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

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

WARNING   Likely to contain images you may find distressing 


This site  The Web 

JUNE 2011

.....  1st June - Sabs arrested at Cotswold Vale FH in March told no charges 


Sabs arrested at Cotswold Vale FH in March told no charges

1-6-11   ThisIsGloucestershire    Anti-hunt protestors will not face charges    Six anti-hunt activists arrested during a controversial police operation have been told they won't be facing criminal charges. The hunt saboteurs and anti-hunt monitors say they are now considering suing the police for wrongful arrest... Around 50 officers, riot vans and the force helicopter descended on the village when followers of the Cotswold Vale Farmers' Hunt called police after being confronted by around 30 protesters from the Hunt Saboteurs Association... One hunt saboteur, who wanted to be known only as Mick from Cirencester, said the HSA was unhappy with the treatment by police.. [Article no longer online]


MAY 2011

..... 26th May - Three sabs acquitted of aggravated trespass at Grove & Rufford FH meet  

..... 20th May - National body tells police should prioritise illegal hunting in SW England 

..... 17th May - Sab cleared of assaulting Blencathra FH Joint Master

..... 17th May - Hunting Earl of Onslow dies aged 73

.....  4th May - Tivyside FH supporter fined for assault on pensioner 

.....  ? May - Protest at police HQ re. inaction on IoW FH's illegal hunting/sett interference   


Three sabs acquitted of agg. trespass at Grove & Rufford FH meet

26-5-11   HSA news release    Three Hunt Saboteurs found not-guilty of Aggravated Trespass    3 members of the Hunt saboteurs association were yesterday found not-guilty of aggravated trespass after a three day trial at Newark Magistrates Court.

They had been monitoring the Grove and Rufford Foxhounds, in November last year, to ensure compliance with the Hunting Act. It was suspected that the Hunt had been hunting live foxes. At least one fox had been seen running from the Hunt that day. The defendants exercised their lawful right not to supply their details to police but were then arrested and prosecuted.

After two days of prosecution, evidence material came to light that showed prosecution witnesses, including police officers, had lied under oath and the case was dismissed. During his summing up the District Judge expressed his displeasure with the Crown Prosecution Service for allowing the case to come to trial and demanded answers from them about why this decision had been made.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs association, stated: This ridiculous court case has wasted a huge amount of public funds. This money should have been used by the police and Crown Prosecution Service to enforce the Hunting Act rather than persecuting innocent people. We hope Nottinghamshire Police learn from this verdict and start to focus their resources on the real criminals who continue to illegally chase and kill wildlife.


National body tells police should prioritise illegal hunting in S.W.England

20-5-11   ThisIsDevon    South West a hotspot for hunting with dogs, reports policing unit    Fox hunting is "predominantly a problem" in the South West and should be a priority for local police forces, according to the National Wildlife Crime Unit. The policing unit, currently funded by a number of bodies including the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the Home Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said a third of reports of "suspicious" hunting behaviour came from the region. Those reports were made by the League Against Cruel Sports... . Alison Hawes, from the Countryside Alliance, said there had been no prosecutions or charges brought against any member of a hunt during the last season. "This is the only area where the league have activity," she said. "Therefore if they can't produce any evidence from last season then it just goes to show that we are not a problem."... [Article no longer online]


Sab cleared of assaulting Blencathra FH Joint Master

17-5-11  Carlisle News & Star   Cumbrian anti-hunt campaigner not guilty of assault    A veteran anti-hunt campaigner has been found not guilty of assaulting a Cumbrian hunt leader. Andrew Watson, 45, said he only pushed Michael Thompson, master of Blencathra Hunt, in self-defence after being kneed in the leg.... Magistrates said both the defence and prosecution witnesses had been inconsistent in their versions of the story. They added: “We have to be sure of the facts before we can get on to considering the issue of self-defence. With the evidence before us we can’t be sure of the facts as asserted by the Crown.”... [Article no longer online]


Hunting Earl of Onslow dies aged 73

17-5-11   Daily Telegraph   The Earl of Onslow, who died on May 14 aged 73, was an unrepentant standard bearer for the hereditary peerage, of which he was a colourful and conscientious example    After the bulk of the hereditaries were excluded in 1999 – a measure on which he "conscientiously abstained" – he was elected by Tory peers to continue a family involvement with Parliament dating back without a break to the 16th century.

Michael Onslow described himself as "a hereditary peer who sees the illogicality of having any power over his fellow citizens just because his forebear got tight with the Prince Regent", and in 1979 urged Margaret Thatcher to "reform the House of Lords before a Labour government did so stupidly". His own preference was for two-thirds of the house to be elected.

To some, Onslow was a caricature. He once confessed to a desire to "thrash most of my children most of the time". He bought from Lord McAlpine a Roman artefact – a stone testicle – which he placed under his wife's pillow. He once chased a runaway bullock down the A3 on horseback...

He had first shown his love of animals while at Eton by exhibiting canaries at Olympia; now he gave full vent to his passions for wildlife and country sports. Onslow hunted in Leicestershire with the Fernie and organised shoots on his own estate – one immortalised on television by his brother-in-law, Auberon Waugh. When Mrs Thatcher's government promoted the Wildlife and Countryside Bill, Onslow was one of its best-informed and most constructive critics...

Onslow attracted adverse publicity after he was lent Hallo Dandy, winner of the 1984 Grand National, as a hunter by the horse's owner, Richard Shaw. When one of the papers reported that he had paid for the horse, Onslow rang the journalist and called him a "drunken, lying hack". Onslow rode Hallo Dandy to hounds for a time, but in 1994 the horse was seen in very poor condition in a field at Clandon. Apprised of this, Shaw contacted Carrie Humble, founder of the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre, and, with the support of Peter O'Sullevan, who had called the horse home at Aintree, Hallo Dandy was taken in and restored to health, eventually being put down at the ripe old age of 33. Onslow indignantly denied neglect, insisting to Horse and Hound that the animal had been "used for publicity in a very slanted way".


Tivyside FH supporter fined for assault on pensioner

4-5-11   WalesOnline    Hunt member convicted over battery on pensioner    A member of a Welsh hunt has been found guilty of battery against a pensioner. Huw Green, a member of the Tivyside Hunt, pleaded guilty at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court after being charged with battery against 75-year-old Michael Sharratt of Whitland, who was observing the hunt last November on behalf of the League Against Cruel Sports at the time. Green was fined £55, a £15 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £100 in costs.

League chief executive Douglas Batchelor said: “This is a dreadful case where a law abiding member of the public was set upon simply because he was observing a hunt. It is high time hunters accepted that they are not above the law and today’s verdict sends a strong message that law breaking is not tolerated. To attack a pensioner simply because he objects to the chasing and killing of foxes for sport is mindless and totally unacceptable”.

The League has released footage of the incident, in which a scuffle is seen to develop over pictures of the hunt recorded on a camera and mobile phone. A further dispute then breaks out over alleged trespassing, after which a voice said to be that of Green says: "You're a dirty scum of a man who just wants to make trouble for people."


Protest at police HQ re. inaction on IoW FH's illegal hunting/sett interference

?-5-11   Isle of Wight County Times    Badger Trust members and hunt monitors protested repeated inaction by police against the Isle of Wight FH's breaching of the Hunting Act and digging into badger setts, outside Hampshire Police HQ at Winchester. [Article no longer online]



APRIL 2011

..... 28th April - Beaufort FH Huntsman Capt. Ian Farquhar retires after 26 seasons 

..... 15th April - Radio 4 play seeks to reflect both sides of hunting debate

.....  8th April - LACS claim support for hunt ban in Lords has grown greatly 



Beaufort FH Huntsman Cpt Ian Farquhar retires after 26 seasons

28-4-18   Gloucs Gazette    Captain of Beaufort Hunt retires after over 25 years in the saddle    THE captain of IanFarquharBeaufortFH.jpgthe Beaufort Hunt has retired after more than a quarter of a century in the saddle. Ian Farquhar has stepped down from the captaincy of the historic Hunt following 26 seasons with the hounds. He will stay on as joint master, alongside the Duke of Beaufort.

During a celebration of his length of service, he was presented with a painting by Neil Forster of the Beaufort Five, the five consecutive Peterborough Hound Show dog champions – a feat the outgoing captain oversaw whilst at the helm.

Jo Aldridge, spokeswoman for the Hunt, said: "This was followed by an absolutely storming day and then a tea in the village hall at Badminton. Here, guests from far and wide were entertained by the captain’s daughters and their Meade cousins led by singer Rose Farquhar to a rendition of the tune by Abba of Thank you for the Music, entitled Thank you for the Hunting."


Radio 4 play seeks to reflect both sides of hunting debate

15-4-18   Daily Telegraph    Countrysides, Radio 4, preview    Gillian Reynolds is impressed by the boldness of Anita Sullivan's play about life in the country since the Hunting Bill. Conservative MPs opposed to repeal of the hunting ban face a backlash from hunt campaigners in their constituencies, it has emerged. The latest calculation by the hunting lobby is that 300 MPs are pro-repeal while the anti-hunting lobby has 280 to 290 supporters in the Commons.

Anita Sullivan's play 'Countrysides' explores what's happening in the countryside in response to the Hunting Bill. She's been researching it for four years, talking to hunt monitors, hunt saboteurs, animal welfare organisations, police, hunt staff and supporters, falconers, terrier men, vets and farmers. It's about two men who discover a fragile human connection. Tim McInnerny plays the hunt master, Russell Tovey, the anti-hunt protestor.

It's interesting to remember that when Radio 2 did its last set of new Radio Ballads, the one on fox hunting had great problems in finding pro-hunting speakers. Considering this is going out right in the middle of the two episodes of the new Classic Serial, Jorrocks Jaunts and Jollities, as merry a set of hunting scenes as you could imagine, it's maybe there as balance but, from the countrymen who I know who still ride out, it could be a reflection of how often the law is being ignored. 'Countrysides' airs on Wednesday 20 April on Radio 4 at 2.15pm.


LACS claim support for hunt ban in Lords has grown greatly

8-4-11   ThisIsGloucestershire    League claims shift in attitude to hunting    AN animal rights charity believes support for the fox hunting ban is gaining ground among the House of Lords after recording a "massive shift" in peers' views on the sport. The League Against Cruel Sports says a recent poll by qualitative researchers ComRes shows that shows that 49 per cent of members of the House of Lords would vote in favour of a repeal of the Hunting Act, while 43 per cent would vote against...


MARCH 2011

..... 31st March - Fernie FH huntsman & terrierman lodge appeals against their convictions

..... 23rd March - Villagers oppose building of kennels by East Cornwall FH 

.....  ? March - LACS appoints new Chief Executive Officer

..... 18th March - Resident says saw fox hunting in Derbyshire

..... 18th March - 'Fat lady'  laughs at 'death threats' from antis

..... 16th March - Cotley FH rider dies after hunting accident

..... 15th March - Woman Heythrop FH follower cautioned for punching female monitor in face

..... 14th March - Hunter rescues lost dog while searching for missing hound

..... 11th March - Anti campaigner successfully sues hunter employers after being sacked 

.....  ? March - Secretary of Warwickshire FH killed in riding accident 

.....  ? March - Sab arrests after 'disproportionate' police response to Hunt call out 


Fernie FH Huntsman & terrierman lodge appeals against convictions

31-3-11   Harborough Mail    Hunt pair launch conviction appeal    TWO Fernie Hunt employees have lodged an appeal against their convictions for breaching the ban on hunting. And a fundraising appeal has also been launched to help pay the legal costs of the challenge.

Huntsman Derek Hopkins and terrierman Kevin Allen were convicted in January of hunting a wild mammal with a dog and of interfering with a badger sett or being reckless as to whether their actions would damage it.

Hopkins, of Welham Lane, Great Bowden, was fined £850 and ordered to pay £1,250 costs while Allen, of Nether Green, also in Great Bowden, received fines totalling £650, plus £900 costs. The seven day trial centred on a hunt which took place near Stonton Wyville on January 27 last year and which was filmed by members of the League Against Cruel Sports.

The prosecution said it showed a fox being dug out of a badger sett before being chased by hounds when it bolted. However Allen and Hopkins said the hunt had been following a scent trail and that the sett showed no signs of being occupied.

Tim Bonner, spokesman for the Masters of Foxhounds Association, said an appeal hearing is likely to be held in October.


Villagers oppose building of East Cornwall FH kennels

23-3-11   ThisIsCornwall   Petition against hunt kennel has 70 names so far    ST CLEER residents have launched a petition against a planning application to keep hunting hounds nearby. The East Cornwall Hunt has applied to Cornwall Council for a Certificate of Lawfulness for the use of hunt kennels at Higher Gimble in the village of Commonmoor.... Some Commonmoor residents say they fear the whole pack of 200 hounds will be moved in. Around 70 signatures have been collected. One signatory, Clive Fowley, said: "There are lots of issues, including dog-fouling contaminating the water, but the biggest concern is the noise...



Resident says saw fox hunting in Derbyshire

18-3-11  Derby Telegraph – Letter    'Loophole' in law allows fox hunting to continue    I thought fox hunting was banned. Recently our country lanes became a grandstand for packed cars and people watching the efforts of dogs scouring the undergrowth and hedge bottoms, presumably trying to pick up the trail of a fox... Drag-hunting is the loophole in the law which encourages spectators who hope to witness a live kill. Drag hunting must be banned to prevent unscrupulous fox-hunters in their idea of sport... H A Hardwick, Park Avenue, South Wingfield   [Letter no longer online]


'Fat lady'  laughs at 'death threats' from antis

15-3-11  The Sun   If I’m getting death threats I must be doing something right, says Clarissa Dickson Wright   Outspoken pro-hunting fan Clarissa Dickson Wright can’t wait to get back on the box — to start getting more death threats. Clarissa — who lives in Inveresk, near Musselburgh, East Lothian — laughed: “I’ve actually missed getting death threats, but it will all start up again now I’m back on the telly. “I’m not scared — I think if I’m getting hate mail and phonecalls from ‘antis’ then I must be doing something right. “If you believe in something then you must stand up for it, however much people try to threaten you.”

Self-confessed battleaxe Clarissa used to get so many death threats from animal rights protestors she was planning to display them in an arts exhibition to raise money for the Campaign For Hunting. She still has her own Special Branch police officer assigned to deal with any threats. The unapologetic cook pled guilty to attending an illegal hare-coursing event.

in 2009. After TV sidekick Jennifer Paterson’s death in 1999, irate animal activists halted filming of a show with sick chants of: “One fat lady’s dead. One to go.”.

She addded: “The general theme of the cards tends to be images of dead and rotting animals, clearly NOT torn to pieces by hounds. “Hounds do not tear things to pieces, or how else could the masks, pads and brushes preserved by the taxidermist remain intact to enrage the antis? Most of these pictures, I believe, are clearly of roadkill. On the back of my cards are scrawled messages of hate telling me how horribly I will die or how I will burn in hell. Sometimes there are sexual threats.”...

Clarissa’s thrilled to be back on the small screen — as she’s sure it’ll wind up former PM Blair. She said: “He and Alastair Campbell will NOT be happy. When they ran the BBC as their own mouthpiece it killed my television career. I wholeheartedly believe Campbell leaned on the BBC to drop me. Blair wanted to ban, not just hunting, but anything that trumpeted that way of country life. They wanted to do to the farmers what the Conservatives did to the miners. So yes, I’m quite certain of it. But now I’m back — so bring on the death threats.”


LACS appoints new Chief Executive Officer

? -3-11  Horse & Hound    The League Against Cruel Sports new boss is to be Joe Duckworth, former CEO of Newham Borough Council, who will replace retiring head Douglas Bachelor.  [Article no longer online] 


Cotley FH rider dies after hunting accident

16-3-11   Dorset Echo    Tributes to father after hunt tragedy   Tributes have been paid to a retired solicitor who died in a hunting accident. Father of three Anthony Osborne, 66, was riding with the Cotley hunt when his horse George slipped and fell on him.

Cotley joint master Edward Eames said: “He had been one of our members for a long time. “The accident happened when the Cotley hounds had a joint meet with the Axe Vale. Hounds were trailing in the Axe Vale country. “I wasn’t there that day but I have been told the horse fell down going down a track and I think the horse rolled on him struggling to get up. I think he ended up with quite serious internal injuries. He will be missed by members of the Cotley hunt.” The Hunt held a minute’s silence for him at their Friday meet.

Mr Osborne, who lived at Hawkchurch, near Marshwood, worked for Kitson and Trotson in Bridport before joining Chard legal firm Clarke Willmott and Clarke then was a senior partner at Beviss and Beckingsale. He was a member of the Bridport Round Table and the Chard Rotarians and played with the West Bay skittles team.

Mr Osborne’s son James, 35, said: “It was just a terrible accident. He really lived for his hunting. It helps that he died doing something that he loved and also that he is not wired up down in Exeter or paralysed, that would just be hideous. If he had to go any way this is the way he would have wanted to go.”

His funeral is on March 22 in Hawchurch at 2pm. Donations to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance c/o Wakelys in Bridport.


Woman Heythrop FH follower cautioned for punching female monitor in face

15-3-11   Private info from HMA    Reported that female monitor punched in face by Sara Hanks, a female hunt follower of Heythrop FH. This was actually witnessed by police, at Dean Council tip, Oxon. Hanks was later cautioned.

POWAperson adds   -   Strong Heythrop FH supporter Prime Minister David Cameron lives near Dean. Despite numerous convictions and cautions accrued by Heythrop FH followers for offences against hunt monitors, Cameron has not issued a word of condemnation.


Anti campaigner successfully sues employers for unfair dismissal

Judge agreed hunters discriminated against him because of his beliefs

14-3-11   Dorset Echo    An anti-hunt campaigner has won a landmark legal battle to have his animal rights views treated in the workplace in the same way as religious beliefs     Joe Hashman from Shaftesbury claimed he was sacked from Orchard Park Garden Centre in Gillingham because his bosses found out he was a hunt saboteur. He lost his job in 2009 shortly after his undercover footage helped convict celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright of attending an illegal hare coursing event. The 42-year-old gardener and writer is taking employers Ron and Sheila Clarke – who are both active in the South and West Wiltshire hunt – to an employment tribunal seeking £50,000 in damages. At a hearing at Southampton Employment Tribunal Centre, Mr Hashman argued that his views on foxhunting should be treated as a philosophical belief.

