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     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 2016

..... 30th June - Fox cub raising for hunting at Pytchley FH is exposed
..... 29th June - Autopsy on fox killed by Atherstone shows it suffered terribly
..... 29th June - Quorn FH access to Outwoods withdrawn by Charnwood Borough Council
..... 27th June - S.Herefordshire hounds rioted on deer & hunted foxes, say sabs
..... 25th June - Threat to kill arrest linked to S.Herefordshire FH illegal hunting inquiry
..... 23rd June - MFHA to hold 'independent' inquiry into cruelty claims re. S.Herefordshire FH
..... 23rd June - LACS releases film showing S.Herefordshire FH servants throwing cubs to hounds
..... 13th June - Third person arrested in S.Herefordshire FH cruelty probe
..... 10th June - Police arrest two in S.Herefordshire FH animal cruelty investigation
.....  2nd June - Cheldon BH masked thugs attack sabs leaving 2 with head injuries

Fox cubs being raised for hunting at Pytchley FH exposed

30-6-16   HSA Press Release   VIDEO  Fox rearing and illegal hunting at the Pytchley Hunt      Undercover footage handed to the Hunt Saboteurs Association by independent investigators, shows the Pytchley Hunt rearing and hunting foxes in direct contravention of the Hunting Act.

The  footage shows the hunt terrier men keeping captive foxes in an artificial earth [left], an underground tunnel system built by the hunt to maintain the fox population in an area they plan to hunt. The terrier men introduce cubs to the earth and initially Pytchleyfoxinartificialearth2016.jpgkeep them caged to ensure they don't leave the area. Once they are attached to the area the cage is removed to allow the cubs free rein in the wood. As can be seen, not all the cubs survive captivity. One cub dies and is removed from the cage and callously thrown into the undergrowth. The cubs are regularly fed by the terrier men to ensure they don't leave the area in search of food.
Hunting day arrives and we see the hunt terrier men enter the wood with a terrier and a spade. They use the terrier to flush a fox out of the artificial earth in front of the approaching hounds. The hounds pick up the scent of the fox and chase it. The terrier men then put a block over the entrance to the earth, to stop the fox seeking refuge. We then cut to the fox escaping across a field and one of the hunt masters holding his hat in the air to indicate the fox's direction of travel. Fortunately on this occasion, despite the Hunt's best efforts, the fox escapes.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “Investigations like this, prove what hunt saboteurs already know, illegal fox hunting is not about pest-control it's about hunting and killing for pleasure. In the last two years the North Cotswold Hunt have been caught feeding foxes, the Middleton Hunt have been caught breeding them and the Belvoir Hunt are implicated in keeping a captive fox to be “bagged” and released on the day of the hunt. Only last week the South Herefordshire Hunt were caught throwing live captive fox cubs to their pack of hounds. Every time a hunt is investigated they are found to be committing some hideous act of animal abuse that contravenes not only the law but also their own MFHA (Master of Fox Hounds Association)  rules. The Countryside Alliance always claim a bad apple and distance the rest of the hunting community from the latest act of cruelty but it is clear that these practices are endemic at Hunts across the country.”

Autopsy report on fox killed by Atherstone shows it suffered terribly

29-6-16  Facebook – W.Mids Sabs   "The fox would have been in extreme pain and suffering for about 3 minutes."  We've got the results back from the autopsy performed on the fox killed by the Atherstone Hunt on the 26.01.2016 at Osbaston. It proves that far from being a quick nip to the back of the neck as the hunting community always claim it was a brutal and painful death that lasted three minutes.



Quorn FH access to Outwoods withdrawn by council management committee

29-6-16 – Leicester Animal Rights    PETITION UPDATE The Quorn Hunt Access Has Been Revoked!    Earlier tonight, we once again delivered our petition to The Outwoods Management Committee asking for the access agreement, put in place in 2006, to be revoked. We're pleased that the Committee voted to do so, and we offer our heartfelt thanks to the many people who signed our petition. 


S.Herefordshire hounds rioted on deer and hunted foxes, say sabs

27-6-16   Facebook – 3 Counties Sabs   VIDEO  South Herefordshire Hunt children's meet at Courtfield, Welsh Bicknor 16th February 2016.   A sab arrived to keep an eye on the activities of the South and found hounds rioting (i.e hunting someone they are not supposed to hunt) on 2 small herds of deer. They were starting to show an interest in the flock of sheep in the same field. The sab was rather busy trying to intervene as no one from the hunt was around! Eventually the hounds were called back and picked up a brace of foxes which they then started hunting. One ran by the sab towards a nearby badger sett and his line was covered with citronella. The other ran in the opposite direction and their fate is unknown. In the video you can clearly hear someone holloaing and encouraging the hounds to hunt a fox. A holloa is a sort of high pitched noise which indicates to hounds that a fox has been seen, there is no use for it in "trail hunting".

Threat to kill arrest linked to S.Herefordshire FH illegal hunting inquiry

25-6-16   BBC News    Arrest over Herefordshire animal inquiry threats to kill    A man has been arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill by police investigating reported offences of animal cruelty in Herefordshire. The West Mercia force said it was looking into three reports of threats to kill and one of malicious communications. The alleged threats were made on Thursday. A 64-year-old man from East Sussex has been arrested. Three people have been arrested over the animal cruelty inquiry. The inquiry began in May and three have since been released on bail.                                     

MFHA launches 'independent' probe into S.Herefordshire cruelty allegations
23-6-16   Hereford Times     Probe launched into fox hunting group amid animal cruelty allegations   An independent investigation has been launched into a fox hunting group amid allegations of animal cruelty. The probe, which will be chaired by former Appeal Court judge Sir John Chadwick, will look into the South Herefordshire Hunt, where three people have been arrested on suspicion of causing suffering to animals.

It comes after footage was revealed which animal rights campaigners claim shows evidence of "cubbing", using fox Sir-John-Chadwick.jpgcubs to train hounds to hunt and kill the animals. In the footage, filmed by the Hunt Investigation Team supported by the League Against Cruel Sports, an individual can be seen carrying a fox cub into a barn where hounds are kennelled and baying, and later disposing of a dead fox in a wheelie bin. Three people have been arrested and released on police bail.

The Master of Fox Hounds Association, which regulates and represents hunts around the country, said it had launched the inquiry "into conduct which suggests breaches of the association's rules at the South Herefordshire Hunt". In a statement it said: "The Hunt has suspended two members of staff and the kennels are currently closed. The South Herefordshire hounds are being looked after by other hunts which are members of the association. The inquiry will be chaired by the Rt Hon. Sir John Chadwick [left], a former Appeal Court judge, and will include Bill Andrewes, an experienced former Master and Hunt Chairman, and Pauline Tolhurst, a practising veterinary surgeon."...

Hunting foxes with dogs has been banned for more than a decade, with Hunts now allowed to participate in "drag hunting", where an artificial scent is laid for the hounds to track. But animal rights campaigners claim live fox cubs are being kept and used by hunts to train hounds to kill, or as a ready supply of foxes to hunt. Chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, Eduardo Goncalves, said: "The hounds won't naturally kill foxes so they must be taught to do so and this footage exposes the gruesome training secrets of hunts in the UK."

POWAperson comments - MFHA 'investigations' are about as 'independent' as a burglar's mother. Prediction for the outcome - since the video footage appears to have the hunt servants bang to rights, the MFHA investigation will find them alone culpable and state that the officers and Masters had no inkling of what they were doing. The guilty parties will be sacked and, if past form is anything to go by, will likely soon be employed by other Hunts.  The inquiry will mildly criticise the Hunt hierarchy but allow them to carry on as normal.

League releases footage of cubs being thrown to hounds at S.Herefordshire FH kennels

23-6-16   Hereford Times     League Against Cruel Sports obtained the footage which, they claim, was secretly recorded at the South Herefordshire Hunt    VIDEO footage taken by a hunt investigation group appearing to show a huntsman handling foxes illegally [right] - it claims - has been published on social media. TheS.HerefordshirehuntservantabouttothrowcubtohoundsSummer2016.jpg Hereford Times last week revealed in a front page story that three people linked to the hunt had been arrested on animal cruelty charges. Those arrested included a 37-year-old man from Abergavenny on suspicion of failing to prevent the causing of unnecessary suffering to an animal, and a 37-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman from Hereford, both arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. All were all released on bail until a date in August.

The South Herefordshire Hunt would not comment on the allegations when contacted by the Hereford Times at the time of the arrests and has not returned calls this morning to respond to the video footage. The League Against Cruel Sports say the footage shows “damning evidence of the reality of fox hunting”. They add that the footage has been released as part of a major ongoing investigation into ‘cubbing’ - the illegal practice of training young inexperienced hounds to hunt and kill fox cubs.... It was also revealed this week that the South Herefordshire Hunt has suspended two members of staff. The Hunt's kennels, which are in Wormelow, are currently closed while the hounds are being looked after by other Hunts which are members of the MFHA.

23-6-16    Daily Mirror    Live fox cubs 'filmed being fed to hounds so they learn how to kill'  VIDEO  A harrowing video that appears to show fox cubs just weeks old being fed live to hunting hounds at a kennels is being probed. The footage, obtained using hidden cameras, shows four cubs in cages and a man carrying two of them into a shed where the dogs are kept. The hounds can then be heard howling and barking before the savaged bodies of the cubs are ­apparently dumped in a wheelie bin. The Hunt Investigation Team – which shot the film at South Herefordshire Hunt HQ – claims it is grisly proof that hounds are still being taught to kill foxes through a practice known as “cubbing”.

A spokeswoman for the Hunt Investigation Team said: “They don’t naturally hunt foxes. They have to be taught to recognise foxes as prey and not only to hunt them but also to kill them. We believe this evidence shows fox cubs were actually thrown to the hounds , because the bodies came out.  When our investigators took those fox cubs out, one of them was disembowelled, one of them had multiple bite wounds.  Our feeling is that they were fed live to the hounds.”

Since the hunting ban came into force in 2005, hounds are less likely to encounter foxes and it is claimed some hunts have a problem with dogs attacking other animals. Eduardo Goncalves, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said:  “This footageS.HerefrdshrFHCubskeptcaptive5-16.jpg exposes the gruesome training secrets of hunts in the UK.” The film was made earlier this year at the site in Wormelow, Herefordshire.  The group’s surveillance team set up five time-lapse cameras, disguised as everyday objects including rocks, near a yard to the rear of the kennels. Investigators had to go in every night to retrieve and replace the camera memory cards. The footage captured showed a fox cub yowling as it is removed from the back of a truck by a man using a noose.  The group then entered the site at night and filmed cubs locked in wire cages [right], using handheld cameras.  In May, a man was filmed taking two fox cubs, one at a time, into a corrugated metal shed which houses hunt hounds.  He was later seen throwing the bodies into a nearby bin – where they were recovered by investigators.

The HIT spokeswoman added: “We started this probe following a tip-off from inside the hunt.  We were horrified when we saw footage of the cubs dying.  They must have faced hell when they were in that shed.  It was a very difficult time for all the investigators because they had previously seen these cubs eye to eye.  They are babies who shouldn’t even have been away from their mum.”

West Mercia Police launched an investigation after they were handed the video and the cubs’ corpses.  It is believed they will get post-mortems.  Two 37-year-old men and a 27-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.  The three, from Hereford and Abergavenny, South Wales, were released on bail.  The South Herefordshire Hunt confirmed it has suspended a paid huntsman but refused to comment further. The kennels have been closed while a probe is carried out.  The Masters of Foxhounds Association has also launched an independent inquiry. It said the investigation will examine “conduct which suggests breaches of the association’s rules”.

This horrific scandal was also covered, at length though several weeks later, by the Daily Mail


Third person arrested in S.Herefordshire FH cruelty investigation
13-6-16   Hereford Times     UPDATE: South Herefordshire Hunt police investigation    A THIRD person has been arrested in connection with a police investigation linked to the South Herefordshire Hunt. West Mercia Police confirmed today that a 37-year-old man from Abergavenny was arrested on June 2 on suspicion of failing to prevent the causing of unnecessary suffering to an animal. He has been released on bail until a date in August. Last Friday, the Hereford Times reported that a man and a woman from Hereford were arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Two arrests in South Herefordshire FH animal cruelty police probe
Kennels locked, hounds and horses moved elsewhere

S.HerefordshireFHkennels6-16.jpg10-6-16   Hereford Times   West Mercia Police confirms two arrested as part of investigations into the South Herefordshire Hunt    A COUNTY hunt is being investigated by police. The kennels of the South Herefordshire Hunt, which are based in Wormelow, are currently locked [left]. It is believed all horses and hounds have been moved elsewhere due to the ongoing police investigation. The Hunt refused to comment when contacted by the Hereford Times this morning. West Mercia Police confirmed today a 37-year-old man from Hereford and a 27-year-old woman from Hereford were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty. The pair, who were arrested on May 28, have been released on bail until a date in August. 

10-6-16   BBC News    Animal cruelty arrests in South Herefordshire Hunt investigation    Two people have been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty in connection with an investigation into the South Herefordshire Hunt. West Mercia Police questioned a 37-year-old man and a woman, aged 27, about suspected cruelty to foxes. The hunt's kennels in Wormelow, near Hereford, have been closed and all horses and hounds moved elsewhere. A message on the Hunt's Facebook page says salaried staff have been suspended and an internal inquiry will begin.The gates at the kennels are shut and nobody was on site earlier. West Mercia Police says the investigation is continuing. The man and the woman have since been released on bail. The RSPCA said it is helping the police with its investigation.

Two sabs suffer head injuries as Cheldon Buckhounds masked followers launch attack

2-6-16   Daily Mirror    Balaclava-clad attackers 'rain punches on animal rights activists' as saboteurs' peaceful protest turns ugly    An animal rights activist was left with blood streaming down his face after being attacked by a masked man when a peaceful hunt protest turned violent. The saboteurs were staging a peaceful protest against the Cheldon Buckhounds, who were out with their hounds in South Molton, north Devon, say campaigners. Horrifying footage apparently shows the moment Andy Kane [right], of the Hunts Saboteurs Association, clashed with several men wearing balaclavas. In the video, a man in a motorcycle helmet wrestlesSabattackedbyCheldonBHthugs2-6-16.jpg Andy, 53, to the ground, grappling for a few seconds before others arrive and begin raining punches.

Violence flared when the saboteurs interrupted the activity by distracting the hounds, according to the animal rights activists. Andy claims the man in the helmet headbutted him in the face before he was targeted by a gang [below left] who kicked and punched him as he lay on the ground. With blood trickling down his face, Andy, wearing camouflage gear, is seen sitting on the ground immediately after the incident. He says he was later treated in Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for a cut head and bruised ribs.

Speaking to, he told how the attack escalated during a day of heated clashes in the Devon countryside. He said: “We were staging a peaceful protest and trying to disrupt the dogs when these thugs in balaclavas suddenly came from nowhere. The one who was wearing a motorbike helmet grabbed me and headbutted me to the ground. Then the rest of the gang started kicking and punching me while I was on the ground. The assault lasted no more than two minutes, but the intimidation went on for a good 15 to 20 minutes longer. I was quite badly beaten - you can see from the pictures what a state I was in. It was a really frightening experience. We're just peaceful protesters who care about the welfare of animals. It's just not on.”

CheldonBHsupporterswhoattackedsabs2-6-16.jpgAnother protester, in his 20s, was also reportedly attacked during the incident and suffered facial injuries, including a suspected fractured skull and eye socket. The victim, who did not want to be named, claims he sustained the injuries as he tried to stop the gang from attacking a fellow protesters. The activist, from Plymouth, said: “We were followed and intimidated by at least seven men in masks throughout the day. But just as the hounds were released, the men got closer and closer to our group. Once the violence erupted, I tried to step in to pull them off one of the members of our group. But as I dragged one of the men away, the momentum made me fall over, and I was also attacked in the aftermath. I now need an operation to restore my skull after tests found it had been fractured." The video was uploaded to the Bristol Hunt Saboteurs' YouTube channel, one of several splinter groups that took part in the protest.

Devon and Cornwall Police have now launched an investigation into the incident, which happened at around 3.45pm on Bank Holiday Monday. A spokesman said: “Police attended Whitfeild Lane, north of Brayford following reports of an altercation between hunt supporters and hunt saboteurs in the area, at around 3.45pm on Monday May 30. “One victim, a man in his late 20s from Plymouth has suffered facial injuries including a suspected fractured eye socket. We believe that a number of people were present who have yet to have speak to us. We ask that if you were in the area or witnessed the altercation, that you contact the police as you may hold information vital to the investigation.”

It is the latest violent altercation involving animal rights activists during hunts. In January this year, footage emerged [allegedly] showing a group of hooded hunt saboteurs armed with iron bars attacking a huntsman. And in March, another shocking video showed hunt saboteurs being driven at by men in balaclavas on quad bikes who were threatening to shoot them. No one from The Cheldon Buckhounds could be contacted for comment.

30-5-16    HSA PR    Hunt Saboteurs Brutally attacked on Exmoor Hunt saboteurs have been brutally attacked by staff and supporters of the Cheldon Buckhounds. The Hunt had met at the Poltimore Arms, Exmoor, Devon and were illegally hunting a deer when the sabs arrived. As the sabs intervened to save the hunted animal they were set upon by a large group of masked men. Sabs have suffered head injuries and at least one has been taken to hospital with breathing difficulties. Another sab has got serious facial injuries after being head butted by an assailant wearing a motorcycle helmet.

Deer hunting is one of the unsavoury secrets of the hunting community and takes place in the summer months, mainly in the West Country. The Cheldon are such an unpleasant bunch that they were kicked out of the Masters of Deerhounds Association on 1993 after their master was filmed slitting the throat of a young buck and sitting on it while it bled to death. This is the second time in two weeks that they have attacked sabs.

Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the HSA, stated: “Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, is endlessly whining on about sabs wearing masks. Maybe the hunting community needs to clean up its own shop first before commenting on the behaviour of others. The rise in violence from hunts and their supporters is alarming and we hope the police focus more of their attention on Bonner and his band of violent thugs. Such violence will not deter us and now the Cheldon and the other buckhound and staghound packs are firmly on our radar and will be receiving increased attention. As the mink hunts can testify it is no fun receiving a summers attention from hunt saboteurs.”


MAY 2016
..... 25th May - Two Fitzwilliam hunters to appear in court on illegal hunting charges
..... 24th May - York & Ainsty S. FH supporter convicted of assaulting sab and driving offences
..... 19th May - RSPCA boss says misunderstood - will prosecute Hunts if necessary
..... 16th May - Second Atherstone FH supporter fined for bad behaviour at Town Square meet
..... 15th May - New RSPCA boss attacked over stance on prosecuting Hunts
.....  9th May - Petition to ban Atherstone FH from market square gathers support

Two Fitzwilliam FH hunters to appear in court on illegal hunting charges
Another man charged with illegal hunting and animal cruelty

25-5-16   HSA Press Release     Fitzwilliam Huntsman Charged with Illegal Hunting    Fitzwilliam huntsman, George Adams (now retired) [right] and Bird of Prey Handler, John Mease have been charged with offences relating to the Hunting with Dogs Act for the killing of a fox near Wansford, Cambs earlier this year.  There is also anotherFitzwilliamFHHuntsman1-1-16.jpg cruelty charge which came to light during the investigation.

The charges relate to a hunt on New Years Day, one of the biggest occasions in the hunting calendar. Sabs observed the hounds go into cry and a fox was seen running along the river bank with the hounds in pursuit. The Huntsman encouraged the hounds on and they finally caught and attacked the fox in a corner of a field with the Huntsman looking on.  It was still alive when sabs arrived although hunt support were trying to remove the evidence. The fox had been disembowelled. It was pronounced dead by a sab shortly afterwards. The Hunt were pretending to use the Bird Of Prey Exemption however the Eagle they had present was never unhooded and not in a position to fly. The hunt staff made no attempt to call off the hounds. Evidence and witness statements were supplied by Beds and Bucks & South Cambs hunt saboteurs to Cambridgeshire Police.

FitzwilliamFHSabwithkilledfox1-1-16.jpgLee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It is gratifying that Cambridgeshire Police have acted on the evidence gathered by hunt sabs. We now expect the Crown Prosecution Service to act with similar conviction in prosecuting these law breakers. George Adams was a very experienced huntsman who would have had full control of his hounds and knew he was breaking the law. If illegal hunting carried a stiffer penalty then maybe the hunts would think twice before blatantly flouting the Hunting Act.”


3-6-16    ITV News   Two men to appear in court over fox hunt investigation    Two men have been summoned to appear in court following claims a fox was killed during a hunt on New Year's Day. The 44-year-old and a 64-year-old, who have not been named, are accused of hunting a wild animal with dogs. It is alleged to have taken place during the Fitzwilliam Hunt - which is one of Britain's oldest having been formed during the reign of Richard II. The hunt takes place over 600 square miles of land between Stamford, Lincs., and Higham Ferrers, Cambs. It is claimed the fox was killed when the meet reached the village of Elton, near Peterborough. The 44-year-old man is also charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Both men, from Peterborough, Cambs., will appear at Peterborough Magistrates' Court on July 27.


York & Ainsty South FH supporter guilty of assaulting sab and driving offences
Convicted man given sixteen month suspended sentence and driving ban

24-5-16   HSA Press Release     Hunt Supporter Guilty of Assault and Driving Offences   Charles Robert Walker [left], supporter of the York and Ainsty South Hunt, has pleaded guilty to assaulting a hunt saboteur at YorkAinstySsupporterCharlesR.WalkerConvicted24-5-16.jpgBeverley Magistrates Court. Walker also pleaded guilty to drink driving, driving without insurance, failing to stop after an accident and failing to stop for police. All the offences occurred at a meet of the York and Ainsty South Fox Hunt at Sandhall, near Goole, East Riding in March this year.

It was the Hunt's final meet of the season and hunt saboteurs from Sheffield and West Yorkshire were present to ensure no foxes were illegally hunted and killed. Drunken hunt supporters abused and assaulted sabs throughout the day, driving aggressively at them and attempting to steal and damage video cameras. Walker was eventually arrested after overtaking the sab vehicle at high speed on a bend, in front of watching police. Walker received a suspended 16 week prison sentence and has been banned from driving for 2 years.

Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “We are pleased that Walker pleaded guilty and has been punished for this lengthy list of offences. We suspect however, that if a hunt saboteur had committed such offences they would currently be starting a prison sentence. These illegal hunts, and the thugs who support them, think they are above the law and only strict penalties from the courts will show them this is not the case.”

RSPCA CEO says misunderstood - will prosecute Hunts if necessary
19-5-16   Western Daily Press     New boss Jeremy Cooper says 'I'm proud' of RSPCA prosecuting hunts - and we'll do it again    The new chief executive of the RSPCA confirmed last night that the charity could still prosecute hunts for breaking the Hunting Act – and said he was 'extremely proud' that it helped force through the controversial ban. Jeremy Cooper moved to 'correct some misinterpretation' of comments made in his first major interview since taking over as the boss of the organisation at the weekend – comments which sparked a furious outcry from animal rights activists. In a backtrack, he appeared to pledge the RSPCA's support for an anti-hunt stance, and moved to reassure the charity's supporters that his 'apology' for the RSPCA's previous actions did not mean a change in its position on the hunting issue. In the interview with the Telegraph at the weekend, he had apologised for the charity 'becoming too political' and 'making mistakes', and had said: "We are going to be a lot less political. It doesn't mean we won't stand up for animals. But we are not a political organisation.

Second Atherstone FH supporter fined for bad behaviour at Town Sq meet

16-5-16   Facebook – W.Mids Sabs   VIDEO   A supporter of the Atherstone Hunt has been fined £90 under Section 5 of the Public Order Act for his threatening and abusive words towards a peaceful anti-hunt protestor on New Years Day 2016 in Atherstone Market Square. He is now the second hunt supporter present at the Market Square on New Years Day to be handed a £90 fine after another Atherstone Hunt supporter was given a fine for throwing things. This appalling behaviour is typical of the Atherstone Hunt and its supporters and should not be associated with the town of Athertstone or its Market Square.

      AtherstoneFHsupporter2_1-1-16Fined.jpg      AtherstoneFHsupporter1-1-16Fined.jpg                                      

New RSPCA boss attacked over stance on prosecuting Hunts

15-5-16   Western Daily Press   New RSPCA boss Jeremy Cooper 'has betrayed us' say anti-hunt campaign    The new chief executive of the RSPCA has sparked huge controversy after he talked of the 'mistakes' the charity made when it began prosecuting organised fox hunts. Jeremy Cooper [left] said his arrival heralds a new directionJeremyCooperRSPCACEO.jpgfor the charity, and slated the RSPCA's direction under previous boss, Gavin Grant, who is now a councillor in Wiltshire. His statements distancing the RSPCA from its past action in prosecuting Hunts and being on the end of a lengthy campaign from pro-hunt politicians and the media were themselves slammed by animal rights campaigners in the West yesterday.

Within a day of Mr Cooper's first public interview, an online petition was started calling for his sacking, with animal rights activists saying he had 'betrayed' the causes the RSPCA was set up for. The petition was started by Penny Little [below right], the Gloucestershire hunt monitor who is a member of Protect Our Wild Animals and monitors hunts in the Cotswolds. It was her group's evidence that was used by the RSPCA to successfully prosecute the Heythrop Hunt and win four separate convictions for illegal fox hunting. The RSPCA's private prosecution was also the first and so far only time a hunt organisation has been corporately convicted of breaking the controversial Hunting Act.

But that prosecution sparked a furious campaign against the RSPCA, boosted by criticism from the judge that the RSPCA spent £330,000 on legal fees to mount the prosecution. The RSPCA's then-chief executive Gavin Grant, from Malmesbury in Wiltshire, quit citing ill health and told the Western Daily Press he struggled with the onslaught against the charity. Mr Cooper is the first permanent chief executive since Mr Grant, and his arrival heralds a newPennyLittle.jpg direction for the charity that will in future try to "make friends and influence people" and depart from the fiery rhetoric deployed in the past. He said the backlash over the way the RSPCA had pursued its aims "hurts" as it detracted from the "fantastic" work of the charity's 1,600 employees and volunteers.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the incoming chief executive said he wanted to see the number of prosecutions brought by the charity reduced and virtually eliminated for fox hunting. "We have made mistakes," Mr Cooper told the newspaper. "We have to be honest about that. We have to admit that and acknowledge that. The important thing when you make mistakes is what you do about it."

The dog owner, who will reportedly be paid £150,000 in the new role, said the RSPCA will move away from partisan tub thumping on big issues, such as the badger cull, which was seen to alienate farmers. "We are going to be a lot less political. It doesn't mean we won't stand up for animals. But we are not a political organisation," he said. The charity's next big campaign will be on tackling the illegal puppy trade, which Mr Cooper said was a 'real problem. People may have had the perception we were becoming an animal rights organisation. It is not the reality now and it won't be in the future," he said. The former RAF corporal with a background in the supermarket trade took up the permanent post after it had lain vacant for nearly two years. He said: "My style of advocacy is encouragement and dialogue. The (previous) leadership was too adversarial. If you want to shout and use rhetoric that's fine, but it isn't helpful to anybody. It is not going to 'make friends and influence people'. People won't like you for it," he added.

Mr Cooper's words were welcomed by the Countryside Alliance, whose executive chairman Tim Bonner said he was pleased the charity had recognised what his organisation had been saying 'for four years'. But Penny Little said animal rights campaigners felt betrayed. She called on the RSPCA to 'dismiss' Mr Cooper for his 'deplorable capitulation to the bullying of the hunting fraternity'. I am outraged that Jeremy Cooper has declared that the RSPCA will remove their protection from foxes and other illegally hunted animals and leave prosecutions for illegal hunting to the police and the Crown Prosecution Service, who, over the 11 years since the ban, have shown over and over again that they will not prosecute hunts," she said.

Hunt monitors collect the evidence of illegal hunting, thus saving both the RSPCA or the police from the expense and effort. We routinely face violence and abuse from the hunts - the apologist now in charge of the RSPCA is not only letting down the hunted animals, he is also letting down the brave monitors who put themselves at risk to collect the evidence needed for prosecutions," she added. I challenge Jeremy Cooper to join the monitors and see for himself the butchery meted out to foxes, and the thuggery endured by the monitors, and then see if he is comfortable in, effectively, giving the hunters a green light to carry on without fear of prosecution," she said.

Petition to stop Atherstone FH meeting in town square takes off

9-5-16   Nuneaton News    Petition to ban Atherstone fox hunt gains huge support    Members of the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs are urging people to sign a petition to get the Atherstone Hunt banned from using the Market Square [right] in the town on New Year's Day.  It was launched at the end of last week. In less than 24 hours it had more than 1,000 signatures and continued to climb over the weekend. The petition, addressed to Atherstone Town Council, includes a section listing all the times the Atherstone Hunt have been in the national and local press in just a six month period which totals more than 30 times for a number of different reasons.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs said: "There is an overwhelming amount of video footage online to suggest that the Atherstone Hunt are not acting lawfully. This includes an employee of the Atherstone Hunt caught on camera blocking an active badger sett. There have been at least four foxes killed by this hunt that we know about two of which made the national press. The hounds have been filmed out of control on busy main roads endangering road users. This Hunt are out of control and their behaviour is appalling. Last time the Atherstone Hunt were in the Market Square on New Years Day 2016 one of the supporters received a £90 fine from Warwickshire Police for throwing things. The council and town should have no association with the hunt, to do so continues to damage the image and reputation of the town of Atherstone."  The petition can be found online here.


APRIL 2016

 ..... 12th April - Ulster farmers meet to protest trespass and damage caused by fox hunts

.....  8th April - Tracking devices found planted on LACS hunt investigators' cars
.....  4th April - Nine year-old girl killed after kicked in head by Cotswold rider's horse
.....  4th April - Sabs find six blocked badger setts in Cotswold FH country
.....  3rd April - JM of Scottish hunt in trouble with law is major donor to Tory Party 

Ulster farmers meet to protest land invasion and damage by fox hunts

12-4-16   Banbridge Leader   Farmers show opposition to fox and stag hunting    A number of local farmers have attended a meeting in Rathfriland  to show their opposition to hunts taking place on their land. A total of 68 farmers attended the meeting, held by the League Against Cruel Sports on Friday, to discuss cases of hunts affecting land and livestock. The meeting comes just a few months after Rathfriland farmer Alan Sloane was forced to shoot dead three dogs belonging to a hunt when they threatened his pregnant ewes.

According to the League Against Cruel Sports, a group of farmers organised the meeting to protest at the damage to their land caused by hunts. The League also said a number of other groups, including those representing farmers, either failed or refused to attend. These included the Ulster Farmers’ Union, the Countryside Alliance Ireland, NI Master of Hounds and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, all of whom allegedly received invitations before Easter. Janice Watt from the League Against Cruel Sports said: “It’s clear from the meeting today that many farmers are frustrated by the way the hunts are acting. The majority do not give permission for hunting to take place on their land, yet trespass and damage by huntsmen are all too common. Some farmers have told us that after they banned hunts from their land they were threatened and intimidated, which is completely unacceptable. 21st century farms have no need for fox hunting, as has been made clear today. Claiming that farmers need their assistance was the last argument available to hunters, but today’s conference has proven that it is not true. It is time this barbaric, unnecessary blood-sport was banned in Northern Ireland.”

Political representatives from most parties attended... The meeting was also attended by the PSNI who provided invaluable advice to everyone who attended. “Hunting with dogs remains legal in N. Ireland, despite a recent poll showing that only one in five people believe it should be. As part of their Election Manifesto, the League have asked all electoral candidates to pledge to support introducing legislation to ban fox and stag hunting in N. Ireland, which has already be banned in England Scotland and Wales for over 11 years.

Steven McLinn, a farmer attending the session said: “Farmers are fed up with the hunts treating our land as their own. We are business people, and we can’t afford the damage caused by this hobby. “Alongside the fencing broken by the horses, and the crops trampled on, we’ve had reports of hounds harassing pregnant ewes causing them to abort – every lamb lost costs us money, but the hunts don’t care. We have better things to do then clean up after the mess caused by hunters. We can manage our land perfectly well without them, so it’s time they stopped harassing us. We are extremely disappointed that the relevant organisations who signed up to the Hunting Memorandum of Understanding failed to attend the meeting despite being asked. They have let down the farming community badly and we would like them to at least acknowledge our plight and find a solution to address the issue of Hunt trespass, harassment and intimidation.”

Shock as tracking devices found planted on LACS investigators' cars

8-4-16   Daily Mirror    Anti-fox hunting activists bugged in 'sinister, James Bond-style plot'    Animal rights activists fear a “sinister” plot by fox hunting supporters after James Bond -style tracking devices were hidden under vehicles. Two £300 “Enforcer 4” bugs [right] were found attached to cars owned by undercover investigators. They believe they were planted by pro-hunt supporters in a bid to trace the campaigners as they secretly film hunts. League Against Cruel Sports Chief executive Eduardo Gonçalves branded the discovery a “sinister development”. HeEnforcer4trackerfoundonLACSinvestigatorscars4-16.jpg said: “Under any circumstances, electronically tracking someone to prevent them from witnessing and filming your law-breaking would be shocking. But to cynically track privately-owned cars that are used by the investigators’ families – including their children – suggests that there are people out there whose sick blood lust has overridden any sense of common decency and acceptable boundaries.”

The vehicles are private, family cars parked outside homes overnight. The first tracking device was found when one of the League’s investigators took their car to a garage for routine maintenance. Shocked mechanics discovered the GPS tracker attached to the engine, in front of the offside front wheel. The worried campaigner alerted colleagues and urged them to check their vehicles - leading to the discovery of a second device. The activist, who asked not to be named, told the Mirror: “It is very disturbing to know that people have been creeping around my property – it feels like a real personal intrusion. These devices would have told the perpetrators all my and my family’s movements - when I was away, when the house was empty and when we were in the vicinity of their hunt.”

The investigators had been tasked with gathering evidence on hunts in the West Country, and were focusing on Somerset. The League has now ordered a security review, urging investigators to regularly check their vehicles. The worrying incident was reported to Avon and Somerset Police. A force spokesman said: “We are investigating after a suspicious item was found on a car in Taunton on Thursday, March 17. Inquiries are ongoing.” The “waterproof, crush proof” Enforcer tracker is described as “the premium long life, covert GPS tracker” and can go six months without needing recharging - raising fears the devices may have been feeding back information since last year. Advertising material says: “No set up required, arrives switched on and ready to use. Popular vehicle tracker for both personal and business use.” Users can “login 24/7 via any computer, tablet or smart phone and see exactly where your GPS tracker is, where it has been and follow any journeys in live time. Shows exact locations, times and dates”.

POWAperson adds - The discovery of the tracking devices follows two LACS investigators being very violently assaulted at a Belvoir FH meet a few weeks ago. 

9 year old girl killed at Cotswold FH 'fun ride' event
Kicked in head by an adult rider's horse

4-4-16   Daily Mirror   Girl aged 9 dies in hospital after falling from horse during Cotswold Hunt event   A nine-year-old girl has died in hospital after falling from a horse during a Cotswold Hunt event. The girl was rushed to hospital at around 11.25am on Saturday after suffering serious injuries during the Cotswold Hunt's Miserden Fun Ride event near Stroud, Gloucestershire. She was airlifted to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in Gloucester where she later died. Gloucestershire Police confirmed the death is not being treated as suspicious.

A spokesman said: "Officers were called to a farm at Miserden at around 1pm on Saturday April 2. "A nine-year-old girl was taking part in an organised event when she was involved in an incident involving a horse. The girl suffered serious injuries and was taken to Gloucestershire Royal hospital by air ambulance where she sadly died. The coroner and the child's family have been informed. Police are not treating the death as suspicious."

The Cotswold Hunt website describes the event as featuring "10 miles of beautiful Cotswold countryside with over 50 optional jumps to suit all abilities". South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust attended the scene with Wiltshire Air Ambulance. A spokesman said: "At 11.25am on Saturday we received a report that a female child had been involved in an incident with a horse. We attended with a rapid-response vehicle, an ambulance crew, a doctor and an officer, and the air ambulance. She was flown in a life-threatening condition to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital."

4-4-16    BBC News   Girl killed in Cotswold Hunt horse-riding accident named    A nine-year-old girl killed in a horse-riding accident while out with a Gloucestershire hunt has been named locally as Bonnie Armitage. She is understood to have been kicked by a horse while riding her pony during a ride with the Cotswold Hunt in Miserden, near Stroud, on Saturday.

Her school's head teacher described her as a "truly lovely, talented girl" and said the community was "devastated". Police said her family and the coroner had been told of the death. "Bonnie, the daughter of a member of our staff, was a truly lovely, talented girl who was bright, kind, compassionate, gentle and full of joy," said Andrew Nott, head of St Hugh's School near Faringdon in Oxfordshire. "Our love, thoughts and prayers are with her parents, Nick and Polly, and siblings, Zach and Mamie, at this profoundly difficult time."

Gloucestershire Police said she suffered serious injuries and was taken by air ambulance to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital where she later died. A source told the Press Association: "My understanding is that she was riding slightly behind a bigger horse that kicked out at her pony. The kick caught her. It was a tragic accident." Another said: "She is believed to have been kicked off her horse by another horse. It is an extremely sad incident." In a statement, the joint masters of the Cotswold Hunt said: "A sense of overwhelming shock and sadness is with us all as we try to come to terms with her family's overwhelming loss and grief, and I hope that the strength of our community together with the power of our prayers and the sincerity of our condolences will be of some comfort to the family. In truth we find it hard to write this, as a young life lost is very, very hard to bear. We would also like to thank the emergency services who did their very best."

POWAperson adds:- According to an eyewitness, this tragic incident has been somewhat misreported. She says that a big group of children on Shetlands, donkeys and other ponies were there and it was chaotic.  A rider failed to get his horse over a fence and whatever he was then doing, circling for another go or to get a different place to jump, he passed too close to the children on ponies standing in a group and his horse kicked out behind and struck the girl on the head. She was killed instantly.  Obviously he should never have been close to a group of children on ponies anyway. The witness earlier saw a fox running hard, but it  got away. She suspects they were hunting it, but cannot be sure.

Sabs find six blocked badger setts in Cotswold FH hunt country

4-4-16    Facebook – Three Counties Sabs    The hunting season in the 3 counties is now over and we were out yesterday and last week checking setts where the Cotswold hunt met last Saturday along with other groups. For that one meet 6 setts were blocked that we know of so far and we found one sett hard blocked with these huge tree stumps forced down entrances. It is possible that these same setts may be targeted for culling if the cull is rolled out to the North Cotswolds. The good news is that that the badgers have successfully dug their way out of all 6 setts.



JM of Jedforest FH facing hunting charges is major donor to Tories
Hedge fund manager has given hundreds of thousands to the Party

3-4-16  Daily Record   Turns out the leader of a fox hunt, which is being investigated by police, made several donations to the Tories   Johan Christofferson gave funding to Conservative MPs, including a Minister who had confirmed that the Tories would offer a free vote on repealing Labour’s fox hunting ban.

POWAperson adds: - Mr. Christofferson is a JM of the Jedforest FH, in the Scottish border country, two of whose members have recently been arrested on suspicion of illegal hunting. It is not yet clear whether or not Mr. Christofferson is one of them. He is an American hedge-fund manager, a partner in the company Christofferson Robb & Co, a private money management firm based in New York and London.. To say he has made 'several donations' to the Tories is an understatement. According to Electoral Commission records, he has made dozens since 2005, totalling approx. £302,000. About £82,000 of this was donations to the constituency party of Simon Hart, both before and after his election as MP in 2010. Simon Hart was previously the CEO of the Countryside Alliance. Prior to his becoming JM of the Jedforest FH, Christofferson was JM of the Isle of Wight FH. He was in office there when the Huntsman and terrierman of the Hunt, James Trousdale and Jamie Butcher carried out an outrageous and illegal stunt, dumping horse and cattle carcasses in locations in Brighton city centre at the time of the Labour Party conference there, as the Hunting Act was going through Parliament. They were charged and convicted of public order offences. Christofferson was found culpable of not restraining his employees by the Master of Foxhounds Association and was suspended for one month. Trousdale went with Christofferson when he moved to the Jedforest FH, becoming a JM as well as Huntsman. Christofferson's terrierman at the IOW FH, Butcher, who continued in that position, already had a criminal conviction, for badger digging and has since acquired another, as well as having his firearms certificate revoked by the police.


MARCH 2016

 ..... 30th March - Two from Jedforest FH arrested after LACS film shows illegal hunting 

..... 24th March - Police Wildlife Officer who hunts with Belvoir FH resigns former role
..... 23rd March - Complaints of pro-hunt bias and lying by police in open letter by LAR
..... 21st March - Ross Harriers savaged two deer to death, allege locals
..... 20th March - York & Ainsty S FH followers assault sabs and damage property
..... 19th March - Police collude with Woodland Pytchley FH in assaults/illegal hunting, say sabs
..... 19th March - Modbury Harriers hound trapped in fence rescued by sabs
..... 19th March - Middleton FH terriermen attack occupied sab car with spades
..... 16th March - Oakley FH hounds savage muntjac deer to death
..... 15th March - Badsworth FH supporters drive quads at sabs at high speed and hit some
..... 15th March - Sabs report Trinity Foot Beagles hunting numerous hares
..... 14th March - Monitors foil attempted fox dig at old badger sett by Heythrop FH
..... 14th March - Hunt-supporter farmer shoves sab landy into ditch with tractor
..... 13th March - Old Surrey FH hunt and kill fox on last day of season
..... 13th March - Belvoir FH supporters seriously assault LACS investigators and rob them
..... 11th March - Bishop of Newcastle speaks out in favour of fox hunting
..... 10th March - Ledbury FH, with mounted kids, blatantly hunted on public land, say sabs
.....  8th March - Minehead Harriers devise Code of Conduct to try to get NT licence back
.....  7th March - Motorist appalled by North Ledbury FH after hitting 2 of their hounds
.....  7th March   Sabs find huge blocked sett in covert drawn by Cattistock FH
.....  6th March - Ross Harriers masked thugs smash window of occupied sab landy
.....  6th March - Tory MPs call for sabs to be unmasked
.....  5th March - Meynell FH whipper-in jumps off horse to attack sabs !
.....  5th March - Atherstone FH thugs attack sabs and steal video camera
.....  5th March - Sabs stop Devon Hunt digging out fox from blocked badger sett
.....  2nd March - York & Ainsty S FH hounds chase fox through village, damage property

Two from Jedforest FH arrested as LACS footage shows illegal hunting

30-3-16   The Herald  VIDEO  Two men have been charged with wildlife offences after video footage emerged of a hunt in the Scottish Borders    The League Against Cruel Sports said the film of the Jed Forest Hunt shows hounds being sent after fleeing foxes. The charity has previously claimed at least half of Scotland's registered hunts continue to flout the 2002 ban on fox hunting with dogs. The law states dogs may only be used in some circumstances to flush foxes from below ground or enclosed spaces, a practice known as "flushing to guns". The footage was passed to Police Scotland and two men aged 23 and 65 have been arrested.

