times] wanted to hold a stall under the name of the charity The League Against Cruel Sports.

The Brockhampton group parish councillor intended to host a stall so residents could share their stories of where they had been adversely affected by hunting. She said: "I talk to quite a lot of people about fox hunting in the area. KarenRockLACS1-6-18.jpgIt is staggering the number of stories I hear where pets or livestock are killed or injured. I wanted to run a very low key support group stall at the gala. I wanted to give people an opportunity to come forward with experiences. A lot of people don't realise there is anything they can do about it. Actually there are steps they can take to stop the hounds coming onto their land or into their gardens."

Karen, who is also a representative on the Bromyard Downs Commons Association, was surprised to be told by the gala's committee that she was not allowed to hold a stall at the event, which is on June 30th and July 1st. The gala is in its 51st year and is described on its website as "Herefordshire's biggest celebration of country pursuits and rural lifestyle." Karen is keen to point out she is a fan of trail hunting as that does not impact on other people's lives and no fox is injured.

The League’s director of campaigns, Chris Luffingham, said: “The only contentious thing here is the committee’s decision. Public opinion on hunting is clear with 81 percent of people living in rural areas supporting the ban on fox hunting, so perhaps we need to question why conversation around the subject is being silenced at a countryside event." He added: "The League is a professional organisation and our team of investigators, who are led by a former chief inspector and head of the police’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, work legally and peacefully to investigate illegal hunting. To hear that one of our supporters is being prevented from engaging with their local community on genuine animal welfare issues is extremely disappointing and sets a very disturbing precedent.”

Chairman of Bromyard Gala committee Steve Matthews said: "We can't have political type stalls. It is classed as political."

POWAperson comments  -  Local League groups are currently being encouraged and supported by LACS, which is good to see. Just a little shame that Karen said 'trail hunting' when I'm sure she meant 'drag hunting'. The former is little more than an alibi invented and used to disguise continued live quarry hunting. 

 

MAY 2018 

..... 31st May - Lauderdale FH Huntswoman given police warning after broke hunt law

..... 31st May - Three Wynnstay FH hounds run over & killed on A41

..... 31st May - Hunter who split sab's head open very weakly sentenced

..... 30th May - N. Trust sticks to 'trail hunting' policy after weekend protests

..... 29th May - Police seek 4 from Pipewell Beagles re. illegal hunting on 17-2-18

….. 28th May - Local's head hit by hunter as pet dogs attacked by Mendip Farmers FH hounds

..... 28th May - Acquitted sab gets vile death threat sabs say from Atherstone FH

..... 27th May - 'Trail hunting' protests held at N. Trust sites round country

..... 27th May - 'Going equipped' Northants MH soon packed up by sabs

..... 25th May - Sab video of Fitzwilliam FH fox hunt and kill finally published

..... 25th May - Time limit for appeal against Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman's conviction passes

 ..... 25th May - Online protests over Berwickshire FH invite to Haddington Show

..... 25th May - Doc shows government regards HSA as 'domestic extremists'

..... 21st May - Sabs say hunters conspired, police colluded, trying to falsely convict woman

..... 21st May - Easton Harriers Whip has lengthy criminal record, claim sabs

..... 19th May - Claro Beagles Huntsman facing trial for illegal hunting

..... 15th May - Court case against sab for agg. trespass at hare hunt collapses 

..... 15th May - Whip of Hunt in new CA video is one of the S. Herefordshire FH 5 

..... 15th May - S. Herefordshire FH five appear in court for the first time

..... 14th May - Atherstone Huntsman steps down, Director goes, after sab trial collapse

..... 13th May - N. Ledbury & N. Herefordshire FHs to 'trial' merger

..... 12th May - Dove Valley MH give up as soon as sabs find them

..... 12th May - Demo at Hereford police station calls for justice for animals

..... 12th May - Police won't name suspects in S. Herefordshire FH cubs cruelty case

..... 11th May - New, absurd account of where fox pee for 'trail hunting' from

..... 10th May - Cub cruelty case was held up by smear from pro-hunt source against PC

..... 10th May - 5 finally to face trial over S. Herefordshire FH fox cubs cruelty case

..... 10th May - Thurlow FH Huntsman & Whip summonsed for illegal hunting/assaulting sabs

..... 10th May - Sab complains formally to police re. handling of Ashford FH fox kill

…..  9th May -  Cornish girl, 14, kicked in face by horse on 'trail hunt'

.....  9th May - Sabs subject to sinister harassment campaign

.....  5th May - Fox cub saviour sab featured in piece on BBC Three website

.....  5th May - Northants MH pack up again when faced with mass sab

.....  4th May - Police/CPS still drag out S. Hereford fox cub scandal as demo due

.....  3rd May - Grafton FHC Huntsman to face trial on illegal hunting charge

.....  2nd May - LACS CEO quits due to serious health problem

.....  1st May - Belvoir FH hound killed on A1 slip road 

 

Lauderdale FH Huntswoman given police warning for breaching hunting law

31-5-18   Southern Reporter    Borders Hunt Master won’t be prosecuted over alleged breach of law     Scotland’s only female master Huntsman will not face prosecution after being accused of breaching the country’s fox-hunting laws.

Claire Bellamy [below left, Credit Southern Reporter] was charged by police after concerns were raised about practices employed at a Lauderdale Hunt meeting in the Borders last October. However, the Crown Office has taken the decision to issue a warning instead to avoid potentially lengthy court proceedings. The 42-year-old, master at the Lauderdale Hunt, based at Trabrown, north of Lauder, since moving to the region from her native Dartmoor in Devon last year, has accepted a direct measure as an alternative to prosecution. She will not appear in court and it will not be marked on her record, but it does serve as a warning about her future conduct.

The League Against Cruel Sports secretly filmed the Hunt’s activities on land near Galashiels in October and alerted the police, leading to Ms Bellamy being charged in February. It has criticised today’s decision not to prosecute her, but the Countryside Alliance has described it as a “victory for common sense”.

LauderdaleFHClaireBellamyHuntsman.jpgThe law in Scotland was changed 16 years ago to ban the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. Father and son John Clive Richardson, 67, and Johnny Riley, 24, became the first members of a mounted hunt to be successfully prosecuted last June since the 2002 Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act came into force. The pair, members of the Jedforest Hunt, based at Abbotrule, near Bonchester Bridge, were also filmed by investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports. Following eight days of evidence, sheriff Peter Paterson ruled that in two incidents Richardson and Riley were in breach of the act and found them guilty of deliberately hunting a fox with dogs. Riley, the man in charge of the hunt, was fined £400 at Selkirk Sheriff Court and Richardson, described as having a lesser role, was fined £250.

Ms Bellamy was unavailable for comment. A Crown Office spokesman said: “It is the duty of the Crown to keep cases under review and, after full and careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case The Procurator Fiscal decided there should be no further criminal proceedings and that the case would be more appropriately dealt with by way of an alternative to prosecution.” Direct measures can range from warnings to fines of up to £300 or orders to do a maximum of 50 hours’ unpaid work.

1-6-18   Times     Woman hunt leader given warning over fox ‘pursuit’    Scotland’s only woman hunt master will not be prosecuted after being accused of breaching fox-hunting laws. Claire Bellamy was charged by police after concerns were raised about practices at a Lauderdale Hunt in the Borders last October. However, the Crown Office has decided to issue a warning instead of starting court proceedings.

Ms Bellamy, 42, who took over at the Lauderdale Hunt last year, has accepted a “direct measure”, which is an alternative to prosecution. It will not be marked on her record but serves as a warning to modify her future conduct. Direct measures can range from warnings to fines up to £300 or 50 hours’ unpaid work. Ms Bellamy was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 states that dogs are allowed to pursue foxes as long as a marksman shoots the animal as soon as it emerges to open ground. The League Against Cruel Sports claimed it had footage of 35 hounds from the Lauderdale Hunt pursuing a fox but had heard no gunshots.

The League criticised the legal decision but the Countryside Alliance called it a “victory for common sense”.

Jamie Stewart, director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: “The law states that to be deliberately hunting a wild mammal there has to be purpose and intent, which there was not. She was trying to arrest the situation. We would happily have gone to court and are confident she would have been found innocent. But this decision saves expenditure to the public purse and she has effectively accepted the warning.”

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said: “We are concerned that anyone considering breaking this law may be encouraged into thinking that they will not have to face the courts even if they are found out. The law as it stands is confusing and convoluted, meaning successful prosecutions are extremely difficult which may explain the reasoning behind this case. However, this is not an acceptable position and only strengthens our resolve that the law must be improved.”...

Also reported in the Daily Record 

 

Three Wynnstay FH hounds run over & killed on the A41

Witnesses say just 2 hunt staff in charge of 40 hounds

31-5-18  Facebook - Cheshire Monitors    WYNNSTAY HUNT HOUNDS KILLED ON A41   [UPDATE 2PM]   It has been confirmed that 3 hounds from the Wynnstay Hunt were killed this morning after chasing a fox onto the A41 near Malpas in Cheshire. The hounds had been un-boxed on land owned by a supporter of the hunt in Edge, with around 40 hounds being 'controlled' by two middle-aged men (presumed hunt kennel-men) on pushbikes.

[UPDATE 1PM]  Reports of deaths of a number of hounds during this incident this morning. More information to follow. This message has just been forwarded to us and the incident happened around 7.30 this morning. We can all guess why hounds that are only supposed to be being exercised at this time of year got out of control, can’t we?! 

31-5-18   Facebook - Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs     Information coming through of the death of three hounds belonging to one of the Cheshire hunts in a traffic collision on the A41. Witnesses have said that around 40 hounds had been on the road, with just 2 men in charge of them. Unfortunately the laws do not apply to hunting dogs as they do for me and you because they are classed as working dogs, but this needs to be changed because other working dogs are rarely seen on the highways in large numbers, and therefore these unnecessary incidents are common across the country. RIP to these other victims of this cruel, outdated "tradition.'

Pic below    -    The A41 near where hounds were killed [Credit Chester Chronicle] 

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3-6-18   Chester Chronicle   Hunting hounds killed on A41 near Malpas in tragic accident    Wynnstay Hunt says dogs strayed away from the rest of the pack Two hounds from the Wynnstay Hunt were killed on the A41 after straying from a pack of dogs being exercised in rural Cheshire.

An eyewitness reports ‘carnage’ on the 60mph road at Edge, near Malpas, following the upsetting incident which happened just before 7am on Thursday (May 31).The witness claims to have seen three dead dogs with ‘blood everywhere’, upset drivers and Whitchurch-bound traffic backing up as far as the Broxton roundabout. Police are inviting witnesses or anyone who ran over a dog to get in touch in line with their legal obligations.

Hunting with hounds became illegal under the Hunting Act 2004 but many Hunts lay trails for the hounds to follow pursued by the riders on horseback and others on foot.

Polly Portwin, from the Countryside Alliance speaking on behalf of the Wynnstay Hunt, insisted two not three dogs were sadly killed and none were injured during what she described as a ‘horrible day’. She said: “We can confirm that two of our hounds sadly lost their lives during routine hound exercise on bicycles early this morning (Thursday). The hounds were not in pursuit of a wild mammal but strayed away from the rest of the pack where they were unfortunately hit by a car. Thankfully incidents of this nature are very rare and this was, of course, distressing for all those concerned. Our thoughts are with the driver of the vehicle who was understandably upset to have injured the hounds and with our hunt staff who devote their lives to looking after the hounds on a daily basis and care deeply for each and every one of the pack.”

The eyewitness, who has supplied their name to The Chronicle but did not wish to be named, said about 40 dogs were let out of a horse transporter-type vehicle into a field but believes the pack were ‘out of control’ which was how they ended up going the wrong way towards the fast-moving A41. It was absolute carnage. I kid you not. Never in my life have I seen anything like it,” said the witness. “You cannot send 40 odd dogs out with two men on push bikes and expect them to go where you want them to go.” The witness, who said they had anti-hunt sympathies but were not a member of any group, claimed ‘at least three dogs were killed’ although the Hunt insists it was two. And the witness believes at least two drivers were in collision with the dogs – a man in a black jeep and a woman in a Mini. There was blood everywhere. The young lady was inconsolable,” added the witness, who is thankful no drivers or passengers were injured.

Cheshire Against The Hunt held a protest outside Bolesworth Castle near Tattenhall in January because it was allegedly hosting a Hunt although there was no suggestion whatsoever of any illegal activities. League Against Cruel Sports spokesperson Nick Weston said: “This tragedy is one of many reports we’ve had this year of packs of hunting hounds being out of control and wreaking havoc on busy roads.” Cheshire Constabulary wildlife officers are investigating.

See also Whitchurch Herald  

 

Hunter who split sab's head open very weakly sentenced

Had also been convicted of homophobic comment & skipping bail 

Then Atherstone FH Director failed to turn up for his initial trial 

31-5-18  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    FORMER ATHERSTONE HUNT DIRECTOR SENTENCED AtherstoneFHDirectorPeterTaroni11-2-17.jpg   On Saturday 11th February 2017 regular Atherstone Hunt rider Peter Taroni hit a member of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs on the head with his riding crop. The impact split her head open which she had to have treated in A&E. He was also filmed on the same day spitting at another saboteur and using homophobic language. Both incidents happened in Shackerstone, Leicestershire. At the time Mr Taroni was a regular rider with the Atherstone Hunt and also part of the Hunts board of directors.

On the 22nd November at Loughbourgh Magistrates Court Peter Taroni was found guilty of assault by beating. Taroni was also found guilty of disorderly conduct likely to cause harassment alarm or distress for his homophobia after he was filmed spitting at another saboteur and calling him a "gay c**t". He was also found guilty of failing to attend police bail. Taroni failed to turn up to court. The trail went ahead in his absence.

At a hearing on the 16th May 2018 at Carlisle Magistrates Court Peter Taroni was sentenced as follows:- Community Order - 3 Month curfew with electronic monitoring, he must be at home between the hours of 7Pm and 7AM until 15th August - To pay compensation of £100 - To pay £85 to victim services - To pay CPS costs of £350.

Please consider donating towards our vehicle costs and help us continue our Atherstone Hunt Campaign:- https://gogetfunding.com/west-midlands-hunt-sabs-vehicle-running-costs/ We now have a YouTube channel please subscribe to it to keep up to date with our latest videos.https://youtu.be/-1fSOiXjk4k.

 

N. Trust sticks to 'trail hunting' policy after weekend protests

30-5-18   Shropshire Star     National Trust stands by hunting policy after Shropshire protestsThe National Trust has today stood by its decision to allow hunting on its estates. Protestors took to the hills of south Shropshire to demonstrate against fox hunting at the Trust's Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd estate claiming that Hunts are still killing British wildlife on its lands.

But the National Trust said today that it has listened to both sides of the argument and is happy for the protests to continue. A spokesman for the National Trust said: "We have been carefully listening to both sides of a highly polarised and passionate debate around trail-hunting for years. "People have the legal right to organise demonstrations and express their views. We accept these protests on our land, provided they are respectful and do not interfere with conservation or access for our visitors."

The protest was arranged by National Dis-Trust and backed by the Animal Welfare Party, Shropshire Against the Cull, Cheshire Against the Cull, Keeptheban, Welsh Border Hunt Saboteurs and the League Against Cruel Sports.

The groups have concerns that hunting is still taking place on National Trust land 14 years after it was banned nationwide. Hunts introduced ‘trail’ hunting after the ban was introduced, where hounds follow a pre-laid trail rather than chasing animals. However activists claim that some animals still die in 'trail' hunts.

A spokesperson for National Dis-Trust, said: “Serious questions hang over the National Trust about how it has handled its hunt licensing system, including ignoring numerous wildlife crime convictions amongst licensed hunts and providing a misleading statement to members at its 2017 AGM. We are protesting about the decision to license both the South Shropshire Foxhounds and the United Pack. At least one of the Hunts has trespassed across a local nature reserve which wouldn’t happen on a ‘trail’ hunt. The access for these two needs to be revoked, and the foxes need to be properly protected by the National Trust.”

Despite fox hunting being banned in England and Wales in 2004, campaigners say they are concerned that thousands of animals are still being targeted and killed every year by Hunts. A campaign to ban ‘trail’ hunting on National Trust land was narrowly defeated at the organisation’s annual general meeting last autumn.

Chris Luffingham, League Against Cruel Sports' director of campaigns, said: “Many people are frustrated and angered by the National Trust and their inaction to properly monitor hunt activity and the priority they appear to be giving to the protection of hunts rather than the protection of wildlife. “The Trust is letting down its members and the British public. If they have any respect for their members or their reputation, they should take this issue more seriously than they are at present.”

A petition has been launched called ‘Stop the Killing of Animals by Hunts’ by the League Against Cruel Sports - you can see it here.

3-6-18   Wiltshire Gazette and Herald    Protestors fight against fox and hare hunting     PROTESTERS gathered at Stourhead after groups monitoring hunt activity on National Trust land fear that hare and fox hunting is taking place, 14 years after it was banned. Campaigners believe that trail hunting is being used to cover up the indiscriminate killing of foxes, hares and deer by allowing Hunts to claim that any kills were accidental.

A spokesperson for National Dis-Trust said: “The access for this hunt needs to be revoked, and the hares that should never be subjected to this torture as a hobby need to be properly protected.”...

 

Police seek 4 from Pipewell Beagles re. illegal hunting on 17-2-18

29-5-18  ITV News    Police appeal after illegal 'hare hunt' in Northamptonshire     Police want to hear from anyone who recognises these people. Do you recognise any of these four people? Police in Northamptonshire are trying to trace them in connection with a suspected hare hunting incident.

Officers believe they took part in an illegal hunt at Dingley on the afternoon of February 17 this year. Anyone with any information should call Northamptonshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.

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Local's head hit by hunter as pet dogs attacked by Mendip Farmers FH hounds

28-5-18  Facebook - Locals Against The Mendip Farmers Hunt    This morning at approx 8.00am a resident was walking their two dogs on the lead by Priddy Mineries - a local nature reserve - when they came across the Mendip Farmers’ Hunt hounds being exercised. The resident went up another track and around 6 of the hounds from the pack broke away, chased and attacked their dogs. More hounds joined in, the hunt staff member with the hounds tried to call them off and used his hunting whip, which hit the resident over the head. Both dogs were shaken and traumatised but not hurt and the resident has a very sore head with a lump. The matter was reported to Police but they stated they could not do anything as it was an accident.

We ask why these hounds are not covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act, given the number of incidents they have been involved in now. Locals should be able to walk their dogs without fear of injury to themselves or their pets.

 

Acquitted sab gets vile death threat sabs say from Atherstone FH

28-5-18  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   DEATH THREATS FROM THE ATHERSTONE HUNT   The sab who was interviewed in the recent BBC Three documentary about hunt saboteurs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsAJo1-191o&t=3s) has received a death threat from the Atherstone Hunt. Three members of the Atherstone Hunt along with Leicestershire Police tried to convict her for something she did not do. The Atherstone Hunt were hoping that a conviction would result in a restraining order banning her from the hunt meaning they could go back to hunting foxes undisturbed.

Their plan has gone badly wrong, not only will we be there making sure the Atherstone Hunt don’t hunt any foxes this coming season, any future accusations made by the Atherstone Hunt will no longer be believed in court.

Realising the future of their hunt is looking bleak they are now lashing out and have sent this letter. We have blanked out the first paragraph as it is too shocking and unpleasant to post on Facebook. It does however give us an insight into the violent mind of a fox hunter.

Some of the blame for this letter must rest with Leicestershire Police for not only allowing this particular saboteur to be constantly targeted by the Atherstone Hunt but also by actively participating in the constant harassment of her themselves making this sort of behaviour acceptable and more likely.

We will be with the Atherstone Hunt next season making sure they don’t kill any foxes, please consider donating to help us make this possible https://gogetfunding.com/west-midlands-hunt-sabs-vehicle-r…/. We now have a YouTube channel please subscribe to it to keep up to date with our latest videos. https://youtu.be/-1fSOiXjk4k.

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'Trail hunting' protests held at N. Trust sites round country

27-5-18    Facebook - National Dis-Trust    National Trust Protests   Protests at National Trust sites around the countryNTprotestLongMynd27-5-18.jpg on May 27th 2018 to help to bring a stop to so-called 'trail hunting' on National Trust land, with Keeptheban. [see pics].

To help, please get involved & sign these petitions or contact your local hunt saboteurs. Keeptheban's petition to stop hunting on National Trust land -> bit.ly/2hjaB7Q. LACS' petition to stop so-called 'trail hunting' -> bit.ly/2yOcPb1. Our two petitions to help stop the Warwickshire Hunt, South Shropshire Foxhounds & United Pack on National Trust land at Long Mynd, Upton House & Farnborough Hall -> bit.ly/2p8xuQ1 & bit.ly/2klChhC. Find your local hunt saboteur group to support them & get involved here -> bit.ly/2CykPKy.     #stopthehunts

27-5-18  Facebook - Jay Pear    We have had an amazing day at Seaton Delaval Hall today as part of the day of action. 30 People and foxy outside the main entrance. We had hundreds of cars honking their horns at us in support and several cars turned around.

This joint League N. East, N. East hunt monitors and National Dis-trust demo was a positive demonstration that clearly made an impact. Thank you to all who came today.

See also article in The Canary 

Pic right above  -  Long Mynd    Pics below  - 1/  Stourhead   2/  Upton House    3/   St. Michaels Mount    4/   Seaton Deleval Hall

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'Going equipped' Northants MH soon packed up by sabs

27-5-18   Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs    Hit report: 27 May 2018 Northants Mink(Otter) Hounds, Mill Farm, Beachampton, Buckinghamshire     Sabs got together today after a local tip-off to shut down a meet of the Northants Mink(Otter) Hounds.

The Hunt had managed to get around 100m away from their meet at Mill Farm near Milton Keynes, when they wereNorthantsMHTerriersandspade27-5-18.jpg spotted using long range lenses from across the wheat fields. With a pack of mixed foxhounds and otter hounds, they hunted north-east along a tributary of the River Great Ouse, causing large amounts of destruction to the river habitat as they went. Otter slips (tracks where otters enter the water) were spotted by sabs, but the Mink Hound pack were not able to get any serious hunting done today before they were intercepted and sent back to their meet.

Again, the regular support were carrying spades, a gun and were leading several terriers. Clear signs of their intent to hunt live quarry, whatever they claim when sabs (and nowadays the police) show up. 

After a short stand-off, camera lenses at twenty paces, Thames Valley police were summoned to protect the Hunt. We politely but firmly stood our ground and stated that we weren't moving until hounds were packed and sent home. Police officers dutifully complied and shortly after, the hound van was sent on its way, leaving the ancient sandwich munching brigade stood about wondering what to do with the rest of their afternoon.

A successful afternoon, with the hunt packed up before even getting their boots muddy. Hunt sabs are volunteers, giving up their weekends to prevent the hunting of wildlife and spoiling these individuals "sport". Sabs from North Cambs, Beds & Bucks, Northants and Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs joined for today's work. If you'd like to support us, you can join by messaging this page, or donate to our running costs on http://ko-fi.com/northcambs for the cost of a coffee.

Pic below   -   Hounds being taken back to meet 

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Sab video of Fitzwilliam FH fox hunt and kill published

Led to Huntsman being convicted of illegal hunting 

25-5-18   It took 2 years 4 months from the report of this crime to the court verdict. Somehow the Bird Handler, who was fully involved in the chase, escaped conviction. The sab video has at last been published and can be viewed here.

For further info on the case, see here. 

 

Time limit for appeal of Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman's conviction passes

25-5-18   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   VIDEO    The time limit for an appeal of the conviction we secured against the Fitzwilliam Hunt has now past. This now concludes 2 years of hard work. We would like to thank Cambridgeshire Police and South Cambs Hunt Saboteurs, who's sab stood up in court to give evidence.

We can only achieve these results with the support of the general public. Every penny donated goes towards fighting these barbaric practices. We have more convictions in the pipeline and save many lives every time we go out. Please consider helping us by buying us a coffee. https://ko-fi.com/bedsbuckshuntsabs.

 

Online protests over Berwickshire FH invite to Haddington Show

25-5-18   East Lothian Courier    Online protests as Berwickshire Hunt invited to Haddington Show    A DECISION to invite the Berwickshire Hunt to Haddington Show has led to a storm of online complaints. The show, which takes place on June 30, has been running annually in East Lothian since 1804.BerwickshireFHInvitedtoHaddingtonShow18-5-18.jpg

However, a post on the show’s Facebook page yesterday (Thursday) has sparked outrage from a number of members of the public. The post, which has been deleted on Facebook but remains on Twitter, reads: “We are delighted that Berwickshire Hunt will be joining us at Haddington Show with a parade of hounds. Come and see them and their smart red coats in the main ring on show day.”

The announcement was met by an angry reaction from a number of people on social media. Gabrielle Bonar said: “A ******* disgrace. Should not be allowed. Very disappointing. Won’t be going this year.” Meanwhile, Evelyn Weir said: “Not the right decision for me, that’s for sure. I will now not be attending with my family, along with quite a few other people I know. The only ‘smart red coat’ I respect is the one on the fox. Even if the Haddington Show committee don’t care about losing respect, they will most definitely lose money, and they might care about that. It’s an annual tradition to go – but I’m out!” Allan James Beaton added: “Absolutely shocking… What are we, back in the dark ages… [Fox hunting] is a disgusting barbaric so-called sport that has no place in today’s society.”

However, there were people who felt differently. Alan Hardwick said: “Country show, country ways. The same way people who agree with it have to deal with the anti-fraternity, except they don’t feel the need to abuse and terrorise them.” Similarly, Sally Turnbull said: “Never been to a Haddington Show yet but I’m gonna try this year if work allows. “They are fab to see and the dogs are beautiful all excited but then I’d not be part of what they do personally it is part of history and country life. Each to their own and sure it will still be a fab day out.”

A spokeswoman for the Haddington Show declined to comment.

 

Doc shows government regards HSA as 'domestic extremists'

25-5-18  The Canary    ‘Official’ counter-terror document slammed as ‘political propaganda masquerading as public safety information’     An “official” document from British “counter-terrorism” police lists anti-fascists, animal rights campaigners, and supporters of the Kurdish-led anti-terror fighters of the YPG as extremists – alongside neo-nazi and other far-right extremists.

The Canary appears to be the first organisation to reveal the existence of this document, entitled 'Extremist Symbols and Flags'. We discovered this document online among training materials for the government’s ‘counter-radicalisation’ Prevent programme.

The document would appear to be no more than one year old, as it lists National Action and Scottish Dawn as proscribed (banned) groups. Scottish Dawn – which appeared just after National Action was banned in December 2016 – was only banned in September 2017. It is unclear whether the document, by “Counter Terrorism Policing” of the “Eastern Region Special Operations Unit”, was produced specifically for implementing the PREVENT strategy.

We found the document within the “Safeguarding Topics” section of the Suffolk Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) website. It was in the “Resources” section of a page entitled “Prevent and Vulnerable to Radicalisation”...

Alongside far-right Islamist and nationalist extremists, the ‘counter-terrorism’ document also listed the following [see pic below] as ‘domestic extremists’:-

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Kevin Blowe, coordinator of the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol), told The Canary:- This document shows how completely subjective the terms ‘domestic extremist’ and ‘extremist symbols’ are: no wonder the police and the government have failed to pin down a legally robust definition. Both the Animal Liberation Front and the Hunt Saboteurs Association are included because of political policing’s obsession with animal rights campaigners, but the ALF is now inactive and, since 2005, the focus of hunt saboteurs is on documenting and preventing illegal hunting, although they are still more likely to face harassment themselves from police who turn a blind eye to breaches of the Hunting Act...

As this guidance illustrates, the vague criteria/requirements of the Prevent programme are predictably turned into an agenda for stigmatising political dissent, perhaps intentionally…

The misidentification of protest and liberation movements as extremist is the logical result of the Prevent policy, which offers no plausible definition of extremism yet seeks to make “extremism” the basis for surveillance and criminalisation.

This document provides a crucial and disturbing view into the thinking of the British state and the ‘training’ of increasing numbers of doctors, teachers, nurses and other public servants in the ‘identification’ and reporting of ‘signs of radicalisation and extremism’.

As Blowe told The Canary:- If this is a basis for referrals to the Prevent programme, then it is little wonder that so many people are falsely identified as a ‘risk’. Although there has been extensive resistance to Prevent, there is still a long way to go before such resistance leads to the dismantling of the state surveillance apparatus that appears to be just as concerned with suppressing dissent and undermining legitimate movements for self-determination as it is with preventing extremist violence directed against innocent civilians. The more people stand up against this disturbing system the better.

Disclosure: The author of this article also volunteers with CAMPACC.

 

Sabs say hunters conspired, police colluded, trying to falsely convict woman

21-5-18  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Atherstone Hunt update    There is no long term future for the Atherstone Hunt as long as we are around preventing them from hunting foxes. They will do and say anything to try to get rid of us. This was no more apparent than when they recently tried to convict an innocent person for something they did not do. The hope was that with a conviction they would then get a restraining order.