Judge Lawrence Guyer backed Mr Hashman’s assertion that his ‘deeply held’ beliefs about the environment, animal rights, veganism and opposition to hunting should be protected under 2003 rules on religious equality at work. After the preliminary ruling in Southampton, a full hearing will be held later this year to decide if Mr Hashman suffered discrimination. His former bosses have said he was let go because the vegetable patch he ran was not making enough money.


Hunter rescues lost dog while searching for missing hound

14-3-11  Worcester News    Hunt rides to rescue as dog survives car crash    A Worcestershire family “can’t say thank you enough” to members of a Hunt who helped to reunite them with their beloved pet.

The Eades family, of Doddenham, near Broadwas, feared the worst when two year-old cocker spaniel Puppy Joe ran off during a walk last month. Despite two days of searching, he was nowhere to be seen and the family were devastated when they heard reports a dog had been hit by a car on the A44 the night he disappeared.

Four days later, members of the Worcestershire Hunt were taking part in a trail hunt in nearby Knightwick when one of the hounds failed to return. The Hunt’s whipper-in Wayne Keeble was searching for the hound in woodland near Broadwas when he discovered Puppy Joe under a tree.

We walked through the wood and there was a wet, bedraggled spaniel which looked like he had been there for some time,” said the 21- year-old from Fernhill Heath. “He was hunched up in a bush and he was a bit scared to start off with. When he realised we weren’t going to hurt him he started wagging his tail and came over to us. We went into the village itself because someone had seen a stray hound but it wasn’t the spaniel. So we took him back to where we started in Knightwick and the farmer took him back to his owners while we went to find our hound. If it wasn’t for us hunting that day he might never have been found. He’s someone’s pride and joy, and being dog lovers we couldn’t leave him – it was the right thing to do,” said Wayne.

Puppy Joe suffered a broken pelvis but owner Adele Eades said he was making a good recovery. The stray hound, meanwhile, was found safe and well. “We went from the worst place to the best place in one day,” said the mother-of-three. We’re so relieved to have him back. Our other dogs Daisy and Dido, Joe’s mum, gave him a big welcome when he came home. It was a huge surprise because I thought he was a gonner. I couldn’t believe it. We’d like to say a big thank you to the Hunt, of course, and to people who helped us search. This is the second time he’s cheated death because he was born with a misshapen ribcage. Vets said he may not survive but he did. “We’re thinking about changing his name to Lucky Joe.”

POWAperson comments  -   Credit where it's due, the Whip did a good thing. But it's pretty sickening to hear someone who uses hounds as a disposable tool of their grisly trade and is complicit in killing them when they are just hallway through their natural lives, or earlier if they don't perform in the hunting field, is pretty nauseating. And the spaniel was lucky the Hunt's hound pack didn't find the injured spaniel because it's fate may well have been very different if it had.


Secretary of Warwickshire FH killed in riding accident

? - 11- 11    Coventry Telegraph   The Secretary of the Warwickshire FH, Joe Rugman, 37, is killed in a riding accident at a cross-country event. [Article no longer online]


Sab arrests after 'disproportionate' police response to Hunt call out

? - 3-11   Info from HSA   Six sabs were arrested at a meet of the Cotswold Vale FH. Five of them for ‘offensive weapons'. Sabs claim the police reaction to a call-out by the Hunt was grossly disproportionate, including ‘1 helicopter, 6 squad cars, 2 unmarked police vehicles, 2 riot vans, 1 Range Rover carrying taser guns, 1 armed response car', and that the ‘offensive weapons' were just pieces of normal sabbing equipment.




..... 27th February - Registered Hunter blames 'rogue hunts' for many illegal hunting reports

..... 26th February - Violent attacks on sabs led by Huntsman & Whip of Cotswold Vale FH

..... 23rd February - Heythrop FH follower formally warned after tried to drive monitor off road 

..... 17th February - Resident complains Hunt horses/dogs made kids' play area 'unsafe'

..... 11th February - Twice convicted Quantock SH Huntsman drops appeal plan

..... 11th February - Cameron promises Hunting Act repeal vote 'within months'

.....  5th February - Call for CA to boycott Waitrose as backs animal sanctuary run by monitor

.....  4th February - Minehead Harriers Whipper-in dies after hunting accident 

.....  2nd February - Terrierman convicted of sett interference at S. Devon FH meet

.....  2nd February - At least one hound killed on railway as train hits pack

.....  1st February - Fernie FH Huntsman is to appeal against convictions 


Registered Hunter blames 'rogue hunts' for many illegal hunting reports

27-2-11   Wales Online    Rogue hunters suspected of defying the rules   UNTRACEABLE rebel hunts are illegally operating throughout Wales with total disregard for the law, according to a member of a registered hunt. Rogue hunts have been seen tracking and flushing out foxes in areas of the Welsh countryside where they are not registered to act – prompting fears from legitimate hunts they will be blamed if foxes are killed.

The revelation comes after The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), an animal welfare charity opposed to fox hunting, launched an innovative “huntmap” in an attempt to illustrate hunt behaviour in Britain. The huntmap -- -- allows social media users to plot hunts suspected of flouting the hunt ban.

But a member of the Llangeinor Hunt in South Wales last night told Wales on Sunday incidents already marked on the map may not relate to the Hunts registered in that area. The source, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal, said rebel hunts had encroached on its territory in the hope they could pursue and kill foxes before disappearing.

A 25-year-old anti-fox hunting campaigner who wanted only to be known as Frankie, has plotted a suspect hunt on the huntmap. She said she had seen a hunt on Saturday, February 12, at around 11am acting suspiciously. “There were whippets and hounds and nine huntsmen on horseback and another four or five on foot all standing on the top of the hill for about an hour and the dogs were quite clearly quarrying. What made me suspicious was how stationary they were because if they were drag hunting, where an artificial scent is laid, then they would be constantly on the move as there’s no need to stop.”

Frankie, an owner of three horses, said the huntmap, incorporating tweets from Twitter, allowed people to highlight the actions of hunts. “The map is more of a crimewatch tool,” she said. “I would have reported what I saw to police but I knew I had no evidence. This way people can draw attention to suspected illegal hunts so that others can know they’re there and so that the hunt knows it’s being watched.”

LACS’ Wales campaigner, Robin Lewis, said: “The map is a simple way of illustrating just how widespread the problems of hunting are. These go beyond hunters hunting in a manner which is deemed to be suspicious or illegal but include a whole host of incidents which affect the public, including hounds running wild on roads and railways or even chasing and killing domestic pets. The sheer volume of tweets on the map is testament to the scale of the problem.”


Violent attacks on sabs led by Huntsman & Whip of Cotswold Vale FH

26-2-11   HSA Press Release    Cowardly Cotswold Vale hunt thugs up to their old tricks again...   On Saturday 26 February, hunt saboteurs from Bristol, Bath and South Wales attended a meet of the Cotswold Vale Farmers FH at Southwick Farm, near Tewkesbury.

At approximately 2.30pm the Huntsman (Alan Morgan) and Whip (John Hodges) instigated a vicious and sustained attack on sabs, who were on a footpath. The attack involved hunt supporters including Hodges' son. With Huntsman and servant attempting to ride people down, the supporters corralled sabs in a gateway and attacked them. They body barged a female sab before punching a male sab to the ground where they kicked him in the face and about the upper body. They also stole his video camera.

When a female sab tried to intervene she was thrown down a wooded bank. The Huntsman, trapped two female sabs against a fence and attempted to steal their video camera, but he failed, so he pushed one of the females to the floor and encouraged his horse to walk over her - luckily she was uninjured as the horse trod carefully over her.

The sabs eventually managed to escape but were followed by the hunt supporters who kicked and abused them until they made it to the safety of their vehicle. Undeterred by the attack they continued to monitor the Hunt for the rest of the day before taking one of their number, who they suspected of having broken ribs, to seek medical attention. The police are now investigating the attack.

This is just the latest in a long line of attacks by the Cotswold Vale Hunt on hunt saboteurs. Three years ago they smashed a female sab over the head with an iron bar. They have also kicked a sab unconscious, broken several peoples ribs and stolen a number of video cameras.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "Violence is a way of life for these people. They abuse animals every day and are happy to do the same to people who stand in their way. They have been allowed, with the collusion of the police, to get away with these vicious, cowardly attacks for far too long. These attacks will not deter our members, in fact, they only make us more determined to stop them illegally hunting and killing British wildlife".


Heythrop FH follower formally warned after tried to drive monitor car off road

23-2-11  Private email    On 23rd Feb 2011 Mick Jones, Heythrop hunt follower, tried to run my vehicle off the road whilst we were monitoring. Extremely reckless and dangerous behaviour especially as I had four passengers onboard. Lynn dialled 999 during the ensuing car chase. Mick Jones, the male driver of vehicle FH57 XHY was 'spoken to' by PC 2198 Doyle. He was warned and given notice that he would have his vehicle seized under section (?) Anti social use of vehicle, if he used his vehicle in this manner within 12 months, police would seize Jones' vehicle.

At one point during an eight minute car chase he tried to run us off the road and at another we were hemmed in by other vehicles when he stopped his van in the middle of the road, got out and made his way threateningly towards us. I managed to manoeuvre my way out of this situation but were all terrified by his behaviour especially as his eyes were blazing with rage. He looked quite manic and he continued to follow us for several miles with lights on full beam.

We believe that he was so mad because we had just witnessed and filmed two foxes running from the Heythrop hounds, one of which had been whipped back towards the oncoming hounds by the Second Whipper In. I believe that the Hunt members were furious that we were there.

Resident complains Hunt horses/dogs made kids' play area 'unsafe'

Also that they left a muddy mess behind in the village 

17-2-11   ThisIsSomerset  Letter    Hunters and their hounds turned our village into a race course    It was a bright, sunny day on Saturday, so some friends and I took our children to the local play area situated in Wookey playing field... The fun soon came to an end when four large hounds were spotted running, unsupervised, all over the field, so we gathered the children to a safe area.... I feel furious that our village was turned into a race course and an unsafe place for our children to play... and to add to that; the roads were also left in a filthy, muddy mess... Polly Carroll, Wookey  [no longer available online]


Twice convicted Quantock SH Huntsman drops appeal plan

11-2-11   Somerset County Gazette    Twice convicted hunt man drops appeal against conviction   THE first person to be convicted twice under the Hunting Act has dropped his appeal against the conviction. Richard Down, Huntsman with the Quantock Staghounds, was prosecuted in November after investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports allegedly filmed him in pursuit of a stag. On conviction at Taunton Magistrates Court, Mr Down was fined £2,920. He appealed against the conviction but has since dropped the appeal.

Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the league, said: “The Hunting Act is very clear, and Mr Down very clearly breached it. The court thought so and convicted him in November. We hope in earnest that this will lead to a change in his behaviour and that we won’t see him being hauled up before the courts again.” He added: “Our investigations team are working up and down the country to monitor the activities of hunts, passing information and film to the police where appropriate. We’re a rural equivalent of the Neighbourhood Watch.”


Cameron promises Hunting Act repeal vote 'within months'

11-2-11  Western Daily Press    Prime Minister promises vote on hunting ban within months    The Prime Minister gave his clearest commitment yet to repealing the ban on hunting and promised a vote within months in Parliament. David Cameron, who visited Cheltenham and Swindon yesterday, said while there were "more important things" than hunting to deal with, he reaffirmed his opposition to a ban that became a totem of Labour's 13 years in power. In a message to the thousands of hunt supporters across the West who campaigned for pro-hunt MPs at last May's General Election, Mr Cameron pledged that a vote on the issue would happen "in the months to come".... [article no longer online]


Police intervene in 'violent clashes' between Crawley FH hunters and sabs 

Sabs say Huntsman rode at them & support tried to break car window 

8-2-11   Brighton Argus    Pepper spray used by police during Sussex hunt protest clashes    Police used pepper spray to break up violent clashes between pro and anti fox hunters.  Officers had to step in when about 25 hunt saboteurs clashed with members of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt at Wiston, near Steyning.

The protesters claimed Huntsman rode at saboteurs as three fights broke out. A spokeswoman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association claimed hunters had also tried to break a vehicle's window. Both sides deny wrong-doing and have passed on their own video footage of the incident, on Saturday, to police.

It is the latest in a series of flare-ups between the Crawley and Horsham Hunt and fox-hunting protesters. Last month The Argus reported that police were investigating the Hunt over allegations of illegal hunting after a fox was killed by hounds.

6-2-11   HSA Press Release    Sussex's finest in action on behalf of their masters    On Saturday 5th Feb, Hunt Saboteurs attended a meet of the Crawley and Horsham Fox Hunt At Wiston, near Ashington, West Sussex. This Hunt is under police investigation after being caught on film after killing a fox.

The saboteurs were the subject of the usual threats and attacks by the hunt followers during the day, which included driving vehicles and horse at speed at people, and one attempt to break a vehicles window to attack the driver, which was caught on video and is now the subject of a police investigation.

At around 2.30 the Hunt was found with the Huntsman on foot encouraging the hounds onto a fox, in clear breach of the Hunting Act. Saboteurs intervened in the field leaving a small number filming the events from the road. Those left on the road were the subject of attacks by officials of the hunt and foot followers, culminating in a vicious attack on one Hunt Saboteur by a mounted rider and four hunt supporters, who was hit repeatedly around the head and a horse was ridden into him. The police in attendance responded by pepper spraying all involved in the fray regardless of guilt or innocence. Video footage was seized by police from both parties and an investigation is underway.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: Hunts feel they can break the law with impunity and when we try to intervene we are violently attacked. The Crawley and Horsham hunt are already being investigated for killing a fox and it is time the police stepped in and stopped this blatant law breaking rather than us having to do their job for them.


Call for CA to boycott Waitrose as it backs animal rescue centre run by monitor

5-2-11   Oxford Mail    Pro-hunt supporter calls for Waitrose boycott    A PRO-HUNTING group has urged its members to boycott Waitrose because it is raising money for a fox charity. An email was dispatched to Countryside Alliance (CA) members after the Thame Waitrose, picked the Little Foxes animal sanctuary at Great Haseley as a nominated charity.

PennyLittle.jpgThe sanctuary is run by Penny Little [left] a hunt monitor and spokesman for anti-hunting charity Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA). Last night she branded the boycott “ridiculous” and said her sanctuary was completely independent of her other interest.

In an email seen by the Oxford Mail, Adrian Charman, from the Countryside Alliance’s Bucks County Committee, called on local members to register their opposition with Waitrose owners, the John Lewis Partnership. However, the Countryside Alliance’s head office in London last night distanced itself from the boycott, saying it “wouldn’t want to pick a fight with Waitrose”. Little Foxes is one of three organisations chosen by Waitrose in Thame for customers to support using green tokens given to them at the checkout.

Mr Charman said: “Two of the organisations selected are admirable – the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust and Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. But Waitrose has also selected The Little Foxes animal sanctuary. “Charitable giving by Waitrose is to be applauded and many local organisations and neighbourhood groups benefit greatly from their generosity, but surely this time they have made a mistake.” He added: “Perhaps a voluntary boycott of the JL Partnership by hunts and the CA membership in general is a first stage to bring the matter to their attention. You can also voice your opinion direct by email.”

The Countryside Alliance has run long campaigns against the 2004 Hunting Ban. It claimed the legislation was “motivated by prejudice and spite rather than principle and evidence”.

Mrs Little said the sanctuary helped a whole range of animals. She said: “This is absolutely ridiculous and completely disproportionate. I am a hunt monitor but that is entirely separate to the sanctuary, where we look after a range of injured animals. There is no need for the Countryside Alliance to target Waitrose when it is trying very hard to raise money for important local causes.”

A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: “We would not urge people to boycott Waitrose. “Many of our members are farmers who grow or rear produce for the store, and many of our members shop there. We certainly wouldn’t want to pick a fight with them. However, a number of our members have had disagreements with Mrs Little in the past, so there may be strong feelings on an individual basis.”  Mr Charman was unavailable for comment.


Minehead Harriers Whipper-in dies after hunting accident

4-2-11  Horse & Hound   Minehead Harriers’ whipper-in dies following accident    Gary Bradley, amateur whipper-in for the Minehead Harriers, has died following an accident out hunting. Mr Bradley, 55, was out on Saturday, 15 January when the accident happened. He died from his injuries on Wednesday, 26th January at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

Joint-master Caroline Clifford was unable to tell H&H how the accident occurred, but said: “It was a tragic accident and he sadly died from his injuries. It’s a terrible shock.”

A spokesman for the South Western Ambulance Service said: “We received a call at around 1.12pm and a man was taken to Musgrove Park Hospital with head injuries.”

Mr Bradley and former Minehead Harriers huntsman William Goffe were both fined in 2007 after admitting breaching the Hunting Act on 7 February 2007 by allowing hounds to pursue a fox with mange. An inquest is due to be opened later this week and arrangements for Mr Bradley’.


Terrierman convicted of sett interference at S. Devon FH meet

2-2-11   ThisisDevon    Terrier man to pay £1,000 after being found guilty of damaging badger sett   A terrierman has been convicted of breaking wildlife protection laws after secretly-filmed footage by anti-hunt campaigners showed him and another man digging out a badger sett. 

Andrew John Bellamy, of Yelverton, Devon, denied two charges of damaging and interfering with a badger sett at Bridford, on Dartmoor, last year while laying a trail for the South Devon Foxhounds. Bellamy, 39, disputed being filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports arriving at the sett at Beacon Farm on a quad bike on April 7 and apparently digging a terrier from the ground. He was yesterday found guilty by South Devon Magistrates of both offences under the Protection of Badgers Act, fined £500 and ordered to pay £500 costs plus £15 victims surcharge.

In sentencing, Richard Blanchard, chairman of the bench, described evidence by Bellamy, and members of the Hunt who acted as witnesses, as “reasonably weak” and containing “contradictions”. We believe you were the man number two in the film,” Mr Blanchard concluded. “You said you were on the quad with a hunt follower then contradicted that evidence.”

The conviction came after League members mounted a clandestine operation using video cameras, binoculars and hand-held GPS trackers. Edmund Shephard and Paul Tillsley secretly trailed the South Devon Hunt. They alerted police – handing over the video footage – launched their own internet investigation into the men pictured on film and both picked out Bellamy at an identity parade.

League chief executive Douglas Batchelor said the verdict highlighted the “important work our investigators do out in the field” and vowed to continue its monitoring activities. He added: “Unfortunately there are a number of people who think they can abuse wild animals undetected but, as today has proved, this is not the case. Whether it’s the Badgers Act, the Hunting Act or any other wildlife legislation, cruelty to animals, no matter how remote the scene of the crime is, is not acceptable and we will continue to work with the police and CPS to ensure those criminals who break the law are brought to justice.”

