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

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

WARNING   Likely to contain images you may find distressing


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JUNE 2010

….. 24th June - N. Ireland Assembly votes to ban hare-coursing 

….. 19th June - MFHA AGM attended by DEFRA Minister for 1st time in living memory 

….. 14th June - LACS accused of 'spying' on hunters at Royal Cornwall Show 

….. 13th June - CA denies LACS claim that at least 2/3 of packs hunt illegally

….. 13th June -  Bilsdale FH to continue to hunt independently one day per week

…..  6th June - Rare anti-hunting aristo, Duke of Hamilton dies aged 71 


N. Ireland Assembly votes to ban hare-coursing

24-6-10   Belfast Telegraph   Northern Ireland bans hare coursing, and fox hunting could be next    The Assembly has voted to ban hare coursing in Northern Ireland. A motion to outlaw the use of greyhounds to chase and kill Irish hares was passed by 23 to 18 this week and has been incorporated into the Wildlife and Natural Environment (NI) Bill. It is expected to come into force after the summer. It follows a series of temporary bans by successive Environment Ministers on taking hares.

Assembly Members will also be considering a Private Members Bill introduced by the Green Party aimed at banning fox hunting. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where hunting foxes with dogs remains legal.

Amendments were tabled and debated on Tuesday as the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill had its first reading. The Bill introduces jail sentences for persistent wildlife criminals as well as larger fines. Added investigation and enforcement powers have been given to the police to tackle wildlife crime. Public bodies will now have a new duty to ‘conserve biodiversity’ so that all work done by public bodies will need to take the effects on wildlife into account. New offences have been introduced for reckless damage or disturbance to protected birds, animals and their habitats, including those in Areas of Special Scientific Interest.

It’s already illegal to cut hedges during the breeding season but this new rule will mean there is no need to prove that damage was intentional, just reckless. The Bill also gives new protection to the nests of certain birds whose nests are used year after year, including birds of prey such as red kite, barn owl and peregrine as well as the golden eagle, osprey and white-tailed eagle.

The RSPB welcomed the new measures, but said it was disappointed that more bird species can now be kept in captivity to be shown at competitions. It promised to work with the Department of the Environment to make sure this does not lead to illegal trapping of birds to supply the trade.

All in all it has been a good result for nature,” RSPB conservation manager Anne-Marie McDevitt said. “We campaigned hard to ensure these changes took place, including petitioning for stronger protection for birds of prey.” The Bill is expected to go through its second reading in the autumn.


MFHA AGM attended by DEFRA Minister for 1st time in living memory

19-6-10  Horse & Hound  Defra Minister Jim Paice attends Masters of Foxhounds Association AGM   Jim Paice attended the AGM of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) last week - the first time a Defra minister has done so in living memory…. Though he gave no indication of timescale, the Minister emphasised that if repeal is achieved, it must not mean "the turning back of the clock" to pre-ban hunting. In line with that, MFHA chairman Stephen Lambert had just announced at the AGM in Cheltenham that Labour peer Lord Donoughue would be the first chairman of the Hunting Regulatory Authority (HRA) when it goes "live" post-repeal…  [no longer online]


LACS accused of 'spying' on hunters at Royal Cornwall Show

14-6-10  Western Morning News   Animal welfare activists used Royal Cornwall Show parade to 'spy' on hunters Animal welfare activists used the Royal Cornwall Show to spy on the county's hunting community, it emerged yesterday.

The League Against Cruel Sports announced on the pages of social-networking Twitter on Saturday that members would be attending the show saying: "What a stunning day to watch the parade of hounds and photograph the hunters for ID purposes."… The Scorrier-based Four Burrow Hunt was among those to take part. Its chairman Jim Pascoe said while he didn't like "the idea very much" there was nothing that could be done. We have absolutely nothing to hide and if they want to take photographs of us they are welcome, as is any other member of the public," Mr Pascoe said…   [no longer online]


CA denies LACS claim that at least 2/3 of packs hunt illegally

13-6-10  Horse & Hound   Hunting refutes LACS' claim that hunts flout the law    The hunting community has countered claims made in the League Against Cruel Sports' (LACS) annual hunting report that almost two-thirds of hunts in England and Wales continue to hunt wild mammals… Countryside Alliance spokesman Tim Bonner says thousands of hours of police time have already been wasted "investigating pointless allegations"…    [no longer online]


Bilsdale FH to continue to hunt independently one day per week

13-6-10  Horse & Hound    Future for Bilsdale hunt has been decided   The Bilsdale hunt will neither merge with the Hurworth nor the Bilsdale Farmers, as had been previously suggested. Next season, the hunt will join with neighbouring pack the Hurworth on Tuesdays and hunt its own country on Saturdays…   [no longer online]


 Rare anti-hunting aristo, Duke of Hamilton dies aged 71

6-6-10   Sunday Telegraph    The 15th Duke of Hamilton and 12th Duke of Brandon, who died on Saturday aged 71, was uncomfortable in his role as Premier Peer of Scotland and hereditary Keeper of Holyroodhouse Palace, the Queen's official residence in Scotland... Angus Douglas-Hamilton – the Marquess of Clydesdale as he then was – spent his earliest years with his grandmother, Nina, Duchess of Hamilton, who was a passionate animal rights campaigner and left him with a lifetime aversion to cruelty to animals. He was educated at Eton and at Oxford, where he took a degree in Engineering...

The Duke found happiness, however, in his third marriage, in 1998, to Kay Carmichael, a former nurse and animal rights campaigner. He joined her campaigns, banning hunting on his estate, and boycotting Jenner's, the Edinburgh department store, until such time as it ceased to sell paté de foie gras...

The Duke is survived by his wife and by two sons and two daughters from his first marriage. The heir to the Hamilton titles is the eldest son, Alexander Douglas Hamilton, Marquess of Douglas and Clydesdale, who was born in 1978.


 MAY 2010
….. 29th May - Drag hunt to be set up in Scottish highlands
….. 28th May - LACS say 62% of Hunts observed likely to be breaking law
….. 20th May - Hunting Act repeal vote to be delayed at least a year
….. 19th May - Taunton Vale FH hunter convicted after drove quad into monitor 
….. 15th May - Hunt supporters demand to see DEFRA Sec re. HA repeal 
…… 14th May - LACS claims hunt ban would survive free vote in new Commons 
….. 14th May -  Simon Hart resigns as CA CEO on election as MP 
…..  7th May - CEO of CA elected MP for Carmarthen W. & S. Pembrokeshire 
…… 5th May - Election eve warning of Tory intent to re-legalise cruelty of hunting 
…… 5th May - Anti-hunt feature documentary shown in advance of election  

Drag hunt to be set up in Scottish highlands

29-5-10  Horse & Hound  Hunting supporters set up new Highlands drag hunt   Scottish hunting supporters, tired of eight-hour round trips to meets, have set up a new drag hunt in the Highlands. The Highland Drag hunt will hold its opening meeting in September and is currently advertising for a Huntsman…    [no longer online] 


LACS say 62% of Hunts observed likely to be breaking law

28-5-10    Gloucester Citizen/Echo   Campaigners claim Gloucestershire hunts are breaking the law   HUNT campaigners have reacted angrily to suggestions almost two-thirds of hunts are breaking the law by continuing to hunt foxes and deer. The League Against Cruel Sports claimed 62 percent of hunts are breaching regulations, with the Gloucestershire having the worst offenders…. The League's report claimed during the last hunting season, 62 per cent of hunts were 'acting in a manner consistent with traditional hunting practices'… Jill Grieve, of Countryside Alliance, said: "This makes a preposterous link between seeing a few stray hounds having a spot of bother, with a hunt setting out to break the ban"...

28-5-10  ThisIsCornwall    'We trained police enforce Hunting Act', claim League Against Cruel Sports - Hunt protesters have "trained" Devon and Cornwall Police officers in enforcing the Hunting Act, the League Against Cruel Sports has claimed. In its annual report on the hunting season, the League Against Cruel Sports said its figures showed that two-thirds of hunts in England and Wales are continuing to hunt foxes and other wild mammals… Devon and Cornwall Police immediately moved to clarify the position, explaining that wildlife officers had heard from both sides of the hunting debate at a meeting. "I can confirm that the police liaison officer from the League Against Cruel Sports last year gave an input from their perspective into the Hunting Act during the wildlife officer training course," a spokesman said. "As a balance an input was also provided by the Countryside Alliance."…


Hunting Act repeal vote to be delayed at least a year

Cameron makes 'country sports' a Ministerial brief 

20-5-10   Metro   Free vote to scrap hunting ban ‘will go ahead’ despite Lib Dem opposition Cabinet ministers have agreed to hold a free vote on scrapping the hunting ban, despite fierce opposition from a number of Liberal Democrat MPs. A free vote to scrap the fox hunting ban is set to go ahead despite opposition Cabinet ministers have agreed to the vote, despite fears that it could cause a problem within the newly formed coalition. However, a move to scrap the hunting ban, a Conservative manifesto pledge, is likely to be delayed for up to a year as ministers do not wish to portray fox hunting as a priority during the economic downturn. The delay would cause widespread disappointment among hunt supporters, many of whom voted Tory in an attempt to have the ban lifted by the beginning of the hunting season this Autumn.

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice will now be responsible for country sports – including hunting and shooting – the first time a dedicated minister has been appointed for decades. Last night a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance told the Daily Mail: ‘We fully understand Government has more important issues to deal with at the moment. ‘But we expect the manifesto commitment to be delivered during the Parliament and have had assurances all the way from the top that this will happen.’

22-5-10    Exeter Express & Echo   Pledge for early vote on hunt ban repeal shelved    The Government's promise of a vote on a possible repeal of the hunting ban is set to be dropped from the Queen's Speech. In a sign that the policy - a key plank of the Conservative election pitch for rural votes — has been shelved, government sources admit that it is "no longer a priority"…. As a compromise, the coalition agreement this week pledged to allow MPs to vote on whether or not a substantive motion on repeal should be brought forward…    [no longer online]

20-5-10  Plymouth Herald   Compromise expected on Tory pledge on hunting ban   Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman is expected to outline her policy priorities later today amid claims that a promised Commons vote to repeal the Hunting Act has been "kicked into the long grass"… "It is still very early days," South West regional director Alison Hawes said…. a spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports claimed the move for a preliminary vote would allow the Government to "park" the issue …

15-5-10   Daily Telegraph   Relief but unease among Tory grassroots at new coalition   ... More serious issues for concern which could soon become the focal points for rebellion by MPs and Tory members in the country are also starting to crystallise.

The totemic issue of foxhunting is at the forefront of these. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that the delivery of a hallowed pledge to offer MPs an early vote on overturning Labour's ban, hated in the Tory ranks, may be delayed because of the terms of the coalition deal.

Hunt supporters who poured into marginal seats to help get Tories elected are demanding urgent talks with the new Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman to clarify the position. Ms Spelman said last night she would set out her position on the issue in the next few days.

The promise to make time for a government bill to reverse the ban was a key concession to traditionalists as they bought into the more difficult elements of the Cameron modernising regime...


Taunton Vale FH hunter convicted after drove quad into monitor 

19-5-10   Email from monitor    Attached are the details of the fines etc. for the quadbike incident. It is likely although not admitted that some charges were dropped or down graded because he came 'quietly'. Apparently there is a 'newish' fast track system where the aim is speed through case where there is little dispute on the evidence - and this was on video! I am told the Hunt (Taunton Vale Foxhounds) immediately banned him and someone 'suggested' he 'voluntarily' visit the police station.



Hunt supporters demand to see DEFRA Sec re. HA repeal

15-5-10    Sunday Telegraph    Relief but unease among Tory grassroots at new coalition    ... More serious issues for concern which could soon become the focal points for rebellion by MPs and Tory members in the country are also starting to crystallise.

The totemic issue of foxhunting is at the forefront of these. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that the delivery of a hallowed pledge to offer MPs an early vote on overturning Labour's ban, hated in the Tory ranks, may be delayed because of the terms of the coalition deal.

Hunt supporters who poured into marginal seats to help get Tories elected are demanding urgent talks with the new Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman to clarify the position. Ms Spelman said last night she would set out her position on the issue in the next few days.

The promise to make time for a government bill to reverse the ban was a key concession to traditionalists as they bought into the more difficult elements of the Cameron modernising regime...


LACS claims hunt ban would survive free vote in new Commons

14-5-10  Western Morning News  No date set yet for vote on repeal of hunt ban   The future of the hunting ban is hanging in the balance as supporters and opponents of the legislation await the outcome of the new government's coalition talks… Last night the League Against Cruel Sports released figures that it claimed showed any free vote – where MPs are not forced to toe a party line – would see the ban remain in place… Tim Bonner, spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, said: "We don't expect a Repeal Bill on the same sort of timetable there might have been with a Conservative majority government, but we are very confident that at some stage during the five-year parliament the manifesto commitment will be brought forward."…  [article no longer online]


Simon Hart resigns as CA CEO on election as MP

14-5-10    Western Morning News   Higher calling forces Hart to quit as chair Simon Hart has stepped down as chief executive of the Countryside Alliance. The move follows Mr Hart's election last week as MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire…   Alliance chairwoman Kate Hoey, herself an member or parliament, said: "Simon's contribution to the Countryside Alliance has been enormous…  [article no longer online]


CEO of CA elected MP for Carmarthen W. & S. Pembrokeshire

7-5-10   BBC News    All change in Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire    The Conservatives have taken Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, bringing to an end Nick Ainger's 18 years as a Labour MP... Mr Hart [below left] secured 41.1% of the vote on a turnout of over 70% to join fellow Conservative Stephen Crabb, who held Preseli Pembrokeshire, in Parliament.

SimonHartMP.jpgMany suggestions were put forward by shoppers in Carmarthen on Friday morning on why the town had gone blue, but most seemed to agree the economy played a big part...

Some of those waiting for Carmarthen's new Debenhams store to open its doors, part of the £74m St Catherine's Walk development launched just two weeks ago, felt it was the rural vote that swung it for the Tories. "Nick Ainger was a good man - he brought a lot of industry," said one. "Let's be honest - it's a farming community here really - and it's never been short of money."

Roger Phillips, retired deputy editor of the Carmarthen Journal who has lived in the town most of his life, said he felt the campaign had largely past the town centre by. "I suppose there was general Labour malaise," he explained. "Simon Hart is a Pembrokeshire boy and ex-Countryside Alliance and that was always going to pull a lot of votes for him outside of the town. I'm just wondering did Nick Ainger do enough to get his core support to vote."


Election eve warning of Tory intent to re-legalise cruelty of hunting

5-5-10   Daily Mirror   David Cameron to bring back barbaric fox hunts loved by a sick minority   David Cameron will bring back the hated hunting with hounds to satisfy the bloodlust of a few rich toffs, Labour warned last night. The Tory leader has pledged to overturn the 2005 ban if he gets the keys to Number 10 - despite polls showing 75% of people, including many in rural Conservative strongholds, want to keep it in place.

Animal charities accused Mr Cameron of being out of touch with the majority who are sickened by the idea of letting a sport where packs of hounds savage helpless foxes to return. And anti-hunt rock star Brian May said the countryside will be "awash with blood" again if he wins tomorrow's election and gives the green light to the barbaric sport.

Gordon Brown warned hunting with dogs has no place in a civilised society and promised to keep the ban if Labour triumphs. He said: "Fox-hunting should stay in the history books where it belongs. Under Labour, this ban on cruelty will be maintained."

Former Queen guitarist Brian also pleaded with voters to stop Mr Cameron. The musician - who launched his Save Me anti-hunting poster campaign last month - said: "It's a very serious issue, which should never have reared its head again. I'm shocked to see so many voters still don't realise the Tory party stands for bloodsports. If Cameron gets his way, the countryside will be awash with blood. I feel something terrible is about to happen. The Tories have moved themselves into position with the Countryside Alliance. If people vote Tory, they are voting Countryside Alliance. Most of the public don't want that. The vast majority are animal lovers."

The Protect Our Wild Animals group laid into Mr Cameron's plans to bring back a sport most of the nation despises. Spokeswoman Penny Little said: "Hunting reveals the true nature of David Cameron and his Tories and anyone in favour of this barbarism is not fit to lead the country. He is supposed to stand up for law and order but he acknowledges the law on hunting is often broken." The League Against Cruel Sports added: "It would be a major setback for any government to repeal the hunting ban. Consistent polling shows the public does not want a repeal of the law and any party that says they would bring back hunting is going against the majority will of the British people."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said: "With 75 per cent of Britons in favour of keeping the Hunting Act in place and keeping cruelty history, any politician in favour of bringing back barbaric bloodsports is out of touch with the majority sentiment. We have buried a disgraceful part of our past and Gordon Brown's statement is exactly what animals and animal protectors want to hear." The RSPCA said: "Our views on fox-hunting are well-documented."


Anti-hunt feature documentary shown in advance of election

5-5-10   Nottingham Evening Post   Fox hunting message ahead of election   ANTI-ANIMAL cruelty groups are tonight hosting a film about fox-hunting. 'A Minority Pastime' will be screened at the Sumac Centre, in Gladstone Street, Forest Fields, from 7pm. Dave Best, of Nottingham Animal Rights, said: "The film aims to remind the public why fox hunting was banned…   [article no longer online]


APRIL 2010

….. 28th April - Affected woman's film reveals the hidden cost of hunting

….. 25th April - Brian May launches 'Save Me' campaign to stop HA repeal

….. 22nd April - Fox hunting Tory Councillor attracts rant from Brian May

….. 21st April - CA CEO Tory candidate attacked over £45k gift from Hunt Master

….. 20th April - Ascot racecourse stages CA sponsored 'Race for Repeal'

….. 18th April - Woman hunt monitor has dead badger dumped on drive

….. 14th April - Cotley Harriers woman follower cautioned for abusing female monitor 

….. 12th April - Tories & CA don't turn up to debate hunting on BBC 'Politics Show'

…..  8th April - Hunt in Cheshire chases fox into housing estate

…..  2nd April - Cameron reaffirms intent to try to repeal Hunting Act

…..  1st April - LACS rapped by Charity Commission for party partiality 

…..  1st April - Gyrocopter passenger says supporter who died swung punch at him

…..  1st April - Tory candidate for Worcester denies heavy support from Vote OK


Affected woman's film reveals the hidden cost of hunting

28-4-10   Mid Devon Gazette   Film tells the savage truth    COLIN Richey covers a wide range of points in his letter on hunting with dogs…

In November 2005, a tiny hamlet in the heart of the Cotswolds was overrun by snarling hounds. Nisa Ward was out with her elderly neighbour. A deer hurtled out of the woods, pursued by the baying pack. As the villagers stood there helplessly the deer was caught. It screamed piteously as the dogs ripped it apart…

Nisa set out to discover the truth about hunting. She travelled thousands of miles in her quest and has now produced a film, entitled 'A Minority Pastime', to expose the devastating human cost of hunting… Ivor Annetts, League Against Cruel Sports, Tiverton    [letter no longer online]


Brian May launches 'Save Me' campaign to stop HA repeal

Rock star will also fight against badger culling 

25-4-10   BBC News   Queen guitar legend Brian May defends hunting ban    Queen guitarist Brian May has backed a Labour candidate while launching a one-man campaign to keep the hunting ban on the statute books. Rock star May, 62, appeared in Keynsham to back Labour candidate Dan Norris [below left, with May] for the Somerset North East seat. As an MP, Mr Norris was pelted with eggs by pro-hunting campaigners in the build up to the ban back in 2005.

BrianMayandantihuntMPDanNorris.jpgMr May said he was spurred into action by the lobbying power of pro-hunt Countryside Alliance on Conservatives. His campaign is titled Save Me, after a successful Queen song penned by Mr May. He said: "If he [David Cameron] gets his way, we will have a House of Commons packed with people who support the Countryside Alliance. I would much rather be at home playing the guitar. I'm only here because David Cameron made it an issue."

The millionaire rock star also campaigns against badger culls, and labelled Tory Leicestershire council leader David Parsons a "pathetic, arrogant, jumped-up, snivelling little dweeb," for attacking his anti-hunt stance.

Conservative candidate Jacob Rees-Mogg said: "We have a country with a £163bn annual deficit, a failing educational system and war in Afghanistan and all Labour can talk about is a hunting ban which doesn't work." Liberal Democrat candidate Gail Coleshill said: "Dan Norris seems to be more interested in meeting ageing rock stars and furry foxes than talking to his constituents at elections hustings."

POWAperson comments  -  Jacob Rees-Mogg is a squillionaire Tory, as devout a worshipper of hunting with hounds as he is of the Roman Catholic faith, who permits fox hunting on his country estate. 


Fox hunting Tory Councillor attracts rant from Brian May

22-4-10   Daily Mail   'You snivelling little dweeb!' Rock star Brian May's rant at fox-hunting Tory   Brian May has described a senior Tory councillor as a ‘pathetic, arrogant, snivelling little dweeb’ in an extraordinary clash over fox hunting. The Queen guitarist threatened to have David Parsons’ ‘guts for garters’, after the leader of Leicestershire County Council condemned the ‘cosseted London rock star’ for launching an anti-hunting campaign.

May, 62, has founded the ‘Save Me’ poster campaign to stop the ban on fox hunting being overturned if a Tory Government is elected. He has urged voters to find out how their candidates stand if MPs have a free vote on the matter after the General Election, as David Cameron has proposed.


Mr Parsons [below right], a Tory leading light, attacked May – who lives in the countryside in Surrey – in a letter to a newspaper. In an impassioned defence of the Quorn Hunt, which has operated in Leicestershire for more than 300 years, Mr Parsons said: ‘I fear people in rural communities are not going to take lectures from a cosseted London rock star.’

As soon as May heard about the comments in the Leicester Mercury, he posted an abusive tirade on his website alongside a picture of the councillor. He labelled Mr Parsons a ‘disgrace’ and threatened to have his ‘guts for garters’ if the pair came within ‘sniffing distance’.

How dare you presume to judge me, and insult me? You don’t know anything about me, little man,’ MayDavidParsonsLeaderLeicsCC09.jpg said. May said he had been deluged with letters of support from people in rural areas saying the hunt was a ‘menace’. Afterwards, May said he was ‘normally Mr Nice Guy’ but would not tolerate personal attacks. He added: ‘I’ve been around a long time and I can usually ignore abuse such as this but David Parsons crossed the line. 'I live in the countryside, I grew up with very little money. I don’t need someone to lecture me about the realities of life.’ He denied his criticisms were politically motivated, adding: ‘I’ve voted Conservative many times, and I’m a floating voter at this election.’

Last night a source at Leicestershire County Council said: ‘We are surprised at the sudden display of histrionics from Brian. We thought it was high time that someone defended the tradition of the countryside and the rural economy.’

May grew up in Feltham, West London. He lives with his wife, former EastEnders actress Anita Dobson, 62. He received a CBE for services to the music industry in 2005. Mr Parsons, 59, also has a CBE. Since he became leader of Leicestershire council in 2003, it has been credited with achieving coveted four-star status under a government assessment.


CA CEO Tory candidate attacked over £45k donation from Hunt Master 

21-4-10   Carmarthen Journal   Tory hopeful on defensive over pro-hunt support   THE Tory candidate forSimonHartMP.jpg Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire has hit back at claims that more than £45,000 has been pumped in to his campaign by pro-hunting businessmen. The seat is being contested for the Conservatives by Simon Hart, a former master of foxhounds and chief executive of lobby group the Countryside Alliance which aims to overturn the hunting ban…

More than £45,000 has come in to local Tory coffers from businessman Johan Christofferson, a former hunt joint master in the Isle of Wight… Mr Ainger recently said: "I think it's wrong that rich men are paying money into marginal constituencies like this one… Mr Hart responded: "The donation was made in 2007, you're not talking about a recent donation…  [story no longer online]

POWAperson comments  -  Hart also received a £2000 donation from Lord Daresbury, former Chairman of the Master of Fox Hounds Association. Hart had rebuked him in 2004 in a leaked email berating Daresbury for writing a letter to Hunt Chairmen, urging them to ask their farmers to provide breeding sites for foxes, to ensure there were enough to hunt. Thereby blowing the 'pest control' argument they so often use out of the water. Daresbury's donation to Hart was perhaps a form of apology for this piece of utter stupidity which provided the anti side with  powerful ammunition.


Ascot racecourse stages CA sponsored 'Race for Repeal'

20-4-10  Horse & Hound   Old Berks' huntsman Michael Scott wins Ascot Race for Repeal    Old Berks' huntsman Michael Scott was the first past the post in Sunday's (18th April) Countryside Alliance Race for Repeal at Ascot racecourse. Eleven professional huntsmen from around the country took part in the race, which was over seven furlongs… Second was the Duke of Beaufort's Tony Holdsworth, who lost an impressive three stones to ride Trade Centre in the race. In third was Richard Down from the Quantock Staghounds on CeePeeGee and fourth was Mick Wills from the Grafton on Talenti…  [article no longer online]

POWAperson adds  -  The horse racing industry - which kills numerous horses every year and abuses many more - has always had close links with hunting. The third-placed rider, Richard Down, has two convictions for illegal hunting.  


Woman hunt monitor has dead badger dumped on her car

18-4-10   Email from female monitor   This poor dead badger [see pics below] was left on our property, next to Paul's car. It did not die in the lane with someone pulling it to one side and out of the way. There was no blood and no dragging marks. I have reported it to the police - they are calling back to do an intelligence report, which will also be sent to the inspector involved with the intimidation towards us. It is still there now, I cannot tell how it has died.

   Monitorhasdeadbadgerdumpedondrive18-4-10.JPG Monitorhasdeadbadgerdumpedondrive_2_18-4-10.JPG

 20-4-10  Western Daily Press    Dead badger 'warning over my hunt battle'   An alleged campaign to intimidate an animal rights campaigner in Somerset has taken a morbid twist, with a dead badger left on her drive. Helen Weeks, an anti-hunt monitor, discovered the badger over the weekend. She has installed CCTV cameras at her home after dead foxes were left on her drive, and the rear windscreen of her car was smashed. She said: "1 know it is meant 'to intimidate me." Mrs Weeks said she has reported it to the police, who are investigating,

POWAperson adds  -  The monitor concentrates very heavily on the Cattistock FH and lives inside their hunt country.  


