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2014-15 HUNTING SEASON

 For purpose of this record - and to include whole year - 'Hunting Season' runs from start July-end June

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

WARNING   Likely to contain images you may find distressing

 

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JUNE 2015

..... 27th June - Brian May spearheads 'Team Fox' to fight Hunting Act repeal
 
..... 25th June - Arson attack on sab's car outside their house
 
..... 24th June - Website offers 'fox hunting' trips to 3 Cotswolds Hunts, including Heythrop
 
..... 24th June - PMB option for Hunting Act repeal disappears with draw
 
..... 23rd June - Sabs claim were assaulted by High Sheriff of Herefordshire
 
..... 11th June - League accuses Middleton FH of holding fox cubs in barn for later hunting 
 
......11th June - LACS film shows Pytchley feed fox at artificial earth then flush it out to hunt
 
.....  9th June - Cheshire Forest FH whipper-in convicted of handling stolen goods
 
.....  5th June - Police consider charging Middleton FH over fox cubs in barn
 
.....  4th June - Man arrested after sixteen fox cubs found in North Yorkshire barn
 
 
 
Brian May spearheads 'Team Fox' to fight against Hunting Act repeal

Many young Tory MPs, including Ministers, oppose scrapping the ban  

27-6-15   Daily Mail    Tory rebellion as new Ministers join Brian May's war on hunting... and he claims topBrianMay.jpg figures secretly backed badger campaign    Three rising-star Tory Ministers have joined forces with anti-badger-cull rocker Brian May [right] to stop the ban on fox hunting being scrapped.  The move follows reports that David Cameron is not opposed to moves by pro-blood sports Conservative MPs to revive the practice.  The three ministers, who include Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, are expected to attend the Commons launch on Tuesday of May’s new anti-hunting group, Team Fox.  It could put them on collision course with the Prime Minister, who rode with hounds before becoming an MP, after Queen star May made scathing remarks about him in an interview with The Mail on Sunday. The guitarist said he ‘hated’ Cameron’s stance on hunting and accused those who enjoy the sport of ‘bloodlust.’

May said fox hunting should remain illegal like other ‘cruel activities once CarolineDineage.jpgconsidered acceptable’ such as ‘wife beating and burning witches’.  May said: ‘I don’t hate the man (Cameron) but I hate the fact that he wants to make hunting legal again. I find that abhorrent.’  He added that hunting was ‘uniquely cruel because the people who are doing it are doing it for pleasure’

The Conservatives’ Election victory has led to some Tory MPs pressing Cameron to use the party’s majority – and its traditional support for hunting – to lift the ban imposed by Tony Blair’s Government. They say it was outlawed for ‘petty party political reasons’ and demonstrated ignorance of the countryside and rural traditions.

However, Mr May claims many young Tory MPs are on his side. Caroline Dineage[left] and Sports Minister Tracey Crouch [below right] are said to be supporting Brian May as part of his Team Fox which will opposeTraceyCrouch.jpg the re-introduction of fox hunting, rumoured to be on the cards thanks to a number of Conservatives who remain bitter about the ban introduced by the Blair Government. Newly appointed Ministers Dominic Raab and Caroline Dinenage are among those tipped to support May at his Commons meeting.  It will be co-hosted by May and Andrea Jenkins, the Conservative MP and professional singer who defeated Ed Balls in the Election. May said: ‘A lot of independent-minded younger Tory MPs agree with us that fox hunting is cruel. They will vote according to their conscience.’

The Government has no plans to end the Labour ban, but pro-hunting Tory backbenchers hope to launch their own bid. Tuesday’s meeting is likely to witness lively exchanges after May invited pro-hunting Tory MPs to attend as well.…

POWAperson adds:-  Team Fox is an alliance between several anti-hunting organisations, including SaveMe, LACS, IFAW, POWA, HSA, the Hunt Monitor's Association, Hounds Off, Network for Animals, Minority Pastime and others. 

 


Arson attack on sab's car outside their house

25-6-15     HSA Press Release   Hunt Saboteur's Car set on fire outside home    A car used to monitor illegal fox hunts has been set on fire outside the home of a member of West Midlands Hunt saboteurs.  Wheelie bins were piled up against the car and set on fire causing significant damage to the rear bumper.  This is the second saboteur vehicle that has been damaged in the same location in the past few months.  In February another member of the group had all four tyres slashed when they left their car outside the same house.

Members of the group are confident both attacks were carried out by supporters of local foxhunts, angry at theW.MidsSabscarsetonfireoutsidehome6.2015.jpgsuccess the group have achieved against them over the past year.  West Midlands sabs have focused the majority of their attention on the Atherstone hunt during the recent hunting season, attending every single one of their meets.  Video evidence presented by the sabs has resulted in the huntsman, Stuart Barton, being interviewed by the police regarding illegal hunting and assault of a hunt saboteur.  Three Atherstone hunt supporters are also due to appear in court after racially abusing a hunt saboteur.

The Atherstone had a challenging start to the season when they sacked their huntsman, Ollie Finnegan, shortly before the season began and forced him and his heavily pregnant wife out of their home. This led to a great deal of unhappiness in the hunt and a drop in their support. The continuous presence of sabs exacerbated this and meant numbers were very low by the season's end.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Whilst there is, as yet no evidence linking these attacks to pro-hunt thugs it is difficult to reach any other conclusion. Members of the Atherstone hunt have made it clear that they know about this particular address and seem to have a significant hatred for West Midlands hunt sabs. We hope the police treat this latest attack seriously and take a particularly close look at local hunt support. The hunting community has a long history of targeting hunt saboteurs homes in retaliation to having their cruel pastime exposed and this is why many hunt saboteurs are forced to hide their identities. What they fail to realise is that these bullying, cowardly attacks only make us more determined and confirm how effective our actions are.”

 

Dutch website found offering 'fox hunting' trips with Cotswold Hunts

Was clear that it was real quarry hunting that was being offered

After criticism website altered to say it is actually 'trail hunting' 

24-6-15   A website, run by a Dutch hotelier, offering fox hunting trips with the Heythrop, N.Cotswold and Cotswold Hunts was discovered earlier this month. The hotelier, who calls himself 'Charlie' [a hunting nickname for the fox], is Roel Rol, and the enterprise has offices in Holland and the Cotswolds. Until today, the website made it abundantly clear that what was being offered was real fox hunting. However, the site attracted so much negative interest on social media that it has now been substantially altered, making the claim that it is all just legal 'trial hunting'.

The Heythrop FH were convicted of four counts of illegal hunting in December 2012, as were its former Huntsman and a former JM. The North Cotswold hit the headlines last autumn, when sabs produced video which apparently showed a hunt member feeding foxes at an artificial earth, in an area they hunted a few days later.  

 

PMB option for Hunting Act repeal Bill disappears with draw

None of top 20 in Private Members' ballot want to take it on 

24-6-15  Daily Telegraph   Foxhunting ban: MPs are not keen to propose a law for repeal    A clever Government wheeze to avoid taking sides on a controversial repeal of the ban appears to have failed.  "We will protect hunting, shooting and fishing, for all the benefits to individuals, the environment and the rural economy that they bring.  "A Conservative government will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act with a free vote, with a government bill in government time." So said the Conservative manifesto at the general election.  Repealing the ban would correct what critics see as one of the great wrongs of the last Labour government.  Unfortunately for the Conservative leadership, that view is not uniform across the party: a significant number of Tories, including a fair few newly-elected in 2015, are quite happy to let the ban stand. (Tracey Crouch, a minister who supports, the ban, has aid she expected 30 to 40 Tories to either abstain or vote against repeal, enough to put the outcome of any vote in doubt.)A Government bill on repeal, therefore, raised the possibility of an awkward parliamentary split on the issue. So Government people hatched a cunning plan to avoid ministers taking sides on the ban. Instead of a Government bill, formally proposed by ministers, they would instead help a backbench MP bring a repeal proposal before the Commons, whereupon MPs could have their free vote and ministers could vote however they chose...

He reported that after the ballot for parliamentary time for private members’ bills, ministers hoped that a Tory MP with a high place in the draw (and thus, a good chance of getting parliamentary time to have a bill debated) would propose a repeal of the hunting ban.

The plan outraged pro-hunting MPs, who saw it as a betrayal of the manifesto commitment, but it would probably have served to keep the peace on an issue that has the capacity to generate huge excitement and consume much political capital. And there is a good precedent for the Government using the private bill system in this way: it was how the EU referendum bill made its first appearance under the Coalition. Sadly for ministers, however, the clever plan has hit a snag. Of the 20 MPs who drew top places in the private members’ bill ballot, none has opted to bring forward a bill repealing the hunting ban. Since no other private bill has any realistic chance of becoming law, the Government is back to square one on repeal, trying to work out how to deliver a manifesto promise that few of those who wrote it ever expected to have to implement, and which may well open up a noisy and painful split in the party.

 

Sabs claim were assaulted by High Sheriff of Herefordshire

23-6-15   Facebook- Three Counties Hunt Sabs   VIDEO  A video of three, Three Counties Sabs being assaulted on New Years day 2015. The incident occured in Sellack, near Ross-on-Wye and was perpetrated by Major Patrick Darling (High Sheriff of Herefordshire of the South Herefordshire Hunt]. Sabs intervened as hounds went into cry. On a steep bank, off a footpath, hounds were found in an active badger sett and it was clear a fox had run to ground. The 3 sabs were then assAulted, being forcibly pushed downhill. Minor cuts and bruises were sustained. Major Darling was questioned by police but no action was taken against him or the Hunt despite their illegal behaviour.

                MajorDarlingS.HerefordshireFH.jpg

 

LACS accuses Middleton FH of holding fox cubs to hunt later

Barn they were found in just 200 yards from Hunt kennels

Man they say 'known to be associated' with Hunt filmed going in and out of barn 

11-6-15   BBC News    Video shows fox cubs held near hunt kennels   Police in North Yorkshire are investigating after video footage showed 16 fox cubs being held in a barn near hunt kennels. The images were filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports, which alleges that the cubs were being raised to be hunted. Fox hunting with dogs was made illegal in 2004. The hunt says it is assisting the police and is confident that no one connected with the Hunt has committed any offence.

11-6-15   Scarborough News    Foxes are being kept in captivity so they can he hunted illegally, charity claims    Young foxes are being taken from the wild and kept in captivity so they can be hunted illegally, a charity has claimed.  Covert video evident taken by the League Against Cruel Sports shows 16 fox cubs, some as young as three months, locked in a dark shed on land near Malton.  The video will be released today at 6.30pm.  Filmed as part of a League investigation in late May, it shows a shed fitted out to mimic a fox earth, and the cubs being visited by a hunt employee and fed on dead chickens and provided with dirty water in bowls.

The League says there were no vixens or adult foxes - arguing the cubs were forcibly removed from their earths.   Dr Toni Shephard, Head of Policy and Research for the League Against Cruel Sports [below right], said that the League had Foxcuboneof16foundinN.Yorksbarn6-15.jpgalerted the police who removed the foxes and arrested the hunt employee.  The foxes, one of which died shortly after the rescue, are being kept at a secret location.   “This blows apart the argument that hunting is ‘wildlife management,’” he said. “Why would people working for a hunt be keeping young foxes? The answer is simple but terrible – they capture foxes so there is always a ready supply of animals to be chased by the hunt. Put bluntly, these foxes were kidnapped for cruelty. We’re sure that there will be a denial that these captured foxes are linked to the local hunt, but the evidence is right there. The other footage, the intelligence we have received and testimony from people who have been involved in hunts all show that raising foxes to be hunted was, and still is, a common practice among hunts. A vocal minority are trying to get the Hunting Act repealed, and one of their key arguments is that hunting with dogs is some form of ‘fox control’ service. Anyone seeing this footage can now see what a despicably false argument that is. Hunting with dogs is nothing to do with fox control. It is simply a cruel sport, nothing more – and now it is clear that it is even crueller than most people ever knew.”

The charity’s investigation also claims that more than 20 hunts allowed captured foxes to be hunted in the last 15 DrToniSheppardLACS.jpgmonths. Footage is also reported to show a young fox in the Northamptonshire/Leicestershire area, being fed, then members of the hunt unblocking the earth so that the fox escapes just prior to the hounds running past.  Further video, provided by the Hunt Saboteurs Association, is also reported to show foxes being fed by members of a hunt. “We’ve known for a long time that this is a practice carried out by many hunts, but this is the first footage that graphically shows the scale of what they are doing, and links it directly to members of the hunt,” added Dr Shephard. “This would be appalling enough even if hunting was still legal.  But the fact is, all the intelligence and evidence we have put together over the last few months has pointed to this going on right now – while hunting is banned. This can only mean one thing – some hunts are routinely breaking the law, and they are doing it in a most disgusting manner by capturing and feeding the very foxes they are planning to chase and kill.” 

Clifford Pellow, a kennelman and huntsman for 23 years and now retired, said: “I’ve worked with many hunts across the country and seen foxes kept in milk churns, cages and sheds and encouraged to breed in artificial earths so there’s a ready supply to be hunted. I’ve even seen a fox deliberately strung up in a tree to send the hounds into a frenzy, so it’s no surprise to me this cruelty carries on. Though hunts insist they are there to provide a wildlife control service, the fact they break the Master of Foxhounds Association rules over and over again shows that this just isn’t the case. They’re still in it purely for the blood ‘sport’, with a nasty, cruel streak and no respect for the law. 

The hunting world’s last possible justification for repealing the Hunting Act has been well and truly blown out of the water.” *North Yorkshire Police arrested a man in connection with the discovery of 16 fox clubs in a barn near Malton on Sunday, May 31. He is due to answer bail in the coming weeks.

Pics below:-   Left & middle - fox cubs in the  barn    Right - 'Known associate of Hunt visiting barn

  FoxcubsinbarnnearMiddletonFHkennels26-15.jpg FoxcubsinbarnnearMiddletonFHkennels6-15.jpg KnownassociateofMiddletonFHatfoxcubbarn6-15.jpg

 11-6-15  LACS Press Release   Kidnapped for Cruelty - 16 fox cubs found in a barn 'linked to high profile hunt', claims charity    Young foxes are being taken from the wild and kept in captivity so they can be hunted illegally, claims a charity, after an undercover investigation discovered 16 cubs in a barn linked to a high-profile hunt. Covert video evidence taken by the League Against Cruel Sports reveals 16 fox cubs as young as three months incarcerated in a dark shed on land linked to the Middleton Foxhounds hunt, near Malton in North Yorkshire. The video1, filmed as part of a League investigation in late May 2015, shows a shed fitted out to mimic a fox earth, and the cubs being visited by a Middleton Foxhounds employee2 to be fed on dead chickens and provided with dirty water in bowls. There were no vixens or adult foxes, which suggests the cubs were forcibly removed from their earths....  [much more on website]

 

LACS say video shows Pytchley FH feeding foxes at artificial earth

Film then shows fox being flushed out by terrier then hounds chasing after it 

11-6-15   The footage is part of the most recent video uploaded to YouTube by the League, most of which deals with the Middleton FH fox cubs scandal [see news item above].  The terrierman then blocks the earth entrance. A few seconds later hounds in cry rush past the artificial earth. The Huntsman can be heard blowing his horn to encourage the hounds on. The Pytchley FH section starts at 2m 55s in this video.

 

Cheshire Forest FH whip convicted of handling stolen goods

Fined £2000+ and sentenced to Community Service 

Andrew Callwood [below left] who is/was whipper-in for the Cheshire Forest FH, was convicted after being found in possession of a stolen tractor. In October 2013 he was also convicted of assault on a young woman. 

9-6-15   Cheshire Constabulary   Man found guilty of handling stolen goods    A Knutsford man has been found guilty of handling a stolen John Deere tractor worth more than £20,000. On 1st May 2015, Andrew Callwood, ofAndrewCallwoodWhipCheshireForestFH.jpgSeven Sisters Lane, Knutsford, appeared at Chester Magistrates Court charged with Handling Stolen Goods, namely a John Deere 6320 tractor.  Callwood had pleaded Not Guilty to the offence.

The Court heard that on the afternoon of Tuesday 8th April 2014, PC Millar, an officer with Cheshire Police Motorcyclist Roads Policing Operations Team was undertaking patrol duties on the A556, Chester Road, Northwich when he caused a John Deere 6320 tractor and trailer to stop. The officer had noted that there was no rear registration mark on the trailer and that it obscured the registration mark of the tractor.  On stopping the tractor, PC Millar noticed further discrepancies with the tractor’s vehicle excise licence.  The tractor and trailer were seized by Police and later examined by a Cheshire Police Stolen Vehicle Examiner who concluded that the John Deere 6320 tractor was an outstanding stolen tractor having been stolen from Staffordshire in August 2009.  The court heard that Andrew Callwood had been in possession of the stolen tractor, which he had claimed that he had bought with no receipts or paperwork for £5,200 in 2012.

The John Deere 6320 tractor had been valued at £28,500 at the time of the theft by the insurer NFU Mutual. Magistrates did not agree with Callwood’s explanation and he was found guilty. He received a fine of £2048.00 plus costs of £620.00. In addition, Callwood also received 125 hours unpaid community service. PC Mike Dawber, stolen vehicle examiner with Cheshire Police said “This sends out a clear message that rural areas are not a soft touch and if you are involved with committing rural crime in Cheshire or elsewhere, that irrespective of time, we will track you down and put you in front of the Courts.”

 

Police consider charging Middleton FH re. fox cubs found in barn

5-6-15    RSPCA Darlington Branch    Middleton Hunt ?    North Yorkshire police are considering whether to bring charges against the Middleton Hunt for keeping fox cubs in a barn. It is not clear yet what the Hunt were planning on doing with the cubs.....  [see story below].

POWAperson adds:-   In August 2013, the Huntsman, the whipper-in and two terriermen of the Middleton were convicted of illegal hunting. They were covertly monitored by LACS investigators spending 25 minutes using dogs and sticks to force a fox from its hiding place. When it fled into the open the hounds pounced on the fox and killed it The corpse was lifted in triumph by the Huntsman, who then allowed the hounds to 'rag' it.  Although the case was among the most blatant and cruel examples of illegal hunting imaginable - and the court could have fined the offenders up to £5,000 each and confiscated their dogs and equipment - the penalties actually levelled were pathetic. A £200 fine for the Huntsman, £100 each for the whip and the official terrierman and a conditional discharge for the amateur terrierman.  The CPS did not appeal the lax sentences. The League said they did not expect their convictions to deter the Middleton.

In February 2015 the same Huntsman, Tom Holt, was tried for illegal hunting regarding an incident the previous February. The LACS video evidence clearly showed a fox being chased by hounds, then Holt riding the same line a little later. He claimed they were 'trail hunting' and denied knowing hounds were chasing a fox. The court decided there was insufficient evidence and acquitted him.

Also in February 2015, the terrierman Lee Martin, convicted of illegal hunting in 2013, was found guilty of interfering with a badger sett the previous March and given 120 hours Community Service. Kennel-Huntsman Barry Andrews was acquitted of a similar, but separate charge.

 

Man arrested after sixteen fox cubs found in North Yorkshire barn

4-6-15    The Press    Police launch investigation after finding 16 fox cubs in a Ryedale barn    POLICE have launched an investigation after finding 16 fox cubs in a barn near Malton.  Officers acting on intelligence searched an outbuilding on the Birdsall Estate on Sunday morning under the Animal Welfare Act.  The Estate company has said the outbuilding is on a long-term lease to another organisation and said neither the Estate nor any of itsFoxcuboneof16foundinN.Yorksbarn6-15.jpg employees had anything to do with any alleged crime.  Officers rescued the fox cubs, all aged from about six to eight weeks old, and the cubs are now being cared for in an animal sanctuary outside of North Yorkshire.

A man has since been arrested in connection with the incident but has been released on bail as the investigation continues. PC Jez Walmsley, Wildlife Crime Officer for Ryedale said that the cubs were being fed and had access to water but that police were keen to know how they got in the barn and who had put them there.  He said: "These cubs had been taken out of the wild, and will have come from at least four different litters. I am appealing to anyone with any information about these foxes, particularly landowners and the communities of Birdsall, Leavening and Thixendale, to contact me.  "I also want to hear from anyone who is aware of earth being dug out or vixens being killed, as they could have important information that could assist the investigation."

Anyone with information should phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Jeremy Walmsley or email jeremy.walmsley@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk, quoting reference number 12150090111. Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111

POWAperson adds - Though it is not presently known precisely why these poor cubs had been taken from the wild, it was obviously for some sinister purpose. It may have been for coursing or baiting with terriers, but it is equally possible that an organised Hunt is behind this outrage. In 1998, a scandal erupted around the Sinnington FH, also in North Yorkshire, when a LACS investigator, acting on a tip-off from a hunt supporter, found 3 month old fox cubs caged into an artificial earth on land owned by the Hunt, near the kennels. The Hunt Masters, of course, denied all knowledge. There was also evidence of the cubs being fed, though they were in appalling condition when rescued. The RSPCA were unable to prove a case against the Hunt, but a hunt terrierman was implicated and it is believed he was sacked.

 

MAY 2015

 ..... 26th May - LACS reveals video evidence of Scottish fox hunts flouting the law 

..... 24th May - PM may seek 'Middle Way' to placate strong anti-repeal feeling
 
..... 20th May - Cameron praised hunters for helping him win General Election
 
..... 18th May - Sturgeon hints that SNP may vote to help block Hunting Act repeal
 
..... 16th May - Hunt supporters press for early vote on Hunting Act repeal
 
..... 13th May - LACS presses for cruel hunting with dogs to be banned in N.Ireland
 
..... 10th May - Antis begin online fight to prevent Hunting Act repeal
 
.....  9th April - Royal Rock Beagles disband after 170 years
 
.....  9th May -  Anti-hunt campaigners relying on 'Blue Foxes' to stop Hunting Act repeal
 
.....  9th May - Jeremy Hunt confirms Tories will press ahead on Hunting Act repeal   
 
.....  9th May - Bid to ban Atherstone FH from country parks gains strength
 
.....  6th May - Sabs film hunter carrying fox killed by Cambridgeshire FH hounds
 
.....  5th May - IFAW launch 'Sly' campaign to show how hunters breach the 'ban'
 
.....  1st May - Police attempt to sue Heythrop hunters under Dogs Act 1871 fails 
 
 
LACS reveals evidence that at least half Scottish packs hunt illegally

26-5-15   Guardian   Calls for SNP to make anti-foxhunting stance clear as hunts caught on video - Scottish MPs under pressure to block any repeal of foxhunting ban as League Against Cruel Sports alleges half of Scotland’s hunts break the law    The SNP has been challenged to underline its opposition to foxhunting across the UK as fresh video evidence alleges that half of Scotland’s hunts are breaking the law on hunting with dogs. Since Scotland became the first part of the UK to ban traditional foxhunting and hare coursing in 2002, it has been illegal to hunt a wild mammal with a dog. Hunts in Scotland can continue to kill foxes by practising an exemption to the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act called ‘flushing to guns’, which means using dogs to chase foxes from beneath cover in order to shoot them. But covert video footage taken by the League Against Cruel Sports over a three month period apparently shows no practice of ‘flushing to guns’.

The surveillance of five of Scotland’s 10 hunts suggests that they are routinely behaving as they did before the ban, with a complete absence of shotguns. The footage, which will be presented to MSPs in Holyrood on Wednesday, shows dogs in full cry apparently following a scent and appearing to be encouraged to do so by members of the hunt.  On two occasions dogs are seen following the line of a fox. Scottish Labour’s cabinet secretary for rural affairs, Sarah Boyack, called on the Scottish government to fully investigate the League’s allegations.  “Foxhunting is a cruel pursuit and we need to know that Scottish ministers are serious about properly enforcing the law passed by the Scottish parliament to ban it. At the same time as enforcing the ban in Scotland, the SNP should underline its opposition to the practice across the UK by stating clearly its objection to any repeal of the law in England and Wales.”

The League is likewise calling on SNP MPs to be given a free vote on any repeal of Labour’s 2004 Hunting Act, which was promised in the Conservative manifesto. Although traditionally SNP MPs do not vote on legislation that only affects England and Wales, both the party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, and the Westminster leader Angus Robertson have hinted that they may be reconsidering this position. Last week the Guardian revealed that SNP MPs are being lobbied by voters in the rest of the UK who are promising to holiday in Scotland and buy more whisky if they vote against the repeal of the hunting ban.  Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said: “Scotland led the way on legislating to ban hunting with dogs in the British Isles. We are calling on the Scottish government to lead the way once more and make two simple amendments to the law [to reduce the number of dogs used in flushing to guns to two and to add a clause outlawing reckless behaviour]. These changes would make it extremely difficult for Scottish hunts to use cynical subterfuge to mask packs of hounds being encouraged to chase foxes and eventually kill them.”

But Jamie Stewart, Scotland director for the Countryside Alliance, disputed the nature of the footage, telling the Guardian: “Having viewed the footage, I am appalled that the League Against Cruel Sports is wasting the Scottish government’s time with what is at best subjective and at worst contrived.” He insisted that there was no illegal activity shown in the filming, and that anti-hunting legislation worked well in Scotland. “The Act is robust and we have had 13 years of monitoring by animal welfare groups and Police Scotland without seeing the Scottish court system backed up with cases.” Polling commissioned by the League from IPSOS Mori in March found that 84% of the Scottish public supported the foxhunting ban. But the same polling revealed that just over half believed that illegal foxhunting was still taking place in Scotland.

Pics below -  Left - Fox [bottom right] being chased by Berwickshire FH 28-2-15   Right - Hounds chasing that fox

  BerwickshireFHFoxchasedby28-2-15.jpg  BerwickshireFHHoundschasingfox28-2-15.jpg

 

26-5-15   The Scotsman   Scottish packs accused of flouting fox hunting ban  NEARLY half of Scotland’s registered hunting packs may be breaking the law banning fox hunting, according to animal rights campaigners.... Now, however, video footage filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) during the last hunt season seems to show hunters out with full packs of hounds but no guns in sight. The clips suggest hunts are routinely using dogs to pursue foxes and not “flushing to guns”, which is permitted under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002.... LACS investigators say they could see no shotguns during surveillance of five Scottish hunts on 16 separate outings between December 2014 and March this year.... The campaigners, who are taking the footage to MSPs at Holyrood, are calling for changes to the legislation that will ensure an end to the bloodsport. They want the number of hounds permitted in hunts restricted to two, as is the case south of the border, and the addition of a clause outlawing reckless behaviour that can result in foxes being killed by dogs “unintentionally”. These changes would make it extremely difficult for Scottish hunts to use cynical subterfuge to mask packs of hounds being encouraged to chase foxes and eventually kill them.... Mounted hunts and hill packs deliver a much-needed service to livestock farmers across the nation, according to Jamie Stewart, director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance. The 2002 law is “unjustified and unnecessary”, he said.... He hit out at the campaigners, accusing them of having “a political agenda which rejects the case for managing foxes entirely and has no interest in the economic and environmental well-being of rural Scotland”.... Scottish Labour’s shadow secretary for rural affairs Sarah Boyack, who is backing the LACS campaign, said scenes in the video are “deeply concerning” and should be fully investigated by the Scottish Government. “Ministers should also consider the merits of the proposals to change the law put forward by the charity,” she said.... “At the same time as enforcing the ban in Scotland, the SNP should underline its opposition to the practice across the UK by stating clearly its objection to any repeal of the law in England and Wales.” The footage is being aired just days after it emerged that new SNP MPs are being lobbied by voters in the rest of the UK to vote against the repeal of the hunting ban south of the border, which was promised in the Tory election manifesto.

 

Liam Fox thinks anti-repeal Tories will preserve Hunting Act

2Liam-Fox.jpg4-5-15   Express & Star   Fox predicts hunting change defeat    A substantial number of Conservatives would help defeat attempts to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs, Liam Fox [left] has said.  The Tory former cabinet minister said he would welcome a free vote although predicted there would be enough opposition in the House of Commons to prevent the law being changed.

Prime Minister David Cameron promised to offer MPs a free vote on a Government Bill to repeal the Hunting Act passed by the former Labour administration in 2004 if he won the general election.  The law currently bans the use of dogs to hunt foxes and other wild mammals in England and Wales. Opposition from the Liberal Democrats prevented Mr Cameron delivering on a similar pledge made in the Conservative manifesto for the 2010 general election.

Appearing on Murnaghan on Sky News, Mr Fox said: "I would like to see a free vote on it. Given the balance of the House of Commons I think you will have pretty much all the opposition parties voting against and a substantial number of Conservatives against it. I do not see it happening. But again we gave a commitment we would have a free vote and I think that we should have a free vote."

POWAperson adds - Liam Fox is known to be a supporter of hunting with dogs. UPDATE  At 10-6-15, it would appear Dr.Fox may be right. It seems there are around 40 Conservative MPs declared against repeal . There remain nearly 60 Tory 'unknowns', but if the proportion of 'antis' among them is similar then it seems a straight repeal motion would narrowly fail - and that's without any SNP intervention.

 

P.M. may seek 'Middle Way' to try to placate strong anti-repeal feeling

23-5-15   Independent   Hunting ban: David Cameron to propose 'middle way' to limit outcry over animal welfare    David Cameron is considering a “middle way” option to the controversial planned repeal of the hunting ban in a bid to limit public outcry over animal welfare, it has emerged.  A bill to axe the 2004 Hunting Act will not be in this week’s Queen’s Speech but legislation is expected before Christmas.  While the new laws would allow hunting to resume, under consideration is a compromise that would protect foxes and other wild animals from “unnecessary cruelty”.  Other options on the table are licensing or tougher regulation of hunting than existed before the ban came into force in 2005.

The Prime Minister is understood to be considering a compromise package because of the huge support among voters for the original ban. It is possible that the Queen, in her 62nd address to Parliament on Wednesday, will allude to a free vote on hunting within the year.  A number of Conservative MPs stood at the general election with the backing of Vote-OK, a pro-hunting umbrella group, on the promise that they would vote for repeal in the Commons. Yet animal welfare campaigners are alarmed at the prospect of repeal of the 2004 act, which was hugely popular among voters.  Pro-hunting groups are believed to be open to a compromise option, as they were more than a decade ago when the issue was debated at length in the Commons and Lords.

The first is the “Donoughue option”, named after the former Labour minister Lord Donoughue, who originally proposed a middle way to reconcile strong feelings on either side of Parliament.  This would involve outlawing “deliberate and unnecessary cruelty” to wild animals, which would ban digging out fox cubs from dens, but would still permit hunting.  A separate compromise, which would also be supported by pro-hunting groups, would be for hunting to return but be more closely regulated than it was before the outright ban – this was the original law envisaged by Alun Michael, the then rural affairs minister, in 2002.

Since the ban came into force a decade ago, hunting of foxes with dogs is banned but hunts are legally allowed to use hounds following an artificial scent. The Countryside Alliance and Vote-OK say that a repeal is needed to lift the threat of criminal prosecution from members of hunts where foxes are accidentally killed.  A Countryside Alliance source said: “We have always been open to a middle-way option if that would put the issue to bed. We have always been open to anything logical that isn’t just an illogical hatchet job.” However animal welfare campaigners and many Labour MPs are unlikely to support a middle-way option and would want to block anything that waters down the ban.

POWAperson comments -  The Donoughue Bill, first mooted in 2001 in an attempt by the pro-bloodsports peer to head off a ban, was and is nothing but a cynical attempt to enact legislation that looks as if it provides protection to wild mammals, including hunted ones, but, in practice, would do nothing of the kind. It seeks to ban the intentional infliction of 'undue', not 'unnecessary' suffering. This is a critical difference, because it would not render illegal anything that is done to a wild mammal in the normal course of hunting, or, indeed, coursing or digging out. It would also raise almost insuperable barriers to anyone attempting to gather sufficient evidence to secure a conviction against organised hunters. The Bill was roundly rejected by all organisations concerned with wild animal welfare in the early 2000s.

The Hunting Bill introduced by Alun Michael MP, which was later transformed by backbenchers into the Hunting Act 2004, had numerous serious defects. The main one was that it allowed for the licensing of Hunts, with the Secretary of State responsible for determining whether licences should be issued or not. There was nothing to stop any Sec. of State, notably a Conservative one, from issuing as many licences as [s]he wished.

 

Cameron praised hunters for helping him win the election

20-5-15    Daily Mirror    David Cameron thanks fox hunters for helping him win election in celebratory text message     David Cameron [left] sent fox hunters a text thanking them for their crucial election backing within minutes of realising he had snatched victory.  The Prime Minister went out of his way to pay tribute to bloodsports enthusiasts who had swooped on key battlegrounds to help boost the Tory vote.  And he is set to DavidCameronandGuyAvisHonSecHeythropFH.jpgreward them in the Queen’s Speech by paving the way for MPs to scrap the 10-year-old hunting ban.

The PM’s text was revealed in a celebratory online message by the Ledbury Hunt in Gloucestershire.  It quoted an email sent at 11.19am on May 8 by Charles Mann, of pro-hunt group Vote-OK.  He boasted: “The Prime Minister sent this text to us early this morning ‘Please thank Vote-OK for all their amazing work’.”  Vote-OK was set-up the day after the Hunting Act was signed into law in November 2004. It is chaired by Mr Cameron’s father-in-law Viscount Astor, stepdad to the PM’s wife Samantha.  Target constituencies for their campaigners had included Cheltenham, where Tory Alex Chalk ousted his anti-hunting Lib Dem rival; Oxford West & Abingdon, where Conservative Nicola Blackwood held her seat; and Bury North, where David Nuttall was re-elected.

In the email, sent by Mr Mann but with a message signed by Viscount Astor, the Tory peer told supporters: “What you achieved is to help return a Conservative Government with an overall majority. There is more work to do. We have to help the Government achieve its manifesto commitment on repeal of the Hunting Act.”  Writing on the Ledbury Hunt web page, spokesman Donald Haden claimed the Tories’ success meant the future of fox hunting “is now looking very bright indeed”.  He wrote: “Together we contributed to the victory of 4 MPs who all strongly support our cause.”

The Conservative manifesto pledged to give MPs “the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a Government bill in Government time”. It is expected to be included in next Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech. League Against Cruel Sports spokesman Chris Pitt said: “We would hope the Prime Minister acts for the 80% who want to see the Hunting Act remain in place, rather than pander to a vocal minority of bloodsport enthusiasts.”

                                   

Sturgeon hints SNP may vote to help block Hunting Act repeal bid

18-5-15   Guardian   SNP considers voting to stop lifting of foxhunting ban   Nicola Sturgeon [right] hints that SNP could stand in the way of Tory clamour to repeal legislation. The Scottish National party is considering whether to oppose the repeal of the foxhunting ban in England and Wales, which is being pushed by some Conservative MPs, who hope there could be a vote this year.  SNP MPs usually do not vote on issues that only affect England andNicolaSturgeon.jpg Wales, but the party’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has hinted that this could be an exception. During the election campaign, she said the SNP was open to changing its policy on keeping out of votes on devolved issues, such as health, if Westminster’s actions could have a knock-on effect on Scotland.

Some Tory MPs are pushing for a vote on foxhunting to be held within the next few months after it was promised in the party manifesto.  The Hunting Act introduced by the Labour government in 2004 bans hunting foxes, deer, hare and mink with dogs.  Asked on Twitter about how the SNP would vote, Sturgeon replied: “The SNP has not yet taken decision on this. We certainly don’t agree with repealing ban.”  The SNP’s Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, told the Scotsman newspaper: “SNP MPs still have to consider the legislation, which we haven’t seen. We need to see it, but of course we will be looking at that closely.  You do of course understand that the UK government imposes its fiat – its will – on Scotland without any significant legitimacy whatsoever, so we’re having legislation foisted on Scotland with only one [Tory] MP.  So we have to look at all of the issues coming forward in this new parliament following the independence referendum on its merits and we’ll be doing that when we see the legislation that is proposed by the government.”

Despite David Cameron’s personal support for foxhunting, Downing Street is unlikely to be happy about the reignition of the controversial issue now that the Conservatives have a majority. MPs would be allowed to vote however they wished on foxhunting as it is considered to be an issue of conscience. With a majority of just 12, there would only have to be a few Conservative rebels for the repeal to be blocked with the help of Labour and the SNP.

                                    

Hunt supporters press for early vote on Hunting Act repeal

16-5-15 Independent  Hunting ban ‘set to be repealed within 12 months’ with early Commons vote expected     Supporters of hunting with dogs are confident of overturning the ban imposed 10 years ago, claimingDavidCameronandGuyAvisHon.SecHeythropFH.jpg that a majority of MPs in the new House of Commons will vote to lift it.  David Cameron [right] is under mounting pressure from Conservative MPs to honour swiftly the party’s election manifesto pledge to hold a free Commons vote on the ban.  The pro-hunting lobby, which has analysed the views of the MPs elected this month, believes it has achieved the “magic number” of 286 votes it needs to win. The figure is less than half of the 650-member House because the Scottish National Party has said its 56 MPs will not take part. The Countryside Alliance calculates that only about 12 of the 330 Conservative MPs will vote to keep the ban imposed by the Blair Government.

However, the rival League Against Cruel Sports is also lobbying MPs and is confident that more than 12 Tories will vote to maintain the ban. It believes it can win the critical vote, which could be very close. It accused the Countryside Alliance of trying to bounce Tory MPs into believing a decision to repeal the Hunting Act 2004 is inevitable, when it is not.  The forthcoming vote is unlikely to be mentioned in the Queen’s Speech on May 27, as OwenPaterson.jpgthat might divert attention from Mr Cameron’s drive to lead a “one nation” government and end the Tories’ image as the “party of the rich.”  But the Speech traditionally says that “other measures” will follow later in the parliamentary year and Tory MPs are hopeful that there will be a vote in the next 12 months.

Owen Paterson [left], the Conservative former Environment Secretary, said: “The hunting ban is bad legislation, bad for animal welfare and bad for the liberty of people in the countryside. A repeal of this law is a clear manifesto commitment and I am confident we will see it in the Queen’s Speech on May 27.”

Simon Hart [right], a Tory MP and former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “We need to get on with this and I am sure the Government will want to resolve the matter quickly and efficiently. The commitment to a vote on repeal has been in the manifesto since 2005 and we now have the opportunity to deliver that and get rid of a law that has been a running sore in the countryside for over 10 years.”   He added: “The vast majority of my colleaguesSimonHartMP.jpg understand that this whole debate was never really about hunting or animal welfare, but about Labour MPs having a go at what they thought was an easy Conservative target. The recent election result has shown once and for all that Labour’s obsession with fighting a class war has rendered them unelectable, so it is only right that we remove laws based on this prejudice from the statute book."

Sir Barney White-Spunner [below left], executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said: “We are looking forward to the Government delivering its manifesto commitment to a vote on repeal that we think will be won.  The Hunting Act has been a farce from the start and even Tony Blair has admitted that it was a mistake.  The new Parliament has an opportunity to right a wrong that was done 10 years ago and we are confident that MPs will take it”.

BarneyWhite-Spunner.jpgOpponents of hunting may appeal to the SNP to take part in the vote, which could tip the balance in their favour. But Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, has said the party’s MPs will vote on matters affecting England only if there are financial implications for Scotland. She has cited the Hunting Act as a no-go area because hunting was banned in Scotland two years earlier than in England.

Chris Pitt, deputy director of campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “Given the other priorities facing the country at the moment, the public will not stand for the Government bringing forward a vote to bring back hunting so early on in this parliament.  A one-nation Conservative government should listen to the public and their own supporters who are overwhelmingly opposed to bringing back fox hunting, stag hunting and hare coursing. The Hunting Act is supported by 80 per cent of the British public and almost 70 per cent of Conservative supporters. Increasing numbers of Conservative MPs are recognising this and will vote against repeal, so we are confident that if a vote is called it will reflect the will of the British people and uphold the Hunting Act.”  Mr Pitt added: “Repeal of the Hunting Act would be a massive backwards step for animal welfare and we cannot accept the cruelty that it would legalise. We will be working with all the parties, including Conservative MPs who are anti-hunting, to ensure this vital legislation stays on the statute books.”


LACS presses for cruel hunting with dogs to be banned in N.Ireland

13-5-15     Belfast Telegraph    Barbaric bloodsport in Northern Ireland - horrific pictures show pets withSpanielinjuryafterusedtoattackfoxinUlster.jpg their faces ripped off after hunting foxes   These are the shameful pictures [right, left and below right] that show the cruel reality of fox hunting in Northern Ireland. The shocking images, collated by pressure group League Against Cruel Sports, show pets with their faces ripped off, wild animals being barricaded into their dens and foxes being tore apart by packs of dogs. In another image, four dogs are snapped ripping apart one fox and feeding on its insides. Disturbingly, all the pictures were taken in Northern Ireland. And although distressing, those behind the pictures aren’t doing anything illegal.

Janice Watt, public affairs officer with the League Against Cruel Sports, who handed the pictures over to Sunday Life, said: “These sickening and barbaric images show exactly why hunting in Northern Ireland must be banned.  It is not acceptable in the modern age for any animal to be chased to exhaustion, TerrierinjuredafterusedtoattackfoxinUlster.jpgand then ripped apart whilst still alive. The League Against Cruel Sports have made outlawing hunting with dogs for sport our priority campaign in Northern Ireland.  The public were outraged at the leniency shown to dog fighters convicted last year by courts — but what is the difference between setting dogs on a domestic pet, and setting dogs on a beautiful fox or majestic stag? The answer is none.  All animals feel the same fear, terror and pain, and we have a responsibility to stop this ruthless persecution of wildlife.  Our campaign aims to show that the majority of people support a ban, and to put the issue in front of the politicians who can bring about the legislation.”

Last month Sunday Life revealed how a whippet belonging to ‘Pink Lady Hunter’ Charlene Rafferty tore apart a defenceless fox earlier this year. Rafferty was not doing anything illegal but provoked outrage when she posted a picture of the frenzied attack savaging a fox on Facebook — along with the words “that’s my girl”.  The blurryTerrierinjuredafterusedtoattackfoxinUlster2.jpg mobile phone snap, believed to have been posted earlier this year and now shared by animal rights groups on Facebook, shows her dog Buffy attacking the bloodied creature as it tries to escape.

Ms Watt says the League Against Cruel Sports group is calling on the Assembly to stop the use of dogs to fight, trap or flush out wild mammals from below ground. Said Janice: “We believe this could easily be achieved by amending the Welfare of Animals Act NI 2011 to expressly prohibit the use of dogs below ground, or by introducing legislation to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland.”  She added: “Together we can help consign this brutal activity to the history books where it belongs, and give wildlife in Northern Ireland a fighting chance.”  For more information on the league’s work in Northern Ireland, see its website: www.league.org.uk/our-campaigns/northern-ireland-and-cruel-sports/key-campaign-issues-in-northern-Ireland

 

Antis begin online fight to stop Hunting Act repeal 

10-5-15   BBC News   Fox fight: comedians drive online opposition to hunting vote    Less than a week after the Conservative Party won a majority in the UK general election, animal rights activists - with prominent comedians and entertainers as their allies - are organising online to fight an effort to legalise hunting with dogs.  Fox hunting was not really an issue during the general election campaign.  It barely registered on lists of voter concerns, and didn't come up in debates.

But in their manifesto, the Conservatives pledged a free vote for MPs on repealing the decade-old law that banned hunting with dogs, and the evening after the election the Conservative Health Minister Jeremy Hunt confirmed to the BBC's Newsnight that the vote would go ahead. That galvanised hunting opponents online, who among other things started tweeting pictures of cute and cuddly foxes.  Since the election results came through more than 58,000 tweets in the UK have mentioned the term "fox hunting" - compared to just 4,000 in the week before the election. Influential animal rights charities such as the RSPCA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the League against Cruel Sports have traditionally led the anti-hunting charge in the UK, but on social media it's British comedians and celebrities who seem to be making the most impact. "The most powerful man in Britain wants the freedom to hunt this animal on horseback and watch dogs rip it to pieces" tweeted comedian and vocal animal rights campaigner Ricky Gervais, alongside a video of a playful fox. 'The Office' star has more than 8 million Twitter followers, and since Thursday his feed has been dotted with pictures of fox cubs.  His messages were retweeted by other celebrity conservationists such as Queen guitarist Brian May and documentary maker Bill Oddie.  Gervais has also re-tweeted links to a petition on change.org which has attracted more than 240,000 signatures - more than other post-election UK political petitions supporting, for example, a referendum on the Conservative plan to repeal the Human Rights Act and another calling for reform of the voting system. Another famous comedian, Jack Whitehall, has also been driving the trend. "Fox hunting should only be considered a 'sport' if they do it both ways round. I.e. A pack of foxes get to chase a posh guy with a trumpet" he tweeted.

Opponents of the last government's controversial badger cull to prevent the spread of tuberculosis amongst cattle have also helped drive Gervais's message onto Facebook.  Anti-badger cull communities on the platform have started sharing celebrity quotes. But some have gone much further, into the realms of trolling.  They have posted updates which boast of their targeting of fox hunting supporters individually, as well as people involved in last year's badger cull. "A source tells us this family are involved in badger killing," reads one post which encouraged activists to post negative reviews of the family's business.

However not everyone on social media is convinced of the apparent urgency to pressure MPs on the issue. On Reddit, many were quick to point out that the Conservative Party were simply following through on a campaign promise in a democratic process.  Others highlighted websites which listed a number of Conservative MPs who don't support removing the ban - which will make a difference given that MPs will be allowed to vote with their conscience on the issue, rather than sticking to a party line.

A Conservative Party spokesperson told BBC Trending that the party was still committed to its manifesto promise. The pro-hunting Countryside Alliance is not yet campaigning on the issue, saying that until the government had given a firm commitment in the Queen's Speech later this month, its members are focusing on other campaigns. "The recent general election has shown the dangers of mistaking social media sentiment for a true representation of public opinion" an Alliance spokeswoman said. "It is very easy to favourite a celebrity tweet but I wonder if 400,000 of these keyboard warriors would rally themselves to march, as the Countryside Alliance did in support of hunting in 2002. You can be sure that once a concrete piece of legislation has been brought forward hunting supporters will be ready and willing to act."

RickyGervais.jpg

 

Royal Rock Beagles disband after 170 years

9-5-15  FB - N.Wales Hunt Sabs     With great pleasure we bring you this news [see article below].   How the mighty have fallen, loss of countryside and the pressures of modern life have been blamed for the demise of Britain's oldest beagle pack.  In its heyday the hunt could attract up to 1,OOO people [in N.E.Wales and into Cheshire] for their Boxing Day meet in Wirral, but it's most recent Boxing day meet attracted just a handful of followers in a remote, desolate field in Clwyd.

DAILY POST  9-5-15

    RoyalRockBeaglesdisband9-4-15.jpg

 

Anti hunt campaigners relying on 'Blue Foxes'  to defeat HA repeal

9-5-15  Independent    Anti-hunt campaigners say they'll work with sympathetic Tory MPs to stop David Cameron legalising fox hunting    Anti-fox hunting campaigners are planning to work with anti-hunt Conservative MPs to sink any attempt by David Cameron to repeal the ban on the traditional killings.  With the Tories returned as a majority government Britain now faces the prospect of a free government-time vote in parliament to legalise the practice, which was included in the Conservative manifesto.  Writing in the Countryside Alliance magazine earlier this year the Prime Minister said he believed people should have the “freedom” to kill the animals. “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,” he wrote.

But a number of Conservative MPs, organised around the ‘Conservatives Against Fox Hunting’ campaign group, have previously spoken out against the practice.  Anti-hunt Conservatives returned to parliament at the general election include Simon Kirby, the MP for Brighton Kemptown, and Sir Roger Gale, who represents North Thanet in Kent.  The League Against Cruel Sports said it would work with the Tories to head off the legalisation attempt. “We will continue to work as hard as we can to demonstrate the cruelty of hunting. And we will be working with all the parties, including Conservative MPs who are anti-hunting, to ensure this vital legislation stays on the statute books,” the group said in a statement. “We strongly disagree with the Conservative manifesto assertion that hunting and shooting has economic and conservation benefits. In addition, repealing the Hunting Act would be a massive backwards step for animal welfare and we cannot accept the cruelty that it would legalise.”  The League claims 80% of the public and 70% of Conservative supporters support the current law, which is enshrined in the Hunting Act. In March of this year Green MP Caroline Lucas called for the law to be strengthened and extended to other cruel sports.