Video evidence, showed two men, sweeping the sett with an electronic tracking device connected to the collar of a dog located underground before furiously hacking into the turf with spades. The two offences related to the digging into the sett and the placing of a large boulder to obstruct the entrance.

Magistrates heard conflicting evidence regarding whether the sett was active, the key to any successful conviction. They accepted the opinion of Ivan Lakin, a wildlife investigator for Natural England, who conducted a survey and found a “very active main sett” with 24 entrances, seven of which were “very active”.

Bellamy, of The Kennels, Sampford Spiney, was suspended from his job as a countryman since being charged. [Article no longer online]


At least one hound killed on railway as train hits pack

All local Hunts deny it was them 

2-2-11   Wilts & Glos Standard    Hunt in Cotswolds strayed on rail line claim    ANIMAL rights activists have protested after a high speed train was forced to stop after colliding with a pack of foxhounds near Cirencester. The League Against Cruel Sports said the incident happened east of the Sapperton tunnel when the driver of a First Great Western train saw the hounds and a Huntsman on the line. The League said at least one hound was killed. It was not known if any were injured. The incident came almost a year to the day since hounds were killed on the same line, it said.

A spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports described the incident as "typical of the disregard that hunts show the public. Quite apart from the horrific way in which at least one hound has been killed, it shows a terrific disregard for the rail-travelling public and for their safety. For a huntsman to be stood with twenty hounds next to a railway line beggars belief," the spokesman said. The League said it was unclear which hunt was involved, and none have admitted involvement. The League called on the hunt "to own up and apologise to the public.

The incident is reported to have happened at 3.50pm on Monday, January 17. A Cheltenham to London train was cancelled, and others delayed for 20 minutes. A statement from British Transport Police said it had a report from Network Rail staff of a fox hunt on the line. The driver of the train had reported striking at least one hound. But when BTP officers from Bristol arrived, there was no trace of any fox hunt in the area. There was an understanding that if hounds did stray onto a line, riders should not follow.

Members of the Vale of The White Horse Hunt, The Beaufort Hunt and The Cotswold Hunt said they had no reports of any incidents.


Fernie FH Huntsman is to appeal against his convictions

1-2-11  Foxhunting Life    Fernie Hunt to Appeal Conviction     Fernie huntsman Derek Hopkins will appeal his conviction under the Hunting Act and Badgers Act, according to the Countryside Alliance. Hopkins and countryman Kevin Allen were convicted following a seven-day trial that had been scheduled for only four days. The accused men argue that key evidence, including questions about their intent, was not even addressed before the magistrates ruled.

The Badgers Act is said to rival the Hunting Act for its complexity, and lawyers for the defendants believe there is a good chance for success on appeal. An earlier contested case against Exmoor Huntsman Tony Wright, convicted in Magistrates’ Court, was overturned in Crown Court.



December's very icy weather turned to very wet and foggy weather in January, seriously limiting the amount of hunting in most parts of the country.


Hunts bemoan effect of two months bad weather on their finances 

27-1-11   Country Life   Hunts count the cost of the weather   The loss of so many days’ hunting during the coldest December for 100 years, compounded by wet and foggy weather this month, has had a deleterious effect on many packs’ finances. Potentially lucrative Christmas meets were cancelled, moorland hunts have been be-fogged and grass countries too soggy to ride over-in Gloucestershire, the Duke of Beaufort’s lost about 20 days over five weeks.

They calculate a loss of £1,500 per week and as much as £2,200 per week in the school holidays. ‘The weather has put all packs-large and small-under financial pressure, especially in the North,’ says Alastair Jackson, director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA). Stuart Trousdale [left], JM and Huntsman of the Jed Forest in the Scottish borders, comments: ‘We haven’t ridden since November 23rd, but we’ve been out on motorbikes.’

StuartTrousdaleIoWthenJedforestHuntsman.jpgWest Country Hunts-more used to milder winters-have been hit harder than most. ‘We’ve lost 10 days’ hunting and it has affected us very badly,’ says Ian Pearse, master of the South Devon, which charges a visitor’s cap of £40. ‘Our kennels are at the bottom of a steep hill and it was so icy that we couldn’t even go out on foot.’ Many are worried that the wintry weather will continue to have a withering effect on hunt coffers long after the snow has melted.

This pressure is bound to put the spotlight on the viability of certain hunts. And if hard weather puts them under this sort of strain, some might not be able to continue,’ Mr Jackson warns. ‘They might need to consider restructuring, combining with another hunt or sharing kennels. At first, the lack of hunting was dispiriting, but then it became worrying,’ agrees Robin Muir, joint-master of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield & Cowdray. ‘There were mutterings that what 200 years of antis had never achieved-the closure of a pack-perhaps Mother Nature could. But then it thawed and the sun came out, so although no one had gone hunting, no one had gone under.’

Mr Pearse says he’s concerned. ‘Running a Hunt is the same as any business; things can change quickly. We started the season in great shape with some good days, record numbers of subscribers and a successful hunt ball. Then, we lost all the hunting days and the point-to-point (which has been postponed) over the Christmas period, which is the most important time of the year for us financially. ‘I estimate that we’ve lost £15,000 to £18,000. For a Hunt such as us, with a turnover of just over £100,000, that’s a lot of money. In days gone by, we used to lose a lot of hunting to hard weather. But, as the winters got milder, we stopped building the possibility of losing days into our budget-so this is quite a shock. We’re not going to see the demise of the hunt, but we’re going to have to do more than usual to raise money.’

Alice Barnard, the Countryside Alliance’s chief executive, says: ‘We are naturally concerned about the impact the weather has had, especially on smaller hunts, who are some of the bravest and keenest campaigners. We can’t control the weather, but we’re focusing our efforts on a brighter future for the hunting community by systematically dismantling the Hunting Act.’


Blankney FH hounds chase fox into garden, frightening small children

25-1-11  Lincolnshire Echo   Dog chase investigation   Wildlife crime officers are investigating to see whether hounds from a Lincolnshire hunt illegally chased foxes through a village near Sleaford... Police spokesman James Newall said police had been contacted by a family whose children had been playing in the garden and were left distressed by the incident. He said: "We are looking to see if an offence has been committed."

Margaret Morris, a Master of the Blankney Hunt, which was in the area at the time, said it had been an "unfortunate" and "isolated" incident.... The investigation has come at a time when fox hunting is once again being debated by politicians on both a national and European level. In a post on his website, Lincolnshire MEP Roger Helmer said a recent decision by UNESCO to recognise falconry – the hunting of small game with trained birds of prey – as "an intangible cultural heritage of humanity" conferred in turn a status to hunting in general...

27-1-11  Lincolnshire Echo   Village hunt and hounds are on the wrong trail - I read with horror (January 25) your story about a pack of hounds chasing after two foxes, going through a back garden in Coleby and frightening some little children who were happily playing games. If I had been the parents of the distressed children, I would have soon gone to see the main honcho at the Blankney Hunt. It's all right that Margaret Morris, a Master of the Hunt, has since apologised but that is not the issue here as the baying pack of hounds could easily have turned on the poor little children and rendered them serious physical and mental harm for life...  Dennis Esberger, Lincoln

This Hunt acted unlawfully by failing to control its hounds. I thought fox hunting was banned anyway?... Jill Freeman Lincoln.


DEFRA Sec. of State says Hunting Act vote not a priority

22-1-11  Western Morning News   Putting the countryside back into the heart of Westminster   Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman tells Graeme Demianyk she believes the Government is improving the countryside.... Hunting Act – Tory promises of a free vote in the Commons were subtly replaced by a vote on motion for a free vote in the coalition agreement. It is still part of Defra's business plan, Ms Spelman insists. "We have an awful lot of things we need to get through as a matter of priority, connected with tackling the deficit and clearing up the mess we have inherited from Labour. "It has got to take its place in the queue of things we need to achieve." A vote this year? "I just don't know. I think it's unlikely."...


Man who received goods stolen from Otis Ferry's house convicted

Given CSO - told to stay away from S.Shropshire FH JM/Huntsman

22-1-11  Shropshire Star   Offender warned to avoid hunt leader Otis Ferry    A Shropshire man who was found with a number of items stolen from the home of Otis Ferry has been warned to stay away from the hunt campaigner...  At Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday Nigel Harris, of Lower Cross, Cross Houses, Shrewsbury, admitted receiving stolen goods...  Ferry is the joint master of the South Shropshire hunt and is a fox hunting enthusiast and prominent pro-hunting protester...

29-1-11   Horse & Hound   Community service for man connected to Otis burglaries   A 35-year-old man connected to three burglaries from South Shropshire joint-master Otis Ferry's home has been given a community sentence...


Police investigating second alleged fox kill, by Old Surrey FH

19-1-11   Brighton Argus    Sussex Police investigate second allegation of illegal fox hunting    Police are investigating a second allegation of illegal fox hunting in Sussex. A fox was killed by hounds during an Old Surrey and Burstow hunt in West Chiltington on December 11th. It is believed it died during a legal artificial trail hunt following an invitation by the Crawley and Horsham Hunt (CHH) to ride in their “country”. The latest allegation comes a day after The Argus revealed police are investigating the death of a fox during the CHH at Angmering Park.

Hunt organisers said the fox was caught by hounds accidentally as their dogs followed an artificial fox trail on January 11th. Sussex Police said they are continuing to investigate both incidents. West Sussex Wildlife Protection (WSWP), who oppose hunting, said they filmed a fox being chased by hounds during part of the Old Surrey hunt. The footage has been passed to police. No one from the Old Surrey hunt was available for comment when The Argus went to print last night.


Speaker attracts flak for saying he favours the hunting ban

19-1-11   Independent    Speaker reveals he is a supporter of hunting ban    Commons Speaker John BercowJohnBercow.jpg [below right] has risked further angering Tory MPs by revealing that he is a supporter of the hunting ban.  Abandoning his supposed neutrality on controversial political issues, Mr Bercow told one of his constituents that he agreed that hunting foxes to kill them is "wrong in the 21st century". His comments represent a U-turn from his previous opposition to the hunting ban, introduced by the former Labour government in the teeth of fierce opposition from the countryside lobby.

But they are also likely to fuel criticism of his Speakership, particularly among Tories who are hoping to repeal the Hunting Act when it comes back to the Commons. The coalition agreement promises a free vote on the issue, although no date for it is yet in view.

Using the Speaker's official stationery, Mr Bercow wrote to Buckingham constituent Clive Preston on January 6th that there was a "compelling" argument for the ban. "The public as a whole support the legislation and consider MarkPritchardMP.jpgthat hunting foxes with a view to killing them is wrong in the 21st century. I support that view," he wrote.

Mr Preston, an opponent of the ban, told The Times that he had previously asked his friends in Buckingham to support Mr Bercow because "he was a sound man on hunting". He added: "He is devaluing himself and becoming a laughing stock."

Mr Bercow is already under pressure from some quarters amid accusations that he is closer to the Labour side of the House. He is also facing anger about MPs' treatment over their expenses by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).

His wife, Sally Bercow [below right] - who stood for Labour in last year's council elections - hit out at the "whispering campaign" against him. "The bottom line is a lot of Tories, I'm afraid, still can't accept that my husband won the speakership fair and square and is doing a very good job and he did it without Tory support," she said.

Last week, senior Conservative backbencher Mark Pritchard [above left] swore at the Speaker in a behind-the-SallyBercow.jpgscenes confrontation in the Commons. Mr Pritchard reportedly told Mr Bercow "you are not f****** royalty, Mr Speaker" during a confrontation in a Westminster corridor after the MP would not stand aside to let him pass by.

A constituency spokesman for Mr Bercow said: "The Speaker, who was re-elected to the Buckingham seat as the Speaker seeking re-election, uses the same stationery for every letter he writes in his capacity as Member of Parliament for Buckingham which is purchased from his Parliamentary allowance.

"In this letter the Speaker was offering to pass on the concerns of this constituent to the relevant minister even though in the interests of transparency he was pointing out that these were not views that he shared. Parliament is not facing any debate on this issue and there is no conflict between serving a constituent and fulfilling his role as Speaker. It is Mr Bercow's duty both to represent his constituents and articulate his views to them as appropriate.


At least one Vale of the White Horse FH hound killed on railway line  

19-1-11    Western Daily Press    Railway Police investigate after train driver says he hit at least one of a number of hounds from the Vale of the White Horse FH which were on the line. Trains delayed for over an hour.


Monitors say Cattistock FH hunted right next to busy A road

19-1-11  Western Daily Press    Monitors report filming the Cattistock FH hunting immediately adjacent to a busy A-road.


Police investigate claims of fox kill by Crawley FH in front of antis

18-1-11   Brighton Argus   Sussex detectives investigate fox hunting claims    Police are investigating reports that huntsmen acted illegally when a fox was killed during a hunt. Video footage submitted to The Argus appears to show hounds savaging a fox to death on a Sussex estate.

Organisers of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt have admitted that a fox was killed by hounds but said the animal was caught accidentally as dogs followed an artificial trail.

Members of West Sussex Wildlife Protection, who shot the footage, said hunters "blew the kill" - a long note blown on a horn, that marks a catch. They said hunters would not have done so if the fox's death had been accidental. But a spokesman for the Hunt said the noise was made because a Huntsman got "a little excited". Police went to the estate near Arundel after the kill was reported.

12-1-11  WSACIT    Hunt Monitors from a West Sussex-based fox and badger protection group had to witness a fox being chased and killed    Yesterday at a meet near Arundel, West Sussex Hunt Monitors witnessed the Crawley & Horsham Hunt chase and kill a fox. The Hunt was heard encouraging the hounds and blowing for the kill yet still had the cheek to tell Hunt Monitors it was only an accident.

The Hunt threw the fox to the hounds. Hunt Monitors made their presence known and the fox was given to a quad bike rider. He panicked and drove off leaving a monitor to grab the fox. Seconds later the Hunt returned with supporters to obtain possession of the fox. They placed it into a bag and dumped it somewhere.

Sussex Police were called through 999 however they seem reluctant to enforce the Hunting Act. Police failed to attend. A spokesman for the West Sussex Animal Cruelty Investigations Team said: "The law is simply a joke. Sussex Police have failed in their duty yet again. I cannot comment further on the police enquiry." 

The press and media have also been informed about this incident. We except it to be displayed on television in due course. A spokesman for the Animal Cruelty Investigations Team continued on to say: "Without police support, a publicity campaign is the only way we can expose Crawley and Horsham. Hunt Monitors will be out at every Hunt Meets and are always looking for support. We thank our supporters for their continued support."


77 year old breaks pelvis after hunting accident with Essex & Suffolk FH

17-1-11  Ipswich Star    Man, 77, hurt as horse falls on top of him during hunt A 77-YEAR-OLD man is being treated in hospital after his horse reared up and fell on top of him while out on a hunt. Charles Williamson, who is from the Mid Suffolk area, suffered a fractured pelvis and abdominal injuries in the accident in Whatfield, near Hadleigh, shortly after 2pm, on Saturday. Mr Williamson, a member of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt, was airlifted to hospital by the air ambulance after the accident and last night his condition was said to be “stable”. He is due to undergo surgery for his injuries at the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital today.

James Buckle, who was 
Master of the hunt on the day, said: “We were just standing in a heap and his horse went up on his front legs and went over backwards. It is very sad and we are all upset about it. He is a lovely guy who has been hunting all his life. It was only the second day he had been hunting this season. He is a very popular member of the Hunt and we wish him a very speedy recovery.”

Because of the isolated location of the accident, the East Anglian Air Ambulance was called out to help the patient. The helicopter Anglia Two arrived on the scene at 2.33pm. The clinical crew of Dr Troels Hansen and East of England critical care 
paramedic Jemma Varela administered fluid therapy and applied splints to the patient, before he was flown to Ipswich Hospital. The aircraft, piloted by captain Chris Sherriff, arrived at the hospital at 3.08pm. Mr Williamson has now been transferred to the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital. The Essex and Suffolk Hunt dates back to the 18th Century and members take part in regular hunts across the Suffolk countryside. 
Its kennels are based near Hadleigh.


Fernie FH Huntsman & terrierman both convicted and fined

Convicted of illegal hunting and interfering with badger sett

Ordered to pay over £3,500 between them

13-1-11  Harborough Mail   Fernie Hunt pair guilty over Hunting Act breaches   TWO employees of the Fernie Hunt have been fined after they were found guilty of breaching the ban on hunting. The video taken by the League Against Cruel Sports which formed the basis of the prosecution case has been released.

Huntsman Derek Hopkins (45) and terrierman Kevin Allen (51) were accused of hunting a wild mammal with a dog and interfering with a badger sett or being reckless as to whether their actions would damage it.

Representing the pair during the course of the seven-day trial, Philip Mott QC argued that the hunt had been following a scent trail and not fox hunting, and that the badger sett was not occupied.

But at its conclusion yesterday, magistrates at the Harborough Court found Hopkins and Allen guilty on both counts. Hopkins, of Welham Lane, Great Bowden, was fined a total of £850 and ordered to pay £1,250 costs plus a £15 surcharge. Allen, of Nether Green, Great Bowden, received fines totalling £650 plus £900 costs and a £15 surcharge.

The trial centred on a Hunt which took place near Stonton Wyville on January 27th last year and which was filmed by members of anti-hunt group, the League Against Cruel Sports.

13-1-11   Leicester Mercury   Two Fernie Hunt employees are found guilty of digging fox out of sett    Two Fernie Hunt employees have been convicted of breaching the ban on hunting with dogs. Huntsman Derek Hopkins and terrierman Keith Allen were yesterday found guilty of being involved in digging out a fox hiding in a burrow so it could be chased by hounds. Hopkins was ordered to pay £2,115 in penalties, while Allen has to pay £1,565.

The case was only the third successful prosecution of a fox hunt for breaching the 2004 Hunting Act. Representatives for the Fernie Hunt said it was considering an appeal. Magistrate Ron Harris told the court in Harborough: "We accept the evidence that they were chasing a live scent and marked the fox underground. You were using dogs to hunt a live mammal." 

During the seven-day trial, magistrates were shown footage, shot at long range by the League Against Cruel Sports, of men digging at the site, which was also a badger sett. It was filmed on January 27, last year, after the hunt met at Thorpe Langton, near Market Harborough. The men, who denied the charges, said they were taking part in a legal trail hunt and they intended to trap the fox in a net and shoot it. But magistrates found the pair guilty of hunting a wild mammal contrary to the law and digging a badger sett or being reckless that their actions would damage it.

