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UK Hunting News Archive

For full stories from seasons 2015/16, 2014/15, 2013/14, 2012/13, 2011/12, scroll to below this season's entries
For reviews of Hunting Seasons 2010/11 & 2009/10 scroll down further

                                               HUNTING SEASON 2016/17

 

MAY 2017

….. 29th May – Thousands attend anti-hunt march in London
..... 28th May - S.Herefordshire FH paying £55k to Ledbury to hunt with them next season, says HIT
..... 27th May - Wildlife Rescue Centre badly damaged by online attacks from hunters
..... 26th May - Melbreak FH supporter/rapist who punched sab given 80 hours CSO
..... 26th May - Isle of Wight FH terrierman fined £80 after clash with sabs in January
 ….. 25th May – Court - Essex Farmers FH must pay £131k over illegally evicting farmer
..... 24th May - HIT refutes SHFH claim that their hounds are alive and well
..... 23rd May - NT anti members present resolution to ban 'trail hunting' on Trust land
….. 22nd May – S.Herefordshire FH five are re-bailed yet again by the CPS
….. 22nd May – Anti arrested at PM campaign rally after thought he'd 'shouted ''Kill May"'
..... 20th May - Sabs stop Northants MH from hunting
….. 18th May – Ledbury FH terrierman charged with affray aftter attacking sab
….. 18th May – 'Biggest ever' anti fox hunting demo scheduled for 29th May
..... 18th May - Police drop Surrey Union FH rider assault on sab case
….. 16th May – Theresa May confirms she will hold free vote on repealing Hunting Act
….. 16th May – S.Herefordshire FH asks 'false allegations' be removed from Facebook
….. 15th May – S.Herefordshire FH said to have killed all but four of their hounds
….. 12th May – 9 year old girl killed in accident while hunting with the Cotswold FH
….. 12th May – Labour Shadow Chancellor says HA must be enforced & strengthened
..... 11th May - CA to pay £62k after Kinnego Hunt invades lofts and kills prize pigeons
…..  8th May – Leak reveals hunters asked to make huge push for Tory landslide
…..  5th May – Isle of Wight FH appeals for funds to fix 'dire' finances
…..  4th May – Three Derwent FH hunt servants charged with illegal hunting
…..  3rd May – RSPCA and Save Me come out for strengthening of the Hunting Act
…..  2nd May – Kimblewick FH bTb outbreak was advised on by vets close to the Hunt

 
Thousands attend anti-hunt march in London

29-5-17   Evening Standard   Make Hunting History protest: Thousands descend on Downing Street in anti-hunting march   Thousands of people have descended on Downing Street in a huge protest [below right] against the Conservative Party’s stance on the fox hunting ban. Prime Minister Theresa May has said that if the Conservatives win the General Election on June 8, she will offer Parliament a free vote to repeal the ban on fox hunting.

On Bank Holiday Monday the Make Hunting History march, which is expected to be the largest public protest of the entire General Election campaign, saw thousands make their feelings on the subject known. The protest left Cavendish Square at about 1.30pm, proceeding down Regents Street, Haymarket and around Trafalgar SquareAntihuntdemo28-5-17.jpg before entering Whitehall.
The event was organised by an alliance of anti-hunt campaign groups and individuals, and speakers included actor and animal rights activist Peter Egan, wildlife campaigner and writer Dominic Dyer and and TV presenter Bill Oddie. He compared the possibility of changing the law on fox hunting to changing speed limits just because "people like driving fast". Speaking ahead of the rally, Oddie said: "I cannot believe that I'm standing here today saying to the Prime Minister this is ridiculous. It's a bit like some years ago they had a speed limit and they decided 'Speed limit? 30. On the motorways we'll go up to 60'. And then 15 years later somebody said 'Can we change it?' And they said 'Why?' - 'Well people like driving fast''... We'll change the law for no sensible reason except purely there are people who want to go fox hunting." Egan said at the protest: “I’ve been voting now since 1966, for 51 years I’ve been voting for various governments. None of them have ever got everything right, in fact some of them have got nothing right, most of them get perhaps one thing right. In 2004, Tony Blair’s government got it right when he brought in the hunting ban In 2002, Theresa May in opposition got it right when she described her party as the nasty party. In 2017 she’s about to get it right because they are becoming the nasty party if they vote to repeal the hunting ban.”
Speaking on the campaign trail in Yorkshire earlier this month, Prime Minister Theresa May said she would push for Parliament to vote on the reversing the ban having “always been in favour” of the controversial country sport. She said: “This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against. As it happens personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting and we maintain out commitment - we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party - to allow a free vote. And that's what it will allow, would allow, Parliament the opportunity to take a decision on this."
Professor Andrew Knight, who is standing for the Animal Welfare Party against Mrs May in the constituency of Maidenhead, said it is "profoundly disturbing" that the Prime Minister thinks fox hunting is acceptable. "We need to have leaders of our country that have basic compassion for animals and other vulnerable members of our society," he said. "Theresa May clearly, I think, is unfit to lead this country, if she clearly and demonstrably lacks these basic qualities."
 
                                     

S.Herefordshire FH paying £55k to hunt with Ledbury next season, says HIT

28-5-17   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team   SPOT THE DIFFERENCE COMPETITION    The South Herefordshire Hunt have tried to pedal the myth of an amalgamation with the Ledbury Hunt. Nobody is fooled anymore by the smoke and mirrors magic trick that Patrick Darling is trying to pull. With no kennels, no hounds, no Huntsman and no supporters anymore this is a total capitulation, not an amalgamation.

The dregs of what is left of the SHH need someone to hunt with next season so they can get their perverted pleasures from seeing animals chased and killed. They are paying the Ledbury £55,000 per year to do this and keep up the pretence of amalgamation.

 

Wildlife rescue centre badly damaged by online attacks from hunters

      BexhillWildlifeRescuedamagedbyonlineattackfromhunters27-5-17.jpg 

 
Melbreak FH supporter/rapist who punched sab given 80 hours CSO

Had previously served 4 year sentence for raping a woman

26-5-17   Facebook - National Dis-Trust   On May 19th 2017 a Melbreak Foxhounds supporter pleaded guilty to assault by beating after he attacked a hunt monitor at a meet of the Melbreak Foxhounds in the Ennerdale area. Carl McGrady punched the monitor after McGrady's accomplice attempted to steal his camera. The monitor had to be taken to hospital where he had to have stitches. McGrady has several previous convictions, including a four year sentence for rape in 2011. After hearing about the assault, the National Trust, which licences the Melbreak Foxhounds, banned the hunt from its land for A WHOLE 24 HOURS! Why is the National Trust licensing violent behaviour from wildlife criminals? The Melbreak Foxhounds pay on average around £10 per meet on National Trust land, and have been filmed illegally hunting and killing foxes on numerous occasions. The National Trust condones violence and wildlife crime by licensing this Hunt.

The report of McGrady's unsuccessful appeal against his rape conviction, in 2011, is here.

27-5-17   Facebook - Lancashire Hunt sabs  VIDEO from meet on 10th January 2017  Melbreak Foxhounds supporters attempt to steal a camera from a monitor who is a passenger in a vehicle. Failing to do so, Carl McGrady punches the monitor, who has to be taken to hospital for treatment. McGrady pleaded guilty to assault by beating [and was given an 80 hour CSO]

  MelbreakFHsupporterpunchessabaftertriedtostealcamera10-1-17.jpg MelbreakFHSabattackedbysupporter10-1-17.jpg

 

Isle of Wight FH terrierman fined after clash with sabs

  isleofwightfhsupporterfined80afterclashwithsab26-5-17.jpg 

POWAperson adds - In addition to the above, a sab was attacked by an I0W FH supporter and 'whacked over the head' in March this year.  

Court says Essex Farmers FH must pay £131k after illegally evicting a farmer


25-5-17   Daily Express
   Essex fox hunt punished with £100,000 court fees after booting farmer off land    A HUNT has been slapped with crushing court fees after booting a farmer off land his family had worked for generations.  A fox hunt was slapped with £100,000 in court fees after booting a farmer off his land. 
Terence Grimes, and his father before him, had farmed near Burnham-on-Crouch, in Essex, as tenants. But the trustees at the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt [left] wanted more cash and granted the lease to someone else in September 2012.  The Hunt sent crucial papers to the wrong address, where Mr Grimes hadn't lived for seven EssexFarmersUnionFH.jpgyears. But the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt granted the lease to someone else in 2012.

Mr Grimes left the land “under silent protest”, but later took legal action and has now won his appeal case at the Court of Appeal in London. It follows that the notice to quit was not validly served on him and his tenancy was not validly terminated. Now top judges have ruled his tenancy had not been validly terminated and he had been “wrongfully dispossessed”.
The trustees of the Hunt, which now operates as a “country riding club”, must now pay £31,500 in damages. And, on top of the that, they must pay £100,000 towards Mr Grimes’s lawyers' bills by 2 June. The Hunt sent crucial papers to the wrong address, where Mr Grimes hadn't lived for seven years.
Lord Justice Henderson ruled he had never been validly served with notice to quit the land. That was because the notice was sent to a property where Mr Grimes had not lived since 2005. He had given notice in writing of his move to Maple Way, Burnham, but the crucial document had been served on the wrong address. The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Beatson and Lady Justice Macur, allowed an appeal against an earlier ruling in the trustees' favour. Lord Justice Henderson concluded: “It follows that the notice to quit was not validly served on him and his tenancy was not validly terminated.”

 

HIT refutes SFFH claim that their hounds are alive and well

24-5-17  Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    Update on shot hounds...    It's been ten days since we announced the shocking news that we believed that the SHH had shot all their hounds, bar four. This is what has happened since...

Patrick Darling (hunt chair) rushed to various local media outlets the next day. He said that he could produce all the hounds and take local journalists to see them. He threatened to take legal action if we didn't remove the post from our page. We stood firm and informed Mr Darling that we had in our possession comprehensive records of all the SHH hounds since 2009. We also have all the microchip numbers and hound names.

This was the standard of proof that we set. Mr Darling probably hoped to take journalists to see a pack of foxhounds somewhere but given the standard of proof required has failed to do that. Local journalists have said that Mr Darling has stopped answering their calls about this.

We leave it to the public to consider what has happened here, but bear in mind that if somebody accused you of shooting your dog, how long would it take you to prove them wrong. Please share this update.

                                     

Anti-hunt NT members present resolution to Trust to stop licensing 'trail hunts' 

23-5-17   Swindon Advertiser   Hunting campaigners take their fight to Swindon's National Trust HQ A GROUP of National Trust members have brought their campaign to end trail hunting to the organisation's Swindon headquarters [pic right].

The 2004 Hunting Act banned traditional fox hunting where live animals were chased by packs of dogs for the entertainment and enjoyment of participants. The legislation has resulted in more than 430 prosecutions since it came into effect, the equivalent of one every 10 days. But while the Act banned fox hunting, it did continue toNationalTrustantispresentresolutiontobantrailhuntingonNTland23-5-17.jpg permit trail hunting which is an adapted version of the sport. It involves the use of an artificially laid scent, usually fox, hare or rabbit based, to provide hounds with a path to follow. In theory it avoids the suffering and killing of foxes, but campaigners argue that the trail hunts often end with the dogs coming across foxes - participants say by accident - and that animals are still being killed.

The National Trust, based in Swindon next to the Designer Outlet, issue licences for trail hunts to take place on a number of their properties across the UK. A group of Trust members is now seeking to use the organisation's procedures to challenge the policy by submitting a resolution, supported by 50 members, to be debated later this year.

Helen Beynon, campaigner and author of the resolution, said: "As members of the National Trust who support the majority of the positive work they do - notably their recent commitment to increase efforts for declining wildlife - we have been dismayed by the constant media coverage given to stories of blatant criminal bloodsports on National Trust land. Our resolution to permanently bring an end to these so called trail hunt licenses has been submitted. "I'm pleased to see that in addition to this, an ongoing petition calling for the National Trust to drop this trail hunting sham has now surpassed 100,000 signatures."

A National Trust spokesman said: "A members' resolution has been received by the National Trust concerning trail hunting. Members are entitled to present resolutions each year and, if they are supported by a minimum of 50 National Trust members, those resolutions are then discussed and voted on by members at our Annual General Meeting in the Autumn. The Hunting Act 2004 made hunting wild animals with dogs illegal and it is banned on all public and privately owned land in England and Wales. The Act allowed what is known as trail hunting to continue. Trail hunting involves laying a scent for hunts to follow, effectively simulating a traditional hunt but crucially without foxes being deliberately chased or killed. The National Trust does licence trail hunts in some areas and at certain times of the year, where it is compatible with our aims of public access and conservation. We expect our licence holders to comply fully with the law and the terms of our licence. We will, and have, taken strong action (including suspension, revoking and refusing to grant further licences) against licence holders who breach their licence conditions or the law."

 

S.Herefordshire five are re-bailed yet again by the CPS
A year on, still no charges in cub-killing scandal

22-5-17   Hereford Times  Five arrested in South Herefordshire Hunt investigation have been re-bailed   FIVE people who were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty at the South Herefordshire Hunt's kennels in Wormelow have been re-bailed. The police are investigating an alleged offence in May last year.

The first two people, a 37-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, both from Hereford, were first arrested last May. A 37-year-old man from Abergavenny was then arrested in June, and a 53-year-old woman from Abergavenny and 45-year-old man from Powys were arrested in August. All five were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and have been rebailed until June. 