  

Jeremy Hunt confirms Tories will press ahead with Hunting Act repeal

9-5-15   Daily Mirror   Fox hunting back on the agenda says Jeremy Hunt as Tories plan 'radical blitz' after election bloodbath    A free vote on the hunting ban, scrapping the Human Rights Act and finally working out £12bn of welfare cuts are all in the Conservatives' plans.  The Tories have already put fox hunting back on the tableJeremyHuntMP.jpg by vowing to enact everything in their controversial manifesto.  The document promises a free vote on overturning Labour's 2004 hunting ban - but many thought a coalition partner would force David Cameron to back down. Instead he will storm ahead with the bill after winning a shock overall majority in the Commons...

Jeremy Hunt [right] confirmed the plans will all go ahead on the BBC's Newsnight.... When asked about a free vote on the fox hunting ban he added: "All these things, if they're in the manifesto, we will do them."  The bill would not automatically bring back fox hunting. Instead it would put the question to MPs in a free vote, which means they could vote with their consciences and not along party lines.

But the policy has prompted outrage on Twitter. "They've barely been back in power 24 hours and Jeremy Hunt confirms the Conservatives plan to bring back fox hunting," said Paul Smith... And David Hemming said: "Jeremy Hunt confirms plans to legalise fox hunting. Because that's what the 'one-nation party for working people' would prioritise, obviously.” Tory sources have told the Daily Mail the party is planning a 'radical blitz' of policies while they enjoy a 'honeymoon' as Labour is distracted by a leadership contest... The League Against Cruel Sports has already condemned the policy's inclusion in the manifesto.

                                     

Bid to ban Atherstone FH from country park gathers strength

9-5-15   Hinckley Times   Petition calls on council to stop hunt using park    A petition calling for a ban on Atherstone Hunt riding across county-owned land in Hinckley and Bosworth has gained more than 2,300 signatures. The protest, launched by former Barlestone resident Jack Riggal, wants Leicestershire County Council to stop allowing the hunt to use Market Bosworth Country Park.  Jack, a keen conservationist and animal lover, has set up the petition online at change.org and posted a link to the Facebook page of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs.

The link features video which the group says was filmed on February 28 at Sibson. They claim it shows members ofAtherstoneFHFoxnarrowescape1-3-15.jpg the Atherstone Hunt ride at the saboteurs to prevent them intervening and hounds chase a fox into a hedge [right].  One of the protesters is filmed bleeding from cuts to the face.  According to the group officers from Leicestershire Police were at the scene but took no action.

Atherstone Hunt assert no laws were broken by their actions.  Jack said: “I am concerned about this in particular because, against a backdrop of increasing wildlife crime in the UK - raptor and badger persecution are good examples - I believe that how we relate to wildlife needs to improve and quickly.  I grew up in Leicestershire and volunteered on the country parks to gain habitat management experience for my career as a conservationist.  The fact the Atherstone Hunt have a relationship with Market Bosworth Country Park therefore is appalling to me.”

On its Facebook post the saboteur group say they have given up making complaints to police, preferring to highlight hunt wrongdoings via publicity on social media instead. A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said no complaint had been received from either party regarding the Sibson incident....

According to a Leicestershire County Council spokesman hunting is not allowed on any country parks. “We do not allow any of our country parks to be used for fox hunting. Local by-laws at each park prohibit users from using the parks for hunting or shooting. If country park rangers or other members of staff suspect there is illegal activity taking place within the country parks, including hunting, they will contact the police.”

Jack’s petition reads: “The country parks of Leicestershire, where I grew up, provide a home for many incredible species of animals and plants as well as giving the much needed green space for hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, to enjoy every year - but the managers of these areas also have insisted on a relationship with wildlife criminals who brutally persecute red foxes. The Atherstone Hunt, who use Market Bosworth Country Park before their Boxing Day Hunts, have been repeatedly seen breaching the Hunting Act of 2004 and intimidating/assaulting those who oppose their acts in the field. For any and all visitors to these parks and those who stand against the cruel treatment of animals, I urge you to sign this petition, and I urge the Country Park Service to ban the Atherstone Hunt from all of your land for good.  Wildlife criminals should not be welcome on sites intended to preserve nature. I ’m currently campaigning against wildlife crime, with a petition intending to start to stamp it out in the local area. I was recently appalled to see the Atherstone Hunt not only hunt a fox illegally but attack the hunt monitors that attempted to save its life. A scan of the Facebook page for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs shows that even this year the Atherstone Hunt have been repeatedly breaching the Hunting Act of 2004 and the Protection of Badgers Act of 1992. My petition stands at over 2,200 signatures and calls on the Country Park Service to ban the Atherstone Hunt, especially from Market Bosworth where they meet for Boxing Day, and publicly condemn wildlife crime.

A spokesperson for the Hunt said: “The Atherstone Hunt has complied with the law since the Hunting Act came in 10 years ago and no formal charges of unlawful hunting have ever been made against us. “These are ungrounded and malicious allegations made by animal rights fanatics and are an irresponsible waste of police time and resources.”

 

Sabs film fox just hunted to death by Cambridgeshire FH hounds

Hunt claims 'accident' and police take no action against them 

6-5-15    FB - Cambridge Hunt Sabs  [includes video]   CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Cambridgeshire Hunt Try toCambsFHhuntercarryingjustkilledfox14-3-15.jpg Hide Just-Killed Fox   Yet more filmed evidence of illegal hunting, showing that the police either do not know the law or are unwilling to do anything about it.  We caught the Cambridgeshire Hunt making an illegal kill of a fox in March, and can now release the footage on social media.  Our sabs were devastatingly close to being able to stop the kill, but were just out of reach.

14/03/2015: The ‪‎Cambridgeshire‬ Hunt with Enfield Chace met at Hatley Park Estate near Gamlingay on the Cambs/Beds border. We sabbed them alongside our pals at NELS - North East London Hunt Saboteurs and Essex Sabs, experiencing the usual biased policing, who insisting on holding us up on the side of a road whilst the Hunt carried on their bloodthirsty mission. They had been hunting on Wildlife Trust land, who have been alerted and were not aware. At about 2.30pm the hounds made a kill, with sabs heartbreakingly close to being able to pull them off. The police were notified, but the hunt had already contacted them with the lie that the kill was an 'accident'. However we beg to differ having witnessed them willfully hunting and being assisted by terrier men with dogs and spades.

This is an example of where strengthening the Hunting Act 2004 would make a real difference. Inserting a 'reckless provision' into the Act would make it no longer possible for hunts to claim that hounds ripped apart hunted foxes "by accident". Similar to reckless driving of a car, the hunt would be responsible for a criminal act.

The Cambridgeshire Hunt kennels are in Caxton and they have been audacious enough to invite journalists along to their Boxing Day meets for years now, pretending to be trail hunting. Please share this video around to raise awareness of what the Cambridgeshire Hunt with Enfield Chace are really up to out in the countryside.                                     

IFAW launch 'Sly' campaign to show how hunters breach 'ban'

5-5-15   IFAW    When it comes to hunting, it’s not the foxes who are sly    So, election time is here again, the time when big issues such as the economy, the future of the NHS, taxation, immigration and the like are all thrown into the melting pot and packaged up into headlines and soundbites that try to appeal to each and every one of us. But, there’s another contentious issue that affects hardly anyone, yet apparently ‘divides the nation’…. foxIFAWSlyposter5-15.jpg hunting. But, with fox hunting, it’s not all what it seems, and that’s why today sees the launch of a controversial new advertising campaign from animal welfare charity IFAW. ‘The Sly Ones’ campaign aims to highlight that 10 years since the ban on hunting with hounds, foxes are still being hunted and it’s high time to strengthen the Hunting Act. With just around 300 active hunt groups, involving roughly 50 people each, we’re talking just 15,000 people at any one time taking part in hunting – a miniscule 0.03% of the UK population! When you think that home games at Manchester United average over 75,000 people, and that numerous polls have shown that around 80% of the public are against fox hunting and want to keep the ban in place, no matter where they are from, the fight to keep fox hunting seems all the more strange. So why then, election after election, do the Conservatives always pledge to attempt to repeal the Hunting Act? Why does a group called Vote OK (run by pop star Bryan Ferry’s son Otis Ferry), offer pro-hunt candidates an army of free volunteer canvassers (and far more than just canvassing if rumours are true) if they promise to vote for repeal of the Hunting Act? And why oh why does anyone listen to the continuous pro-hunt spin of the Countryside Alliance about hunting being good for foxes, being an effective form of pest control, an irreversible tradition and a God-given right for those 0.03% of our population who want to challenge or disobey the nation’s laws?

The answer is simple – because the rural vote is important, and the rural lobby are one of the most powerful there are. Plus, to their credit the rural lobby are certainly good at what they do. With regards to other parties, the Conservatives are out of kilter when it comes to their call for a repeal of the Hunting Act. Labour wants to defend the ban on hunting with dogs, the Lib Dems and UKIP don’t even bring it up, the Greens want the Act strengthened and the SNP say they oppose hunting as an inhumane practice with no place in modern Scotland. What is interesting though, and always worth bearing in mind, is that many individual candidates go further than their own parties in their support for animal welfare, including an increasing number of anti-hunt Tories. The current law, the Hunting Act 2004, is good, but it isn’t being treated in the spirit in which it was designed. It is being purposely manipulated by people hell-bent on breaking the law in order to have their ‘fun’ by pursuing and ideally killing a fox or two. Concepts such as ‘trail hunting’, created after the Act came into force, do nothing more than act as a mask and a false alibi for old fashioned pre-ban hunting, and as a result of all of the above, charities like IFAW are finding the law increasingly difficult to help enforce. Even before IFAW’s new advert was launched, IFAW was accused of playing to class stereotypes, but the honest truth is this isn’t about class – it is simply about abiding by a law which was put in place to protect our native British wildlife – a law, just like any law, that must be abided by and respected by all. The changes IFAW is pursuing are simple and logical – and they bring back the spirit of the Act:-

 - The introduction of a recklessness clause to prevent ‘trail hunting’ from being used as a false alibi;

 - The removal of the ‘observation and research’ exemption, which has been abused by stag hunts to avoid prosecution for illegal hunting

 - An increase in the penalty for illegal hunting to include custodial sentences, in line with other wildlife crime legislation.

Only with these changes can we end the sly abuses of the Hunting Act. 

                                      

Police attempt to sue Heythrop hunters under Dogs Act fails

1-5-15    In late 2013, monitors from the Hunt Monitors Association presented Gloucestershire police with video evidence of what they believed showed the Heythrop FH, once again, illegally hunting a fox. The video is here. Hounds, very close to a fleeing fox, are seen chasing it into woodland.

The police concluded that a prosecution under the Hunting Act was very unlikely to succeed, but made the unusual decision to issue a summons under the Dogs Act 1871. Section 2 of that Act, the only part still in force, allows a court to consider a claim that one or more dogs were both out-of-control and dangerous. If the court agrees, it can either have the dog[s] destroyed or order it/them to be kept under control, failing which the owner can be fined.

The Act fails to specify what 'dangerous' means. The main legal problem with this is probably that the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, amended last year, does define that. It requires that there either be an actual attack on a human or an assistance dog or that there was a realistic fear of such an attack.  Since hunting hounds virtually never attack people it would be very hard to persuade a court that they were likely to do so.

In 2014, the CPS in Cumbria brought a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act against the Melbreak FH after hounds attacked and killed a fox at a beauty spot, in front of horrified tourists. The court dismissed that charge, presumably because the facts did not fit the criteria for 'dangerousness' and also dismissed the accompanying Hunting Act charge, as the prosecution could not prove intent to hunt. POWA now understands that the Gloucestershire police attempt to prosecute the Heythrop under the Dogs Act 1871 reached court in March but was not further proceeded with, though not the reasons why. 

The HMA's Judy Gilbert has now published the footage of the alleged illegal hunting, with the following text:-

HEYTHROP HUNT - AS BIG A THREAT TO WILDLIFE AS EVER

Despite pleading guilty to illegal hunting in 2012 the Heythrop Hunt, an Oxfordshire-based hunt that Prime Minister David Cameron has previously ridden with, seem to have continued being as big a danger to wildlife as ever. This footage, shot on 18th December 2013 shortly after they left their meet at Frogmore Farm (Moreton-in-Marsh), clearly shows hounds in cry before a fox is seen running for its life along the hedge line with hounds just inches away from him.
The fox desperately tried to get over a fence into the vegetation, but he just bounced off the fence into the hounds. He disappeared out of view but there were hounds everywhere and so close to him that the monitors don’t think there is any way he could have got away. They believe he was killed by the hounds shortly after the camera lost sight of him. Whilst this was going on the monitors heard no attempt from the hunt to call the hounds off the fox. 
A few minutes after this footage was taken the hunt Joint Master, Vanessa Lambert; Kennel Huntsman Michael Little; Hunt Secretary, Guy Avis; Huntsman and Joint master, Charles Frampton, and the owner of the land, Lord Ashton, were all seen in the vicinity. 
Gloucestershire police charged the Heythrop Hunt under the 1871 Dogs Act; having dogs out of control where there is a fear of injury to people or other animals. This reached court in March 2015, but did not get any further.

Pics below   -    LEFT - The dark blob centre picture, against a white fence post, is the fleeing fox trying to jump into the woodland. The lighter blob below and just to its right is the lead hound.  CENTRE - The light blobs just beyond the fence in the woodland are hounds pursuing the fox, seconds later.    RIGHT - Lord Ashton of the Heythrop being questioned by a police officer.

 HeythropFHFoxleapingawayfromhound18-12-13.jpg HeythropFHHoundschasingfoxinwood18-12-13.jpg HeythropFHLordAshtonbeingquestionedbypolice18-12-13.jpg

 

APRIL 2015

 ..... 30th April - Grafton FH supporter gets police caution for vile racist abuse 

..... 28th April - Albrighton & Woodland fox kill film released after police drop investigation
 
..... 26th April - Devon hunt supporter convicted of assault at Xmas party
 
..... 24th April - Flint and Denbigh terrierman convicted of assaulting sab
 
..... 18th April - Tedworth FH fury as police drop inquiry into alleged assault by sab on redcoat
 
..... 17th April - PM says he's 'delighted' with canvassing support from 'Vote OK' hunters
 
..... 13th April - Ferry & Deutsch fail to pay damages still owing to assaulted hunt monitors
 
..... 13th April - Cameron goes canvassing in Oxon with 100+ Heythrop FH members
 
..... 11th April - Flint & Denbigh FH follower cautioned for attack on sabs and landy
  
.....  5th April - Sabs claim were seriously assaulted by South Dorset hunt thugs
 
.....  4th April - LACS investigators film D&S SH illegally hunting stag - CPS refuse to charge
 
.....  4th April - Sabs attacked, threatened, obstructed at North Cornwall Hunt
 
.....  3rd April - Leaders of fox hunting rally their people to help Tories at election
 
.....  2nd April - IoW FH hounds in prolonged rampage through RSPCA rescue centre
 
.....  1st April - November trial date set for Lamerton FH six
 
.....  1st April - Sabs assaulted & camera stolen during Lamerton FH meet
 
 
Grafton FH hunt supporter cautioned for vile racist outburst

30-4-15   You Tube     On 28th February 2015, members of the Hunt Monitor's Association [who are also POWA Associates] were monitoring the Hunt near Canons Abbey in Northants. Whilst observing hounds hunting in the valley below, and with hunt supporters nearby, one monitor observed that any vixen being hunted at the time of year may well be pregnant or even have given birth [which is true].

A male hunt supporter showed typical ignorance of fox ecology by asserting that 'they won't even have mated yet' [foxes mate in December/January]. He then started being abusive, culminating by saying, of foxes  'You want to fuck off to France where they do like they do to niggers, shoot the bastards.'  None of the several hunt followers nearby reacted at all to what he had said. The video was handed by monitors to police and the hunt supporter subsequently received a police caution.

The supporter's racist outburst is very reminiscent of that, also recorded by HMA monitors, by 'Jim French' a follower of the PM's favourite Hunt, the Heythrop. in 2010. On that occasion the local CPS declined to prosecute. In 2014, sabs reported being met with racist abuse by terriermen from the East Essex FH at an attempted dig-out. In 2013, the Huntsman of the Ross Harriers was convicted of racist abuse directed against a female sab, though, despite his remark being clearly heard by several other sabs and an independent resident, he somehow managed to win his appeal against conviction. In 2012, a S.Pembrokeshire hunt follower allegedly directed racist abuse at monitors, before, also allegedly, discharging a firearm which wounded a female monitor in the head. He was later jailed for firearms offences. In 2011, the Huntsman of the Cotswold Vale Farmers FH was convicted of racially abusing a sab and fined. It is believed he was sacked by the Hunt - surprising, if true, since it is very rare for any disciplinary action to be taken by Hunts against their 'servants'. As anti-hunt activists, and 'civilians' who just happen to get in their way or challenge their behaviour at all, know full well, aggression, bigotry, prejudice and abuse litter the everyday discourse of many hunt followers and members

The HMA has referred several incidents of what they believe is illegal fox hunting by the Grafton in the last season, with video evidence, to the RSPCA. However,  the Society's lawyers have concluded that the evidence is not strong enough to make convictions likely and have declined to prosecute. It is now even more difficult than ever to get organised hunters prosecuted, even where fairly blatant live quarry hunting has been documented. It is clearer than ever that the Hunting Act desperately needs to be significantly strengthened.

       GraftonsupportermakingvileracistremarkGotpolicecaution28-2-15.jpg 

 

Albrighton & Woodland fox kill film released by sabs after police drop investigation

28-4-15   Vimeo    On 15-11-14, sabs were at the scene when hounds from the Albrighton and Woodland FH chased a fox in woodland and killed it. Sabs were able to retrieve the corpse.  Riders were on the scene when they emerged with it.  One claimed they had earlier laid a trail in that area.

The sabs reported the incident to the police. The officer appointed to the investigation then decided on no further action without any further communication with the sabs or even watching the video evidence.  The sabs made a formal complaint to West Mercia police, who acknowledged the case should not have been closed so quickly and reopened the investigation.

The sabs say 'We are satisfied the fox kill was then investigated properly. Unfortunately, there was not enough evidence to take this any further. We overheard the Hunt say '"We need to ring this in as an accident."  This is typical, as most Hunts will claim that ALL incidents of hunting are "accidental". This once again proves that the Hunting Act needs strengthening, as Hunts are openly flouting the law on a regular basis.' 

   AlbrightonWoodlandfoxkill15-11-14.jpg  AlbrightonWoodlandfoxkillSabshieldscorpse15-11-14.jpg

                    Sab retrieves fox body after kill                                    Sab shields corpse from eager hounds

 

Devon hunt supporter convicted of assault at Xmas party

26-4-15   N.Devon Journal   Holsworthy fox hunting party ended in violence, a court heard   Joshua Lake, of Wood Park, Bideford, appeared at North Devon Magistrates' on Friday and pleaded guilty to assault by beating.  A FOX hunting Christmas party ended in violence after a 25-year-old head-butted a bouncer a court heart.  The incident occurred outside the Memorial Hall in Holsworthy on December 28 last year during a fox hunting group's Christmas party.

The court heard that the defendant had been escorted out of the building before midnight by bouncers. The victim, one of the door staff, Kevin Walker, had tried to stop the defendant getting back into the venue and during the altercation had been head-butted by Lake.  Paul Walters, for the defence, told the court that Lake was of previous good character.  Mr Walters said Lake had got into a discussion with his girlfriend and after someone tried to interfere – he was subsequently thrown out by the bouncers. A  witness statement read out to the court stated that Lake had suffered a graze to the face while the door staff had thrown him out the venue.  Lake had left his jacket and a watch with sentimental value in the hall and wanted to get back inside.  He said he had not intended to head-butt the victim – it was in the heat of the moment to get them to back off.  Before he could apologise to the victim, the police arrived and Lake fled the scene. Mr Walters said he regretted his actions.

Lake was given a 12-month community order and ordered to under-take 80 hours of unpaid work, He must also pay a victim surcharge of £60, costs of £85 and £50 in compensation to the victim.

POWAperson adds - This is just the latest in a line of violent incidents at Hunt parties, the most serious of which ended with the Huntsman of the Tiverton Staghounds being convicted of rape and imprisoned for four years. It's scarcely surprising that people who glory in violence towards defenceless animals also tend to violence towards their fellow humans.

                                       

Flint & Denbigh terrierman convicted of assaulting sab

24-4-15    FB – N.Wales Hunt Sabs [Video]      On April 17th, Flint and Denbigh Hunt's terrierman Robert Lee Smith pleaded guilty at Prestatyn magistrates to assault on a hunt saboteur in Trefnant. This video shows Rob Smith's disgusting actions. Smith received a 6 months conditional discharge and was ordered to pay the court £85. 

Pics below -  1/  Smith approaching sab,  2/ Smith about to spit at sab 

 FlintDenbighterriermanRobSmith.jpgFlintDenbighterriermanRobSmithabouttospitatsabConvicted17-4-15.jpg

   

Tedworth FH furious as police drop claimed assault by sab inquiry

18-4-15   Mail on Sunday   Fury as police drop probe into this brutal iron-bar attack on huntsman despite dossier of evidence on possible suspect - Mike Lane was beaten by masked protesters armed with iron bars on ropes - Attack happened as 30 riders and hounds were chasing artificial scent - Wiltshire Police handed video footage and some names of saboteurs - Decision by police to drop probe branded 'pathetic' Police have dropped an investigation into a vicious assault on a huntsman just three months after it took place – despite a wealth of evidence pointing to the identity of a suspected attacker.

Last night the victim, Mike Lane, 40, who was beaten by balaclava-clad protesters armed with iron bars on ropes, condemned the decision by police as ‘pathetic’. He said: ‘They could have made more effort. Everyone is very disappointed. I’ve been told that unless further evidence comes forward, the attackers are not likely to be found. We find it pathetic.’ A video of the incident and a dossier of evidence, including some names of saboteurs and their car registration numbers, was given to Wiltshire Police after the assault. The attack at Everleigh, near Amesbury, took place even though the 30 riders and their hounds were chasing only an artificial scent, rather than a fox. During the incident, Mr Lane, who is joint master of the Tedworth Hunt, was sent flying to the ground, before being kicked in the head. He was admitted to hospital with concussion and broken teeth and his face was swollen. Since the attack he has suffered memory loss. The face of the thug who kicked Mr Lane was captured on video. Following TedworthFH24-1-15Huntsmanonground2supportersassaultingsab.jpgthe attack, Wiltshire Police issued the suspect’s photograph, although he has not been identified. In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, Mr Lane said: ‘I’ve been told by police they are shelving their inquiries due to insufficient evidence. It’s angered us because we gave them evidence. I’m beginning to lose my trust in the police.’ Wiltshire Police confirmed they had stopped the investigation pending further information, but their failure to identify, charge or prosecute anyone involved has dismayed hunt supporters across the country.

On the day of the attack, January 24, about 15 protesters sprayed hounds with the perfumed chemical citronella to distract them from the scent. Mr Lane said: ‘I noticed they parked about 250 yards away. Then five came towards us. They were looking for trouble – it was a hardcore element we’d not seen before. They were abusive and then one spat at me and then punched me in the face. A scuffle broke out and I slipped and one started kicking me in the head, stamped on me and the heel of his steel toe-capped trainer stuck in my mouth. I was knocked out for a few minutes. Then the chap started swinging a rope with an iron bar.’ Mr Lane, who has paid £500 for dental treatment since the attack, added: ‘I feel let down and think the police could have done more.’

Karen Fieldsend, 42, who made the call to police, is furious that the case has been dropped. ‘It’s disgraceful,’ she said. ‘If you had people assaulted in a city centre, something would be done, but in the countryside people forget about it.’ James Cameron, 53, vice-chairman of the Tedworth Hunt, added: ‘Their decision is disappointing, but this highlights how difficult it is for police to do their job when saboteurs turn up wearing face coverings.’ The Countryside Alliance is campaigning to ban saboteurs from wearing a face covering so criminals can be brought to justice.

Last night a spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: ‘We have been unable to move the inquiry further forward. At this stage the case has been recorded as undetected, however should other evidence come to light then it will be re-opened.’ 

POWAperson comments - As before, none of the footage issued, including the video embedded in the article above, actually show Mr. Lane being assaulted, even though it claims to. It does appear to show one sab being attacked by two much larger hunt followers and another equally small sab coming to his defence [above left] and then defending himself. Hence, perhaps, one female supporter's heard advice to the woman filming not to record what was happening. Nor are any 'iron bars' the sabs are supposed to have employed evident.

  

PM says 'delighted' with canvassing support from 'Vote OK'

Hunters helping Tories at election include convicts

POWA says 'Judge a man by the company he keeps'  

17-4-15    Western Daily Press    David Cameron 'delighted' with hunt support to swing election Prime Minister David Cameron said he is 'delighted' with the efforts of an army of hunt supporters being mobilised to help the Conservatives win in marginal seats across the West. And Mr Cameron made his own pledge to vote to repeal the ban on hunting after the general election as he welcomed the practical help that Conservative candidates across theDavidCameronandGuyAvisHon.SecHeythropFH.jpg West are receiving from hunt supporters.

The Prime Minister has joined the campaigners co-ordinated by an organisation called Vote-OK, which matches coachloads of hunt supporters with general election candidates who support repealing the hated ban on hunting. The Gloucestershire-based organisation said it is targeting specific seats with a strict set of criteria – they only send hunt supporters to canvas, deliver leaflets and stuff envelopes for candidates who support hunting and are in a marginal seat where the main opponent is anti-hunting... He said, personally, he would vote to scrap the Hunting Act. "I've always backed the freedom to hunt. I always thought the law was wrong and I don't think the law is working... I welcome support from wherever it comes... " said Mr Cameron about Vote-OK. "I'm delighted that they want to do that." … 

Anti-hunt groups in the Cotswolds said they object to Mr Cameron's backing of Vote-OK. Penny Little's group Protect Our Wild Animals monitored the Heythrop Hunt and obtained the evidence which led to its convictions after a controversial trial. Members of those monitors were also assaulted by Otis Ferry eight years ago. He and another man were convicted of affray, and more recently ordered to pay thousands in compensation for the incident – money he has not paid, despite bailiffs being sent to his home. "David Cameron seems to have some dubious friends, including Otis Ferry, who assaulted a woman and now refuses to pay the damages a judge awarded to her," said Mrs Little. "His other friends include members of a Hunt which has been convicted of illegally hunting foxes on multiple occasions. Well, they say you can judge a man by the company he keeps, don't they?" she added.

 

Ferry and Deutsch fail to pay damages to assaulted monitors

Over £30,000 still owing more than a year after judgement

Meanwhile, Cameron joins Heythrop hunters to canvass in Oxon 

13-4-15  Independent    Otis Ferry fails to pay thousands promised after civil assault of two women... even after bailiffs allegedly visit house     More than a year after agreeing to pay thousands of pounds in damages for his part in the civil assault of two women, fox hunting advocate Otis Ferry [right] has yet to give his victims a penny – even after bailiffs allegedly visited his house in an attempt to recover the money. John Deustch, who was hunting with Otis Ferry when the incident occurred, has also not paid the victims any money.

Brentford County Court ordered Deutsch to pay £17,000 in damages to Susan Grima and £14,000 to Helen Ghalmi,OtisFerry3.jpg with a reported contribution of £16,000 to come from Mr Ferry, along with legal costs estimated in the thousands, in March last year. The civil court judge found them guilty of assault and gave them a fortnight to pay the two women, who were monitoring a meeting in November 2007 of the Heythrop Hunt, based in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, when the incident occurred. According to a witness account of the incident, accepted by Judge Powles, Ms Ghalmi was driving her car with Ms Grima as a passenger when they passed two horse riders – one of whom was Mr Ferry, who was talking on his mobile phone. A car driven by Mr Deutsch pulled up behind them and Ms Ghalmi pulled off the road to let it pass. But Mr Deutsch got out of his car, shouted abuse at the two women and smashed the side-window next to Ms Grima. At that point, Mr Ferry joined in, snatching Mrs Ghalmi’s video-camera. He rode off with the device and subsequently deleted the footage it had captured, according to witness statements.

The deadline for the payment was more than a year ago, but neither the victims or their solicitors, Howe & Co, has received any money. “I find it shocking that Mr Ferry has still to make a single payment. To say I feel disgusted but unsurprised by his behaviour would be an understatement…” Ms Ghalmi told The Independent.  Mr Deutsch declined to comment, while Mr Ferry and his solicitor did not reply to requests to comment.  Ms Ghalmi and Ms Grima brought their civil claim against Mr Deutsch and Mr Ferry because they were dissatisfied with the outcome of a criminal case brought in relation to the same incident by the Crown Prosecution Service. In the criminal case, Mr Ferry and Mr Deutsch pleaded guilty to a public order offence of affray and paid a £350 fine, while the more serious charges of assault and battery were dropped.

Mr Ferry, the son of Roxy Music singer Bryan, is a prominent figure in the fox hunting world. He is a pro-hunt activist and Joint Master of the South Shropshire Hunt who famously disrupted a debate on fox hunting in Parliament in 2004.  He also fronts Vote-OK, a pro-hunting lobby group whose members are campaigning on behalf of several Conservative candidates on the understanding they will vote to repeal the Hunting Act if the Tories win the General Election. It is understood that Mr Ferry was out when the bailiffs called at his home.  The Prime Minister has promised to hold a parliamentary vote to repeal the Hunting Act, brought in by Labour in 2005. On Saturday last week Cameron and 107 members of the Heythrop Hunt campaigned for Nicola Blackwood, who is defending her Oxford West and Abingdon seat.

 

Flint & Denbigh follower cautioned for attack on landy, assaults ON SABS

11-4-15   FB – N.Wales Hunt Sabs    On November 22nd 2014, following a very eventful day that we still have not been able to report on due to police investigations. Sabs pulled up outside Penpalment farm Trefnant and watched the Flint and Denbigh hunts hounds cross the road and back to to meet, sabs agreed the hunt were packing up and decided to call it a day. But then were confronted by a very angry James 'Jimbob' Grocott, Quick thinking by the sab in the drivers seat to lock the doors as Grocott attempted to open the passenger door. The footage here then shows what Grocott did next before going on to commit common assault on two hunt saboteurs. The hunt supporter admitted to his crimes and was cautioned and paid for the broken windscreen, he was also ordered to write a letter of apology … Full video evidence soon to be posted on YouTube but please share this short clip in the meantime.

POWAperson adds - Grocott, a local farmer, did send the letter of apology, as required, and has paid for the broken windscreen. This offending brings to 349 the number of staff/members/followers of organised Hunts known by POWA to have been convicted of, or cautioned for, criminal offences since the 1990/1 hunting season. 833 separate offences are recorded, of which 183 were violent offences, the vast majority of which were attacks on sabs or monitors, though they're also known to assault other people and even each other.


Sabs claim were seriously assaulted by South Dorset hunt thugs

5-4-15    FB – Dorset Hunt Sabs    Hit Report 31/03/15 South Dorset Hunt Knoll House Hotel Studland   With thanks to Three Counties Hunt Sabs for travelling a long way to be with us. This was the South Dorset Hunt's (SD) last meet of the season and as such, the anti-anti's were in full throttle from the start.  Firstly, sabs were mugged, assaulted and had their maps nicked and then were again later attacked by hunt scum and so consequently, a police investigation is in process.  You will understand that we can't give out too much information prior to the investigation being completed. However, we will tell you that we we were water bombed, water pistolled, pushed, shoved and severely verbally abused all day.  This was nothing to do with fox hunting. This was simply Sab-Bashing.  The escalation endured and continued eventually culminating with one female middle-aged sab's feet being kicked from under her such that she ended up with a broken arm, bruises and grazes. Other sabs endured kicks to the stomach and other serious assaults. Police are investigating...

 

LACS investigator film D&S SH illegally hunting deer - CPS refuses to prosecute

4-4-15   LACS Press Release   Devon and Somerset Staghounds (DSS) met at Cuzzicombe, North Devon, with around 400 people participating in the event. Two teams of wildlife crime investigators surveyed the Hunt’s activities from the meet until the hunt ended, one team in a covert position observing the hunt from a distance, and the second team in an undercover position posing as hunt supporters. After their evidence was assessed, the case was brought to the authorities to seek prosecution for illegal hunting. After some delay the police investigated the case, but the CPS decided not to prosecute because the defence claimed “Observation and Research” and supported their claim by producing the same researcher as in 2013.

 

Sabs obstructed, threatened, attacked at North Cornwall Hunt 

4-4-15     FB – Devon Hunt Sabs   N.Cornwall Hunt   With our landy back on the road, we spent Saturday with our Cornish neighbours at a meet of the North Cornwall Hunt at Lanjew Farm, Withiel.…  for the most part spent the day watching the huntsman struggle to retain control of the pack, with hounds running amok in fields of newborn lambs. Sabs had to come to the aid of a lamb that had become trapped on a bank, after marauding hounds had caused the rest of the flock to flee in panic.

Hunt support made several attempts to block our vehicle in on the narrow country lanes... Hunt support appeared to get progressively more frustrated as the day went on. Foot sabs were subjected to a tirade of verbal abuse from hunt followers... One woman encouraged her young children to shout swear words at foot sabs, while another snatched a phone out of one of the sabs' hands and threw it with force to the ground, something we later reported to the police. The same follower then proceeded to swing a whip at our landy, hitting a window and almost smashing it...

Toward the end of the day, the same bored group of hunt followers blocked our landy in near Withielgoose Farm, aided by a farmer whose tractor deliberately blocked the other end of the road. As more vehicles arrived, one of the followers climbed onto the bonnet of our landy and encouraged the others to join in. He lunged at one of our sabs through a window and attempted to steal a camera and then waved a vehicle window hammer at us... Just before the police arrived, the vehicles that had blocked us in drove off in the opposite direction but were later located by the police, who had words with them for their blocking tactics and threatening behaviour.

   


Fox hunting leaders rally their troops to support Conservatives
More Tory candidates revealed as being helped by 'Vote OK'

3-4-15  Independent    Prominent fox hunting supporters step up Tory support – and expect repeal of ban in return   Two of Britain's most prominent fox hunting chiefs have issued a call to arms for all their supporters to canvas on behalf of Conservative election candidates backing their campaign to overturn a ban on the blood sport, as two more Tories are revealed to be receiving direct backing.  The plea made by Lord Mancroft, a hunting partner of Prince Charles who chairs the Council of Hunting Association, together with Hunting Office director Tim Easby, will increase concerns among animal rights campaigners that the bar enforced a decade ago could be lifted if the Tories are able to form a government after the general election.
"As the campaign begins in earnest, we are writing to remind you of the vital importance of the result of the forthcoming General Election. The 7th May could be a great date for Hunting," the pair wrote in an email appeal. It was sent to hunt members across the country – who now number 45,000 according to the Countryside Alliance but are able to influence many more, with hundreds of thousands of people still thought to attend the biggest events in the hunting calendar – including David Cameron’s local Heythrop Hunt in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. "Whichever way the Election goes, the status quo will change. ‘We are happy as we are’ is not an option," added Lord Mancroft and Mr Easby. "For those who think we can carry on as we are with the current status quo, consider this. Under a Conservative administration, the current status quo will be the floor, the base level from which things might improve. Under a Labour administration, the current status quo will be the ceiling, from which we dangle precariously from our fingertips."
The Prime Minister promised last month to hold a parliamentary vote on repealing the 2005 Hunting Act if the Tories win the election. Labour, which introduced The Hunting Act in 2005, is firmly committed to upholding it. There are an estimated 45,000 hunt members. The Independent can reveal two further Conservatives – Cheltenham parliamentary candidate Alex Chalk, and Oxford and Abingdon West incumbent Nicola Blackwood – are receiving support from the pro-hunting Vote-OK group run by Otis Ferry, son of Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry. This newspaper disclosed last week that David Nuttall, fighting to retain his seat in Bury North, and Rob Loughenbury, standing in Chorley, have been helped by Vote-OK members leafleting, putting up posters and telephone canvassing. Arguing that every member should take part in such activities, the email said: "Basic campaigning is the most significant and decisive weapon in a candidate’s armoury – potentially making the difference between a minority Government and a Conservative Government with a working majority great enough to win the vote when they bring in legislation to Repeal the Hunting Act.  The result is going to be tight, and the tighter it becomes the more valuable your work becomes."  They warn: "There are some gaps where Hunts are underperforming [in their election support] and we will be contacting these Hunts accordingly."
Maria Eagle, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, said: "The Conservative Party only stands up for a privileged few and it smacks of desperation that it has to rely on the pro-hunting lobby... to get its message across.".  Tom Quinn, Campaigns Director for League Against Cruel Sports said: "It would be completely wrong to repeal the Hunting Act. Chasing foxes and other wild mammals with dogs for pleasure has no place in modern Britain. That is why 80 per cent of the public support the ban on fox hunting and even more back the ban on stag hunting and hare coursing. With the majority of Conservative party supporters against fox hunting, along with those of every major political party in Britain, a growing number of Conservative MPs and parliamentary candidates also recognise that overturning the hunting ban would be the wrong thing to do."
Lord Mancroft, a Conservative peer who chairs the Countryside Alliance, is probably best known outside hunting circles for claiming in 2008 that the NHS nurses who had treated him at the Royal United Hospital in Bath were "slipshod, lazy and, worst of all, drunken and promiscuous". Mr Easby is director of the Maters of Foxhounds Association, representing 186 packs of foxhounds, as well as heading the Hunting Office, which administers all the representative organisations for hunting with hounds in the UK. Though illegal fox hunting continues in some parts of the country, Mr Easby said the "status quo" referred to in the email meant activities allowed "within the bounds of the Hunt Act", such as "trail" hunting where a pack of hounds follow an artificially-laid fox scent.
The extent of illegal fox hunting is unclear. Anti-hunt campaigners claim that it is widespread with members routinely ignoring the law, often under the cover of trail hunts. There were only 13 convictions of registered hunts between 2005 and 2013, although opponents say this is because it is poorly policed. Mr Easby said: "Vote-OK is a group of volunteers co-ordinating supporters in marginal constituencies. The campaign aims to ensure that in May 2015 we elect a Government that will understand and appreciate the ways of the countryside, and will bring forward legislation to repeal the Hunting Act 2004."
 

IoW FH hounds prolonged rampage thru RSPCA rescue centre

2-4-15   FB - W.Sussex Hunt Sabs    We happened to be at this hunt on this day and find the relationship the hunt have with the police to be far to cosy. The Police Wildlife Officer is also the hunt liaison officer. As the hunt moved off they picked up on a fox very quickly and luckily we managed to call the hounds off. No trail layer seen at all. 

2-4-15   Isle of Wight County Press    

IoWFHHoundsamokatRSPCAcentre2-4-15.jpg 

25-3-15   FB - W.Sussex Hunt Sabs    The Hunt finished the day with the ‘terriermen’ attempting to round up the hounds, taking up the entire road in a very amateur fashion when we witnessed a school bus having to jam its breaks on and swerve to miss the hounds and incredibly hounds were running through the RSPCA Animal Home right under the nose of ‘Hunt Liaison Police Officer’ Sergeant Mark Lyth who is also, but bizarrely the local ‘Wildlife Officer’! We witnessed one of the most amateur attempts to hunt (rip foxes apart) today and yet again we will be back again and again until this barbaric, illegal “sport” stops. 


Sabs assaulted and camera stolen during Lamerton FH meet

1-4-15  You Tube   Devon Hunt sabs are assaulted and their camera stolen   Lamerton Hunt - At the end of the day, hounds went into cry around Leawood House, near Bridestowe. Hunt staff and support became aggressive towards foot sabs on a footpath south of Leawood House. Sabs decide to head out to the road, cameras at the ready for protection, a tactic later endorsed by the police. The footpath goes through the property but there wasn't clear signage amongst the buildings. One of the men identified himself as the landowner and directed sabs towards the footpath. As you can see on our footage, sabs calmly and politely complied with his directions but the man snapped and launched himself onto one of our sabs, wrestling him to the ground as he tried to take a camera out ofLamertonFHSabsassaultedandcamerastolen1-4-15.jpg his hands.

A hunt rider joined in the assault with his riding crop [right]and kneed the sab in the head. Sabs were able to deescalate the situation but the landowner ran off with the camera and handed it to his son, directing him to wipe the footage. Sabs called the police to report the assault and the theft of the camera, while hunt members stood by grinning and sniggering that the footage had been wiped. Luckily another sab was wearing a body cam throughout. As the police arrived, the offending rider made a quick get-away on his horse. The landowner and his wife stormed up to the police and concocted a justification for stealing the camera, lying that sabs had threatened their children, tried to break into their house and refused to leave their land. Sabs were left shaken but with no serious injuries. The landowner handed the camera over to the police after he'd been told that we had footage of him stealing it. The card had been wiped but with the help of data recovery software, we have recovered most of it.

POWAperson adds - Six Lamerton Hunt members are currently awaiting trial on Hunting Act charges in a prosecution being brought based on evidence from LACS investigators.

 

MARCH 2015

..... 30th March - Woodland Pytchley cause traffic chaos, hunting alongside A6

..... 25th March - Judge praises sabs, criticises Hunt & police over savaged deer's treatment
 
..... 23rd March - Female sab allegedly punched in face by S.Herefordshire supporter
 
..... 18th March - RSPCA drop only Hunting case - IFAW react by backing strengthening
 
..... 17th March - Three 'masked' Scottish sabs charged after attempting to disrupt fox hunt
 
..... 14th March - Farndale FH in N.Yorks packs up after 225 years
 
..... 14th March - Six sabs charged with disrupting Waveney Harriers 'trail hunt'
 
..... 13th March - Cumbrian hound pack owner fined for breaching BSE regulations
 
..... 13th March - Otis Ferry fronting Vote OK's sneaky election push
 
..... 12th March - Croydon Hunt Sabs Land Rover vandalised outside home
 
..... 11th March - Petition storm makes CPS rethink possible Blackmore Huntsman prosecution
 
..... 11th March - Old Surrey rider KO'd in fall is helped by first-aider sab
 
.....  7th March - Pro-hunt article in Economist blows gaffe on supposed 'trail hunting'
 
.....  6th March - Cameron confirms Tory manifesto pledge to repeal Hunting Act
 
.....  3rd March - Atherstone FH almost catches fox, then Huntsman and followers attack sabs
 
 
 
Woodland Pytchley cause traffic chaos, hunting alongside A6

30-3-15    FB – Manchester Hunt Sabs    On Saturday we teamed up with sabs from all over to visit the Woodland Pytchley Foxhunt, one of the few hunts still out so late in the hunting season. Hunting alongside the busy A6 caused traffic chaos but allowed sabs to sneak a look at the Hunt's route map which dim-witted Northants police had kindly left displayed on their riot-van windscreen. The Hunt further endeared themselves to the local community when ex-master, David Reynolds O.B.E, (former Northamptonshire High Sheriff and currently on the board of the Countryside Alliance) deliberately blocked the road stopping us and a stream of local traffic from moving. He refused to move even when an elderly local resident asked him!...

The two vehicles full of self-appointed 'hunt stewards' did their best to stop sabs getting on the land but even the hunts official trail-layer conceded to us that they 'aren't always that useful'. The Hunt's additional security, Northants police, hadn't heard of the Hunting Act and were more interested in filming sabs than any illegal hunting - so we were pleasantly surprised to see them reprimand the weeble-like hunt-security during some of their sweatier antics. Armed with the map of the hunt's movements sabs were able to anticipate their direction and working in two groups kept the hunt moving all day, with local sabs well positioned to help a fox to safety late in the day. No kills - and only more Saturday left for this hunt, see you real soon losers!

  

Sabs lauded by judge as clears them of aggravated trespass
Criticises hunt and police over poor treatment of deer savaged by hounds

25-3-15   HSA Press Release    Hunt Saboteurs Praised by Judge after being cleared of Aggravated Trespass    Four hunt saboteurs were today found not-guilty of committing aggravated trespass after a two day trial at Reading magistrates. The trial took place following their arrest at a meet of the Surrey Union Hunt near Ewhurst, Surrey in October last year. The saboteurs were trying to come to the aid of an injured deer that had been chased and injured by the Hunt. Instead of allowing the sabs, who had years of animal sanctuary experience, to SurreyUnionTerriermenandsavageddeer10-14.jpghelp the animal. Surrey Police arrested them for failing to leave private land. They left the deer with the hunt terrier men [left] who shot it.
During the trial a leading vet, Professor Andrew Knight, criticised the way the terrier men had treated the animal as they dragged it around by a broken leg and said it was almost certain its injuries had been caused by a pack of hounds.  It became clear from video footage that the police had lied about the events of the day and the district judge in his summing up said that the hunt and police had caused unnecessary suffering to the deer due to their handling of the situation and that if the sabs had been allowed to help the animal they would have been able to reduce it's suffering.  He also praised the saboteurs saying: "All of you contribute immensely to society not only in your working lives but in your free time]  You deserve high praise for managing yourselves and your behaviour."
Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated:  "Surrey police have a history of acting as private security for the Surrey Union Hunt.  In this case they allowed their bias to lead to the unnecessary suffering of an animal.  Despite the saboteurs informing the police that a crime had occurred they allowed the Hunt to take the deer's body and dispose of it and arrested the saboteurs who were trying to minimise the animals suffering. We hope that the Surrey Union hunt will now be investigated for illegal hunting and that there will be an independent investigation into the actions of Surrey Police. Whilst we are pleased at the not-guilty verdict it is disgusting that this case ever came to trial." 

27-3-15   Morning Star   Police favours hunters, say acquitted saboteurs   POLICE were accused of bias in favour of fox-hunters yesterday following the acquittal of four hunt saboteurs charged with aggravated trespass for attempting to aid a wounded deer.  The deer had been attacked by hounds of the Surrey Union Hunt last October when sabs ran to its aid.  Police said there was no evidence it had been attacked by the hunt before allowing the toffs to shoot and kill it.
But leading vet Professor Andrew Knight submitted a report to the trial saying wounds were "highly consistent" with a dog attack. District Judge Turner told the four defendants: "You deserve high praise for managing yourselves and your behaviour."  He added that if they had been allowed access to the deer instead of being arrested it may well have been saved.  Surrey Police announced online it "is currently in the process of reviewing the force approach to hunting and the findings from this case and any lessons learned will be considered as part of the review."  The acquitted sabs added that as fox-hunting has been illegal since 2004 this statement was far from satisfactory.

Female sab allegedly punched in face by S.Herefordshire supporter 

23-3-15   FB – N.Wales Sabs    During our hit on the South Herefordshire the other week, these young whippersnappers were out blocking vehicles, threatening to do our landy's tyres and punching a female sab in the face. Seeing as we stopped them killing any foxes that day, seems like they couldn't bare to have a day without inflicting some violence.