Hopkins (45), of Welham Road, Great Bowden, was fined £600 for attacking the badger sett. He was fined £250 for illegal hunting and ordered to pay £1,250 costs. Allen (51), of Nether Green, Great Bowden, was fined £400 for damaging the sett and fined £250 for illegal hunting and ordered to pay £900 costs.

Neither man wanted to comment after the hearing. Joint Master of the Fernie Hunt Joe Cowen said: "We are very disappointed at the verdicts. We will be considering an appeal." 

Adrian Simpson, of the Countryside Alliance, said: "It has been a very complicated trial. It is only the third time since February 2005 that a fox hunt has been convicted of breaching the Hunting Act 2004. Both men believed they were acting within the law."

But Leicestershire police wildlife officer Neil Hughes said: "We prepared the case and the magistrates agreed with us. I do not take pride in prosecuting employees, I believe that someone from the Hunt should have come forward to answer the charges."


Blencathra FH hound run over and killed on main road

15-1-11 Lake District Herald   Hound, believed to be from the Blencathra FH, run over and killed on A66 in Cumbria.


South Shropshire FH JM/Huntsman in court [again] over driving offences

12-1-11     Mirror    Bryan Ferry's son Otis in court over driving offences    BRYAN Ferry’s son Otis has appeared in court over driving offences. The pro-hunting campaigner, 28, denies failing to give information regarding a driver’s ID. Ferry told Worcester magistrates court the driver was an employee who was insured to drive the Mitsubishi Shogun last June. The case was adjourned until February 1st.


Hunts worried about losing country to HS2 rail project

6-1-11    Horse & Hound   Dozens more hunts to be hit by high-speed rail line    Dozens more Hunts stand to be affected by the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link after the government revealed they intend to press ahead with a second phase, which would slash through the Midlands and north of England.... The StopHS2 campaign claims the first phase of HS2 will affect the Bicester with Whaddon Chase, Grafton, Kimblewick and Warwickshire countries. But the extensions into the north of England (planned for 2017) will cut through nine more... 


Rider dies after horse falls on him at Hogmanay meet of Lauderdale FH

5-1-11   The Scotsman    Hunt chairman's shock over rider's fall death   The Chairman of a Hunt has spoken of his shock at a businessman dying when thrown from his horse on New Year's Day. Paul Watson was unseated at the meet in Lauder in the Borders on Saturday.

John Macfarlane, Chairman of the Lauderdale Hunt, said: "We are all deeply shocked at this loss of a respected member of the local farming community and keen supporter and good friend of the hunt, and wish to express our sincere condolences to the late Mr Watson's family."



December's weather was exceptionally icy and there was very little hunting

..... 27th December - 'We can't carry on' under ban, say south-west Hunts 

….. 26th December - Fox hunters trusted less than car dealers and bankers, survey shows

..... 26th December - Latest polling shows large majority for retaining Hunting Act

….. 16th December - N.Ireland Parliament decisively rejects hunt ban bill

….. 13th December - Three Sinnington FH members cleared of illegal hunting in court

…..   9th December -Labour apologise for saying hunting was priority for Tory candidate

…..   5th December - Smiths duo attack Cameron over his love of hunting & shooting

.....   4th December - Convicted TV chef says she 'would die' for her pro-hunt beliefs 


'We cannot keep going long term' under ban say south-west Hunts

27-12-10   ThisIsDorset    'We can't carry on' say Hunts    Hunt leaders in the West have issued a desperate plea to their colleagues in the rest of the country to keep trying to overturn the Hunting Act, after admitting they 'cannot keep going for the long term' under a ban... So a hard-hitting video has been produced by the south west branch of the Countryside Alliance, featuring the only hunt in Britain that has been caught by hunt monitors and successfully prosecuted twice for breaking the ban, the Quantock Staghounds, based at Bagborough, near Taunton...


Fox hunters trusted less than car dealers and bankers, survey shows

Only 3% of respondents would trust Hunts to regulate themselves

26-12-17  Independent on Sunday   Tories abandon promise of early vote on hunting - Anti-hunt lobby scents first blood as officials admit there will be no repeal next year    … Meanwhile, the majority of Britons remain opposed to repeal, according to another poll released today. The Ipsos Mori survey of almost 2,000 (1,988) people, conducted this month (3-9 Dec), shows that more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of those surveyed think fox hunting should remain illegal. The poll, commissioned by Lacs, found that only one in six (18 per cent) think it should be legalised.

And another survey released by the group reveals how foxhunters rank bottom on trustworthiness, when compared to professions such as car dealers, bankers and estate agents. According to the poll of more than 2,100 people, conducted by YouGov this month (8-10 Dec), just 3 per cent of respondents said they trusted fox hunts to regulate themselves "a great deal", whereas 40 per cent said they did not trust them at all. And almost two-thirds (61 per cent) said they would not support plans for hunting to be made legal again if it were subject to regulation.

Douglas Batchelor, Lacs' chief executive, said: "The public don't want the clock turned back to cruelty," and added: "It's time the hunters got the message that it's game over."

But the Countryside Alliance shows no sign of giving up, condemning the hunt ban as "a useless and confusing, vindictive piece of legislation".

Figures released in October by the Ministry of Justice, showed a rise in convictions, with 57 people convicted for offences under the Hunting Act in 2009 – compared with 33 in 2008. But the vast majority of offences are unrelated to fox-hunting, claims the Countryside Alliance. "More people have been convicted of hunting rats than chasing foxes," a spokesman said. "There are 300 hunts across the country, each hunt twice or three times a week – that's something like one prosecution for every 32,500 hunting days."

But Mr Batchelor accused hunters of being in "a collective state of condoned – and often deliberate – law breaking". In an attempt to increase prosecutions, campaigners are running training courses for police staff involved with enforcement of the Hunting Act.


Latest polling shows very large majority to keep hunting illegal

26-12-10   This is Dorset    The League Against Cruel Sports issued polls by MORI and YouGov. The first showed that more than three-quarters of the population believed hunting should remain illegal, including 71 per cent of rural dwellers. The second revealed that the public trust bankers more than hunters to regulate themselves.  

POWAperson adds  - The next day, the RSPCA also released a poll. In this 63% agreed that re-legalising hunting with dogs would be a backward step for society. 


N.Ireland Parliament decisively rejects hunt ban bill

16-12-10  Belfast Newsletter   Stormont representatives firmly rejected the bill banning hunting in the province, which had been tabled by Green Party Assembly member Brian Wilson. 


Three Sinnington FH members cleared of illegal hunting in court

Huntsman, Whip and supporter NG - no proof meant to hunt fox

13-12-10   Northern Echo   Hunt members cleared of unlawful fox pursuit    THREE hunt members have been cleared of unlawfully pursuing a fox after a three-day court hearing. The case, at Scarborough Magistrates' Court, centred around allegations that members of Sinnington Foxhounds hunt had pursued the fox near Wombleton Airfield, near Pickering, in December last year.

The case was heard last week, with the judgement given today. The court ruled that whipper-in Caroline Scott had no case to answer, with not guilty verdicts returned on huntsman Tony Winter and hunt supporter Wilf Gamble.

Employees of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) covertly filmed the Hunt and gathered evidence upon which the prosecution was based. The court ruled, however, that the Hunt was not pursuing a fox seen crossing the airfield in the video, and that their activity was consistent with legal trail hunting. This was the first prosecution in North Yorkshire under the Hunting Act, which came into force in 2005.

Alice Barnard, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: "We are very pleased for Tony, Caroline, Wilf and all supporters of the Sinnington Hunt. But there have to be questions surrounding why this case ever got to court. The case has taken up police and CPS time and three days in a Magistrates Court at taxpayers' expense, all over a video of a fox that was not being hunted. Hunts must be able to carry out legal hunting and trail hunting without being dragged through the courts as a result of allegations made by animal rights groups. While trying to operate within the Hunting Act, innocent hunt staff and supporters are being subjected to the intense stress of investigation and prosecution. This result has demonstrated yet again why the Hunting Act has failed and should be repealed."

A spokeswoman for LACS described the ruling as "disappointing".

13-12-10   LACS website     A 'not guilty' verdict against two members of North Yorkshire's Sinnington Foxhounds leaves more questions than answers, according to the animal welfare charity whose evidence brought the defendants to trial.

The League Against Cruel Sports - which monitors and investigates hunts across the country - observed the Sinnington Foxhounds on 16th December 2009 and believed them to be breaking the Hunting Act 2004. A file was passed to North Yorkshire Police, who then passed the case to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Hunt were observed on and close to the Wombleton Airfield in North Yorkshire, from which they are banned by the landowner. Earlier today, Tony Winter and Wilfred Gamble were found not guilty following a three day case heard at Scarborough Magistrates Court. There was found to be no case against the hunt's whipper in, Caroline Scott. A spokesman for the League said they were 'disappointed' with the verdict but insisted that it 'left more questions than answers'.

"The judge couldn't rule beyond reasonable doubt that the fox seen running across the screen with hounds following a few minutes later was being intentionally hunted by the Sinnington Foxhounds," said a League spokesman. "But one has to ask why, if they were trail hunting, they had laid a trail across or near a working airfield, and why they had laid it in a covert filled with bramble and thorn. One must also ask what happened in that covert, because once the hunt had left the area our investigators found a pool and droplets of blood, three freshly dug holes in the ground, and a clump of fox fur," he said. The League will publish some of the video footage used in the case on its website later this week.


Labour apologise for saying hunting issue was priority for Tory candidate

9-12-10  Wirral Globe    Labour apologise to Wallasey election candidate over 'misleading' leaflet    Ex-Conservative parliamentary candidate Leah Fraser has won an apology from labour for misleading claims in a leaflet issued before the last General Election. Cllr Darren Dodd has also paid the £3,500 legal costs of the former Wirral councillor. 

In a leaflet distributed by the Labour Party in the Wallasey constituency, it was claimed that Leah Fraser was a supporter of fox hunting and saw this as a priority, over all other issues, including the economy. 

Leah Fraser said: “This was completely untrue. It followed repeated claims on other issues – such as the future of sure start and the winter fuel payments – and that’s why I decided to act. Anyone who goes into politics expects some ‘rough and tumble’ but to basically make up claims about your opponent crosses the line and Cllr Dodd’s solicitors recognised that. "I believe my views were distorted in order to give Labour electoral advantage. The electorate has a right to know the views and opinions of candidates asking for their vote. Labour’s campaign in Wallasey misled the electorate over this issue and I am pleased that they have finally apologised to me.” 

In his letter to Leah Fraser, Cllr Dodd said: “We accept that this was a completely unfounded submission. To imply that you would campaign for repeal of the fox hunting ban was both misleading and highly offensive and we can only hope that you will accept our sincere and unreserved apologies. We solemnly undertake not to repeat the aforementioned defamatory statements or make any further statements whether in print, electronic form or otherwise of this nature in the future.”

As part of the settlement, the Labour Party will also print a statement retracting their remarks in a leaflet to be delivered in the constituency. Wirral Labour group deputy leader Cllr Phil Davies said: "This has been dealt with by Labour Party lawyers nationally and I have no further comment to make."


Smiths duo attack Cameron over his love of hunting & shooting

PM claimed he loved their music - the pair forbad him doing so

5-12-10  Metro   Morrissey joins Johnny Marr in telling David Cameron not to like The Smiths    Morrissey [right] has supported former bandmate Johnny Marr in criticising prime minister David Cameron for liking TheMorrissey.jpg Smiths. Marr used his Twitter feed to attack Mr Cameron for saying he liked the band and said he forbad the PM from claiming he liked their music. In an email to his fans, Morrissey wrote of his support for the outburst.

I would like to, if I may, offer support to Johnny Marr who has spoken out to the media this week against David Cameron,’ the former Smiths singer wrote. ‘To those who have expressed concern over Johnny’s words in view of the fact that David Cameron has pledged immense allegiance to the music of the Smiths, I would like to try to explain why I think Johnny is right not to be flattered. ‘It is true that music is a universal language – the ONLY universal language, and belongs to all, one way or another. However, with fitting grimness I must report that David Cameron hunts and shoots and kills stags – apparently for pleasure. ‘It was not for such people that either ‘Meat Is Murder’ or ‘The Queen is Dead’ were recorded; in fact, they were made as a reaction against such violence.’ Morrissey also urged his fans to write to their local MPs to express their opposition to the Coalition Government’s plans for a free vote on whether to repeal the Hunting Act.


Convicted TV chef says she 'would die' for her pro-hunting beliefs


4-12-10   Daily Express    Clarissa Dickson Wright blasts fox-hunting horn    Tally ho! Fearsome Two Fat Ladies’ star and fox-hunting supporter Clarissa Dickson Wright [left], 63, says she would die for her beliefs after ClarissaDixonWright.jpgreceiving threats from animal rights protesters. The outspoken TV chef, who describes herself as “an anarchist at heart”, says in a TV interview this weekend: “I can understand why people don’t like fox hunting and they’re entitled to their views but that doesn’t give them the right to stop other people doing it.”

Clarissa’s support for fox hunting and hare coursing have led to the threats and she has been protected by Special Branch officers but she refuses to water down her views. Her interview with Fern Britton, which will be aired on BBC1 on Sunday night, even had to be filmed at a secret location instead of Clarissa’s home in Edinburgh because of fears of reprisals from anti-hunting campaigners. Yet she brushes off the potential risks.

“Heavens above, we have all got to die sometime. If you don’t stand up, what’s that quote: ‘For evil to prevail it only takes honest men to do nothing. A lot of people don’t stand up for principles now. I believe we should fight for what we believe in. If you don’t, it’s cowardice. If I put my life at risk, so what.”



….. 27th November - Tynedale FH Huntsman 'fortunate' not convicted of firearms charge

….. 26th November - Resident says Grove & R FH hounds broke fence, rampaged on property

….. 24th November - Devon farmer complains of East Devon FH invasion, terrifying cattle

….. 22nd November - Quantock SH Huntsman convicted of illegal hunting for second time

….. 16th November - Proposed hunting ban tabled in N.Ireland Assembly

….. 15th November - Prominent sab sues employer for sacking him because of his beliefs

….. 14th November - Seavington FH fox kill and carve-up of corpse filmed

…..  9th November - Heythrop FH terrierman & supporter cautioned for threatening sabs

…..  6th November - EDM in support of Hunting Act passes 200 MP signatures

…..  5th November - Cameron forced to admit MPs won't support Hunting Act repeal

…..  4th November - 'Vets for hunting' go out for jolly with Vale of Lune Harriers

…..  3rd November - Two Heythrop FH supporters cautioned for harassing female monitors


Tynedale FH Huntsman 'fortunate' to escape conviction on firearms charge 

27-11-10     Newcastle Journal   Huntsman cleared of firearms offence    A JUDGE has told a Northumberland hunt master to consider himself “fortunate” after he was cleared of a firearms offence. Frank Houghton-Brown, joint master of the Tynedale Hunt, found himself in trouble with police during a cross-country vermin-shooting expedition. Officers found the weapon when they broke into his car in York, following a call from a concerned passer-by who spotted his pet Labrador locked in the Subaru Forester vehicle on a warm day.

Mr Houghton-Brown, [left] of Nesbitt Hill Head, Stamfordham, left his car to attend a hearing at the nearby county court on April 29 last year, leaving his dog in the caged rear of the vehicle and the rifle on the back seat under layers of clothes. The gun’s safety catch was on but there was a round of ammunition in the weapon breech. A TynedaleFHJMFrankHoughtonBrown.jpgpolice officer aided by an animal health officer, broke into the car and noticed one of the windows was open to provide ventilation. They also spotted the lethal firearm. Mr Houghton-Brown was charged with breaching his firearms certificate.

The 45-year-old, who campaigned against the former Government’s controversial hunting ban, claimed he took the rifle with him while out rabbit-shooting at the country homes of friends and family. He said he had been asked to do some pest control for friends near York, shooting crows and grey squirrels on their land. Mr Houghton-Brown then said he had intended to travel with the weapon and ammunition to his parents’ home in Banbury, where pest control was also needed. 

York Magistrates cleared him of the offence in November last year, claiming he had taken “reasonable” precautions to safeguard the weapon. But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) challenged York magistrates’ decision in London’s High Court. CPS barrister Jerome Silva said the verdict sent out the wrong message on firearms safety. He told the court that Mr Houghton- Brown could have neutralised the weapon, which could have been stolen, by removing its bolt before leaving the car.

But Mr Justice Silber said the prosecution had failed to prove Mr Houghton-Brown did not take reasonable precautions to ensure safe custody of the firearm and ammunition. Dismissing the case, he said: “I must stress there are many others who might have reached a different conclusion and convicted Mr Houghton-Brown. “Many people would regard him as having been fortunate.”


Resident says Grove & Rufford FH hounds broke fence & rampaged on his property

26-11-10  Newark Advertiser [Letter from Erdingley resident]   Hunt grumble   I am writing to complain about the Grove and Rufford Hunt which met a couple of weeks ago in Edingley. During the ride the hounds gathered outside my garden and then crashed through the fence, barged across the garden into my field and just about anywhere else they fancied... The hunt organiser apologised and, in fairness, he did so in person... They should not hunt near gardens.


Devon farmer complains of East Devon FH invasion, terrifying cattle

24-11-10    Exeter Express & Echo   A FARMER is furious after a Hunt which is barred from his land 'terrified' his cattle – possibly causing one heifer to abort her calf in fright. Stephen Owen claims the East Devon Hunt have been banned from his farmland for more than 30 years because of the wildlife that thrives within it. But on Saturday he says he returned to his farm in Dunkeswell, near Honiton, to find that a pack of hounds and riders had been 'tearing' through his 100-acre site during a trail hunt.

The farmer [left] now claims his herd of 32 mixed breed suckler cows are 'like wild animals' after being frightened by the dogs. Mr Owen, 66, also believes one heifer may have lost her unborn calf and is waiting for a vet to visit his property to examine her. The Joint Master of The East Devon Hunt has apologised to the farmer but said he 'could not comment' on whether their hounds entered Mr Owen's land. 

E.DevonFHFarmerwhosecattlestampededbyhoundinvasion11-10.jpgMr Owen said: "I'm really upset about it. We don't allow them on our land because large parts of it are conservation areas, with lots of wildlife including otters, kingfishers and deer. There are also rare plants that we don't want damaged. On Saturday my wife and I went to market at Bridgwater and came back to find they had been tearing around on my land. The neighbours had seen them doing it and tried calling to warn us, but we weren't there. The whole pack of hounds had run through my herd, with the horns blowing and everything – it scared the living daylights out of them. The Hunt have said they are very sorry they've caused us extra work and that they will pay for the veterinary costs. I don't think that is enough though. Before the weekend the herd would eat from my hands but now they're too frightened to come near me, they aren't even approaching the feeders."