Three members of the Atherstone Hunt including Huntsman Mike Lane and Joint Master Mark Halford claimed that Cathy Scott had sworn at them and made threats towards them. Footage shown in court disproved their claims along with the three hunt members contradicting themselves on the stand.

Halford posted this [below] up around the same time he made a statement to Leicestershire Police. "Add to that injunctions on their ring leaders and we'll be a lot closer to starving them of oxygen" This screenshot of Mark Halford's activity on Facebook shows that the three Hunt members conspired to lie in order to get rid of a saboteur who they perceived as a ringleader. Not only is it clear what the three hunt members intentions were it's clear that Leicestershire Police allowed them to make these lies without providing any evidence. Atherstone Huntsman Mike Lane was allowed to say in his statement that he found a banner showing a fox that his hunt had killed upsetting. Halford was allowed to make all kinds of speculative accusations such as he thought saboteurs had bugged his phone.

Ollie Hope the third member of the Hunt made one of the biggest contradictions whilst on the stand. He claimed that on the day in question he felt fearful for the safety of his wife and children. When asked where they were at the time he replied that they weren't present.

We are not going anywhere and will be making sure the Atherstone Hunt do not kill any foxes next season. The Atherstone Hunt will now no longer be credible witnesses in court. Leicestershire Police have made a mockery of the justice system and their hunting operation has damaged the forces credibility when dealing with hunting issues.

Please consider donating to help us ensure the Atherstone Hunt don't kill any foxes when this upcoming season starts. https://www.paypal.me/westmidlandhuntsabs. Don't forget to subscribe to our new YouTube channel to keep up to date with our latest videos. https://youtu.be/-1fSOiXjk4k.

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Easton Harriers Whip has lengthy criminal record, claim sabs

21-5-18   Facebook - Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs    He [Mike Lee, pic right] is an amateur Whipper-in for the Easton Harriers, who are based in Woodbridge, Suffolk. After being informed by some members of the public about their concerns regarding his recent history, we decided to do a little bit of research. The Easton Harriers have notEastonHarriersWhipMikeLeeCriminalrecord.jpg had the best public relations in the last few years, what with open displays of hunting which resulted in the numerous killing of hares (including one of which involving a Master stuffing one up her jacket during a cub hunt meet - pic below left), as well as disregard for the well-being of their hounds, you would think that they would be careful not to embarrass themselves once more.

During a visit to the Easton Harriers last season, Norfolk/Suffolk were met by a member of the public who gave us some rather interesting information. It seems that Mike believes he doesn't require a driving license even though he has had his vehicle confiscated on four separate occasions:- - Saturday 25th March 2017, Saturday 24th June 2017, Thursday 28th September 2017, Tuesday 26th December 2017.

Considering how far apart these dates are, it certainly makes you wonder how long he drove without a licence for. Norfolk/Suffolk sabs were present for the Boxing Day meet on the 26th December and can confirm that Mike was in attendance at the Old Mill House pub in Saxtead. He was on his horse and dressed in regular harrier hunting attire but didn't join the Hunt in the field. Now we know why.

EastonHarriersJMLydiaFreemanwithharekilledbyHunt8-10-16.jpgMike has also appeared in court in relation to stalking & harassing a woman via his mobile phone. He appeared at Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich on Tuesday 5th September 2017 and again on Wednesday 4th October and pleaded guilty. He was fined £250 and given a year long restraining order. And to top it all off, he has also been given a County Court Judgment for cruelty to animals.

You may be asking why we have decided to release this information. We believe his past paints a clear picture that he has a disregard for the law, as well as humans and animals. Norfolk/Suffolk Sabs have had plenty of experience with this Hunt and we know their true intentions - to hunt and kill the beautiful brown hare. Having someone such as Mike Lee as part of the Hunt only reinforces our concerns. This is why this information is being released. Because the concerns of the Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Sabs are the concerns of the general public. The brown hare is in danger and these are the people who are threatening it.

Just weeks before the Fitzwilliam Hunt lost its court case about the Hunting Act's falconry exemption, we came across Mike trying to purchase a bird of prey via Facebook. Birds of prey are commonly used by Hunts to make use of the falconry exemption. Since the Fitzwilliam lost its court case, this post has disappeared. Perhaps the Easton Harriers will continue to claim they are following a trail?

Norfolk/Suffolk sabs have addressed these concerns about his past to the master Lydia Freeman and the Huntsman Gary Wingar who both refused to comment. This begs the question; will the Easton Harriers continue to allow Mike Lee to join them next season? I guess we will wait and see.

Please help support our work. This can be done directly in the field or by donating us a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/A8634QOZ. Feel free to share this post far and wide! (the image of the hare [below] is one of many victims of the Easton Harriers Hunt).

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Claro Beagles Huntsman facing trial for illegal hunting

19-5-18   Message from Roger Swaine    Stuart Harrison, Claro Beagles Huntsman, has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to an allegation of Hunting a Wild Mammal (hare) with a Dog, contrary to the Hunting Act 2004, and will appear before Skipton Magistrates’ Court on 25th September 2018 for trial.

 

Court case against sab for agg. trespass at hare hunt collapses

The accused was acting as a member of the Hunt Saboteurs when she was arrested and charged. She is 48 years of age and a law-abiding person with no previous convictions. See here and here for contemporaneous reports of the day, 18-11-17, at the Dunston Harriers.

She writes - 15-5-18   CrowdJustice    Success for Hunt Sabs and hunted wildlife!    The case was heard on the 10th of May 2018. The Huntsman was asked why he videoed the briefing and a trail being laid. He answered "to cover our arses." Here again is yet more proof that "trail" hunting is a myth and a cover for killing animals for fun. He also said that he was unable to film the full hunt as he couldn't wear a go-pro camera on his riding hat due to "health and safety" measures. The policemen riding the quad bike now "regrets" his actions [see pic below].

Additional evidence came to light half way through the trial which would have provided important support for my defence. This had NEVER been seen by my solicitor and included details given by my colleagues in the field that day which would support our claims of illegal hunting. Why was this concealed? The case then collapsed and I was free!

Without your help and support this may not have been the result. Thank you everyone for your contributions, no matter how small.

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Whip of Hunt in new CA video is one of the S. Herefordshire FH 5

Paul Reece is facing trial for horrendous cruelty to fox cubs

15-5-18   Facebook – Berkshire Hunt Sabs    FOX CUB ACCUSED'S HUNT FEATURES IN COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE VIDEO    The Countryside Alliance recently produced a glossy video promoting "trail hunting". It makes the claim that Hunts have "enjoyed over a quarter of a million days of legal hunting" since the hunt ban of 2005.

The Hunt they chose to use in the video is none other than the Curre & Llangibby, whose Whipper-in, Paul Reece, is one of the five people currently accused of throwing live fox cubs to hounds at the nearby South Herefordshire Hunt.

The video therefore tells you everything you need to know about "trail hunting" - just not in the way the idiots running the Countryside Alliance imagined.   #TrailHuntLies 

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S. Herefordshire FH five appear in court for the first time

All charged with multiple Animal Welfare Act offences

15-5-18  Hereford Times    Five charged with animal cruelty in South Herefordshire Hunt case appear in court     FIVE people who have been charged with animal cruelty in relation to an investigation into the South Herefordshire Hunt have appeared in court. They appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court today and have been released on unconditional bail.

The five charged are: Paul Oliver, 39, of Sutton Crosses, Long Sutton, Lincolnshire [who was Huntsman at the time of the alleged offences]; Hannah Rose, 29, of Sutton Crosses, Long Sutton, Lincolnshire; Julie Elmore, 54, of Brynarw Estate, Cwmyoy, Abergavenny; Nathan Parry [a hunt terrier man], 38, of Brynarw Estate, Cwmyoy, Abergavenny [a known follower of the S. Herefordshire FH],and Paul Reece, 47, of Chepstow [whipper-in of the Curre & Llangibby FH].

Oliver, Rose, Elmore and Parry have been charged with four counts of animal cruelty, while Reece has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty. They did not enter pleas and will next appear in court on June 19. The five people were first arrested in two years ago on suspicion of animal cruelty at the Hunt's kennels in Wormelow.

POWAperson adds  -   The Hunt Investigation Team have released a few minutes of their video [hunter identities obscured].  Be warned - it's a tough watch.

Pics below  -  1/  Rose and Oliver at Birmingham Magistrates Court [Credit - Yorkshire Post]   2/  Paul Reece, Whipper-in, Curre & Llangibby FH

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Atherstone Huntsman steps down, Director goes, after sab trial collapse

Both, and another man, being investigated on suspicion of perjury 

14-5-18  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Mark Halford was the Atherstone Hunt Joint Master who was brought in at the start of last season as the saviour of the Atherstone Hunt along with fellow Joint Master and Huntsman Mike Lane. Both of them were recently humiliated in court and are no longer credible witnesses after lying in court when they tried to get an innocent person sent to prison (with help form Leicestershire Police). It was an attempt to rid themselves of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs so they could get back to hunting foxes undisturbed. The Atherstone Hunt cannot survive long term whilst we are around exposing their hunting.

Their plan backfired, we are not going anywhere. Halford, Lane and Ollie Hope are all being investigated by the police for lying in court. Mike Lane's hunting career is in tatters after an astonishing season where he demonstrated that he has no control over the hounds. Some of the low points include losing his pack after just riding out from the meet, losing the pack for over an hour whilst they got dangerously close to the busy A5 and there was always the constant worry that the pack would shoot off at any given moment after who knows what. Thankfully Mike Lane has stepped down as Atherstone Huntsman, he remains as Joint Master.

We can reveal that Mark Halford resigned his position as one of the Atherstone Hunt's Directors on the 30th April.

The pictures accompanying this post are screen shots from Mark Halford's activity on Facebook. Halford who has openly supported the Countryside Alliance’s [anti] online abuse and bullying campaign can be seen doing the exact opposite, inciting people to participate in online abuse and bullying by targeting not only a local business but also a cathedral who hosted West Midlands Hunt Sabs. Not only a proven liar but now also a hypocrite.

Please consider donating to help us carry on campaigning - https://www.paypal.me/westmidlandhuntsabs.

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North Ledbury & North Herefordshire FHs to 'trial' merger

13-5-18   Facebook - Herefordshire Hunt Sabs    ANOTHER HUNT BITES THE DUST    Great news - one less hunt in Herefordshire. The North Herefordshire Hunt and the North Ledbury Hunt, which share a kennels at Bodenham, have amalgamated. Touted as a twelve months trial partnership, but read between the lines and it is clear that the North Ledbury Hunt is finished.

We covertly monitored the North Ledbury on a couple of occasions last season and wondered how long they could survive. Not even to the end of the season it appears, with Derek Tyler hunting the North Ledbury hounds for the last time on February 24th. What concerns us most is the fate of the North Ledbury hounds. How many, if any, will have survived the merger?

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Dove Valley MH give up as soon as sabs find them

12-5-18   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs    Well, the weather may be a bit grotty now but it started off fine and dry with some nice sunshine, the sort of weather to go out and find some undesirables up to foul deeds byDoveValleyMHThiswheretheywerehunting12-5-18.jpgterrorizing our wildlife and scupper their dastardly plans. 

So we headed north to Derbyshire and met up with North Cambs, Cambridge, Notts, Sheffield, Suffolk & Essex, Lincoln and W.Yorks Sabs to pay an overdue visit to the Dove Valley Mink (Otter) hounds who were hunting the river Dove close to Marston.

We found their meet easily enough however the Hunt were being somewhat elusive. With limited vehicle access and lots of streams and tributaries to check it meant lots of miles on foot to cover. However, SES managed to get eyes on the Hunt and we were guided in.

We had already been noticed by a lone and grumpy hunt supporter some distance away and she was on the phone pretty sharpish to alert her fellow wildlife murderers that sabs were on the way. By the time we finally caught up with them they had decided the writing was on the wall for their day and called for the hound van to pick up the hounds. All that was left was a motley crew of reprobates hanging around looking peeved waiting for their lifts back to the meet.

But our job was done so we made the most of the last of the sunshine with a well earned beer in a nearby pub where it was great to catch up with sabs and old friends from other groups. Help us keep the pressure on the criminals - https://ko-fi.com/bedsbuckshuntsabs.

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Demo at Hereford police station calls for justice for animals

12-5-18   Facebook - Global Animal Protection "Alliance"   VIDEO   The case that sparked this event has finally resulted in charges being brought, so that case is now sub-judice, hence no-one talking directly about it, but this was just one of a constant stream of cases nationwide where no justice was brought, so it was decided the protest should go ahead for all those other cases awaiting some justice.

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Police won't name those charged in S. Herefordshire FH cubs cruelty case

Say it is in order to protect them

12-5-18   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    Naming the South Herefordshire suspects    The police have still not named the 5 suspects in the cub killing case. Despite saying that they would be named when charges were brought this week they changed their mind to 'protect them'. This seems to be a recurring theme in this case, vilify and persecute the messengers whilst protecting the perpetrators. How many witnesses for the prosecution in West Mercia have had their houses searched by West Mercia Police? Just us we suspect!! This reflects a nationwide theme of protecting the hunting community from justice often in the face of overwhelming evidence. Things need to change. They should be named by the media on Tuesday after their court appearance unless the court decides to protect their identities too. Please share. HIT.

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New, absurd account of where fox pee for 'trail hunting' from 

11-5-18  Facebook - Chris Noonan    A comment some deluded little girl posted today.. Apparently they get the fox urine from animal sanctuaries... Of course, on asking which ones, the silence was deafening.

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Cub cruelty case was held up by smear from pro-hunt source against PC

The PC now exonerated and 'multiple charges' laid against hunters

10-5-18  BBC News   Fox killing inquiry: 'Smear campaign' against PC stalled investigation   A police inquiry into the alleged killing of fox cubs by hunting hounds stalled for nearly two years while the officer in charge was himself investigated, the BBC can reveal.

West Mercia PC Richard Barradale-Smith [left] has now been cleared of the allegations against him - including that he had had affairs with anti-hunting activists. At least one claim was made by somebody with links to the Hunt in the case. Police have now said five people are to be charged with animal cruelty. Three men and one woman aged between 29 and 54 will appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court next week.

S.HerefordshireFHPCRichardBarradale.jpgIn May 2016, activists from the Hunt Investigation Team used hidden cameras to film a South Herefordshire Hunt terrierman apparently taking the young foxes into a shed of barking hounds before emerging with their lifeless bodies. The anti-hunting activists believe the terriermen were training the dogs to see foxes as prey.

The footage and the bodies of two cubs were handed to PC Barradale-Smith who had investigated previous allegations made by animal rights campaigners. But West Mercia Police then began an investigation into the officer after receiving an allegation that PC Barradale-Smith had been in a relationship with two anti-hunting activists, including the woman who brought him the evidence. This would have been misconduct in public office.

Police searched both his house and that of the anti-hunting activist, who has asked the BBC not to use her name. Anonymous threatening letters were sent to another woman who has campaigned against fox-hunting, also accusing her of having an affair with the officer. She passed them to the police.

The person who made the allegation works in the farming community and has close links to the South Herefordshire Hunt. He is not one of those charged. The BBC understands he did not name the officer and told the force he did not want to get further involved. Mr Barradale-Smith's family believes it was a "smear campaign" aimed at disrupting the case.

Further allegations against the officer were made in October 2016 by a senior prosecutor who said PC Barradale-Smith had leaked confidential information to the activist who gave him the video evidence. He was also accused of bombarding the CPS with emails. This triggered a separate misconduct investigation and he was taken off the fox cubs case. In January 2017, the officer went on sick leave and is yet to return to work.

By March this year both investigations had been resolved and he has been cleared of any wrong-doing. Now, within weeks, the decision to prosecute has been taken, two years after the investigation began.

The Hunt Investigation Team described the force's response as a scandal and claimed the police seemed more interested in "harassing" the officer who investigated the allegations than examining the allegations themselves. The activist alleged to have been involved with the PC asked to remain anonymous but said: "The police are there to investigate without fear or favour when evidence of a crime is brought to their attention. For two years they've been investigating an unsubstantiated allegation that I had an affair with a police officer that I've met once. It would have been very easy to show that was completely false and what you would have expected West Mercia to do is say, given the source, 'is there a conflict of interest here'."

In a joint statement, West Mercia Police and the CPS said the fox cub inquiry had involved a number of "complex factors". The force refused to comment about PC Barradale-Smith.

See also report in Daily Telegraph 

 

5 finally to face trial over S. Herefordshire FH fox cub cruelty scandal

10-5-18   BBC News    Five to be charged with animal cruelty offences over fox cubs     Five people are to be charged with animal cruelty offences after the BBC broadcast pictures appearing to show fox cubs being taken into a kennel of hunting hounds. The police investigation began after anti-hunting activists installed hidden cameras at the South Herefordshire Hunt kennels in 2016. The video appears to show a man then dumping a dead fox cub in a bin. The activists say the cubs were used to give hounds a taste for killing. Anti-hunt investigators found some of the foxes alive.

Campaigners had been expected to protest outside a police station later this week over how long the investigation was taking. Det Insp Jonathan Roberts, of West Mercia Police, said the three men and two women, aged between 29 and 54, would face multiple charges of animal cruelty. "This follows a complex investigation in South Herefordshire. The individuals will appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Tuesday May 15," he said. "Cases of animal cruelty are treated very seriously by West Mercia Police and we actively seek to protect animals from cruelty and to prevent their suffering."

Pics below    -  1/   Young fox in captivity    2/  Young cub about to be thrown to hounds in the building 

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POWAperson comments   -   Better [very] late than never. Glad to see the first hearing has been moved to Birmingham, well away from the sphere of possible influence of the SH FH bigwigs. The former senior Joint Master, Sir Patrick Darling, is the High Sherriff of Herefordshire. Also good to hear they face 'multiple charges'. What betting none of them seek to implicate any of the Hunt high-ups? And note, unlike the Hunting Act, the Animal Welfare Act charges carry potential prison sentences. Many congratulations to the Hunt Investigation Team for bringing this appalling cruelty to light and securing the prosecutions.

   

Thurlow FH Huntsman and Whip summonsed illegal hunting & assaulting sabs

10-5-18   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs    We have just been informed that the CPS will be issuing a summons for both the Huntsman & Whipper In of the Thurlow Hunt for the kill on Boxing Day. Huntsman will also be charged with common assault and the whip for assault by beating. This is of course great news and we are very pleased with the response from Suffolk police on this matter and hope to secure a conviction.

POWAperson adds  -  The Hunt killed a fox in front of sabs [and blamed them]. Very unusually, the Huntsman was arrested at the scene. Story covered by the Guardian.  The original sab report is here.  

Pic  below  -   The fox killed by the Thurlow on Boxing Day 

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21-6-18   Haverhill Echo    Two men charged in relation with altercation at Thurlow Hunt Two men have been served a summons to appear at court in connection with hunting offences and an assault following an incident at the Thurlow Hunt last Boxing Day.

At around 2pm on Tuesday, December 26th, police were called to reports of an incident between a hunt group and hunt monitors in Trundley Wood, off Bury Road near Great Thurlow. Police attended and launched an investigation into an alleged hunting offence under the Hunting Act 2004, and an allegation of assault.

A 19-year-old man and a 58-year-old-man both from the Great Thurlow area have been summoned to court where they will be charged with intentional hunting of a mammal with dogs, contrary to sec.1 of the Hunting Act 2004. The teenager will also be charged with assault by beating and the man will be charged with common assault. Both men are due to appear before Ipswich Magistrates Court on July 9th.

 

Sab complains formally to police over handling of Ashford FH fox kill

10-5-18   Facebook - East Kent Sabs    JUSTICE FOR THE COLLIER STREET FOX !   Below is the text of an official complaint that has been sent into Kent Police over their handling of the investigation into the fox killed by the Ashford Valley with Tickham hunt in November 2017. See Kent Online here.

PLEASE-SIGN THE PETITION DEMANDING THAT THE INVESTIGATION IS REOPENED- You can also politely contact Kent Police here.

TEXT OF COMPLAINT (all names have been removed)...

Dear Sir/Madam, I would like to make a complaint against Kent Police for the conduct and outcome of its investigation into illegal hunting on the 11th November 2017.

I filmed the Ashford Valley Tickham Hunt search and hunt a fox. The Hunt did not try and stop the killing of this animal and made every attempt to hide the evidence of the dead fox. No trail was laid by the Hunt, in fact the footage caught on camera shows the events ten minutes prior to the kill and following the kill. Whilst I was filming the kill I left my vehicle unattended, only to return to find that my vehicle keys had been stolen.

An associate of mine called the police, which the police attended and gave the CAD 11-625. I have no problem with the conduct and behaviour of the officers who attended the scene. They were polite and helpful and did what most people would expect a police services to do.

Contact by email was made by myself to PC xxxxxxxxx and on the 21st November at Ashford Police Station. I handed in the original SD card from my camera. On the 29th December I emailed xxxxxxx to express concern that no one had contacted me to take a statement.

At the end of January 2018, I was contacted by PC xxxxxxxx who arranged to take a statement over the phone. On the 26th the statement was given and I am happy with the way the statement was taken. PC xxxxxxx was polite and professional.

On the same day xxxxxxx emailed me. Her email said - "There is no dispute that the fox was killed, however the images haven't fully made out the offence." I mention this because of her use of the word "images". She also refers to "images" in an email to my associate xxxxxxx, when referring to my video evidence.

In an email to xxxxxxx, xxxxxxxx advised ... "you will be able to provide them with the footage that you have in order that it can be included in the investigation". There is a clear distinction between the two words and I don't think this is a clerical error. It is at this point in time that I believe that no video evidence, provided by myself, was passed on to any investigating officer. In summary I am accusing xxxxxxxx of perverting the course of justice. My fears where confirmed when I had a call from Sergeant xxxxxxx from Maidstone police on the 2nd February. He contacted me as he was the officer dealing with the theft of my keys on the 11th November 2017. He confirmed to me that he had not seen the footage I had provided to xxxxxxx.

It is not an unreasonable conclusion to assume that if the officer dealing with the theft of my keys was not given all the evidence, then it is more that likely that this same video footage was not shown to the officers dealing with the illegal hunting. The inevitable outcome that no action will be taken against the hunt was no surprise, and is the outcome I expected from Operation York.

I have three components to my complaint. 1) I would like to complain at the deliberately slow and botched investigation. 2) I would like to complain about the deliberate withholding of evidence, from the investigation of my stolen keys and the illegal hunting by xxxxxxxxxxx. 3) I would like to complain about the outcome of the investigation into the illegal hunting.

I find it hard to believe that with the level of evidence provided to Kent Police there was not enough evidence to put a case to the Crown Prosecution Service. This is not the first time I have complained about Operation York; I believe it is corrupt from top to bottom.  Yours faithfully, xxxxxxxxx

Pics below   -   1/  Pack has almost caught fox    2/  Terrierman retrieves carcass from pack  

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POWAperson comments  -   This is a classic example of poor wording of the Hunting Act letting Hunts get away with murder. The Act requires that the prosecution prove that someone 'engaged or participated' in the chase by hounds. Although hunters, mounted and on foot, can be seen in the footage observing the chase start [and probably its finish] they do not appear to 'engage or participate, but simply let the hounds get on with it. Extraordinarily, the Act places no obligation on hunters to try to stop hounds that are chasing live quarry. One of many reasons why the Hunting Act desperately needs significant strengthening.

 

Cornish girl, 14, kicked in face by horse on 'trail hunt'

9-5-18   Cornwall Live    Teenage girl from Wadebridge loses five teeth after horse kicks her in the face - Brave Georgia Hull was riding her pony again only days after leaving hospital    A brave teenager from Wadebridge is riding her pony again just days after a horse kicked her in the face, causing her to lose five teeth and unable to eat solids. Georgia Hull, 14, was out trail hunting with friends and family when a horse in front of her kicked out just over two weeks ago on private land near the town.

Horrified mother Julie was just ahead of Georgia on her own horse when she heard the screams coming from behind. Georgia was knocked unconscious and had to spit her teeth out, while her swollen mouth left her unable to breathe. She also sustained multiple facial fractures, including severe damage to her jaw, and cuts to her face that have required stitches.

The air ambulance [treating Georgia, right. Credit Cornwall Live] flew her to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where she spent five days after undergoingCornishHuntGirlkickedinfacebyhorse9-5-18.jpgfour-hour surgery to pin and plate her jaw. Georgia has lost five teeth as a result of the kick, and may have to wait until she finishes growing before she can have new ones fixed.

She was transported up to a field and the Cornwall Air Ambulance took her to Derriford for surgery. She’s had a four-hour operation already, and she’s got more to come. She’s lost her teeth at the top but can’t have permanent surgery for implants yet.” Initially Georgia could only eat through a syringe, but now she is eating pureed foods.

While most teenagers would be left traumatised by such an incident, brave Georgia was riding her pony again just days after being discharged from hospital. “She is really brave, I’m struggling to ride again myself but her pony is her best friend and I think it’s her love of that pony which has got her through this,” Julie said. “She is embarrassed about the teeth missing and she’s still got a big lump on her lip and scars where she was stitched, but she never complains. She’s happy with her ponies and not like a typical teenager obsessed with make-up and designer clothes. She can’t chew, and she’s eating mashed up foods and drinking through a straw. But we’re getting there.” Georgia's mum has thanked the Cornwall Air Ambulance. “They are absolutely amazing and we can’t manage without them,” she added. “It saved an awful lot of time for us that day in getting her to hospital. We’ve got a lot of fundraising going on for the air ambulance as a result of this. The guy who drove Georgia from the track to meet the air ambulance, he has had a long beard for 20 years and at the Royal Cornwall Show he is shaving it off to raise funds. Also, there are a lot of people who experienced the accident who are already doing things differently on the safety side.”

In the meantime, Georgia’s hunting friends have set up a fundraising page to raise cash to cover the costs of the dental work she needs. So far nearly £3,400 of the £4,000 target has been raised.

 

Sabs subject to sinister harassment campaign

Anonymous letters delivered to their houses

9-5-18   Facebook - Cambridge Hunt Saboteurs    Members of Cambridge hunt sabs are under a constant barrage of harassment and intimidation. Over the last four months, members of CHS have received over 5 hand made, unsolicited, anonymous letters, some hand delivered to their homes, often threatening to visit their homes. This kind of harassment is unacceptable yet common place. Please donate to help keep the group going. We'll keep everyone updated on the pending police investigation into this attempted intimidation. http://cambridgehuntsabs.org.uk/donate.

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Fox cub saviour sab featured in piece on BBC website

5-5-18   BBC3 website    Knocked out, punched, and charged by horses: the life of a hunt saboteur   Cathy Scott [below left, credit BBC3] spends her spare time trying to show why she thinks the hunting ban isn’t working “I’ve been knocked out. I’ve had a broken nose. I was punched in the face. I got a fractured cheek. I’ve been hit on the head with bottles. I’ve been attacked a lot.” Cathy Scott has experienced the kind of injuries you might associate with a cage fighter. They have all been inflicted by men or animals. Three times a week she heads for the countryside to follow the riders and hounds of various hunts in order to film what she believes is illegal activity, handing over the footage to the police. Sometimes they manage to save a fox. Sometimes they get charged by horses. “I’ve been ridden into quite a few times. And it hurts,” she says.

Cathy, 42, has been ‘sabbing’ – or sabotaging hunts – with two to three associates at a time since the Hunting Act came into force to make fox hunting with dogs illegal in 2005. Attempts by her and her fellow saboteurs to disrupt hunts are shown in new BBC Three documentary 'The Hunt: Battle In The Countryside', which captures some of the skirmishes between hunt supporters and saboteurs.

CathyScott.jpgThere is a faintly paramilitary aesthetic to some hunt saboteurs: a fetishisation of ‘tactical gear’, balaclavas and utility belts – all in black. The saboteurs claim they are non-violent but need to retain their anonymity to prevent them from being tracked down online and harassed. Hunt supporters say they resemble "terrorists" and accuse them of intimidation and even violence. In 2015 a Westcountry Huntmaster was reportedly knocked unconscious in an attack by hunt saboteurs ‘armed with iron bars’. A video posted last year shows a saboteur grabbing hold of a horse by the bridle; the rider responded by whipping the saboteur.

Cathy prefers not to conceal her identity. She maintains she is a pacifist who uses non-violent methods. These include the use of citronella spray, which prevents the hounds from picking up the scent of the fox; a whip which makes a noise to halt the hounds; and voice commands to confuse them. “I don’t believe in violence,” says Cathy. “I think bloodsports by nature are violent, and violence breeds violence. So it doesn’t surprise me that they attack us.”