  

RSPCA drops its only outstanding Hunting Act case
Prosecution of Cattistock FH Huntsman is dropped
Lawyers felt unlikely to be able to prove intent to hunt
IFAW backs HA strengthening as felt video evidence showed wilful fox hunting

18-3-15   Western Daily Press    VIDEO   Final RSPCA case against West hunt dropped in Dorset    The RSPCA has dropped its last remaining private prosecution against a West huntsman for breaking the Hunting Act law. Huntsman Will Bryer, the master of the Cattistock Hunt in Dorset, had been due to appear before magistrates in Weymouth charged with hunting with dogs last December, in a prosecution brought by the RSPCA.  But the charity has written to Mr Bryer's solicitor Jamie Foster to say it will not be pursuing the prosecution as there is 'no evidence on which they could legitimately continue'.
The private prosecution by the society was based on video evidence collected by covertly hidden hunt monitorsCattistockhuntingfox3-14Prosecutiondropped.jpg working for the International Fund for Animal Welfare on December 2.  It appears to bring to an end – for the time being at least – moves by the RSPCA to prosecute organised hunts for breaking the hunt ban, a campaign which was criticised by the hunt lobby and pro-hunt MPs.  They launched a major backlash against the charity in the wake of the successful prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt in 2013 for illegally hunting four times in Gloucestershire, and since then a succession of RSPCA prosecutions have either been dropped or been thrown out by magistrates around the country.
Mr Bryer said he was 'very pleased' to have the case dropped.  "In the ten years since the Hunting Act came into force, no one involved with the Cattistock has been convicted of breaking the law," he said. "I am very pleased that the RSPCA has finally seen sense and dropped the case against me, but there was never any justification for it in the first place," he added.
Anti-hunt campaigners have long called for the Hunting Act to be strengthened, and last year the League Against Cruel Sports – the main architects of the law itself – finally conceded hunts were getting away with breaches of the ban.  Hunt prosecutions have failed despite video evidence showing a fox being pursued by hounds and a mounted pack, because the law stipulates the prosecution must prove an 'intent' to hunt the fox.
The director of campaigns for the Countryside Alliance pointed to the report by an independent reviewer of the RSPCA's prosecution practices. That report had recommended that the proper people to prosecute hunts were the police and the CPS, and the RSPCA should instead direct its funds to campaigning for that to happen.  "This was the only outstanding prosecution of a hunt by the RSPCA and we hope it will be the last time the charity involves itself in such a case," said the Alliance's Tim Bonner.  "There is a clear conflict of interest in a political campaigning organisation bringing prosecutions of this sort and the RSPCA should take the advice of its own Independent Reviewer and leave such allegations to be independently considered by the police and Crown Prosecution Service," he added.

19-3-15   Western Daily Press    Now IFAW admit Hunting Act needs strengthening after failed RSPCA case in Dorset     A leading architect of the Hunting Act has become the latest animal welfare group to change policy and call for the Hunting Act to be amended, after yet another prosecution of a West hunt was dropped.  IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said it was 'changing its position' on the Hunting Act it helped draft, after its own monitors captured video footage which was not deemed strong enough to prosecute a Dorset hunt.  IFAW funds undercover monitors to film hunts across Somerset, Dorset and Devon, but has yet to secure a conviction under the Hunting Act.  The monitors' film shows what appears to be a fox being pursued by hounds and horsemen across a field near the village of Langton Herring in Dorset last March.
The RSPCA took the IFAW film as the basis for a private prosecution against Cattistock's hunt master and huntsman Will Bryer.  He was due before magistrates today (FRI) in Weymouth, but earlier this week and following the failure of cases in Somerset and in the north of England based on similar evidence, the RSPCA said it would be dropping the case.  A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said the defendant, Will Bryer, refused to be interviewed by investigators, but then his defence lawyer Jamie Foster told them his defence would be that the hunt master did not know a fox was being pursued.  "The footage shows a fox running from a field pursued by hounds with the huntsman using a horn before following the hounds across a field with others on horseback in the close proximity," she said.  Although the Defence accepted that the animal seen in the footage was a fox and that it was chased by the hounds, it is claimed that the huntsman was unaware of this and that the hunt was engaged in lawful trail hunting," added the RSPCA. "For a prosecution to succeed, the prosecutor must satisfy the court that the defendant intended to hunt a wild mammal and, having considered all the evidence now available, the RSPCA concluded there no longer remains a realistic prospect of securing a conviction and as such has notified all parties to confirm its intention to discontinue the proceedings," she added.
IFAW said that it was changing its position to now call for a number of 'necessary amendments in light of another prosecution being dropped'.   "It is the latest in a series of cases where the prosecution has hinged on evidence which IFAW and other animal welfare groups believe show clear evidence of illegal hunting, but which the prosecution claim is legal trail hunting - following an artificially laid fox-based scent," said an IFAW spokesman.  "IFAW is also concerned by lack of enforcement and the length of time cases take to reach court."   Philip Mansbridge, the UK director of the international animal welfare charity, said his team was 'very disappointed' that the case was dropped by the RSPCA, but they did understand the reasons.  We stand by our evidence completely; this case was dropped, not lost,"  he said.  "In fact, it was the strength of our evidence in this case that led us to the reluctant conclusion that having tried everything under the current justice system, we need to call for changes to strengthen the Hunting Act.  Time and time again, hunts are able to flout the law and escape prosecution by using the false alibi that they were trail hunting.  The pro-hunt lobby are continually dragging out cases, wasting public and charity funds and in cases which do reach court the smokescreen of trail hunting is simply letting them off the hook." 
Now IFAW is calling for three amendments that they claim would actually ban the chasing and killing of foxes by packs of hounds.  The first is a 'recklessness clause' to prevent trail hunting being used as a 'false alibi'.  The second is the removal of the 'observation and research' exemption, which is currently being used by stag hunts in Somerset and north Devon, and the third is for an increase in the penalties for convictions to include jail sentences, which IFAW says is 'in line with other wildlife crime legislation'.
For further info on the Cattistock video evidence see this article on the IFAW website.


Three 'masked' Scottish sabs charged after attempting to disrupt fox hunt

17-3-15    The Herald    Three accused of sabotaging fox hunt on Perthshire estate    Three people have appeared in court accused of donning masks and sabotaging a fox hunt in one of the first prosecutions of its kind in Scotland.  Colin Milne, 48, Beverly Milne, 39, and Amy Lilburn, 21, are alleged to have followed and filmed people with the intention of disrupting a fox shoot on an estate belonging to one of the country's richest families. The trio were arrested on Friday last week and appeared from custody at Perth Sheriff Court yesterday. They were unrepresented by lawyers and entered not guilty pleas.
The trio from Perthshire, are alleged to have behaved in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause a reasonable person fear or alarm at a Perthshire estate on 13 March.  It is alleged that on various roads from Snaigow Estate, including the A923 Blairgowrie to Dunkeld road, they entered the grounds with their faces masked intending to disrupt an organised shoot.  It is alleged they filmed members of the public and repeatedly followed Angus Broad and Edward Broad in a vehicle on various roads in Perthshire.  An alternative charge alleges that the trio carried out the same acts and conducted themselves in a disorderly manner and committed a breach of the peace.  All three face a second charge on the same date of trespassing by entering Snaigow Estate while their faces were masked "and film members of the public with the intention of disrupting a fox shoot there." Milne, Milne and Lilburn will go on trial in June this year.

POWAPerson adds:-  This appears to be a worrying development, but we are unclear to what extent differences between Scottish and English law might make similar charges against sabs unlikely south of the border. The Milnes are members of Perthshire Hunt Sabs, but there is nothing on their Facebook page about this meet or any sabbing in Perthshire. On 15 March, the Sunday Herald published an article about Perthshire sabs activities after a reporter accompanied them on a sab in Fife. It may have been this meet from which the charges resulted.   

                         
Farndale FH in N.Yorks packs up after 225 years  

14-3-15   FB – Rother Valley Hunt Sabs    We had a cracking day sabbing the last ever meet of the Farndale fox hunt today, on the North Yorkshire Moors. The hunt are disbanding due to lack of support and today mustered up 11 riders, to mooch around with 12 hounds for 30 minutes, with the vast majority of hunters being from neighbouring hunts. Other sabs from the North East were also in attendance, as well as 6 vehicles of police. Once sabs began to intervene, the hunt panicked, boxed up the hounds, and the huntsman and whip (possibly the only true members of the Farndale Hunt) rode back to the meet in near silence (below), bringing 225 years of animal abuse to the undignified end it deserved.

     FarndaleFHlastevermeet14-3-15.jpg 

   

Sabs charged with disrupting 'trail hunt' in Suffolk

14.3.15   East Anglian Daily Times    Six alleged hunt saboteurs deny trying to disrupt Suffolk drag hunt - Six alleged hunt saboteurs have appeared in court charged with disrupting a Suffolk drag hunt…. The allegations stem from an event held by Waveney Harriers Hunt in October at Ilketshall Hall, Ilketshall St Lawrence, near Halesworth. Among the accused are Robert Brown, 22, of Colchester, Brian Cook, 64, of Stowlangtoft, near Bury St Edmunds, and Laura Skingle, 34, of Colchester. The remaining three defendants are Brian Earey, 43, of Colchester, Christine Lancaster, 41, of Dartford, Kent, and Geraldine Rose, 61, of Chelmsford. Each pleaded not guilty to obstructing or disrupting a person engaged in a lawful activity…

Croydon Hunt Sabs land rover vandalised outside home
Hunt whip had earlier threatened to go to scene of crime

12-3-15   HSA PR    Hunt Saboteur Landrover Vandalised    Croydon Hunt saboteurs have had their group landCroydonsabsLandrover-Vandalised12-3-15.jpg rover damaged whilst parked outside one of their members homes.  Valves were cut off two of the tyres causing several hundred pounds worth of damage as the tyres will have to be replaced.  The damage occurred just a few days after the land rover was used to direct an ambulance to help an injured huntsman at the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt.  A member of Croydon Hunt Saboteurs, who is also a trained paramedic, provided vital medical treatment until the ambulance arrived.  Earlier in the day a whipper-in from the OSBWK had threatened to go to the street where the vehicle is usually parked.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "There is currently no evidence linking this particular hunt to the damage but it does seem an unlikely coincidence that the land rover is damaged in the same week that Croydon Hunt saboteurs are receiving such positive publicity for providing medical treatment to one of their members. Hunt supporters have a history of damaging saboteurs vehicles but it will not deter us and this vehicle will be utilised as usual this Saturday to stop the illegal and immoral slaughter of wildlife".

                                     
Cumbrian hound pack owner fined for breaching BSE regs
Fed uninspected overage cattle carcasses to his dogs

13-3-15    Carlisle News & Star    Cumbria man fined £3,000 for feeding cattle carcasses to dogs    CUMBRIA Trading Standards has successfully prosecuted a man who was illegally feeding the carcasses of dead cattle to his pack of hounds. Peter Richardson, 52, of Edenhall, near Penrith, pleaded guilty to breaking rules designed to prevent the spread of animal diseases at Carlisle Magistrates Court on Wednesday.  He was charged with collecting dead cattle from local farms and processing them for feeding to his pack of hounds.
During April 2014, a vet from Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency and a Cumbria County Council Trading Standards Animal Health Inspector visited his premises as a follow-up to previous visits where he had received advice for non-compliance He also has previous convictions for similar offences. They found that on five occasions between 2 July 2013 and 25 March 2014 he had collected the carcasses of cattle aged over 48 months and fed them to his hounds.  Cattle over the age of 48 months which die on farms must be brain sampled and tested for the presence of BSE by an approved operator.  Mr Richardson is not approved to carry out this test.  He had also failed to the stain meat in accordance with regulations and had not kept records relating to the collection of fallen stock.
He was fined £600 with a £30 victim surcharge and prosecution costs of £2126 were awarded, bringing the total to £2756. Angela Jones, Cumbria County Council’s Assistant Director for Environment and Regulatory services, said: "The rules governing the disposal of fallen farm stock are part of a range of measures to protect the human and animal food chains from the potential risks of animal disease. It is disappointing that, although he was aware of the rules and had been given advice on how to comply, Mr Richardson continued to ignore them."

POWAPerson adds:-  We can find no record of this man associated with any registered Hunt, so presume he must run one of the unknown number of private packs that operate in remote, usually upland areas. The collection of fallen stock to feed to hounds is standard practice with all Hunts and clearly has the potential to spread all sorts of parasites and diseases if not carried out to scrupulously hygienic standards. At least two Hunts were heavily fined in the '90s for breaching BSE regs and Mike Huskisson's undercover report 'Skinned', published by LACS, found both grossly unhygienic conditions at many kennels and widespread tax evasion as hunters sold on the carcass skins without declaring the proceeds as income. Some Hunts also carry out a slaughter and disposal service for dairy farmers, relieving them of their 'surplus' infant bull calves

 

Otis Ferry fronting Vote OK's sneaky election push for hunters

13-3-15   Independent    Fox-hunting lobbyists fronted by Otis Ferry target backing of Tory candidates in stealth campaign     A pro-hunting group fronted by Otis Ferry [right] is offering to supply canvassers to help Conservative candidates win parliamentary seats if they quietly agree to support repealing the fox-hunting ban.  The push by Vote-OK, a lobby group set up to overturn the fox-hunting ban, comes after David Cameron promised last week to hold a parliamentary vote on repealing it if the Tories win the election.  "At Vote-OK we don’t want anyOtisFerryandpolice.jpg more than [for] you to vote for us when the time comes and we can take your word for that," Mr Ferry wrote to one candidate, in a letter seen by The Independent.  "I look forward to campaigning on your behalf. Vote-OK would agree that the less said publicly the better, and so long as you can give us the assurance you will support a repeal of the act then Vote-OK would still love to help. You do not have to make your views public, but it would be a huge breach of trust if you were to change your mind and go back on your word".
While Mr Ferry, the son of Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry, is not the group’s leader, he is one of their highest-profile members.  He and other hunt supporters disrupted a debate in Parliament in 2004.  Last year, he agreed to pay thousands of pounds in damages to two women he attacked in 2007 when they were monitoring the Heythrop Hunt. The politicians who are believed to have accepted Vote-OK’s offer of services include Angie Bray, MP for Ealing Central and Acton, and Ben Howlett, Conservative candidate for Bath.  Around a dozen members of the Heythrop Hunt met at Turnham Green Tube station in London on Monday and leafleted for Ms Bray in Southfield ward.  "Meet at Turnham Green station for another leafleting session with our Heythrop friends. Join us for the session and for a drink afterwards," read an email invite from the Ealing Central & Acton Conservative Association.
Otis Ferry is the son of the Roxy Music singer Bryan. The Heythrop Hunt is based in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. It rode through Jeremy Clarkson’s land on Boxing Day and the Prime Minister has attended. "I have a few friends who help run Vote-OK.  They provided some help in delivering leaflets in 2010 and are doing some more of that for me this time round," Ms Bray told The Independent. "Were the issue to arise in Parliament I would listen hard to both sides of the debate before making up my mind on the subject."  Mr Howlett commented: "It’s no secret that Vote-OK are out and about."  Graham Cox, Conservative candidate for Brighton & Hove, said he had been indirectly approached for help by Vote-OK but had declined its offer.  "The whole thing’s a bit questionable. I wouldn’t accept anyway because I wouldn’t vote to repeal the Hunting Act," he said.
Mr Ferry, 32, was riding his horse when The Independent called him for comment, and said he was unable to respond. But he added later:  "We campaign, canvas and leaflet for any candidate that will vote for a repeal when the time comes. If a Conservative candidate was against hunting and a Labour or Liberal Democrat was in favour of repeal we would actively campaign against the Conservative."
Vote-OK is focusing on marginal seats and believes it could potentially swing the election in favour of a Conservative majority in May. Writing in the Countryside Alliance magazine last week, Mr Cameron criticised widespread negative attitudes to the illegal animal killings that have occurred since the hunting ban came into force in 2005. "There is definitely a rural way of life which a Londoner might struggle to understand," he wrote.

POWAPerson adds:-   Vote OK was set up as a joint initiative by the Countryside Alliance and the Tory party in advance of the 2005 election. They canvass in marginal constituencies, often far from their Hunt's base, to get pro-hunt MPs elected, wearing civvies and making sure not to bring up the hunting issue on doorsteps because they know how toxic it is. POWA is unaware of them ever campaigning for anyone other than Conservative candidates. Otis Ferry has at least six criminal convictions/cautions

 

CPS 'may act' against Huntsman who mowed down sab with his horse
Left victim in heap and carried on hunting - CPS wouldn't prosecute
Big petition forces the authority to rethink decision

11-3-15  Daily Mail  VIDEO   Prosecutors may act over video of rider 'mowing down protestor and leaving her with seven broken ribs' in anti-hunt demo     Prosecutors are considering taking action over footage which shows a hunt follower's horse 'mowing down a anti-hunt protestor' [right], in an incident which left the alleged victim with seven broken ribs [below left].  Nid Warren was trampled by the galloping horse while she attended the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale meet in Somerset last August.  The 43-year-old suffered a collapsed lung and shattered ribs andBlackmoreFHHuntsmanmowsdownsab10-14.jpg was left unconscious on the ground following the dramatic incident.
Prosecutors are considering taking action over footage which shows a hunt follower's horse 'mowing down a anti-hunt protestor', in an incident which left the alleged victim with seven broken ribs.  But five months after the event, Avon and Somerset police said no charges would be brought against Mark Doggrell, who had been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. The CPS said there was 'insufficient evidence that the incident could have been foreseen'.

Mr Doggrell had initially rode away from the scene but later voluntarily handed himself in at a police station.  But the organisation is now reviewing the footage, after 12,000 people signed a petition urging the organisation to reconsider charging the rider.  The review is taking place under the Victims' Right to Review Scheme, a process brought into force in 2013. It allows victims to appeal against a decision not to bring charges or to discontinue a case once a prosecution has begun.  The CPS said: 'We are in communication with the alleged victim and will be in contact with her when we have made a decision.'
The hunt insists the rider is innocent.  The injured woman, who has asked to use a pseudonym because she fears BlackmoreFHNidsbrokenribsafterHuntsmanmowedherdown8-14.jpgbeing targeted by pro-hunting groups, said she was left 'devastated' by the CPS's original decision.  She said: 'I'm a victim of crime and feel absolutely abandoned by a system that's supposed to protect me.  As I lay in hospital the only thing on my mind was "have they got this on video?" because I wanted to ensure it was looked at properly.  I thought it was irrefutable evidence, the fact it was caught on video.'  The woman is seen being trampled as she stands with two fellow protestors at the meet in August.  Ms Warren, who works full-time as an NHS health worker, had been at the meet at Charlton Horethorne near Wincanton, close to the Dorset-Somerset border, with colleagues from the Dorset Hunt Saboteur group when the incident occurred.   She said she started 'sabbing' – a term used to describe hunt saboteurs protesting at fox hunts – in the aftermath of the badger cull. Saboteurs attended the planned hunt in a bid to raise awareness of animal cruelty and used two main tactics to throw the hunt off course. She said: 'We sounded a horn, hollered, and some hounds looked up and started to come our way. I think he [the hunt member] got angry at this. He came along a public road behind us at speed, he didn't issue a warning, he was completely silent, then he hit me and rode off. As I was lay there, struggling to breathe, I could hear the horns going and I was worried that if the horses came back that I would be trampled to death.  I was left lying there with potential life-threatening injuries.'
Ms Warren, from Hampshire, was taken to Yeovil District Hospital where she stayed for two weeks. She added: 'He rode his horse at us at full speed and rode off.  I had my back to him and he hit me and the horse's chest contacted with my rib cage, breaking seven ribs, injuring my shoulder and I was unconscious. When ribs are broken you can't splint them - they have to move. They have healed in a grossly displaced position.'
The Master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, Rupert Nuttall, said: 'We apologise that an awful accident happened but the due process of the law has been gone through. Mark is innocent, as found by the Crown Prosecution Service.'  
 

Old Surrey FH rider K.O.'d in fall helped by sab first-aider

11-3-15   Daily Mail [BELOW ARTICLE ABOVE]    Fox hunter knocked out by fall from horse given first aid by saboteur    A fox hunter who took a tumble from his horse was given first aid by a hunt saboteur.  The anti-hunt campaigner put his differences to one side to come to the aid of the injured huntsmember [left], who lost consciousness after a nasty fall from his horse.  Ian Hamson, a hunt master of the Old Surrey, Burstow and west Kent Fox Hunt, is believed to have been injured after his horse fell and rolled on top of him during a meet on Saturday near Cowden, Kent.  A member of Croydon Hunt saboteurs, also a trained paramedic, stepped in and helped the injured man until other paramedics arrived.
OldSurreyFHSab1staiderhelpsfallenhunter3-15.jpgLee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: 'Well done to the sab who put his differences aside to act so compassionately, even in the face of hostility from the injured huntsmember. 'His actions prove once again that saboteurs are compassionate not only towards animals but humans as well. This is another nail in the coffin of the Countryside Alliance's campaign to portray us in a negative light and it would be interesting to see what would have happened if the roles had been reversed.'
A spokesman for Kent Police said: 'Officers attended Cowden Pound to ensure public safety on Saturday morning after receiving a report of a hunt demonstration. 'However, no offences were reported so no further action was necessary. While in attendance, a man required medical attention after falling from a horse and was treated at the scene by a first-aider.'
Charlotte Cooper, spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: 'Just as hunting attracts a wide variety of people it is only common sense that not every person who sabs hunts is the same. The relationship between hunts and sabs varies from hunt to hunt and is not always acrimonious. I have heard stories of unsuitable attired antis being helped across muddy fields by gallant hunt supporters and broken down sab vehicles being towed out by helpful farmers. However just because those opposed to hunting can boast that on this occasion one of their number showed human compassion it does not diminish the appalling behaviour of others, for example the cowardly gang of masked thugs who beat Tedworth huntsmember Brian Lane with metal bars in January. The number of people involved in saboteur activities is far fewer than in the past, however we are concerned that those extremists who remain are increasingly resorting to violence.'

POWAPerson adds -  Q. 'How do you know when a hunter is lying?  A.  'Their lips move.'   Attacks on hunters by sabs or other antis are as rare as hen's teeth, and even then normally in the cause of self-defence. Attacks on sabs and monitors, however, are commonplace, not infrequently resulting in serious injury, as are attacks on sabs/monitors' property and vehicles. Horses, crops, metal and wooden bars and vehicles are frequently used as weapons by thuggish hunters and hunt supporters. In the instance above, I'm surprised the Hunt didn't try to blame the sabs for the hunter's fall. It's what they often do, much as they try to blame sabs for hounds running on to roads and railways. This meet, however, was, according to a separate report by Brighton Sabs, a strange one, with the Hunt apparently genuinely trail-hunting and engaging in some weird charm offensive towards the sabs for reasons unknown - very atypical behaviour

 

Pro-hunt article in Economist blows the gaffe on supposed 'trail hunting'

7-3-15   POWA has been saying for a decade that 'trail hunting', the 'sport' invented as the Hunting Act was coming into force, supposedly to allow hunting to continue 'within the law', is really nothing more than a fiction, custom-designed to exploit the weak wording and loopholes in the Act and to allow Hunts to get away with continued live quarry hunting disguised as a species of drag hunt.  In the last few months, LACS and IFAW have both also asserted that 'trail hunting' is, in fact, 'an alibi for criminal activity'.  Till now, Hunts have always insisted that they put down and follow pre-laid trails, which, in the case of fox hunting, are based on fox urine or similar [though monitors and sabs very rarely see any evidence of them doing this]. But now a pro-hunter, writing for the Economist magazine, and huntsman from an unnamed pack he visited, have revealed the truth - that 'trail hunting' is, indeed, a complete and utter pretence and that foxes are being chased and killed by Hunts at rates similar to pre-ban times. The article, by 'Bagehot,' includes the following passages:-

'Rising on his stirrups, somewhere in the west of England, the huntsman issued the same statement he, impeccable in red coat and white stock, gives every Saturday morning of the season. "We will hunt today within the law," he told the assembled riders, who were sipping from tiny port glasses astride their champing steeds, with hounds boiling beneath them. He said it with a straight face, too, and no hint of a blush. A decade after the 400-year-old pursuit of hunting foxes with dogs was outlawed by a Labour government, it continues remarkably unchanged."
"The hunt Bagehot visited had killed three in mid-week, two the previous Saturday, and, by the time the season ends later this month, expects to have dispatched its customary tally of around 140 foxes."
"The huntsman who welcomed your columnist explained that, in practice, this means that before a hunt one of his helpers films himself laying a pretend scent-trail—by dragging a rag theoretically, but not actually, soaked in fox scent, from a quad bike—to provide evidence for a possible defence in court. Then the hunt goes out and hunts as it always has, but illegally. The police—one of whose officers was riding with the hounds that wintry day—understand this, but do not much care. Animal rights activists know it, and it makes them mad, but it is so hard to collect evidence of lawbreaking, in the form of video footage showing a huntsman urging hounds on to a fox, that prosecutions are rare. Only a couple of dozen huntsmen have been convicted for contravening the ban, for which they mostly received small fines."

Bagehot even reveals confirmation of the way Hunts and their supporters seek to deter 'antis' from gathering evidence of their illegal acivities or interfering with their 'sport' -

Bagehot also enjoyed, he confesses, the explanation John, a retired terrierman, gave for there being no antis about that day. Was it because the country was remote? "No," he said. "It’s cause we bashed ’em."
There could hardly be a more glaring example of how secure hunters and hunt supporters feel with the present position - virtually secure from investigation, never mind conviction, under a Hunting Act that is so glaringly unfit for purpose in dealing with organised hunting and is desperately in need of strengthening. And, in case anyone might think that 'Bagehot' is a secret anti merely posing as a pro-hunter, you need to read the whole of his odious article here. 


Cameron confirms manifesto pledge to repeal Hunting Act
6-3-15   Western Daily Press    David Cameron pledges free vote on Hunting Act repeal after general election    David Cameron has pledged to hold a free vote on repeal of the Hunting Act, should the Conservatives win a majority at the general election. Writing in the spring issue of the Countryside Alliance magazine, the Prime Minister promises a "government Bill on government time".  The promise comes ten years after Labour's introduction of the ban on hunting with dogs, which angered huntsmen and country sports enthusiasts across the nation and led to a mass march in London.
Mr Cameron - a one-time member of the Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire - will be hoping that the pledge can shore upDavidCameronandGuyAvisHonSecHeythropFH.jpg a rural vote that has looked less certain of late, with the threat from Ukip and many – not least those in the South West - questioning the commitment of the Tories to their traditional countryside heartlands. "There is definitely a rural way of life which a born and bred Londoner might struggle to understand. 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."
Mr Cameron's stance may be questioned by some who say he has failed to implement a similar pledge before the last election – though coalition blocked that.  Whether there would even be sufficient MPs to pass the vote remains to be seen after May 7. Many in opposition are opposed, as are a number of Tories such as those in the Blue Fox group, which last month demanded the Hunting act must stay.  Hunting has continued in adherence to the law since its introduction, though public prosecutions have been notoriously difficult to bring to court – with the RSPCA instead bringing private prosecutions.  The Countryside Alliance says the "bad law" has failed to improve animal welfare, saying instead that more foxes have died slowly after being shot or snared as a result.
Last month Maria Eagle, Shadow Defra Secretary, unveiled her party's animal welfare policies, with retaining the hunt ban at the top of the list. Her policy statement reads: "Only Labour will protect the Hunting Act. Ten years ago the Labour Party ended the cruel practice of hunting with dogs, because we believe that causing defenceless animals to suffer in the name of sport has no place in a civilised society. But just as we celebrate the Hunting Act, the Tories plan to repeal it. Only Labour can protect the Hunting Act because Labour is the only major party committed to defending it. The hunting ban is a testament to the progress made since the days of bear baiting and other such barbaric blood sports."
The League Against Cruel Sports has gone even further, demanding that trail hunting, allowed under the Act, should also be effectively outlawed because the League says it allows hunts to revert to old-fashioned hunting and pass it off as "accidental" when the hounds get on the trail of a fox and pursue it.
 
                                      
Atherstone FH hunt fox to within an inch of its life
Striking sab photos show narrowest of escapes
Video shows violent assaults by huntsman and followers and attempted robbery

3-3-15  HSA PR   Saboteur Footage Clearly shows Illegal Hunting by the Atherstone Hunt   On Saturday 28th February West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs attended a meet of the Atherstone Fox hunt at Sibson,  Leicestershire. They were there to gather evidence of illegal hunting and to intervene if necessary to save huntedAtherstoneFHFoxcoweringnearhuntsmanandhounds1-3-15.jpg foxes.  From the start of the day it was clear that the Atherstone were illegally hunting as they repeatedly put their hounds through areas likely to contain foxes with no evidence that a trail had been laid.
The attached video shows a fox being closely pursued by the Atherstone hounds [right and below left].  The huntsman, Stuart Barton, and whipper in are present at the time and do nothing to stop this illegal hunting. Their only concern is to impede and assault the saboteurs who are filming their law breaking.  Barton (in the red coat) can be seen using his horse to ride at a sab and pin them against a wall. The video also shows the saboteurs being assaulted by hunt supporters who try and steal their cameras. One female saboteur received nasty cuts to her face after a hunt supporter dug her nails into her face. Leicestershire police were present on the day but showed little interest when the saboteurs reported the illegal hunting and assaults. Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt saboteurs association, stated: "Although this video clearly shows illegal hunting, saboteurs have decided not to present it to the police but rather publicise it through the media. We are sick of police forces across the country sitting on evidence for months or losing footage before quietly announcing that no case AtherstoneFHFoxnarrowescape1-3-15.jpgwill be pursued against their friends in the hunting community. We hope that when the public see this blatant law breaking they will make their feelings of disgust clear to Leicestershire police and remember that the Conservative Party want to legalise this barbaric pursuit if they are returned to power in May."

28-02-15    Facebook - W.Mids Sabs    Atherstone Hunt    ...  From the start sabs managed to keep up with the hunt, pushing them forward from the first coverts that they wanted to draw.  The Hunt then stared to draw a hedgerow and the hounds started to speak.  A few seconds later the first fox of the day that we saw, ran straight past us and sabs sprayed the scent line and made it obvious to the hunt that we were there.  The Hunt then moved away from this area but we soon caught back up with them.  The riders were on point around a farm and we spotted a fox running towards them.  We went to spray, but soon realised that the fox had been turned back into the hounds' path by the riders on point.  We ran down the track in the direction that the fox had gone.  The fox then ran out of a hedge and straight into the hounds.  It jinked trying to avoid the hounds, going back into the hedge.
Sabs trying to help were ridden at and obstructed by the hunt. One sab was pinned up against the wall by the Huntsman's horse, whilst another two sabs were being ridden at and obstructed from going down the track.  Sabs made it clear to the huntsman that he should call the hounds back, but nobody from the hunt stopped this fox from being hunted, in fact from far from it, they chose to attack the sabs trying to help it!  Foot support then appeared on the track and started grabbing a sab trying to steal his camcorder and assaulted him.  The same perpetrator then attacked another sab by sinking her nails into her face, making her face bleed.
By this time the huntsman and field had ridden off, but we managed to keep up with them. Later in the afternoon hounds went into cry again and another fox ran past sabs. The sabs again sprayed and were ready to intervene as the hounds were getting nearer. Again by sab presence this fox managed to escape. The Hunt packed at 4pm.
 
Pics below -   1/   Huntsman crushes sab with horse   2/  Sab bleeding from nail scratches  3/  Supporters try to steal sab camera 

 AtherstoneFHHuntsmancrushessabagainstwall28-2-15.jpgAtherstoneFHSabfacescratchedbysupportertryingstealcamera28-2-15.jpgAtherstoneFHthugattackssabtryingtostealcamera28-2-15.jpg

POWAPerson adds - A petition asking Leicestershire County Council to withdraw permission from the Atherstone to hunt in the Council's country parks has been started. Please sign here and share.

 

FEBRUARY 2015
 
..... 27th February - Kent woman crushed to death moving horses away from hunt hounds
 
..... 25th February - Anti-hunt film 'A Minority Pastime' to be relaunched online
 
..... 23rd February - Sabs film Ledbury FH hunting next to M50 motorway
 
..... 23rd February - Sabs show Atherstone FH hunter youth is aggressor not the 'victim' 
 
..... 22nd February - Ledbury FH hunted fox across busy road, say sabs [video]
 
..... 21st February - Young fox killed by York & Ainsty S. hounds dies in sab's arms
 
..... 20th February - Sabs claim they saved fox being hunted by Ledbury FH
 
..... 19th February - Warwickshire FH hound filmed chasing fox in the open
 
..... 18th February - Cheshire hounds cause traffic chaos on busy A51 highway
 
..... 18th February - Sabs prevent fox dig-out at joint meet in Devon
 
..... 18th February - Blue Fox Tory MPs call for Hunting Act repeal to be omitted from manifesto
 
..... 16th February - League describes trail hunting as 'a false alibi for illegal hunting'
 
..... 16th February - First day of Severn Vale hare hunt festival swamped and stopped by sabs
 
..... 14th February - Atherstone FH hounds twice mark to ground at badger setts
 
..... 13th February - North Cotswold hunt supporters fight among themselves at club dance
 
..... 12th February - Middleton JM acquitted of illegal hunting due to lack of evidence
 
..... 12th February - Middleton FH terrierman convicted of badger sett interference, given CSO
 
..... 12th February - Middleton FH kennel huntsman has sett interference charge dropped by CPS
 
..... 10th February - Fury as CPS won't prosecute Huntsman who rode down female sab
 
..... 10th February - College Valley FH Huntsman has badger sett interference charge dropped
 
.....  9th February - CA demands sabs unmask - as masked hunt thugs attack sabs yet again
 
.....  7th February - Blackmore FH supporter mob attack sabs, badly damage Landy
 
.....  6th February - Devolution of Hunting Act powers may leave it to Welsh Assembly
 
.....  3rd February - Dorset hunt hounds 'rampage' through garden and livestock
 
...... 2nd February - Lamerton FH six Hunting Act case adjourned until April 1st
 
 

Woman crushed to death moving horses away from hunt hounds

27-2-15   Kent Online   Tribute to former primary school teacher Rosemary Turnbull, of Marden, after inquest    A devastated husband has paid tribute to his popular wife and former primary school teacher who was apparently crushed between two horses.
Rosemary Turnbull, from Marden, was killed in November while moving her two horses between fields. An inquest heard how the former Boughton Monchelsea and East Farleigh primary school teacher suffered multiple injuries to her chest and heart which were consistent with being crushed between the animals.
Her friend of 20 years, Jane Tipples, spoke of how she was helping move the horses ahead of a locally organised hunt, which often spooked them, when she heard a squeal. She turned to see the 62-year-old clutching her stomach before collapsing. Police and paramedics joined a road crew from the air ambulance who were first on the scene at a Chainhurst farm. They spent 40 minutes trying to revive the mother-of-two but she died at the scene. Her husband John, also 62, said: "It has been extremely difficult to come to terms with such a sudden loss of someone I have spent 36 years with. "Rosemary was exceptionally loved by myself and our children Oliver and Joanna. She was hugely popular and more than 200 people attended her funeral." Mrs Turnbull retired from teaching in 2013, and Mr Turnbull said she was much-loved by her pupils and their parents.
Pathologist Dr David Rouse told the inquest how the nature of Mrs Turnbull’s injuries ruled out the possibility of a naturally occurring death and said they were consistent with being crushed.
                                     

 'A Minority Pastime' being relaunched online in advance of the election
25-2-15    Denise Ward and Michael Dixon's brilliant polemical anti-hunting feature length film, narrated by Honorary POWA Associate Sir Patrick Stewart, is to be relaunched before the General Election.  A special screening, with Q&A, is to take place in Stroud at the Lansdown Hall, 7pm on Saturday, 28th February. It will later appear in episodic form on YouTube.  

                   AMinorityPastimeposter2-15.jpg

Sir Patrick Stewart issued the following statement regarding the film's relaunch:-  'I am delighted that A Minority Pastime is going to find a wider audience.  I hope it will persuade even more people, including MP's - that the hunting ban must remain in place and even be strengthened.' 
                                   

Sabs film Ledbury FH hunting right next to M50 motorway

23-2-15  Facebook - 3 Counties Hunt Sabs   Out with the Ledbury today from the kennels at Eggs Tump and yes that is a motorway, the M50, the field are next to and yes hounds were hunting in those woods and yes the pack did split near the motorway without anyone being in control of those who chased a fox or deer.  Fortunately there were no mishaps and the huntsman and whips gained control of the rogue hounds.  They had a fairly quiet day with poor scent hunting around Pendock and Longdon. Mark accused sabs of trying to kill hounds on Friday by trying to stop the pack in the B4211.  Amazingly the trail was laid across that road just because they can in law.....hmm now I may be cynical but methinks they were hunting a fox but maybe that is something that should be added to tighten the Hunting Act, i.e that if a "trail" is laid it might be a good idea not to lay it over main roads, railways through housing estates etc ,etc with penalties if this happens....  The last draw was at Berrow wood and hounds were stopped on a fox by a combination of citronella and rating them when they came through on the line....

                     LedburyFHhuntingnexttoM5023-2-15.jpg

 
Sabs refute Hunt allegations of 'assault' by them on youth
Posted video seems to clearly shows the teenager to be the aggressor
 
23-2-15    Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Sabs [VIDEO]    We are posting this footage in response to posts about us, that are currently appearing on pro-hunt FB pages. These posts wrongfully allege that members of W.Midlands AtherstoneFHTeenagetraineewhipridingatsab21-2-15.jpgSabs assaulted a young person riding with the Atherstone Hunt on Saturday 21/2/15. As you can see on this footage, the supposed victim of the assault is constantly riding at [e.g. left] and assaulting the sabs. He shows repeated violent and aggressive behaviour. He even admits assaulting a sab and further threatens to get off his horse and attack another sab [below right].We ask you is this the behaviour of a poor victimised individual, or of a misbehaving one?
If you listen to the audio on this footage, you will only hear one person being aggressive, during the time he alleges the assault happened, and it’s not the sabs. On this day, the police even had to speak to him, to tell him to calm down and to watch his behaviour. This is just some of the footage of his bad behaviour that day. We actually have far too much footage to post at this time, as he is constantly acting in this way! It seems to be a tactic of the Atherstone Hunt to set a young person on to us, to aggressively try and provoke a reaction from us, so they can portray him as a victim. We think it is pretty low to use a young person in this way, but that is the Atherstone for you!
Also on this footage a fox is reported to have broken from cover, by another sab who is elsewhere. Not only doesAtherstoneFHTennagetraineethreatenssab21-2-15.jpg this young person’s aggressive behaviour get worse at this point, but other hunters come and also act aggressively, to stop the sabs from helping the fox. This is also not the first time that this young person has attacked someone and then alleged that he was in fact the victim of the assault. His mother complained to the police about one incident over the Christmas period. We can prove that this allegation was also a lie, as we have footage of the supposed incident, which clearly shows that what he claimed happened was totally untrue! We did not post it at the time, as we felt that the whole thing was just a non-event, but we could post it now, if the lies about us continue to be posted.
This incident is just another blatant attempt to portray hunt saboteurs as violent aggressors. This footage clearly shows the allegations made about West Midland sabs to be untrue. We wonder if the pro- hunt pages will share this, or just continue to peddle their obvious and discredited propaganda? Also please remember that he is only 15 so we ask you not to leave any personal comments about him.

                                     
Ledbury FH hunted fox across busy road, say sabs

22-2-15  Facebook - 3 Counties Sabs    Whippers in encouraged hounds across the B4211 [right], a notoriouslyS.Herefordshirehuntingfoxacrossbusyroad22-2-15.jpg busy road, on Friday in pursuit of a fox from Corse Hill to Berth Hill... Well what idiot would lay a trail in front of fast moving lorries etc?  A local lady can be heard on the footage who is sick and tired of this sort of mayhem. She was not the last local pleased to see sabs.
They began the day up Barrow Hill then moving over to Corse Grove where they did find and hunt a fox to Tirley Court (owned by Jompy Smoth, who punched a badger sab in the first cull). Sabs stopped hounds on that fox but another ran the other side. We caught up with them on Corse Hill and as can be seen went across a major road to Berth Hill. We got blocked there by the terrierman from the South Herefordshire but he soon moved sabs stopped hounds again near the Butchers arms pub. On they went to Corse Lawn second horsing there and through Foscombe. they hunted another fox near Ashleworth and were stopped by sabs. Lee Peters (master/huntsman of the Ross harriers) then turned up and started harassing and blocking sabs parked up at the Water's Meet pub on the A417 only to find that the pub does not like the hunt any more! He was told to leave. Sabs filmed another fox being hunted from Catshill to Limbury Hill where they, hopefully, lost that one.

POWAPerson adds:-  The 'local lady' on the sab's video also said that she'd seen this Hunt blocking up badger setts and she knows they kill foxes. She added that she has reported them to the police who 'do nothing'.


Young fox killed by York & Ainsty South hounds dies in sab's arms
Police officer shown evidence said 'Well, I didn't see it' and drove away
Meet was at manor owned by Prime Minster's father-in-law
 

21-2-15  Facebook - Liverpool Hunt Sabs   Paid a visit to the York & Ainsty South Hunt with Sheffield Saboteurs W Yorkshire Sabs and Grampian Hunt Sabs today. We had some bother with a landowner at first but he soon gave up after realising we were not going to take orders from him. The Hunt spent the next hour just criss-crossing roads with not much hunting happening. Sabs then spotted the huntsman putting hounds into a wood soYorkandAinstyS.foxkill21-2-15.jpg we called them out and offered them strokes instead.
Now here comes the sad part which I have struggled to write. Huntsman and hounds had headed into a wood, closely followed by sabs. The hounds seemed interested in large bit of undergrowth but sabs quickly moved them on. We were just coming to the end of the wood and hounds immediately went into cry. We used voice calls and cracked whips to discourage them from following. Hounds quickly went out of cry but one sab spotted a small fox running along the edge of the wood. Sabs immediately headed to the spot the fox had been seen but once they arrived around 8 hounds and the whipper-in were seen huddled together. The whipper-in had dismounted from her horse and seemed to be trying to take the body away. Once she saw sabs she immediately ran off and took the hounds with her.
There was nothing sabs could do. We believe she died from shock (an autopsy will be carried out so we will know the exact cause soon). Hunts say the hounds kill foxes with a quick nip to the back of the head but as you can see from the photos this was not the case! The hunt carried on and sabs had to follow as the hounds were now rioting after a number of deer. We managed to successfully call the hounds off all of them.
The Hunt decided it was best to call it a day and started the long walk back to the meet. At this point two police cars arrived. We told them what we had witnessed and even showed them the evidence. Their response? "Well I didn't see it" They then headed to the meet chat with the hunt and make sure they were all ok. As usual the police take the hunter’s side and we seriously doubt that anyone from the Hunt will be prosecuted for this horrendous crime!

1-3-15     Mail on Sunday    Police probe slaughter of fox by hunt hosted by PM's father-in-law after picture of dead animal was posted online    Police are investigating claims that a fox was killed in a hunt hosted by David Cameron’s father-in-law. Hunt protesters clashed with the York & Ainsty South Hunt amid claims that eight hounds chased and killed the fox after setting off from the 18th Century country estate of Sutton Park, in North Yorkshire, owned by Samantha Cameron’s father Sir Reginald Sheffield.  The hunt saboteurs allege that a member of the hunt – the ‘whipper-in’ whose job it is to keep the pack of hounds together – tried to take the animal’s lifeless body away but fled when a protester came across the scene.
Afterwards, the Hunt Saboteurs Association, who had been monitoring the hunt on Saturday, February 21, posted gruesome photosYorkAinstyS.Sabcradlesfoxkilled21-2-15.jpg of a dead fox dripping with blood on social media.  The hunt had met at the home of Samantha Cameron’s 68-year-old father, in the village of Sutton-on-the-Forest, before setting off on a legal ‘trail hunt’. Last night a spokesman for the hunt claimed the fox had not been killed by its hounds.  But hunt saboteur Jay Gillette, 20, said:  ‘We were following the huntsmen through a woodland, and then the hounds started to cry, which means they were on the scent of a fox.  So we did our best to put them off – we used horn calls to try and stop them from chasing the fox. We use the same horn that a huntsman would use.  I then saw a fox bolt along the edge of the woodland so I raced over that way. The best way to stop the hounds from following is to get in between them and the fox. Once I got to the fence where I saw the fox run past, I saw about eight to ten of the hounds in a semi-circle and a whipper-in. She was in the semi-circle with the hounds. I couldn’t see what she was doing but I believe she was trying to pick up the fox and take it away so we couldn’t see it. The whipper-in then took the hounds away as soon as I got there, leaving the fox. After that, none of the huntsmen would talk to us. They went quiet and just carried on – moved off with the hounds to the next woodlands. I could see the fox’s intestines. The hounds had opened up its stomach. I believe it was still alive when the hounds left and I came to it. When I carried it back to our van I could still hear short breaths from its mouth. We then gave it to the police for evidence. I was pretty distraught.’
A spokesman for the Hunt said: ‘The York & Ainsty South Hunt were involved in legal trail hunting and were afterwards asked by police whether a fox had been killed by hounds. The answer to that was no. It’s not unusual for hunt saboteurs, who’ve been harassing the legal activity on regular occasions, to make up such stories. From looking at the photos of the animal there was no indication of how it was killed.’ A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: ‘We are aware of reports a fox was hunted illegally in the Sutton-on-the-Forest area. We take any allegation of wildlife crime seriously, and our enquiries into this incident are ongoing.’  Sir Reginald Sheffield was not available for comment. 

Sabs claim they saved life of fox being hunted by Ledbury FH
 
20-2-15   F.Book - Perthshire Hunt Sabs    Perthshire, Grampian Hunt Sabs, Glasgow Hunt Sabs, and Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs work together to save the life of a fox hunted by the Ledbury Hunt.

See video. Footage shows fox fleeing across a field into woodland. Sabs spray citronella over its trail. Within a couple of minutes, hounds arrive in the field. Hunting horn can be heard in near distance.   Sabs crack whips to help distract hounds. They seem unable to pick up the fox's scent. Soon after, a mounted redcoat arrives. He calls the hounds to him, in the next field.

 LedburyFHSabssavefleeingfox20-2-15.jpgLedburyFHHoundsseekingfoxscent20-2-15.jpg

                Fox fleeing the Ledbury FH hounds                                     Hounds seek scent shortly afterwards

Warwickshire FH hound filmed chasing fox in open

19-2-15   ITV News    Rare video shows fox chase ten years after hunting ban    A decade since the ban on fox hunting was introduced, the chairman of a hunt in Warwickshire has told ITV News the law has not prevented animal cruelty. Animal welfare groups disagree and said the Act has been successful. It is using the anniversary to campaign to get the law tightened further. The League Against Cruel Sports said on average, one person every week is prosecuted under the Hunting Act's provisions. Of these, over two-thirds are found guilty. Organisers of the Warwickshire Hunt said they were operating within the law and the fox we filmed got away unharmed. But ten years on from the ban, the fox hunting debate continues.