Cotley Harriers woman follower summonsed for abusing female monitor

A year before same person was cautioned for assaulting her and another monitor 

14-4-10    Email from female hunt monitor   The unnamed women, 2008-9 of the Cotley Harriers, who was given a caution for assaulting Graham and myself, is called Cathy Gallagher. Today, I had a call from Axminster police, informing me that the charming Cathy Gallagher had received a summons to court for shouting, "Helen, you old cunt", at me on Boxing Day while Graham and I were monitoring, just under a year from her original assault which resulted in a 7 year caution. As she pleaded guilty, (I had her on film, so she didn't have much choice) it will not go to trial. She is a vicious woman who cannot control her temper. The police officer dealing with the offence warned me to be alert in case of retaliation.


Tories & CA don't turn up to debate hunting on BBC 'Politics Show'

12-4-10   Western Morning News   Tories refuse to talk hunting on BBC politics programme    The Conservatives were last night accused of being "embarrassed" by their policy on hunting, after not one Westcountry candidate would appear on television to discuss the issue. BBC South West's flagship programme The Politics Show invited election hopefuls from each of the main parties to take part in a debate on the ban on hunting with dogs. But not one Tory, from Somerton and Frome to St Ives, was willing to take part, which a BBC source described as "unprecedented"…

The Countryside Alliance had also been expected to take part in the programme but later pulled out. The Conservatives have become nervous about speaking in public about their plans to hold a free Commons vote on repealing the Hunting Act…  [story no longer online]


Hunt in Cheshire chases fox into housing estate

8-4-10   Northwich Guardian    Hunt is not above the law   CLEARLY again we see the hunting ban has not stopped Hunts going out with a load of dogs out of control, this time invading Delamere Park Estate, along with riders, quad bikes and followers in pursuit of their victim – a fox this time They should not of course be following the scent of an animal at all but be on a drag hunt where a scent trail is left (not of an animal) which takes the dogs, the riders and the followers over a safe route not crossing roads, railway lines or housing estates.

Recently dogs from the Beaufort Hunt were killed by a train as they too were not following the drag hunt scent trail but were chasing a fox The man in charge of the Hunt causing trouble in Delamere said it had never happened before – which I think is what all Hunts say since the hunt ban - but of course I don’t believe it. Hunts continue to behave as though they are above the law, encouraged by a legal system that continues to treat them as if they are.

NICKY BROOKS, Billinge Green  [Letter no longer available online]


Cameron reaffirms intent to try to repeal Hunting Act

2-4-10   Independent    Cameron pledges to hold free vote on fox hunting – I always thought ban was a mistake, says Tory leader    David Cameron described himself yesterday as a "country boy" who loved hunting and shooting, hinting that if he was elected Prime Minister the ban on fox hunting would come to an end. But opponents of hunting seized on the somewhat nonchalant way in which the Tory leader answered questions as a sign that he knows public opinion is against bringing back hunting and other blood sports, which were banned in 2004. Mr Cameron stressed five times over in an interview lasting only a couple of minutes that MPs would get a free vote on the issue, and speculated that some Tories would vote against bringing back hunting.

His remarks follow the revelation in The Independent on Monday that hunt masters had been putting pressure onDavidCameronandGuyAvisHonSecHeythropFH.jpg their supporters to go into marginal constituencies and help organise for a victory. Hunt organisers are confident that if the Conservatives win enough seats in the Commons, they will be allowed to go back to pursuing their sport in the old way.

Interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mr Cameron revealed that his father, a wealthy Scottish stockbroker, taught him to shoot rabbits and his grandfather taught him to fish. He did not say which member of the Cameron clan taught him to hunt, but he defended the sport as an opportunity for people to socialise and see parts of the countryside they had not seen before. He also claimed it was no more cruel than other methods of controlling the fox population.

"I always thought that the ban was a mistake because I think it is very difficult to enforce," Mr Cameron said. "I think it's somewhere where the criminal law shouldn't go. But it will be a free vote. I'm a country boy. I was brought up in the countryside and I love walking and riding and every aspect of growing up in the countryside. I was taught to fish by a wonderful grandfather. I was taught to shoot rabbits by my dad, and I went hunting as well," he added. "People like riding across the countryside. Lots of people do it together. It's an opportunity to see parts of the countryside you never see before. It's something that happened in the countryside for a very many years. The fox population has to be controlled. Every farmer will tell you that, and every farmer will tell you that the methods now being used – gassing, shooting, trapping and snaring, are very cruel. The case on animal welfare grounds for the hunting ban I've always thought was very weak."

Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "The tone of his interview was much more nonchalant than it was a year ago. We're very encouraged by this. They are trying to make it a non-issue."


LACS rapped by Charity Commission for party partiality

1-4-10   Guardian    League Against Cruel Sports censured for political activity   Charity Commission rules against press release that branded Conservatives 'the nasty party' The League Against Cruel Sports has been censured by the Charity Commission for conducting party political activity that branded the Conservatives as "the nasty party".

The critical finding by the regulator focused on questions asked about hunting with dogs in an opinion poll, and an accompanying press release issued by the animal rights charity last summer. The ruling is likely to serve as a caution to charities lobbying for changes to legislation during the run-up to the general election. It will also be welcomed by those campaigning to repeal the ban imposed by the 2004 Hunting Act. The League has agreed to withdraw its press release.

"Charities can engage in political activity which supports their charitable purposes but must not engage in party political activity," the Charity Commission declared. "In this case, both the press release and the question appeared to be party political in nature."

The League's poll contained a question about the Conservative party's policy on hunting with dogs that "appeared to be designed to elicit a particular response for the purpose of criticising the party". The lengthy question asked respondents: "In 2002, a senior Conservative party politician described the party as having been regarded as 'the nasty party'. The current Conservative leader has sought to rebrand them as the 'Compassionate Conservatives'. Do you think the Conservative pledge to hold a vote on whether to make the hunting with dogs of deer, hares and foxes legal again is MORE in keeping with a 'nasty party' or a 'Compassionate Conservative' party?"

The charity was also condemned for the way the result was summarised in the press release, which the commission said was designed more "to criticise the political party rather than seeking to influence public opinion on a particular issue". It added: "The report provides wider lessons for the sector and highlights that it is essential for charities to ensure they are, and are seen to be, independent of party politics."

Andrew Hind, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: "Charities must guard their independence very carefully, which means not engaging in any party political activity or leaving the charity open to the perception that they may be. A charity may have a view about the policies of a particular political party in the interests of its beneficiaries and the need for changes in the law. It can make voters aware of the policies of political parties about that issue and the need for change. But charities must not encourage, or discourage, support for any political party."

Hunt supporters are already actively organising leafletting campaigns in favour of the predominantly Conservative candidates who back repeal of the 2004 ban.

Douglas Batchelor, the chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said the organisation accepted the commission's guidance and was encouraged by what it advised was permitted activity by a charity. He said: "The commission has said that our Keep Cruelty History campaign, through which members of the public can find out where their candidates stand on repeal of the Hunting Act, is an entirely legitimate charitable activity. We'll be focussing a great deal on this campaign in the runup to the election, but we have to admit surprise that the commission has chosen to release its reports on us and another charity just days before the likely calling of the general election."

Opponents of the hunting ban welcomed the ruling. Tim Bonner, head of media for the Countryside Alliance, said: "It was always a strange decision to turn a body that was entirely a political campaigning organisation into a charity, but that was LACS's choice. What the Charity Commission has made clear, however, is that LACS cannot have its cake and eat it. It cannot continue to engage in party political activity whilst taking advantage of the financial benefits of charitable status. We look forward to a period of silence from LACS during the election campaign."


Gyrocopter passenger says supporter who died swung punch at him

1-4-10  BBC News  Long Marston Gyrocopter death 'was traumatic'    A gyrocopter passenger who saw a hunt supporter being killed by the aircraft's propellers has said it was a "traumatic" incident for all concerned. John Curtin was with pilot Brian Griffiths, who was recently cleared of the manslaughter by gross negligence of Warwickshire Hunt member Trevor Morse. Mr Curtin, an animal rights activist, said Mr Morse's death at Long Marston airfield was "horrible for his family". But he added that it was right that 55-year-old Mr Griffiths was acquitted.

Mr Curtin was monitoring the hunt from the air in the gyrocopter and he and Mr Griffiths had stopped at the airfield in March last year to refuel when a stand-off with Mr Morse ensued. When the gyrocopter stopped, I had no idea that he had died because I shut my eyes and moved to one side. 

Mr Curtin, , from Coventry, who has been jailed four times in the past for animal rights activities, told BBC News that Mr Morse was with a "mob" at the airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon. "It was a horrible thing, a traumatic thing for all concerned," he said. "I'm delighted that Bryan was found not guilty - it's absolutely the right verdict. He (Mr Morse) was part of a mob that planned to trap us on the airfield and as we were getting away, unbelievably, he came in with a big punch at me. When the gyrocopter stopped, I had no idea he had died because I shut my eyes and moved to one side. When I went up to him, I won't go into detail about what I saw but it was dreadful."

Birmingham Crown Court heard earlier this month that Mr Morse, 48, a committee member of the Warwickshire Hunt, drove to the airfield with another hunt supporter to confront Mr Griffiths. During the stand-off, Mr Morse, who also had a female passenger in his car, blocked the gyrocopter with his Land Rover. Mr Morse was asked to move out of the way of the aircraft but he refused and died instantly when struck by the propellers, the court was told.

In a video clip from the airfield shown to the jury, a voice can be heard telling Mr Morse that he is obstructing take-off, and the propellers can be heard to speed up, followed by a bang.


Tory candidate for Worcester denies heavy support from Vote OK

1-4-10  Worcester Standard  Tory candidate denies hunting group link    THE CONSERVATIVE candidate for Worcester has denied he is receiving significant support from a group who want to bring back hunting with dogs. The city’s Labour MP Mike Foster has called for his Conservative opponent Robin Walker to come clean about the support he was getting from pro-hunt group Vote OK… Mr Walker said he had not received the letter as The Standard went to press, and insisted he was not trying to use fox hunting to boost his campaign. “As with all other political parties we have the help of volunteers to deliver our leaflets, which incidentally have no mention of fox hunting in whatsoever,” he added. “Yes there may be some volunteers who are also part of Vote OK but to say we are flooding the city with them is completely untrue… [article no longer online]

POWAperson adds  -  The Labour candidate, Mike Foster, was, of course, the MP who brought in a Private Members Bill in 1998 to ban hunting with hounds. It passed 2nd reading with a record majority, but was then blocked, as many PMBs are. However, the failure of the Labour government to adopt it was very disappointing, especially as it would have outlawed hunting far more effectively that the Hunting Act we ended up with 6 years later.  


MARCH 2010

….. 30th March - Vote OK will be out in force to support pro-hunt election candidates

….. 26th March - Vote OK will be out in force to back pro-hunt election candidates

….. 26th March - Essex & Suffolk FH chase fox thru village in 'flagrant' law breach

….. 26th March - Drag hound dogs chase spaniel into lake in Skegness

….. 24th March - Quantock SH Huntsman charged with illegal hunting for 2nd time

….. 24th March - Motorist sees Hunt chasing fox on and across A433 in Gloucs

….. 23rd March - Ullswater FH terrierman charged with illegal hunting

….. 23rd March - Worcestershire FH JM fined for building stable without planning permission  

….. 22nd March - Woman sab assaulted at East Essex FH meet

….. 21st March - Cleared gyrocopter pilot fears reprisals from hunters

….. 19th March - Two Quorn FH hounds killed chasing fox over quarry cliff

….. 19th March - Princess Diana's sister becomes JM of Belvoir FH

….. 18th March - Newry Harriers kill pet dog in front of young boy owners

….. 18th March - Monitor acquitted of manslaughter of 'aggressive' hunt follower

….. 12th March - Vale of Aylesbury FH hunters canvassing for Tory in Harrow

….. 12th March- Hounds invade LACS sanctuary and damage badger sett

….. 11th March - Hunt monitor's tyres slashed at meet of Cattistock FH

…..  9th March - IoW FH terrierman fined for exposing self to female monitors

…..  6th March - Quorn FH Huntsman breaks neck in fall from horse

…..  5th March - Lib Dem MP comes out in favour of fox hunting

…..  4th March - Court told of Warks FH members' illegal plan to stop 'copter take-off

…..  4th March - Brian May in vain attempt to persuade Herbert against HA repeal

…..  4th March - Hound killed in accident on A35 in Dorset

Vote OK will be out in force to support pro-hunt election candidates

Organiser admits vast majority backed will be Tories 

30-3-10   Guardian   Foxhunting supporters target key marginal seats at general election   Vote OK says it will back candidates of any party who support hunting, but admits most beneficiaries will be Tory Supporters of hunting with dogs are targeting key marginal seats in an attempt to boost the chances of repealing the 2004 ban on the sport. 

The pro-hunting organisation Vote OK claims it will mobilise well over 10,000 supporters and have an impact on far more constituencies than it did at the last general election. Working out of a farm in Gloucestershire, the organisation has no paid staff but claims its ability to channel the enthusiasm of volunteers from more than 170 hunts in England and Wales will ensure its has a significant influence. Its leafleting operation is expected mostly to benefit Conservative candidates.

Nicky Sadler, the coordinator of Vote OK and a follower of the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt, said: "At the last election, in 2005, we were involved in 60 seats; this time around we are organised in 140 constituencies. It's a big logistic operation.

"Vote UK is a bit like a dating agency. There's a list of candidates who [we can pick]. We are colour-blind; it doesn't matter what party they are from. No one is suggesting that [repeal] should be a priority for government. We are giving people who are pro-repeal contact details so they take can it from there. If there's a sitting MP who has in the past supported hunting from any party, such as Labour's Kate Hoey [in London Vauxhall] or the Liberal Democrat Roger Williams [in Brecon and Radnorshire], we will [back] them." Sadler admits that the "vast majority" of MPs supported by Vote OK will be Conservatives.

The 2004 Hunting Act made it a crime to hunt wild mammals with dogs. There have been three successful prosecutions so far under the act but no hunts have closed and attendances have, if anything, risen due to the publicity.

Some hunt supporters believe the ban has resulted in more foxes suffering lingering deaths after escaping with gunshot wounds. Most of those involved in Vote OK will be stuffing leaflets through letter boxes rather than knocking on doors to engage voters in political discussions, said Sadler. "It has to be good for democracy. It's great if you can get people involved in politics. We are working in seats where we think extra input will make a difference," she added.

A study by political researchers at the University of Manchester after the 2005 election suggested that the Vote OK operation appeared to have boosted Conservative performance in targeted seats. Vote OK plans to target both rural and urban marginal seats this time around. David Cameron's party has promised a free vote on a government-backed hunting bill in government time. The Conservatives said that support for its candidates by single-issue groups was "part of the democratic process". On tabling an unwhipped bill for repeal, a Tory spokesman commented: "The ban is a bad and expensive piece of legislation but [repeal] is absolutely not a priority."

The League against Cruel Sports, a charity that cannot therefore engage in politics, has published an opinion poll on candidates' attitudes to the hunting ban. According to the League, 360 Labour parliamentary candidates were in favour of the ban and only one supported the repeal of the Hunting Act 2004. Among Conservatives who replied, 26 wanted to uphold the ban and 147 wished to revoke the act. For Liberal Democrats, the figures were 197 for keeping the ban and 12 opposed to it.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare commissioned an Ipsos Mori poll last summer that found strong cross-party support for maintaining the ban, with more Conservative supporters backing the act than opposing it (62% v 33%). Overall, 75% of the British public do not want foxhunting to be made legal again, it showed.

A YouGov poll carried out for the Protecting Animals in Democracy (PAD) campaign published at the weekend revealed that animal welfare issues such as hunting and animal experimentation are deemed to be an important election issue for 41% of the British public. The same poll found that only 21% believing that there is very little animal cruelty in Britain today. "This is the first time that the enormous political significance of animal welfare issues has come to light," said Dr Dan Lyons, head of campaigns at PAD and an honorary research fellow in politics at the University of Sheffield, said: "It's a clear warning to the parties that support for cruel practices like hunting could prove politically disastrous."

The significance of hunting as a political issue is disputed by the pro-hunting lobby. Another survey by Ipsos Mori last year, according to Vote OK, found that only 0.19% of respondents rated it as an important issue in deciding how they voted.

See also article in the Independent 


Greens to bring in Bill to ban hunting in N. Ireland

29-3-10   Irish Times    Greens propose NI hunting ban    The Green Party is to introduce a hunting ban Bill in the Northern Ireland Assembly, it was revealed today. Fox and stag hunting and hare coursing BrianWilsonGreenN.Ireland.jpegcould be ended under the plans, which will be unveiled in a consultation document to be launched on Wednesday. 

Thousands of people showed up to protest outside the Green Party’s national convention in Waterford at the weekend after the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, introduced legislation to restrict the blood sport. 

Green Party Northern Ireland Assembly member Brian Wilson [left] said: “Legislation banning the hunting of wild mammals with dogs already exists in England and Wales and Scotland, so this Bill, which I hope to introduce to the Assembly before recess, will bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK and end fox and stag hunting and hare coursing.”

A group called Rural Ireland Says Enough (Rise) opposes Mr Gormley’s plan to ban the Ward Union Stag hunt in counties Meath and Dublin. Up to 5,000 people - led by six riders on horseback - turned out to protest in Waterford on Saturday. 

A constitutional challenge to the controversial 2004 Hunting Act has already been dismissed by the courts. The law prohibits fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing with dogs in England and Wales. The legislation polarised rural and urban Britain and prompted impassioned demonstrations by both sides of the debate.


Drag hound dogs chase spaniel into lake in Skegness

26-3-10   Skegness Standard    Police probe Skegness beach hunt dog chase    POLICE are investigating complaints after hounds from an organised hunt chased a cocker spaniel across Skegness beach and into the boating lake. Eye-witnesses said horses and riders pursued the hounds and some onlookers were so angry they tried to pull a huntsman from his horse.

Police inspector Terry Ball said police are looking into a complaint from the dog's owner that she and her six-month-old baby were at one time surrounded by the hounds. He believes The Cranwell Bloodhounds have an annual outing to Skegness where they go into the sea and along the beach. But on this occasion it appears the hounds were distracted and gave chase to the dog.

Wendy Broughton, joint master of The Cranwell Bloodhounds, declined to comment on the incident when The Standard contacted her. The organisation's website says the hounds hunt the clean boot – human scent – but one eye-witness feared the hounds were set to rip the spaniel apart like a fox.


Day-tripper Mikala Burdett told The Standard: "The hunt hounds suddenly started chasing a harmless cocker spaniel menacingly, just like they do a fox. "The poor spaniel was absolutely terrified and kids and adults alike were screaming in sheer horror – bystanders on the beach were trying to stop the spaniel but it was just too frightened. "The whole thing went on for several minutes and only ended when the exhausted spaniel jumped in the lake behind the beach to escape. My children were disturbed enough and were crying. People were furious and a few men tried to drag one huntsman off his horse. I feel these dogs should be nowhere near public places. What if it was a child the dogs went after or a less agile dog."

The incident happened on March 15th at lunchtime and the beach was busy with people enjoying a Mother's Day outing. Skegness resident Edward Thomas was there with his young family and says horses and hounds should not be allowed in a place where there are young children.

POWAperson comments  -  This is the first time we have ever heard of a genuine drag hunt pack causing a problem by chasing a pet, or indeed by misbehaving in any way. Fortunately, bloodhounds are very soft and unlikely to kill an animal or harm humans. Quite what they were doing in Skegness I know not. Supposed 'trail hunts' are always causing this and other problems, not to mention chasing and killing wild animals - because the vast majority are actually quarry hunts in disguise.  


Essex & Suffolk FH chase fox thru village in 'flagrant' law breach

Hounds invaded gardens and passed children in playground 

26-3-10   Ipswich Evening Star     Police probe hunt 'chase' claims     POLICE are investigating claims that a pack of hounds chased a fox through village streets in an alleged “flagrant” breach of the controversial law against hunting.

Frightened residents reported the incident after hounds belonging to the Essex and Suffolk Hunt are said to have pursued their quarry through gardens and past a primary school at Bildeston [below], near Hadleigh. One villager said: “There were hounds all over the village - I also saw two people on quad bikes leading a pack of huntsmen down the narrow streets. The dogs were racing through gardens. Several people saw the fox. The hounds ran past the school and children in the playground were quickly ordered by staff to go inside. A number of residents were worried - one woman grabbed her pet dog because she was scared it would be attacked.”


Another resident, writer Judy Rumbold, said: “We saw the fox being chased and the next minute our garden was full of hounds. I managed to grab our Jack Russell and brought him indoors while the hounds ran around the garden which was damaged. We often see foxes in fields around the village and I am against hunting and this is one of the reasons why. Hunts must not use dogs to catch and kill foxes, but it nearly happened on this occasion.”

Another eyewitness said: “The noise was really frightening - there were dogs everywhere and at one stage they were running towards the school where youngsters were out in the playground.”

Some in the village were asking yesterday whether the hunt had broken the law. But the Essex and Suffolk, like many Hunts across the country, use an exemption that allows them to chase and kill foxes using birds of prey. The Hunt takes an eagle owl with it whose role is to attack and kill the prey - hares or foxes - that have been flushed out by dogs.

The incident in the picturesque village is now being investigated by Suffolk police's specialist wildlife unit which regularly monitors hunts across the county. But officers were not present on this occasion.

Wildlife expert Pc Mark Bryant said: “We are aware of an incident involving the Essex and Suffolk Hunt which has been reported to us and we are now in the process of speaking to the parties involved.” Police will have to decide if any offence has been committed, but it is not against the law to ride through streets on horseback with dogs.

Joint master of the Hunt, local landowner James Buckle, said: “The hounds did pick up the scent and were chasing a fox and we tried very hard to stop them. But once they got into the village it was safer to let them carry on as attempting to halt would only have caused more aggro. It was all over in a few m apologise if anyone was concerned or upset by what happened.”

POWAperson comments - James Buckle also happens to be Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, personally appointed to that, largely honorary but very high status, role. As regards the absurd Falconry Exemption, it does allow a full pack to be used – but only to flush quarry from cover. This is clearly not what the Hunt were doing, and eyewitness accounts suggest they were wilfully chasing the fox through the village. But I would be astonished if the police took any action against the Hunt. The news item is no longer online.


Quantock SH Huntsman charged with illegal hunting for 2nd time

24-3-10   Western Daily Press   Huntsman accused of breaking ban    A prominent West huntsman has been charged by police for breaking the controversial hunting ban - just weeks before the General Election that could see the law scrapped.

Richard Down, the huntsman of the Quantock Staghounds, is facing one charge under the 2004 Act in a prosecution brought by Avon and Somerset police and the Crown Prosecution Service. The alleged offence took place on what is understood to be National Trust land on the Quantocks in Somerset, next to a sanctuary owned by the League Against Cruel Sports. The prosecution is understood to have been mounted based on video evidence gathered by League monitors at a hunting meet in September last year.Mr Down is still one of the few hunters in Britain with a successful conviction against him - he and his whipper-in were fined £500 three years ago for breaking the ban.

The prosecution - and that of a hunter in Cumbria - were welcomed by the League, which has suffered a number of legal blows in the past year. "We are delighted to see the police taking allegations of Hunting Act offences seriously," said chief executive Douglas Batchelor. Avon and Somerset currently have two cases and there is one each in North Yorkshire and the East Midlands. We have a further five cases at the preparation stage. The suggestion from the pro-bloodsports lobby that the Hunting Act is unenforceable is clearly nonsense. Our covert observers are visiting the length and breadth of the country to keep tabs on the activities of hunts. We are delighted with the cases so far this season and will continue our work to bring those who abuse our wildlife to justice," he added.

Mr Down will next month ride in a Countryside Alliance fund- raising horse race at Ascot, and is being supported by the alliance. Spokesman Tim Bonner said: "No one from a hunt has been convicted of any Hunting Act offence since January 2008 and we would expect this case to fail as the last five Hunting Act cases have. "Avon and Somerset police have been put in an impossible situation - asked to enforce an unworkable law - and it is a great shame they have to waste their time and taxpayers' money on cases like this," he added. "There may well be a government elected with a manifesto commitment to repeal the Act before this case gets to court," he added.

Article is no longer on line


Motorist sees full-blooded fox hunting on & across A433 in Gloucs

24-3-10   Wilts & Glos Standard    Did this Hunt break the law?    I HAVE lived in Royal Gloucestershire all my life and have been lucky enough to have witnessed some of the events and quaint customs specific to our wonderful county, the wool sack races and Forest tyre throwing amongst others. There are some events and occasions I haven't yet experienced - the Severn bore and the cheese rolling in Gloucester fall into this latter category. 

But this week I managed to ‘tick another box’, so to speak, as I stumbled upon a spectacle I hadn't observed before; a real, live, genuine fox hunt, complete with huntsmen resplendent in their red and black jackets. Only this wasn't any run-of-the-mill fox hunt. This was a hunt of a differing variety; a hunt that was taking place exclusively on Her Majesty's tarmac highway. 

Yes. Imagine my surprise when on my journey home last Monday afternoon, on the A433 Cirencester-Tetbury road, I came upon a large pack of scent hounds, several horseman and supporters on foot, all using the A road as their personal thoroughfare. I was quite taken aback by this most majestic of sights, I must say, but a couple of questions came to mind as I sat there, in the queue waiting for the morass to clear.

Please excuse my lack of knowledge and ignorance as I have two points that require clarification: I was under the misapprehension that fox hunting, after the passing of the Hunting Act in 2004, had been deemed illegal? What astounded me was I could have sworn I saw a red fox dash across the A433, with some of the hounds in pursuit. But then, maybe I was mistaken?

I also understand, according to Section 3(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is an offence "to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place where it is not allow" and "the owner or the person in charge of the dog is guilty of said offence".

Now, these dogs were running wild and unrestrained on the A433, causing cars and lorries alike to swerve and veer sharply off course. Call me an old misanthropist, but I would suggest this is contrary to that Act. However I am open to correction.

Subsequently, I am mystified and need some elucidation. Is this manner of indiscriminate hunt exclusive to Gloucestershire? All perplexing subject matter, I hope you agree. I trust the good readers of your tome can enlighten me.     DAVE BUNTING Northfield Road, Tetbury 


Ullswater FH terrierman charged with illegal hunting

23-3-10    LACS Press Release    More hunters charged shows Hunting Act “alive and well”, says charity    A leading animal welfare charity has described the legislation banning hunting with dogs as “alive and well”, after more than a dozen cases of illegal hunting have come to light in recent weeks...