She says she has personally witnessed seven or eight fox kills – although there is no suggestion these were unlawful. Her passion for intervening in them has left her with some unusual scars. In summer, when she goes walking in the Welsh countryside to unwind, little marks on her cheek darken like freckles in the sun – from a vixen that bit her face in 2013 after she rescued it from a pack of hounds. “[It] was the classic pre-kill,” she says. “They were trying to turn her [the fox] onto her back and bite the stomach to start the disembowelment.”

Cathy says she waded through the hounds and gripped the vixen by the scruff of the neck, and with the help of a fellow saboteur bundled it into her car with a jacket over its face. The feeling of the fox’s teeth breaking the skin of her cheek as she clutched its wet fur tight to her chest was “like loads of pins biting down”. “When I went back to the hunt the huntsman said: ‘I hope your tetanus is up to date'.”

The vixen survived with the help of a vet. Cathy recovered with the help of a nurse. “I had to sit there with my hands in iodine for 40 minutes and I got a very strong round of antibiotics,” she says.

Hunt saboteurs have existed since the 1960s – but hunt supporters argue that the Hunting Act has made their roleWarwickshireFHAggressivesupporterhitsfemalesabinface9-11-17.jpg adopted legal methods. The most popular legal alternative – according to the Countryside Alliance – is a ‘trail hunt', in which a runner lays an artificial scent for mounted riders to follow. If a fox is inadvertently killed in the course of such a hunt, it does not mean the hunt is unlawful, however. Indeed, there is no proof the incidents Cathy recounts were deliberate fox kills organised by hunts.

The Countryside Alliance, which supports all forms of legal hunting, says there have been more than 250,000 hunts since the ban – and they claim the overwhelming majority have been lawful. More than 400 people were convicted in the ten years after the Hunting Act came into force, according to Ministry of Justice statistics – but the Countryside Alliance says just 24 of those were involved with “registered" hunts.

Anti-hunting activists have long campaigned on behalf of animal rights yet their allegations of continuous law-breaking by hunts is completely unfounded,” a spokesperson said.

The earliest known hunt in Britain is thought to have taken place in 16th century Norfolk. It was eventually banned by Labour, under Tony Blair, in 2004. Both subsequent Conservative Prime Ministers have expressed their desire to repeal the ban, promising parliament a free vote on the issue – but both ultimately abandoned the idea.

This may be because the fox hunting ban is thought to be overwhelmingly supported by voters across the political spectrum. A poll by ComRes for the Daily Mirror suggested retaining the fox hunting ban was the most popular policy in Labour’s 2017 general election manifesto, with the support of 78% of the voting-age population (and 64% of Conservative voters).

The saboteurs argue that their attempts to disrupt the hunts is justified by such public support – and the law. Acquiring the video evidence necessary to prove illegal activity is a risky pastime, however. Interfering with a hunt often requires trespassing on others’ land; a civil offence which gives property owners the right to use 'reasonable force' to eject unwelcome visitors.

Last year a man was cautioned by police after Cathy was left with a bloody cut to her face while trying to film and monitor a hunt in Warwickshire. Video footage shows a man pushing Cathy after she initially refuses to leave his land. “The guy’s pushing and slapping and sort of whacks me in the face,” says Cathy. “He said, ‘You can hit me if you want’ – and the answer’s no, I’m not like you. What sort of natural response is that?"

Cathy has also been arrested – “four [or] five times”, she says. She was recently charged with three Public Order offences over a demonstration at a fundraising event for Atherstone hunt. Last month she was found not guilty of all charges. “It shouldn’t have gone to court in the first place,” she says. This hasn't dissuaded her from hunt sabotage though – but it does leave her feeling exhausted and in need of some recovery time.

On a Saturday, when I get in, it’s a beer in a bath,” she says. “It’s not, ‘I’m going to get ready and go out clubbing'.” Tucked up in her bed, surrounded by fox cushions, ceramics, pictures, and other curios, she says she sleeps sound in the knowledge that she has done all she can to help the lives of animals that she believes society has a “duty of care to protect”. “There’s something magical about [foxes],” she says. “It’s that lovely sort of slinkiness that they’ve got, and they just sort of glide away. I find them really enchanting.”

POWAperson comments  -  As Cathy would be the first to acknowledge, there are many heroes and heroines amongst the hunt sab and monitor community. They all seriously risk their safety [two sabs have been killed in the hunting fields, many others badly injured. They have to tolerate routine violence, abuse, threats, harassment, property damage and thefts from hunters and their associated thugs [with precious little protection from the police]. They exhaust themselves in all weathers, often seeing the terrorisation and slaughter of the animals they seek to protect, all for no reward but the satisfaction that they have at least tried to save and advocate for them and borne witness to the lawless savagery of hunts and hunters. 

As you will have noticed, there are a number of very challengeable assertions by the author in the text above. Charitably, one might regard these as an attempt to achieve the famous BBC 'balance'.

Firstly, the claim that a hunt rider was knocked unconscious by sabs armed with iron bars was highly questionable. The only video evidence provided by the hunt side showed the hunter already lying on the ground when the clip started, with no evidence as to how he got there. The hunt side claimed the clip showed sabs assaulting hunt followers. In fact the only person being assaulted in it was one of the two sabs, who were heavily outnumbered by hunters and followers present. There were no 'iron bars'. Some sabs carry 'soft' whips - a short wooden handle attached to a piece of rope, occasionally used to discourage hounds and, in extremis, to help get them off their quarry, without hurting them. These were the only 'weapons' the sabs were carrying. Despite hunt side claims that there were other clips showing violence by the sabs, they have, surprise, surprise, never surfaced - and the police dropped the case pretty quickly.

The author's claim that there is no suggestion that any of the fox kills Cathy has witnessed were illegal is laughable. I'm sure Cathy and other sabs would assert that all of them were. This is because she, all other sabs and monitors believe, and repeatedly witness, illegal chasing and slaughter of live quarry routinely, in the pretend guise of 'trail hunting.' The author seems unwilling to acknowledge the mountain of evidence that this is the case.

Secondly, the sab filmed grasping a horse's bridle was doing the only thing he could to try to protect a female colleague, as the huntswoman had repeatedly ridden her horse at her. For his pains he was whipped 17 times, but the police did not consider this sufficient violence to merit an assault charge against the huntswoman.

Pic above right  -   Cathy being hit in the face by a former director of the Warwickshire FH

Pic below   -  Cathy rescuing a juvenile fox from the jaws of the Old Berks FH 

    OldBerksFHCathyrescuesyoungfoxfrom14-11-12.jpg 

The BBC Three documentary 'The Hunt: Battle in the Countryside' is on the website. BBC Three is now available on the internet only [unlsss you have a Smart TV. It's also on You Tube.

 

Northants MH pack up again when faced with mass sab

5-5-18   Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs    Hit Report: 05.05.2018, Northants Minkhounds. Mill Farm, Newport Pagnell    Sabs from numerous groups joined forces today to put a stop to another meet of the Northants Minkhounds, hunting in baking heat near Lathbury just outside of Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire.

The pack were spotted hunting the riverbanks of the River Great Ouse, just outside of the town and very quickly found themselves surrounded by sabs holding video cameras. This area of river is home to all sorts of wildlife, but notably it is a known otter habitat (https://bit.ly/2IgwJz9), so it is of no surprise that the Northants Otter/Minkhounds are so keen to hunt there.

Once the Hunt sighted sabs, they made their predictable escape. Now, while the hunting set have spent a lot of time coming up with lies to cover up what mounted fox hunts are really doing, they have given precious little attention to protecting their partners in crime, the mink hounds. As the packs have absolutely no possible legal excuse for what they are doing, they always turn and run whenever they see hunt sabs. [Below - packing up]

    NorthantsMHPackingup5-5-18.jpg 

The Hunt headed back to Mill Farm, near Gayhurst, and after a short conflab they seemed to admit defeat, and summoned their hound trailer to pack their ragtag assorted pack away and write off another weekend’s hunting ruined.

Police from Thames Valley attended (in four vehicles) to protect the Hunt until they had packed and left. They showed no interest in the fact they were stood around with wildlife criminals, or to the concerns raised by sabs that the hounds had simply been boxed up in a trailer and left for around 30 minutes on the hottest day of the year. [Below - Off home, with police escort]

   NorthantsMHgoinghomewithpoliceescort5-5-18.jpg 

Groups with sabs present today included: North Cambs, Beds & Bucks, Suffolk And Essex , Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Northants, West Midlands and Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs. Hunt sabs give up their free time to stop illegal hunting in our countryside, if you would like to support our work for the price of a coffee, you can click here: https://ko-fi.com/northcambs.

 

Police/CPS still drag out S. Hereford FH cub scandal as demo due

4-5-18   Hereford Times    Protest outside police station over South Herefordshire Hunt case    A demonstration outside Hereford Police Station will see animal rights protestors call for charges to be made in the South Herefordshire Hunt investigation.

Five people were arrested two years ago on suspicion of animal cruelty at the Hunt's kennels in Wormelow but they have since been released from bail and no charges have been made. The police said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) awaits a limited amount of further information from West Mercia Police before a decision on possible charges can be made.

The protest, organised by the Animal Welfare Party (Cheshire East) and Save The Ban, will demand that wildlife crimes are properly investigated and prosecuted by the police and the CPS. Jane Smith, from the Animal Welfare Party, said: "It will be two years since it happened and, despite very clear evidence, there have been no charges. We feel there has been no justice. "It has been a really prominent example across the UK of police forces and the CPS not appearing to take wildlife crime seriously. We don't feel the police are out there investigating properly."

The Hunt Investigation Team obtained footage which, they claim, was secretly recorded at the South Herefordshire Hunt's headquarters. The video footage appears to show a huntsman handling foxes illegally and was published on social media.

Ms Smith said the protest aimed to "show the police and CPS we are going to keep being vocal about 'crimes' not being prosecuted". "We are not going to shut up and go away," she added. But she was keen to highlight that it will be a peaceful protest on May 12 in Bath Street between 12pm and 3pm. Ms Smith said: "It is going to be extremely peaceful. But I believe emotions will run high because it is a a very emotive cause."

Last September police released five people from bail, but said the investigation is ongoing. A 37-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, both from Hereford, a 37-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman, both from Abergavenny, and a 45-year-old man from Powys were earlier arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty relating to an alleged offence in May 2016. South Herefordshire Hunt placed itself in voluntary suspension – and remains that way – as the police investigation continues.

Sue Thomas, the Supt for Herefordshire Local Policing area, said she was aware of the planned demonstration. "We plan to talk with the organisers around their plans for the event, but we would welcome direct contact from the organisers," she added. "We will be working with colleagues at Hereford City Council to ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum, while facilitating the right of people to lawfully protest. Our role with such events is to ensure members of the public can exercise their lawful rights whilst preventing disruption, crime and disorder. We will ensure that we provide a proportionate policing response. This is a live investigation involving a number of complex factors. The CPS prosecution team have been in regular contact with Senior Officers from West Mercia Police in order to jointly progress this case. As part of the ongoing review of the case, the CPS awaits a limited amount of further information from West Mercia Police before the tests in the Code for Crown Prosecutors can properly be applied, and a decision on charge made. Cases of animal cruelty are treated seriously by both organisations. Resources have been invested to ensure that the best evidence can be achieved in these cases and we actively seek to protect animals from cruelty and to prevent their suffering."

POWAperson comments  -  The partially successful  prosecution of the Warwickshire Hunt was completed last month two years and four months after the incident was reported to police. The South Herefordshire case has now been going on for almost two years since the Hunt Investigation Team turned their footage of truly shocking cruelty to young fox cubs over to the police - and still no charges have been laid. Let's just hope these excessive delays are due to the CPS determination to get all their ducks in a row in this disturbing case.  

Pics below -   1/  Fox cubs held in captivity    2/  Man believed to by S. Herefordshire FH servant about to throw cub to hounds inside the building

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

 

Grafton FH Huntsman to face trial on illegal hunting charge

3-5-18   Information from Hunt Monitors Association    Huntsman Mick Wills is to face trial on 3rd September at Wellingborough Magistrates Court on a charge of illegal hunting. The charge relates to an incident on 23rd September last year. Wills pleaded Not Guilty at an initial hearing last month.

     GraftonFHHuntsmanhasslingmonitors4-8-15.jpg 

 

LACS CEO quits due to serious health problem

2-5-18  LACS website    League statement    “I regret to announce that Eduardo Gonçalves is stepping down asEduardoGoncalvesLACS.jpg CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports. Eduardo was diagnosed with a serious condition last year, and has been courageously battling his illness with the determination and good humour we have come to expect of him. This is the same determination that we saw him put into all his work, helping to see off multiple attempts to repeal the hunting ban and to force the government to abandon plans to hold a vote to bring back this archaic sport topping the list. He has worked tirelessly to fight the powerful interests of those who wish to persecute animals. Eduardo has been a loud and compassionate voice for animals, and we expect him to remain so in the future. We wish him and his family well.”

Iain Blake-Lawson, Chair, League Against Cruel Sports Board of Trustees

POWAperson adds -  We are sad to learn that Eduardo has had to step down. He was a very good leader of the League and continued its renaissance, which began under Joe Duckworth. We very much hope he can overcome his health problems soon.  

 

Belvoir FH hound killed on A1 slip road

1-5-18  Grantham Matters     Hound killed on A1 slip road Two hounds were reported as loose this morning around Barrowby. Sadly, one was hit by a car and killed. Two men reportedly from the Belvoir Hunt collected the dogs.

BelvoirFHHoundkilledonA1slipoad1-5-18.jpg BelvoirFHHoundkilledonA1sliproadHuntcar1-5-18.jpg

 

APRIL 2018

..... 30th April - Ledbury S. FH rider cautioned for threat. behaviour to female sabs

..... 30th April - Beagle pack's illegal hunting revealed in own newsletter

..... 30th April  - Judge slams police over undisclosed photos in Grove & Rufford FH case

..... 29th April - Scottish CA boss descends to personal abuse over hunting issue

..... 28th April - Northants Mink Hounds go home when challenged by sabs

..... 27th April - Monitors upload film of illegal Cheshire FH hunt rejected by CPS

..... 26th April - Essex FH and Essex Farmers FH are to merge

..... 24th April - Police drop case where fox chase & kill by Ashford Valley FH filmed

..... 24th April - Anti campaigners get no joy from meeting with new N.Trust boss

..... 24th April - JM acquitted on appeal savages CPS for bringing case against him

..... 23rd April - Monitor threatened by Quantock SH supporter

..... 22nd April - CPS drops case of illegal hunting by Cheshire FH last October

..... 20th April - Crawley FH JM acquitted on appeal of threatening behaviour to sab

..... 20th April - Deer hunted on NT land soon after new boss pledges to 'help nature'

..... 19th April - 3 Atherstone members FH reported for perverting course of justice

..... 19th April - Prominent sab cleared after Atherstone FH hunter lies exposed in court

..... 18th April - Locals petition against relocation of Pembrokeshire FH kennels

..... 17th April - Two Essex & Suffolk FH 'stewards' charged over attacks on sabs

..... 15th April - D&S SH still out at 6.30pm looking for stag to chase and kill

..... 15th April - Mass sab ensures no fox kills by the Royal Artillery FH

..... 11th April - Sab records show huge scale of sett blocking by Hunts

..... 11th April - Campaign to ban Hampshire FH from Alton council land

..... 10th April - Belvoir FH terrierman/son plead guilty to attacks on LACS monitors

..... 10th April - Antis plan demo re. no action in S. Herefordshire FH fox cubs case

.....  9th April - Royal Artillery FH hunt area where risk spreading tree disease

.....  8th April - Two from Buccleuch FH charged with illegal fox hunting

.....  8th April - Antis film shambolic pretend trail laying by Royal Artillery FH

.....  7th April - Sabs pull hounds off Four Burrow FH chased into village

.....  6th April - APHA says no licenses issued for import of fox urine based substances

.....  4th April - Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman guilty of hunting fox killed by hounds

.....  3rd April - NFU says pick up after pet dogs on farmland [no mention of hunt hounds] 

.....  1st April - Waveney Huntsman's verbal abuse of monitor leads to formal complaint 

 

Ledbury S. FH rider cautioned for threatening behaviour to female sabs

30-4-18  Facebook - Welsh Border Hunt Sabs   VIDEO    Breaking news!!!! |Please share far and wide. David Mansell, ex jockey and well known Ledbury South/ South Hereford fox cub killers rider was cautioned this afternoon at Ross police station for a section 4 public order offense following this assault on Welsh borders and Bath hunt sabs. 

This relates to attacks detailed in sabs' report of 26-11-17 -  '...with so many sabs in the area, wherever the chose to roam, they ran into sabs. This had the desired affect of keeping them moving, unable to hunt. So it was only to be expected that they would resort to violence again. And ex jockey, David Mansell was more than happy to oblige. After repeatedly riding into, threatening and assaulting one female sab whilst she was on a footpath, he then chose to do the same to another female sab who filmed the first attack...'

Pics below   -   Mansell riding his horse into female sab 

  LedburySouthFH.sabbeingriddeninto_5_25-11-17.jpg LedburySouthFHF.sabbeingriddeninto25-11-17.jpg

 

Beagle pack's illegal hunting revealed in own newsletter

30-4-18   Morethanjustbadgers.net    The Wilts and Infantry Sprint of Shame    Anyone who has sabbed a beagle pack will be familiar with the “walk of shame” – the response by 99% of beagle packs when confronted with sabs. They pack up because trail hunting is a red herring and so there is literally nothing else for them to do. The Wilts & Infantry have developed their own version of this manoeuvre: the “sprint of shame”. They absolutely peg it as soon as we appear and then career off in their hound van at high speed! A look at The Season Past section of their newsletter explains why; about forty meets are described, all of which are nothing like NFB-style drag hunting and exactly like traditional beagling. Here is just a small selection:-

(1) “After a warm welcome by the Collins family at Manor Farm, Codford hounds were quickly away on a good scentWiltsandInfantryBeagleshuntingonSalisburyPlain.jpgrunning fast from the valley onto the high ground with the Field totally enthralled as they ran several large circuits almost to the main road and back before a successful conclusion.”

(2) “A red letter day at Home Farm, Seend . . . hounds crossed the brook twice settling on a line and two big circuits around Great Thornham finally crossing the brook yet again heading to Bulkington stopping short of Manor Farm swinging back towards Pantry Bridge and back up the brook for a successful conclusion.”

(3) “Back to Rodmead . . . as Angus and Sarah hosted the largest Wednesday meet of the season. Putting in on the West side hounds were away almost immediately but on a tricky scent running under Little Knoll towards Newmead then back over the drive to lose touch in sheep foil. Drawing on they picked up on the Elm Farm side with two hard circuits and were duly rewarded.”

(4) “And so to the Closing Meet at Manor Farm, Stockton with Phylidda Stratton our hostess . . . Dry and hard underfoot with the wind still Easterly scent was uncertain however hounds ran outstandingly well after putting on the left of the track running away toward Sherrington Dairy and working back over the dry ground gathering pace running past the pheasant pens down the valley beyond up through Gilberts Cleeve then left handed for a successful conclusion.”

It all smells a bit fishy . . . to say the least. All of these hunts were long, fast, continuous pursuits over several miles across the challenging terrain of Salisbury Plain. They all also feature the characteristic circular patterns run by desperate hares. In hunt (1) the trail was supposedly laid by the “main road” – the very busy A3; in hunt (2) the trail appears to have been repeatedly put across a stream; while in hunt (3) it was laid through a flock of sheep. All the hunts also ended in a “successful conclusion”; what exactly does this mean in trail hunting? Countryside Alliance guidance clearly states that the Huntsman “does not know exactly where the trails have been laid” so how does the Wilts & Infantry Huntsman know when the trail has finished and that hounds have been “successful”?

The answer to all these questions, of course, is that the Wilts & Infantry Beagles are openly describing their cruelty and criminality in a document that they never imagined would enter the public domain...

Pic above right   -   Wilts & Infantry Beagles hunting on Salisbury Plain 

 

Judge slams police over withheld Grove & Rufford FH evidence

30-4-18  Daily Mail    Judge hits out at police after hunt members were wrongly convicted of using dogs to kill a fox after a sergeant failed to disclose vital photo evidence - Judge said Paul Larby, Peter White and Jane Wright suffered a ‘serious injustice’ - The group had been convicted of hunting a mammal with dogs in March 2017 - But 50 pictures emerged at an appeal hearing which revealed their innocence Three hunt members were wrongly convicted after a police sergeant failed to disclose crucial photos in evidence. Calling on prosecutors to review the case, judge Recorder Roger Evans criticised Sergeant Matt Scott – saying Paul Larby, Peter White and Jane Wright had been subjected to a ‘serious injustice’.

Mr. Larby and his colleagues were convicted in March last year of hunting a mammal with dogs after a fox was chased and killed during a trail hunt in January 2016. The convictions hinged on 209 photos and a video taken by birdwatchers that appeared to show the group – members of the Nottinghamshire Grove and Rufford Hunt – chasing the fox. But at an appeal hearing last month, a further 50 pictures emerged showing Mr Larby, 59, and Mrs Wright, 64, racing to intervene before being blocked by a hedge.

The judge ordered almost £60,000 in costs should be returned to the group as, ‘if this case had been investigated properly’, Sergeant Scott would have obtained and disclosed all the images at the earliest opportunity and a ‘different view may have been taken’ on charging them. The prosecution’s opposition to the appeal was abandoned on the second day, though the CPS insists the decision was not made because of the photos.

Ruling on costs at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday, the judge said he was ‘concerned’ by the evidence of Sergeant Scott, who ‘seemed to have no explanation’ for the missing evidence. The group, initially fined a total of £1,530, have lodged a complaint against Sergeant Scott. The judge had heard as part of legal argument that a series of Twitter posts in the officer’s name from 2014 criticised the Shooting Times.

Mr White, 58, told the Sunday Telegraph the case had been ‘completely biased’ from the outset with a ‘prejudiced’ officer in charge. Nottinghamshire Police said that it reviewed processes where appropriate, while the CPS said it would consider the judge’s comments.

POWAperson comments   -   The appeal judge who overturned the Grove & Rufford FH 3's convictions was a Tory MP in the 1990s, at a time when the great majority of them were pro-hunt and his name does not appear in my record of anti Tories from the time. In consideration of part of the evidence, that the terrierman had been transporting a terrier in his quad - which the case judge thought indicative of intent to hunt - he flippantly remarked that the terrierman might just have taken the dog along for a ride. The judge also determined that the fox had been 'chopped' - which contradicted the evidence of the birdwatchers [not anti hunt activists] who were the main prosecution witnesses. It does appear that the police should have disclosed the 50 photos.  It's impossible to say without seeing them all, but the judge seems to have felt he could read intent into them. This may, however, just have been a matter of interpretation. Rather than 'racing to intervene' to stop the hounds, might they not as easily been hurrying to get to the scene of a potential kill, as hunters are wont to do, and/or perhaps to be in a position to quickly remove the evidence of their crime? Three days before the appeal verdict, sabs saw and filmed the G&R fox hunting in nature reserves belonging to the Woodland Trust, which totally bans Hunts from their land. One suspects the only 'injustice' done here is to the fox slaughtered by the G&R's hounds.

 

Scottish CA boss descends to personal abuse over hunting issue

29-4-18    Sunday Herald    Fox hunting row descends into slanging match    A ROW has broken out after a Scots pro-fox hunting lobbyist described the English head of an animal welfare charity as a “stranger to our country” after new polling suggested Scots support a ban on hunting with hounds whether they live in a town or in theJamieStewartScottishCADirector.jpgcountry.

Jamie Stewart [right], director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA), described Robbie Marsland [below left], director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland (LACS) as a “stranger to our country” who has been “parachuted in”. Marsland accused Stewart of “making personal comments which have no bearing on public opinion”.

Stewart made the comments after he was asked to respond to polling carried out on behalf of LACS which indicates that 80 per cent of Scots who live in urban areas and 73 per cent who live in rural areas think fox hunting with hounds should be illegal.

The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 banned huntsmen from sending dogs to tear apart foxes but they can still be used to flush out foxes which should then be shot. A “loophole” in the law also allows hounds to be set on foxes if they are wounded during the hunt. The Scottish Government is expected to release analysis of the results of a consultation on strengthening the law before the summer. More than 30,000 people responded.

LACS director Marsland said their new poll of 1,463 people “debunks the myth that this is a town versus country issue” and indicates that the majority of Scots believe the 2002 legislation “has failed in its purpose”.

Director of the SCA, Jamie Stewart, who speaks for Scotland’s huntsmen, said: “I know that Robbie Marsland is a stranger to our country, but I am perplexed by his continued demonstration of a complete lack of understanding or regard for Scottish legislation.  The Scottish Parliament introduced the Protection of Wild Mammals Act in 2002 making the deliberate chase of a wild mammal with dogs illegal. This applies to fox hunting. What he is now trying to ban is genuine pest control.”

RobbieMarslandIFAW.jpgWhen the Sunday Herald asked Stewart whether he was referring to the fact that Marsland is English, he said: “Yes. Robbie was parachuted in from England and doesn’t really seem to understand Scottish legislation.”  

Marsland said: “It’s unfortunate Mr Stewart has failed to understand the issue here which is very clearly about public support for a proper ban on fox hunting and the fact there is no difference in public opinion between those who live in urban areas and those who live rurally. Instead, rather than use the opportunity to give a valid view on the situation he has chosen to make personal comments which quite frankly don’t have any bearing on public attitudes in Scotland.”

Stewart pointed to SCA polling published in February which asked 1,031 people in Scotland which issues had the greatest impact on their vote in the General Election. The survey showed 98 per cent of people did not put fox hunting in their top five issues that affected their vote and none of the respondents mentioned fox hunting as an issue when asked for their opinion unprompted.

Fox hunting legislation is decided on by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament and the General Election sees voters elect MPs to the UK Parliament.

Stewart said: “Independent research published by the Scottish Countryside Alliance has shown again that hunting is completely irrelevant to Scottish voters … and inferring that this is somehow an urban/rural divide is simply a new tactic by the LACS to try and keep their campaign alive.”

Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone, who is working to bring a bill before the Scottish Parliament which would completely ban fox hunting, said the new LACS polling is another indication of majority support for an outright ban.

“Advocates for blood sports are gradually running out of arguments for their cruel and outdated rituals not to be banned once and for all,” she said. “Hunting with dogs was banned in Scotland over 15 years ago, but hunts continue to take place across Scotland using a loophole which allows flushing with hounds. As more Scots, regardless of whether they live in an urban or rural area, come to realise that this barbaric practice is still taking place, I’m confident that more and more of them will want to see a permanent ban in place.”

Marsland added: “The Scottish Government has the opportunity to strengthen the legislation so that we have a law which really bans hunting. The League is urging those in power to let common sense prevail and make fox hunting illegal once and for all.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring the highest welfare standards for all animals – including those in the wild. In recognition of concerns about the effectiveness of the current fox hunting legislation, we asked one of Scotland’s most senior judges, Lord Bonomy, to carry out a detailed review of the current position. We will announce any plans we have to change the law on fox hunting once we have completed the analysis of the consultation on Lord Bonomy’s recommendations and carefully considered all the arguments that have been put forward.”

 

Northants Mink Hounds go home when challenged by sabs

28-4-18  Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs    Hit Report: 28.04.2018: Northamptonshire NorthantsMH28-4-18.jpgMink/Otterhounds. Thornby, Northants    North Cambs Hunt Sabs took to the road this morning and met up with fellow activists from Beds & Bucks, Suffolk And Essex Hunt Sabs and Norfolk after receiving news that illegal hunting with hounds was taking place in the waterways of Northamptonshire.

Sure enough, we found the Northants Minkhounds in the process of trashing a small stream to the south of Thornby. Field support seemed confused as to what was actually going on, as when quizzed they suggested they were either/or (a) doing nothing (b) hunting rats or (c) none of your business, as they quickly turned tails and fled the watchful cameras of sabs.

It is of course an offence to disturb a river habitat which is home to any protected mammals, but we doubt whether the Northants Minkhounds carried out any detailed ecological surveys before they unloaded a pack of mixed foxhounds and terriers into the stream to catch and kill whatever they could find.

It was a damp day, and the huntsman was already making a huge meal of traipsing up and down the swollen stream with her reluctant hounds. Sabs arriving sparked a short protest where one individual was pushed and shoved by a hunt member, but with camcorders pointing all over the Hunt they soon realised that discretion was the better part of valour, and headed back to their vehicles.

Hounds appeared disappointed to be packed away so soon, and the Hunt had difficulty catching them all to load into the trailer, but once we had seen the hunt put away their pack, terriers, gun(!) and otter poles and leave we were satisfied with a job well done.

Hunt saboteurs give up their free time voluntarily to protect wildlife from being killed in the name of sport. If you would like to support this vital work for the price of a coffee, please click here: https://ko-fi.com/northcambs/.