Anti arrested at PM camaign rally after 'shouts ''Kill May"'
Man denies wrongdoing and is released without charge
22-5-17   ITV News   Fox hunting protester arrested after shouting 'kill May' as PM arrived at campaign event in Wales   An anti-fox hunting protester has been arrested after shouting "save our wildlife, kill May" as the prime minister arrived at a election campaign event in north Wales. The 25-year-old, who said his name was Connor, played a hunting bugle before shouting out as Theresa May was driven to a community centre in Wrexham. He continued to demonstrate before police grabbed him and carried him away to nearby police vans. The man was later released without charge.The protester had yelled "this is the fascist state that we are living in under Theresa May's regime" as he protested his innocence during his arrest. The man said he was protesting about the repeal of the fox hunting act, fracking, austerity, "the lot" and added: "I've not done nothing wrong." Another demonstrator told police the man had "done nothing wrong" and described their response as a "farce" as they pulled him and then carried him into a van.North Wales Police Superintendent Nick Evans said a crowd of around 50 people had gathered, including onlookers and protesters. "In the main they were well-behaved; however, one particular person, despite a number of warnings, was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace," he said. "The man was arrested due to his behaviour and conveyed to a local police station. He has since been released without charge."
Mrs May did not appear to be affected by the nearby protest as she was greeted outside Gresford Memorial Hall. The prime minister has pledged to call a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting if she is re-elected. The Conservative leader said she has "always been in favour" of the blood sport, which was outlawed in 2004. 
POWAperson adds - We are assured that what the protester shouted was actually 'Cull' not 'Kill' May, presumably meaning vote her out of office.
     

Sabs stop Northants MH from hunting

20-5-17  Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   Us sabs are busy little bees. Even when the main hunting season is several months away we still keep our ears to the ground and get on with other stuff to help our native wildlife. However when you get a tip off it's time to get back into full on sab mode and spring into action. That's what happened today. We received some intelligence that the Northants Mink Hounds would be out hunting so a few calls later and we were hot footing it over to the meet which was at Tuckey Farm just south west of Winslow.

Mink packs are the last remnants of the Otter packs which used to hunt Otters before they became a protected species. Although they claim to hunt Mink it should be noted this is still illegal. Also otters are making a huge comeback in our rivers and they are displacing the Mink. It should also be noted that at this meet the farm had dug a commercial fishing lake and spent a lot of money on installing an anti-Otter fence to protect their fish stocks so they were fully aware that Otters were in the area. We also noted an Otter slide with prints leading to Claydon Brook where they would be hunting. Hounds also can't tell the difference and just putting a pack of hounds up a river course in the middle of breeding season is nothing more than environmental vandalism.

A small B&B team inserted upstream to monitor and shortly after we were happy to be joined by another team from Nottingham and Northants Sabs. By this time the assorted coffin dodgers and sicko's that were the followers had gathered along the river bank. We made our presence known with the Otter hounds actively hunting the river. It was pretty had work for the poor hounds, the overnight rain had swelled the river and it was running faster than normal.

The hunters, now realising they had been well and truly rumbled immediately pulled the hounds out of the water and headed back to the meet. Needless to say they weren't very happy and the language was enough to make a sailor blush. Sad thing is they had a young girl with them who had to not only take part in a sick illegal blood sport but also witness her parents spouting a tirade of 4 letter abuse. Such charmers!

With the hounds safely packed back in the hound van we retired to revel in our glory in the sun with the obligatory cake. Job well done.

Pics below -  1/ Hound struggling in swollen river    2/ The throwbacks 

 NorthantsMHHoundinswollenriver19-5-17.jpg NorthantsMHOn9-5-17.jpg

 

Ledbury FH terrierman charged with affray aftter attacking sab

18-5-17  Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs   We've just been informed by West Mercia Police that Ross Loader, Malvern tree surgeon and Ledbury Hunt terrierman has been charged with 'Affray' today.
December 28th last year was an intense day with our sabs at the North Cotswold Hunt assaulted by hunt staff while Bristol Hunt Saboteurs were being assaulted by Loader and the other Ledbury Hunt terriermen and supporters. The Hunt had been hunting in Castlemorton and Bristol Sabs were with the hounds when they were attacked by the terriermen. Knowing that there was a sett nearby our sabs returned to the scene, while Bristol kept tabs on the hounds. Sure enough the terriermen were attempting to dig out a fox from the sett. Angry at being disturbed they threatened our sabs and, following a short stand-off, filled in the hole they had started to dig and left.
Pic below - Loader attacking sab -  
        LedburyFHterriermanattackssab28-12-16.jpg
 
 

'Biggest ever' anti fox hunting demo scheduled for 29th May

18-5-17   Facebook - Dominic Dyer   Thousands confirmed & rising fast. If you care be there, join biggest ever anti fox hunt protest in London on Bank Holiday Monday 29 May.

    Antihuntcampaignday29-5-17.jpg

  

Police drop Surrey Union FH rider assault on sab case

18-5-17   Facebook - Guildford Hunt Saboteurs   More hunt violence given the all clear by police   3 months ago one of our sabs was assualted by Lulu Hutley (Joint master of the Surrey Union Hunt) with a whip. However today the police decided not to investigate any further due to lack of evidence despite there being a clear video of the entire incident. This was hardly a surprise, Surrey police's stance on this issue has been made very clear.

Please contact Surrey Police on the below links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SurreyPolice/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/SurreyPolice (@SurreyPolice)

     SurreyUnionHPolicedropriderassaultonsabcase18-5-17.jpg

 

May confirms will hold free vote on repealing Hunting Act

16-5-17  Independent   Theresa May says she supports fox hunting because other ways of killing foxes are 'cruel' - The PM wants to hold a vote on bringing back the animal killings   Theresa May [below right] has defended her support for fox hunting, arguing that foxes must be killed and that hunting them with dogs on horseback is the most humane way of doing so. The Prime Minister said she had “always supported fox hunting” and that she would give Parliament a vote on bringing back the animal killings. “Some of the other forms of dealing with foxes can be cruel, so my view is it should be a free vote for Parliament so members of parliament individually should be able to exercise their view on this matter,” she said.

Fox hunting with hounds was outlawed by Tony Blair's Labour government in 2004 but successive Conservative manifestos have pledged to bring the animal killings back. A plot by pro-hunt Tories to bring back the spot was revealed in a leaked email this month. Lord Mancroft, the chair of the Council of Hunting Associations, describedTheresaMay.jpg the 8 June vote as “the chance we have been waiting for” to overturn the ban.

A large Tory majority in the House of Commons would likely give pro-hunt Conservatives insulation from any rebellion by anti-hunt Conservatives to stop the repeal of the ban. David Cameron had planned to hold a vote on repealing the ban but never did so after the threat of rebellion reared its head. Ms May said she did not consider the issue “important” and that MPs would be able to decide what happened to the animals if she became PM.

This is a subject on which you are either for it or against it. I have always supported fox hunting, but clearly I'm not saying I'm going to bring it back,” she told a Facebook Live session hosted by ITV News. What I'm saying is we will have a free vote in Parliament so MPs will be able to make up their own mind on this issue. This isn't the most important issue facing people at this election. I think the most important issue is about who's going to provide the leadership for the future to take us through Brexit and beyond."

A poll conducted in the run-up to Boxing Day 2016 found that opposition to fox hunting has hit an all-time high. A full 84 per cent of the public now believe fox hunting should not be made legal again, according to a survey by Ipsos MORI.

18-5-17   Daily Mail   Outrage as Theresa May confirms a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting WILL be held - Manifesto pledge will outrage animal rights activists ahead of the snap election   Theresa May provoked outrage today as she confirmed she would call a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting. The League Against Cruel Sports said there was 'no justification' for scrapping the law against hunting with dogs. The lobby group said the controversial laws should instead be properly enforced, insisting the public as a whole did not back hunting. Mrs May promised a free vote on Government laws for the measure - but did not put a timescale on when the vote would be held.

The Prime Minister has said she would vote to lift the ban on fox hunting despite never having taken part in a hunt - insisting it was less cruel than other ways of controlling foxes. But it is hard to forecast how the new Commons might split on the issue. The 2015 Parliament was thought never likely to endorse repealing the ban.

Eduardo Gonçalves, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: 'We're disappointed to see the commitment to a free vote on the Hunting Act included in the manifesto given the strong support the ban on hunting has among Conservative MPs and Conservative voters. 'Hopefully any attempt to repeal, weaken or replace the Hunting Act will be prevented by those members of all parties who oppose the killing of animals for fun. I think most people can see through attempts to claim that hunting is somehow good for the animals that are killed, and these figures show the reality. The intention of the Hunting Act was to stop animals suffering because of hunting – and if the law had been properly enforced we believe it would have helped up to 2.8 million animals.'

He added: 'Contrary to what the Prime Minister mistakenly said, anyone who feels the need to kill foxes should never use hunting with dogs, as it is in fact one of the cruellest methods available. This is due to the long chases of the target animal involved. There is enough evidence to suggest that hunted animals suffer whilst being chased by dogs regardless of how they are then eventually killed.' The Prime Minister has said she would vote to lift the ban on fox hunting despite never having taken part in a hunt.

Speaking earlier in the election campaign Mrs May said she would personally vote to repeal the ban. She said: 'This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against. 'As it happens personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting and we maintain out commitment - we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party - to allow a free vote. And that's what it will allow, Parliament the opportunity to take a decision on this.'

The manifesto pledge said: 'We will grant a free vote, on a government bill in government time, to give parliament the opportunity to decide the future of the Hunting Act.' David Cameron was thwarted in his attempt to call a vote on repealing fox hunting after the 2015 election. While he also promised a free vote he sought to win and the SNP announcing they would vote against it left the measure ripe for defeat and the motion was withdrawn.

 

S.Herefordshire FH asks 'false allegations' be removed from Facebook

16-5-17   Hereford Times  South Herefordshire Hunt asks for false allegations on Facebook to be removed   SOUTH Herefordshire Hunt has asked for a Facebook post to be taken down which makes false allegations about the Hunt's hounds. The Hunt Investigation Team claimed in a post on Facebook that all of the Hunt's hounds had been put down, besides four of the animals. But chairman of the Hunt, Patrick Darling, said this is groundless and false and the hounds referred to are in kennels elsewhere. He invited members of the editorial team at Hereford Times to visit the kennels and see the hounds.

Mr Darling has got in touch with the Hunt Investigation Team and asked for them to take the post down. The kennels at the Hunt's base in Wormelow are currently being leased to a third party, not related to hunting, as the hunt placed itself under a voluntary suspension while a criminal investigation continues.The investigation started last year and five people were arrested following an alleged offence of animal cruelty at the Wormelow kennels. They are currently on bail until a date this month. 


S.Herefordshire FH said to have killed all but four of their hounds

15-5-17  Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team   Shocking news has reached us   'The South Herefordshire Hunt have shot all their hounds'. We received this message from a highly trusted source from within the Hunt. This source has provided accurate intelligence throughout. They went on to clarify that 4 had been spared, to make sure the bloodline survives presumably. We estimate that 30+ dogs will have been shot (they are normally shot in the head).

This is devastating news, no attempts were made to rehome these dogs and it is just the latest example of the brutal and callous disregard that Hunts generally and the South Herefordshire in particularly have towards the lives of animals. These are just 4 of the hounds - we don't know of their individual fate. We also know that the kennels are empty of hounds and hunt personnel in preparation for the sale and redevelopment of the site. Please share this story.

    Pic below - Four of the hounds - not known if any of them have survived

    S.HerefordshireFH4ofthepackallbut4killed15-5-17.jpg 

15-5-17  Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs    The South Herefordshire Hunt have killed all but 4 of their pack according to sources. One couple sent to the Ledbury, we do not know about the others. This is following a year of not hunting because of the ongoing police investigation concerning cruelty at the kennels. Killing unwanted foxhounds is something most hunts do. Hounds are culled if they don't fit in, are too old, or there are too many of them for the hunt's requirements. Hounds are also victims and they were probably terrified as they were taken out one by one to be shot.

Pic below - The S.Herefordshire pack before they stopped hunting 

    S.HerefordshireFHThepackallbut4killed15-5-17.jpg 

15-5-17  Facebook - Welsh Border Hunt Sabs     So - the crows have been gathering around the now redundant SHFH kennels- but not for road kill. A mass murder is alleged to have taken place very recently of all but 2 couple of their hounds-(one of which, we are told, the Ledbury hunt now have and not sure of the whereabouts of the other). The plot indeed thickens! It would appear the SHFH have now decided to form a "Hunt Club" with the intention of inviting other packs to come and hunt their country- obviously pocketing what ever revenue that would bring in. And lets not forget their new forged allegiance with their very "special Friends The Ledbury!" Clearly there is unrest amongst the creatures of the countryside as the birds, big and small continue to chatter, alerting all to the evil in our midst.....

                                     

9 year old girl killed in accident while hunting with the Cotswold FH
Inquest hears criticism of level of supervision of child riders

12-5-17  
Swindon Advertiser   Greater supervision needed for youngsters riding as part of a hunt, inquest hears   The level of supervision of children at a hunt meeting where a nine year old girl died after being kicked by a horse was 'far short of what could reasonably be expected,' an inquest was told. Health and Safety expert Philip Park, who investigated the tragic death of Bonnie Armitage, said he believes children under eleven taking part in hunts should be supervised by adults on a one to one basis.

The inquest has heard that tragic Bonnie, of Faringdon, Oxon, was one of five children all under the supervision of one adult rider, Melissa Kennedy, at the meeting of the Cotswold Hunt in Miserden, nr Stroud, Glos, on April 2nd last year. Bonnie was a pupil at St Hugh's preparatory school in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, where her father is deputy head. Bonnie was riding her Shetland pony, Lindsay, when she was kicked in the chest by a large horse called Harvey which was being ridden ahead of her by farmer and circus owner Toti Gifford, the inquest jury at Gloucester has been told.The Gloucester inquest jury returned a conclusion of accidental death.

Mr Park, a manager at Stroud district council, told the inquest "It is my view that the level of supervision fell short of what could be reasonably expected. My conclusion was that had Bonnie been actively supervised by a responsible adult who was in close contact with her there was a possibility she would have been instructed not to get too close to the horse in front. That could have had the effect of preventing the injury. If she had not got too close to the horse in front of her it could not have kicked her."