Chris Stephens, Joint Master of the East Devon Hunt, said he and his horses had not entered the farm. He said: "Myself and my horses did not go on the farm. I've apologised to him for coming through the valley as I know he does not like it, but we stayed on the bridle path. I don't really know about the hounds – I can't comment on that." 

According to their website, "The East Devon country lies in the south-eastern extremity of Devon, boundaries marked on the east by the M5 motorway running up to Cullompton then crossing country to Dunkeswell, across to Honiton, then Sidmouth and running the coast back to Exmouth." They are a foxhound pack, originally formed in 1890. Since the Hunting Act came into force they have been meeting for trail hunts which involves using hounds to hunt a trail laid with a rag steeped in a fox-based scent.


Quantock SH Huntsman convicted of illegal hunting for second time

22-11-10   BBC News   Somerset Huntsman first to be convicted twice under Hunting Act   Richard Down was ordered to pay £2,920 in fines and legal costs A Huntsman from Somerset has become the first person to be convicted twice under the Hunting Act. Richard Down, 47, from West Bagborough, was found guilty at Taunton Magistrates Court of hunting a wild mammal with more than two dogs. He was convicted for chasing an injured stag with three hounds. Under the Act, only two are allowed if the purpose is to relieve the animal's suffering. The Quantock Staghound huntsman was first convicted in June 2007. On that occasion he was found guilty of chasing deer with hounds. 

The latest conviction was based on video footage gathered by the League Against Cruel Sports. The video showedQuantockSHHuntsmanRichardDownconvictedofillegalhuntingfor2ndtime22-11-10.jpg an injured stag race across the combe in the Quantock Hills while being pursued by three hounds. The defence said that when Down entered the combe, he was looking for the stag and under the Act, more than two hounds were allowed. But as soon as the injured stag was found, the prosecution said only two dogs were allowed to gather the mammal which then had to be shot straight away to relieve suffering. 

Down, who was described as one of the most experienced huntsmen in the country with 21 years' experience, said he was not in a position to stop the dogs once they had found the stag. Prosecuter Kerry Barker said the chase caused the stag "great distress".

District Judge Martin Brown said he was "in control of the hounds and could have called them back". He was ordered to pay a total of £2,920.

League chief executive Douglas Batchelor said: "This is a real slap in the face for anyone who claims the Hunting Act is not working. "Let's hope this steep bill he faces in paying back the court costs will act as a deterrent to him in the future." 

Since the Hunting Act came into force in February 2005, 154 people have been convicted however the Countryside Alliance said of those, only four were for hunting, the rest were for offences such as poaching.

26-11-10    Somerset County Gazette    Quantock Staghounds huntsman convicted    A HUNTSMAN from the Quantock Staghounds has become the first person to be convicted twice under the Hunting Act at Taunton Deane Magistrates Court this week. Richard Down, 47, from Bagborough, was found guilty of hunting a wild mammal with more than two dogs. The hunter was previously convicted in 2007 for chasing deer with hounds in February that year.

At Taunton Magistrates Court, District Judge Martin Brown said he believed Down was in control of the hounds and could have called them back. Down was fined £375 and ordered to pay £2,545 in costs.  

Evidence filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports was used in court to help convict Down. League chief executive Douglas Batchelor said: “This is a real slap in the face for anyone who claims the Hunting Act is not working. Not only has this individual been convicted once but twice for offences under the Act. Let’s hope this steep bill he faces in paying back the court costs will act as a deterrent to him in the future.”  

Quantocks Staghounds chairman Nick Gibbon said: “I think the country’s gone mad.” He added: “I am not saying whether we will or won’t but we can appeal within 20 days.”  

According to the League, there have been more than 150 convictions under the Act but the Countryside Alliance say only four of these have been against registered hunts because the act has been used against poachers.

23-11-10   BBC News, Somerset   Groups fight over 'confusing hunting law'    Since the Hunting Act came into force in 2005, arguments have raged over how successful it has been. A total of 154 people have been prosecuted under the act, but the pro hunting lobby says only four relate directly to hunting, the rest cover poaching. The cases which have been to court rely on video evidence obtained by animal rights groups who observe the hunts.

The latest was Richard Down, from Somerset, who became the first person to be convicted twice under the Act when, at PaulTillesleyLACS.jpgTaunton Magistrates' Court on Monday, he was found guilty of hunting a wild mammal with more than two dogs. He had chased an injured stag with three hounds.

This conviction was based on video footage gathered by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS). Armed with camouflaged camcorders and binoculars, I went out with Paul Tillsley [right], head of monitoring for the LACS. We stood at the bottom of woodland on the Devon/Somerset border for five hours observing a hunt. Huntsmen wandered around woodland with hounds looking for a scent. Nothing of note happened, although towards the end of the meet we had to dart behind some trees as huntsmen trotted above us. Mr Tillsley said he was wary of being spotted.

He said in the past his windows and tyres had been slashed by hunt supporters and that his face had been printed on postcards and handed out across the country to warn people of who he was. "There's a certain element within the hunting community that are violent. I've had threats all the time, even going to town to do the shopping I get threatened by people, but that becomes unfortunately part of the day-to-day life of living in the countryside and being anti-hunting."

The LACS has listed numerous cases of hunt monitors being attacked, such as Christopher Marles, who was convicted of deliberately using his horse to knock a hunt monitor to the ground, and gamekeeper Richard Clarke, who was found guilty of assault and threatening behaviour.

Tim Bonner, from the Countryside Alliance (CA), said the allegations were "ridiculous". "There are flash points, but if hunting people are left alone and can work with the police under the law then there'll be no flash points." The CA says it should not be down to animal rights groups to police the act, while the government says it is up to individual police forces how they resource W.SomersetFHJohnTireClaimstobetraillayer.jpgit. This has led to animal rights groups acting as a "countryside neighbourhood watch". Mr Tillsley said: "I spent the best part of 20 years campaigning for a Hunting Act to be brought into law. Now it's my role to watch Hunts and check they're abiding by the law. I don't think there's anything vigilante or aggressive or sinister about that, it's no different from neighbourhood watch. If I was convinced that all Hunts were abiding by the law then I could find better things to do with my time than watch them."

John Tire [left], who lays down an artificial trail for the hounds, said trail hunting was genuine. Under the Hunting Act, it is legal to hunt a trail of an artificial scent but this is what has caused the most debate. Anti-hunt supporters say hunts are not laying down a scent. Mr Tillsley said he had never seen a hunt lay a trail beforehand. However when I went out with the West Somerset Hunt, John Tire was on a quad bike laying an artificial scent. Mr Tire said: "There's something rather nice about being hunted by a pack of hounds as that's what they're doing - they're hunting me. I can go anywhere and do the same sort of thing a fox will do. I see them hunting exactly where I've laid the trail so you know it's really genuine." He said the hounds could tell the difference between a real fox scent and an artificial one, but that "accidents do happen".

The government has called the law, introduced under Labour, unworkable. The coalition said it would hold a free vote on the repeal of the Act. And the CA is determined to get the act repealed, saying it is a confusing law.

Alison Hawes, from the CA, said: "If one of the country's most experienced huntsmen, Richard Downs [the first person to be convicted twice under the Hunting Act], could not understand it then the average hunter would not be able to either." And Mr Bonner added: "Police are stuck in the middle trying to comprehend an incomprehensible law and enforce an unenforceable law. The law has so many loopholes in it. It's very difficult to form a law that covers everything."


Proposed hunting ban tabled in N.Ireland Assembly

16-11-10   Belfast Herald    A proposal to extend the England/Wales Hunting Act to N.Ireland tabled at Stormont Assembly by Brian Wilson, the only Green member.  

Prominent sab sues employer for sacking him because of his beliefs

15-11-10  Daily Telegraph   Hounded out? The garden hunt saboteur    A prominent hunt saboteur is bringing a landmark discrimination claim – after he was allegedly sacked by a garden centre because of his "philosophical" objection to blood sports. Joe Hashman, 42, is arguing that his anti-hunting beliefs deserve protection in the workplace. Mr Hashman's undercover filming helped convict celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson-Wright of attending illegal hare coursing. The next day, the owners of the centre allegedly had him sacked by email because they were keen fox hunters. He was instructed not to bother coming back to work.

The professional gardener is suing Orchard Park Garden Centre, of Gillingham, Dorset, for discrimination on the grounds of philosophical belief. The centre's owners Sheila Clarke and Ron Clarke are keen supporters of the South and West Wiltshire Hunt, and its company secretary Lucinda Stokes is the former joint Master of the Hunt. Tensions were also allegedly heightened by the death of a keen local huntsman with whom Mr Hashman had regular run-ins over the years. 

Married father-of-two Mr Hashman, of nearby Shaftesbury, is seeking £50,000 for loss of earnings and injury to JoeHashman_HoundsOff.jpgfeelings. Mr Hashman claims that his concern about the environment, animal rights, veganism and, in particular, his opposition to hunting, amount to a philosophical belief under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003.

His case comes after property executive Tim Nicholson, 42, won a judges ruling that his green beliefs were as worthy of protection as religious ones. Mr Nicholson's strong views on climate change went beyond a mere opinion, it was held. If Mr Hashman succeeds in his claim next year it could open the floodgates to other cases.

His solicitor Shah Qureshi, of law firm Bindmans, said: If Joe succeeds, it will give protection to the many people whose belief in animal rights is central to the way they live. Employers would no longer be able to discriminate against them merely because of those beliefs. It would confirm that, under the newly enacted Equality Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against someone because of their philosophical beliefs about the sanctity of animal life and more specifically hunting. It would widen the categories of people who are protected by the law.

Vegan Mr Hashman began attending animals rights demos in 1982 aged 14. He became a life member of the Hunt Saboteurs Association in 1984 and is a consultant on hunting issues for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

In 1999, the European Court of Human Rights overturned an English court's decision to bind over Mr Hashman for blowing a horn and shouting at a Hunt, ruling that it breached his right to freedom of expression. He has appeared extensively on TV and radio, written for national newspapers campaigning against hunting and worked with organisations such as the RSPCA, Animal Aid, Compassion in World Farming and the League Against Cruel Sport. Mr Hashman has had several books published on fruit and vegetable gardening and was hired by the centre in March 2009 as a designer.

In September, his covert video evidence of Dickson-Wight, 63, at a hare coursing event in North Yorkshire in 2007 helped convict her at Scarborough Magistrates' Court. The International Fund for Animal Welfare took her to court in a private prosecution after the Crown Prosecution Service refused to pursue the matter. But the chef, best known for the TV show Two Fat Ladies, was given an absolute discharge with the prosecution estimated to have cost the IFAW as much as £80,000.

According to legal papers submitted by Mr Hashman to Southampton Employment Tribunal, the garden centres managing director Richard Cumming emailed him the day after the court case. He wrote: "Hi Joe for a whole host of reasons would you mind giving the garden centre a miss tomorrow please. I need to come and talk to you as various issues have been thrown up and I will do that as soon as I can." The funeral of keen huntsman Andrew Prater, who died in a tragic accident at an agricultural show, was also due to take place the following day. Mr Cumming later spoke to Mr Hashman by phone.

The legal papers allege: Mr Cumming confirmed that his contract had been terminated because Lucinda Stokes, Sheila Clarke and her husband, as board members, were not happy that the claimant was working for Orchard Park because he was an animal-rights activist and a hunt saboteur. He confirmed that tensions were particularly high in relation to the claimant because of Andrew Praters death and the conviction of Clarissa Dickson-Wright for hare coursing offences. Andrew Prater was a well known hunt servant and employee of the Clarkes, whom the claimant had a number of antagonistic encounters with in his capacity as an anti-hunt activist. Clarissa Dickson-Wright's conviction was partly as a result of evidence provided by the claimant.

Mr Cumming advised the claimant that the Orchard Park board was not prepared to sanction any further payments to the claimant. Mr Hashman had been working on a vegetable garden at the centre and says his employers had not previously voiced any dissatisfaction with his performance.

The papers say: "He has devoted his working and non-working life to protecting and promoting awareness of his understanding of the sanctity of life. Whilst he has devoted himself to veganism, environmentalism and animal rights activism, all of which he regards as part of his prevailing belief in the sanctity of life, active opposition to hunting has always been his principal area of expertise and focus. Hunting is abhorrent to the claimant because of his philosophical belief and he has therefore devoted an extremely large proportion of his time to campaigning against hunting and protecting animals from hunting."

Speaking today, Mr Hashman said: "It is my fundamental belief that it is wrong to kill animals for sport. I don't think anyone should be discriminated against at work because of their views on issues such as hunting. Hunting arouses huge passions for and against but in the workplace, work should be work. It is unacceptable that I should suffer in the workplace because I feel strongly that hunting is morally wrong. Politics and morality as to how we live our lives should not be brought into the workplace. This is how people behaved years ago. I thought we had grown up as a society so that people with fundamentally opposed views on issues could live and work alongside each other. We have all got to breathe the same air, drink the same water and share the same space after all."

In 2008, Mr Hashman won £10,000 in compensation after succeeding in an unfair dismissal claim against Shaftesbury Town Council. Mr Hashman was sacked from his post as head groundsman after a row with a pest controller over pigeons nesting on the town hall balcony. The tribunal found that the council's disciplinary procedure was "fatally flawed".

Orchard Park and its bosses deny Mr Hashmans claim of discrimination. They deny that Mr Hashman was dismissed because of his beliefs and insist that he lost his job because the vegetable plot was not financially viable.

Managing director Richard Cumming said: "The company has no policy either way about hunting. We have a healthy range of opinions about hunting among our board and staff and it does not drive our policy. The timing of Mr Hashman going was coincidental. We are a small country garden centre. We let Mr Hashman build a demonstration vegetable garden to try and help him and create interest among customers. Sadly, we did not get enough people going to look at it. It was not cost effective and we ended it." They also maintain that his anti-hunting beliefs do not amount to a philosophical belief in law. 


Heythrop FH terrierman & supporter cautioned for threatening sabs

9-10-11  Private info from sab    On 9th October 2010, Gary Morgan (terrier man) was issued with a section 5 for his behaviour towards two female sabs. Mark Heritage was also issued a section 5 for his behaviour towards one of the sabs on the same day. Footage is available of this whole incident where around 12 men surrounded myself and Lynn and threatened us. It was at Broadwell Hill covert. It is believed that Hunt Chairman Lord Henry Ashton was also spoken to regarding his behaviour, but was not cautioned.


Cameron forced to admit MPs won't support Hunting Act repeal 

5-11-10     Mirror    David Cameron in humiliating hunt U-turn    David Cameron was forced into an embarrassing climbdown yesterday over his election pledge to reverse the hunting ban. The PM promised a free vote on repealing the Act early this Parliament but lacks support from MPs. He has signalled the ballot will not be held until victory is certain - and not before 2012.

Pro-hunt groups are said to be "wining and dining" MPs to persuade them to change the law. But many of the new generation of Tory MPs do not share Mr Cameron's love of blood sports, or are refusing to back a move which would be deeply unpopular with voters.

During the election Mr Cameron, who was brought up in the countryside and has hunted himself, defended fox hunting. He said: "I always thought the case for a hunting ban on animal welfare grounds is very weak."



EDM in support of Hunting Act passes 200 MP signatures 

6-11-10   In the House of Commons, EDM 116 in defence of the Hunting Act, tabled by former LACS Chairman, now MP Chris Williamson, reaches 200 signatures, a figure rarely obtained by such motions.


'Vets for hunting' go out for jolly with Vale of Lune Harriers 

4-11-10   Horse and Hound   Over forty members of 'Vets for hunting' had a day out with the Vale of Lune Harriers - presumably to demonstrate their deep concern for animal welfare. 


Two Heythrop FH supporters cautioned for harassing female monitors 

3-11-10   Private info from hunt monitor    Two Heythrop FH thugs, Mick Jones and 'Slick', who harassed a pair of female hunt monitors, were later cautioned for public order offences on this day.


Seavington FH fox kill and carve-up of corpse filmed

14-11-10   YouTube – Hunt Saboteurs  VIDEO   Seavington Hunt Fox Carve Up 2008    Opening meet [1-11-08] - Fox chased and killed in front of all the riders   Filmed from afar, the Huntsman cuts the fox's tail off and slings the carcass in the brambles. Rides off into the distance as if no hunt ban exists. Hunt followers teach their kids the law won't apply to them - only the oiks.


                                                       Soon after the kill 

Following is text captioning the video - Having run one fox to ground near Hewish and leaving the terriermen to dig it out, the Hunt move back to a covert near Woolminstone where they had cub-hunted a few weeks earlier and seen foxes fleeing the area.


As if no hunt ban had been passed, and in front of seventy riders, the Huntsman proceeded to cut the tail off the fox after the pack had ragged the carcass. The Huntsman borrows a knife to strip the fox's tail off the bone as a trophy. 'Accident' over, the carcass is dragged off up the hill and left for a lackey to remove later. All witnessed by the 'great and good' of society – vets, lawyers, doctors and probably the odd magistrate and cops following the hunt. This is why they call it a BLOODSPORT.


                                         The whole field at the kill site 



..... 31st October - Dog walker says she saw Old Surrey FH cub hunting 

..... 31st October -  YouGov poll shows nearly 60% want HA kept, 77% want it enforced

..... 31st October - Wildlife expert decries attempts to repeal or further dilute Hunting Act

..... 30th October - Woman dog walker says saw Surrey Union FH cub hunting

..... 30th October - 2009 record year for HA convictions - but none of them of organised hunters

..... 29th October - IFAW staging events in seats where MPs haven't said how will vote on repeal

..... 21st October - Sabs attacked and robbed by gang of Mendip Farmers FH supporters

..... 20th October - New generation of anti-hunt Tory MPs should swing vote against repeal

..... 20th October - LACS outbids shooters to add Somerset woodland to sanctuary portfolio

..... 15th October - Sabs attacked and robbed by Mendip Farmers support at Chilmark Beagles meet 

..... 15th October - Keen Beaufort FH supporter jailed 7 years after killing 2 in crash when drunk

..... 15th October - Council refuses to let South Pembrokeshire FH meet in Tenby

..... 14th October - Council votes to allow Cattistock FH to meet in Beaminster

..... 13th October - New Countryside Alliance leader says repealing Hunting Act is their priority

..... 13th October - LACS CEO says cuts may mean monitors end up 'policing' hunts

..... 11th October - Veteran Beaufort FH Huntsman Farquhar to retire after 25 years in charge

.....  9th October - 2 Heythrop FH followers cautioned for Section 5 offences against female sabs

.....  8th October - Worcs Tory bigwig 'aggressive/threatening' to anti-hunt protesters at Conference

.....  7th October - Residents protest vigorously at Mendip Farmers FH kennel plans for village

.....  5th October - Conservatives Against Fox Hunting first showing at Party Conference 


YouGov poll says nearly 60% want HA kept, 77% want it enforced

31-10-10    Independent on Sunday   Almost two-thirds of Britons oppose repeal of hunt ban   As the fox-hunting season begins, poll shows huge majority want to see the law properly enforced Fewer than one in five people in the UK would support a repeal of the ban on hunting with dogs, according to a poll commissioned to coincide with the start of the hunting season this weekend.