Pics below:-

 WarksFHhoundstartingtochasefox2-15.jpg WarksFHFoxfleeinghound2-15.jpg WarksFHhoundchasesfoxbehindshed2-15.jpg

                Hound meets fox                                   Fox fleeing                          Hound chases fox. Hunters beyond    

POWAPerson adds:- Where to start on this? Firstly, the clip clearly does not show illegal hunting, since no hunter is seen 'engaging or participating' in the pursuit. However, the JM in the video says the Huntsman was with the rest of the pack in the wood from which the fox emerged running. Why then, if the Warwickshire did not intend that hounds should chase a fox, would they take the pack into a covert where they know it is very likely the dogs would put a fox up? However, the Hunting Act is so weak that not only does it allow them to do this, it doesn't even require them to prevent hounds from chasing any fox they come across, merely that none of the hunters 'engage or participate' in that chase. It was always extraordinarily difficult to get filmed evidence of hunters doing this and they have learnt various tricks to make it even harder. The result is they can get away time after time with live quarry hunting in the guise of 'trial hunting'. That's why the Hunting Act so desperately needs strengthening.
ITV News wrongly describe this as 'rare' film. Monitors and sabs often get video of foxes fleeing hounds, but without accompanying film of one or more hunters 'engaging or participating' in pursuit this is not enough to even trigger investigations, let alone prosecutions. Incidentally, Sam Butler, the Warwickshire JM, doesn't seem to know the law. He says up to two hounds are allowed to be used to hunt a fox, but this is only in connection with the 'flushing' exemption. Using that, they are obliged to try to shoot the fox dead as soon as it breaks cover. Clearly they weren't doing that, but were 'trail hunting' with a full pack - an activity LACS have just described as 'an alibi for illegal hunting'.
                                     

Cheshire hunt hounds cause chaos on busy A51 highway

18-2-15   Chester Chronicle    Dogs left to wander across busy A51 cause traffic chaos   About 15-20 unsupervised dogs caused chaos on the A51 last week. Unsupervised dogs were left to roam the busy A51, narrowly missing speeding cars and causing traffic chaos. A concerned passer-by was so shocked at the sight of at least 20 hounds weaving in and out of moving vehicles on the Clotton road last Tuesday that she contacted The Chronicle toCheshirehoundsonA51-2-15.jpg express her shock. The woman, who does not wish to be named, said cars were delayed for at least half an hour as the animals dashed around the road, and it was a ‘miracle’ none of them were killed.
She said: "These hounds were running all over a field next to the main road with their noses to the ground. The traffic was going quickly, cars and buses were going very fast. I crossed the road in the field running around with their noses to the ground, shooting across the road. There were big lorries slamming on brakes and the dogs were running between them, God knows how any of them weren’t killed, I think it was only because the drivers were being vigilant. It was a horrible sight to witness." The woman added: "The traffic was delayed for at least 30 minutes but while all this was going on, a few riders just stood at the sides looking bewildered. In the meantime it delayed many trying to carry out their working day activities. I was just so concerned about the safety of them and wondered why they were not under control - it was extremely dangerous."
A Cheshire police spokesperson said: "We can confirm that at approximately 15.35 on Tuesday, February 10, Cheshire police received a call in relation to traffic disruption on the A51 in Clotton caused by dogs. Officers attended the scene but on arrival there were no dogs visible at the scene by then."

                                     

Sabs prevent fox dig-out at Devon joint meet
 
18-2-15   You Tube - Devon Hunt Sabs    This was a joint meet of the East Devon FH and the Taunton Vale Harriers on 31-1-15.  A fox was hunted to ground in a small covert.  Sabs found hounds marking the earth.  Challenged, hunters claimed the fox had been put to ground by hounds 'accidentally'. A masked terrierman arrived with boxed terriers and a spade to dig the fox out.  Sabs entered the covert and rated the hounds away from the earth.  Several men then appeared, each claiming to be the landowner, ordering them to leave.  The earth had access via a concrete pipe, suggestive of an artificial earth.  A 30 minute stand-off occurred while terriermen tried to 'call in the usual rent-a-thugs'.  Hunt members eventually left the covert and sabs followed to give the fox a chance to escape. Sabs then waited while the Hunt left to ensure there was no dig-out.  This was one lucky fox - dig-outs are routine when sabs are not around to stop them.

HoundsmarkfoxtoearthDevon31-1-15.jpgEarthinDevonwherefoxwenttoground31-1-15.jpgHuntersleavingstoppeddig-outDevon31-1-15.jpg

      Hounds marking fox to ground                      Artificial earth                                              Hunters leaving the scene

A lot of the killing that occurs on a hunting day is performed not by the hounds but by the people that accompany them. Terriermen, who tend to cover their faces these days, accompany hunts on quadbikes, equipped with guns, spades and terriers in boxes. A hunted fox - regardless of health or age - will often escape the pack by 'going to ground' in fox earths, badger setts, or in man-made structures such as drain pipes or artificial earths. The terriermen are tasked with digging out or bolting the fox from the earth, so that it can be hunted again, bagged and released ahead of the pack, or killed. They usually do this by blocking exit holes and entering a terrier into the earth to keep the fox at bay while the terriermen begin the digging. The Hunting Act needs strengthening to ban all forms of terrier work. Baiting sports were rightly outlawed many years ago because of the suffering and injuries inflicted on both parties that are forced into a close encounter in a confined space. Terrier work is no different and the law needs to accurately reflect this.

                                     

'Blue Fox' Tory MPs call for HA repeal to be left out of Conservative manifesto

18-2-15   Blue Fox PR    Chairman of Conservative Animal Welfare and Conservatives Against Fox Hunting Celebrate Tenth Anniversary of the Hunting Act 2004    To mark the tenth anniversary of the landmark Hunting Act 2004 on February 18th Conservatives Against Fox Hunting (Blue Fox) calls for the Conservative Party leadership to guarantee that the new Conservative Manifesto will not include any pledges to undermine the act which bans hare coursing, fox, mink, stag and hare hunting with dogs for sport.
The latest Ipsos-Mori (21st Dec 2014) poll on the issue shows that 80% of the country think fox hunting should not be made legal again- that's eight out of ten people want to keep the ban. The same poll shows that the opposition to hunting with dogs is equal in rural communities as much as it is in urban communities. The poll shows that two thirds of respondents who said they would vote Conservative in 2015 do not think fox hunting should be made legal again. There is an excellent opportunity to leave the worn out hunting issue behind and promote a modern manifesto with an invigorated commitment to advance positive animal welfare objectives which appeal to our whole society. A YouGov poll in 2014 showed that 14% of voters named animal welfare as an issue that would determine their vote. It came directly behind defence and ahead of HS2 or same sex marriage. MPs are contacted on animal welfare issues more than any other issue.’
Calls for a relaxation or repeal of the hunting ban perpetuate a dated outmoded image. We need to move forward as a nation, not backwards on matters of animal welfare. There are an increasing number of Conservative MPs who are prepared to resist repeal and say " No" to a return of banned sports.
Suzy Gale, Chairman, Conservative Animal Welfare, Lorraine Platt, Co-Founder Conservatives Against Fox Hunting (Blue Fox), Chris Platt Co-Founder & VP of Esher & Walton Conservative Association, Sir David Amess MP, Stuart Andrew MP, Tracey Crouch MP, Caroline Dinenage MP, Sir Roger Gale MP, Simon Kirby MP, Dominic Raab MP, Lee Scott MP, Mike Weatherley MP

 
The League calls 'trail hunting' a false alibi for illegal hunting
Says Hunts that cannot stick to the law should close down

16-2-15   Western Morning News   League 'hardens its stance' on hunting and says it would like to see all hunts close    Ten years after the hunt ban came into force Britain’s biggest animal welfare organisation opposed to country sports is calling for trail hunting to be banned and all hunts to close. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) told the Western Morning News it had "hardened its stance" on hunting because, it claimed, hunts were determined to break the law. "If they cannot stick to the law then they should close," a League spokesman said, echoing comments made by the League's director of campaigns Michael Stephenson who said he wanted all hunts to shut down.  In a marked change of policy it also called for trail hunting in which hounds follow a trail made using fox urine, to be outlawed claiming it was "an entirely new invention" and very different to drag hunting.

Yet 10 years ago, at the start of the first hunting season since the ban, the then director of the League, Douglas Batchelor, praised hunts that were both drag hunting and trail hunting and urged them to continue. He wrote on the Guardian website in October 2005: "So it is possible for hunts to convert to drag or trail hunting and preserve their social scene, the tradition of riding out, the packs of hounds, and the livelihoods of hunt servants. This is exactly what we have urged them to do for years – enjoy the ritual and leave out the slaughter."
Yesterday, however, the League, which claims the Hunting Act to have been one of the most successful pieces of wild animal legislation ever, insisted: "There is no such sport as trail hunting – it is just a false alibi for illegal hunting." In a statement that underlines the widening rift in the countryside over the activities of hunts, the League said it wanted the Hunting Act "strengthened".
 
Senior communications officer Mark McCormick said: "Many registered fox hunts claim to now be trail hunting – an activity that was not in existence or envisaged when the Hunting Act was drafted. It is an entirely new invention which purports to mimic traditional hunting by following a scent trail, using fox urine from US fur farms according to the hunters, that has been laid in areas where foxes naturally occur. It is not the same as drag hunting, a legitimate sport which existed before the Act and is not intended to mimic animal hunting."
Mr McCormick said that although the Hunting Act had proved successful hunts had altered their behaviour to circumvent the law, making prosecution more difficult. Just 21 members of registered hunts have been successfully prosecuted since 2005. "This is ultimately the reason why we wish to make the Hunting Act even stronger," he said. "To ensure that all illegal hunters – casual, registered or otherwise – are brought to justice. Whether or not the people perpetrating cruelty wear red coats or belong to a club is irrelevant."
Tim Bonner, director of campaigns for the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance said: "This is an extraordinary, but welcome, admission that the campaign against hunting is not about improving the welfare of animals, but attacking a group of people. For decades, in spite of a complete absence of evidence, LACS has maintained the line that the motivation for a ban on hunting was to improve animal welfare. Now it has admitted what we suspected all along. It was actually a campaign to get rid of hunts and people who hunt.....

POWAPerson adds:-  Hunters apparently can't count. 27, not 21, members of 'registered' Hunts have been convicted of Hunting Act offences, plus one whole Hunt [the Heythrop]. Additionally, 4 members of a Hunt 'club' were cautioned. It's still a pitifully low number relative to the huge number of offences being committed though... 


First day of Severn Vale hare hunt festival swamped & stopped by sabs

16-2-15   HSA PR    Severn Vale Hare Hunting festival stopped in its tracks    Today over fifty sabs attended the Severn Vale Hare hunting festival, originally thought to be a single day event but thanks to Kay Thompson, hunt photographer, who posted about her attendance on her Twitter feed (doh), we realised it is a six day event. Sabs turned up to realise that this sport, so vaunted by the Countryside Alliance, as growing from strength to strength could only muster less than twenty people. There were over fifty sabs so they were outnumbered two to one.
The hunt present was the Wilts and Infantry... and calling on the Churchill/Dunkirk spirit they girded their loins, jumped in their cars and ran away. Sabs followed and one female hunter tried to block the highway and was politely shuffled off to the side so our vehicles could follow. There then followed a lot of driving around until the hunt went to ground in a Police divisional HQ to hand themselves in (we think). By then we had diverted most of the sabs to the Vale of White Horse Fox hunt to ruin the end of their day. Now we know we are in for five more days of hunting we have much organizing to do but will be able to keep our numbers up, the call is out and more sabs will be driving down tonight. We are confident that this week’s festival is effectively over....
 


North Cotswold FH supporters fight among themselves at club dance

13-2-15   Stratford-on-Avon Herald    Two hurt at hunt bash    POLICE officers and ambulance crews were called to a private event at Stratford Arts House after a fight broke out at a dance organised by the North Cotswold Hunt Supporters’ Club.  One man needed hospital treatment and a 19-year-old woman was treated by paramedics at the venue, in Rother Street, in the early hours of Saturday, 31st January.  A Warwickshire Police spokeswoman said: "A 38-year-old man from Evesham was assaulted and needed hospital treatment for slight injuries to his face. Investigations are continuing."  No arrests were made, but police are examining CCTV footage and have also issued an appeal for witnesses to come forward.  It is unclear how the woman, who was unconscious when police first arrived, sustained her injuries.
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "An ambulance and a rapid response vehicle attended shortly after 1am. A woman was treated for facial injuries but she declined hospital treatment and was discharged at the scene."  Camilla Haines, from the supporters’ club, who organised the event, which was attended by approximately 300 people, said the incidents happened outside the venue as the ball was finishing and people were leaving. "I didn’t witness anything myself, but people who saw it said it was just a case of high spirits. You can’t account for what people get up to when they’ve had a drop of pop. You know what it’s like when you’ve been to a wedding, there’s always someone who has a drunk too many and can’t handle it. I don’t think it was anything more than that." According to Mrs Haines, the supporters’ club has held the ball at the venue for the past 12 years and this was the only time such an incident had happened.
 

Atherstone FH hounds twice mark to ground at badger setts

14-2-15    Vimeo – W.Midlands Sabs   Atherstone hunt-marking to ground in badger setts- yet again!  This footage was filmed whilst at the Atherstone Hunt. For a group of 9 sabs we had numerous police cars and a helicopters. The hounds marked to ground twice in badger setts. This footage shows what happened and the response we received from Staffordshire police.

 

Middleton FH JM Holt acquitted of illegal hunting due to lack of evidence

12-2-15   Yorkshire Post    Judge throws out ‘cruelty’ charge against Middleton hunt master    A HUNT master was this afternoon cleared of a fox hunting charge after a prosecution prompted by the League Against Cruel Sports.  ‎Tom Holt, a joint master with the Middleton Hunt, had been accused of chasing a fox with a pack of hounds.  But the case was thrown out by after a one-day trial at Scarborough Magistrates Court after a district judge ruled there was not enough evidence.
The Countryside Alliance fired a broadside at animal rights campaigners after the verdict, accusing activists of targetting the hunting community with "spurious" allegations.  The trial heard claims that Mr Holt, 28, was caught on a camera as he chased a fox with a pack of hounds as bugles blared.  He was arrested but claimed he was legally following a trail when he was filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports, the court heard.  Prosecutor Martin Hawes claimed that the blasts of a horn had been heard when the fox was sighted.  He continued:  "The suggestion is this was effectively a call to hunt. The fox was seen running [left] with hunting dogs in full pursuit [below right].  Rather than have their noses to the ground, their heads were up."  He continued that just after 2.40 that afternoon Holt was seen "following the same line taken by the fox and hounds" [below left] - though Holt denied this.  The court heard FoxfleesMiddletonhounds19-2-14.jpgHolt was arrested and claimed he was "trail hunting" rather than hunting a live fox as the prosecution claimed.  Mr Hawes added: ‎"The Crown would say it is a deliberate action rather than a cynical attempt to mask what was going on."

But hunt joint master Holt, of Leavening, Malton, denied hunting a wild mammal with dogs at Knapton Lodge, West Knapton, near Malton, last February 19.  After being found not guilty, he left court saying he was "very pleased" at the result. But Adrian Simpson, of the Countryside Alliance, stormed: "These were spurious allegations of illegal hunting made by the League. Mr Holt had to suffer for more than 12 months before this came to court." He underlined it was the second failed prosecution under the anti-hunting legislation in recent weeks, a similar case having collapsed in York.  He added: "The Crown Prosecution Service need to give serious consideration to how it deals with information provided by animal rights organisations and the League Against Cruel Sports against individuals and the hunting community."  A League spokesman Paul Tillsley said: "We are disappointed with the result."

13-2-15   Gazette & Herald    Middleton Hunt joint Master, Tom Holt, cleared of fox hunting charge    A joint Master of theMiddletonhoundschasefox19-2-14.jpg Middleton Hunt has been cleared of allegations that he illegally hunted a fox with hounds during a meet in Ryedale last year.  Tom Holt, 28, of Leavening, near Malton, had denied a charge of hunting a wild mammal with dogs at West Knapton on February 19 contrary to the Hunting Act 2004.   After the hearing at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court, Mr Holt said he was "very pleased" with the verdict delivered by district judge Helen Cousins....   Paul Tillsley, the League’s head of investigations, who was in court for the one-day trial, said he was "disappointed" with the result because they felt there was sufficient evidence to show a fox had been pursued.

During the trial, solicitor advocate Stephen Welford defending Holt, submitted there was no evidence on which he could be convicted because the Act made it clear that any action had to be intentional and that was not the case as far as the allegation was concerned.  That submission was rejected by the judge but after hearing evidence from the defendant and cross-examination of him by the prosecution she pointed out the prosecution had to satisfy her that she was sure of the guilt of Holt beyond reasonable doubt.

Film footage taken by investigators from the League, two of whom gave evidence, showed a fox running across a field.  Shortly afterwards some hounds were seen going in the same direction.  Two and a half minutes later Holt was seen to canter along the same MiddletonJMHuntsmanfollowshoundschasingfox19-2-15.jpgfield but the judge said there was no evidence to show that Holt was aware of a fox.  Nor was there any evidence to show that Holt was doing anything to encourage the hounds, she said.  "I cannot infer any intention to pursue a fox and particularly in the light of the evidence I don’t find any.  I am not satisfied to the point I am sure so I find Mr Holt not guilty."  Holt had stressed that during the day the hounds and the hunt had been following three trails of scent which had been laid down and he had not seen any fox.

Martin Hawes, prosecuting, alleged during cross examination of Holt that he had seen the fox and that when the hounds actively pursued it he had taken a deliberate decision to "hang back" from them.  "The reason you were hanging back was because you could distance yourself and then be able to say it must have been an accident," said Mr Hawes who added:  "The reason you were hanging back is because you knew what was going on with the hounds and the fox."  To both questions Holt replied:  "Not true."  Earlier, when questioned by his lawyer, Holt had explained that the dogs, who were following one of the scented trails, had gone ahead of him because he had been obstructed by a drainage ditch and that he had not seen any fox run across a field....


12-2-15   LACS PR, [VIDEO]    League response to Middleton Huntmaster and Huntsman court verdict    Commenting on the case against the Joint Master and Huntsman of the Middleton Hunt, Tom Holt for an offence in relation to illegal hunting, the League Against Cruel Sports described today’s verdict as disappointing.  Tom Holt appeared before Scarborough Magistrates' Court today charged with hunting a Wild Mammal with Dogs at West Knapton, Malton, North Yorkshire, on 19th February 2014, contrary to the Hunting Act 2004. The case was brought by the independent Crown Prosecution Service following an investigation by North Yorkshire Police, based on evidence supplied to the police by the League Against Cruel Sports.
Evidence submitted by the League showed two alleged chases, however the CPS dropped evidence of one of these at an earlier preliminary hearing, resulting in much of the video evidence not being permissible. Having heard the evidence, the District Judge decided he could not be satisfied that the defendant knew the hounds were chasing a fox or that he showed signs of participation. Watch the footage yourself and make up your own mind.


POWAPerson comments:-  Though the assertion by the Prosecutor that Holt was deliberately hanging back from the hounds pursuing the fox may well be correct, it is hard to see how the Judge could have convicted him of 'engaging or participating' in the pursuit when he was well over 2 minutes behind the hounds. Actually, the Hunting Act imposes no obligation on hunters to try to call off hounds, even if they know they are chasing a wild mammal. So long as the hunters don't actually take part in the pursuit they are not breaking the law. This is a perfect illustration as to why a 'reckless' clause is needed in the Hunting Act. Under POWA's proposals for an amended Act, under which hunters would be responsible for controlling the behaviour of their hounds, Holt would have been more likely to have been convicted, since it could be asserted that he had 'permitted' hounds to chase the fox.
 

                                    
Middleton FH terrierman gets CSO for badger sett interference
Their Kennel Huntsman has similar charge dropped by CPS

12-2-15   Scarborough News    Hunt members in court for interfering with badger setts    Two members of the Middleton Hunt accused of interfering with badger setts have been dealt with by the courts with one cleared and one convicted. Kennel huntsman Barry Andrews, 33, was accused of interfering with a badger sett in woods at Bossall, Malton, by restricting the entrance.  As reported by the Mercury, Mr Andrews, of Birdsall, Malton, had denied the alleged offence last March 12 and was due to stand trial on February 23 and 24.  But the case was dropped at Scarborough magistrates’ court yesterday (Thursday) after the Crown agreed the proceedings be discontinued.
Meanwhile, Terrierman Lee Martin, 44, was convicted of the offence but may appeal for the verdict to be overturned, his lawyer said yesterday. Martin, 44, also of Birdsall Malton, had also denied the charge under the 1992 Protection of Badgers Act, which carries a maximum penalty of six months jail.  But he was found guilty and given a 12-month community order with a condition he carries out 120 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £910 costs and a £60 surcharge following the investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports.
The court heard Martin, 44, was spotted by the investigators on a quad bike near the sett during a hunt meeting on March 29 at Scrayingham, Malton. The League claimed when it first visited the sett last February the entrances were open. But when investigators went back to retrieve the footage the entrances had been blocked up and they then spotted Martin. Stephen Welford, defending, said yesterday: "It has not been decided yet but an appeal against conviction is likely. My view is that the decision was wrong in law and contrary to the evidence that was produced."  During the trial Mr Welford had argued that the prosecution was unfair because it was seven weeks and three days before the League reported the matter to the police.  The officer involved then on holiday for a fortnight and it was 14 weeks and two days before Martin was informed of the nature of allegations against him.  This was far too late for any "meaningful examination of the scene" and as a result the defence had been denied "crucial evidence," Mr Welford added.

10-2-15   LACS PR    Terrierman found guilty of blocking up badger sett     Appearing before Scarborough Magistrates' Court this afternoon Lee Martin,  Terrierman for the Middleton Hunt was found guilty of blocking up a badger sett in current use, contrary to Section 3 of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.  At the end of a two day trial, Magistrates ruled Lee Martin was guilty of interfering with a badger sett near Scrayingham, on 29th March 2014, when the Middleton Hunt were due to meet at Pasture Farm.  Martin was given a community service order of 120 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay total costs and a surcharge of £970 in full within 28 days.
Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive at the League Against Cruel Sports said: "We are pleased with today’s verdict. The defendant’s actions and his obvious total disrespect for wildlife has been exposed and dealt with by the courts thanks to the work of our investigators and the Police. This case clearly demonstrates that foxes are not the only wild animals to suffer at the hands of hunts. The deliberate persecution of any wild animal is not acceptable and our team of professional investigators work hard in the field to capture illegal activity to bring about prosecutions."   The case is one of a number brought by the Crown Prosecution Service following evidence supplied by the League Against Cruel Sports and investigations carried out by North Yorkshire Police.


Fury as CPS won't prosecute Huntsman who mowed down female sab

10-2-15   Morning Star   Crown Prosecution Service lets hunt rider off after mowing down saboteur - Outrage as prosecution is dropped despite serious injury to victim   Thousands were left fuming with the Crown Prosecution Court’s decision not to prosecute a huntsman after he charged down a saboteur [right] leaving her with life-threatening injuries. Nid, a hunt saboteur who declined to share her full name for fear of reprisals, was left with seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a shoulder injury when Mark Doggrell’s horse mowed her down. Despite footage that showed Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt member not even slowing down when riding past anti-hunt protesters, the case was dropped.
The CPS is now giving it a second look as a petition launched to reverse the decision reached 4,000 signatures yesterday. I’m completely devastated, disappointed,” the Hampshire activist told the Star. I feel extremely let down by the justice system.”
Nid, who has been involved with animal rights since the 2013 badger cull, had taken a day of annual leave to takeBlackmoreFHHuntsmanmowsdownsab10-14.jpg part in protests at a cubbing meet. These events are organised to train new hunting dogs and are, according to campaigners, particularly brutal as “hounds can be seen tearing fox cubs to pieces.” Nid argued Mr Doggrell and other huntsmen were being particularly violent that day because upsetting the event would mean disrupting the rest of the season. An ambulance was called straight after the sab was run down but took longer to arrive because members of the hunt were blocking the road.
Nid believed that this and other hostile and aggressive acts by the hunting party show how “inhumane” hunters can be. She said: “It’s really important that we get justice from this because if we don’t it sends a clear message out to hunters that they can use violence against saboteurs. It’s an enshrined right of ours to protest, we are allowed to do that in this country and we should be allowed to do it without the fear of violence and reprisals.”  The attack, which took place in Dorset last August, has left Nid with lifelong lesions. Yet the health worker was adamant the incident would not stop her. If anything this attack and the lack of justice just galvanised us, so I will be out there when I’m physically better.”
Story also covered in Sunday Times        Video of incident here 

9-2-15   HSA PR    No charges have been brought against huntsman Mark Doggrell for riding down and seriously injuring a hunt saboteur in August last year. The attack happened during an evening cubbing meet of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt. This was also a pony club meet, where the hunt take out youngsters aged from 7 to 14. Dorset sabs were keen to intervene on this particular meet to prevent children from witnessing some of the most disturbing scenes when young hounds can be seen tearing fox BlackmoreFHRiddendownsabbeingtreated8-14.jpgcubs to pieces as they are trained and selected (the young hounds who show no interest in killing are disposed of). It's believed by many people that this bloody indoctrination is something the hunts are very keen on, to keep hunting going for generations to come.
Two members of Dorset hunt saboteurs were watching the hunt when Doggrell rode at them from behind, throwing the female saboteur up in the air with the force of the blow.  An ambulance was immediately called but was delayed from reaching the casualty by the hunt blocking the road.  An air ambulance also attended the scene. The injured saboteur was taken to hospital suffering from seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung and trauma to her shoulder.  She remained in hospital for two weeks.  The hunt then callously carried on hunting before returning to their kennels for a BBQ. Mark Doggrell was arrested and investigated for causing grevious bodily harm but now, 5 months later, the CPS have decided not to bring any charges, citing insufficient evidence.  Whilst on bail for this attack he was also charged with assault for breaking a fellow hunters nose at their hunt ball.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt saboteurs Association, stated: "We are disappointed, but not surprised, that no charges have been brought against Mark Doggrell. Historically the police and criminal justice system have allowed acts of violence on hunt saboteurs to go unpunished whilst the saboteurs themselves are prosecuted seemingly at the whim of the hunts....  We would like to know why this hunt specifically, and the hunting fraternity as a whole, don't speak out against such acts of violence and we'd also like to know why hasn't Mark Doggrell been sacked? Please contact the CPS and ask them to justify their decision so that we can finally see a measure of justice being dished out to the violent hunters." Please contact the CPS and the Attorney General as a matter of urgency and tell them you think the decision not to press charges needs to be reviewed.
CPS; victimliaison.southwest@cps.gsi.gov.uk
Attorney General; 
correspondence@attorneygeneral.gsi.gov.uk

 

College Valley FH Huntsman has badger sett interference charge dropped

10-2-15   Chronicle   Northumberland Huntsman Ian McKie's badger case dropped    A case of interfering with a badger sett against Northumberland huntsman Ian McKie [left] has been dropped. A Northumberland huntsman accused of interfering with a badger sett has walked free from court after the case against him was dropped. Ian McKie, joint master and huntsman with the College Valley and North Northumberland Hunt, was taken to court accused of damaging part of a badger sett close to the hunt’s kennels last year. However, the charge was CollegeValleyFHHuntsmanIanMcKie.jpgdiscontinued after prosecutors concluded the identity of the person responsible for the alleged offence could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Mr McKie has now told us of his surprise that the case had got as far as it had given a "complete lack of evidence" and at the "considerable" expense he had been put to. He also voiced surprise that "a member of the community and countryside" had gone to police - sparking the prosecution - rather than come to him with concerns. The 57-year-old, who lives at Lanton near Wooler, was due to appear before Berwick magistrates to face a charge of interfering with a badger sett by damaging a part of it with intent or being reckless as to whether his actions would have that consequence. The alleged offence was said to have occurred at Downham Farm, Mindrum, on November 11 last year.
However, in court, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) asked that the case be discontinued. The court ordered that Mr McKie’s costs be paid for out of central funds. A CPS spokesperson told us: "As a result of initial police enquiries, the defendant was summonsed to appear at Berwick Magistrates’ Court for a first hearing on January 28 this year. During a formal review of the case on January 21 by a CPS prosecutor, it was assessed that the identification of those involved in the dig could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt and that a realistic prospect of conviction was therefore unlikely. In light of this, the crown took the decision to ask that the case be formally discontinued at the first hearing."
Mr McKie told us he had not committed the offence. "We were surprised that it had got so far. There was a complete lack of evidence. It took a conversation between the prosecutor and our solicitor to realise that it had gone too far and should be discontinued purely through lack of substantial evidence. There is costs involved and unnecessary costs at that and court costs as well as police time. There has been a considerable amount of work done on our behalf and a considerable amount of time taken up with the police authorities which has all been completely unnecessary. It has put a lot of people to a lot of trouble unnecessarily."  He added: "We were surprised at the time particularly for a local member of the community and the countryside going to such lengths. If they have got a problem normally, people would come and talk to me about it. But they felt they wanted to go to the police, that is their prerogative." Mr McKie claimed the complainant had told police he had seen somebody interfering with the badger sett but had not specifically mentioned him. The huntsman says police then asked him to help them with their enquiries before he was ultimately charged.
Mr McKie was one of three members of the College Valley hunt convicted of illegal hunting at the Berwick court last October. The trio were secretly filmed by two League Against Cruel Sports investigators as they led a meet near Lowick last February. They pleaded not guilty and were convicted following a trial.
 
 
 
CA demands ban on sabs masking-up as masked hunt thugs attack sabs yet again

9-2-15   Western Daily Press    Hunt supporters 'mask up' to smash sabs' vehicle - after Countryside Alliance launch campaign against sab masks    Hunt supporters across the West have join a campaign calling for a ban on anti-hunt saboteurs from wearing masks and balaclavas – only for a group of hunt supporters to ‘mask up’ when they allegedly attack sabs in Dorset on Saturday.  The Countryside Alliance call has been signed by thousands of hunt supporters, and calls for the police to ‘unmask’ sabs in the wake of the fracas last month between supporters of the Tedworth Hunt and masked hunt saboteurs from Bristol and Southampton which hospitalised Wiltshire huntsman Mike Lane.
On Thursday, the Alliance’s director of campaigns Tim Bonner launched a campaign to urge supporters to write to their local police and crime commissioners and MPs calling for police to intervene to ‘unmask’ sabs, and yesterday, the Alliance said thousands had done that.
But on Saturday, Dorset hunt sabs said they were attacked and had the windows of their vehicle smashed by a large group of hunt supporters who had covered their faces. Yesterday, Mr Bonner condemned the wearing of masks and face-coverings by both sides, and said the law needed to be applied equally on the issue.
Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesman Lee Moon claimed the sabs in Dorset tried to disrupt illegal fox hunting by the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, who met at Sherborne Castle, on the Dorset-Somerset border on Saturday, but were themselves disrupted by ‘a large group of masked-up hunt supporters’ who ‘pushed and shoved, and threatened further violence. "As the day wore on the size of the group of thugs increased to approximately 30 to 40 and their behaviour deteriorated," he said. A police helicopter was eventually sent up to try to track the group after they smashed most of the windows in the saboteurs’ Land Rover, and deployed a home-made stinger to puncture tyres, he claimed.
It follows a series of incidents involving confrontations between hunt saboteurs in Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset, including the incident with the Tedworth Hunt, the hospitalisation of a Dorset hunt sab, and sabs filming the BSV hunt's hounds apparently killing a fox. "The Countryside Alliance are currently obsessed with saboteurs wearing masks, which we have always done and will continue to do so due to the very real threat of violent reprisals by hunt support," he said. "We would ask the Alliance to explain why so many of their supporters are regularly masking up and committing violent unlawful acts in the countryside?" he added.
Mr Bonner said the hunt saboteurs very presence, masked up, in the countryside, was the ‘catalyst for conflict’. "The wearing of para-military style clothing and face coverings by anti-hunting activists is blatantly aggressive and intimidatory," he said. "It is designed to create fear, hide the identity of people who might commit criminal acts and to provoke a reaction. We do not believe anyone should be hiding their identity for these reasons, and would expect the police to enforce the law equally. The fact remains, however, that it is the arrival of extremists into rural communities and their behaviour that is the catalyst for conflict," he added.


 
Blackmore FH supporter mob attack sabs, badly damage landy

8-2-15   HSA PR    More violence at the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt     On Saturday the 7th February, Dorset Hunt saboteurs attended a meet of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt who met at Sherborne Castle, home of Lord Digby.  From the start of the day the saboteurs were harassed by a large group of masked up huntBlackmoreFHthugs7-2-15.jpg supporters who stole a hunting horn, broke their equipment and pushed and shoved them as well as threatening further violence.

As the day wore on the size of the group of thugs increased to approx 30-40 and their behaviour deteriorated. At around 3pm they used their quad bikes to block in the sab landrover before launching an unprovoked attack. They smashed the front, rear and drivers side windows, throttled the driver and smashed up equipment in the vehicle and placed a home made 'stinger' type device under the vehicles tyres in order to puncture them. The police were called and due to the severity of the attack they sent up a helicopter to try and track the culprits.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated: "Earlier this week Mark Doggrell, huntsman for the Blackmore, had a case against him dropped for riding down and seriously injuring a saboteur in August last year. This hunt now believe they are totally above the law and can assault and steal from saboteurs with impunity.  Dorset police need to prove that they are impartially upholding the law and bring charges against these masked up thugs. The Countryside Alliance are currently obsessed with saboteurs wearing masks, which we have always done and will continue to do so due to the very real threat of violent reprisals by hunt support. We would ask the Alliance to explain why so many of their supporters are regularly masking up and committing violent unlawful acts in the countryside?"


Devolution may leave Hunting Act's future in Wales up to Assembly

6-2-15   Daily Telegraph    Hunting ban could only apply in England under Welsh devolution plan    The change could see hunting with packs of dogs introduced in Wales in a similar model to Scotland, where packs can be used to flush out foxes before they are humanely put down. Hunting with dogs is legal in Northern Ireland, which would leave England as the sole redoubt for the hunting ban. England could be the only country in Britain where hunting with packs of dogs remains illegal under plans to devolve powers to Wales next month, The Daily Telegraph has learned.
The right to legalise hunting in some form could be one of the measures devolved to Wales as part of a new devolution settlement later this month. The idea, which is backed by Welsh secretary Stephen Crabb as long as it has cross-party support, is supported by Plaid Cyrmu, local farmers and hunting campaigners, as well as some Tory MPs.  Currently the Hunting Act 2004 restricts hunting to no more than two dogs in England and Wales, to flush out foxes after which they have to be shot.  But the change could see hunting with packs of dogs introduced in Wales in a similar model to Scotland, where packs can be used to flush out foxes before they are humanely put down. Pro-hunting supporters believe that hunting has a better chance of being legalised if it is devolved to Wales, where the countryside pursuit is not so riven by class differences.
The decision to reserve powers over fox hunting to Westminster was considered to be one of the most glaring anomalies in the devolution settlement because most agricultural matters are devolved. Mr Crabb is leading wide-ranging negotiations with Welsh party leaders on further devolution of powers to Wales following last September’s referendum on Scottish independence. There is now a growing feeling that the Welsh Assembly Government is established enough to make its own decisions over controversial issues for Wales. Mr Crabb is understood to be open minded and pragmatic about these outstanding devolution issues. A source said: "He will only take forward any issue if there is cross party consensus." Any decision on what further powers will be devolved to Cardiff will be unveiled by Mr Crabb’s on St David’s Day at the beginning of next month.

POWAPerson adds:-  It does indeed seem highly likely that powers over hunting, along foreseeable future.with other issues, will soon be devolved to the Welsh Assembly. However, the body is currently controlled - albeit very narrowly - by Labour, so it seems unlikely that the Hunting Act would be repealed by the Assembly in the forseeable future. 


Dorset hunt hounds 'rampage' through garden & field of livestock

3-2-15    Blackmore Vale Magazine    Need for apology after hounds rampage in field    The emphasis of this letter is not to make a pro- or anti-hunting statement, but to comment on events around the Pipers Mill end of Fontmell Magna by the local hunt on Saturday 31st January.  Without apparent restraint, the pack of hounds ran through a private garden and then rampaged around a field containing in-lamb sheep and ponies.  Several of the Hunt then entered the field and eventually moved the hounds away, and thankfully the farmer, who arrived shortly after, reported that there appeared to be no damage to either ponies or sheep.  It has to be said that the field owners, who were away at the time were, in their own words, "furious", as they had not been contacted prior to the hunt and had certainly not given permission for their land (or garden) to be used. It is to be hoped that they will be contacted with a profuse apology by the hunt.
The other thing which really was a cause for concern was that immediately following this event, a large number of the hunt followers on horseback rode past Pipers Mill towards Fontmell at a gallop and completely filling the lane; it is not uncommon for vehicles coming the other way to come round Pipers Mill bridge (which is "blind" and very narrow) at a speed which could easily have caused carnage among both riders and horses.  So, leaving any personal opinion about the place for hunting in this day and age aside, in the interests of respect for private property and road safety, I would ask that people who hunt do so in a more responsible manner.  Simon Green, by email.

 

Lamerton FH six trial adjourned until the spring

2-2-15  LACS PR    Lamerton Hunt case adjourned until April 1st    The case against six members of the Lamerton Hunt has been adjourned until 1st April 2015.  During the case management hearing on 14th January at Torquay Magistrates’ Court, the defence was directed by the district judge to serve documents setting out the areas of factual dispute with each eye witness statement and their expert report by the 13th March 2015.  Joint master George Moyse, Huntsman David Lewis, Whipper-in Steve Craddock and Terrier men, Gilmore Lewis, Stephen Mitchell and Wayne Bartlett all entered not guilty pleas for alleged offences under Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004, when they appeared before Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on November 21st November 2014.


JANUARY 2015

..... 30th January - Sabs say saw S.Dorset and Blackmore FHs both kill foxes on same day

..... 28th January - Tedworth FH Huntsman accuses sabs of serious assault on him
 
.... 26th January - Waveney Harriers warned off by police after seen chasing hares
 
..... 23rd January - Lunesdale FH case fails as prosecution cannot place accused at the hunt
 
..... 17th January - Two sabs hit in head at North Cotswold FH as hounds encouraged to hunt
 
..... 17th January - Durham hunter cuts fox's head off, posts it online to wind up antis
 
..... 17th January - Fox hounds nearly catch roe deer after chasing across several fields
 
..... 11th January - Mob violence from RAC Beagles towards sabs - windscreen smashed
 
..... 10th January - Violent attacks by Atherstone FH riders on 2 female sabs alleged
 
.....  9th January - Shrops hunters ride on fast and busy A5 dual-carriageway to retrieve hounds
 
.....  7th January - Old Surrey horse in collision with police car has to be put down
 
.....  6th January - Mendip Farmers FH hound hit by bus on - say police - a 'legal trail hunt'
 
.....  3rd January - Sabs see Puckridge FH hunt across busy A120, causing traffic chaos
 
.....  3rd January - Sab charged by 4 riders, hit and knocked over - police investigating
 
.....  3rd January - Curre & Llangibby FH filmed hunting right next to main road
 
.....  2nd January - Surrey Union FH fox kill - police say 'accident' - sabs retrieve corpse
 
 
Dorset sabs they say saw two Hunts each kill a fox on same day

Strongly suspect that the Blackmore FH kill was of a 'bagged' fox 

30-1-15   Western Daily Press    VIDEO: Dorset sabs film as hunt hounds kill fox    Hunt saboteurs released a new video this week which they claim shows hounds from a West hunt killing a fox that had been ‘bagged’ and saved by hunt staff. The Dorset Hunt Saboteurs’ video shows hounds swarming over a dead animal, which is then picked up by a huntsman and, they claim, was later given to a huntsman. The pro-hunt Countryside Alliance slammed the ‘hysterical language’ of the saboteurs, and the style of their video, and added that killing a fox is not illegal.

The incident, the latest in an increasing war of claim and counter-claim, took place on Tuesday near the village of Holwell, near Sherborne in Dorset. It happened a couple of days after this footage was filmed of a scuffle involving anti-hunt saboteurs and hunt supporters near Everleigh in Wiltshire ended with the Tedworth hunt master Mike Lane unconscious and needing an overnight stay in hospital with concussion.

27-1-15   Facebook - Dorset Hunt Sabs    It is with a heavy heart I write this report.  We sabbed two hunts today, the South Dorset and the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale and saw kills on both !  I'll return to the SD. But need to say what happened on the second hunt we visited.

From the SD meet at Cross Farm Brockhampton, the BSV were just 5 miles to the north at Buckshaw Farm, Holwell.  Arriving in the area and finding the hunt immediately at about 1.45, we immediately came across the police who we'd called because of the kill on the SD and Hunt blocking in our vehicle.  We explained the situation and they went off to the SD....  We proceeded to Barnes Cross where the hunt went in to a field adjacent to the meet.  The whole hunt were here and stayed there for several minutes. We wondered why they weren't moving.  They eventually moved off west through the meet and we went to the landy through hostile hunt supporters...

Having driven north of the meet, foot sabs headed towards Densham Farm with the Huntsman's son Ben Doggrell in tow, all masked up.  Having spotted the hunt heading in the direction of the farm we arrived there to suddenly hear hounds, as we rushed through the farm yard we found beyond a high fence the hounds ripping the poor fox!  Doggrell went over and handed the the fox to the Huntsman, all caught on film.  No chase, brief noise from the hounds.... Bagged, yes we think so!  The riders were laughing at us as emotions showed.

We proceeded after the hunt to attempt to find the fox.  A discussion followed, Sab: 'How many did you kill today?'  Hunter: 'Two or three.'  Sab: 'How do you sleep at night?'  Hunter: 'Quite easily'.  Doggrell was covered in blood, later on he was riding a quad wearing a jacket with holes and a cap, making out he'd just arrived, funny how he still had the same trousers on and the same eyes.  Police were on the scene very quickly and saw the film.  But we've decided to release the film to the press so the public can see that the hunts are still out killing.  Further info will be added to this report as well as pics and film later.

Pic below:-   Masked Huntsman's son carries away corpse of fox just killed by hounds

        BlackmoreFH20-1-15Huntercarryingawaykilledfox.jpg 


Tedworth FH Huntsman accuses sabs of serious assault on him

Taken to hospital with concussion and broken teeth - police investigating 

28-1-15  Western Daily Press  Huntsman knocked out in 'nasty' attack by sabs in Wiltshire    A West Country huntmaster was knocked unconscious in a vicious attack by masked hunt saboteurs armed with iron bars, the Western Daily Press can reveal.  Police in Wiltshire are investigating the incident, which happened near the village of Everleigh, near Amesbury, at the end of a fractious day of confrontations between sabs and the Tedworth Hunt on Saturday. Officers called to the incident ended up giving first aid to the huntsman, Mike Lane, before paramedics arrived. He was rushed to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and kept in overnight with head injuries, which included concussion and several broken teeth.

Police in Wiltshire have launched a major investigation into the disturbance, which happened as the meet closed at Weather Hill Firs, between Everleigh and Haxton, at around 4pm. Their investigations will centre around trying to identify the hunt saboteurs responsible. Video footage captured by several mobile phones among hunt supporters at the scene appear to show Mr Lane being punched to the ground and then kicked in the head a couple of times before the hunt saboteurs run off.

A spokeswoman for Wiltshire police said: "We were called at around 4pm on Saturday to the scene of an incident between Everleigh and Haxton. The Tedworth Hunt had been out on a drag hunt and according to the hunt, a group of up to a dozen people – both men and women – wearing balaclavas had been harassing the hunt throughout the day. The protestors had left the scene by the time police arrived. We can confirm that a 39-year-old man from the Marlborough area who is involved with the hunt was assaulted and needed treatment at Great Western Hospital. The man was knocked to the ground and received injuries to the head and back and was briefly unconscious. Police officers gave him first aid until an ambulance arrived. We are gathering evidence from witnesses, including video and still images recorded by Tedworth Hunt supporters," she added.

Mr Lane has been told to rest for at least a week following the concussion he sustained. Police said they are treating the case as a serious incident of ABH and potential public disorder. Inspector Paul Longden, of Wiltshire police, said the attack was ‘unacceptable’. "Whilst we have no issue with people lawfully protesting, this was a totally unacceptable assault involving a group of men and women wearing balaclavas. We are making every effort to find and bring to justice the people who inflicted these injuries," he added.

Mr Lane said he could remember little in the aftermath of the attack, but that hunt saboteurs had plagued the hunt all day. "They followed is from the kennels that morning and during the days they were quite upset and there were a number of confrontations," he said. "We were quite upset that they were spraying the hounds with citronella spray and we remonstrated with them. We were packing up just after 4pm and it got quite violent. Five or six of them came across to where we were all parked and started to make a nuisance of themselves. I went over to try to calm it all down and one of them spat in my face. I was then punched by another and a scuffle broke out. I slipped over and on the ground one of them kicked me in the head twice and knocked me out. To be honest, I have no other recollection of what happened after that. They were swinging iron bars on lengths of rope at one stage. Luckily there were still enough people around who came to my aid and they ran back to their vehicles and drove off at speed," he added. "Lots of people videoed what happened, and it is quite disconcerting to see yourself being knocked out on film," he added.

The incident is the latest in a long line of violent confrontations between hunt saboteurs and hunts in the West Country, with both sides claiming the other to be more the more violent. Last week, the Western Daily Press reported how saboteurs had been mobbed by students from the Cirencester-based Royal Agricultural University after trying to disrupt a meet of the college’s beagle foot pack at Knockdown, near Tetbury.

The campaign director for the Countryside Alliance, Tim Bonner, said the incident in Wiltshire showed that saboteurs needed to ‘unmask’. "This was a particularly nasty and cowardly attack by people who hoped by wearing face coverings they would avoid prosecution," he said. "The number of people involved in saboteur activities is far fewer than in the past, however we are concerned that the extremists who remain are increasingly resorting to violence. There have been a number of incidents over the past few years involving assaults on hunt staff and supporters by people who have masked their identities. We are particularly worried about the increasing tendency to violence by those wearing balaclavas and face coverings in a bid to escape the law. We call upon the police to use their powers, wherever possible, to unmask people who wear face coverings to hunt meets before there is violence," he added.

Berkshire Hunt Sabs attempted to refute the allegations made by pointing out that all the released video shows is the Huntsman lying on the ground, some scuffling, two hunt followers assaulting a sab and another sab attempting to defend first his colleague, then himself. See their video.  

Pics below:-   1/  Huntsman on ground                   2/  Sab being assaulted by followers [left of pic]

  TedworthFHHuntsmanongroundafterallegedassaultbysabs24-1-15.jpg TedworthFH24-1-15Huntsmanonground2supportersassaultingsab.jpg      

The Daily Mail also covered this incident. Their headline claimed the same embedded video showed the 'shocking moment' when the Huntsman was 'knocked unconscious'. In fact, the Huntsman is already on the ground when the video starts, with no indication how he got there. Nor does he appear to be unconscious. The implement being wielded by a sab, probably in self-defence [the sabs are heavily outnumbered and one is clearly seen being punched and kneed by a much larger hunt supporters] looks much more like a whip than a 'rope with an iron bar on the end'. Lightweight whips are commonly used by sabs to create noise to distract hounds from pursuing live quarry. Clearly any assault my sabs of the type described would not be defensible. The question is, did it really happen? We await with interest the production of other film hunters claim to have of the actual alleged assault on Mike Lane. Hunters have a long and inglorious record of accusing sabs of such assaults which they can almost never prove. The number of sabs convicted of such attacks can be counted on the fingers of one hand, whilst well over a hundred hunters have been convicted, and some imprisoned, for assaults on sabs.

UPDATE   Hunters never did produce the video evidence they claimed they had and police dropped the investigation.  

                             

Norfolk Police tell Waveney Harriers to pack up after chasing hares

26-1-15  Facebook - Norfolk Suffolk Hunt Sabs ...It was not long before we filmed the hounds in full cry, chasing a hare which was running at full speed for its life. Fortunately, it had a good start and it eventually gave them the slip. This was just as well because there was no sight or sound of the Huntsman who must, under the law, takeWaveneyHarriersapparentlybeingwarnedbypolicesergeant24-1-15.jpg steps to check his hounds in those circumstances.  The hounds continued to search for their lost quarry and several minutes later, crossed the road where we filmed them searching and bumbling in the second field in from the road. It was a long time before the Huntsman appeared. He was soon spoken to by a police sergeant [right], who was obviously unimpressed with the lack of control. We can only assume that he asked the Huntsman to call it off. The Hunt duly returned to the meet and by 12.30 pm they were packing up to go home. They only had themselves to blame: although there were only some 18 riders attending, there was enough experience amongst them to work as a team and back up the Huntsman. This is something they no longer seem capable of doing.

28-1-15   Facebook - Mike Huskisson    Has Police implementation of the Hunting Act changed dramatically? Until last Saturday it was police policy to allow a hunting day to finish and then tackle any allegations of illegal hunting afterwards. That was bad news for hunted wildlife as they could easily be killed in the process – and hunt saboteurs battered as they tried to stop the illegal hunting. It was also bad for policing as it meant that police officers were ordered to watch a crime being committed – which generated public distrust as to their impartiality. Events last Saturday at the Waveney Harriers set a new benchmark for rural crime prevention when a Norfolk Police Sergeant tore up this rule book, said he had seen enough, that if the hunt continued they would be breaking the law and advised the hunters to pack up.