He told the inquest he believed it would be helpful in future if Hunts set a stipulated level of competence for child participants. It would also be helpful to have guidance on the ratios of children to supervising adults, he said. "I did not see any evidence that the Cotswold Hunt makes any enquiry about the competence of child riders. They rely in parents to make the decision themselves on the level of supervision that children should have at a hunt. "It is important for the Hunt to make a decision about the level of supervision otherwise there will be no consistency in the way it is implemented."

Asked to expand more on his views of what should happen at hunts where young children are taking part he said "Close supervision would mean one to one - one adult supervising one child. I would expect that adult to stay with the child as much as possible during the hunt. "I accept there is a chaotic and fast moving atmosphere but an adult could exercise more control over one child than one adult in charge of two or three children. I would suggest one to one supervision is reasonably practicable."

James Chamberlain, who was senior Master of the Hunt at the time but has now retired, told the jury agreed that the Hunt had not made any rules about children taking part. "If poor Bonnie had been supervised one to one I fail to see how it would have made any difference," he said. He believed that the real issue was the competence of both the young rider and the horse, he said. When he took his own children hunting in the past he had always made sure they stayed behind him, he added. But it had to be remembered, he said, that 'horses are dangerous at both ends' and riders should all be aware from an early age of the need to keep space around them at all times.

Mr Gifford told the inquest he was cantering across a field on his horse Harvey - 'a lovely, calm, gentle giant' - when the tragedy happened as Bonnie rode up alongside him. "My horse went irregular," he said. "He just didn't feel right. Then I heard a yell. I looked back. My horse is really big and there was this really little horse, the Shetland, underneath my feet almost. It went really fast, past me, and then carried on. Then I looked back and I saw Bonnie. At the time the incident happened I was going forward, looking ahead. You never think there is anything behind you because you are going forward. I just heard this yell. When I looked back she (Bonnie) was still landing. I pulled up. It's a bit of a blur really. I can't really remember....I just jumped off my horse. I didn't hang on to him but he followed me back. I went over. Then others all arrived. I can't really remember what happened, it was such a mad.....I grabbed all the horses and led them away. Then she was lying there. Big blue eyes... The emergency services and ambulance came and then we realised a helicopter was also coming."

He said his horse had been hunting for several years and is a 'fantastic animal.' I think it (what happened) was an instinctive thing, he was a bit shocked or frightened or spooked. I think, I don't know." He added "At the moment it happened it felt like the horse had gone lame. I thought maybe I had gone into a hole or the horse had stumbled. I didn't think he bucked. I just thought he had put his foot down a hole or lost a shoe or something had happened or he had stumbled on something."...

Det Inspector Wayne Ussher of Gloucestershire police said he had investigated the tragedy and concluded that the accident 'could not have been prevented.' "She was following the main body of riders in company with other children and under the care of a responsible adult. Her company approached the rear of a much larger horse which took an irregular stride and struck her. She died as a result of injury sustained from a kick to the chest by the horse but in the circumstances presented to me it could not have been prevented."

The inquest at Gloucester has heard Bonnie was one of about fifty riders at the last meeting of the season of the Cotswold Hunt at Miserden House. A jury of ten people has been sworn in to hear the case. The inquest heard a statement from Bonnie's dad, teacher Nick Armitage, formally identifying his daughter and describing her as a 'bright girl, fit and healthy, a good runner, she enjoyed everything... She was a very competent rider. She could walk, trot, canter and gallop, She had been hunting many times at different hunts. She would sometimes be out for many hours. She had hunted off a lead rein for two years. " He said the pony was eight years old and was 'experienced, dependable, safe and doesn't spook.'...

The jury heard that after the incident paramedics and an emergency doctor battled for 45 minutes to resuscitate Bonnie in the field before she was airlifted to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. But she was certified dead 15 minutes after arrival in the hospital. After a retirement of one hour the jury of ten people brought in a verdict of accidental death without any further comment. The coroner, Katy Skerrett, said she would consider over the next ten days whether to make recommendations about a minimum level of competence being required for child riders at hunts, whether safety equipment should be a requirement and whether children should be supervised...

POWAperson comments - We send our condolences to Bonnie's family and friends for their tragic loss. However, we believe it is simply wrong for Hunts to induct children, often much younger than nine, into the brutality of hunting with hounds and think it tantamount to child abuse. It is, of course, also inherently dangerous.
 

Labour Shadow Chancellor says HA must be enforced & strengthened

12-5-17  Ellen Hope Cobb   EXCLUSIVE film with John McDonnell, Rachael Maskell, and Anna Turley on keeping and enforcing the Hunting Act. For fox sake vote Labour on 8th June and remember to sign the petition.  
 
                                     

CA to pay £62k after N.Ireland Hunt invades lofts and kills racing pigeons

11-5-17  Belfast Telegraph   Hunt club loses appeal against £62,000 payout over dead pigeons   The Countryside Alliance has lost its appeal against a Co Armagh pigeon fancier being awarded £62,000 damages for the alleged slaughter of his stock by hunt club hounds. Senior judges in Belfast today rejected arguments that the killing of 59 racing birds by dogs breaking into Maurice Weir's premises on the Kinnego Road in Loughgall eight years ago never happened.

Kinnegohuntmichaelweirawarded62kafterhoundskilledprizepigeons11-5-17.jpgLawyers for the Alliance suggested it had been a fraudulent and fabricated claim by a man who destroyed his own pigeons by wringing their necks. But after the Court of Appeal threw out all grounds of challenge Mr Weir [left] declared himself fully vindicated. He said: "My credibility was called into question, and I'm just happy that it's been dismissed as tittle-tattle."

Mr Weir sued the Alliance over the alleged intrusion into his property by the Kinnego Grange and Canary Hunt Club's animals. At a previous hearing he recalled emerging from having lunch in February 2009 to discover "a bloodbath". Up to 15 hounds had broken into lofts and aviaries and killed pigeons highly sought for their ability to fly home from as far away as France, according to his account. He said he saw dead and injured birds lying on the ground and in dogs' mouths. Mr Weir also told of hearing crunching noises and witnesses two hounds pulling a pigeon apart as he tried to chase the pack off.

At the time of the incident he had planned to start up a small stud business at his home, the court heard. He sought damages for the killing of his pigeons, consequential loss, the cost of repairing his aviaries and a further payout for distress and injury to feelings. Counsel for Mr Weir claimed the huntsmen were negligent in failing to control their dogs.

In February last year a High Court judge held that the plaintiff was an honest and straightforward witness whose account was corroborated by others at the scene. She ruled that the hounds had been on his property, gained entry to the lofts and aviaries and, on the balance of probabilities, killed the pigeons. Mr Weir was awarded £59,580 in damages, with a further £2,500 for distress and injury to feelings.

The Alliance sought to have her verdict overturned, arguing again that the hunt's dogs were never on the premises. In a wide-ranging challenge its barristers questioned the credibility of Mr Weir and an independent expert. To succeed, according to the three appeal judges, the Alliance had to establish the hounds had no propensity to attack or kill pigeons, were not on Mr Weir's land and that the scenario he depicted was "a complete farrago of lies". However, Lord Justice Gillen held there was ample evidence for the conclusion that the dogs can inflict heavy losses on the birds. He also ruled: "We are therefore unable to conclude that (the trial judge) has gone plainly wrong in arriving at the conclusion that on the balance of probabilities the incident alleged by the plaintiff did occur." Rejecting all other grounds advanced, he confirmed the appeal was being dismissed and awarded costs to Mr Weir.

                                     

Leak reveals hunters asked to make huge push for Tory landslide
CA vice-chair mobilises Hunts to ensure Hunting Act can be repealed
Says they have assurance repeal vote will be in Tory manifesto

8-5-17   Daily Mirror    'This could be the chance we've been waiting for': Fox hunt bosses' leaked Tory campaign email in full - The email urges hunt masters to “mobilise supporters” and campaign for pro-hunting Tories in marginal seats   Tonight, the Mirror revealed fox hunt masters' secret plan to round up support for Theresa May, because they believe a Tory landslide would lead to the fox hunting ban being scrapped. The email, sent to Hunts across the country by Tory peer Lord Mancroft [right], urges Hunt Masters to “mobilise supporters” and campaign for pro-hunting Tories in marginal seats. He said a Tory majority of 50 or more MPs should be enough to secure a repeal of the 2004 Hunting Act in a Parliamentary vote later this year.LordBenjaminMancroft_2.jpg “This is the chance we have been waiting for,” Lord Mancroft wrote.

Here's the email in full - 'While anything can change in a six-week election campaign, and we know that the polls cannot be relied on, there is a real chance that on 8th June, Theresa May could achieve a majority significantly in excess of the seventeen seats she currently has. A majority of fifty or more would give us a real opportunity for repeal of the Hunting Act (HA), or perhaps an alternative legislative measure – but only if that leaves hunting in a better position than it is now. It must be clearly understood that repeal is our primary objective, but also that politics is “the art of the possible”, and we will take whichever option is the most advantageous to hunting when the time comes. It will only become clear what our best option is after 8th June.

First, we need a cast iron manifesto commitment from the Conservative Party, as we had in the last four election manifestos. Like everyone else, we will have to wait until the manifesto is published on 8th May to be certain, but Simon Hart MP and I have received assurances that such a commitment will be carried forward to the 2017 manifesto. I have made it clear that we will only provide support on that basis, and that if the manifesto does not contain an acceptable commitment, we will withdraw our support.

It is important that everyone understands why the idea that “the Government did not honour the manifesto commitments after the 2010 and 2015 elections” is incorrect. On both occasions David Cameron made it clear that he would authorise and fully endorse a vote in a manner, and at a time, of our choosing.

During the Coalition Government a vote could only take place if the Liberal Democrats agreed, which they did not. After 2015 the Scottish Nationalists reversed their earlier commitment to abstain from any votes that did not impact Scotland, and opposed the proposed Statutory Instrument, and consequently the Government Chief Whip did not think we could win a vote in the House of Commons.

All the advice we received was that we should not risk such a vote unless we had a reasonable expectation of winning. We therefore concluded it was not in hunting’s best interests to put the matter to a vote. I am sure that was the correct decision. We have repeatedly made clear that we need a Government that has both a manifesto commitment to repeal the HA, and a big enough majority to get repeal through the Commons and then the Lords.

It now looks, unexpectedly, as if there is a very real chance we could get such a Government. While nothing in politics is certain, this is by far the best opportunity we have had since the ban, and is probably the best we are likely to get in the foreseeable future. On that basis, we must do everything we possibly can to maximise the chance of getting repeal of the HA. I am confident that every Master will give the leadership and direction that our community needs at this seminal moment. Vote OK, under the direction of George Bowyer, has already started to plan what we are all going to do during the campaign. A number of constituencies do not yet have candidates, so there is a role for us in making sure that only candidates supportive of hunting are selected. Vote OK will advise how best to achieve this.

We will only help candidates who give us an unequivocal commitment to support repeal when the time comes. Nor do we need to help candidates in “safe seats” with large majorities. Instead we will concentrate on those seats where we can make the most difference. Unless specifically advised to the contrary, every Hunt should assume that it will be needed to assist with political work and start making arrangements to mobilise supporters now. Please make sure that your Hunt has an active and effective Vote-OK Coordinator in place and that they are making regular contact with your Regional Vote-OK Director (RVOD). Please do not wait to hear where your Hunt should go, but contact them as soon as possible. If you do not know who your RVOD is, contact George Bowyer by email at [address redacted].

In the face of everything that has happened over the last two decades, the hunting community has never given up fighting for our sport, for our hounds, and to enable our children and their children to enjoy both, as we have. This is the chance we have been waiting for. We have six weeks to show, yet again, what we are made of, and our undying commitment to our way of life. We have six weeks to win back all that has been taken from us. Masters, if ever there was a time to give a lead, this is it. Please don’t waste a single day of those six weeks.

Thank you. Benjamin Mancroft   Chairman, Council of Hunting Associations

POWAperson adds -  Old Etonian Lord Mancroft became JM of the Vale of the White Horse FH in 1987, the same year in which he inherited his father's baronetcy, and held the Mastership for 11 years. In 1992, he became vice-chair of the British Field Sports Society and then a Director, when it changed its name to the more user-friendly Countryside Alliance. He was made vice-chair of the CA in 2005. His somewhat lurid past includes a time as a heroin addict, during which time he acquired a conviction for theft. In February 2008, Mancroft claimed that NHS nurses who had treated him at the Royal United Hospital in Bath were "grubby, drunken and promiscuous". The hospital's Chief Executive, James Scott, called the accusations "damaging and distressing", and requested that the peer retract them. Mancroft has so far refused to do this, or to apologise. Nice guy.

It's no surprise that a commitment for a repeal vote will be in the Conservative manifesto. The leadership has always seemed determined to ignore the mass of public opinion, including an estimated 72% of their own voters, and push through Hunting Act repeal to please their bloodsports loving friends if they got the opportunity. They probably thought that had come with the surprise election result in 2015 and must have been aghast to find that many of the new intake of Tory MPs refused to support repeal. They may find the same applies to the potential newbies this time round. Whether or not, they will face massive parliamentary and public opposition and risk reviving the 'Nasty Party' image, just to get rid of a law that does not seem to much inhibit organised Hunts anyway. Doubtless Vote OK will once more send out hunt supporters into marginal with instructions to wear plain clothes and not bring up hunting on the doorsteps.  


                                    

Isle of Wight FH appeals for funds to fix 'dire' finances

5-5-17   Isle of Wight Country Press 

    IsleofWightFHAppealsforfundstofixdirefinances5-17.jpg 

 

Three Derwent FH hunt servants charged with illegal hunting

4-5-17   Wildlife Guardian   Three Derwent Hunt members charged with illegal hunting   Three members of a North Yorkshire hunt have been charged with illegal hunting under Section 1 of the Hunting Act. Hunt master Sean McClarron, kennel-huntsman Jason Marles and whipper-in Damian Readman will appear at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on 22nd May 2017. The charges relate to an allegation that a fox was hunted on 1st November 2016 at Wilton, Thornton-le-Dale.Sean McClarron runs McClarron Insurance Brokers in Malton, whilst Jason Marles is the new huntsman of the Eggesford Hunt in Devon. Readman was formerly a whipper-in for the Staintondale Hunt.The Derwent Hunt’s chairman is Viscountess Diane Downe of Wykeham Abbey. Its directors include John Swiers, of Broxa Farm, near Scarborough, and Robert Sword the manager of the Dawnay Estates at Wykeham.
 