Meanwhile, Mr Robinson, terrierman of the Ullswater Foxhounds has been charged by Cumbria Police with an offence under section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004 and has been bailed to appear at Penrith Magistrates Court on 9th April. The alleged offence took place in October 2009 and the body of a dead fox has since been subject to a post mortem examination.

Evidence in both cases was obtained by covert hunt observers working for the League Against Cruel Sports. A spokesman for the charity said that a further nine cases were in progress. “We are delighted to see the police taking allegations of Hunting Act offences seriously. Avon & Somerset Police currently have two cases, and there is one each in North Yorkshire and the East Midlands. We have a further five cases at the preparation stage,” said Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive of the League. “The suggestion from the pro-bloodsports lobby that the Hunting Act is unenforceable is clearly nonsense,” he said. “Our covert observers are visiting the length and breadth of the country to keep tabs on the activities of hunts. We are delighted with the cases so far this season and will continue our work to bring those who abuse our wildlife to justice.”  [PR no longer available online]


Worcestershire FH JM fined for building stable without planning permission

23-3-10   Worcester News    Huntsman built chalet to protect her horses   A MASTER huntsman allowed herWorcestershireFHJMHuntsmanNatashaWheeler.jpg mum to build a chalet on her land without planning permission so she could help protect the family’s horses from gun and knife attacks. Natasha Wheeler admitted breaching an enforcement notice which asked her to remove the chalet, built on her land north of Charlton Lane, Torton, near Hartlebury, when she appeared before magistrates in Worcester.

The court was told the 39-year-old, of Goldness Farm, Torton, had exchanged regular correspondence with Wychavon District Council, the planning authority. Leonie Woodward, a solicitor employed by the council, said the issue was first raised in June 2006 when they had a complaint about the wooden chalet and Wheeler was advised she needed planning permission for it. Ms Woodward said Wheeler had told council officials that she planned to submit a retrospective planning application but they did not receive one. When nothing was done about the chalet and an enforcement notice was served in April 2007, Wheeler lodged an appeal but the appeal was dismissed in November 2007.

A prosecution began against Wheeler in April last year and an agreement that the contents of the chalet should be put into storage and the building dismantled. The court was told the chalet had now been removed although further checks were needed to see if the hard-standing underneath had been taken out.

Mark Sheward, defending, said the land had been rented by Wheeler to her mother, an equestrian journalist, because of attacks on horses kept there. He said: “Originally a temporary dwelling was put up because there had been problems with horses kept by my client on the land. One horse was subject to a slashing and another horse was shot with an air rifle. There were some ongoing problems with maintenance of those horses while kept at that location. The chalet was put up to allow her mother to reside on site so she could keep an eye on those horses.” Mr Sheward also said the land was now in a better state than it was since the chalet was put up. 

She was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £982.50 and a £15 victim surcharge.


Woman sab assaulted at East Essex FH meet

22-3-10   Halstead Gazette    Injury allegation after hunt meet    Police are investigating an alleged assault during a drag fox hunt. The incident happened on Saturday during a meet of the East Essex Hunt in Great Yeldham.

A reader, who asked not to be named, said he saw a group of about 12 to 15 protestors gather behind the Basmati Rice building in Stambourne Road, just before lunchtime.

Police spokesman Bill Stock said: “We are investigating allegations of assault made by a woman who was protesting at a hunt meeting in Great Yeldham."


Cleared gyrocopter pilot fears reprisals from hunters

Hunt monitor was cleared of manslaughter by jury

21-3-10   Guardian    Activist who was cleared of hunt supporter's death fears reprisals    An animal rights activist who piloted a gyrocopter that killed a hunt supporter spoke yesterday of his fear of reprisals following his acquittal for manslaughter.

The blade of Bryan Griffiths's gyrocopter [below] struck and killed Warwickshire hunt member Trevor Morse on 9 March last year at Long Marston airfield. Griffiths, 55, was cleared of manslaughter by gross negligence at Birmingham crown court on Wednesday. He is worried about reprisal attacks by hunt supporters who, he said, may feel he has not been made to pay for Mr Morse's death. He said: "If I had gone to prison I might have been safer because if these people felt I had received some punishment for what happened they might have let it drop. "I would not put it past them to take it upon themselves to seek a bit of payback. If you go up against some of these people it can turn nasty."


Griffiths has installed CCTV at his home in Bedworth, Warwickshire, and is on a police list of priority callers. If he sees an unfamiliar car outside his house, he takes down the registration number. He also fears for the safety of his wife, Dawn, 53. "Ever since I started monitoring these people I was aware how they could be," he said. "They don't like being watched and they'll do anything they can to try to stop people watching them."

But Mr Morse's death will stay with him for the rest of his life, he added. "A man died and that's not going to be something you forget very quickly. At Christmas the thought crossed my mind that this was going to be his partner's first Christmas without him."

A two-week trial heard that Mr Morse's head was cleaved "from top to bottom" by the rear rotor of the gyrocopter as he tried to stop it from taking off.

Sam Butler, a Warwickshire hunt master, said: "At no stage has anyone in the Warwickshire hunt discussed using any form of physical action against hunt monitors." He described Mr Morse as "one of the most gentle men" he had ever met and said the hunt was "devastated" by his loss.


Two Quorn FH hounds killed chasing fox over quarry cliff

Six others had to be rescued by fire service

19-3-10   Loughborough Echo    Firemen mounted a delicate operation to rescue six Quorn Hunt hounds perched on a tiny ledge 80ft down Cloud Hill Quarry in Breedon-on-the-Hill. Two other hounds plunged the full 300ft to their deaths at the quarry bottom. The accident happened when the pack was chasing a fox along the quarry edge. Two firemen, Jim Rossel and Phil Louis including huntsmen Michael Farrin were lowered down to the ledge and brought the frightened hounds back to safety.” [Article no longer available on line]


Princess Diana's sister becomes JM of Belvoir FH

19-3-10   Daily Telegraph   Lady Sarah McCorquodale, sister of Diana, Princess of Wales, becomes a Master of the Hunt - Unlike her nephew Prince William, Lady Sarah McCorquodale is free to continue enjoying foxhunting    When the Labour Government banned fox hunting, the Prince of Wales and other members of the Royal family reluctantly accepted that they could no longer ride to hounds. There is no such restriction on Prince William's aunt Lady Sarah McCorquodale, who, Mandrake can disclose, is to become a Master of the Belvoir Hunt.

LadySarahMcQuorcodaleJMBelvoirHighSherrifLincs.jpeg"Lady Sarah  [left] will become a Master of the Hunt in May," says Nina Camm, the secretary of the Belvoir Hunt Supporters' Club. "She has been a member of the Hunt for many years."

There was always much speculation about whether Lady Sarah's sister Diana, Princess of Wales was a supporter or an opponent of hunting. Although she rode to hounds as a girl, it was claimed that she frowned upon the sport in later life.

However, Prince William and Prince Harry regularly rode to hounds. William continued hunting until one month before the ban came into force in 2005 and foxhunting is said to have been his favourite sport. The Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal carried on hunting until 2004. The previous year, Prince Charles reportedly told a private gathering: "If the Labour Government ever gets round to banning fox hunting, I might as well leave this country and spend the rest of my life skiing."

The Hunting Act has resulted in only a handful of prosecutions. It still allows the hunting of a fox's scent with dogs, but not the killing of the animal. 

Lady Sarah is currently the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, the unpaid enforcer of the Queen's writ in the county. David Cameron says he will hold a free vote in Parliament on whether to lift the 2005 law if the Conservatives win the general election.


Newry Harriers kill pet dog in front of young boy owners

Hunt rider behaves in incredibly callous manner

18-3-10    BBC News    Ulster Hunt pack savages family pet dog    The USPCA is calling for a change in the law to make hunts more liable for the actions of their hounds after a pet dog was torn to pieces. The incident occurred near Newry on Saturday when a pack of hounds ripped a family's pet dog apart in front of two young cousins. 

The boys were walking their pet, Pip, in the fields when the Hunt arrived. They spoke of their horror as the out-of-control animals tore the little Jack Russell-type dog to bits. The boys said one member of the Hunt got off his horse and examined what was left of Pip. He then threw the various parts into the hedge. When the boys asked him if their dog was dead, he replied 'yes', got back on his horse and rode off.

As the law stands, hunts are not held liable for the actions of their hounds. The USPCA want the new welfare of animals act to change all that. The BBC spoke to several members of Newry Harriers but none wanted to make comment on the incident. When the USPCA heard about what had happened to Pip, they brought the children a new pup. He was an immediate hit and there is no doubt he will help to ease the pain. Sadly, though, the shock of what happened seems certain to remain with the boys for a long time to come.

Monitor acquitted of manslaughter of 'aggressive' hunt follower

18-3-10   Independent    Protester Bryan Griffiths is cleared of killing hunt supporter Trevor Morse - Gyrocopter pilot is not responsible for decapitation during heated confrontation    An animal rights activist who piloted a gyrocopter that decapitated a hunt supporter was cleared of Bryan-Griffiths-monitor.jpgmanslaughter yesterday. Bryan Griffiths [left] and his cameraman were trying to take off from Long Marston airfield, Warwickshire, when Trevor Morse [below right] was killed while trying to stop them. Mr Morse, 48, was a Warwickshire hunt member.

During the confrontation on 9 March last year Mr Morse stood in the way of the machine and was struck by the rear blades which "cleaved his head from top to bottom". Mr Griffiths, 55, from Bedworth, Warwickshire, was charged with manslaughter by gross negligence but yesterday a jury at Birmingham Crown Court acquitted him after a two-week trial.

An experienced gyrocopter pilot who had strong anti-hunting sympathies, Mr Griffiths showed no emotion as the verdict was read out. But there were angry gasps and smatterings of applause from spectators in the public gallery.

During the trial jurors had watched a video of Mr Morse's death which was recorded by Peter Bunce, an animal rights activist who had brought fuel for the gyrocopter to the airfield. In the video Mr Griffiths could be seen asking Mr Morse, from Shipston-on-Sour, to move out of the way because he was preparing to take off. He was seen telling his opponent: "You're obstructing it from taking off, you have no right to do that."

As the hunt enthusiast held his ground, the gyrocopter's engines were revved, moving the rear bladesWarksFHTrevor-Morse-hunt-supporter-deceased.jpg close to Mr Morse's head. The exact impact was not shown to the jury but an unidentified man could be heard saying: "Oh dear. The twat didn't stand clear of it."

Mr Griffiths' defence team had argued that the gyrocopter pilot had tried to steer his aircraft between Mr Morse and a second hunt sympathiser. In his police interview he also claimed that he felt in fear for his life because he believed his gyrocopter had been repeatedly shot at earlier in the day.

The jury also heard how Mr Morse, a road monitor with the hunt, had concocted "a plan" with one of the hunt masters to pen in the gyrocopter with cars to stop it taking off to give hunt sympathisers time to photograph the pilot.

Michael Tipping, a self-described aviation fanatic who witnessed the event, said he had found Mr Morse's manner "intrusive and aggressive".

Julie Sargeant, a hunt sympathiser who accompanied Mr Morse to the airport, broke down in tears in court when she described how her friend had died. Wiping tears from her eyes, she told jurors: "He was just stood there." She said Mr Griffiths had tried to comfort her, but he too was deeply distressed.

Outside court, a friend of Mr Griffiths said he was "devastated" by what had happened.

18-3-10   Birmingham Post   Hunt clashes will go on, protesters warn after manslaughter trial ends    Protesters have vowed to continue their fight against a Midland hunt after an anti-hunt campaigner was cleared of killing a hunt supporter with the blade of a gyrocopter. As animal rights enthusiast Bryan Griffiths walked free from Birmingham Crown Court cleared of the manslaughter of hunt supporter Trevor Morse, his colleagues said the war they had waged against the Warwickshire Hunt was far from over…  Judy Gilbert has been a volunteer hunt monitor for 12 years and had monitored with Mr Griffiths in the gyrocopter prior to March 9th. The 63-year-old grandmother from Buckinghamshire, said: “The Warwickshire Hunt has always treated us appallingly and we had warned police that the atmosphere was very unpleasant and was getting worse… [article no longer online]

17-3-10   Guardian   How hunting dispute led Trevor Morse to fatal encounter with gyrocopter - Death followed plan to confront pilot who had followed activities of Warwickshire hunt   The terrible death of Trevor Morse was much the worst incident in the truculent standoff that has existed between hunt supporters and opponents since the chasing of foxes for sport was supposedly outlawed in 2004. Sliced through the head by a rotor blade whirling at 200mph, the self-employed gardener was a victim of claims and counter-claims which have surrounded the sport and the continuing meets held by dozens of Hunts.

Bryan Griffiths and his gyrocopter were used regularly by anti-hunting monitors to follow packs of hounds in the Midlands, and had been watching the Warwickshire hunt's last outing of the season when the incident happened in early March last year.

The light aircraft's constant presence had grown to irk the hunt members, and the trial at Birmingham crown court, where Griffiths was today cleared of manslaughter, heard that the Warwickshire's organisers had agreed a plan to confront its pilot and the anti-hunt campaigners who took turns to fly as passengers, filming loopholes and possible breaches in the law.

This swung into action when 55-year-old Griffiths, who lives on the hunt's territory at Bedworth, was seen altering course for Long Marston airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon. As arranged, Morse and Julie Sargeant, a fellow hunt supporter, headed off at speed in their Land Rover, to box in the gyrocopter as it refuelled and find out who was behind the flights.

Longstanding, and often bitter, differences between the two sides underlay the confrontation, but Hunt master Anthony Spencer told the jury that "buzzing" by the aircraft had frightened the hounds and was a safety hazard. The hunt's complaint to the Civil Aviation Authority on these grounds had prompted an investigation, which began the day before 48-year-old Morse was killed.

Witness accounts of the death suggested intransigence on both sides, with Morse standing obdurately in front of the moving gyrocopter after his colleague had taken refuge in the Land Rover. Video and detailed descriptions left the jury to decide whether Griffiths was aiming carefully for a gap to avoid danger, as he told police, or whether mutual anger saw things spiral out of control.

The case was downgraded some months before the three-week trial, when the original charge of murder was withdrawn. But prosecutor Gareth Evans QC still accused Griffiths of deliberately driving the gyrocopter at Morse, justifying a verdict of manslaughter by gross negligence. He told the jury: "Griffiths's actions were reckless in the extreme because the manoeuvre carried with it a very, very real risk that Mr Morse would come into contact with the revolving, unguarded rear propeller blades of the gyrocopter."

In a graphic video taken by a fuel handler at the airfield, a voice is heard shouting to Morse: "You are obstructing him taking off, you have no right to do that, you have no right to do that." After a pause – the footage was cut before the instantaneous death of Morse – the jury then saw a clip of his body lying on the ground, as a voice said: "Oh dear, the twat didn't stand clear of it."

Sargeant broke down in tears as she told the jury: "He just stood there. He just stood there." She described Morse as "Mr Nice Guy" but confirmed that he had acted uncompromisingly, driving the Land Rover right up to the nose of the gyrocopter.

The court heard that Griffiths, an anti-hunting sympathiser, had been scared of violence from hunt supporters. Chatting just before the incident with a plane spotter at Long Marston, he said that he had been shot at three times from the ground while following hunts.

The neutral evidence from Michael Tipping, an aircraft enthusiast without strong views on hunting, also underlined the tensions before the incident. He told the jury that Morse's "intrusive and aggressive" attitude when he tore up in the Land Rover had convinced him that the whole affair involved a drugs gang and possible revenge for a deal that had gone wrong.

Since the tragedy Morse, who was a lifelong follower of the Warwickshire and helped to look after birds of prey which allowed it to use a loophole in the Hunting Act, has become something of a martyr on hunting websites. Opponents of the sport have been confirmed in their view that hunts are determined to continue to find any way to stay in action.

See also Mirror


Vale of Aylesbury FH hunters canvassing for Tory in Harrow

12-3-10   Harrow Times    Berkshire fox hunters campaigning for the Tories in Harrow    FOX hunters from Aylesbury are campaigning for the Tories in Harrow in a bid to get the hunting ban repealed. Thousands of leaflets have already been distributed in Harrow East by members of the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt (VAGSBH), who are backing Conservative candidate Bob Blackman.

And an email from hunt organisers to supporters, seen by the Harrow Times, reveals the campaigning in Harrow is part of a push across the south of England to help candidates supporting fox hunting get elected. The email says: “We have delivered a huge number of leaflets in our other target marginal seat, Harrow East. We will need helpers from next week. The idea is to take a couple of car loads from the kennels. We will need people for leaflet delivery and envelope stuffing. The Tories are putting the bill for repeal forward. We can help like-minded candidates to get elected so if you want your sport to get back towards where it was, please give up a bit of time and come and have a laugh with friends.”

The email's author, Guy Portwin, and fellow VAGSBH organiser Annie South are due to meet with Mr Blackman today to discuss a “pre-election strategy”. Ms South told the Harrow Times many of the organisation's members were Conservative supporters already, and said the action was not overtly related to fox hunting. She said: “We are getting people out to help the Conservatives in marginal seats. David Cameron has said if he is elected there will be a free vote to repeal the Hunting Act. It's a bad law, and I think the candidate in Harrow would go for a free vote if Mr Cameron offered one. But the people helping out want to get the Conservatives back in – they would be helping even if fox hunting wasn't an issue.”

Mr Blackman welcomed the support of VAGSBH, and said he would support a repeal of the hunting ban to allow properly licensed hunts. VAGSBH members are also targeting seats in Reading, Newbury, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Henley, and Harrow West – currently held by Labour MP Gareth Thomas.

Tony McNulty, Labour MP for Harrow East, said he welcomed VAGSBH's input in the election, and said it was important the borough's voters knew who was out campaigning. He said: “During my time as an MP, the biggest mail bag I got was on fox hunting. There is clearly significant opposition to fox hunting in the constituency, and I voted for the ban 100 per cent.”


Hounds invade LACS sanctuary and damage badger sett

12-3-10   LACS Press Release    Hunt hounds attack badger sett on Exmoor wildlife sanctuary    An animal welfare charity has spoken of its disgust after several hunt hounds ran amok across a wildlife sanctuary, attacking a badger sett. A spokesman for the League said the incident demonstrated that out of control hunting hounds present a danger to all wildlife.

In the week that government published a consultation on dangerous dogs, here we have dogs trained to kill and running amok across the countryside. It is unacceptable and grossly irresponsible for hunts to allow their hounds to riot like this, but sadly Hunts are all too often sticking two fingers up at the law abiding majority,” said the spokesman.

The hounds were on the League’s Sanctuary for approximately one hour, and the incident has been reported to Avon & Somerset Police. The League said it was “considering all legal options”.

Last month several hounds were killed when they ran across the A303 in Somerset.

PR no longer online 


Hunt monitor's tyres slashed at meet of Cattistock FH

Also says menaced by hunt supporter in balaclava 

11-3-10   Western Gazette 



Isle of Wight FH terrierman fined - exposing self to women monitors

Hunt JM cautioned for calling monitor child molester 

9-3-10    You Tube – MegaTextingQueen   VIDEO  Jamie Butcher, terrier man, with the Isle of Wight Foxhounds, exposingIsleofwightfhterriermanjamiebutcherexposingselftofemalesabsfined80_27-2-10.jpg himself to female hunt monitors [right]. View if you dare. Strong stomach advised !!

12-3-10   Email from monitors    Nothing for indecency, just Public Order Section 5 with £80 fine. The police, ie the Sergeant we have made complaints about ,said that Butcher had stated he had been doing it all day on private land and when he did it to us on the road it was meant for the people standing behind us!!! You can see on the footage there was no one behind us and as for doing it all day we thought it was a disgrace he was not breathalysed on the day. The police were coming out but on this Sergeant's instructions left it for nearly a week to arrest him.

The whole incident just proves to us how the police protect the hunters. Just imagine if one of us did that!! They would have thrown the book at us!! Julian was called a child molester by Tony Blest, Master of foxhounds (guy with Butcher at dig out on Youtube) he was given a caution and letter written to him!! How can we find out if this was the case and the police did all these things?


Quorn FH Huntsman breaks neck in fall from horse

6-3-10  Horse & Hound    Quorn huntsman breaks neck in fall   Quorn whipper-in Daniel Cherriman is carrying the horn after huntsman Peter Collins broke his neck in a fall. Mr Collins was airlifted to hospital on 20th February after his horse slipped and landed on top of him while hunting at Saxelbye. "I won't be riding again this season and have to wear a neck brace."


Lib Dem MP comes out in favour of fox hunting

5-3-10  North West Evening Mail    South Lakes MP Tim Farron backs hunting foxes with hounds   South Lakes MP Tim Farron has revealed he is in favour of bringing back fox hunting with hounds. Mr Farron gave his view on the controversial subject in an Evening Mail webchat last night. The Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale also spoke about a range of other issues.

POWAperson comments   -  Farron makes much of his deep Christian faith. Are the compassion of Jesus Christ and the barbaric cruelty of fox hunting really compatible? 


Court told of Warks FH members' illegal plan to stop gyrocopter take-off

Supporter who was killed had driven Landie right up to nose of 'copter

Convicted criminal/Hunt JM Ferry had been at airfield before incident 

4-3-10   Times    Bryan Ferry’s son was at scene of gyrocopter decapitation - Pro-hunt activist Otis Ferry spoke to victim an hour before his head was split from top to bottom, a court was told yesterday    Otis Ferry [below right], the pro-hunt activist and son of a pop star, was at the scene where a huntsman’s head was cleaved from top to bottom by a gyrocopter after a tense stand-off with animal rights activists, a court was told yesterday. The 27-year-old son of Bryan Ferry had also spoken to Trevor Morse an hour before he was hit by the 200mph propellers as he tried to block the aircraft from take-off.

Birmingham Crown Court was told that Mr Morse, 48, and other key members of the Warwickshire Hunt had met in a pub to hatch an “illegal plan” to stop the gyrocopter from flying over the hunt to see if they were illegally killing foxes. It also emerged that on the day Mr Morse died he had been carrying a document containing the home address of the gyrocopter’s pilot, Bryan Griffiths.

Mr Griffiths, 55, denies the manslaughter of Mr Morse through negligent piloting of the gyrocopter inOtisFerryandpolice.jpg March last year. Instead, the defendant claims that he was in fear for his life after Mr Morse and another hunt supporter, Julie Sargeant, blocked his aircraft’s path during a refuel at Long Marston airfield, near Stratford-Upon-Avon.

James Wood, QC, defending Mr Griffiths, said that Mr Morse and Anthony Spencer, one of the masters of the Warwickshire Hunt, had decided to “take the law into their own hands” by planning to stop the gyrocopter from its lawful take-off.

Mr Spencer told the jury that he had intended to film the men, ask them “what the heck they were doing” and not to “spook” the horses. He added that the plan, drawn up in a pub, was “common knowledge” among the Hunt. He had gone to the airfield after being telephoned by Mr Morse but found him dead on the ground.

Mr Ferry turned up. He asked me if I was OK,” Mr Spencer said, adding that Mr Ferry, the then master of the South Shropshire Hunt, later drove off. Mr Ferry, who was wearing a suit and was with his girlfriend, had appeared in court to be bailed in connection with robbery and affray charges that day. He had also managed to visit the Warwickshire hunt that day, the final hunt of the season.

Miss Sargeant said she had met Mr Ferry earlier that day, but had not spoken to him because she was “in awe” because he was very good looking. Earlier, she broke down in tears as she told of the moment she feared trouble would “kick off” as she and Mr Morse blocked the path of the aircraft. She told police that Mr Morse had been briefly angry during a “white knuckle ride” to the airfield after spotting the gyrocopter going to refuel.

Mr Morse, who was 6ft 2ins, drove the hunt’s Land Rover with-in inches of the gyrocopter’s nose in attempt to block it from take-off. He then stood “within touching” distance of it. Miss Sargeant, who had avoided involvement in the confrontation because in the past she had been “volatile” and got angry, told police: “I have seen situations like this before kick off. I just really wanted to go. I can remember thinking, ‘Oh right. They are going to start it’.”

She said that the gyrocopter initially nudged Mr Morse but, despite repeated requests for him to stand clear, he stood his ground. Recalling how she had stood on the other side of the gyrocopter to prevent it taking off, she wept as she described the moment of impact. “He was just stood there,” she said. She said the pilot, from Bedworth, had tried to comfort her, but admitted that he was also deeply distressed after the death and walked off.

She said Mr Morse was known as “Mr Nice Guy”, but his presence would always be felt because of his size. She admitted being severely traumatised by the incident.

Peter Bunce, a 70-year-old anti-hunt activist who was delivering fuel for the gyrocopter and filmed the death, said Mr Griffiths had appeared “frightened” by Mr Morse and had only managed to half fill his aircraft before trying to leave. He said that since the 2005 ban on fox hunting huntsmen had become “more and more aggressive” with those filming their hunts to see if the law was being upheld.

Mr Spencer, who said the hounds chased a fake scent put down by a hunt member, denied Mr Wood’s suggestion that they had wanted the aircraft grounded so the hounds could do what they wanted. He could not say whether a fox died that day. The trial continues.


Brian May in vain attempt to persuade Herbert against HA repeal

4-3-10     Independent    Pandora: Tories under pressure: May turns lobbyist    Regulars at PortcullisBrianMay.jpg House were last week treated to the unlikely sight of Brian May [right] in deep conversation with Nick Herbert, the Conservative's Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Unlikely as the pairing may seem, it looks like it could prove enduring.

May, never one to approach a subject without enthusiasm, is in the process of refiguring himself as an animal rights activist, and has taken to lobbying politicians on the subject.

"I've decided to take on a lot of work with animals this year," he told us at a subsequent lunch for the Olivier Award nominees. "David Cameron is promising that if he gets in, he will repeal the hunting act, which means it will be legal to tear foxes apart with dogs. So, I regard it as my duty to try and make sure we don't go back into the dark ages."

Herbert, of course, has leant his hearty support to his party's plans to have a free vote on the subject. Alas, it seems any efforts on May's part to change his mind are likely to be in vain: "On that point we are un-lobbyable," insists his spokesman. "Though from what I understand Brian May is a Tory man." Perhaps he could play at the next conference?