Robbie Marsland, director of League Against Cruel Sports in Scotland, said: "Our latest footage strongly suggests that many of Scotland's hunts are trying to pull the wool over our eyes. This is not an issue of poor police enforcement. It is all too easy for Scottish hunts to ride a coach and horses through this well-intended law. We are convinced that hunts are using flushing to guns with a full pack of hounds in an attempt to provide a false alibi. A number of simple changes to the law would put an end to the spectre of packs of hounds being spurred on to chase and kill foxes across the Scottish countryside."

A review of Scotland's fox hunting laws is under way, with the deadline for written evidence submissions on Thursday. A police spokesman said: "Police Scotland has charged two men under Section 1(1) of The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002. "Both men will appear at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at a later date. We work closely with a range of partners to tackle wildlife crime. We would urge members of the public to report any suspicious activity to us as quickly as possible to allow us to investigate suspected crimes promptly."

This story was also covered by STV News [with video]. 


3-4-16  Daily Record    Turns out the leader of a fox hunt, which is being investigated by police, made several donations to the Tories    Johan Christofferson gave funding to Conservative MPs, including a minister who had confirmed that the Tories would offer a free vote on repealing Labour’s fox hunting ban. A hedge-fund manager who leads a Hunt accused of ­breaking the law made several financial donations to leading Tory MPs , the Sunday Mail can reveal.

Johan Christofferson is joint master of the Jedforest Hunt where, it emerged last week, two huntsmen have been charged with illegal activity. They were secretly filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, who allege the footage shows huntsmen repeatedly sending their hounds after fleeing foxes. Hunting with dogs in Scotland is ­illegal. Hunts can use hounds to flush foxes from cover but they must then be shot.

Christofferson – who has not been charged with any offence – is a major Tory donor who has previously been mired in controversy. He is a former joint master of the Isle of Wight Hunt and, in 2004, was banned from taking part for a month. The ruling by the Master of Foxhounds Association came after pro-hunt protesters left animal carcasses in Brighton during a Labour Party conference.

Isle of Wight Hunt worker Stuart Trousdale dumped two calves, a horse and a bullock in protest at Labour’s bid to ban hunting. Trousdale served as joint master of Jedforest Hunt from 2008 to 2014.

Concerns have been raised over donations by Christofferson to Tory MPs. He funded Simon Hart’s election campaign. Hart is Tory MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire. He also sits on the UK Government’s environment committee and faced resignation calls in January when it emerged he would earn £30,000 from the Countryside Alliance – who want the fox hunting ban in England and Wales repealed. Hart will be paid as a consultant by the Countryside Alliance but critics said his role on the environment committee means he has a conflict of interests.

Chistofferrson has made three donations to Hart – £5750 in 2009, £5000 in 2010 and £5000 in 2011. He has also made personal donations to Nick Herbert MP, the Tory minister for police and criminal justice, including one of £10,000 in 2009. In the same year, the League wrote to the parliamentary standards commissioner asking him to look into donations made to Herbert by people linked to fox hunting. This followed his confirmation that the Tories would offer a free vote on repealing Labour’s fox hunting ban. Herbert was then shadow environment secretary but the commissioner decided no rules had been breached and the League was censured by the Charity Commission for political activity.

The covert footage of the Borders hunt was released last week to coincide with the Scottish Government’s review of the ­Protection of Wild Mammals Act. Lord Bonomy was asked to review the law after allegations hunts regularly flout it. But there has not been a prosecution since the law was changed in 2002. Sarah Boyack, Scottish Labour spokeswoman for environmental ­justice, said: “The financial support from Mr Christofferson is clearly designed to influence the decision to repeal the ban and any attempt to do so should be resisted.”

Jamie Stewart, director of Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: “All ­Scottish Mounted Foxhound packs operate under a strict protocol linked to the Protection of Wild Mammals Act. I am disappointed the BBC chose to air the heavily edited League Against Cruel Sports footage, which is no more than a politically motivated move in an attempt to influence the review of the act.”

POWAperson adds -  Christofferson, who is American, has, in fact, made far larger donations to the Tories over the years than listed above - well in excess of a quarter million. Not fussy how blood-soaked their income is, are they?


Police apologise to LACS over Lamerton FH illegal hunting case

Two officers, one a Superintendent, disciplined over handling of it

In December 2015, LACS dropped a prosecution against 6 members of the Lamerton FH, feeling constrained to do so after the defence questioned the impartiality of their expert witness, Professor Stephen Harris, even though the video evidence was strongly suggestive of illegal hunting. The League had only taken out the prosecution themselves after excessive procrastination by the police. We now learn that two police officers, one very senior, have been disciplined for failing to progress the case and Devon & Cornwall police haver apologised to LACS. 

29-3-16   LACS Press Release [final item]    Lamerton prosecution    Our case against the Lamerton Hunt was dropped, but this was not because of the quality of evidence. The evidence captured by our investigators was assessed independently by two senior barristers, one a QC, both of whom believed there was a realistic prospect of conviction. The League stands by our decision to take this private prosecution. We cannot let Hunts get away with what we still believe is a very strong case of illegal hunting. We wanted the judicial process to make a decision on this case, and we want the world to know that the League Against Cruel Sports will not stand by and let Hunts flout the law. We may have had to withdraw, but anyone with common sense can see what this hunt was doing.

As reported widely in the media at the time of the trial, the police considered the case but delayed their decision, leading to the League deciding to progress it privately. Two police officers, including a detective superintendent, faced disciplinary proceedings as a result of failing to investigate the matter effectively and were found guilty. We have subsequently received an apology from the police force in question, which is the second time they have had to apologise for failing to investigate allegations of illegal hunting.


Police Wildlife Officer who hunts with Belvoir FH resigns former role

BelvoirFHPCSharonRoscoe.jpg24-3-16   Harborough Mail   Wildlife police officer resigns after it emerged she went fox hunting    A police officer has resigned from her role investigating animal abuse in Leicestershire - after it emerged that she went fox hunting.  PC Sharon Roscoe [left], the wildlife officer for Leicestershire Police, was also a member of the Belvoir Hunt. Anti-hunt campaigners had argued that PC Roscoe’s hunting hobby involved a potential conflict of interest. And a petition demanding that she step down, launched by The Hunt Saboteurs Association, had attracted more than 6,000 signatures. 

Leicestershire’s Deputy Chief Constable Roger Bannister said: “Her former connection with hunting coupled with her voluntary role as wildlife officer has attracted much interest and, I regret to say, a significant amount of highly offensive, spiteful, malicious and threatening comments.”   Anti-hunting organisations condemned the abusive messages, but welcomed the Melton-based officer’s decision to leave the role. A spokesman for Leicester Animal Rights, said: “A lot of people felt there was a potential conflict of interest in the officer having the 

Complaint of pro-hunt bias and lying by police made in open letter

23-3-16   Facebook – Leicester Animal Rights     Open Letter To Northamptonshire Police This message has just been sent to Adam Simmonds, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire Police, as well as Northamptonshire Police's complaints department and Sam Wildman, the reporter for Northamptonshire Telegraph who wrote this article immediately after Northants Hunt Saboteurs and other saboteur groups witnessed illegal hunting, were subsequently assaulted by hunt supporters & subjected to some appalling policing from Northamptonshire Police on 19/03/2016.

Responses from any of the recipients will be appreciated, but please note all statements will all be copied into this post in full. "Leicester Animal Rights condemn the treatment of our colleagues from Northants Hunt Saboteurs on 21/03/2016 as well as the deceit of Northamptonshire Police in the article dated the same day. Saboteurs were assaulted and the police, who stated outright that they would not take action against illegal bloodsports (under both The Hunting Act 2004 & The Protection Of Badgers Act 1992), did nothing to assist the victims. To then declare to the press that the assault was merely a case of someone 'falling to the ground' is unacceptable. Police, not just in Northamptonshire but elsewhere, need to realise that there isn't a neutral line to walk between criminals and witnesses. Fox hunting was prohibited over 11 years ago, and The Hunting Act is going nowhere


Hideously mutilated pregnant vixen found in Belvoir FH country


This image was uploaded to the League Against Cruel Sports Facebook page on 21-3-16. The image was deliberately blurred and overwritten because they deemed it too horrific to display as is. This incident follows a captive fox being found by LACS investigators in a building close to the Hunt's kennels and then those same LACS investigators being savagely beaten up by Hunt thugs, one of them suffering a broken neck.

Ross Harriers savage two deer to death, allege locals

21-3-16   Facebook -Three Counties Wildlife Crime Watch    Reports have reached us from locals that the Ross Harriers hunt killed two deer near to English Bicknor last Wednesday (16th March). They also had many of their hounds running loose for some time before gathering them up. If anyone has any further information about these incidents, please get in touch and / or contact the police via 101.  


York & Ainsty S FH followers assault sabs and damage property

20-3-16   Facebook – Sheffield Sabs    Busy day for Sheffield Saboteurs yesterday with another fine example of violence coming from hunt support     We headed up to the East Riding to visit our favourite hunt the York & Ainsty South with our good comrades W Yorkshire Sabs for their last meet of the season. And my were they happy to see us! The meet at Sandhall was a tricky one to sab with large swathes of land with little or no footpath or road access. Even though, we managed to keep eyes on the Hunt for a large part of the day. Of course hunt support tried their normal tactics to prevent us from doing our job, on this occasion marauding around drunkenly blocking-in and ramming our vans, assaulting numerous sabs and destroying our equipment (we can't go into too many details for legal reasons)!

Luckily, the plod decided they'd had just about enough of these hooligans, sticking the blue lights on and setting off in hot pursuit after seeing them overtake our vehicle on a bend at high speed. For their troubles the perpetrators were consigned to the police station cell overnight. Of course, we gained no satisfaction from hearing this news! We finally made it back to Sheffield, all in one piece, by 10pm. A long day for the last one of the year.


Several sabs assaulted at Woodland Pytchley FH meet
Police Inspector refuses to act against the Hunt over attacks
Claims he encouraged hunt support to block road to sabs

19-3-16   Facebook – Northants Sabs    HIT REPORT 19.03.16   Whilst many of the hunts up and down the country have finished for the season the Woodland Pytchley [left] carry on regardless…and so do we!  Along with friends from various other sab groups....  They met at Drayton House in Lowick, Northamptonshire. Mark Ferguson WoodlandPytchleyFH19-3-16.jpgwas none to pleased to see us and within minutes of us arriving he had assaulted a sab right in front of police officers…who of course saw and did nothing…and so started the theme of the day, hunt thugs and corrupt Northamptonshire cops. One officer ‘assumed this was private land’ and had to be shown on the map by sabs that we had every legal right to be there.

The Hunt moved off and we stayed with them, keeping them moving and when they’re running they’re not hunting. Not long after there was another assault, Mark Ferguson again grabbing a sab by the hoody, whilst a tenant farmer tried to grab a sab's camera, some nifty moves by both meant that no damage was done. At this point we heard over the radio that a sab in another group had been injured and an ambulance was called. We made our way back to Lowick by which time thankfully the sab was OK, a terrierman on a quad bike had hit the smallest, female sab in the back of the head from behind – just shows the despicable lows these people will go to. Again the police did nothing, in fact the inspector blatantly said he wasn’t interested in them hunting, only in us committing aggravated trespass…they even refused to call for an ambulance for the injured sab.WoodlandPytchleyFHInspectorIanCafell.jpg

We were soon back on our way eventually finding them again in the process of drawing a covert. We used horn calls to call the hounds and took them for a run across a field, away from the huntsman. This never goes down well and you could almost see the steam coming out of Ferguson’s ears at this point, he was straight on the phone to his pack of thugs, no doubt being told to come and sort us out in the only way they know how, with violence, they’re not built for speed thankfully and we quickly got away to safety. Other groups had them in their sights without any further incidents, one vehicle saw a fox run across the road in front of them and sprayed the line with citronella to mask the scent. We lost them for about half hour at the end of the day but we're confident that they’d packed up around 3.30 without any kills.

20-3-16   Facebook – Northants Sabs   This is inspector Ian Caffel [right] , based at Weston Favell police station Northampton .  He encouraged hunt support to block the road preventing us from following the hunt for 10 mins.  He is also the officer who witnessed the assault and claimed he didn't .  When challenged he said " I am not bothered about assaults. But I am bothered about aggravated trespass "  in answer to the question , are you going to do anything about illegal hunting he said  "no but I will be making arrests for aggravated trespass " .  May as well join the rest of the hunt scum "security" courtesy of all tax payers !

Sabs rescue Modbury Harriers hound trapped in wire fence

19-3-16   Facebook – Devon Sabs    Modbury Harriers hosted us and sabs from Somerset Anti Blood Sports today, meeting at Lyneham House near Yealmpton. An uneventful day turned into something else altogether at the end, when sabs had to rescue a desperate hound, abandoned by the hunt, trapped in a pheasant fence, as you can see from the video. New huntsman this season, Emlyn Jones, also doubles as kennel-man for the South Devon Hunt, and he should maybe think about sticking to what he does best, judging by his performance today. The Hunt covered hardly any ground all day, and Emlyn demonstrated very little control of his hounds. His method appeared to involve repeatedly standing back, watching the hounds scatter, and then spending long periods of time gathering them again in various coverts to the west of Lyneham, largely ping-ponging between Lyneham Wood, Jenny GroveModburyHarriershoundrescuedbysab19-3-16.jpg and Bedpark Plantation. Hounds rarely picked up on scents but did mark to ground on a badger sett. Sabs rated them and sent them away. We kept the hunt and equipped terrier quad in sight all day until they started back to Lyneham to box up at about 3.30 and are quite happy they didn't kill.

However, after the Hunt moved off to box up, one of our foot groups spotted a lost hound. As they watched, it tried to jump a pheasant fence, but its rear legs got horribly trapped as the wires twisted around its hocks, leaving it dangling, in pain and panicking [right]. No hunt anywhere to be seen, we don't want to think about what its fate would have been if we hadn't been there. Sabs immediately ran into the land and tried to free it, but the animal was so panicked it bit a sab and reinforcements had to be called for. Sabs on the scene then hailed a passing quad bike with two hunt supporters on and asked them to help, but they were more concerned sabs were trespassing than about the welfare of the hound. Thankfully, our other sabs then arrived and managed to free the hound. It will be sore and suffered a horrible ordeal, but we hope it'll be ok. The two hunt supporters didn't even say thank you or bother checking the hound. Such lovely people. Our sab was treated at A&E, wound flushed out and stitched, antibiotics given, no broken bones, thankfully.


Middleton FH terriermen attack occupied sab car with spades

Redcoat said to have assisted by blocking their escape with horse

MiddletonFHSabcarattackedbyterriermen19-3-16.jpg19-3-16   HSA Press Release    More Criminal Damage from Hunts as Season Draws to a close    Members of North East Hunt Sabs were attacked today by masked terrier men from the Middleton Hunt who met at Skirpenbeck near York. It was a cowardly attack on a female driver and their passenger. The men used spades to smash the windscreen and a side window [right] whilst a red coat from the hunt blocked the road. Excellent driving enabled the sabs to escape before further damage was caused. The sabs waited over an hour for the police before finally accepting they couldn't be bothered to turn up and investigate the crime. They will be reporting it to local police tomorrow.

Lee Moon, Press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Last week it was the Ross Harriers and this week it is the Middleton hunt smashing windows on hunt saboteurs vehicles. Add to that the broken neck suffered by a League against cruel sports employee at the hands of the Belvoir hunt in Leicestershire and it becomes apparent that these are dark days in the British countryside. Violent hunt thugs are acting with impunity knowing that the police, if not actively pro-hunt, will certainly turn a blind eye to violence from the powerful hunting community. Fortunately hunt sabs are a tough bunch who know they are supported by the majority of the population and we become even more determined to stop the hunts killing when faced with violence.”

25-3-16   ITV News    Hunt saboteurs attacked by masked quad bike riders    Hunt saboteurs trying to gather evidence of illegal fox hunting were attacked by masked quad bike riders. Members of North East Hunt Saboteurs were at the Middleton Hunt, east of York, when their vehicle was surrounded by the masked attackers. They used spades to smash a rear window, and the windscreen, as the female driver and her passenger tried to get away. North Yorkshire Police confirmed they are investigating an incident of criminal damage to a vehicle on Sunday March 20. Lee Moon, spokesman for the national Hunt Saboteurs Association, called the attack "cowardly"...


Badsworth FH supporters drive quad bikes at and hit fleeing sabs

Threat made with gun at one stage by quad bike rider

15-3-16   Daily Mail  VIDEO  'He just hit me at full power': Dramatic footage shows hunt saboteurs being driven at by men in balaclavas on a quad bike who threaten to shoot them    Saboteurs had gone to visit a hunt on their last meet of the season. A masked driver on a quad bike targeted the group as they crossed a field. The vehicle drove towards them at speed and collided with the cameraman.

Campaigners posted the clip online, saying the incident was 'unprovoked' This dramatic video captures the moment a group of campaigners were driven at by masked men on quad bikes as they attempted to disrupt a nearby hunt. The saboteurs had gone to visit Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hounds Hunt on the last meet of the season in Womersley, North Yorkshire, according to a social media post by the campaigners. The group claimed they interrupted the Hunt by calling the hounds off their scent, adding that at one point a supporter 'took a swing' at one of their heads with a walking stick.  But the campaigners said the day 'turned nasty' when they were ambushed by a masked quad bike rider as they crossed a field towards an area of woodland.

Shocking footage of the encounter shows the quad bike repeatedly driving towards the saboteurs as they run for cover. At one point, the driver appears to be threatening to shoot the campaigners. The cameraman is heard saying:  'Quad bike driving at us, completely unprovoked', as the driver turns the vehicle around and begins heading back towards the group.  At one point the passenger is seen reaching out at two of the saboteurs, as if to strike them. Terrified, the campaigners start to sprint towards the woodland for cover.  As they pass the quad bike one of the men is heard saying: 'Get that gun off! Get that gun off. Quick. Get the gun.'  The quad bike makes one final drive-by and collides with the cameraman 'at full power', according to the commentary on the video.

As the saboteurs stumble into the woodland, the cameraman says: 'They just attempted to run us over and then they turned and hit us. They were hitting us as they drove past'. But the encounter did not stop the campaigners from pursuing the Hunt for the rest of the day. The Facebook post adds: 'It didn't detract us from our work for too long and we managed to keep the hunt moving for the rest of the day.'

Pics below - Quad bike rider drives at high speed

     BadsworthFHMaskedmendrivequadatsabsatspeed12-3-13.jpg       BadsworthFHMaskedmendrivequadatsabatspeed12-3-13.jpg


Sabs report Trinity Foot Beagles hunting numerous hares
Landowner admits that no 'trails' were laid by the Hunt

15-3-16   Facebook - Severn Vale Hunt Saboteurs    Hit Report 12.3.16    We joined Beds & Bucks Sabs and N.Cambs Sabs to stop the Trinity Foot and South Herts Beagles from killing hares. They have previously got into trouble for not looking after their hounds properly and causing unnecessary suffering in 2005. The hunt (linked to Cambridge University) left the meet at Home Farm, a dairy farm with separated calves in tiny crates, near the Wrest Park Estate at 1pm. The beagle pack was soon in cry and chased a hare over two fields. The hunt made noTrinityFootbeaglehunting12-3-16.jpg attempt to call the hounds back and that set the tone for the rest of the day. Sabs stayed with the hunt all day, walking a long distance but covering little ground as they continued to hunt hares in circles and putting the hounds through woodland. Sabs constantly had to rate the pack as they kept chasing hares. Exhausted muntjac were seen running away in terror, one charging into a fence.

Sabs gained control of the beagles using voice and horn calls and a gizmo on several occasions. A person claiming to be the landowner (called Tim by support) asked us to leave, we pointed out that he was allowing illegal activity on his land and wouldn’t be leaving until they stopped. Shortly after, Tim told sabs we were allowed on his land. He was either very stupid or putting on a convincing act as when he saw a sab spraying citronella over the line of the hare’s scent, he asked if she was laying a trail adding; ‘Kate (Master Kate Higgs) usually does that but she didn’t today’! At the end of the day the hunt gathered their pack to return to the meet and we heard that one beagle called Sparkle was missing. We’re not sure what happened to Sparkle but we’re confident there were no hares killed on our watch.


Monitors foil attempted fox dig-out at badger sett by Heythrop FH

HeythropFHterriermenfleeingplannedbadgersettdigoffox14-3-16.jpg14-3-16  VIDEO  Hunt Monitors stop dig-out at Heythrop Hunt   On Monday 14th March 2016 independent hunt monitors attended the meet of the Heythrop Hunt who met in Glympton. The Hunt seem not to have expected monitors that day as they spent a sunny morning inland unnoticed, watching the Hunt first draw blank and then pick up on a fox near to Glympton Heath before heading into Ditchley Park.

It was only a couple of hours later that they spotted a monitor coming on to the road from a bridleway and ran around trying to get prepared. The woman who 'stalks' monitors in the hunt landrover was trying to get someone to drop it off for her and another of the stalkers who tries to keep up on foot had to get off her horse to follow. Having spent much of the day inland, the second monitor decided to head back to the car once the Hunt had left the area she was in.

They drove around to find the hunt once more, spotting known members of the Hunt watching from a road. Hounds could be heard a few fields away and it sounded like they were marking. The stalkers insisted that the hounds wereHeythropFHBadgersettsceneofabandoneddig14-3-16.jpg "just being held up" but their opinions tend not to be trusted on such matters. Their purpose seems to be to follow monitors around, reporting their location back to the huntsman and terriermen, informing them if monitors have managed to film hunted foxes. Having been convicted of illegal hunting a few years back due to evidence gathered by the monitors, the Hunt are now a little wary of cameras!

Knowing that there was a bridleway leading inland nearby, monitors drove round to it and one sprinted in, easily outrunning her stalker, finding huntsman and hounds quickly moving away from a covert and terriermen packing up their belongings into the boxes on their quadbikes. Gary Morgan, terrierman, led the retreat [above left]. Checking the area, an old sett entrance [right] which was known to the monitors (there are a few old setts taken over by rabbits in the area with entrances still large enough for a fox to escape into as well as the odd sett still used by badgers) was found to have been dug into. The surrounding area was thoroughly checked with no blood being found nearby. As one monitor was inland, the other was passed by huntsman and terrierman Gary Morgan as the hunt was packing up (slightly earlier than expected) neither of whom looked happy and one of whom made rude gestures at the monitor. It is believed that the presence of the monitors (and their cameras) led to this dig-out successfully ending abruptly and without a kill.


Hunt-supporting farmers uses tractor as weapon against sabs
Shoves their occupied landy into ditch, badly damaging car

14-3-16   Daily Mirror   Tractor 'drives Land Rover off road and rips off bumper in battle with fox hunt saboteurs'   A shocking video has appeared online that appears to show the moment a tractor rammed a Land Rover off the road [right] during a battle with fox hunt saboteurs. The large farm vehicle is seen ramming into theHuntsupporterfarmerpushessablandyintoditchwithtractor13-3-16.jpg 4x4 vehicle until it ends up in a ditch. A passenger gets out of the car and holds his phone up in front of the tractor, which continues to edge forwards towards the man. Eventually, the tractor manages to edge past the Land Rover and continues driving down the narrow country road. It is believed the incident occurred due to an issue between the hunt saboteurs (driving the Land Rover) and the farmer, although the exact reason is not clear. The owners of the Land Rover are now appealing for help via a Go Fund Me page in order to fix their vehicle. The footage was uploaded to the Croydon Hunt Saboteurs' Facebook page alongside the caption: "We need urgent landy repairs to continue being in the field to stop barbaric acts against our wildlife, please share far and wide, thanks!" 

POWAperson comments:-  The incident took place near East Grinstead, while sabs were monitoring the Old Surrey and Burstow FH. The Hunt chased and killed a fox [see article below].  It is staggering that Sussex police refused to do anything, with video evidence available of reckless driving that endangered the safety of the landy's occupants and badly damaged the vehicle. Croydon Sabs, however, are not surprised, claiming the police act as a 'private security force' for Hunts. 


Old Surrey FH hunt and kill fox on last day of season
Fox retrieved by sabs still just alive but soon dies

13-3-16  HSA Press Release   Notorious Hunt kill fox at final Meet of Season    The Notorious Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent fox hunt killed a fox at the last meet of their season yesterday. The Hunt met at the Landhurst Estate and the neighbouring Culver Farm, Hartfield, just east of East Grinstead, Sussex and were being OldSurreyFHFoxkilledby13-3-16.jpgmonitored by local hunt saboteur groups.  During the afternoon the hounds, encouraged by Huntsman Mark Bycroft, hunted and killed a fox [left].

The hounds took 3 large chunks out of the fox; to the chest, the side and the hind quarter. Sabs recovered the fox, which was still alive, and scrambled to get the fox to a vet.  One of the sabs present was a vet, who rushed to examine the fox and try and save its life. The fox died about fifteen minutes after the sabs first picked him up. The fox has now gone for autopsy in London, to get documented proof that death was caused by hounds.

Also during the day, hunt saboteurs experienced violence from the Hunt and their supporters including having their land rover pushed into a ditch by a tractor. Again the police refused to investigate this dangerous and reckless driving.[see article above]

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “The Old Surrey and Burstow are notorious both for illegal hunting and violence against saboteurs. It is typical that on the final meet of the season hunts are desperate to kill and Huntsman Mark Bycroft proved this today.  We hope that Sussex police investigate these crimes but previous experience suggests this won't be the case and they will instead close ranks to protect their hunting chums. Well done to these sabs who did everything possible to save this fox despite being on the receiving end of violence from the hunt. Our thoughts today also go out to the two League against Cruel Sports investigators who were viciously attacked and robbed by the Belvoir hunt in Leicestershire.” [See article below]

12-3-16     Facebook - South Coast Hunt Sabs     Hit Report    ...The last Saturday meet of the season is always one where the hunts are likely to get up to stuff, thinking they won’t see us of any cops for a few months and this day they were true to form.  The Hunt was the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Fox hunt, known for their violent huntsman (Mark Bycroft with 2 convictions for assault) and numerous other attacks and criminal damage from their supporters, and that’s before we start talking about killing animals.  Bycroft was filmed stating just the implementation of the ban that he would ignore it, and he has been as good as how word.

At around 4pm with sabs close to the hunt the hounds went into full cry in an area they had been before.  Sabs were on the scene and found and badly injured fox with wounds to its flank and upper leg clearly made by dog bites. The fox was barely conscious, and whilst bringing it back to the road the poor animal died.  We called Sussex cops who never bothered to turn up and shortly after this the Hunt packed up.  You would think they would keep quiet but many riders and supporters left shouting ‘Tally-ho’ and gloating over the death of the fox.


Masked Belvoir FH thugs launch violent attack on LACS investigators
One suffers broken neck bones - video cameras stolen - police arrest two men

13-3-16   Daily Telegraph   Two anti-hunt campaigners 'attacked' while monitoring meet   Police areBelvoirFHmeetatBelvoircastle.jpg investigating after two men claim they were beaten up while monitoring the activities of members of the Belvoir Hunt [right, meet at Belvoir Castle].  A police investigation has been launched after two men were allegedly attacked while monitoring the historic Belvoir Hunt. Former police officer, Darryl Cunnington, 58, suffered a fractured neck after he claimed a group of masked men riding quad bikes attacked him and threw him off a 14ft ledge. A fellow anti-hunt campaigner, who was also helping to film the activities of those taking part in the meet, claimed he was also attacked and thrown off the same ledge.

The alleged incident occurred when the men, who are members of the League Against Cruel Sports, were monitoring the Belvoir Hunt, which uses the Duke of Rutland’s hounds, to ensure the law banning the hunting of foxes, with dogs was not being BelvoirFHDarryrlCunnington_LACSattackedbyhuntthugs12-3-16.jpgbroken. Lady Sarah McCorquodale, the elder sister of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, has been a long time member of the Belvoir Hunt and was Master in 2010. Mr Cunnington [left], 58, from Scalford near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire claimed they were on a public bridleway when they approached by men riding quad bikes. He said: “One of them stopped then the pair got off and started verbally abusing us. Because there was two of us and two of them, they didn't get physically threatening. One got back on his quad bike and drove off, then he returned a few minutes later with a pick-up truck full of four big men wearing face masks.” He went on: “They started pushing us about. They kicked my camera out of my hand, and then one of them punched me in the face. On the footpath there was a 14ft sheer drop, and they grabbed me and pushed me off it. Then one of them came down and continued to kick me while I was down. I blacked out and came back to a few minutes later. They had gone and Roger had called the police and the ambulance and they had to put me on a stretched to carry me out. I was discharged from hospital at 2am, but the hospital just called and said I've got a fractured neck and need to come back in.” He added: “We were just monitoring the hunt, so if they weren't doing anything wrong they had no need to act like that.”

Mr Swaine, 43, from Derby said: “When the quad bikes arrived they went straight past me, but stopped after seeing Darryl because everyone knows who he is in that Hunt. One of them said to Darryl, 'You should know better than to be here,' and 'Something is going to happen to you eventually.'” He said after attacking his colleague they turned on him and after grabbing him threw him off the same ledge. He said: “"I could feel blood dripping down my face as I heard them driving away. I managed to get over to Darryl, who couldn't move, and call 999.” A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said two men, aged 54 and 23, had been arrested on suspicion of assault and released on police bail pendingBelvoirFHParamedicstreatbadlyinjuredLACSinvestigator12-3-16.jpg further enquiries. No one from the Belvoir Hunt could be contacted for comment.

12-3-16   LACS Press Release    Brutal assault on League staff by Belvoir Hunt followers     Two members of staff from the UK’s leading anti-hunting campaigning organisation have today been seriously assaulted and robbed of their cameras while monitoring Leicestershire’s Belvoir Hunt.  The two League Against Cruel Sports employees were attacked by a gang of hunt followers, some of which were on quad bikes and wore masks.  Having been attacked by the gang, League employee Darryl Cunnington [right], being tended by paramedics, having been thrown intong beaten up] sustained injuries so serious that a specialist ambulance was called and he was rushed to hospital.  League colleague Roger Swaine sustained blows to the head and suffered heavy bleeding [below left].

Leicestershire police immediately started an investigation and a police helicopter was called in to search for the gang of BelvoirFHLACSmanRogerSwaininjuredinattackbysupporters12-3-16.jpgmen who fled on the quad bike.  Eduardo Gonçalves, Chief Executive for League Against Cruel Sports said: “Our number one priority is the wellbeing of our injured staff and I am on my way to visit them now. We are all shocked by the violence of the Belvoir Hunt followers and this barbaric thuggery must not go unpunished.  Our courageous investigators play a critical role in peacefully monitoring and enforcing the anti-hunting law that some people consider themselves to be above.  Clearly some hunt followers are not satisfied with violence against our wildlife.  They now satisfy their bloodlust by attacking people."

Last year, the Belvoir Hunt hit the headlines when the same investigator (Darryl Cunnington) discovered – and subsequently released - a captured fox in a shed on land hunted by the Belvoir Hunt. Soon after, the hunt was in the national media spotlight again when it was revealed that an animal welfare officer for the Leicestershire Police also hunted with the Belvoir.

POWAperson comments -  Though this attack by hunt supporters was perhaps a little more violent than most, the only really unusual thing about it is the extent of media coverage it attracted. Besides the Telegraph, the story was covered in the Mail, the Mirror, the Indy, the Guardian, BBC News online and local newspapers. Such assaults by hunters and supporters on sabs and monitors are in fact commonplace but normally ignored by the media and often not taken seriously by police, who sometimes even arrest the victims. It is worrying that this case is in the hands of Leicestershire police, a force especially notorious for partiality towards their Hunts. Indeed, one of their wildlife officers was recently revealed to ride with the Belvoir FH


Bishop of Newcastle speaks out in favour of fox hunting

11-3-16     Daily Telegraph    Bishop breaks ranks to back foxhunting    A CHURCH of England bishop has broken ranks with his colleagues by robustly defending foxhunting, saying that while the Church used to support hunting and oppose buggery, the reverse now seemed to be true. The comments by the Rt Rev Paul Richardson, the assistant Bishop of Newcastle, come on the eve of the House of Lords debate on the Hunting Bill. They are expected to outrage many in the Church of England, including a number of fellow bishops who have openly called for a ban on hunting with hounds. They will, however, be welcomed by the dwindling number of clergy who hunt to hounds, who regard themselves as part of an honourable tradition of the hunting parson.

In an article for a Church newspaper, Bishop Richardson compared the issue of hunting to that of abortion, arguing that if it was deemed impossible to protect foetuses because there was no moral consensus, it should be no different for foxes. He said: "According to the Earl of Onslow, the Church of England entered the 20th century opposed to buggery and in favour of foxhunting, but by the start of the 21st century it had reversed its position. The Earl of Onslow has put his finger on a significant point. In terms of public concern, animal rights has moved up in the scale of importance while sexual morality is now widely seen as a matter of personal choice. Writing in The Church of England Newspaper, the bishop said that talk of animal rights was "rhetoric" and animals and humans did not exist on equal terms. Humans did, however, have a duty to treat animals with respect and avoid causing them unnecessary pain.

The Government inquiry into hunting set up by Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, under Lord Burns, the former head of the Treasury, had failed to demonstrate conclusively that hunting was an inhumane way of controlling foxes, he said. A ban on hunting would result in the loss of thousands of jobs and remove a traditional activity that strengthened rural communities. He asked: "Is this an issue where the moral argument is so clear-cut that a majority has the right to impose its views on a minority?" Most bishops are believed to be opposed to hunting, and many have publicly called for a ban. The General Synod, the Church's parliament, has never taken an official stance on the issue, although pressure for a ban has grown.

POWAperson is unaware of Church of England bishops speaking up against hunting with hounds, as the article claims. The Church as a whole long refused to condemn the sport and continued to allow hunting on its large landholdings.


Ledbury FH, with mounted kids, blatantly hunted on public land, say sabs

10-3-16   Facebook – 3 Counties Sabs   Ledbury, last meet of the season 10th March 2016   They met at the Elms School, Colwall. As some of you may remember, The Elms include the criminal offence of fox hunting as part of their physical education curriculum. Sure enough, many children were in attendance as the pack hunted through British Camp down to Castlemorton Common where the children were taught how to ride at and assault sabs on land managed by the Malvern Hills Conservators who allow blatant illegal hunting on the public land they are entrusted with. Newborn lambs fled both hounds and the multitude of children on ponies. Despite this sabs from 3C and North Shropshire intervened on a number of occasions to slow the pack down from hunting foxes. One pack finished for the season, a few more to go.

Pics below -  Left - Fox [mid pic] flees Ledbury hounds    Right - Hunt stops traffic to let hounds in pursuit across road

      LedburyFHFoxfleeinghounds10-3-16.jpg     LedburyFHHuntstopstraffictolethoundscrossroad10-3-16.jpg


Minehead Harriers devise Code of Conduct to get NT licence back

8-3-16   Western Daily Press    No terriermen, no quad bikes: Somerset hunt's new 'Code of Conduct' to regain National Trust licence    A prominent West foxhunt has agreed to ditch its own terriermen, and ordered its supporters to stop blocking roads, in a bid to be allowed to ride once again on one of Somerset's biggest National Trust estates.  The Minehead Harriers [left] have agreed to a series of stringent conditions on its own behaviour and conduct, including a pledge to keep 'strictly to all licence conditions', after they were unceremoniously banned by the National Trust from a huge swathe of their own hunting area on Exmoor. National Trust bosses in SomersetMineheadHarriers2.jpg are to resume discussions with the fox hunt this week, but it appears unlikely that the licence allowing them to ride and follow hounds on the Holnicote Estate will be reinstated in time for the end of this hunting season.

The Harriers had their licence suspended in late January following many complaints about the conduct of the hunt and its followers on the Holnicote Estate on Exmoor this season. The Trust had confirmed that it was not only third-party complaints – mainly from anti-hunt monitors and saboteurs – but from members of the Trust staff at Holnicote themselves, who had seen first hand the kind of breaches that sparked the ban. The Somerset Hunt Saboteurs group claimed those breaches included illegally hunting foxes, digging out foxes, blocking public roads and riding quad bikes through nature reserves and environmentally-protected areas.

Now, the Minehead Harriers have published their own code of conduct to their riders and followers, in a bid to meet the National Trust's demands to improve their conduct on Holnicote land. The code of conduct has ten points, although three of them ask followers not to engage with 'offensive and provocative behaviour' from anti-hunt 'activists', and instead simply report what happens to hunt officials. The Harriers' code also promises to ban anyone found responsible for breaching the National Trust land code. The biggest change for the Harriers will be a ban on quad bikes [right] on the areas that the National Trust forbid, and that 'no person shall follow the Minehead Harriers on National Trust land equipped for the use of terrier work'.

The presence of terriermen is still almost universal within hunts across the West, as their work to dig out and dispatch foxes that have gone to ground is not specifically banned under the Hunting Act 2005. Anti-hunt activists claim the fact that hunts still operate with terriermen shows hunts are still focussed on foxes rather than honestlyMineheadHarriers.jpg following an artificial trail.

A spokeswoman for the National Trust said that they were aware of the new code produced by the Minehead Harriers, and that they were starting discussions with them again this week to talk about the future of their licence.

A spokesman for the Somerset Hunt Saboteurs group produced their own code of conduct in response to the Harriers'. "We are still awaiting news on if and when their trail hunting license on National Trust land will be renewed and what the exact conditions will be," she said. "In the meantime , we are pleased to finally see an acknowledgement from the Minehead Harriers that terriermen equipped for digging out are not actually needed on a trail hunt and hope other hunts will follow suit. Maybe one day a good huntsman/woman will be seen as one who can control his/her hounds well enough to avoid the so -called accidents involving foxes and other animals being ripped apart," she added. The Minehead Harriers' proposed code of conduct in full...

Code of Conduct for Lawful Hunting on National Trust Land:-   1/ The Minehead Harriers recognise the importance of keeping strictly to all licence conditions when lawfully trail hunting on National Trust Property.  2/ Anyone who is found to be responsible for breaches of this Code will no longer be welcome to hunt with the Minehead Harriers.  3/ Anyone following the Minehead Harriers in vehicles will show courtesy and consideration to other road users. Roads must not be blocked by members of the hunt under any circumstances. If vehicles used by activists cause any problems they are to be reported to the Mastership. Please try to record details of number plates, type and colour or such vehicles.  4/ Quad bikes will under no circumstances be ridden on to land that we do not have permission from the National Trust to cross with quad bikes. If any third party quad bikes appear on hunt days to be breaching this rule they are to be reported to the Mastership.  5/ No person shall follow the Minehead Harriers on National Trust land equipped for the use of terrier work.  6/ Mounted followers will show courtesy and consideration to other road users at all times.  7/ If third parties such as activists engage in offensive and provacative behaviour they should be treated with courtesy. No attempt shall be made to engage them. They can be filmed in order that they can be reported to the National Trust or the Police.  8/ If at any time anyone hunting with the Minehead Harriers is threatened or fears for their own safety of the safety of others they must dial 999 and make a report. Such incidents should also be reported to the Mastership.  9/ The Minehead Harriers engages in lawful trail hunting at all times. If hounds are seen to be chasing any wild mammals every effort should be made to stop them. Followers and supporters should obey any directions given to them by the Mastership and the Whips in this regard. If activists attempt to prevent hounds from being stopped they should be filmed and reported. No attempt should be made to engage them.  10/ Remember at all times you are representing the Minehead Harriers and the wider hunting community

The Somerset Hunt Saboteurs Group responded with its own code of conduct:-  1/ When attending a meet we will respond in kind to courteous behaviour but will NOT respond like for like with aggressive or provocative behaviour from hunt members or support i.e, we will not use our mode of transport as a weapon or threaten, shout and scream or hit people with sticks and will be quite happy to pass on any evidence of such behaviour to the mastership, police and National Trust also.  2/ If we see hounds in pursuit of a fox we will endeavour to get between them in order to assist the escape of the fox ( or other quarry), we will not do anything that may add to or lead to the harm or distress of ANY animal.  3/ We will gather evidence should any illegal activity take place, including but not limited to, hounds in pursuit of live quarry and abusive behaviour from hunt members or support.


Sabs find huge blocked sett in covert drawn by Cattistock FH

7-3-16   Facebook – Dorset Sabs   VIDEO     This is film from the Cattistock Hunt meet in Muckleford on Tuesday 1st March 2016. A blocked up 30 hole badger sett in a covert the huntsman cast hounds. Dorset Police are investigating this illegal activity. Two sabs unblocked half the holes in about an hour to ensure the badgers had a chance. This time of year cubs are being born. Where was this sett? On land adjacent to a director of the West Dorset cull company Hugo James.



Motorist's car badly damaged after hitting two fox hounds
Driver says attitude of North Ledbury FH was appalling

7-3-16    Ledbury Reporter   Ledbury motorist left "appalled" after fox hound  A LEDBURY motorist said he was left 'appalled' by the attitude of the North Ledbury Hunt, after his car was involved in a collision with a fox hound on a public road. The incident caused £1,200 worth of damage to his four year old Range Rover. Carl Bufton said he was travelling at 25mph on the Ledbury to Cradley road, near Staplow, on the afternoon of January 30, when two hounds of the North Ledbury Hunt suddenly ran in front of his vehicle, with one of them causing serious damage to his car.

Ross Harriers masked thugs attack sab landy
Smash rear window while vehicle occupied

RossHarriershuntthugs3-16.JPG6-3-16   HSA Press Release   Masked up Hunt Supporters Attack Vehicle   Masked-up supporters of the Ross Harriers hunt [left]  attacked a vehicle belonging to hunt saboteurs yesterday, smashing the rear window [below right] and showering the passengers in glass.  The police are investigating and have retrieved the weapon used in the attack.

The Hunt had met at the Red Lion pub in Peterstow and were being monitored by members of South Wales Hunt Saboteurs as well as other local groups. The Hunt had been illegally hunting foxes throughout the day but their attempts to kill had been thwarted.  As the day drew to a closeRossHarriersSabsrearwindowsmashedbythugs6-3-16.jpg increasingly angry support took their frustration out on the sabs. Two masked up men left the main body of hunt supporters and ran up behind the sab landrover and used a metal bar to smash the rear window. They then fled the scene in a vehicle. The police were immediately called and are investigating the incident.

Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "The timing of this attack is ironic as the Countryside Alliance are once again bleating on about hunt saboteurs wearing masks. Time and again we see that the only masked up thugs in the countryside are those following the hunts. There is hard evidence in this case of a violent, unprovoked attack and we look forward to a swift resolution to the police investigation. Hunters head out with the intention of illegally chasing and killing wildlife and when their efforts are thwarted they take their frustrations out on those that have stopped them. Violence against sabs has been going on for decades but as the hunts now it doesn't deter us, rather it makes us more determined to get out there and stop them killing.”


Tory MPs campaign for sabs to be unmasked
Follows claims of assault on gamekeeper

6-3-16  Mail on Sunday    MPs in battle to unmask brutal hunt saboteurs: Police 'need new powers' as thugs get away with wave of attacks Hunt saboteurs will have to remove their masks if police receive new powers demanded by MPs after a spate of countryside attacks. 

Animal rights activists often disguise themselves with hoods, masks or balaclavas at hunts and pheasant shoots. There have been several incidents where people have been injured but no prosecutions as victims cannot identify assailants. Currently, police must get advance permission to demand protesters remove facial coverings, set out in section 60AA of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. But critics claim this hampers officers faced unexpectedly with masked activists. Police can request individuals remove disguises, but they are at liberty to refuse. Tory MPs are demanding change. Victoria Prentice, MP for Banbury, will raise the issue at tomorrow’s Commons debate on the Police and Crime Bill. She told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It is simply not acceptable that extremists can carry out harassment and assaults without fear of identification or prosecution.’

It follows an incident three weeks ago at the 2,000-acre Cubley Estate in Derbyshire, when gamekeeper Kim Robinson, 55, was savagely beaten by a gang of masked hunt saboteurs, including two women. The activists were protesting against the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt. Mr Robinson was not part of the hunt but was called out to reports of trespassers on the estate. He said: ‘I told the activists I did not mind them protesting but they had to do it lawfully from the public footpaths or the road. ‘But they didn’t want to stick to the footpaths. It was quicker for them to cut through the estate. So I grabbed one by the collar to insist and then they all set on me. They smashed my head open, one hit me on the head with a radio and the others kicked and punched me.’ 

He had four serious head wounds stitched in hospital and suffered severe headaches for a week. Mr Robinson added: ‘I could not identify any of them but the guy who hit me with the radio would have had my blood all over his jacket. It’s wrong that these activists are allowed to come and cause havoc and put masks on so no-one can recognise them. If you walked down a High Street dressed like that and causing a nuisance you’d be arrested and locked up. But because it’s happening in the countryside and no-one can see it, the authorities seem to think it’s acceptable.’

Tim Bonner, chief executive the Countryside Alliance, said: ‘We think it is ridiculous that officers have the power of arrest but aren’t allowed to ask people to take off face coverings to identify themselves. Animal rights activists are frequently going into the countryside dressed in paramilitary clothing with face coverings and Mr Robinson’s case is the latest in a series of assaults where no-one has been prosecuted.’ Derbyshire Police said a 38-year-old man was arrested and bailed but investigations were continuing. Last January Mike Lane, joint master of the Tedworth Hunt in Wiltshire, was beaten unconscious with iron bars by unidentified protesters in balaclavas. And in 2012 Charles Warde-Adam, a supporter of the Badsworth and Bramham Moor hunt, was attacked by masked men who broke his nose, cheekbone and fractured his skull in three places. No charges were brought as he could not identify his attackers.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: ‘Where an individual is suspected of committing an offence, the police have discretion to use their power of arrest to bring that person to justice. A power to remove a face covering in such situations would offer no obvious advantage.’

POWAperson comments:-   The writer of this pernicious and highly biased article, Valerie Elliott, has been penning virulent pro-bloodsports articles for the right-wing newspapers for many years.  Sabs and monitors seeking to protect defenceless wild animals from being tormented and slaughtered in the name of 'sport' and to expose their illegal activities. They are always heavily outnumbered by riders and their followers, many of whom are thugs. Despite sab and monitor complaints of assault and property damage by hunters, which happen frequently, generally being disregarded by police, the number of convictions for violence over the years of hunters vastly exceeds that of sabs, which are rare.


Sabs stopped DVSP dig-out of fox sheltering in blocked badger sett

5-3-16  You Tube – Devon Hunt Sabs  The true face of fox hunting     Devon Hunt Sabs stopped a dig out in progress by the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers. It is illegal to hunt a fox with a pack of hounds, it is also illegal to interfere with an active badger sett. The video speaks for itself, under difficult circumstances sabs were able capture footage of hounds in cry, as well as terrier men digging out the badger sett into which the fox had tried to escape. Holes had been blocked with an inner tube and pillow case soaked in diesel, and nets covered other holes. The terrier men were in the process of setting fire to the inner tube and pillow case in order to smoke the fox (and any badgers unlucky enough to be in the sett) out. We stop this kind of cruelty every week.

Two sabs kicked/punched by thugs with Atherstone and camera stolen

5-3-16   Facebook – W.Midlands Sabs VIDEO   Hunt Sabs violently assaulted at the Atherstone Hunt and camera stolen.  05-03-16 Newton Burgoland.   Two hunt sabs were violently assaulted on Saturday. The Hunt had just moved off from the where it met at the Belper Arms when Tom and Harry Milner, sons of Helen Milner a former Master of the Atherstone Hunt, arrived on a quad bike and immediately started pushing the sabs around.  They then took them to the ground punching and kicking them in the head. Then, after stealing the camcorder that had been used to film the incident, they started kicking a sab on the ground repeatedly in the ribs.  Although they stole the camcorder with footage of the attack, they didn't realise that sabs were wearing body cameras that had also recorded the attack. The incident has been reported to the police.

We've had to endure a lot of violence from the Atherstone Hunt this season especially violence aimed at women. A few weeks ago an Atherstone Hunt supporter made death threats towards a sab. Not long after this attack, a fox ran past sabs on Woodland Trust land, Huntsman Stuart Barton can then be heard blowing his horn to encourage the hounds on who have just picked up the scent of the fox.  Barton clearly didn't realise we were there.

Later in the day we came across hounds all over an active badger sett. Neither of these incidents would suggest a hunt acting lawfully, it seems like Barton is sticking two fingers up at the law, the police and even his own organisation, the MFHA, who have told the Atherstone they are not to hunt or even follow trails (or pretend to). Earlier in the year a member of the Hunt,  Peter Taroni told us what a bad huntsman he thought Barton was and that he couldn't catch a cold.  It has come to our attention that the Hunt may not even be paying Barton's wages, which are instead now being paid by an outsider of the Hunt...

Pics below:   Left -  Atherstone thug wrestles sab to ground      Right - Another thug, kicking sab on ground

     AtherstoneFHthugattackingsab5-3-16.jpg      AtherstoneFHthugkickingsabonground5-3-16.jpg


York & Ainsty S FH hounds chase fox thru village, damaging property
Villagers shut fleeing fox in garage to save it from hunt dogs

2-3-16   York Press   Police investigate after hunt damages property in Easingwold    Police and the RSPCA are investigating after a North Yorkshire hunt damaged private property while chasing a fox. Hounds from the York and Ainsty Hunt chased a fox through the gardens of homes in Oulston Road in Easingwold at about midday on Saturday, causing damage to fences and garden furniture and breaking laws passed in 2005 relating to the hunting of live foxes.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: "The dogs had bolted after the fox and come down through the woods into a residential area, completely out of control and clearly hunting foxes which is against the law. A young lady on the horse was on the phone all the time, phoning to the Hunt, and the whipper-in sat watching them asked permission to come into my garden to get the dogs. They had rampaged through three gardens, breaking garden furniture and fencing. The fox bolted to our neighbour's garage where we secured it and left it in there until dusk. The Master of the Hunt came down and saw the damage, accepted responsibility for the damage. They couldn't do anything else. They knocked down fences and pots and he offered to make good which is fine, but the main concern for me is they broke the law. Dogs shouldn't trespass on private property and they shouldn't be hunting foxes."

A brief statement issued by North Yorkshire Police about the incident said: "Police confirm they received two complaints shortly after midday on Saturday 27 February, of damage to fences and gardens caused by hounds involved in a hunt. Enquiries are ongoing." A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: "We were called about an incident involving a fox in the area of Oulston Road, Easingwold, York on Saturday (27 February) and are assisting police with their ongoing investigation." A spokesman for the York and Ainsty Hunt said the Master of the Hunt had spoken to residents following the incident, and offers had been made to repay residents for damage to their gardens.

Pic below -  Y&A S FH Huntsman prepares to hit sab landy windscreen in 2012




..... 29th February - Quorn FH chase fox across railway line and busy A road
..... 28th February - Scottish newspaper accuses police of pro-hunt bias
..... 27th February - 26 groups call on Leics police to investigate illegal hunting properly
..... 24th February - Police run over loose hound on A55 to avoid risk of serious accident
..... 23rd February - Ross Harriers hounds savage pet cat to death in its garden
..... 23rd February - Blackmore hunt thugs assaulted, menaced, abused and stole from us, say sabs
..... 22nd February - Easton Harriers hounds rip pet cat to death in garden
..... 21st February - Cotley FH kill fox right by redcoats, then support turns on sabs
..... 17th February - Cottesmore FH JM suffers fatal head injury in hunting accident
..... 17th February - Sabs get apology from Lincs police re. improper dispersal orders
..... 14th February - Blackmore support hits/threatens sabs after they find blocked badger setts
..... 13th February - Hare attacked by Easton Harriers dies in sab's arms
..... 12th February - Police Wildlife Officer revealed to hunt with the Belvoir FH
..... 10th February - Minehead Harriers barred from NT land after many licence breaches
.....  6th February - Meynell FH hounds kill fox - police investigating
.....  5th February - Dunston Harriers filmed chasing numerous hares - and some deer
.....  2nd February - Cheshire Monitors say they saved fox from Wynnstay FH 


Quorn FH chase fox across railway line and busy A-road

29-2-16   Facebook - Sheffield Sabs    HIT REPORT – 29.02.16 One of our group hitched a ride today with Nottingham Hunt Saboteurs and Sheffield Saboteurs for a visit to the Quorn Hunt who met in Saxelbye in Leicestershire. Due to the early morning frost they didn’t meet until midday which gave us the chance to get sabs into the field ahead of the hunt, predicting where they would go. We kept up with them throughout the day. On numerous occasions the hounds were out of control, sabs in the vehicle were well placed to call them off a hare and at one point they were all over a busy A road. Things got even worse for them towards the end of the day when the hounds followed a scent for several miles across fields and over a railway line, sabs used horn calls to stop them which didn’t go down too well with the huntsman who got rather irate and decided to call it a day at 3.30pm.


Sunday Herald accuses Scottish police of pro-hunt bias

28-2-16  Sunday Herald   Animal rights groups accuse Scottish police of pro-fox hunting bias     THE Sunday Herald has uncovered what appears to be the systematic harassment of animal rights activists by Police Scotland and an apparent bias towards fox hunts allegedly involved in illegal activity. Our investigation can reveal that Police Scotland told members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) they could not monitor fox hunts, and that officersBerwickshireFHFoxchasedby28-2-15.jpg have detained activists and threatened them with arrest while they were trying to monitor hunts. We can also reveal that Sunday Herald journalists were threatened with arrest while investigating allegations of illegal hunting in Fife. Our findings have prompted criticism of Police Scotland’s tactics and an investigation is now underway into the policing of hunts in Fife.

There have been mounting allegations that fox hunts regularly break the law, claims that have led to the Scottish Government ordering a review of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act, which bans hunting with packs of dogs. As it stands, the legislation allows hunts to pursue foxes with dogs for pest control but the hounds must only be used to flush the creatures from cover to be shot by waiting gunmen. The premise was that shooting a fox is more humane than allowing animals to be ripped apart by hounds, but critics argue that the law is weak and regularly flouted. Scotland’s fox hunts insist that they always hunt legally. We spent 12 months investigating and our findings have prompted concern over Police Scotland’s commitment to impartiality and its willingness to fully investigate allegations of criminality by mounted hunts.

BerwickshireFHHoundschasingfox28-2-15.jpgTo date, there’s not been one single prosecution and the HSA has accused police of acting as a personal security force for hunts instead of investigating alleged criminality. Three videos obtained by the Sunday Herald show police stopping and detaining hunt saboteurs and threatening people with arrest for refusing to provide personal details. Animal rights activists are concerned they are being branded domestic extremists and that details are held on a database alongside terrorist suspects. In footage taken near Leuchars, Fife, on Sunday, September 20, 2015, a wildlife police officer tells animal rights activists they are not allowed to monitor local hunt coordinators Fife Foxhounds. He asks the HSA to stop filming but is unaware that his voice is still being recorded.

He says: “You are not allowed to monitor anything. I can quite legitimately detain you. You’re not allowed to come into the countryside and record people.”  The officer asks the activists to turn out their pockets and says he can seize their recording equipment. He adds – words viewed by the HSA as a threat: “We’ve got legislation up to our eyeballs. We can get around pretty much anything to find the right piece of legislation. So, just to confirm, details please sir?”  The HSA said that it is not against the law to film in public or monitor a hunt. They also pointed out that they actually called Police Scotland that day.

Other footage from Saturday, September 26, 2015, shows police stopping activists in a car following a fox hunt inFifeFHSabstrytostopdigout17-12-14.JPG Fife and threatening people with arrest. The officer demands their personal details citing section 13 of the 1995 Criminal Procedure Act. This section means that potential witnesses to a crime can be detained by police if they refuse to give personal details. Another video taken on Sunday, December 6, 2015, shows the HSA attempting to monitor another hunt in Fife and again being stopped. Two police vans attend and officers are filmed detaining people, questioning them and requesting their personal details. We can also reveal that Police Scotland acted after we contacted Fife Foxhounds with questions. The Sunday Herald later learned that the Hunt contacted a wildlife liaison officer on receipt of our questions. The Police Scotland press office then contacted us to ask about our report. When asked later why they alerted Police Scotland to our article, Fife Foxhounds said: “As part of our commitment to responsible conduct we are in regular contact with the wildlife liaison officer assigned to us by Police Scotland, to allow two-way dialogue regarding matters of mutual concern.”

The Scottish Branch of the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: “Our members are out in the field to prevent illegal, inhumane death, we always ensure that we act in a legal manner. We find it appalling that Police Scotland will send out numerous police officers and vehicles to harass and intimidate our members despite doing nothing illegal. We currently have no faith in Police Scotland and find it difficult to believe that in the current financial climate that Police Scotland wishes to waste so much public money harassing our members and allowing illegal hunting to continue.”

In reply, Police Scotland said it had received a complaint about the policing of hunts in Fife that is under investigation and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further. Police Scotland added: “It would be inaccurate to suggest that we do not investigate wildlife crime. Police Scotland thoroughly investigates all reports of wildlife crime. Tackling wildlife crime is not just about law enforcement, it is about working with partners and the public to raise awareness and to prevent it happening. Lastly, we do not comment on investigative and operational processes.”

FifeFHterriermanpointinggunatsab17-12-14.JPGAlison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP and deputy convener of Holyrood’s Cross-Party Group on Animal Welfare, said: “The public will be astonished and angered to hear of incidents alleging heavy-handed behaviour by the police towards animal welfare activists, who are doing a public service by keeping tabs on organised hunts. I have viewed footage obtained by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), which suggests that cruel and unnecessary fox hunts are still happening. Police Scotland have a duty to ensure that this stops.”

Last month, two of Police Scotland’s most senior wildlife crime officers told a Holyrood inquiry they could find no evidence that mounted hunts were breaking the law. But last year, the LACS claimed nearly half of hunts were acting illegally. LACS’s investigators secretly filmed five hunts between December 2014 and March 2015 and saw no shotguns on 16 separate outings.

They also secretly filmed the Duke of Buccleuch’s Hunt and alleged their video revealed “illegal hunting”. LACS believed the hunt’s activities were so “blatantly unlawful” in terms of the use of hounds that police would take action. However, Police Scotland told them it was unable to identify anyone thought to be committing a crime. At the time, a lawyer representing the Buccleuch Hunt said they had no comment to make but Scottish Countryside Alliance director Jamie Stewart said that the Scottish Government’s most recent wildlife crime report “failed to support the scandalous and unfounded allegations of widespread illegal fox hunting in Scotland”. He added: “The release of this subjective and contrived footage containing material spliced from more than one foxhound pack attempts to confuse the public but only confirms the weakness in the League Against Cruel Sports’ campaign and obsession to end any form of wildlife control. “Scottish foxhound packs work under a strict protocol drawn from the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 and work closely with Police Scotland during the operation of legal and much-needed fox control.”

It was announced in December that Lord Bonomy would review the efficacy of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act. He is currently taking evidence.

Pics above -

Upper right:  Part of LACS video evidence. Fox [far right] flees Berwickshire FH hounds, 28-2-15

Upper left:   Berwickshire FH hounds just a few seconds behind the fox, 28-2-15

Lower right:   Sabs trying to stop illegal dig-out by Fife FH, 17-12-14

Lower left:  Fife FH terrierman pointing rifle at sabs, 17-12-14 

See also a lengthy article in 'The Ferret' 


Sab car attacked and damaged by Cottesmore FH supporters as sabs save wildlife

27-2-16   Facebook – Northants Sabs   HIT REPORT   Today we headed up to Stapleford Park, Leicestershire with our friends Derby Hunt Saboteurs to the meet of the Cottesmore Hunt. It was clear right from the off that the Hunt had very little control of the hounds as the pack split almost immediately on the first draw, foot sabs had it covered and whilst one group took some of the hounds for a run with the help of the gizmo another group were seeing theCottesmoreFHSabwindscreensmashedbysupporter27-2-16.jpg first fox of the day to safety!

As always with the Cottesmore, the presence of a Golden Eagle in the back of a pick-up is an unconvincing attempt at fooling people into thinking they’re hunting within the law, the driver, however, seemed more intent on swerving into sabs with little care for our safety or for that of the bird in the back. Once the Hunt had gathered up their runaway hounds it wasn’t long before sabs saw fox number two break from the covert and head for the road, once he’d safely crossed we were there spraying the line with citronella. It’s at this point that some of the hunt support started to get a bit angsty and stones were thrown at our vehicle, this was to escalate throughout the day as you will later see.

Foot sabs were with the hunt continually all day and when hounds rioted after a muntjac deer the Huntsman called them off immediately, much of their day was spent gathering the hounds who just seemed to be out on a bit of a jolly of their own! During this time there was another attack on our vehicle from guys in balaclavas throwing stones and trying to smash the windows.

Fox number three was also seen safe without the hounds even picking up the scent. It was pretty obvious at this point that the hunt were making their way back to the kennels, it was here that the van was attacked again by guys in balaclavas, the wing mirror was broken off by one of them and used to smash our windscreen [above right] ...

26 groups urge Leics police to investigate illegal hunting properly

27-2-16   Hinckley Times    Call made to Leicestershire Police to tackle hunts      Animal rights campaigners across the county are lobbying a new police watchdog committee to take action over apparent breaches of The Hunting Act 2004.  A letter, signed by 26 representatives of political groups, societies and hunt saboteurs, including Roger Hill of the Hinckley and Bosworth Green Party, has been sent to the new body. It welcomes the appointment of the Leicestershire Police ethics, integrity and complaints committee but calls for the urgent review of the force’sAtherstoneFHFoxnarrowescape1-3-15.jpg attitude to enforcing anti-hunting legislation.

The letter references footage and reports as well as media coverage and relevant documents on concerns about hunting in Leicestershire. Most of the issues are over alleged violations by the Atherstone Hunt [right, closely hunting a fox], which regularly rides across land in the Bosworth constituency, but also the Fernie, Quorn and Cottesmore Hunt. Potential criminal activity described in the letter as alleged by the authors includes filmed and eye witnessed pursuit of foxes, the alleged killing of foxes, terrier work and obstruction of badger setts. The document reads: “As well as these findings there have been numerous reports about fox hunting and other wildlife crime in general which reinforce the claim that traditional fox huts are complicit in widespread law-breaking that may lead to other types of criminal behaviour. To summarise, with all this in mind, we believe the evidence reasonably demonstrates the intent to ignore The Hunting Act 2004 by Leicestershire’s Hunts and that the presence of terrier men, the use of artificial earths, the captivity of foxes and the illegal obstruction of badger setts are clear indicators of this.”

The letter also highlights what the campaigners believe are failures by the police to enforce The Hunting Act 2004 as well as bias and disregard of duty by officers. There is a call for the force to work constructively with hunt saboteurs. “Given that the actions of hunt saboteurs are intended to prevent the potential illegal killing of foxes and damage of badger setts and thus act as voluntary enforcers of wildlife legislation, perhaps a less antagonistic working relationship might be achieved if Leicestershire Police acted to clearly recognise the high likelihood of widespread wildlife crime alongside acknowledging the intent of protestors and saboteurs is to prevent this from happening.”


Police kill hound loose on busy road to avoid serious accidents

24-2-16  Daily Mirror    Crime commissioner 'demands answers' after officers deliberately kill hound by running it over    A police chief has revealed he will be asking for answers after officers deliberately ran over and killed a dog which was loose on a motorway. Wintson Roddick, Police Commissioner for North Wales , says the tragic incident on A55 will be 'looked into fully '. He added the circumstances surrounding the foxhound’s death are “highly unusual”. Mr Roddick said: “These were highly unusual circumstances and it was a difficult judgement to make, especially as I understand both officers concerned are dog owners themselves. I will be raising the matter with the force and I will be asking a number of questions because it is important to ensure the matter is looked into fully.”

In the early hours of Tuesday the animal was loose on the A55, dodging in and out of traffic, reports the Daily Post. The foxhound was running into oncoming traffic on a stretch of the road between the Llanfairfechan roundabout and the Conwy tunnel. It ran into the middle of the unlit road forcing traffic, including a car and HGV to swerve to avoid it while officers were on foot on the carriageway. One officer tried to reach out to the dog but was bitten and the animal escaped. As the officers could not bring the animal under control they decided to get back in there car and run it down, killing it. A spokesman for the force said the dog had “posed a serious threat to motorists” and the only safe option was to kill it.

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing of the roads policing unit said: “The potential for a serious collision was present throughout and in the circumstances, there was no alternative way that officers could contain the dog and minimise the risks to motorists. The only safe option was to run the dog over at sufficient speed to ensure that it was destroyed and would not suffer. Other methods of destruction were considered but were ruled out on the grounds of public safety. Fast roads such as the A55 present inherent risks and to have vehicles including a HGV having to swerve in the dark was deemed unacceptable as the officers witnessed a number of near misses and were highly concerned about the potential aftermath of a high speed collision.” He added: “Due to the seriousness of the incident it needed bringing to a conclusion quickly for the safety of all concerned.” Readers took to social media to question whether North Wales Police did the right thing....

POWAperson adds - t's not clear whether this foxhound had strayed from a Hunt pack or not. Latest info is that the dog was microchipped and traced to a person 'outside the county' who seems to have claimed it was a pet. There's no explanation given for why it was running round on a major road in the early hours of the morning.  


Ross Harriers hound savage pet cat to death in its garden

24-2-16 Daily Mirror Hunting hounds rip gran's cat apart in front garden as she watches in horror   A horrified grandmother saw her cat ripped to death by a pack of hunting hounds in her front garden. Janet Clarke tried to fight off the pack of beagles with a stick but could not save 10-year-old Fluffy. The retired laboratory researcher, 80, said: “I saw the cat being tossed in the air with about four hounds around it, pulling on it in sort of a tug of war. “I was shouting and raving in a panic to try to save the cat but it there was no hope. It was bleeding from the mouth and had been completely pulled apart. I don’t know how the hounds got here. They had to cross two strips of woodland, a ditch and a neighbour’s garden. A lady with the hunt was very apologetic but I don’t know how they call it sport.”

Janet, from Kilpeck, Hereford, fears the hounds could return to attack three other cats she has rehomed at her cottage. Janet said: “My three other cats Tigger, Hattie and Jake must have bolted up the garden and got away but Fluffy was just not quick enough. I can still see the terror in his eyes every time I close mine. It will haunt me forever. He had lovely almond shaped eyes. I think he had a bit of Siamese in him too, and to see him look so scared was absolutely heartbreaking. Nobody from the hunt has come to offer an explanation as to how or why it had happened. One woman came with some flowers and said sorry but it’s little consolation really. Something needs to be done to stop this happening to somebody else. These Hunts are supposedly abolished yet trained killer dogs can run around and hurt defenceless animals like this. They were obviously not well trained dogs, there was a pack of about 20 or 30 of them but all it takes is a few to stray off the scent for it to end in tragedy like this. It is like losing a member of your family.”

Son David, 49, added: “Anyone who is a hunt supporter just needs to witness the death of our cat and they will hopefully change their minds.” Ross Harriers Hunt apologised for Fluffy’s death which happened while the hounds were supposed to be following a scent trail through nearby woods on Saturday. Joint hunt master Anna Ernsting said: “Unfortunately a small number of the hounds strayed into the Clarkes’ garden through a hole in the hedge.” West Mercia Police are investigating.

23-2-16   Hereford Times    Pet cat killed by Ross Harriers hunt's dogs   AN animal lover has been left devastated after he witnessed his pet cat being killed by hunting dogs in his garden. David Clarke's rescue cat Fluffy was killed by three hounds from the Ross Harriers hunt on Saturday afternoon when they entered his garden in Kilpeck. Mr Clarke's mum, Janet, first saw Fluffy being attacked by the dogs and rushed out to scare them away. MrRossHarriershoundskillClarkespetcatingarden23-2-16.jpg Clarke [right, with wife and surviving cats] then followed with a stick to deter the animals. Mrs Clarke said: "I don't know how the hounds got here. They had to cross two strips of woodland, a ditch and come through a neighbour's garden." 

She said Fluffy was in the house but must have panicked when he heard the noise of the dogs and jumped out of a window into the garden. She said: "I saw the cat flying up in the air. I ran outside and David followed. The cat was pretty much dead." Mr Clarke, 49, said Fluffy was around 10-years-old and a rescue cat. They also have three other cats which they rehomed from Hay Cat Rescue. Mr Clarke, who is disabled and has limited use in his right hand following a road traffic collision, claimed the dogs were not controlled by any member of Ross Harriers who were "nowhere to be seen". He added: "Any of your readers, who are hunt supporters, just need to witness the death of our cat which was literally pulled apart and then they will hopefully change their minds."

Anna Ernsting, joint master of Ross Harriers, apologised to Mr and Mrs Clarke on Saturday and returned the following day to apologise. She said: "The hunt was trail hunting in the area of the Clarkes’ home and had laid a scent trail through the nearby woods for the hounds to follow. "Unfortunately a small number of the hounds strayed into the Clarkes' garden through a hole in the hedge and their cat died.  It is very unusual for our hounds to leave the trail laid for them and we are very sorry that it happened on Saturday and for the distress this caused the family." A police spokesman said they are investigating a report of a cat which died after it was attacked by a dog on private land on Saturday afternoon.



David Clarke's rescue cat Fluffy was killed by three hounds from the Ross Harriers hunt on Saturday afternoon when they entered his garden in Kilpeck. Mr Clarke's mum, Janet, first saw Fluffy being attacked by the dogs and rushed out to scare them away. Mr Clarke then followed with a stick to deter the animals. Mrs Clarke said: "I don't know how the hounds got here. They had to cross two strips of woodland, a ditch and come through a neighbour's garden." 

She said Fluffy was in the house but must have panicked when he heard the noise of the dogs and jumped out of a window into the garden. She said: "I saw the cat flying up in the air. I ran outside and David followed. The cat was pretty much dead." Mr Clarke, 49, said Fluffy was around 10-years-old and a rescue cat. They also have three other cats which they rehomed from Hay Cat Rescue. Mr Clarke, who is disabled and has limited use in his right hand following a road traffic collision, claimed the dogs were not controlled by any member of Ross Harriers who were "nowhere to be seen". He added: "Any of your readers, who are hunt supporters, just need to witness the death of our cat which was literally pulled apart and then they will hopefully change their minds." Anna Ernsting, joint master of Ross Harriers, apologised to Mr and Mrs Clarke on Saturday and returned the following day to apologise. She said: "The hunt was trail hunting in the area of the Clarkes’ home and had laid a scent trail through the nearby woods for the hounds to follow. "Unfortunately a small number of the hounds strayed into the Clarkes' garden through a hole in the hedge and their cat died. It is very unusual for our hounds to leave the trail laid for them and we are very sorry that it happened on Saturday and for the distress this caused the family." A police spokesman said they are investigating a report of a cat which died after it was attacked by a dog on private land on Saturday afternoon. 

POWAperson adds - This is far from the first time Ross Harriers have created havoc and upset residents. Last year they chased a pet cat up a tree and it was several hours before the owners could coax it down. Saboteurs are adamant that this pack hunt live quarry. 


Blackmore hunt thugs assaulted, menaced and abused us, say sabs

Also radio snatched from sab's hand and stolen 

23-2-16   Facebook – Dorset Sabs  VIDEO   Hit Report Blackmore & Sparkford Vale, Manor Farm, Charlton Horethorne 20/02/16   You will have seen from recent reports that we've got under the skin of this Hunt in the last few weeks particularly. Exposing their criminality with their illegal hunting activity, illegally blocking up badger setts to keep the fox hunted above ground and traditional sabbing tactics saving many lives. With foot sabs in twoS.Dorsethuntthugstealingradiofromsabs20-2-16.jpg teams in different areas around the meet, one group located an artificial earth ! These are built by Hunts to encourage foxes to breed and knowing their locations guarantees foxes in a specific area to hunt.

The second group realised hunt thugs were about south of Blackford. Decanting into a vehicle they drove round to Compton Castle to find hounds in cry. Along with a monitor they were surrounded and called for the other group to assist. The landy promptly arrived on the scene to find the monitor's camcorder lens smeared with vaseline and then a radio was stolen [above right]. It was clear that the group's effectiveness had got to the Hunt and previous intimidation hadn't worked. So it was hunt thug central all ready and waiting for the sabs. Familiar faces albeit with masks, many recognisable. Things took a sinister twist when one of the thugs pulled a knife out. Thankfully the sabs were all in the landy at this stage. Sabs rang the Avon & Somerset Police on 999 and three units turned up. We don't know if they searched the vehicles concerned, but one was used with the same thugs on the Cattistock a few weeks ago. On that occasion they were armed with pick axe handles. At some point the police went away.

All day the Hunt kept moving as sabs and monitors kept appearing and the huntsman couldn't hunt so moved on. Yet again it was clear the Hunt were trespassing on land. Foot sabs managed to stay out of sight as several vehicles with thugs sought to find them clearly in a panic. At about 4.00pm foot sabs were north of Stowell when they heard hounds in cry on a line heading towards Wilkinthroop. Sabs used a gizmo, an amplifier with the sounds of hounds in cry. This was enough to split the pack. Three red coats appeared racing towards sabs fuming that we were trespassing, never mind the fact that they were illegally hunting! Aaron Fookes more often seen riding a quad than in his role as whipper in today used his horse to try and move sabs. A young rider about 12 years of age directed a stream of abuse at a female sab calling her a c**t [below left].

Foot sabs needed to return to the landy as the Huntsman and co needed to retrieve the split pack the others were on a line. As sabs walked through a covert they were surrounded by several quads and thugs popping up behind and in front clearly angry at our successful tactics to save a fox. More abuse verbal then turning on the violence ensued. Sabs returned to the landy to then all be assaulted [below right], both men and women sabs. Some hunt supporters were aghast at what they witnessed and others pulled thugs off sabs. All of this was filmed and shown to cops when they eventually showed up at 5 pm. This after the Hunt had returned to the kennels and the thugs gone! One of our sabs who was punched by a thug and had bleeding to the cheek was visiting from another country. Not surprisingly he received racist abuse from hunt support.

For the radio that was stolen we have put up another gofundme. Without our marvellous sabs out today foxes undoubtedly would have been killed. We won't be cowed by the hunt's intimidation which included threats to kill and people ask why we mask up.... that says it all. If you wish to help us out please email

      S.Dorsetchildriderverballyabusingsabs20-2-16.jpg       SDorsetSabbeingassaultedbyfemalehuntsupporter20-2-16.jpg


Easton Harriers hounds rip pet cat to death in garden

Witness neighbour says dogs were 'treating it like a rag doll' 

22-2-16  Ipswich Evening Star   Hunt hounds savage pet cat   A DEVASTATED cat owner is in shock today after a pack of hunting hounds savaged her Persian cat. Judy and Brian Dawson’s nine-year-old cat Edwina, known as Dween, was mauled by the dogs which burst into their garden while on a hunt in Witnesham yesterday. Today, Rob Haag, joint master of the Easton Harriers hunt whose dogs were involved apologised for the attack which he said was an extremely rare thing to happen. And police have confirmed that no further action would be taken against the Hunt whose dogs killed Dween because the Dawson family had chosen not to file a complaint. Mrs Dawson, of Main Road in the village, was at work when the attack happened and found out when her neighbours called to tell her about the incident. She said: “I’m so very upset. I have lost many cats over the years but I think this is the worst way to lose a pet. I haven’t seen the Hunt round here before so it hasn’t been a problem before. I don’t think it should happen again. The Hunt should have been more in control of the dogs.”

The horrific attack was witnessed by the Dawsons’ neighbour, David Thorn, who heard a screaming noise at about 12.30pm yesterday. He said: “I was so worried, the noise was horrid and the dogs sounded out of control. When I got next door the dogs were treating it as if it was a rag doll. My first thought was that it could have been a child they killed. Mercifully it didn’t go on for too long but the dogs were completely out of control.” The hounds ran off out of the Dawsons’ back garden which backs onto a field, leaving Dween dead with her fur scattered on the ground. Mr Haag, said the Easton Harriers Hunt was taking part in a trail hunt with horses and hounds in the area. He added: “I cannot remember it happening before with this group of hounds. We are very sorry and have apologised to the lady. We were in a field near Witnesham when a hare or rabbit in the middle of the field jumped up and ran towards the back of the houses. Some of the hounds unfortunately followed it to the back of the houses. The person chasing them didn’t get there in time because they run very fast.”


Cotley FH kill fox - Redcoats on the spot-Then hunt thugs turn on sabs

21-2-16   Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs  VIDEO    WARNING: The footage is distressing and shows Cotley harriers ripping a fox apart No audio on this one.


A very sad day for us. The Cotley Harriers met at the Knoll, Stockland, and headed north, parallel to the River Yarty. At Road End Cross they took the opportunity to parade their 'trail-layer' in front of us: an elderly runnerCotleyFHHoundskillfoxHuntsanandWhiprightthere20-2-16.jpg who obviously didn't fancy a jog across fields, so he proceeded to 'lay a trail' on the road for about half a mile. The hounds had long since crossed the road and headed in the opposite direction.


Within half an hour of leaving the meet, they killed [right].  Sabs on foot and in the vehicle briefly saw hounds running in a line along a hedge with a fox running ahead of the pack. It tried to escape into the hedge but was caught and ripped in two by hounds. The chase was short. Hounds didn't even go into cry. Sadly on this occasion there was nothing we could have done. The Huntsman and Whip, on the other hand, were right there with them when it happened and should have called them off but didn't. After the kill, the Huntsman took the pack away while the whip kicked the remains into a ditch. He then stood there for a second, looking around to see who might have been watching before he too rode off to find the next fox to kill. Everyone had seen it: sabs, riders, hunt support, terriermen. Sabs tried immediately to retrieve the body but were booted off the land by aggressive terriermen.


Meanwhile, hunt support who had watched sabs in the vehicle film the aftermath of the kill decided to turn on sabs, keying our vehicle, assaulting our driver and navigator and breaking one of our cameras. We have plenty of footage of this incident which we will be sharing in due course. The Hunt carried on for a little while longer, heading west towards Woodmoor Copse and Quantock Common.


Rent-a-thug backup arrived in the form of Paul Martin and Marie Walters. Apparently they had turned up to the East Devon Hunt in the morning but they had sent them on their way. Well done, East Devon. If the Eames think that inviting thugs is the way to deter sabs then they are mistaken. Paul and Marie followed one of our foot teams for a while until both were struggling to keep up and Paul was close to an asthma attack, so they headed back to their vehicle. To keep them away from our foot teams, the Devon County vehicle did several loops around the area with Paul and Marie following behind. More masked thugs arrived in a white van and joined the tail.


Meanwhile, as the Hunt had now packed up, foot sabs tried again to retrieve the fox's body, fearing that by now it had almost certainly been moved. They eventually managed to get to the kill site but, as expected, in place of a body they now only found quadbike tracks running along the hedge.


Thanks to Somerset Hunt Saboteur Group, who were out with us today and also witnessed the kill.

Pics below -   1/  Whip kicks piece of fox corpse towards hedge  2/ Kicks remnants into hedge 

   CotleyFHWhipkickskilledfoxremnanttoardshedge20-2-16.jpg CotleyFHWhipkickskilledfoxremnantsintohedge20-2-16.jpg


Oakley FH hounds savage muntjac deer to death

16-2-16   Facebook – Northants Sabs    HIT REPORT    A mid-week visit with [other] sabs to the Oakley Hunt today who met at Thorncote Green. It wasn't long after the hunt had moved off and on to their first draw that it came over the radio to our group that a Muntjac deer had been attacked by the hounds and was being taken to the vets by sabs, the huntsman had deserted the injured animal, left surely to die a slow and fearful death, sadly the news wasn't good and the deer was put to sleep at the vets. With all our sabs now back in the field, and with the added help of the Flying Fox, a sab with wings!, we were able to keep tabs on them all day, until they convoyed back to the meet with a police escort at 3.45pm. 


Farmer who shot hounds threatening sheep has property damaged

17-2-16    BBC News     Farmer who shot dogs: Fence damaged    A County Down farmer who shot three hunt dogs which he says threatened his sheep has had damage caused to fencing round his land. Alan Sloane shot the dogs which were part of a pack involved in a stag hunt near Rathfriland. He said they were among ten staghounds which came onto his land & threatened pregnant ewes. A number of the sheep aborted lambs after the incident. Mr Sloane says after the story appeared last week, 20 metres of fencing was pulled out and dumped at a derelict farmhouse half a mile away.

Police say it was reported to them and they are appealing for witnesses. They believe the damage was done between 11pm Sunday and 7am on Monday. The Ulster Farmers Union has called on hunts to co-operate with farmers. It says the minority which disregard an agreement it signed with the Countryside Alliance over access to land for horses & hounds, threaten that relationship.

JM of Cottesmore FH suffers fatal head injury in hunting accident

17-2-16  Daily Mail    Leading huntswoman, 44, died in horror fence fall which left her with severe head injuries when her horse fell on top of her     A joint-master of a hunt was tragically killed after her horse landed on top of her while she was out riding, an inquest heard. Retired helicopter pilot Gemma McCormick, 44, slipped sideways off her horse as she jumped a rail. She died of 'unsurvivable' head injuries after the animal then toppled onto her in the fall on November 4th last year.

An inquest into her death heard how Miss McCormick was joint-master of the Cottesmore Hunt and was out riding with other members in Milton Park, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, when tragedy struck. In a statement read out at the hearing at Huntingdon Registry Office, member of the hunt George Highton said: 'At about 2pm and I was with Gemma taking part in the Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt. 'We had stopped in a field and the master indicated us to follow, and jumped a rail. 'I was behind Gemma. He took the jump and then she started to slip sideways off the horse. She was holding onto the safety harness or the reins - I am not sure which.' Mr Highton said Miss McCormick fell from the horse, which then landed on top of her. He said she was lying on her back on the ground and was unresponsive when he tried to talk to her.

The inquest heard Miss McCormick was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge but nothing could be done to save her. In a statement, also read by coroner David Heming, Dr Xinying Chen said: 'A CT scan sadly showed a devastating injury on the brain. The neurological signs indicated intervention would be futile. The injuries were unsurvivable.' Miss McCormick, from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, died at hospital two days after the accident on November 6. Following her death, Nick Wright, chairman of Cottesmore Hunt, spoke of the 'huge sadness' felt by members and supporters of the Hunt. He said: 'Gems was a wonderful joint-master and a generous supporter of the Cottesmore Hunt. 'We were lucky to have her as a master from 2012 - she was always immaculately turned out and quietly and efficiently fulfilled her role. 'She was a pleasure to go hunting with. Gems helped the Cottesmore through a very difficult period in her typically understated way and the Hunt rightly acknowledged this at our 2014 AGM. We will always be grateful for the huge contribution she made. We have all lost a friend and a true and genuine supporter of our Hunt.' Recording a conclusion of accidental death, Mr Heming said: 'I express my condolences to the family members. It is clear she had a passion for this sport, but sadly it is a sport which has inherent dangers.'


Easton Harriers hounds attack hare - dies in sab's arms

Sabs say many hares hunted - some on and across roads 

16-2-16   Facebook – Norfolk/Suffolk Sabs    Hit report – 13/02/16 Easton Harriers Hunt - Sutton, Suffolk This is a personal account written by one of the hunt sabs present at yesterday's meet:- "Norfolk and Suffolk Hunt Sabs took pleasure in teaming up with the Essex and Cambridge Sab groups to keep an eye on, what is now nick-named, 'the chaos hunt'. The name is rightfully given due to their carelessness when it comes to their hounds which have recently been documented chasing hares and causing chaos on roads - week in and week out.

Sabs kept with the hounds all day and were successful until the horrific moment where the hounds discovered a hare hiding (lying flat) in the middle of a field. With hounds dwindling in and out of cry, the hare made a break for it only to run into the hounds more or less straight away. I was only metres away as this happened and sprang into action as best I could. Some of the hounds began to tug at the hare and the remaining hounds tried to join in. The hare screeched as it was momentarily being treated like an old rag doll. That noise can only be described as horrific and will haunt me. I dived straight into the pack of hounds and reached with both arms and managed to pull the hare free from the hounds' grip. This was done while hounds proceeded to momentarily let go of it (due to confusion caused by other sabs calling the hounds off). If these hounds had not let go there would be little evidence left of this creature.

The Huntsman, whipper-ins and some of the ride were present and took no action during this. They proceeded to ride away like the cowards that they are only to be followed by sabs for the rest of the day while hounds were still excited. As the Hunt left the scene the poor hare started to tense up. As I carried it off the field it died in my arms moments later [below left]. We believe this was the result of shock or possible internal injury but this will be confirmed in due course as a postmortem is to be carried out. The Police were in attendance but made it clear they had no interest in the illegal actions of the hunt. They even had the audacity to hand out Dispersal Orders (Section 35) which meant we would be arrested if we refused to leave the area.