The YouGov poll of more than 3,400 people, conducted last week, reveals that 59 per cent oppose the ban being overturned. And 63 per cent disagree that it amounts to an infringement of civil liberties. A large majority, 77 per cent, want to see the hunting ban properly enforced. Opinion is divided on whether hunts are respecting the law – 32 per cent say Hunts act within the law and 38 per cent believe they act illegally.

The poll, commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), shows that one in seven (16 per cent) are in favour of prison sentences for people who break the law, with almost half, 48 per cent, in favour of people being fined up to £10,000.  Despite this being the first year of hunting under a pro-hunt Prime Minister since the ban came into force in 2004, there seems little prospect of one of the most controversial pieces of legislation passed by Labour being repealed. David Cameron has promised a "free vote on a motion" on a repeal of the Hunting Act, but campaigners claim any such vote would be lost.

Research by LACS indicates that a minority of MPs – 253 out of 650 – are committed to repealing the Act. And 22 Conservative MPs are among more than 300 who would vote against a repeal. Within Tory ranks, traditionally LorrainePlatt.jpgseen as pro-hunting, there is dissent. A pressure group,, was set up earlier this year. Its spokeswoman, Lorraine Platt [right], said: "We felt we were being misrepresented by the myth that all Conservatives were pro-hunting."

Douglas Batchelor, LACS' chief executive, branded any hopes of reversing the ban a "pipe dream". He told The Independent on Sunday: "The Hunts have realised that resistance is futile, public opposition to a repeal of the ban on hunting is sustained, and... we know there is no appetite in Parliament for repeal."

The Countryside Alliance dismissed the claims last night. A spokesman said: "We remain confident the case for repeal is absolutely clear; this is a useless and confusing, vindictive piece of legislation, and it is utterly wasting police time." Yet the alliance is keeping a low profile, its spokesman saying that it would be foolhardy to make hunting a priority when the economic situation was so dire.

Statistics released last Wednesday by the Ministry of Justice showed a surge in convictions under the Hunting Act, with 57 people convicted in 2009 – almost double the 33 in 2008. But the vast majority of offences committed under the Act have nothing to do with fox-hunting, claims the Countryside Alliance. "More people have been convicted of hunting rats than chasing foxes," the spokesman said. "There are 300 hunts across the country, each hunt twice or three times a week – that's something like one prosecution for every 32,500 hunting days."

And the cat-and-mouse game between hunt-monitors and hunters is set to go on. There are dozens of monitors across the country, with activity at record levels, according to Lacs. The organisation is continuing to invest in hi-tech equipment, such as infra-red and motion-sensing cameras, in its pursuit of evidence that can be used in persuading police forces to bring prosecutions under the Act.


Dog-walker says she saw Old Surrey FH cub hunting

30-10-10   Kent News    ...Meanwhile, Sara Starkey, who lives in Tonbridge, claimed that she saw Old Surrey and Burstow West Kent Hunt "real" cub hunting while walking her dog in the countryside near her home, claims denied by the Hunt.

"I understand this ugly business is to train the new batch of dogs to kill," she said. "To see around 15 people in red or brown jackets on horseback strategically placed on guard around a copse while 40 or more dogs and terrier men/women were in the copse screaming, shouting and hooting on a horn was both upsetting and intimidating. What I saw was not drag hunting it was the real thing. No way do horsemen and women and terrier men/women stay screaming and shouting in one confined area for nigh on an hour in drag hunting."

She said the incident happened at between 10.15am and 11am on Tuesday, October 19, between Eldridge and Porters Locks. 



2009 was a record year for Hunting Act convictions - but no organised hunters

30-10-10  Guardian    Hunting Act convictions at their highest    Hunting Act convictions are at their highest yet according to new figures out with 57 convictions alone in 2009. Since the Hunting Act came into force in 2004 RobbieMarslandIFAW.jpgthere have been a total of 145 convictions according to answers during parliamentary questions by Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, James Paice on Tuesday. It was shown that convictions had risen by 24, nearly double, since the previous year to reach their highest level. These figures have been welcomed by animal welfare groups on the dawn of the hunting season due to start this weekend.

Robbie Marsland [left], UK Director of International Fund for Animal Welfare, said: "These mounting convictions show that this is a clear and enforceable piece of legislation which can be used effectively." In fact figures comparing the performance of the Hunting Act against other animal legislation, such as the Badgers Act, the Deer Act and the Wild Mammals Protection Act, show it to be the most successful with the highest total of convictions for 2009. In contrast the Protection of Badgers Act convicted 26 cases and the Deer Act only had two convictions for the entire year.

The success of the Hunting Act comes has come shortly after reports that the new generation of Conservative MP's are against fox hunting and likely to oppose a repeal of the ban...


IFAW stages events in seats where MP hasn't made repeal vote intent clear

29-10-10  Kent Live   Protesters march to retain hunting ban    Costumed anti-hunting campaigners took to Gillingham High Street on Monday to drum-up support to retain the present law banning the sport. Members of the International Fund for Animal Welfare fear fox-hunting with hounds could return after the Government pledged to hold an open parliamentary vote on repealing the Hunting Act, introduced in 2004. The organisation isRehmanChistiMP.jpg visiting all constituencies where MPs have not made their voting intentions public. Campaigners dressed as a fox, a hare and a stag have been handing out leaflets and urging shoppers to return postcards which will be sent to MPs.

IFAW's senior hunting and prosecutions officer Tania McCrea-Steele said: "We want to remind MPs the majority of the British public want to see our wildlife protected. "The Hunting Act was introduced to stop foxes, deer, hare and mink from being chased and killed for so-called sport."

Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti [right] refused to say how he would vote on the issue. He did however comment: "I appreciate the strong feelings which this issue arouses. As a member of the RSPCA I care about the welfare of all animals. The Government has pledged that, during the lifetime of the current Parliament, there will be a free vote on a motion on hunting.”...


New, younger anti-hunt Tory MPs likely to swing any vote against HA repeal

28-10-10    Guardian   Foxhunting ban likely to remain thanks to new generation of Tory MPs   Many new Conservative MPs say they'll vote with Labour to prevent repeal of 2004 Hunting Act The election of a new generation of Conservative MPs opposed to bloodsports is likely to block attempts to repeal the ban on foxhunting with hounds, according to members of the latest Commons intake.

A full vote to legalise the pursuit of wild mammals with dogs is therefore unlikely to be held during this parliament because there is insufficient support, animal rights campaigners maintain. Figures on the parliamentary arithmetic collected by the League Against Cruel Sports are supported by soundings taken by some anti-hunting Tory MPs.

The field sports community, however, believes the establishment of a new Hunting Regulatory Authority will smooth the way to a compromise settlement under which hunts could be suspended if they broke an agreed future code of conduct.

The exchange of political challenges comes as hunt monitors and riders prepare for the traditional start of the new season this weekend. A series of court cases are also expected against several hunt members, involving investigations and hearings that will test the legal effectiveness of the ban.

MikeWeatherleyMP.jpgMike Weatherley [left], the MP for Hove and Portslade, is one of around 20 new Conservative MPs who are in favour of retaining the 2004 Hunting Act, which outlaws hunting with dogs. "The likelihood is that the ban will stay," he told the Guardian. "I think there's enough of us to ensure that the ban will remain. A lot of people who decided not to vote Conservative will be surprised to find that it's Conservatives who will stop it [being repealed]. Enough soundings have been taken to realise that things would stay as they are if there was a vote. There may be even more than 20 [anti-hunting] Conservatives. I haven't spoken to all but those I have spoken to are certain. Most of them are from the new intake."...  Among other new Tories who want to preserve the ban are Laura Sandys [below right], the MP for South Thanet, and Richard Harrington, who represents Watford. "I'm in favour of country sports," Harrington said, "but I don't think it's setting a good example to anyone by ripping animals to pieces as a form of entertainment."

There is even a new website, Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, whose motto is "Don't Run With The Pack". ItLauraSandysMP.jpg claims to represent the views of "the two-thirds of Conservative supporters and the 75% of the general population who are against the repeal of the Hunting Act 2004. Our Nation has a proud history of pioneering higher animal welfare standards and an intolerance of unnecessary cruelty," it declares. "It is bizarre that English and Welsh MPs are considering reinstalling illegal sports that other countries are now banning and moving forwards with public opinion on these issues."

The League Against Cruel Sports is confident that a vote to repeal the Hunting Act in the current parliament would be lost by 66 votes. As many as 22 Tories, it estimates, as well as the vast majority of Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs would support the status quo.

The Countryside Alliance accepts the fact that a vote "is not coming any time in the near future" but disputes the figures collected by the League. "We are confident we will get there by the time the vote happens," a spokeswoman said. "I don't think it's a done deal in any shape."

One belated crumb of comfort for the Countryside Alliance is Tony Blair's startling admission in his autobiography that he regretted introducing the ban. "If I'd proposed solving the pension problem by compulsory euthanasia of every fifth pensioner I'd have got less trouble," he wrote. "By the end of it, I felt like the damn fox." Alice Barnard welcomed his repentance. "I wish he had recognised it at the time," she said. "He acknowledges that it was the wrong thing to do … and his greatest failure in domestic policy."

But the tide of international opinion appears to be running strongly against bloodsports. Catalonia's regional parliament banned bullfighting this summer. In June, Northern Ireland outlawed hare coursing and the Irish Republic banned the hunting of stags with hounds. At least 145 people have been convicted under the Hunting Act up until the end of last year. Many cases involved illegal hare coursing.

23-10-10  Leicester Mercury   House of Commons 'would not overturn hunting ban' Commons 'would not overturn hunting ban'MichaelClaytonQuornFH.jpg Hopes among the fox-hunting community that the ban on hunting with hounds might be scrapped have been dealt a blow...a poll of politicians' attitudes published by the League Against Cruel Sports suggested only 253 out of 650 members were committed to repealing the act. The anti-repeal lobby had the support of 319 MPs.

Quorn member Michael Clayton [author of 'Foxhunting', right] vowed to continue to campaign to get the law scrapped as he prepared to ride out yesterday. He said: "The Hunting Act must be repealed – it is a bad legislation. It has done nothing to protect animal welfare. Foxes are suffering." He said hunting was an efficient and humane way of controlling fox numbers...

Harborough MP Edward Garnier is a leading hunt supporter in the Commons, but agreed there are not enough pro-hunting MPs to repeal the law. He said: "The Conservative manifesto said if it had a majority it would hold a free vote on the repeal of the law. We do not have an overall majority." He felt it was unlikely that a vote would be held with the current line-up in the House of Commons...

League Against Cruel Sports chief executive Douglas Batchelor said: "There is no real appetite in the coalition for bringing back a bloodsport. It is very clear the hunting issue is off the political agenda... The law is here to stay and we will continue to support the police in enforcing it." 



Sabs attacked and robbed by gang of Mendip Farmers FH supporters

21-10-10  Somerset Live   Hunt saboteurs attack claims    Allegations that South West hunt saboteurs were attacked and robbed on the Mendips are being investigated by police. The saboteurs claim that the incident took place on Saturday when members of the South West hunt saboteurs were out monitoring a hunt taking place on the Mendips at Ston Easton and Emborough.

Lee Moon, spokesman for the hunt saboteurs, said they were present at the hunt to monitor for evidence of illegal hunting and to present any such evidence to the police. Mr Moon said: "Whilst standing on a public footpath watching the hunt, the group of eight anti-hunt protesters, made up of men and women, were approached by five vehicles whose number plates had been obscured with mud. "Approximately a dozen men jumped out of the vehicles and proceeded to attack the hunt saboteurs shouting 'get the cameras'. People were MendipFarmersFH.jpgpunched in the face and one man had his leg repeatedly stamped on. The attackers did not stop until they had stolen three video cameras and one digital camera. Members of the anti-hunt group were left severely battered and shocked by this unprovoked and brutal attack and robbery."

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that there had been a complaint made to them about an incident at Ston Easton on Saturday and had started an investigation. Mendip Farmers' Hunt's master of hounds Richard Standing confirmed that the Mendip Farmers Hunt [left] was in the area on Saturday, but said that he had not seen any hunt saboteurs. He added that he believed that another hunting group had also been in the area on Saturday.

Mr Moon added: "We are sick and tired of seeing hunts trying to portray themselves as part of the tradition and fabric of this country. If our traditions include violence, intimidation and robbery then perhaps they are. It is time the police showed these people that the countryside is not their own private playground and prosecute them for the crimes they commit against animals and people."

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police confirmed that there had been a complaint made to them about an incident at Ston Easton on Saturday. Police had attended the scene following the incident and had started an investigation. The spokesman added that they had been allegations of assault and theft from several hunt observers.

Police officers had not been able to collect all the statements at the time were now in the process of taking statements from the complainants in their own homes.

16-10-10   HSA Press Release   Do you want these people in your neighbourhood?   On Sat 16th October 2010 members of the South West hunt saboteurs were out monitoring the Chilmark and Clifton Foot beagle hunt at Emborough, near Midsomer Norton, Somerset. They were present at the hunt to monitor for evidence of illegal hunting and to present any such evidence to the police.  

Whilst standing on a public footpath watching the Hunt, the group of eight anti-hunt protesters, made up of men and women,ChilmarkandCliftonFootBeagles.jpg were approached by five vehicles whose number plates had been obscured with mud. Approximately a dozen men jumped out of the vehicles and proceeded to attack the hunt saboteurs shouting “get the cameras”. People were punched in the face and one man had his leg repeatedly stamped on. The attackers did not stop until they had stolen 3 video cameras and one digital camera. Members of the anti-hunt group were left severely battered and shocked by this unprovoked and brutal attack and robbery. The incident has been reported to the police who are currently making enquiries.

The Chilmark and Clifton foot beagles are closely linked with the Mendip Farmers Fox Hounds (MFFH) and several of the attackers were wearing Mendip Farmers FH rugby shirts. Whilst there is no suggestion that the Mendip Farmers officially sanctioned this attack it seems certain that some of their supporters were involved. For several years the MFFH have been involved in a high profile battle with local residents to move to new Kennels at Chewton Mendip in Somerset. The local residents do not want them as they feel they will bring increased traffic, noise and disruption to the community but despite vociferous local protests the hunt seem determined to go ahead, painting themselves as an upright, integral part of the local community. Is today's attack the true face of the Mendip Farmers Foxhunt?


LACS outbids shooters for Somerset woodland to add to sanctuary portfolio

20-10-10  BBC News    Charity buys land to 'prevent fox hunting' in Somerset    The League Against Cruel Sports has spent £160,000 on land in Somerset to prevent fox hunting taking place there. It has bought 50 acres (20.2 hectares) of Brockhole Woods at Brompton Regis in Dulverton to expand the size of its Baronsdown sanctuary. A spokesman said the land was "slap in the middle of a hunting area". The Countryside Alliance said none of its members had hunted in the woods and it did not understand why the land was seen as "of strategic importance".

The League bought the land despite announcing it would sell some of its land to help fund a £1m campaign against the repeal of the Hunting Act. Spokesman Steve Taylor said: "The hunts in the area will say they are hunting entirely within the law, so in that sense it's not important but it is strategically important because it increases the overall size of the estate."

A spokesman from Avon and Somerset Police said the force had not received any complaints about illegal hunting in the area.


Beaufort FH follower jailed 7 years for killing friends while drunk driving 

15-10-10  This is Gloucestershire   Jailed drunk drive boy racer devastated community with 'appalling' actions DRUNK 'boy racer'    Sean Creed downed at least seven pints of cider before driving like he was "invincible" in the horror smash which killed two pals. Yesterday, Creed was jailed for seven years after his drunk-driving led to the death of Jade Turley, 16, and fellow passenger Paul Workman.

Creed, 29, who had no driving licence and has never sat a test, smashed his Subaru Impreza into a stone wall in Cherington, near Tetbury, on December 8 last year.The car had just failed an MOT and the smash also badly injured Jade's sister Amber, 19. Gloucester Crown Court heard that Creed ignored pleas from one of his passengers to slow down and "drove as though he was invincible, throwing all caution to the wind". Loud music was also blaring in the car. He lost control of the Impreza when it aquaplaned on a rain-soaked country lane and smashed into the wall. Creed was also seriously injured, suffering skull and brain injuries and a shattered leg. The only person left conscious in the wrecked car was Amber, who was able to ring her parents from her mobile phone. Moments before the crash she had been trying to send a goodbye text to her boyfriend because she feared she was going to die. Jade's parents were the first to arrive at the scene 20 minutes later to discover one daughter dead and another with spinal injuries, said prosecutor Julian Kesner. Creed and his passengers had been on their way from a pub in Minchinhampton to buy kebabs in Tetbury and had travelled just three-and-a- half-miles when the crash happened.Shorty before crashing he had "smirked" at the wheel of his car, enjoying the "thrill" as he flashed past an oncoming Saab car driven by Clare Mustoe, who had slowed down and pulled in to avoid him. Mrs Mustoe later described him as driving like a "boy racer".

Creed, of Hampton Fields, Minchinhampton, pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of Jade and Mr Workman by driving dangerously on an unclassified road. He also admitted having excess alcohol in his blood. Experts estimated that at the time of the collision he had between 100 and 180mgs of alcohol per 100mls of blood. The legal limit is 80mgs. He was also banned from driving for seven years....... Creed has a long time to reflect on his actions but as the court heard, this was not the first time he has been in trouble. He was sentenced to a nine-month suspended jail term earlier this year, for possessing weaponry without a firearms certificate, and the crown said when police stopped him at Fostons Ash last year they found more than 160 rounds of ammunition in his blue Land Rover, and more at his home along with two .22 rifles. Neighbours said Creed lived with his mother. "He used to like his fox hunting," said one. "I don't know what he did for a living. It appeared to be not much." …


Council refuses to let South Pembrokeshire FH meet in Tenby

15-10-10  Western Telegraph   Horses and hounds must hunt down new destination after mayor's casting vote    The spectacle of horses and hounds will be absent from Tenby’s Tudor Square this year after the town council voted against inviting them back. The South Pembrokeshire Hunt has held its closing meet of Hunt Week in the centre of the town for the past two years, following a 17-year absence. Last November’s meet saw nearly 50 demonstrators holding banners urging against any moves to repeal the Hunting Act. The mayor at the time, Councillor Sue Lane, came in for calls of ‘shame on the mayor’ and ‘disgusting’ when she greeted the gathering of around 50 riders. 