Hound killed in accident on A35 in Dorset

4-3-10   Cruelsports blog    Report of hound from unidentified Hunt killed on A35 between Axminster and Lyme Regis.



….. 27th February - Landowner's angry letter to N.Shrops FH re. invasion, scaring animals

….. 26th February - Sabs say police not interested in film of blatant hare hunting

….. 24th February - Three Seavington FH hounds killed by cars on A303

….. 22nd February - Hunts deny LACS member's accusation of hunting illegally

….. 19th February - 'Police in league with Hunts to frustrate hunt ban' claim

….. 18th February - Monitor's windscreen smashed night before Cattistock FH meet nearby

….. 18th February - Macca slams Tory plans to bring back hunting with dogs

….. 16th February - Resident furious as S. Shrops FH hounds kill fox in garden

….. 13th February - Shadow Defra Minister criticised over donation from hunting fan Duke

….. 10th February - S. Dorset FH terrierman has 2nd sett interference charge dropped

…..  9th February - Motorist abused by hunters when finds pack and riders all over A41

…..  7th February - LACS rapped for too party political anti-hunt advert

…..  4th February - Hare hunt invades land, hounds kill deer in front of owners 


Landowner's angry letter to N.Shrops FH re. invasion, scaring animals

Complains of redcoat's arrogance - says neighbour was also invaded

27-2-10   LACS   The following letter, sent to the League Against Cruel Sports by a supporter and was also sent to the Master of the North Shropshire Hunt at the end of February.

Dear ....... I feel I have to register my disgust and dismay at the total lack of control of North Shropshire hounds and the mayhem and incursion we suffered when they trespassed over our land, during the meet of Saturday 27th February.

Whilst you informed us prior to the event that you would be in the area, we accordingly stabled our horses, but were unable to house all of our other animals. We were most disappointed when a large pack of hounds, which were supposedly trail (drag) hunting , were allowed to frantically and recklessly run through the areas immediately around our house, through our in-lamb ewes and into where the rest of our animals were, causing disarray and panic. These other animals are pedigree Shetland ponies and rare breed sheep.

One of our pedigree rams was so panicked by these marauding and rampaging hounds, that he ended up impaled upon a barbed wire fence, extremely distressed. It was equally distressing for me to witness this. Hounds actually trampled over him as they exited the paddock. It is most fortuitous at the time of writing that there appears to be no lasting physical damage to the animal and no large veterinary bill to pay.

The hounds continued to similarly charge uncontrollably and frenetically over fences and through a garden area where pedigree guinea pigs are kept in their run and around our boarding cattery pens, and even into the stable block in the barn (where the horses were stabled in their loose boxes,) before they eventually left our property.

Whilst the amount of physical damage caused has been on this occasion limited, ( 6 broken fence posts and wire pulled off posts ) this incident should never have occurred, especially as I telephoned you prior to February 27th and specifically requested that you refrain from letting hounds run on our land as we have rare breed ewes in lamb.

The unfortunate catalogue of events and the anguish caused on February 27th is totally unacceptable. I have to inform you after legal consultation that North Shropshire Hunt and hounds and all associated Hunt personnel are forthwith banned from our property. Should such an episode ever happen again, we will, after this advice from our solicitor take legal proceedings against you.

I further take exception to the arrogance and objurgation of someone who I presume to be a member of hunt staff. This individual seemed to feel that as hounds are difficult to control they therefore can not be stopped from encroaching onto property and that I should refrain from shouting at them as it has no effect on their behaviour at all.

When this person eventually left our property and went down our drive and reached the lane with several of the hounds, (not all, as the majority took absolutely no notice of him whatsoever) he informed my husband that as they were now on the public highway there wasn’t anything we could say or do to complain about them. Such egotistical behaviour does nothing to encourage good interaction and relationships with landowners.

I suggest that if it impossible for the hounds to be controlled and restricted, you might be better served in finding a different location as there is a very strong possibility that this unfortunate occurrence could be repeated. I do not want to live with the threat of this bad experience recurring as soon as you send out a letter to say North Shropshire Hunt will be in the vicinity.

The West Mercia police have been informed of the contents of this letter and along with us hope that you are able to rectify the problems and resolve the distress, anxiety and damage caused by this incident.

Finally our neighbour who lives across the lane was similarly upset. He did not appreciate the hounds charging uncontrollably and frenziedly through his grounds over an area of land he had recently planted with young trees as part of his business.


Sabs say police not interested in film of blatant hare hunting

26-2-10   YouTube – HoundsOffourWildLife   VIDEO   Reported to the police on the day, supplied with video, they still can't be arsed to do anything about hunting in Somerset. It took 9 weeks for them to just view the video! Surely this proves the Hunts are above the law?

Pics below   -    1/  Hare fleeing hounds   2/  Hounds on line of hare c. 200 yards behind 




Three Seavington FH hounds killed by cars on A303

24-2-10   Western Morning News   Hunt criticised after hounds killed by cars   ANIMAL welfare activists have branded a hunt "grossly irresponsible" after three hounds died after being hit by cars on a busy road. But supporters of the Seavington Hunt, based at Ilminster in South Somerset, described the collision as a "tragic accident", and insisted members were careful and professional. Police have appealed for witnesses after the three hounds were hit by cars on the A303, at Tintinhull, near Yeovil, at about noon on Saturday, during a day's trail hunting.

Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, it was a "miracle" that nobody was killed" The hunt are grossly irresponsible for allowing their hounds to go anywhere near a main road, especially if they were hunting a trail," he said. “If they can't control their hounds then they should stop going out until they learn that basic skill. The League has received two statements, from witnesses who do not want to be named, One read: 'We heard a loud thud, almost like a gunshot and one hound had been hit on the eastbound carriageway. Shortly after that two more hounds were killed on the westbound carriageway. Both cars were write-offs.' It was only by the quick thinking of the drivers that they hit the hounds and didn't swerve into other motorists or the outcome could have been a lot different, with the Huntsmen on a manslaughter charge." Another alleged the huntsman used the horn too late to call the hounds in after they neared the road.”

Last night, nobody from the Seavington Hunt was available for comment, but Alison Hawes, regional director for the Countryside Alliance, said the hunt was carrying out an internal investigation into why the hounds had run in the direction of the road. She said accidents involving hounds were extremely rare, despite the fact that 47 packs roam the Westcountry several times a week. She said: "It was a tragic accident, and it's incredibly sad and upsetting for everyone involved in the hunt. It was just a tragic accident. The Seavington are a very responsible Hunt. I can't recall them ever having had an accident. They are extremely well-run."  Mrs Hawes said hounds, by their nature, were susceptible to running off the trail in unpredictable directions, if they caught the scent of a rabbit or a fox.

Avon and Somerset Police have asked anyone with information on the incident to call 0845 456 7000.

Western Gazette article on the incident is below - 




Hunts deny LACS member's accusation of hunting illegally

Filmed joint meet of East Devon FH and Axe Vale Harriers 

22-2-10   Western Morning News   Hunt denies breaking ban    THE League Against Cruel Sports has complained to police after claiming to have seen the hunting ban being breached in the Devon countryside.

The claim concerns a meet of the East Devon Hunt and the Axe Vale Hunt on private land at Otterton and Colaton Raleigh, near Exmouth. Hunt leaders have strenuously denied the claim, saying they never break the law. About 70 people, many on horseback and including children, took part with about 30 hounds.

League members, including trustee Ivor Annetts, 70, from Tiverton, took video footage and reported the hunts to police on suspicion they were not acting within the law. The law states that hounds cannot pursue foxes and must instead follow a scent trail. Mr Annetts said he spent about two hours shooting video footage at Burnthouse Farm, east of Colaton Raleigh, last Tuesday.

I have recorded video of hounds being entered into areas where foxes were likely to be and where it would be most unlikely or impossible for a horse or quad bike to lay a trail." He added: "We observed what they were doing and it was very suspicious behaviour which leads us to believe the hounds were seeking out foxes." Mr Annetts said they did not see any foxes emerge during their observation of the huntsmen and women.

Lucy Wastenage, joint master of the East Devon Hunt, insisted the hunt always acted within the law and denied it used hounds to hunt foxes, including last week's meet. "We breed and train our hounds to follow a trail rather than look for live foxes. It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest we were hunting foxes with packs of hounds."

Article no longer online 


'Police in league with Hunts to frustrate hunt ban' claim

19-2-10  Daily Mirror    Hunting law has gone to the dogs    The law against hunting with dogs – five years old yesterday – has been widely defied by fox hunts, but there have been only a handful of successful prosecutions. The law against hunting with dogs – five years old yesterday – has been widely defied by fox hunts, but there have been only a handful of successful prosecutions.

It’s hard to avoid the natural conclusion that police chiefs are in league with the hunting fraternity to frustrate the will of the people and parliament. The cops whinge that the law is “unworkable”. That’s because they won’t make it work.

All the lurid claims of unemployment, rabid foxes overrunning the countryside and thousands of dogs being put down have proved to be untrue, because hunt bosses have kept their outfits in working order, awaiting the return of a Conservative government dedicated to the repeal of the Hunting with Dogs Act. If trade unions and their members defied the law in this way, it would be called sedition, and people would go to jail.


Monitor has windscreen smashed night before Cattistock FH meet nearby

18-2-10   Email between POWA Associates   This morning, the anniversary of the hunting ban, I intended monitoring the Cattistock Foxhunt which was holding its meet at the Royal Oak Pub, Hardington Mandeville, Somerset, less than a mile away from where I live. When I went out to my car the back windscreen was smashed. I checked the CCTV, (installed on advice from the Avon&Somerset, police because of all the intimidation I have been subjected to by hunters and their supporters since the ban) which showed two figures walking up the lane outside my house, after midnight last night, shielding their faces to where my car was parked out of sight of the camera, then a minute later running back down the lane. I have reported the incident to the police. My neighbour's cars were untouched. I have no enemies, except hunters and their supporters. What a coincidence that this should happen today!

As you already know, Penny Little had her tyres ripped when her local hunt met a few miles from her house. On the same morning Nick, a nearby neighbour of Penny, a man who has spoken out against hunting, also had damage to his property. The padlock and chain was cut through on the gate to his field where he kept his horses. The gate was left open. If the horses had gone through the gate onto the main road they could have been killed, or caused a serious road accident.

 A pattern seems to be emerging of monitors having damage to their property when a hunt holds its meet nearby. And David Cameron, should he win the election, intends to reward this malicious behaviour by repealing the Hunting Act.

26-2-10   Western Gazette    Hunt refutes link to vandalism    A DORSET hunt has refuted links being suggested between it and vandalism on an animal rights campaigner's car. Helen Weeks says she was unable to monitor a meeting of the Cattistock Hunt last week after her car was attacked the previous night. Hours before the meet was due to take place at Hardington Mandeville, a neighbour called Mrs Weeks to tell her the back window of her car was smashed. The Hunt has condemned the attack and refuted any link to the incident.... [Article no longer on website]


Macca slams Tory plans to bring back hunting with dogs

18-2-10   Daily Mirror    Paul McCartney campaigns against Tory plans for fox hunting return   Sir Paul McCartney is campaigning against a Tory plan to bring back legal fox hunting. If elected, David Cameron has promised MPs a free vote on the repeal of Labour's anti-hunt laws.

But the Beatles legend urged: "Don't let politicians bring back cruelty." Sir Paul backs a campaign to keep the ban by the IFAW wildlife charity. In its report on the issue, he described pre-ban scenes as "barbaric" and said they should remain part of Britain's past.


Resident furious as S. Shrops FH hounds kill fox in garden

Police refuse to take any action against Otis Ferry's Hunt

16-2-10    Shropshire Star 




 Article no longer online


Shadow Defra Minister criticised over donation from hunting fan Duke 

13-2-10   Independent    Labour attacks Tories over 'pro-hunt donation'     Nick Herbert, the shadow Environment Secretary, has received a £5,000 donation from a leading defender of foxhunting. The cash came from the Duke of Norfolk, who recently launched a legal attempt to ban hunt protesters from private estates.

The money was handed over two months ago and declared in the latest Register of Members' Interests. Labour claimed the donation ran counter to rules requiring shadow ministers to avoid any "conflict of interest" that arise from their job. Mary Creagh, the MP for Wakefield, denounced Mr Herbert for being happy to take cash from people wanting a "return to this barbaric sport". Mr Herbert responded: "The idea that our policy or my views on this issue, which are well-known and long-standing, have recently been influenced by any donation is absurd." The Conservatives have promised to provide time for a free vote on repealing the 2004 Hunting Act if they win the election.

POWAperson odds  -   Herbert needs no incentives to be pro-hunt. He was Huntsman/JM of a hare hunting pack for many years and a senior official in the Countryside Alliance. When Cameron was elected, later in 2010, he appointed Herbert as his policing minister, an ideal position to ensure that police did not place too high a priority on enforcing the Hunting Act.  


S. Dorset FH terrierman has 2nd sett interference charge dropped

10-2-10  Horse & Hound    On 10/2/10 a second case against South Dorset terrierman Christopher Leadbetter was dropped, the day before it was due to go to trial. The cases involved covert surveillance carried out by the League Against Cruel Sports and had already led to a review of the legitimacy of secret filming as court evidence. Leadbeater of Dorchester was due to be tried on a charge under the Badgers Act at Bournemouth magistrates. But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told Leadbeater's lawyers that it no longer had sufficient evidence to justify the prosecution. [article no longer online]


Motorist abused by hunters when finds pack and riders all over A41

9-2-10    Shropshire Star   Hunt is using trunk roads    Letter: The hunt community appears to be taking to the county’s trunk roads in pursuit of its quarry.

I was driving along the A41 south of Tern Hill last Wednesday afternoon, rounded a sharp bend, and was confronted by a large pack of dogs coming towards me in the middle of the road, accompanied by a number of fools on horseback. I was forced to brake and slow down, and they simply continued past me, exchanging abuse as I berated them forcefully for their outrageous behaviour. They appeared to be treating this notorious stretch of a busy main road as a viable alternative to making a nuisance of themselves in the countryside proper, and some of their bedraggled “hunt followers” were also parked on the road, thereby ensuring that the danger to other road users was maximised as they flicked “V” signs at me.

I have never been under the illusion that the hunting community had hidden stockpiles of laser intelligence or natural humility, but this latest episode takes stupidity, arrogance and recklessness to award-winning levels.

I phoned Market Drayton police, pointing out that a serious accident could have resulted from this incident, and that a dog owner would probably have been rightly prosecuted if they had allowed their lone pet to wander across a busy trunk road at peak times. After a call back to say that the incident was being investigated, and that they would get back to me, I have heard nothing. During the ensuing silence, am I allowed to wonder if the hunting sector believes that it might be beyond the reach of laws which other people have to abide by, knowing that its acts of life threatening crassness will be indulged by authority and the establishment? If so, perhaps we ought to think about banning hunting by statute.

Stewart Perkins, Market Drayton  [Letter no longer online]


Landowner fury as Warks FH invade farm & wildlife woods

8-2-10  Leamington Courier  



LACS rapped for too party political anti-hunt advert

7-2-10    Horse & Hound    LACS 'Cruel Tory' advert slammed   The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) has been rapped by the Charity Commission for a second time over adverts to be aired in the run-up to the general election. The banned advert highlighted letters in the slogan Keep Cruelty History so it read Cruel Tory, which was deemed too political by the Commission. LACS had already been warned about being party political by the charity watchdog in August 2009. Now a spokesman for the Commission told H&H it would be using LACS as a case study of how not to behave as an example to other charities... [article no longer online]


Hare hunt invades land, hounds kill deer in front of owners

4-2-10   LACS Hunt Crimewatch   Bloody havoc in Gloucestershire    Our Hunt Crimewatch service has been contacted today by a distraught lady who suffered the most horrific experience at the hands of hunters yesterday. Here is the lady’s email:-

'We live in the country surrounded by fields and often see horse and hounds riding past. Despite all our protests the hounds always come onto our land. Today at lunchtime we heard the sound of dogs and went out to see a horrendous sight. There were a pack of some 10-15 beagles that had caught a small deer on our land. They were ripping it to pieces in front of us. The scene of a struggling deer and a pack of dogs is one i never want to see again – all we could do was take pictures as a record.

After 5 mins we heard the sound of a horn and the dogs responded and left the deer still just alive – it thankfully died a few mins later as we have no gun and no way of putting it out of its misery. The huntsman finally appeared in the next field and we remonstrated with him. He said -of course it shouldn’t happen, it had never happened before – they were on foot after rabbits.'

The incident has been reported to Gloucestershire Police, and we have an incident number. Two of the photographs she sent to us are below.

  Gloucsharehuncatchesdeeronbannedland2-10.jpg GloucsharehuntDeercarcassafterkilledonbannedland2-10.jpg 

POWAperson comments  -  Typical Hunt behaviour and callousness. Hunting 'rabbits' indeed. Absurd. Loose a pack of dogs loose near a rabbit colony and they'll all just shoot straight down their burrows.   This is nothing more than a mendacious alibi - they're hunting and killing hares just as ever. Nor are they bothered about bye-kill - as with the deer here - or trespassing or upsetting members of the public.



…..  6th January - Worcestershire FH rampage through Droitwich after fox 

…..  1st January - Six Beaufort FH hounds killed by high-speed train 


Worcestershire FH rampage through Droitwich after fox

Much damage reported, residents very alarmed 

6-1-10   Daily Mail    The training hunt that rampaged through housing estate after hounds picked up scent of a REAL fox    This is the surprising moment a pack of hunting hounds caused chaos as they chased a fox through a quiet housing estate after picking up its scent during a training exercise. The pack, made up of more than 12 hounds, caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage as they trampled flower beds, dug up bushes and defecated on paths while pursuing the fleeing fox.

A mother and her young son witnessed the baying pack rush past when the dogs strayed into the housing estate after leaping a 6ft fence which backed onto a field being used by the Hunt.

Resident Campbell Deas captured the moment the hounds tore through the upmarket Rebekah GardensWorcestershireFHHoundsrampagethruDroitwich6-1-10.jpg in Droitwich, Worcester over the weekend. Unemployed father-of-two Campbell, 50, said: 'I was outside taking down the Christmas lights when I saw a fox running down the street. About 30 seconds later a whole pack of baying hounds came charging after it. I didn't see where the fox went but the hounds were running through people's front and back gardens looking for it. Some of the dogs managed to get over a six-foot fence at the end of the road before a man came along and attempted to round them up. He was shouting and yelling trying to get them all together which just added to the chaos of the whole situation. He didn't offer any apologies to the residents. He was just bothered about getting the hounds under control. The other residents in the street were in shock. There are a lot of youngsters living around here. Had it not been so cold there would have been lots of kids out in the street playing with their new toys. Why were they chasing the fox in the first place? It is supposed to be illegal.'

Another neighbour said: 'A young mum was walking with her little boy in a pushchair when the dogs came haring round the corner straight for her. Luckily she managed to push the chair out of their way. It was terrifying to watch.'

The hounds were part of the Worcestershire Hunt who were out on Saturday for a training run. David Palmer, joint master of the Worcestershire Hunt, said: 'The ground was too icy for the horses so we laid a trail and went out on foot. A real fox then came running past and the hounds went after it. We managed to stop them as soon as we could and the fox got away. It was just a bit of exercise that went slightly wrong.'


Louise Robertson, spokeswoman for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: 'We have reports all the time about Hunts getting out of control in this way. And if they do catch the fox and tear it up it can be very distressing for members of the public. We would recommend that members of the public report these incidents to the police.'


Six Beaufort FH hounds killed by high-speed train

1-1-10   Western Daily Press  



4-1-18   Swindon Advertiser    Hounds killed in festive hunt SIX foxhounds taking part in the Beaufort Hunt in Wootton Bassett were killed on New Year’s Eve after being hit by a train. It is believed the dogs ran on to the line into the path of a speeding train after picking up a fox scent.

Captain Ian Farquhar, joint master of the hunt, said: “Our hounds are like our family and we are distraught.” The Beaufort Hunt has been described as Prince Charles’s favourite Hunt.



….. 27th December - Otis Ferry reveals some of his nastiness in ST interview

….. 26th December - Labour launches campaign against Tory Hunting Act repeal plan

….. 26th December - Judge's ruling leaves legality of covert hunt monitoring unclear

….. 18th December - CA & Friend lose Euro Court challenge to Hunting Act

….. 15th December - S. Durham FH JM/Huntsman cleared of assaulting women monitors 

….. 11th December - Badsworth FH hounds charge through nature reserve

…..  7th December - Cameron pal Rebekah Brooks to join Hunt on Boxing Day

…..  3rd December - N. Cotswold FH hounds break into and riot in private garden 


Otis Ferry reveals some of his nastiness in ST interview

27-12-09  Sunday Times   Otis Ferry: What I think of anti hunting ‘idiots’    Otis Ferry, Master of the South Shropshire FH [5 criminal convictions/cautions, + over 4 months on remand accused of assault and robbery of two female monitors] gives an interview to the Sunday Times, replete with foul language, in which he manages to insult non-white immigrants and the ‘Loose Women' team, calls a Labour MP a ‘bitch' and comes across as a stary-eyed right-wing bigot and total bloodsports obsessive.


Labour launches campaign against Tory Hunting Act repeal plan

26-12-09   Independent    Now Brown declares class war on hunting - New campaign highlights Cameron's pursuit of 'barbaric' sport    Labour will today launch a hard-hitting campaign against David Cameron's proposal to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs. The move will be seen as an extension of its "class war" against the Conservatives. Ministers will point to Mr Cameron's record of supporting fox-hunting and condemn his proposal to give MPs the chance to overturn the Hunting Act if he becomes Prime Minister.

HilaryBennMP.jpgWriting in The Independent today, the Environment Secretary Hilary Benn [left] says: "Quite why this is something that would be a priority for a Tory government, instead of the economy or tackling other concerns, is hard to explain to the public and [the Conservatives] have failed to do so." Last night, Mr Benn explained: "David Cameron [below right] used to hunt foxes. He talked about fox-hunting in his first speech to Parliament, and he has said that if he becomes Prime Minister he will get rid of the fox-hunting ban. But like the vast majority of people, I think the barbaric act of letting dogs tear foxes to pieces should not return to our countryside. If you think the Tories have changed, their views on fox-hunting with dogs make it absolutely clear that their priorities haven't."

Supporters of hunting will be out in force today – traditionally a big day in the hunting calendar – to press for the repeal of the Act. But Labour's decision to launch the "back the ban" campaign makes clear that the party will make hunting an issue at next year's general election. Although Mr Benn insists hunting is not a "class issue", the move follows Gordon Brown's attack on Mr Cameron's plans to cut inheritance tax, which he said were "dreamed up on the playing fields of Eton".

One senior Labour source said: "We are not saying hunting will be the centrepiece of our election campaign. But it is an issue that concerns many people and it says something about the Conservatives. They say 'we are all in it together' but their policies, whether on inheritance tax or hunting, show that under a Cameron government there would be one rule for their friends and another for the rest of us."

When Labour's focus groups remind voters of the Tories' stance on hunting, many people are said to reply: "I guess they haven't changed." People are surprised that Mr Cameron wants to overturn the ban, and Labour believes the policy undermines his claim to have modernised the Conservative Party.

However, some Blairites are wary of Labour's "class war" attacks, which they fear will undermine theDavidCameronandGuyAvis.jpg party's support among the aspirational middle classes and give the impression that Labour is appealing to its "core vote" in the hope of denying Mr Cameron an overall majority. A "Tory toffs" campaign in last year's Crewe and Nantwich by-election backfired on Labour, but Brown allies insist that the new drive is legitimate because it is linked to Tory policies, not personalities.

The "back the ban" campaign will be endorsed today by the television presenter Tony Robinson and actors Patrick Stewart and Jenny Seagrove. Its survey of parliamentary candidates found that 84 per cent of Tories who responded did not support prohibition of hunting with dogs, but 98 per cent of Labour candidates did. The emotive campaign will challenge Tory parliamentary candidates to make public their positions on hunting. Labour activists and hunting opponents will be told: "Find out what your MP and candidates think about allowing foxes to be ripped apart by the teeth of hounds."

Amid signs that the Tories are playing down the issue, their candidates are said to have been advised not to state their view on hunting but to promise to consult their constituents before deciding how to vote. The Tory manifesto will promise a free vote on a government rather than a private member's Bill, a move which guarantees parliamentary time and would make it harder for opponents to block. If the Tories win an overall majority, the Commons is expected to overturn the ban.

The 2004 Act made the hunting of all wild mammals using dogs an offence and banned hare coursing, but did not stop people from riding with their dogs if they remain within the law. The Tories insist the Act is ineffective and unworkable. They say there have been few successful prosecutions and that such a bad law should be repealed. In February Mr Cameron said: "My personal view has always been the ban doesn't work, it doesn't make sense. It's an area of life that I don't think the law ought to go into. It doesn't seem to have worked in any way."

The Charity Commission has banned a "keep cruelty history" newspaper advertisement planned by the League Against Cruel Sports, which opposes the repeal of the Act. According to Whitehall sources, the commission ruled that the advertisement – which highlighted the words "cruel Tory" in blue type – would have breached charity rules that ban party political campaigns.

Despite the ban, more than 300 hunts are expected to meet today, on the biggest day in the hunters' calendar. The law permits them to chase their quarry across country, provided the hunt does not end with a fox being torn to pieces by hounds. Any form of hunting with dogs, including hare-coursing and deer stalking, was banned under the 2004 Hunting Act. The Conservatives have promised that if they will next year's general election, they will give MPs a free vote on whether to repeal the Act.

The RSPCA has released figures which, it says, show that the Hunting Act has proved to be an effective piece of legislation. There have been more prosecutions under the Act than under similar legislation on animal welfare, and more than three-quarters of the prosecutions have been successful. Last week, the European Court of Human Rights rejected a claim that the Act was a breach of human rights.

But research carried out by the Countryside Alliance shows that 57 per cent of the public believe that the Act is a failure, and nearly half think that a new government should either repeal it or give Parliament a free vote on whether to keep it.


Judge's ruling leaves legality of covert hunt monitoring unclear

26-12-09   Times   Judge casts doubt on legality of covert filming by anti hunt activists    Scores of foxhunters can sit easier in their saddles on the biggest day of the sport’s calendar today after a judge cast doubt on the legality of covert filming by anti-hunt activists. The ruling, in a case that cannot yet be reported, lays down that covert surveillance by third parties must be authorised in line with procedures in the Regulation of Investigating Powers Act (Ripa).