The only reassurance I can give myself is that if we were not there that day, many more would have suffered a worse fate. There is no "clean kill" and if the hare was going to die, I'd rather this poor creature had died in the arms of someone who cared deeply for it, rather than being ripped apart from all directions by the hounds. The Police don't care. It is only the hunt sabs who are able to give these creatures a chance of life. As stated before, the brown hare is in danger of becoming extinct by 2050. We can stop this by taking action. Join the Hunt Saboteurs Association. I'm sorry little one. We bloody tried."

Here's another account from another sab in regard to the Police actions/response on the day: 'Suffolk's so-called wildlife crime officer (named after his favourite pastime; crime against wildlife) turned up with at least 4 other officers in two 4x4s to issue section 35 (dispersal order) against sabs, based on a phone call from the hunt. This is the second week in a row PC Bryant and his chums have issued dispersal orders for sabs, meaning they face arrest if they do not leave the land immediately. Several sabs were also issued with section 50 (anti-social behaviour), requiring them to give their details or else face arrest. Three sabs were physically handled despite not being under arrest, and PC Bryant also made the threat of 'aggravated trespass', for seemingly no reason. Bryant also referred to sabs actions that day - including the incident with the hare - as 'pissing around in the field all day'.' **VIDEO COMING SOON** We would add that before this hare died, numerous hare chases had taken place. Sabs had managed to intervene and many hares were saved as a result of our actions.

A video showing the hare being attacked and dying is here. It is distressing to watch. 

     EastonHarriersHareattackedbyhoundsdiesinsabssarms13-2-14.jpg       EastonHarriershuntingonroad13-2-16.jpg

                      Hare dies in arms of sab                                       Harriers hunting on road near sharp bend

Below is a vet's report on the corpse of the hare:-



Blackmore FH supporters assault & threaten sabs after they found blocked badger setts

Hunt later chased fox into village and searched for it there

14-2-16  Facebook – Dorset Sabs     Hit report 13/02/16 Blackmore & Sparkford Vale at Bowden   On a cold day we knew there would be good scenting conditions for the hunt. With sabs and monitors positioned strategically we never lost sight of the Hunt all day. Right at the start sabs saw a fox [left] flee from the direction of the meet towards the main railway line! Terriermen north of the covert attempted to send the fox back towards the hunt, but the fox carried on but deer were flushed towards it.

Meanwile, other foot sabs had discovered three sets of fresh quad tracks. After following them into a covert they BlackmoreFHFoxfleeinghounds13-2-16.jpgdiscovered a large sett had been completely blocked up, six holes here, though it was evident this wasn't the first time that this had happened. All the holes are blocked up to keep the fox above ground and not a dig out. Hounds kept going into cry as the hunt headed west towards Spurles Covert. Both foot sab groups were dropped off to the south and headed in different directions. The group that had previously found the blocked sett couldn't believe it when they found two further setts were found in another covert. All the holes were unblocked and the crime reported to the police. This is breeding season at the moment and the consequences for the badgers and cubs is unthinkable! One hole was blocked with an oil drum and others with logs, rocks and the natural clay that was sodden.

At some point the hunt discovered their criminality had been found and sabs received verbal and physical threats as well as an assault but no injuries. Riders also rode dangerously at sabs and monitors. In the afternoon one of the coverts which contained a blocked sett was reached by the Hunt. Hounds were in full cry then stopped. It's believed a fox ran to ground and was left alone. Shortly after a fox was chased into Yenston where the hunt searched for it looking in peoples gardens and also blocking the main A road. Throughout the day sabs and monitors filmed foxes getting safely away from the hunt. It was clear more thugs were being called in, but sabs won't be intimidated.

As things looked like they were reaching a head, terrier men gave us the finger as we drove past Inwood where riders and supporters had gone to we wondered if they'd packed up. Surely not it was only 3.30! Using several vehicles sabs drove round the area, but saw no sign of the hunt, they had definitely packed up. Often they'll hunt on till dusk here. A great result with no foxes killed and thanks to one of the monitors further film of a fox being hunted. All the info has been passed to the police.


Police Wildlife Officer revealed as hunting with Belvoir FH

Anti-hunt campaigners demand she be re-allocated 

12-2-16   Daily Mirror    Police wildlife officer is 'outed' as member of one of Britain's biggest hunts   Animal rights groups have launched a petition demanding PC Sharon Roscoe is removed from wildlife crime duties over what they claim is a conflict of interest. Police officer PC Sharon Roscoe, who is responsible for investigating illegal fox hunting is coming under pressure to quit over claims she regularly goes hunting. She is a wildlife officer for Leicestershire Police and part of her role is to probe allegations of illegal fox hunting, trapping animals, game poaching and badger baiting. But it has emerged PC Roscoe, 46, is also a keen member of the Duke of Rutland's Belvoir Hunt in Lincolnshire.

In December, the hunt was slammed by animal rights groups after a video emerged of a dehydrated fox which was said to have been held captive for two days in an outbuilding. The League Against Cruel Sports claimed the animal was found in a building on the Buckminster Estate hours before the Belvirr Hunt were due to meet. The Hunt Saboteurs Association has now launched a petition demanding Pc Roscoe is forced to quit, claiming she has a conflict of interests. More than 2,700 people have signed the petition and campaigners have also written to Chief Constable Simon Cole and Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader calling for her to be removed from her post.

The letter reads: "PC Sharon Roscoe rides regularly with the Belvoir Hunt, whilst simultaneously having responsibility for wildlife and rural crimes within Leicestershire. "We feel these two positions are completely untenable." Campaigners claim she is in breach of the Police Regulations 2003 which forbids officers from activities which may compromise their impartiality. The letter goes on: "A member of a police force shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression among members of the public that it may so interfere. We would therefore ask that you remove Pc Roscoe from her current role and assign her to alternative duties. We would also ask that you also ask that you also consider membership of any pro or anti-hunting, fishing, shooting or other field sports associations when making further appointments to this and similar roles."  A Facebook campaign calling on PC Roscoe to resign has received mixed reactions.

Story also covered in the Leicester Mercury here. 


Minehead Harriers barred from NT land after many licence breaches

12-2-16   Western Daily Press  VIDEO  Somerset hunt banned from National Trust estate on Exmoor for 'significant breaches' of licence   The decades-long row over hunting on National Trust land on Exmoor has taken a new twist after a prominent fox hunt was banned by Trust bosses for more than a month for "a significant number of breaches" of its licence. The Minehead Harriers [right] was told it would not be allowed on the vast National Trust-owned Holnicote Estate in west Somerset in January following repeated complaints that the hunt was illegally hunting.

The Hunt's suspension has lasted more than three weeks, and will continue into March unless the hunt agree to a new 'code of practice' for meets is agreed with the Trust. The row began last month when the National Trust took the unprecedented step of suspending the licence it issued to allow the Minehead Harriers on its land at Holnicote.MineheadHarriers.jpg The question of whether the National Trust should allow hunts on its land in Somerset became a bitter dispute throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, in what was a precursor to the entire hunting debate and eventual ban. Since that ban in 2005, hunts claim to be legally trail hunting and the fox hunts and stag hunts that operate on Exmoor can obtain licences to go onto National Trust land.

But this season the National Trust said it had received many complaints and "have ourselves seen" a significant number of breaches of the licence agreement. The anti-hunt Somerset Saboteurs group claimed those breaches included illegally hunting foxes, among other transgressions.

"Breaches have included, illegal hunting (chasing and killing a fox, digging out on trust land), blocking public roads and riding quads through SSSIs and nature reserves, and refusing to give information on meets when asked by members of the public," said a spokesman for the sabs' group. We believe the National Trust, locally, is to be congratulated on finally taking action against blatant illegal hunting, something which is often ignored by the police and landowners – be they private, public, charities or trusts – in particular the Forestry Comission and National Trust in other areas have failed to act. We will be only too pleased to look out for any breaches that may occur should the Minehead Harriers regain their licence. No one wants to stop a fun day out as long as all animals are protected from cruelty," he added. The National Trust confirmed it was not only third-party complaints but their own staff that witnessed breaches of the licence. A Trust spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that we have suspended the annual licence, which would have run to March, of the Minehead Harriers at Holnicote. We have been made aware of, and have ourselves seen a significant number of breaches of the terms of the licence agreement," she added.

The Harriers and the National Trust met on Thursday, and yesterday gave differing versions of how that meeting went. "The Masters and Chairman of the Minehead Harriers had a very productive meeting with the National Trust," said a spokeswoman for the Hunt. "An agreement was reached to lift the suspension of the licence following the hunt resolving to take steps to address the administrative issues that had led to concern. It was made clear by the National Trust that they were highly supportive of the lawful trail hunting that the Harriers engage in as part of the National Trust's mission to preserve the rural traditions of the South West. The Hunt promised to take steps to improve communication with the trust and to publish a code of practice to provide guidance to its followers and supporters. The National Trust recognised the problems the hunt faces from pressure groups determined to cause trouble for lawful hunting in the area. The Hunt appreciates the difficult job that the National Trust has to do in preserving and maintaining their land for the benefit of the public. The Minehead Harriers look forward to a long and productive association with the National Trust," she added.

But the National Trust said it was not quite like that, and there was no guarantee the suspension would be lifted. "We have agreed to lift the suspension, potentially from March 1 for the last month of the season, provided we have evidence that a mutually agreed code of practice has been developed and communicated to the Hunt's members and followers. A number of other conditions we have discussed with the Hunt will also need to be met," she added.

POWA person adds - the video taken by LACS investigators is one of the pieces of evidence that led to the Minehead Harriers licence being suspended. 


Albrighton & Woodland FH chase fox across road in front of driver 

9-2-16   Facebook – W.Mids Sabs   Albrighton & Woodland Hunt   We found the hunt in Lapley not far from the meet.  Not long after we arrived we came across the hounds in cry heading for the road. We managed to turn them back away from the fox that had obviously crossed the road. A similar incident occurred towards the end of the day, this time the fox crossed in front of the driver with hounds not far behind. The hounds were stopped and the hunt packed up not long afterwards. Lets not forget that huntsman Peter McColgan was interviewed last season after we shot footage of him hunting a fox.


Meynell FH hounds kill a fox - police investigating
6-2-16   HSA Press Release   Meynell Hunt Investigated by Police after Fox Kill    The Meynell and South Staffordshire hunt illegally chased and killed a fox today during their meet near Draycott-in-the-Clay, Staffordshire. The incident was filmed by members of Nottingham Hunt Saboteurs who managed to get the dead fox away from the hounds. The body of the fox as well as video of the kill have been handed to Staffordshire Police who are investigating the crime. The Hunt had been repeatedly hunting their hounds through the same area of woodland for MeynellFHHoundworryingkilledfox6-2-16.jpgmost of the day. There was no evidence that a trail had been laid yet their hounds kept going into cry (picking up the scent of a fox). The hunt staff made no attempt to remove the hounds from the woodland but instead encouraged them to hunt the scent. They eventually caught the fox late in the afternoon [left] and the sabs present were unable to stop the kill. Members of the hunt were found guilty of illegal hunting in 2012 after being filmed by hunt saboteurs. They were the first hunt in the UK to be convicted of illegally hunting during cubbing season – they were training their hounds to kill by setting them on fox cubs. Lee Moon, Press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “We are pleased that Staffordshire police are taking this incident so seriously. The Meynell and South Staffs have previous form for illegal hunting and this blatant law breaking must not go unpunished. Well done to the sabs present, who despite not being able to stop the kill, managed to secure the body of the fox to be used as evidence so that hopefully it won't have died in vain.”

10-2-16   Burton Mail    Police probe after fox allegedly killed in hunt near Burton   AN investigation is under way after a hunt allegedly involved the death of a fox near Burton. Staffordshire Police confirmed there were investigating the allegation. They said the alleged incident occurred in Marchington Cliff, in Draycott-in-the-Clay, on Saturday afternoon. The report was received at around 4.15pm from a member of the public. Anyone who may have witnessed the alleged incident or who has information about it is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 533 of Saturday, February 6. Alternatively, people may call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or by visiting

Pics below - Carcass of fox killed by Meynell hounds -

     MeynellFHCarcassofkilledfox6-2-16.jpg   MeynellFHCarcassofslaughteredfox6-2-16.jpg


Easton Harriers filmed closely chasing hare by sabs

6-2-16    Facebook – Norfolk/Suffolk Sabs    This photo was taken at Blaxhall in Suffolk today at an Easton Harriers meet. A full report of today’s events will follow shortly. This clearly is not trail hunting. This hare was flushed out on a stubble field in front of Blaxhall church, she ran right towards sabs, crossed the road, ran across another field and towards a wood. She then crossed another road, ran across another field and then crossed onto the busy B1069 forcing traffic to stop. The pack of hounds were in hot pursuit and the only one to try and stop the hounds were us sabs. This is the reality of hunting. Please spread this photo far and wide because a picture paints a thousand words.



Dunston Harriers seen by sabs chasing numerous hares

They say they saved one from imminent death

5-2-16   Facebook – Norfolk/Suffolk Sabs    Report: 30/01/2016 - Dunston Harriers at Wood Farm, Fersfield, Norfolk   Having not sabbed them for a while, what we saw was out and out illegal Hare Hunting. From the very first field, they hunted the hounds onto Hares.  With the sabs well spaced out along the fields, one lot of sabs saw a Hare coming towards them, with the hounds very close to it.  Sabs got onto the field, and with a great effort andDunstonHarriersHarefleeing2-16.jpgbrilliant tactics we managed to not only get the hounds off the Hare [left] but also got them mustered on the field and stopped (video uploaded soon).

The rest of the day was just continual calling off and getting the hounds away from the wildlife.  At one stage, with sabs in the field a herd of about 7 Deer crossed into the field in front of us. These shy, beautiful animals were petrified and ran for their lives. While this was going on the Huntsman made NO attempt to call off the hounds. It looked as if they had a quad bike out allegedly laying a trail. But the driver would do one field and then stop. Surely, if a trail was being laid then a complete circuit should have been put down earlier in the morning.

We lost them for a while, then picked them up hunting on land that, after being told by the landowner they should not have been on it, as they had been banned from her land. The Hunt took no notice of this and continued to hunt hares.  With more and more owners telling us the hunts are banned from their land, we find the audacity of these people overwhelming.  Landowners must be brave and stand up against these people, or they could well find themselves with a massive fine for illegal hunting taking place on their land.  With the day closing in and the Hunt looking decisively miserable they made their way back to the meet, We made sure they had finished, saw the hounds back to their trailer. We felt happy that we had saved a lot of lives that day. We did however feel extremely sorry for some of the hounds, as they had cut paws and legs, which we know would not have been treated.


Monitors say they saved fox from Wynnstay FH

2-2-16   You Tube - Cheshire Hunt Monitors   The monitors claim to have saved the fox pictured below from the Wynnstay FH, adding that 'They rode away very disgruntled :)'. 

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..... 30th January - Sabs save foxes but several assaulted by Oakley FH stewards

..... 27th January - Police probe after sabs film fox carcass in Atherstone FH hound's mouth
..... 27th January - Scottish sab family fined after taking hunting footage to police
..... 25th January - Eton College Beagles filmed by LACS hunting hare
..... 25th January - Two female sabs assaulted as Atherstone FH chase foxes
..... 21st January - North Cotswold FH seen hunting on National Trust land
..... 17th January - N.Cotswold FH hunt near busy roads, on railway and hounds chase deer
..... 13th January - Portman FH filmed cutting a fence during a 'trail hunt'
.....  7th January - Blackmore FH hounds chase pregnant ewes and invade garden and stables
.....  2nd January - Fitzwilliam FH being investigated by police after killing fox
.....  1st January - Pytchley FH groom gets suspended sentence, ban, CSO for driving 5 times over limit 
Sabs save foxes but several beaten up by Oakley FH 'stewards'

30-1-16   Facebook – Beds & Bucks Sabs  VIDEO   ….we paid a visit to the Oakley, along with South Cambs HuntOakleyFHFoxescapesaidedbysabs30-1-16.jpg Sabs, who were hunting around the village of Clifton Reynes.  We saw at least 6 foxes away to safety, some running in pairs as they're in the mating season and many vixens will already be pregnant. We predicted their every move and we were on them non-stop from the start. We used our gizmo to great effect to take them off the line of a fox and run away with the hounds. No foxes killed today. From a sabbing point of view it was almost perfect.

However we were subject to violent assaults by the so called hunt stewards. One of our sabs was pushed to the ground, sat on and punched in the face & head multiple times. We were on a public footpath at the time and were even leaving the area as our path was blocked. The video will be posted in due course. This wasn't the only assault during the day, there will be black eyes and bruises on several of our sabs tomorrow. The stewards will of course come up with all sorts of counter arguments however they are all complete nonsense and the video will speak for itself. We ask the Oakley Hunt Masters to look hard at themselves. Is this what you really want? Do you want to be associated with violent individuals who completely lose it in such a manner? These people have already been dropped by the Fernie, we suggest you do the same before the situation gets out of control. We will be making a complaint to the police and contacting the Masters directly.

Pic below;-  'Steward' beating up a sab. See the video for more hunt violence.



Police probe after sabs film Atherstone FH hound carrying dead fox

27-1-16     Coventry Telegraph     Video: Gruesome footage shows mutilated fox carried in hound's jaws during hunt - Police investigating Atherstone Hunt over allegation of fox hunting for the second time in weeks     Gruesome video footage of a mutilated fox being carried in a hound’s jaws during a fox hunt has emerged. Police are investigating after they were called to reports of a fox being killed illegally during a meeting of Atherstone Hunt on Tuesday. Officers were called to the scene by members of the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs Group who captured the video footage.

The images show the lifeless body of the animal being carried in the teeth of one of the hounds. Later images, too disturbing to show on our website, reveal the horrific extent of the fox’s injuries as it lies dead on the ground. Members of the Hunt then appear to leave the dead animal behind, riding off into the distance after the saboteurs arrive. A spokesman for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs said: “We heard the hounds and then they crossed over the road, they were either side of a hedge making lots of noise. The hunt was stationary and one huntsman was off his horse, that’s when we saw the dead fox in the hound’s mouth. They looked completely indifferent, they just got back on their horses and carried on hunting.”

A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said: “Police were called to Hall Lane, in Osbaston, at about 12pm yesterday following an allegation by a member of the public that a fox had been killed illegally. Officers attended and have began an investigation in to the circumstances surrounding the incident. Inquiries are in the early stages.” It is the second report of a fox being killed during a meeting of Atherstone Hunt in just weeks and follows an incident in Warwickshire which saw a fox being chased down and mauled by a pack of about 20 dogs. That incident is being investigated by Warwickshire Police, but a Hunt spokesman insisted the animal had been accidentally killed. They suggested the fox was injured when the hunt stumbled across it, which meant it couldn’t escape.

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Scottish sab family fined after taking own film of hunting to the police

27-1-16   STV News    Family of fox hunt protesters fined after taking own film to police   A family of masked saboteurs have been found guilty of causing fear or alarm to members of a fox hunt in a ground-breaking legal case. Colin and Beverly Milne and their daughter Amy Lilburn were convicted of acting in a threatening or abusive way on an estate owned by one of Britain's richest families.  Ironically, the clash with the huntsmen only came to light when the trio reported their suspicions about the legality of the hunt and showed video footage to police, before being locked up themselves.  They were detained in custody over a weekend and found guilty after a week-long trial on Wednesday, although the sheriff also criticised the police's failure to investigate their claims about the hunt on Snaigow Estate.

Perth Sheriff Court heard how the trio were dressed in "paramilitary" gear and had snoods pulled up and hats pulled down to mask their faces as they confronted members of the hunt. Sheriff William Wood said: "It is my view you went overboard and were reckless about the consequences. If you are not behaving reasonably then you have to take the punishment. "Any reasonable person would feel threatened by your conduct, even in the context of a fox hunt in which you say you were seeking to monitor events. Any person would suffer fear or alarm due to the persistence of your conduct. You all accept you entered Snaigow Estate while you were masked. You were certainly wearing snoods that covered your faces and hats that came down to your brows. You also accept you filmed members of the public. You gave that footage to the police. You also accept you followed Mr Broad and his son for an extensive period. This was a joint enterprise. The outcome and impact on other people had not been fully thought about by you. It doesn't seem to me that your conduct could be said to be reasonable in any way. You followed them over a distance of ten to 12 miles, for a period of one to two hours. You lay in wait for them at a private road. You followed them on foot and continued to follow them even though there was no hunt in progress. You continued to film them when there was nothing to film. I will take account of the somewhat surprising decision by the police not to investigate the circumstances and the time you have spent in custody."

He fined offshore labourer Mr Milne, 49, and toilet attendant Mrs Milne, 39, £200 each and admonished unemployed Lilburn. All three live in Toutie Street, Blairgowrie, Perthshire and were found guilty of causing fear or alarm to Angus and Edward Broad on March 13 last year. Defence solicitor Jim Bready previously told the court: "It was clear from the reaction of the huntsmen at the time and also from how the Milnes behaved that there was no prospect of danger to them. The conduct of the Milnes was impeccable in the situation even under the most extreme provocation. The one thing they seem to abhor more than anything is violence. The way the Milnes were conducting themselves didn't give them any cause to have fear or alarm. They tried to conduct themselves carefully. They simply did not anticipate the sinister notion of being masked. There are many innocent situations where people can be masked. They did not anticipate that what they were doing was criminal. It was all done with the best intentions."

Solicitor David Holmes argued the conduct of the trio had been reasonable as they believed they were interfering with a potentially illegal hunt. During the trial, gamekeeper Peter Nicol said the decision was taken to abandon the hunt after a masked person, dressed all in black, crept up behind a fellow huntsman. The 2800-acre Snaigow Estate, about four miles east of Dunkeld, is owned by the Cadogan family. The Earl of Cadogan was listed as Britain's second wealthiest peer with a £6bn fortune in 2009.


Eton College Beagles filmed by LACS chasing a hare

25-1-16   You Tube – LACS   PR   Video passed to police suggests top public school Eton is hunting illegally   Potentially incriminating video footage of Eton College’s beagling club has been submitted to the North Yorkshire police by the League Against Cruel Sports. The material appears to show Britain’s most famous school hunting hares illegally. Hunting mammals with dogs has been illegal for more than 10 years. Yet footage taken by the League Against Cruel Sports’ undercover investigators clearly shows a hare being pursued by the Eton College beagles.

The video shows the hare fleeing from the dogs after hunt staff and supporters are heard discussing its whereabouts. The Eton College Beagles’ hunt staff – identifiable by their distinctive uniform of brown velvet jackets - urge the beagles on and make no efforts to call the dogs off.  Following a tip-off, League Against Cruel Sports investigators filmed the Eton College Beagles at Buttercrambe in Aldby Park, North Yorkshire during the half-term holidays on Tuesday 27th October. It is likely they were there with permission from the landowner.

Nine out of ten people in the UK want the ban on hare hunting to remain. Brown hare numbers in Britain have declined by 80% since the 1880s and they are now a conservation priority in the UK.  Before the hunting ban was introduced, hares could be hunted with packs of beagles and the hunt staff would typically follow on foot. The hare hunting season would run from September or October, depending on the type of pack used, until March. Hares are reluctant to leave their territory and don't venture onto new ground and as a result, hare hunting normally takes place in a limited area of the country, of not more than one or two miles square. Hares spend their lives above ground so do not seek refuge underground like foxes or mink when being hunted. If the hare does not manage to escape the hounds it will eventually tire and the hounds, with their superior stamina, will catch up and kill the hare. The chase can last up to 90 minutes before the hare is finally killed by the hounds.

25-1-16    Eton College investigates claim its Beagling club took part in illegal hare hunt    The League Against Cruel Sports said it believed members of the hunt were wearing the Eton College Beagles’ “distinctive uniform of brown velvet jackets”. The video shows the hare fleeing from the dogs after hunt staff and supporters are heard discussing its whereabouts. The hunt staff urge the beagles on and make no efforts to call the dogs off. Tom Quinn, Campaigns Director for League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The North Yorkshire police will be examining footage that appears to shows the prolonged chase of a hare by the Eton beagles. “Could Britain’s top public school be hunting despite it being very cruel and against the law? Since the hunting ban was introduced, hare hunts use a variety of excuses for their continued existence. Having traditionally hunted hares, they now tend to claim that they are rabbit hunting, trail hunting or even just exercising the dogs in a bid to sanitise their activity. But it doesn’t seem that’s what they’re doing in this video”. Eton College has a proud history of teaching many of our leaders in politics, business, the arts and many other fields. I am sure that Eton would want to ensure those future leaders are respecting the law at all times.We urge the North Yorkshire police to investigate this matter without delay and call upon Simon Henderson, Head Master of Eton College, to carry out an internal enquiry”. Hunting mammals with dogs has been illegal for more than 10 years. Before the hunting ban was introduced, hares could be hunted with packs of beagles and the hunt staff would typically follow on foot. The hare hunting season would run from September or October, depending on the type of pack used, until March. A spokesman for Eton College said: “Eton College takes its legal responsibilities extremely seriously and expects all school activities to comply with the law. We are investigating this allegation as a matter of urgency and will be co-operating fully with the relevant authorities.” North Yorkshire Police are yet to comment. 

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                      Hare running field, hounds beyond                                                    Same hare later, still fleeing 


Two female sabs assaulted as Atherstone FH chase foxes

Several minor assaults on sabs + pack chased fox through a garden

'Dead goose sex act man' there though Hunt had publicly disowned him

25-1-16    Facebook – W.Mids Sabs   VIDEO    Atherstone Hunt 23-01-16 The Cock Inn, Sibson    Shocking footage of the Atherstone Hunt assaulting hunt sabs and chasing foxes. On Saturday the Atherstone Hunt were back out for the first time in over a month after their hounds had been quarantined with kennel cough. They met at the Cock Inn, Sibson and hunted close to their kennels. They only had half a pack of hounds out and they didn't look fully healthy, at the meet during the speech the hunt informed everyone that they would be taking it easy.

They took it anything but easy. Rampantly hunting foxes all day and packing up at around 3:30, not something you would expect a Hunt to do with hounds who have just recovered from kennel cough.  They were on to a fox right from the start [fleeing fox, below left], sabs helped it get away but were joined by Atherstone hunt steward Luke Smith and friends. This is the same Luke Smith who a few months ago got the Atherstone into the national press for simulating sex with a dead goose.  At the time Joint master of the Hunt Sarah Evans put out a statement lying about Smith being part of the Hunt and that he would not be welcome out again -

“The Athersrtone Hunt would like to make it clear that they are sickened and disgusted by the appalling behaviour of the individual with the dead bird. We would like to point out that he is neither an employee nor a member of the hunt and he has been informed that he is not welcome to attended hunt events in the future” - Sarah Evans, Joint Master

He's been out since but it seems like the Hunt are so desperate that they have gone beyond caring if he is associated with them. He also claimed the Hunt were getting advice from the police again. As sabs were trying to help the fox which Smith also saw, he started to encourage the hounds onto the fox, blatantly hunting them on.

Shortly after this Atherstone Hunt supporter Luke Miller Bates grabbed a female sab from behind and violently threw her to the floor injuring her back. This incident has been reported to the police. Another Atherstone hunt steward Peter Hadfield then assaulted the other female sab on the road by grabbing her and taking her to the ground. Also injuring her back. This has also been reported.

It wasn't long before the hunt were onto another fox, sabs saw it cross the road and got into a field to see it run into a hedge. It was running slowly and looked exhausted, in fact it was so tired it had to stop in the hedge to rest. Hounds were close behind but sabs managed to get in between the hedge and the hounds and turned the hounds back. Once the hounds had gone the fox ran off in the opposite direction. It would have been killed if sabs hadn't been there.

Back on the road an elderly resident came out of her house clearly upset and asked the van driver if the Hunt had killed the fox that visits her garden. We were able to reassure her that it had got away safely.  Sabs then saw the hounds in full cry running into someone's back garden [right] (so much for claims they are following trails) and out into the field beyond. Huntsman Stuart Barton was hunting them on and when confronted that he needed to stop his hounds he laughed and carried on. The fox, still hiding in a back garden then dashed out across the field after Barton had left. Sabs had to call off a few hounds that were close by while joint master James Sharland just watched whilst filming everything.

The fox got away safely but the hounds were soon onto another fox in a small wood close to a busy road. Luke Smith signalled to the Huntsman that he had seen it with hounds again running all over people's back gardens. The fox got away and the hunt then moved off to Grendon Fields farm where they packed up, the same place that a few months ago the Hunt were filmed chasing and killing a fox. This Hunt are completely out of control, blatantly hunting foxes all day and through peoples gardens, seriously assaulting sabs on two occasions as well as numerous minor assaults. We wonder when Leicestershire Police are going to do something about this hunt. They were present at the start but were nowhere to be seen during the rest of the day when foxes where running and being chased all over the place. Thank you for the tip off and thank you to everyone who has generously donated. It meant we were able to help numerous foxes that otherwise would have been killed.

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North Cotswold FH seen hunting on NT land



21-1-16   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   North Cotswold Hunt 19-01-16   After checking that the Atherstone Hunt weren't out, a small group of sabs paid a visit to the North Cotswold Hunt.

The kennel huntsman started his first draw along a dismantled railway and was accompanied by two foot sabsN.CotswoldFHHuntingonNTland19-1-16.jpg along the way. Eventually the huntsman headed towards massive woods and open land. He spent most of the day hunting on National Trust land known as Dovers Hill ( [pic right]. There were dog walkers, artists and ramblers all looking bemused at what was happening as hounds were in cry with riders near to them. One sab explained to the members of the public what was happening and they looked shocked and just bemused as to what was happening in front of their eyes. The car park for Dover's Hill was full of hunt support vehicles and trailers as it was used by riders to second horse.

According to the National Trusts own sign the wood that the Hunt were in stated : 'Of course, there's much more to this historical amphitheatre than just fun and games. This mixture of grassland and woodland includes the site of a Roman vineyard and is also home to a variety of birds, insects and wild flowers. ' The information board at the Dovers Hill site even quoted that the woods (which the Hunt were in) is inhabited by foxes and badgers as well as insects, wild flowers and a variety of birds. So why was the Hunt allowed to go there??

We have contacted The National Trust at Dovers Hill who are currently looking into the matter. We will post up the response that we receive.

Of course the Hunt will say they were following a trail, but then why were hounds going backwards and forwards in cry and why would such a loud holloa (a holloa is a vocal command stating that a fox has been sighted) be heard echoing through the woods if they were following a trail? Why was this hunt caught feeding foxes ( ) and encouraging them to stay in areas were they regularly hunt if they follow trails?

Pics below -  1/  NT notice re. dogs on the land   2/  Hound runs out in front of car    3/   Hounds in cry on NT land 

   N.CotswoldFHNTnoticere.dogs19-1-16.jpg  N.CotswoldFHHoundrunsoutinfrontofcar19-1-16.jpg




North Cotswold FH hunt fox near busy roads, on railway and chase deer

17-1-16   Facebook – W.Mids Sabs    North Cotswold Hunt 16-01-16   After making sure that the Atherstone Hunt weren't out we headed down to the fox feeding North Cotswold Hunt, we found them chasing three deer. Soon after they stopped chasing deer the hounds went into cry and they ended up next to a busy road. We were offered a lift by a local person who didn't like the hunt. The hounds then chased another fox down across Stanway and eventually ended up near the same busy road. We came across some walkers who didn't realise fox hunting still went on but were supportive of us when we explained what was going on and who summed up situation nicely when they said it looked like the members of the hunt following us about were harassing us. Sabs stayed with the hunt all day until they packed up around 4:15.

 N.CotswoldFHchasingdeer16-1-16.jpg N.CotswoldFHhuntingbybusyroad16-1-16.jpg N.CotswoldFHhoundshuntingonrailwayline16-1-16.jpg

      Deer being chased by hounds                           Hunting along busy road                                 Hounds on railway line


Portman FH filmed cutting a fence on a 'trail hunt'

13-1-16  Facebook - Dorset Hunt Sabs    Film of The Portman Hunt on 09/01/16 cutting down a fence, south of Ashley Farm on Sodem Lane Marnhull. Whether or not the Hunt had permission to cut this fence, this exposes the lie that they were trail hunting.

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Calls for Quorn FH to be permanently banned from the Outwoods

11-1-16  Leicester Mercury    Petition calls for permanent ban on Quorn Hunt passing through Outwoods   More than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for a ban on mounted huntsmen and hounds passing through Outwoods being made permanent.  The Quorn Hunt was told in November that it would not be able to pass through the ancient woodland near Loughborough this winter because it had left it too late in applying.

Former Quorn Hunt master Rad Thomas, who is a member of the wood's management committee, told the Mercury some members of the committee were anti-hunting and were motivated by the desire to keep the Quorn Hunt out permanently. Now campaign group Leicester Animal Rights have set up a petition on the Government's website, calling for the management committee to keep the ban permanent because now that hunting is illegal groups such as the Quorn Hunt should not be encouraged.


Blackmore FH hounds chase pregnant ewes and invade garden and stables

7-1-16   Blackmore Vale Magazine   Sheep owners call for control of hounds after Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt causes "chaos"   Sheep farmers are calling for a hunt to take action after their Hazelbury Bryan smallholding was overrun by hounds. Hans Tamm said hounds chased his flock of 54 pregnant ewes and ran in all directions leaving him and his partner Michael von Bruggenburg trying to protect their animals and get the hounds off their property. He said: "It was absolute agony for us. The dogs ran through our private garden and into the stables where our two horses were and I found one dog coming out from a barn where we had an injured ewe in for treatment. It really was quite frightening and the ewes were very jittery and upset. One of our cats was frightened away. It is totally unacceptable that all these dogs were out of control. It is not acceptable for someone to take one dog out and lose control so that it chases livestock - so why should it be different for a hunt?"

The incident happened at The Causeway on Tuesday afternoon when the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt were on a meet. Dr Tamm said it took half an hour for the hunt to get all the dogs off the property. He added: "We didn't know the Hunt was going to be in the area - the first we knew was when our own dogs started barking. I am unhappy that the Hunt should just be passing by in this area - we are not an isolated farm, there are properties around us here. It is lucky this wasn't any worse than it was. Our rams jumped an electric fence to get away but a gate was closed stopping them from getting onto the road. Luckily none of the ewes has miscarried but they were very agitated."

Dr Tamm said he wanted a written apology from the hunt. And he is calling for more action to ensure hunts have their hounds under control by putting them on leashes if necessary. Michael Felton, a joint master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, was not present at the incident but made inquiries afterwards. He said: "I understand that two of the hounds hit an electric fence and it spooked them and then spooked the others. These things can happen from time to time and we always deal with it as quickly as possible with an apology and putting right any damage."

But Michael von Bruggenburg did not agree that the electric fence had caused the problem. He said: "Only half of that field is electrified because there is a right of way through it - those hounds had a hundred ways to get out but they jumped a stream and came all over our property. It was complete havoc. I've been a farmer all my life and had livestock and horses and those hounds took my control of my animals out of my hands. We felt very vulnerable. My concern was for my animals." Their missing cat came home the next day. A spokesman for Dorset Police said the incident had been reported to them and an inquiry was ongoing.


Fitzwilliam FH being investigated by police after killing fox

2-1-16   HSA Press Release    Fitzwilliam Hunt Illegally hunt and Kill a Fox On New Years Day  Hunt saboteurs filmed theFitzwilliamFHHuntwithkilledfox1-2-16.jpg Fitzwilliam Hunt illegally chase and kill a fox. The evidence is being looked at by legal experts and will be presented to Cambridgeshire Police. T he Hunt met at Haycock Hotel, Wansford, Cambridgeshire and were illegally hunting all day.  As the afternoon progressed they hunted a wooded area close to the river Nene.  The hounds went into cry and a fox was seen running along the river bank with the hounds in pursuit.  The Huntsman encouraged the hounds on despite sabs being present.  The hounds finally caught and attacked the fox in a corner of a field with the huntsman looking on [right]. It was still alive when sabs arrived although hunt support were trying to remove the evidence.  The fox had been disembowelled.  It was pronounced dead by a sab shortly afterwards [below left].

The Hunt were pretending to use the Bird Of Prey Exemption however the eagle they had present was never un-hooded and not in a position to fly. The hunt staff made no attempt to call off the hounds. Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “New Years Day is one of the high profile occasions in the hunting calendar. If a Hunt is willing to illegally chase and kill a fox on this day, with hunt saboteurs present, imagine what they are doing the rest of the year when the spotlight isn't on them. Congratulations to the sabs who managed to gather evidence of this brutality and we look forward to a robust investigation by Cambridgeshire police.” 

5-1-16  Daily Telegraph   Police investigating death of fox during traditional New Year's Day huntCambridgeshire Police were attending the Fitzwilliam Hunt to ensure there was no breach of the peace when they were made aware that the animal had been killed  A police investigation has been launched following the death of a fox during a New Year's Day Hunt. Cambridgeshire Police were at the annual Fitzwilliam Hunt in Wansford near Peterborough to ensure there was no breach of peace. The force said that at about 2pm officers were made aware that a creature had been killed. An investigation has now been launched into the circumstances surrounding the death. The Fitzwilliam Hunt yesterday declined to comment.

FitzwilliamFHSabwithkilledfox1-1-16.jpgSergeant Dave Walker said: "We policed the event to ensure both the hunters and the saboteurs could carry out their activity peacefully. An investigation has been launched to establish whether the killing was lawful or not, and we have been speaking with a number of independent witnesses, as well as participants of the hunt and the saboteurs. We are taking this matter seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation to establish whether a crime has been committed. It was still alive when sabs arrived although hunt support were trying to remove the evidence. The fox had been disembowelled. It was pronounced dead by a sab shortly afterwards. According to Twitter, pictures show a member of the Hunt Saboteurs Association protecting the fox in its final moments. Yesterday the Hunt Saboteurs Association website accused the Fitzwilliam Hunt were "illegally hunting all day" using dogs. It said the Hunt and brought along an eagle which are commonly used to beat the hunting ban. Hunts are allowed to used birds of prey to hunt foxes which are flushed out by dogs. However the sabs claimed that Hunt had used dogs to hunt the fox not the eagle.

The website's description of events reads: "As the afternoon progressed they hunted a wooded area close to the river Nene. The hounds went into cry and a fox was seen running along the river bank with the hounds in pursuit. The huntsman encouraged the hounds on despite sabs being present. The hounds finally caught and attacked the fox in a corner of a field with the huntsman looking on. It was still alive when sabs arrived although hunt support were trying to remove the evidence. The fox had been disembowelled. It was pronounced dead by a sab shortly afterwards. The hunt were pretending to use the Bird Of Prey Exemption however the eagle they had present was never un-hooded and not in a position to fly. The hunt staff made no attempt to call off the hounds."

Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: "New Year's Day is one of the high profile occasions in the hunting calendar. If a Hunt is willing to illegally chase and kill a fox on this day, with hunt saboteurs present, imagine what they are doing the rest of the year when the spotlight isn't on them. Congratulations to the sabs who managed to gather evidence of this brutality and we look forward to a robust investigation by Cambridgeshire police.


Pytchley FH groom given suspended sentence, ban, CSO for driving 5 times over limit

1-1-16   Northamptonshire Chronicle   Head groom banned for turning around car in Northamptonshire car park while almost five times over the limit    The head groom of a Northamptonshire Hunt has been banned from driving for three years after she moved a car while almost five times over the limit.  Sally Thomas, aged 50, who lives at the Pytchley Hunt Kennels in Brixworth, was arrested by police after a member of the public, who noticed she had been drinking, saw her then drive the vehicle a short distance in convenience store car park. When an officer searched her, she had a bottle of clear alcohol hidden in the crotch of her trousers.

Magistrates heard yesterday that officers breathalysed her at the police station where she gave a reading of 168 mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, when the legal limit is 35mg. She had given a higher, unspecified, reading at the scene, the court heard. Chair of the bench Christopher Gold said: “It was an extremely high reading. It was almost off the scale. “There were people about and, with that much alcohol in your system, anything could have happened. There could have been a pedestrian or a mother and child walking by.”

Defending her, Jennifer Evans said Thomas - who pleaded guilty to drink driving on December 10 - had been celebrating a day off work with friends and had been drinking wine and gin and tonics. Her husband, who works under her for the hunt, was called out to put down a horse and dropped her off on the way at the Co-op store in Hunter’s Way, continuing on himself with a yardsman in another vehicle. Mrs Evans said that Thomas decided to turn the car around “so her husband would be able to leave quickly” when he arrived back. Mrs Evans said: “It was one of those split second decisions that can alter the course of the next few years.” The solicior said the offence was in a car park rather while driving home, for example, but conceded that it was a public place and for the purposes of the offence “may as well have been a road.” Thomas was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for one year. She was also handed a three-year driving ban and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work.


Two female sabs assaulted as Atherstone FH chase foxes

Several minor assaults on sabs + pack chased fox through a garden

'Dead goose sex act man' there though Hunt had publicly disowned him

25-1-16    Facebook – W.Mids Sabs   VIDEO    Atherstone Hunt 23-01-16 The Cock Inn, Sibson    Shocking footage of the Atherstone Hunt assaulting hunt sabs and chasing foxes. On Saturday the Atherstone Hunt were back out for the first time in over a month after their hounds had been quarantined with kennel cough. They met at the Cock Inn, Sibson and hunted close to their kennels. They only had half a pack of hounds out and they didn't look fully healthy, at the meet during the speech the hunt informed everyone that they would be taking it easy.

They took it anything but easy. Rampantly hunting foxes all day and packing up at around 3:30, not something you would expect a Hunt to do with hounds who have just recovered from kennel cough.  They were on to a fox right from the start [fleeing fox, below left], sabs helped it get away but were joined by Atherstone hunt steward Luke Smith and friends. This is the same Luke Smith who a few months ago got the Atherstone into the national press for simulating sex with a dead goose.  At the time Joint master of the Hunt Sarah Evans put out a statement lying about Smith being part of the Hunt and that he would not be welcome out again -

“The Athersrtone Hunt would like to make it clear that they are sickened and disgusted by the appalling behaviour of the individual with the dead bird. We would like to point out that he is neither an employee nor a member of the hunt and he has been informed that he is not welcome to attended hunt events in the future” - Sarah Evans, Joint Master

He's been out since but it seems like the Hunt are so desperate that they have gone beyond caring if he is associated with them. He also claimed the Hunt were getting advice from the police again. As sabs were trying to help the fox which Smith also saw, he started to encourage the hounds onto the fox, blatantly hunting them on.