S.PembrokeshireFHBoxingDayTenby2009.jpgBut last week, Tenby’s current mayor, Councillor Julie Evans, used her casting vote at a town council meeting against asking the hunt back this year. She said afterwards: “I based my vote on the unnecessary burden it would cause the police and local authority, and don’t really see the need for the hunt to meet in Tudor Square when it brings no real benefit to the town.”

Hunt master, Hugh Harrison-Allen of Cresselly, commented: “I think it is sad, but we will go with the council’s consensus.” He explained that, to enable him to plan the Hunt Week programme, he had asked the town council if they planned to invite the hunt back next month. I was under the impression that the majority of Tenby loved us being there,” he said.

This view was not shared by Michael Sharratt, of West Wales Animal Aid – who was among the demonstrators at last year’s Tenby meet. “A lot of people were quite shocked when the Hunt was greeted by the mayor,” he said. “We are highly delighted at the town council’s decision.”



Council votes to permit Cattistock FH meet in Beaminster

14-10-10   ThisIsDorset   Hunt welcomed - THE Cattistock Hunt has been given permission to meet at Beaminster Square on Boxing Day by the town council. Councillors voted unanimously for the gathering to be allowed to take place again this year... [rest of article unavailable]


New Countryside Alliance leader says repealing Hunting Act is her priority

AliceBarnard.jpg13-10-10   Somerset Live   Hunt ban 'a priority' for new Alliance boss   The new boss of the Countryside Alliance has said repealing the ban on hunting is a "central part" of the Alliance's work, as the battle for the hearts and minds of wavering MPs intensifies. With both sides saying an imminent free vote on hunting was "too close to call", the Alliance's new chief executive, Alice Barnard [left], said they would continue to lobby for repeal.

Both the Alliance and the League Against Cruel Sports threw a small army of campaigners at all three party conferences, and Ms Barnard said the issue was still top of the Countryside Alliance's agenda... Alice Barnard, who was the Alliance east of England officer and has a hunting background, took over from out-going chief executive Simon Hart when he was elected a Tory MP in west Wales.

She said: "Repeal of the Hunting Act is a central part of the Alliance's work and we will continue to highlight that this is a bad law in all senses, not least animal welfare. It is also a huge waste of police and court time. In this time of austerity and budget cuts, it is clear that resources would be better deployed on things which affect the wider community," she added. "When such a voteDouglasBatchelor.jpg is to take place remains to be seen..."

Hunt campaign leaders have been nervous about forcing through a vote on repeal in case such a vote is lost. Ms Barnard said she was confident the new Tory-Lib Dem Government would prove more sympathetic to rural issues than the last Labour Government. "This year, following the formation of the coalition Government, we have new ministers in Defra and across Government departments who are not only sympathetic to our issues but also have a real understanding of the countryside, country sports and rural life," she said...

The anti-hunt League Against Cruel Sports were also lobbying hard at the three conferences. "We've had an exhausting three weeks at the main political party conferences," said chief executive Douglas Batchelor. "We have spoken to senior politicians, celebrities including Eddie Izzard [right], and had dozens of MPs sign our pledge against repeal of the Hunting Act," he said. The League also presented new Defra minister Caroline Spelman with a 20,000-plus signature petition against snaring, and they co-hosted a debate at the Tory party conference with a group called Conservatives Against Fox Hunting.


LACS CEO says cuts may mean monitors end up 'policing' hunts

13-10-10   Somerset Live   We could end up policing hunts, says protest leader   The Government's "Big Society" idea could mean anti-hunt monitors are given the job of policing the controversial ban on hunting in the West, because police cuts mean officers will no longer be able to tackle wildlife crime. That is the view of the head of the League Against Cruel Sports, which has dozens of monitors keeping watch on hunts across the region, from Exmoor to the Cotswolds.

But Douglas Batchelor's comments sparked outrage from hunt supporters. The League's chief executive wrote a "blog" essay pondering whether David Cameron's "Big Society" idea, where volunteers take on jobs previously done by the state, could mean an increased and official role for hunt monitors. Those monitors, and others from different animal welfare organisations like the International Fund for Animal Welfare, have kept the issue of hunting in the public eye in the West. More than half the monitoring of hunts in Britain takes place in the region, and monitors regularly present video evidence to police and prosecutors with claims of illegal hunting.

Mr Batchelor said he wanted to see a similar situation to the enforcement of cruelty legislation on domestic animals, where the RSPCA regularly brings prosecutions against pet owners or farmers, particularly since cash-strapped police were already cutting back on enforcement of wildlife crime.

"Those charged with managing police budgets can understandably be attracted by the notion that the work and costs associated with enforcement of wildlife crime legislation could in effect be delegated to voluntary sector organisations such as the League, the RSPB and the RSPCA," he said. Superficially it sounds like the perfect 'Big Society' concept allowing the police to concentrate on what they are more familiar with and better trained for, and leaving the voluntary organisations to enforce welfare law.

There will be many in the hunting and shooting fraternity who will be horrified at the prospect of voluntary organisations taking on responsibility for policing their activities. Already we have seen questions in court about the methods used to gather evidence and the admissibility of that evidence in court. We have seen witnesses challenged on the basis they previously campaigned against the cruelty of hunting. If local policing in response to local concerns is to be the way forward, the police are going to have to devote more, not less, resources to dealing with determined law breakers in the hunting community. At the moment there is worrying evidence that far too many Hunts are involved in deliberately illegal activities."

But the Countryside Alliance gave Mr Batchelor's musings short shrift. Spokesman Tim Bonner said: "LACS is living in an alternative universe if it thinks that its rag-bag selection of animal rights activists are safe to monitor anything other than their own blood pressure. "The Government has made quite clear its concern about snooping and the surveillance state. Lurking in bushes filming people as they go about their legal activities is at best odd and at worst a form of harassment. Hunts have effectively tested the law and policed themselves since the Act came into force in 2005 with such success that there have been only a tiny number of successful prosecutions. The last thing stretched police budgets need is further police time and money wasted investigating the spurious allegations of the anti-hunt brigade."

Veteran Beaufort FH Huntsman Farquhar to retire after 25 years in charge

11-10-10   Daily Mail   If David Cameron reverses the ban on foxhunting, Prince Charles will be back riding withIanFarquharBeaufortFH.jpg his favourite hunt, the Beaufort — but without his favourite Huntsman, Captain Ian Farquhar [right]. Approaching 65, Farquhar, a close pal of Charles, has decided to relinquish his post with the smart Gloucestershire hunt after 25 years, although he will be staying on as joint master, together with the Duke of Beaufort... [rest no longer available] 

POWAperson comments - Some highlights from the career of this supreme fox and hound killer:- In the 1990/91 season, a judge threatened to jail him for contempt if he again broke an undertaking not to trespass on a Wiltshire Farm. In the early 90s he was acquitted on appeal of interfering with a badger sett, on a technicality. In ‘98/9 he was fined £6000 for allowing a river to be polluted with insecticide. On the last day of 2009, his hounds, supposedly ‘trail-hunting' charged across a main railway line and several were killed by a train.


Two Heythrop FH followers cautioned for Section 5 offences against female sabs

9-10-10    Private email from sabs    On 9th October 2010, Gary Morgan (terrier man) was issued with a section 5 for his behaviour towards two female sabs. Mark Heritage was also issued a section 5 for his behaviour towards one of the sabs on the same day. Footage is available of this whole incident where around 12 men surrounded myself and another female sab and threatened us. It was at Broadwell Hill cover. It is believed that Hunt Chairman Lord Henry Ashton was also spoken to regarding his behaviour, but was not cautioned.


Worcs Tory bigwig 'aggressive & threatening' to anti protesters at Conference

8-10-10  Worcester News     Brush with protestors after David Cameron’s conference speech   A Tory chief has had another brush with the police – this time for remonstrating with protesters holding a stuffed badger. Members of FACCT (Fight Against Cameron Cruelty Threat) said Dr Ken Pollock, chairman of the West Worcestershire Conservative Association and a county councillor representing Tenbury Wells, was “aggressive and threatening” during an argument outside Symphony Hall in Birmingham following Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech.

The protestors said it was only when he was asked to move away and police were asked to intervene that he “backed off with cheers from the public and delegates”. Dr Pollock admitted he got involved in “a passionate exchange of views” with members of the small group who were demonstrating against the badger cull and any plans the Conservatives might have to bring back hunting with dogs.

Katherine Green, FACCT spokesman, said there were about six members, herself included, taking part in the peaceful protest on Wednesday afternoon when Dr Pollock marched over and “launched a tirade of abuse”. Mrs Green, a registered nurse from Cheshire, said: “He said I didn’t know what I was talking about. I said how could you possibly make that sweeping judgement? He continued to be quite verbally aggressive and insulting. He wouldn’t leave until we had to ask one of the police officers to come over. He made a quick exit.”

Mrs Green said she is now going to make a written complaint to the West Worcestershire Conservative Association. She said: “Whether you agree with people’s views or not you have got to respect them and not be verbally aggressive to people using their democratic right to a peaceful protest.”

Dr Pollock said: “It is fair to say there was a passionate exchange of views and that in the end we agreed to disagree. They had a loud hailer and I disagreed with what they said. Ninety-nine per cent of the time you walk by but on this occasion I disagreed with what they were saying and we had a fair exchange of views as you can in an open democracy.”

We previously reported in your Worcester News how no action was taken against Dr Pollock following an investigation into his actions when he was dragged away by police as he tried to confront Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who is now deputy Prime Minister, at the Nag’s Head pub in Malvern. The incident was over a leaflet distributed across the West Worcestershire constituency during the general election campaign.


Residents resist Mendip Farmers FH plan for new kennels in village

7-10-10  ThisIsDorset   Mendip Farmers FH face storm of protest from villagers when they try to relocate their kennels to Splot. [article no longer available]


Conservatives Against Fox Hunting make first appearance at Tory Conference

5-10-10  Independent   Birmingham Diary: Save the bulls, whales, stags, hares, and even the foxes There is a meeting on the fringe of the conference this morning which is fated to be sparsely attended, and not just because it is at 8am. It will be gathering of Conservatives Against Fox Hunting. Yes, that word is "against". Tory MPs who opposed fox hunting used to be as rare as Labour MPs who defended it. Now there is a small but growing faction in the party who think it would be wrong or foolish to repeal the Hunting Act. In their manifesto, the Conservatives promised a free vote on the matter, with David Cameron committed to voting for legalisation.

The League Against Cruel Sports has a list of 19 Tory MPs who they say would oppose a repeal, most of them newly elected. Dominic Raab, Tory MP for Esher, is the main speaker at this morning's meeting, though I understand that while he is opposed to stag hunting and hare coursing, he is not necessarily against fox hunting. But his local party chairman, Chris Platt, is married to a campaigner who calls herself Blue Fox, aka Lorraine Platt, who is opposed to hunting with dogs.

"How can we influence other countries' policies on bull fighting or whaling if we reverse a ban that was put in place to prevent cruelty?" she asks. "I'm not a politician and I'm not in any animal welfare organisation. I'm just a normal person in the street. Nearly everybody I know is against a repeal, yet this is not reflected in our party."


..... 30th September - Labour will fight HA repeal 'every step of the way' says Hilary Benn

..... 27th September - Ullswater FH Huntsman cleared of illegal fox hunting

..... 20th September - Illegal fox hunting in Gloucestershire being investigated

..... 19th September - Young huntswoman Alice Barnard new CEO of Countryside Alliance

..... 18th September - Save Me organised 'Day of Action' against HA repeal plan 

..... 10th September - Worcestershire FH hound killed on road - no huntsmen present say LACS

.....  6th September - Amalgamated dissension-riven super Hunt to be renamed Kimblewick FH

.....  1st September - Blair claims he 'sabotaged' the Hunting Act after persuaded it was unwise


Labour will fight HA repeal plan 'every step' says Hilary Benn

30-9-10    Guardian   Hilary Benn vows to fight plans to revoke hunting ban   Shadow environment secretary tells Labour conference government plan to allow free vote on revoking hunting ban will be fiercely resisted The shadow environment secretary, Hilary Benn, today vowed to oppose coalition plans to bring back fox hunting "every step of the way" as he hailed Labour's achievements in office... He said the plan to allow a free vote on revoking the hunting ban introduced under Labour would be fiercely resisted by the opposition.

The ban has been criticised as unenforceable. Tony Blair, the former prime minister who pushed through the legislation, confessed in his recent memoirs that he deliberately sabotaged the Hunting Act to make sure that there were enough loopholes to allow the sport to continue. Blair wrote: "The passions aroused by the issue were primeval. If I'd proposed solving the pension problem by compulsory euthanasia of every fifth pensioner I'd have got less trouble ... By the end of it, I felt like the damn fox. I had a complete lapse. I didn't 'feel it' either way. I didn't feel how, for fox hunters, this was part of their way of life. I didn't feel how, for those wanting a ban, this was fundamentally about cruelty. Result? Disaster."

But Benn, who is standing in the shadow cabinet elections, made clear he would fiercely oppose any move to rescind the existing legislation – a move he said was at odds with the coalition's claim to be "compassionate". "It wants to bring back the barbarous spectacle of fox and stag hunting, and hare coursing to our countryside," he said. "This isn't compassion. It's animal cruelty, and we will oppose it every step of the way."


Report of illegal fox hunting in Gloucestershire being investigated

20-9-16  Stroud Journal   Foxhunting claims investigated in Painswick   ILLEGAL foxhunting claims are being investigated by police after a member of the public reported suspicious activity in a field near Painswick around 9.30am on Thursday, September 16th. The force’s rural and environmental crime officer, Jon Palfrey, said: "Officers are investigating the incident to ascertain whether any offences were committed and to identify any potential offenders." Anyone with information should contact police on 0845 090 1234 or Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111 quoting incident number 130 of September 16th.


Young huntswoman to succeed Simon Hart as Countryside Alliance CEO 

19-19-10   Farmers Guardian   Active huntswoman Alice Barnard [left] is to be the new CEO of Countryside Alliance. Barnard, 33, a corporate sales entrepreneur, hunted with the High Peak Harriers as a child and now rides with a Leicestershire pack. She succeeds Simon Hart, who was elected as an MP in the General Election. [article no longer available]



Save Me 'Day of Action' against Hunting Act repeal organised

18-9-10     Save Me    Brian May's Save Me organisation announces a National Day of Action for British wildlife on September 18th, in association with Viva and Uncaged! Demonstrations against repeal of the Hunting Act reported in Wrexham, Knutsford, Cambridge, Torquay and Exeter.

18.9.10  ThisIsDevon   Wildlife campaigners united in day of action to stop Hunting Act repeal   Animal welfare campaigners have promised two "major events" in the West country today as part of a national day of action against a repeal of the Hunting Act. Peaceful protests in Exeter and Torquay have been organised by the group Viva! alongside Queen guitarist Brian May's high profile Save Me campaign.... The group launched an extraordinary attack on Mr Cameron on its website saying it was "all because he's a 'country boy', weaned on hunting, shooting and fishing". "As if he doesn't have enough blood on his hands in Afghanistan, David Cameron wants to repeal the fox hunting ban and spill more blood – this time across England and Wales," it said... [rest now unavailable] 


Worcestershire FH hound killed when ran on to road with no huntsmen around

?-9-10    LACS says Worcestershire hunt hound killed when pack strayed on to a busy road, with no huntsmen present.


Dissension-riven superhunt in Berks, Bucks and Beds to be 'Kimblewick FH'

6.9.10    Horse & Hound    VAGSB renamed the Kimblewick hunt in bid to heal rifts   The Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks hunt (VAGSB) has been renamed the Kimblewick, as part of crisis management talks brokered by the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA). But the move has failed to appease all the warring factions within the Hunt, which has the largest country in England and was formed through the amalgamation of five former packs.... [rest of article unavailable]


Blair claims he sabotaged Hunting Act after persuaded it was unwise

1-9-10  Farmers Weekly    Fox hunting ban ‘deliberately sabotaged’, says Blair   Former Prime MinisterTonyBlair.jpg Tony Blair [right] said introducing legislation to ban fox hunting was one of the measures he most regrets from his time in power. In his memoir, A Journey, Mr Blair said he deliberately sabotaged the 2004 Hunting Act to ensure there were enough loopholes to allow hunting to continue. Describing the act as a “masterly British compromise”, Mr Blair said it left people able to hunt foxes “provided certain steps were taken to avoid cruelty when the fox was killed. He also told then-Home Office minister Hazel Blears [left] to steer police away from enforcing the law.

In the book, published on Wednesday (1 September), Mr Blair said he had not realised how passionate the hunting community was about the ban, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of hunt supporters marching through London in 2002. “The passions aroused by the issue were primeval,” he said. “If I’d HazelBlears.jpgproposed solving the pension problem by compulsory euthanasia for every fifth pensioner I’d have got less trouble. By the end of it, I felt like the damn fox.”

Mr Blair said he also had a bet with Prince Charles [below right] that fox hunting would continue. “He thought the ban was absurd and raised the issue with me in a slightly pained way. The wager was that after I left office, people would still be hunting.”

The former Prime Minister said he initially agreed to a ban without properly understanding the issue. During a trip to Italy he spoke to the mistress of a Hunt near Oxford he realised banning hunting was the wrong thing to do. “She took me calmly and persuasively through what they did, the jobs that were dependent on it, the social contribution of keeping the hunt and the social consequence of banning it and did it with an effect thatPrinceCharleshunting.jpg completely convinced me,” Mr Blair said.

3-9-10   Daily Telegraph   … I don't remember Tony Blair ever saying anything of substance about vicious toffs, medieval savagery, delight in inflicting pain, our duty as a species to protect and nurture even the least of God's own creatures – nothing, nada, zilch. He indicated that he was minded to legislate on hunting back in 1998. He set up the Burns Report of 2000, to examine, scientifically, whether or not hunting was cruel. Lord Burns [below left] found little scientific evidence from which to draw conclusions, unsurprisingly. He said he was "satisfied that the experience [of being hunted by hounds] seriously compromises the welfare of the fox," and some of us burst out laughing.