The Home Office says that the Act must be used in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights. “It also requires, in particular, those authorising the use of covert techniques to give proper consideration to whether their use is necessary and proportionate,” official guidance states. This suggests that the type of speculative surveillance carried out by some organisations and hunt monitors cannot be authorised because it is not necessary or proportionate for the prevention or detection of an offence under the Hunting Act.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) is so anxious that forces may be acting unlawfully that it has asked for advice from the Crown Prosecution Service. Richard Crompton, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire and Acpo’s spokesman on rural affairs, said that until the prosecutors’ guidance had been received, police would continue to accept information from members of the public and third parties if they believed that the Hunting Act had been broken.

Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, however, has written to all chief constables to notify them about the court ruling. He said: “It means that police forces are regularly being presented JulianBarnfield.jpegwith evidence unlawfully gathered without authorisation under Ripa. Most examples of covert surveillance we are aware of in relation to hunting could never be authorised whoever was carrying it out as the surveillance was in no way proportionate to what it sought to achieve.”

As more than 300 hunts gather in towns and villages for Boxing Day meetings, the ruling should help to make the mood the most optimistic it has been for years. Enthusiasts are also convinced that this is the last season when the ban on their sport will be in force. The Conservatives have pledged a free vote on repealing the legislation if they win the election.

Julian Barnfield [above left], Huntsman with the Heythrop Hunt, in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, is a frequent target for anti-hunt activists. He said: “To be frank, I am plagued by them. They don’t just film me and the hunt openly and covertly, some are verbally vile.”

Four charges against him of illegal hunting have been dropped for lack of evidence. Covert footage was used but Mr Barnfield and his lawyers did not make an issue about the legality of it because they were unaware that there might have been a problem. Mr Barnfield, 46, has raised the issue with David Cameron and said that the Tory leader was sympathetic. “He doesn’t hunt with us any more but he supports us,” he said.

POWAperson adds update  -  It was later confirmed that RIPA only applies to police and other public authorities. Were covert hunt monitoring done at the behest of the police, its use would have to be shown to be a ‘proportionate response', but private citizens or non-public organisations do not have to do this. Hunters tried to use this very limited ruling to claim that ALL monitoring film evidence may be inadmissible [which is patent nonsense, as a later CPS statement confirmed].



CA & Friend lose Euro Court challenge to Hunting Act

18-12-09  Daily Telegraph   Hunting ban legal challenge fails after court says it 'doesn't breach human rights'    A legal challenge over the hunting ban has failed after a European court ruled that it did not infringe human rights. The controversial ban on hunting introduced by Labour in 2004 does not breach a person's human rights, the court found.

The Countryside Alliance, together with a campaigner, Brian Friend, took their case to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that the ban breached their basic human rights. They argued that it was in breach of their right to private and family life, the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association with others and right to protect property. Mr Friend, of Axminster, Devon, had also claimed a breach of his rights to protection from discrimination.

But judges in Strasbourg dismissed their application for a hearing yesterday after concluding that the ban, which was introduced under the Hunting Act 2004, did not breach the European Convention on Human Rights. The court ruled unanimously that every one of the complaints was inadmissible. The judges said the ban did not affect the right to private and family life because hunting was essentially a public activity, and it did not restrict Mr Friend’s right to assemble with other huntsmen.

Freedom of association was unaffected because people remained free to associate with other hunters in many alternative activities, such as drag or trail hunting, without the use of "live quarry". The judges said that "not every activity a person might seek to engage in together with others was protected" by the convention on human rights. The ban had been designed to eliminate the hunting and killing of animals for sport in a manner causing suffering and being morally objectionable," they concluded. They said it had been introduced "after extensive debate by the democratically elected representatives of the State on the social and ethical issues raised by that type of hunting".

The group’s application to the European Court followed several unsuccessful legal challenges in Britain. Anti-hunting campaigners welcomed the ruling.

"The European Court of Human Rights speaks for the majority of the British public in upholding the Hunting Act, a law which banned unnecessary suffering in the name of sport," said Robbie Marsland, the UK director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. It is time to move on and embrace riding to hounds without having to kill."

But a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said the European judges dismissed its application on arguments not made at the time the ban was introduced. "The court dismissed our application, not on the basis which the Government used to justify the Hunting Act — an unproven benefit to animal welfare — but because it considers that Parliament is justified in acting on subjective judgments about the morality of an activity," he said. This was not the argument that ministers or supporters of the Act used to promote it at the time."


S. Durham FH JM Huntsman cleared of assaulting women monitors

15-12-09   Northern Echo   Gary Watchman cleared of assaulting two women    A HUNT master has been cleared of assaulting two campaigners who were trying to film his activities from bushes. Gary Watchman, joint master of the South Durham Hunt, demanded that two camouflage-clad women “get off private land” when they attracted the attention of hounds in Sedgefield on February 28th.

Bishop Auckland Magistrates’ Court yesterday found the 44-year-old not guilty of hitting League Against Cruel Sports protestors Lyn Edwards and Hazel Greaves with a riding crop. They hid near the Castle Eden Walkway to film the Hunt. The court was told that when Mr Watchman discovered the pair, he became angry and said they were trespassing.

He admitted his anger with campaigners who repeatedly “crop up” at his farm, in Bradbury, and while he is out hunting. He said: “I did not use foul language. I was annoyed because of the length of time these people have been pursuing us.”

Derek Walton, prosecuting, said there was “no love lost” between the trio, but that the women were on public land. Both women said he hit them with a riding crop and barged into Mrs Edwards. They also said he tried to take equipment. Mrs Edwards said: “He was shouting loudly, I did not know what he would do.” Mrs Greaves said: “He was coming through the trees like a raging bull.”

Stephen Welford, defending, said Mrs Edwards had “walked into Mr Watchman”. He said the pair pushed for an assault prosecution after failing to uncover illegal activities, and added: “They dislike what they (hunters) stand for. They dislike what they do. These are two people who cannot get what they want, so they have manufactured something.” 

The bench acquitted Mr Watchman of both charges. Chairman Glynn Wales said: “If you had known where the land boundaries were, this whole thing would never have arisen.”

Speaking after the trial, South Durham Hunt chairman John Littlefair said: “It is a shame an innocent person has had to wait nine months to be found not guilty of these allegations.”

31-12-09   Horse & Hound    South Durham Master of Foxhounds to launch complaint against police    A Master of Foxhounds from Durham is to launch a complaint against police after being found not guilty of assaulting two saboteurs. South Durham joint-master Gary Watchman has accused police of victimisation after spending nearly a year fighting to clear his name over an incident about which saboteurs lied…. On 14 December, Bishop Auckland Magistrates Court found Mr Watchman not guilty after saboteurs Lynne Edwards and Hazel Greaves admitted lying that he had threatened them with a knife…    [article no longer online]


Badsworth FH hounds charge through nature reserve

11-12-09   Selby News  Badsworth & Bramham Hunt apologises for chasing fox through Barlow Common Nature Reserve    Rampaging dogs caused chaos as they chased a fox across a popular beauty spot. Barlow Common Nature Reserve's Rachel Stanhope was "horrified" to witness baying hounds in pursuit towards the wildlife centre soon after leaving a group of animal-loving youngsters. [No longer online]


Cameron pal Rebekah Brooks to join Hunt on Boxing Day

7-12-09   Guardian   Rebekah Brooks to join the hunt    How might News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks [below right] spend Boxing Day? Eating the last of the turkey, perhaps? Or opening an extra present from Uncle Rupert?

None of the above, according to her husband Charlie, who reveals in this month's GQ magazine that RebekahBrooks.jpegBrooks will be on a pro-hunting demo. Apparently, Boxing Day is "now the biggest day of rebellion in rural Britain", Mr Brooks writes. "In 2006, 320,000 people turned out to support 314 hunts." That is why the Brooks will be in the Cotswolds on 26 December, "to support the cause". Although apparently Rebekah doesn't know this yet. "Unfortunately, I forgot to tell my wife when we got married this summer. But newly-wedded bliss should be about surprises. Which is what she's going to get, I guess, when she discovers that I've cancelled our hotel on a sunny beach... Love, after all, is being able to swap a bottle of suntan oil for the handle of a big broom; and then using it to sweep up the manure that all of our horses have left in the marketplace."

Never mind, Rebekah, the practice might prove useful. After all, as the new broom at the top of News International, you will have to clear up plenty of, um... oh, never mind.

POWAperson adds  -  Cameron, the Brooks, Jeremy Clarkson, lots of very rich friends all part of the infamous 'Chipping Norton set' who are big friends of the Heythrop FH


N. Cotswold FH hounds break into and riot in private garden

Owner had to rush out and grab pet dog, damage done

3-12-09  Evesham Journal   Hounds ran into garden    A COUPLE from near Broadway have accused the North Cotswold Hunt of letting their hounds “run riot” in their garden.

Alex and Pam Peters were at their Little Buckland home at lunchtime on Saturday when they discovered about 10 hounds had come through a fence into their back garden. Mrs Peters said she ran to retrieve their pet dalmatian Suki while the dogs trampled a vegetable patch, knocked over plant pots, disturbed a wildlife area and ran through a plot where she had laid the ashes of her parents.

The 65-year-old, who has lived in the village for 14 years, said she feared what might have happened had her two-year-old grandson and 10-year-old granddaughter been playing in the garden at the time. “The hounds were going absolutely berserk,” she said. “It’s an awful sight to see. What could have happened if somebody had been out in the garden? There’s just no consideration for other people.”

Mrs Peters said Suki would have to be kept out of the garden until the fence was repaired and that the couple had written to the Hunt and reported the incident to police.

A spokesman from West Mercia Police confirmed they were aware of the incident. Major Nigel Peel, joint Master of North Cotswold Hunt, told the Journal on Tuesday: “I was not aware that there had been an incident or a complaint. “When I know the nature of it we will, of course, visit the people and put everything right. Meanwhile, I unreservedly apologise.”



….. 30th November - Angry protests as Tenby Mayor greets Hunt in town square

….. 30th November - Otis Ferry's rock star Dad says son was wrongly jailed

….. 26th November - S. Dorset FH redcoat makes 'rude gesture' at girl of 7

….. 23rd November - Cattistock FH pack out of control on A road in poor weather

….. 18th November - Sabs criticise police response to attack by Rockwood Harriers support

….. 16th November - Sabs say New Forest FH not 'trail hunting' as they claim

….. 15th November - Rockwood Harriers attack occupied sab van with heavy weapons

….. 11th November - Lanarkshire FH gunman shoots at sab's head, nearly hit him

…..  6th November - BBC slammed by LACS for not using film of Mid-Devon FH hunting fox

…..  6th November - Vale of Aylesbury FH Whip fined for verbal abuse of woman monitor 

…..  5th November - Elderly women 'terrified' as IoW FH pack chases and attacks pet dog

…..  5th November - Walker found Wilts Hunt chasing fox and threatened by men on quads 

…..  2nd November - LACS anger over police handling of Mid Devon illegal hunting film 

Angry protests as Tenby Mayor greets Hunt in town square

30-11-09  Western Telegraph    Protestors demonstrate against South Pembrokeshire Hunt on Tudor Square, Tenby    An angry reception greeted the South Pembrokeshire Hunt when it rode into Tudor Square, Tenby on Saturday. Demonstrators - mainly from the League Against Cruel Sports and Animal Aid - held banners urging against any moves to repeal the Hunting Act. They also made a political protest as they pointed out that the Conservative candidate in the next general election, Simon Hart, is chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, which wants to overturn the current hunting ban.

This was the second year that the Hunt had returned to Tudor Square after a previous absence of 17 years. Tenby Town Council agreed on a majority vote that it should be invited for their closing meet of Hunt Week. own mayor, Sue Lane, came in for calls of 'shame on the mayor' and 'disgusting' when she greeted the gathering of around 50 riders.

Amongst the protestors was town councillor Trisha Putwain, who had voted against the Hunt coming to Tenby. She vowed to campaign vigorously against its return to the town and added: "I joined the demonstration because I find blood sports abhorrent and would be revolted if the present law was overturned."

Local animal welfare campaigner Richard Tiller said he was 'extremely pleased' with the protest, but 'very disappointed' at the attitude of the mayor, who, he said, chose only to talk to hunt members. Councillor Lane declined to comment on the issue when contacted by the Western Telegraph.

After the meet, hunt members enjoyed a trail ride at Trevayne, Saundersfoot, by invitation of hunt stalwart Dennis Reed. Said Mr Reed, who was South Pembrokeshire Hunt week committee chairman: "We were delighted that the mayor welcomed us to Tudor Square once again. The protestors were also very welcome and helped create a bit of an atmosphere in the square. This is a democratic country and everyone is perfectly entitled to express their views."


Otis Ferry's rock star Dad says son was wrongly jailed

30-11-09   Contact Music    Ferry: 'My Son Was Wrongly Jailed'    Bryan Ferry has slammed the OtisFerryandpolice.jpgBritish government over his son's recent stint in prison - insisting the 27 year old was "unlawfully stitched-up".

Otis Ferry was arrested in September 2008 amid allegations he tried to discredit a witness during a robbery and assault case. He was kept behind bars until he was granted bail in January (09) and less than two months later (Mar09) the charges were dropped, with prosecutors citing a lack of evidence.

The Roxy Music star was outraged by the decision to keep his son in custody for four months, and he blames British politicians - alleging Otis was treated differently because of his allegiance to pro foxhunting groups.

Ferry says, "I don't like the way the present government has done things, most of all putting my son in prison for four and a half months, totally unlawfully... and that's not just my opinion; judges, all sorts, have said it was a stitch-up. It was politically motivated. The poor lad just wants to live the traditional country life."


S. Dorset FH redcoat makes 'rude gesture' at girl of 7

26-11-09   Dorset Echo   Row over hunt 'insult' in Piddletrenthide    A FAMILY is horrified by the actions of a huntsman who they claim insulted their seven-year-old daughter. A man on horseback dressed in hunting pink is said to have stuck his middle finger up at Tia Pearce when she shouted: ‘Get out of our garden!’ Tia, who was shocked and upset by the gesture, said she was trying to convey her feelings when a pack of hounds got into the front garden of her home in Piddletrenthide.

Her furious dad Rob is now demanding an apology from hunt officials. While Mr Pearce said he was notS.DorsetFHTiaPearce7front.jpg against hunting activities, he was disgusted with the alleged behaviour of the huntsman. Former speedway rider Mr Pearce, who is registered disabled, and wife Haidee drove to Dorchester to pick up a hospital prescription leaving oldest daughter Pearl, 15, in charge of their other children Helena, 11, Robert, nine, and Tia, as well as Helena’s friend Georgie Poor, also 11.

Mr Pearce said Pearl rang him when the hounds came into the garden. He confronted members of the hunt when he returned to the village. Mr Pearce, 50, said: “I haven’t got the words to describe how I feel. Do these people think they’re above the law? I spoke to someone who was apparently the huntmaster and after much questioning I managed to get out of him that it was the South Dorset Hunt but I never got his name. Tia is a strong-minded girl and only shouted because our dogs were getting restless and were barking at the hounds. There was absolutely no need for the man to respond in that way.”

The rude gesture towards Tia was witnessed by all the Pearce children. Mrs Pearce, 34, said she was equally furious. She said: “How dare he do that to a child?” Tia, who goes to Piddle Valley First School, said: “I shouted at the man to get the dogs out because I was worried about ours. I was quite angry.”

One of the huntsmen of the South Dorset Hunt, Dominic Jones, said he wasn’t surprised the family were upset. Mr Jones confirmed the Hunt passed through in Piddletrenthide but insisted the hounds did not go into a garden and were instead in an adjoining field. He said: “I can’t imagine a situation where someone would feel the need to be rude to a little girl. People have us down for all sorts but offending children doesn’t come up at all.” He added: “Somehow this has got confused or been blown out of proportion. If any offence was caused then I apologise.” 

Pic above right  -  The Pearce family. Tia at front. 


Cattistock FH pack out of control on A road in bad weather

23-11-09    Email from POWA member/monitor    Just this Saturday Graham and I filmed Cattistock FH hounds on the main Dorchester to Crewkerne road (yet again) with the huntsman and whipper in trying to get them under control. It was wet and misty. Graham is putting stills on a story board (to add to the others) for the police meeting in Dorset on Wednesday evening arranged by Kevin.


Sabs criticise police response to attack by Rockwood Harriers support

18-11-09     Huddersfield Daily Examiner    West Yorkshire hunt saboteurs angry after van attack at Emley    HUNT saboteurs have criticised a police response after they were attacked by a pair of masked men with hammers…. The incident at the opening meet of the Rockwood Harriers, at Emley, left two members of the Hunt Saboteur Association badly shaken after the windows on their minibus were smashed and their tyres slashed….

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “We received a report from a passer-by that a mini-bus had been surrounded by a group of people in balaclavas on Park Lane in Emley. “Police attended and attempted to speak to a number of the people whose bus had allegedly been vandalised. However, they were uncooperative and refused to speak to officers. No suspects could therefore be described or reported, so no crime is currently recorded. A female member of the group was given an officer’s details, should they decide to make a complaint of the damage in the future.”  [Article no longer online]


Sabs say New Forest FH not 'trail hunting' as they claim

16-11-09   Southern Daily Echo   Hunt saboteurs taking action in Hampshire against the New Forest Hounds     AS A Land Rover screeches to a halt in front of us, the back doors are flung open…  It’s a Saturday morning in early November, the main hunt season is just getting into full swing, and the “sabs” are determined to monitor proceedings… It must be stressed that the said hunt – the New Forest Hounds (NFH) – categorically deny any wrongdoing…. But the sabs don’t believe them. When the hunt thunders deep into the New Forest – far away from prying eyes – they claim that foxes are still being killed… [article no longer online]


Rockwood Harriers support attack occupied sab van with heavy weapons

Police ignore attack and spend hours hassling sabs RockwoodHarriersSabwindscreenafterattacked15-11-09.jpg

15-11-09   HSA News Release    And they call us Violent!    On Saturday 14th November, members of Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs were monitoring the opening meet of the Rockwood Harriers Hunt, just south of Emley, Huddersfield.

Most of the group were following the Hunt to ensure they weren’t illegally hunting. The driver and a passenger were in the group's van which was parked by the side of the road. Suddenly four 4x4 vehicles drove at speed toward the van. They parked in such a way that the van couldn’t move and two men wearing masks and carrying hammers ran toward the van. They smashed the windscreen and both rear windows and slashed one of the tyres before returning to their vehicles and racing away. Other members of the group, in another vehicle, soon arrived at the scene to find the two occupants of the vehicles shaken up and upset by what had happened. They were just about to call the police when they arrived on the scene. The police had been called by the Hunt complaining that anti-hunt protestors were in the area.

RockwoodHarriersSabvanafterattacked15-11-09.jpgThe sabs were amazed by what happened next. Instead of dealing with the obvious case of criminal damage by the Hunt, evidenced by the smashed up van right in front of them, the police proceeded to harass and illegally detain the group for the next 3 hours, searching people and vehicles and only finally allowing them to leave when the Hunt had packed up for the day. At no point did they enquire as to the welfare of the two people who had been in the van during the attack and they were completely disinterested in the attack itself. They even refused to act when the perpetrators of the attack drove past laughing. During the afternoon there were over twelve police officers and four vehicles present.
Members of Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs have contacted solicitors to see what further action they can take against the police and the Hunt, and have initiated complaints against West Yorkshire Police.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated: “Hunt saboteurs are sadly aware of how biased the police are where hunting is concerned, almost always taking the side of illegal hunters. Sometimes however their behaviour is so poor and unprofessional that it surprises even us. West Yorkshire police should be ashamed of how they have behaved and we feel sure the people of the area would be disgusted if they knew that their taxes were being spent on protecting violent, pro-hunt criminals.”

Pics above  -   Damage done to the sab van 


Lanarkshire FH gunman shoots at sab's head, nearly hit him

Police refuse to attend or take any action 

11-11-09   HSA News Release    Illegal Fox Hunters shoot at Hunt Saboteurs    Saturday 7th November saw members of the recently formed Hunt and Crime Watch Scotland (HCWS) attend a gathering of the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Foxhounds - the Country's most violent hunt - at Garryhorn Farm in Ayrshire.

Members of HCWS had been watching the Hunt for several hours when one of their number was approached by an armed member of the Hunt. At this point a rider waiting nearby was overheard saying ”the terrier man is allowed to kill him.” Other members of the group watched in amazement as the hunter raised his weapon, took aim, and fired directly at their friend, barely missing his head, so close that the monitor was able to smell the cordite from the discharged weapon.

The police were called and refused to attend. It was only after several calls that local policemen appeared. An official complaint was recorded but the police have decided to take no further action due to lack of evidence despite there being five witnesses and video footage of the event.

HCWS refused to be deterred and stayed with the Hunt for the rest of the day, reporting no kills and disarray within the ranks of the Hunt.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated: “As hunters in England and Wales look forward to a repeal of the Hunting Act by a Conservative Government this type of violent incident may become more common place in Scotland where frustrated hunters have no hope of repeal. Many hunters in Scotland are armed, as the law allows them to flush a fox with hounds to be shot by waiting guns, so it is imperative that the police investigate and prosecute incidents of this kind. Violence is second nature to the hunting community and they will not hesitate to use force against anyone who tries to stop them carrying out their illegal activities.”


 N.Trust denies LACS claim re. info on 'trail hunts' on NT land

10-11-09   Horse & Hound    LACS claims refuted by National Trust    The National Trust has denied claims that they have an arrangement to provide the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) with details of hunting and other sporting, activities on Trust land. LACS submitted a motion to the National Trust annual meeting on 7th November, asking the Trust to make public all dates when hunts will be trail hunting on their land. The motion was defeated by 7,056 votes. But in a statement on its website LACS had claimed: "whatever the outcome of the vote an agreement has been reached [with the National Trust] whereby this information will be made available to [us]". Trust spokesman Andrew McLaughlin told H&H: "This is absolutely not the case…  [article no longer online]


BBC slammed by LACS for not using film of Mid-Devon FH hunting fox 

6-11-09   Western Morning News    Anti-hunt group's anger at BBC    THE activities of a Mid-Devon Hunt have formed the basis of a complaint against the BBC by an animal rights group. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) has written to all members of the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee, complaining about the edition of Countryfile broadcast last Sunday. The League said that, after it supplied footage it claims shows members of the Mid Devon Hunt breaking the law, it was not used because of BBC guideline regarding the use of "secret" recording…. [article no longer online]

POWAperson adds  -  The article says 'a' mid Devon Hunt, but it was the Mid Devon FH.


Vale of Aylesbury FH fined for verbal abuse of woman monitor

6-11-09   Email from POWA member   You can add another one to your incredible list - this week (not sure exactly which date) the Whipper in of the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt was given a fixed penalty fine at Aylesbury Police Station for disorderly conduct at a hunt on 18th September. He said to me, as he rode past my car, "Turn that camera off you fucking old whore", extremely unpleasantly. 


Elderly women 'terrified' as IoW FH pack chases and attacks pet dog

5-11-09 Hunt Watch   Women left terrified after dog attack   Two Island women say they've been left terrified and shaken after an encounter with the Isle of Wight Hunt. 70-year-old great grandmother Margaret Mussgin and her sister were walking in Gatcombe when their whippet dog was chased and pursued by a group of hounds.

Speaking exclusively to Isle of Wight Radio, Margaret said, "The dog was exhausted. She was being pursued and I just screamed help and quick because I thought the hounds would attack even more. Her claws were missing, one pad was gone, and a ligament in the back of her leg was showing which she had to have stitches. She had to have a sediment and painkillers. I haven't slept for two days and we're terrified about going back there".

Members of Sunday's hunt were unwilling to speak to Isle of Wight Radio, however a spokesman from the Countryside Alliance said, "despite this unfortunate incident the dogs would never hurt a person or child. The Hunt has offered to pay the whippet's vets bills".   [Article no longer online]


Walker found Wilts Hunt chasing fox and threatened by men on quads

5-11-09   Wilts Gazette & Herald   Hunt challenge    I was appalled to read of the alleged violence directed against two hunt monitors by a member of the Tedworth Hunt on October 24th. I am a keen walker and have encountered (on several occasions) hunts in Wiltshire (including the Tedworth and Avon Vale) openly breaking the current hunt ban by using a pack of hounds to pursue a fox.

At the end of last year, I was walking near Huish and, about 20 minutes into my walk, I could hear the sound of hunting hounds close by. I then witnessed the hunstman encouraging 15 to 20 hounds to chase a fox that had just broken cover from a small wood on the edge of the field next to me.

A little further down the lane, two hunt supporters on a quad bike suddenly blocked my way. They started shouting at me and were generally very intimidating, saying: “If you take any ******* pictures, we’ll ******* do you and your ******* camera!” They then deliberately drove at me before tearing off across the field. I was completely terrified. These people are nothing more than countryside hooligans, who, it would appear, think they are above the law, openly using violence and intimidation to protect their illegal activities. Are these the kind of people that Mr Cameron really wants to champion?    S.Thompson, Pans Lane, Devizes

We asked the Tedworth Hunt to comment on this letter. Stuart Sharp, joint master of Tedworth Hunt, said he did not believe his hunt was involved. He said: “That is complete slander. I was in the Huish area one month at the end of last year. The hunt employs two people but they ride horses, not quad bikes. “We do hunt strictly within the law, we have police officers out with us and they are perfectly happy with what we do. If there was an incident where a member of the hunt was rude to a member of the public, hunt officials would take the matter very seriously. If the person concerned wants to call me I would be willing to talk and meet with them.”

POWAperson comments  -  Virtually all fox hunts are accompanied by at least to quads, often with more than one up - and at lease one of these will be carrying terriermen, terriers and the equipment needed for dig-outs. Many of those travelling on quads are noted for their aggression. The Tedworth is most certainly one such fox hunt. And it was, of course, only last week that 2 monitors were run down by a quad-mounted Tedworth FH follower.  