Pic below   -   Packing up early, their fun spoiled 

    NorthantsMHPackingupduetosabs28-4-18.jpg 

 

Monitors upload film of illegal Cheshire FH hunt rejected by CPS

Claim 'insufficient evidence' of hunters' identities

Monitors say they know names of everyone involved 

27-4-18   Facebook – Cheshire Hunt Monitors   VIDEO   CHESHIRE HOUNDS HUNT ESCAPE PROSECUTION AGAIN DESPITE BLATANT CUB HUNTING    On October 21st 2017, Cheshire Monitors filmed what they (and Cheshire Police) believed to be clear evidence of illegal hunting in the village of Tiverton in Cheshire; in this instance, cub hunting. The video evidence Cheshire Police submitted to the CPS included two clips from two different cameras by two separate monitors. The film we are publishing today is a compilation of that evidence plus supporting footage from additional cameras from other members of our team.

     CheshireFHCopsesrroundedbyridersandfollowers21-10-17.jpg 

Remember that the hunting season doesn’t officially start until November each year and this Hunt claim to only be ‘exercising hounds’ at this time; they couldn’t even get away with hiding behind the lie that is so-called trail hunting.

    CheshireFHTerrierquadsarriveatsurroundedcopse21-10-17.jpg 

Once again the monitors involved put in a lot of their volunteer time on this case and Cheshire Police spent many hours putting this case together (as they did last year on our case against the Cheshire Forest Hunt that was also dropped by the CPS, see https://youtu.be/Wc5vTToZCes).

CheshireFHFoxchasedbyhoundQuadanticipated21-10-17.jpgHowever, yet again the CPS felt that they couldn’t progress this case to court within the confines of the weak and pretty useless Hunting Act, specifically issues with identifying hunt staff. And people wonder why there is a growing battle in the countryside between August and April during the hunting season.

Appeal:- Since receiving notification that this case was to go no further we have been working closely with Outpaced on an appeal to the CPS with regards to the main point brought up which was ID of the Huntsman. This appeal relied on the fact that when Hunts are a limited company there should be no issue with ID of hunt staff, but due to the time it’s taken to get a decision from the CPS we ran out of time. This is something we have come up against with the CPS before, who allow cases to ‘expire’.

However, a spokesperson for Outpaced says: “What the CPS have given us is a very interesting angle to explore through the summer. Other cases talk about a director being engaged in the act and it seems surely reasonable to be considered engaged if riding with a hunt that kills, or indeed simply hunts. It seems equally clear that such an act falls into connivance, consent or neglect. It does seem very worth pursuing and we will certainly get advice as to putting all hunt directors on notice in writing for next season”.

We would like to express our thanks to Outpaced for giving up their time to help us with this point of attack because it could help all groups nationally who are opposed to hunting eventually.

The next step: strengthening the law:- We all talk about how the Hunting Act is the source of all our problems, with getting cases through the courts with just outcomes, and have decided to show you how the Act should be changed. We have joined together with POWA (Protect Our Wild Animals) who have given us permission to share this document which lays out exactly what needs to change: www.powa.org.uk/id88.html.

    CheshireFHOtherhoundsjoinchaseasHuntsmanencouageswithhorn21-10-17.jpg 

Protect Our Wild Animals was the first, and most persistent organisation calling for strengthening of the Hunting Act. They have been exposing the true state of affairs and blatant lawbreaking since shortly after the ban. POWA is composed of highly experienced campaigners, including in its number some of the country’s most experienced hunt monitors. POWA knew the law had been weakened in the process of being drawn up to the extent that it offered the hunters numerous gaping loopholes which they would undoubtedly exploit to the maximum.

Before the ban, 50,000 hunters signed a “Declaration” stating they would break any law banning hunting - it is quite clear they meant it, believing as they clearly do that they are above the law. The invention of so-called “trail hunting” was a stroke of (evil) genius by the hunters which provided them with a ready made excuse every time they were caught out. POWA has constantly exposed the appalling level of lawbreaking and violence taking place at hunts all over the country. They continue to do so, and are in talks with leading politicians to develop with them the strengthening measures to be added to the Hunting Act as soon as the political landscape allows.

We all must stand up to these criminals and those in government that protect them. We will be soon posting a comprehensive guide to help you confront illegal hunting in your area. Watch this space!

For now If you feel a need to write in and express your concerns, here is a list of who to contact :- www.foxhuntingevidenceuk.com/area-contacts/cheshire/.  Please share this post! Also available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en6Uv_cyNqg. Useful links:- http://www.powa.org.uk/https://www.facebook.com/Outpaced-Wildlife-Rescue-16839376…/ http://www.houndsoff.co.uk/.

Pics above   -     Top, Riders and foot followers surround the copse   Next,   Twin quads with terriermen arrive at the copse     Left, Fox flushed from copse chased by lead hound,   Lowest, Other hounds and riders join the chase  

Pics below   -   1/  Fox fleeing from hounds     2/   Lead hound chasing fox    3/   Other hounds in hot pursuit      4/   Hounds searching for fox trail

  CheshireFHFoxfleeingfromhounds21-10-17.jpg CheshireFHLeadhoundchasingfox21-10-17.jpg

  CheshireFHHoundsinhotpursuit21-10-17.jpg  CheshireFHHoundssearching21-10-17.jpg

See also coverage by LBC radio 

 

Essex FH and Essex Farmers FH are to merge

26-4-18   Facebook - Hunt Saboteurs    There’s some great news in Horse and Hound magazine for once. Two Essex hunts are merging meaning one less fox hunt in the area!

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Police drop case where Ashford FH filmed chased and killed fox

Wildlife Officers told sab Hunt protected by Commercial law! 

24-4-18    Daily Mail  VIDEO   The horrific moment a fox is caught by a pack of hounds and brutally ripped apart despite the bloodsport being banned in the UK - In a shocking clip, a fox can be seen fleeing from hounds in the Kent countryside - The animal is eventually caught and killed, and its torn apart body is collected Harry Blackhurst, who recorded the clip, said: 'It's changed my life because I'm determined to avenge that fox. I can't let it rest'    This is the horrifying moment a fox is ripped apart by dogs during a hunt as shocked onlookers film the scene unfolding. During the clip hounds can be seen racing after the fox as it tries in vain to escape in Marden, Kent. The camera then cuts to the dead fox being lifted away with its guts hanging from its body after the hunt, which was apparently organised by the Ashford Valley Tickham Hunt.

Fox hunting with packs of dogs was banned in England in 2005, and is considered hunting of this nature if the person engages or participates in the pursuit of a wild mammal and one or more dogs are employed in that chase.

The video was recorded by Harry Blackhurst in November of last year. The software consultancy recruiter is part of the anti-hunt group East Kent Saboteurs who go out every Saturday from August to March in a bid to stop the practice. Mr Blackhurst said that after the fox was killed, police arrived and the Huntsmen admitted the animal had been caught by the dogs.

The 30-year-old says that he heard nothing from the authorities: 'I was chasing them to come back to me.' Eventually, wildlife officers were sent to his house in relation to the incident. But he claims that those wildlife officers were powerless to do anything: 'The Kent Police Wildlife Officers that came to my house claimed that they couldn't get involved in fox hunting crimes, because when the 2004 Hunting Act came in to force all of the hunts became limited companies so that they were dealt with under commercial law.'

Eventually, his statement was taken by police in February, but he was told last Tuesday that the case had been closed. Mr Blackhurst was disgusted by what he saw in November: 'It was horrific. It's the worst thing I've ever seen in my life. Now it's changed my life because I'm determined to avenge that fox. I can't let it rest.'

Kent Police have been approached for comment. Ashford Valley Tickham Hunt declined to comment.

Pics below   -   1/  Hounds start to chase flushed [or bagged] fox   2/  Hunters sit and watch    3/  Lead hound a few yards behind fox    4/  Fox almost caught    5/   Pack closes in    [At this point the sab had to get out of his car and run to a new position. The next part was shot perhaps 30 seconds later]   6/  Fox has been caught and killed. Terrierman is retrieving corpse.   7/  Terrierman makes off with carcass   8/  Terrierman is driven away with fox body. Huntsman heard blowing the kill.

     AshfordValleyFHStartoffoxchasejustflushedout11-11-17.jpg

  AshfordValleyFHChaseonHunterssitandwatch11-11-17.jpg AshfordValleyFHLeadhoundafewyardsbehind11-11-17.jpg

     AshfordValleyFHFoxalmostcaught11-11-17.jpg 

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     AshfordValleyFHFoxkilledTerriermanretrievescarcass11-11-17.jpg 

  AshfordValleyFHTerriermanwalksaway11-11-17.jpg AshfordValleyFHTerriermandrivenaway11-11-17.jpg

Sab talking to Kent on TV about the hunt and the kill here. Story also covered by Kent Online and the Metro.  

 

Anti campaigners get no joy from meeting with N. Trust new boss

24-4-18   Hounds Off    Members Meeting With National Trust: Statement by Helen Beynon   On 9th April a group of National Trust members met with the organisation’s new Director General to discuss the ongoing concerns over hunting on Trust land. Helen Beynon, Jack Riggall, Will Morton [pic below left] and Joe Hashman attended as members. Hilary McGrady (Director General) and Mark Harold (Director, Land & Nature) represented the Trust.

The meeting came after the narrow defeat of the motion to ban hunting on National Trust land at its AGM in October 2017 as a result of the Chair’s use of discretionary votes allocated to him, and at the end of the latest hunting season which was characterised by the misbehaviour of hunts and the failure of the Trust to adequately implement even the limited measures promised to members ahead of the vote. While we welcomed the opportunity to meet Hilary McGrady, the need to do so simply reflected the lack of robust action taken since the AGM.

We were told Ms McGrady wanted to hear from all sides, so she could get up to speed with the issue of hunting. Given the track record of many of the previously licensed hunts and those licensed last season, we looked to hear an explanation of why the Trustees would continue to persist in their illogical and callous position of maintaining hunts are responsible and trustworthy whilst disregarding the huge raft of evidence supplied to them by National Dis-Trust, other Trust members, animal welfare charities, hunt monitors and saboteurs.

N.TrustAntimeetwithnewDirector24-4-18.jpgIt was confirmed at the meeting that the licensing system will be reviewed before next autumn’s AGM but will not revisit the decision to allow hunting on Trust land. Describing its ambition to reach a place where it can trust hunts, the Trust does not appear to accept that its view, that the majority of hunts behave responsibly, is fatally undermined by the extensive evidence provided to it at all levels prior to the vote and by the experience of this season, and maintained that it requires its own evidence of irresponsible or illegal behaviour.

The Trust’s failure to live up to the limited promises made to members ahead of last year’s vote has been deeply disappointing and the explanations for this remain unsatisfactory. The granting of licences to hunts with a poor track record, including trespassing and even killing foxes on National Trust land, is the clearest example of the deficiencies of the current system. While the Trust has accepted in some instances that the Board of Trustees reversed its position on some elements of its statement on which members based their vote, it has failed to recognise the lack of respect this represents for the democratic process and for those members who participated in it in good faith.

When asked why the Trustees had decided to change the wording of license requirements, leaving members in the same position as prior to the vote, we were told they changed their minds. It seems they did not consider the implications of the statement prior to the AGM or had another motive for doing so, this in the full knowledge that advising members to vote against the resolution would have a significant impact on how they would vote.

Although we were told the Trustees took this subject very seriously, there was no new system in place to monitor the hunts who were hastily granted licenses last season. We were told that staff had kept an eye on things, but couldn’t be everywhere. It seemed that the Trust are unwilling or unable to address the number of hunts who have trespassed and yet then rewarded them when applying for licenses.

Having not meaningfully taken account of the track records of the Hunts it has licensed and not even attempted to monitor their activity on Trust land, it is difficult to imagine that the upcoming Review will be fully informed or effective. The most we have been given to expect is that the Trust may finally adhere to some of the conditions it promised its members and that it will begin to monitor the activity of hunts on its land. However, the potential monitoring system as described to us is unlikely to be credible and there is little reason to expect much improvement elsewhere considering these are the same issues we have been highlighting over and over to no avail since last year.

Sadly this new system will involve each Hunt being monitored just once a season, with binoculars! The non-animal scent will be sampled at the same time. Hardly a robust system, particularly as hunts will be pre-warned. To choose such an ineffectual approach is a slap in the face to members who still hoped to see signs that the statement by the Trustees was in good faith.

We welcomed the opportunity to place salient facts before Hilary McGrady, including a huge body of written and video evidence. However, we remain extremely sceptical that those supposedly hunting a fox-based scent with purpose-trained hounds when off Trust land will hunt an artificial scent whilst on it. Hilary McGrady agreed that without close monitoring none of us can be really sure how hunts operate on the more remote estates. The nature of the scent supposedly used by Hunts on Trust land is frankly irrelevant if we cannot ascertain the hounds are trained to pursue anything but fox.

The Hunts are as aware as we are that animals continue to be killed by hounds “accidentally”, surprising no one apart from the Trustees it seems. We await answers to several written questions, which we look forward to receiving from the Trust. Those members who are rapidly becoming more familiar with the barbaric realities of hunting with hounds continue to look forward to an era when the Trust genuinely takes note of those who are expert in the field of monitoring illegal hunting and advising on trespass. We hope for a time when the governance process reflects a genuine desire to respond to member opinions, rather than a situation where members have no opportunity to speak to the Trustees directly other than after they have decided their way forward and with resolutions, whatever their outcome, being considered as simply indicators of opinion, which could easily have been ascertained by the number of petitions and member demonstrations we have seen and which will continue until the Trust stop supporting savagely cruel and outdated activities.

 

JM acquitted on appeal savages CPS for bringing case against him

24-4-18   Daily Telegraph    Hunt Master slams CPS after he was prosecuted for confrontation with notorious saboteur     A Hunt Master is considering taking legal action against prosecutors after he was wrongly convicted of intimidating one of Britain's most notorious saboteurs over his "kidnapped" dog. The police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have been accused of wasting time and resources after taking Kim Richardson [below right] to court for confronting Raoul D’Monte, whose groups of saboteurs were holding one of his favourite hounds in their van. After a year long battle a Crown Court judge has now overturned his conviction for harassment, saying that he did not find Mr D'Monte was intimidated and Mr Richardson was reasonable in trying to get his pet back. Mr Richardson, Joint Master and Huntsman of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt, said that the case was "insane" and he is now considering suing the CPS. He works in Africa building social housing, clinics and community buildings and a conviction could be "dangerous" as it could mean that people will not work with him.

The Hunt Master, who was flooded with messages of support following his conviction, added: "As I said to them inKimRichardsonJMCrawleyFH.jpginterview I am an Englishman, my dog is really important to me, if someone touches it I will defend it. "

The alleged victim, Raoul D’Monte, was revealed in court to be a well known and prolific activist who has been disrupting hunts for almost 40 years and uses the pseudonym Alfie Moon to speak on sabbing tactics.

The judge heard that at the International Animal Right Conference in Luxembourg in 2016 he discussed the need to "take control of that pack of hunting hounds away from the huntsman” by using techniques such as fake noises, adding: "The day I stop sabbing them is the day the last red coat is on a bonfire somewhere."

Polly Portwin, the Countryside Alliance’s Head of Hunting, said: “This case should never have gone this far and is another example of thousands of pounds being wasted in court and police time. “The police and CPS need to consider very carefully any ‘evidence’ supplied by anti-hunting activists who have a vested interest in vilifying members of the hunting community.”

Fox hunting was made illegal in 2004 but trail hunting, in which the artificial scent of an animal is laid, is allowed in the UK.

On February 25 last year around 60 members of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt were met by around 40 saboteurs, many of whom were wearing camouflage and balaclavas. During the afternoon one Mr Richardson's hounds, Chapter, went missing and he desperately sent people to look for her but to no avail. "She is a bit naughty sometimes, but she would never run off," he said.

As darkness fell Mr Richardson stood at the top of a hill blowing his bugle for around an hour and a half, but the dog still did not return. One of the other riders overheard the saboteurs discussing what to do with the "lost property". They had found Chapter and put her in the back of their van [below left].

CrawleyFHLosthoundpickedupbysabs25-2-17.jpgIt was then Mr Richardson confronted Mr D’Monte, saying: "Have you got my missing hound, you lot? "You f****** better not nick it because I'll put this (bugle) straight down your f****** throat."Mr Richardson said: "It was maybe a little bit stronger than I should have been, but I knew I needed to be strong to get her back, it was a gesture."

The activists returned the dog to another rider several hours after she had gone missing. "I know that hounds have been stolen on hunts before," Mr Richardson said. "It is my wife's favourite hound, we have had it since it was a puppy and she would have killed me. As I said to the judge I am nearly as fond of the hounds as I am my own children."

He thought nothing more of it until he received a phone call from police a couple of months later. Mr Richardson said: "I told them not to be ridiculous but they said that he had made a complaint and I had to come in for interview. When the policemen turned off the recording they said both said that they did not know what I was doing there."

But the case was passed up the chain where Mr Richardson believes there are "some police in Sussex who are very anti-hunting and they get a lot of pressure from the sabs, whereas we do not bother as we do not want to waste their time. I thought that it was so stupid that no one would prosecute. Next thing I know I am in court," he added.

In October last year he appeared before a district judge and was convicted of a public order offence for causing harassment, alarm or distress and fined £2,500 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £635 and a victim surcharge of £130. But he was cleared on appeal at Lewes Crown Court last week after a video of the day, filmed from the point of view of the saboteurs, showed abuse being slung both ways. Mr D’Monte using the name Moon was filmed saying: "It was a really successful day, really good, really good."

Judge Antony Chinn QC said that the bench had also heard evidence that Mr D'Monte was "smirking" and they therefore concluded he did not feel harassed. He said they did not need to consider whether Mr Richardson's comments were reasonable but "in view of what we know about the lost hound we would have found them reasonable if we’d had to go to that stage."

Timothy Ryan, of Warner's Solicitors who represented Mr Richardson alongside Peter Glenser QC, added: “This case should never have gone to court and I was surprised that it did. It is hard to believe that the police thought that this comment justified prosecution and was in the public interest."

The Crawley and Horsham Hunt went out for around 55 days last year, and for 40 of those they were followed by saboteurs. Mr Richardson said: "For something that is perfectly legal they shouldn't be allowed to do it. Sussex Police are more inclined to arrest us than they are them because we give them less trouble."

A CPS spokesperson said: “This case was charged following careful consideration of the evidence in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. The defendant was convicted following a magistrates’ court trial in October 2017. The conviction was subsequently overturned on appeal and we respect the decision of the court.”

Sussex Police said it is their duty to uphold the law and they will investigate without bias allegations from either side before handing details to the CPS to make a charging decision. Superintendent Howard Hodges said: "The role of police at such events is to ensure the safety of everyone involved in and around hunting activities, ensuring that we can effectively respond to emergencies and deal with unlawful activity. We work closely, and without bias, with those who support hunting and those against it, encouraging engagement with us in order to reduce friction between them and the potential for any public disorder. It can be challenging to balance the rights, needs and wishes of all parties involved however we recognise the right for people to assemble and protest in a public place and we will always seek to facilitate both this and the rights of others to carry out lawful activity without fear of intimidation or obstruction”.

25-4-18   Facebook - Croydon Hunt Saboteurs    Utter bullshit from Richardson  The lost hound was found by Croydon Sabs and put into our Landy where she received treats, strokes and cuddles - more love than she has ever had I'll bet. We returned the hound, only to be accused of theft and a torrent of abuse. Which bit of "I'll thrust that bugle down your fucking throat" is not threatening or intimidation?

POWAperson adds   -  Naturally, the Telegraph article does not mention the Crawley & Horsham's long and inglorious history of criminality, including violence against sabs and no less than four convictions for illegal hunting. 

 

Monitor threatened by Quantock SH supporter

Attempted to get into monitor's vehicle 

23-4-18   Facebook - Somerset Wildlife Crime    Just received a report that one of our monitors has been threatened by QUANTOCK STAGHOUNDS support. The male tried to get into our monitors vehicle. The matter is now with the police. Full details on today will be posted up later.

 

CPS drops illegal hunting case against Cheshire FH from October

22-4-18  Facebook - Cheshire Monitors    CHESHIRE HOUNDS CASE DROPPED BY CPS     As many people will now be aware, Cheshire and Merseyside CPS recently took the decision not to proceed with our case against the Cheshire Hounds Hunt, which involved what both Cheshire Monitors and Cheshire Police believed to be a clear case of illegally hunting a fox. We will shortly be posting further details regarding this case, and what our next actions will be, so please keep checking back.

This email from the CPS Merseyside-Cheshire Head of Magistrate Court Prosecutions, dated 20-4-18 -  

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POWAperson adds  -  Cheshire Monitors did not publish their film of the Hunt chasing a fox because they referred it to the police. I expect they will now. This is what they said about it in their report of 22-10-17  -

... "we captured a full pack of hounds flushing this young fox out of Simpson’s Rough and giving chase through fields towards the village, with Hunt staff and riders in hot pursuit. We heard no attempts by the Huntsman to call the hounds off"

They say the land this fox was hunted on belongs to the owners of 'The Swan' at Tarpoley, the village where the Cheshire FH kennels are located. Monitors also said the Cheshire were blatantly hunting throughout the day and that they saw other foxes being hunted later in the day and none of what they were doing was 'trail hunting'. 

Monitors' full report on the day is here. 

 

Crawley FH JM is acquitted on appeal of threatening behaviour to sab

20-4-18   Countryside Alliance PR    Master of hunt is acquitted on appeal     Kim Richardson [left], a joint-master of the Crawley & Horsham Hunt was acquitted today in Lewes Crown Court following a conviction of an offence under Section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986. Representing Richardson in court today, Peter Glenser QC KimRichardsonJMCrawleyFH.jpgcommented: “Kim should never have been charged in the first place yet alone had to go as far as Crown Court on appeal, however it is of course brilliant news.” Richardson’s solicitor Tim Ryan added: “This case should never have gone to court.”

Richardson, who was “delighted” at the outcome, was originally found guilty at Horsham Magistrates Court in October 2017 and fined a total of £3,255. This was in relation to an incident involving hunt saboteur Raoul D’Monte that took place in February 2017.

Following judge Antony Chinn QC’s verdict, Tim Easby, director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association said: “We are absolutely thrilled at the outcome but this should never have got to this stage and it has understandably put a lot of unnecessary strain on Kim and his family.” Countryside Alliance’s Head of Hunting, Polly Portwin commented: “This case should never have gone this far and is another example of thousands of pounds being wasted in court and police time. “The police and CPS need to consider very carefully any ‘evidence’ supplied by anti-hunting activists who have a vested interest in vilifying members of the hunting community.”

POWAperson comments - See here for original media report on the case. Richardson has been a JM for the Crawley & Horsham FH for a long time. This Hunt has a reputation for violence and several members and followers have been convicted over the years for a variety of offences. Four of these convictions were for illegal hunting.


 

 

Deer hunted on NT land soon after new boss pledges to 'help nature'

20-4-18   Daily Express  VIDEO  SHOCK as deer HUNTED on National Trust land hours after new boss pledges to 'help nature' - SHOCKING footage has emerged which appears to show hunters assembling on lands managed by the National Trust in Somerset before allegedly launching into a deer chase across the moorland     Footage recorded on National Trust-managed land allegedly shows the hunters preparing for a deer hunt across the Holnicote Estate on Exmoor. The video reputedly shows riders gathered on National Trust land, with hunt supporters looking at the scene from nearby cars reportedly parked illegally on the moorland. A herd of deer can also be seen running across the land as onlookers observe from the nearby road.

Andrew Kendall, a professional investigator for the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) who witnessed the incident, said: "Deer were clearly being flushed out of wooded valleys and chased onto open moorland on the hottest day of the year which is clearly detrimental to their health. We’re in the middle of the young stag hunting season. Sadly a young male deer would have been chased for miles by hounds pursued by horsemen and women and followers on quad bikes, before being shot.”

The shocking video was recorded one day before National Trust Director-General Hilary McGrady announced the organisation would take a more "radical" approach to do "a huge amount more for nature".

LACS Director Chris Luffingham called out the National Trust, urging the conservation organisation to protect wildlife on its land. Mr Luffingham said: "The National Trust need to work out if they really care about nature or not. Not for the first time, a hunt – which we believe to have been illegal – took place on National Trust land, causing massive disturbance to not only the deer but the whole area. And not for the first time, We’ve got evidence that National Trust staff witnessed the whole thing – and did nothing to stop it."

While hunting became illegal across the UK in 2005, the National Trust still issues "trail" hunting licenses which allow hunters to simulate a hunt with their packs of hounds. But the LACS has repeatedly called for a ban of the practice due to fears it could be exploited to "cover up" illegal hunting activities. Mr Luffingham added: "We are calling on all landowners including the National Trust to ban hunts from their land and we need to strengthen the Hunting Act and bring in tougher sentencing to act as a deterrent.” 

Express.co.uk has contacted the National Trust for comment. It comes after Ms McGrady announced the National Trust would strive to do more for nature. She told BBC 5 Live Breakfast: "The Trust is only a custodian: what we really about is trying to get the nation to love its own special places and to want to look after them. "I want to do something about nature. Nature is in real trouble at the moment."

Pic below   -   Trying to separate stag from herd in order to hunt it     

     DSSHTryingtoseparatestagtohunonNTHolnicoteEstate20-4-18.jpg 

21-4-18   LACS Press Release    Somerset Wildlife Crime -  Observed to death    The Devon & Somerset Staghounds claim to hunt under the 'Observation and Research' exemption. This claim gives them a legal basis on which they can hunt and kill red deer just as they did before the hunting ban.

A recent article in Horse & Hound celebrated their 'Triumph over adversity', boasting of having navigated their way through the Hunting Act successfully. Exactly what they are celebrating is a mystery to many people. There is no art or skill in what they do. There is no tradition or conservation in the cruel and barbaric pastime.

Yesterday, when the majority of the country were enjoying a heat wave, a mass convoy of 4x4's encircle a small area of the Holnicote Estate. They are there to provide the Huntsman with a 360 degree view of what is happening when he is in the deep valleys.

When the stag breaks cover, they feverishly relay information of his whereabouts and direction to one another, quickly scramblers, quads, 4x4's all race to set up a cordoned area to prevent the Stag from running in a particular direction. His path is set by the support vehicles so that he can be pursued by the Huntsman and hounds, for the grotesque spectacle and enjoyment of the support.

The Holnicote Estate belongs to the National Trust. The irony of this horror a day before the National Trust Director-General Hilary McGrady announced the organisation would take a more "radical" approach to do "a huge amount more for nature". Is this what radical looks like Hilary? We think it scandalous, archaic and disgusting.

Pic below   -   Moment a stag is isolated and the chase begins 

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22-4-18    Independent  VIDEO   Hunt filmed chasing deer on National Trust land even as charity's chief pledges crackdown - ‘Animals were clearly flushed out of wooded valleys and chased onto open moors on the hottest day of the year’     A Hunt has been filmed apparently chasing deer on moorland managed by the National Trust – just as the Trust’s chief insisted the organisation would get tough on hunts that don’t follow licensing rules.

The red deer were seen scattering across the land in Somerset with horse riders in pursuit. Hunt followers were parked up on the moorland, watching with binoculars. It happened on Thursday, the hottest day of the year – which critics said was also detrimental to the animals’ health.

Hilary McGrady, the new head of the National Trust, said in an interview with the BBC broadcast on Friday: “The Trust has introduced much more robust licensing this year, and I am going to focus on doing what I said we were going to do and ensure that those licences are followed. Hunts that follow those licences, we will work with them. The ones that don’t, we won’t.”

Hunting wild mammals with dogs has been illegal since 2005, and Hunts say they use trails of animal scent instead. Under pressure last year to ban all forms of hunting, the Trust introduced a system of licences for trail hunting.

But investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports claimed that what they filmed on Thursday was the Devon and Somerset Staghounds chasing deer across the Holnicote Estate on Exmoor. They said young male deer “would have been chased for miles by hounds pursued by horsemen and women and followers on quad bikes, before being shot”. Andrew Kendall, a former policeman and investigator who saw the chase, said: “Deer were clearly being flushed out of wooded valleys and chased onto open moorland on the hottest day of the year, which is clearly detrimental to their health.”

Ms McGrady said the following day that she wanted to “do more for nature”. She also promised a new system of licensing, insisting the trust would not work with hunts that fail to follow its licence terms.

Chris Luffingham, the League’s head of campaigns, said: “The National Trust needs to work out if it really cares about nature or not. Not for the first time, a hunt – which we believe to have been illegal – took place on National Trust land, causing massive disturbance to not only the deer but the whole area. “If Hilary McGrady is sincere in her bid to make the trust more nature-friendly, she needs to get a grip on the illegal and disruptive activity frequently taking place on its land. We believe that the three deer hunts operating in the West Country are killing more than 200 deer every year.” No stag hunt has been issued a licence to hunt by the National Trust, he added.