     DerwentFH.jpg

16-5-17  HSA Press Release    Three Employees of Derwent Hunt Charged with Illegal Hunting   Three employees of the Derwent hunt in North Yorkshire have been charged with illegal hunting. The three: Huntsman Sean McClarron, Kennel Huntsman Jason Marles (now huntsman at the Eggesford Hunt) and Whip Damian Readman are due to appear at Scarborough Magistrates Court on 22nd May.

This follows footage obtained on the 1st November 2016 by members of Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs, at a meet in Wilton in North Yorkshire. Towards the end of the day sabs filmed a fox being bolted from underground and then chased by the pack of hounds. The law stipulates that if a fox is dug out it must not be released to be further hunted.

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It's telling that in practically the same week that the Tories are promising a vote on repeal, the hunting community are showing how above the law they believe themselves to be. Who else, apart from the Conservatives, would choose to reward law breakers by repealing the very law they so blatantly ignore? Hunt saboteurs were around long before the Hunting Act and we'll continue to protect wildlife whatever the self serving lackeys of the Countryside Alliance in Westminster decide to do next."


                                    
RSPCA and Save Me come out for strengthening of the Hunting Act

3-5-17  Guardian Letters    Why the environment must be at the heart of the UK general election   Fears about climate change, air pollution, waste and possible changes to the Hunting Act concern readers from Brian May and Ranulph Fiennes to James Marsden of Much Marcle As party leaders prepare to sign off on their election manifestos, we would like to draw their attention to a policy that has the overwhelming support of the British public.

While 52% of British people voted to leave the EU, 84% want the ban on hunting foxes to stay, according to the latest Ipsos Mori data. In addition, 88% support the ban on deer-hunting, and 91% back the ban on hunting hares. Support for the ban among people in the countryside is at similar levels. Ipsos Mori projections indicate that there is a clear majority in favour of the ban in every constituency in England and Wales, including that of all party leaders, and that voters view more favourably those candidates who support the ban by a margin of more than seven to one over those who want it repealed.

We call on all party leaders not only to rule out any repeal, weakening or substitution of the Hunting Act but also to support its strengthening and enforcement.

The Hunting Act is one of the most popular pieces of legislation on the statute book today. We’re asking party leaders to send a clear, unambiguous message at this election that they fully intend to preserve Britain’s great natural heritage, and ensure that cruelty to animals in the name of “sport” remains firmly in the past.

Eduardo Goncalves Chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports, Jeremy Cooper Chief executive, RSPCA, Anne Brummer CEO, Save Me Trust, Philip Mansbridge Director, IFAW-UK, Bill Oddie President, League Against Cruel Sports, Dr Brian May Founder, Save Me Trust, Chris Packham, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Peter Egan...

POWAperson adds - Whilst POWA has been calling for strengthening of the Hunting Act since before the ink was dry, LACS and IFAW only committed to it 2-3 years ago. To our knowledge, however, this is the first time the RSPCA and SaveMe have publicly come out in favour, which is gratifying.

 
Revealed that Kimblewick FH btb outbreak advised on by vets close to the Hunt
Limited past national hound testing showed a 10% bTb infection rate 

2-5-17   Morethanjustbadgers.net    Kimblewick Cover Up?    I think most people will be aware by now that the Kimblewick Hunt had to destroy a large number of their hounds due to being infected with bTB. The original story broken by our friends over at Hounds Off can be read here. There is, justifiably a significant amount of concern from all sides regarding this news. Defra have always maintained that the risk of contracting bTB for pets and dogs in particular is very low but when you consider that hunting hounds are far from pets and live in conditions few would let their own companion animals live in you’ll start to get closer to the point.

Hounds are kept in a pack, they eat, sleep and live in close proximity. Most importantly they are fed on “fallen Stock”. These are animals which have died on surrounding farms for various and probably untested reasons, that the hunt will collect as a service to the farmers, which are in turn given to the hounds as food. In this instance it doesn’t take a genius to work out where the infection has come from. Another important point is the hunting country of the Kimblewick. Although based at their kennels just outside Aylesbury they cover parts of the counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Hertfordshire. An area which in total is roughly the size of Cornwall. Now consider that some of these counties are considered as part of the edge zones in the fight against bTB and the potential for the hounds to be spreading the disease over a vast area including those considered free from TB.

Obviously the risk of spreading the disease by hounds, regardless of the what Defra claim, is going to be high. The M.Bovis bacterium can survive for a significant time in the excrement left behind by the hounds, and they do leave a lot of it all over the place during a day's hunting and is obviously never cleaned up by the hunt staff. So what is being done? Well obviously the kennels were put under quarantine and the poor, affected hounds were shot. However that didn’t stop them from hunting. Visiting packs were used and hunted on the Kimblewick’s ground. Further revelations came to light when once again Hounds Off were sent a note which they in turn passed on to me. See below -

     KimblewickFHAnonnotetoHoundsOfbTbvetadvisorsclosetoHunt5-17.jpg 

There are only two listed vets in Berkhamstead I can find. St Johns and Clarke & Marshall. One would have to assume that is it one of these vets that are involved (feel free to contact them and find out which one). With all due respect to the practices shown you would have expected an organisation which specialised in bTB to be more appropriate. The equine vet in question, Bob Baskerville was originally a partner in the Baskerville Horgan & Partners practice which is now part of Hampden Vets. Although he is not currently listed as one of their equine staff, a quick Google search picks out several links between Baskerville and the Kimblewick so it’s safe to assume he is indeed a member of the Hunt.

Lord Garnider of Kimble is as described in the note, he was also chief spin doctor for the Countryside Alliance and is still an executive director. Clearly the hunting fraternity were so deeply concerned about the implications of a hunt having bTB infected hounds they brought out their big guns in collaboration with the CA in order to suppress the information for as long as they could (thank heavens for loose-lipped hunt followers) and then be seen to be dealing with it properly once it became public knowledge. Of course the real problem with this is a complete lack of impartiality. Any and all information which could have a negative effect on hunting in relation to bTB will be withheld once again. Hunting simply cannot afford to have this sort of negative publicity and potentially lose much of the ground they hunt over as concerned land owners withdraw their permission to hunt on their land. Many land owners have already banned the Kimblewick from using their land and rightly so.

Perhaps it’s now time for all Hunts to have their hounds tested, especially those in the high risk areas and all hunting suspended until each and every pack is given a clean bill of health. Considering it is now the hunting closed season you would expect this to be the perfect time. The only previous data relating to TB in hounds came from a FOI request by Keep the Ban and published by TB Free England and he summed up the response thus: “In the last 7 years, only 50 hunt hounds have been tested for Bovine TB, 5 of those were positive of infection (10%). 45 samples from hounds were taken over the same period, of which 7 were potentially infected (16%).

The sample sizes are too small to determine the statistical significance, but it does call Defra’s line that “M.bovis infection in dogs is extremely rare” into question… If they haven’t looked, how do they know it’s rare? And when they did look and found more than 10% to be infected, doesn’t this suggest it might be more of a problem than they thought?”

It’s fairly clear to me that this rabbit hole goes a lot deeper than those at Defra will admit, but while they’re so thoroughly within the sphere of influence of the CA then we will probably never know the full extent of the problem and hunts will continue to spread the disease over our countryside and badgers will continue to get the blame and die in their thousands.

 


APRIL 2017 

…..  29th April – Farmer involved with Fife FH kills restrained pet dog in front of owner
…..  28th April – Jedforest FH 2 defence claims 'invisible' gunman made fox hunt legal
…..  28th April – Eggesford FH official convicted of stealing supporter & riding club funds
…..  27th April – Court shown film of fox dig, flushing and chase at Jedforest FH trial
…..  25th April – Fitzwilliam FH illegal hunting case is adjourned yet again
…..  24th April – Man charged over fox found captive near Belvoir FH kennels
…..  24th April – Anti gets to see her apology letter from hunter abuser after 4 months
…..  24th April – Sabs stop Cheriton Mink Hounds from hunting
…..  21st April – Motorists appalled by horrific death on road of deer after hunt on Exmoor
…..  20th April – POWA presses for strengthening commitment in Labour manifesto
…..  20th April – Town Council secret meeting with Atherstone FH exposed by sabs
…..  14th April – Badsworth FH filmed trespassing along a canal towpath, not for first time
…..  11th April – Minehead Harriers hunt on NT land where recent bTb breakdown
..... 10th April - Monitors blocked, abused, menaced by VWH support as Hunt search for foxes
…..   7th April – Police powers to demand face mask removal are enhanced
…..   6th April – VWH FH run away as monitors find hounds marking to ground
…..   6th April – Badsworth FH filmed trespassing along a canal towpath, not for first time
…..   6th April – VWH FH relentlessly hunted fox late in day and may have killed
…..   2nd April – Film of monitor's car windscreen being smashed at S.Dorset FH meet
…..   1st April - 'Notorious' hunt supporter to be charged at last over 'vicious assault'

 
Farmer involved with Fife FH kills restrained pet dog in front of owner
Was in sheep field, but shooter had already tied dog up before he shot it

The man who allegedly killed the dog is the son of the Secretary of Fife FH and the estate he was working on is owned by one of the JMs

29-4-17    Facebook - Tracy Ward‎   On Thursday 27th of April, my sons dog, Stark, in my eyes was brutally murdered at the hands of a farmer by the name of Dave Bell, near Collinsburgh, Balarres Estate.

Stark managed to escape from his family home, and in the short time he was out, he managed to get into a field of sheep. I fully understand that if a farmer feels like his livestock is under threat of an animal, whether it being a wild animal or family pet he has completed authority to shoot the the animal.

The law also states that if the farmer FIRSTLY attempts to catch the dog, and restrain him with no further threat that it should be left alone and dealt with through law. This was not the case, the farmer FIRSTLY caught Stark, TIED him to a tractor, THEN fired a warning shot, THEN shot him dead.

The law also states that the dog can be shot if the farmer has attempted to contacted the dogs owner with no joy. My son was in the field trying to get to Stark at the time of the shooting. He just didn't make it from where he was standing in time to save his pet. The farmer had clearly seen him, and two family friends with in eye sight.

My son takes full responsibility for the dog being in the field, he knows this is a serious matter. But none of us can understand why a fully restrained dog should be shot dead in front of his owner. Stark was such a gentle wee guy. He will be sorely missed. R.I.P our handsome boy ������. Meet Stark, and the farmer who took his life.

    FifeFHSonofHuntSecwhokilledrestrainedpetdoginfieldinfrontofowner27-4-17.jpg


 
Jedforest FH 2 defence claims 'invisible' gunman made fox hunt legal

28-4-17  ITV Border News   Father and son deny deliberately hunting fox with hounds    A father and son from the Jedforest Hunt have denied breaching Scotland's fox hunting legislation, after a video filmed by investigators showed a fox being dug out of a hole and then chased by a pack of hounds. 66-year-old John Clive Richardson and his son, 24-year-old Johnny Riley [right, Credit ITV Border], have gone on trial accused of allowing the hounds to chase the fox ,which took place near Jedburgh in February 2016. Jedburgh Sheriff Court was shown a videoJedforestFHHuntsmanCliveRichardsonandsonJohnnyRiley28-4-17.jpg which had been filmed by an employee of the League Against Cruel Sports, which showed members of the Jedforest Hunt - including the two accused. 

James Hood told Jedburgh Sheriff Court that while it was illegal to deliberately hunt a wild mammal with a dog there were some exceptions to that. Commenting on the video of the Jedforest Hunt, he said: "A fox can be flushed by dogs from cover to guns. My opinion from the footage of the two incidents is that the fox is pursued by a number of hounds across open ground with one or two horsemen and other persons present. The pursuit is beyond what is allowed in the exception." The footage shows the fox disappearing into a blind spot with the dogs still chasing, so what happened to the fox was not captured on film.

The court was told that lawyers acting for two huntsmen, intend to lead evidence saying that the dogs were flushing the fox towards a gunman who was in the blind spot, where the fox was then shot. But Mr Hood - a retired police officer - said he could not hear any gunshots on the videos or any sign of gunmen. He also visited the scene three weeks after the alleged offence and discovered the carcass of a fox in the dead ground area. All that was remaining was a vertebrae and three legs intact and round the paws there was some red fur. Mr Hood said a post-mortem was carried out on the carcass and there was no evidence that the fox had been shot.

But he agreed under cross-examination from defence lawyer, David McKie, that he could not say for certain that it was the same fox which the video had shown being pursued by the dogs. The trial of the pair has been adjourned until next month. The case is due to resume on May 8th.

  

Eggesford FH official convicted of stealing supporter & riding club funds
Gets 20 month suspended sentence and CSO for embezzling £84,000

28-4-17    Western Morning News    Huntmaster took £84,000 from Devon countryside clubs    A Devon huntmaster has admitted stealing £84,000 while acting as treasurer for two country sports clubs. Graeme Holmes [left], 59, took the cash while in charge of the purse strings of the Eggesford Hunt Supporters' Club and the Sid and Otter Riding Club. He defrauded both clubs of funds for almost a decade and used the money to keep up his EggesfordFHofficialGraemeHolmesconvictedofstealingsupporterclubfunds28-4-17.jpgimage as a pillar of the local rural community. The successful IT salesman was a joint leader of the hunt, kept a stable of horses and bought a large house near Lapford.

But Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC told him his reputation now lay in tatters. He added: “What you did as I see it was very dishonest and it isn't clear to me why it was necessary to do it at all frankly. But it was a gross breach of trust. You treated money and funds of these organisations of which you were the treasurer as if they were your own and you've been caught."