LACS anger over police handling of Mid Devon illegal hunting film

2-11-09   Exeter Express & Echo   League in police talks over hunt film debacle    ANIMAL rights activists have claimed they were failed by the legal system because no one involved in a "textbook" breach of the Hunting Act was prosecuted — despite it being caught on camera…. They voiced concerns about the way a piece of video evidence, shot in Devon, was handled. The recording — due to be made public on Sunday on the video sharing website YouTube — shows huntsmen and a pack of hounds flushing a fox from cover…. Steve Taylor, head of communications at the league, said the film, shot by a camouflaged volunteer using a telescopic lens earlier this year, was the best evidence he had seen suggesting a breach of the controversial law which bans hunting with dogs… [article no longer online]

Earlier in the year, LACS monitors had covertly filmed them routing a fox they'd been hunting from a rock pile on Dartmoor and allowing the hound pack to chase it. What happened to the fox is unknown, but the hounds were only a few dozen yards behind it when the film ended. After the police had sat on the footage for so long that charges were no longer possible, LACS complained to the authorities [which got them nowhere] and put the footage up on their website and YouTube. It was a very clear breach of the Hunting Act. A couple of years later, I went to look at it again and it had gone. I asked LACS why it was no longer on You Tube and got no sensible explanation. I then asked if I could get a copy,  and was promised one by their then new CEO, Joe Duckworth. It never happened. I have no idea why it was removed from the website and YouTube, particularly as it was a powerful example of blatant fox hunting that Hunts are allowed to get away with, or why I was denied a copy. It never re-appeared.



….. 31st October - 2 sabs attacked by South Down FH support, male badly injured

….. 31st October - Benn to lead Labour's 'Back the Ban' campaign to defend Hunting Act

….. 31st October - Sabs to employ hi-tech equipment to monitor hunts

….. 28th October - Rural dwellers' anti-hunt documentary film to premiere in Parliament

….. 27th October - Vale of Aylesbury FH hound badly injured by car

….. 25th October - Hunt staff taking NVQ's set by government that banned hunting

….. 24th October - 2 sabs driven over and injured by Tedworth FH terrierman

….. 20th October - Tory Shadow DEFRA Sec had £24,500 donations from hunters

….. 19th October - Lush stores vandalised, staff threatened after announce support for HSA

….. 19th October - Shadow DEFRA Sec says could be 'watchdog' body after HA repeal

….. 17th October - Tories cave to hunters - HA repeal will be by government bill

….. 14th October - Leading hunt monitor blames hunters for attacks on her property

….. 13th October - Welsh Hunt leaves hound impaled on fence to slowly die 

….. 10th October - Hunters warn of 'firestorm' if Tories don't force HA repeal

….. 10th October - MFHA Chair advises Hunts to avoid conflict with sabs 

…..  7th October - Tories to repeal Hunting Act 'within a year', says Party source

…..  7th October - Anti says bye-laws re. dog control should apply to Hunts 

…..  6th October - Quantock SH filmed trespass on LACS land, scatter deer

…..  5th October - NT rejects LACS request to publish hunt meets on their land 

…..  5th October - Gyrocopter pilot hunt monitor denies killing Warks FH follower

…..  3rd October - Wannabe Tory MP, CA CEO Simon Hart - £42k donations from Hunt JMs 


2 sabs attacked by South Down FH support, male badly injured

Female sab also hurt and her mobile was stolen

The pair were chased as they escaped by car

31-10-09   HSA News Release     On Saturday 31st October, two Hunt saboteurs were the victim of a premeditated and unprovoked attack resulting in one [below left] needing hospital treatment for severe facial cuts and bruising and a suspected broken nose, during the attack the saboteurs were also threatened with a clasp knife.

The attack took place at a public car park on the South Downs Way slightly south of Firle, East Sussex, the car park is usually the haunt of members of the public using the footpaths to enjoy the countryside or for hang gliding off the step hillside.

SabattackedbySouthDownandEridgesupporters31-10-09.JPGOn this Saturday members of the South Down and Eridge Fox hunt met at Firle Place and proceeded onto the downs. As is usual members of the Hunt Saboteurs were present to monitor the hunt to ensure there were no breaches of the Hunting Act which has made the hunting of foxes illegal. No false scent drags were in evidence but Hunt saboteurs became suspicious as an official of the Hunt started to act in a strange manner and seemed to be trying to keep them in one location.

While this was taking place the driver of the group’s vehicle and his passenger noticed that other hunt supporters had suddenly left the car park they were waiting in. Within minutes two land rovers and a quad bike arrived, containing about ten hunt supporters, some known to the saboteurs, blocking the movement of the group’s vehicle and an unprovoked attack was launched on the two saboteurs.

The driver while attempting to regain access to his vehicle had the door slammed on his head and was then repeatedly punched in the face causing the severe facial cuts and bruising and a suspected broken nose. He was then threatened with a clasp knife and was told repeatedly that he would be stabbed. His female companion was knocked to the ground and attempts were made to steal her mobile phone.

Managing to break free the two regained their vehicle and were chased by the three vehicles for a distance. The police were informed of the violent attack and later that day one man was arrested.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated: “David Cameron is happy to sing the praises of the hunting community and has promised to repeal the Hunting Act if the Tories win the General Election. We would like to know if he approves of this callous, unprovoked and vicious attack by ten hunt supporters on two innocent people which could easily have resulted in serious and permanent injury. Violence is a way of life for these people whether it is directed towards animals or people.”


Benn to lead Labour's 'Back the Ban' campaign to defend Hunting Act

31-10-09   Times   Hilary Benn launches Labour election pledge to keep hunting ban    Labour is to make the preservation of the hunting ban a key plank in its election strategy. Ministers are determined to use the controversial four-year-old ban on hunting with dogs to highlight the Conservative Party’s pledge to repeal the Hunting Act… Hilary Benn, the Rural Affairs Secretary, has agreed to front Labour’s campaign against repeal. He has sent an e-mail to Labour Party members to tell “as many people as possible that a Conservative government would mean an end to the ban so many people worked so hard to introduce”…. [article no longer online]


Sabs to employ hi-tech equipment to monitor hunts

31-10-09    Daily Telegraph     Saboteurs to employ hi-tech anti-hunt equipment such as hidden cameras Hunt saboteurs are opening up a new front in their battle with hunt followers by using hi-tech monitoring equipment, including telescopic lenses and hidden cameras As the new hunting season begins today, animal rights activists are threatening to disrupt meets as "observers", as well as joining hunts undercover. The saboteurs will film constantly using new telescopic lenses so hunts can be monitored from a distance. They will also use hidden cameras in clothing and time-delay devices dotted around the countryside… [article no longer online]


Rural dwellers' anti-hunt documentary film to premier in Parliament

28-10-09   Gloucester Citizen/Echo    Fox hunting film set for Parliament premier  Neighbours who persuaded the police to issue the first Asbo warning in Britain against a fox hunt, have taken their campaign to the silver screen. Jeanne Berry and Denise Ward, who live in the Slad Valley, near Stroud, have produced a 90-minute film to be premiered at the Houses of Parliament. The film does not focus on the rights and wrongs of hunting – but on cases of hounds killing pets and hunts trespassing on private land…. The film, called A Minority Pastime is being premiered next week at a special screening organised by three MPs, including Stroud MP David Drew. [article no longer online]


Vale of Aylesbury FH hound badly injured by car

Hunters weren't interested in looking for it

27-10-09   Email from POWA member   Edward Winnington, Whipper in for the Vale of Aylesbury was educated at taxpayer's expense...  At a cubbing meet last month, this same person rode past my car and said loudly and clearly, on film, "Turn that camera off you fucking old whore". The police, at their usual snail like pace, are supposed to visiting him re. this. A few minutes later he was informed by a member of the public that she had just seen a hound struck by a car AND run over just up the road. Winnington stayed on his horse and made a mobile phone call. I and this lady and her boyfriend spent 20-30 minutes searching for this badly injured hound, who, they said, was screaming and whose jaw was swinging after the accident. We could not find the hound, which had managed to limp off after the accident. No-one from the Hunt bothered to look at all until the terrierman arrived, very hostile, just as we were giving up the search, who demanded aggressively of me "You seen this hound then?". Now look again at Winnington's words.


Hunt staff taking NVQ's set  by government that banned hunting

25-10-09   Sunday Express   Labour pays for hunting classes after banning it... A NEW generation of huntsmen are ­being trained on state-­sponsored courses just five years after the blood sport was outlawed…by the Government. Kennelmen, whippers-in, hunt grooms and masters are coming on to the jobs market equipped with a National ­Vocational Qualification (NVQ).

The taxpayer-funded course is run by ­Haddon Training in conjunction with the Council of Hunting Associations. The level 2 qualification in animal care and kennel management enables graduates to work in domestic kennels and for Hunts.

Edward Winnington, 21, is first ­whipper with the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt. He said: “It is mildly ironic, to say the least, that this is a Labour ­Government course, but hunting is not all just about the red coat and silver trumpet and a lot of posh people. It is also about countryside management and is at the heart of country ­living. You learn everything about the animal protection act and are taught how to make sure that no hound is ­neglected and to treat them as you would your ­favourite pet. This is an animal care degree, so it would qualify me to work with domestic animals too. You do get the odd posh boy…but you get posh boys who go along to football and you don’t hear about them all the time, do you?”

Evelyn Beeney, 24, has just completed the course and is in her second year as first whip Kennelman for the Hurworth Hunt in North Yorkshire. She said: “While I work solely with the hounds, we offer a service for farmers where we help out if one of their animals is injured and has to be put out of its misery. A vet would charge a fortune to do the same thing. It is an amazing job. I would not swap it for the world.”

Haddon’s managing director Chris Hewlett said: “That Hunts and kennels are prepared to put their staff through this course is a demonstration that the community is ­responsible and wants to invest to train its staff to the very highest standard.”


2 sabs driven over and injured by Tedworth FH terrierman

24-10-09   HSA Press Release   Two hunt saboteurs have been run down and injured by a quad bike, driven by a member of the Tedworth Hunt, in Wiltshire.

The hunt saboteurs were parked up in a narrow lane watching the hunt when a quad bike, driven by the Hunt's terrierman, accelerated towards them. Despite there being, not enough room to pass their land-rover and with absolutely no regard for the two people who were standing at the side of the vehicle, the quad drove at them. The driver shouted to "get out the fucking way!". There was no time and no where for the hunt sabs to go. The quad drove at speed knocking down two men and driving over the upper arm of one of them. The quad sped off. It was a deliberate act which could have been avoided. Both men suffered cuts and bruises and one had suspected fractured ribs.

The sabs called 999 and reported the incident to the police. The Hunt - complete with quad - came back past about 10 minutes later. The riders were recklessly riding very close to people. The quad driver threatened one of the sabs he'd just run over and said "you and me, down a quiet lane - then we'll see....".

Lee Moon, Press Officer for the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: It's business as usual in the countryside. The hunts continue to illegally kill wildlife and act with violence towards anyone who tries to stop them. In election year, with the Tories promising to repeal the Hunting act, we feel it is important for the British public to know what type of people these are - willing to illegally harm people and wildlife in pursuit of their own pleasure.

29-10-09   Wilts Gazette   Police probe hunt viewers’ injury claims near Pewsey   Police are investigating after two hunt monitors claim they were mown down by a Tedworth Hunt employee at Stowell, near Pewsey, on Saturday. The two men, one from near Pewsey and the other from near Marlborough, said they were on a public road at Stowell where the Tedworth had its opening meet when a hunt worker deliberately drove at them on a quad bike.

The Gazette was able to contact one of the two men, who lives near Pewsey, who was prepared to speak as long as his identity was not revealed. He described himself as a hunt monitor and said he and his friend had a video camera to record any illegal activity by the hunt. He said the Hunt had only just moved off and they were standing at the side of their Land Rover on a narrow lane at Castle Barn.

“We were watching the hunt from our Land Rover and two of us were stood at the side of it and the road was only wide enough for one vehicle,” he said. A quad bike with a wooden terrier box on the back came towards us and the driver revved it up and rode straight at us shouting: ‘Get out the f-----g way’. The box on the back of the quad dragged me and the other chap along the side of the Land Rover and he fell down and the quad drove over his arm.”

A Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesman said the two men received cuts and bruising.

The Hunt asked the Countryside Alliance, the group that represents country sports, to speak on its behalf and its Wessex director Delly Everard said she was unable to discuss Saturday’s events because it was in the hands of the police. She said: “It is entirely a matter for the police but we would say that the Tedworth was definitely hunting within the law. “This sort of issue is never about animal welfare and always about prejudice. This is an example of the terrorism that hunt supporters are continuing to face.” A police spokesman confirmed there had been a complaint from the monitors and it was being investigated. 


Tory Shadow DEFRA Sec had £24,500 donations from hunters

20-10-09   Daily Mail    Tories face parliamentary probe over 'cash from pro-hunt groups'    Parliamentary sleaze watchdogs are being urged to investigate donations to the Tories from individuals and groups with links to fox hunting. The League Against Cruel Sports wrote to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon last night, asking him to look into donations made to frontbencher Nick Herbert [right, Credit Pink News] following his confirmation that the Tories would offer a free vote on repealing Labour's hunting ban. Of seven donations totalling £24,500 to the shadow environment secretary's office, four came from people and organisations with known links to hunting, it said. They included £1,500 from hunting outfitter William & Sons, £2,000 from grouse moor owner Michael Cannon, £2,000NickHerbert.jpg from the Altnaharra Estate in Sutherland and £5,000 from Johan Christofferson, former master of the Isle of Wight Hunt.

League chief executive Douglas Batchelor said: 'We have serious concerns that Mr Herbert's judgment on this issue has been compromised following large cash donations from hunt supporters. We believe he has breached conduct by accepting the cash and we would urge for a full and transparent inquiry into the matter.'

Critics pointed out that before Labour offered a vote on the hunting ban, it accepted a £1m donation from the head of the world's wealthiest animal protection organisation, the US-based International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Mr Herbert insisted yesterday the Hunting Act had proved 'unworkable' and was an 'affront to civil liberties'. He insisted that repealing the ban was not the Conservatives' top priority, pointing out that a new government would need to focus on rebuilding the economy, reversing unemployment, and reforming public services. But he confirmed the Tory manifesto would include a promise to provide government time for a free vote on hunting if they win power next spring.

The party has not yet decided whether to introduce a simple one-line bill repealing Labour's Hunting Act 2004, or ask MPs to vote on a new framework of safeguards to regulate future hunts. Mr Herbert said the Tories could create a new regulatory body for fox-hunting to reassure voters that animal suffering will be minimised if the ban is repealed.

'The hunting bodies have been working on a proposal to set up some kind of regulatory authority. I think the public will want to be sure that all country sports, including hunting, are conducted properly, minimising animal suffering,' he said. 'We will want to ensure, if we are making proposals to a new Parliament, that people can be sure that animals are going to be at the forefront of people's thinking.'

A Conservative spokesman said: 'There has been no change in the party's policy on hunting from our 2005 manifesto and David Cameron repeated the position last year. 'The idea that our policy or Nick Herbert's views on this issue, which are well known and longstanding, have recently been influenced by any donation is therefore absurd. All donations are transparent and have been declared in the proper manner.

POWAperson comments  -  Nick Herbert is among the most pro-hunt of Tory MPs - I once debated against him [and won]. He was a hare-hunting Master for many years and also held a very senior position in the Countryside Alliance. So it's scarcely likely that his views on the subject will have been influenced by his hunter friends and admirers sponsoring him.. The real issue here is whether or not he is fit to be policing minister, and in a position to influence forces' handling of the Hunting Act.  


Lush stores vandalised, staff threatened after announce support for HSA

19-10-09 Independent Vandals target anti-hunting Lush - Branches of ethical cosmetics chain attacked after campaign launched in support of saboteurs They have donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to direct action guerrillas. Now, they have found themselves under attack.

In the past week, the cosmetics chain Lush has seen its branches vandalised and its staff threatened, immediately after it launched an anti-fox hunting campaign. In Chelmsford, Essex, a man returned to the same store on three occasions to knock over a display of Fabulous Mrs Fox bubble bars, the proceeds from which Lush donates to the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA). Staff called police.

Store manager Sue McKenna said: "He first came in on Tuesday, knocked over all the bubble bars and leaflets, and said he was going to come back every day until the campaign stops. Then he ran out. When he came back the third time, an off-duty police officer was in the shop, who told him to leave. It was then that we rang 999." Essex police were unavailable to comment on the incident last night.

In Manchester, members of the HSA had been invited to the Lush store to help with the campaign and hand out leaflets. But a few days before the event, a man entered the shop and told a member of staff that "there will be trouble" if it went ahead. Staff contacted police, and were relieved when the event on Saturday passed without incident.

In Maidstone, Kent, a kebab was smeared over the shop front and the words 'Fuck You' scratched into the glass, while in Taunton, Somerset, an anonymous caller told staff to "watch their backs". Promotional campaign blackboards were also covered with "Keep Hunting" stickers, photos of which appeared on the online forum of the magazine Horse & Hound.

The Countryside Alliance, which has been highly critical of Lush's decision to support the HSA, has urged hunt supporters not to target the stores. In a statement, the charity, which campaigns to overturn the ban on fox hunting, said: "It is important to realise that while the rural community is deeply upset at Lush's misguided decision to support the Hunt Saboteurs Association, any sort of direct, abusive or tactical protest, illegal or legal, is not appropriate and such action will most definitely not be supported by the Countryside Alliance."

The Alliance had previously criticised Lush for supporting the HSA, saying it "advocates direct action and illegal methods to disrupt hunting activities". Head of media Tim Bonner said: "While we support the view that everyone has their right to an opinion, there are groups who legally oppose hunting, and the HSA is not one of them."

Hunt saboteurs have been regularly criticised for the methods they employ in disrupting hunts. Many hunt followers tell tales of having been pulled from their horses by "sabs".

Lee Moon, of the HSA, said: "The only reason the HSA continues to exist is because Hunts up and down the country routinely break the law while killing foxes. We are the only ones who see what is really going on in the countryside, and it's we who are responding to it by getting between the hunters and the hunted, much the same as we have been doing for almost half a century. The hunts are still killing, the police aren't policing and so we are still sabbing."

The company, founded by Mark Constantine, donated more than £500,000 to charities and campaign groups last year. In December 2008 it paid the legal fees of the 56 protesters from Plane Stupid who broke into Stansted airport and delayed thousands of passengers.

POWAperson comments  -   Not content with terrorising their wild animal victims, hunters have now started terrorising the mostly young, female staff of this company. 


 Shadow DEFRA Sec says could be 'watchdog' body after HA repeal

19-10-09   BBC News   Tories consider hunt 'watchdog'    A Conservative government could create a regulatory body for fox-hunting if the ban on it ends, shadow environment secretary Nick Herbert has suggested. The Conservatives have promised to provide government time for a free vote on repealing the 2004 Hunting Act if they win the election.

Mr Herbert told BBC Radio 4's Today programme a regulatory body could work towards "minimising animal suffering". The Act, which came into force in 2005, bans hunting with dogs.  The animals are still allowed to follow a scent or flush out a fox but not kill it.

Mr Herbert said that, if a free vote happens, the Conservative leadership had not decided if it would back a simple one-line bill reversing the legislation or push to introduce a new framework of safeguards. He said: "I don't think most people are thinking we would simply go back to that [pre-2005]situation. The hunting bodies have been working on a proposal to set up some kind of regulatory authority. I think the public will want to be sure that all country sports, including hunting, are conducted properly, minimising animal suffering. We will want to ensure, if we are making proposals to a new Parliament, that people can be sure that animals are going to be at the forefront of people's thinking."

Mr Herbert said the Hunting Act had proved "unworkable" and was an "affront to civil liberties", comparable to government proposals for ID cards. But he indicated that repeal was not the Conservatives' top priority, as a new government would have to focus on the economy, public services and environmental issues.

20-10-09  Leicester Mercury   Tory MP Edward Garnier, Chair of the Hunting Act Repeal Committee, proposes there should be a hunting watchdog set up ‘which would ensure good behaviour and recognition of the rules.’...   [no longer online] 

POWAperson comments -  This strikes me as rather like seeking to make rape legal, but telling women not to worry because the 'regulatory body' will  make sure they won't be too roughly treated. More than most Tory MPs, Nick Herbert knows very well how extremely cruel the 'sport' of hunting with dogs is and how much the victim animals suffer, having been an active, and leading, hare hunter for many years. 


Tories cave to hunters - HA repeal will be by government bill

'We will put full force' behind overturning Labour's Act

17-10-09     Sunday Telegraph    David Cameron government will put full force before hunting ban The Tory leadership today attempted to kill off internal rows over the hunting ban with a pledge to throw the full weight of a future Conservative government behind repeal.

Nick Herbert, the shadow environment secretary, moved to allay fears in the hunting community over the Tories’ intentions by spelling out publicly for the first time that the Tories would use a Government bill in Government time to repeal the Hunting Act.

His comments came after senior Conservatives suggested last weekend that they were considering a series of options for repealing the ban including use of a backbench private member’s bill. This caused consternation among countryside campaigners who believe a backbench bill would mean David Cameron distancing himself from the issue. Such a bill would also be less effective than government legislation and could be wrecked by Labour amendments or run out of parliamentary time.

In an article for The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Herbert effectively ruled out a backbench bill and said the party had decided to bring forward government legislation. He said hunting was one of a series of “bad Labour laws” which had overridden individual rights and which the Tories would seek to overturn.

Mr Herbert said: “Some argue that the Hunting Act is so ineffective that it might as well be left on the Statute Book. But this is bad law, and bad laws should be repealed. While prosecutions have so far mainly failed, it is the professional hunt staff, whose livelihoods depend on their employment, who have found themselves in the dock and who still fear arrest, with all the worry and opprobrium that very public and drawn out prosecutions entail. Above all, the Act sits with ID cards, the attempt to introduce 42 day detention and the removal of trial by jury for fraud cases as an affront to civil liberties. It is but one of Labour’s laws that have overridden individual rights and asserted the power of the State. For all these reasons, there is a compelling case to sweep this law off the Statute Book. That is why David Cameron has said that, if we are elected, we will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time. There will be no watering down or retreat from this pledge, which will be repeated in our election manifesto.”

Mr Herbert moved to clarify the position after senior Conservatives at the party’s annual conference suggested privately that a backbench bill was being considered because Mr Cameron did not want to get bogged down in the hunting issue by bringing forward a government bill. Hunting groups, who are helping the party campaign in marginal seats, warned of a “firestorm” of protest if the issue was relegated. Attempting to calm fears, Mr Herbert said he was confident that a new Conservative government could repeal the ban speedily.

Tony Blair used up 700 hours of Parliamentary time on hunting, far more than was devoted to the invasion of Iraq, and he prevaricated over the issue. We have no intention of making the same mistake. There is so much that we will need to do for the countryside, let alone the country: restoring respect for rural people; returning power to rural communities; recognising the social value in important local services; reviving the rural economy; rebuilding British farming; tackling regulation and paring down the rural quangos. Allowing the new Parliament an early opportunity to revisit a discredited law will not be a distraction from our wider agenda: it will simply be the right thing to do. I will certainly vote for repeal, and so I hope will a majority of the new Commons. And with no more ado we can then move on, forging a positive agenda for conservation and the countryside, and putting the politics of prejudice and division behind us.”

Mr Herbert said Labour’s 2004 ban on hunting was “an act of spite. It attempted to create two nations, dividing town and country. It treated the rural minority with contempt, bordering on hatred.”


Leading hunt monitor blames hunters for series of attacks on her property

Another monitor has horse field gate sabotaged 

14-10-09  Oxford Mail    Animal activist tells of catalogue of vandalism   THE manager of a wildlife sanctuary and animal rights activist has blamed hunt supporters for a string of attacks on her property. Hunt monitor Penny Little said that the latest incident, when her car tyres were slashed [left], was the 19th time in the past decade that she had been the victim of vandalism.

PennyLittlewithslashedcartyre14-10-09.jpgThe car was damaged at her home in Great Haseley, where her Little Foxes Wildlife Sanctuary is based. She has been monitoring Oxfordshire’s hunts for about 10 years and continued to do so after the hunting ban came into force in 2005. Police are now investigating her claims.

She said: “I don’t doubt it was some people from the hunting fraternity. They come up at night into my property. This is what we have to deal with. We are non-confrontational – even if these unpleasant people are confrontational. There are some terrible things going on. I feel persecuted by their behaviour.”

Ms Little’s tyres were slashed at about 10pm on Monday, September 28th. Hours later, Nick Potter, a hunt monitor from Aston Rowant, found a gate keeping three of his horses in a pen had been sabotaged. He said: “We were terrified the horses were going to get out into the road and cause an accident. I phoned Penny to tell her and heard what happened to her tyres the same night. Let’s just say it was a bit of a coincidence.” Mr Potter added he believed the two incidents were an attempt to distract monitors from attending hunts.

In recent years Ms Little said the wheel nuts on her car had been loosened, she had been followed and a dead fox had been left at her house. She added: “My motivation is to protect animals. I’ve hated fox hunting all my life. Stopping would be a terrible thing. It would give out the message that thuggery and bullying works.” Her sanctuary takes in injured wild animals from across the country then nurses them back to health to be released into the wild.

Thames Valley Police spokes- man Chris Kearney said: “We are exploring all possible avenues, which include the owner’s activities in anti-hunt protests.” Anyone with information should call police on 0845 8505505.

POWAperson adds  -  Not in the report is that this was the 19th attack on Penny's property and that the Heythrop FH, who are the main target of her monitoring team, were due to meet nearby the next day.


Ghelligaer FH accused of leaving hound impaled on fence to slowly die

Village community 'traumatised' by deeply callous act by Hunt 

Children witnessed this horror 

13-10-09  Hunt Watch Press Release    South Wales community traumatised after hunt dog left hanging from fence    A Mid-Glamorgan community was left shocked and traumatised at the weekend after a hunting hound died when it became impaled on a metal fence where it was then left for four hours. More GhelligaerFHHoundimpaledLefttoslowlydie.jpgthan a dozen people – including six children – witnessed the horror. 

The Ghelligaer Hunt were in woodland close to the village of Cilfynydd, near Pontypridd, on Saturday lunchtime, when their hounds came into the village and rampaged through streets and resident’s gardens and allotments. One hound became impaled on a metal fence where, despite a struggle from locals trying to help the animal, it died.

Mike McCarthy, 43, of Pontshonnorton Road, Cilfynydd, reported the matter to the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports, and said today: “There are two things that really sicken me with what happened. First how the pack were allowed into a built up area without supervision, and secondly that dog died a slow painful death and was left to hang there for hours in sight of children playing in the park. These people don’t give a damn about human or animals’ wellbeing.”

A spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “Once again we have clear evidence of a Hunt showing no regard whatsoever for animal welfare. That this poor dog was allowed to suffer an agonising distressing death just goes to show what a twisted and perverted sense of ‘fun’ these people have.’

The case has been referred to police by the League Against Cruel Sports. We understand the Hunt is denying any involvement in this incident despite a vehicle believed to be linked to the hunt being used to retrieve the dog’s corpse (a red Toyota HiLux).

POWAperson comments  -  Once I'd recovered from my nausea at first seeing the above picture, I was filled with fury. I did my best, but I could not persuade a single news outlet to run this appalling story. Perhaps more than anything else, this incident fully reveals the incredibly callous and cowardly nature of those sick individuals who enjoy terrorising and slaughtering defensive wild animals for 'sport'.

[Neither article is still available online] 


Hunters warn of 'firestorm' if Tories don't force HA repeal

10-10-09   Sunday Telegraph    Hunt supporters in new clash with Tories over repeal of ban    Countryside campaigners have warned of a “firestorm” if the Conservatives fail to force through a flagship government bill to overthrow the controversial ban. They fear that David Cameron [below right] is close to reneging on a promise he made last year to throw the full weight of a future Tory Government behind the repeal the Hunting Act which makes it illegal to hunt with dogs.

Senior Tory figures have told The Sunday Telegraph that the major change in party policy is under active consideration by the shadow cabinet. They fear that a new Conservative government could find itself bogged down in parliament if it tried to force through the legislation.

But the suggestion of a change in policy has caused deep concern among countryside and hunting campaigners. One leading hunt supporter said: “There will be a firestorm if it is not a government bill.” Hunt supporters have been pouring into marginal seats to help Conservative candidates campaign. Many could withdraw their support if they do not believe the Conservative leader is fully committed to a bill that will work.

When an aide of Mr Cameron hinted to journalists last year that hunting would not be a priority, several major donors threatened to withdraw millions of pounds of party funding. The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that the shadow cabinet is considering using a private member’s bill instead of a government bill, to overthrow the ban. Campaigners fear that the bill could be vulnerable to wrecking amendments from anti-hunt campaigners and could run out of time. DavidCameronandGuyAvisHonSecHeythropFH.jpg

The shadow cabinet member in charge of hunting last night confirmed that the party was considering the move. Nick Herbert, the shadow environment secretary, said: “We are working up various options about how we will do repeal. We will give time for a vote on repeal but we have also said we don’t intend to waste parliamentary time on this. We haven’t said what form repeal would take in terms of a bill.” He added: “I’m aware of the distinction between a private member’s bill and a government bill but I don’t think it is sensible to rule out options.”

Mr Herbert said it was unlikely that the manifesto would spell out how the bill would be piloted and would simply repeat the pledge to offer MPs “a free vote”. One frontbencher involved in negotiations over planned Tory legislation said: “It’s better if this is a private member’s bill.” The senior MP said the party might also take hare coursing out of the repeal bill so that the practice of chasing a hare with dogs purely for sport, which is seen as more controversial than foxhunting, remained illegal.

Dropping a Government bill would break a promise Mr Cameron made in February last year. He said: “We have a very clear position on this. There will be a free vote, and if there is a vote to repeal the hunting ban there will be a government bill in government time,” he said.

A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: “The commitment to a free vote has been clear since the last Conservative manifesto and David Cameron himself has talked about that leading to a government bill in government time. We think this is the most open and sensible route for getting rid of what everyone accepts is a ridiculously bad piece of legislation and any other option is likely only to complicate what should be a straightforward process.”


MFHA Chair advises Hunts to avoid conflict with sabs

10-10-09   Horse & Hound   Hunts warned to avoid conflict with monitors    UK hunts are being warned to avoid confrontations with antis this season after concerns that "hunt monitors" are trying to bait followers. In a letter sent to packs last month, Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) chairman Stephen Lambert said: "Their [the monitors'] prime objective is, without doubt, to inflame our supporters and trigger a serious public order incident in which hunting people will be shown as the aggressors… The Heythrop and Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks (VAGSB) has experienced an increase in activity by monitors, including Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) members Penny Little and Peter Bunce, in the past few weeks. Guy Portwin, senior master of the VAGSB, said: "The hunt has been targeted by local monitors about six times so far this season. Several complaints have been made to police by the hunt, including concerning the filming of children...   [article no longer online]


Tories to repeal Hunting Act 'within a year', says Party source

7-10-09   Daily Mail  Tories to reverse Labour's fox hunt ban within a year Foxhunting could be legal within a year of the Tories being able to take power. MPs would be given a free vote on repealing the ban, David Cameron confirmed yesterday. The Tory leader described the Hunting Act, which was passed five years ago, as a farce. A party source said a new vote would take place in the first few months of a Conservative administration. He said a Bill to repeal the ban could be forced through the Commons in a single day, with the Government using its powers to curtail the lengthy debates that dogged the original legislation.

'This is not the biggest priority but it is important, and if we are elected we will get on with it,' he added. 'It will be a free vote, but if it goes in favour of repeal then we will use the guillotine and push it through the Commons. There will be no repeat of the 700 hours of Parliamentary time wasted on the ban.'

Government business managers have powers to push legislation through very quickly but they are rarely used and traditionally reserved for emergency measures. Legislation passed in this way still has to go through all its normal stages, including three readings in the Commons and consideration by a committee. Any legislation would still need to be considered by the Lords and given Royal Assent before it becomes law. Pushing a repeal of the hunting ban through in this way would be controversial. But the Tories believe a repeal Bill would be very simple.

Hunt opponents condemned the move last night. Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said opinion polls consistently showed the public was strongly opposed to hunting. 'I also very much doubt that reversing the ban will be the easy ride they may think,' he said. 'They will need a large majority in the Commons and could have trouble in the Lords where there are now many more supporters of the ban.'

The ban on hunting and hare coursing was passed after years of controversy. Despite it, the number of hunts has increased and there have been few successful prosecutions. Hunts insist that they are operating within the law but critics claim many are continuing to act illegally.

Mr Cameron said he had hunted and added: 'The hunting ban has been a farce. I don't think it works, I think it wastes a huge amount of police time and I think we should have a free vote in a new House of Commons.' The pro-hunting Countryside Alliance is already drawing up plans for a new independent hunting regulatory authority to police the sport if the ban is lifted.


Anti says bye-laws re. dog control should apply to Hunts 

7-10-09  Exeter Express & Echo   Hunts should abide by rules says Kathy   AN anti-hunt campaigner wants to see new dog control orders applied to local hunts. As revealed in yesterday's Echo, a crackdown aimed at cutting public nuisance caused by dogs has been introduced by East Devon District Council. Within the orders is a ban on the walking of more than six dogs at one time. With the East Devon Hunt operating throughout the district, campaigner Kathy Moyle, of East Budleigh, said this restriction should also apply to the Hunt's use of hounds…. [no longer online]

Quantock SH filmed trespassing on LACS land, scattered deer

6-10-09   Reported by LACS accompanied by YouTube video. [Video has since disappeared. Not on LACS website] 


 Gyrocopter pilot hunt monitor denies killing Warks FH follower

5-10-09   BBC News   Man denies killing hunt supporter    A man has denied the manslaughter of a hunt supporter who was killed by the rotor blades of a gyrocopter. Bryan Griffiths, 54, is alleged to have killed Trevor Morse unlawfully at Long Marston airfield, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, on 9 March.

Mr Griffiths, of Wiltshire Close, Bedworth, spoke only to enter his plea at Birmingham Crown Court. He is expected to return to court for trial on 1st March next year at a venue to be fixed.

Mr Morse, a committee member with the Warwickshire Hunt, was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident after suffering severe head injuries.


NT refuses LACS request to publish Hunt meets on their land

5-10-09   Horse & Hound    League Against Cruel Sports wants hunt details from National Trust   Anti-hunt campaigners the League Against Cruel Sport (LACS) wants the National Trust to publish the times and dates when hunts will be trail hunting on their properties, to help LACS' self-styled "monitors". But the National Trust has rejected the request as "unworkable"….


Wannabe Tory MP, CA CEO Simon Hart, had £42k donations from Hunt JMs

3-10-09     POWA has discovered from the Electoral Commission website that Simon Hart, Countryside Alliance CEO, standing for the Tories in Carmarthen West, has received funding from 2 foxhunters, Lord Daresbury and Johan Christofferson, totalling £42,000.

Lord Daresbury is a former Chairman of the Master of Fox Hounds Association. It was he, in that capacity, who wrote, in 2004, to Hunt Chairmen urging them to persuade 'their' farmers to provide breeding sites for foxes as numbers to hunt were running low. This only came to light because someone leaked an email from Simon Hart to him, excoriating Daresbury for doing such a stupid thing that would provide ammunition for the anti-hunt [by blowing the 'pest control' argument out of the water]. His donation to Hart was presumably Daresbury's version of an apology!

The great bulk of the £42,000, however, came from Christofferson. He is an American hedge fund manager who was then senior JM of the Isle of Wight Fox Hounds [and a bountiful donor to the Conservative Party, having given them nearly a quarter of a million]. In September 2004, his Huntsman and terrierman carried out an outrageous and disgusting pro-hunting stunt. At the time of the Labour Party conference in Brighton, just after the Hunting Bill had received a massive vote in favour in the Commons, they dumped the carcasses of a horse and a cow in public spaces in the city centre, speared with pro-hunt placards. Both were later convicted of disorderly conduct.

Although Christofferson was not charged, the MFHA, who rarely sanction their members almost no matter what they have done, suspended him for a month for failing to prevent his servant's idiotic and repulsive act. Christofferson later moved to Jedforest FH in the Scottish borders, taking his delinquent Huntsman, Stuart Trousdale, with him. The terrierman, Jamie Butcher, who already had a conviction for badger digging and was soon to be fined for indecent exposure in front of female sabs, remained with the IoW FH.  



….. 25th September - Only just over one in five rural voters want Hunting Act scrapped

….. 24th September - Welsh anti named 'Best local campaigner' by Viva!

….. 23rd September - 2 women villagers to make film about trauma caused by Hunt invasions

….. 17th September - Cameron reasserts his intent to repeal Hunting Act

….. 17th September - Teenage sab fined for refusing to remove face covering

….. 17th September - Ullswater FH Huntsman cleared of letting hounds 'rip fox apart'

….. 15th September - LACS accuses Quantock SH of hunting stag on sanctuary land

…..  1st September - Celebrity chef and racehorse trainer guilty of Hunting Act offences


Only just over one in five rural voters want Hunting Act scrapped

And only a third of Tory voters would support repeal 

25-9-09  Western Morning News    Four in five rural voters want to keep hunt ban   JUST one in five people living in rural areas want to see the hunting ban scrapped, new research suggests. Despite senior Conservatives signalling they plan to repeal the Hunting Act if they win the next election, an Ipsos/Mori poll for the League Against Cruel Sports shows that even among Tory voters, just a third back the move…. Douglas Batchelor, the league's chief executive, said: "The opinion polling is the complete opposite of what the hunters would have you believe."… Alison Hawes, South West regional director of the alliance, said that the survey results should be "taken with a pinch of salt" "The thing with all these polls is you can always get the answer you want by asking the right questions. It is clutching at straws. They know that they are facing repeal."…  [article no longer online]

8-10-09   Shields Gazette   Keep this cruelty illegal    NEW polling released by the League Against Cruel Sports shows that support for the Hunting Act is stronger than ever, with figures confirming that the public most certainly do not want a return to cruelty. Despite what the pro hunting lobby would like us to believe, hunting is not more popular now than before the ban. The figures speak for themselves when it comes to the public's disgust at the thought of turning the clocks back.

Seventy five per cent of people think fox hunting should remain illegal, while 84 and 85 per cent respectively do not want to see deer hunting and hare hunting (or coursing) made legal again in this country – all of which would be, should the Hunting Act be repealed. As we approach the election, it is vital voters make all prospective candidates aware of the strength of feeling on this matter, in order to keep cruelty history.   Douglas Batchelor, League Against Cruel Sports 


Welsh anti named 'Best local campaigner' by Viva!

24-9-09  N.Wales Daily Post   Animal passion   A PROMINENT animal rights campaigner has described as “an amazing lady” after winning a national award. Judi Hewitt, from Rhyl, has been named as Best Local Campaigner by Europe's largest campaigning vegetarian organisation, Viva!... [article no longer online]


2 women villagers to make film about trauma caused by Hunt invasions

The pair had been first to get local Hunt [Cotswold FH] ASBO warning 

23-9-09   Stroud Advertiser    Two villagers, from Elcombe, near Stroud, to make film about the trauma of hunts straying onto private land    TWO women who made national headlines after instigating an ASBO on a pack of hunting dogs which strayed into their gardens are to make a film about the trauma of hunts straying on to private land. Jeanne Berry and Denise Ward, from Elcombe in the Slad Valley became the first people to get asbo warnings issued against huntsmen in 2006 and three warning notices were issued to three members of the Cotswold Hunt.

An exclusion zone was set up around Elcombe and for the past three years Ms Ward and Mrs Berry have been researching the effects of continued fox-hunting – despite hunting live animals being banned by the Government in 2005. Ms Ward has collated a database of violent and disruptive incidents on roads and private property, including the deaths of pet animals and livestock.

We are no longer a feudal society. Traumatising incidents of disruption, trespass and violent acts on private property, or dangerous intrusion onto roads, which are directly caused by a minority pleasure activity, are unacceptable,” she told the SNJ.

Ms Ward herself saw the hounds invade her and her neighbours' gardens back in 2006. She still finds it hard to talk about the event, which she says had a traumatising impact. "One minute there was peace and quiet and the next thing I knew a pack of hunting dogs was causing chaos in our gardens," she said. "It had the impact of a major event like a car crash, where you feel yourself watching but cannot believe it is happening – it was a moment of utter chaos."

The second time hounds strayed into Elcombe, Ms Ward saw dogs rushing out of the private woodland that belongs to Mrs Berry. "I heard a horrible screaming noise - they were chasing a deer, and after they had gone I found bloodstains, it was disgusting," she said. The pair are now working with film makers to expose what they have found out during the last few years.

The project has been taken on by an independent film company and will be released next year - the film will be called A Minority Pastime. Ms Ward said: "There are many instances of when an animal, including cats, a pet terrier, a pet goat, foxes, and deer have been torn apart in front of members of the public, often being disembowelled. In four cases I have recorded these animals being torn apart in front of young children. There is no doubt that these events can traumatise - imagine seeing your pet cat disembowelled in front of you."

Ms Ward and Mrs Berry believe that the 70 incidents they have collected are only the tip of the iceberg as many go unreported or are not officially recorded. They believe the incidents show that packs of hounds trained to hunt live prey, or even scent derived from live prey, cannot be fully controlled. A trailer of the film will be posted on the internet in October - look out for the story in the SNJ. The pair are also looking for help with PR and fundraising...

POWAperson adds  -  The film became a full length feature documentary 'A Minority Pastime' 


Cameron reasserts his intent to repeal Hunting Act

17-9-09   Evening Standard    David Cameron: I will scrap hunting ban   David Cameron has signalled he would back repealing the ban on hunting. The Tory leader made clear he was likely to vote to scrap the 2005 legislation if the Tories win the next election. "We will have a free vote in a new Parliament on whether to repeal the hunting ban," he said at the Woodstock Literary Festival in Oxfordshire. "My own view is the hunting ban is a bad piece of legislation, it hasn't worked, it has made a mockery of the law, a lot of time was wasted on it, and I think we would be better off without it. That gives you a clue to how I will vote."…  [article no longer online]


Teenage sab fined for refusing to remove face covering

17-9-09   Surrey Advertiser    Fox hunt protester fined for not removing balaclava    A teenager who covered his face with a balaclava during a fox hunting protest near Dorking has been fined for not taking it off when told to by a police officer.

David Marriott, 18, of no fixed abode, was found guilty by magistrates in Redhill of a charge of failing to remove an item when required to do so by a constable. Marriott was one of a number of protesters who turned up on farmland in Flanchford Road, Leigh, to monitor the activities of the Surrey Union Hunt on February 28 this year.

He was convicted on Friday (September 11th) and fined £100. He was also ordered to pay court costs of £400 and a £15 victim surcharge.

Another protester – Tiff Clelland, 35, of Albert Road, Brighton – was accused of aggravated trespass, but the case against her was dropped in July.


Ullswater FH Huntsman cleared of letting hounds 'rip fox apart' 

Judge felt LACS/IFAW monitors hadn't proved fox was present 

17-9-09   Carlisle News & Star    Judge throws out Cumbria fox-hunting court case    The case against the huntsman accused of two counts of hunting foxes with dogs has been thrown out of court by a district judge.

Gerald Chalk, sitting in Penrith Magistrates Court, today threw out the case against John Harrison [below right], 48 of Grassthwaite Howe, Glenridding, because he felt there was no evidence of there being a fox involved in either incident.

The prosecution had claimed that on two occasions terrier men involved in the hunt had dug foxes out of holes in the ground and that Mr Harrison had a pack of hounds waiting to pursue them. But Mr Chalk said that the prosecution had not established there had been any foxes present.

The collapse of the case came after defence barrister Robert Woodcock made an appeal to the judge.UllswaterFHHuntsmanJohnHarrison.jpg Speaking after the case Mr Harrison - who had denied two charges of hunting foxes with dogs - described the verdict as “fantastic” and “a huge relief”.

17-9-09  Carlisle News & Star   Cumbrian huntsman's hounds 'ripped fox apart' – trial    A huntsman allowed his hounds to rip apart a fox which had been dug out of the ground while on a hunt, a court has heard.

John Harrison, huntsman for the Ullswater Hunt, went on trial before Penrith magistrates yesterday after hunt monitors watching him in secret spotted the hounds under his control chasing the animal out of the ground last November 19th. Harrison, 48, of Grassthwaite Howe, Glenridding, was hunting around Aira Force near Ullswater when the incident is alleged to have occurred.

Prosecutor Jonathan Dickinson said the monitors had witnessed two incidents in around three hours. In the first, it is alleged that a hole was dug into a foxhole by terrier men – others involved in hunts – from which a fox emerged. Harrison, who was in charge of the hounds, allegedly allowed his pack to chase and kill it.

Seven monitors from anti-hunting groups the League Against Cruel Sports, and the International Fund For Animal Welfare had separated into three teams around the area. Six gave evidence against Harrison, including video recordings of hunt activities. Harrison denies two charges of hunting foxes with dogs, and was supported in court by representatives from Ullswater Hunt and the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance.

One monitor, Neil Buckoke, said: “At one point one of the terrier men moved to one side and a fox came out. The hounds were let go and they shot down the hill after it. Harrison obviously did nothing to stop the hounds going down – pretty much the whole pack chased. One of the animals came back up with part of an animal in its mouth.”

In the second incident, monitors reported seeing another dig, watched by Harrison. They said they later found entrances to the foxhole covered by rocks and sticks, a short trench, and a strong smell of foxes.

Monitors based outside the woodland where the dig was taking place told of hearing horns and barks from the woodland, and said they usually indicate a Hunt locating a fox. Harrison rounded his hounds on a nearby hillside, apparently waiting for the fox to bolt.

Defence barrister Robert Woodcock argued that there was no clear evidence of a fox being involved in either incident, and that the hounds’ movement may have been instinctive attempts to follow a terrier which was not chasing a fox.

21-9-09  Cumberland & Westmorland Herald   Cleared huntsman criticises waste of money   HUNTSMAN John Harrison, accused of breaking the law by hunting a fox with dogs, spoke of his relief after charges against him were dropped by a judge… The prosecution evidence hinged on DVD footage filmed by the monitors which, they claimed, showed hounds in pursuit of a fox which had been flushed from its hole by a group of men with terriers. However, Judge Chalk agreed with the defence that the footage, and the eyewitness accounts of monitors, did not prove beyond doubt that a fox had been present…. However, during cross-examination, defence barrister Mr. Woodcock, picked up on Mr. Hill’s choice of words in describing what “he felt” was a fox…. In dismissing the case, Judge Chalk highlighted the language used by the monitors who said they believed they had seen a fox. “If someone sees a cat, they say ‘I saw a cat’, not ‘I saw what I believe to be a cat’,” he said...  [article no longer online]


LACS accuses Quantock SH of hunting stag on sanctuary land

The sanctuary was gifted to League by Paul McCartney 

15-9-09    Daily Telegraph    Sir Paul McCartney deer sanctuary targeted by huntsmen, activists claim    Illegally hunting of deer on private land owned by Sir Paul McCartney has been captured on camera by anti-hunt activists, it is claimed The footage was taken by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), which members claim shows the Quantock Staghounds on Sir Paul's estate near Bampton, Somerset. The hunters appear to chase a herd of deer across land owned by LACS, and then use two hounds to flush a stag out of St John's Wood. The former Beatle bought the 87-acre pine wood in 1991 with the purpose of protecting the wild deer by providing an area where the staghounds could not enter.

Paul Tillsley and Graham Hyde, monitors for LACS, witnessed and recorded the alleged incident. "From our point of view it was clear that the hunt was pursuing the stag. But more clear cut was the trespass that occurred in St John's Wood," Mr Tillsley said.

Avon and Somerset Police said they had not received any reports of illegal activity following the alleged incident last Thursday. LACS plans to post the footage of the hunt on the video sharing website YouTube. A LACS spokesman added: "The Quantock Staghound Hunt need to realise that more than three quarters of the public support the ban on hunting and have no appetite for it being repealed."

The patch of land has been subject to constant running battle between LACS and the local staghound hunt. Sir Paul could not be contacted about the latest allegations.

James Hawthorne, assistant manager of the Quantock Staghound Hunt, rejected the claims. He said: "I can categorically say those dogs are not Quantock Staghounds. Hunt staff did not go into St John's on that day and we have not gone on to this land. There is a bridle path through the top of St John's, and on occasion we have ridden through it, but not this time. It is disappointing to be accused like this."


Celebrity chef & racehorse trainer guilty of Hunting Act offences

1-9-09    Guardian   Clarissa Dickson-Wright pleads guilty to hunting offences - Celebrity chef admits attending two illegal hare-coursing events in 2007   The television chef Clarissa Dickson-Wright and a leading race horse trainer today pleaded guilty to hunting offences. Dickson-Wright [left], from Midlothian, Scotland, and Sir Mark Prescott, of Newmarket, Suffolk, admitted attending two hare-coursing events in north Yorkshire in March 2007. Neither defendant appeared in person at Scarborough magistrates court for the private prosecution, which was brought by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Clarissa-Dickson-Wright.jpgThe court heard that Dickson-Wright, who found fame in the television cookery series Two Fat Ladies, and Prescott admitted attending one hare-coursing event on 2 March 2007 near Nunnington, and another the following day near Amotherby. Hare coursing, in which hares are pursued by greyhounds, was banned by the Hunting Act 2004.The court heard that the events were organised by the Yorkshire Greyhound Field Trialling club (YGFTC) and were made up of 46 trials, each involving two dogs chasing hares, over the two days.

John Cooper, prosecuting for the IFAW, described the events as "significant and concerted". "During the course of both these events, the dogs were muzzled but that does not stop the damage and harm to the wildlife they chase and harry," he said. What we have is a sophisticated, large and well-attended gathering which was consciously trying, by the methods it used – muzzling and the use of the gun in particular – to blur the distinction and avoid prosecution under the Hunting Act."

In July, the three-times champion jumps trainer Peter Easterby and Major John Shaw were found guilty of permitting land to be used for the hare-coursing event. They were also convicted of attending it. Both denied the charges and claimed they were not aware that what was taking place on their land was illegal. In mitigation for Prescott, Stephen Welford said his client was invited by the YGFTC, which believed it was running a legal and "above-board" event. He said the club sought advice from a firm of solicitors and leading counsel and received insurance. A police officer attended the event on the first day but left a short time later. "The events were not hidden," Welford said.

Barry Warburton, for Dickson-Wright, said his client had also been invited and thought the event was legal. Neither defendant had any previous convictions.

Also covered by the Independent  



….. 24st August - Viscount Astor, Sam Cam's dad-in-law, reveals Hunting Act repeal plan

….. 21st August - 11 sabs get £37k pay-out from Derbyshire police for wrongful arrest 

….. 14th August - Illegal hunting case against Percy FH Huntsman dismissed 

.….  4th August - Somerset Hunt invades garden, kills rare duck

…..  2nd August - Hunters getting PR lessons to look less posh & arrogant 


Viscount Astor - PM's dad-in-law - behind Hunt ban repeal plan

24-8-09   Daily Mirror   Tories plan to lift ban on hunting   A secret blueprint to bring back hunting under the Tories was revealed yesterday. Viscount Astor [right], who is married to the motherViscountAstor.jpg of Samantha Cameron - wife of Conservative leader David - was implicated in plans to set up a new body to oversee the return of the bloodsport. He has attended recent talks about the project in the House of Commons. The Hunt Regulatory Authority would be created when the ban was scrapped.

Brian Fanshawe, a former Master of Foxhounds who has been the driving force behind the authority, said: "I suggested to senior Conservatives this might be helpful in the repeal of the Hunting Act and they said it was 'absolutely essential'." A Tory spokesman said: We will allow a free vote."

23-8-18   Independent on Sunday    How the Tories will bring back hunting   Senior Conservatives support licensing plan in attempt to make repeal of the ban on hunting with dogs acceptable to voters Secret plans to reintroduce hunting foxes, stags and other animals have been drawn up with the backing of senior Conservatives. Details of the controversial scheme emerged this weekend, including the creation of a Hunt Regulatory Authority (HRA) to police the behaviour of Hunts.

WilliamHague.jpegThe plans were drawn up by senior lawyers and the Countryside Alliance, and have the backing of influential Tories including William Hague [left] and Edward Garnier [below right], the shadow justice minister. They could act as a blueprint for the reintroduction of hunting with dogs across the British countryside, which was outlawed by the hunt ban in 2005. The details are certain to reignite the fierce passions which erupted when the Government moved to stop the centuries-old practice.