A National Trust spokesman said: “The National Trust does not allow hunting of wild animals. The National Trust has not currently licensed any hunts on the Holnicote Estate. We take any reports of unlicensed activity on our land very seriously. We are aware of the incident you describe and are seeking urgent clarification from those involved. Until we establish the facts we won’t be able to comment further.”

 

3 senior Atherstone FH members reported for perverting the course of justice

20-4-18   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Statement on yesterdays events - Hunt Saboteur found not guilty of public order offences - Three senior members of the Atherstone Hunt reported for perverting the course of justice     Last August we held a demonstration outside the kennels of the Atherstone Hunt to protest their hound racing event at the kennels. In September we were contacted by Leicestershire Police who wanted to question one of us in relation to allegations made by members of the Hunt.

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Yesterday, Cathy Scott [above] was found not guilty of three counts of causing harassment, alarm or distress under Section 4 and 5 of the Public Order Act at Loughbourgh Magistrates Court. Three senior members of the Atherstone Hunt which included the Huntsman and Joint-master Mike Lane [below, with hounds], Joint-master Mark Halford and the Hunt's only employee, Oliver Hope, had made allegations claiming Scott had sworn at them and threatened them.

She was found not guilty after video footage completely disproved their allegations. The footage showed a very calm, quiet and low key demonstration outside the hunts kennels. When summing up the magistrates said the three Hunt members where not credible witnesses and had changed their evidence halfway through once they realised there was video footage. The statements made by the three Hunt members contained completely unprovable and unrelated speculation and accusations.

      AtherstoneFHHuntsmanMikeLanewithhounds10-2-18.jpg 

Mike Lane, Mark Halford and Oliver Hope have now all been reported for perverting the course of justice. These were very serious accusations that they made that could have resulted in an innocent person being sent to prison.

The Atherstone Hunt has been close to financial collapse for a number of years now and cannot survive long term whilst we are still there exposing them. This was in effect the last role of the dice for the Atherstone Hunt who could have applied for a restraining order had they won. We would like to make it clear that we are not going anywhere. The hunts governing body the Master of Fox Hounds Association (MFHA) now has a clear choice, continue to prop up the Atherstone Hunt with financial support and in the process send out a message that the fox hunting community condones the very serious crime that we believe has been committed. Or disband the Atherstone Hunt completely to show that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without Leicestershire Police who recently took no further action against someone associated with the Atherstone Hunt claiming the evidence and statements weren’t good enough AtherstoneFHSupporterKnockssabintoaditch14-10-17.jpg(this is currently ongoing, as we have challenged the decision that was made). However, Leicestershire Police were perfectly happy to accept the allegations made by the Hunt members without any proper evidence or independent witnesses to back up the allegations. Leicestershire Police continue to have double standards with anti-hunt and pro-hunt cases. In light of this case we feel that the hunting operation at Leicestershire Police has lost all credibility.

It will surprise no one that the senior investigating officer in this case was DS Matt Trott who was also responsible for taking no further action in both Ashley Davis [left, knocking sab into ditch with quad] assault cases, issued harassment notices to two sabs (again with no evidence to back up the allegations) and was involved in a case involving the Atherstone Hunt terrier-man who had been filmed blocking in a badger sett - the CPS told us the case got dropped because Leicestershire Police failed to hand evidence over on time.

Leicestershire Police are happy for anti-hunt people to face prison based on no evidence yet when we have presented actual evidence of a Section 5 offence by a hunt supporter Leicestershire Police are happy to hand out lenient sentences such as a conditional caution and a letter of apology to the victim. Leicestershire Police then even refused to hand over the letter of apology.

As for the Atherstone Hunt, we are not going anywhere, we will see you all at this years hound racing event and look forward to meeting Bill Bishop rumoured to be next seasons new Huntsman. Leicestershire police: https://www.facebook.com/leicspolice/.You

You can help us continue with our Atherstone Hunt campaign by donating using this link.

 

Prominent sab cleared after Atherstone FH hunter lies exposed in court

Video evidence showed claims of threatening behaviour/swearing false 

Magistrates said hunter complainants were not credible witnesses 

Defendant asserts that Leics police colluded with Hunt to charge her

HSA says hunters should be investigated for bringing false charges

19-4-18     HSA Press Release     Hunt Saboteur found not guilty of public order offences    Today, Cathy Scott was found not guilty of three counts of causing harassment, alarm or distress under Section 4 and 5 of the Public Order Act at Loughbourgh Magistrates Court. Three senior members of the Atherstone Hunt which included the Huntsman and Joint-master Mike Lane, Joint-master Mark Halford and the Hunt's only employee Oliver Hope had made allegations claiming Scott had sworn at them and threatened them on the 5th August at the Hunt's kennels. Scott was peacefully protesting with West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs at the Atherstone Hunts hound racing event which was being held at the kennels. Video footage from the day proved the allegations to be false.

The court heard statements from the three members of the Hunt who all claimed Scott had been screaming, swearing and threatening them, however the defence played the court footage of the day in question which completely disproved their allegations. The footage showed a very calm, quiet and low key demonstration outside the Hunt's kennels.

The Atherstone Hunt are close to financial collapse due to the constant exposure they have had from West MidlandsAtherstoneFHCathyScottandfriendsaftercaseagainstherdismissed19-4-18.jpg Hunt Saboteurs. If Scott had been found guilty all three members of the Atherstone Hunt could have applied for restraining orders effectively banning Scott from protesting against the Atherstone Hunt.

When summing up the magistrates said the three Hunt members were not credible and had changed their statements halfway through, once they realised there was video footage.

Scott said “I’m pleased with the result but disappointed that this case was allowed to get as far as it did. Serious questions now need to be asked about Leicestershire Police and why they allowed three members of the Atherstone Hunt to make allegations about me without providing any proper evidence to corroborate their allegations. I view this as a malicious prosecution by Leicestershire Police. They allowed no proper evidence to be submitted and when the CPS were presented with video footage before the trial showing what actually happened Leicestershire Police and the CPS actually tried to stop the footage from being shown.”

A spokesperson for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs said:- “As for the Atherstone Hunt and its supporters we are used to their violence and lies that have resulted in over 20 convictions and cautions in the last 4 years. But this is a very serious line they have crossed which could have resulted in an innocent person being sent to prison. Three senior members of the Atherstone Hunt, the Huntsman, Joint-master and their only employee have all in our opinion conspired to bring false charges and they need to be investigated for that. As for the Hunt itself I don’t think there is any other option left now apart from the Hunts governing body the Master of Fox Hounds Association (MFHA) to disband the Hunt completely.

The only reason this case got as far as it did is because of the police. We believe members of Leicestershire Police assisted the Atherstone Hunt over these charges or at the very least turned a blind eye to the lack of evidence to back up the false allegations. We are now seeking legal advice”.

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “It's unbelievable that Leicestershire Police are aiding the Atherstone Hunt, an organised criminal gang, to persecute West Midland Hunt Saboteurs who are ensuring the law of the land is enforced. We ask that Leicestershire Police and the Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner carry out an internal enquiry to find out how this has been allowed to happen. If the public are to have any faith that Leicestershire Police are not totally corrupt then they need to find out who was responsible for this farce and ensure there are severe consequences. Many of our groups in the region have told us that they will have nothing to do with Leicestershire Police until they prove that they're not hand in glove with the hunting community and we fully support their stance.”

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In 2016, the wildlife officer for Leicestershire Police was outed as a member of the Belvior fox hunt and was subsequently forced to resign her role as wildlife officer.

In October last year, the current wildlife officer for Leicestershire Police was recorded in an audio recording taken at a meeting with members and supporters of the Atherstone Hunt. He can be heard advising them on which laws can and can not be used against hunt saboteurs.

This is not the first time Leicestershire Police have targeted this particular member of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, they arrested her after she refused a stop and search in 2014 after she told them it was an unlawful stop and search. The case was thrown out of court after the judge agreed with her that it was unlawful. Emails obtained via the Data Protection Act revealed that the CPS had originally wanted to drop the case and had also come to the conclusion that the stop and search was unlawful. However Leicestershire Police put pressure on the CPS to continue with the prosecution as they were worried that it would “expose the force to litigation”. After the case was thrown out Leicestershire Police were successfully sued and had to pay compensation.

In 2015, Leicestershire Police issued the same hunt saboteur with a Police Information Notice (harassment notice). This had similarities with the most recent case above in that members of the Atherstone Hunt had made allegations with no actual evidence to collaborate their claims. The harassment notice was eventually overturned and an official apology was made by Leicestershire Police who agreed the harassment notice had been misused.

Unbelievably, Leicestershire Police issued a second harassment notice to the same person again based just on an allegation made by a member of the Atherstone hunt with no evidence to collaborate it. After Scott made a formal complaint a senior officer overturned the harassment notice as they were unable to find any evidence for issuing it in the first place. Leicestershire Police stopped using Police Information Notice’s completely after this.

See also article in The Canary 

POWAperson adds  - Cathy Scott is among the most dedicated and determined hunt sabs in the country, and has been prominent in West Midlands Sabs' repeated exposures of, in particular, the Atherstone FH. No wonder they were anxious to try to discredit her and prevent her sabbing them. That is, perhaps, just hunters being their diabolical selves. But that Leicestershire police should apparently so readily facilitate their unevidenced and false charges is far more sinister.

It was Cathy who, in 2012, dived amongst the hounds of the Old Berks FH and snatched a young fox to safety [getting quite badly bitten, by the terrified fox, for her pains]. The video of this amazing and daring rescue has had over a million views online. One hunt supporter, in a comment under the video on YouTube, made vile death and rape threats towards her. Earlier this season, Cathy was struck hard in the face by a burly ex-Director of the Warwickshire FH. She, as with most sabs, is frequently subjected, to abuse and threats as well as physical violence - but she is not deterred.

Pics above   -  Top right, Cathy and friends after the case was dismissed     Middle,  rescuing a juvenile fox [at her feet] from the hounds of the Old Berks FH in 2012. 

 

Locals petition against relocation of Pembrokeshire FH kennels

18-4-18   Facebook - Western Telegraph    Plans to move Pembrokeshire Hunt kennels to Treffgarne cause concern    PLANS to relocate 80 hunting hounds, and an associated fallen stock business, 1.7km west of Treffgarne have been met with consternation by local residents.

The chairman of Pembrokeshire Hunt, Michael Davies, has applied to Pembrokeshire County Council to move the hunt's dog kennels to agricultural land at Tan Y Garne.

The change of use application is for dog kennels, a linked fallen stock business, siting of a caravan for the kennel huntsman and hybrid use of part of the adjacent field as an exercising area for hounds and for agriculture. The existing agricultural building at the site will be converted to create six kennels, a fallen stock area, a separate feed room, a wash-down utility area, an office and a wash-room. Six outdoor kennel runs, with 1.5-metre-high metal mesh fencing, would also be created.

The Hunt's other business is Pembrokeshire Fallen Stock which collects fallen stock, transporting it to the kennels site for feeding to the hounds. The hounds are fed raw flesh from fallen stock with the unused parts of any carcass stored in closed bins which are taken away by a local firm of renderers when nearly full. Skins or hides are carefully cut from carcasses and sold separately.

Local resident Ros Bradley has set up a petition, which has dozens of signatures, against the application. She says that she is not against the hunt per se but that the application site is in the wrong place, just ¾ of a mile from the village. She fears that noise and sound from the kennels will travel to adjacent properties but says the worst part of the application is the fallen stock side of the operation. She fears leftovers from this will be kept on site in unsealed bins for up to ten days. Ros says that the fences are not high enough to stop the dogs jumping over them and is worried that the dogs will be outed among dairy stock when they are known to carry TB.

"Noise and sound will travel," she said. "At five in the morning you don't want to listen to dogs barking. They will be fed in batches, so that will prolong the noise. The urine from 80 dogs will be considerable and could run out onto already wet fields nearby."

She says the whole village is against the proposals. 'To us it's a huge issue", she said. "It will affect our property values. "It's not vindictive," she said of her opposition. "It's about living next to something noisy, messy and smelly."

The application says there is "perceived to be an odour associated with the delivery and management of the fallen stock and the holding of any waste products prior to rendering". However, it says this is this is minimal and will be contained within the shed. It says that the hounds only make significant noise in the morning before breakfast and that insulating / soundproofing will be added to the roof and sides of the shed. A sewage treatment plant to deal with waste from the hounds is included in the plans.

 

Essex & Suffolk FH 'stewards' face charges over attacks on sabs

EssexSuffolkFHTerriermanbehindsabcarbrandishespitchfork30-9-17.jpg17-4-18   East Anglian Daily Times    Hunt stewards to stand trial over alleged clash with saboteurs in Suffolk    Two hunt stewards are due to stand trial over an alleged altercation with saboteurs in the Suffolk countryside. Robert Cundy and Jonathan Mander [below right] each denied two charges relating to an alleged incident near Hadleigh last autumn.

The pair appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, in Ipswich, for the first hearing into the case on Tuesday. Prosecutor David Bryant said the alleged incident took place in the Nedging-with-Naughton parish on Saturday, September 30. “The incident arose from an organised hunt meet,” he added. “The complainants were hunt saboteurs, monitoring the Hunt, while the two defendants were on a quad bike behind the saboteurs’ vehicle [left].

Cundy, 41, of Church Lane, Semer, was charged with driving a mechanically propelled vehicle – namely a red Quad bike – without due care and attention on Hadleigh Road. The charge relates to an allegation he twice drove purposefully into the rear of a Land Rover carrying anti-hunt protesters at about 10.30am. He also faced a second charge of carrying passengers on a quad bike in a manner likely to cause danger to others. The charge relates to anEssexSuffolkFHstewardschargedwithattacksonsabs17-4-18.jpeg allegation he caused danger to two passengers sitting on the rear body of the vehicle – not on seats – and that one was thrown forward when the vehicle rammed another.

Mander, of Lee Wick Lane, St Osyth, near Clacton-on-Sea, was charged with using threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour towards Jenny Ness, with intent to cause fear of, or provoke, unlawful violence. The 35-year-old was also charged with attempted criminal damage to property valued under £5,000, by attempting to damage equipment fitted to the rear of a Land Rover belonging to Matthew Spencer – intending to destroy or damage such property.

Cundy and Mander were both represented in court by Tim Ryan, of Tonbridge law firm Warners Solicitors. Each spoke only to confirm his name, age, address and nationality, before entering not guilty pleas to all charges. Magistrates set a date for their two-day trial to begin at the same court on Monday, July 9. A case management review hearing will take place ahead of the trial on June 5. Both men were released on unconditional bail.

POWAperson adds  -  The sab report on the incident is here. Cundy and Mander were both convicted of Threatening Behaviour towards sabs in the 2006/7 season and fined £200 each. 

 

D. & S. SH still out at 6.30 pm looking for a stag to kill

Hunted on private estate of Countess of Arran 

15-4-18   Facebook - Somerset Wildlife Crime   VIDEO    Following unpleasant behaviour from Quantock Staghounds hunt support last week - footage of that incident is currently with the police and so cant be shared here, so instead we thought we would spotlight Devon and Somerset Staghounds when they had to relocate their meet to the Castle Hill Estate at Filleigh by kind invitation from Eleanor, Countess of Arran. The Countess allowed the DSSH to hunt through her private estate and surrounding farm land. Quite a spectacle to behold, as hundreds raced all over the lanes and villages around Chittlehamtpon, Filleigh and Satterleigh, causing chaos on the main B3226 late into the afternoon as they desperatly tried to slot the Stag along the river Bray. Several chases, with no luck and at 6:30pm they were still looking for a stag to kill.

The Castle Hill Estate website boasts of magnificent gardens, promoting themselves as a family day out, but we couldnt see any mention of Stag Hunting? The Wikipedia page for the Castle Hill Estate is worth a look if you have an interest in the local aristocracy - and when considered, with this kind of support, it is no wonder stag hunting is still thriving.

It's not often we make things personal, so as a gentle reminder to Quantocks Stag Hounds, unless you would like to see a weekly spot light on all the support, meets, hosts, executive committee members, and associated businesses for staghound packs in Somerset highlighted here, please ask your support to adopt a more congenial conduct in future (that means, play nice).

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Mass sab ensures no kills by Royal Artillery FH

Female sab assaulted, radio stolen 

15-4-18   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs    News had filtered down from Stop the Cull that the Royal Artillery Hunt were having their final meet of the season close to Bulford and hunting the MoD land to the north. Now most Hunts have finished for the season, vixens will now have cubs underground and even some hunters think it is very bad form to hunt at this time of year for obvious reasons however not the Royal Artillery.

With this in mind we decided to go on a road trip and support the many other groups who descended on the area to stop them killing. These were (in no particular order and apologies if we missed anyone out) North Cambs , Bath, Brighton, Bristol, East Kent, South Wales, South Coast, Croydon, Southampton Hunt Sabs, Dorset Against Blood Sports & Weymouth Animal Rights.

It proved to be quite an interesting day for us. The big rolling areas dotted with coverts and rough ground are used by the MoD for training and gunnery exercises but they are completely open access during the weekend. The area is dotted with byways and tracks, very different from having to stay on the roads while the foot team do the hard yards we are used to. This also means these tracks are filled with the supporters and hangers on.

With so many groups present and fine comms between everyone it was always going to be a very hard day for the hunt. It was warm and sunny with scenting conditions difficult. The hunt seemed confused as they would often turn this way and that but always running into another group and their assortment of sabs ready to step in if needs be. They tried running hard but with all the open access they were never going to escape for long.

We heard them going into cry briefly at one point and heard they had marked something to ground but there was no chance of any further action in prosecuting that particular animal. Much to the amusement of the assortment of blood junkies who had also travelled from far and wide to get their gruesome fix we managed to get one of our vehicles stuck in the mud however we were able to extricate this with the help of another landy and even one of the hunt supporters. We were happy to give them some amusement seeing as the rest of their day had been so utterly disappointing, imagine driving all that way to see an overweight middle aged man badly riding a horse round in circles all day followed by some hounds. Perhaps now is the time to remind them that they are also prone to such vehicular misdemeanours.

As the day wore on the support were getting more and more mardy. One particular young boy definitely had anger issues and seemed to want to fight everyone including the girls. Perhaps his paper round and homework are getting him down and he definitely needed a hug. Some of the riders were also knowingly putting their mounts at risk by deliberately riding in front of vehicles and blocking them.

The Hunt covered a vast distance during the day and belligerently hunted on till after 4pm however there were no kills and sabs retired happy. All in all a long but worthy day and great to catch up with old friends and new.

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15-4-18   Facebook - Bath Hunt Saboteurs    Yesterday with many other fine groups, we paid a visit to the Royal Artillery (Salisbury Plain) Foxhounds at their closing meet at Carter Barracks, Bulford Camp. The Hunt's kennels are based nearby at Bulford Camp, Salisbury, Wiltshire. The huntsman is Robert Moffat...

All groups worked seamlessly together with a group always staying with the Hunt; wherever they tried to flee to they found Sabs waiting for them! We are confident that no Foxes were killed yesterday, with at least two Foxes being seen to safety by our group and East Kent Sabs. 

Local hired thugs were in attendance along with Justin Ellis from the Crawley and Horsham Hunt, who has previous convictions for affray. The Hunt's private security (the police force) came and bizarrely served a dispersal order on one group and told them they would need to be escorted to Salisbury!

Sabs kept their cool and didn't rise to provocation, even after a female Sab was grabbed from behind by a cowardly supporter. A radio was stolen from another Sab but this didn't deter us. The cruelty of fox hunting is well known and all fox hunts are despicable in our eyes. But for a Hunt to still be trying to kill foxes in mid April, when vixen will have dependent cubs, is a level of cruelty that sickens us to our stomachs.

For the riders who actively participated yesterday, we have to ask where are your morals. How could you possibly justify your bloodlust and persecution of an animal that is just trying to survive and protect its young. 

The Hunt covered a vast area... The weather was sunny and the temperature 16 degrees. horses were visibly struggling and sweating profusely whilst their oblivious riders were happily glugging from their hip flasks. 

To the MOD; evidence was collected yesterday by many groups of the Hunt breaking the terms of their licence. We now call on you to remove the licence for the Royal Artillery Hunt. 

Although it's now thankfully the end of the main Fox hunting season, our Sabs will still be busy with sett surveying ahead of the Badger cull, as well as seeking out the Mink hunters who will still be hunting. Please support our ongoing work for the price of a coffee: ko-fi.com/bathsabs. You can also come and see us at upcoming events - the next one being at Lush Cribbs Causeway Sat 28th and Sun 29th April.

Lastly - a HUGE thank you to all of you for your continual support - we couldn't do what we do without you! Thanks also to the groups we have worked with this season - you know who you are! Till the next time... Over and out for another season, Bath Hunt Sabs.

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 Sab records show huge scale of sett blocking by Hunts

11-4-18   Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs    SETTS BLOCKED BY HUNTS, SEASON 2017/18    With the season now being over in this area we have compiled our sett blocking data along with other individuals/groups and especially Cirencester Illegal Huntwatch https://www.facebook.com/CIHWatch/ (and as part of our participation with Gloucestershire Badger Office).

The setts mentioned in this table are routinely blocked in the main because hunts do not want foxes to escape down labyrinthine badger setts. This is only the very tip of the iceberg and for the following reasons is just an indication of the scale of criminality against badgers and foxes much of which is within known active badger cull zones( all areas mentioned will soon become active badger cull zones) -

1. The Hunts mentioned are all out 2-4 times a week. During cub hunting a couple of them have a 6 day week. Blocking setts and digging them out to get a fox are carried out as part of fox hunting for 7 months of the year (including when the badger cull is operating at the same time in the same area). We can only check a fraction of setts that may be blocked.

2. Early morning patrols, the police speaking to hunt officials/landowners, us making landowners aware of sett blocking on their land, hidden cameras, reporting each and every sett block and posting about sett blocking has had a visible deterrent effect in SOME areas meaning that setts are blocked less and in some cases not ever again.

Bad weather has led to lots of cancellations this year meaning less hunting days this year so less sett blocking.

A couple of the entries on this table are to do with direct badger persecution and are NOT connected with hunting. We would urge all those who want to protect badgers to sett survey their own locality and be on guard against developers, hunts, those who would attack badgers for "sport", the cull and all other persecution. Compiling and publishing data on a national level from such grim findings should form an intrinsic part of badger protection from those who would eliminate them.

We hope that this gives people some indication of how widespread badger crime is as the consultation to express concerns over the cull has it's deadline on 15th April 2018 https://consult.defra.gov.uk/…/badger-control-in-low-risk-…/. Footage of sett blockers;   https://vimeo.com/157019098 and https://vimeo.com/251049644.Please

Please continue to support us, http://paypal.me/threecountiessabs. We will be out on an almost daily basis sett surveying, checking, keeping an eye out for illegal traps and so forth.

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Pics below   -   1/  Cotswold FH sett blocker 8am 13-1-18     2/  Blocked sett near where Heythrop FH hunted    

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Campaign to ban Hampshire FH from Alton council land

11-4-18   Facebook - Surrey Hunt Monitors    REMINDER TO ALL ALTON RESIDENTS    Prior to the last Alton Town Council elections, at a time of the Lib-Dems having a substantial number of councillors (majority?) on ATC, the Hampshire Hunt was disallowed use of ATC land for the promotion of its barbarity.

This year there is a particularly determined campaign to have them banned again in light of recent direct evidence that the Hampshire Hunt go prepared to hunt illegally directly from its assembly on The Butts.

Boxing Day 2017 saw a quad bike holding multiple terriers in boxes on the Butts which left with the hunt carrying known HH terriermen. This same quad bike has been filmed at multiple HH meets, committing road traffic violations and also with terriers locked in boxes. The fact that the hunt have quad bikes with terriers and terrier men can only mean they are prepared to hunt illegally.

Intense recent monitoring of the HH shows conclusively they:-

1. routinely hunt without laying trails and come prepared to illegally hunt

2. routinely hunt through dense scrub areas known to contain foxes and also hedgerows near roads which would be not only be impossible but foolish to lay a false trail

3. commit multiple road traffic violations with their quad bikes causing danger to not only the riders, their passengers (we have filmed young children and an elderly man carried dangerously on major roads) but also the general public

4. aggressively attempt to stop monitors filming

5. generally scare all of our local wildlife

6. are a frequent and major menace of our dangerous A-roads

Full details can be seen in the reports and videos on this page.

We appeal to Alton likers of this page email their Ward Councillors along with the Alton Town Clerk and Cllr Hill, chair of the Outdoor Spaces Committee with their objections to ATC-land being used by the Hampshire Hunt. The agenda of the OSC will be finalised before 18 April, therefore I would urge you to do this in the next week or so. PLEASE SHARE

 

Belvoir FH terrierman/son plead guilty to attacks on LACS monitors

Both accept charges of GBH, ABH and theft of equipment 

Trial [for 'character witnesses'] and sentencing adjourned to June

10-4-18   Leicester Mercury  VIDEO   Father and son leave Belvoir Hunt monitor with broken neck in attack     The pair appeared in court earlier today A father and son attacked two members of an animal welfare charity as they filmed the Belvoir Hunt. Ex-police officer, Darryl Cunnington, a monitoring investigator with the League Against Cruel Sports, suffered a broken neck after falling from a 14 foot ledge. His colleague, Roger Swain, was also injured and had his video recorder stolen, on the afternoon of March 12, 2016.

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They were attacked by George Grant, 57, and his son, Thomas Grant, 25, who are associated with the Belvoir Hunt in Leicestershire. The incident happened off Tofts Lane, Stathern, near Melton Mowbray, as the victims were surveying the Hunt’s activities – although there was no report that the Hunt was acting unlawfully on that day. At Leicester Crown Court the defendants, both of Briary Cottage, Belvoir, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm upon Mr Cunnington, who formerly served 29 years with Leicestershire Police. They also admitted causing actual bodily harm to Mr Swain, the theft of Mr Swain’s video camera and damaging a digital memory card. 

The court case was adjourned until June, when the prosecution is due to open the facts of the case on behalf of The Crown. Defence counsel asked for an adjournment so their clients could call character witnesses to give references.

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Judge Jinder Singh Boora released the Grants on unconditional bail, saying: “You’ve pleaded guilty to very serious offences.” He said: “I’m adjourning because there are character witnesses who can give evidence on behalf of you both and that’s something a judge can take into account in deciding what the sentence will be. I make it clear that all sentencing options will be available to the court.”

Earlier reports of the incident in 2016 stated the victims were filming the Hunt’s activities on a ridge when the defendants arrived on a quad bike, before several unknown men turned up and assaulted them. After the hearing, Mr Swain said outside court: “It would be nice to see a custodial sentence given the seriousness of the offences and it was an unprovoked attack.” Mr Cunnington said: “I had a broken neck. I was monitoring the Belvoir Hunt. It was the last day of the hunting season. We’d been there for a good few hours on a public bridleway when the two drove past on a quad bike.”

Pics above    -   Top,  Daryl Cunnigton being tended to by paramedics     Below that,   Roger Swain after the attack

Pics below   -   1/  George Grant, Belvoir FH terrierman, outside court      2/  Thomas Grant, his son   [Credit Chris Gordon]

   BelvoirFHGeorgeGrantterriermanOutsidecourtPledguilty10-4-18.jpg BelvoirFHThomasGrantterriermanssonOutsideCourtPledguilty10-4-18.jpg

10-4-18   Daily Mail    Father and son admit punching and pushing anti-hunt monitor former policeman down 14ft slope during fox hunt leaving him with a broken neck - George Grant, 55, and his son Thomas, 24, hit then pushed Darryl Cunnington - They also attacked his colleague Roger Swain of League Against Cruel Sports - Mr Cunnington and Mr Swain were monitoring the Belvoir Hunt in Leicestershire - George and Thomas Grant will be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court in June    A former policeman broke his neck after being punched then pushed down a 14ft slope while filming a fox hunt. Darryl Cunnington was attacked by George Grant, 55, and his son Thomas Grant, 24, as he monitored the Belvoir Hunt in Leicestershire on March 12, 2016. The League Against Cruel Sports investigator, who had served with Leicestershire Police for 29 years, suffered a broken vertebrae in his neck after being pushed off a ledge. Fellow investigator Roger Swain was also seriously assaulted during the incident which happened at about 2.30pm off Toft's Lane, Stathern, near Melton Mowbray. 

Senior Hunt member Grant and his son also stole the pair's video cameras - seemingly to cover their tracks. They launched the attack with four unidentified masked men, some of whom rode a quad bike, according to animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports.

It took emergency services more than three hours to get Mr Cunnington onto a spinal board in a specialist vehicle due to the challenging terrain. He had to wear a neck collar for about seven weeks after the assault. 

Grant and his son, of Briary Cottage, Belvoir, appeared at Leicester Crown Court on Tuesday. They admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Cunnington and causing actual bodily harm to Mr Swain. The pair also pleaded guilty to the theft of Mr Swain's video camera and damaging a digital memory card. They will be sentenced on June 14. 