Holmes pleaded guilty to abusing his position as treasurer of the Eggesford Hunt Supporters' Club between January 15, 2007 and April 15, 2016. He also admitted the same offence against the Sid and Otter Valley Riding Club between August 26, 2008 and April 8, 2016. He has since paid all the money back.

Prosecutor William Hunter said Holmes had volunteered to take up the role of hunt treasurer in 2004. He job was to hand the cash to the bank and bank cheques, among other duties. But when suspicions were raised the club checked the account and found almost £48,000 missing, leaving them with just £580.

Holmes had been a member of the riding club since 2006 and took the treasurer role in 2008. He had control of the debit card which he used to draw money for himself and had cheques made out to him. The club expected to find £30,000 in its account but when it checked the figure was much less. Holmes admitted taking £36,000 for himself.

Richard Crabb, mitigating, said: “He is a man of previous good character who used about £84,000 of hunt funds for his own purposes. Every penny has now been paid back." He said Holmes was a man who earned a lot of money as an IT sales team leader in the Home Counties. He moved to Lapford with his wife and bought a large house 'that needed a lot of work'. He became part and parcel of the local equestrian scene and lived beyond his means."

He hunted on a regular basis and was regarded as a 'pillar of the community'. When the post of treasurer came up the club 'considered his trappings of wealth and thought he was a very successful man' and was delighted to have him. But he estimated that he lived beyond his means by £8,000 a year.

Mr Crabb said there had been a backlash in the local community against Holmes after what he had done. Holmes had cashed-in his pension to pay the money back but was not left with a large tax bill.

Judge Mercer said he was lucky the Conservative government had changed the law to allow pension pots to be cashed in early. “The amount of money is substantial," said the judge. “Your saving grace is that you have been able to pay back the money you took and it's fully repaid."

Holmes was sentenced to 20 months in jail, suspended for 18 months. He must do 150 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £550.

                                    

Court shown film of fox dig, flushing and chase at Jedforest FH trial
LACS monitor says 'appalling' acts illegal and against MFHA rules

27-4-17   Border Telegraph   Video footage shown in fox-hunting trial   Video evidence showing a fox being dug out of a hole and then chased by a pack of hounds has been described as "appalling" at Jedburgh Sheriff Court [right]. Witnesses claimed that the footage proved "traditional" fox hunting is still going on despite legislation being introduced 15 years ago.

An investigator from the League Against Cruel Sports gave the court his verdict on two videos filmingJedburghSherriffCourt.jpg the activities of the Jedforest Hunt at Townfoothill Farm near Jedburgh, on February 18 last year. Peter Cross filmed the incident on a video camera from a distance of 650 metres along with fellow investigator Terence Hill after they both set an observation point for a covert operation. The footage captured a fox being chased into an earth by the hounds and then a man spending more than 20 minutes digging a hole to locate the fox.

The law says the fox should then be dispatched or killed by a hand pistol or shotgun. But the footage shows the fox being released from the hole and immediately pursued by the hounds. The fox goes out of sight behind a land ridge - a blind spot for the cameramen - and its fate cannot be confirmed.

Mr Cross told the court: "What we have witnessed there is in direct contradiction of the Masters of Foxhounds Association rules. It is not only an illegal act but I think their governing body would like to have words about their behaviour too. If it is known a fox is in the earth they can be dug down and dispatched with a pistol if the farmer requires pest control." Referring to the hounds chasing the fox he said: "It is just not necessary to do that to a fox. Personally I find it appalling."

Father and son John Clive Richardson, 66, and 24-year-old Johnny Riley from the Jedforest Hunt are on trial accused of deliberately hunting a fox with hounds - which has been illegal in Scotland since the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002. The trial of Richardson and Riley of Abbotrule, Bonchester Bridge, continues.

Pic below shows Jedforest FH allegedly hunting a fox on 18-2-16

     JedforestFHhuntingfox18-2-16.jpg 


 

Fitzwilliam FH illegal hunting case is adjourned yet again
Trial now due to start 20 months after alleged offences

25-4-17  Morethanjustbadgers.net   Court Politics   Just a short update this week as I had hoped to be making the final preparations for my time in court as a witness for the prosecution of the 2 members of the Fitzwilliam Hunt. When you consider the offence took place on the 01/01/16 you begin to understand that the legal process is not something which proceeds quickly and there is good reason for that. However the when dates and locations for the hearing get changed multiple times it can get somewhat frustrating.

The case was supposed to be heard this week (26/27th) at Chelmsford Magistrates but I was contacted by a court official only last week and informed that the case would now be heard in August at Colchester Magistrates. While this delay is annoying the reasons behind it could be deemed to be in the prosecution's favour. Due to the high profile of the case it couldn't be heard in the county where the offence took place (Cambridgeshire) so other courts and magistrates had to be considered. I was informed the reason for the late delay was due to "court politics". According to a legal expert who has been advising me court politics usually refers to a "magistrate that was due to hear the case that had obviously expressed some views about hunting which compromised their ability to hear the case objectively".

This being the case, I guess I should be pleased with the delay although that statement could be taken in the both for and against (hunting) points of view. Further details from the court official once again highlighted that this particular case was more akin to that of a murder trial (to be honest I consider it a murder trial of the fox on that fateful day) in that it is being heavily scrutinised and is also the first time the use of the Bird of Prey Exemption has been challenged in the courts.

The investigating officer also contacted me the day after asking if we were all ready to go and I had to inform him of the further delays as he was unaware. From his point of view it made no difference as he wouldn't have to attend the court on the day. Even though he was the investigating officer he didn't conduct any of the interviews so wouldn't be cross examined by the defence, as this was done by more senior colleagues from the serious crime section, another sign that things were being taken very seriously indeed.

While preparing for my day in court I did go over my statement and also reviewed the video footage. It doesn't get any easier to watch and of course in my mind there can be only one outcome but, this is the Hunting Act and nothing is straight forward where that is concerned.

Pic below - The accused. Huntsman George Adams and bird handler John Mease.

    FitzwilliamFHGeorgeAdamsandJohnMease.jpg

POWAperson comments - I really hope the writer is correct in his assessment of the reasons for these extraordinary delays [though 20 months must be a record], and if a hunt sympathising judge has been recused, that must be good. But I have my doubts. Time and again we see illegal hunting cases being stretched out, often by defence manoeuvring, and how often that ends with acquittals or the CPS dropping charges - and that's just in the rare cases where the CPS do summon up the bottle to take on the hunt side's 'expensive lawyers'. 

 

Man charged over fox found captive near Belvoir FH kennels
Charge comes 17 months after incident - Hunt deny involved

24-4-17    Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   A man has been charged with animal welfare offences regarding the fox which was found in an outbuilding in preparation for the Belvoir Hunt which was meeting close by. Nigel Smith (59), of Stainby, Lincs, is due in court next month. Of course, the Hunt are denying everything claiming no knowledge or involvement. This is pretty standard behaviour. Get the serfs to do the dirty work then let them carry the can when and it they get found out.

POWAperson adds - The original story can be found here and here. Pic below - the fox found in the shed by LACS' investigators.

    BelvoirFHFoxfoundcaptiveonBuckminsterEstat12-15.jpg 

  

Anti gets to see her apology letter from hunter abuser after 4 months
His tirade of sexist abuse got him a conditional caution including apology
Police previously refused to allow victim to see his apology letter

24-4-17  Daily Mail   Anti-hunt activist who was called a 'f*****g slag' and a 'whore' at a protest battles for FOUR MONTHS to see a copy of her abuser's apology letter - Hunt spectator subjected Cathy Scott to barrage of foul-mouthed sexist abuse - He called her 'a f****** fat s***' and told her to 'f*** off back to Coventry'   After a video of the incident went viral, the unnamed man received a police caution over the incident on the condition he provided a written apology. Ms Scott said she had to battle police for four months to get a copy of the letter.

Cathy Scott was labelled a 'f****** slag' and a 'whore' by a 59-year-old man in Sutton Cheney, Leics,AtherstoneFHsupportertofemalemonitorYoufuckingfatbitchafterramminghercar29-11-16.jpg last November. After a video of the incident went viral on social media sites, the unnamed man received a police caution over the incident, on the condition he provided a written apology. The video emerged just days after a local councillor on horseback told a hunt protester that he would 'quite like to s***' her.

But after Ms Scott asked Leicestershire Police why she hadn't received the letter, she claims she was told she would have to view it at a police station but wouldn't be able to touch or keep it due to its 'sensitive nature'. When Ms Scott, 41, complained about the 'bizarre' decision, she says she was then offered a version of the letter with the perpetrator's name redacted. It was only after Ms Scott lodged a formal complaint that she eventually got given a copy of the letter - some four months after the incident, and two months after it was written.

AtherstoneFHSupportercautionedafterramssabcarthensubjectsfemaletotorrentofabuse29-11-16.jpgMs Scott, from Coventry, Warwickshire, said: 'Leicestershire Police were essentially protecting the perpetrator and treating me, the victim, like a criminal. If I have to jump through hoops like that to get a simple letter of apology, what chance do other victims of more serious crimes have? They told me I could come and read the letter at arm's length - what sort of rule is that? It was agreed that as part of his conditional caution he would write me a letter of apology and take a victim awareness course. Did they think I would never ask about the letter? This man called me some of the most horrible, misogynistic names under the sun. He waved his fist at me and another woman and we really did feel threatened."

"I had to chase the letter up time and time again and they gave me this most peculiar excuse that because it had details of a 'sensitive nature' they couldn't let me keep it. Obviously I questioned this but they were adamant that I couldn't have it and would have to meet a police officer to look at it. It was absolutely ludicrous and if I hadn't have fought it, I'd probably still be waiting for the apology."

The shocking footage was shared on Facebook by members of the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, who were on the country road to protest against the Atherstone Hunt. Ms Scott and another member of the West Midlands Hunt Saboteur group were involved in a confrontation with two men. after a collision between their cars during a hunt on November 29th last year. One man got out of his vehicle and said to Ms Scott: 'You want some of this, f*****? Eh?' before adding: 'F*** off back to Coventry where you belong you f****** w****.'

Ms Scott said: 'We were there to monitor activity on the hunt. We stopped our vehicle on the lane because weAtherstoneFHAntisapologyletterforabusebysupporter29-11-16.jpg could see them coming down the track. They drove their vehicle into us and that's when I was met with this tirade of abuse. It was really nasty stuff. He was effing and blinding and calling me all the names under the sun, all on camera. It was completely unacceptable language. I told him it was some of the worst abuse I had ever heard. It was unprovoked and unnecessary. I was feeling massively intimidated and that's why I reported it to the police. To be fair, they dealt with the initial incident swiftly. But I didn't expect to be waiting on an apology all this time later. He wrote the letter in January for goodness sake and I only got it in March.'

It is believed the unnamed man must now attend a victim awareness course which he must pay for himself and he must write a letter of apology to the victim. The letter read: 'I am writing this letter of apology to you as instructed, I apologise to you for the coarse language and derogatory comments used against you on Tuesday the 29th of November 2016. On the gated road [in] Sutton Cheney. The comments were made in the heat of the moment, and for that I apologise.'

A Leicestershire Police spokesperson said: 'An initial decision was made by an officer not to provide a copy of the apology letter due to some of the content within. A complaint was made from the victim regarding this which coincided with a review from a more senior officer on the original decision. After a review, this officer agreed to provide a copy of the apology letter to the victim. A complaint from the victim is still under investigation by our Professional Standards department therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage.'

Tory councillor Charles Carter, 33, quit his position at Breckland Council after a video of him being sexist and misogynistic to a hunt protester went viral. Carter told Linda Hoggard, who filmed his derogatory comments, that she was 'very pretty' and asked if he could take her to bed.

Original story and video can be found here. 

                                    

Sabs stop Cheriton Mink Hounds from hunting

22-4-17  Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs   Today we stopped the Cheriton/former Devon & Cornwall Minkhounds from killing wildlife on the river Torridge. Together with Somerset Sabs and South Devon Animal Rights we turned up to their meet at the Stevenstone Hunt kennels in Torrington and packed them up before they even got the hounds out of the trailer. A fairly relaxed stand-off ensued while the hunt members (all 6 of them) considered their options. One of them entertained us with the usual drivel about wildlife 'management', immigration, townies and ISIS. When we reminded him that hunting a wild mammal (including otters and mink) with hounds was illegal, out came the familiar excuse, "oh but we're just here to exercise them". When asked why he minded us observing the hounds being 'exercised', he said "well they might bump into an otter... and then we'd be doing what you're suggesting we're going to do". ... After an hour of standing around in a field, the hunt made the sensible decision to head home to avoid any 'accidental' hunting. Two hours and many country lanes later they were safely tucked up back at the kennels. Job done.

                                     

Motorists appalled by horrific death on road of deer after Exmoor Hunt
Quantock Stag Hounds believed to be responsible for outrage
Exmoor resident Sir Rannulph Fiennes says he feels 'ashamed'
LACS brands the deer killing as 'utterly horrific' 

21-4-17  Devon Live   Drivers horrified to witness 'public execution' of terrified deer A scared deer leaped from a bridge on to a road and was 'executed' by a huntsman yesterday in front of several 'disgusted' members of the public, according to someone who witnessed the incident.

An eyewitness, who does not wish to be named, said the shocking ordeal left her 'horrified and deeply saddened'QuantockSHSceneofdeerkillhorror21-4-17.jpg after the 'exhausted' animal was cornered by hounds on a bridge above a public road near Dulverton [right]. She watched as the scene played out and said she was left in 'pure disgust', and questioned how such a 'barbaric ordeal' was legal.

Speaking to DevonLive, she said: "I am not the usual type to complain about anything to this degree but yesterday I witnessed something which deeply saddened and disgusted me along with many other members of public present at the time. "The staghounds were out on a hunt close to the Mason's Kings, not far from Black Cat, Dulverton way and they had clearly been chasing a poor stag for some time when it came to the old railway bridge. he hounds had it cornered and the poor animal was so exhausted it could hardly stand, it's tongue hanging out and it's body wobbling all over the place."