This can happen again, but only in similar circumstances. We need police present who are determined to uphold the law rather than merely comply with the demands from the hunters. Then police have to witness illegal hunting taking place. They have to witness the hunt staff and followers being unable or unwilling to stop their hounds from hunting illegally. And it may need hunt saboteurs to ask the police, on camera if judged necessary, to enforce the law as Norfolk police did. If we can work with the police to develop these tactics we could reach the stage where legal, humane hunting thrives and the only red in our hunting fields is no longer the blood of innocent animals but the red cards shown by police to any hunters who hunt illegally. The policing of hunting will then match the policing of hare coursing – which will be marvellous for wildlife.

POWAperson comments:-  It's actually not clear what motivated the police chat with the Waveney, what was said, or precisely why they packed up at 12.30 pm. Sabs, who frequently cover the Hunt, have previously reported that police have been, at best, indifferent to the Hunt chasing wildlife. If this does mark some sea-change in the attitudes of this force it's gratifying - but it's far from clear it does.

Both reporters here seem to believe, as many in the anti-hunt movement do, that hunters are obliged to call their hounds off any wild mammal they are pursuing. This is simply not the case. Illegal hunting only takes place if one or more hunters can be proved to have intentionally 'engaged or participated' in the pursuit. Both verbs clearly imply active involvement in the chase. Passively sitting back and letting hounds get on with it is not active involvement and there is nothing in the Act that requires hunters to restrain their hounds.  It is largely because it is usually extraordinarily difficult to prove that an identifiable hunter 'engaged or participated' in the pursuit that enables Hunts to get away again and again with pretending 'accidents' during 'trail hunting', or other palpable nonsense. And this is one of the main reasons that it is vital to achieve significant strengthening of the Hunting Act to ease enforcement and enhance deterrence. 

 

Lunesdale FH case fails as prosecution cannot place accused at hunt

Bench say video shown to them did not show illegal hunting

LACS blames collapse of case on CPS failings

23-1-15   Craven Herald    Lunesdale Hunt men cleared on fox hunting charges    THE chairman of the Lunesdale Hunt and its huntsman have been cleared of fox hunting after an all-day trial at York Magistrates' Court. The League Against Cruel Sports claimed it had filmed huntsman Paul Whitehead, 53, directing the hunt's hounds as they pursued one or two foxes on farmland at Ingleton on February 18 last year. But after viewing the League's video and hearing from witnesses who took part in its covert surveillance of the hunt, the magistrates decided there was no evidence that either Mr Whitehead, or Terence Potter, chairman of Lunesdale Foxhounds Ltd, were present on the farmland on the day when fox hunting was alleged to have taken place and there was insufficient evidence that hunting was being carried out.

They threw out charges of fox hunting against both men at the end of the prosecution case.  Mr Potter, 63, of Orton, and Mr Whitehead, 53, of Sedbergh, denied one charge each.  Mr Potter was prosecuted in his capacity as a director of the hunt and the prosecution alleged that he had consented to or connived at fox hunting.  After the case, Adrian Simpson, of the Countryside Alliance, said the two men had had to wait 12 months for the case to be heard and urged the Crown Prosecution Service to look hard at cases where the League provided evidence. "We were extremely surprised, given the evidence and the innocence of the two defendants, that the prosecution even came to court.," he said. The CPS prosecuted the case after the League sent its evidence to North Yorkshire Police, who interviewed the two men under caution. Two days before the case was due to be heard and at the start of the trial, the CPS applied for the trial to be postponed so that one of the League's witnesses could attend. But the defence successfully opposed both applications on the grounds that the CPS had known that the witness was not able to attend in early November and should have applied then for a different date.

Mr Simpson said the defence believed both defendants would have been acquitted even if the missing witness had been able to attend. The magistrates said the video footage was not good evidence against the two men because of the distance between those filming it and the activities they were filming.

21-1-15   LACS PR    League Against Cruel Sports response to Lunesdale Foxhounds Ltd case decision   Commenting on the case against two members of the Lunesdale Foxhounds Ltd for offences in relation to illegal hunting, the League Against Cruel Sports described the result today as disappointing and would be complaining to the Crown Prosecution Service.  The magistrate said today that “The failings of the CPS have not assisted justice in this case,”  Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive at the League Against Cruel Sports said:  “A set of circumstances beyond our control has led to today’s case being dismissed.  The decision not to take this case further is by no means a reflection of the strength of the case or the footage provided by the League’s Investigations Team.”

22-1-15   YouTube film uploaded by LACS    …Due to the failings of the Crown Prosecution Service clear footage of a fox being chased by a pack of hounds (as shown from 01.14 in this video) was not shown in court as evidence - The case was dismissed by the court. This video shows footage captured by our investigators which clearly shows a fox being chased by a pack of dogs.

POWAPerson comments:-  Without access to all of the evidence it is not possible to say definitively why this case failed.  LACS say that the CPS failure to seek re-scheduling of the trial early enough resulted in the court not being able to hear from the main League witness and the investigating police officer. However, it's still not clear why the prosecution were not able to show that either of the accused were even present, let alone that they took part in illegal hunting. Clearly, the bench was shown some film, which they said did not show illegal hunting. The video referred to above by LACS was, the League says, not shown to the court. They don't say why not. However, it is POWAperson's opinion that, though that film does clearly show a fox being pursued by hounds, this also is not adequate evidence of illegal hunting by anybody - even though it seems highly likely that it was being deliberately hunted.

To establish the offence of illegal hunting by an individual [in this case the Huntsman] the prosecution must show that that person 'engaged or participated' in the pursuit by hounds of the fox. The only people that appear at all in this clip are a couple in the far distance at the top of the quarry behind the hounds in the first part and a rider in the far distance in the second. There is really nothing to firmly indicate that they any of them were 'engaging or participating' and they are so far away as to be quite unidentifiable.

Potter, a Director of the Lunesdale, was charged under Section 10 of the Act. To convict here, the prosecution must effectively establish that there was some agreement/conspiracy between at least two Hunt officials to undertake illegal hunting. It is hard to see how the video clip comes anywhere near establishing this. The fact is that the Hunting Act, as was determined by the High Court judgement of 2009, allows a Hunt to search out a wild mammal with a full pack of hounds. Once they have found and started pursuing the wild mammal, hunters are free to allow the dogs to chase it to their hearts' content.

The offence of illegal hunting is only committed if one or more of the hunters, each of whom must be identified, can be shown to have 'engaged or participated' in that chase. The court must be convinced that they intended to engage in illegal hunting. In this case, I think it likely that the bench would have still ruled in the Hunt's favour even if they had seen the LACS clip which they placed on YouTube. How the evidence of the League's main witness might have effected their view is moot.

It seems - and indeed is - ridiculous that the prosecution should have to jump over an evidential bar set so impossibly high. This is precisely why we need to make organised Hunts responsible for the behaviour of their members AND their dogs in the field, Then Hunts will no longer be able to get away with blatant hunting by insisting the prosecution must be able to definitively identify individuals they wish to charge, or by hiding behind the perennial excuse of 'accident', factors which normally mean they don't even get investigated, let alone charged or prosecuted, by the authorities.

                                      

Two sabs hit in head at N.Cotswold FH as hounds encouraged to hunt 

17-1-15  Facebook - W.Mids Hunt Sabs   North Cotswold Hunt - Saturday   ... The hunt headed past the sabs and two sabs were hit around the head with a riding crop.... the huntsman took the hounds to the covert by the road again. A sab from the vehicle then witnessed the kennel huntsman and various supporters rabidly encouraging the hounds to hunt through the covert. When the huntsman realised the sab was there with a camera, he blew his horn to call the hounds to him and crossed the road...

 

Avid Durham hunter cuts off fox head and puts image on Facebook to wind up antis

Police investigating to see if he fit person to hold firearms licences

17-1-15   Hartlepool Mail    ‘I cut off the fox’s head... but I didn’t kill it’ – Hartlepool man admits sick Facebook post as police take away firearms     A HUNTER has admitted putting the head of a fox on a spike and posting the picture on Facebook – but denied he killed the animal.  Hartlepool man Mark Lowery claims he found the dead animal by the side of the road near Hart Village – but carried out the act and his sick boast to taunt anti-hunt campaigners. The 44-year-old, who is a regular hunter, has spoken to police, and officers have taken away his firearms as part of their procedures.

Mr Lowery said he decapitated the creature, put its head on a stick above an abusive note to animal cruelty protesters, and then photographed it before uploading it to Facebook. The picture of the fox caused fury among anti-hunt campaigners, who Mark claims had been "harassing" him for weeks and getting him banned from Facebook due to other pictures he had shared...

Mark, who has registered firearms and regularly carries out pest control work for local farmers said: "These hunt saboteurs are extremely nasty and evil people. I have put different posts up and they have been hassling me and getting my account closed. They seem to think that their opinion is the only opinion... I’ve handled dead animals since I was about 11 years old, and from doing work in an abattoir, in commercial butchery. I severed the head with a butcher’s cleaver and put it on a stick.'

Police and RSPCA officers are looking into the Facebook row, which also saw Mark write to campaigners: "Any more bans and another fox dies." A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: "Inquiries are continuing. Officers have seized a number of legally-held firearms from a 44-year-old male and we are looking into his suitability to continue as a firearms licence holder. No arrests have been made."

                                      

Fox hounds nearly catch roe deer after chasing it across several fields

17-1-15    Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   Joint meet Puckeridge FH with Cambridge & Enfield Chace FH    ...With the sun now shining and the fields defrosting the mud made running difficult but we soldiered on and were in place to help a deer. The Huntsman lost control as several hounds rioted in hot pursuit of the terrified animal. It was a very close run thing and we feared they would catch it but once again sabs were in place to help it escape. Needless to say we voiced our opinions regarding their lack of control and once they gathered up their renegade hounds they retreated back to the meet and packed up, well before time at 2:30pm with plenty of daylight left.Video of the day with deer chase near end is here.

'Accidental Activist'  ...Our biggest concern of the day was when the Huntsman and whipper-in lost control of several hounds and they rioted on a Roe Deer. The terrified animal was chased across several fields before finally getting away with some sab help. Just another potential victim of the hunts and even though it wasn’t their intended quarry it’s another reason why the law needs to be tightened. Killing something by accident is no excuse, although as far as we could see no attempt had been made to even lay a trail so they were acting illegally from the outset.

PuckeridgeandorCambridgeandEnfieldChaceFHhoundsriotafterroedeer17-1-15.jpg   Puckeridgeetc.houndschasingroedeer17-1-15.jpg

  


Mob violence from RAC Beagles towards sabs - windscreen smashed

11-1-15  Bristol Hunt Sabs blog   RAC BEAGLES CRIMINAL ANTICS 10/1/15    ...Sabs attended a meet of the Royal Agricultural College Beagles at the Holford Arms in Knockdown, Gloucestershire. The RAC Beagles are the hare hunting pack of the Royal Agricultural University, based in Cirencester, maintained and hunted by its staff andRACBeaglesSabwindscreensmashedbysupporters10-1-15.jpg students...  The beagles were soon in the field with us and a hare was spotted bolting away. With the use of voice calls and whips sabs rated the hounds, stopping them in their pursuit of this hare, all of this was in full view of hunt staff and followers...

... hunt staff were clearly trying to hatch a plan, calling in back up from neighbouring fox hunts and from the Royal Agricultural University... As we were approaching our vehicles we were confronted by a large group of supporters, presumably from the University, some of whom were obviously very intoxicated. In a clear attempt at provocation one of the young men pulled a foxes brush and a dead rabbit out of his pick-up, thrusting it at sabs. Others were pushing and shoving people around, trying to separate and single out sabs from the rest of the group. Refusing to rise to this, we got in our three vehicles in an attempt to leave. Four vehicles driven by hunt supporters then blocked the small lane we were on, preventing us from leaving. The Southampton land rover, which was in front of ours, had it’s windscreen smashed [above right].

RACBeaglesDeadrabbitthrownontosablandy10-1-15.jpgThe large group of hunt supporters then started to rock the land rover from side to side, chanting ‘We are the boys of the RAC’ as they did so, with the occupants still inside and fearing for their safety. The dead rabbit was then thrown on the bonnet of our land rover [left] and mud was smeared over the drivers side of the wind screen and side window to obscure their vision. Several attempts were made by these thugs to enter the vehicles, as threats of violence were dished out. Whilst this was happening two whippers-in of the hunt, including Tom Ind, were present in full hunting attire, laughing at the behaviour of their peers and egging them on. We managed to get away but were then followed for a considerable distance by up to five vehicles full of hunt staff and supporters. All of which (including their erratic motorway driving to block us) has been documented. Videos to follow.

We have to ask the Royal Agricultural University if they think this violent and unlawful behaviour, as well as clear flouting of the Hunting Act by its students and staff, is acceptable?

20-1-15   Western Daily Press    Cirencester's Royal Agricultural University Beagles mob hunt sabs in shocking video    The principal of the Royal Agricultural University has promised to ‘deal with rigorously’ its students who embarked on a foul-mouthed tirade against hunt saboteurs who tried to stop what they claimed was illegal hunting. The Cirencester-based college, which attained university status last year and has the Prince of Wales as its president, runs its own footpack of beagle hounds. The Hunt Saboteurs Association said their members interrupted the hunt, known as the RAC Beagles, after they met at the Holford Arms in Knockdown, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, on Saturday January 10. The anti-hunt activists said the beagles were chasing a hare in the fields behind the pub, but the hunt packed up within a few minutes, and then the saboteurs’ vehicles were surrounded.

 

Violent attack alleged, using horses and crop on 2 women sabs by Atherstone FH

10-1-15   Facebook - W.Mids Hunt Sabs   Atherstone FH    We located the hunt north of Barton-in-the-Beans and the sabs immediately entered the field as the hunt were drawing a small wood. The hounds began to speak and so the sabs moved into position. The mounted field then moved forward to act as a block between us and the hounds. It then became apparent that a fox had broke and hounds were speaking frantically... We believed that a fox had gone to ground.

We moved forward, towards the small bank and then the field began to ride at us and attack us. Numerous horsesAtherstoneFHWomanhitinheadbyrider10-1-15.jpg surrounded two sabs and began riding at them frantically. The two sabs tried to support each other from the ferocity of the attack, but then another rider came from behind and rode one of the female sabs down. Whilst she lay on the floor, the rider tried to get their horse to ride over her. The other sab saw the rider inches from her head and jumped onto the sab on the floor and tried to protect her. When she stood up, still guarding the sab on the floor, she was hit in the mouth and head [see right] by a male rider, sustaining a mouth and head injury. Other mounted riders were shouting at the sab on the floor to 'get up you stupid bitch'.

The sab eventually managed to get up off the floor and re-group with the injured sab and the rest of her colleagues. We remained in the field and continued to stand their ground and didn't move until the hunt left the area where we believed a fox had gone to ground. The huntsman eventually took the hounds away... The same person who attacked the sab, looked across and issued a death threat to one of the sabs...

  

Two Shrops hunters ride on both sides of busy A5 dual carriageway

They were retrieving hounds - one believed injured. Miracle no accidents resulted 

9-1-14  Shropshire Star    Hunt takes a bizarre turn onto busy Shropshire road    It’s not a view you see every day – a huntsman on his horse trots along a busy dual carriageway in front of startled motorists.  One of the huntsmen is pictured by a Shropshire Star reader on his horse on the A5 dual carriageway ShropshuntrideronA57-12-14.jpgnear Shrewsbury [left]. Traffic on the A5 in Shropshire was forced to slow down as two men rode their horses either side of the road trying to retrieve hounds from the road.  At least one of the dogs appeared to be injured and was taken away.The unusual sight was captured on camera by one driver, who was travelling from Wrexham at the time and pulled into a layby because he was worried about safety.  It is not known which of Shropshire’s hunts were involved in the incident, which happened just near Shrewsbury close to one of the roundabouts on the town’s bypass at about 3.30pm on Wednesday.  He said: "I was surprised to find one rider in red hunting clothing was riding south along the northbound verge or nearside lane, while another rider was on the southbound lane among the traffic.  It was certainly an unusual sight. At least one, possibly two hounds were on the road.  The drivers of several cars and lorries had to brake but as far as I am aware no accidents occurred. It must have been quite hairy for drivers particularly of the lorries, coming off the junction and encountering the horses.  It could have been a much more serious incident had one of the horses been spooked by the vehicles."  Another driver, Peter Leigh, also saw the huntsmen on the carriageway. His wife, Carol, said he also saw somebody retrieving dogs from the carriageway.

POWAperson adds:-   Yet another example of the incredibly reckless disregard of hunters for the safety of their own animals and road users. Doubtless they will claim to have been 'trail hunting' [that carefully crafted fiction that provides great cover for live quarry hunting]. But, if so, why would they be so close to the busiest, fastest road in the county? Given the location, this may well have been the notorious South Shropshire FH, senior Joint Master Otis Ferry - one of the country's leading hunting fanatic and who has several criminal convictions/cautions. West Mercia police have a rtecord of being highly supportive of Hunts in their area, but maybe this outrage will prove too much even for them to tolerate. But don't hold your breath waiting for appropriate action.

  

Hunt horse in collision with police car put down because of its injuries

7-1-15   Sevenoaks Chronicle    Horse killed and cars written off in freak double police car crash drama   Arnold Kingston who lives on Ide Hill Road... said... 'We couldn’t understand why it took so long [for police to attend separate accident near his house] but heard another police car on its way to assist got tangled up in a hunt and hit the horse...It was in Five Fields Lane. Apparently one horse threw its rider, as a result the police car struck two horses, one was injured and the other died." ... a Kent Police spokesman said "There was a collision in Four Elms involving a police car and a stray horse, running on the road without a rider. This was reported at 1.25pm. Sadly the horse died."

POWAPerson adds -  West Sussex Hunt Sabs state that the Hunt concerned was the Old Surrey & Burstow FH and that the horse was shot by a hunt-supporting farmer. 

 

Mendip Farmers FH hound hit by bus on, say police, 'legal trail hunt'

6-1-14   Somerset Guardian   Hunting hound hit by passenger bus in Farrington Gurney     A First Bus driver has won praise from his passengers for his actions after an incident involving a hunting hound on the A37 near Farrington Gurney.  The driver was forced to make an emergency stop when the dog from the Mendip pack ran in front of the vehicle near an accident black spot with the junction of the A39.
Passengers on the Christmas Eve 376 service say it was fortunate that the bus was not travelling very fast at the time. John McAllister, who was on the bus travelling to Bristol said the driver had reacted very quickly and had not swerved.  He said: “Nevertheless,MendipFarmersFHJMRobWilliams.jpg passengers' luggage flew to the front of the bus; fortunately nobody was hurt. The dog met the front offside of the bus with an audible and tactile thump.”  Mr McAllister said that passengers had been worried that the dog had been run over, but it had struggled to its feet and run off.  But he said that while the driver had been very cool and handled the situation brilliantly the incident was very dangerous with potentially horrible consequences.  He said: “Apart from the dog, bus passengers could have been injured, or a more serious accident could have occurred.  The owner of the dog was grossly irresponsible - allowing the animal to run free, and un-collared, so close to the main road.”
The incident also raised concerns that the hunt was illegal, which have been dismissed by both the Master of Mendip Hunt, Rob Williams [right], and police.  Mr Williams said the riders had been trail hunting in the Hollow Marsh area on the outskirts of Farrington Gurney.  He said: “It was a young hound involved and it just appeared to brush the bus.  The hound is fine and I was in contact with the police straight afterwards.”  He said: “We have video footage of the trail being laid at Hollow Marsh and the police were aware we were out hunting that day.”
Police have confirmed that no further action is being taken over the incident. A spokesman said: “We are satisfied it was a legal trail hunt.”....
 

POWAPerson adds;-  Once again a Hunt endangers not just its own animals but also the travelling public by hunting close to a main road. How 'fine' a dog is likely to be after being hit by a bus is moot.  And why were they near a major road if they really were 'trail hunting'? And how much longer are police going to simply accept and excuse Hunts' behaviour of this sort?
 

Sabs see Puckeridge FH  hunting across A120, causing traffic chaos

3-1-15   Facebook - Cambridge Hunt Sabs    Puckeridge Hunt, Albury, Essex/Herts border    ...The first fox broke cover quite a way ahead of the hounds, giving sabs the opportunity to spray over the scent line and make a barrier to the copse the fox had entered. Due to the weather conditions the hounds still managed to pick up some scent into the copse, but became fractured due to further sab interception using voice & horn calls and further spraying leading to the hounds being broken off the fox.

The second fox was seen by our vehicle darting across the busy A120 road into a copse. The Huntsman, set on his thirst for blood, pushed his hounds onto this road and hunted right across it, chaotically stopping traffic and endangering all involved. Our vehicle sabs jumped out and rated the hounds away from the copse and forced the Huntsman and whip to round up the hounds. Foot sabs coming from the other direction assisted the exhausted looking fox to safety by spraying her line as she broke fully away from the woodland to imminent safety.

A third fox was seen some distance ahead of hounds, and sabs intercepted the chase with voice calls & whips to break their focus whilst spraying.

 

Sab charged by 4 riders, hit in face, knocked to ground - police told
Incident was during mass sab of Surrey Union/S.Downs FH joint meet
 
3-1-15   Facebook - Guildford Hunt Sabs    After the Surrey Union murdered a fox on New Year's Eve, lots of usS.Union-S.Downsjointmeet3-1-15.jpg decided to do a hit on their joint meet with the ever violent South Downs Foxhunt alongside our mates in Berkshire, Croydon, North Downs and West Sussex hunt sabs...
We heard the hounds in cry in a large valley so sabs moved in to ensure no live scents were being picked up. On seeing us, the huntsmen immediately panicked in trying to call the hounds back... Hounds were clearly distressed as they were caught up in bushes but luckily sabs were there to help them (because the hunt certainly wouldn't).
Shortly after, a Guildford Sab was charged at by 4 horses and hit round the face by one of the field which knocked him to the ground. They luckily managed to roll backwards, avoiding being trampled by the rest of the field. This has been reported to the police with video/ photo evidence...
Later on by a road we noticed the hounds were onto a scent, so sabs quickly rushed down and used some old school sabbing tactics to call the hounds off. As the hunt moved off at great speed... once again the hounds were in full cry, but sabs travelled through heavy brambles and prickly bushes to make sure they don't get on to anything...
Nearer the end, several bumpkins tried to pick fights with sabs, but after realising they didn't stand a chance they headed off! There must have been around 7 police cars/vans out today...

 
Sabs film Curre & Llangibby FH hunting right next to main road
3-1-15    YouTube    Meanwhile, sabs prevented hounds from running on the road, which they say the Hunt [led by a masked Huntsman] were making no attempt to do.


Surrey Union hounds kill fox - police accept it was an 'accident'

2-1-15   Facebook – Guildford Hunt Sabs    Surrey Union Hunt – 31-12-14   We started off with the hunt by Redhill plantation, with 3 vehicles and two motorbikes out we covered the area well. The Hunt milled about in the area for a little while whilst sabs covered various exit points. One of the hunt buggies later tried to run a sab down upon leaving the farm - this buggy had no front registration and was carrying passengers on a public road (illegal?)... unfortunately there weren’t a lot of public footpaths so we had to keep eyes on the hunt from a distance… a sab heard the hounds in cry so notified us of the position…. As we arrived we looked down through the woods and saw 4 hounds.
As we got closer, one of the sabs noticed a fox laying lifeless on the ground with hounds still attacking (we have video evidence). We quickly moved down to retrieve the fox for evidence and to get the hounds off whilst the police were on route. We scouted around the area taking pictures of blood marks and fur that was scattered around, Fur was found on fencing approx 100 meters from the kill with a clear struggle path which shows the fox was chased. The body was still warm and, shortly after placing him/her in the Landy, he/she released their bowels, proving a fresh kill. Masked-up terrier men arrived soon after to pick up the body of the fox (thus destroying evidence) without knowing we got there first.
From the post mortem:- "The vet observed that the fox had been killed by a large mammal, most likely a large dog, with numerous puncture wounds to legs, throat and flank - most significant was a massive trauma to the rib cage that had crushed it and separated it."
By this time one police officer arrived on scene and really wasn't much use, This officer refused to speak to the hunt. The police statement regarding the incident is pathetic. They say the fox just so happened to run into a fox hunt... It was 13:00, unless he/she was flushed why would a fox be out at that time. This is no coincidence. Just like when they killed a deer a few weeks back, Surrey Police are yet again in the pocket of the Hunt. Please head over to their FB page to voice your concerns. http://www.surrey.police.uk/…/Statement-following-death-of-… You can also contact the Surrey Union hunt via:-  SUHINFO@gmail.com
Pics below:-   1/  Killed fox and hound     2/  Dead fox retrieved by sabs
 SurreyUnionFHKilledfoxandhound31-12-14.jpg  SurreyUnionKilledfoxretrievedbysabs31-12-14.jpg
 

6-1-14    Daily Mirror   Police spark outrage after suggesting fox died during New Year's Eve hunt after 'running into path of hounds'      Surrey Police has sparked outrage after suggesting a fox that died during a New Year's Eve hunt "ran into the path of dogs".  The fox was found dead after a legal drag hunt in Godalming, Surrey, on December 31.  But when police were called, the Surrey force said: "It is understood the fox died after it ran into the path of dogs following a pre-laid trail in Godalming." Members of the public and animal rights group branded the explanation "wholly inadequate", and called for a thorough investigation into the incident.

Guildford Hunt Monitors - also known as Guildford Hunt Saboteurs - were tracking the Surrey Union Hunt [right] as it rode through Godalming on December 31.  A spokesman for the group said that at around 1pm one of its members noticed the hounds "had theirSurreyUnion31-12-14.jpg heads in something", and when the group arrived at the scene they found "a fox laying lifeless on the ground with hounds still attacking".  The group took the fox, and claim there were "clearly large fresh puncture wounds" on its body.  They say they then took the animal to a vet, who wished to remain anonymous, but provided a verbal post mortem report saying the fox "had been killed by a large mammal, most likely a large dog, with numerous puncture wounds to legs, throat and flank" as well as "massive trauma" to the rib cage.

Hunting a wild mammal with a dog is illegal under the Hunting Act. However drag and trail hunting - where dogs follow an artificially laid scent - is allowed.  A spokesman for the Surrey Union Hunt said artificial trails had been laid for its hounds to follow on New Year's Eve, and this was recorded on video.  They added: "We were operating completely within the law and we have co-operated fully with Surrey Police. In fact we reported the incident ourselves and regret if, as it appears, a fox crossed the path of the artificial trail and encountered the hounds.

However, many people on Surrey Police's Facebook page said officers had failed to look into the incident properly, while the League Against Cruel Sports described their response as "wholly inadequate".  Kay Wagland wrote: "Your response to the killing of a fox by the Surrey Union Hunt on 31 December is incomprehensible. Do you really believe that a fox would run towards a noisy pack of hounds?"  Another, Rita Godfrey, wrote: "So the fox ran towards baying hounds, hunting horns and hunters? Are you serious?"   The hunt said the fox 'encountered' the dogs. While Liz Cuff added: "Are we really supposed to think a fox committed suicide by running into a pack of hounds? Please do not insult our intelligence."

Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "This horrific incident caused incredible suffering to the fox, which is why 80% of the public do not think hunting should be made legal again. "The police response is wholly inadequate and leaves many unanswered questions about the actions of the hunt. "This demonstrates why the Hunting Act needs to be made even stronger by making recklessness illegal so hunts cannot dodge responsibility for animal cruelty." When contacted by MirrorOnline today, Surrey Police said its investigation into the incident was at an "early stage" but was ongoing. No arrests have been made.

 

DECEMBER 2014

..... 31st December - Colne Valley Beagles meet abandoned after armed thugs attack sabs at pub

..... 29th December - Waveney Harriers behaving badly on Boxing Day, say sabs

..... 27th December - Prolonged and brutal fox kill at Fife FH dig out filmed by sabs

..... 27th December - Sab attacked and wrestled to ground by Kimblewick FH terrierman

..... 26th December - LACS unveil new cinema ad to make viewers feel hunted animals' terror

..... 26th December - New Ipsos/MORI poll shows support for Hunting Act still at record high

..... 26th December - Farage hangs around with violent convict Huntsman on Boxing Day again

..... 26th December - Atherstone FH hounds seen running on active railway line - and chase fox
 
..... 24th December - Fife FH terrierman waves shotgun as sabs try to stop 'illegal' dig-out
 
..... 24th December - Dunston Harriers riot through properties, one a cat sanctuary
 
..... 22nd December - Hound pays price for the callous 'fun' of the Mid-Devon FH
 
..... 21st December - VWH FH seen criss-crossing fast and busy 'A' road and hunting nearby
 
..... 20th December - Sabs whipped, kicked, punched, floored as try to protect hunted fox
 
..... 19th December - Sabs win possible landmark judgement on police 'stop and search' powers
 
..... 17th December - Evicted Modbury Harriers saved as S.Devon FH offers kennels share
 
..... 16th December - Waveney Harriers chased fox, then hares thru Nature Reserve, sabs claim
 
..... 15th December - Rescue team called out to save 11 hounds trapped in Welsh gorge
 
..... 15th December - 6 Lamerton FH members plead not guilty to Hunting Act offences
 
..... 14th December - South Tetcott hunt support quad driven at female sab, bruising her arm
 
..... 14th December - Sabs say they saw Mid-Devon FH hounds kill 'bagged' fox on Dartmoor
 
..... 13th December - Sabs say they stopped E.Essex FH dig-out in face of violence and abuse
 
..... 13th December - Kimblewick FH - one sab hit with crop, one assaulted, car spat on by rider
 
..... 13th December - Cottesmore FH chased 4 foxes in single hunting day, sabs claim
 
..... 13th December - Sabs in car surrounded & assailed by 20 strong Cattistock follower mob
 
..... 12th December - AR woman convicted of minor assault on terrierman suffers 'hate campaign'
 
..... 11th December - Sabs say they were attacked as they stopped dig-out at E.Essex FH meet 
 
.....  9th December - Atherstone chased fox across busy road, say sabs, then Huntsman rode on it
 
.....  9th December - West packs hunt through villager's garden as sabs rescue chased fox
 
.....  7th December - Sabs film Cattistock rider deliberately smashing horse in face with crop
 
.....  7th December - Crawley & Horsham supporter charged after assaulting female sab
 
.....  4th December - Melbreak FH hounds condition being investigated by RSPCA
 
.....  2nd December - Blencathra hunt follower assaulted and drew knife on monitor, say sabs
 
.....  2nd December - Atherstone FH assault sabs then chase fox on to railway, say sabs
 
 
Sabs receive malicious messages from Atherstone FH mob

30-12-16   Facebook – W.Midlands Sabs  RECORDING    Malicious voicemail from the Atherstone Hunt    It seems the Atherstone Hunt didn't like our Boxing Day demonstration, they didn't like it much last year either when they burnt out a female sabs dustbins (after burning out her car in the summer). This year the same female sab has received numerous malicious phone calls since the demonstration on Boxing Day. This includes two voicemail messages. One message was several recordings of hounds chasing a fox. The other message was a tirade of sexist bigoted offensive language. Unfortunately we have come to expect these views from the Atherstone Hunt. There have been numerous other examples of members of the Atherstone hunt using similar language over the past few weeks. This only goes to highlight that these type of bigoted and degrading views of women are not only accepted amongst people who go hunting but are commonplace. These malicious phone calls come only a week after a different sab had a malicious Christmas card and a lump of slate sent to their parents house.

 


Ledbury FH terriermen filmed violently attacking sab

29-12-16   The Sun   HUNT CLASH   ‘Ledbury Hunt worker punches a protester on the ground for trying to save fox hiding in a badger sett’ in shocking video    Hunt saboteurs claim they filmed a terrierman working for the Ledbury Hunt attacking one of their group. SHOCKING video footage allegedly shows a fox-hunter punching and kicking a protester as he lies on the ground [right]. The clip shows masked members of the Bristol Hunt Saboteurs clashing with men they claim were part of the Ledbury Hunt after they had allegedly chased a fox into a badger sett. Video posted online by hunt saboteurs shows a clash with men, who the protesters claim work for theLedburyFHterriermanattackssab28-12-16.jpg Ledbury Hunt.

The scuffle was caught on video that was apparently filmed yesterday in Castlemorton, Worcs. Video shows one man with his face covered by a scarf approach the group and suddenly leap towards an activist. A second clip allegedly shows the same man – now with his face visible – looming over a sab on the floor and repeatedly punching him. He can then be seen kicking out, before running away when horses and huntsmen appear in the field. It is not clear what happened between the two sections of film as the edited video posted on Facebook goes dark in the middle. The footage is said to have been filmed during the Castlemorton meet in Worcestershire at around midday yesterday.

Saboteurs allege the hunt was attempting to “put a fox up” and digging around a “large badger sett where a fox had taken refuge” – but this was not caught on camera. The attacker is seen swinging a final kick before running away in the shocking video footage. The national Hunt Saboteurs Association is appealing for information about the identity of the alleged terrierman to pass to West Mercia Police.

A spokesman for the group said: “Hunt saboteurs were attacked by terriermen from the Ledbury Hunt at their LedburyFHterriermanafterattackingsab28-12-16.jpgCastlemorton meet on Wednesday, December 28. The unprovoked attack happened after hounds from the Hunt had chased a fox into a badger sett. Sabs intervened to save the fox and were attacked by the hunt employees. This footage clearly shows the unprovoked attack on sabs by one of the terriermen. He throws a sab to the ground, punches them repeatedly and kicks out at other sabs nearby. We are asking for help to identify this man so that we can pass the information to the police. If you know who he is please pm us on Facebook or contact Bristol saboteurs directly via the email address on the video.”

West Mercia Police said: “We are aware of video footage being circulated and officers are investigating to establish the circumstances and who was involved. No arrests have been made.”

The Ledbury Hunt has been approached for a comment. According to its website the Ledbury Hunt can be traced back to 1846 and rides around Ledbury on the Hereford and Gloucestershire border. The page states: “Prior to the ban on hunting the purpose of taking hounds out was to control the fox population. Foxes do a lot of damage to young livestock and poultry. “In a normal season hounds used to account for an average of 60 brace, equivalent to about two foxes for each hunting day. Until the ban on hunting can be overturned hounds will be encouraged to hunt a false trail and sport will continue to be provided using the various exemptions allowed within the law.”

POWAperson adds - It is a welcome change to see the Sun covering hunt brutality these days. The story was also picked up by the Daily Mail, BBC News, the Mirror, the Bristol Post and the Gloucs Echo.

28-12-16    Facebook - Bristol Sabs    LEDBURY HUNT FAIL TO KILL FOXES AND LAUNCH ATTACK ON SABS   We paid a visit to the Ledbury Hunt today, who met at the Robin Hood Inn, Castlemorton. Shortly after 12 o'clock the Hunt left the meet, with a large number of field and car followers in tow. Sabs announced our arrival by briefly taking the pack from the Huntsman who had putLedburyFHTwoterriermenbeatupsab28-12-16.jpg them into a thicket in an attempt to put up a fox. After a quick spin in our vehicles to get ahead of them, we came across them working through a wood and on our approach the Huntsman took the hounds and shot off.

Sabs kept on the Hunt and again caught up with Huntsman, Mark Melladay, who had now changed from his redcoat into black in an attempt to avoid detection. Sabs stayed close as he encouraged the hounds through thick gorse on Castlemorton Common (a trail through there, really?!), before taking off with them at speed as they got on a scent and went into cry. We quickly caught up in our vehicles and followed the Huntsman and hounds along the road, no longer in cry.

After some doubling back and forth, sabs located the Huntsman off his horse with hounds in a wood, never a good sign. Sabs went in to investigate and when the Huntsman realised he had company, left the wood with the hounds and headed back to his horse. Upon reaching the edge of the wood it became clear what was going on, with a number of masked terrierboys hanging around a large badger sett where a fox had taken refuge. Being caught up to no good, they immediately tried to get sabs away from the area, launching an unprovoked attack on them. A few sabs have been left injured. Watch this space for updates.

Despite this attack, we decided to carry on with the Huntsman, with others checking back at the sett shortly afterwards and finding the terrierboys filling in holes they had been digging, before leaving the area. For the rest of the day it was cat and mouse with the Huntsman and hounds, who was never keen to stick around in any one place for long with sabs always on his tail. After a few attempts to lose us, it wasn't long before he was again drawing through the gorse and scrub on the Common, using his voice to encourage hounds through and to put a fox up. Sabs stuck close by and after drawing a few blanks, the Huntsman gathered the pack in fading light before heading back to box up. If the Ledbury Hunt and their terrierboys think violence will stop us from protecting hunted wildlife, they can think again! We'll be seeing you...

Wardens from the Malvern Hills Conservators (the organisation which manages the Malvern Hills and the Commons around it) were also in the area today. This appeared to make the Hunt less keen to spend time on the Common and hills as they did at this same meet last year, when they hunted a fox right up onto the hills. Despite being in the area, none of the wardens were present when the dig out of the badger sett or attack on sabs took place, nor did they appear to intervene when the huntsman was blatantly drawing scrub on the common to put up a fox. A Facebook page has recently been set up to expose the Ledbury Hunt's actions on the Malvern Hills and to encourage the Conservators to ban them from hunting on it. We would ask those of you who are local or who use the hills to give it your support.

  

Groups press for Scottish hunting ban to be strengthened

26-12-16     BBC News   Campaigners call for end to Boxing Day hunts   Animal-rights groups want the Scottish government to make this year's Boxing Day hunts the last to take place. The plea by the League Against Cruel Sports and One Kind comes after a review by Lord Bonomy who said fox hunting laws should be changed. He concluded that the current rules were "unduly complicated".

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham [left] said Lord Bonomy's findings were being considered "carefully" and would be responded to early in 2017. The Scottish Countryside Alliance, which represents hunts, accused LACS of "peddling lies" about foxhunting in Scotland. Boxing Day is a traditional time to hold hunts in the UK with the pro-RoseannaCunninghamMSP.jpghunting Countryside Alliance claiming that more than 200,000 people attend such events. The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 saw fox hunting with dogs banned. The law stated that a person who deliberately hunted a wild mammal with a dog was committing an offence. An exception was made when dogs can be used to stalk or flush out a fox to be shot in the interests of pest control, protecting livestock or ground-nesting birds. That prompted mounted Hunts in Scotland to be offered to farmers, landowners and estate managers as a form of pest or fox control. Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said a response to Lord Bonomy's findings would be made in early 2017

Lord Bonomy's report concluded there were grounds to suspect "there may be occasions when hunting, which does not fall within one of the exceptions, does take place" and recommended further clarification of the law as well as independent hunt monitors. Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, believed the "ball is now firmly in the Scottish government's court". He added "Public opinion in Scotland wants to see fox hunting banned, the government thought they had banned it, but as our evidence, Lord Bonomy and Police Scotland have revealed, Hunts are running a coach and horses through the current legislation. "In short, the law isn't fit for purpose and, in keeping with the commitments made by the first minister to strengthen the law if it were necessary, we look to the government to do that by November 2017 - in time to stop next year's hunting season."

The organisation said nearly 10,000 people had signed an online petition calling for Ms Cunningham to take speedy action. Harry Huyton, director of OneKind, echoed Mr Marsland's plea and asked the Scottish government to "act as early as possible in 2017". Ms Cunningham said the Holyrood administration recognised concerns around the current legislation and that was why Lord Bonomy was asked to carry out the review. She added: "Back in 2002, Scotland led the way in addressing animal-welfare concerns and we remain committed to ensuring the highest levels of welfare for our wild animals. "We will now carefully consider the findings with a view to responding early in 2017. Any ensuing proposals for legislative change will be subject to the normal consultation processes."

The Scottish Countryside Alliance said the Bonomy review was "absolutely supportive" of the principle of using packs of hounds to flush to guns. Its director, Jamie Stewart, said: "The League Against Cruel Sports team should try reading the review before commenting on it. Just because the proposals they made have been so comprehensively rejected is no excuse for so seriously misrepresenting the review. "I find Mr Marsland's tactics hugely disrespectful to Lord Bonomy and his team. LACS are obviously in disagreement with his recommendations to the Scottish government and have taken to paying for propaganda to try and influence the mind of the cabinet secretary and members of the Scottish parliament. "Mr Marsland continues to peddle LACS lies over the timeline of events and the contents of his heavily edited footage, which despite drawing on hundreds of hours of secretly filmed footage, failed to show any illegal action."

  

League claims Hunting Act broken 17,000 times every season

26-12-16   Daily Mirror   Hunting laws broken 200,000 times since ban came into force as Boxing day hunts held   Animal rights campaigners have suggested illegal hunting incidents take place 17,000 times a year. Huntsmen and women have broken the law 200,000 times since hunting with dogs was banned nearly 12 years ago, a charity has said. As fox hunts across the country gather for their Boxing Day meets, animal rights campaigners suggested illegal hunting incidents take place 17,000 times a year.

Hunt supporters claim 250,000 people will join one of 300 meets today. But, warning the Government against any attempt to bring back the hated ­blood sport, the League Against Cruel Sports revealed polls show a massive 84% of voters want to keep the ban. The 2015 Tory election ­manifesto pledged to offer MPs a free vote on bringing back fox hunting. But an Ipsos Mori survey for the League, shows 81% of people in PM Theresa May’s own constituency of Maidenhead, Berks, are opposed to any return. Eduardo Goncalves, of the League, said: “The polling and projections highlight just how out of touch any move to repeal the hunting ban would be. Generally only dictators would dream of pushing through a policy against that level of public opposition, so we hope our Government will respect the will of the people. The Boxing Day hunts are portrayed as a glorious pageant taking place in front of a huge number of people who support them, but the truth is very different. Just because families might venture out on Boxing Day to see the hunt, stroke the dogs or watch the horses, doesn’t mean they support repealing a law to enable the hunt to chase and kill wild animals with their dogs for sport.”

Using reports from hunt monitors, the League estimates an average of 17,000 illegal hunting incidents a year since the ban was ­introduced in February 2005. The animal welfare charity claimed that “most of the hunts” in England and Wales have been hunting illegally by abusing exemptions and using the “false alibi” of trail hunting. Mr Goncalves said: “Hunts now claim to ‘trail hunt’, but this is a false alibi used to continue to hunt, providing excuses for ‘accidental kills’.” He called on MPs to “put the issue to bed once and for all, and instead of repealing the Hunting Act, strengthen it to ensure it fulfils the true spirit of why it was originally passed – to protect wild animals”.

But the pro-hunting Countryside ­Alliance dismissed the estimate of 200,000 breaches of the law. Chief executive Tim Bonner said: “This is an entirely irresponsible claim which highlights the increasing desperation of the anti-hunt movement.”

  

Farage joins Old Surrey FH at Boxing Day meet as usual

26-12-16   Daily Mirror    Nigel Farage enjoys 11am pint in yellow trousers as he joins the Boxing Day Hunt    The bloodsport-loving ex-Ukip leader grinned with a pre-11am pint as the debate rages over hunting withNigelFarageatOldSurreyFHB.Day2016.jpg dogs. Nigel Farage has become this year's first major politician to break cover and join crowds at the Boxing Day Hunt. Boxing Day is still a celebration for hunters despite fox hunting being outlawed a decade ago under Labour. Hunts like today's are legal under several circumstances including, for example, if dogs follow a 'scent' not a fox, or if two dogs are used to "flush" a fox out from undergrowth.

But Hunts are constrained and campaigners like Mr Farage and David Cameron want to scrap the ban, despite 84% opposing fox hunting in a recent Ipsos MORI poll. Grinning Mr Farage was spotted with a plastic pint cup at 10.45am today at the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt's meeting at Chiddingstone Castle, Kent. He has previously accused Labour of "cynically trying to turn the issue into class warfare"

He is a regular spectator at Boxing Day hunts and in 2014 accused Labour of "cynically trying to turn the issue into class warfare". Other politicians are less keen for their love of bloodsports to be widely known. A rare photo emerged last year of a fox-hunting David Cameron, who quit the sport when he became Tory leader in 2005. And a rather rude picture on social media today suggested not everyone welcomed Mr Farage with open arms [right]. The annual celebration of hunting reignited MarkBycroftOSBWKFHHuntsmanHowdareyou...JPGthe row over Labour's Hunting Act. Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance, said the ban was a "political" attack on people perceived as being "posh and privileged".

He said the law unfairly singled out hunt-lovers while allowing foxes to be killed in other ways. But Eduardo Goncalves, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, told the BBC: "I'm sure fraudsters and burglars find some of the laws against them rather inconvenient." The League claims huntsmen and women have broken the law 200,000 times since the ban despite just a handful of prosecutions. Mr Bonner dismissed the claim as "entirely irresponsible". Shadow environment secretary Rachael Maskell said it was "absolutely clear" the British public do not want a return to hunting. "The Tories must not try and sneak hunting back on to the parliamentary agenda when it is so clear that people up and down this country don't support it," she said.

POWAperson adds -  Mark Bycroft [right], the Old Surrey FH Huntsman, who is said to be a mate of Farage, has two convictions for assaulting sabs. He has also been accused of illegal hunting on several occasions. Police are currently investigating him and the Hunt in relation to the alleged killing of a fox on November 3rd, after public pressure induced them to reopen the case, which Kent police had dropped without interviewing witnesses.   

  

Poll registers support for Hunting Act at new high - 84%

26-12-16    Independent   Public opposition to Fox hunting hits all-time high, latest poll finds    Opposition to fox hunting has risen to historic levels, with the latest poll finding an all-time high number of Britons opposed to the activity. A full 84 per cent of the public now believe fox hunting should not be made legal again, as enthusiasts take to horseback to exploit loopholes in the hunting ban on Boxing Day.

Despite the growing public opposition to hunting, it was reported in September that Theresa May is planning to pushEduardoGoncalvesLACS.jpg ahead with a vote on repealing the Hunting Act in Parliament, a pledge included in last year’s Conservative election manifesto. The reported planned of lifting of the ban was branded “out of touch” by campaigners, who said that such an overwhelmingly unpopular policy would only be considered in a dictatorship.

Eduardo Goncalves [right], the chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, which commissioned the poll, said families that went out to watch the apparent “glorious pageant” of a fox hunt on Boxing Day did not necessarily support lifting the ban on hunting foxes. “The polling and projections highlight just how out of touch any move to repeal the hunting ban would be. Generally only dictators would dream of pushing through a policy against that level of public opposition so we hope our government will respect the will of the people,” he said. “The Boxing Day hunts are portrayed as a glorious pageant taking place in front of a huge number of people who support them, but the truth is very different. The fact is 84 per cent of the public do not want fox hunting made legal. Just because families might venture out on Boxing Day to see the hunt, stroke the dogs or watch the horses, doesn’t mean they support repealing a law to enable the hunt to chase and kill wild animals with their dogs for sport. It’s more likely that most don’t realise that despite the ban, many of these hunts are still actively hunting and chasing foxes, and wouldn’t give them their support if they did. Or perhaps they just want to get outside and get some fresh air before cabin fever sets in.”

The poll, which has been conducted annually by Ipsos MORI for a number of years to gauge support on the issue, shows a small increase in support compared to 2015, when 83 per cent of the public said they did not support lifting the ban. The pollsters also used Office for National Statistics (ONS) data to gauge whether a participant in the poll lived in a rural area – and found that opposition to fox hunting is growing in such places – 82 per cent of people AndreaLeadsomwithGraftonFH.jpgliving in rural areas were found to oppose fox hunting, with attitudes having broadly come into line with people living in urban areas in the last few years. Other bloodsports monitored by the annual poll were also as unpopular as ever, with the ban on deer hunting and hare coursing supported by 88 per cent and 91 per cent of people respectively. Drag hunting, where hounds are trained to follow an artificial trail, is legal, but anti-hunt campaigners claim illegal hunting of foxes has continued, including at large organised Boxing Day hunts.