Brian Fanshawe, a former master of foxhounds who has worked closely on the project for some time, confirmed that senior Tory figures have now backed the proposal: "Stephen [Lambert, of the Master of Foxhounds Association] and I went to see several senior Conservatives and suggested that this might be helpful in the repeal of the Hunting Act and they said 'absolutely essential'. Everybody recognises it's a very badly written law but we've always felt we couldn't really justify repeal just on bad law and have hunting go back to the status quo of the '80s and '90s. "What we want to get away from is being accused of being arrogant and not dealing with genuine complaints."

The group apparently enjoys the support of Viscount Astor, who attended a recent meeting with the HRA at the House of Commons. Viscount Astor is stepfather to Samantha Cameron, the Tory leader's wife.

The League Against Cruel Sports is already gearing up to campaign against any reintroduction of hunting. A spokeswoman said yesterday that recent polling showed the public, including in rural areas, is still overwhelmingly opposed to hunting with dogs. "We will be working very hard in the run-up to the election to make people aware of the position of their local candidate," she said. "Fifty-six per cent of people say they would change their vote if their candidate supports repeal."

But the hunting campaigner Otis Ferry – son of Roxy Music star Bryan Ferry – said most people in rural areas supportedEdwardGarnierQC.jpg repeal. "Hunting hasn't stopped," he said. "Every hunt has maintained its pack of hounds and numbers of staff. There are people all over England suffering from bad, shoddy legislation. Hundreds of law-abiding members of society are walking a tightrope when it comes to supporting their local hunt."

Animal welfare organisations have criticised plans to repeal the ban and the League Against Cruel Sports will next month launch a national campaign targeting key parliamentary seats where they believe pro-hunt groups will seek to campaign in the run-up to the general election.

Hunt supporters are increasingly confident the ban will be overturned if the Conservatives win power and have prepared the blueprint in readiness. Stephen Lambert, of the Master of Foxhounds Association, said: "We've built the car, the key is in the ignition, we're just waiting to turn it."

The plan he said was to "achieve and maintain repeal of the Hunting Act by making certain we have independent regulation in place. It is to satisfy the public, the media and parliamentarians that by repealing the Act they're not just turning the clock back. Hunting will then have a proper independent system for complaints and for ensuring that proper discipline procedures are kept."

Anxious to avoid the anarchic scenes that often occurred when pro-and anti-hunt groups clashed, they insist the Hunt Regulatory Authority would mean that foxhunting faced stringent controls. Under the new scheme entire hunts could be banned, packs of hounds de-registered and hunts barred from holding point to points.

Mr Lambert stressed that six key rules would govern all hunting, including hare coursing and terrier work. These included the demand that every hunting activity should avoid "unnecessary suffering"; that everybody engaged in any hunting activity must act in accordance with the law; that hunting must respect wild, farm and domestic animals, and property including land, trees, crops and watercourses; that all "reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that hunting is carried out on land with the permission of the owner, tenant or occupier"; that hunting is carried on "in a manner that respects any other lawful activity being undertaken by any other person on the land"; and finally that nobody may carry out any hunting "likely to bring hunting into disrepute".

Every Hunt would have to sign up to the plan, he said. "Under the new system the onus for proper behaviour would fall on the master rather than the staff member. It is one of the thing that's wrong with the Hunting Act, that it can convict a huntsman and not the master. It's grossly unfair on the staff," he said. "If there was some ghastly drama – the hounds accidentally catching a fox in some inappropriate place – it's not against the law but it most definitely brings hunting into disrepute and the HRA would act," he said.

The new HRA regulator would avoid the criticism of cronyism and having "too cosy" a relationship with the hunting fraternity made against an earlier, similar organisation – the Independent Supervisory Authority for Hunting – by using independent legal experts, he said. "The Independent Supervisory Authority for Hunting did a very good job but the opponents of hunting felt that it – the people on it – were too close to hunting. They weren't, but that's what we were accused of – having too cosy an operation. So this time we have been much more stringent about it, using a marvellous chap called Mark Lomas QC who is on the Bar Council and has quite a bit of responsibility for disciplinary procedures."

Under the new proposals the first chair of the HRA, a political nomination, will hold office for three years with the option of a three-year extension. But subsequent chairs will be appointed by a panel with the brief not to award the office to anyone connected with organisations either for or against hunting.

Mr Fanshawe said it was possible, although "extremely unlikely", that a Hunt could be completely banned. "They'd be barred from the association. A fox Hunt would be barred from registering their hounds, from using other people's hounds. They wouldn't be able to have a point to point. And there would be quite a bit of social stigma," he said.

But a spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports said: "Hunters are in cahoots with senior politicians who are promising to repeal the Hunting Act when the opportunity arises, despite the fact that polls show public opinion is against them. Our campaign will highlight those candidates who have pledged their support for hunting, and those that haven't. After all, 75 per cent of the public support the ban, and politicians who ignore the public always suffer at the polls."


11 sabs get £37k pay-out from Derbyshire police for wrongful arrest

21-8-09   HSA News Release    Derbyshire Police payout over £37,000 to Hunt Saboteurs    11 Hunt saboteurs from Yorkshire and the Midlands have each received over £3,000 after reaching an out-of-court settlement with the Derbyshire Constabulary following their wrongful arrest in January 2008.

The saboteurs were in attendance on the Meynell and South Staffordshire Fox Hunt when they were arrested under anti-trade union legislation after the police deployed the force helicopter and dog units. They were held unlawfully for 24 hrs and the 11 were on police bail for several months. As part of the settlement DNA and fingerprint evidence is in the process of being removed from police databases.

Hunt Saboteurs were attending the fox hunt in January of last year in order to gain evidence of illegal hunt activities after being tipped off by a member of the public. Fox hunting with hounds was made illegal by parliament in February 2005. However, the Hunting Act has several important loopholes that result in fox hunts around the country continue to chase, torture and kill British wildlife with apparent impunity, whether legally or otherwise. With precious few successful prosecutions and little enthusiasm from the police for enforcing the ban, hunt saboteurs around the country are increasingly the only thing standing between illegal hunters and their quarry.

Sarah Lloyd, from Nottingham, who was one of those arrested said:- 'I am very pleased with the outcome of our claim. Although the compensation in no way exonerates the police, I hope that they have learnt from their actions. Hunting with hounds is illegal though many hunts are exploiting loopholes in the law to pursue their slaughter in the name of sport. As Hunt Saboteurs we will always intervene using non-violent tactics to save the lives of hunted animals and we will never be deterred by the threat of heavy-handed policing.'

The cub-hunting season, where young foxes are targeted in order to help train new hounds, begins in earnest later this month, and until the spring of next year protected animals will be hunted and killed by fox hunts up and down the country in violation of the law.


Illegal hunting case against Percy FH Huntsman dismissed

14-8-09    Alnwick Journal   Hunting case against Alnwick man 'a waste of money'    A Northumberland huntsman who walked free from court after the case against him collapsed, last night said it should never have been brought.

Robert McCarthy, huntsman with the Alnwick-based Percy Hunt, which has links to the Duke of Northumberland, said the prosecution against him for illegal hunting had been a waste of time and public money. The case was dismissed mid-trial due to insufficient evidence.

Mr McCarthy, 35, of The Kennels, Canongate, Alnwick, also spoke of the stress the proceedings placed on him and his staff since his arrest the week before Christmas last year. The Countryside Alliance said the case, which was the first prosecution of a huntsman in the Northumbria area under the Hunting Act 2004 since it came into force, left the law "in tatters," called it unenforceable and demanded it be repealed.

Mr McCarthy told The Journal: "I am just disappointed it ever got this far. It never should have got to the court. We have been hunting perfectly legitimately since the ban came in. I would like to know who is going to foot the bill. A helicopter has been put up and I just think a hell of a lot of money has been wasted." Mr McCarthy also thanked his staff for its tremendous support. "We are professional people doing a professional job and we should not have to go through this," he said.

Mr McCarthy had pleaded not guilty to the charge and yesterday was the second day of a scheduled three-day trial at South East Northumberland Law Courts. District Judge Stephen Earl had already heard from prosecution witnesses Sonia Redpath and her mother Lynne Peachey, who said they had seen Mr McCarthy on horseback with fix or six hounds, chasing a fox at New Bradford Kairns , Belford, on November 12th last year.

Defence barrister Robert Woodcock QC invited Judge Earl to dismiss the case due to lack of evidence that his client had been intentionally hunting the fox. He insisted Mr McCarthy had not seen the creature and was in fact following a pre-laid trail. And Judge Earl said: "It is fair to say that the evidence on which the prosecution bear their case is of a thin nature.

The reality is that there is no evidence which is before me on which a reasonable tribunal could convict." Judge Earl gave permission for Mr McCarthy's team to seek defence costs from central funds.

After the case, prosecutor Jonathan Moore said: "Our decision on whether to proceed with a case is not made on financial cost, but on whether there is sufficient evidence to seek a prosecution. "We believed that we had the sufficient evidence to go ahead, alleging a breach of the Hunting Act. It was for the judge to decide, after considering the evidence presented to him, whether Mr McCarthy was guilty or not. We respect his verdict."

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "This case was thoroughly investigated and we respect the judge's decision."

Steven Clark, a Countryside Alliance North East spokesman, said: "Where does this leave the Hunting Act? It is in tatters. You can see the difficulty in interpretation and enforcement and everything else. It is bad legislation. No wonder the general consensus of thinking is that it has got to be repealed."

Tania McCrea-Steele, campaigns and prosecutions officer for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said that while the decision was disappointing, "we think it is important to stress that the Hunting Act has been used to convict over 70 people of illegally pursuing animals for sport and therefore is an important piece of legislation that addresses now outlawed, cruel activities".


Somerset Hunt invades garden, kills rare duck

4-8-09    Somerset Guardian    Hunt shatters peaceful idyll   The peaceful idyll that is normally Upper Godney was, on Saturday, shattered by the unbelievable behaviour of the local "hunt" who drove a pack of large lurcher-type dogs through the Sheppey river and into my garden and orchard, devastating wildlife and free-range fowl alike. Needless to say, I have suffered losses – including a rare duck.

This stretch of river is abundant in kingfisher activity, and there have recently been otter sightings. Today – nothing. No kingfishers, no otters, just silence. My anguished cries for restraint were met solely with laughter and sniggers. No explanations, no apologies.

I fail to comprehend why this type of unintelligent, uncivilised behaviour still persists and why, were I to venture unannounced onto landowners' fields with dog in hand, I would no doubt face prosecution and the possibility of my dog being destroyed. I really would appreciate an explanation as to why this behaviour is still deemed acceptable.    Kim King, Upper Godney


Hunters getting PR lessons to look less posh & arrogant

2-8-09   Sunday Express    Hunters taught to be less like toffs    HUNDREDS of hunting enthusiasts are being given professional media training in a bid to rid the sport of its “arrogant, aloof and out-of-touch” image. The spin operation, masterminded by the ­Countryside Alliance, is designed to produce media-savvy hunt ­supporters before the next election, when hunting is again set to become a major political issue. With the Conservatives committed to a free vote on the future of hunting, hunt supporters believe they will face a fresh fight to win public support for their sport.

Media courses have now been laid on to help hunt masters, kennel staff and others in the ­industry project a more modern image in front of the TV cameras. Courses include mock TV interviews, guidance on dealing with the national and local press, and advice on how to behave. Those attending are advised to try to avoid wearing traditional red hunting coats in front of the cameras and to never give interviews from horseback.

Tim Bonner, of the Countryside Alliance, said the training is aimed at reversing the “false ­stereotypes” about hunting. Mr Bonner said: “Hunting’s ­problem, perhaps more than anything else, was the stereotype created by the animal rights ­movement. Rather than challenging that false stereotype, hunting managed to reinforce it. Too often the people defending hunting on TV came across as ­arrogant, aloof, out-of-touch toffs, quite often on horseback. The fact is that hunting is very diverse, attracting people from all sorts of backgrounds, yet you would not know that from the media ­coverage. We are preparing the ground for next year when we expect hunting to become an issue again, and making sure that when the cameras do start turning up again everyone is confident they know what they are doing. We are offering quite intensive media training to key people at hunts, along with more basic ­training for others. A lot of it is simple stuff. For example, it is impossible to give an interview on horseback without looking down your nose at the ­person interviewing you, so we tell people to get off their horse and take off their hat.”

Labour is expected to highlight Tory support for hunting during the election campaign in a bid to show that the party has not changed under David Cameron. During last month’s Norwich North by-election Labour issued leaflets showing a picture of a fox cub, with the words: “Vote Labour or the fox gets it.”

The Tories are committed to introducing a Government Bill to repeal the Hunting Act if they win the next election. Although the issue would be decided on a free vote, a Parliament with a Conservative majority would almost certainly vote to reverse Labour’s ban. Last month William Hague, ­effectively the Tories’ deputy leader, described the Act as “deeply prejudiced” and “ridiculously unworkable”.

One prominent hunt supporter is Otis Ferry, the 26-year-old son of Roxy Music star Brian Ferry, 56. In May, Ferry, joint master of the South Shropshire Hunt, was fined £350 and given a conditional discharge after admitting a public order offence at a hunt.


JULY 2009

….. 30th July - Irish hare numbers in Ulster halved by illegal hunting

….. 29th July - Racehorse trainer & Major convicted of attending hare coursing event

….. 27th July - Tesco pull ads on pro-hunt website after outcry

….. 17th July - Hunt ban repeal plan could seriously dent Tory vote

….. 17th July - Shadow DEFRA Minister confirms Tories intent on HA repeal

….. 16th July - Crawley FH drops v. expensive injunction bid against 2 monitors 

….. 13th July - 66 illegal hunting reports in N. Wales - zero prosecutions

….. 13th July -  Lanarkshire FH to hunt country of disbanded Eglinton FH

…..  9th July - Local opposition scuppers Golden Valley FH new kennels plan 

…..  9th July -  Hague secretly tells MFHA repeal will be Tory priority


Racehorse trainer & Major convicted of attending hare coursing event

Trainer, Peter Easterby, also convicted of allowing land to be used 

29-7-09   Yorkshire Post   No penalty for horse trainer who held 'hare coursing' event  Racehorse trainer Peter Easterby has been found guilty of permitting land to be used for hare coursing but faces no penalty after a judge criticised the actions of police. The 79-year-old three-times champion jumps trainer was also convicted of attending a hare coursing event in March 2007. He was convicted along with Major John Shaw, 56, who faced the same charges at Scarborough Magistrates' Court.

Both denied the charges and claimed they were not aware what was taking place on their land in North Yorkshire was illegal. Shaw had been advised by a leading barrister what he was doing was legal. However, his defence was dismissed by District Judge Christina Harrison who said the advice was wrong and ignorance was no defence in law. But both were given an absolute discharge following the conviction and no costs were awarded against them. During a day-and-a-half-long trial the court was told how the hare coursing events were held over two consecutive days, attended by hundreds. Beaters waving flags drove the hares past a tent where a man in a red jacket was holding on to two muzzled greyhounds, one with a red collar and one with a white collar. As the hares passed, he let slip the dogs, who chased the animals, witnessed by spectators lining the field and creating an "arena".

Yorkshire Greyhound Field Trialling Club, which organised the event, had put up a fence to stop the dogs and allow the hares to escape. Although the events purported to be driving hares to guns for legal shooting, the only shots fired were into the air, while the fence seemed to have been in the wrong place because the hares were running a different way.

Matthew Donkin, prosecuting, said the whole event was merely "hare coursing under another guise". Hare coursing was outlawed by the Hunting Act which came into force in 2005, but many former participants now take part in a permissible sport known as greyhound field trials, which is run under strict rules.

The event was secretly filmed by animal rights campaigners Joe Hashman and Michelle Bryan, using a video camera disguised as a pair of field glasses. The couple were working under cover for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which took their evidence to the police, who launched a prosecution.

But the court was told how a policeman even turned up on the farmland owned by Shaw but thought everything was legal.

The judge was critical of how long the case took to come to court and how it had been initially handled by the police. "There is absolutely no doubt that everybody in this case has had extreme difficulty trying to wrestle what exactly Parliament meant," she said. "I have got two gentlemen here who have never been in trouble before and as far as I can see took every step to ensure what they were doing was lawful but they are in this position. It's been accepted by me and by the prosecution that they took advice or sought expert counsel. Both parties accept that was wrong. I am extremely concerned that a police officer attended on the first day of Major Shaw's event. The police officer went off in his own mind quite happy it was legal." She added: "I think this could have been prevented by the police taking some action on that day. I would have thought police officers in North Yorkshire must have been briefed, and even if he wasn't fully up to date with the position there must have been more senior officers who would be."


Irish hare numbers in Ulster halved by illegal hunting

30-7-09   Belfast Telegraph    Illegal hunting sees Irish hare numbers halve    The number of Irish hares in Northern Ireland almost halved because people are flaunting the law banning its hunting, a pressure group claimed today. The League Against Cruel Sports called for a permanent prohibition to be put in place after the population dropped to 98 this year. This is the lowest recording since measures were taken to protect the creature in 2002.

The League's Northern Ireland campaigns manager Louise Robertson said: "This drastic fall in hare numbers should be a wake-up call to politicians to use the review of the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985 to do what the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland want and give this species permanent protection."

She said it was legal to course (hunt) brown hares but not Irish hares and warned some people may not be able to tell the difference. "I think there are problems with enforcement because people can still course brown hares but not the Irish hare. How many can actually tell the difference? We think it Irishhare.jpegcauses problems in the consistency and enforcement of this."

In 2008, 187 Irish hares were observed compared to 98 this year. Ms Robertson added: "These new findings are a clear sign that this threatened endemic species needs greater protection measures before the population reaches a low from which it cannot recover."

At present the protection order is renewed annually by the government. Former Environment Minister Angela Smith fought a successful legal battle in 2005 against local coursing clubs which had challenged her special preservation order for the species.

A recent opinion poll for the League showed 71% of people in Northern Ireland wanted full protection granted to the Irish hare. However, the Countryside Alliance has pointed to growing Irish hare population levels in the past.

POWAperson adds  -  Hunting is a devolved issue and the Stormont Assembly chose not to adopt the Hunting Act 2004, so fox and deer hunting remain legal in the province. So does hare hunting and coursing. However, during a period of direct rule under the Brown Westminster government, the Secretary of State for N. Ireland, former LACS Political Officer Angela Smith, was able to issue a directive banning the taking and killing of the Irish hare on conservation grounds. The two species of hare are very similar and the measure doesn't seem to have helped.  


Tesco pull ads on pro-hunt website after outcry

27-7-09   Daily Mirror    Tesco slammed for advertising on pro-hunting website and pulls promo after protests Tesco has been slammed for advertising on a staunchly pro-hunting website. The supermarket placed ads for horse-riding wear on the internet pages of magazine The Master's Voice. The radical website - motto "seriously focused on hunting" - aims "to create a united network of hunting folk across Britain who want something done about this ludicrous Hunting Act 2004". Anti-bloodsport campaigners last night blasted the ads as "horrendously stupid" and "inappropriate".

A Mirror investigation discovered Tesco, which made record profits of £3billion last year, placed the plugs using marketing partner firm TradeDoubler. In the ads, the retail giant encourages pro-hunting visitors to buy their riding gear via its own website. Promising next day delivery, the promo features a blonde dressed all in black standing next to a horse.

The website, which has seen the number of hits surge 160% in three months, states: "We at themastersvoice. are totally committed to the return of hunting a live quarry with hounds... all we hunters are in this crusade together." When visitors click on the ads they are directed to the equestrian range on They can then choose from dozens of horse-riding outfits, hats, helmets and boots.

League Against Cruel Sports chief executive Douglas Batchelor said: "Tesco are normally right on the mark when it comes to market research, so it comes as a surprise to hear they are effectively sponsoring a bloodsport. I am personally very angry and disappointed. For such a smart company, this was a horrendously stupid tactic."

Within hours of being contacted by the Mirror, Tesco bosses pledged to ditch the ads. A spokesman said: "Our presence on this site doesn't mean we hold a particular view on what we realise is a sensitive topic. We are glad this has been brought to our attention and we will remove the advertising."




Hunt ban repeal plan could seriously dent Tory vote

17-7-09   Daily Mirror    Tory plan to bring back hunting could rip the party's vote to pieces     A Tory pledge to bring back fox hunting could rip the party's vote to pieces in a general election. A survey has shown seven in 10 people are against repealing the ban. And 59% said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who backed legalisation to allow hunting.

David Cameron is a hunt supporter and has said the ban makes him furious. But 56% of 2,015 people in the YouGov poll link blood sports to a "nasty party" not "compassionate Conservatives". Labour see it as a Tory blind-spot and smell blood. A senior strategist said: "Support for hunting is a key factor in dozens of seats."

The League Against Cruel Sports' Douglas Batchelor said: "These figures show just how out of touch the Conservative Party is. It is the nasty party on hunting." The League is to bolster the ban with a Keep Cruelty History campaign.

Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague promised a group of huntsmen last month that hunting would be back if the Tories win power.


Shadow DEFRA Minister confirms Tories intent on HA repeal

17-7-18   Yorkshire Post   Tory says ban on hunting will be repealed    A PROMISE to repeal the controversial Hunting with Dogs act within a year of the Conservatives winning a General Election was confirmed yesterday by the shadow Defra Minister. Nick Herbert, making his first visit to the Great Yorkshire Show since entering the Shadow Cabinet, said a Tory Government would seek to repeal the Act if elected...

He made his comments on hunting after the regional director of the Countryside Alliance, Steve Clark, a former Master of the Bramham Moor Hunt, said 300 packs had been out twice a week since the ban but only three prosecutions had resulted. Mr Herbert told the Yorkshire Post: "The law is unworkable. It was brought in out of spite and we have constantly said it should be repealed."

Speaking earlier, he said: "This time next year hunting could be legal." But he warned: "We have to convince the thinking Press and the politicians that we do deserve to have the Hunting Act repealed and that we are running an open and transparent system." But whoever is in Government, the Countryside Alliance is planning the introduction of a new form of regulation for the Hunting Code with an independent adjudicator – probably a retired High Court judge. A new training system for kennel staff is underway with National Vocational Qualifications. It will be backed up by regular inspections of Hunts...


Crawley FH drops v.expensive injunction bid against 2 monitors

16-7-09   Brighton Argus  Sussex hunt drops court case against activists   Two wildlife campaigners who waged a lengthy war against fox hunting have seen a court case against them dropped. Husband and wife Simon and Jaine Wild, from Bognor, faced High Court action to ban them and other hunt monitors from large areas of West Sussex.

More than 80 landowners backed the Crawley and Horsham Hunt’s bid to block the West Sussex Wildlife Protection Group and the Wilds from about 10,000 acres of land. But the claimants have now withdrawn the proceedings and have agreed to pay almost all the defence costs, expected to be in excess of £60,000.

The Wilds' solicitor, Victoria Pogge von Strandmann, of Fisher Meredith Solicitors, said the Hunt dropped the case after unsuccessfully applying for an interim injunction on July 15th last year. She said it was then adjourned at the claimants’ request after two aborted trials in which the judge dismissed two of the grounds for it, nuisance and trespass, because they had “fundamental defects”.

That limited the claim to one of harassment, which Mrs Wild and the other defendants denied. Antony Sandeman, joint-master of the Hunt, claimed that the protesters had changed their behaviour since the case was brought, rendering it pointless. He said: “The Hunt has never sought to stop any legitimate scrutiny of its activities and as a result of the action the behaviour of activists has changed out of all recognition. We will, however, be continuing to monitor the behaviour of activists.”

Mr and Mrs Wild denied that she or her husband had altered their tactics in hunt monitoring and that their scrutiny would continue in the future.


66 illegal hunting reports in N. Wales - zero prosecutions

13-7-09   Daily Post   North Wales is 'a soft touch' for fox hunters    NORTH Wales must not be a soft touch for people intent on defying the Hunting Act, an AM has warned. New figures reveal that since 2006, there's been no prosecutions for illegal hunting in North Wales, even though the police received 66 reports from members of the public who were certain it had taken place…. Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths said: I am disappointed by these figures… She added: Of the 66 complaints made, I find it inconceivable that insufficient evidence was found in nearly every case…. Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said the police need to reclassify the way they deal with complaints of hunting.… [no longer online]


Lanarkshire FH to hunt country of disgraced, disbanded Eglinton FH

13-7-09   Horse & Hound   New pack planned to hunt in west Scotland   Plans to create a new hunt to cover the whole of the West of Scotland have been revealed by the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA). The Eglinton hunt, which covers Ayrshire, was suspended at the end of the 2007-08 season, the committee disbanded and hounds and horses sold. But now their neighbouring hunt, the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire (L&R), proposes to hunt the Eglinton county in tandem with their own for the coming season. And both Hunts hope a new pack can be created to hunt the entire country the following season... [no longer online]


Local opposition scuppers Golden Valley FH new kennels plan

9-7-09   Hereford Times   Golden Valley Hunt plan turned down    GOLDEN Valley Hunt has been refused permission to move to a site in Brilley Wood. Worries about the smell from the hounds led Herefordshire Council’s main planning committee to reject the application by 11 votes to four.

The hunt has kept its 50-strong pack at Sheepcote, Clifford, since 1947, but hoped to house them in kennels built on the site of an old farm building. Members felt they had little choice but to reject the application given the extent of opposition within the parish, including the parish council.

Potential smell and noise nuisance close to homes was the main issue, despite the committee hearing both could be made acceptable. It has taken eight years for the Hunt to find a suitable location. The committee was not told of any alternative site in the offing.


Hague secretly tells MFHA repeal will be Tory priority

8-7-09   Daily Mirror    Tory William Hague's secret deal to reverse bloodsports ban    The Tories have secretly assured huntsmen they will make legalising bloodsports a priority if they win the next GeneralWilliamHague.jpeg Election Party big gun William Hague [right] promised the ban would be quickly scrapped as he addressed a Masters of Foxhounds Association meeting.

Countryside Alliance chief Simon Hart crowed that the Shadow Foreign Secretary "gave the 400 assembled masters everything they wanted to hear and more. "More than that, he gave everyone in the room absolute confidence that the commitment would be speedily delivered." But Labour said polls showed more than 70% of people - in the countryside and in urban areas - supported the 2005 ban. A party source said: "It's a myth that people in rural areas want a return to this barbaric practice. Hunting and killing foxes and stags with hounds is not a sport, it is cruelty and belongs in the past, along with dog-fighting and bear baiting. The hunters lost the argument and the vote but the majority of Tories want to impose it again on the British public."

David Cameron has been reluctant to highlight his party's plans to again legalise the bloody pastime.


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