Shortly after this Atherstone Hunt supporter Luke Miller Bates grabbed a female sab from behind and violently threw her to the floor injuring her back. This incident has been reported to the police. Another Atherstone hunt steward Peter Hadfield then assaulted the other female sab on the road by grabbing her and taking her to the ground. Also injuring her back. This has also been reported.

It wasn't long before the hunt were onto another fox, sabs saw it cross the road and got into a field to see it run into a hedge. It was running slowly and looked exhausted, in fact it was so tired it had to stop in the hedge to rest. Hounds were close behind but sabs managed to get in between the hedge and the hounds and turned the hounds back. Once the hounds had gone the fox ran off in the opposite direction. It would have been killed if sabs hadn't been there.

Back on the road an elderly resident came out of her house clearly upset and asked the van driver if the Hunt had killed the fox that visits her garden. We were able to reassure her that it had got away safely.  Sabs then saw the hounds in full cry running into someone's back garden [right] (so much for claims they are following trails) and out into the field beyond. Huntsman Stuart Barton was hunting them on and when confronted that he needed to stop his hounds he laughed and carried on. The fox, still hiding in a back garden then dashed out across the field after Barton had left. Sabs had to call off a few hounds that were close by while joint master James Sharland just watched whilst filming everything.

The fox got away safely but the hounds were soon onto another fox in a small wood close to a busy road. Luke Smith signalled to the Huntsman that he had seen it with hounds again running all over people's back gardens. The fox got away and the hunt then moved off to Grendon Fields farm where they packed up, the same place that a few months ago the Hunt were filmed chasing and killing a fox. This Hunt are completely out of control, blatantly hunting foxes all day and through peoples gardens, seriously assaulting sabs on two occasions as well as numerous minor assaults. We wonder when Leicestershire Police are going to do something about this hunt. They were present at the start but were nowhere to be seen during the rest of the day when foxes where running and being chased all over the place. Thank you for the tip off and thank you to everyone who has generously donated. It meant we were able to help numerous foxes that otherwise would have been killed.

  AtherstoneFHFleeingfox23-1-16.jpg   AtherstoneFHHoundsrunintogarden23-1-16.jpg




 ..... 31st December - LACS warns Hunts that keeping foxes for hunting will be exposed

..... 29th December - Simon Hart MP called on to quit after £30,000 pro-bloodsport pay revealed
..... 27th December - Anti Hunting Act repeal Tory MPs now number nearly 60 say Blue Foxes
..... 26th December - Poll shows public support for Hunting Act at highest level ever
..... 24th December - LACS find fox kept in shed near where Belvoir FH due to meet
..... 24th December - Sabs see Ledbury FH kill fox, find innards at kill site
..... 24th December - Atherstone supporter, N.Warks Beagles Huntsman is police constable
..... 21st December - Atherstone FH supporter convicted of assaulting 2 female sabs
..... 20th December - HMA publishes film of what they think is illegal hunting by Grafton FH
..... 15th December - IFAW publishes 'Trail of Lies' report exposing the myth of 'trail hunting'
..... 10th December - LACS rebuts criticism of its prosecution of Lamerton FH members
 .....  4th December - CA ask for review of Hunt convictions where Prof.Harris was expert witness
 Weather in December and into January was quite severe over much of the country, so fewer reports than usual

LACS warns Hunts that keeping foxes for hunting will be exposed

31-12-15   Western Daily Press    Hunts warned over secretive world of 'producing' foxes    Hunts across the West were warned they were being watched last night, as anti-hunt campaigners pledged to target the secretive world of hunt workers keeping, raising or feeding foxes. The warning came after claims of yet another case of an apparently wild fox being kept captive in a barn in the days before a hunt was due to meet locally.

It follows a number of well-publicised claims from Devon and Gloucestershire to Yorkshire of what anti-hunt campaigners said is suspicious evidence linking hunts to the 'production' of a fox to chase illegally. The League Against Cruel Sports said they believe the practice is widespread and not only negates the argument that hunting is an essential part of pest control, but now that intentionally hunting a fox with hounds is ostensibly illegal, implicates hunts in breaking the controversial 2005 ban. Pro-hunt groups said the claims are fanciful and there is no concrete evidence linking those who appear to be involved in the practice with the hunts themselves.

Producing foxes takes several forms, the League Against Cruel Sports claimed. In the most extreme examples, foxes are raised from cubs in captive conditions – usually in a barn – with the aim, anti-hunt campaigners allege, of maintaining a steady supply to be hunted. Other examples include hunt staff or local landowners feeding foxes in the wild, or creating maintained artificial earths for them to live in, often accompanied by regular feeding.

In the most recent case, LACS investigators said they received a tip-off earlier in December about a fox being kept in an outbuilding on the land of the Buckminster Estate on the Leicestershire-Lincolnshire border. Investigators said they discovered a fox being kept inside, left it there but kept watch, knowing the Belvoir Hunt was due to meet on December 17 less than a mile away. "On the day before the hunt was due to meet, a man arrived, checked in on the fox, then left," said League head of operations Tom Quinn. "We had what we needed, so we moved in. The door was unlocked so we were able to safely capture the fox and take him to a wildlife hospital. He was dehydrated but otherwise not too poorly. Back at the building, on the morning of the hunt, the man reappeared. He was carrying an empty sack, and a pole with a net attached. Clearly he had come to collect the fox. But the fox wasn't there. Puzzled, he looked around for a while before leaving. It must have been very confusing for him," he added. "A little later, the Belvoir Hunt met, just down the road."

Allegations that hunts 'produce' foxes have consistently dogged hunts across the country, including in the West. Just last month, what is likely to be the last prosecution against an organised Hunt failed in controversy after the judge questioned the impartiality of the League's own 'expert witness'. But earlier in the case, the judge was presented with video evidence which showed the hounds with the Devon Hunt being prosecuted come across fox cubs. One died, but the video showed a cub still alive being put in a pocket by a man with the Hunt.

In Gloucestershire, last year, mystery surrounded why men linked with to a local hunt were secretly filmed feeding orphaned foxes in a field near hunt kennels, and even dating back to the 1990s, a group of men were filmed feeding foxes living in artificial earths created near the Beaufort Hunt base at the Badminton Estate. "For those of us who understand the way hunts operate, we're saddened but not surprised when we find captive foxes," said Mark Randell, the director of operations at the League. "We've made two such discoveries this year – a total of 17 foxes – but we've no doubt that's just the tip of a pretty grim iceberg. The truth is, hunts like chasing foxes. If they don't have a fox to hunt on a meet day, those organising the hunt will look bad, so keeping foxes captive and releasing them in the right area just before the hunt sets off is a win-win for them – and a pretty much guaranteed loss for the fox. This is a long-established practice and everyone within the hunting, and anti-hunting, world knows about it, but it probably still comes as a shock to the wider public. Hunts love to push the line that they are protecting farms from foxes – but that's nonsense and this proves it. If you want to get rid of a fox, why keep it and feed it then release it again? The Hunts are about the sport, and nothing else. The League Against Cruel Sports will continue to investigate this practice, and we will respond to the increasing amount of information being given to us by concerned members of the public. Just this week, the hunts have been claiming how popular they are, but how they no longer actually hunt animals. Every fox found being kept captive shows that to be a lie, so we will continue to pursue anyone doing it," he added.


Former CA CEO, now MP, faces calls to quit Commons Environment Committee

Revealed that Simon Hart is paid £30,000 per year to push blood-sports interests

29-12-15     Morning Star    Unleash The Pounds    Tory Simon Hart [right] faces calls to quit Commons committee after revelations he gets £30k blood sport lobbying fee TORY MP Simon Hart is facing calls to quit Parliament’s environment committee amid concerns that he is “abusing his position” by acting as a paid advocateSimonHartMP.jpg for fox hunting. The Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire MP is a former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, which helped stage 300 hunts on Boxing Day. The Morning Star can reveal that he is now being paid £30,000 a year to act as a “high net-worth consultant” for Britain’s biggest pro-bloodsports group.

Since October 2012, Mr Hart has been paid £20,000 a year for working six hours per week as an “outdoor education consultant” for the alliance. But under a new contract which began in November the MP is now being paid £7,500 per quarter for a “commitment of approximately eight hours per week.” The pay rise, which is disclosed in the latest register of members’ interests, comes after Mr Hart was made a member of Parliament’s environment, food and rural affairs committee.

Former Labour MP and animal-rights campaigner Chris Williamson [left] accused Mr Hart of “abusing his position” on the committee to promote the pro-hunting campaign. He told the Star: “He has a clear conflict of interest. It is highly improper in my view for Simon Hart to be sitting on this select committee when not only does he have these ChrisWilliamsonexMP.jpgobjectionable views but is actually receiving a substantial sum of money to promote these views within the committee. It’s not really a healthy position in my view for anybody to be in the pay of the organisation in that way, it’s not healthy for democracy. It’s actually the sort of thing that leads people to become cynical about the whole political process.” The League Against Cruel Sports said the payments to Mr Hart are part of a “murky influence” exerted by the group at Westminster in the hope of ending the hunting ban.

Huge donations from prominent pro-hunt supporters helped Mr Hart win his seat at the 2010 and 2015 general elections. In 2010, his campaign was given £5,000 from Lord Daresby, a former chairman of the Masters of Fox Hounds Association. He also received donations worth £40,000 from a New York-based hedge fund run by former Isle of Wight huntmaster Johan Christofferson. Mr Christofferson made a further personal donation of £5,000 to the campaign in 2010 and boosted Mr Hart’s re-election bid with £10,000 in 2014. The Star contacted Mr Hart to give him the right to reply but has not received a response.

The Tories attempted to rush a Bill through the Commons earlier this year relaxing rules on fox hunting but backed down in the face of a crushing defeat and overwhelming public outcry. But Labour warned this week that it is now only a “matter of time” before the government tries again. Public polling this month makes it clear that opposition to hunting is at an all-time high, with 83 per cent supporting the ban on hunting. Opposition in rural areas is also at a record 84 per cent, so it is an outrage that the Countryside Alliance claims to represent country people.

It is shocking that in this age of austerity they are paying an MP such a huge amount for services unknown. Is he being paid to whisper in the ear of the Prime Minister and other government figures to encourage them to ignore the public and instead legislate to appease the influential minority? Given the huge support for the hunting ban, we call on the Countryside Alliance to start representing country people and stop trying to undermine the Hunting Act.

Simon Hart’s other interests - - In February 2014, Simon Hart was one of only 24 MPs to vote against introducing regulations requiring plain packaging for tobacco products, making it offence to sell e-cigarettes to children under-18 and making it an offence for adults to buy cigarettes for under-18s. Two months later, Mr Hart accepted two tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show worth £1,404 from Japan Tobacco International. - In 2010 Mr Hart’s campaign received £5,000 from Anthony Buckingham, a former partner at Executive Outcomes, a “private military company” formed in South Africa. The company held contracts to provide military advice and personnel with the governments of Angola, Sierra Leone, and Indonesia as well as transnationals such as De Beers, Rio Tinto and Texaco.


Anti repeal Conservative MPs now number nearly 60, say Blue Foxes

27-12-16   Western Daily Press   The 57 Tory MPs who will defy David Cameron and vote to keep the hunting ban  The prospect of the ban on hunting being repealed in 2016 – or indeed at all – looked more remote than ever after a small group of Conservative MPs who oppose fox hunting said they now number more than 50. In the aftermath of the usual arguments, claim and counter-claim over hunting stirred up by the annual Boxing Day hunt meet tradition, a little-reported statement by the Conservatives Against Fox Hunting group could prove key to what happens next in the fierce debate.

The group, known as 'Blue Fox', have always been largely dismissed by the powerful pro-hunt lobby who have mocked the numbers of actual Conservative MPs attending their Westminster events, but Blue Fox said more Tory MPs than ever would not vote to repeal the ban – and they now number 'nearly 60'.

That would easily be enough to defeat any repeal should it be attempted again by Prime Minister David Cameron. And, crucially, if Tory MPs vote or abstain in those numbers against repeal, it would even mean a narrow victory for the anti-hunt lobby if the vote was held a second time – without the controversial input of the Scottish National Party. If the SNP were to stand aside, or if the Government found a way to use the new 'English Votes for English Laws' to tackle hunting, there would still be a majority of around a dozen MPs who would not vote for repeal.

Earlier in the summer, the Prime Minister was forced into a humiliating climbdown in a new attempt to 'soften' the hunting ban – by bringing it into line with a more relaxed law in Scotland – when the SNP MPs announced that they would break with their own pledge and take part in the vote, after intense lobbying by animal rights activists. That mean Mr Cameron dropped the vote on the 'statutory instrument', and it became clear any repeal of hunting could only happen in this Parliament if the SNP did not take part. Now even that prospect appears unlikely too.

"Despite the amendment being dropped in July, we must not be complacent as the vocal pro-hunt lobby within the Conservative Party will continue to press for a repeal or weakening of the Act by whatever means they can," said Blue Fox founder Lorraine Platt. "We encourage all those opposed to hunting with dogs to write to their MPs and express their views. We will continue to work within the Conservative Party and with our growing number of anti-hunting Conservative MPs to explain our position and put across the fundamental, unarguable fact that in the 21st century it is unacceptable to hunt and kill an animal with dogs for sport," she added.

Despite the fact that a large number of Conservative MPs – especially in the West – were elected with huge logistical campaign support from an army of hunt supporters, Blue Fox has grown from small beginnings to now include three Government ministers. Sports minister Tracey Crouch said: "Fox hunting is a pursuit from the past and like the overwhelming majority of the population I believe that is where it should stay, consigned to history. I believe that the legislation as it stands today requires better enforcement, and Parliament has better things to be concerned with than bringing back hunting foxes with hounds," she added.

Kent MP Sir Roger Gale, for years one of only a handful of publicly anti-hunt Tory MPs, said support for the ban had 'snowballed'. "Support for the hunting ban amongst Conservative MPs has snowballed over the past year and is now at an all-time high," he said. "In the early days, I was one of very few Conservative voices speaking out against fox hunting. The recent increase in numbers of Conservative MPs who have now come out publicly against the repeal of the Hunting Act means that any attempt to repeal the Act at this stage is doomed to failure. The hunting of wild animals with dogs is a pastime that has rightly been consigned to the dustbin of history, along with cock-fighting, dog fighting and bear baiting," he added.

But the Countryside Alliance said it was still confident of persuading MPs that the Hunting Act needed repealing, and the anti-hunt lobby should not be too sure of their claims. "We are very confident that there was a majority amongst English and Welsh MPs to amend the Hunting Act earlier this year," said Alliance executive chairman Tim Bonner. "Indeed Labour MPs and anti-hunting groups knew that too which is why they went on bended knee to the SNP begging them to intervene," he added.  


Poll shows public support for Hunting Act higher than ever

26-12-15   Independent   Opposition to fox hunting hits all-time high with even most Tory voters opposed -  David Cameron has promised steps towards lifting the ban, however    Opposition to fox hunting has reached a new all-time high, according to the latest polling on the subject. The increased opposition to the practice comes despite a manifesto pledge by David Cameron to give his own MPs a free vote on legalising it. 83 per cent of the public say fox hunting should not be made legal again, up from 72 per cent when the question was asked in 2008. Crucially, opposition to the animal killings was just as strong in rural areas as urban areas – with 84 per cent and 82 per cent opposed respectively. Conservative voters were also overwhelmingly against legalisation, splitting 70 per cent to 27 per cent in favour of keeping the fox hunting ban.

Pollsters Ipsos MORI have asked the public the same question each year for around a decade and found very strong opposition each time. This year’s figures represent a new all-time high, however. In July the Government appeared to quietly drop a bid to legalise the practice after the SNP confirmed it would vote with Labour to block any weakening of the ban. Whips and ministers had gone as far as to set aside parliamentary time for the vote, with 90 minutes earmarked to debate a motion. It was ultimately never called, however. The Conservative party has significant opposition to fox hunting on its own benches and the Government’s narrow majority in Parliament means that the dozens of Tories who want to keep the ban hold the deciding vote on the matter. An analysis by the League Against Cruel Sports found that a growing minority of Tory MPs are against fox hunting, despite them having stood on a manifesto that could see the ban relaxed. At least 50 Conservative MPs have apparently clearly stated that they would oppose a repeal of the hunting ban, according to the campaign group – compared to just six MPs who supported the hunting ban when it was first brought in. The parliamentary arithmetic means that even if SNP MPs were not allowed to vote on the matter the Government would likely face defeat anyway.

Commenting on the new poll. Tom Quinn, campaigns director for the League Against Cruel Sports, described the practice as a “barbarity” that had no place going into 2016. “We have a lot of new information about what people think about hunting, and none of it is good news for the small but obsessed minority who want to kill animals for fun,” he said. “Opposition to legalising fox hunting is higher than it has ever been. We believe this reflects that as a nation the vast majority of us are repulsed at the thought of killing animals for sport. It’s nearly 2016 for goodness’ sake, surely we’re past this kind of barbarity? Crucially, over eight out of ten rural residents are opposed to the legalisation of fox hunting, a dramatic increase in just the last three years. This destroys the hunts’ argument that it’s just ‘urbanites’ or ‘animal rights’ people who oppose hunting because they don’t understand it. The very people who know what hunting really is are saying that enough is enough. There will no doubt be pictures on Boxing Day of a few people supporting the hunts as they go about their business – but these figures show the damning reality. Hunting is a tradition that no-one but a small minority wants, needs or cares about any more, and those doing the hunting need to accept that and move on.”

In March of this year David Cameron told the Countryside Alliance magazine that he was a strong supporter of the practice. “There is definitely a rural way of life which a born and bred Londoner might struggle to understand,” he wrote. “I have always been a strong supporter of country sports. It is my firm belief that people should have the freedom to hunt, so I share the frustration that many people feel about the Hunting Act and the way it was brought in by the last government. The Hunting Act has done nothing for animal welfare. A Conservative Government will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government Bill in government time.” 

Elderly trio are attacked by East Kent FH supporters

They'd had the nerve to complain about Hunt blocking road 

Police told identity of one of main attackers, no prosecution 

26-12-15  Facebook – East Kent Sabs   Boxing day 2015   A retired couple and friend (not connected to anti hunt activities), were going out for a meal at a pub in a nearby village. On the way they stumbled upon the East Kent with West Street Fox Hounds who were blocking the road. An argument took place and the retired couple were attacked by hunt supporters.

A picture was taken by the couple of one of the main assailants, and East Kent hunt saboteurs were contacted by the couple, and we helped identify the man. The police investigated it, interviewing a man in another county, but said there was insufficient evidence to pursue the case.

POWAperson adds  -  POWA only became aware of this nasty incident until sabs included it in a review of Kent police inaction against hunt illegality on 4-8-18 


LACS find fox kept in shed near where Belvoir FH due to meet

24-12-15   BBC News   Captive fox released from Buckminster Estate shed    An animal welfare charity said it released a captive fox from a private outbuilding, hours before the Belvoir Hunt was due to meet nearby. The League Against Cruel Sports said the find raised serious questions about the animal's treatment. It was found in a building on the Buckminster Estate, on the Leicestershire/Lincolnshire border. The estate - a member of whose staff was filmed visiting the fox - said it had done nothing wrong. Darryl Cunnington, from the League Against Cruel Sports, said the fox was dehydrated and underweight when it was found. "The conditions it was kept under were far from ideal," he said. There is no reason whatsoever to keep a live, healthy-enough fox in a shed." Two days after investigators discovered the fox, a man was filmed on a hidden camera visiting the building. A few hours later the animal charity captured and removed the fox. The following morning Mr Cunnington said he filmed the same man returning with a net and a bag. He said the man checked inside and outside the building, but left after seeing the fox was no longer there. Later the same day, the Belvoir Hunt staged its annual gathering in the village of Buckminster.


Sabs see Ledbury FH kill fox - recover shredded remnants

24-12-15  Live Leaks  VIDEO  Christmas Eve Fox Hunting 2015   Sick "sport" exclusive to the wealthy... Today in England...  [Video taken by 3 Counties Sabs]

Pics below -  1/  Hounds killing fox   2/  Terrierman carrying fox corpse away    3/  Fox innards found at kill site   4/  More innards 

   LedburyFHHoundskillingfox24-12-15.jpg   LedburyFHTerriermancarriesfoxcorpseaway24-12-15.jpg

   LedburyFHFoxinnardsfoundatkillsite24-12-15.jpg   LedburyFHFoxinnardsfoundatkillsite_2_24-12-15.jpg 


Warks Police constable revealed as avid Atherstone Hunt supporter

PC Brett Parker is also the Huntsman of the North Warks Beagles

24-12-15    Facebook – W.Mids Sabs   Brett Parker [right] is a regular Atherstone Hunt supporter who occasionally rides with them. He's also the Huntsman of the North Warwickshire Beagles who are also based at the Atherstone Foxhound kennels. Brett Parker is also PC 1644 Brett Parker of Warwickshire Police, based at Bedworth Police Station. He's one of the Atherstone's more regular supporters who follows them on foot and by bicycle. This is theAtherstonesupporterN.WarksBeaglesHuntsmanandPCBrettParker.jpg same Hunt who last month were filmed chasing and killing a fox, an incident that Warwickshire Police are currently investigating. The same Hunt whose hunt steward was filmed simulating sex with a dead goose. Earlier this week, one of the Hunt's supporters was found guilty of two counts of assault by beating when she attacked two saboteurs after they filmed a fox being chased by hounds. The Atherstone are regularly filmed chasing foxes,

Parker was present at one of these incidents where the fox was turned back towards the hounds by the Hunt's terrier-man Rob Pickering, who unzipped his trousers to flash at one of the Saboteurs. Parker is also the Huntsman for the North Warwickshire Beagles, who are kennelled at the Atherstone Hunts kennels. PC Parker was also out supporting the Atherstone last year when a hound was filmed running the wrong way up a dual carriageway. Police were present at this incident and witnessed it, they were also seen talking to Parker at the side of the dual carriageway. The officer present later claimed not to have seen the hound on the duel carriageway, so the incident was not investigated. An employee of the Atherstone Hunt Rob Pickering, the Hunt's Terrier-man, was filmed last Boxing Day filling in an active badger sett, a criminal offence under the Badger Protection Act. The evidence was handed over to police but the case was dropped after the police failed to meet deadlines set by the CPS. Similarly three Atherstone hunt supporters were filmed being racist and committing assault, Warwickshire Police were given authority to charge the three supporters in May but left it till August meaning the charges had to be dropped.

Having an active police officer so closely linked to the hunt may explain some of the difficulties we have faced regarding policing. We wonder how many other serving or ex police ride or support this and other Hunts?


Atherstone FH supporter convicted of assaulting two female sabs

21-12-15   Facebook – W.Mids Sabs   Atherstone hunt supporter Laura Caines found guilty of two counts ofAtherstonesupporterconvictedofassaulting2femalesabs21-12-15.jpg assault by beating    Today Atherstone Hunt supporter Laura Caines was found guilty of two counts of assault by beating at Loughbourgh Magistrates Court.  The incident happened on the 28th February 2015 after a fox was chased and illegally hunted by hounds in front of huntsman Stuart Barton and Hunt Saboteurs.  Barton immediately rides his horse into the nearest saboteur pinning them against a wall.  Caines then attacks the same saboteur from behind by putting them in a head lock, hitting them over the head and then attempting to steal their camcorder [right]. She then moved on to the other sab who was filming, grabbed her and then dug her nails into the sabs check causing it to bleed. She again tried to steal the camcorder that had filmed the incident. Magistrates found her guilty in her absence after offering no defence. A warrant has been issued for her arrest so that she can be sentenced. See video here.

HMA publishes film of what they think is illegal hunting by Grafton FH

20-12-15   YouTube – Hunt Monitors Association    Illegal Fox Hunting? Grafton Hunt    This film asks - Is this illegal foxhunting? Just one of many pieces of evidence submitted by hunt monitors to the authorities and subsequently rejected for "lack of evidence." In 2014, monitors submitted several complaints to the authorities of the Grafton Hunt foxhunting illegally. They were told that there was "insufficient evidence" to take further. Sgt Julie Parsons said she "Couldn't see a fox."  In fact every single piece of film submitted to Northamptonshire Police showed a fox, pursued by hounds and the Huntsman. The Hunting Act needs to be strengthened to make it easier to prosecute these cruel and persistent law breakers: CSHA here:

  GraftonFHFoxfleeinghoundsonroad14-12-13.jpg   Graftonhoundsafterfox14-12-13.jpg

                   Fox fleeing down road from hounds                                          Grafton hounds going after fox


Proposed ban of Southdown & Eridge FH from Lewes town centre on Boxing Day 

17-12-16   Sussex Express  Deputy Mayor proposes to ‘ban’ Boxing Day hunt in Lewes     The Deputy MayorSouthDownandEridgeFHBoxingDayLewes.jpg of Lewes, Councillor Imogen Makepeace, is proposing to ‘ban’ the Boxing Day hunt from the town. At a meeting of Lewes Town Council tonight (Thursday, December 17), Cllr Makepeace plans to put forward a proposal asking the Mayor of Lewes to write a letter to the Southdown and Eridge Hunt explaining they are not welcome in the town. She also proposes the town council writes to organisations consulted by Lewes District Council regarding the town centre road closures for the Boxing Day meet, stating its opposition.

In the meeting’s agenda, Cllr Makepeace says: “The Southdown and Eridge Hunt is proposing to commence its Boxing Day hunt in Lewes High Street, for which a road closure has been issued. “This hunt has a history of associated violent acts stretching back some ten years. Just last month, a protestor at the hunt was allegedly stabbed and a car attacked, leading to an arrest. There are very strong suggestions that there will be protests at the hunt in Lewes if it goes ahead this Boxing Day, with the potential risks involved. The Southdown and Eridge Hunt supports a return to hunting live prey, whereas polls consistently show that the majority of the British population are opposed to that. For these reasons, I propose that the Mayor, on behalf of the town council, writes directly to the Southdown and Eridge Hunt to say that the town council is opposed to the hunt commencing its Boxing Day meet in Lewes and that is it not welcome in Lewes."


IFAW publish 'Trail of Lies' report exposing so-called 'trail hunting'

Concludes it is just a cover for continued live quarry hunting 

IFAW's Jordi Casamitjana, the report's author, introduces it as follows:-

Uncovering the Trail of Lies    The Hunting ban in England and Wales has an enforcement problem, mainly caused by trail hunting -- an activity carried out by organised hunts in England and Wales. As one of the leading anti-hunting organisation in the UK, IFAW decided to investigate this issue in depth. Our data and evidence suggests that trail hunting in general is nothing more than a post-hunting ban creation to provide a false alibi against accusations of illegal hunting. It should not be confused with drag hunting or bloodhound hunting, which aim to cause no harm to wild animals. Our report Trail of Lies is the biggest study to date on trail hunting. Now, it's time to share our findings. 'Trail of Lies' focusses on multiple hunts across England and Wales. It contains more than 200 pages of articles, comments, images and expert opinion. The evidence is based on bibliographical research, testimonies of witnesses and experts, statistical analysis of quantifiable data, analysis of court records and proceedings and audio-visual evidence from the field, covering a period of 10 years.

Little is known publicly about trail hunting, but our investigators have uncovered a practice that can create false alibis, seriously hindering enforcement of the Hunting Act 2004. This Act and its resulting hunting ban were overwhelmingly supported by UK citizens appalled by the cruelty towards wild animals that hunting with hounds involves. Our report removes the cloak of darkness on the subject of trail hunting. It provides critical information unveiling the truth behind a trail of lies and includes recommendations to solve the enforcement problem.

The Summary Report can be read or downloaded here.  The full report can be read or downloaded here. The video accompanying the report can be viewed here.

15-12-15   Western Morning News     Call to amend hunting act to outlaw trail hunting as 'cover' for chasing foxes    Anti-hunt campaigners are calling for an amendment to the Hunting Act to prevent trail hunting being used as a cover for chasing foxes. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has produced a report alleging just 1% of the hunts it has monitored over the ten years of the hunt ban have laid a genuine trail for hounds to follow. The rest, it claims, are hunting as they have always done, allowing hounds to find and pursue the fox.

But Tim Bonner, chief executive of the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance, which campaigns to have the hunt ban lifted, rejected the report as an example of an under-pressure anti-hunt movement struggling to win back some credibility. He said: “These claims are utter nonsense and symptomatic of an organisation clutching wildly at straws to try to get publicity. “On the few occasions that hunting cases end up in court IFAW and League Against Cruel Sports ‘monitors’ always claim to have not seen the trail layers and time and time again their testimony is proved wrong. We even have footage of an IFAW monitor in Dorset studiously turning his camera away so he did not film the trail laying that was going on right under his nose. The anti-hunt movement is desperate. The Hunting Act has failed them. It was never about animal welfare, they wanted it to eradicate the hunting community but we are still here and as strong as ever and that’s very galling for them.”

The latest row comes after the collapse of the last case pending in England and Wales against a registered hunt for alleged illegal hunting. Earlier this month six members of the Lewdown-based Lamerton Hunt in Devon were cleared by a district judge at Newton Abbot magistrates court after the League Against Cruel Sports dropped all charges. The independence of the League’s expert witness, Professor Steven Harris was called into question and the League abruptly abandoned the case. The IFAW report also follows this week’s decision by the RSPCA to largely abandon pursuing prosecutions for alleged illegal hunting itself, instead pledging to hand over any evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service. The CPS is likely to take a tough line, rejecting any cases beyond those that are guaranteed to result in a conviction, for fear being seen to ‘waste’ public funds on dubious prosecutions. But there have been warnings this week that Hunts should not take the collapse of the Lamerton case and the RSPCA’s decision to step back from prosecutions as a signal that they can ignore the law. Monitoring of hunts by animal rights groups will continue and the police will be under pressure from anti-hunt campaigners to take action if a genuine breach of the Hunting Act has been recorded.

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW whose report 'Trail of Lies' claims to show widespread law breaking, said:  “The facts speak for themselves; with investigators witnessing no genuine trail hunting on 99% of occasions monitoring hunts which claim to be doing so, we have to conclude that most hunts are not laying a trail at all. So when trail hunting is used as an alibi to avoid prosecution for illegal hunting, it is usually a false alibi and we believe the concept of trail hunting was invented for this very reason.  It’s important that we remember the Hunting Act was introduced because the overwhelming majority of the UK public find the cruelty of chasing or killing a wild mammal with a pack of hounds absolutely abhorrent.  We are a nation of animal lovers and I believe the same people who continue to give their wholehearted support to keeping a ban on the bloody ‘sport’ of hunting foxes and other animals will also agree that it’s time to stop the illegal hunters from ‘getting away with it’ by lying.” 

The IFAW goes on: “The issue of trail hunting being used as a false alibi for illegal hunting can be solved via three options, trail hunters converting to drag hunting or clean boot hunting; the design of strict standardised rules to regulate trail hunting to enable easy external monitoring and prevent the use of trail hunting as a false alibi; and amendment of the hunting ban to ensure trail hunting can no longer be used as a false alibi to avoid prosecution. IFAW believes the latter solution has the highest probability of success. Mr Mansbridge added: “The Hunting Act needs to be urgently amended to ensure the law no longer allows trail hunting to be used as a false alibi. This is a vital measure to ensure the ban is effective in protecting our British wildlife from horrific cruelty inflicted to satisfy the bloodlust of a minority.”


LACS rebuts criticism of their prosecution of Lamerton FH

Judge rules League acted properly and need not pay Lamerton's £72k costs

10-12-15    LACS Press Release   Lamerton Hunt Trial - 'no improper' act by the League Against Cruel Sports    The District Judge overseeing the trial of six members of the Lamerton Hunt, accused of illegal hunting, yesterday ruled that the League Against Cruel Sports were clear of any ‘unnecessary or improper act or omission’ in the trial. The League Against Cruel Sports withdrew from the trial last week after defence lawyers accused expert witness for the prosecution, Professor Steve Harris, of being inappropriately linked to the charity. Pro-hunt groups seized the opportunity to attack the charity, claiming that it was wrong to have taken the prosecution, and accusing it of ‘wasting ‘£100,000’ of charity funds’ – a figure plucked out of the air which is many times greater than the amount the charity actually spent.

However, the judge took a judgment on Wednesday morning as to whether there was an unnecessary or improper act or omission by the League, by not revealing details of the relationship prior to the case. He concluded that there was not. Further, the judge deemed that the League would not have to pay the hunt’s court costs, which amounted to £72,355.42. Tom Quinn, Director of Campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “Pro-hunt supporters and the Countryside Alliance have done their best to blacken our name by accusing us of wrongly taking this prosecution, of somehow trying to mislead the court, and of wasting our supporters’ money. This judgement shows they are wrong on all counts. “The evidence we put in front of the court deserved to be there, and we will not be bullied into shirking from highlighting what we believe is bang to rights illegal hunting.

It is a shame this prosecution wasn’t able to go right to the end, but anyone watching the video can make up their own mind as to what they are seeing. We have incurred some costs through this case, naturally, but they will be around a third of what the hunt have spent – and a quarter of what they were insinuating we were going to have to pay. We believe that our supporters will understand that to bring people to justice for wildlife cruelty, we will sometimes have to put our money where our mouth is, and we think this amount was totally justified. The vast majority of people in this country are opposed to fox hunting as they find it a pathetic remnant of the dark ages which serves no practical purpose other than to amuse a small, cruel but influential minority. The League Against Cruel Sports will continue to represent the majority, despite attempts by pro-hunt groups to besmirch the name of respected experts who disagree with them, despite attempts to desperately deflect attention away from the illegal activity practised by some hunts, and despite attempts to silence and discredit us. We fight on.”




Meynell FH whip jumps off horse to attack sabs !

5-12-15    Facebook – Derby Hunt Sabs     We enjoyed a typical and successful day at the Meynell today with comrades from west W Yorks, Sheffield and Nottingham. They met at the Black Cow, Dalbury Lees and moved south with the intention of hunting coverts away from roads. Sabs had eyes on them from the off and with the usual pathetic control of the hounds from the stand in huntsman, Johnathan Thrift, any hunting was easily stopped. As our photos show the whip seemed like he'd over done it on the Valium or was just pissed, either way or both, he was struggling to mount his horse. Later in the day, when sabs were trying to enter a field, the same whip jumped from his horse to attack sabs. The horse bolted and we feel sure he now wishes he'd stayed on his horse. An extremely successful days sabbing, no kills and a gang of wildlife murderers very pissed off.


CA to ask for review of about a dozen Hunting Act convictions

Follows court challenge re. independence of LACS' expert witness

4-12-15   Western Daily Press   Countryside Alliance asks for old hunting convictions to be reviewed after collapse of Lamerton case   The Countryside Alliance is demanding previous hunting convictions which involved Bristol professor Stephen Harris be reviewed by the judiciary after the collapse of the Lamerton court case in Devon. Alliance executive chairman Tim Bonner said the collapse of the Lamerton case yesterday brought other cases into question which saw Prof Harris give evidence as an expert witness for the prosecution.

Prof Harris hit back today, saying he was always 'open and honest' about his links to the League, which were questioned by the hunt's legal team and then the judge in the case in Devon. But when faced with the possibility that Prof Harris' evidence could be discounted, the League dropped the case and the six men charged with illegal hunting walked free and innocent.

Now the Countryside Alliance is to write to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, to demand that other cases involving Prof Harris be reviewed. "There have been very few prosecutions of hunts under the Hunting Act, and even fewer that have succeeded – just 14 successful cases in 11 years, however evidence from Professor Harris has been crucial in securing conviction in a number of those," said executive chairman Tim Bonner. We shall be considering all hunting cases in which he was involved - particularly those of the Fernie hunt, Leicestershire, from 2011; the Crawley and Horsham, Sussex, in 2012 and the Meynell Hunt, Derbyshire, in 2012 – and shall ask the Criminal Cases Review Commission to consider whether those convictions are safe or if they should be overturned. Prof Harris' work for the League is not purely as an expert witness – his research was fundamental to the case for the banning of hunting with dogs in England and Wales and continues to be used in arguments against hunting here and in Scotland. This case surely brings the trustworthy nature of that work in to question," he added.

But today Prof Harris has spoken out for the first time about the case, and the 'shameful' attempts to 'rubbish him'. The Bristol University professor, the world's leading expert on foxes, said it would be 'strange' for him not to 'interact' with the League Against Cruel Sports 'from time to time', and denied ever being told to hide his links to the animal welfare charity in a controversial court case this week. In the trial of the Lamerton Hunt officials, which was a private prosecution brought by the League, Prof Harris gave his evidence about video footage taken by anti-hunt monitors. But then the hunt's lawyers questioned him over his impartiality, claiming he had close links with the anti-hunt charity and, in particular, its Somerset-based head of operations Paul Tillesley.

The League complained it was wrong to 'shamefully savage' Prof Harris' reputation, and yesterday the academic himself spoke out. "I have a professional relationship with the League Against Cruel Sports, which is what you would expect," he said. "As the leading expert on foxes in the world it would be strange for me not to interact with the League from time to time. I did not discuss this case with the League's Head of Investigations. I would never say anything that I didn't believe because someone asked me to and besides the League have never asked me to. No-one from the League told me not to disclose the extent of our relationship – I was only ever told to be open and honest," he added

A League spokesman hit out at the Hunt for attacking the Professor, and not defending their actions in the case itself. "Professor Harris is internationally recognised as a world expert on fox behaviour, so it is natural that his scientific research is used to demonstrate that hunting has nothing to do with fox control," a spokesman. It is for this reason alone that the pro-hunt lobby want to see the back of him, because he has exposed the true nature of what they do. Professor is a neutral, expert voice on this subject, and any attempt to rubbish him is unwarranted and shameful," he added.



 ..... 27th November - Council bars Cottesmore FH from usual Boxing Day meet site

….. 22nd November - Two Cheshire FH members trespass on railway line
..... 14th November - Two sabs stabbed by Southdown & Eridge FH followers
..... 16th November - Atherstone FH face police probe after being filmed killing fox
.....  6th November - LACS slams Eggesford FH who let small girl watch fox cub slaughter
.....  3rd November - Five charged with affray after attack on sabs prior to Colne Valley Beagles meet
Council bars Cottesmore FH from usual Boxing Day meet site

27-11-15   Rutland & Stamford Mercury   Oakham Town Council votes against Cottesmore Hunt using Cutts Close for Boxing Day meet    Decades of tradition could end this year after Oakham Town Council voted to reject the Cottesmore Hunt’s annual request to meet at Cutts Close on Boxing Day. The Hunt has met in the park the day after Christmas for many years. But at a meeting on Wednesday, councillors rejected the Hunt’s request to use Cutts Close for the traditional meeting.

At the meeting Coun Joyce Lucas said the hunt left too much mess and should meet somewhere else. Coun Brookes argued that Cutts Close should not be used by groups such as the Hunt which were politically sensitive, and that too much alcohol was consumed at the meet. But the decision was not unanimous, with some councillors arguing in favour of the Hunt... two councillors were in favour of the meet and seven were against. After the meeting, mayor of Oakham Alf Dewis said: “The council realises that the Boxing Day meet is a spectacle that brings hundreds of people into the town and we certainly do not want to stop it. Alternative locations have been suggested such as the Market Place and Burley Road Car Park, which are metalled areas and easier to clean, but neither site is under the control of Oakham Town Council. The meet in Uppingham is held in the Market Place and not in the children’s play area and park on Tods Piece. Unfortunately, the request from the hunt arrived at a late stage which makes finding an alternative location more difficult to secure in the time available....

The Hunt raises money for charity at the Boxing Day meet. Last year more than £1,000 was handed over to For Rutland In Rutland. A post on the hunt’s Facebook page yesterday (November 26) said: “The Joint-Masters are currently considering their response to this wholly unexpected development. Watch this space (and Twitter and the Cottesmore’s website) for further information.” A petition calling for people to support the Cutts Close meet already has more than 1,700 signatures just a day after going live at


Two Cheshire FH members trespass on railway line

22-11-15  You Tube – Cheshire Monitors   VIDEO   Cheshire Fox Hounds all over the railway line 20.10. 2015    'Fieldmaster' Keith Shore plus another figure (carrying a loaded shotgun, no less) wandering along the line at Beeston. British Transport police refused to prosecute.


Atherstone FH face police probe after filmed killing fox

16-11-15   Daily Mirror  Sickening 'hunt' footage shows fox being mauled by pack of 20 dogs   Police are investigating the incident after footage, taken by West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, posted online, shows members of the Atherstone Hunt on horseback. As the hounds surround something, a member of the Hunt appears to reach down and pull the lifeless body of the animal from underneath the pack and sling it over the back of a colleague’s horse. But the Atherstone Hunt group claim they were acting within the law and an "injured fox appeared in front of the hounds who very quickly dispatched it." The group then ride away with the limp body of the fox clearly visible, reports the Coventry Telegraph.

It is understood the footage was shot at about 3pm on Saturday and the Hunt was on land which forms part of Fields Farm, in Grendon, near Atherstone. A spokesman for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs said: “The AtherstoneAtherstonehoundscloselychasefox14-11-15.jpg Hunt killed a fox. Sabs saw the fox being chased closely by hounds [right, fox at far right], it stopped and looked to its left and then to its right and saw there was no escape. There were hounds either side of it, they caught it, dragged it to the floor and killed it. The rest of the pack were trying to get at it.”

The group has also posted several other videos in recent weeks which appear to show Atherstone Hunt members chasing live foxes, although the animals seem to get away in previous videos. The spokesman added: “It’s shocking, distressing and absolutely horrific. We have been submitting footage for weeks showing they’re hunting and nothing was being done - this was inevitable. It has been reported to Warwickshire Police and they need to take action. This is not just a one off. I have no doubt the hunt will say it is an accident, but it can’t be an accident if it’s happening every week. They are blatantly hunting.”

... Warwickshire Police said the force was investigating footage from the hunt saboteurs. A spokesman said: “In response to posts regarding the Atherstone Hunt we can confirm that, as a result of allegations made at the scene, we are collating and reviewing evidence and will positively deal with any offences identified. Please contact the Wildlife Crime Officer on 101 extension 3605 to report any further offences.”

A statement from Atherstone Hunt said: “The Atherstone Hunt were out on Saturday, November 14 hunting within the law hunting trails and hound exercising. Unfortunately whilst riding across an open field between trails, what we strongly suspect was an injured fox appeared in front of the Hunt within yards of the hounds who very quickly dispatched it. The incident was immediately reported to Warwickshire Police.”