She said she, along with others, were held up on the road when quad bikes and other vehicles blocked the animal's escape routes and a gunman scrambled up the side of the bridge towards the animal. She said: "The animal, clearly distressed, took one look at its only route to potential escape and threw itself off the top of the 30ft bridge and crashed on to the road below in front of all of the members of public. The animal lay in the road - seriously injured but still alive - to which the gunman then shot and ended the prolonged suffering."

She and many others watching were horrified by the 'barbaric ordeal'. She said: "Members of the public were frantic, shouting at the huntsmen in pure disgust. All of this is actually completely legal - how is this allowed? I think the law has a great deal to answer for. I am not against controlling populations of wildlife such as deer and foxes. I live on a nearby farm and have studied wildlife related subjects at a university level so have a good understanding of the countryside. I do not, however, think there is a place for such practices in this day and that alternative more humane and effective ways exist to manage wild populations and it is about time that these animals were protected and respected."

DevonLive has contacted several local staghound groups to ask who organised the hunt, but none of them have yet responded.

POWAperson adds - We have been privately informed that the Hunt responsible was the Quantock Stag Hounds. This Hunt already carries 2 convictions for illegal hunting. Sir Rannulph Fiennes, an Exmoor resident who turned against hunting after his local hunt killed a fox that used to visit him, has made the following Facebook post -

21-4-17   Facebook - Sir Ranulph Fiennes   As a resident of Exmoor I am ashamed!

Pic below, credit DevonLive -  

     QuantockSHHunteddeerleapsfrombridgeontoroadinfrontofmotorists21-4-17.jpg 

25-4-17   Devon Live   League Against Cruel Sports brands deer killing on busy road as 'utterly horrific'    A charity which vows to protect animals from cruelty in sports has branded the public killing of a deer on a main road as "shocking and utterly horrific". The League Against Cruel Sports contacted DevonLive after reading our story about a scared deer leaped which from a bridge on to a road and was 'executed' by a huntsman. The incident took place last Thursday (April 20) in front of several 'disgusted' members of the public, according to a driver who saw the events unfurl. The eyewitness, who did not wish to be named, said the shocking ordeal left her 'horrified and deeply saddened' after the 'exhausted' animal was cornered by hounds on a bridge above the A396 road near Dulverton.

Now the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), a charity which campaigns to ban hunting in the UK, has condemned the incident and says deaths like these need to stop. Eduardo Goncalves, chief executive of LACS, said: "This was utterly horrific for the stag and shocking for the members of the public who witnessedQuantockSHBloodontheroadwherethedeerwaskillednearDulverton21-4-17.jpg it. Unfortunately the killing of stags like this isn't as uncommon as people might hope. "Stag hunting is banned, but some hunts in and around Devon and Somerset continue to chase these animals, and continue to make excuses as to why deaths occur. Frankly it needs to stop. Don't think this was a one off. The League Against Cruel Sports has a wildlife sanctuary near Dulverton and we have to keep guard on a regular basis to stop hunts from chasing deer onto our land. I can't put a figure on the number of deer and stags who have run full tilt onto our land to reach safety. Reports from this incident say the stag appeared exhausted – that suggests it had been chased over a long period. Any suggestion that it was merely discovered by the hunt, or was accidentally chased for a short period before reaching the bridge, doesn't seem to match the facts. Sometimes hunts claim they are 'helping' an injured stag by chasing it to put it down. That doesn't sound like animal welfare to me."

Speaking on Friday, an eyewitness told DevonLive how the incident left her in "pure disgust", and questioning how such a "barbaric ordeal" could be legal. She said: "I am not the usual type to complain about anything to this degree but this deeply saddened and disgusted me. The staghounds had clearly been chasing the poor stag for some time when it came to the old railway bridge. The hounds had it cornered and the poor animal was so exhausted it could hardly stand, it's tongue hanging out and it's body wobbling all over the place." She said she, along with others, were held up on the road when quad bikes and other vehicles blocked the animal's escape routes and a gunman scrambled up the side of the bridge towards the animal...

DevonLive has contacted Avon and Somerset Police to see if they are aware of the matter. No hunt has yet claimed responsibility for the incident. DevonLive has tried to contact several hunts in the area, but none have got back to us.

Pic above right - Blood stains left on A396 

 

POWA presses for strengthening commitment in Labour manifesto

20-4-17    Protect Our Wild Animals has written to the Labour Party leadership and MPs requesting that a commitment to strengthen the Hunting Act 2004 be included in the Party's manifesto for the election on June 8th. Even if Labour do not win power this time, such a commitment will make it easier to get it made official party policy and included in any future manifesto. Penny Little, POWA member and highly experienced hunt monitor, has also launched a petition requesting a strengthening commitment. Please sign this urgently and share as widely as you can.  

To: Jeremy Corbyn

Include in the manifesto a commitment to strengthen the Hunting Act

Why is this important?

The Hunting Act of 2005 is far too weak to restrain the hunters. Illegal hunting is absolutely rife. The animal welfare consequences of this are horrendous. People who demanded a ban on hunting did not want a law that was weak, unenforced and laughed at by the hunters. The police refuse to even try to crack down on this anarchy. The only solution is a stronger - much stronger - law, with harsher penalties. A ban is supported by 84+% of the population. Labour can gather many, many votes from making this commitment in their manifesto. Please sign this petition and share it far and wide - the animals desperately need your help.

 

 

 

 


Town Council secret meeting with Atherstone FH exposed by sabs

20-4-17   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Atherstone Town Council in secret meeting with Hunt    Despite the public interest in The Atherstone Hunt, who have had their violent, abusive, and criminal behaviour reported on by the media over 80 times, Atherstone Town Council have seen fit to accept the hunt's request for a private meeting over the violent events in the Market Square on the 02/01/2017. This meeting took place on 15/03/2017. We have no way of knowing what the Council and the hunt discussed as there are no notes or minutes that can be scrutinised. We will keep a closer eye on the activity of the Council from now on. Further unaccountable 'shadow' meetings with criminal bloodsport fanatics are unacceptable and disrespectful to all those who want justice & respect for wild animals.

The Council claim they have yet to make a decision over the Atherstone Hunts future use of the Market Square and are due to have a secret meeting with senior officers from Warwickshire Police. The same police force who are partially responsible for the violence by choosing not to police the event and who have subsequently lied and tried to cover up their involvement.

How can Atherstone Town Council make an impartial decision over this issue when the Councillors who have vested interests in the hunt are allowed to vote on the issue? All vested interests in the Atherstone Hunt should be declared and anyone with interests in the hunt should abstain from decision making. Complaints should be directed to http://www.atherstone-tc.gov.uk/contact-us.

    AtherstoneFHHoldsecreetingwithTownCouncil15-3-17.jpg

 

Badsworth FH filmed trespassing along a canal towpath, not for first time
Reported to landowners the Canal and River Trust

14-4-17   Wildlife Guardian   Fox hunt ignored warning signs to trespass on canal towpaths   A fox Hunt’s actions have been branded as extremely irresponsible for endangering public safety after repeatedly ignoring warning signs and galloping down narrow canal towpaths with a pack of foxhounds. The Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt have been reported to the Canal & River Trust for riding along towpaths on the New Junction Canal at Sykehouse and Fishlake, nr Doncaster, on several occasions during the past six months.

The Canal & River Trust, who manage the canal, prohibit horses using towpaths due to the serious risk to the public as well as the horses. During the latest incident, a local resident, who did not wish to be named, claimed that the Hunt, along with 30 foxhounds, spent up to an hour on the towpaths at Sykehouse and Fishlake, despiteBadsworthFHHuntsmanandJMtrespassingontowpath4-17.jpg warning signs clearly prohibiting horses on the towpath.

Mobile phone footage seen by the Wildlife Guardian shows Huntsman Richard Mould and Joint Master Nigel Dickson galloping down the towpath as the hounds are in cry. The Hunt then head to the opposite towpath, where the hounds are encouraged to hunt through wildlife habitat owned by the Canal & River Trust. The Hunt’s terriermen and terriers were later seen joining the Hunt on the towpath. The trespass occurred in full view of a Canal & River Trust manned station, and despite previous incidents being reported to the Trust, no action was taken to stop the Hunt.

A spokesman for the Wildlife Guardian stated, “The Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt behaviour is utterly reckless and they are endangering the safety of legitimate users of the towpaths, such as dog walkers and cyclists. They also demonstrated a blatant disregard for the safety of the horses. This is not an isolated incident, it’s occurring five or six times a year. It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured. The Canal & River Trust cannot keep turning a blind eye to the trespass and the extremely irresponsible actions of the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt.”

In 2014, a photo of the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt trespassing on the same towpath, led by then huntsman Nigel Dickson, was published on the Countryside Alliance Facebook page. Last year the Hunt made the national news when hunt saboteurs were driven at by terriermen in balaclavas on a quad bike.


                                    
Minehead Harriers hunt on NT land where recent bTb breakdown

11-4-17  Facebook - Chris Tasker    Do hunts give a toss about biosecurity ? Er, No ! On 1st December 2016, Cloutsham Farm, nr Minehead was listed for a bTB breakdown. So on 29th January 2017, the Minehead Harriers had a meet at the farm and spent 4 hours on the farm fields pretending to trail hunt, complete with equipped terriermen, a dozen riders, riders on point and overloaded quad bikes. To compound the issue, they had invited another hunt to join them, the Tiverton Foxhounds, so spreading whatever they picked up another 25 miles when they went home. The farm is National Trust property, and the Hunt had a trail licence from NT.

   MineheadHarriers29-1-17.jpg  MineheadHarriersandTivertonFHhuntingonNTland29-1-17.jpg

    

Monitors blocked, abused, menaced by VWH support as Hunt tries to find foxes

Police called out three times by threatened monitor group 

10-4-17   Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch    Both the VWH and Cotswold hunts were out on Saturday, presumably able to hunt this late as they have access to large private estates and therefore don’t have to stop because farmers are growing crops. The fact that the foxes they hunt probably have cubs that need feeding is not considered by these people. With the help from a Three Counties sab, we covered the VWH meet which was in Cirencester Park the home of Allen Bathurst the 9th Earl of Bathurst and his Countess wife Sara who came out and attended the hunt in their 4x4.

The Hunt left the meet area quickly and disappeared into the large area of sloping woods behind the polo ground. It took a long time to track them down but eventually we did, finding them putting the hounds to search through the undergrowth. They continued to do this, but when the hounds picked up two of our team were able to get their heads up, much to the annoyance of the Huntsman. They moved on quickly, in fact they kept moving on, hunting when they could but as the huntsman told one of our team, the warm day and the wild garlic made it hard for the hounds to find scent.

Supporters were starting to gather and these included some of the Bicester Boys – ‘Tommy Gadget Man’ who seems to have swapped his ‘gadget’ for a mobile phone and also a truck load of ‘anti-antis’ from Dorset who presumably wanted to prolong their fun after their own hunts had all finished. They basically think it’s clever to surround monitors cars to try and harass and intimidate and to show off in front of their friends. During the day, we had 2 instances of drunken hunt thugs banging their fists on the window of our vehicles threatening and abusing the occupants. At one of these instances, a redcoat was watching. After the driver called the police, the redcoat suddenly decided he needed to apologise for the hunt thug. At another point in the day ‘anti-antis’ lay in the road and surrounded one of our vehicles to prevent it from moving! Foot-walkers were subjected to tactics of harassment designed to avoid legal action as well. This all resulted in us having to contact the police three times.

Despite extensive searching, the hunt found nothing in Overley Wood and went back down the park to the bottom end, trying to hunt the wood near the polo ground entrance but prevented by the timely arrival of two lots of foot-walkers. They changed horses at the polo ground and immediately set off again towards the north of the park, not seeming to find much and not heard on cry just repeatedly searching. Two women hikers in the park were shocked to learn what was taking place, and wished us luck. Sadly, towards the very end of the day after most of the field had gone home, they went quickly back up from the south end of the park to the Overley Ride area where they were heard in cry. As we only had one monitor in that area, they were able to hunt for some time- sadly we don’t know the outcome. It is pretty sure they returned to where they knew there was a fox – maybe the one that had gone to ground last Wednesday or maybe the one that our team had earlier protected.

The ‘anti-antis’ followed our vehicle at the end of the day. As we went towards the bend on the A419 near the polo ground entrance, a female pheasant was knocked by a car coming the other way and staggered to our side of the road. Our driver put on hazard lights and stopped while we collected the bird to try to help it. The ‘anti-antis’ in the vehicle behind, jeered and laughed at this action showing their complete inability to empathise with injured wildlife. Luckily we knew of a safe haven where the pheasant could be kept and monitored. We have since heard that it recovered and flew off. Stay safe little bird!

The Hunt went on until around 6pm. It was a terrible and disturbing sight on a beautiful spring day to see young children being escorted by veteran hunt riders actively indoctrinating them by pointing us out to be misguided.

 

Police powers to demand face mask removal enhanced

7-4-17    Countryside Alliance   New power to remove face coverings from violent protesters comes into effect today   Today (3rd April) police have been given new powers to remove face coverings from violent protestors. Last month, Minister of State for Policing, Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, wrote to all Police Constables making them aware of a new power to make it easier for police officers to request that face coverings be removed from violent protestors. The Minister’s letter follows a Countryside Alliance led campaign.

Last December the House of Lords passed a Government amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill which will make it easier for the police to tackle violent masked protestors. The amendment was in response to concerns raised regarding the inability of police to request the removal of face coverings from violent protestors without prior written authorisation from a senior police officer. Last months letter by the Minister’s informed Police Constables that the new provision will commence on today (3rd April).