Judge Jinder Singh Boora released the Grants on unconditional bail, saying: 'You've pleaded guilty to very serious offences. I'm adjourning because there are character witnesses who can give evidence on behalf of you both and that's something a judge can take into account in deciding what the sentence will be. I make it clear that all sentencing options will be available to the court.' 

Fox hunting with dogs has been banned in England and Wales since 2004 when the Hunting Act was introduced. There was no report that the Belvoir Hunt was acting unlawfully on the day of the incident. 

Mr Swain said outside court: 'It would be nice to see a custodial sentence given the seriousness of the offences and it was an unprovoked attack.' Mr Cunnington said: 'Hopefully this will send out a message to all Hunts that they cannot carry out assaults on people who wish to monitor their activities. I am very lucky that the assault has left me with no long-term serious injuries. After falling 14 feet, finding myself unable to move, I feared I was paralysed. The offenders showed no remorse and left us injured.'  

He previously told the Leicester Mercury: 'We'd set up in woods next to the Jubilee Way path near Stathern about half or three-quarters of a mile from where the Hunt was. It's a good vantage point and you can see for about 15 miles, and the cameras we have can film from up to a mile away. We operate covertly - the hunts often don't know we're there. We see what they're up to, whether they're hunting illegally and, if they are, gather video evidence and write statements to pass on to the police.'

He also said after the attack: 'We travel all over the country monitoring the activities of hunts, on about 150 occasions, and I've never been attacked before. We sometimes get a bit of verbal grief, but the Hunts generally treat us differently to the hunt saboteurs because we're professionals doing a job.'

POWAperson comments  -   These guilty pleas bring to 415 the number of separate persons from organised Hunts known to POWA to have been convicted or cautioned for criminal offences since 1990, of a total of 997 crimes. 240 of these have been violent offences, 176 of which were against antis [sabs, monitors, protesters]. 234 of all the offences have been committed by Hunt officials or employees. 

 

Antis plan demo re. no action in S. Herefordshire FH fox cubs case

12-5-18     Facebook - Animal Welfare Party, Cheshire East    Protest: Justice for the Fox Cubs   12th May at 12:00–15:00, West Mercia Police, Hereford Police Station, Bath Street, Hereford HR1 2HT. Two years on from the South Herefordshire Hunt having been filmed throwing live fox cubs to the hounds (May 2016), no charges have been brought. Why?

This is a peaceful protest to demand that this atrocity and all other wildlife crimes be properly investigated and prosecuted by the police and the CPS. Crimes against wild animals are being committed week in, week out all over the UK - and we demand that proper action is taken. All welcome; bring banners; some car sharing available!

POWAperson adds   -  This appalling matter was reported by Hunt Investigation Team in June 2016. Five people were subsequently arrested. Police handed their file to the CPS around a year ago. Since when nothing has happened, except members of HIT having their residences searched by police. The story of HIT's investigation and their exposure of the terrible acts of cruelty to very young fox cubs can be found here.  

Pics below   -   1/   One of 4 young cubs kept in captivity at S.Herefordshire FH kennels    2/   Hunt servant about to throw one of the cubs to hounds

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

 

R. Artillery FH hunt all over biohazard area, risk spreading tree disease

Ignore notices to dog owners detailing precautions to take

9-4-18  Facebook - Wildlife Witness    As the season draws to a close, we paid another visit on Saturday 7th April to the Royal Artillery hunt (RAH) up on Salisbury Plain. We had a tip off in the morning from one of the monitors from Dorset Against Blood Sports (DABS) who knew where they were and we arrived to find they'd set off from the meet at Brigmerston over to the same area as they hunted last week at Brigmerston Down.

This is an area which has warning signs erected by the DIO and Forestry Commission detailing precautions to be taken by the public to stop the spread of a devastating disease that affects Juniper trees. Precautions to be taken include keeping dogs on leads and washing shoes and dog paws before leaving the area.

Needless to say, the RAH did neither. We have contacted the land agents for an explanation as to why the Hunt were permitted to enter the area and potentially spread the disease over a distance far and above that covered by the average dog walker.

   R.ArtilleryFHMovingintoinfectedarea7-4-18.jpg

Keeping in touch with the DABS team we watched from a distance as the Hunt encountered another blank day with hounds picking up no scent at all... this despite the "trail-layers" being with the hounds most of the day.

For the record, having drawn through Brigmerston Down the Huntsman took the hounds back along the rear of the rifle ranges with no success before trundling back to the meet. Just why anyone would choose to ride with this shower is beyond us and to pay money for the privilege of accessing areas of Salisbury Plain which are open to the public anyway beggars belief.

The Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) is undergoing massive changes at the moment as the MOD prepared for thousands of troops returning to the UK from Germany over the next few years. This is going to have a major impact on the number of people using the SPTA for recreational purposes and may also impact on the RAH who will find it more difficult than ever to keep out of the public eye in the future.

Pics below   -  1/  Sign detailing precautions dog walkers to take   2/  Hunter on firing range   3/  Hounds on rifle range   4/  Visiting 'trail layer' [check shirt] whose efforts totally ignored by hounds 

  R.ArtilleryFHWarningsignon7-4-18.jpg R.ArtilleryFHHuntingonfiringrange7-4-18.jpg

  R.ArtilleryFHHoundsonriflerange7-4-18.jpg R.ArtilleryFHVisitingtraillayer7-4-18.jpg

 

Two from Buccleuch FH charged with illegal hunting

Berwickshire FH Huntsman also under investigation 

8-4-18   Sunday Herald      Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania faces police investigation over fox hunting     THE Scottish fox hunting seasons has ended amid police investigations into illegal activities by riders, the Sunday Herald can reveal. Police have charged two hunters from the Duke of Buccleuch’s fox hunt, and officers are investigating another hunt led by Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania.

A probe was launched into the activities of four hunts after video footage was handed over by undercover animal welfare investigators which they claim shows huntsmen flouting the law. Fox hunting legislation in Scotland allows for dogs to be used to flush foxes from cover to be shot by waiting gunmen. Huntsmen must not allow hounds to hunt down a fox and kill it unless the animal is already wounded.

Huntsman Claire Bellamy was charged last year in connection with an incident at Lauderdale Hunt. Police have now charged two men from the Duke of Buccleuch’s Hunt after reviewing footage. Meanwhile, footage of the Ryan Mania-led Berwickshire Hunt is also under scrutiny. Mania said he “always” acts within the law. Footage of the Fife Hunt was also under investigation, but Police Scotland told the Sunday Herald no crime was established. 

A team of investigators employed by animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports follow hunts in Scotland and capture footage which they claim shows huntsmen breaching the ban. 

The Scottish Countryside Alliance, which represents hunts, denies this and accused the League of producingBerwickshireFHHuntsmanDoyouwantthatrammeddownyourfuckingthroat24-2-18.jpg“selectively recorded” footage which only “appears” to show illegality. 

Ryan Mania, who leads the Berwickshire Hunt, said he “always” acts within the law and the League’s “aim in life is to pester us and make it look like what we’re doing is illegal”. Mania won the Grand National at Aintree in 2013 on 66/1 outsider Auroras Encore. He has since retired and is now master of the historic Berwickshire Hunt, which is believed to be Scotland’s oldest, beginning in the 17th century. 

The Duke of Buccleuch’s hunt was founded in 1827 by the 5th Duke of Buccleuch and is now led by Tim Allen. The current Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott, who owns hundreds of thousand acres of land in Scotland, said in December he no longer hunts but wants to see fox hunting “thrive” because it’s “important fabric of our rural life”.

One investigator employed by the League Against Cruel Sports, who asked not to be named, said footage they captured of hunts throughout Scotland often shows “no guns were present” when hounds are running across open fields followed by huntsmen on horseback.

They said: “Our team continues to see dogs being sent into cover to search for foxes and there have been no people in position to shoot any foxes that may be flushed from cover. We continue to see foxes running from dogs and see dogs running across fields on a scent and in pursuit of foxes. Sadly, also we continue to see livestock being frightened by hunts going through fields. In addition, terrier dogs continue to be pushed down holes to battle against foxes which have attempted to seek refuge from the hunting dogs above. What is most concerning is we are now seeing many of the hunts that we watch claiming that their dogs are hunting a wounded fox. Incredibly, there is an enormous loophole in the law which allows a pack of dogs to hunt a fox and kill it if that fox is believed to be wounded.”

Scottish Countryside Alliance Director Jamie Stewart, who speaks for all ten hunts in Scotland, said: “The League Against Cruel Sports has presented hundreds of hours of selectively recorded footage which may appear illegal, even more so when a subjective narrative is applied…images offered by the animal rights activists are always shown in edited highlights to infer illegal activity.”

The Sunday Herald also contacted the Duke of Buccleuch’s Hunt, the Lauderdale Hunt and the Fife Hunt but they did not respond. 

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “Police in the Scottish Borders received a report of an incident that happened during a fox hunt in Berwickshire on January 9 2018. Inquiries are ongoing into the full circumstances. Police in the Scottish Borders have arrested and charged two men following an incident at a fox hunt on December 20 2017. A report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.” When asked about the investigation into the Fife Hunt the spokeswoman said: “A thorough investigation was conducted and no crime was established, in accordance with the relevant legislation.”

Pic above   -  Berwickshire FH Huntsman Ryan Mania asking sab 'Do you want that rammed down your fucking throat?' [her horn] 

 

Antis film shambolic pretend trail-laying by Royal Artillery FH

8-4-18   Facebook - Wildlife Witness  VIDEO   Have you ever seen such a useless example of trail-laying than the spectacle we witnessed yesterday with the Royal Artillery hunt (RAH)? Clearly unable to muster their own volunteers for the day's charade, they brought in these two rejects from the New Forest Hounds.

The RAH go to some lengths to pretend they're trail-hunting but guys, you need to remember the golden rules. 1. Go in front of the hounds - not behind them, and... 2. Don't forget to take the trail with you. Full report of yesterday's monitoring coming later.

Pics below   -    1/  Supposed trail layer 50 yards behind 2/  Huntsman and hounds 

     RoyalArtilleryFHSupposedtraillayer50yardsbehindhuntsmenandhounds8-4-18.jpg 

     RoyalArtilleryFHHuntsmanandhounds50yardsinfrontofsupposedtraillayer8-4-18.jpg    

 

Sabs pull Four Burrow FH hounds off fox chased into village

'Trail layer' trails behind as hounds seek and chase foxes

7-4-18   Facebook – Devon County Hunt Sabs    Four Burrow Hunt 7.4.2018    On Saturday, a small team of usFourBurrowFHHuntswomanNikkiHancock7-4-18.jpgwent down to Cornwall to join the Kernow Sabs, Monitors and Animal Rights Team to sab the end of season meet of the Fourburrow Hunt at Caerhays Castle. The meet was in the car park for Porthluney beach, yet another setting ruined by people whose only enjoyment of stunning landscapes comes from killing the wildlife that resides there. With a large field of riders the hunt set off into Forty Acre Wood and began drawing the deep valley between there and Trevarrick. It didn't take long for hounds to get onto a scent, but with Huntswoman Nikki Hancock [right] spending most of the time on adjacent roads and the pack split, it was all a bit chaotic for the first hour or so. Sabs tried to get into decent vantage points, undeterred by riders and hunt support who were trying to block.

The Hunt eventually emerged... hounds intermittently spoke on a line. Foot teams were surprised to hear our vehicle team had now spotted the 'trail-layer', quite some distance BEHIND the action and too engrossed in conversation with a male rider to be focusing on her job.

Blue skies and sunshine really helped warm up the air above the ground and scent deteriorated, so hounds were never able to own it for very long. Next they drew the river valley between Trelissick and Tregilgas, which harbours many foxy coverts. Sure enough hounds were soon running in full cry towards our foot team, who were perfectly positioned to rate them off the scent and send them back in the opposite direction.

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Hounds were moved slowly on towards Polmassick, where our vehicle crew filmed Huntswoman Nikki spend a while gathering them in the top of a steep field. Where was the 'trail-layer' at this point? With the rest of the riders on the FourBurrowFH7-4-18.jpgroad on the other side of the valley. Nikki disappeared just over the brow of a hill to where we could still just about see the top of her riding hat and everything was quiet for a few minutes...

Then very suddenly hounds erupted into full cry and came streaming down the hillside, crossing the stream and straight into the village [Polmassick]. The Kernow team had whizzed round just in time to witness an exhausted looking fox running for its life with hounds close behind. The Kernow sabs rated the hounds as best they could to buy the fox some time, which really upset some of the riders. As usual, they vented their frustration by riding at sabs [above, terrierman driving at one].

The final draw took place in the valleys between Vose and Treluckey, an area teaming with wildlife. Here hounds flushed out a brace of foxes, probably a nursing vixen and her dog fox. Half the pack went running after one fox but soon lost the line, while the other half stayed close to Nikki in the valley. This is when sabs spotted the second fox in the same field as Nikki and her hounds. Not wanting to risk calling hounds onto this or any other fox, sabs had a nervous wait to see whether the hounds would pick up on the fox's line. Luckily they managed to overrun it.

By this time hounds were looking increasingly exhausted. The Hunt hacked slowly back towards the beach andFourBurrowFHOneofmanydeerfleeing7-4-18.jpgpacked up at around 6pm. Although we only had two foot teams between ourselves and Kernow today, some good strategising and teamwork meant someone had the Hunt in sight for most of the day and several foxes were helped to safety. Thanks for having us, Kernow Sabs, Monitors and Animal Rights Team... One thing we do envy you for is the amount of supportive comments received from Cornish locals throughout the day. How refreshing!

With our season coming to a close, we'd like to extend our thanks to all our hardworking sabs, all the sab groups, monitors and dedicated lone wolves we've had the honour of working with this season, and all those who have supported us with intel, likes, shares, donations and good wishes.

But we're not done... After a well-deserved break we're going to launch ourselves into preparing to sab this autumn's badger slaughter, as well as disrupting the efforts of the summer blood junkies. If you support us in our endeavours, please continue to support our fuel fund. The summer tends to be an expensive time for us as we take our vehicles off the road for maintenance. https://www.paypal.me/dchs. If you want to find out more about what we'll be up to in the summer and get involved, message us on devoncountysabs@riseup.net  or phone/text 07717473305.

Pics above   -   Left,  Huntswoman and Whip with pack     Right, One of many deer fleeing 

Pics below   -  1/  A hunt supporter. Classy.   2/  A fine specimen of the Screaming Lesser Cornish Hunter. In decline  

  FourBurrowFHSupporter.Classy7-4-18.jpg FourBurrowFHScreamingLesserCornishHunterAfinespecimen7-4-18.jpg

 See also report from Kernow Sabs etc. here.

 

APHA says no licenses issued for import of fox urine based substances

So how & where from are Hunts getting all their trail laying material? 

6-4-18   Facebook - National Dis-Trust    Repeated FoI requests have shown that from 01/01/2014 to 22/03/2018, not a single licence was granted by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for importing fox urine, but don't let that stop the Duke of Beaufort's Joint-Master telling Somerset Live otherwise in this barrage of lies... 'We use a liquid substance, imported from the USA, that gets put on a rag at the end of a whip.' - Matt Ramsden, Duke of Beaufort's Joint-Master, 20/03/2018.

'The import of fox-based material into the United Kingdom would require a licence or authorisation issued by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) or Defra. These are valid for a set period of time, during which the importer can use the licence on multiple occasions. Therefore, APHA would not know how many imports of fox-based substances took place during the validity of the licence. APHA do have a record of licences/ authorisations issued. However, in line with our data retention instructions, we only hold this information for 3 years. We can therefore supply data between 2014 and 2017.

Our records indicate that one import authorisation was issued for fox-based material on 1 May 2015. This was for “wild fox faeces swab samples stored in ethanol.' - APHA, 08/05/2017, bit.ly/2tm7DYW. APHA have not issued any import authorisations for fox based biological substances in the specified timeframe of 8 May 2017 to the date of your request.' - APHA, 04/04/2018 (photo in the comments).

Maybe Lord Mancroft might know why his Hunt have not applied for an import licence? Ask him at contactholmember@parliament.uk. The Duke of Beaufort's Foxhounds have a National Trust licence, see the details here -> bit.ly/2mpSU9g.    #stopthehunts

 

Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman guilty of hunting fox killed by hounds

Hunt's bird handler, who killed a fox in 2013, acquitted

4-4-18   Peterborogh Today    Fitzwilliam huntsman guilty of using dogs to kill fox    A Fitzwilliam huntsman who was in charge of a pack of dogs which killed a fox has been fined after being convicted of breaching hunting laws. Retired huntsman George Adams (66) was convicted of using hounds to kill the fox on January 1 2016. Falconer John Mease was found not guilty of the charge, and also not guilty of causing unnecessary cruelty to an animal relating to the hunting of a fox in 2013.

The two men appeared at Peterborough Magistrates Court during a two day trial which started on Tuesday this week, and concluded this afternoon. District Judge John Woollard said he had heard no evidence the Hunt had made any changes to their activities - other than using the falconer since the Hunting Act was brought in in 2005. The packed court - with the public gallery filled with supporters of the hunt and hunt saboteurs - heard from saboteurs Ruth Nichols and Stephen Milton, who had tracked the hunt on New Year’s Day. Video footage shown to the court taken by Mr Milton on the day showed the hunt, which involved around 40 hounds - with the sound of a hunting horn clearly heard. The hunt was taking place in fields near Wansford at about 1.30pm when the hounds were seen to get the scent of the fox. Mr Milton said he had seen the Hunt tracking the fox, and had not heard any calls to call the dogs off from the fox from the Hunt. Miss Nichols also said she had not heard calls to slow the hounds down during the hunt.

       FitzwilliamFHHuntwithkilledfox1-1-16.jpg 

However, Mr Milton said while members of the group of saboteurs he was with did not have their own hunting horn, it was possible other saboteurs did have one. Video footage taken from a head-cam worn by Mr Mease was shown to the court, and he could be heard saying the fox would have escaped had the groups of saboteurs not been blocking its escape route - something denied by both Mr Milton and Miss Nichols.

Professor Stephen Harris told the court hunts would regularly use packs of dogs with up to 40 dogs in before the hunting ban was implemented, but hunts using birds of prey in the past would only use two or three to catch the fox. He also said: “Dogs can be trained not to catch certain animals - the fox hounds here do not go chasing after sheep, which is their natural prey. In the footage there is also no-one from the hunt who is telling the dogs they have done wrong when they had killed the fox.”

FitzwilliamFHSabwithkilledfox1-1-16.jpgAdams, who joined the Fitzwilliam Hunt in 1981 and became a huntsman in 1984, told the court he had not seen the fox before it was killed. When asked if it was his intention to kill the fox with hounds, he said: “Absolutely not. We wanted to flush it out for the bird of prey.”

Mr Mease told the court there was no chance for him to release his golden eagle to catch the fox because the saboteurs were in the field, which would provide a risk to the bird. He was asked why he never radioed Adams to call the hunt off. He said: “A hunt is a fluid thing. “It was changing minute by minute. It was the heat of the moment and it was the first time I had come across saboteurs in my 11 years.”

He told the court he was in charge of the bird - but had no control over the pack of hounds, which was Adams’ responsibility. It was suggested the Hunt could have used other breeds of dog, such as spaniels and pointers, to flush out the fox, which could have been trained not to kill the animal - and fewer dogs would have been needed.

The court heard from George Bowyer, who was joint master of the Fitzwilliam Hunt when the Hunting Act was introduced. He said the Hunt had decided to use a bird of prey as it was allowed under the legislation, and there was no limit to the amount of dogs that could be used. He said: “We wanted to keep the Hunt running, within the law, as close as we could to before the Act was introduced so we could keep the blood line of the hounds going for when the Hunting Act was repealed.”

He added that fox hounds could be trained to stop, and there were ‘whippers in’ on hunts to keep the dogs in check during hunts. Mr Bowyer told the court the hunt had spent a lot of time and money with layers examining the law when it was introduced, and making sure the hunt stayed within the law.

Prosecutor Joe Bird labelled Mr Mease and his eagle as a ‘smokescreen’ used by the hunt to allow it toFitzwilliamFHJohnMeaseBirdHandler.jpg continue as it had before the ban. He said: “The set up was never going to work. It was a smokescreen. There were so many occasions when they would not have been able to fly the eagle.” But Stephen Welford, defending both men said: ”There is video footage of Mease using his eagle to kill a fox. That would not exist if it was a smokescreen.”

When Adams was found guilty, the court was told the only sentence that could be passed by law was a fine. Adams was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge and £930 costs.

Mr Mease was cleared after Judge Woollard said it was clear he had no control over the hounds during the hunt. Speaking outside court following the verdict, Adrian Simpson from the Countryside Alliance said they believed the judge had made the wrong decision, and Adams was planning to appeal against the verdict.

On Tuesday, the court was shown headcam footage from Mr Mease regarding the death of the fox in 2013. He used his golden eagle to catch the mammal, before using a falconers knife - a pointed blade - to ‘dispatch’ the fox by driving the spike through the animal’s eye. Mease, who joined the Fitzwilliam Hunt after hunting with dogs was made illegal in 2004, was the only bird of prey handler in the Hunt. He told the court the Hunt’s hounds would flush the animal out into the open, when he would use his eagle to catch the animal. Riding a quad-bike, he would then ride up to the bird and the prey - before making sure the fox was killed.

Mease said his number one priority was the safety of the eagle - and his number two priority was the welfare of the fox. The court was shown a video of the occasion in November 2013 - and told it took 47 seconds to kill the fox from the moment it was caught by the eagle. The court was shown a video of the occasion in November 2013 - and told it took 47 seconds to kill the fox from the moment it was caught by the eagle. He said the falconer's knife was the safest way of ‘dispatching’ a caught fox. He said a kitchen style knife could damage the eagle’s talons, while a ‘captive bolt’ was also dangerous to the eagle. He said while it would have been better to have killed the fox quicker than 47 seconds after it had been caught, he said: “No-one else could have done it quicker.” He was also accused of hunting for sport - but he said: “Not at all. I am employed as a pest controller. “I respect all animals. I don’t get pleasure in dispatching a fox. There is no nice death. This is just how it is.”

Professor Harris told the court that for fox hunting to be used as a successful method of population control, a large number of foxes - up to 80 per cent in an area - would have to be killed, as new foxes move in and take over territory when a fox is killed. He also said foxes were not pests. However, Dr Neil Forbes disagreed and said: “If there is a problem fox, it can cause big problems, especially around lambing time. If that fox is killed, it can be a real benefit to a farmer - even for just a few days.”

Judge Woollard cleared Mease of the animal welfare charge, and said: “To the squeamish this way of dispatching foxes seems a bloody and basic way of killing an animal. But I do not find it proved that the act caused the animal unnecessary suffering.”

      FitzwilliamFHBirdhandlerJohnMease.jpg

Pics above   -   Top - The scene of the fox kill, 1-1-16    Above left -  Sab straddling the killed fox to prevent it being removed by Hunt    Above right  -  Mease in civvies    Above  -  Mease with his eagle 

6-4-18   The Canary    A former huntsman has been convicted of killing a fox and the case exposes a crucial loophole - A former huntsman has been convicted of killing a fox and the case exposes a crucial loophole    A former Huntsman has been convicted for illegally killing a fox. But his co-defendant, a falconer, was cleared of all charges. And it raises questions about loopholes in a law protecting wildlife.

No control - On 4 April, George Adams was found guilty of illegally killing a fox on 1 January 2016. The former huntsman of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, based in Peterborough, was convicted after a two-day trial. But John Mease, on trial for the same charge as well as a second of animal cruelty in 2013, was cleared of all charges.

Video taken by hunt saboteur Stephen Milton shown during the trial revealed Adams hunting with around 40 hounds. And Milton also stated he had seen no attempt by Adams to call the hounds off the fox having tracked the animal through the day.

Judge John Woollard is described as saying “it was clear” Adams had no control over the hounds on the day. Adams was fined £1,000 for the crime as well as a £100 victim surcharge and £930 costs.

Smokescreen - Falconer Mease was present during the 1 January 2016 hunt with a golden eagle. This was described in court as an attempt to use the ‘falconry exemption’ (6a) to the Hunting Act 2004, which allows a fox to be chased by hounds out of cover. But the fox must be killed by a bird of prey once on open ground... The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) also reported on 3 January 2016 that:- “...the eagle [the hunt] had present was never un-hooded and not in a position to fly.”

However, Mease was cleared of charges relating to the New Year’s Day hunt. And he was also cleared of a second allegation of unnecessary cruelty to an animal after he stuck a knife into a fox’s eye.

Prosecutor Joe Bird described the attempt to use the falconry exemption as a “smokescreen”. And a magistrate at the trial appears to have agreed. Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports (the League), said:- “The magistrate said this huntsman was trying to cover up illegal hunting by pretending to use a bird of prey.”

‘Truly farcical’ - Loopholes were allegedly introduced into the Hunting Act after Tony Blair, whose government introduced the law, spoke with a hunt master. The most famous is trail hunting, in which hunts claim to follow an artificially laid scent. But the falconry exemption is also widely used.

In 2005, soon after the Hunt Act came into force, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said the exemption would be unlikely to provide legal protection for hunts. It wrote to Protect Our Wild Animals, a hunt monitor group, saying: “Employing (whether or not released to hunt) a bird of prey which does not ordinarily hunt that particular wild mammal [would be illegal] … because, in our view, it suggests that the flushing was not for the purpose of enabling the bird of prey to hunt the mammal.” And an article in The Guardian notes that a golden eagle “only takes small fox cubs in the wild”.

Falconry bodies were also opposed to the exemption. In 2005, a chairman of the Hawk Board told The Guardian that “hunting and falconry… are not compatible.” And a chairman of the Council of Hunting Associations said the body had “concern about the welfare of birds”.

In the same article, the League is quoted as saying: “The technical exemption in the Hunting Act is for falconry not foxhunting. Using a falcon as an excuse would be laughed out of court. This is truly farcical. And Adams’ conviction appears to bear this out.”

Landmark ruling for wildlife - The falconry exemption defence’s failure to stand up in court is an important milestone in the fight against hunting. Following Adams and Mease’s trial, Lee Moon, spokesperson for the HSA, said: “The guilty verdict today proves that hunting with a full pack of hounds is not the same as Falconry and the judge in summing up confirmed as much. The outcome today will of course have wider reaching implications for all those hunts around the country who claim to use this exemption. And given the widespread use of birds of prey by mounted hunts in England and Wales, the impact could be huge.”

See also Telegraph,  Independent    Mirror   Mail

 

NFU says pick up after pet dogs on farmland [but don't mention hunt hounds]

3-4-18   BBC News    Dog mess warning over aborted calves in Denbighshire    Dog owners are being asked to pick up after their pets amid fears cows are losing unborn calves due to infections from dog mess. Neospora caninum is a parasite which can be carried by dogs. The National Farmers Union (NFU) said picking up dog mess was vital to stop the spread of disease.

It comes after farmers in Denbighshire had to cull some of their herd thought to have been infected from their feed. Farmers John and Stephen Tudor, of Gwerclas Farm near Cynwyd, have taken to social media to ask dog walkers to pick up after their pets. The pair said tests showed the cows, which lost their young in late pregnancy, identified 'neospora caninum' as the cause. They tweeted: "The vet stated that the likely source is silage contaminated by dog faeces. There is no vaccine to prevent or cure this condition. Unfortunately, infected cows had to be culled as they will continue to abort every year. We have no issues with people walking their dogs along the footpaths, and know that some do clean up after them, therefore, this is an appeal to those who don't."

Denbighshire vet Dyfrig Williams said the infection was one of the most "frequently diagnosed causes of abortion in cows". "I'm not sure that it's something you'd think of as a dog owner," he said. "It's probably something we could do with further information for dog owners that walk on farmland, just to make sure that they do clean up after their dogs and have respect for livestock in the fields."

The NFU called on dog owners to pick up after their pets and to keep them away from animal food and water troughs to stop the spread of disease.

POWAperson comments  -  This is not the first time the NFU have asked for people walking their dogs on farmland to pick up after their dogs, without mentioning what must surely be the biggest source of risk to their livestock, hunting hounds, who roam about freely on all but a small proportion of cattle and sheep pasture, defecating freely as they go. Hunters generally don't clear up their hound's mess even at town meets and they certainly don't in the hunting fields. The risks to livestock from hunting hounds are manifold. They can be panicked into stampeding and injuring themselves, if pregnant they can miscarry. Abortion, as stated above, can also be caused by the neospora parasite, passed on via canine faeces. Another serious danger is hydatidosis. The only vector for this potentially fatal condition, with a very long latency period, is dogs fed on raw meat, which hounds traditionally are [pets not so much]. So why not address your pleas primarily to Hunts, NFU? Don't bother to answer that, we know why?