14-11-15     Facebook – W.Mids Hunt Sabs      FOX CHASED AND KILLED BY THE ATHERSTONE HUNT     Grendon Fields Farm  We have it on good authority from a member of the Hunt that the huntsman Stuart Barton will definitely be leaving the AtherstoneHuntsmanpasseskilledfoxtorider14-11-15.jpgAtherstone.  He's been blatantly hunting the past few times we've been out and today the inevitable finally happened, the Atherstone Hunt killed a fox.

Sabs saw the fox being chased closely by hounds, it stopped and looked to its left and then to its right and saw there was no escape.  There were hounds either side of it, they caught it, dragged it to the floor and killed it.  The rest of the pack were trying to get at it.  Whipper-in Phil Durno got of his horse grabbed the dead body and handed it to the Huntsman of the Dove Valley Mink Hounds, Will Shaw, who slung it over his horse [left] and rode off with it.  The hunt started in Leicestershire and spent most of the day there crossing over into Warwickshire at the end of the day, which is where the fox was killed.

Over the past year we have consistently put out footage showing the Atherstone illegally hunting and chasing foxes.  The police (specifically Leicestershire which is where most of the Atherstone's hunting takes place) are aware of all the footage yet not only do they allow the Atherstone to continue hunting but they give the people who film this footage harassment notices at every opportunity with no evidence whatsoever.   It is this lack of action that has allowed them to get away with hunting illegally and kill this fox today.  Warks police have been informed and appear keen to investigate the incident. So we will wait to see what happens next...

We will be posting another video up of today's full events over the next few days which will show the hounds marking to ground in a badger sett, the Hunt chasing a hare and sexist, anti social behaviour again from Atherstone hunt members.


Two sabs stabbed by Southdown & Eridge FH followers

14-11-15   HSA Press Release  VIDEO  Hunt Saboteur Stabbed by Hunt Terrier Man   A hunt saboteur has been stabbed by a terrrier man from the Southdown and Eridge Foxhunt. The Hunt were holding an early morning meet at Eridge, near Tunbridge Wells and were furious that sabs were present to stop their illegal activities. All was relatively quiet until a group of terrier men launched an unprovoked, sustained attack on sabs. Two of the hunt supporters used knives in these attacks and two of the sabs have been treated for serious stab wounds to their hands. Other injuries included a fractured hand and a tooth being knocked out.

Sussex Police were in attendance but were ineffective in their response and made no arrests (although the attackers were identified by sabs). The wounded sabs had to call an ambulance themselves. When extra police did turn up, they spent their time hassling sabs rather than trying to locate the hunt supporters who had used knives in the attack. Lee moon, Press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “When knife crime occurs in cities politicians, police and the media drum up hysteria and insist on long prison sentences for the perpetrators. When it's their friends in the fox hunting community however the police turn a blind eye and instead harass the victims. Saboteurs are used to such violence. It doesn't deter us and in fact only makes us more determined to stop them illegally hunting and killing wildlife.”

      SouthdownEridgeFHSabstabbedbyfollower14-11-15.jpg    SouthdownEridgeFHSab2stabbedbyfollower14-11-15.jpg


LACS slams Eggesford FH for letting 6 year old watch fox cub killing

'Bring your daughter to the slaughter' taken literally 

6-11-16    Daily Mirror    Fox hunters slammed for letting little girl watch hounds savage bloodied corpses of dead cubs   The shocking footage, captured by anti-hunt campaigners, shows the child – aged around six – waving her arms as the bloodthirsty pack mills about the lifeless young animals. The fox cubs, whose corpses are hidden from view in the footage, had been thrown to the 30-strong pack moments earlier, already dead. Wearing pink wellington boots, a white-and-pink top and blue jeans, the little girl can be seen dancing around the dogs, then backing away. As she does so, 14 grown-ups stand by watching the fired-up hounds, tails wagging with delight, being directed by their handlers.

Animal rights activists tonight condemned the group for letting a youngster view the distressing sight. Tom Quinn,EggesfordFHSmallgirlwatchingcubhuntingkills6-11-16.jpg campaigns director of the League Against Cruel Sports, asked: “What kind of people are so unashamedly happy to parade their cruelty in front of a child?” He added: “The majority in the UK are strongly against hunting. This is its dark reality. We’re sure they’ll be shocked and disgusted to see a little girl being brought along to witness this barbarism.”

Animal welfare campaigners passed the video to the Mirror after seeing the youngster appear alongside the adults for the dawn “training” rite. In the one minute, 45 second film, recorded in the mid-Devon countryside, the girl can be seen glancing up at the group of gilet-clad adults observing the hounds. The foxes were thrown to the pack already dead in what is thought to be part of a training process. In the footage, a middle-aged man perches on a red quad bike, while a silver 4x4 stands parked at an open gate. The video begins with the girl, her hair tied back in a pony tail, crouching to the ground then popping up, scratching her head, looking to the adults and folding her arms across her chest. She then turns back to look at the dogs [right] before one fox corpse is picked up from the ground. The second animal’s lifeless body is also retrieved, and a kennel worker carries both across the freshly harvested field to sling them into a box on the rear of the quad bike.

The horrific scenes unfolded near the village of Nymet Rowland, with dogs from the nearby 217-year-old Eggesford Kennels. The kennels describe the land as “good hunting country”, extending 19 miles east to west and some 20 miles north to south. An undercover investigator from the League Against Cruel Sports, who shot the footage from a public right of way, said: “It’s likely the cubs were dug out of their den and shot by the Hunt’s terrierman.”

A spokesman for the Hunt, speaking through the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, said: “We have not broken the law. We would question the legality of covertly filming our children.” A botched effort to relax anti-hunt laws forced Prime Minister David Cameron into a climbdown in July.


Five charged with affray after attack on sabs prior to Colne Valley Beagles meet

3-11-15  Huddersfield Daily Examiner   Five charged with affray after Boxing Day attack on Colne Valley hunt protesters    Five men have been charged following a Boxing Day hunt attack. They have been accused of affray during an attempted hunt meet by the Colne Valley Beagles at the Jack O’Mitre pub in Scammonden last December, which was attended by hunt protesters. The men were charged following an appeal published in the Examiner in July to identify four people from stills of a video taken by one of 12 protesters present on the day at the New Hey Road site.

The protesters were all believed to be from a local wing of the national organisation Hunt Saboteurs and had gathered to monitor the club’s rabbit and trail hunt. According to their spokesman, Lee Moon, the group filmed an altercation in which two hunt saboteurs were dragged out of their van , which he said was smashed with baseball bats, before before being assaulted by a group of several people.

The hunt meet was then abandoned as a result of the incident, which was attended by police. But PC Angela Lister, said that two men they would like to speak to “remain outstanding”. She said: “The five will appear in court at some point in the next several weeks but two other men remain outstanding [pics below]. We would like people to help us identify these two, one of whom we believe was the ring leader. One was wearing a green sweatshirt and the other was wearing a black and brown jacket with a black face covering.”




 ..... 28th October - Government refuses FOI request for official emails re. Hunting Act

..... 25th October - Landy tyres slashed by Pytchley FH supporters, say sabs
..... 21st October - Middleton FH terrierman wins appeal against conviction for sett blocking
..... 19th October - Illegal fox hunt on council land in Co.Durham reported to police
..... 21st October - AR groups in demo against planned Atherstone FH Hunt Ball
..... 10th October - LACS release more film of apparent illegal hunting in Scotland
..... 10th October- Ross Harriers hound killed by lorry on main road
Government turns down FOI call for official emails re. Hunting Act

Refuses to provide correspondence with a string of feeble excuses

28-10-15   Daily Mirror     Government keeps fox hunting e-mails secret because releasing officials' names 'could put them in danger'    Officials used the excuse to keep correspondence about the vile bloodsport under wraps, the Mirror can reveal. The government is refusing to release e-mails about David Cameron's bid to bring back fox hunting - because they could put civil servants in danger.

Officials used the excuse as one of four to keep correspondence about the failed bloodsport vote under wraps. Animal rights campaigners, who voiced fears today of a fresh bid to bring back hunting , have accused the government of saying they are violent thugs. League Against Cruel Sports director Tom Quinn said: "Eight out of ten people in this country want hunting to remain illegal - that's a lot of extremists."

The latest battle began when the PM said he would repeal Labour's 2005 Hunting Act in the Tory manifesto , and launched a bid to weaken it after the election. He planned a free vote to scrap the two-dog limit on 'flushing out' a fox - something campaigners said would bring back hunting by the back door. But his plans were shredded by Tory backbenchers and the SNP, who controversially fought the move despite it not applying to Scotland. After the climbdown the Mirror made a Freedom of Information request for messages about fox hunting between officials and ministers in Downing Street, the Cabinet Office and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Officials spent three months wrangling over the request, which would have spanned correspondence from March 1 to July 15, to decide if it carried a strong enough public interest to be published. They have now released only two briefing notes and kept the contents of all e-mails under wraps, quoting four exemptions. They said the request would involve publishing 'personal information' and would harm the behind-closed-doors building of government policy. They also said it would expose confidential advice on 'complex legal issues' which lawyers gave to the government. But their fourth and most eyebrow-raising reason was that publishing officials' names could endanger their safety.

A Defra spokesman said: "Information consisting of the names of all civil servants, regardless of position, working on hunting policy is being withheld... [in the category of] information that if disclosed would endanger the safety of any individual. We recognise that there is a public interest in the names of Senior Civil Servants (SCS) working on hunting being made available to the public so that senior officials working on controversial or sensitive areas of policy can be held to account. On the other hand, there is a strong public interest in withholding this information if disclosure of SCS personal details would, or would be likely to, endanger the safety of any individual. We have decided that disclosing this information could potentially cause harm to the individual(s) concerned."

Mr Quinn, of the League, told the Mirror the claim was 'ludicrous'. He said: "Of course people's safety is important. But the government seems either to be buying into - or perpetrating - the pro-hunt lobby’s ludicrous claims that anyone opposing hunting is a violent thug. Yes, Daily Mirror readers, apparently that's you. Seriously though, this is a tactic which those involved in hunting use to make it sound as if the only people who don’t like seeing animals ripped apart are violent animal rights extremists."  He added it was a 'great concern' that the Freedom of Information request was rejected.  "Whatever was discussed prior to the attempt to repeal the Hunting Act through the back door should be made public," he said....

The Hunt Saboteurs Association insisted it was not a violent group - and pointed out how pro-hunting campaigners stormed the Commons in 2004. Spokesman Lee Moon added: "The names of MPs who voted to overturn the hunting ban are in the public domain and none of these have been targeted. "The only people the civil servants and MPs have to fear are pro-bloodsports extremists."


Landy tyres slashed by Pytchley FH supporters, claim sabs

25-10-15    Facebook – Northants Sabs    Teamed up with other sab groups. We started the day at the Cottesmore's last cubbing meet at Barholm in Lincolnshire, we were on them the whole morning, calling hounds off and successfully ensuring there were no kills. Some of us then headed over to the the area round Holdenby House in Northamptonshire where we conveniently ran into the Pytchley Hunt on their opening meet, the hunt stewards [below], a fancy name for bullies employed by the Hunt, tried their best to intimidate us, but sabs had the Hunt in their sights for most of the afternoon. When we were confident they had packed up, we headed back to Cambridge's Landy that had been parked in a village nearby only to find all the tyres had been slashed by hunt thugs. Everyone got home safely, including the pigeon that we found poorly in a field, suffering from canker who is now in the care of a local wildlife rescue.



Middeleton FH terrierman wins appeal over sett blocking conviction

21-10-15   Yorkshire Post    Hunting enthusiast wins his court appeal    Lee Martin [right], a fox-hunting devotee, has won his appeal against a conviction for blocking up badger setts to give huntsmen and hounds a better chance of reaching their quarry.  Lee Anthony Martin, 45, blocked entrance holes to the badgers’ warren in woodland near Malton, North Yorkshire. The aim was to prevent the fox escaping from a chasing pack during theMiddletonFHLeeMartinbadgersettblocker.jpg Middleton Hunt, which was due to meet on March 29 last year. Martin was arrested and charged with interfering with a badger sett. Such offences are punishable under the Badger Protection Act if it can be proved that the sett was active at the time of the blockage.

The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) took Martin to court after gathering video evidence of several entrance holes being blocked in Evers Wood, Scrayingham. Martin denied the allegation but, following a two-day trial in February, Scarborough magistrates ordered him to carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work and pay £970 costs after finding him guilty of interfering with the sett. Martin and his legal team appealed the conviction on the grounds there was no evidence that badgers were using the sett.

During the appeal hearing at York Crown Court, Judge Rodney Jameson QC heard evidence from independent experts on behalf of the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance and LACS. Members of the animal-welfare group took video footage showing signs of digging outside the sett which they said proved it was active. They even had night footage of a badger peering down one of the holes. But the footage only showed that the sett was habited up to March 26 and between April 1 and 5. Crucially, there was no evidence that the sett was in use on the day of the hunt. Mr Jameson QC, who was sitting with magistrates, said that although it was obvious that Martin had blocked entrances to the sett, “we do not think that the evidence alone can prove there were signs of current use by a badger”. He said that on this basis the appeal was granted and he revoked Martin’s sentence. Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner said: “This has been a huge waste of time and taxpayers’ money.”

POWAperson - This judgement appears completely ridiculous. Evidence showed that the sett was in use on March 26th. Martin blocked it on March 29th. Further evidence showed it was in use on April 1st. Are we supposed to believe the badgers deserted their sett for a few days, then re-occupied it, their absence just happening to coincide with Martin's blocking?!? Further, fox hunting is talked about in the article as though it were a legal activity. By blocking the sett as admitted, surely Martin was participating in the hunt and thereby committing an offence? The danger is this absurd judgement will make it near impossible for future badger-sett interferers to be convicted. 


AR groups in demo against Atherstone FH Hunt Ball

21-10-15   Nuneaton News    Protesters call for Atherstone Hunt Ball to be scrapped   Members of an animal rights group have protested outside a popular events venue calling for the Atherstone Hunt Ball to be cancelled. Campaigners from Leicester Animal Rights and Derby Animal Rights group joined West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs and councillor Keith Kondakor for the demonstration against the social gathering at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre.

Jack Riggall, a spokesperson for Leicester Animal Rights, told the News that the group is calling for the event, which is taking place on November 21, to be stopped as an ethical response to hunting. Mr Riggall said: " A demonstration was held outside the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre to highlight the centre's hosting of the Atherstone Hunt for an event on November 21.

"As the Atherstone Hunt have been repeatedly filmed in breach of both the Hunting Act 2004 and the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, we urge the conference centre management to cancel this event immediately and bring in a policy of upholding and respecting wildlife laws that are in place to protect what remains of our once rich natural heritage."

The News contacted bosses at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre who said that the ball will go-ahead as planned. Stephen Hammon, managing director for the Heart of England Conference Centre, said: "Heart of England will be honouring the venue booking for the Atherstone Hunt Ball. We will not be drawn into discussions or comments regarding allegations against Atherstone Hunt. "We hire out rooms for parties, events and conferences, it's what we do and we will not be coerced into cancelling anything. Part of our good reputation is built upon us reserving the right to hire out our venue and services without prejudice or bias and we would like to remind everyone that this is a booking for a ball and not a hunt. It is for those reasons that we will honour the booking made for the Atherstone Hunt Ball."



Illegal fox hunt in County Durham reported to police and Council

19-10-15   Northern Echo    Police investigate illegal fox hunting allegations in Fishburn area   Police are investigating reports of an illegal fox hunt in County Durham this morning (Monday, October 19). A concerned resident contacted Sedgefield Police after claiming to have seen a pack of hounds closing in on a fox in Fishburn Woodland between 8am and 10am. Two similar reports were made to Durham County Council, which owns the land.

One man, who asked not to be named, told The Northern Echo he had seen two people on horseback and a pack of at least 20 hounds. “The fox must have gone to ground,” he said. “I stood watching them for 20 minutes and then reported it to Durham County Council. Foxing hunting is banned but they think they have the right to do anything they want. What if a couple had been out walking with a child and they got caught up in it?”

Sergeant Alex Clarke, of Sedgefield Police, said: “We received a complaint about fox hunting and a search of the area was carried out but didn’t reveal anything. Our enquiries are ongoing.”  Fox hunting was banned as part of the Hunting Act 2004, which came into force the following February.


LACS release more film of apparent illegal hunting in Scotland

10-10-15   Daily Record  VIDEO  New footage released by animal rights group appears to show illegal fox hunting in Scotland   ANIMAL rights activists have released footage which they claim is evidence that illegal fox hunting is taking place in Scotland. League Against Cruel Sports campaigners secretly filmed the Duke of Buccleuch’s hunt and allege their video shows them breaking the law. Hunting a fox with a pack of hounds has been illegal in Scotland since 2002. But Hunts can still kill foxes, because the law allows hounds to flush a fox from cover so it can be shot by gunmen.

The LACS say their video shows the most “brazen illegal hunting” caught on film in Scotland to date. In their footage, taken at Mellerstain Estate, near Gordon in Berwickshire, a pack of hounds appear to chase a fox in open ground. The film is said to have captured two incidents on the same day involving the Buccleuch hunt.

Hunting a fox with a pack of hounds has been illegal in Scotland since 2002. The Duke of Buccleuch is Britain’s largest private landowner and is listed as a joint master of the hunt. The LACS said: “Our video footage of the Buccleuch hunt suggests they were blatantly flouting the law. Not only are hounds seen chasing a fox over some considerable distance, an activity that is unequivocally illegal, but the huntsman seems to be encouraging the hounds to do so. There is no attempt by the other huntsmen to intervene in what appears to be unlawful hunting. In fact, it would appear they are trying to work out where the fox might be hiding. This film could be the strongest evidence yet that Scottish hunts were operating as if the hunting ban doesn’t apply to them.”

The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 states a person deliberately hunting a wild animal with a dog is committing an offence. The LACS will today screen the video publicly for the first time at the Scottish Green Party’s conference in Glasgow. They said they will also submit it to the Scottish Government, who have pledged to review the fox-hunting law. There have been calls for a tightening of legislation amid claims that hunts regularly break the law.

There are 11 registered hunts in Scotland. Earlier this year, the LACS claimed nearly half could be breaking the law. Their investigators secretly filmed five hunts between December 2014 and March this year and saw no shotguns on 16 separate outings. The film of the Buccleuch hunt was not released at that time because the LACS believed their activities were so “blatantly unlawful” that the police would take action. But Police Scotland told them they were unable to identify the Huntsman. The LACS said: “When it transpired that the league’s own cameraman was the only person who was willing or able to identify who the Huntsman was, and so a prosecution could not be made, we retrieved the footage from the police.”

Earlier this year, the Hunt Saboteurs Association accused police of bias in favour of hunts. Police Scotland said: “We investigated the matter and concluded there was insufficient evidence to report it to the procurator fiscal. Police Scotland thoroughly investigate all reports of wildlife crime. We have specialist wildlife crime officers in every division and we work very closely with a range of partners using the latest investigative techniques. Our campaign seeks support from the public to help us put an end to wildlife crime, to keep their eyes open and to report suspicious activity, either by calling 101 or contacting Crimestoppers.”

Illegal fox hunting can result in a six-month prison sentence. A lawyer representing the hunt said they had no comment to make. But Scottish Countryside Alliance director Jamie Stewart said the Scottish Government’s most recent wildlife crime report “failed to support the scandalous and unfounded allegations of widespread illegal fox hunting in Scotland”. He added: “The release of this subjective and contrived footage containing material spliced from more than one foxhound pack attempts to confuse the public but only confirms the weakness in the League Against Cruel Sports’ campaign and obsession to end any form of wildlife control. Scottish foxhound packs work under a strict protocol drawn from the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 and work closely with Police Scotland during the operation of legal and much-needed fox control.”

POWAperson says - The Scottish equivalent of the Hunting Act in England & Wales at least allows for a prison sentence, like other animal protection law, apart from the Hunting Act. However, their failure to limit the number of dogs that may be used to flush quarry to guns left a massive loophole in the Scottish Act, which fox hunts there appear to be driving a pack and horses through, since it is very difficult for an observer to say whether there are the requisite shooters present or not. Indeed, a prosecutor is likely to be left having to prove a negative. As for the police refusing to prosecute, they could have tried asking the Buccleuch FH who was acting as Huntsman on that day, or even asking him directly.  


Ross Harriers hound killed by lorry on main road

10-10-15   Facebook - 3 Counties Sabs   Opening meet of Ross Harriers in Gloucs cull zone. Hound killed by lorry on A40, Ryeford. Police attending. Sabs in field at present, more to follow. 

16-10-15   Ross Gazette   Death of foxhound on A40    Anti-hunt protesters have denied claims that they drew a dog to its death using a device which creates sounds that attract hunting dogs.  A foxhound was killed by a lorry on the A40 near Ross, close to the Drybrook turn on Saturday, October 10th, during the first meet of the season for Ross Harriers.

A spokesman for West Mercia Police confirmed that they were called at 11.59am on Saturday, October 10th, to reports of an RTC which happened on the A40 in Hereford, in which a dog was fatally hit by a lorry. “The lorry received damage to the front, but no-one else was injured.” The dog belonged to the Ross Harriers Hunt, which was hunting nearby and was being disrupted by the Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs Association

Supporters of the Hunt and protesters have made comments and accusations against both sides on social media. A member of the Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs group contacted the Ross Gazette to say that they had arrived at the scene after the hound had been killed. She said that they had not had anything to do with it being on the road at the time. The spokesperson said that they saw the lorry and spoke to the driver, this meeting was recorded and can be viewed on the Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs Facebook page.

The Master of Ross Harriers, Simon Dunn told the Ross Gazette:?“We are aware of allegations concerning a road traffic accident on Saturday. We are also aware that the Hunt saboteurs present have admitted to having a ‘gizmo’ (which creates specialist sound designed to attract hounds to them) with them on Saturday.  We understand that investigations are continuing on this matter and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

Officers have spoken with witnesses to establish what happened, but were not aware of any independent witnesses to the incident. However the police have seen comments on social media from people claiming to have witnessed the incident, and even filming it on a dash cam. PC Barradale-Smith said that in light of claims that there is evidence which should be investigated, anyone with information should contact him via 101.


..... 23rd September - RSPCA makes clear will consider prosecuting hunting cases if CPS won't
..... 23rd September - Fox hunted through South Devon village say residents
..... 23rd September - Atherstone steward filmed simulating sex with dead goose. Police enquiry.
..... 17th September - Cottesmore FH terrierman convicted of sett blocking on morning of Hunt meet
..... 15th September - Bill Oddie calls for ban on hunting in Northern Ireland
.....  8th September - Two who sabbed Flint & Denbigh FH have dispersal orders quoshed
.....  7th September - Sabs say they stopped Christ Church beagles hunting leverets
.....  2nd September - Blackmore FH Huntsman bailed on GBH to female sab charge
.....  1st September - Sabs film Albrighton & Woodland FH chasing fox - police won't act
Fox hunted through S.Devon village say residents - police say investigating

23-9-15   Torquay Herald Express    Fox hunt through South Devon village reported to police by residents POLICE were called after Ideford residents said they witnessed a group of hunters and hounds pursuing an animal this morning. One resident said there were around 30 hunters on horseback and 'a lot' of dogs in the village just before 7am. She said: "They stopped in the field. There was an animal in the hedgerow and I'm 90 per cent sure it was a fox. There were cows and calves in the field as well, and they were getting het up. The hunters were using their whips to get them out of the way. There were some other witnesses too." She said the group headed North East. A police spokesman confirmed that the hunt was not present when police arrived at the scene, and that the matter was being investigated.

POWAperson comments - One imagines the police 'investigation' would consist, at most, of phoning the local Hunt Master and politely asking if they were hunting a fox on the morning in question. Master says 'No', case closed. 

RSPCA makes clear it will consider prosecuting hunting cases if CPS decline them

23-9-16   Daily Telegraph   RSPCA 'reserves right' to prosecute hunt cases despite controversy   Changes to the animal protection charity's prosecution policy will not mean a final end to cases brought against members of fox hunts Fox hunters could still be prosecuted by the RSPCA despite a high-profile review which recommended passing the cases to the Crown Prosecution Service. It had been reported that the animal protection charity would no longer prosecute hunters or farmers accused of cruelty and would instead hand over evidence to the CPS or trading standards officers. However, an RSPCA spokeswoman confirmed the charity would “reserve the right to take back a prosecution” if the CPS and trading standards decline to go ahead. It means the announcement is not a definitive end to the RSPCA bringing prosecutions in the highly-controversial hunting arena.

The RSPCA has been roundly criticised for launching “politically motivated” cases against hunts, with critics warning the charity was losing support from its heartland supporters. It has become embroiled in controversy in recent years following high-profile campaigns against hunting, the badger cull and the Grand National. The decision follows recommendations in September last year from Stephen Wooler, a former independent inspector of the CPS, who was hired by the RSPCA to review its policy on prosecutions. In March the charity dropped its last hunting prosecution against a master of the Cattistock Hunt in Dorset after deciding there was no realistic prospect of conviction.

Tim Bonner, the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: “We are very glad to see the RSPCA has accepted the failings in its prosecution operations highlighted by the Wooler review and is starting to address the issues. We believe that the society would be much better handing over all cases it is investigating to the police, CPS or trading standards as it now does on hunting and in relation to farm animals.” But an RSPCA spokeswoman said “We would like to reassure RSPCA supporters that the society has not ruled out taking prosecutions against those who breach the Hunting Act in the future."... The charity is due to publish a full report on all changes to prosecution procedures in March. Informing MPs about its new approach to hunting cases, the charity said in a briefing note: “An ongoing assessment will occur of the effectiveness of this new process.”

A spokeswoman for the charity said: “We would like to reassure RSPCA supporters that the society has not ruled out taking prosecutions against those who breach the Hunting Act in the future. Following an independent review of our prosecutions work RSPCA trustees agreed to pass cases involving traditional hunts to the police and CPS to prosecute, following initial investigation to determine the quality of the evidence.... However... we reserve the right to proceed with such investigations if either the police, CPS or trading standards decline to take the matter up.”

It comes just days after hunting prosecutions were thrown into doubt after links emerged between one expert witness' close links with another prominent animal rights campaign group. Prof Stephen Harris, a Bristol University expert on foxes, had his credibility called into question after he failed to inform a court about his friendship with Paul Tillsley, the head of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sport. The disclosure was described as having "extensive ramifications" for cases brought under the Hunting Act. In the past four years seven people have been convicted at trials where Prof Harris was an expert witness.

However, his neutrality was cast into doubt last week at Newton Abbot magistrates' court in Devon, during the hearing for a private prosecution bought by the League against six members of the Lamerton Hunt for alleged breaches of the Act. During the trial Prof Harris was cross-examined over why he failed to disclose his long-established connections with the campaigning group. The court heard he had written a book that was published by the League, appeared at its campaign events and had published an academic paper sponsored by the group.


Suspicion that Cameron intervened to help accused Heythrop Huntsman

Long-sought picture of the now PM hunting with the Heythrop emerges 

21-9-15   Daily Mail    Tally-ho Cameron and the hunt chum he helped: Exclusive picture shows future PM riding out at Boxing Day meet before ban   Journalists have long sought a picture of hunt supporter David Cameron riding to hounds, to no avail — prompting suspicions that someone with Cameron’s interests at heart may have paid to take any such images off the market. But after extensive inquiries, we finally uncovered this photograph [right. PM upper centre] of the future PM preparing to set off for a day’s sport. It was taken at the final gathering of the Heythrop Hunt before then upper centre] ban came into effect, a few days after Christmas 2004. Cameron can be seen on a fine bay mount, looking a little nervous, as horses assemble in the square in ChippingCameronatHeythropmeetDec2004.jpg Norton.

Every year, in the lull between Christmas and New Year, the Heythrop Hunt meets a few miles from Cameron’s constituency home. They assemble at Cornbury Park, a stately home which provides a spectacular backdrop for the horses and hounds. The estate belongs to friends of the Prime Minister, and many of his social set are involved in the annual meet. Watching the hunt thunder off over the fields is an unforgettable sight, but Cameron dares not be there himself any more. Since becoming Prime Minister, he’s avoided being seen at hunts, let alone being photographed on horseback. Given the associations of equestrianism with class and privilege, he believes it’s too toxic. Yet he’s an avid supporter of hunting, and does what he can to help hunts and huntsmen behind the scenes. He loves rural life and wants to protect its traditions: it is a world he grew up with and understands. ‘He can scratch a pig’s back so effectively that the creature sighs,’ said a journalist who saw him do this in the Cotswolds. Cameron told the same journalist that he could ‘castrate a ram with a pair of pliers’.

The last time he’s widely known to have gone hunting is in January 2003, when he went out with the Heythrop. Afterwards, he wrote a piece for the Guardian which implied it was his first time. (‘Nothing had prepared me for the sheer terror of a day’s hunting,’ and so on.)

Mr Cameron is pictured at the Heythrop Hunt before the ban came into effect, a few days after Christmas 2004. It would be surprising if this were his first hunt. His old friend Bruce Anderson says Cameron used to joke that the ‘terrible thing about the Hunting Bill is that only two people are affected by it: Prince Charles and me’ — suggesting it was a regular hobby.  Guy Avis, his next-door neighbour in the Cotswolds, is honorary secretary of the Heythrop, and says Cameron has the use of a mount stabled at the nearby village of Ginge.

The hunting ban finally came into force in 2005. Far from dying out, however, the sport is booming, mostly in the form of trail hunting, in which hounds pursue an artificially laid scent. Yet ‘accidents’ happen, when hounds ferret out real foxes that are pursued in the same way as they have been for hundreds of years.  The Heythrop has been involved in a number of court cases relating to this.

While Cameron was Leader of the Opposition, his friend Julian Barnfield, a professional huntsman with the Heythrop, was charged with various offences of hunting a fox. The case was later dropped on a technicality. Cameron, we discovered, intervened personally, writing to the Attorney General on Barnfield’s behalf in June 2008. Later, Chris Edgell, a former detective constable involved in the case, tried to obtain a copy of the letter using the Freedom of Information Act, but his application was rejected. Cameron’s constituency office also refused to provide Edgell with a copy of the correspondence — on the basis it followed ‘a private meeting between a constituent and his MP’.  Did the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) go easy on Barnfield after pressure from Cameron? It seems more than possible. Edgell says: ‘I have learned from CPS and police sources that Cameron’s letter to the Attorney General was sent on to CPS headquarters, who sent it on to Thames Valley CPS, who then sent it to Gloucester CPS, who then sent it on to the Complex Case Unit at Bristol, where barrister Kerry Barker dealt with it. ‘I saw the letter. It said something like: “Is this really a productive use of police time?”'


Atherstone Hunt Steward filmed simulating sex with dead goose

Sabs reported youth to police, who are investigating 

23-9-15     Daily Mirror   Sickening video shows hunt steward simulating sex with dead goose sparking police investigation   This disturbing video shows the moment a fox hunt steward simulates sex with a dead goose sparking a police investigation.  The worrying footage was captured by anti-hunt campaigners following the Atherstone Hunt in Ibstock, Leicestershire on Saturday. It shows a boy - wearing a Hunt Stewards hoodie - taunting the campaigners with a dead Canada Goose.

The Atherstone Hunt has since described the footage - which is being investigated by police - as “appalling” and said the boy in the video is not a member of the Hunt.  The boy - who was wearing a hunt steward top - pretended to try and make the dead animal talk. In sickening scenes, he can be seen swinging its neck around while being filmed before running towards the camerawoman.  The other stewards can be heard laughing loudly.  A woman on aAtherstoneFHstewardsimulatingsexwithdeadgoose9-15.jpg horse - who appears to be a member of the hunt - can be seen watching and filming footage on her mobile phone. The campaigner who captured the horrifying scenes - from West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs - says at one point: “It just shows the mentality you all have.”  Despite being filmed, the boy then simulates sex with the dead animal [right]. He then says: “What name do you think I should call it?“  Other hunt stewards could be heard laughing loudly as the boy played around with the bird. He then moves its mouth up and down, saying: “My name is Bob”. Later in the footage he waves its wings towards the camera team, saying: “See you again”.

Along with the other stewards, he was wearing a hoodie with the words “Hunt Stewards: We Eat Hunt Sabs for Breakfast”. Speaking to Mirror Online, a spokesman for the campaign group said the incident was “appalling”.  “It was completely shocking but the behaviour does not surprise me. A member of the Hunt was there but does nothing about it and actually thought it was funny.  I thought it was disgraceful behaviour towards the dead animal.  I was just gobsmacked and later reported it to the police. We think the video speaks for itself as to the mentality of the Atherstone Hunt.”

The Atherstone Hunt has since issued a statement saying: “The Atherstone Hunt would like to make it clear that they are sickened and disgusted by the appalling behaviour of an individual with a dead bird at a meet of the hunt at Ibstock on Saturday 19th September 2015. The individual concerned is not an employee or member of the hunt and has been informed by the hunt that he is not welcome to attend any hunt events in the future.”

A spokesman for Leicestershire Police confirmed police were looking into the video. “Police were called yesterday by a member of the public reporting an incident involving a dead bird,” the spokesman said. “The incident took place on Saturday 19 September at Overton Road, Ibstock. An appointment has been are to speak to the caller to ascertain further detail.”

The Coventry Telegraph also covered the story and added this info -  

Atherstone Hunt later responded to the video and distanced itself from the behaviour by suggesting the hunt steward was not a paid employee.  However, further video footage has since been seen by the Telegraph which shows the steward in question at other Atherstone Hunt events - including clips of the young man riding with the hunt on horseback.

POWAperson adds - This incident gives an insight into the twisted mind-set not just of this young man but most, if not all, hunters. It also illustrates that, whenever they are caught up in wrongdoing, Hunts' first instinct always seems to be to lie. Denying that the offender is part of their Hunts is standard - even where they know sabs/monitors have long-standing evidence that they are. In this case, the sabs even know his name.


Tory Hunt supporter MP to lead inquiry into RSPCA prosecution activity

22-9-15  Western Morning News   West MP to lead formal inquiry into RSPCA's powers of prosecution     Westcountry MP Neil Parish is to lead an investigation into the RSPCA’s powers, following criticism of the charity’s role as both investigator and prosecutor in cases of alleged animal cruelty and illegal hunting. Mr Parish, Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton, told the WMN he would be launching a formal inquiry in his role [left] as chairman of the influential Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee of the House of Commons. The RSPCA NeilParishMP.jpghas come under fire in recent years for what critics have described as a heavy-handed approach to taking pet owners to court for alleged cruelty. In England and Wales the charity both investigates and then prosecutes cases. In Scotland it must hand evidence to the state to decide whether to take legal action. Mr Parish, said he thought it important that the ‘right cases’ were pursued and that the model used in Scotland should be considered in England and Wales too.

He said: “The RSPCA does an excellent job protecting animals and ensuring high standards of animal welfare across the country. “I do have some concerns about the RSPCA’s prosecuting powers. They need to balance what they do as an animal welfare organisation with campaigning activities. As a former livestock farmer, I understand the importance of high standards of animal welfare. One of the primary roles of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee is animal welfare and I therefore want to make a positive contribution on how animal welfare could be improved.” The Efra committee is understood to be particularly concerned about the actions of the RSPCA while it is without a chief executive. Under Gavin Grant, who quit that post more than 18 months ago, the charity was criticised for its actions over alleged cases of illegal hunting. At the time the then head of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance Sir Barney White-Spunner described the RSPCA as a “sinister and nasty organisation.” New chief executive Tim Bonner said the Alliance supported the work of the RSPCA in protecting abused and neglected animals. But he added: “Our legal system has long recognised the problems inherent in one body having multiple roles. The RSPCA should continue to investigate cases of cruelty to animals but should not prosecute them in the courts when the CPS and local authorities already have a statutory duty to do so.”

The last case involving hunting that the charity took to court was an unsuccessful prosecution of Dorset’s Cattistock Hunt earlier this year. After that case an RSPCA spokesman told the WMN it was reviewing its prosecutions policy. In response to yesterday's news of an Efra led inquiry the charity defended its right to prosecute in animal cruelty cases. The charity said: "The RSPCA has a unique role in England and Wales as a charity which is the principal prosecutor of animal welfare offences. It is a role the RSPCA has undertaken for over 190 years and it makes a vital contribution to the prevention of cruelty to animals. The RSPCA would welcome a parliamentary inquiry into the way in which prosecutions are carried out by the charity. An inquiry would provide Parliamentarians with an opportunity to consider the implications of the independent review of the RSPCA’s prosecutions activity carried out last year by Stephen Wooler, the former Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, in which he concluded that the Society should continue its role as a prosecuting body and praised the charity for its “huge contribution to animal welfare.The RSPCA is currently working its way through these recommendations. The RSPCA offered help and advice to more than 80,000 pet owners last year and the vast majority followed the advice and improved the welfare of their animals. Prosecution is seen as a last resort and the RSPCA always strives to protect vulnerable people as well as animals but recognises that this is an area where we need to do better."


Cottesmore FH terrierman convicted of blocking a badger sett

Offence committed on the morning of a Hunt meet in the area 

17-9-15   LACS Press Release  [VIDEO here]   Cottesmore Hunt employee pleads guilty to badger sett offence   Rutland’s Cottesmore Hunt employee Dean Jones [right, at the sett with terrier], has pleaded guilty to unlawfully obstructing a badger sett. In July this year, Mr Jones was charged with an offence of Interfering with a Badger Sett contrary to the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, following evidence submitted to the police by the League AgainstCottesmoreFHDeanJonesterriermanconvictedsettblocking17-9-15.jpg Cruel Sports. Mr Jones, described on Cottesmore Hunt’s website as its ‘countryman’ (or terrierman), was charged with stopping up entrances to a badger sett near Sauvey Castle, Withcote, Leicestershire.

The offence took place on the morning of Saturday 29th November 2014, only a few hours before the Cottesmore Hunt set off from a meet nearby. Before hunting was banned ten years ago, it was legal to block up badger setts to prevent chased foxes from escaping underground. But with the introduction of the Hunting Act in 2004, amendments were made to the Protection of Badger Act 1992 to outlaw the practice. Badger setts are now protected by law and it is a criminal offence to obstruct access to, or any entrance of, a badger sett. Since it is also now illegal for a fox to be hunted down by hounds, there should be no need to block up badger setts anyway.

Tom Quinn, Campaigns Director for League Against Cruel Sports said: “It is hard to understand why this Cottesmore Hunt employee would be required to block up a badger sett just before the hunt set off, given that it is illegal for hunts to chase foxes. “Sett-blocking by terriermen is one of the lesser-known but still very nasty aspects of hunting, involving cruelty not only to foxes but also badgers and working dogs. This prosecution demonstrates that it’s not only those that wear red coats that break the law, but hunt employees right across the spectrum. We’re pleased that justice has been done, thanks to the commitment of the Leicestershire Police, the CPS’s specialist wildlife crime prosecutor and our own League investigators.”

Dean Jones has been fined £250 for the offence. He must also pay £400 costs and a £25 victim surcharge. This is not the first case where a hunt employee has been convicted of blocking up a badger sett. In the case of R – v – Hopkins & Allen (2011), the judge said: “Stopping up of badger setts is capable of being evidence...of a decision having been taken in advance to hunt live foxes.”

POWAperson adds:-  Sabs and monitors report that the blocking of badger setts by Hunt employees remains commonplace, though there is no reason to do this if they are not deliberately hunting foxes. Hunt terriermen also often attempt to dig-out foxes from setts into which hounds have chased foxes, even though both this and the hunting that caused the foxes to seek sanctuary there are both illegal.  This case brings to 358 the number of persons associated with organised Hunts in the UK known to POWA to have been convicted or cautioned for criminal offences since 1990, involving at least 844 offences, 186 of which were violent offences. These are almost certainly just a tiny fraction of the criminal offences committed by organised hunters. 


Bill Oddie calls for hunting ban in Northern Ireland

Says 'sport' carried out by 'dangerous individuals' 

15-9-15  Belfast Telegraph   Hunting with dogs is done by dangerous individuals, claims Bill Oddie   The popular presenter said it is horrifying that hunting with dogs is still legal in Northern Ireland, despite having been banned throughout the rest of the UK - and pest control is no longer a good reason.  Some of the 18 hunts held in BillOddieVPLACS.jpgNorthern Ireland are now advertising for people on the mainland to come to the Province to take part in a form of bloodsport which is banned elsewhere, according to the League Against Cruel Sports.

Mr Oddie [left] said if any farmer had a problem with foxes he would shoot the animals, rather than using the inefficient method of hunting to control them. "It's just an excuse for the horrible ritual that is hunting," he said. Mr Oddie said most people don't realise that Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where hunting foxes, hares or deer with dogs is still legal. "It's horrifying, because it does mean we're back to square one," he said. The wildlife presenter is vice president of the League Against Cruel Sports, which is calling on the Assembly to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland, in a new charter which is supported by nine animal welfare charities.

League spokesperson Janice Watt said: "People are travelling here for the pleasure of killing animals by ripping them apart with dogs. You have to question what kind of person is attracted to watching an animal being ripped apart by dogs."  An Ipsos MORI survey carried out by the League revealed that three in five people in Northern Ireland think hunting with dogs is already illegal. Fewer than one in 20 people surveyed support deer hunting remaining legal, while fewer than one in five support foxhunting.

Northern Ireland Green Party leader Steven Agnew has tabled a motion to have hunting hounds banned. The MLA said: "With the majority of public opinion in favour of such a ban, it is time Northern Ireland caught up with the other nations on these islands by banning these barbaric 'sports.'”


Two sabs have police dispersal orders quoshed by court

8-9-15    Shropshire Star   Hunt protesters walk free after police order ruled invalid   Two hunt protestors have walked free from court after a judge ruled that an order made by police – the first of its kind under new legislation – was invalid. Andrew Edgerton, 47, of Longleat Close, Minsterley, and Isla Humphreys, 39, of Rock Terrace, Llanidloes, had been charged with failing to comply with a dispersal order requiring them to leave an area on the outskirts of Denbigh during a meeting of the Flint and Denbigh hunt on January 24.

Mr Wyn Jones, prosecuting at Prestatyn Magistrates Court, said the order was made under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Inspector Gareth Jones, of North Wales Police, told the court that on January 20 he, in liaison with Sergeant Neil Stringfellow, felt that an order was necessary to prevent trouble at the meet four days later. Deputy District Judge Richard Williams upheld a submission by Mrs Anna Price, defending, that the authority signed by Insp Jones was invalid as it did not specify clearly the area covered by the order, named as the Plas Heaton estate, and didn’t include enough details in the rationale for making the order. Sgt Stringfellow said after receiving a report that hunt supporter, Edward Lloyd-Ellis, had been assaulted, he went to the Plas Heaton estate and found Edgerton, the alleged assailant, sitting in a car. When asked to get out he refused, so Sgt Stringfellow decided to activate the order. Sgt Stringfellow tried to serve an order on Humphreys she argued it was unlawful. Both defendants and Mr Lloyd-Ellis had originally been charged with assault but all the cases were dropped.