The amendment means that a senior police officer will be able to give immediate oral authorisation for a constable to remove face-coverings, where it is impracticable for that authorisation to be given in writing. The law had required prior written authorisation that the police have grounds for reasonable belief that activities may take place in an area that are likely to involve the commission of offences. The conditions and protections remain exactly the same, but the fast track process will now allow the police to tackle a serious issue both in rural communities and elsewhere.

Research by the Countryside Alliance using the Freedom of Information Act published last year revealed that the powers had only been used on one occasion in the past three years to require animal rights activists at a hunt to remove face coverings, despite the use of masks to intimidate and hide identity being a standard tactic of hunt saboteurs. The powers had been used on many occasions in relation to pre-arranged demonstrations and football matches.

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

POWAperson comments -  The CA and their hunting friends could well find the old saw 'Be careful what you wish for...' coming back to bite them. Hunt thugs and even some redcoats commonly mask up in order to conceal their identities from anti cameras, so they can carry out their illegal hunting and assaults on antis with even greater impunity than they currently enjoy. If the police apply these new powers fairly [admittedly, this is far from a given] they will lose that anonymity and the chances of their being arrested and charged will be that much greater. 

 

VWH FH run away as monitors find hounds marking to ground

6-4-17  Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch    5th April. Not enough for you VWH?   On Wednesday 5th April, a walker came on them [the Vale of the White Horse Hunt] yet again hunting in Cirencester Park. This time a secretive meet with a small field of followers, horseboxes and hound lorry all clustered together near the polo ground. It was late in the day but we managed to rally a couple of people and, trying to make a good guess, came in from the Overly Road where we came right on the Hunt with the hounds searching.

Just as we arrived and got seen by the redcoats, they went on cry and as we were already slightly behind them all we could do is follow. Just as we heard the disappearing sound of the hunting horn we rounded a bend to find part of the pack marking to ground and the rest of the Hunt completely vanished. The hounds were frantically digging at a hole, making it clear that the fox they had been pursuing had escaped underground. We got them off and they hung around as the Hunt had apparently abandoned them - maybe worried after the witnessed kill last Saturday? But they eventually drifted off and we guarded the area until we were sure they were not coming back for this fox, and visited again later to check. The Hunt had really run and we could not find them again, but we felt that at least we had managed to save this fox - for now.

 

Vale of the White Horse FH slaughter fox in front of monitors
Charged recklessly on to A roads before and after the kill
Monitors filmed them and have reported Hunt to police

Quote from monitor - "I know that what I saw today will stay with me the rest of my life. One moment that beautiful creature was in front of me running for his life, and the next I was looking at his blood soaking into the ground." 

6-4-17  Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch   Vale of the White Horse FH, Saturday 1st April   The Hunt met at a farm behind Coates and after bursting out onto the main Tetbury A433 road, chased and killed a fox in front of four of our team in the fields behind Cirencester Agricultural University The fox never had a chance as there were Hunt officials and groups of riders blocking every escape. Just like Wednesday, they seemed to be hunting recklessly with no heed for cameras or the law. A redcoat tried to block our view, but one of our monitors was coming from the other direction and was able to film. The Huntsman got off his horse and ran off with the body, leaving gobbets of flesh, hair and blood on the ground. We are talking to the Police and will be putting up footage in due course.

This event did not stop the VWH hunting foxes that day. They went on cry again between Tarlton and the A433 Tetbury road, but 3Cs sab working with us that day rated the hounds off the fox. We managed to get monitors in to the areas they were drawing around Tarlton Wood and towards the Tunnel Inn, and once again a CIHW monitor got the hounds heads up as they started on a scent. they finally disrupted the very busy A419 Stroud Road to take the Hunt across into the main park, where they went up the length of the park and back, seeming to be at last inhibited by a public event within the park, packing up at around five.

    VWHFHRedcoatrunningawaywithfoxcorpse1-4-17.jpg 

A member of CIWH [also of POWA] told us - Monitors saw no 'trail' laid before hunting began next to the main Tetbury road. The hounds burst out onto the main road, disrupting the traffic before going towards the back of the University farm.

When the hounds went into cry the huntsmen made no effort to stop them until it was too late A fox was seen by a monitor fleeing for its life, just before the pack caught it. The Hunt officials seemed to panic. The Huntsman galloped over, viciously whipped the hounds off and rushed away on foot with the body, running from the camera [see pic above]. Monitors filmed the remains - chunks of flesh, hair, skin and blood.

‘The worst of it is,’ she said 'orphaned fox cubs may have been left underground, where they will experience a slow and terrible death by starvation. Wildlife rescue centres are currently taking in fox cubs, some born as early as February. The Hunt will claim there were trails laid, but they were seen searching near main roads and through fields of oil seed rape, where they would be likely to find foxes resting up in cover. Like many other Hunts, they will claim the kill was an 'accident', but we filmed them chasing more foxes later in the day. We are supplying footage to the police and call for the law to be enforced against Hunts that we believe repeatedly chase and kill foxes 'accidentally on purpose’.


 

 

VWH FH relentlessly hunted fox late in day and may have killed

6-4-17   Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch   VWH Hunt, Wednesday 29th March   We were tipped off that the Vale of the White Horse FH were in Cirencester Park and two of us, plus a Three Counties sab managed to attend. It was a 'children's meet' but as we have witnessed before, once the children have left in the middle of the day, the Hunt gets down to it.

From mid afternoon they hunted up and down the main section of the park on the Sapperton side, where weVWHFHHoundshunting29-3-17.jpg found them. 3Cs sab got the hounds off one tired fox, but they were relentlessly after another - just glimpsed by CIHW at the Overly Road as it ran across with the hounds in cry after it, just too far away to try and stop them. The redcoats came blasting out onto the road after the hounds and refused to call them off even though they were told a fox had been seen.

The fox ran in a large circle, across the road and back into the main park and round again. The redcoat did retreat once when he came on a CIHW monitor with a camera. They had clearly lost the scent at one point, and were witnessed by CIHW bringing the hounds back to the spot and putting them to search through the thick undergrowth until they picked up on the scent again.

We have seen this before, but this time there was a difference. The redcoats and the small hardcore of riders left in the last hours of this hunt were avidly and blatantly hunting, totally ignoring our presence and absolutely relentless in pursuit of the fox, which they chased the length of the park and back again, for around one and a half hours, finally going quiet at 6.30. We strongly believe it was the same fox because the monitors trying to track the Hunt in the extensive woodland of Cirencester Park could hear the hounds go off cry, losing the scent followed by a shortish pause when they would be back on again. We have heard many times that at the end of the season Hunts become even more determined and bloodthirsty. We saw it. We do not know how it ended as a hunt suddenly going quiet can mean a kill or that the fox has gone to ground, to be dug out by terriermen and killed.

  

Film of monitor's car windscreen being smashed at S.Dorset FH meet
Video also has stills of young riders struggling to escape bog

2-4-17  Facebook - Dorset Hunt Sabs  VIDEO   Hit Report Thursday 30th March 2017, South Dorset Hunt Meeting at Rollington Farm, Corfe Castle    This [2nd] report focuses on two specific incidents of the day.

During the early part of the day, while the field were travelling through the forestry not far from the Oil Gathering Station, three young riders not knowing the all-consuming bogs in the area rode off track. Their horses sunk intoS.DorsetFH2youngridersstrugglingtoescapebog30-3-17.jpg the bog and threw the young riders. The horses, now under some stress, thrashed around to get a footing in the brown foul-smelling bog [right]. The monitor who was close by stopped videoing and carefully ‘danced’ over to the area trying to avoid the deepest of the bog sumps and gullies.

He was concerned the horses would endanger the young riders by falling on them and pushing them into the bog. After asking the young riders if they were okay he beckoned over adult riders. Two of the ponies came out of the bog without to much stress. The third was seriously struggling and moving the wrong way. Eventually the pony was persuaded to turn and came out the bog in the direction from which he came. Riders and ponies looked to be okay on exit from the bog, although probably stressed.

When the very same monitor returned to his car at the end of hunting he found his windscreen smashed. It appeared to have been smashed with a hard object [Dash-cam still below]. Police, who were on site all day, were called and attended. Frankly they were furious at what had happened and will follow up the crime. After the monitor was on the scene of the bog incident and standing by to help earlier in the day he was extremely disappointed that a hunt follower should resort to such vandalism.

Note: The vehicle had a ‘dash cam’. The video from the dash cam is now being studied for evidence of who committed the crime. We have set up a GFM to pay for the damage to the monitors car, we have worked closely with him this season. We are in awe of his experience and he is one of the kindest and caring gentlemen you will ever meet. https://www.gofundme.com/dorset-sabs-vandalised-vehicle

     S.DorsetFHMomentmonitorswindscreensmashed30-3-17.jpg 

'Notorious' hunt supporter to be charged at last over 'vicious assault'

1-4-17   Facebook – Outpaced   We hate to tease with half a story but sometimes we have no choice. Outpaced, after a two year case have had a significant result in which one of the hunts most notorious and odious individuals is about to be prosecuted. It's even more satisfying that he thinks he has long got away with his vicious assault. We took it to the highest of review level with the CPS and at last to a specialist prosecutor. Given a couple of outrageous acquittals recently our compliments to the CPS in recognising that public interest is best served in bringing this case. We are only not giving more detail as we don't want to spoil his surprise. At such a time, I f the victim gives permission, we will publish the full story.

 

MARCH 2017 

..... 30th March - Police stop S.Dorset FH dig out, monitor has car windows smashed, kids ride into bog

..... 28th March - Lord Bonomy says even total ban wouldn't stop Scottish Hunts chasing foxes

..... 27th March - Wilts & Infantry Beagles filmed chasing a hare

..... 27th March - Charity Commission refuses Countryside Alliance bid for charitable status

..... 26th March - Middleton FH hounds killed/injured as taken across busy road 

..... 26th March - Portman FH blocks Wessex Ridgeway path and tries to stop walkers using it

..... 26th March - Sabs write to AAC after police fail to deal with multiple attacks at Woodland Pytchley FH

..... 26th March - Dart Vale Harriers chase deer for 2 miles before gizmo-aided escape

..... 26th March - Monitor uploads video compilation of hunt horse mistreatment

..... 25th March - Campaigners seek sacking of Kent Wildlife Trust hare hunter

..... 24th March - Old Surrey hunt foxes, hit sab, retiring Huntsman Mark Bycroft charges others

..... 24th March - As S.Herefordshire FH 5 re-bailed, sab gets threatening mail re. case 

..... 24th March - Anti hunt FB page responds to CA attempt to shut it down

..... 23rd March - DEFRA response to bTb in hunt kennels... do nothing

..... 23rd March - Chairman of Kent Wildlife Trust is JM of the Blean Beagles!

..... 23rd March - Director of NT contradicts official who said they can't monitor hunts on NT land

..... 23rd March - Sabs take hounds off 'Shag' Carter as Middleton FH have kill-free day

..... 22nd March - Ledbury FH shows solidarity with scandal-hit S.Herefordshire Hunt

..... 21st March - Sabs upload more film of Atherstone FH New Year meet violence & abuse

..... 19th March - Sab hospitalised, another hurt, in attacks by Pytchley FH thugs

..... 19th March - Reports that sabs badly hurt, property damaged/stolen at Middleton FH meet

..... 19th March - Isle of Wight FH Huntsman whacks sab around head with his crop

..... 18th March - South Dorset FH hound run over as hunt thug harasses sabs

..... 17th March - Heythrop FH very nearly caught fox then caused road rage on A424

..... 17th March - Sabs try to save hares hunted by Waveney Harriers as police look on

..... 16th March - Eight blocked setts found day after Heythrop FH closing meet

..... 16th March - Beaufort FH Huntsman refuses to pull hounds off fox they close behind

..... 16th March - Trial of two Jedforest FH hunt servants begins [adjourned on 2nd day]

..... 16th March - 'Two foxes pushed from van for Zetland FH to chase' allegation

..... 16th March - Bizarre hound blessing by Anglican priest at Chiddingfold FH meet

..... 15th March - Landowner finds Beaufort FH trotting through his wood without permission

..... 15th March - Monitors think Cotswold FH killed, as they hunted many familiar coverts

..... 14th March - Three Grove & Rufford FH members convicted of illegal hunting

..... 14th March - Terrierman trying to hit sab almost falls off speeding quad

..... 13th March - Woodland Pytchley FH Director resigns as Wildlife Trust trustee after short campaign

..... 13th March - Sabs stop 2 Essex/Suffolk FH dig outs, quad hits sab, redcoat endangers own horse

..... 13th March - Fife FH hunt foxes - no guns - sabs think first was bagged

..... 12th March - Sabs stop hare pack from hunting and fox pack from killing

..... 12th March - Sabs stop two dig outs by Taunton Vale FH as Hunt chase foxes

..... 12th March - Southdown FH follower punches out car window, injuring sab

..... 12th March - Call to boycott Atherstone FH as JM revealed to run pet kennels

..... 12th March - Another hunting vet is exposed

..... 11th March - Local monitors Axe Vale Harriers - sees blatant fox hunting

..... 11th March - Badsworth & Branham FH kill hare near day's end

,,,,, 11th March - Seavington FH cease season with no kills day thanks to antis

..... 11th March - Sab whipped as Fitzwilliam FH stopped from killing foxes

..... 11th March - Sabs get shock as Old Surrey FH spend all day trail hunting

..... 11th March - Hunts running riot in bTb hotspot risks spreading disease

..... 11th March - Blean Beagles head home as soon as sabs appear

..... 10th March - Fitzwilliam killed twice, 8-3 - follower admits hunting but 'nobody to know'

..... 10th March - Hunt causes havoc in Kent village named, ironically, Hunton

.... 10th March - Atherstone FH in disarray as sacked Huntsman & groom sue them

..... 10th March - Melbreak FH hounds seen hunting unsupervised on Nat Trust land

..... 10th March - LACS gets strong with NT over allowing illegal hunting on its land

..... 10th March - CA contests £60k award after racing pigeons killed by hunting hounds

.....  9th March - Film released of Beaufort FH apparently hunting fox

.....  9th March - Pet rabbit killed by hounds as Oakley FH trespass - owner 'devastated'

.....  9th March - Fox killed by Fitzwilliam terriermen died from 'blunt force trauma'

.....  8th March - Southdown FH supporter smashes sab landy window, rider badly hurt later

.....  8th March - Row over vet who is also Director of Cheshire Forest FH

.....  7th March - Four setts found blocked in area being hunted by Heythrop FH

.....  7th March - Two Jedforest FH hunt servants plead NG to illegal hunting charges

..... 7th March - bTb in hounds at Kimblewick FH kennels confirmed - 25 shot so far

..... 7th March - Hunting Surrey Union FH trespass and anger landowner

 ..... 7th March - Illegal hunting trial of Grove & Rufford FH three begins

.....  6th March - Senior equestrienne dies after fall during drag hunt [a real one]

...... 5th March - One fox has a very lucky escape from the Lamerton FH

.....  6th March - Vale of the White Horse FH hunt openly on roads and in gardens

.....  5th March - National Trust beefs up its policy on field sports - a smidgen

..... 5th March - Cheshire Forest FH massed thugs attract police attention at final meet

..... 5th March - Atherstone FH hunted fox out of nature reserve - escaped down sett

..... 4th March - Monitors believe Beaufort FH hunted fox at Prince Charles's place

..... 4th March - Oakley FH thugs assault sabs, steal cameras while police do nothing

….. 4th March – Antis' teamwork denies Portman FH kill, furious farmer tells Hunt off

..... 4th March - Huff Post reporter spends day with sabs visiting the Crawley FH 

..... 4th March - Equestrian business offering 'fox hunting days' on their website

..... 3rd March - Rumours of bTb outbreak at Kimblewick FH - 40 hounds shot?