Waveney Huntsman's verbal abuse of monitor leads to formal complaint 

1-4-18  Facebook - Norfolk and Suffolk Against Live Quarry Hunting    NSALQH report no. 43 - WaveneyWaveneyHarriersHoldinguptraffic10-3-18.jpgHarriers hunt meet, Saturday 10 March, Frostenden Hall, Frostenden, Suffolk     Rumour had it that Saturday 10th March was to be the last meet of the season for the Waveney Harriers. Norfolk and Suffolk Against Live Quarry Hunting (NSALQH) activists normally monitor on a Wednesday but on this special Saturday we decided to support Norfolk and Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs (NSHS) who were attending... The box led us to a farm yard close to Frostenden church...

After a tete-a-tete, the Hunt set off and to our surprise swiftly left the area and headed in a north westerly direction... The police wildlife officers arrived shortly afterwards to do their own monitoring. We welcome this new initiative.

The hounds are normally led by the Huntsman, a Whipper-in and a Joint Master. On this occasion the Whipper-in was conspicuous by his absence and what with this, the police presence and two groups of antis on the case, there was to be very little opportunity for live quarry hunting...

It was the finish of the season and one might have reasonably expected a much larger field to reflect such an important day in the hunting calendar. Year on year the numbers have been getting smaller. Not counting the management team, there was little more than a dozen of them with the usual disproportionately high number of children and young people... Exposing young people to the horrors of blood sports and persuading them that there is some merit in it and furthermore that they are part of a fight for a just cause is in our view just another form of child abuse...

WaveneyHarriersHuntsmanReubenKenchAbusingf.monitor10-3-17.jpgNSALQH were only a support group on the day, so for a full report look at the Facebook of Norfolk and Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs. We cannot complete this report however without mentioning the inappropriate and offensive banter uttered by the huntsman Reuben Kench, to our monitors. Throughout the long journey back from Sotterley estate to the meet, monitors and hunt sabs were able to keep within earshot of the Huntsman whilst travelling along the public road and public track. Leading his hounds, accompanied by a JM (we believe to be one Helen Yallop), Mr Reuben Kench kept up a tirade of unwarranted verbal abuse for his own amusement. On passing the junction of Green Lane and Primrose Lane he spotted a female monitor waiting with her camera. He directed his verbal abuse at her and it was of a sexual nature that no person, let alone a woman, should have to endure in these enlightened times...

No person in his work place as Reuben was should be allowed to get away with this behaviour without a severe warning from his employer. It is for that reason her husband decided to make a complaint and seek out an apology and assurance from his employer that it would not be happening again. But here is the problem. The hunt, in our experience, simply ignore any complaint of this nature in an attempt to protect their reputation... Mr McDaniels, a joint master has listened to our complaints whilst in the field but he never appears to follow through with any of it or report back to us. The JM who was riding with Reuben, technically his superior, made no attempt to curb his immature and totally inappropriate jibes. Reuben was acting like one of those school boys on his last day at school...

He was of course forgetting his duty not only as a representative of the Hunt but also as a representative of their host at the Frostenden meet. It was for that reason the complaint was directed at the occupiers of Frostenden Hall. We are told that the recorded delivery letter was signed for by one Shelley Watson on 14 March. We had delayed the posting of this report by giving the benefit of the doubt to whom we believe to be the meet hosts, hoping that this issue could have been quickly resolved. We believe that there has been ample time since then for them to acknowledge the grievance but to date they have chosen not to do so. We will let you know how this turns out or you could just view Reuben’s response where, as a regular troll on our Facebook, his immaturity and lack of self control is all too often evident. Under the present regime at the Waveney Harriers, we do not expect things to change very much. They seem determined to bring disrespect upon themselves by continuing with this trail hunting charade in favour of the more respected drag hunting and not being too fussy regarding the quality of the persons they employ to carry it out.

A big thanks to all those who supported us during this season, not only in the field but in other ways. We shall not be entirely idle during the summer as we have unfinished business which will include racking up the campaign to bring a cessation to hunting on the National Nature Reserve (Natural England) on the Benacre estate, seat of the Gooch family who own the sporting rights. Have you signed the petition directed at the Benacre estate manager Mr vere Nichol? It can be found on change.org. If you wish to contact Mr vere Nichol yourself please remember to be polite.

 

MARCH 2018

..... 31st March - Sabs seriously assaulted & robbed by Modbury Harriers thugs

..... 30th March - Release and chase of bagged fox by Portman FH filmed, say sabs

..... 30th March - LACS has received over 500 illegal hunting reports this season

..... 30th March - Eggesford FH hunt over banned SSSI and farm

..... 30th March - Leicestershire Police officers snapped at Belvoir FH Ball

..... 29th March - Gamekeeper of Belvoir FH Hunt hosts convicted over captive fox

..... 28th March - Eggesford FH mark 2 foxes to ground, pack split and riot on deer

..... 27th March - Antis film D&S SH Whip gallop horse on road for extended time

..... 26th March - Convicted paedophile snapped among support at Eggesford FH

..... 25th March - Police drop case of Atherstone FH supporter - drove into, punched sabs

..... 25th March - Sabs stop Middleton FH killing despite attacks by 'security' men

..... 25th March - Disturbing film by passer-by of frenzy before deer kill by D&S SH

..... 25th March - LACS presents evidence of illegal hunting by Quantock SH to police

..... 25th March - Sab taken to hospital after unknown liquid thrown in her face 

..... 25th March - Hundreds in demo to demand full Scottish hunting ban

..... 23rd March - Filmed fox flees Beaufort FH across graveyard and into sett

..... 23rd March - Next day - 2 blocked setts where Cotswold FH hunting - again

..... 22nd March - 2 freshly blocked setts found where Cotswold FH hunting

..... 22nd March - Hounds Off ask - what point of giving evidence of Hunts' wrongdoing?

..... 22nd March - Portman FH Huntsman hunts hounds on road, even after driver complains

..... 21st March - Hunt invades gardens & tramples badger sett in Oxfordshire

..... 21st March - Antis to protest Devon & Cornwall police inaction on illegal hunting

..... 19th March - Waveney Harriers filmed chasing fox - monitor struck in face

..... 19th March - Grove & Rufford FH appeal judge was Tory MP in the '90s

..... 18th March - Cotswold FH horse dies, but they carry on seeking foxes to hunt

..... 18th March - S. Durham FH supporter tried to steal film of fox kill by Hunt

..... 18th March - S. Dorset FH support attacks sabs after twice pulled hounds off foxes

..... 18th March - Sabs prevent Eggesford FH dig outs, Huntsman hits sab on head

..... 18th March - Rarely sabbed Vine & Craven FH lays no trails, followed by terriermen

..... 17th March - Rider's horse dies under him - so he jumps on another & hunts on

..... 17th March - N. Shropshire FH Huntsman seems to implicate self in denying sett blocking

..... 17th March - Four Shires Bassets/Berkeley Beagles joint meet packed up by sabs

..... 17th March - Mass sab ruins Puckeridge FH's closing meet

..... 17th March - Antis stop Portman FH's 'innocent' Huntsman killing on snowy day

..... 16th March - Two blocked setts found near Beaufort FH meet

..... 16th March - Another hunting vet exposed - hunts with Albrighton FH

..... 16th March - Cheshire FH servant cautioned for death threat to monitor

..... 16th March - Heavily blocked setts found where Cotswold FH hunting

..... 15th March - Grove & Rufford FH 3 win appeals against illegal hunting convictions

..... 15th March - Rescue horses & pets badly disturbed by Hunt's proximity

..... 15th March - Pub owner where cat-kill Hunt met 'devastated' by pet's death

..... 14th March - Antis to send compilation of Portman FH road havoc to police

..... 14th March - Eggesford FH welcome violent ex-jailbird as supporter

..... 14th March - Portman FH JM/Huntsman acquitted of illegal hunting charge

..... 14th March - Warks FH Director says is landowner - until shown newly blocked sett

..... 14th March - Pet cat mauled to death by Albrighton & Woodland FH hound

..... 14th March - Sabs say Hunt claims re. injured woman sab are false

..... 14th March - Warwickshire FH hunt foxes on Fosse Way and A422

..... 13th March - Monitors say filmed N. Shropshire FH illegally hunting fox

..... 13th March - Somerset hare hunt beagle found hanging from top of fence

..... 13th March - Notts WT angry re. Grove & Rufford FH trespass on their reserves

..... 13th March - Surrey Union FH Whip arrested after attacked, spat on, woman sab

..... 13th March - Youngsters' beagling meet packs up soon after sabs appear

..... 12th March - Hounds pulled off hunted fox by sabs at Chiddingfold FH

..... 12th March - Grafton FH rider allegedly causes accident on A5, older man injured

..... 12th March - Grove & Rufford FH trespass and hunt in nature reserves

..... 12th March - Councillor and 'hunt liaison' loses it in foulmouthed rant at sabs

..... 11th March - Blean Beagles run home from sabs, leaving 4 hounds behind

..... 11th March - Convicted violent hunt thug breaks promise to court & attends hunts 

..... 11th March - South Dorset FH thugs assault and steal from sabs

..... 11th March - Leadon Vale Bassets don't even travel to meet after seeing sabs

..... 11th March - Sabs save fox from Cotswold Vale FH, fate of another not known

..... 11th March - Thurlow FH stage very short 'trail hunt', seek foxes for rest of day

..... 10th March - W. Somerset Vale FH trespass again on NT land in Somerset

..... 10th March - Badsworth FH hunt and kill one of paired foxes

..... 10th March - Cheshire Monitors on the One Show to enlighten public to 'trail hunt' scam

..... 10th March - Oakley FH hounds riot on and kill water deer

..... 10th March - Sabs save 5 foxes from Puckeridge FH, Huntsman makes death threat

..... 10th March - Sabs amazed by police response to attacks by W. Somerset Vale FH thugs

..... 10th March - Locals protest against Mendip Farmers FH

..... 10th March - Sabs save fox from Portman FH, sab landy kicked & damaged

..... 10th March - Meynell FH's closing meet features fox hunting, hounds on A roads

.....  9th March - Antis deter Cattistock FH from dig-out of hunted fox

.....  9th March - Drooling Warks FH supporter in vile, sexist rant at female sab

.....  9th March - Antis protest Wentworth estate hosting Grove & Rufford FH

...... 8th March - Yeo Valley Farms colluding in MFFH illegal hunting says local group 

.....  8th March - Atherstone FH Huntsman can't control hounds - so takes them on A444

.....  7th March - Woman supporter of Hampshire FH tries to steal monitor camera

.....  7th March – Eggesford FH Huntsman loses half his pack to sabs for 2 hours

.....  7th March - Tesco withdraws kids' fox hunter costume from sale

.....  6th March - Ex National winner Huntsman in foul-mouthed tirade at antis 

.....  5th March - Locals protest against Mendip Farmers FH

.....  5th March - LACS publish film of Eton College Beagles hunting a hare

.....  5th March - Monitors upload film of Cheshire FH chasing fox just before Xmas 

.....  4th March - Police make Cheshire FH pack up very early after monitors see kill

.....  3rd March - Easton Harriers filmed chasing several hares - no kills

.....  3rd March - Monitors film of South Durham FH killing fox handed to police  

.....  2nd March - S. Durham FH hounds invade  land, allegedly attack pregnant ewe   

.....  1st March - Monitors find blocked sett where Cheshire FH hunting on foot

.....  1st March - Ampleforth College beaglers' newsletter removed from website 

 

Sabs seriously assaulted and robbed by Modbury Harriers thugs

31-3-18  Facebook - Hunt Saboteurs    BREAKING: Members of Devon County Hunt Saboteurs have just been badly assaulted by supporters of the Modbury Harriers after filming huntsman Harry Gosling hunting hounds onto a fox. One saboteur is bleeding in the face and has sustained a leg injury from being driven over by a quad bike whilst on the floor. Two saboteurs were punched and kicked in the face and have had all their property stolen including a camera which had the footage of hounds being encouraged to chase a fox. An ambulance is in attendance. Please contact Devon & Cornwall Police to ask what they are doing to locate the culprits. You can donate to Devon County Hunt Saboteurs here: paypal.me/dchs. 

     ModburyHarriersMaskedterriermen31-3-18.jpg 

31-3-18  Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs   PLEASE SHARE    Male and female sab assaulted and robbed by terriermen from the MODBURY HARRIERS after filming huntsman Harry Gosling encouraging hounds onto a fox. Six men tackled the two sabs to the ground and punched and kicked them in the face before driving over one of them with their quad bikes while he was lying on the ground. Sabs also had their equipment and personal possessions stolen, including cameras that had filmed the illegal hunting and assaults. One of the sabs is from Somerset Hunt Saboteur Group, who joined us today.

Please ask Devon & Cornwall Police what they are doing to locate the six culprits, whose names and details they now have. https://twitter.com/dc_police email: 101@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk or 101@dc.police.uk

Harry Gosling: If you don't see to it that all our equipment is returned to us, you can expect to see a whole lot more of us next season. The Eggesford will tell you all about what that's like.

1-4-18  Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs    Sabs viciously attacked    Yesterday we ruined the Modbury Harriers' attempts to kill a fox, so the terriermen fulfilled their bloodlust by attacking sabs instead.

We were joined by a sab from South Devon Animal Rights and two from Somerset Hunt Saboteur Group. The meet was at Brownstone Manor near Holbeton. They drew Coldharbour Wood and Alston Wood south of the meet without picking up on anything and then headed for the The South West Coast Path to terrorise wildlife on the gorsey slopes that drop down steeply into the sea between Carswell Farm and Ryder's Hole. We were shocked to see young huntsman Harry Gosling encouraging the harriers to draw the very edge of the cliffs. Large numbers of cliff-nesting seabirds took to the air.

   ModburyHarriersHuntingoncliffedge31-3-18.jpg 

Eventually Harry decided to move on but he struggled for over an hour to call the harriers back off the cliffs in the strong wind. Hunt supporters got bored of standing around in the cold and many left at this point. A few helpers were sent into the gorse to try and get the remaining harriers back but nobody dared go too far down the slope. It's abundantly clear nobody had "laid a trail" in this area...

Once the pack was reassembled everything carried on west towards Pitts Hill Wood. A police car arrived in the area, having been called by the Hunt. We have no idea why. Up until then it had been the most uneventful afternoon we'd had in a long time. The police officer saw the three quad bikes being driven illegally on the road, with missing number plates and excess passengers, but did nothing. One of the riders fell off her horse onto a concrete track and injured her arm. We informed Harry but he carried on hunting regardless.

In Pitts Hill Wood the harriers flushed out a fox and were filmed chasing it by one of our foot teams watching from a footpath above the woods. The harriers were about 20 metres behind the fox and it was clear Harry had seen it too.ModburyHarriersWhipJennyStewart31-3-18.jpg With the help of his whipper-in Jenny Stewart [right] he hunted them onto the fox. In full cry they headed towards the quay at Newton Ferrers and then came tearing back past one of our teams who were able to rate them off the scent. Harry attempted to put them back onto the line but by now the fox had a decent head start.

The gamekeeper was called to forcibly remove us from the area but having filmed the Hunt actively chasing a fox there was no way we were leaving. The gamekeeper's response was "who cares about a f***ing fox?!". We stood our ground and he eventually got fed up and called Harry to ask him to remove the hunt from the woods.

This is when the terriermen lost the plot. Six masked men on three quad bikes sped up to a male and a female sab, attacking the female first. They pinned her to the ground, punched her in the head and robbed her of all her possessions, including her bag and the camera she had been using to film the illegal hunting. Meanwhile, the male sab was being assaulted, pushed down a hill and prevented from helping the female sab on the ground. He was knocked to the ground several times and punched in the face and kicked. Two quads came down the hill, driving straight into the male sab and then one of the terriermen used his quad to run over the sab's legs repeatedly while he was on the ground. He was then pinned up against the quad by several terriermen who tore the body camera off his chest and stole his radio. The terriermen sped off with the stolen equipment. One of the sabs was bleeding from the face and has sustained leg and chest injuries. Both were left battered and bruised.

Police and ambulance were called and while we waited for them to arrive we kept up with the Huntsman as he headed back to the meet. We observed Harry Gosling in phone and radio contact with the terriermen as he had been all day. The whip Jenny Stewart smirked at us when we challenged her to condemn the cowardly actions of multiple terriermen assaulting a woman. Is it any surprise that people who get their kicks from bloodsports don't have any qualms about beating up a woman?!

We know that Harry and Jenny are fully aware of the assailants' identities, as are we, and they were directing their operations all day. If they have any sense they will cooperate with the police enquiries and ensure that our stolen equipment is returned to us immediately.

Modbury Harriers: You will have to learn this lesson the hard way. Expect to see a lot more from us next season.

Here's how you can help:-  Share this post and help us spread the word about the violent Modbury Harriers. Help us replace the stolen kit, the value of which amounts to almost £600. A handheld camera, a body cam, a radio, several batteries, power banks and SD cards: https://www.paypal.me/dchs.6-4-18

6-4-18   Plymouth Herald    Police investigate reports of assault and robbery on hunt saboteurs    Devon County Hunt Saboteurs claim members were attacked and robbed by hunt staff Police have confirmed they are investigating allegations of assault and robbery on members of a hunt saboteur group by hunt staff.

ModburyHarriersConvoyofterriermen31-3-18.jpgIn an angry post on their Facebook site Devon County Hunt Saboteurs say they were joined by a member of the South Devon Animal Rights group and two members of Somerset Hunt Saboteur Group to monitor the closing meet of the Modbury Harriers at Brownstone Manor near Holbeton, on March 31.

According to the site the saboteur group stopped hounds chasing a fox which they claimed was being actively hunted and was filmed on camera. They alleged they were then attacked by a group of six “terriermen” attached to the larger group adding that they grabbed a female saboteur, pulled her to the ground and punched her in the face. The group claim the men then prevented another male saboteur from defending the woman by attacking him.

The Facebook site claims two quad bikes were then used to drive into the man, knocking him to the ground and running over him a number of times. They are then alleged to have pinned him down before taking a body camera, a two-way radio and a number of other items before leaving the area. The saboteur group say members of their group suffered “black eyes, leg injuries and cuts and bruises”.

On the main website of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, spokesman Lee Moon, wrote: “We have come to terms with the fact that police forces will generally side with illegal hunters rather than hunt saboteurs but even in this biased world Devon and Cornwall Police are one of the worst. They consistently turn a blind eye to illegal hunting and assaults on the saboteurs who try and stop it.” He added: “We ask that people contact Devon and Cornwall Police and ask what they are doing to locate the six culprits, whose details they have, to recover the evidence of the assaults and the stolen property. Also to ask them what they are doing in general about illegal hunting and hunt violence which goes unpunished week after week.”

Modbury Harriers has refuted the allegations, saying they were “grossly exaggerated”.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed it was: “currently investigating allegations of robbery and assault which happened on Saturday 31 March 2018 between 3pm and 3.45pm in a field in Mayo, Plymouth.” The spokesman said: “Officers received reports that victims were set upon by six men on quad bikes and also had their radio and camera equipment taken. This is currently a live and active investigation. We take reports such as these extremely seriously and ask for anyone with information to contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by 101 quoting CR/027453/18.”

 

Release and chase of bagged fox by Portman FH filmed, say sabs

30-3-18 Facebook - Dorset Against Blood Sports   VIDEO    HIT REPORT MONDAY 26th MARCH, PORTMAN ACCIDENTAL FOX HUNT, CLOSING MEETING AT HEMSWORTH FARM, WITCHAMPTON   …The fact is that the footage we gained Monday could have come from any of the 'accidental' hunting days during the season.

We will upload a few short clips from Monday over the next few days that will take you through exactly what happens. A MAGIC FOX that appears in front of the Hunt, a suspicious van, a Huntsman putting his hounds back onto the line of the fox [2 pics below. Pic 2 is 30 secs after Pic 1], DABS stopping the hounds and saving the fox, terrier men, wildlife running for its lives and much more. They are illegally hunting on a regular basis. Or at least trying to.

    PortmanFHFoxfleeingfromcarHuntsman26-3-18.jpg 

We would like to thank all of the monitors and animal rights groups that we have worked besides this season with all our hearts. What we do isn’t easy and it is imperative that you have good people watching your back, and we have the best. Dorset’s hunts have seen an unprecedented amount of attention, and it is only going to increase.

    PortmanFHHoundsputonfoxline30secsbehindfoxHuntsman26-3-18.jpg 

If you want to get involved drop us a line. Their are jobs for everyone. 'Our day began with a suspicious van, and a fox away from it came. Then we saw hounds and a couple of riders and knew they must be to blame'.

1-4-18    Facebook - Wildlife Witness   VIDEO    This is just a short video of an incident that took place on the Portman Hunt's final meet on 26th March 2018. In the early afternoon, a fox was seen and filmed by monitors from Dorset Against Blood Sports running from the location of the silver vehicle and across the adjacent field.

A few minutes later the Huntsman brought the pack to the car and was seen speaking to the occupants of the car - he then took the hounds directly to the point where the fox had been seen. A clear indication that the Hunt was attempting to hunt a live quarry, in breach of the Hunting Act.

The other interesting point in the video is when hounds are seen flushing two or three deer from the area of PortmanFHFoxfleeingfrom26-3-18.jpgwoodland next to the car and one of the hounds picks up the scent and follows the deer. The whipper-in and the field master both intervene to stop the hound and bring it back to the pack. In the recent court case, the core prosecution evidence was a video of the Portman's huntsman, Evo Shirley, riding motionless behind the hounds as a fox is seen being hunted in his view, with him making no effort to stop them. His defence was that it was not possible to stop the hounds so he made no effort to do so. This video clearly contradicts this testimony.

30-3-18  Facebook - Dorset Against Blood Sports   VIDEO    The hounds followed the fox, we think came from a box, The huntsman was made well aware. The hounds they kept going, no sign of slowing because the man on the horse didn’t care.

30-3-18   Facebook - Dorset Against Blood Sports   VIDEO   They thought they were clever popping through private land to get back on the scent of their prey. But we have our own methods and popped up the same place to save foxy and ruin their day.

Foxy crosses the road from the hedge, only a couple of metres ahead of the lead hound. You can see the DABS team member point, The Huntsman is nowhere. His hounds are running riot through people’s gardens chasing a fox. (sorry couldn’t rhyme that bit).

Pic above right   -   Hunted fox fleeing from hounds

Pics below   -   Hounds burst on to road right by monitors    2/   Hounds searching for fox 

  PortmanFHHoundsburstontoroadbymonitors26-3-18.jpg PortmanFHHoundssearchforfox26-3-18.jpg

 

LACS says they have had over 500 reports of illegal hunting this season

30-3-18   LACS Press Release    New figures indicate the scale of illegal hunting across Britain    A new set of figures reveals the extent to which hunts are illegally chasing, and in many cases, killing foxes, hares and deer and causing havoc in the British countryside.

A total of 550 reports of illegal hunting activity and hunt havoc have been received by the League Against Cruel Sports since the beginning of the hunting season last autumn. The figures indicate that hunts are routinely breaking the law and their packs of hounds still literally tearing to pieces British wildlife.

Chris Luffingham, League Against Cruel Sports director of campaigns, said: “Despite hunting being banned 13 years ago, it seems very little has changed, with hunts targeting and killing animals and deceiving the British public about their activities with excuses like ‘trail’ hunting. Sadly these reports are just the tip of the iceberg – with more than 300 hunts on the British mainland still in existence and actively targeting wildlife, we estimate that thousands of animals are still being killed every year.”

The scale of illegal hunting reports and hunt havoc - 405 reports of illegal hunting activity were received by the League over the course of the hunting season which began at the start of November and is currently drawing to a close. A further 145 reports came in of ‘hunt havoc’, which consists of incidents such as packs of hounds killing domestic pets, trespassing through people’s gardens and allotments and running onto busy roads and railway lines. The majority of reports covered the four and a half months between November 2017 and the middle of March 2018. Reports of the hunting of young fox cubs which take place in early autumn were also included. Pic below - pet cat mauled to death, Albrighton & Woodland FH 14-3-18

      AlbrightonWoodlandFHMauledtodeathbyhound14-3-18.jpg 

In total, the League received 550 reports, which came in from concerned members of the British public who contacted the League’s Animal Crimewatch team, League investigators who monitor the activities of the hunts, and independent hunt monitor and saboteur groups.

Chris Luffingham added: “A new term entered the English language after the hunting ban of 2004 – ‘trail’ hunting. This was touted by the hunts as a new pastime which involved following an animal-based scent rather than live quarry, but which mimicked traditional hunting as much as possible. In fact, it so closely mimics hunting; it has become clear it is a deception and cover-up for illegal hunting activity. Hunts rarely lay a trail and even when they do it is a sham to mask their illegal hunting. Why are hunts routinely seen crossing railway lines, on busy roads or in people’s gardens if they are laying a trail? Why are they regularly being seen chasing wildlife? Why are there so many reports of animal deaths at the hands of the Hunts? The public, over 85 per cent of which opposes hunting, would be horrified if they knew what was really going on in the British countryside and the cruelty and dreadful death toll the Hunts are inflicting on wildlife. We are calling on landowners to ban hunts from their land and we need to strengthen the Hunting Act and bring in tougher sentencing to act as a deterrent.”  Pic below  -  Fox killed by Silverton FH 1-1-18, cradled in arms of sab

      SilvertonFHFoxkilledinfrontofsabandHuntsman1-1-18.jpg 

Examples of illegal hunting activity and hunt havoc - On January 9, 2018, the East Sussex and Romney Marsh hunt chased a deer and a fox into the Celia Hammond Greenacres cat sanctuary near Hastings. The hounds rampaged across the 80 acre sanctuary and initially 60 cats fled. Sadly five never returned and are feared dead.

The figures include 42 cases of cub hunting when the Hunts blood their hounds in early autumn by surrounding known fox habitats in small woods. The practice involves driving the hounds through the woods so that they learn to kill.

There have been 12 cases this year alone of the notorious Warwickshire Hunt chasing foxes and causing hunt havoc, including the Hunt being witnessed hunting on busy A roads and next to the M40, which presents a very real risk to the public and the Hunt’s hounds, and points towards illegal hunting rather than following a genuine trail. Below - Warwickshire FH hunting on bend in main road, 29-11-17

      WarksFHHuntingonbendofmainroad29-11-17.jpg 

Many Hunts have been seen with terriermen, who accompany Hunts and encourage their dogs to find, fight and flush out foxes that have gone underground, often in badger setts. The involvement of terrier men with ‘trail’ hunts raises a serious question about their activities. The answer can only be that the Hunts are still targeting and killing animals despite the fox hunting ban of 2004 and that trail hunting is a lie being used to cover their activities.

Animal Crimewatch - To report illegal hunting activity, the public can contact the League’s Animal Crimewatch Team via www.league.org.uk. Alternatively phone in confidence on 01483 361 108 or email on mailto:crimewatch@league.org.uk.Chris

Chris Luffingham added:- “The good news is the world is changing – advances in smart phone video cameras, new monitoring groups on Facebook, and the development of our Animal Crimewatch team, mean the public can report the Hunts’ activities and we can go about bringing them to task. It’s time to get the Hunts, not animals, on the run. The Hunts are living on borrowed time.”

The League is encouraging members of the public to sign their petition titled ‘stop the killing of animals by Hunts in the UK’. Full details can be found here.

 

Eggesford FH hunt over banned SSSI and farm

30-3-18   Facebook – N.Cambridge Sabs   Wheatland Farm - Devon eco lodges and cottage   Eggesford Hunt have been back again, despite being told to stay off Popehouse Moor SSSI and all the land at Wheatland Farm. Another 20 or so hounds were running riot across our nature reserve and around the lodges. This Huntsman even manages a sarcastic grin and a wave before hurrying off [below]. The Hunt is not welcome at Wheatland Farm, but that doesn't seem to bother them. When are the police going to start enforcing the hunting ban? Any more advice Hounds Off? https://www.wheatlandfarm.co.uk/…/eggesford-hunt-popehouse…/

Pics below  -   1/   Hound rampaging on banned land in Jan '18     2/  Huntsman gives sarcastic wave as rides away Mar '18 

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Leicestershire Police officers snapped at Belvoir FH Ball

30-3-18   Facebook - Deborah Hall   Police at the Hunt Ball   This is an illegal Hunt who regularly break the law (Sharon Roscoe was the Wildlife Crime Officer!]. Here's the double act. PC Sharon Roscoe [left] and acting Chief Inspector(at the time) Lou Cordiner on the right at the Belvoir Hunt ball.”

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POWAperson adds   -  After numerous complaints, some in the press, about PC Sharon Roscoe acting as Wildlife Officer whilst riding with the Belvoir FH, she resigned the post in March 2016. Sabs have long complained of perceived bias by Leics police in favour of Hunts, most particularly the Atherstone FH. Only last week they dropped the case of an Atherstone FH supporter, the Chairman's brother-in-law, who attacked sabs last October with both his quad bike and his fists. Video clearly showed him committing assaults and threatening behaviour. 