The Countryside Alliance, which support fox hunting, argued that the Hunting Act was not stopping hunts. It released figures showing that 423 people had been prosecuted under the Act since its introduction and that 94 per cent of them had been for on unregistered Hunts. The organisation’s chief executive Tim Bonner said: “Our figures demonstrate unequivocally that the Hunting Act lies in tatters. The problem with the Act is that over the past two years all those prosecuted under the Act have had nothing to do with 'hunts'. “The law that was supposed to have got rid of hunts is now being used as little more than a vehicle to harass them.”

The Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom [left] said during her failed campaign for Conservative party leader that she would bring back fox hunting. “I would absolutely commit to holding a vote to repeal the hunting ban. It has not proven to be in the interests of animal welfare whatsoever,” Ms Leadsom said in July of this year. “I do believe we need a proper licensed regime which works much better and is more focused on animal welfare.”

  

Hunting Act repeal vote 'very unlikely' in this Parliament

Leadsom says not enough time, CA acknowledge won't happen

25-12-16   Daily Telegraph   Vote to legalise hunting 'very unlikely' before 2020   A vote to legalise hunting in England and Wales is unlikely to be held before 2020 because of opposition from nearly every Scottish MP and a lack of Parliamentary time. Pro-hunting campaigners have conceded that it is “is very unlikely” that Ministers will deliver the manifesto pledge after Scottish National Party MPs voted against the plan last year. Andrea Leadsom [left], the Environment secretary, has also privately down played the chances of a vote before 2020 because of the amount of time needed to debate Britain leaving the European Union.

AndreaLeadsomwithGraftonFH.jpgThe news emerged as hunts across the UK on Boxing Day are expected to attract more than 250,000 spectators. There were hopes of a free vote when Mrs Leadsom was put in charge of the environment department - which is in charge of the hunting policy - because she pledged to hold a vote during her aborted leadership campaign. She said in the summer that hunting was “absolutely not proven to be in the interest of animal welfare whatsoever” and there was a “need to exterminate vermin, which foxes are”.

However, in recent weeks Mrs Leadsom has told friends that a vote is unlikely because of the sheer volume of time MPs and peers will have to devote to Brexit could mean there is no time in Parliament to have the vote. She told friends that the pledge for a Commons vote was broken in the last Tory Government between 2010 and 2015 and could now happen again because of time pressures from Brexit.

Mrs Leadsom said: There were issues around parliamentary time such as legislative priorities - we are leaving the EU. There is a huge amount of demands, so I think if you have a manifesto commitment then you do your best. There are issues that we have had in the manifesto and parliamentary time has not been available.” Mrs Leadsom also denied that she was “pro-hunting”, telling friends that it was “absolutely not” the case. MPs and peers debate spent 300 hours debating whether to join the European Economic Community in 1972 and far more time is expected to be required for Brexit because the UK and EU are far more integrated. Alongside Mrs Leadsom, other ministers Therese Coffey and George Eustice have both backed relaxing the ban and Lord Gardiner is a former deputy chief executive of the Countryside Alliance...

Pro-fox hunting campaigners said they had resigned themselves to not having the vote before 2020. Tim Bonner, the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “As long as the SNP MPs are intent on voting on an issue that does not affect Scotland, and only in England and Wales, then the Parliamentary mathematics make it very unlikely that the Government would want to return to this issue. Whilst we are not happy about that we have to understand it.”

Last year’s Conservative party manifesto 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.” A proposal to weaken the ban in England in the months after last year’s general election was dropped after the SNP said its MPs would vote against in the summer, despite the vote only covering England and Wales. Ahead of that vote the Government had written to every Conservative MP, urging them to back changes to the law on hunting in England and Wales. However the vote was pulled after it emerged that as many as 50 Tory MPs might defy ministers and fail to back the plans.

  

Melbreak FH hide fallen hound's corpse under pile of stones

24-12-16   Lancaster Sabs   Cumbria Hunt Watch Press release 22/12/16 - Foxhound which died after falling from steep crag – hidden under stones by hunt    Cumbria Hunt Watch monitors were saddened today to witness a foxhound from the Melbreak hunt die after falling from a steep sided crag at Honister in Cumbria. A group of eight hounds were running towards Honister Quarry when they suddenly turned and attempted to workMelbreakFHFallenhoundscorpsehiddenwithstonesby22-12-16.jpg their way up the very steep sloping scree and crags around Honister; a route which could clearly not have been part of any trail. There is no doubt in the monitors minds that the hounds were chasing a fox. The hounds struggled for some time while hunt officials made no attempt to call the hounds down. One hound was then seen to fall around forty feet before bouncing and then coming to a stop. It remained on the ground not moving.

A monitor from Cumbria Hunt Watch advised the Hunt what had happened but received a casual response. The Master of the Hunt started to call the hounds down, but appeared to have no control. The Huntsman then tried to call the hounds up – a dangerous and irresponsible act, given that one had already fallen to its death. So unconcerned are these people by the life of an animal they didn't even notice until told by a hunt monitor. When monitors went to investigate they discovered a hunt official had attempted to conceal the dog [right]; he had left it there and covered it in rocks, leaving it to decompose on the side of the fell in a water course.

Cumbria Hunt Watch have made a formal complaint to Trading Standards (who deal with carcasses left in the open). Although this did not happen on National Trust land, please contact the National Trust who still facilitate the Melbreak Foxhounds maintenance of a hunting pack by granting them a licence allowing them unhindered access to vast tracks of National Trust land. The National Trust in Cumbria have been advised for years about the suspicious behaviour of the Melbreak Foxhounds but still refuse to ban them from National Trust land. Cumbria Hunt Watch believes this is a deceitful insult to the millions of National Trust members opposed to hunting. Without the disgraceful support of the National Trust and other large landowners, hunting packs such as the Melbreak Foxhounds would no longer be able to continue. Cumbria Hunt Watch would now like to know exactly how the Melbreak hunt 'dispose' of the retired dogs which they claim are no longer of any use. Perhaps Tim Bonner could tell us – he's a great supporter of the Melbreak Email National Trust: borrowdale@nationaltrust.org.uk Phone 017687 74649.

POWAperson comments - The incident is emblematic of the contempt Hunts consistently demonstrate towards the hounds they purport to love. They are nothing more to them than disposable tools of their sick and perverse trade. See this POWA website page for further illustrations and analysis. 

  

Prominent Tory pro-hunter tries to 'banish' Blue Foxes

24-12-16   Times    Tories urged to sever ties with secretive anti-hunting group    A secretive Conservative anti-hunting group that has received tens of thousands of pounds in donations from unnamed sources should be banished from the party, a former solicitor- general has demanded. Sir Edward Garnier, QC [right], has written to the Tory chairman, Sir Patrick McLoughlin, urging him to sever ties with Conservatives Against Fox Hunting and prevent it from using the party’s name and logo. 

The League Against Cruel Sports gave the group’s founder and her husband a free hotel room at a Tory conferenceEdwardGarnierQC.jpg in spite of rules preventing charities from supporting political parties. The Charity Commission said yesterday that it would look into the gift of accommodation as part of its review of the League’s conduct. Sir Edward warned that the Conservative pressure group’s apparent lack of financial transparency and its connections with anti-Tory activism risked damaging the party’s reputation. Conservatives Against Fox Hunting (CAFH) has received tens of thousands of pounds from undisclosed sources, according to Companies House accounts, since it was created in 2010 to stop David Cameron legalising hunting.

The organisation has attracted prominent patrons, including Tracey Crouch [left], the sport minister, Caroline Dinenage, the equality minister, and the backbench MPs Dominic Raab, Sir David Amess and Sir Roger Gale. It was founded by Lorraine Platt, an artist whose husband, Chris Platt, has been chairman and president of Mr Raab’s Esher and Walton Conservative Association.

TraceyCrouchMPToryanti.jpgIn 2010 the League Against Cruel Sports provided a hotel room for the Platts at Mr Cameron’s first Tory conference as prime minister in Birmingham. Ms Platt has since become a trustee and vice-chairwoman of the League. CAFH’s accounts for 2013 show that it received £10,000 from an unnamed “animal welfare charity”. The league and the RSPCA told The Times that neither of them was the donor. In a 13-day period after Mr Cameron’s election victory last year, when he promised a free vote on hunting, CAFH received two gifts of £10,000 each. None of the donations has been formally declared to the Electoral Commission, which requires political party members’ organisations to identify their donors. CAFH said that it complied with all rules.

Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, urged the commission yesterday to look into the funding. Sir Edward complained that “there is a complete lack of transparency regarding the finances of CAFH”. He pointed out that Ms Platt was the sole shareholder and said that there was no “accountability on how these sums of money have been spent”. Sir Edward also expressed concerns about the close relationship of the group “to organisations that campaign against the Conservative Party”.

The League Against Cruel Sports, which stages joint events with CAFH at Tory conferences, was criticised by the Charity Commission for anti-Tory statements before the 2010 and 2015 elections. The Badger Trust, which has worked with CAFH on campaigns to save badgers and fox cubs, was reprimanded by the charity regulator for unlawful campaigning against the Conservatives.

Sir Edward wrote: “The Conservative Party needs, I suggest, to consider whether or not it is comfortable with a close relationship between groups that market themselves as the animal welfare arm of the Conservative Party and LorrainePlatt.jpgcharities that are keen to campaign against the Conservative Party.”

A spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “In 2010, due to last-minute staff illness, the League had a spare room at a suburban hotel at Conservative Party conference which could not be cancelled. Rather than wasting supporters’ money by leaving it empty, we offered it to two volunteers from Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, with whom we were co-hosting an event. We didn’t cover any of CAFH’s costs at that conference or any following conferences, and we have not made any donations to CAFH.”

CAFH said that the claims against it were nonsense. “Conservatives Against Fox Hunting have complied with all the rules. We are a campaign group within the Conservative Party representing members and MPs advocating the case for retaining the Hunting Act 2004. The attacks on us are a baseless smear.”

The Conservatives said that CAFH was not affiliated to the party. Using the slogan “Don’t run with the pack”, Conservatives Against Fox Hunting burst into politics after David Cameron entered Downing Street threatening to bring back bloodsports. The pressure group, whose supporters are known as Blue Foxes, was launched with a fringe debate at Mr Cameron’s first Tory conference as prime minister, in 2010. It was founded by Lorraine Platt [right], an artist. “How can we influence other countries’ policies on bullfighting or whaling if we reverse a ban that was put in place to prevent cruelty?” she asked. Brian May, the Queen guitarist and animal rights campaigner, has hailed the members as his heroes. The support of a couple of dozen Tory MPs, including the sports minister Tracey Crouch, has helped tilt the parliamentary balance against hunting.

  

Public pressure makes police reopen Old Surrey FH fox kill case

23-12-16    Facebook – HSA   After public protest, Kent Police have re-opened their investigation against the Old Surrey, Burstow & West Kent Hunt, accused of illegally hunting, ending in the killing of a fox on 3/11/16. Big thanks to all who helped with the campaign to get this case properly investigated.

OldSurreyBurstowFoxkilledby3-12-16.jpg16-12-16  Facebook – N.Downs Sabs    Police give green light to animal cruelty in Kent   We have yesterday learned that Kent police's Investigation Management Unit led by a DI and a DS have decided not to report the Surrey and Burstow and West Kent FH for killing this fox on 3-12-16 at Chiddingstone.

We have made one very brief statement and given them a number of videos (some not in the public domain), but at no stage have the DI or DS contacted the witnesses or discussed the content of the videos with us. The Huntsman has lied about where he was, stated the fox was dead when the hounds ripped it apart when it was very much alive and lied about the number of sabs there and their actions.

Please can everybody complain and demand that Kent police carry out a serious investigation into this obvious case of illegal killing by a fox hunt (a dead body is usually the traditional start of a police investigation) , and interview the witnesses (Sabs ) present, review the videos and interview members of the Hunt, otherwise all they are doing is giving their approval for hunts to kill animals illegally without fear of prosecution! Please contact (keep polite please) the following sites and people and make your views known to Kent police:- http://www.twitter.com/kent_police    https://www.instagram.com/kentpoliceuk/?hl=en    https://www.kent.police.uk/ http://www.kent-pcc.gov.ukLatest

Latest tweet from Kent police, 17-12-16. They claim that a full investigation has taken place, but they haven't contacted any of the witnesses. Kent police tweet saying they have 'exhausted all initial inquiries'. How can they say that if they have not yet interviewed witnesses?

   

Sabs save fox as Surrey Union run hounds around blind road bend

23-12-16   Facebook – Guildford Sabs  VIDEO   Surrey Union hounds out of control on a busy road, and at a children's meet, what kind of example is this?

A separate tweet - @GuildfordSabs 23-12-16  This fox was saved from the cruelty of the Surrey Union Hunt today after we intervened.

See pics below.

POWAperson adds – The video clip shows a redcoat cantering towards a blind bend with hounds, one hound having gone ahead already, and cars coming round that bend.

   SurreyUnionFHHuntsmantainghoundsroundablindroadbend23-12-16.jpg    SurreyUnionFHFoxfleeinghounds23-12-16.jpg

  

Atherstone FH ignore landowners pleas to keep away from them

Riding school accident blamed on Huntsman blowing horn nearby

22-12-16   Facebook – W.Mids Sabs   VIDEO   How to make friends and influence people - by the Atherstone Hunt -   Atherstone Hunt Tuesday 13th, Saturday 17th and Tuesday 20th -   We continue to be out with the Atherstone twice a week, every week. The Atherstone continue to be without a terrier-man and a proper Whipper-In. They continue to finish early and continue to average around 10 riders. Tensions within the Hunt areAtherstoneFHLandownertellingHunttoFOffhisland13-12-16.jpg noticeable and Huntsman Stuart Barton is losing his temper a lot. They continue to trespass on land they are not allowed to go on and more and more landowners are coming forward and contacting us saying they have had enough of the Hunt.

On the 13th, we came across one landowner shouting at Huntsman Barton for going on land he'd told him not to go on. We heard him shout “I told you not to go on that fucking land” [right]. On the 17th, we heard Barton being shouted at by another landowner. This landowner later sent us the letter below, asking the Hunt to keep away from his property so as not to disturb his riding school. Huntsman Barton deliberately went as close as he could to the riding school and blew his hunting horn to disrupt the lessons.

We've had several landowners in the same area contact us about the Hunt. A few days after we exposed 'This Is AtherstoneFHSupporter_sabsshouldbeshot17-12-16.jpgHunting UK' vice chairman Brett Parker as a violent individual who wanted to give sabs a good hiding, John Osbourne, 'This Is Hunting UK' committee member for Buckinghamshire, was out supporting the Atherstone and told one sab that he thought all sabs should be shot [left]. It seems 'This Is Hunting UK' is a rather violent organisation with extreme views.

The Atherstone Hunt have yet again broken MFHA guidelines, this time regarding landowners. How often will the MFHA keep turning a blind eye to the actions of the Atherstone Hunt? We will be having a Boxing Day demonstration against the Atherstone Hunt in Market Bosworth starting at 10am.

We will continue to be out with the Atherstone twice a week, please help towards our costs so that we can continue to keep a persistent sab presence.

----------------------

Dear...

I have spent many years of asking that the Atherstone Hunt avoid causing safety issues for horses, handlers and riders by keeping right away from Withybrook Stables and surrounding land. The presence and sounds of many horses, hounds and huntsmans' horns whips our horses into a frenzy, causing them to panic, risking injury to valuable horses and our staff and customers. Of all times, I have asked you keep away on Saturdays, when we have many lessons booked for children and novice riders - also when winter conditions allow continued grazing paddocks as current warm conditions prevent us from housing horses indoors. On one occasion, your hounds actually found their way into a children's lesson in amongst the horses, potentially causing a huge risk of accident.

You continually disregard my communications and ignore my requests, indeed if I had not discovered your plans for this coming Saturday 17th Dec (by chance), to meet in the Lane we run our business from, I would not have known, as you do not even bother to notify us at all.

I am particularly incensed that you returned my call yesterday stating " that I was lying about Arron phoning me on Tuesday morning and saying I said it was OK , I certainly did not speak to Arron, as I was not even here on Tuesday - I left here at 6.am for a meeting in South Yorkshire from which I returned at 2.30pm .I do not appreciate your inference that I lie about this . Should you continue your planned activity and an incident occurs, I will provide my insurers /authorities/press with a copy of this letter to you as an official of the Atherstone Hunt.

Your faithfully,     Withybrook Equestrian Centre and Riding School.

The writer adds -  Following this letter, the Hunt totally ignored this warning. They proceeded to hunt within 50metres of our indoor School, where a rider fell off in a lesson due to the horses being startled by the sound of the Huntsman blowing his horn. Fortunately, she was not seriously injured. This surely is a most arrogant action. Why should people in rural areas suffer this illegal activity?

                                      

Petition launched to keep hunting PC away from policing Hunts

21-12-16    Daily Mail    Calls for policewoman to be investigated over video footage of her facing hunt saboteurs during a clash with activists despite being off duty    Animal rights activists are calling for a police officer to investigated for 'misusing her professional powers' after a video of her facing down fox hunting saboteurs went viral. Off duty PC Claire Ford was understood to be alongside the Cheshire Forest Hunt when it clashed with activists who disrupted the ride. When the protesters allegedly strayed from the public bridleway and onto private land, PC Ford came over and identified herself as an officer and escorted them off. A video - which has been watched more than 35,000 times on social media - shows her claiming their actions are a 'breach of the peace' and warning protesters her 'colleagues' are nearby.

A petition has been launched calling Cheshire Police to take action against the officer, accusing her of 'acting as private security' and 'misusing her professional powers'. The force confirmed it 'referred' the matter to the professional standards department after receiving a 'number' of complaints. A spokesperson for the Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs said: 'We believe that as an officer of the law, PC 5336 Claire Ford, should have no involvement in policing fox hunts due to her clear conflict of interest on this issue. We also believe that Cheshire Police should demand that she has no involvement with fox hunting whatsoever, be that on duty or off duty. Nor should she have any role in policing the forthcoming badger cull that may be rolled out to Cheshire. We would like Cheshire Police toCheshireForestFHPCClaireFordhunts10-12-16.jpg make a stand against cruelty and call into question the actions of PC 5336 Claire Ford and any other supposed officers of the law within their force who are directly or indirectly involved with hunting.'

The Hunt gathered at a pub in Sandbach, Cheshire, where they were met by saboteurs and monitors from three anti-hunting groups, on December 10. But it is understood they clashed nearby when the activists entered private land and PC Ford - accompanied by the farmer - approached them and told them to leave. A video captured by the activists shows her saying: 'I'm here as a breach of the peace [sic]. My colleagues are just around the corner.' She is asked: 'Are you a policewoman?' and she answered: 'Yeah I'm an off duty police officer I'm just making sure', before identifying her collar number.She then added: 'Stop, stop, stop, stop - all they've asked you to do is leave' and continues to march towards them. She is challenged and told she 'can't' but she adds: 'I can...it's a breach of the peace' and 'why are you spouting the law at me?'

POWAperson comments - The Mail seems to have missed the central point of the story here, which is that the sabs claim that the Cheshire Forest FH hunt illegally and, presumably, PC Ford would be aware of this. She is the latest in a line of police officers revealed to go out with Hunts who sabs/monitors claim break the Hunting Act, including at least one who had been appointed as a Wildlife Officer.

Change.org – Cheshire Sabs     PC 5336 Claire Ford to have no role policing fox hunting or be present, on or off duty     We believe that as an officer of the law, PC 5336 Claire Ford, should have no involvement in policing fox hunts due to her clear conflict of interest on this issue, we also believe that Cheshire Police should demand that she has no involvement with fox hunting whatsoever, be that on duty or off duty, nor should she have any role in policing the forthcoming badger cull that may be rolled out to Cheshire.

PC 5336 Claire Ford was photographed on Saturday the 10th of December supporting the Cheshire Forest Hunt as a passenger on a quad bike, then filmed acting as private security for the hunt by misusing her professional powers in a matter of civil law. It is common knowledge that there are many officers of the law involved in fox hunting all over the country, either directly, as is the case with PC 5336 Claire Ford, who is known to ride with the hunt, or indirectly, in the way of supporting them from the roadside etc.

How are we meant to trust these supposed law enforcement officers to uphold the law when they toe a very fine line between lawful and unlawful activities themselves? We would like Cheshire Police to make a stand against cruelty and call into question the actions of PC 5336 Claire Ford and any other supposed officers of the law within their force who are directly or indirectly involved with hunting.

  

Surrey Union FH chase fox across a road

20-12-16   Facebook – N.Downs Sabs   Mission 34 - Surrey Union, Ranmore Common, Dorking, Tuesday 20-SurreyUnionFH20-12-16.jpg12-16   Following a tip off, one of the Guildford Sabs found the Surrey Union hunt at Ranmore Common following their usual pattern of blatant illegal hunting midweek, when they don't expect sabs and the police don't turn up.

The message went out and other sabs turned out as soon as they finished work. The sabs were always close on the Hunt and, about 2.45 (when most of the photos were taken), the hounds went into full cry and chased a fox across the road. The sabs stayed with them and, fortunately, they lost it. The rest of the afternoon, until they packed, was spent collecting up their scattered pack, this taking longer than usual as the Huntsman was not present and the pack was being hunted by the whipper-in Luke Newton, whose efforts seemed somewhat amateurish. The small team of sabs then retired to the pub.

   


Female sab struck on head by Eggesford FH farmer supporter

19-12-16   Exeter Express & Echo   Video appears to show hunt saboteur assaulted on a Devon farm   An online video of a confrontation between saboteurs and members of a hunt appears to show a woman saboteur being EggesfordFHFemalesabstruckinheadbyfarrmersupporter17-12-16.jpgassaulted at a Devon farm. The 87-second video was posted by the Devon County Hunt Saboteurs group on its Facebook page. The group claims the incident happened at Crooke Burnell, North Tawton, during a meet of the Eggesford Hunt on Saturday.

The video shows footage of a cameraman and the woman being confronted by a rider, who tells them to leave the land as it is private. The pair agree to leave, and are followed by riders along a track to a farmyard, where a man appears on foot. He swears at them and appears to strike the woman on the back of the head. There was no response to calls from the Echo leaving messages at a contact number for the hunt and at the hunt kennels at Wembworthy, near Chulmleigh. A message was also left at the farm where the incident was said to have happened. No one was available from the Devon County Hunt Saboteurs to discuss the incident.

The video starts with footage of a rider appearing through a gate on a track towards the camera. In the background, around a dozen riders, some wearing red jackets and some black, head down a track away from the camera towards a wind farm. The rider, a man EggesfordFHRiderspushingsabsdownfarmdrivebeforefarmerhitsfemalesab17-12-16.jpgwearing a black jacket and riding hat and carrying a horse whip, says: "Right, you're on private property, and you're not allowed on here, so please remove yourself." A woman replies: "We wondered whether it was, but we didn't see the sign." The rider says: "You're on private property, there's no footpath on this farm, so go back to the road now please." The woman responds: "I did wonder but there wasn't a sign saying private so we didn't know." The rider says: "Doesn't matter. It's a private farm, there's no footpath. Off now, please go." The woman replies OK, as more riders appear, with a man and woman on horseback flanking the first rider. A second male rider then approaches the camera and waves his hand, saying, "Go on, go on, you were asked to leave." The cameraman replies, "All right, all right, don't ride your horse at me." The first rider says, "You're on my farm and it's private property," as the cameraman replies, "We're leaving, we're leaving."

The footage shows the horses being ridden along the track, following a woman alongside the camera, as a horseman shouts, "Go, go," and the man replies, "Don't ride your EggesfordFHFarmersupporterwhohitfemalesabinhead17-12-16.jpghorses at us." The riders follow the cameraman  and the woman along the track [right], with a man on foot behind the two horses. A rider shouts again, "Go, go, let's go" and the cameraman replies, "We can't leave any quicker". Someone says, "You could run," and a voice shouts, "Come on hurry up", then the cameraman shouts in alarm as a horse comes close to the woman, who is wearing a scarf over the lower part of her face, as she walks alongside a breeze block wall. She says "Don't do that", as there are shouts of "Go on get off" and "Clear off", and the man and woman pass through a farm gate. The footage shows a farm yard with parked vehicles then a stocky middle aged man appears on foot, shouting, "Right get out then", as the man with camera says repeatedly, "We're leaving". The man on foot, wearing a flat cap, red jumper and khaki sleeveless jacket, and blue trousers tucked into wellington boots [right], runs towards the couple, shouting, "You're f***ing leaving all right". He shouts "get f***ing moving" and appears to strike the woman on the head [above left], then she screams and runs forward. The cameraman shouts, "Get off her," and the woman cries "Don't do that." the pair run from the yard as the man shouts, "Get the f*** out of here". The cameraman then shouts, "We'll be calling the police about that," and the footage ends as the pair walk along the road away from the farm.

The incident is said to involve Eggesford Hunt, on Saturday, December 17, and the location of the incident is given as Crooke Burnell, North Tawton. According to the website of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, Eggesford Hunt operates in around 400 square miles of Mid Devon, where records date back to 1858 when the land was hunted by Lord Portsmouth.

20-12-16   Daily Mail    'Get the f*** out of here': Hunt saboteurs say they were charged at by a horse in a foul-mouthed clash with riders and farmers    A shocking video shows a hunt saboteur clashing with riders and farmers before being charged at by a horse and bombarded with obscenities. Expletive-laden footage captured the entire violent confrontation at Crooke Burnell, NorthEggesfordFHHunterwaveswhipatsab17-12-16.jpg Tawton, Devon, which was sparked when a huntsman shouts at a cameraman and the woman to leave his private land.

The pair agree to depart but are escorted and followed by riders along a track to a farmyard where another man wearing a flat cap appears on foot. The huntsman then runs towards the couple, shouting, 'You're f****** leaving all right'. He then yells 'get f****** moving' and appears to strike the woman on the head. The victim screams and runs forward before the cameraman shouts, 'get off her,' and the woman cries 'don't do that.' The pair then run from the yard as the man shouts, 'get the f*** out of here'. The cameraman then warns that they will be contacting police and the 90 second footage ends as the pair walk along the road away from the farm. The pair agree to depart but are escorted and followed by riders along a track to a farmyard.

The group claims the incident happened during a meet of the Eggesford Hunt on Saturday. The video has been posted by the Devon County Hunt Saboteurs group on its Facebook page. No-one from the hunt, which is based at Wembworthy, near Chulmleigh, has so far been available to comment. According to the website of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, Eggesford Hunt operates in around 400 square miles of Mid Devon, where records date back to 1858 when the land was hunted by Lord Portsmouth.

POWAperson adds :-  Another Eggesford FH hunt-supporting farmer [though it could be the same man] was convicted of assaulting a sab and bound over in 2006.

  

Kent police drop investigation into Old Surrey FH fox kill

OldSurreyBurstowFoxkilledby3-12-16.jpg18-12-16   Facebook – Kent Live    Police reach dead end on probe after animal rights activists claim hounds illegally killed fox    Kent Police has revealed the trail has gone cold in a probe launched after animal rights activists claim they recorded a fox being illegally hunted to death [left]. The anti-hunt activists claim hounds hunting on December 3, at around 3.30pm, as the Old Surrey Burstow & West Kent Hunt "ripped apart" the fox which they claimed they took to a vet, but which later died. Their video shows the hounds on the top of the fox in woodland, understood to be near Oakenden Lane in Chiddingstone Hoath. The fox is then removed from the pack by a member of the Hunt Saboteurs Association. The Association reported the incident to Kent Police.

But one of the hunt's organisers, Mark Bycroft, said the hunt had been a legal trail hunt and up to nine scented tracks had been laid for the hounds to follow. He said because the saboteurs cause disruption to the trail hunt by using recordings and hunting horns to confuse the hounds, if any incident involving a fox had occurred it would have been their fault.

Police told Kent Live at the time officers would be meeting with the informant, but this afternoon Kent Police said "officers have exhausted all initial enquiries". A spokesman provided contact details for anyone to get in touch if they had more information.

                                      

S.Shropshire FH follower backs landy into passer-by's car

18-12-16    Facebook - Cheshire Sabs    Here we have "Mr Stupid" a South Shropshire Hunt supporter blocking the public highway, driving without due care and attention and reversing straight into a completely innocent road users vehicle. The footage speaks for itself!

   S.ShropshireFHfollowerreversesintopasserbyscar18-12-16.jpg  S.ShropshireFHfolloweranddriverwhosecarhebackedinto18-12-16.jpg

  

Sabs find remains of another fox killed by East Kent FH

17-12-16   Facebook – E.Kent Sabs     E.Kent with West Street Foxhounds kill another fox   7th December 2016 Burmarsh. They say lightning does not strike in the same place twice-well, it has struck the East Kent with West Street hunt 3 times now! It is the 3rd time in as many years that our group has passed video footage and other evidence to Kent police, concerning possible illegal hunting at this Hunt's Burmarsh meet.

On Weds 7th December, one of our group attended this meet to film any breaches of the Hunting Act 2004. Whilst the Hunt was meeting at Haugelands Farm, our member was positioning themselves in a location that would give the best view of the open marshland to be hunted. It wasn't long before the Hunt came into sight-on open land they could be seen taking hounds through ditches and reed beds, and any other cover where foxes are likely to be found. At the back of a campsite on a strip of brambles, the hounds were cast once more, then, some time later, the Huntsman was filmed off his horse and in amongst the hounds. This is usually a sign that the Huntsman has killed or retrieving hounds from an earth if they had marked a fox to ground. Our monitor continued filming until the Hunt was well out of sight, and again, the Hunt followed the same routine.

In the hours before and during the hunt, on open marsh land, our cameraman saw no trail being laid, and hounds being cast into cover as if the hunting ban did not exist…. A later attempt was made to inspect the rear of the campsite, but hunt followers returning home meant our monitor may have been spotted (last year, one of our monitors was caught filming at this meet, and was chased off by masked terrier men, who damaged his vehicle during the pursuit).

A decision to return in the morning was made, and, as our monitor searched the area where he had seen the Huntsman on foot, it became apparent that the Hunt had indeed killed there… In an area of flattened nettles, and hanging in some brambles was the remains of the fox. It had no tail and it's pelvis and rear end had been destroyed, and the rest of its body had puncture wounds. No doubt the Hunt will claim it was an “accident”, but isn't it time the police took a firm line against these flagrant abuses of the law? And as for the so called “free press”, stopped printing what the Hunt tells them they are doing and start investigating what the Hunts are actually doing?! Note-all footage and the evidence has been passed on to Kent police.

     E.KentFHRemainsoffoxkilledby7-12-16.jpg 

 


Coastguard rescue scramble to save IoW FH hound that went over cliff

17-12-16   Island Echo    Fox hound ‘over cliff’ prompts coastguard response    The Needles Coastguard Rescue Team responded to reports of a dog going over the cliff edge near Compton this afternoon (Saturday). At shortly before 13:40, Solent Coastguard received several calls from members of the public reporting that a dog had possibily gone over the cliff near Compton Farm on Military Road. It was reported there was no owner present. Arriving on the scene, Coastguard Officers established that the dog was a rouge fox hound that had become separated from a nearby meet. Thankfully, the hound managed to save itself from the cliff and proceeded East in the search of the rest of it’s pack, evading members of the Coastguard team and Police. The dog was last seen heading across land in close proximity to it’s pack, with huntsmen tracking it.

   

Monitors film Grafton FH hunting 3 foxes in meets 3 days apart

16-12-16    YouTube     Grafton Hunt chase three foxes over two days    Monitors filmed the Grafton Hunt chasing three foxes over two consecutive days' hunting. The Hunting Act must be strengthened to stop this happening - it urgently needs a recklessness clause to stop the distressing state of affairs which currently exists, almost 12 years after the ban came into force.

POWAperson adds:-  The first chase was filmed on 26-11 near Helmdon. Across a lake, a fox is seen running across a grass field. It is followed seconds later by hounds. The mounted Huntsman appears soon after. Three days later, at Potcote, an apparently beaten fox is seen fleeing across a field. Hounds soon emerge, following the same line, closely followed by Huntsman and riders. Hunters are told they're being filmed and it initially seems they are stopping hounds [though the offence has already been committed] but the Huntsman then leads hounds and field towards where the fox has gone, only to turn and come back to the road not long after. It is clear that the Grafton knew monitors were present and filming, yet they appear to have blatantly hunted foxes, almost as if they had no fear of prosecution. Which, given the many deficiencies of the Act, the reluctance of police and CPS to act against them and the poor track record of the CPS on the rare occasions they do take organised hunters to court, is scarcely surprising. The spirit and letter of the Hunting Act 2004 are being, as a former Chief Inspector of the CPS wrote, 'extensively flouted'. Even in spite of the problems with the Act, the authorities could do better than they are to rein them in, but Hunts will carry on pursuing and killing live quarry until the Act is substantially strengthened. Please support POWA's efforts in our campaigntostrengthenthehuntingact.com.

Pics below -   1/  Fox flees hounds 26-11-16    2/   Hounds seconds behind fox  

   GraftonFHFoxfleeinghounds26-11-16.jpg    GraftonFHHoundssecondsbehindfox26-11-16.jpg

   3/  Huntsman seconds behind fox & hounds     4/   Beaten fox flees hounds  29-11-16 

   GraftonFHHuntsmansecondsbehindhoundsandfox26-11-16.jpg    GraftonFHBeatenfoxnotfarahead29-11-16.jpg

   5/   Hounds on line of fox      6/   Huntsman, riders, hounds return       

   GraftonFHHoundsonlineoffox29-11-16.jpg    GraftonFHHuntersandhoundsreturningtoroad29-11-16.jpg

                

Sabs release footage of Blackmore FH hunting last February

16-12-16    Facebook - Dorset Sabs    Video of Blackmore FH meet at Bowden, 13-2-16    This footage not previously uploaded because it features the Huntsman and there was a court case against him for riding down and severely injuring a female sab in August 2014. The events of the day had been previously reported - see here, item dated 14-2-16. On that day sabs found three blocked badger setts and unblocked them, for which they received threats and an assault as well as being ridden at. The Hunt then chased a fox into the village of Yenston and looked for it in gardens and blocked an A road.

This film begins with a fox fleeing across a field. Minutes later, the Hunt and hounds appear. The whipper-in approaches the filmer, a highly experienced monitor known to them, who tells him they are on the line of a fox. The Whip denies it and claims their 'trail' was laid across that meadow. Odd, since the idea of 'trail hunting' is supposed to be that, to replicate fox hunting as closely as possible, they only know the start point of a trail, not where it then goes. What would be the point of riding a known route and, if that's what they do, how come Hunts so often riot on to roads, railways and into villages and barred land? The monitor then tells the Huntsman, that they are on the line. He accuses the monitor of lying and riders then give him a bit of hassle.  The field then move over to a copse. Unbeknown to them, sabs believe that the fox has escaped down a hole unblocked earlier in the day by sabs in that wood. Whatever, the Hunt don't find it.

    BlackmoreFHHuntsmantoldonfox13-2-16.jpg

  


Monitor films Grafton FH rider on road viciously striking his horse

Upbraded, owner says the horse 'deserved' it and abuses monitor 

15-12-16   You Tube      A highly experienced monitor was driving slowly behind two Grafton FH riders when she saw one of them twice hit his horse very hard with his riding crop. She quickly switched on her dash-cam and caught him doing it again. Driving alongside, she told the rider off in no uncertain terms. The rider's female ompanion then turned her horse around and shouted that the horse 'deserved it' and that it was her horse and she'd treat it any way she liked.

Foxes, deer, hares and mink are far from being the only animal victims of organised hunters. Sabs and monitors often witness horses being maltreated and ridden in dangerous fashion. POWAperson himself, whilst a monitor in the '90s, saw two hunt horses die during hunts because their riders had pushed them too hard, one of them on a deer hunt on a very hot day in August. Hounds, of course, are treated appallingly, culled ruthlessly if they commit various 'crimes' and routinely murdered when they reach the age of six/seven and are judged no longer fit to keep up with the pack. Pets, livestock and non-quarry wildlife that get in the hounds' way are terrified or even killed. Road and sometimes rail users are obstructed, sometimes endangered, by the hunters' selfish actions. Hunters demonstrate again and again that, for them, animal and even human welfare comes nowhere compared with their perverted lust for the chase. It is incredibly frustrating to monitors, sabs and other antis that these monsters continue to be treated by the authorities and often the media as though they were decent 'pillars of the community'.

Please watch and share the other films on 'scorpiovulpes' channel to see both frequent illegal hunting and appalling behaviour towards monitors.  

  GraftonFHriderhittinghorse12-16.jpg   GraftonFHownerofhithorse12-16.jpg

  

Mangled remains of fox believed killed by Bicester FH found

Resident makes grisly discovery day after resident & monitor saw fox chased near village

15-12-16   Facebook - Hunt Monitors   Full Monitoring Report – Oxfordshire Monitors The Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase (BHWC) met at Godington Hall, Godington, at 11:00   Hounds arrived fairly quickly in the Poundon area from Godington and hunted around a bridleway known locally as “Green Lane” (which runs from Poundon to Charndon). They could be heard on cry until they disappeared into the Charndon area before changing horses for their afternoon session.

The Hunt returned to the Poundon/Twyford area around 3pm and hounds flushed a fox out of a wooded area between Poundon and Grange Farm, Godington. Chaos ensued as hounds picked up the scent and riders could be seen riding through fields of sheep which gathered in huddles unsure of where best to flee for cover. As hounds appeared in a field adjacent to Mill Lane, Twyford, the gate to which was heavily chained, the hounds lost, checked and regained the scent of the fox that had done its best to mask its tracks. The Monitor who was watching Mill Lane, with a local dog walker, saw the fox burst through the hedgerow about 20 yards away , fleeing across Mill Lane in the direction of a spinney (a small wood with undergrowth), on the boundary of Twyford Village.

The Monitor shouted at the Huntsman to tell him that their hounds were onto a fox and demanded that they be called off.

Hounds were called back but only to be taken across Mill Lane toward the spinney where the hunted fox had sought refuge less than 10 minutes earlier. Monitor again shouted at the Huntsman that he was pursuing the fox and he simply informed the Monitor that they had laid a trail. Furthermore, he informed the Monitor that he had permission to be on the land, which it was noted had been put down to seed, winter wheat, most probably. The entire pack of hounds then entered the spinney and within minutes the most awful blood curdling cries went up as they found yet again and pursued this poor creature into the Village of Twyford. It wasn’t possible to know whether they were on to the original fox or flushed out a different one.

A couple in the Village saw the whole spectacle unfold from their back garden and they told our monitor that one fox had definitely escaped along the side of their garden fence. Mill Lane, a Restricted Byway which runs past the Village Primary School playground, became clogged up with the followers’ vehicles. This was after 4p.m. and they appeared to hunt on as darkness crept in.

Sadly, whilst walking dogs early on Friday morning, a horrified resident came across what remained of one fox that had been killed in the area where the hounds had converged and where hunt followers had been seen to run toward from their vehicles, parked on Mill Lane. The entrails and what was left of the tail were found a few feet away from the bloodied grass, indicating that one of the hunt followers/supporters had dropped these as they tried to hastily remove the body. The grass this morning was soaked with blood and the poor creature was so terrified that it had messed itself. Tiny pieces of fur were visible and it seems as though it had been killed in a frenzy. It never stood a chance and it was simply ripped to pieces.

Our Monitor has been deeply traumatised by this event, questioning the mentality of anybody who could inflict such mindless barbarity upon a small creature that had done them no harm. In an unsuccessful effort to save its life, the poor fox had given the Hunt their unpredictable chase across country and paid the ultimate price. There were no winners here on Thursday – we saw the ugly side of the human species and unless and until the minority amongst us can be cured of their incomprehensible predilection to hunt wild animals for sport, we will truly remain a plague upon the Earth and the wonderful animals that we share it with.

      BicesterFHRemnantsoffoxbelievedkilledby8-12-16.jpg

  

Pressure telling on Atherstone FH finances, say sabs

15-12-16   Facebook – W.Mids Sabs    ATHERSTONE HUNT UPDATE - 2015-2016 STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS   The 2015/2016 statement of accounts, summary statement, list of subscribers and list donors of the Atherstone Hunt has been leaked to us by one of our sources within the hunt.

We knew the Atherstone Hunt were in financial trouble when joint master of the hunt James Sharland set up a gofundme for a sponsored mud run, the mud run never happened, but the Hunt pocketed the money anyway. Sharland admitted "persistent sab presence has lead to a dramatic drop in subscribers" The leaked report shows the Atherstone Hunt made a loss of £13,000. This loss is a direct result of the dramatic drop in subscribers which amounts to £16,315, the entire list of Atherstone subscribers now fits onto one side of an A4 page. This was the state of the Atherstone Hunt during the last financial year, the situation has certainly not improved this year.

The Atherstone are unable to pay the wages of their own staff. This year these wages are being paid for by someone from outside the hunt. The report shows that Hunt staff wages amounted to £34,447 last year. The Atherstone have been without a terrier man all season and after firing their last Whipper-In have been unable to find anyone to replace him. The number of riders continues to be on average below ten. Dove Valley Mink Hounds huntsman Will Shaw continues to babysit Atherstone Huntsman Stuart Barton to prevent any road traffic accidents happening due to Barton's poor hound control. The Atherstone Hunt continues to show the world the real face of fox hunting.

We know the Atherstone Hunt are not popular and we are starting to get more and more land owners giving us information. We will continue to be out with the Atherstone twice a week, please help towards our costs so that we can continue to keep a persistent sab presence There will be a Boxing Day demonstration against the Hunt at Market Bosworth at 10am.

    AtherstoneFHUnderbigfinancialpressure15-12-16.jpg 

   


Sabs find many blocked badger setts on Cotswold FH meet day

Police informed and they unblocked two of them themselves!

11-12-16   Facebook - 3 Counties Sabs    Saturday 10th December 2016, Cotswold Hunt, Castlebarn Farm, Turkdean, North Cotswold badger cull zone    We were out early for this one and it was pitch block in the field on sett blocking patrol. At the first sett we went to check we had just missed them and heard the quad leave. There was the usual scene of carnage with every entrance impacted with earth and one entrance had a log rammed down it. We informed the police and continued to sett check. At the next one as we were confirming that it was very active a quad approached the small covert and drove around it before leaving. Had he come to block it and thought better of it? It had been blocked before, repeatedly with the badgers still there despite sett blocking, cull and who knows what other pressures. We hope that we deterred him. Other setts were found to be unblocked and active. We then met 2 Gloucestershire police officers who went to the blocked sett and unblocked every single entrance and wish to thank them for their timely response.

The Hunt met at 12.00 and we saw them draw the covert where the sett had been blocked. It was very wet and they didn't seem to be finding much (foxes retreat to shelter in such weather much of the time). They then crossed over to where the Heythrop were hunting just last Saturday in a large landlocked area between Turkdean and Cold Aston and where 5 setts were blocked. So the foxes that were hunted there last week and survived were once more at risk a week later. One badger sett that was blocked last week was blocked again this week, twice trashed within 7 days just so people can illegally hunt foxes.

The impact on badgers can be suffocation as they try to dig their way out and get caught between the earth behind them as they dig and the earth impacted by the rain. They often do dig their way out but some don't make it. Foxes ,who often enjoy living in badger setts, are denied an escape route from the hounds. It takes hours to dig out a badger sett, not long at all to get into an artificial earth, a terrier can bolt a fox quickly from one of these to be hunted again, needless to say the AEs are often left unblocked. Sad to say later we saw the Heythrop, or it may have been the North Cotswold, in the dark packing up near Stow. Both Hunts would have done exactly the same in the areas they were hunting.

Other 3C sabs sabbed the CVFH from Aston Crews along with Bristol and South Wales. Report to follow.

Pics below -   1/   Sett blocked with stave and packed earth    2/   Freshly blocked sett with spade marks

  CotswoldFHSettblockedwithstaveandpacedearth10-12-16.jpg  CotswoldFHFreshlyblockedsett10-3-16.jpg


   

Sabs say they saved fox from 'violent' Crawley & Horsham FH

10-12-16   Facebook - Guildford Hunt Saboteurs    As we suspected the Surrey Union hounds have kennel cough weCrawleyHorshamFH12-16.jpg headed to the Crawley and Horsham hunt with North Downs Hunt Sabs to join up with West Sussex Hunt Sabs whom were already with the Hunt. Clearly upset at the sab presence, riders (again) used their horses as weapons and charged towards sabs, deliberately trying to ride sabs down on several occasions - one rider has had his details taken by police.

Nearer the end on the day by new buildings plantation we noticed a fox bolt just meters in front of us, with hounds in deep cry just behind we covered the area in citronella. At this point, the whipper-in stayed where the fox had crossed and tried to hit a sab with his whip... and failed. As hounds quickly approached other sabs arrived and we used old school sabbing tactics to call the hounds off the scent, much to the dismay of some of the Hunt whom started behaving violently again. After the traumatic kill on the Burstow last week it was great to be able to save at least one fox today. Run free.

   

Oakley FH thug hits female sab then tries to spray eyes of others

Gizmo stolen from female victim - police treat sabs as criminals 

10-12-16   Facebook – S.Cambs Sabs   VIDEO   Hit Report – 10/12/2016 Oakley Hunt, St John's Arms, Melchbourne   We went just over the Cambs border today with N.Cambs, Suffolk And Essex, Cambridge and Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs to sab the Oakley. Using several groups of foot sabs, the various groups managed to manoeuvre round the regular hunt 'stewards' to keep tabs on the hunt all day. The drivers did a sterling job keeping an eye on the Hunt as they paraded through villages with hounds all over the roads.

Sadly the hounds looked very thin and did not appear to be in good health. Jack Harris, the less than competent Huntsman, lost control of the hounds several times during the day as they ran across fields in every direction! Hounds ran across a road rioting after a fox and sabs entered the field to intervene, using the gizmo, horn and voice calls to distract hounds.

The hunt thugs followed and assaulted sabs. One large thug attacked and took a female sab to the ground, hitting her in the face and then stealing our group gizmo. His friend then attempted to spray red dye into the eyes of sabs - who knows what damage this could have caused (video evidence is being looked at and will follow).

On top of this, thugs then falsely accused sabs of stealing their property - ironic as they are the ones that stole from us! Police threatened the sabs - the victims of assault and theft - with arrest. They were generally hostile to sabs, and searched sabs but did not search the thugs when sabs explained they had stolen from them. We wonder if this biased behaviour has anything to do with them hanging around and chatting with the violent 'stewards' for much of the day!

However, at the end of the day all the sabs, and the local wildlife were safe - and the Hunt packed up early at around 2.30, wet and miserable. Another eventful but successful day!

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Sabs save fox chased to ground by Cotswold Vale FH

10-12-16 Facebook - Bristol Sabs   Off back to the Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt this morning, along with sabs fromCotswoldValeFHHuntandsabs10-12-16.jpg South Wales, Bath & Three Counties.

They met at Aston Crews on the Gloucestershire/Herefordshire border and we soon found them not far away with riders on point and hounds picking up in a wood. We shot off to catch up with them and the huntsman took his hounds and ran, which set the tone for the rest of the day. The Huntsman was quickly drawing through another covert with sabs close by, so we decided to take the hounds with the use of a hunting horn. This tested the hunts temper somewhat and it wasn't long before hunt supporters were (unsuccessfully) trying to throw their weight around.

Despite the Hunt covering a lot of ground, hilly terrain and poor weather conditions, in our various groups we ensured that sabs were always with the hunt, often second guessed their movements meaning we were ahead of them.

Towards the end of the day we came across the hounds marking to ground in a badger sett, where a fox they had been chasing was taking refuge. Sabs were straight in there rating hounds and when the Huntsman realised he had company he gathered the hounds and took off. We waited around for a while as a quad was also hanging about, but other sabs were in place to rate hounds when they were in cry close by immediately after.

With visibility becoming increasingly poor and no luck with these foxes, the Hunt were packing up just before 3.30. A very successful day and a bunch of damp but happy sabs.