Sabs say they stopped Christ Church Beagles hunting leverets

7-9-15    Facebook – Berkshire Sabs    Bad hare day for Oxford hunters    We've just caught the Christ Church & Farley Hill Beagles attempting to hunt for leverets (baby hares) in Whittingham, Northumberland. The hunters were not happy to see us - to be fair, they had travelled 300 miles from their usual Oxfordshire hunting grounds to get away from us! They are here for the week on a pre-season hunting holiday....but so are we! They won't kill on our watch, so check in for updates throughout the week. Leveret hunting is the beaglers' equivalent of cubbing and is one of the dirtiest secrets of the hunting world. As in cubbing, new inexperienced hounds are taken out in the early morning - when the scent is best - and encouraged to chase leverets. The young hares are easy to catch and so the new hounds quickly get a taste for killing their quarry.


Blackmore Vale FH Huntsman bailed on GBH on sab charge

2-9-15   Western Daily Press    Huntsman Mark Doggrell bailed after latest court appearance over hunt saboteur GBH charge    Huntsman Mark Doggrell has appeared before Taunton Crown Court this morning charged with causing grievous bodily harm to a hunt saboteur, who was knocked down by his horse.  Mr Doggrell, aged 45, huntsman with the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, has been bailed until the next court hearing which was set for December 11.  He pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before South Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil last month and the case was sent for trial at the crown court.  The injured saboteur, Nicola Rawson, known as 'Nid' among animal rights campaigners, was left with seven broken ribs and a collapsed lung when she was hit by a horse while out monitoring the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt in August 2014.

POWA person adds:- After originally arresting Doggrell for this life-endangering assault, the CPS, astonishingly, decided not to charge him. This provoked such public fury that they eventually changed their minds. For the full story see here , here and here.



Sabs upload film of Albrighton & Woodland FH chasing fox

CPS decided they could not prosecute 

1-9-15   Vimeo – W.Mids Sabs    Fox Hunted by Albrighton & Woodland Hunt    "With the law as it stands, hunting is a pale shadow of what it used to be" - Peter McColgan Albrighton & Woodland Huntsman - Shropshire Star 15 July 2015    As this video shows for Peter McColgan hunting is very much what it used to be. On the 24/01/2015 we filmed the Albrighton & Woodland Hunt chasing a fox. The fox ran straight past the entire hunt closely followed by the full pack of hounds. At no point did anyone from the Hunt attempt to call the hounds off. The fox is then turned back into the direction of the chasing hounds by terriermen off camera.  The fox then manages to escape down a badger sett. Sabs get to the sett and manage to call the hounds off and get them away from the sett. It is only at this point that the Huntsman decides to call the hounds back. Sabs stayed at the sett to make sure the terriermen didn't try to dig the fox out.

What was the wildlife officer for Staffordshire Police doing whilst this illegal hunting was happening? He was pulling the sabs van over and accusing them of going out to commit burglaries! We reported this incident to West Mercia police who investigated it fully and professionally. Unfortunately the CPS had to drop case which is why we are now able to post this footage up. “In fact the chief outcome of the ban is that all the sick and injured foxes that the hounds used to finish off have led to an unbalanced and unhealthy population. I see so many foxes suffering from mange, which is a horrible disease; the foxes really suffer if they have that. Our hounds would have taken care of the sick animals, but if that happens now we can get in serious trouble.” - Peter McColgan Shropshire Star 15 July 2015.  The fox in this video certainly wasn't sick and neither was the fox this same hunt killed earlier in the season ( as sick foxes don't provide them with a good chase.

 AlbrightonWchasingfoxstart24-1-15.jpg AlbrightonWchasingfox124-1-15.jpg AlbrightonWchasingfox2_24-1-15.jpg

        Pack chases fox as field looks on                                   Fox fleeing hounds                                Hounds follow line as as fox doubles back 

POWAperson adds - West Midlands Hunt Sabs have reacted to police refusal to charge the Atherstone FH after providing them with film that they believe clearly shows them illegally hunting a fox on 28-2-15 by setting up a 'Prosecute the Atherstone' Facebook campaign and launching a petition to the CPS. They are publicising this in the local area and urging residents to report any suspicious activity by the Hunt.  



 ..... 30th August - Fitzwilliam FH hound and pet spaniel die after being run over on A47

..... 25th August - W.Midlands sabs' PINs to be withdrawn by police, who apologise
..... 25th August - Spaniel and hound killed on A47 as pack chases pet dogs
..... 23rd August - Monitor blocked in for 2 hours by Grafton FH hunters as police refuse to act
..... 19th August - CPS drop Atherstone FH terrierman case after police fail provide evidence in time
..... 12th August - Hound pack loose in Sussex village for an hour and a half
.....  4th August - Blackmore FH Huntsman Doggerell faces trial on charge of GBH
.....  3rd August - Monitors upload film of harassment & assault by Grafton FH supporters
West Midlands sabs' PINs to be withdrawn by police

Leics police admit they were issued inappropriately 

25-8-15   Facebpok W.Midlands Hunt Sabs   Hunt Sabs Update on police information notices served on two West Midlands sabs - they will be overturned   Today the two sabs that were issued with Police Information Notices met with Leicestershire Police to discuss them.  The two sabs had put in an official complaint and the investigating officer today started the meeting by informing them that the issuing of the PIN's will be overturned as they have been misused,  He then went on to apologise on behalf of Leicestershire police for the issuing of the PIN's.  We would like to say a massive THANK YOU to the 3,311 people that signed the petition to overturn the PIN's.  We also would like to thank the two very supportive MP's Geoffrey Robinson and Roger Godsiff who have offered support throughout. We wouldn't have been able to do this without the support of YOU the public. Our campaign to Prosecute the Atherstone is still running strong and has 3,150 signatures - sign here. We are pleased that Leicestershire Police have taken this course of action as we knew that the PIN's had been grossly misused and the police were trying to stop the right to protest. We hope that from this meeting Leicestershire police will now review their policing towards hunt matters and evidence presented to them of hunt actions and start enforcing the law.

You can keep up to date with West Midland Sabs via joining our online newsletter here. Or joining the group 'Prosecute the Atherstone Hunt' here. Thank you.


Pet spaniel and Fitzwilliam hound killed on A47 as hounds chase dogs

Car damaged as main road blocked for ninety minutes

25-8-15   Peterborough Telegraph  Dogs killed after foxhounds and spaniel run onto A47 in Peterborough    Two dogs have died after a pack foxhounds broke off from their morning walk and chased another dog onto the A47 in Peterborough. The animals were spotted on the eastbound carriageway near the Bretton/Thorpe Wood junction at about 7.40am this morning (Tuesday, August 25). A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said officers went to the scene and controlled traffic, but it appeared that two dogs had been killed. It later emerged that the dogs had come from the nearby Milton Park. The foxhounds belonged to the Fitzwilliam Hunt.

A spokesman for the Milton Hall estate, where the hunt has its kennels, said: “At approximately 7.30am this morning the Fitzwilliam foxhounds were being walked through Milton Park to meet the hunt horses prior to the start of daily hound exercise. At the same time a spaniel and retriever were unexpectedly being walked in the same area of the park. “A small group of hounds broke away from the main pack and together with the spaniel ran through an area of woodland onto the eastbound carriageway of the A47. Regrettably the spaniel and a foxhound were killed by a passing car unable to take evasive action. The police attended the scene. So far as we are aware no-one was injured but one vehicle was damaged in this unfortunate and regrettable incident.” The road was blocked while the rest of the foxhounds were rounded up. The police spokesman said the road was cleared just before 9am. 


Female monitor blocked in by hunters for 2 hours - police refuse to act  

23-8-15   Facebook – Judy Gilbert    Aren't Our Police Wonderful - Especially at Hunt Meets    Whilst attempting to monitor the Grafton Hunt because of suspected illegal foxhunting at Shelswell Park, Newton Purcell, Bicester on 19 February 2015, a female Hunt Monitor was subjected to bullying tactics by the hunt servants. She was blocked in by vehicles belonging to the hunt or hunt supporters for over two hours. The police were useless in this situation. Take a look here and see what you think. Totally unacceptable!                  


CPS drop Atherstone terrierman case after police fail to provide evidence in time

Sabs had filmed terrierman and colleague blocking sett in advance of hunt

19-8-15  Facebook – W.Mids Hunt Sabs   WM Sabs should have been witnesses today at Loughborough Magistrates Court. On Boxing Day 2014 the Atherstone Hunt terrier-man Rob Pickering and John Coote were filmed [video at] filling in an active badger sett after sending in a terrier to flush out any foxes. These are two criminal offences under the Badger Act 1992. Pickering can be seen holding a tracker which is used to locate the terriers underground. Coote can then be seen filling in the entrances to the badger sett with a spade. Hounds then follow later searching over the sett followed by the Atherstone Huntsman Stuart Barton. Does this look like the actions of a hunt who claim they abide by the law and follow a trail?...

Pickering was subsequently charged but even though details of Coote were supplied to the police they failed to act on this information... A badger expert clarified the sett was active and statements from us were supplied to the police. We had heard nothing from the police for some time so we rang them to see if they wanted our original footage for the court case as the court date was drawing near. We were then informed that the case was no longer proceeding. When questioned why, we were reluctantly told it was due to evidential reasons. When pressed further why the CPS had dropped the case the policeman became defensive and said we needed to apply directly to the CPS as he didn't know why.... when we made contact with the CPS, who were reasonable with us, we were told the police were given a deadline by the court which the police failed to comply with, leaving the CPS with no option but to discontinue the case. The CPS also stated that lessons needed to be learnt from this case and they will be subsequently meeting with Leicestershire police.  


Hound pack loose in Sussex village for hour and a half

Villagers say hounds chased, fought with local pet dogs 

12-8-15  West Sussex County Times   Who let the dogs out? Pack of hounds loose in Partridge Green Villagers in Partridge Green witnessed the bizarre sight of a pack of dogs roaming around the area this morning. It is believed around 20 hounds escaped from a kennel when a gate was left open, some time after 8am. A Sussex Police spokesperson said the dogs were seen at one point in High Street, where they were involved in a fight with another dog. The other dog was not seriously hurt and the owner advised police that no veterinary treatment was necessary. The hounds were reported to be under control and all accounted for by 9.30am. There are no other reports to any injuries or damage to people or other animals. Police helped to round up the runaway dogs, while locals took to a village Facebook page to discuss the strange sight...                                     


Blackmore FH Huntsman Doggerell faces trial on GBH charge

Denies riding over and seriously injuring female sab with horse 

4-8-15   Western Daily Press   Somerset huntsman Mark Doggrell pleads 'not guilty' to GBH of hunt sab 'Nid'    A huntsman with a Somerset hunt has pleaded 'not guilty' to a charge of GBH against a hunt saboteur who was knocked down by his horse last year. Mark Doggrell, from the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, appeared before magistrates in Yeovil on Tuesday charged with causing grievous bodily harm to Nicola Rawson. Ms Rawson, known as 'Nid' among the animal rights campaign, was left with seven broken ribs and a collapsed lung when she was hit by a horse while out monitoring the BSV hunt last August. Mr Doggrell, 45, pleaded 'not guilty' and the case was sent for trial at Taunton Crown Court on September 1.

   BlackmoreFHHuntsmanmowsdownsab10-14.jpg   BlackmoreFHNidafterrundownbyHuntsman8-14.jpg

         Huntsman rides away after mowing down Nid                                           Nid about to be airlifted to hospital 

POWAperson adds - Readers may recall that, despite ample video and witness evidence of what happened, the CPS made the extraordinary decision not to charge the Huntsman. An online campaign and a challenge from the victim under the Victims' Right to Review scheme eventually persuaded them to change their minds. The full trial is probably still a few months away - expect September 1st to just be a case management hearing. See the Mail's account, which includes embedded video of the incident.


Monitors upload film of harassment and assault by Grafton hunt supporters

Thought one, apparently drunk, supporter cautioned for assault on a monitor 

3-8-15  You Tube  Grafton Hunt – Masked Intimidation – 8 February 2014   Hunt Monitoring [see Wikipedia] is an activity undertaken by concerned individuals who want to see the Hunting Act upheld. This film aims to show the public what Monitors experience whilst attempting to gather the evidence of suspected illegal hunting. The behaviour of the Grafton Hunt members is absolutely appalling and sometimes even violent. To learn more about Hunt Monitors and their campaigns please visit our Facebook pages - here and here and the POWA/Hunt Monitors Association website here .

   GraftonFHFollowerassaultingmonitor2-14.jpg    GraftonFHterriermanintimidatingfemalemonitor2-14.jpg

                     Hunt follower assaults monitor [grey hair]                                                 Grafton terrierman intimidating female monitor

   GraftonFHfollowerintimidatingmonitor2-14.jpg    GraftonFHHuntsmanhasslingmonitors2-18.jpg

                  Hunt follower intimidating female monitor                                      Huntsman wipes boot on monitor car bumper & spits 

POWAperson adds - The monitors complained to Northamptonshire police and supplied film evidence. The police replied that 'no offences have been disclosed' !  However, it is believed that the main offender, Anthony Mooney, was cautioned by police for the assault on a male hunt monitor, though confirmation is awaited. The footage shows behaviour by hunt supporters, and the Huntsman, which is absolutely typical of most Hunts and sometimes more violent. See, for instance 'Abuse and violence at the Old Berks Hunt'.'Isle of Wight Hunt exposed', 'Bad behaviour at the Hunt' . There are numerous other examples on YouTube and other social media of obstruction, intimidation, abuse, threats and violence by hunt members and followers against monitors and sabs, some considerably worse than the examples given. 


JULY 2015

 ..... 30th July - Police seek 4 re. nasty attack on sabs at Colne Valley Beagles Boxing Day meet

..... 28th July - Tim Bonner to replace 'Barney' as Countryside Alliance CEO
.... 27th July - 3 Gloucs Hunts accused of illegal hunting, sett interference, breach biosecurity
..... 23rd July - East Kent FH five have Hunting Act charges dropped by CPS
..... 23nd July - Landowner cleared of Hunt allegations after invaded his property 'in frenzy'
..... 23rd July - MSP calls for complete ban on hunting with hounds in Scotland
..... 22nd July - Convicted terrierman's brood bitch signed over to fosterer after online campaign
..... 20th July - MPs criticise Leics police for fostering Atherstone FH's 'illegal hunting'
..... 17th July - Tories seem unable to find way to relax or repeal Hunting Act
..... 14th July - Facing defeat, panicked Cameron postpones vote on Hunting Act amendments
..... 14th July - Wrapped dead fox dumped on prominent anti ex-MP's drive
..... 13th July - SNP decide to vote against Hunting Act amendments Statuatory Instrument
..... 13th July - Appalling treatment of hounds by Hunts is exposed by Daily Mirror
..... 12th July - 3 Ross Harriers terriermen convicted of HA, one of Animal Welfare Act offences
..... 12th July - Ex-Huntsman revels sordid details of cruelty of fox hunting
..... 12th July - Grafton FH supporter youth cautioned for abusive call to female hunt monitor
..... 12th July - Scottish Parliament to review its hunting 'ban'
.....  9th July - League slams government HA amendments as 'deceit' and 'effective repeal'
.....  9th July - Statuatory Instryument to amend the Hunting Act published by DEFRA
.....  8th July - Cameron will try to amend Hunting Act by Statutory Instrument soon
.....  6th July - Cottesmore FH terrierman charge with interfering with badger sett
.....  3rd July - CPS finally decides to charge Huntsman who seriously injured sab last August
Police seek 4 re. nasty assault on sabs at Colne Valley Beagles Boxing Day meet

30-7-15   Huddersfield Daily Examiner   Look: Can you identify four suspects wanted for interview following Boxing Day fox hunt protestor assault at Jack O'Mitre pub in Scammonden?   Pictures have been released of suspects wanted over an alleged attack at a Boxing Day hunt. Four men are still wanted for questioning in relation to the 2014 incident that occurred during a Colne Valley Beagles hunt meet at the Jack O’ Mitre pub at Scammonden. The images have been taken from video footage gained from one of twelve protesters from a local wing of the national organisation Hunt Saboteurs, who were present on the day to monitor a supposed rabbit and trail hunt. The video purportedly shows two hunt saboteurs being dragged out of their van before being assaulted by a group of several people, which resulted in one victim having two teeth knocked out. The hunt meet was then abandoned when West Yorkshire Police attended the scene.

Officers later said that only one male was being investigated over the incident. Kirklees Rural PC Angela Lister, who is based at Holmfirth Police Station, said that she hopes that the images will encourage people who know them to come forward. She said: “So far we have interviewed four people over the assaults but none have been arrested. We still have four suspects outstanding, one being a main player according to video footage taken from the scene. I have been in touch with the Crown Prosecution Service who want the file on the case sending to them. It contains the footage taken by the hunt saboteurs which is quite damning. I would urge anyone with any information about those pictured to get in touch to help us with our enquiries.”

Commenting on the incident to the Examiner back in December, James Swanbury, senior joint master of the Colne Valley Beagles denied that any of the club’s members or supporters had been involved. He said: “I’m aware that an incident took place but am sure that no hunt members of the group or supporters were involved – it was somebody else. I’m very upset about it.” Anyone with any information about those pictured should call the police on 101.

  ColneVllyBeagles1of4wantedreassaultonsabs26-12-14.jpg  ColneVllyBeagles2of4wantedreassaultonsabs26-12-14.jpg  ColneVllyBeagles3of4wantedreassaultonsabs26-12-14.jpg  ColneVllyBeagles4of4wantedreassaultonsabs26-12-14.jpg

POWAperson adds - The original report of the vicious attack is here. The sab's film of the incident has not yet been published. The writer's use of the term 'supposed rabbit hunt and trail hunt' suggests that at least one journo has caught on to the fact that 'trail hunting' is nearly always a false alibi for live quarry hunting and so, in the case of hare hunts like the CVB, is 'rabbit hunting'.                                             


Tim Bonner to replace 'Barney' as Countryside Alliance CEO

28-7-15   Countryside Alliance PR   Tim Bonner announced as new Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance   The Countryside Alliance has announced that Sir Barney White-Spunner will be stepping down as its Executive Chairman after the AGM in September.  The Board has appointed Director of Campaigns, Tim Bonner, [right] to take charge as Chief Executive when he leaves.  Sir Barney has spent three and a half years at the head of Britain’s largest rural campaigning organisation.

Countryside Alliance chairman, Lord Mancroft, said: “Barney has brought much needed stability to the organisationTimBonner.jpg and wrestled with some of the most intractable issues facing the British countryside. He leaves hunting in good heart - if a bit frustrated by the vagaries of the SNP, shooting in a much better place than he found it and a Government far more engaged on a range of rural issues than when he arrived.  He has also started restructuring us so that we are fit to face the challenges of campaigning in the digital 21st century world.   We are hugely grateful for his efforts. The Board was able to appoint an exceptional internal candidate in Tim Bonner who will provide continuity whilst pushing forward the evolution of the Alliance and its campaigns. We remain committed to providing a voice for rural minorities however controversial the issue, and the organisation must continue to adapt to maintain its influence in an ever-changing world."...

Barney White-Spunner said: “... It has been a great privilege to lead the Alliance and to be able to give something back to a world which has been so much a part of my life.” Tim Bonner said: "This appointment is a huge honour, but most of all a huge responsibility. I am constantly aware of the hundreds of thousands of Countryside Alliance members and supporters who rely on us to give them a voice. The Alliance will always focus on the core political and campaigning work it does best, but must also change to face new challenges.

POWAperson comments - As ever, despite their cosmetic work on other rural issues, the overriding interest of the CA is the protection and furtherance of bloodsports.  The appointment of Tim Bonner, who has been their lead spokesman on hunting issues for some years merely confirms that bloodsports will remain their central focus, especially as Bonner will be working in tandem with hunting fanatic Lord Mancroft as CA Chairman.


Gloucs Hunts accused of illegal hunting and sett interference

Much of alleged activity takes place within badger cull zone 

Concerns about Btb biosecurity in badger cull zone raised 

27-7-15   POWA has been sent the following information, and permission to reproduce it here, which details the observed activity of three Hunts that operate within the Gloucestershire badger cull zone. This involves both allegations of illegal hunting and of considerable alleged interference with badger setts in relation to their hunting - and also the assistance some Hunt members render to the badger cull. It also casts light on the historic attitudes of fox hunters to badgers, which were even hunted with hounds in some areas until after the second world war. See the Three Counties Sabs FB page for more info on these Hunts and video evidence of their behaviour.

Some points regarding fox hunting in the Gloucestershire badger cull zone   The cull zone is encapsulated within the M50, the M5 and the A40. Within this area three mounted packs, all of whom hunt foxes, operate as the cull zone forms part of their respective countries - Ross Harriers (who also hunt hares), Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt and the Ledbury. The fact that they hunt foxes (and we have footage of them hunting and killing foxes, especially the Ledbury) is directly relevant to the cull as foxes co-habit with badgers in setts, a fact recognised by naturalists and hunters alike.

Peter Beckford, writing in the 18th century, describes how to eradicate badger setts in "Thoughts on Hunting" (a very well regarded book within the hunting fraternity.  He regarded badgers as vermin because their setts interfered with fox hunting when foxes escaped down them.  He also describes what he did with badgers which consisted of mutilating them and feeding them to the pack alive. In a book written to celebrate the centenary of the Heythrop "The Heythrop Hunt", by GT Hutchinson, 1935 - "Badgers and foxes go very well together. They tell me that they killed nearly all the badgers in one of the woods in Sir Tatton's old country, and that there was one found the next day, and it was lying curled up in the earth with a fox". Hunting badgers with hounds is mentioned pages 164-166, 80 odd years ago, and no evidence of this happening now but it does show what was commonplace in the past.

The point of fox hunting is that the paying mounted field gets a long, fast run. This does not happen when a fox disappears down into a 20ft deep badger sett and so, for over 300 years, setts have been targeted by hunts just because of this. This, sad to say, has not changed. Sett blocking in order to stop a fox escaping the hunt is commonplace within the Gloucestershire cull zone. Some examples are as follows;

- 7th October 2009. A large sett was blocked just south of Tewkesbury in the eastern side of the zone. On unblocking it there was a strong smell of deisel. The police attended a few days later. The sett was blocked again on another occassion when the CVFH were in the vicinity on 13th March 2010. The sett is now not active.

- 17th January 2012. Just east of the A38 on the east side of the cull zone the CVFH pack were stationary for a very long period. It was dark but I went down to see what was happening. The Huntsman, hounds, masters and field were waiting patiently whilst terrierman Nick Hodges dug out a badger sett. One of the masters, Jason Warner blocked me with his horse whilst they all packed up and escaped very quickly. This sett is no longer active. Nick Hodges was out during the cull, we met him on Cut Throat Lane near Aston Crews at midnight October 2014, he told us that they had just killed a badger.

- In October 2012 in a covert owned by the Ledbury hunt a large sett was discovered with staves and fence posts rammed down many entrances, this had been done some weeks previously. This sett is no longer active.

- Also on 26th September 2012, whilst out with the Ledbury, a sett was found to be blocked on a public footpath, one entrance was unblocked and hounds were marking the fox to ground, he had escaped down an unblocked hole. An ITV camera crew filmed the sett and a wasps nest had been disturbed by the blocking. This area has been attacked many times. The police rebuked the Ledbury 5 years ago for blocking a sett in the area, that sett had deisel poured down it just before the proposed 2012 cull just before the Ledbury were due to meet there.

- On 15th February 2013, I filmed a brace of foxes running together being hunted by the Ledbury from Corse Grove. The Master Louise Daly was following me on foot and made a pathetic attempt to stop the pack for the camera. The Huntsman at the time, Will Goffe, encouraged them on. I noted that they had gone up some badger runs. Later, we went back and an active badger sett was discovered blocked and with hound prints all over it. The 2 foxes had obviously tried to seek refuge but had been forced to go on. It was unblocked and the RSPCA were informed. This sett was targeted in both culls with both cage trapping and free shooting. The owner of the land is Jompy Smith, he was arrested for allegedly hitting an anti-cull activist during the first cull. Roger Warner, another Ledbury Master who is signed up for the cull at Town Street Farm Tirley, was with him on that night. It is thought that they were trying to shoot badgers.

- A major sett on the Forthampton estate was found to be destroyed in the Spring of 2013. It is thought it may have been blocked for the 1st of March 2013 meet at the Hunters Inn Buckbury, near where the Ledbury killed a fox by the main road. The police investigated and the gamekeeper blamed the hunt and vice versa. The RSPCA also investigated.

- 18th October 2014, The Ross Harriers marked a fox to ground in the Rudhall area of the zone. The sett was later dug out. West Mercia police attended along with Natural England at a later date. They confimed that it was an active sett. This sett was targeted during the cull and dug out within the cull zone whilst the cull was still in progress.

- 22nd December 2014. The Ledbury met at Pauntley Court and we found a major sett nearby to be hard blocked. This sett was targeted during both culls and, in 2013, we found a cage on it covered in blood. The police attended and signs of badger activity and fresh latrines were noted. This sett has not recovered.

- On Christmas Eve a sett a couple of fields away was also found to be blocked, this was also targeted during both culls and is now not active. It is thought that the second sett was also blocked for the same day, the Hunt passed both setts and hoof prints were noted around both setts. Horses are not normally seen in either area. Once a Hunt knows that we are watching a sett they are far less likely to target it. We have had anti-cull activists sett checking on days in the vicinity of where hunts are going to be when we have enough notice of meets. This needs to continue and develop. If a sett is not blocked this means that hounds will be chasing foxes down setts and then "marking" i.e trying to get into the sett, digging the earth around the sett and then going on elsewhere.

One day in Eldersfield the Ledbury marked 4 foxes to ground at 4 different setts, all of which were targeted during both culls. It is a normal part of fox hunting which is why it is astonishing that it has continued in what we are told are high-risk areas and practiced by those who were actively involved in the culling, either as participants or as landowners signed up for the cull. The fact that those sett blocking are hardly likely to be disinfecting themselves and vehicles surely makes a mockery of the biosecurity farce, as does allowing 20 couple of foxhounds to dig in earth around supposedly Btb infested setts, before traipsing through fields full of cows and bullocks. If badgers were really such a threat to cattle via Btb we should ask the question as to why Hunts are allowed to carry on regardless in so called hotspots during a cull which has cost the taxpayer millions of pounds. We also need to be asking why those who are involved in the badger cull are also involved in fox hunting within the zone during the cull period when there are obvious contraindications to biosecurity via transmission from hounds and added stress to both badgers and cattle. The illegal tampering with and destruction of setts is not factored in with either the estimation of overall population or it's impact on pertubation within the Gloucestershire zone. I have only included what has happened within the zone but all 3 packs have country outside the zone and act in the same way. For example we caught the Ledbury terrierman trying to dig out a fox in a sett near Upton, he abandoned the dig when we spoke to him on 23rd January 2013.

  LedburyFHFoxfleeinghoundsatFordhampton6-3-15.jpg  LedburyFHHuntsmanhoundschasingfox6-3-15.jpg  LedburyFHHarefleeinghounds6-3-15.jpg

      Fox fleeing Ledbury hounds 6-3-15           Huntsman, hounds chase fox over bridge               Hare flees Ledbury                   

  LedburyFHdisruptingtraffic6-3-15.jpg  LedburyFHBadgersettblockedwithlogson6-3-15.jpg  LedburycountryManpoursdeiselintosett25-9-12.jpg

       Ledbury disrupting traffic 6-3-15                Sett blocked with logs on 6-3-15                    Man pours diesel into sett  25-9-12


East Kent FH five have Hunting Act charges dropped by CPS

Sabs say Act needs changing if their video evidence insufficient 

23-7-15   Kent Online   East Kent Hunt Saboteurs Association hit out at Crown Prosecution Service for dropping charges against suspected Bilsington fox hunters    Members of the East Kent Hunt Saboteurs Association (East Kent HSA), who regularly disrupt organised hunts, said the group is "concerned" about the Crown Prosecution Service's decision to drop the case. Jack Jones, 23, from West Brabourne; Paul Smissen, 61, from Alkham; Michael Manahon, 26, from East Sussex; Alfie Vassar , 24, from Rhodes Minnis and Mary Major, 46, were accused of fox hunting with hounds in Bilsington, near Ashford.  But all charges have been discontinued by the court and the group will not face any further criminal proceedings.

A spokesman for the East Kent HSA said: "It is unbelievable that the CPS believe that there was insufficientEKentFHmeetIvybridge22-11-14.jpg evidence - there was video footage, which speaks for itself. "The police clearly thought there was a case to answer, as did the CPS, as charges would not have been brought against them, and the case would not have been allowed to proceed to court if the case was weak.  This is not the first time that this hunt has been accused of illegal hunting, but it is the first time its supporters have been charged and appeared in court for hunting offences."

The court cases have come about in the midst of a national debate about the fox hunting ban, introduced by Labour more than 10 years ago. But the East Kent Saboteurs – or Sabs as they call themselves – said the decision to drop the case has highlighted the need for some amendments. The spokesman, who asked not to be named, added: "Given as none of the hunts can be trusted to obey the law, parts of the Hunting Act need to change. All the exemptions to the act means that prosecution is extremely difficult, or even impossible. This recent decision by the CPS highlights the need for non violent direct action even more. If the institutions of justice fail to act in a fair manner, people will take direct action to see that justice is done."

The CPS defended its decision to drop the charges, on the grounds there was not enough evidence. Kris Venkatasami, deputy chief crown prosecutor for CPS South East, said: "The video footage was reviewed by more than one of our prosecutors and they concluded that there was insufficient evidence within it to prove the requirements of the legislation to the court."  The East Kent Hunt has been approached for a comment.

      EKentFHHoundstakeoffafterfox23-12-14.jpg   EKentFHHoundsabouttokillfox23-12-14.jpg

                Hounds had been searching along hedgerow                             Hounds catch fox as riders look on

     EKentFHHuntsmanblowskill23-12-14.jpg   EKentFHTerriermanabouttothrowcarcasstohounds23-12-14.jpg 

                         Huntsman blows the kill                                        Terrierman about to throw carcass back to hounds 


Landowner acquitted of Hunt allegations after reacting angrily to invasion

23-7-15   Guardian   Court clears landowner of assault on hounds, horses and hunt followers     A Devon landowner who was furious that a hunt had “run amok” on his property has been cleared of running over hounds in his car, reversing at horse riders and attacking a man by grabbing him by his neck. Jonathon Wright-Watson claimed during his trial that the hounds had trespassed on his land and that hunters had struck out at his vehicle with their riding crops. He told Plymouth crown court that about 15 dogs in a “frenzy” had run on to his property, menacing his own dog and cornering his cats. The artist and sculptor admitted grabbing one of the hounds and driving off with it in his pick-up truck. But he denied speeding at any stage, hitting any dogs, reversing towards riders or assaulting a hunt follower. A jury took only 45 minutes after a three-day trial to unanimously acquit Wright-Watson of assault by beating and dangerous driving on 13 December last year....

21-7-15 Guardian   Devon landowner ran over hounds as hunt 'ran amok', court hears   Jonathon Wright-Watson denies dangerous driving and assault after becoming annoyed that hunt ‘trespassed’ on to his land near Totnes. A landowner who was furious that a hunt had “run amok” on his property ran over hounds in his car, reversed at horse riders and attacked a foot follower by grabbing him by his neck, a court has heard. Jonathon Wright-Watson claimed the hounds had trespassed on his land and that hunters had struck out at his vehicle withDartValeS.PoolHarriers.jpg their riding crops.

The Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers [right, credit Somerset sabs] were on a Saturday morning hunt near Totnes in Devon following a scented trail, Plymouth crown court heard on Tuesday. Wright-Watson had said he did not want the hunt, made up of 35 hounds, 20 riders and about 40 foot followers, on his land.  Edward Bailey, prosecuting, said: “Mr Wright-Watson exercised his right, which he is perfectly entitled to do, to say that this Hunt would not have any permission to hunt over his land.”  But Bailey said: “This is exactly what appears to have happened during the course of that morning.” Bailey said Wright-Watson was to tell police later that the hounds were clambering over the roofs of outbuildings, frightening children and scaring his pets.  “He was cross about this to say the least,” said Bailey.

The prosecutor said he grabbed one hound and put it in the back of his pickup before driving off at speed to try to find the owner. When he came upon hunt follower Stanley Wreyford he allegedly grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and shouted at him: “Is this your fucking dog?”  Wreyford said it wasn’t and Wright-Watson drove on, the court heard. Wright-Watson, 55, of Harberton, Devon, allegedly hit three hounds who were in the middle of a lane, leaving one of them – called Bounty - with a broken pelvis, which means she cannot hunt or breed. He then reversed at a group of riders, it is claimed.

In police interview, Wright-Watson said he was annoyed that the hounds were on his land. But he said he drove down the lanes in first gear at 15mph and he had merely put out his arm towards Wreyford to stop him falling down a bank. He denied hitting any hounds and said there was plenty of room for the riders to get around his vehicle when he reversed down the lane. He claimed that the riders were “in a frenzy” and were hitting his vehicle with their riding crops and opening his boot to look inside. Wright-Watson denies dangerous driving and assaulting Wreyford by beating. The trial continues.

MSP calls for complete ban on hunting with hounds in Scotland

23-7-15  Southern Reporter  MSP sounds horn for total fox hunting ban    The current laws on fox hunting are unworkable and the Scottish Government needs to consult on banning the practice outright. So says Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame [left] in the wake of last week’s scrapping of the Westminster vote on Conservative proposals to water down restrictions on fox hunting in England and Wales. IfChristineGrahameMSP.jpg successful, it would have seen the restriction that only two dogs can be used by hunts in England and Wales changed and mirror the practice in Scotland that permits an unlimited number of foxhounds used to flush a fox from cover towards waiting marksmen. The vote plan collapsed, however, after the SNP made it known its large contingent of MPs would break with the convention of not voting on English and Welsh-only issues and vote against the changes. And Ms Grahame, the SNP convener of the cross-party group in the Scottish Parliament on animal welfare, says the whole issue now needs reviewing north of the border.

“The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 was initially introduced in 1999 as a Members Bill, not a Government Bill,” she told The Southern. “I initially signed up to the proposal, as I am wholly opposed to fox hunting, but once the actual bill was drafted, I did not support it as I felt it was a badly drafted law and was unworkable. This has been proven as it is difficult, if not impossible to police, particularly in our remote Borders valleys. It disturbs all wildlife and, indeed, heaven help any domestic animal caught up in the hunt. I would like to see the Scottish Government consulting on banning the practice of hunting outright and this would allow a proper discussion on the issue of ‘pest’ control as distinct from hunting for sport.” And SNP MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk,

Calum Kerr, defended his party’s decision to scupper UK Government plans to relax the ban on fox hunting in England and Wales. “We’re fulfilling our promise to be a force for progressive politics whenever we can,” he stated.

Convicted terrierman's brood bitch signed over to fosterer after online campaign

One pup given to RSPCA, 2 sold after court failed to make banning order 

22-7-15    Alan [aka Dylan] Hill, a terrierman attached to Ross Harriers, was caught with a bagged fox by police and convicted of a Hunting Act and an Animal Welfare Act offence [see article below]. The court, however, failed to make a banning or confiscation order for the terriers found with him, some of which were heavily scarred, obviously from previous baiting encounters. This prompted an online campaign to have the terriers, which were placed in temporary foster care, permanently removed from him. Thankfully the brood bitch, Poppet [left], has now been signed over to the fosterer, but, alas, the other dogs have had to be returned to him.   22 Jul 2015 — Poppet, the dog in the picture [right], has been officially signed over to the fosterer. Whilst unfortunately they did get the other dogs back this is a huge success as Poppet was clearly badly affected by her previous treatment.    Confiscate Alan Hills dogs under the Animal Welfare Act    Ashleigh Louise UK    Today the media celebrates the success of the Hunting act, as 3 Herefordshire men are prosecuted for illegally hunting.  However this is not the full story, and unfortunately justice has still not been served.

In the early evening of Wednesday 29th October 2014, local police pulled over a car towing a trailer carrying a quad bike for a routine traffic offence. However things escalated when one of the men, Alan Hill, grabbed a bag from the vehicle and ran across a field with it. After the police gave chase Hill was caught and the police found a live fox inside the bag, which promptly escaped into the wilderness. Now under suspicion of Animal Welfare offences, the 3 men: Alan Hill, James Smith and Jack Hudd, were taken into police custody. A search of the vehicle revealed 3 small terrier dogs contained in 2 small crates attached to the quad bike.

The dogs were dirty and wet but also obviously bleeding from facial injuries and so veterinary assistance was called for, and the dogs were taken for a thorough examination. The condition of the female was even more shocking. She had obtained a previous injury resulting in her lower lip under her bottom jaw being completely ripped off, leaving only hairless scar tissue to much of the underside of her face. To accompany this were multiple fresh wounds to her upper lip and muzzle, including one very close to her left eye, and another resulting in a large swelling of her upper lip. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the female was also heavily pregnant….

However, the fate of the female now affectionately named Poppet, her 5 puppies, and the 2 males she was found with now hangs in the balance. Although the 3 men, Alan Hill, Jack Hudd and James Smith, were found GUILTY of hunting with dogs, and also GUILTY of not meeting the welfare needs of the fox found in the bag, they were found NOT GUILTY of not meeting the welfare needs of the 3 dogs. Their sentence included a fine and a criminal record but DID NOT include the confiscation of the dogs or a ban from keeping animals. Section 9 of the Animal Welfare act, for which they were charged, states that: “1) A person commits an offence if he does not take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which he is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice. (2) For the purposes of this Act, an animal's needs shall be taken to include— (a) its need for a suitable environment, (b) its need for a suitable diet, (c) its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, (d) any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, and (e) its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.”

Because these men were found NOT GUILTY, all 8 dogs will now be returned to them, and they will likely be forced to return to the “work” that these men made them do which resulted in their permanent disfigurements, pain and suffering. Please sign this petition and join us in calling for the dogs to be confiscated as Alan Hill is not fit to own animals.

23-7-15  PETITION UPDATE Victory!  Ashleigh Louise, United Kingdom    As you know Poppet was officially signed over to the RSPCA yesterday. We have now received further information regarding the puppies. 1 has been signed over to the RSPCA and another 2 sold, one of which was sold to the kennels that were looking after the dogs during the investigation. This is fantastic news so thank you to everyone who took the time to sign and share and bring much needed publicity to this situation. Poppet can now start a new life in a loving home.

POWAperson adds:-  Well done to Ashleigh Louise for organising the petition which, presumably played a role in assuring that Poppet, and three other of the terriers, are now safe from her abusive owner. A small correction to the text above. Alan [Dylan] Hill has now acquired a criminal record, having been convicted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This is because AWA offences carry a potential prison sentence and are therefore classified as 'recordable'.  Alas, Hunting Act offences do not carry a gaol sentence and are not 'recordable.' So, Hudd and Smith have not acquired criminal records and nor will Hill's Hunting Act conviction appear on his. POWA has long campaigned for a prison sentence of up to six months to be one of the much needed amendments required to strengthen the Hunting Act, if only to bring it into line with other animal welfare laws.

MPs criticise Leics police support of Atherstone's 'illegal hunting'



July 2015   HSA Press Release   Police target Hunt Saboteurs  Two West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs (WMHS) have been informed that Leicestershire police are trying to issue them with a Police Information Notice (PIN) following allegations made by the Atherstone hunt. Over the last season, the two sabs in question attended the Atherstone Hunt on a regular basis, where they gained footage of illegal hunting, assaults, racist behaviour and blocked badger setts. Currently one of the sabs is a witness in a court case concerning the illegal blocking of badger setts. The prospective witness also believes followers of the hunt have been to her home address and committed criminal damage to two vehicles, which the hunt have openly boasted about.

The police are accusing the sabs of goading and harassing a member of the hunt. When asked by the sab's solicitor if they will be serving the hunt with any PINs in response to their law breaking the police replied that they will merely be speaking to the Hunt regarding their behaviour. All of the allegations made by the hunt against WMHS this season have been proven to be false. So the police are now helping the hunt by grossly misusing a Police Information Notice, which they don't need any evidence to issue. They can base it on any allegations made to them, no matter if they are unsubstantiated.

West Mids sabs have video evidence of this particular hunt member assaulting and harassing sabs but the police would rather act on unsubstantiated allegations by the Hunt. Recently WMHS received a copy of a letter from the Atherstone Hunt Masters to it's supporters regarding the 2014/2015 hunting season. The letter shows that the police were advising the Hunt during this season and had even been out undercover with them. The police had been advising the hunt on it's behaviour and had also given advice regarding video footage that the sab group posted online. The letter states "To continue having good sport, we all have to do our bit to discourage the saboteurs/monitors by following the advice of the police".

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the HSA, stated: “In our opinion this is a gross misuse of PINs. By issuing them Leicestershire police are trying to suppress the right to protest and this must be contested so this does not become a common tactic used against hunt saboteurs and other protest groups. The Hunt letter also proves that the police are once again taking the side of hunts and are turning a blind eye to repeated criminal behaviour on their part. They are further misusing powers to aid illegal hunting. We would like to hear how Leicestershire police can justify their behaviour and we hope they start allocating greater resources to illegal hunting rather than persecuting innocent protestors ”

POWAperson adds - We have itemised numerous reports of the activities of the Atherstone Hunt over the last couple of years which can be found in our UK Hunting News Archive.

Tories seem unable to find way to relax or repeal Hunting Act

17-7-15  Western Daily Press    David Cameron admits he 'can't make progress' on Hunting Act    The Prime Minister remains uncertain about when MPs will get to vote on a repeal of the hunting ban, after warning it will be "very difficult to make progress" on the issue. David Cameron stressed he is still committed to delivering a free vote on amending the 2004 hunting Act, but indicated it would not happen until Scottish MPs "change their approach". His comments came during a visit to Cornwall... The trip marked the end to a week which should have seen MPs given a free vote on proposed amendments to the hunting ban.