Blair kept pretty schtum about foxes until 2004, when he tore himself away from military matters and indicated that the Hunting with Dogs Bill would be upcoming. It was voted on in September of that year (and rammed through the Lords via the Parliament Act, of all lunacies). He regrets it now. That's what it said in all the papers. One of the extracts from his book that everybody had was: "I started to realise that this wasn't a small clique of weirdo inbreds delighting in cruelty, but a tradition, deeply embedded by history and profound community and social liens, that was integral to a way of life." Liens, eh? Deep.

JohnCooper.jpgIt was surreal watching him do that slimy interview with Andrew Marr this week. Marr shouted: "You didn't get the countryside, that's what people said." Blair said, "Yeah, I think there is some truth in that. In a way, it was only when I got into the thing in a lot more detail, frankly, than I should have done before, that I came to the conclusion that it's a lot more complicated, frankly, than a bunch of toffs running around killing foxes."

1-9-10   Guardian   … On the issue of hunting, other campaigners said Blair's "change of heart" over the ban on hunting with dogs – prompted while on a holiday in Tuscany – ignored volumes of evidence from his own government inquiry.

John Cooper QC [right], chairman of the League Against Cruel Sports, described Blair's admission as remarkable, adding: "It is alarming in the extreme that the prime minister should respond to the proper passage of an Act through parliament by not encouraging its enforcement. He is sailing perilously close to perverting the course of justice."

Douglas Batchelor, the League's chief executive, said: "Thankfully the police ignored any instruction to ignore the law, and there's an average of one conviction every fortnight. People hunting illegally are being brought to justice, and one of the biggest successes of this Act is that it makes criminals of those hunters who break the law. The sad thing is that Blair's admission that he tried to sabotage the legislation will further denigrate the public's view of politicians. "Quite what the blood sports lobby, which spent years printing car stickers saying 'Bollocks to Blair', will make of this remains, to be seen."

POWAperson comments -  Though Blair doesn't explain exactly how he 'sabotaged' the Act his having done so would help explain why it is so full of weak wording and loopholes. Nor would it be any surprise - he was never keen and had something like a phobia of upsetting those with power and influence.



..... 27th August - Mother of Melbreak FH Huntsman who died of cancer evicted by Hunt 

..... 20th August - South Devon FH terrierman charged with interfering with badger sett

..... 18th August - Wales Against Cruelty demo in Rhyl against HA repeal and cub hunting 

..... 14th August 0 - Government confirms will offer chance to repeal the Hunting Act 

..... 11th August - LACS to sell sanctuary land to raise funds to defend Hunting Act

.....   5th August - Worcestershire FH Chairman takes own life over mounting debts


Melbreak FH evicts mother of Huntsman after he dies of cancer


27-8-10   Carlisle News & Star   Cumbrian woman evicted from house after son's death    A woman whose family has been the heart of the Melbreak Fox Hounds for three generations has been evicted from her tied cottage by the Hunt. Elizabeth Bland’s family ran the Melbreak Hunt’s kennels at Hopebeck, Lorton, for 63 years. Mrs Bland, 58, was given six weeks to leave the home where she had spent her whole life after her son Christopher, who was the Melbreak huntsman, died from cancer in February. She now lives in a rented house in Low Lorton...

She claimed that the Hunt gave her no help tending the hounds while Christopher was in hospital, and she was still owed two months wages... Johnny Vickers, master of the Melbreak Hunt, said the decision to evict Mrs Bland was made by a committee shortly after her son’s death... It was a sad situation but we did help find her the house she’s now living in.”


South Devon FH terrierman faces charge for interfering with badger sett

20-8-10   This is Devon   Terrier man of the South Devon FH, Andrew Bellamy, faces prosecution for interfering with a badger sett, during a fox hunt   [article no longer available]


Wales Against Cruelty demo in Rhyl against HA repeal and cub hunting 

18-8-10   Denbighshire Visitor   Anti-fox hunting protesters in Rhyl   A new campaign began in Rhyl over the weekend in opposition to a repeal of the fox hunting ban. Wales Against Animal Cruelty started its new drive to highlight the “continued threat to the hunt ban by the new Coalition Government”. “August is traditionally cub-hunting season which sees many cubs killed by hounds,” said Judi Hewitt.... [rest of article no longer available]


Coniston FH thugs cautioned after attacking LACS monitors


17-8-10   League Against Cruel Sports   VIDEO   Two supporters of the Coniston Foxhounds in Cumbria have been cautioned following an altercation in which a hunt monitor was pushed off a wall and another was almost run over. The incident, which took place in March this year, was captured on video camera used by the hunt monitors, who were working for the animal welfare charity, the League Against Cruel Sports. They had been monitoring the Coniston Foxhounds but, on losing sight of the hunt, they were returning to their vehicle when the incident took place.



Government confirms will Parliament give chance to repeal Hunting Act

14.8.10   Horse & Hound   Coalition government will review the Hunting Act    The coalition government has confirmed its intention to offer parliament the chance to review and repeal the 2004 Hunting Act. The statement comes after the closure in June of an online petition on the Number 10 website calling for repeal of the Act... [rest of article no longer available]


LACS to sell sanctuary land to raise funds to defend Hunting Act 

11-8-10  BBC News   League in £1m bid to defend hunting ban on Exmoor   The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) is planning to sell some of the land it owns on Exmoor to fund a £1m campaign to keep theLACSSanctuarysign.jpg hunting ban in place. The Coalition government has promised a free vote on whether the Hunting Act should be repealed in the future. "We want to raise £1m for our campaign and if that involves land sales we would be prepared to do that," a LACS spokesman said.

Restrictions would mean the land in Somerset could not be used for hunting. By retaining sporting rights, the League says it will ensure hunting and shooting cannot take place on the land, whatever the outcome of the vote.

Alison Hawes, from the Countryside Alliance, said the Act "does not work" and is a "waste of police and court time. We're confident the Hunting Act will disappear in the future," she said. "A responsible government will look at that legislation and get rid of it."

No date has been announced for the vote, which could come as early as September, when parliament returns from the summer recess.

11.8.10   ThisIsDevon   Havens to be sold to help fund £1m hunting ban campaign    The League Against Cruel Sports is to sell off acres of land it owns on Exmoor in a bid to fund a £1 million campaign to save the ban on hunting. The League owns or manages 2,000 acres of land in Somerset which it bought or was donated over decades to try to curtail the activities of stag hunts. But with an expected Parliamentary free vote on repealing the Hunting Act looking too close to call in the autumn, it is raising a seven- figure sum to launch a huge campaign to persuade the public to tell their MPs to support the ban...  Which particular areas of land the organisation owns on Exmoor will be sold has not been revealed, but it is understood that the 250-acre Baronsdown sanctuary [deer on, below] will remain in its hands. Smaller parcels of land up to 10 per cent of the total League holding will be sold off as it tries to raise the money...  [rest of article no longer available]



Worcestershire FH Chairman takes his own life over mounting debts

5-8-10   Droitwich Spa Advertiser   Hunt Chairman took his own life    A Droitwich businessman and popular huntsman took his own life after falling into debt and keeping it secret from his wife and family, an inquest was told. Michael Skuse, of The Commons, Broughton Green, was found dead at a farm near Worcester on May 28th. Accountant Mr Skuse, 60, who was Chairman of the Worcestershire Hunt, was found dead in his car at Groveley Coppice, Upper Doddenham Farm in Broadwas, near Worcester. He had been Chairman of the Hunt for about five years and leaves his wife May and daughter Jessie.

The hearing at Stourport Coroner’s Court was told how Mr Skuse had crippling debts and had not paid the mortgage on his house for some time. DC Jason Maiden, of West Mercia Police, said Mr Skuse had asked a friend for a loan of £75,000 earlier in the year. The friend, who was not named, agreed to lend Mr Skuse £25,000 and promised not to tell his family. DC Maiden said the debt had not been settled when Mr Skuse killed himself. The officer said Mr Skuse was reported missing the previous evening after he had failed to return home for a planned family meal. He said the family were also planning to go on holiday the following day.

Mr Skuse’s wife May, speaking at the inquest, said she later discovered the holiday had not been booked and had no idea about the financial problems. She said: “The money had all gone but I didn’t know. He never booked the train tickets for the holiday. I have now come to realise that he had planned to take his life.”

Worcestershire coroner Geraint Williams was satisfied Mr Skuse had intended to take his own life and recorded a verdict that he killed himself. Mr Williams said: “Mr Skuse had incurred substantial debts which he kept hidden from his family. They reached a pitch by where he went to Groveley Coppice.” Speaking after the hearing Mrs Skuse described her husband, a father-of-three, as a “brilliant husband and a brilliant father”. A memorial service will take place at Worcester Cathedral on Thursday, September 16th.


JULY 2010

..... 24th July - Three Sinnington FH officials charged with illegal hunting 

..... 21st July - Ullswater FH Huntsman convicted of beating fox to death on hunt

..... 19th July - Fernie FH Huntsman and terrierman charged with illegal hunting offences

..... 11th July - Northern Ireland Assembly bans hare coursing in Ulster

.....  6th July - Highland Drag Hunt folds before it starts - dogs neglected, Huntsman a fugitive! 

.....  4th July - Hunters back new Regulatory Authority offer to help HA repeal bid 

.....  2nd July - 'Big Three' to work together again to combat Hunting Act repeal danger  

.....  1st July - Two Coniston FH supporters cautioned after attacking LACS monitors



Three Sinnington FH officials charged with illegal hunting of a fox

24-7-10  Scarborough Evening News   Three officials of the Sinnington FH appear at Scarborough Magistrates Court charged with illegal hunting. [article no longer available]


Ullswater FH Huntsman convicted of beating fox to death during hunt 

21-7-10  Westmoreland Gazette   Eden huntsman beat fox to its death   A man who flushed a fox from its den and beat it to death with a stick has today been found guilty of illegal hunting with a dog.

Witnesses told Penrith Magistrates Court that Alistair Robinson [below right], 48, of Bampton Grange, near Shap, held the fox by its tail and struck it eight times. Robinson had denied using dogs to hunt a fox but the case wasUllswaterFHHuntsmanAlistairRobinsonfinedforberatingfoxtodeath21-7-10.jpg proved by Judge Gerald Chalk. He was fined £250, ordered to pay £900 costs and a £15 surcharge.

League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) members Ed Shephard and Paul Tillsey showed the court film footage of Robinson’s actions as an Ullswater Foxhounds ‘drag’ hunt passed Hartsop on October 26 last year. The film showed the defendant take a fox from the ground where his two terriers had been running in tunnels. The hunt was intended to be a legal ‘drag’, where dogs follow a scent planted by members. Robinson was filmed putting his black terrier into a hole in the area where a fox had been spotted.

Oliver King, prosecuting, said Robinson was seen by LACS members digging with a stick in the area where the fox had run underground, after the Hunt moved on. Robinson later admitted, in interview, he had killed the animal and buried its carcass in a dry stone wall, where LACS members later retrieved it. He claimed he did not intend to use dogs to kill the animal.

A post-mortem examination on the vixen was carried out by Stephen Harris at Bristol University. The examination revealed it had been attacked for ‘a prolonged period’ by dogs and received extensive injuries. The court heard that there were bite wounds to the fox’s face and it had a partially crushed skull.

Stephen Welford, defending, said Robinson had only sent his terrier underground to help track and bring out a four-year-old dog that had accidentally escaped its lead and run in. When interviewed by Cumbria police, after his arrest on January 11, Mr Robinson said: “The fox was in a bit of a state, so I gave it a couple of knocks to finish it off. It wouldn’t have survived.”

22-7-10   Carlisle News & Star   Cumbrian hunt follower fined over attack on fox    A hunt follower released two terriers into a foxhole with the intention of hunting illegally, a court has ruled. In a rare successful hunt prosecution in Cumbria, Alistair James Robinson, 48, of Bampton Grange, near Penrith, was found guilty after a trial of hunting a wild mammal in contravention of the 2004 Hunting Act. District Judge Gerald Chalk, sitting at Eden Magistrates’ Court in Penrith, heard that Robinson had been following the Ullswater Hunt on October 26 last year when his terrier darted underground. He was seen on a video captured by hunt monitors from the League Against Cruel Sports digging at a point in the ground, then pulling a fox from the ground and hitting it in the head eight times, killing it, and hiding its carcass in a dry stone wall.... [rest no longer available]


Fernie FH Huntsman & terrierman face Hunting and Badgers Act charges

19-7-10   Leicester Mercury    Fernie hunt employees face prosecution after being filmed by anti-hunt group    Two employees of a Hunt face prosecution after being filmed by an anti fox-hunting group. Fernie Huntsman Derek Hopkins and Kevin Allen, a terrierman, are being prosecuted for alleged offences under the Hunting Act 2004 and the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. The alleged offences have not yet been specified but are understood to have involved disturbing a badger's sett.

They are alleged to have taken place on Wednesday, January 27 at Thorpe Langton, near Market Harborough. It is alleged the men were caught on camera by observers working for the League Against Cruel Sports. Summonses were sent out on Tuesday last week. Both men are due to appear at Market Harborough Magistrates' Court on Thursday, August 19th. Under the law which came into force in February 2005, hounds may be used to flush out a fox but cannot be used to kill it. Other methods, such as shooting, must be used.

Mr Hopkins became the Huntsman at the Fernie in 2000. Neither Mr Hopkins nor Mr Allen could be contacted at the kennels. Joe Cowen, co-master of the Fernie Hunt, said he was unaware of the alleged offences. He said: "I do not know the circumstances, but I am sure they will be vigorously denied." The Fernie has been hunting in south east Leicestershire since the middle of the 19th century, after previously being part of the Quorn Hunt.

A spokesman for the national Masters of Foxhounds Association said: "We were aware of a possible prosecution but have not been informed that it was proceeding. Therefore, we cannot comment."

A spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports said the prosecution of Mr Hopkins and Mr Allen followed evidence gathered by hunt observers working for it being passed to police. He said: "This is the fourth such case to proceed to court this year."

A spokeswoman for Leicestershire police said: "We cannot comment as the case is now before the court." A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said it would be supporting the Fernie, which has continued to hunt legally since the new law was introduced. He said: "We are confident the two people involved will be found not guilty should the case come to court."



Hare coursing banned by Northern Ireland Parliament

Hare, fox and deer hunting remain legal

11-7-10  Irish Independent   Let the hare sit, and survive   The Northern Ireland Assembly has passed an amendment to wildlife legislation banning hare coursing. Hunting of the animal had been prohibited for some years, and a firm law to end coursing had been expected. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports said this move should now put pressure on legislators in the Republic to ban "a cruel activity that many Irish people want outlawed"... [rest article no longer available]


New Drag Hunt folds before start as hounds neglected and Huntsman is a fugitive!

6-7-10    Inverness Courier   Drag hunt folds before first season   A DRAG hunting group has disbanded before its first full season even started following an investigation by an animal welfare charity which found some of its dogs had been neglected. Alasdair Hilleary, committee chairman of the Highland Drag Hunt - which was due to start in the autumn - apologised after Scottish SPCA inspectors discovered four hounds in unacceptable conditions in Dores two weeks ago.... Yesterday, Mr Hilleary confirmed the demise of the group but said steps had already been taken for a new group to replace it, which he would consider participating in... [rest article no longer available]

10-7-10   Horse & Hound   A new Scottish drag hunt, the Highland Drag, is forced to close before it has begun. The Huntsman hired turned out to be on the run from Thames Valley police over a series of fraud offences, and was arrested... [article no longer available]


Pro-hunt offers Regulatory Authority to win support for Hunting Act repeal

4-7-10  Sunday Telegraph   Hunt supporters offer compromise deal to try and overturn ban   Hunt supporters have offered their opponents a major concession in an attempt to win parliamentary support for an overturn of the ban on hunting. Hunts have backed plans for the sport to be put under tight regulation to stamp out any unnecessary cruelty if hunting was made legal. The proposal, led by Lord Donoughue, the senior Labour peer, has also won the backing of Tory and Labour MPs and peers, it can be revealed.... In a significant change of strategy, the hunting community has agreed that Lord Donoughue should chair a proposed Hunting Regulatory Authority which would oversee the sport if it was legalised.... [rest of article no longer available]


'Big Three' to join forces again to combat bid to repeal hunt ban

2-7-10  Western Morning News   Anti-hunting lobby groups joins forces to see off 'return to cruelty'   The three biggest anti-hunt campaign groups have joined forces to co-ordinate their lobbying against coalition plans that could clear the way for the ban on hunting with dogs to be lifted. The League Against Cruel Sports, the RSPCA and IFAW are preparing to work much closer together to see off the prospect of a “return to cruelty”... [rest of article no longer available]


Two Coniston FH supporters cautioned for attacks on LACS monitors

1-7-10  Carlisle News & Star    Lake District hunt members cautioned by police after attack on protestors Two members of a Lake District hunt have been cautioned by police after a video was posted on the internet ConistonFH.jpgshowing an attack on anti-hunt protestors. The League Against Cruel Sports were following the Coniston Foxhounds [left] near Ambleside in March when the video was taken. In it, a member of the league gets involved in an argument with an elderly hunt supporter, who begins jabbing a walking stick towards him. Another man then arrives on a quad bike, and is told the League member “needs doing”. The cameraman is then pushed off a wall.

On Friday, police cautioned a 70-year-old man for using threatening behaviour to cause fear of violence, and a 44-year-old was cautioned for battery.

Ed Shephard, the League’s investigation officer, was on the scene on the day of the incident, and described the experience as “terrifying”, adding that he was disappointed with the decision to caution the members. He said: “I’m very disappointed that these bullies are getting away with a caution. The police dealt with the case admirably, but for the CPS decision to leave it at a caution makes no sense.”

The League’s chief executive Douglas Batchelor added that it was only the latest example of verbal and physical abuse suffered by his staff and volunteers by hunt supporters. He said: “If these thugs were carrying on like this down some high street, there would be hell to pay. There seems to be one law for the hunters and one for everyone else.”

A police spokesman said: “Two men were cautioned following an incident at White Moss Car Park at Rydal near Ambleside in March. A 44-year-old local man was cautioned for battery after he drove his quad bike toward a member of an animal welfare group, and then pushed another member off a dry stone wall. A second man aged 70 was cautioned for using threatening words or behaviour to cause fear or provoke violence after he waved a stick at a member of an animal welfare group.”


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