  

Horrified man sees Dumfriesshire FH hounds kill fox in his garden
Slaughter took place in middle of a housing estate in Heathhall 

9-12-16   Daily Record    Dumfries carer’s horror at fox hunt kill in his back garden in Heathhall   Daniel Sauberlich described the incident as "bizarre and brutal" when a pack of 10 dogs attacked a fox in the busy housing estate. A carer was left shocked after a fox was mauled by a pack of hounds in his back garden during a hunt. Daniel Sauberlich saw the fox run past his window pursued by a pack of 10 dogs in Herries Avenue, Heathhall, on Saturday afternoon. Home carer Daniel, 28, said: “I can’t begin to describe the shock and disbelief at this barbaric event happening in our own garden, let alone if our children or dog were in it at the time. “I went to the back door and opened it and saw the fox staring at me. It started running towards me but just before it got to me the dogs grabbed it, shook it around a bit, killed it and left. It’s still so surreal I can’t believe it happened. Before this I didn’t have an opinion on fox-hunting but I’m really against it now. I could hear horns nearby so it must’ve been a hunt. To see it happen in a housing estate is just unreal.”

Robbie Marsland, of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said: “From what we’ve heard this is a classic example of illegal hunting going very wrong. This comes at a crunch point as an official inquiry has just called for the law to be strengthened. We are calling on the Scottish Government to act quickly and really ban fox-hunting in Scotland – for good.”

Police are appealing for witnesses. The Dumfriesshire and Stewartry Foxhounds failed to comment on the matter.

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Man arrested & in custody in connection with fox kills by the Belvoir FH

Believed to be Huntsman, also suspected of assault & criminal damage

9-12-16   Leicester Mercury    Man, 49, arrested after foxes killed by hunt hounds    A man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal hunting following the deaths of two foxes in Leicestershire last weekend. The 49-year-old was taken into custody for questioning about the animals' deaths while the Belvoir Hunt was riding in the Scalford area, near Melton.

Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach was present and monitoring officers' policing of the event when two foxes were killed by the Belvoir Hunt's hounds. Hunt saboteurs allegedly found a third seriously injured animal which also died. Lord Bach said he had been shocked by the deaths during a hunt meet on Saturday, December 3.

In a statement today, Leicestershire Police said: "A 49-year-old man has been arrested in connection with incidents which are alleged to have happened in the Scalford area of Melton. It follows reports of an assault and the death of two foxes on Saturday, December 3. The man has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, assault and illegal hunting with a dog, and is currently in custody."

Speaking to the Leicester Mercury later, Lord Bach said: "I attended the Belvoir Hunt on Saturday with the police as part of my determination to learn more about rural issues. The police, in my view, performed a difficult task with great skill and professionalism. I fully support a police inquiry into the events leading to this outcome, when the Hunting Act 2004 makes it clear that the intentional killing of mammals is illegal. I am determined as police and crime commissioner that the law, as decided by Parliament, will be upheld in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland."

The event, on Saturday, was also being monitored by hunt saboteurs, who took pictures of the savaged foxes. Under the Hunting Act of 2004 it is illegal to hunt mammals with dogs.

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Dog walker sees her dog & a fox being chased by Blackmore FH hounds

8-12-16   Facebook - Dorset Against Blood Sports    Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt causing mayhem to the local community and their pets, as well as the poor fox.

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Trial date set for Fitzwilliam FH hunt servants at last

8-12-16   Facebook - S.Cambs Sabs    Members of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, George Adams and John Mease  [Huntsman & Terrierman, pics below], attended a case management hearing at Peterborough magistrates court today for the cases against them to be set. The trial will now be heard at Chelmsford magistrates on the 26th and 27th of April 2017. Let's hope the CPS fight for justice for the poor innocent fox killed on New Years Day.

POWAperson adds - The alleged offences occurred on New Year's Day 2016. It is ridiculous that summary offences should take so long to come to trial. There's an old saying - 'Justice delayed is justice denied.' Still, it will give the CPS yet more time to think of an excuse to drop the case.  

   FitzwilliamFHHuntwithkilledfox1-2-16.jpg    FitzwilliamFHJohnMeaseBirdHandler.jpg

  


Iron-bar wielding Atherstone FH supporter attacks sabs

7-12-16   Facebook – W.Mids Sabs  VIDEO   Iron bar wielding hunt supporter attacks sabs   Atherstone Hunt - Kennels - Saturday 3rd December 2016.   During Saturday's kennel meet, an Atherstone Hunt supporter ran at sabsAtherstoneFHsupporterwieldingironbar3-12-16.jpg whilst waving an iron bar in the air [right] before attacking sabs. He can be heard threatening to steal and break their camera. He then attacks sabs for a second time taking two sabs to the ground. Luckily sabs escaped without any serious injuries.

This latest violent episode from the Atherstone Hunt follows on from another Atherstone supporter ramming their car into the sabs vehicle before shouting a tirade of sexist abuse at them. The week before sabs were again attacked and had their cameras stolen by an Atherstone Hunt supporter. Our vehicle needs some immediate repairs. We are already grateful for the support that you have shown us this season especially after the recent thefts so any donation will be gratefully received.

 

Police powers to unmask protesters enhanced, says CA

7-12-16   Countryside Alliance    Police powers to unmask violent protestors eased     The House of Lords has today (7 December) passed a Government amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill which makes it easier for the police to tackle violent masked protestors. The amendment is a response to concerns that current powers cannot be used by the police in response to many protests by animal rights activists, other extremists and ‘flash mobs’. The amendment means that a senior police officer will be able to give immediate oral authorisation for a constable to remove face-coverings, where it is impracticable for that authorisation to be given in writing. The law currently requires prior written authorisation that the police have grounds for reasonable belief that activities may take place in an area that are likely to involve the commission of offences. The conditions and protections remain exactly the same, but the fast track process will now allow the police to tackle a serious issue both in rural communities and elsewhere.

Research by the Countryside Alliance using the Freedom of Information Act published earlier this year revealed that the powers had only been used on one occasion in the past three years to require animal rights activists at a hunt to remove face coverings, despite the use of masks to intimidate and hide identity being a standard tactic of hunt saboteurs. The powers had been used on many occasions in relation to pre-arranged demonstrations and football matches. Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “There are only two reasons for wearing masks and face-coverings in the context of a protest: to intimidate and harass, and to hide identity with the intention of committing criminal offences and avoiding prosecution. This is a tactic that has worked, not only by creating alarm and distress in rural communities visited by groups of extremists who have adopted the uniform of the paramilitary complete with standard black face coverings, but also in allowing offences to be committed crimes without any legal consequences. From Wiltshire to Derbyshire; from Gloucestershire to Yorkshire there have been a series of violent assaults by hunt saboteurs in the last few years, none of which have seen anyone brought to justice. It doesn’t matter if violence and intimidation are happening in urban areas or the countryside, it is wrong and it’s only right that police officers are in the position to be able to tackle effectively potentially criminal behaviour wherever it arises. We are therefore delighted that the Government has recognised the need to amend the law, recognising that the police need greater flexibility faced with modern types of protests. The amendment does not extend police powers, but makes it more practical to use existing powers and we now expect the police to make full use of them. For too long a small minority have hidden behind masks and disguises to intimidate people and to escape being held account for unlawful behaviour. This change in the law will discourage unlawful activity, whilst allowing lawful and peaceful protest.”

POWAperson comments - Sabs wear face-coverings to try to stop hunters identifying them because, from experience, they know this may well lead to their being attacked by hunters at sab homes or elsewhere. Presumably the new police powers will apply equally to the hunt thugs who frequently mask up [as do some huntsmen]. In the case of the followers, masking is to avoid being identified when they carry out assaults, thefts and criminal damage on sabs and monitors, all frequent occurrences. Attacks by antis on hunters are very rare. Hopefully, police will use their new powers equitably, though past experience suggests probably not.

Some examples of masked-up hunters -

  BlackmoreFHthugs7-2-15.jpg  BadsworthFHMaskedmendrivequadatsabsatspeed12-3-13.jpg Cattistockhuntsupporters26-12-13.jpg

 

Sabs say they saved three foxes from hunt attempts to kill them

Closed & scandal hit Essex Farmers FH members out with the Essex FH

6-12-16    Facebook – Cambridge Sabs   Hit report - Sat 26/11/2016 3 foxes seen to safety - Essex Hunt and Essex Farmers & Union Hunt, Stanford Rivers, Essex    We teamed up with our neighbours at Suffolk & Essex, S.Cambs, N.E. London Sabs to pay the Essex Hunt and Essex Farmers & Union Hunt (EFUH) a visit. The EFUH recently closed amidst scandal and are now temporarily joined with the Essex Hunt for 3 seasons. They'll be hunting jointly in country in the south of Essex, and we'll be keeping an eye on them every now and then. Both hunts are illegal.

From the offset, 3 masked terrier men proceeded to harass us by putting their phones inches from our faces one at a time. During a scout-out, we were made aware by a member of the public that the landowner was Mr Jim CollinsEssexFHHuntsmanandsabs26-11-16.jpg and he was illegally allowing hunting on his farmland, despite the wishes of the local population. This member of the public also informed us that this hunt have no warnings to the locals about their activity, which is a great worry to the residents as there have been a number of cat deaths from hounds in recent years.

We spent the majority of the day on foot with the Hunt, putting tactics and equipment to good use and successfully seeing 3 foxes to safety. The first fox broke cover and ran out from a covert parallel to where 6 sabs were positioned. To avoid startling the fox into an unsafe direction, we dived into prone position onto the ground and the fox took the wise decision to head into thick undergrowth alongside us. We sprayed citronella liberally on the line and in the area, and moments later the hounds broke and followed the line up to us on cry. This is always a tense moment, as you know a wild being's very existence is at stake. We verbally rated the hounds (used voices to command the hounds to stop) and formed a blockade which prevented them from further following the fox. Our tactics worked as the hounds checked (lost the scent), and were eventually collected by the Huntsman, who had been wilfully hunting them on illegally.

On the second occasion; we were in the vehicle relocating to intercept the Hunt when a fox ran out in front of us and into a covert. We immediately jumped out of the vehicle and began spraying citronella on the line and throughout the area. Shortly hounds appeared on cry coming toward the over side of the covert to us, however due to the citronella the hounds checked and this presented sabs with the opportunity to use our horn to confuse the hounds and call them away from where the fox had taken refuge, meaning a few moments later we were surrounded by wagging tails, wet noses and bouncing ears. The hounds are soppy beings at heart, and if they hadn't been trained by bloodthirsty humans to kill, they'd be doing nothing of the sort. The Huntsman by contrast was certainly not wagging his tail, appearing red faced and flustered that this attempt at ripping a fox to shreds had been thwarted.

Although support were present, we did not find confrontation which meant that on this occasion there were no injuries to sabs and we were able to get on with our work to prevent illegal hunting from taking place.

On a side note, two riders fell of their horses during the course of the day. On both occasions the sabs offered medical assistance and at one point even helped a rider find a lost saddle after a rather nasty accident. We're good people who are there to stop wildlife being terrorised and will always help those in need with first aid should a rider - or even hunt staff member - be injured.

As a parting gesture from the hunt support whilst we got back into our vehicle, we witnessed a mother whisper something to a young child's ear, who then proceeded to say “fuck off you wankers” which of course went without reprimand. What wonderful folk these hunt types are.

 

Police pass evidence file to CPS in S.Herefordshire cruelty case

5-12-16   Hereford Times   Update issued on South Herefordshire Hunt investigation   West Mercia Police has issued an update with regards to its investigations into allegations of animal cruelty at the South Herefordshire Hunt. Investigators have passed an early evidential file into alleged animal cruelty at the Wormelow hunt kennels to the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's Complex Casework Unit (CPS) for their consideration. Five people have been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and released on police bail until a date in February. Five people have also been interviewed voluntarily as part of the police investigation.

A police spokesman said: "As legal proceedings are active it is important that any commentary, or sharing of information online, or on social media, does not in any way prejudice the proceedings." Police will issue a further statement when the CPS determines if there should be a criminal prosecution. The Masters of Fox Hounds Association (MFHA) is carrying its own independent [!!!!] inquiry into conduct at the South Herefordshire Hunt.

POWAperson comments - As it's sub judice, can't say too much. The case seems to be making glacially slow progress, though that's common enough in hunting [and, to be fair other] cases. Maybe that, and the regular updates, are some indication of how seriously they are taking this case and how outraged the public are by what was done.

The events were seven months ago and, if this were a matter of illegal hunting, a summary case, it would by now be too late to charge the alleged offenders. However, this is principally an Animal Welfare Act matter, offences under which, being imprisonable, are indictable and not subject to the six-month charging limit that applies to Hunting Act matters. If past form in hunt cruelty cases is followed, the Masters and officials will deny any knowledge and the 'servants' won't dob their superiors in. if they were involved. A reminder that this is far from the only case where people and premises connected to Hunts have been discovered to be keeping captive foxes in recent times.

It is normal for young hounds to be blooded on easy to catch cubs, but this is usually in the grim practice of 'cubbing' in late summer and autumn, where small coverts are surrounded by hunters who scare young foxes back in as they're trying to flee hounds. Hunts still regularly engage in this repulsive ritual, which can only be to train the juvenile hounds for proper fox hunting later. Throwing very young cubs into hound kennels, which is what the video appears to show was done, is not normal practice - though the end outcome for the young victims is much the same. One imagines even most seasoned hunters will regard this as 'bad form'.  

Pics below give a reminder of what this is about, though the full horror can only be got from the video.

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

  


Bloodstains and fur remains suggest Fife FH hounds killed fox

5-12-16   Facebook – Perthshire Sabs   Fife Foxhounds met at Edenwood House    Before they set off, Galpin the terrierman arrived to rant at us and film us. The Hunt left the meet and started hunting in the woods at the back of Edenwood farm. A fox actually ran into the corner of the woods they were hunting. We think the fox then likely bolted towards and over the A963 towards the hill of Tarvit. The hunt went this way and then we lost them - we have never done this meet before so had no idea of where they might go.

Eventually we found them again. it was actually a member of the public who helped us find where they were, after we spotted some hunt support vehicles. She was shocked that hunting happened in Scotland and was glad when she realised we were against them. She had been watching them for at least half an hour, hunting in Cairngreen wood. We looped round to the B940 and headed up the field towards where we could hear Robert the Huntsman drawing the woodland, but as we got closer it was all quiet, we found the Hunt at the other side of where we entered the woodland. Riders grouped together and Robert (huntsman) off his horse, he started to blow long wavering calls on his horn (very much like a blow for a kill) and as we got closer and we were seen, Galpin the terrierman got a bag from his quad. He picked something up and various smaller bits, putting them into the bag, then most of the hunt left. Two riders returned to film us as Galpin got back to his quad with the bag. He put the bag in his box then drove away. The two riders then left.

We studied the ground where they had been and found blood splatters and some fur, the fur was grey with orange/fox red tips, so looks like the hunt had been celebrating the kill before we arrived. We don't think the fox was killed at that spot, likely brought to where all the riders were so the hounds could rag it in front of them as we don't think there was enough blood to show it had been killed there. We did not hear any gunfire as we approached so we are guessing the hounds killed this fox, but sadly we were too late to get any evidence of this. By talking to others in the area, this fox must have been hunted for at least an hour before being killed. So much for quick and humane flushing foxes to waiting guns.

Brownie points for the police attending today for being nice to sabs and giving them a lift back to their vehicle.

Pics below:- Top right - Fife FH    Top right - Fox fleeing   Bottom right - Terrierman gathers fox remains  

Bottom left - Fur and blood remnants 

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   Fifeterriermanpicksupfoxremains5-12-16.jpg   FifeFHFoxfurandbloodstains5-12-16.jpg 

See other pics here 

  

Belvoir FH kill three foxes, two in grounds of nursing home

Female sab allegedly assaulted by the Huntsman

4-12-16   HSA Press Release   Belvoir Hunt Kill Foxes in Grounds of Nursing Home   Yesterday, The Duke of Rutland's hounds, the Belvoir Hunt, chased and illegally killed three foxes. The Hunt met at The Wolds Farm near Holwell, Leicestershire. Initially sabs were able to take the hounds off huntsman John Holliday in two locations as he encouraged hounds to hunt a nearby covert and hedge. Unfortunately by the time sabs had caught up with him in a farmyard near Scalford Hall, hounds were already tearing apart a terrified fox they had cornered in the yard [right].Holliday sat watching making no attempt to control his pack. SabsBelvoirFHOneoffoxeskilled3-12-16.jpg immediately intervened and were able to recover the still conscious fox. At this point Holliday dismounted and assaulted a female sab. The fox was unable to be saved due to extensive wounds and died in the sabs arms.

The police and Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, who were both present on the day, confirmed that immediately prior to this incident two other foxes were killed by the Hunt in the grounds of a nearby nursing home. The police were alerted by a horrified member of the public. All three foxes have been taken as evidence by Leicestershire Police.

Earlier this year, the Belvoir were implicated in the keeping of captive foxes to be illegally hunted. Members of the Hunt subsequently attacked the two League Against Cruel Sports investigators who had exposed them, putting one of them in hospital with a broken neck. They are currently awaiting a court case in 2017.

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “2016 has shown the world exactly what the Belvoir hunt are like. They were implicated in keeping captive foxes, then viciously assaulting those who had exposed them. Now as the year draws to a close they brazenly hunt and kill three foxes in the presence of Leicestershire Police. Members of Leicestershire Police, including former wildlife crime officer Sharon Roscoe, are known to ride with the Belvoir and we hope this doesn't influence any investigation. It is perhaps fortunate that the Leicestershire PCC was also present on the day to insist that this latest law breaking by the Belvoir is not brushed under the carpet.”

5-12-16  Leicester Mercury   Belvoir Hunt: Police launch investigation after three foxes killed by hounds  Police have launched an investigation into the conduct of the Belvoir Hunt after three foxes were killed by hounds. Crime commissioner Lord Willy Bach was observing the policing of the event and said he was shocked to see the bodies of the animals "ripped to bits by hounds". The event, on Saturday, was also being monitored by hunt saboteurs who took pictures of the savaged foxes. Under the Hunting Act of 2004 it is illegal to hunt mammals with dogs.

Repeated attempts by the Mercury to contact the hunt to get their side of what happened had failed to get a response by the time the newspaper went to press. But the Countryside Alliance, which supports field sports, said: "The Hunt has launched an urgent investigation to establish exactly what happened on Saturday. At this stage they are very busy investigating and they cannot comment further.

The hunt saboteurs claim that two killings were carried out by hounds in the grounds of a nursing home. They managed to rescue a badly injured third which died in the arms of one of the saboteurs.

Lord Bach said: "I attended the Belvoir Hunt on Saturday with the police as part of my determination to learn more about rural issues. The police in my view performed a difficult task with great skill and professionalism. I was shocked by seeing the bodies of three dead foxes, ripped to bits by hounds. I fully support a police inquiry into the events leading to this outcome, when the Hunting Act 2004 makes it clear that the intentional killing of mammals is illegal. I am determined as Police and Crime Commissioner that the law, as decided by Parliament, will be upheld in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland."

The saboteurs claimed hounds chased and illegally killed three foxes.

Flint & Denbigh FH chase fox across main road, Huntsman keeps losing hounds

3-12-17  Facebook – N.Wales Sabs   Hit report 3/12/16   Today in Cefn near St.Asaph, joined by Cheshire Sabs and members of Lancaster sabs, we thought we'd pop along and help the Flint and Denbigh 'trail hunt' make sure they didn't accidently illegally hunt any foxes. OK, truth be told, this Hunt haven't a clue about laying trails and there's no accident in their illegal hunting. From the off these bumpkins were angry, with one of the riders threatening sabs "There's going to be trouble today". Why so angry? We can only guess, maybe because they had to cancel last weeks meet? Maybe because of all you naughty people who've asked Denbigh Council to cancel their Boxing Day parade? Or maybe because of all current police investigations involving this Hunt and some of its members? Police didn't turn up today, so the Hunt took that as a green light to block roads, ride at sabs and make threats. At one point the Hunt chased a fox across a main road across a river and almost to St.Asaph, across land they should not be on, with some hounds ending up near St.Asaph football pitches! Good job for sabs being around to stop hounds from getting killed on this busy road.

Huntmaster Jeremy Reed was quite a while in coming to collect his hounds, In doing so he lead more hounds onto the main road, almost into oncoming traffic. The Huntmaster didn't even bother to collect all the hound before he returned to Cefn, leaving some along by the river between Wigfair and St.Asaph. Jeremy had really lived up his reputation of being a scatterpack. Hounds were everywhere and hunters had their tweeds in a twist. Usually hunt thug bullies were on form too. obviously the pressure is getting to them. The whipper-in had a busy day looking for Jezza's lost hounds, as Jezza himself headed up to the tops above Cefn. The hounds went into cry a few times but only in short bursts as sabs were able to keep watch.

 

Sabs film fox being killed by Old Surrey FH - police investigate

3-12-16     HSA Press Release   VIDEO    Serial Fox killers Strike Again    The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt illegally chased and killed a fox today despite the efforts of hunt saboteurs who were seconds away from saving it. The Hunt met at the Spotted Dog Pub, Smarts hill, South West of Tonbridge, Kent. Huntsman Mark Bycroft and his gang of bully boys have history of illegally killing foxes and attacking anyone who tries to stop them. They had already chased one fox before killing one in Frienden Gill Wood at approximately 3pm. The hunt terrier men had holloaed to inform the Bycroft that a fox had been spotted. Hounds then went into cry and chased it for between 5 and 10 minutes before ripping it apart in the wood. Hunt staff were nearbyOldSurreyBurstowFoxkilledby3-12-16.jpg throughout and made no attempt to stop the hounds. Hunt saboteurs arrived just as the hounds were ripping the fox apart but were unable to save it. They retrieved the body [right] and it has been taken to a sympathetic vet for autopsy. The incident is now being investigated by Kent Police. Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Mark Bycroft has previous convictions for assaulting hunt saboteurs. His hunt have also been filmed illegally chasing and killing foxes but have never been prosecuted for this due to the inadequacies of the police and the Hunting Act. We hope this time it will be different but won't hold our breath. Whether they get prosecuted or not this video footage speaks for itself. The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent are a bunch of rural law breakers who think they are above the laws of the land. Well done to the sabs present who, although they weren't able to save this particular fox have again highlighted the reality of hunting since the ban.”

4-12-16  KentLive   Hunt saboteurs claim they have filmed a fox being illegally hunted to death near Tunbridge Wells    Animal rights activists claim they have recorded a fox being illegally hunted to death by members of members of the Old Surrey Burstow & West Kent Hunt near Tunbridge Wells yesterday afternoon. Their video shows a pack of dogs attacking a fox in woodland, understood to be near Chiddingstone. The fox is then removed from the hounds by a member of the Hunt Saboteurs Association. The Association says the matter has now been reported to police.

One of the Hunt's organisers Mark Bycroft today denied any criminal activity had taken place and insisted members had gone about a legal trail hunt.  “I understand they found a dead fox in the wood but I wasn't there at the time so I don't know what has happened," he told Kent Live. "We had about 25 people on horses and 40 to 50 people on foot. There were about three Landrovers of the saboteurs - they come every week trying to disrupt what we are doing. They use hunting horns and play recordings and try to disrupt the hounds. If an incident has happened they are to blame."

Hunting with dogs has been illegal in England since 2005. To get round the ban hunts lay scent-based trails which the hounds follow instead of a live animal. Mr Bycroft said eight or nine trails had been laid in the area yesterday. A spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association said the video had been shot in Frienden Gill Wood at approximately 3pm. They added: "Hunt saboteurs arrived just as the hounds were ripping the fox apart but were unable to save it. They retrieved the body and it has been taken to a sympathetic vet for autopsy. The incident is now being investigated by Kent Police."

A Kent Police spokesman said: "Police were called at 3.33pm on Saturday 3 December 2016 to a report that a fox had been killed by dogs in Oakenden Lane, Chiddingstone Hoath. Officers have arranged to meet with the informant to obtain further information."

Pics below -    1/    Hounds killing the fox   2/  Sab retrieves the corpse from hounds

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4-12-16    Daily Mail    Helpless fox is torn to shreds and left with its intestines hanging from its body after a pack of vicious hounds brutally mauls it to death during an 'illegal hunt'     Shocking video footage shows the moment a pack of vicious hounds brutally mauls a fox to death during an apparent illegal hunt. The clip, shot on Saturday, shows the group of more than 20 dogs attack a helpless fox before it is plucked from the melee by an anti-hunt campaigner. Its lifeless and dismembered body was then hauled over the shoulder of a man who walked off into the woodland with the pack of yelping canines behind him. The fox's intestines can be seen hanging from its body while an activist carried the fox away in Chiddingstone Hoath, near Tunbridge Wells, Kent. The Hunt Saboteurs Association said the video, apparently featuring members of the Old Surrey Burstow & West Kent Hunt (OSB), has now been passed onto the police. On its website, the OSB says it was founded in 1999, but has roots dating back to 1866, when a hunt called The Burstow began as a harrier pack. The group now hosts an annual black-tie £70 ball at the Effingham Park Hotel near Crawley, West Sussex, for its members, as well as a puppy show judged by 'visiting masters and huntsmen'....

4-12-16    Facebook – N.Downs Sabs    ...the kill happened at 3.03 pm in woods at Frienden gill to the south of Chiddingstone Hoath after the terrierman holloaed a fox away from a wood near home farm the hounds were in full cry for about ten minutes before the kill ,sabs tried to call the hounds off and managed to get some of the pack off but sadly they managed to kill seconds before two sabs got there. The sabs managed to recover the body. We are all very upset and feel that we let the fox down. Please share these photos and the video on this site and the Guildford sabs site so people realise what goes on in the countryside and expose the myth of trail hunting for the lie it is ! 

 Atherstone FH supporter's tirade of abuse after sab car rammed

1-12-16    Facebook -W.Mids Sabs    VIDEO   Atherstone Hunt - Tuesday 29th November 2016 - Sutton Cheney   Desperation is setting in at the Atherstone Hunt now, days after assaulting sabs and stealing their cameras. Two Atherstone supporters were filmed ramming their car into the sabs' vehicle in frustration. This was followed by a tirade of sexist verbal abuse as well as threatening to punch one of the female sabs.

The number of riders has dropped to five, and the Hunt are still without a Whipper-In. We don’t need to say any more just watch the video. The Atherstone Hunt, the mind boggles. Thank you to all everyone who generously donated towards a new camcorder after the Atherstone violently stole it on Saturday, we now just need to replace the stolen body camera - donate.

Supporter says  -     "You fat fucking bitch... fucking whore... "  etc

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NOVEMBER 2014

..... 30th November - Sabs upload dramatic footage of fox alamost caught by Fife FH

..... 24th November - Six Dartmoor FH hounds killed as train ploughs into pack near Ivybridge

..... 23rd November - VWH FH suupporter hit sab. Filmed. Police taking matter seriously!

..... 22nd November - Fell walker in Cumbria attacked with stick when close to hound pack

..... 22nd November - York & Ainsty S. FH pay compo after follower smashed sabs' windscreen

..... 19th November - Fox escapes Flint & Denbigh FH with a little help from its friends

..... 18th November - LACS gives HA Anniversary present by finally supporting strengthening

 ..... 15th November - D&S Staghounds 3 have illegal hunting charges dropped by CPS
 
..... 15th November - Sabs say retrieved body of fox killed by Albrighton & Woodland FH
 
.....  8th November - Cattistock FH witnessed hunting both sides of busy A37 in foul weather
 
.....  7th November - POWA Associate argues for Hunting Act strengthening in regional paper
 
.....  4th November - Secret HSA film seems to show N.Cotswold FH servant feeding foxes 
 
Blackmore FH cause road havoc while chasing foxes

29-11-16   Private email from highly experienced monitor   ...we monitored the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale FH at a place called Kings Stag in Dorset (no doubt a hunting place of old!). No evidence of a trail being laid what so ever. Two foxes hunted, one a real beauty with lovely colouring. The huntsman observing we saw the fox pretended otherwise and messed around in the farm buildings for some time before lifting the hounds forward and picked up the line. A crazy run at one time all over a busy road that caused serious road havoc. Hunt behaved as though they had complete right of way. At one stage I shouted to some riders to stay where they were when a lorry traveling at some speed came along the road. Fox got away. Later when among farm buildings the hounds moved a fox out at speed followed by the hounds. Riders knew we had seen this but did nothing to alert the huntsman. This fox ran into a deer park and we believe got away as the light was fading. Although nothing like the BSV before the ban this was the first day this season they 'went for it' This will be reported to Dorset police although we are probably not quite there legally with this wretched law. Will get the film up at some time.

                                      

Atherstone FH supporters assault female sabs and steal equipment

Police officer sees fox fleeing and tells them to stop hunting

28-11-16  Facebook – W.Mids Sabs  VIDEO   Sabs assaulted and cameras stolen - Fox filmed running from the meet - Leics police tell huntsman to stop hunting [Atherstone hunt 26/11/16 Heath Lodge Farm, Newbold Verdon] Just after the Atherstone hunt had moved off from their meet at Heath Lodge Farm sabs saw what looked like a bagged fox running from the farm towards them. Hunt supporters also saw it and began assaulting the small group of sabs, throwing one sab to the ground and stealing the camera from another sab who had filmed the fox. A body camera was also stolen with both cameras then thrown into a nearby pond.

This is not the first time the Atherstone Hunt have stolen cameras that have either filmed illegal hunting or filmed the hunt using violence. Only last month, the Whipper-In encouraged Huntsman Stuart Barton to steal the camera from a sab who had just filmed him jump off his horse and violently attack him. The incident was reported to the Police who were in attendance.

Shortly after this incident, Huntsman Barton was seen trying to hunt the same fox, calling his hounds all over the road and about to put them on to the line of the fox the other side of the road. Leicestershire police saw the fox and the hounds and told the Hunt that he thought they were hunting and told them to stop. This is a welcome development from Leicestershire police and we hope its not a one off and that similar action will be taken next time the Atherstone are illegally hunting.

However, it wasn't all good from the Police with one officer a 1312 Lloyd telling one sab that “I don't think we should be policing the hunts at all”. Barton had his face covered in what looked like foundation to try and hide the two big black eyes he received after being beaten by his former terrier-man. The Hunt are still without a Whipper-In after their previous one was fired at the Hunt ball. Dove Valley Mink Hound huntsman Will Shaw continues to babysit Barton to try and prevent any calamities happening due to his poor hound control, he spent most of the day collecting stray hounds that Barton had lost.

Thank you to everyone who has previously complained to Leicestershire Police, this latest development wouldn't have happened without you, lets hope this is the first step in Leicestershire Police cracking down on the Atherstone's illegal hunting. Any help appreciated towards new cameras as sabs will be in the field next week. They stole over £400 of equipment.

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                        Sab being assaulted by supporter                                                Huntsman with hounds on road

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                          PC tells sabs will stop them hunting                                                  Hound caught on barbie 

 

Easton Harriers kill another hare, chase deer, trespass on farm

Suffolk police stand by doing nothing, as usual

27-11-16   Facebook – Norfolk/Suffolk Sabs     Easton Harriers – 26/11/16 Runway Farm - Great Glenhan, Suffolk   Yesterday the Easton Harriers met at Runway farm in Great Glenham, Suffolk. The day began with the EastonHarriersHoundstearinghareapart14-1-17.jpgbrutal murder of yet another brown hare [left], ironically while being told by a member of the hunt that the hounds were following a trail (which was not true). An animal with such beauty was reduced to nothing more than an object of sick pleasure. The Hunt soon moved on and continued hunting while sabs kept with them. We were subject to violence and aggressive behaviour from both the Hunt and also their (rather small) following. As the hound flushed through various terrain a hare bolted behind us, away from the hunt. It's scent was soon covered just before Alun Thomas took the hounds in the area. That's one hare they didn't catch [below right].

Later in the day, the Easton were caught trespassing in an area which had livestock in and did little to control their hounds. The landowners expressed their hatred for this specific Hunt as they told us it wasn't the first time that this had happened. One of the landowners told us that his livestock had be victim to the hounds in the past and that heEastonHarriersHarefleeinghounds26-11-16.jpg had written to the Hunt, telling them that they are not welcome. It was made clear that sabs were always welcome on their land and that a cup of tea would always be ready on our arrival.

The Hunt and the hounds continued to trespass through a woodland which resulted in 4 deer bolting from the area [below left]. Hounds quickly spotted them and began to chase them. The Hunt panicked and took great efforts to take control of the pack. Some riders dismounted in an attempt to help and, in the chaos, another rider was seen falling off his horse. Sabs used voice calls to aid distraction of the hounds but were soon met with 2 riders who used their horses as weapons [bottom]. Thankfully the deer were able to get away unharmed.

The rest of the day was spent collecting a split pack of hounds and, after eventually collecting the majority of them, they headed back to the meet and went home.

EastonHarriersDeerfleeinghounds26-11-16.jpgPolice were in attendance and took no interest in the events that took place that day. No one from the Hunt was questioned and the Police had no intention to. This is now the 4th recorded kill by this Hunt, this year, and yet they are aloud to continue hunting twice a week. If a specific Hare Courser was found to be doing such things so often, then they would face the full force of the law. We ask Suffolk Police and WLO Lee-Andrews Pearce what is going to be done about this hunt who, on many occasions, openly hunt and kill hares with a full pack of hounds. We urge our supporters to contact Lee Andrews-Pearce for Suffolk Police at ruralcrimeteam@suffolk.pnn.police.uk and/or Chief Constable Gareth Wilson of Suffolk at Helen.griffin@suffolk.pnn.police.uk (Executive Assistant) and express your concerns.

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Modbury Harriers cause road havoc as Huntsman can't control hounds

27-11-16    Facebook - Devon Sabs   VIDEO   Report - Saturday 26/11/16 - Modbury Harriers    After receiving several reports from independent sources that the Modbury Harriers had been frequently illegally hunting and killing foxes recently, we thought we should check this out. So, yesterday, we headed to Sheepham Mill, near Modbury, Devon, where they were meeting. Sheepham Mill is the business enterprise of Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent, former Commander in Chief of the Royal Navy. His wife, Lady Burnell-Nugent, rides with the Modbury (who says there are no class issues in hunting, eh??).

The Hunt left the meet and headed immediately west, with this season's new amateur huntsman and ex-beagler with the Royal Agricultural College, Harry Gosling, putting the hounds into Ermington Wood. He was accompanied by approximately 20 riders and the usual quad bike equipped with three terriers but minus number plates. There were no signs of trails being laid, and supporters looked like naughty children caught with their hands in the sweetie jar when they realised they'd have company for the day. We kept close tabs on the hunt, as hounds briefly pickedModburyHarrierscauseroadchaos26-11-16.jpg up on and lost scents in Ermington, encouraged on by Gosling.

Drawing blanks, Gosling then moved on to nearby Edmeston. By now, he also knew he had company, and it was interesting to see how his behaviour changed, settling for just walking with the hounds, with little verbal encouragement to spread out and find scents. Gosling continued to move into the wind for the rest of the day, always closely escorted by our watchful presence.

Things remained pretty uneventful until hounds suddenly picked up on a scent near Higher Ludbrook later in the afternoon. Sabs saw a fox fleeing to safety along a hedge-line, whilst hounds went crazy, scattering over a wide area in full cry. Hunt staff were seen tearing around in a panicked attempt to regain control of the hounds, and we witnessed some of the most inept management of a pack of hounds we've seen! Gosling really knows how to put the "amateur" into amateur huntsman! With hounds spilling out of hedgerows along a mile-long stretch of the busy A3121 road, hunt vehicles and riders were forced to block the road to oncoming traffic in both directions. Gosling, unable to gather the pack on his horse had to resort to being on foot, whilst the quad bike passenger took his horse. One hunt vehicle even thought it was sensible to reverse nearly a mile, whilst facing on-coming traffic. It was complete chaos, and showed no thought for the safety of other road users or the Hunt's animals. We videoed the whole sorry affair and will be putting this up later in the week. Are we really expected to believe they laid a trail on a main highway?! We don't really need to answer that one, do we?

After the Hunt finally gathered the pack they moved on, still into the wind, to draw further coverts near Shilston Barton and Shilston Brook. Access here was limited, so we had to settle for watching from a distance. However, they failed to pick up on much else, and the hounds were all un-bloodied and clean when the Hunt finally returned to pack up at 4.30 in the fading daylight. It was pretty obvious to us, from what we saw, that these hounds were trained to chase and kill live animals, as they are in most Hunts across the country, and we'll be visiting the Modbury Harriers again throughout this season.

   

Easton Harriers seen hunting and killing hare yet again

21-11-16   HSA Press Release    Easton Harriers Witnessed Killing a Hare for Third Time this Year    Hunt Saboteurs witnessed the Easton Harriers kill a hare, for the third time this year, at their meet on Saturday the 19th November.

EastonHarriershuntandkillhareyetagain21-11-16.jpgThe Hunt met at the White Horse Pub, Badingham, Suffolk and were illegally hunting hares from the start. The Huntsman Alun Thomas deliberately put his hounds into crop fields and other areas where hares were likely to be sheltering and sure enough in the middle of the afternoon the hounds picked up the scent of a pair of hares. One of them escaped but the other was heard screeching as hounds pounced on it. It escaped from their jaws but was quickly pulled out of a ditch by other hounds - cold, wet, bloody and dead. The hunt saboteurs managed to retrieve the body [left] and it is currently being autopsied. They remained with the Hunt for the rest of the day and their actions saved other lives as the hunt continued to actively pursue hares.

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Hare hunting doesn't have as high a profile as fox hunting but it was also made illegal under the Hunting Act. Beagle and harrier packs continue to flout the Act and illegally hunt and kill hare. The Easton Harriers are repeat offenders and received national press coverage just last month when one of their members was filmed with a dead hare stuffed inside her jacket. When questioned she claimed it was a very large rabbit. This was subsequently refuted by the British Rabbit Association who confirmed that it was a hare. Our thanks go to those brave saboteurs whose actions continue to highlight this barbaric “sport”. We ask Suffolk Police why they are allowing blatant illegal hunting to go unchallenged in their county?”

  

HSA welcomes but also criticizes Bonomy Review

21-11-16  HSA Press Release    Scottish Hunting Act Reviewed    Lord Bonomy has agreed with anti-hunt organisations and Police Scotland that the current law offers too many loop holes, and is unworkable, in his review of the Protection of wild Mammals (Scotland) Act.  He goes as far as to say “there is a basis for suspecting that there may be occasions when hunting, which does not fall within one of the exceptions, does take place and that the grounds for that suspicion should be addressed” 

Sadly the review does not focus on the welfare of the fox or how much suffering the fox may endure before death. Scottish Hunt Saboteurs who have experience of the current situation at Scottish Hunts have studied the review and have the following observations:-

The proposed changes would only strengthen the outcome of an illegal kill and does nothing to address the illegal hunting that still takes place, or does anything to protect the fox on the day of a hunt.

The idea of part-time monitors would only work if those involved are impartial from both sides of the huntingLanarkshireFHFoxkilledbyhounds5-11-16.jpg argument and have enough knowledge to be able to correctly convey what is happening in front of them. We feel it is not a role that just anyone can take without substantial knowledge of how hunting actually works and then this leaves the role open to people who could also be biased. If the role is voluntary then again the wrong type of person without the correct knowledge could be in place and in a situation they simply would not understand.

We welcome the concept of tighter rules and a recklessness clause being applied to the Hunts who pretend to accidentally kill outwit the current law. But again the recent story regarding the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire hunt shooting and not killing a fox and causing it to suffer before being killed by hounds needs to be addressed. We also welcome the idea of all participants of the hunts being registered to the police making it easier to identify those breaking hunting laws, which would include landowners who allow hunting to take place on their land.

We call on the Scottish Parliament to take Lord Bonomy’s words into account when drafting new legislation to remove loop holes but to take it further and finally ban hunting from Scotland once and for all.

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Only weeks ago Scottish sabs retrieved the body of a fox [above right] that had been shot by the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Hunt. This poor creature took 5 minutes to die and was savaged by the hounds after being shot. Whilst we welcome Lord Bonomy's review, hunters have shown consistently over the past decade that they aren't willing to abide by any laws and regulations relating to their barbaric pastime. The only remaining course of action is to disband all the Hunts.”

 

Bonomy Review says Scottish hunt ban must be strengthened

21-11-16  Guardian   Scottish foxhunting review calls for stronger legislation   Lord Bonomy [right] urgesLordBonomy.jpg government to amend law with greater consistency and appoint independent monitors to observe hunts.  Landowners in Scotland should be held legally responsible for hunts on their property, with hunt activities observed by independent monitors and governed by a new code of practice, according to a review of Scotland’s foxhunting legislation.

Campaigners immediately welcomed the “robust and detailed” report by Iain Bonomy, which was commissioned by the Scottish government last December after significant concerns were raised about loopholes in the law. Since Scotland became the first in the UK to ban traditional foxhunting and hare coursing in 2002, it has been illegal to hunt a wild mammal with a dog. But Hunts in Scotland can continue to kill foxes by practising an exemption to the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act called “flushing to guns”, which means using dogs to chase foxes from beneath cover in order to shoot them.

The report, which was published on Monday, agrees there was law breaking under the ban, and further argues that current legislation “complicates unduly” the detection, investigation and prosecution of alleged offences. Recommending the law be amended with greater consistency and clarity, Lord Bonomy also asks the Scottish government to consider the appointment of independent monitors to observe the activities of hunts on a random basis, a code of practice for the conduct of hunt activities, and whether a landowner who permits a hunt to ride over his land would be vicariously liable if someone involved in the hunt committed an offence.

The report also highlights a submission to the review by Police Scotland, which warned that exceptions to the offence were being exploited by those determined to continue hunting with dogs, and that lack of clear definition in the legislation created confusion. The League Against Cruel Sports welcomed the vicarious liability recommendation as adding an extra layer of scrutiny that would “force landowners to question the motivations of hunts”.

Robbie Marsland, the League’s Scotland director, said: “Lord Bonomy and Police Scotland agree there is abuse and exploitation of the current law, which the review proposes to address with robust new legislation and stronger enforcement. This will not only change the face of hunting in Scotland – it sends a powerful signal to Westminster how illegal hunting can be tackled forcefully.” Calling on the Scottish government to strengthen the law before the end of the current foxhunting season in March 2017. Marsland said: “Public opinion in Scotland wants to see foxhunting banned, the government thought they had banned it and now Lord Bonomy and Police Scotland reveal that the hunts are running a coach and horses through the legislation.”

Holyrood’s environment secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said the Scottish government would make its response next year, adding: “Back in 2002, Scotland led the way in addressing animal welfare concerns and we remain committed to ensuring the highest levels of welfare for our wild animals.” While disputing the suggestion that there was any problem with enforcement of current legislation, Scottish Countryside Alliance director Jamie Stewart said: “We are pleased that the inquiry has recognised the importance of gun packs for fox control and has rejected unjustified calls for further restrictions.”

21-11-16    Herald Scotland   Herald View -  The law on hunting with dogs must be toughened up    IN 2002, the Scottish LanarkshireFHFoxkilledbyhounds5-11-16.jpgParliament passed legislation that was intended to ban hunting with dogs, but how robust is the ban in reality?  Since the Act was passed, there have been no successful prosecutions and animal welfare organisations have claimed there is widespread evasion of the law - just last weekend two charities published what they said was proof a fox was killed by dogs during a recent hunt.

Last year, this lack of clarity and confidence in the law led the Scottish Government to announce a review by Lord Bonomy and he has now delivered his report. Lord Bonomy says there are grounds for suspecting illegal hunting is still taking place and that the law should be changed to make prosecutions easier. He has also suggested introducing monitors to check on hunts, with their reports admissible in court, as well as a code of practice for the conduct of hunts. These are good recommendations and if accepted by the Government, would be a step towards limiting what looks like widespread evasion of the law. The legislation states that the hunting of foxes with dogs is illegal but that a dog can be used to flush out a fox provided it is shot “when it is safe to do so”. However, one of the problems is there is no definition of how long the flushing-out of the fox can last and the law has been interpreted by some hunts as allowing a lengthy chase.

Independent monitors, as suggested by Lord Bonomy, may be able to cast some light on this situation and help enforce a law that is opaque and open to exploitation. One of the aims of the monitors would be establish how often hunts are chasing foxes with dogs, and for how long, and if and when the foxes are being killed by the dogs rather than being shot. But introducing monitors may not be enough – if their evidence shows there is widespread evasion of the law, then the Government will have to be prepared to act and toughen up the law even further. Scotland’s ban on hunting with dogs must be made to work.

POWAperson adds - Pic above left is a fox savaged to death recently by the Lanarkshire & Renfrewshire FH, whose killing was filmed and corpse retrieved by sabs. The Bonomy report was also covered by BBC News and the Plymouth Herald.  The report is welcome and cogent in parts. However, it appears to ignore the central problem with the Scottish law - the number of dogs allowed to flush to guns. Allowing a full pack makes it extraordinarily difficult to distinguish with certainty what is legitimate 'pest control' under the law and what is effectively a traditional pre-ban fox hunt and encourages the activity to be viewed as 'sport'. One also wonders where 'independent' monitors are to be found!

                                 
EFRA committee - RSPCA should not prosecute, including Hunts

16-11-16   Daily Telegraph    RSPCA should be stripped of powers to prosecute cases of animal cruelty, MPs say    The RSPCA is “targeting vulnerable, ill and elderly” people and removing their pets, and should be stripped of its powers to prosecute cases of animal cruelty, an MPs report has found. The MPs on an influential House of CommonsEdwardGarnierQC.jpg select committee said that the RSPCA’s hounding of pet owners over animal cruelty had “damaged its reputation”. However the charity said it would continue prosecuting cases of cruelty – putting it on a collision course with Parliament and ministers, if they agree with the committee’s findings.

Last night, senior a former Conservative government law officer threatened to back a law to strip the RSPCA of its right to prosecute cases of animal cruelty. Sir Edward Garnier [right], a former Conservative Solicitor general, said: “It would be much safer if we have a clean break and put the prosecutions in the hands of the CPS, rather than in the RSPCA. If it requires legislation then the government should introduce the legislation as soon as possible.”

Simon Hart [left], a Tory member of the committee and former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, added the RSPCA now believed it was “untouchable”. The committee also recommended that the maximum SimonHartMP.jpgpenalty for animal welfare crimes should be increased to five years. It also called for a ban on the third party sale of dogs, so that they are only available from licensed, regulated breeders or approved rehoming organisations.

The RSPCA, one of the world’s oldest animal welfare charities, has been heavily criticised for the way it has investigated and prosecuted cases of animal cruelty and fox hunting. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said there was a “conflict of interest” in the charity’s role in bringing forward private prosecutions as well as investigating cases, campaigning and fundraising. The committee called on ministers to change the law so that the RSPCA would continue to investigate animal welfare cases but then pass their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service or another body to carry out this role. If there were no statutory alternatives and where a prosecution would further its charitable objectives, the RSPCA could still bring a prosecution in England and Wales, the committee said.

Tory MP and committee chairman Neil Parish [right] admitted that “the RSPCA does important working investigatingNeilParishMP.jpg animal welfare cases.” But he added: "The committee is not convinced, however, that the RSPCA is in a better position than the Crown Prosecution Service when it comes to prosecuting animal welfare cases. “It should step back from making prosecutions itself, continuing instead to work closely with the police and prosecution service to protect the welfare of animals.” The committee highlighted evidence from the Self-Help Group for farmers, pet owners and others experiencing problems with the RSPCA, which said the animal-keeping public felt alienated by the charity’s “targeting of vulnerable, ill or elderly people” and the removal of their animals. There had been occasions when RSPCA inspectors allowed vets to sign for the removal of animals without seeing the animal in question, although the charity recently issued guidance to stop this happening in future.