The reform would have lifted limits on the number of dogs that farmers can use to "flush out" wild animals, but the vote was dropped after SNP members threatened to intervene. Speaking about prospects for rescheduling the vote, Mr Cameron said he still believed in delivering the manifesto pledge, but warned it would present a challenge. "While the Scottish National Party are being so opportunistic and going against what they always said – that they wouldn't vote on purely English and Welsh matters – it's actually quite difficult to make progress on this," he said. "That's why I pulled the vote – because it was clear it wasn't going to go ahead and I didn't want to waste everyone's time in that way. But the Conservative Party believes you should have free votes on this issue."  Asked whether MPs would ever have a chance to vote on overturning the ban in its entirety, the Prime Minister said "a vote on the change in regulation was an important step. But given we can't even make progress on that with the SNP taking its current view means that it would be very difficult to make progress on this agenda," he added

Facing defeat, panicked Cameron pulls Hunting Act amendments S.I.

Intent is to bring it back after EVEL has become law so SNP can't vote 

14-7-15   Sky News   Plans To Change Fox Hunting Rules Pulled    Government plans to relax rules on fox hunting in England and Wales have been shelved in the face of the change being defeated.  The dramatic climbdown comes after it emerged the SNP was to vote against the proposals despite them not affecting Scotland.  The nationalists, who normally do not vote on England-only matters, had linked their opposition to the Government's plans for English votes for English laws (EVEL). This would give English MPs a veto over England-only legislation at Westminster. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has also warned her party is ready to vote on other issues which do not directly affect Scotland in future.

Fox hunting is currently banned throughout Britain - but in Scotland an unlimited amount of dogs can be used by farmers or landowners to flush out foxes. In England and Wales there is a limit of just two dogs and the Government had wanted to amend the law to bring it in line with Scotland. Campaigners had accused the Tory administration of trying to bring back fox hunting "through the back door". Animal welfare activists, including Queen guitarist Brian May, were due to stage a protest outside Parliament as news of the vote being delayed was announced.

Speaking ahead of the Government U-turn, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the SNP decision underlined the need to press ahead with English votes for English laws. She told Sky News: "What this shows is that actually we are right to bring forward changes to the House of Commons so that on England-only matters, English MPs get a say. Fox hunting is a devolved matter. The SNP had previously said they would not vote on devolved matter, on England-only matters. They now appear to have changed their minds on that. I think that's why we were right to bring forward the English votes for English laws."

Wrapped dead fox dumped on prominent anti ex-MP's drive

14-7-15   BBC News    Dead fox left outside home of anti-hunting former MP A dead fox has been found outside the home of a former MP who campaigned against hunting with dogs. Mike Foster, the ex-Labour MP for Worcester, found the animal on his driveway on Tuesday. MPs were due to vote on Wednesday on relaxing the ban on fox-hunting in England and Wales, but the government delayed the vote after the Scottish National Party said it would oppose the changes. Mr Foster who tried unsuccessfully to ban hunting through a Private Member's Bill in 1997, said the timing of his find could be "a coincidence." He lost his Worcester seat in the 2010 general election to the Conservative Robin Walker.


SNP decide to vote against Hunting Act amendments S.I.

13-7-15  ITV News   SNP MPs will vote against Tory fox hunting bill, says Angus Robertson   MPs from the SNP will vote against a bill which would relax fox hunting laws in England and Wales, its Westminster leader has announced. In a statement drafted following a meeting with the SNP's parliamentary party this evening, Angus Robertson said: "We totally oppose fox hunting". He added: "When there are moves in the Scottish Parliament to review whether the existing Scottish ban is strong enough, it is in the Scottish interest to maintain the existing ban in England and Wales for Holyrood to consider."

The move will break the SNP's own rule that its Westminster MPs do not vote on matters which only affect England. Robertson added: "We are in a situation where the Tory government are refusing to agree to any amendments to improve the Scotland Bill - and imposing English Votes for English Laws to make Scotland's representation at Westminster second class. In these circumstances, it is right and proper that we assert the Scottish interest on fox hunting by voting with Labour against the Tories' proposals to relax the ban - in the process, reminding an arrogant UK government of just how slender their majority is - just as we will vote against the Tory welfare cuts next week, and appeal to Labour to join us."

Amendments to the Hunting Act 2004 will be debated in Parliament on Wednesday, before a free vote. The proposals would relax the law to allow foxes to be hunted by packs of dogs in England and Wales to protect livestock, game birds and wild birds, while "having regard to the terrain" and provided it is "carried out as efficiently as possible".


Appalling treatment of hounds by Hunts exposed

13-7-15   Daily Mirror    Thousands of healthy foxhounds - including pups - are clubbed to death or shot if they're 'unsuitable'    Hounds showing signs of weakness are shot in the head or clubbed to death while tiny, week-old puppies are executed if they are not considered strong enough Hounds will be the “other victims ofHoundshotdeadbyUKfoxhunt.jpg fox hunting” if the sick sport is allowed to return, campaigners warn. On Wednesday MPs will vote on an amendment to the Hunting Act, which opponents claim will effectively legalise the bloodsport. But as well as the foxes at risk of being ripped apart, thousands more hounds will also be slaughtered.

Former huntswoman turned anti-hunt campaigner Lynn Sawyer revealed it was seen as “normal” to shoot andHoundshotdeadbyUKfoxhunt.jpg incinerate dogs once they were no longer “productive”. She said: “The hounds are very much the other victims. With every fox hunt that goes ahead, hounds are at risk of dying too.” Lynn said any dogs showing signs of weakness were shot in the head or clubbed to death, sometimes at half their life expectancy. Week-old puppies are also killed if they are not considered strong enough to join the 200 packs across Britain.

Clifford Pellow, another ex-hunter, claimed hounds were often tortured for chasing the wrong scent. Mr Pellow, who exposed the full cruelty of the bloodsport in the Mirror, said: “I have been told of pups with any kind ofLudlowFHshothounddumped1987.jpgdisfigurement having their heads dashed against the kennel floor. They die instantly. If a fully grown hound makes a sound when it is not supposed to during a hunt meet, or if it bays when it is supposed to, they are punished. Another offence would be chasing the wrong animal instead of the fox the hunt is pursuing. I have seen hounds being whipped quite frequently. They wallop them with a whip crop. The hounds flinch, yelp and cower. Hounds are disposed of immediately if they are perceived to have failed in any way. As soon as a hound enters the pack it is taught to be savage, which is not its natural instinct, so if they deem it not savage enough they will remove it and kill it.”

Estimates of the number of hounds killed each year vary between 3,000 and 10,000, but up to 4,000 is a figure accepted by several respected animal welfare groups. This is based on the 200 hunts in Britain each having up to 40 hounds at any one time. Dogs considered too old are replaced in a constant cycle. Britain - and the Daily Mirror - has been piling pressure on MPs to say no at Wednesday’s vote. Under the Hunting Act, which came into force in 2005, it is permitted to use two dogs, under close control, to flush a fox out of its cover to be shot, and also to observe and retrieve injured animals. The amendment would allow a full pack of hounds to do the same thing. It is feared that this change would make it nearly impossible to prosecute anyone hunting with dogs.

Warning of the consequences for dogs, Lynn said: “A fox hound that is elderly has reached the end of its productive life and it is shot without remorse. They don’t live out their days as pets nestled next to their owner even though an eight-year-old dog is stillstowe-beaglerunover1982-83season.jpg considered quite young. Once they are killed they are thrown in an ­incinerator. This is common knowledge on hunts – I don’t think anyone would deny it. It is normal practice.”  Lynn, who spent years with hunts in the 1980s, added she had heard members talk about killing with “humour”. She explained: “I’ve heard them look at a dog and go “That one’s dead’, there’s very much a gallows humour. it’s part and parcel of it.”

Lynn has also seen dogs killed during hunts and said: “I saw one run over by a lorry, one killed on train tracks.” The Mirror has been shown footage which appears to show a huntsman shooting a helpless hound with a pistol behind kennels. The dead dog is then thrown into what appears to be a bin. It was filmed in 1996 – nine years before the sport was banned in 2005 – and was originally given to the League Against Cruel Sports. Barbaric treatment of hounds has continued as packs are kept for drag hunts, but it is feared things will get worse if the ban is relaxed.

Veteran animal welfare campaigner Alan Kirby said: “This has been going on since hunting with hounds started in GhelligaeuHoundImpaled2.jpgthis country. I have no reason to think it has stopped since the hunting ban was introduced ten years ago. The hunters themselves admit they cannot be homed, that hounds cannot be domesticated. That’s not true but it does confirm they’re getting rid of their hounds.”

he 1999 Burns Inquiry into hunting estimated 3,000 hounds are put down at the end of their working life each year, however this figure was provided by the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance. Charity the RSPCA later provided a figure of 10,000 killed each year, but some with good knowledge of hunts thought this was excessive. Mr Kirby, of Protect Our Wild Animals, said he had calculated the figure at around 7,000 deliberate deaths each year.

Jordi Casamitjana, of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said: “We know with certainty that ­thousands of hounds are killed ever year. They are always breeding more hounds, trying to get the perfect cross, so, as there is a constant number, we know the old ones are killed. More are bred than are actually needed so many are killed soon after they are born. Others are killed after the first trial when the hounds are assessed by the huntsmen. If they are not good enough, they are put down.”

The Countryside Alliance said it had no record of the number of dogs killed, but claimed the figure was more like 2,000. Director of campaigns Tim Bonner said: “Hounds can, and do regularly, hunt to the age of nine, 10 or even older. Hounds live in a pack ­environment throughout their working lives and most do not settle in a domestic environment and are unhappy outside the pack structure so they are put down at the end of their working lives. There are around 10,000 foxhounds in registered kennels in England and Wales but there is no central record of how many are drafted [given to other hunts], die or are put down each year but it is probably around 2,000. Hounds are valued hugely by hunt supporters, who often rear puppies at home before they join the pack.”

POWAperson adds - The ghastly picture of the hound impaled on the railings above was taken when a S.Wales Hunt invaded a small village a few years ago. As reported by villagers, the Hunt simply abandoned the dog and it took a couple of hours to die. The scandal of the terrible way hounds are treated by Hunts has been a running sore for many years and has perhaps never been made enough use of by anti-hunt campaigners.

Three Ross Harriers terriermen convicted of Hunting Act offences

One caught with bagged fox - fined under Animal Welfare Act 

12-7-15   HSA Press Release   Are these the Last Convictions under the Hunting Act?   All of the details of this case are still not known, but as soon as we find out more next week we will provide an update. We have received a tip off from an anonymous source that on Friday three terrier men; Dylan Hill, James Smith and Jack Hudd [below right] from the Ross Harriers Hunt were all found guilty, at Hereford magistrates Court, of breaching the hunting act. We have been additionally informed that Dylan Hill was found in possession of a bagged fox. The guilty men acted as terrier men for the hunt. Their role was to dig out foxes that had gone to ground after having cornered the terrified animal with terriers. This is one of the most barbaric parts of hunting and is normally kept away from the public eye. It causes horrific injuries and suffering to both the terriers and foxes. Once dug out the fox is either killed, released in front of the hounds to be hunted again or bagged to be hunted at a later date. The Ross Harriers hunt both hares and foxes and although like all the hunts will deny any illegal activity, these charges certainly raise some seriousRossHarriers3TERRIERMENCONVICTED10-7-15.jpg questions?...

13-7-15 RSPCA South West regional news ‘The current Hunting Act works’ says RSPCA after three hunters prosecuted for illegal activity Three men have been found guilty and prosecuted for illegal hunting in Herefordshire In the midst of the looming Statutory Instrument debate on Wednesday, the Hunting Act is still doing the important job of bringing those to justice those who have committed crimes against Britain’s wildlife.

Last Friday saw the successful prosecution of three men who were found to be illegally hunting in Herefordshire. On 10th July 2015, all 3 defendants were convicted of one offence of hunting contrary to the Hunting Act 2004.  Mr Hill was also convicted of one offence of failing to take reasonable steps (contrary to section 9 Animal Welfare Act 2006) to protect the fox which he had captured whilst out hunting and had kept in a rucksack.  The courts imposed fines of £165 on each defendant in respect of the hunting offence and the same penalty against Mr Hill in respect of the Animal Welfare Act offence. Each defendant was also ordered to pay £500 contribution towards the prosecution costs.

Alan Hill (D.O.B. 06.12.60), James Smith (D.O.B. 02. 04.93) and Jack Hudd (D.O.B. 18.05.94) were stopped by the police last year in the middle of the night whilst driving a car with a trailer which had no lights on.   What started as a standard police enquiry into a traffic offence however soon turned into an animal welfare investigation when 54-year-old Hill went round to the trailer, pulled out a sack and ran off into the darkness with it.  Police chased Hill and tackled him to the ground only to find what Hill had been trying to keep hidden - a sack containing a live fox.  Terrier dogs with scarring around their faces, injuries usually sustained as a result of hunting wild animals, were also found in the vehicle.  The fox, which was still very much alive, had a very lucky escape as police released the animal back into the wild that evening. It is still not known what Mr Hill was intending on doing with the live fox once they had reached their destination. When later questioned, the three men admitted to hunting but said that they were doing it legally as they had written permission to do so but did not have the paperwork on them. This piece of information was to be the key to their successful prosecution as the Hunting Act 2004 states that those legally hunting in such circumstances must have written permission on their person. It is this part of the Hunting Act 2004 - schedule one - which will be under threat on Wednesday and that will make prosecuting hunters in cases such as this near impossible.

David Bowles, assistant director of public affairs for the RSPCA, said: “The Hunting Act in its current form clearly does work as only on Friday have we successfully prosecuted three men in Herefordshire for breaking the law. “This is not just about red coat hunting. The Hunting Act as it is stands is there to protect Britain’s wildlife - foxes, deer, hares and so much more - from all different types of illegal hunting practices. “It is also true that the very people the Government is claiming to try and help by making these unnecessary amendments will also suffer at the hands of any changes as farmers themselves will fall victim to more people trespassing on their land and causing disruption and harm to wildlife - including those valued by farmers as well as those seen as ‘pests’. If the law is changed including removing the requirement for hunters to have written permission then it is sadly going to be a near impossible job to prove that individuals like these terrier men have broken the law. It will be a devastating blow to animal welfare in this country.”...

15-7-15    Western Daily Press   Three 'hunt terriermen' fined after police find them with live fox in a bag in Herefordshire    THREE men allegedly connected to a West hunt have been convicted of illegal hunting after being caught driving through the countryside in the middle of the night with scarred terriers and a live fox in a bag. One of the three who were found guilty and fined is a serving soldier in Wiltshire, and now faces disciplinary action from his superiors. The hunt said they were 'adamant' the trio were not connected with them. Magistrates in Hereford heard that police stopped a vehicle being driven through the Herefordshire countryside in the middle of the night in October last year because the trailer it was pulling had no lights working. They were suspicious when Alan Hill, 54, got out of the vehicle, grabbed a bag from the trailer and ran off into the night. A police officer gave chase, caught Hill, who is known as Dylan Hill, and was astonished to discover the bag contained a live fox. Back in the trailer, and the vehicle, there were three dogs with facial scarring, that animal welfare campaigners said were consistent with being previously involved in attacking foxes. Two younger men were with Hill at the time: James Smith, 22, and 21-year-old Jack Hudd, a soldier based in Wiltshire. The three were arrested and when questioned claimed they had written permission to do what they were doing but did not have it with them at the time. 

"This piece of information was to be the key to their successful prosecution as the Hunting Act 2004 states that those legally hunting in such circumstances must have written permission on their person," said a spokesman for the RSPCA. "The fox, which was still very much alive, had a very lucky escape as police released the animal back into the wild that evening. It is still not known what Mr Hill was intending on doing with the live fox once they had reached their destination," he added. A spokesman for the army confirmed that Private Hudd is a serving soldier with the Royal Logistics Corps, based at Buckley Barracks in Hullavington, near Chippenham in Wiltshire. He said the army was not prepared to comment on the case or release 'personal information' about him. But a spokesman did say: "All those who are found to fall short of the Army's high standards or who are found to have committed an offence under the Armed Forces Act are dealt with administratively (up to and including dismissal) or through the disciplinary process, as applicable." The case, which was handed by police to the RSPCA to bring as a private prosecution, last night sparked a furious row between hunt campaigners and anti-hunt activists over who the men were and what they were doing. While the RSPCA did not link the three to any organised hunt, the Hunt Saboteurs Association published evidence in the form of Facebook posts and pictures by and of the men themselves, which apparently showed they were linked to the Ross Harriers Hunt, which operates in south Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and the edge of Gloucestershire. "These three were the hunt's terriermen," claimed a spokesman for the HSA. "They were arrested in October, and continued to work for the hunt for the rest of this last season. We have photographs of them with the hunt, and they posted pictures themselves of them with the hunt. They also posted pictures of them with dead foxes and dogs on Facebook." The HSA claimed the men, when caught last October, would have been training their terriers to kill foxes using live foxes – which is how their dogs got their injuries. A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance dismissed claims of formal links between the three men and the Ross Harriers. "The Ross are adamant these three have nothing to do with them," said campaigns director Tim Bonner. "The hunt was not mentioned at all in the court case, they are not hunt members or employees and this incident happened in the middle of the night. This was nothing to do with the Ross Harriers who, before the hunt ban, hunted hares." All three defendants were convicted of one offence of hunting contrary to the Hunting Act 2004. Hill was also convicted under animal welfare laws of one offence of failing to take reasonable steps to protect the fox which he had captured and had kept in a rucksack. The three were fined £165 each for the hunting offence, while Hill was fined the same amount for having the fox in a bag. All three were also ordered to pay £500 towards prosecution costs.

RSPCA director David Bowles said the successful prosecution showed the Hunting Act did work – but pointed out that the trio were convicted because they did not have written permission from a landowner, and because they had three dogs – both requirements that would have been swept away by the Government's proposed amendments that were not put to a vote this week.

If they had a letter, or only two dogs with them, they would have not broken the law. "The Hunting Act in its current form clearly does work as we successfully prosecuted three men in Herefordshire for breaking the law," he said. "This is not just about red coat hunting. The Hunting Act as it is stands is there to protect Britain's wildlife - foxes, deers, hares and so much more - from all different types of illegal hunting practices." "If the law is changed including removing the requirement for hunters to have written permission then it is sadly going to be a near impossible job to prove that individuals like these terrier men have broken the law. It will be a devastating blow to animal welfare in this country," he added. Another row erupted this week following the conviction of the three. The RSPCA also prosecuted the three on animal welfare charges relating to the scar injuries previously suffered by the dogs they had. But the prosecution failed, so no order was made to keep or destroy the three dogs that were seized. They are understood to be due to be returned today to the men. An online petition demanding the dogs – who now number eight after one of the three had puppies while it was being cared for by a local vet - has already garnered thousands of signatures.

POWAperson adds - Antis knew nothing of this case until after the trial was over. For a change, the police seem to have done a great job. Sadistic thugs like these three are integrated into every quarry Hunt with the full support of Masters. Antis have known for many years that 'bagged' foxes are used by many Hunts to ensure they have quarry to hunt, but this is the first time we know of that the offenders have been caught red-handed and convicted. Doubtless this would have been the fate of the fox cubs recently found in a barn just 200 metres from the Middleton FH kennels recently. It is yet further evidence that Hunts are routinely flouting the Hunting Act and nearly always getting away with it. This case arose through a stroke of luck.  Although very germane to the debate about the Government attempts to amend the Hunting Act, no media source has yet picked up on it.

These convictions bring to 356 the number of separate persons from organised Hunts known to POWA to have been convicted or cautioned for a criminal offence since 1990, for a total of 852 offences. 185 of these were for offences involving violence.  

Ex-Huntsman reveals details of the sordid cruelty of fox hunting

 12-7-15  Sunday Mirror  Former fox hunter exposes full scale of bloodsport's barbarity as David Cameron seeks its return - Clifford Pellow, who hunted professionally for 23 years, spoke of how a hunt master crushed three pups with his heel after hounds tore pregnant vixen apart    A former fox hunter disgusted by the sport is leading the fight to block its return.  Clifford Pellow [left, credit Wales News Service] says “I got sick of the cruelty” as he reveals the full horrors of vile hunts in a bid to stop David Cameron axing the ban.  With 23 years of hunts behind him Clifford-Pellow.jpginvolving the horrific deaths of more than 2,000 foxes, ­there is little Clifford does not know about the bloodsport.  So that makes the 72-year-old former professional huntsman ideally placed to lift the lid on the full disgusting barbarity of hunting with hounds.  And Clifford, who turned his back on his livelihood after becoming sickened by the brutal methods used to ensure foxes were ripped to bits, is now leading the fight to block Tory plans to bring back the banned country sport. He is speaking out publicly in a bid to stop PM Cameron sneaking in proposals that will effectively allow hunting with hounds to return – despite eight out of 10 people opposing it.

On Wednesday, MPs will get a free vote on whether to let a pack of dogs “flush out” foxes , rather than just the two allowed now. Critics believe this is an underhand way of repealing Labour’s 2004 fox hunting ban without having to completely overturn legislation. If passed, it may mean packs of baying hounds could be back chasing ­defenceless foxes by Christmas. And after Queen guitarist Brian May spoke up against the vote, Clifford has decided to back the Mirror campaign against a repeal on the ban by revealing exactly what lengths hunters go to in a bid to satisfy their lust for animal blood in the name of sport.

The former farm worker, who now campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “I know from my own long experience it is a lie to say fox hunting is sport. In sport both teams have the same chance. Hunting is completely unequal because one fox is being chased by 35 hounds. The fox is also at a disadvantage because it is a nocturnal creature being chased in daylight.” Speaking of his own experiences as a huntsman, Clifford added: “The things we were doing to foxes was just ­unbelievable. We would put them in sacks. We tied them up by the legs and dragged them across the fields to leave a scent. It was absolutely disgusting. In the end I got sick of all the gross cruelty and all the killing.”

Clifford, of Newport, South Wales, told of one truly horrendous moment when hounds pulled a pregnant fox from her den and ripped it apart. Afterwards, the hunt master put the heel of his boot on the three squirming pups that had been inside her and crushed them. He added: “On one occasion we had a live fox in a sack which we tipped out in the field, but before it was tipped out they allowed the hounds to bite into the sack. There were other times when foxes were brought from somewhere else, so they didn’t know where they were. This meant that they ran with their head up. A fox brought in was trapped in a wood and then allowed to run across a few fields into a farm where it fell into the slurry pit. The farmer’s son shot it. It fell in because it didn’t know the pit was there, simple as that.FoxbeingkilledHuntsmanwatches.jpg Another time they dragged a fox across a couple of fields into a dry ditch before flinging the rope over a branch of a tree. They hoisted it up, and then let it drop a bit so the hounds could bite it. They kept doing this to work the hounds up. In the end they just dropped it into the pack of hounds. I remember looking at the fox being kept in the milk churn and thinking, ‘Tomorrow, you’ll be dead’. They are lovely creatures. I am totally ashamed at my cruelty to those animals. It’s quite awful, quite barbaric really. What I myself did was quite awful.”

Clifford, who was a huntsman from 1966 to 1990, recalls another moment when a hound of his grabbed a vixen around the middle with his teeth. The animal ran another 50 yards with its entrails hanging out before the other hounds finished her off. Disgusted Clifford dismissed the usual claims that fox hunting is an effective way of pest control. He said: “It is nonsense and lies to say hunting has anything to do with ­controlling a pest in the countryside. When I worked on a farm, it was more effective to flush foxes out with two sheepdogs than with a pack of dogs. It’s got to be the worst method of fox control. There are more foxes killed on the motorways than killed by hounds. The hunting fraternity have a lot of excuses for hunting but not one ­justification. The only justification is to kill something at the end of the day. They could easily go drag hunting, where the hounds follow a scent, if it was about camaraderie. It is cruel. There is no other way of saying it. In all my years of working in hunts and on farms, I never once saw evidence of a fox hurting a lamb. It is not true. And if that were a ­justification, they shouldn’t be hunting with hounds anyway because dogs kill sheep. This is another of the excuses. They don’t mention the fact they shoot dead the hounds when they are seven or eight years old. There is no love lost. They shoot them with no more feeling than shooting a rat. It’s not just foxes that suffer. There is no doubt at all this vote is about bringing fox hunting back to what it was before the ban. It is not about the hunting, it is about being able to go and kill ­something. That is what they want most of all. Cameron has always said he will repeal the Hunting Act. I think this week’s vote is a way of repealing the act through the back door. I hope MPs use their common sense and remember this is the 21st century.”

Clifford had been bloodied – when fox blood is daubed on his forehead and cheeks by the master of the hunt – aged four. But once he turned his back on the cruel sport he complained to the Master of Fox Hounds Association about the barbarity. The complaint was rejected and the Master sued him for libel over comments he made in a ­Westminster press ­conference, claiming ­Clifford himself was responsible for the cruelty. A jury threw out the case. But the former Sussex kennels worker was exiled from the hunting fraternity and found other work as a security guard and hospital porter. He devotes his time to campaigning against bloodsport.                                           

Grafton FH supporter cautioned for abusive call to female hunt monitor

12-7-15   POWA Press Release   A male supporter of the Grafton Hunt has just been given a Police Caution for making a malicious and abusive phone call to a female hunt monitor, from near Thame, Oxon, on 27th January 2015. The youth, aged 17 and a pupil at Stowe, the well known public school,  at the time of the offence, left a message on the phone of hunt monitor Penny Little, who has been monitoring the Northamptonshire based Grafton Hunt for the last couple of hunt seasons.

Mrs Little, who is an Associate of Protect Our Wild Animals,  was shocked when listening to the voicemail, in which the song “What Does the Fox Say” was played, interspersed with a hunting horn being blown.  A the end of the message, the male says in an aggressive tone  “Fuck you Penny Little, you fucking cunt.” Mrs Little thought she recognised the boy’s voice, as he had been pestering the monitors, being abusive and unpleasant.  The song “What Does the Fox Say” is often played by Grafton hunt supporters in order to drown out the sounds of the hounds and hunting horn etc., sounds which the monitors are trying to record as part of their filmed evidence.  She reported the call to Northamptonshire Police. The male withheld his number when he made the abusive call, but it was later traced by the police. The monitors have decided not to reveal the boy’s name, on the police advice.

Penny Little said  “Monitors are subjected to appalling harassment and abuse from hunters and their followers. To invade my privacy in such an obnoxious way is a good example of the standard of behaviour we have come to expect from hunters, and clearly this boy’s expensive education has been wasted. In this case I am pleased with the outcome, and grateful to Northamptonshire Police for dealing with the matter so efficiently."

Mrs Little added "My many years of hunting experience have taught me that the vast majority of hunt followers are as loutish as the youth who offended against me and that many are prone to violence. These are the people Mr. Cameron is seeking to reward this week by passing amendments to the Hunting Act that will effectively neutralise it and herald a return to legalised cruelty to wild animals for 'sport'." 

Scottish Parliament to review their hunting 'ban'

12-7-15   Scotsman Editorial   MSPs must not let the few who continue to follow this cruel sport make a mockery of the law    The ban on hunting foxes with hounds marked a hugely significant step for the Scottish Parliament. Here was controversial legislation passed in the face of serious opposition, and the success of the process back in 2002 reassured us that Holyrood had the maturity and the will to tackle complex issues.  There were those who argued strongly against the ban, complaining that it would signal the end of a historic countryside tradition, while others suggested that it was a spiteful law, based on hatred of what was seen as an upper-class pursuit.  But MSPs captured the mood of the nation and took what we believe to have been a progressive and wise step. This was legislation with a moral purpose: the ending of a barbaric and cruel practice.

Thirteen years later, however, it appears that the law is not working. The Scottish Parliament is now to investigate the issue in an attempt to tighten up legislation that should have been perfectly straightforward. There is a considerable amount of evidence that packs of hounds are still being used to hunt foxes, despite claims that they are simply used to flush out the creatures before they can be shot.  This newspaper has no quarrel with the argument that the fox population must be kept under control, but this must be done as humanely as possible. The days when it was considered sport to see a fox torn apart by dogs were supposed to end in 2002. That they have not is of huge concern.

It will be fascinating to learn what MSPs now uncover about the apparent failure of this legislation. The law is clear enough: the destruction of foxes by packs of hounds is expressly forbidden. So the concern must be that, in fact, we are witnessing a failure to implement that law. If this is the case, then the need is not for ­additional legislation, it is for the police to ensure that anyone hunting foxes with hounds is caught and properly punished. A failure of enforcement is simply not acceptable. Such a state of affairs would make a ­mockery of a measure that enjoys wide public support and which, after 13 years, should be well bedded-in. There are not, now, an unmanageable number of hunts in Scotland. It should be possible for Police Scotland to monitor which hunts are taking place where, and when. Of course, we do not expect officers to join the hunts on horseback to ensure that, once flushed out, foxes are killed humanely, but it must be possible for random checks to be made.

Should MSPs feel the need to make the current legislation more muscular, then there are a number of measures – stricter limits on the number of dogs permitted, time restraints and tougher licensing, for example – that might be considered. What must surely be possible is for those who dare to flout the law to be left in no doubt that their actions are unacceptable and will have consequences.

We understand that, for many, hunting with hounds was an important part of their lifestyles, but progress in this area means that those people must remain disappointed. Those who might retain a sense of entitlement about hunting in its most brutal form must be disabused of the notion that they can continue as if the law does not apply to them. The control of the fox population is a necessary part of country life. The animals are a nuisance to farmers and their humane destruction must be allowed. But the time for the law that bans hunting with hounds to be properly implemented is long overdue. The legislation is clearly not currently working and steps to address that are to be welcomed. That action is necessary is unfortunate, but if it must be taken, then let us hope that we see an end to this cruel “sport” once and for all.


League slams HA amendments as 'deceit' & 'effective repeal'

9-7-15    LACS Press Release   Today's Hunting Act proposals show Government is deceiving the public   Proposed amendments to the Hunting Act, published today by the Government, are so extreme that they will have the same effect as a full repeal if MPs vote it in, warns animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports.  So many exemptions to the Act have been proposed that if passed, hunts will be able to go out with a full pack of hounds and behave as they did before the hunting ban was introduced.

Tom Quinn, Campaigns Director for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “This is no simple amendment to the Hunting Act.  The government is trying to bring back hunting by deceit.  Now we know what they are proposing, any pretence that the government was trying to amend the law to enable better fox control has been blown out of the water. We urge MPs to reject the government’s cynical proposal. It is nothing but repeal of the Hunting Act in disguise.”  The League believes that the Government is using upland farmers as a smokescreen. Hunts will be able to go out with a full pack of hounds and if caught, they will be able to use a variety of excuses, including claiming they are retrieving an injured animal, flushing a fox to waiting guns or even conducting research.

Mr Quinn continued: “MPs need to be very clear on what they’re voting for. Claims that these are minor technical adjustments are wildly misleading. This suite of changes will destroy the Act and the Government knows it. The hunts and the government are laughing in the face of democracy by doing this. Eight out of ten people in this country are opposed to hunting and every single one of them is being made a fool of.”

MPs challenged “If you can’t stomach this, don’t vote for it”. A graphic video of the cruel behaviour of huntsmen has been produced to show what effect a vote for the government’s proposed amendments would have on wild mammals.

Shot from the video -  


Statutory Instrument to amend Hunting Act published by DEFRA

9-7-15    Find below a summary of the amendments to the Hunting Act 2004 which will be laid before the House of Commons on Wednesday 15-7-15. If it is passed by a vote in the House it will pass on to the Lords for approval [probably after the summer recess] and if passed there will immediately become law.

This Order is made under sections 2(2) and 14(c) and (d) of the Hunting Act 2004 (c. 37) and section 28(2)(a) of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (c. 26).

The Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with a dog, unless the hunting is within a class of exempt hunting specified in Schedule 1 to that Act.

This Order amends Schedule 1 so as to vary certain classes of exempt hunting, as follows—

in paragraphs 1 (stalking and flushing out), 8 (rescue of wild mammal) and 9 (research and observation) of that Schedule, by providing that the number of dogs which may be used is to be that which is appropriate to the terrain and any other relevant circumstance, and which enables the activity to be carried out as efficiently as possible (articles 3, 5(b) and 6); the description of wild mammal that may be hunted under paragraph 8 is now extended to include any which the hunter reasonably believes is or may be diseased (article 5(a)); and

in paragraph 2 (use of dogs below ground to protect birds for shooting) of that Schedule, by adding the protection of livestock as a purpose for which that exemption applies, and by providing that the existing requirement to make available, to a constable who asks to see it, written evidence of a person’s right to be on land where the activity takes place, may now be fulfilled, if not immediately, then by the person’s producing such evidence at a police station specified by him within seven days or as soon as is reasonably practicable (article 4).

As required by section 28(2)(a) of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (c. 26) the Order requires the Secretary of State to review the operation and effect of this Order and publish a report within five years after it comes into force and within every five years after that (article 7). Following a review it will fall to the Secretary of State to consider whether the Order should remain as it is, or be revoked or be amended. A further instrument would be needed to revoke the Order or to amend it.

An impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument as no, or no significant, impact on the private, voluntary or public sectors is foreseen. 


Cameron attempt to amend Hunting Act by Statutory Instrument

Commons vote to be held next Wednesday, then to Lords in autumn

Full pack can be used for flushing, to protect livestock, cull sick quarry

8-7-15   Daily Telegraph   MPs to get free vote to relax fox hunting ban next week    MPs are to get a free vote on relaxing the ban on fox hunting in England next week.  Cameron [right], the Prime Minister, will set out plans to back bench MPs on the Conservative 1922 committee on Wednesday.  Downing Street said on WednesdayDavidCameronandGuyAvisHonSecHeythropFH.jpg that Mr Cameron – who rode to hounds before he became leader of the Conservatives in 2005 - is likely to vote in favour of the changes. Under the plans, MPs will be give a free vote after a 90 minute debate on key changes to the Hunting Act which will legalise hunting with packs of dogs in England.  Details of the statutory instrument which will bring about the change will be laid before MPs on Wednesday, with the vote held on Thursday next week.  If passed by MPs, the measure will go to the Lords for debate in the autumn.  If approved there, it would take effect immediately, so the new regime would begin this winter, in time for the traditional Boxing Day hunts.

The amendment will scrap a current restriction which means that a maximum of just two dogs in England can be used for to flush out foxes is lifted to align England with the law in Scotland.  It will also allow farmers for the first time to be allowed to use dogs to control foxes to protect livestock, rather than merely game birds at present.  Thirdly the change will allow farmers to use dogs to hunt wild animals that are suffering from an injury or disease, rather than leave them to die a lingering death.

The changes fall short of the Conservatives’ manifesto which committed the Government to a full free vote on repealing the Hunting Act. It said: “We will protect hunting, shooting and fishing, for all the benefits to individuals, the environment and the rural economy that these activities bring. A Conservative Government will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time.”

SimonHartMP.jpgSimon Hart MP [left], a leading campaign on fox hunting, said the changes would mean that the vast majority the hunting prosecutions in recent years would still happen. He said: “Ninety five per cent of prosecutions under the Hunting Act will still happen. Hare coursing remains illegal, for example. It irons out some of the practical deficiencies at the same time as recognising there are those with animal welfare concerns who did not want to wipe this off the statute book. Pro-hunting MPs were concerned that there were not enough supporters in the Commons to win a free vote on overturning the ban. Number 10 had been considering trying to force through a vote in a Private Members’ Bill tabled by a Tory MP supporter, but this was dropped because it did not meet the manifesto commitment.  Mr Hart added: “This route stands the best chance of closing the chapter.  OK it doesn’t go the whole distance – but it recognises there are problems which we are attempting to deal with. The Government is planning to do as much as it reasonably can do in the circumstances and I think that it would be churlish of me to criticise it.  It has moved quickly and is taking into account everybody’s concerns.  I am a purist, but as a pragmatist I think this is a sensible way forward and the PM should be congratulated for it.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman indicated that David Cameron is likely to vote in favour of the change. "He believes in the freedom to hunt," the spokesman said. She added that the government will "stand by its commitment" in the Conservative manifesto to hold a free vote on whether the hunting act should be repealed in its entirety.  The spokesman said: “The Prime Minister has been clear and the government stood on a manifesto commitment to repeal the hunting act on a free vote with a government bill in government time."  She added: “Defra are planning to bring forward some technical changes before summer recess. The objective here is to vote to give MPs the opportunity to vote to end the current anomaly in the system between what can happen in Scotland and what can happen in England and Wales.  At the moment, upland farmers in the highlands can use an unlimited number of dogs to flush out a fox whereas those on the Welsh Hills or the North Yorkshire Moors are limited to two. This is about technical changes.  It will be an early opportunity for MPs to have a say on a hunting issue.”

Maria Eagle MP [right], Labour’s Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary, said: “David Cameron is resorting to desperateMariaEagleMP.jpg measures to bring back fox hunting. “The Tories had to abandon their plans to bring forward a free vote in the last parliament because they knew they’d lose and today’s news shows they still don’t have the numbers. David Cameron’s proposals have more to do with controlling his back benchers than fox numbers in the countryside and Labour will oppose any such measures. The Tories should be focussing on the real issues facing rural communities like low-wages and a lack of affordable and adequate transport and housing.”

POWAperson adds - In fact, the flushing exemption does already allow that exemption to be used to 'protect livestock'. Don't these journos even look at the Act when they're writing about it. Schedule 1 [8] currently allows 2 dogs to be used to hunt an injured animal in order to 'relieve its suffering'. They are now proposing to allow a whole pack to be used for this purpose.

At present, the great majority of Hunts are hunting with full packs anyway - pretending to be 'trail hunting' - and almost always getting away with it. But these relaxations look likely to make securing prosecutions of organised hunters still harder yet - which is the whole idea. It's nothing to do with 'pest control' - Hunts are not interested in that and many even actively assist foxes to breed in their countries. 

8-7-15   PM accused over fox hunting rules   David Cameron has been accused of "resorting to desperate measures" to bring back fox hunts after it emerged the Government would introduce changes to rules on hunting with dogs.  Downing Street said technical measures would be brought forward to bring England and Wales into line with Scotland on the number of dogs that landowners can use to flush out foxes. In England and Wales, only two dogs can be used to flush out a fox, but in Scotland an unlimited number of dogs can be used.

The Prime Minister's official spokeswoman said:  "As I understand it, Defra are looking to bring forward some technical changes before summer recess. I think the objective is to give MPs the opportunity to vote on the current anomaly in the system between what can happen in Scotland and what can happen in England and Wales...  And she said: "It will be an early opportunity for MPs to have a say on a hunting issue." Asked how the PM would vote in any division, the spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister has made clear several times that he believes in the freedom to hunt." She confirmed that the Government stands by its manifesto pledge to repeal the Hunting Act.

RobbieMarslandIFAW.jpgBut Maria Eagle, shadow rural affairs secretary, said: "David Cameron is resorting to desperate measures to bring back fox hunting. "The Tories had to abandon their plans to bring forward a free vote in the last parliament because they knew they'd lose and today's news shows they still don't have the numbers.  David Cameron's proposals have more to do with controlling his back benchers than fox numbers in the countryside and Labour will oppose any such measures. The Tories should be focusing on the real issues facing rural communities like low-wages and a lack of affordable and adequate transport and housing."

Robbie Marsland [left], League Against Cruel Sports director, said: "This is nothing but sneaking hunting in through the back door. By amending the Hunting Act like this, the Government are deliberately and cynically making it easier for hunts to chase and kill foxes, and harder for them to be convicted when they break the law. This is not about hunting foxes for pest control. It's about hunting foxes for fun. David Cameron pledged to hold a free vote on bringing back hunting but clearly they know they couldn't win. So now they are using deception to fool the public." He said the proposed move would make the law in England and Wales the same as it is in Scotland, where people are allowed to use a full pack of hounds to flush out foxes so they can be shot with guns.  But he said the League Against Cruel Sports had filmed Scottish hunts hunting for foxes exactly as they had before the practice became illegal, without any guns in sight, and warned: "This is what will happen in England and Wales."

Cottesmore terrierman charged with interfering with badger sett

6-7-15   LACS Press Release   Police charge Cottesmore Hunt employee   Leicestershire Police have charged an employee of Rutland’s Cottesmore Hunt with an offence of Interfering with a Badger Sett contrary to the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Dean Jones is alleged to have unlawfully obstructed a badger sett, following evidence submitted to the police by the League Against Cruel Sports.  Mr Jones, listed on Cottesmore Hunt’s website as its ‘countryman’ (or terrierman), is charged with stopping up entrances to a badger sett near Sauvey Castle, Withcote, Leicestershire, on the morning of Saturday 29th November 2014, a few hours before the Cottesmore Hunt set off from a meet nearby.

Before hunting was banned ten years ago, blocking up badger setts to prevent chased foxes from escaping underground was allowed. B ut with the introduction of the Hunting Act in 2004, amendments were made to the Protection of Badger Act 1992 to outlaw the practice.  Tom Quinn, Campaigns Director for League Against Cruel Sports said: “Badger setts are protected by law and it is a criminal offence to obstruct access to, or any entrance of, a badger sett.  The Cottesmore Hunt claims that it only practices trail hunting - a pursuit which should not involve any live quarry”.  Dean Jones is due to appear at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on 22nd


CPS decide to charge Huntsman who seriously injured sab

Video showed him knocking her down at speed then riding off  

3-7-15  Western Gazette   Charges to be brought against huntsman after saboteur trampling   A HUNTSMAN who allegedly trampled a hunt saboteur during a protest at Charlton Horethorne will face magistrates on charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm the Crown Prosecution Service has announced. Earlier this year the CPS stated it would not be pursuing charges against Mark Doggrell after he was arrested in connection with the incident. But the 42 year old alleged victim – who has asked to remain anonymous – called for a review of the case. She suffered seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung and trauma to her shoulder after being hit by the horse [right].BlackmoreFHHuntsmanmowsdownsab10-14.jpg

She was part of the Dorset Hunt Saboteurs who targeted the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hunt on August 28, 2014, at a meet near its base in Charlton Horethorne. An air ambulance attended, but after she was stabilised the woman was transported to Yeovil District Hospital by land ambulance. Now, following the review, the CPS has announced it is in the public interest to charge Mark Doggrell with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.

Rachael Scott, head of the CPS South West Complex Casework Unit, said: "The CPS's Victims' Right of Review (VRR) scheme allows victims to seek a review of a CPS decision not to prosecute in certain circumstances. In this case the complainant was eligible to apply and the case was referred to me to review it.  After careful consideration of all the evidence in this case, including additional new evidence, I have decided that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to charge Mark Doggrell with recklessly causing Grievous Bodily Harm. Any decision by the CPS does not imply any finding concerning guilt or criminal conduct; the CPS makes decisions only according to the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors and it is applied in all decisions on whether or not to prosecute. Proceedings are now ongoing and the defendant has the right to a fair trial. It is very important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."  Mr Doggrell will be 'summonsed' to appear before the Magistrates' Court – at date is yet to be fixed for this hearing.



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