Gamekeeper of Belvoir FH host estate convicted over fox kept in shed

Refuses to defend self or say who else involved in the crime 

Assumption is fox was to be released for Belvoir FH to hunt 

29-3-18   LincolnshireLive    Amazing footage shows secret operation carried out to free fox trapped by gamekeeper   VIDEO    A gamekeeper has been prosecuted after footage emerged of a mission to save a fox which he had trapped in an outbuilding. Nigel Smith, head gamekeeper of the Buckminster Estate has since been found guilty of charges brought under the Animal Welfare Act.

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The fox [above] was kept in cruel conditions in an outbuilding [right] at the estate which is on the border between Lincolnshire and Leicestershire. The League Against Cruel Sports claims the fox was being held to be chased and killed by a local Hunt. Smith was caught on camera by investigators from the League with a bag and net going into the building on the day that the Belvoir Hunt met. He then came out looking confused asBelvoirFHShedwherefoxcaptive12-15.jpg the fox was no longer in the building. The fox had been found in appalling conditions and in a terrified state.

Smith appeared at Lincoln Magistrates' Court today, Thursday March 29 and was fined £400 ordered to pay a £40 victim surcharge and to pay £1,200 costs. The BBC reported that he was also banned from being involved in or keeping foxes for five years.

They also reported that District Judge Peter Veits said: "You chose not to give evidence today so we will never know whether you were keeping this fox for a protective reason or whether you were keeping it for an unlawful purpose, to be used in a hunt on that Thursday. We shall never know whether you acted alone or whether you acted with the understanding or acquiesce of your employers. We will never know because you haven't told us."

Chris Luffingham, League Against Cruel Sports director of campaigns, said: “We welcome this conviction, which will act as a deterrent to others who think they can get away with cruelty towards British wildlife. We’re outraged that Hunts are still chasing and killing foxes in the British countryside. Before the hunting ban came in they claimed this was about wildlife management but this case blows that argument out of the water and shows that foxes are being kept so they can be released for ‘sport’."

Darryl Cunnington, League Against Cruel Sports head of investigations, who lead the operation to free the fox, said: "We’re delighted with this conviction. The judge has sent out a clear message to any hunts across the country that are keeping foxes that this cruelty is not to be tolerated. He made it very clear that the consequences of doing this again would be very serious.”

Pics below  -  1/   Offender Nigel Smith at shed where fox had been held captive    2/  Smith outside court

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29-3-18  BBC News  VIDEO  Buckminster Estate fox trial: Gamekeeper guilty of welfare offence    A gamekeeper who kept a fox captive in a brick shed - allegedly so it could be hunted - has been found guilty of an animal welfare offence. Nigel Smith has never explained why he kept the fox captive at the Buckminster Estate in the East Midlands. However, he was filmed going to retrieve it - carrying a net and a bag - on the day the Belvoir Hunt were due to meet nearby.

Smith, 60, was fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £1,640. He was also disqualified from keeping foxes, or being involved in it, for five years. Nigel Smith, of Glebe Farm, Colsterworth, Stainby, Lincolnshire, is gamekeeper for the Buckminster Estate. District Judge Peter Veits told Smith: "Whatever the true motives, it is clear that fox hunting in this country by dogs is unlawful. The country expects people to abide by those laws and make sure foxes are not hunted by dogs. Having them torn apart by dogs is something that is viewed by Parliament as unlawful and we all have to respect the law."

The BBC has asked the Belvoir Hunt and Smith's employer, the Buckminster Estate, to comment. The BBC also asked Smith if he wanted to explain why he was keeping the fox captive but he declined to do so.

The judge said he had drawn an "adverse inference" from the fact that Smith did not give evidence at his trial. He found him guilty of not ensuring the welfare of the fox, by failing to provide it with a clean and safe environment, sufficient space, ventilation, temperature control, fresh food or sufficient water. Smith was not charged with any offences relating to fox hunting, and nobody from the Belvoir Hunt has been charged with offences. The Buckminster Estate covers part of Lincolnshire and Leicestershire and the fox was found in a brick building in Stainby, close to Smith's home at Glebe Farm, Colsterworth.

BelvoirFHFoxfindcaptivereleasedinotherarea2016.jpg.jpgLincoln Magistrates' Court heard that the League Against Cruel Sports was informed that foxes had been kept in the brick building in the past. Darryl Cunnington, head of field operations, told the court that he and a colleague went to the outbuilding and discovered a fox on 14 December, 2015. This was three days before the Belvoir Hunt was due to meet on 17 December, so he suspected that the fox was being kept for that purpose. The League Against Cruel Sports set up cameras and arranged to retrieve the fox the day before the hunt. These cameras caught a man, later identified as Smith, visiting the fox on 16 December. Mr Cunnington returned with two colleagues later on 16 December and rescued the fox, but left the cameras in place. The cameras then caught Smith returning to the shed with a net and a bag on the Thursday - the day of the hunt - going inside, discovering the fox had gone, then coming out again while scratching his head.

The footage was passed to Lincolnshire Police, which carried out an investigation. The fox was taken to a rescue centre then released [left] into an area of Leicestershire where hunts do not take place. Police arrested Smith but he repeatedly refused to answer questions when interviewed...

The judge told Smith: "You chose not to give evidence today so we will never know whether you were keeping this fox for a protective reason or whether you were keeping it for an unlawful purpose, to be used in a hunt on that Thursday. We shall never know whether you acted alone or whether you acted with the understanding or acquiesce of your employers. We will never know because you haven't told us."

 

Eggesford FH mark 2 foxes to ground, pack split, riot on deer

Badger sett found newly blocked with logs 

28-3-18   Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs     Yesterday we returned to the Eggesford Hunt for a mid-week visit, joined this time by some friends from Somerset Sabs, S.Devon Animal Rights and Kingston Sabs. The Hunt met off the road near Gorhuish Bridge, between Folly Gate and Northlew.

They drew the long valleys to the north and south of the meet. Early on, hounds were heard in cry in the valley and they appeared to have marked a fox to ground. This was before the Hunt were even aware sabs were in the area. Terriermen Nathan and Seward arrived on their quad bike, only to find sabs were already in the valley where they'd planned to dig out. Their dig-out plans were scuppered and the fox got away. A badger sett was also found further along the valley, which had been freshly blocked with logs.

Huntsman Jason Marles lost control and the pack became split, with some hounds heading south on a line past one of our foot teams, while the others remained at the northern end of the valley. Several hounds re-entered the valley west of the meet and with little help from his terrier men, who were stood around drinking with the support, it took Jason a while to put the pack back together.

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Jason came back to the meet, dismounted his horse and went back out to spend the rest of the day on foot. Back north he went towards Lambert Cross, where he picked up the other half of the pack and re-entered the Hookmoor Brook valley, heading back in direction of the meet.

South of Lower Gorhuish hounds again erupted into full cry. At this time of year many foxes will be either heavily pregnant or nursing their young, and males are often found close by, looking after their vixen. So when we spotted one fox running from the pack but hounds carried on past and then came to a standstill at a large badger sett making a lot of noise, we feared the worst. Terrier quad-bikes arrived in the area at the same time as sabs, but fortunately hounds and Huntsman had already moved on.

The hounds were now running in full cry towards South Moor Plantation, actively hunted on by Jason. It transpired they were rioting on a herd of deer. Eventually they made their way back into the original valley and up to the meet, where they packed up at 4pm. Jason spent another hour at the meet calling for hounds, so we suspect some of them may have been left behind.

It was particularly refreshing to come across several anti-hunt landowners yesterday. One of them complained he had never given the Hunt permission to hunt across his land, yet Jason and the hounds deliberately crossed it three times. The landowner said he'd previously had trouble with the Hunt causing his pregnant ewes to abort.

If you support what we do, please donate to our fuel fund: https://www.paypal.me/dchs. To get involved or send us information: 07717473305 or devoncountysabs@riseup.net.

 

Antis film D&S SH Whip gallop horse on road for extended time

27-3-18   Facebook - Somerset Wildlife Crime   VIDEO    Huntsman (this is the Whip for Devon and Somerset Stag Hounds, former huntsman for the Eggesford Hunt), gallops his horse in pursuit of a Stag. The horse is galloped relentlessly along a main road for an extended period of time. This CAN'T be good!

Pics below   -   1/  Whip about to start galloping on main road    2/   45 secs later - Still galloping     3/  12 minutes later  - Still galloping    4/  90 secs later - Still galloping

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Convicted paedophile snapped among the Eggesford FH support

Originally convicted for asking 14 year old girl to strip on webcam

Given suspended jail sentence when re-sentenced as broke order

He'd hooked up with 16 year old girl he met at a hunt meet 

26-3-18  Facebook – Devon County Hunt Sabs [photo]    Convicted sex offender Jason Kiddle [below left]

10-15   The UK Database   Jason Kiddle – Okehampton  Sex offender broke order after meeting teenager   A SEX offender broke an order to stay away from teenage girls when he befriended a 16-year-old at a hunt meet.

Jason Kiddle was subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order as a result of having been caught encouraging a 14-year-old schoolgirl to strip off on webcam. The order banned any online or real contact with any female under 17 but he flouted it after meeting the 16-year-old while out hunting in North Devon, Exeter Crown Court was told. He chatted to her on Facebook and carried on his contact after being warned off by her father and told of her age. The girl’s horrified parents only discovered he was still seeing her when they came across them hand in hand walking through Exeter’s Princesshay shopping centre.

EggesfordFHJasonKiddleSexoffenderatmeet26-3-18.jpgKiddle is a former ambassador of the Duchy College in Callington who met his original victim while showing her around the campus last year. He is now working as a driver’s mate for a caravan delivery firm and his internet use and contact with girls are both restricted by the SOPO. He is due to start a probation-run sex offenders’ course in February [2016].

Kiddle, 22, of North Road, Okehampton, admitted breaching the SOPO and was jailed for six months, suspended for two years and ordered to pay a £180 courts charge.

Recorder Peter Towler converted the SOPO into a new Sexual Harm Prevention Order which will last for five years. He told Kiddle: “You complied with the previous order for some months but by September you were in contact by Facebook with a 16-year-old girl. Her father was monitoring her Facebook and sent you a warning, telling you she was 16. You went on to meet her at a hunt and clearly arranged to meet her in Exeter, where you bumped into her parents while you were walking hand in hand at a time when she should have been at college. It is important you should attend the internet sex offenders course, but those who break court orders must be punished. A suspended sentence is now in place so there must be no more contact with girls of 16 or under. Stick to girls your own age.”

Francesca Whebell, for the prosecution, said Kiddle broke two conditions of the SOPO by having online contact with the girl by Facebook, and seeing her without permission of her parents. She said the Facebook contact started in September and they met in person at a hunt later that month. By that time her father had intercepted the online chat and warned him his daughter was only 16 and he was breaking the order.

The parents complained to the police after seeing him hand in hand with the girl in Exeter on September 25. Kiddle told police he met the girl through a shared interest in foxhunting.

In the original case in January, Kiddle admitted four offences of inciting girls to send him indecent images and one of harassment and was ordered to undergo the programme as part of three years supervision.

The offences started when Kiddle was a student at Duchy College and asked to act as chaperone to young visitors on a taster day. He persuaded the 14-year-old to send him pictures of her in underwear and pose on a webcam. He also persuaded a 16-year-old to send him a topless picture.

POWAperson comments  -  Funny, isn't it? Calling hunt monitors 'paedos'  is a favourite insult of hunters, based on nothing whatsoever. Some even go so far as to push children accompanying Hunts into the foreground, so they can scream it even louder. But they go very, very quiet when actual sex offenders emerge in their own midst. This is the second this season convicted of offences involving juvenile girls and, in recent years, at least two more have been jailed for rape, one for four years, the other for nine.

 

Police drop case of Atherstone FH follower - drove into, punched sabs

Sabs accuse Leicestershire police of huge pro-hunt bias - again

25-3-18   Facebook – W.Mids Sabs  VIDEO   No Further Action   Leicestershire Police are taking no further action against Ashley Davies, the son in law of the Atherstone Hunt chairman, who was filmed violently attacking and assaulting saboteurs who were filming the Atherstone Hunt. His attack concluded with him driving his quad bike intoAtherstoneFHSupporterdrivesquadatsabs14-10-17.jpg one of the saboteurs who ended up in a ditch as a result. The outcome could have been far more serious if the quad bike had landed on top of him. Leicestershire Police are claiming they didn’t have enough evidence, this is not true, the victim made a victim statement and handed footage in. In most circumstances this would have been more than enough. To add insult to injury Leicestershire Police are now victim blaming, saying it was the victim's fault it got dropped as not enough statements were made.

This case highlights perfectly the vast gulf of difference in the way Leicestershire Police treat anti-hunt and pro-hunt cases. Anti-hunt cases are set impossibly high standards of evidence where it is never quite good enough whilst pro-hunt cases have absolutely no evidence threshold at all. Members of the Atherstone Hunt for example are allowed to make false allegations against saboteurs, provide NO evidence whatsoever and yet Leicestershire Police are fine with this (and continue to be) and even hand out harassment notices to saboteurs based on this none evidence. (All harassment notices have been successfully challenged and overturned).

AtherstoneFHSupporterpunchessab14-10-17.jpgWe would like to know what evidence was handed in to the CPS and how it was presented to the CPS. We hold Leicestershire Police partly responsible for this incident as they took no further action against Davies for a previous incident where Davies ran at saboteurs with a metal bar. An official complaint was made to Leicestershire Police Professional Standards and the case was reopened. Why would a case need to be reopened if it had been investigated properly in the first place? We will go into more detail of this case in the coming months. This second case now gives Davies even more reason to believe that he is immune from prosecution.

These are not isolated cases, last season members of the Atherstone Hunt attacked and stole cameras from saboteurs, the case was dropped however Leicestershire Police actually wanted to arrest the victims!

Leicestershire Police can’t even claim these decisions are being made by different people in different departments, some of these decisions (with the vast difference in required evidence) have been made by the same officer. DS Matt Trott took the decision to take no further action in the first Davies case and was the Senior Investigating Officer in the second case. In both of these cases he claims the evidence is not good enough yet Trott was also responsible for issuing the harassment notices to saboteurs based on no physical evidence from the Atherstone Hunt. In total three harassment notices (or Police Information Notices) have been issued to sabs and then later AtherstoneFHSupporterKnockssabintoaditch14-10-17.jpgoverturned.

A complaint was previously made about Trott and upheld after a phone conversation with a sab where he said “Your hunt saboteurs that's what you do, you trespass on other peoples property and harass people”. It’s not hard to guess what Trotts opinions are about hunt saboteurs yet despite the complaint being upheld he remains part of Leicestershire Police's hunting unit making decisions about hunting issues. Leicestershire Police: https://www.facebook.com/leicspolice/.The

The hunting season may be over but we are already preparing for next season please consider donating to help us carry on helping wildlife Paypal: https://www.paypal.me/westmidlandhuntsa…Please

Please like our page @West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs to help us continue to help wildlife.

Pics above  -    1/   Top right, Davies drives speeding quad at sabs, stopping inches in front of them     2/  Having leapt of squad, screeching abuse, he punched one sab to ground and wrestled another over     3/  Davies drives quad into sab, knocking him into ditch    

POWAperson comments   -  If this were not serious it would be laughable, because it is so ridiculous to claim they don't have enough evidence. The video alone is utterly damning, showing clearly at least three assaults plus threatening behaviour. 

 

Sabs stop Middelton FH killing despite attacks by 'security' men

One group took hounds off Huntsman, passed them on to another

25-3-18   Facebook - Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs    This hit report is dedicated to the memory of Anna Campbell, aMiddletonFHShagCarterfeeingdefeated25-3-18.jpgbrave dedicated former hunt saboteur who died last week fighting for justice in Kurdistan.

Yesterday saw a large team comprised of Cheshire , West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs, Nottingham, Lancaster, and Liverpool Hunt Saboteurs successfully disrupt the Middleton's illegal fox hunting.

The Hunt left the meet at Aldby Park, Scrayingham North Yorkshire, at 12:30pm. Due to there being a number of police vehicles and an unexpected film crew present, they made a pathetic show of laying a rather half-hearted trail in the direction they wanted to hunt first. No more trail laying happened for the rest of the day.

After a terrible cubbing season, the Middleton have employed private security to harass and intimidate us. Today was no different with twelve thugs in four vehicles trying to block and detain us all day. Not one displayed an SIA licence, despite their claims to be accredited. There were several incidents where different groups were subjected to their violence, all of which happened on public footpaths or the public highway. Two of our sabs were set upon for no good reason by a couple of heavyweight thugs.

Effective communication between sab groups meant the Hunt were constantly shadowed. In the middle of the afternoon they hunted a fox into a field of tall grass, but unbeknown to them we had seen the fox to safety, sprayed its trail and were lined up waiting in case the hounds got on its scent.

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The Hunt second-horsed at around 3pm, wrongly thinking that would give them an edge. Towards the end of day we had the joyful experience of taking the pack of hounds from the feet of the Hunt master, Charles Carter's horse. Using a combination of voice calls, horn calls and a gizmo, and despite the efforts of several of the Hunt, we pulled the hounds across the entire length of a large field to us, and then another group of sabs took them from us across yet another field. Carter was seen riding off in a strop! The Hunt realised then that we were winning and headed back to the meet, packing away at about 5pm without having killed anything all day.

A huge thank you to all the other groups who helped us beat the odds today.

Pics above   -   Top right - Huntsman 'Shag' Carter with that sinking feeling    Above  -  Whip can't stop hounds responding to sabs' calls    Below  -  Horse fell being galloped on road 

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Disturbing film by passer-by of frenzy before deer kill by D&S SH

LACS then captured footage of butchering of the hunted deer 

25-3-18   Facebook – Somerset Wildlife Crime   Devon and Somerset Stag Hounds - shocking footage DSSHFrenzybeforekill8-3-18.jpgfrom the moment members of the public get caught up in the middle of Devon and Somerset Stag Hounds blood lust    On the main road horses galloping down the wrong side flanked by vehicles and foot support all baying for the blood of one lone Stag who they have chased for 2 hours. The animal, now exhausted, and his energies spent after a long and perilous chase, is seen barrelling along a fence looking for an escape from his pursuers. He has lost the energy needed to jump free from the hounds and huntsmen close behind him. He was cornered and brutally killed his body then dragged to a near by field and butchered for the delight of the supporters and hounds. This utter brutality against a defenceless creature whose silhouette adorns many local businesses on Exmoor is beyond our abilities to describe. High time the blood junkies found a new hobby.

*UPDATE* this is the footage captured by the League Against Cruel Sports of this stag being butchered, shortly after the clip of them all salivating just before he is killed, in the video clip here.

Pics below   -   1/  Whip with sawn-off shotgun mounts bank to get to where stag has been brought to bay.   2/  Supporters and huntsmen    3/&4/  Stag being butchered. Details of the arcane traditions around this are on the LACS film - link after UPDATE above.

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LACS present evidence of illegal hunting by Quantock SH to police

League believes 200 deer still chased & killed by 3 Hunts per year 

25-3-18   The Observer    Police probe claim of illegal hunting by Quantock Staghounds - League Against Cruel Sports says it has presented evidence to police of deer being chased by dogs   Police are investigating allegations of illegal deer hunting in south-west England, following claims that a traditional hunt has been chasing stags with packs of hounds. Investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports have passed a file to police with evidence they say shows that the Quantock Staghounds have broken the law.

Although the Hunting Act 2004 banned the hunting of foxes and wild mammals using dogs, hunting deer without hounds remains legal – deerstalking is said to be growing in popularity. Three traditional Hunts continue to chase deer on horseback in Somerset and Devon, helped by hunt followers and quad-bikers, and they can involve as many as 400 people. The law allows hunters to use up to two dogs to locate wounded deer, to flush out prey from undergrowth, or for observation and scientific monitoring.

Packs of hounds can still take part in trail hunting, where a sample of animal scent – usually fox or deer urine – is dragged across the countryside for the dogs to follow. Anti-hunt campaigners claim this is often used as a cover for illegal hunting.

Volunteers from the League who monitor the three Hunts say that one, the Quantock Staghounds, regularly takes a large pack of hounds to chase a stag and hinds. Darryl Cunnington, a retired police officer and League volunteer, said he had given wildlife officers at Avon and Somerset police a file of evidence from an incident on 22 January on the southern edge of the Quantock hills, near Bridgwater in Somerset. “Our evidence is that there were seven or eight hounds chasing deer across the moor,” he said. “We’ve identified the people involved. The hounds were not called off and may have been actively encouraged. We found no trail-laying and we think it shows clear illegal hunting.” Avon and Somerset police said inquiries were ongoing.

Nick Gibbon, chairman of the Quantock Staghounds, said: “If there [were] more than two hounds we would have been trail hunting. If hounds are seen to be hunting deer, they’re stopped. We’ve got a team of trail-layers that lays trails.” Asked how it might be possible that the League had found no evidence of trail-laying, he said: “We film our trails being laid.” 

A separate incident on 5 September 2016, captured on video by a League volunteer, shows at least six hounds chasing a deer in Willoughby Cleeve. The man who took the footage, Andy Kendall, also a retired police officer, said the stag escaped past a line of Quantock Staghounds supporters onto a sanctuary owned by the League.

Gibbon did not have any knowledge of the incident. “If a deer jumps up in front of them when they’re trail hunting, they’re stopped as quickly as possible,” he said. The Quantock Staghounds have about 12 or 14 hounds, he added. “We try to manage the deer on the hills within the law. We do some trail hunting because we’ve got more hounds in the kennels that need to be exercised. Previous attempts by the League to prosecute illegal hunting have been mixed. In 2013, a case against a Quantock Staghounds huntsman, Brian Palmer, was dropped for lack of evidence. In 2007, Richard Down and Adrian Pillivant were fined £500 each by Bristol magistrates for hunting deer with dogs.

The League estimates that around 200 deer are chased and killed every year, and it operates an Animal Crimewatch hotline, which received 66 reports of illegal deer hunting in 2017. Hunters say they are helping control the deer population, which has doubled since 1999 to about 1.5m according to the Deer Initiative Partnership, a government-funded body, which believes culling some deer species may be necessary. According to the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, which the League says has never been seen using more than two dogs at a time while hunting, the population of deer on Exmoor is at 2,500, compared with 75 when the Hunt was founded in 1855.

POWAperson adds   -   Quantock SH Huntsman Richard Down has been convicted twice of illegal hunting. The judge in the second case hardly enhanced deterrence when he imposed just a modest fine actually lower than that for his first offence. In April last year the Hunt was involved in a horrific incident when a deer being closely chased by hounds threw itself off a 30' bridge on to a road below. Motorists nearly collided with it and could only watch on in horror as hunt servants arrived quickly to remove the corpse, though they couldn't expunge the bloodstains on the tarmac. The Hunt denied everything, as usual. POWAperson has personal experience of the Quantock Staghounds - they are ruthless savages.

 

Sab taken to hospital after unknown liquid thrown in her face 

Couple 'harassed' by Portman FH for 25 years plead for sab support

'Blatant fox hunting', sabs assailed, blocked badger setts 

25-3-18   Facebook - Weymouth Animal Rights   Hit Report 25/03/2018 The Portman Hunt : Meet - Smugglers Mead, Stepleton   With the end of the killing season drawing ever nearer we knew that there would be a sense of desperation for the murdering misfits to get as many kills 'notched up' before our beautiful foxes have some semblance of reprieve before the fox 'cub' killing season (or more commonly known as Autumn Hunting) is upon us once more.

With five fox hunts and two Beagle packs killing in Dorset it has sometimes been a difficult decision as to which Hunt we pay a visit too. However, today's choice was without doubt the easiest we have had to makePortmanFHHarefleeing24-3-18.jpg all season. This began with an email that we had received. An email so touching and saddening that a unanimous decision was to action it.

It was sent by a couple that told us for the past TWENTY FIVE YEARS they have been harassed by the Portman Hunt. The Hunt had damage fences (not mended them), trespassed on their land, distressed ewes resulting in abortions, limited their own cat's and dog's lives as well as their own as they are on constant watch when the Hunt are in the area. They said the rural police and other support from groups such as Hounds Off have been a lifeline but they still feel very threatened and vulnerable when the hunt are around . This lovely couple gave us a list of areas one including Smugglers Mead where the Hunt then go on to harass them. This lovely couple's only wish from us was could we warn them when the Hunt was close by to their land. We did not let them down!

With our good friends Southampton Sabs and Dorset Against Blood Sports and armed with impeccable intel from our very experienced monitors we split into two groups, one group keeping an eye on the meet and the other going into the 'field' to spray and pre-beat areas that we know the Hunt like to flush out innocent foxes, or hares or anything else that moves.

Our first port of call was Evelyn Warren, a large woodland with green lane access. However, within minutes of entering the wood we encountered the first of the many knuckle draggers and dribblers that hurled threats at us and played the intimidation 'game' with us. Not deterred by this obvious distraction we carried on only to find an array of blocked badger setts. These were logged, photographed, filmed and grid-reffed. All the while one dribbler was threatening to 'ram our camera's down our throats' (all filmed). Still undeterred we carefully unblocked the setts.

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...the Hunt then raced east towards Rolfs Wood. Already anticipating this move we put a foot team along the Wessex Ridgway heading westerly into the wood. With other foot sabs already in the wood, a fox was seen bolting south towards the Furze Down direction. Sabs used a gizmo to lift the dogs heads but with dribblers lining the track in front of the terrified fox and their blatant hollering to the Huntsman that a fox was seen it wasn't long before the dogs picked up the scent again.

PortmanFHFoxfleeing24-3-18.jpgSabs, quick to act, headed south where we believe the terrified fox ran across the road and into the small copse named Rough Ground. With dogs in cry now running along the western edge of Rough Ground, terriermen, Whip and dribblers went into panic mode, doing their best to prevent 'out of control' dogs running dangerously onto the busy road. Monitors then reported seeing the fleeing fox heading north (as did more dribblers), at which the whole Hunt turned, raced over the road and followed in the fox's tracks... blatant fox hunting to the experienced eye.

With sabs and monitors surrounding the area, monitors caught a glimpse of the now exhausted and terrified fox in the Ash Down vicinity. Sabs again used a gizmo and voice calls to pull the dogs off the scent. However, this sent the now large gathering of knuckle draggers and dribblers into a frenzy. ,Altercations occurred which we cannot go into detail about, as this is now under police investigation. However what we will say is that last week two female sabs were assaulted and when we dialled 999 it took several hours for the police to take evidence. This week when the 'other side' called them there were blue's and two's coming in from all directions within minutes!

Sadly the fate of the beautiful fox remains unknown to us and, with police cars all over the area, the Hunt seemed less interested in following their 'trail' and headed back to the meet. By 4.45pm they packed up. On a plus, the Hunt never went anywhere near the lovely couple's land on this occasion, maybe our presence alone was enough to deter them... 

If you would like to join us please either message this page or email weymouthanimalrights@protonmail.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can. We are an independent group and receive no funding from big associations and we really appreciate your help to keep us on the road doing what we do best. https://gogetfunding.com/weymouth-animal-rights-vehicle-an…/

Pics below   -   1/   Csnine 'fence mender' ready for duty    2/   One of sett entrances blocked with rubble

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24-3-18  Facebook - Dorset Hunt Sabs    HIT REPORT SATURDAY 24TH MARCH 2018 PORTMAN HUNT MEETING AT SMUGGLERS MEAD    Since his court appearance almost two weeks ago Evo Shirley has made no real attempt to hide his illegal hunting habits and his hounds have been filmed chasing a fox four times in two weeks. Today, the Portman Hunt called in helped from the Anti Anti’s so were we grateful to be joined by our neighbours South Devon Animal Rights and also Wildlife Witness and a monitor we frequently work alongside. The Anti Anti’s are a group of thugs hired in by the Hunts to attack sabs verbally and physically and we have had many incidents with them over the years, particularly when we do the BSV and Cattistock Hunts, sometimes the South Dorset, but never before when we have been doing the Portman.

The anti anti’s were at the meet before us and many of them were masked up and clearly intent on causing trouble by holding up vehicles, blocking roads and general bullying tactics including name calling and following sabs everywhere. There was an altercation between an anti and a sab and whilst this was unfolding a sab who was filming from the landy with the window open had an unknown liquid thrown in her face.

The police were called on a couple of occasions prior to this altercation by sabs / monitors but they didn’t attend - at one time a phone call was made to 101 and the caller gave up after half an hour. The police were quickly on the scene when they were called to the altercation and they are currently investigating our sab being assaulted with the liquid for which hospital treatment was required... 

Pic below   -    Some of the masked-up anti antis 

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Demo by hundreds demands full Scottish hunting ban