The RSPCA prosecuted the Heythrop Hunt, former prime minister David Cameron’s local hunt, at the end of 2012 with success only coming after huge sums were spent, and attracted negative publicity for its failed prosecution of a family for alleged cruelty to its cat. Jeremy Cooper [left], the RSPCA’s chief executive, said nine out of 10 members of the public back the charity’s prosecutions’ policy. Mr Cooper said: “This recommendation is not supported by the JeremyCooperRSPCA2.jpgGovernment, vets, other major animal welfare charities, and local authorities, and flies in the face of the majority of evidence put before the committee. We will consider this report carefully while we will continue to prosecute those who starve, beat, stab, burn and abuse animals. For us the key test will be if the recommendation improves animal welfare and we suspect the answer in this case would probably be no.”

16-11-16  RSPCA Insights    Part of Jeremy Coopers rebuttal … The Committee released their report this week and chose to ignore all of this evidence, recommending instead the RSPCA alone of all organisations or individuals in this country should stop taking private prosecutions and hand our evidence over to the CPS to prosecute. But only if the government also funded the CPS to do this. I am baffled by this recommendation. The RSPCA has a success rate of 92 percent – higher than the CPS and our prosecutions are paid for by public donations rather than taxes. What benefit could there be to passing over the role and cost of prosecuting to the CPS which will quite rightly need to prioritise human victims of crime. I don’t believe the Government has the money or indeed the desire to do this. Indeed they have said as such.... So I will consider one simple question. Will animal welfare be improved by accepting the Committee’s recommendation for us to stop prosecuting? I believe not and so I am reassuring our half a million supporters, the 89 percent of the public that think we should be doing this, the 1.2 million people that call our cruelty line every year, that we will continue our long history of prosecuting animal welfare offences in furtherance of our charitable purposes, despite the calls to the contrary by a very small number of MPs. The animals would expect no less.

POWAperson comments - As we are sure the RSPCA is aware, the attempt to strip them of their prosecution powers is almost entirely motivated by the Society's temerity in prosecuting organised Hunts and really started when the Heythrop convictions were achieved at the end of 2012. All five of the Conservative members of the EFRA Select Committee are strong supporters of hunting with hounds.  Gratifyingly, the RSPCA seems to be standing firm - though it is now a long time since they brought an illegal hunting case..                                      


Sab assaulted by Flint & Denbigh FH supporter

FlintDenbighFH12-11-16.jpg13-11-16   Facebook - Cheshire Sabs    Hit Report 12th November 2016    Yesterday we met up with our Comrades, N.Wales Hunt Sabs & Lancaster Sabs, and headed off to find the Flint and Denbigh Hunt [right].We believe they left early, doing away with the 'traditional' 11 o'clock meet to try and avoid having a day's hunting sabotaged!

After a short drive around we found them hunting at the Coed Coch Estate in Dolwen, Conway. The Hunt were visibly unimpressed with our arrival and several riders left for home. After some brief exchanges with hunt support trying to slow us down with conversation, sabs split off into three groups.

Keeping in constant contact with each other we surrounded the estate and found the Hunt Master Jeremy Reed withFlintDenbighFHSabandsomecharmingfollowers12-11-16.jpg the remaining riders and hounds who were onto the scent of a fox that had bolted. Hunt support were heard hollering in the distance desperately trying to alert the hunt to the presence of a fox.

Sabs were straight into action, briefly being slowed down by hunt thugs who were trying to stop us from entering the field, we successfully turned the hounds and left Jeremy, who was now on foot trying to gather his hounds, very, very frustrated! A sab observing from the roadside was assaulted by a hunt thug and has been reported to the police. The Hunt spent the final part of their day gathering up loose hounds sulking on the hillside for quite some time. With sabs now monitoring from the roadside, the Hunt headed back to the meet.

                                      

NT warns Portman FH after they cause 'extensive damage' to Neolithic site

11-11-16   Bournemouth Echo    National Trust writes to Portman Hunt about "out of control" hounds after "extensive damage" done to Hambledon Hill   THE National Trust has written to the Portman Hunt [right] amid claims made locally that its horses and hounds damaged Hambledon Hill, one of the finest examples of an iron age hill fort in Dorset. It is claimed the hunt left the recognised bridleway and came across the hill during a half term hunt last month.

Local resident Jerry Broadway, believes this is the second time the hunt has damaged the hill fort. He said: "AfterPortmanFHhuntingnearneolithicsite2016.jpg leaving the bridleway the Hunt scattered livestock which were panicked by the hounds who were completely out of control. On this occasion extensive damage was done by the horses to the hill generally, and most worryingly the Neolithic Longbarrow which is over 3,000 years old. They have now twice been guilty of damage to a scheduled ancient monument. What, I wonder will it take to make them actually take real notice?"

Meanwhile, National Trust West & North Dorset general manager Helen Mann confirmed complaints had been received that a hunt crossed Hambledon Hill. She said: "It appears that the Hunt, while crossing the hill on a bridleway, left the track to round up some dogs which had got out of control. Hambledon Hill is a remarkable and important site for both wildlife and archaeology and we have written to the hunt to remind them that they must stay on the bridleway when crossing the hill. Any horses being ridden off the bridleway risk damage and erosion to the fragile Iron Age ramparts which give the hill its distinctive appearance."

Hambledon Hill was acquired by the National Trust last year. Built over 2,000 years ago, the massive earthwork defences lay over one of the most significant early Neolithic landscapes in Western Europe, dating back almost 6,000 years, and is a place half of British butterfly species call home. Standing at twice the height of the White Cliffs of Dover and taller than the London Shard, Hambledon Hill occupies an area of land the size of 50 football pitches. From the summit of the hill for you can see across three counties - Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire. The Portman Hunt was unavailable for comment.

  PortmanFHHambledonHilldamagedbysayNT11-11-16.jpg PortmanFHExampleofdamagetoHambledonHill1-11-16.jpg

                        Hambledon Hill [credit Marilyn Peddle]                                             Example of damage done

                                 
Sabs retrieve mangled corpse of fox slaughtered by Essex & Suffolk FH

8-11-16   Facebook = Cambridge Sabs    We can now sadly reveal images of the fox who was killed by theEssexSuffolkFHKilledfox22-10-16.jpg Essex & Suffolk Hunt on 22nd October 2016.    This young vixen was hunted to her death by Huntsman Joe Tesseyman. The Master is James Buckle [High Sherriff of Suffolk]. Hunt saboteurs were only able to recover her disemboweled, shredded body from the jaws of the hounds. A police report has been made with Suffolk Constabulary. Further images and footage may be revealed in due course pending investigation results.

Sabs from Cambridge Hunt Saboteurs and SES - Suffolk And Essex Hunt Sabs attended the Hunt's meet near the village of Lindsey. The Essex & Suffolk have a long history of flouting the Hunting Act and we regularly manage to prevent them from EssexSuffolkFHFoxkilledby22-10-16.jpgmaking a final kill, but this time were not able to intervene. From Lindsey they hunted west and made the kill on land belonging to an environmentally friendly conservation farm that is a popular school-age attraction and wedding/events venue, The Tudor Barn, Milden, at Milden Hall [right].We have spoken to the landowners at Milden Hall, who say they are keen conservationists who promote wildlife in Suffolk and they assure us that none of their family hunt (or even ride), nor go out when the Hunt are there, however they do occasionally allow the Hunt to come over their land within the law but do not condone illegal hunting. We have made them aware that the Essex & Suffolk is an illegal hunt and that they are out there, at least twice a week, chasing, digging and tearing apart foxes regardless of the ban. We hope that this gives them the wake-up call needed to withdraw permission for the hunt to access their land.

We cannot imagine the terror and pain at being chased across country by a pack of hounds and humans onEssexSuffolkFHFoxkilledbyon22-10-16.jpg horseback, to be ripped to shreds only once you're exhausted and cannot run, or dug out by men with spades if you've sought refuge underground. Such a terrible and barbaric smear on our countryside and we'd hope more businesses and landowners steer well clear of being involved and give hunters the message that it is not acceptable. The Hunt showed no remorse for the kill, and did not attempt to recover the fox from the hounds once she'd been caught. It was only the attending hunt saboteurs who attempted to save her life. Once she was pulled from the jaws of the 30 or so hounds, it was clear she had been ripped to pieces. Her body was brought to a local wildlife rescue for analysis. To us, this is tragic.

To the Essex & Suffolk Hunt, and the 180 or so active fox hunting packs throughout the country however, it's just the result of a day's 'sport'. We will continue to work to protect wildlife from this atrocity in the Eastern Counties, and urge you to support your local Hunt Saboteurs group in doing so where you live too. To this little vixen who ran for her life, and the thousands of others who suffer the same fate each year: we will use their deaths to strengthen our resolve and raise awareness of the horrific reality of fox hunting today.

 

Oakley FH obstruct traffic on A509

8-11-16   Facebook – Northants Sabs    We received these photos taken today of the Oakley Hunt causing a traffic disruption on the A509, they clearly have no care for their horses, the hounds or the safety of road users.

    OakleyFHonA5098-11-16.jpg   OakleyFHonA509_2_8-11-16.jpg

 

Female sabs attacked at Beaufort after artificial earth use discovered

One victim punched in face, other surrounded and harassed

7-11-16   Facebook – 3 Counties Sabs    VIDEO    On Saturday 5th November, we met up with our close friendsBeaufortFHTerriermanhurriedlyclosesAEentryassurprisedbysab5-11-16.jpg Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch to visit the (Duke of) Beaufort Hunt at their opening meet. Soon after the Hunt left the meet at Worcester Lodge, a couple of 3C Sabs drove round to intercept the Hunt and spotted a couple of quadbikes parked up in the corner of a field. With others on their way round to find the Hunt, we stopped to check it out and were soon joined by three more quads, two of which also drove into the field. As a sab passed these quads, one man was on the phone, we think warning the others that sabs were in the area. As the sab reached the original two quads, she could hear people within the wood and walked in to find a number of people with spades at an artificial earth. We are unsure as to whether they had flushed a fox out of the AE as hounds were soon heard in full cry just a few fields away, or whether they were attempting to get to a fox. We will certainly be keeping a closer eye on this area in the future!

Later in the day, as the Hunt were just about to pack up, we spotted the same quadbikes and went to make sure they weren't up to no good. One sab was surrounded by about 10 Hunt riders, 5 quadbikes and 3 4x4s with horses being ridden at her and guys from the quads trying to grab her. Another sab coming in to make sure she was OK was punched in the face after a woman tried to steal her radio from her. Great way to act in front of your kids! Despite being known for some violence 'back in the day' Captain Ian Farquhar told the thugs to back down as he would not have 2 women being assaulted on his land. We appreciate his intervention and hope he might do something about these thugs in the future - why would anyone want to be associated with such people...

9-11-16    Facebook Cirencester - Illegal Hunt Watch   [Lines duplicated in above report removed]    On Saturday 5th November we met up with our close friends Three Counties Hunt Sabs to visit the Beaufort Hunt at their opening meet at Worcester Lodge, South Gloucestershire. This is the lodge that leads to Badminton House which is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort. In this estate they hold the Badminton Horse trials and pheasant shoots. As is usual with the Beaufort, the field was very large.... Over the years there have been many exposes of hunts building and maintaining artificial fox earths and providing supplementary food for foxes. This widespread practice was even acknowledged by hunters in submissions to the Burns Inquiry. The Inquiry's response further undermines hunters' claims of 'fox control':
"...it is hard to reconcile any use of artificial earths by the hunts with the argument that foxes are a pest and that their numbers need to be controlled through hunting."[League Against Cruel Sports]
As the Three Counties video shows, this single sab demonstrated great courage going straight into this big group of terrier men who were clearly engaged in something illegal, and her presence with her camera was enough to flush them out. We are unsure as to whether they had flushed a fox out of the AE or were attempting to get one out of there when disturbed, but hounds were soon heard in full cry just a few fields away and a fox was seen fleeing across a field in Sopworth just below the hunt. The hunt followers saw it but a CIHW monitor saw it too and they had little option but to leave it on this occasion as they wouldn’t want to be seen illegally hunting would they? However they did disturb the grazing animals particularly the herd of cows in the field that they hunted through. 
The Hunt made repeated attempts to hunt coverts by running from the monitors and sabs but we kept up with them... watching them call the hounds out because they were on camera. After collecting second horses at the kennels, they continued well into the afternoon. They went alongside the railway at Alderton and when the sabs arrived the hounds were on cry near Goulters Gorse, going from there into Alderton Grove where they were searching through. But teamwork from the two groups meant that there was someone with a camera on the four corners of the wood which meant they had nowhere to hunt the fox out and the hounds were called out and taken towards Badminton Station. 
It is ironic that sabs and monitors going into Badminton Park near the kennels were repeatedly challenged by hunters for being on private land when they were in fact on a right of way ... one tall strip of a hunter with very white breeches, made quite a fool of himself by prancing on foot self-righteously after them and taking their photographs when they had every right to be there. 
As usual with this large hunt, the participants in the field were laughing and joking between themselves (as well as making derogatory comments about 'antis') ... this is their fun, it is their day out and this time the monitors had a close up view of the price paid for this fun. After the hunt had left one area, two of our monitors came out onto the road and turning round spotted a fox just sitting in the field quite close to them. Foxes are usually gone in a flash if they see or hear a human near them, but it just sat there. This must have been the fox the hunt had been chasing and it had been run to exhaustion. When it did move its tongue was lolling and as it went slowly forward it kept looking back over its shoulder in the direction the hunt had gone. When you see foxes in the wild, hunting or moving about their territory, you never see their tongue lolling out, this is only ever seen in what the hunts charmingly call a 'beaten fox' and it signifies that they have been pushed beyond their natural limits. To see this beautiful wild animal in such a state was heart-rending. At least it had got away, but at what cost? It is known that foxes can die from the extreme exertion they are put to by hunting, even if they are not torn apart by the hounds or dug out and killed by terrier men.
There is no excuse for this in the 21st century. The more sabs and monitors witness and film, the sooner this truly cruel sport will end.
                                        


Sab car rammed by Oakley FH hunt supporter, sabs punched

Hunt warned by police for illegal hunting

5-11-16   Twitter N.Cambs Sabs   This is our vehicle today after being deliberately rammed by hunt support from the Oakley hunt. Nobody injured but other sabs were punched...

6-11-16  Twitter - N.Cambs Sabs   … Not enough for conviction - police with us all day - one Hunt member arrested for assault and hunt warned for illegal hunting.

10-11-16   Facebook – N.Cambs Sabs   This is a 6 second video clip taken from the front-facing dash-cam when we were deliberately rammed by hunt support on Saturday. You need to watch with sound. We're already halfway to our total which is amazing but please keep sharing and help us get to our total so we can be back out on the road doing our job.

Gogetfunding.com     Due to being deliberately rammed into by hunt supporters we need a new vehicle ASAP We now need a new and larger vehicle for this season to make sure our growing group stays on the road and keeps fighting the animal abusers in our communities.

7-11-16     morethanjustbadgers.net    ... The day itself was fairly tough. We had a vehicle rammed which sustained serious damage, we were blocked in by 4 Landrovers filled with thugs all offering to rearrange our features and I was assaulted by one of the thugs, Luckily I was wearing an armoured hat so the punch to the back of my head as I was walking away (cheap shot) didn’t knock me out. Had I not been wearing it I have no doubt my bell would have been well and truly rung!  He was subsequently arrested and is now on bail pending further inquiries. I was wearing a head cam which was running at the time and the footage has been sent to the police as evidence. Another interesting incident was the police actually witnessing a fox being chased. Sabs were on hand to cover it’s scent but this clear violation of the Hunting act gave the police no option but to warn the hunt for hunting illegally. Long may it continue.

     OakleyFHSabcarafterrammedbyhunterlandy5-11-16.jpg 

 

Sab ridden down by frustrated Ross Harriers rider [he's O.K.]

5-11-16   Facebook - Bristol Sabs   Ross Harriers stopped from killing so turn to using violence against sabs   We met up with sabs from Bath, South Wales & 3C today and headed over the bridge to Garway where the Ross Harriers were just finishing their breakfast before a days hunting. Perfect timing!

We were in good numbers which meant the hunt were always in our sight. A few early attempts at hunting were called off by Huntsman, Owain, when he realised a large number of cameras were pointing in his direction (one of which from a member of the press we had out with us).

Soon enough the Hunt were back to their usual business of hunting illegally but we were quickly on the scene to stamp it out. We watched hare after hare flee to safety and the frustrated hunt decided to turn on us by punching sabs and even riding one down (thankfully the sab is OK). Our colleague from the press has everything on film.

More confrontations occurred with another Ross Harriers supporter breaking the press camera (again, footage has all been documented). As the Hunt started to wind down, we came across another hunt: The Leadon Vale Bassets who were also in the area chasing hares. We split into two groups and monitored them until they finally called it a day as darkness fell. We're exhausted but happy to see so many hares get away today. If the Ross Harriers think violence will deter us, they can think again.

         RossHarriersSabriddendown5-11-16.jpg 

 

Police stand and watch Atherstone FH hunting fox

Didn't intervene even when pack ran into road

5-11-16   Facebook – W.Mids Sabs   VIDEO   Fox hunted in front of police, who do nothing   Atherstone Hunt 5th November - tte Hollybush, Ashby Parva. Jon Hadfield was not present at the hunt on Saturday [see two stories down]. We hope the Masters have told him he is not welcome. To do otherwise would be to endorse the carrying of knives and slashing of tyres. If the Masters do allow him to attend again they will be sending a clear signal that this type of activity is supported by the Hunt.

The Atherstone met at the Hollybush in Ashby Parva on Saturday with a small turnout of about 12 riders. Despite Leicestershire police making a rare appearance huntsman Stuart Barton carried on blatantly hunting with clear intent right in front of them. At one point a fox was even chased across a field in front of them and out onto the adjacent road. Luckily, sabs were on the road to slow the traffic and prevent any accidents. The two officers did nothing to stop this. They didn't even speak with the Hunt about this incident and let them carry on hunting for the rest of the day.

When questioned about this later, the police said that they “thought a fox was being chased but weren't sure”. If they thought a fox was being chased why then did they allow the Atherstone to carry on hunting for the rest of the day? If they think other crimes are being committed but “aren't sure” do they let these crimes continue to be committed? We stayed with Barton all day and on a number of occasions out of frustration he could be heard losing his temper and shouting.

Pics below -  First, fox fleeing from hounds along hedge line. Second, hounds, in cry, not far behind fox. Third, self-explanatory. Fourth, the two boys in blue watching the Atherstone hunting fox. 

   AtherstoneFHFoxfleeingfromhounds5-11-16.jpg  AtherstoneFHHoundsincrynotfarbehindfox5-11-16.jpg

  AtherstoneFHStuartBartonhunted5-11-16.jpg AtherstoneFHStuartBartonhunted5-11-16.jpg  AtherstoneFHPolicewatchingthemhuntfox5-11-16.jpg

  

Lanarkshire & Renfrewshire FH kill fox in front of sabs

6-11-16   Facebook – Grampian Sabs  VIDEO  PLEASE SHARE    Yesterday the Lanarkshire & Renfrewshire Hunt made a kill in front of us. Hunting still very much goes on in the UK. The laws have not changed this. Foxes are still dying in agony every week. Please share this far and wide, write to your MPs and support your local hunt sabs. Here is footage taken by Grampian and Fife & Central Scotland Hunt Sabs yesterday. The fox's body is currently under examination.

While we sadly can't save them all we do save many foxes and will continue to document the illegal kills. Full report of the day will come soon.

   LanarkshireFHHoundscatchingandsoonkillingfox5-11-16.jpg  LanarkshireFHSabgrabsfoxcorpsefromhounds5-11-16.jpg

   LanarkshireFHShortlyafterfoxkill5-11-16.jpg  LanarkshireFHFoxkilledbyhounds5-11-16.jpg

POWAperson adds -  Pics above - First shows the hounds hurtling on to the fox just after they put it up. Second shows a sab grabbing the fox from hounds. It is mortally injured. Third shows the riders and pack shortly afterwards. Fourth, the dead fox laid out.

Note the severe wounds to the abdomen and chest. No 'quick nip to the neck' here. There wouldn't be. That's a myth. Dogs nearly always attack the abdomen. Death usually occurs as a result of shock and blood loss and it is usually not quick. The sabs could find no gun wounds, but an autopsy found one, non-fatal. The Scottish 'ban' allows any number of dogs to be used to 'flush out' quarry, so long as the fox is shot dead as soon as practicable. No guns, no legal hunting.

In fox hunting, the quarry may be chased for anything up to an hour and a half, using hounds bred for stamina rather then speed. Long chases are preferred as they give better 'sport'. Uninterrupted chases are known as 'points'. These used to be celebrated in hunting reports that used to be published, sometimes in local newspapers. They sometimes exceed ten miles in length. In this case, however, the fox was put up and killed very soon after. In hunting parlance it was 'chopped', something hunters would rather avoid as it gives little fun. 

The story was also reported in the Scottish Sun

 

Waveney Harriers stampede pregnant cattle, terrify ewes

Sabs save hare from their hounds

3-11-16   Facebook – S.Cambs Sabs    Hit Report – 2/11/16    Yesterday we joined up with Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs to sab the Waveney Harriers [left] who met at Ashby Hall farm (Ashby) six miles north west of Lowestoft. The hunt were less than impressed at our presence, holding up on a field for half an hour in deep discussion (probably on how to lose their determined tail). In their wisdom the Waveney decided to head towards station road and hunt the woods and copses that run parallel with a busy railway line. In previous years this very Hunt had poor WaveneyHarriers2-11-16.jpghounds nearly killed on this railway line holding up a train for several minutes, showing the absolute disregard they have for any animal they use for their illegal 'bloodsport'. We spent the next couple of hours running behind them, whilst coordinating with other sabs who were being positioned ahead of them. 

As the Hunt finally moved away from the copses and hedgerows next to the railway line, the Hunt moved northwards flushing every small woods as they passed them. In the third flushing of a woods, the hounds went into cry becoming extremely vocal and high pitched very quickly. Luckily Sabs were already positioned next to these woods and as we ran into the woods behind the huntsman 'Reuben' both filming and using voice calls to lift the hounds heads off the scent, he unwillingly had to call the hounds away from the wood. A further three times the hounds went into cry in the afternoon including a chase on both a fox and later a hare. Whilst rioting on a fox, the hunt invaded a paddock with two heavily pregnant cows, causing both to ram the iron fencing and escaping onto the road. Hounds immediately after rioted in a field with ewes (sheep) who were desperately huddled next to the gate. *further footage to be revealed*. Again sabs were on hand to not only stop the cows going on to a busy main road but also to help the fox get away. The hunt however just carried on regardless without looking back.

One desperate chase near the end of the meet saw a poor hare make a break through a hedge line. At moments prior to the chase, the hunters filled with anger at not getting their kill attempted to use their horses as battering rams and knocked a few sabs about. At sight of the chase we tried to weave in and out of the surrounding horses spraying the ground behind the hare with citronella and calling off the approaching hounds with voice calls. Luckily we split the pack with the hounds appearing to lose the scent. As the dejected hunt made their way back to kennels we had a team in front waiting and one following behind as we'd had nearly all day, they even left their sandwiches, cakes and booze unattended whilst out trying to kill. I'm sure the bitter taste of sabs was felt long after we'd left.


Ross-on-Wye hotel cancels S.Herefordshire FH Hunt Ball booking

3-11-16   Facebook – Hunt Investigation Team    We heard last week that the Chase Hotel in Ross on Wye had cancelled the South Herefordshire hunt ball. We have been working hard to verify this and as far as we can tell, it appears to be the case. So it seems that polite phone calls and emails won the day. We will of course keep across this and post in due course if any other venues decide to host the cub killers of the infamous South Herefordshire Hunt.                                    

 

Atherstone FH Hounds riot on high speed A44

Sab tyre allegedly stabbed by ex-cop supporter

1-11-16   Facebook – W.Mids Sabs  VIDEO   Atherstone hunt supporter and ex-policeman Jon Hadfield caught slashing lone female hunt sabs tyres Atherstone Hunt Opening Meet 1/11/16   During the Atherstone Hunt's opening meet of the main fox hunting season a lone female hunt sab came across the huntsman and hounds hunting very close to the A444 in Leicestershire. It was clear a fox had just run across the busy road and down into a badger sett on the other side as the hounds were about to run across the road and into on coming traffic. Whilst trying to prevent the hounds running onto the busy road the dash-cam inside the females sab's vehicle recorded regular Atherstone Hunt supporter and ex-Policeman Jon Hadfield walking across the road straight over to the vehicle and taking a penknife out of his pocket. The footage on the sab's handheld camera then shows him to be the only person anywhere near the vehicle. When the sab gets nearer to the vehicle a loud hissing sound can be heard. The front passenger tyre quickly deflated after being stabbed multiple times all around the perimeter. Hadfield had a clear motive after his son was recently in court for assaulting another female sab . The incident has been reported to Leicestershire Police. If any members of the general public were on the A444 at this time and witnessed anything please pm us. Thanks. Please help towards our costs of buying a new tyre.

Pics below -   1/  1st hound runs on to A444   2/  Pack hurtling across the road   3/  Ex-cop John Hadfield opens knife   4/   Sab tyre after being stabbed

    AtherstoneFHFirsthoundrunsontoA444_1-11-16.jpg   AtherstoneFHHoundsrunningontoA444_1-11-16.jpg

    AtherstoneFHJonHadfieldopeningknifewillusetoslashsabtyre1-11-16.jpg    AtherstoneFHSabtyreallegedlystabbedbyJonHadfield1-11-16.jpg 

 

OCTOBER 2016 

..... 31st October - Monitor films within wood where Cheshire FH are 'autumn hunting'
 
..... 31st October - Police fail again to charge the South Herefordshire five in cub cruelty case
 
..... 30th October - Fitzwilliam FH kill another fox, taunt sabs with its corpse
 
..... 29th October - Monitors get apology from E.Mids CPS chief over dropped assault cases
 
..... 28th October - Atherstone FH steward acquitted of assaulting female hunt sab
 
..... 27th October - Ex police officer dies after fall while hunting with the North Down FH
 
..... 26th October - Grafton FH upset landowner trespassing, then go on to closed FC land
 
..... 25th October - Monitors upload shocking film of Grafton FH apparently cub hunting
 
..... 24th October - Stag chased on to fast Devon road by Hunt dies when hit by old man's car
 
..... 24th October - Angry landowner protests yet another invasion by Tiverton FH
 
..... 24th October - Scottish police call for hunting 'ban' to be strengthened
 
..... 21st October - BBC East Midlands 'Inside Out' features work of League hunt monitors
 
..... 21st October - Alleged sexual & physical assault on female sab at Surrey Union FH meet
 
..... 20th October - JM & Chair of suspended S.Hrfrdshre FH defying MFHA by fundraising for Hunt
 
..... 19th October - Bill Oddie calls for Government not to repeal Hunting Act, etc.
 
..... 18th October - Sabs say they filmed Atherstone FH blatantly hunting two foxes
 
..... 18th October - Young fox escapes as Blackmore FH hunt full on
 
..... 18th October - Jedforest FH members' illegal hunting trial set for January
 
..... 14th October - Council lets Cottesmore FH have Boxing Day meet in car park again
 
..... 14th October - Sabs claim to have filmed Atherstone FH fox hunting yet again
 
..... 13th October - Leak of Blackmore FH Huntsman's address referred to police
 
.....  9th October - Tynedale FH hunt fox - sabs say supporter stabbed their tyres
 
.....  8th October - Sabs publish snaps of Easton Harriers JM trying to hide hare killed by Hunt
 
.....  7th October - Leics police drop case against Atherstone FH over fox kill
 
.....  5th October - Three Colne Valley Beagles followers convicted of affray
 
.....  4th October - Dulverton Farmers FH rider convicted of assault and criminal damage
 
.....  4th October - Repentant former Huntsman Clifford Pellow dies, aged 73
 
.... . 3rd October - Sab allegedly assaulted by Atherstone FH Huntsman as hounds chase foxes
 
.....  2nd October - Sabs release damning footage of Blackmore FH chasing fox in January
 
.....  2nd October - Ranulph Fiennes to tell Tory Conference hunting 'brutal and insupportable'
 
.....  1st October - Ross Harriers ride at and shove sabs as fox probably killed
 
 
Monitor films in middle of wood where Cheshire FH 'autumn hunting'

31-10-16   YouTube   Cheshire Monitors have uploaded a video taken by one of their people, who spent an hour standing in the middle of a wood whilst the Huntsman [with whom the monitor seems to be on unusually good terms] tries to control his hounds and the dogs and foxes are whizzing about all over the place. The hounds don't seem terribly sure what they are supposed to be doing and there don't seem to be any kills during the filming, though it ends suddenly with hounds in cry. It's all a bit weird. 

The video opens with shot of a fleeing fox just yards from the monitor. Just seconds later, hounds appear only a little further away and dash into bushes, then turn back and run right past the monitor. They're not in cry and are being encouraged on by the Huntsman's voice. However, the soundtrack following suggests they did not get the fox.

POWAperson, normally highly sceptical of the likelihood of given filmed evidence to support a prosecution because of the manifold ways the Hunting Act makes this extraordinarily difficult, thinks this film does, strangely enough, meet most, if not all, of the criteria.

Some stills from the film below-  1/  Fox flees hounds   2/  2 seconds later, hounds chase fox    3/  Probably the same fox, doubling back

   CheshireFHFoxfleeshoundsPIC_A22-10-16.jpg   CheshireFHHoundswithinyardsoffoxinPIC_A_dontcatch22-10-16.jpg   CheshireFHProbsamefleeingfoxasPIC_A_22-10-16.jpg

   CheshireFHHuntsmanandpack22-10-16.jpg   CheshireFHspottersupportertellsriderwherefoxwent22-10-16.jpg   CheshireFHspottersupporterriderandhound22-10-16.jpg

 


Police fail yet again to charge the South Herefordshire FH five

31-10-16   Facebook -Hunt Investigation Team   UPDATE   The 5 accused from the South Herefordshire Hunt attended the police station today. Yet again the police and CPS have failed to charge these people. their bail has been extended until the end of January!! That is a full 8 months from the date the fox cubs were taken from the wild and thrown live to the hounds of the Hunt.

The police and CPS have not even had the decency to explain this extraordinary decision to us or the media. This stinks of corruption, state arrogance and shows a complete lack of respect to the public, the investigators and the foxes that died in the most horrific and brutal way. We are shocked and angry. Please SHARE this post, we must let everyone know what is unfolding here and please keep supporting us. We need your help. https://www.gofundme.com/H-I-T

POWAperson adds - The senior JM of this Hunt, Major Patrick Darling, is High Sheriff of Herefordshire [a personal appointment by the Queen]. But obviously this would have nothing to do with the police/CPS apparent reluctance to charge his 'servants' in what looks an open-and-shut case of extreme cruelty to a number of captive animals.

A few years ago, the Essex & Suffolk Hunt hounds 'accidentally' invaded a garden in north Essex. The Whip grabbed the mauled but still living fox from them and beat it to death with his crop just yards from the horrified family. who had been enjoying a barbecue on their patio. The police didn't charge him or anyone else from the Hunt with anything [the Hunt claimed they were using the Falconry Exemption] and the local press ignored this juicy story, even after the Daily Mail splashed it luridly over a whole page. Nothing to do with the fact that the High Sheriff of Suffolk was JM of the Hunt, of course.

 

Fitzwilliam FH kill another fox, taunt sabs with its corpse
 
30-10-16   Facebook -S.Cambs Sabs    Hit Report – 29/10/16   Yesterday, we paid a visit to the Fitzwilliam Hunt [right] who started their 'Introduction to the cowardly killing of wildlife' meet at Field Farm, Lutton (10 miles south of Peterborough). This hunt who are currently on trial for the illegal killing of a fox and for a further animal crueltyFitzwilliamFHblockingroad29-10-16.jpg charge, showed today what utter contempt they have for the Hunting Act law. From the very minute we arrived the Huntsman was flushing the hounds through a thick/dense copse bringing the pack into immediate cry at the scent of a close by fox.
Luckily our sabs and those from N.Cambs & Northants Hunt Saboteurs were in position in the adjacent field to call away the hounds using the gizmo (audio speaker replicating hounds on cry). After pulling the hounds into the field and away from the fox, the Hunt took the best part of the next hour trying to gather up their hounds who seemed much happier getting a few hugs from us than being forced to hunt wildlife. Watching these poor dogs flinch at the sight of dismounted hunters with whips makes you wonder what cruelty these animals are subjected to behind closed doors.

Unfortunately, after following on behind the Hunt who were desperate to get away, even leaving behind nearly all of the newcomers who wanted a taste of this barbaric bloodsport, the hounds went into cry again. As we approached we could see several riders, the terrier men/quads FitzwilliamFHSabpettinghound29-10-16.jpgand car supporters all surrounded a thick copse as the hounds cries became louder and louder. We were unable to save the chased and exhausted poor fox. Not content with just murdering a terrified juvenile fox. They proceeded to taunt us several minutes later by circling the quad with the dead fox at their feet in front of us, with the hounds' mouths still bloody from the kill.

For the rest of the morning, we remained as tight as possible to them as they continued to draw hedge rows and copses. We have no doubt that without our presence more innocent lives would have been ended for their horrific 'sport'. What we found particularly horrid was the amount of hunt supporters of the Fitzwilliam falling over themselves to try and get a look at the sick killing, yet after the sick deed is accomplished these people (many of who had children with them), shamefully bow their heads or put their hands over their faces. No doubt these cowards will try to justify their disgusting behaviour by back slapping with the tiny sadistic minority people and rebuke the huge majority of both country, city and town people. We however, will continue to hold them to account for their twisted behaviour and are going to continue to try and stop them.

All relevant footage of yesterdays hunting are going to be passed onto the relevant authorities.


Monitors get personal apology from East Midlands CPS chief for 'let down'

CPS dropped threat behaviour case against 2 Grafton FH followers for no good reason

29-10-16    YouTube - Hunt Monitors    Grafton Hunt followers Clewes & Wilkinson [were] due to appear in Court Christopher Clewes and Ben Wilkinson were due to appear in court charged with 'Use threatening/ abusive/ insulting words/behaviour to cause harassment/ alarm/ distress,' until the case was dropped just two weeks before the trial was due to take place. Subsequently, the Monitors received a personal apology from the Acting Chief Prosecutor of East Midland CPS for mistakes made by them, who said that their "handling of the case did not meet the high standards which we aspire to, and I accept that you have been let down by the Criminal Justice System."

If you would like info on how to help Hunt Monitors please visit our Facebook page, or for donations to help us keep going please see here. 

For further information on Hunt Monitors. Please also see our website where you will find a petition to sign. This goes back to Jan 2015 when we made complaints to the police about the appalling behaviour of Grafton Hunt supporters. It seemed we had a decent officer who dealt with the case and the CPS set a date for the case to go to court. We went through two reviews (under Victims Right to Review) and suffered insulting comments and lies from two CPS lawyers but eventually received an unequivocal apology from the CPS due to our perseverance to get justice.

   


Atherstone FH 'steward' acquitted of assaulting female sab

Video shows him violently throwing her to the ground

28-10-16   Coventry Telegraph  VIDEO  Atherstone Hunt steward grapples with protester - Peter Hadfield was charged with common assault but found not guilty    A steward accused of assault at a meeting of the Atherstone Hunt has been cleared. Peter Hadfield was charged with common assault in relation to an incident in January but he was found not guilty. The group, West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, had reported the 20-year-old to Leicestershire Police , claiming that he had grabbed one of their female members and taken her to the ground, injuring her back.

Video footage of the alleged incident at the Atherstone Hunt meeting near Sibson in Leicestershire on January 23 was shown at Loughborough Magistrates Court on October 10, where Mr Hadfield was found not guilty. Speaking to a pro-hunting publication following Mr Hadfield’s acquittal, his solicitor Stephen Welford said he was simply instructing the hunt saboteurs to leave the private land as they were trespassing. Mr Welford said: “The complainant Sarah Lloyd insisted she had every right to be there. Mr Hadfield was herding her out with his arms outstretched. Once they had left the field and got on to grass verge she grabbed hold of his coat and refused to let go. He used reasonable force to remove her and, having seen it on the video the magistrates agreed.”

A spokesperson for the anti-hunting campaigning group said: “The whole day was just awful, we had four foxes chased, one was killed in a pub car park while people were eating their food. Unfortunately it seems to be that no matter what evidence we submit, nothing is being done. How much more footage do the authorities need to see before something is done?”

    AtherstoneFHFemalesabflungtogroundbysupporterPeterHadfieldFoundngofassault28-10-16.jpg AthersoneFHstewardPeterHadfield.jpg

   

Ex police officer dies after fall while hunting with North Down FH

27-10-16   Belfast Telegraph   Equestrian centre boss Claire Lowe dies in fall during hunt in Northern Ireland   Tributes have been paid to an equestrian centre boss who died suddenly in a tragic hunting accident yesterday afternoon. Former police officer Claire Lowe from Saintfield had been taking part in a hunt in the New Line area of Ballygowan when the 39-year-old came off her horse at a fence, and died from her injuries shortly afterwards. A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said a rapid response paramedic was called to the incident at around 3.20pm.However, it was too late to save the popular horse rider, who was well known in the local equestrian scene...

Ms Lowe had worked as a constable for Lisburn PSNI, but after the death of her father last Christmas — Gerry Lowe, the owner of the successful Lisburn company Lowe Refrigeration — she had returned home to Saintfield to manage the Mill House Equestrian Centre in Saintfield. Paying tribute Lisburn and Castlereagh City District Commander, Superintendent Sean Wright said Claire was in the "prime of her life".... The Police Federation for Northern Ireland which represents rank and file officers also extended its "deepest sympathy" to Claire's family, colleagues and friends. Her work involved breeding Connemara ponies as well as running a tack shop business and online auction site. Many friends had not heard the sad news until late last night, and posted their condolences on social media. Friend Lynne Spence wrote that Claire had “died doing what she loved”.... Nicci Hall said: “Such a tragic loss of a genuinely lovely person....”

POWAperson comments - All life is precious and we too extend our sympathies to Claire Lowe's friends and family. However, she was participating in a live quarry Hunt [there is no 'ban' in Ulster], doing something a friend says that she 'loved'. What she loved, then, was engaging in the wilful chasing, terrorising and slaughter of defenceless foxes, employing hounds that are ruthlessly exterminated as soon as they start to become of less use to the Hunt. All life is precious, and our sympathy also extends to all the animals that have, over many years, been abused and killed by the North Down FH and to their 'friends and families'.

   

Grafton FH Monitor films upset landowner confront trespassing hunters

But they go on to hunt in closed Forestry Commission plantation

26-10-16   Facebook – Hunt Monitors  VIDEO  Grafton Hunt Trespass Abthorpe 10 Oct 2016   The Grafton Hunt caused distress to local landowner when they trespassed on her land at Abthorpe, Northamptonshire. They then continued to trespass by hunting in Bucknell Wood, which is owned by the Forestry Commission who had closed and cordoned off the bridleways due to their bad condition. Please contact us on 07955 486 234 or visit Hunt Monitors Facebook for information on how you can help. For donations towards monitors expenses please visit GoFundMe. For more about Hunt Monitors, go here.

Pics below  -   1/  Huntsman and hounds at 8 a.m.    2/   Later, in cub hunting mode   3/   Landowner seeing Hunt off her land

   GraftonFHHuntlatertrespassed10-10-16.jpg  GraftonFHIncubhuntingmode10-10-16.jpg

      GraftonFHLandownerseesofftrespassinghunters10-10-16.jpg

 


Monitors upload shocking film of Grafton FH apparently cub hunting

Clip of bird-handler feeding dead fox to his eagle featured

25-10-16   You Tube   Grafton September 22 -  more shocking scenes from a hunt, in September 2016  - despite the fact that hunting was banned in 2005. The Hunting Act must be strengthened to put a stop to scenes like these. Visit the Hunt Monitors Facebook page for information on how you can help.

POWAperson explains - The video shows the Hunt taking hounds to a wood next to the busy Northampton Road, near Litchborough, Northants, a little after 7a.m. Monitors are certain that no trail was laid. A young fox is seen running along the edge of a ploughed field, then ducking into the wood. A mounted redcoat holds point on the road, another rider is seen on the edge of the wood. The fox bolts out not far from him and runs across the ploughed field. It then crosses the road, just behind a passing car, stumbling as it reaches the far side.

A fox, perhaps the same one, is seen at 8.10 a.m. running across a grassed field parallel with the road, passing a hunt spotter in the field. The next minute, hounds burst into the field, pursuing the fox. Monitors next to the field try to call the hounds off, but are ignored. The Huntsman canters along the road after the pack. Hounds turn through 150 degrees and race off to the wood on the far side of the field. A horsebox is parked badly, blocking nearly half the road, obstructing traffic. The Hunt now have hounds in the wood. Hounds are sometimes heard in cry. While foxes run for their life, riders are on the wood's edge, 'holding up' - a scene identical to cubbing before the so-called ban. So are the noises they make, to scare back fleeing foxes. What they are doing could not be clearer to anyone who knows about fox hunting.

We see the pack on the edge of the wood, frantically seeking fox scent, watched by a redcoat on foot. At no point is any hunter seen or heard attempting to call hounds off. The Hunt moved off at 8.52, but it was evident they had killed at least one fox. Back close to the road, the Hunt's bird handler allows his eagle to feed off a fox carcass. The eagle, carted around throughout the hunt, is there purely as a prop, so that, if challenged, the Hunt can claim to be hunting under the Falconry Exemption, which absurdly allows a full pack to be used to flush out quarry for the bird to hunt. It's never actually flown.

Despite all this, because of the wording and exemptions of the Hunting Act 2004, it is highly unlikely that what the monitors were able to film would be sufficient to secure a prosecution, let alone conviction. This group of monitors have submitted similar film of the Grafton on several occasions, and many more of other Hunts, only to be told it is not enough.  But this and other videos do appear to illustrate how blatantly the Grafton and others feel able to hunt live quarry.

Scenes from the video -   1/   Fox fleeing hounds crosses road     2/    Riders holding up on road    

   GraftonFHFoxfleeinghounds22-9-16.jpg  GraftonFHRidersholdinguponroad22-9-16.jpg

   3/   Fox fleeing past hunt spotter       4/   Hounds chasing fox across field          

   GraftonFHFoxfleeinghoundspasthuntspotter22-9-16.jpg    GraftonFHhoundschasingfox22-9-16.jpg 

   5/    A rider 'holding up'        6/   More riders 'holding up'           

   GraftonFHOneofridersholdingup22-9-16.jpg   GraftonFHMoreridersholdingup22-9-16.jpg 

    7/   Hunt's eagle feeding on dead fox    8/   Bird handler holding fox corpse by brush

   GraftonFHEaglegivendeadfoxtofeedon22-9-16.jpg   GraftonFHBirdhandlerholdingdeadfoxbybrush22-9-16.jpg 


  

Stag killed in collision with old man's car on North Devon road

Believed stag chased onto high-speed link road by local deer Hunt

24-10-16   N.Devon Journal    Stag collides with 83-year-old man's car at South Molton in North Devon    TivertonSH.jpgAn 83-year-old man had his car written-off after he hit a stag on a North Devon road. Alan Cope, from Barnstaple, contacted the Journal about the incident after his brother, Wilfred, was involved in the crash during his visit to the region on Monday, October 3. Alan and his wife were phoned by the police and the ambulance crews saying there had been an accident by Pathfields Industrial Estate at South Molton at 2.30pm. He said: "There were no injuries at all, they were shaken up but they were very lucky. The police took the car to the compound and it was taken back to the garage, but it was a complete write-off, even though he was only doing 55pmh. My brother stayed with us for another week and then had to go home on the train. The stag landed on top of the car and smashed the windscreen. It looked awful. The car was only two years old and my brother is like me, he needs his wheels!"

Mr Cope and his family would like to say a big thank you to the people who assisted them, gave out hot drinks and let them use their phones. There were reports that the dead stag was picked up immediately by people and taken away before the police arrived.

A police spokesman said: "Police were called just after 2.30pm on Monday 3 October, to a single car collision on Station Road, South Molton. A stag had reportedly ran out and damaged the front of the car. Apart from the stag, there were no injuries reported. This matter is closed from a police point of view."

POWAperson comments -  The story does not mention the Hunt, believed to have been the Tiverton DH [above left], but information suggests it was they who chased the stag over a rugby field and onJohnNorrish.jpg to the road. The driver and his wife were lucky to escape with their lives, let alone uninjured. Red deer stags are big animals. POWAperson was himself tangentially involved in an almost identical incident in 1997 when a Hunt [definitely the Tiverton] he had been helping to monitor did the same thing on the same road, though we only became aware of it later in the day. I spoke to the people  in the car by phone after they'd returned home. This time the car was occupied by a young holiday-maker family with a small child. Again, fortunately, they were uninjured, but were badly shaken. While they were stranded by the side of the road in their damaged car, a 4x4, presumably from the Hunt, pulled up behind them. They thought help had arrived. The driver got out, picked up the deer carcass, threw it in the back of his car and drove away without a word. Nice folk, hunters [their one-time Huntsman, John Norrish, was sentenced to four years in prison a few years ago for raping a supporter's wife at a Hunt Ball]. As it seems this time, the police were not interested in how the stag came to run out on to a fast major road in the middle of the day.

Thanks to the vagaries of the Hunting Act, deer hunting continues. I gather the Tiverton DH pretend to trail hunt and, when the hounds lay on, keep fairly far back so they can say they weren't 'participating', whilst the Devon & Somerset make cynical use of the 'Research and Observation' exemption to continue their killing for 'sport'. This will go on until the Hunting Act is substantially strengthened. 

   

Angry landowner protests yet another invasion by Tiverton FH

Captures hound and holds it 'hostage' to make her point

TivertonFHAntilandownerSuePrattwithcapturedhound22-10-16.jpg24-10-16   Exeter Express & Echo    Hunters hound is held 'hostage' by angry landowner    A frustrated small holding owner near Tiverton has hit back at her land being infringed upon by huntsmen by capturing one their hounds. Every year Sue Pratt, from Rackenford, says she experience problems during the hunting season, but this year it has come early with an unwelcomed visit from Tiverton Foxhounds.

Last Saturday, ahead of the start of the new season, Sue claims at around 4pm she saw at least 10 hounds bounding through her ground and into her yard, scattering her poultry and upsetting her dogs. Sue recalled: "I managed to capture a hound as hostage [left]. I confronted two huntsmen on the road who refused to give me their names. They were trying to call up the hounds back out on to the road, therefore blocking traffic. I explained they were banned from my ground, which they were aware of, but they could give no explanation why they had lost control of the hounds. I told them they were incompetent and around an hour later I was approached by a hunt supporter looking for aTivertonFHHuntsmanRoryAckerman.jpg lost hound. I admitted I had it but said I would only hand it over to a hunt member. Eventually someone arrived who identified himself as Ron Vincent. I took a photo of him and asked why so many hounds were out when only two are allowed to hunt at a time? I was told they were trail hunting but when I asked if they had set the trail through my ground and yard, I received no sensible answer. He seemed relieved to have the hound back and departed as soon as possible. I reported the incident to the police.”

Tiverton Foxhounds' huntsman Rory Ackerman [right] confirmed they were near the small holding in Rackenford last Saturday trail hunting, which is where a pack of hounds hunt a scent that has been laid over a course with a defined beginning and end. He denied they were cub hunting which is the practice of hunting fox cubs rather than adult foxes, and said he was aware of only one hound going on to the land. He said: "We were trail hunting which is perfectly legal. We didn't encroach on her land and the hounds were on the road. At one point a hound went on her drive and the owner ended up locking it in. As far as I can definitely say it was one hound. We are sorry he went in there but we were not doing anything wrong."

The official fox hunting season is due to begin during the first week of November. Hunts are at the end of the hound training period. Ivor Annetts, a retired trustee of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "It is my belief that the vast majority of hunts across the country regularly break the law and have done so since September 2005. There been a dozen cases where there has been evidence of that but it is very difficult to get the evidence.