..... 3rd March - Cotswold FH meet cancelled after 'redcoat fell off horse drunk'

..... 3rd March - Bloodsports lobby attacks anti-hunt Blue Fox again

..... 3rd March - Atherstone FH hounds all over roads, sometimes unaccompanied

..... 2nd March - Sabs violently assaulted by Flint & Denbigh FH 'security'

..... 2nd March - Old Surrey FH have to run gauntlet of derision to reach their Hunt Ball

..... 2nd March - Hunt for lost boy - S.W.Wilts FH hound missing for several days

..... 1st March - Crawley FH redcoats 'pinned sab to fence and kicked him in the face'

..... 1st March - Sabs told fox killed by Hunt - find Surrey Union FH in the area

..... 1st March - S.& W. Wilts FH hounds and horses blessed by 'countryman' priest

.... 1st March - Sab tyres slashed as hares saved from Waveney Harriers

..... 1st March - Veterinary practice hosts meet of the Cottesmore FH

 

MAY 2017

….. 29th May – Thousands attend anti-hunt march in London
..... 28th May - S.Herefordshire FH paying £55k to Ledbury to hunt with them next season, says HIT
..... 27th May - Wildlife Rescue Centre badly damaged by online attacks from hunters
..... 26th May - Melbreak FH supporter/rapist who punched sab given 80 hours CSO
..... 26th May - Isle of Wight FH terrierman fined £80 after clash with sabs in January
 ….. 25th May – Court - Essex Farmers FH must pay £131k over illegally evicting farmer
..... 24th May - HIT refutes SHFH claim that their hounds are alive and well
..... 23rd May - NT anti members present resolution to ban 'trail hunting' on Trust land
….. 22nd May – S.Herefordshire FH five are re-bailed yet again by the CPS
….. 22nd May – Anti arrested at PM campaign rally after thought he'd 'shouted ''Kill May"'
..... 20th May - Sabs stop Northants MH from hunting
….. 18th May – Ledbury FH terrierman charged with affray aftter attacking sab
….. 18th May – 'Biggest ever' anti fox hunting demo scheduled for 29th May
..... 18th May - Police drop Surrey Union FH rider assault on sab case
….. 16th May – Theresa May confirms she will hold free vote on repealing Hunting Act
….. 16th May – S.Herefordshire FH asks 'false allegations' be removed from Facebook
….. 15th May – S.Herefordshire FH said to have killed all but four of their hounds
….. 12th May – 9 year old girl killed in accident while hunting with the Cotswold FH
….. 12th May – Labour Shadow Chancellor says HA must be enforced & strengthened
..... 11th May - CA to pay £62k after Kinnego Hunt invades lofts and kills prize pigeons
…..  8th May – Leak reveals hunters asked to make huge push for Tory landslide
…..  5th May – Isle of Wight FH appeals for funds to fix 'dire' finances
…..  4th May – Three Derwent FH hunt servants charged with illegal hunting
…..  3rd May – RSPCA and Save Me come out for strengthening of the Hunting Act
…..  2nd May – Kimblewick FH bTb outbreak was advised on by vets close to the Hunt

 
Thousands attend anti-hunt march in London

29-5-17   Evening Standard   Make Hunting History protest: Thousands descend on Downing Street in anti-hunting march   Thousands of people have descended on Downing Street in a huge protest [below right] against the Conservative Party’s stance on the fox hunting ban. Prime Minister Theresa May has said that if the Conservatives win the General Election on June 8, she will offer Parliament a free vote to repeal the ban on fox hunting.

On Bank Holiday Monday the Make Hunting History march, which is expected to be the largest public protest of the entire General Election campaign, saw thousands make their feelings on the subject known. The protest left Cavendish Square at about 1.30pm, proceeding down Regents Street, Haymarket and around Trafalgar SquareAntihuntdemo28-5-17.jpg before entering Whitehall.
The event was organised by an alliance of anti-hunt campaign groups and individuals, and speakers included actor and animal rights activist Peter Egan, wildlife campaigner and writer Dominic Dyer and and TV presenter Bill Oddie. He compared the possibility of changing the law on fox hunting to changing speed limits just because "people like driving fast". Speaking ahead of the rally, Oddie said: "I cannot believe that I'm standing here today saying to the Prime Minister this is ridiculous. It's a bit like some years ago they had a speed limit and they decided 'Speed limit? 30. On the motorways we'll go up to 60'. And then 15 years later somebody said 'Can we change it?' And they said 'Why?' - 'Well people like driving fast''... We'll change the law for no sensible reason except purely there are people who want to go fox hunting." Egan said at the protest: “I’ve been voting now since 1966, for 51 years I’ve been voting for various governments. None of them have ever got everything right, in fact some of them have got nothing right, most of them get perhaps one thing right. In 2004, Tony Blair’s government got it right when he brought in the hunting ban In 2002, Theresa May in opposition got it right when she described her party as the nasty party. In 2017 she’s about to get it right because they are becoming the nasty party if they vote to repeal the hunting ban.”
Speaking on the campaign trail in Yorkshire earlier this month, Prime Minister Theresa May said she would push for Parliament to vote on the reversing the ban having “always been in favour” of the controversial country sport. She said: “This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against. As it happens personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting and we maintain out commitment - we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party - to allow a free vote. And that's what it will allow, would allow, Parliament the opportunity to take a decision on this."
Professor Andrew Knight, who is standing for the Animal Welfare Party against Mrs May in the constituency of Maidenhead, said it is "profoundly disturbing" that the Prime Minister thinks fox hunting is acceptable. "We need to have leaders of our country that have basic compassion for animals and other vulnerable members of our society," he said. "Theresa May clearly, I think, is unfit to lead this country, if she clearly and demonstrably lacks these basic qualities."
 
                                     

S.Herefordshire FH paying £55k to hunt with Ledbury next season, says HIT

28-5-17   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team   SPOT THE DIFFERENCE COMPETITION    The South Herefordshire Hunt have tried to pedal the myth of an amalgamation with the Ledbury Hunt. Nobody is fooled anymore by the smoke and mirrors magic trick that Patrick Darling is trying to pull. With no kennels, no hounds, no Huntsman and no supporters anymore this is a total capitulation, not an amalgamation.

The dregs of what is left of the SHH need someone to hunt with next season so they can get their perverted pleasures from seeing animals chased and killed. They are paying the Ledbury £55,000 per year to do this and keep up the pretence of amalgamation.

 

Wildlife rescue centre badly damaged by online attacks from hunters

      BexhillWildlifeRescuedamagedbyonlineattackfromhunters27-5-17.jpg 

 
Melbreak FH supporter/rapist who punched sab given 80 hours CSO

Had previously served 4 year sentence for raping a woman

26-5-17   Facebook - National Dis-Trust   On May 19th 2017 a Melbreak Foxhounds supporter pleaded guilty to assault by beating after he attacked a hunt monitor at a meet of the Melbreak Foxhounds in the Ennerdale area. Carl McGrady punched the monitor after McGrady's accomplice attempted to steal his camera. The monitor had to be taken to hospital where he had to have stitches. McGrady has several previous convictions, including a four year sentence for rape in 2011. After hearing about the assault, the National Trust, which licences the Melbreak Foxhounds, banned the hunt from its land for A WHOLE 24 HOURS! Why is the National Trust licensing violent behaviour from wildlife criminals? The Melbreak Foxhounds pay on average around £10 per meet on National Trust land, and have been filmed illegally hunting and killing foxes on numerous occasions. The National Trust condones violence and wildlife crime by licensing this Hunt.

The report of McGrady's unsuccessful appeal against his rape conviction, in 2011, is here.

27-5-17   Facebook - Lancashire Hunt sabs  VIDEO from meet on 10th January 2017  Melbreak Foxhounds supporters attempt to steal a camera from a monitor who is a passenger in a vehicle. Failing to do so, Carl McGrady punches the monitor, who has to be taken to hospital for treatment. McGrady pleaded guilty to assault by beating [and was given an 80 hour CSO]

  MelbreakFHsupporterpunchessabaftertriedtostealcamera10-1-17.jpg MelbreakFHSabattackedbysupporter10-1-17.jpg

 

Isle of Wight FH terrierman fined after clash with sabs

  isleofwightfhsupporterfined80afterclashwithsab26-5-17.jpg 

POWAperson adds - In addition to the above, a sab was attacked by an I0W FH supporter and 'whacked over the head' in March this year.  

Court says Essex Farmers FH must pay £131k after illegally evicting a farmer


25-5-17   Daily Express
   Essex fox hunt punished with £100,000 court fees after booting farmer off land    A HUNT has been slapped with crushing court fees after booting a farmer off land his family had worked for generations.  A fox hunt was slapped with £100,000 in court fees after booting a farmer off his land. 
Terence Grimes, and his father before him, had farmed near Burnham-on-Crouch, in Essex, as tenants. But the trustees at the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt [left] wanted more cash and granted the lease to someone else in September 2012.  The Hunt sent crucial papers to the wrong address, where Mr Grimes hadn't lived for seven EssexFarmersUnionFH.jpgyears. But the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt granted the lease to someone else in 2012.

Mr Grimes left the land “under silent protest”, but later took legal action and has now won his appeal case at the Court of Appeal in London. It follows that the notice to quit was not validly served on him and his tenancy was not validly terminated. Now top judges have ruled his tenancy had not been validly terminated and he had been “wrongfully dispossessed”.
The trustees of the Hunt, which now operates as a “country riding club”, must now pay £31,500 in damages. And, on top of the that, they must pay £100,000 towards Mr Grimes’s lawyers' bills by 2 June. The Hunt sent crucial papers to the wrong address, where Mr Grimes hadn't lived for seven years.
Lord Justice Henderson ruled he had never been validly served with notice to quit the land. That was because the notice was sent to a property where Mr Grimes had not lived since 2005. He had given notice in writing of his move to Maple Way, Burnham, but the crucial document had been served on the wrong address. The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Beatson and Lady Justice Macur, allowed an appeal against an earlier ruling in the trustees' favour. Lord Justice Henderson concluded: “It follows that the notice to quit was not validly served on him and his tenancy was not validly terminated.”

 

HIT refutes SFFH claim that their hounds are alive and well

24-5-17  Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    Update on shot hounds...    It's been ten days since we announced the shocking news that we believed that the SHH had shot all their hounds, bar four. This is what has happened since...

Patrick Darling (hunt chair) rushed to various local media outlets the next day. He said that he could produce all the hounds and take local journalists to see them. He threatened to take legal action if we didn't remove the post from our page. We stood firm and informed Mr Darling that we had in our possession comprehensive records of all the SHH hounds since 2009. We also have all the microchip numbers and hound names.

This was the standard of proof that we set. Mr Darling probably hoped to take journalists to see a pack of foxhounds somewhere but given the standard of proof required has failed to do that. Local journalists have said that Mr Darling has stopped answering their calls about this.

We leave it to the public to consider what has happened here, but bear in mind that if somebody accused you of shooting your dog, how long would it take you to prove them wrong. Please share this update.

                                     

Anti-hunt NT members present resolution to Trust to stop licensing 'trail hunts' 

23-5-17   Swindon Advertiser   Hunting campaigners take their fight to Swindon's National Trust HQ A GROUP of National Trust members have brought their campaign to end trail hunting to the organisation's Swindon headquarters [pic right].

The 2004 Hunting Act banned traditional fox hunting where live animals were chased by packs of dogs for the entertainment and enjoyment of participants. The legislation has resulted in more than 430 prosecutions since it came into effect, the equivalent of one every 10 days. But while the Act banned fox hunting, it did continue toNationalTrustantispresentresolutiontobantrailhuntingonNTland23-5-17.jpg permit trail hunting which is an adapted version of the sport. It involves the use of an artificially laid scent, usually fox, hare or rabbit based, to provide hounds with a path to follow. In theory it avoids the suffering and killing of foxes, but campaigners argue that the trail hunts often end with the dogs coming across foxes - participants say by accident - and that animals are still being killed.

The National Trust, based in Swindon next to the Designer Outlet, issue licences for trail hunts to take place on a number of their properties across the UK. A group of Trust members is now seeking to use the organisation's procedures to challenge the policy by submitting a resolution, supported by 50 members, to be debated later this year.

Helen Beynon, campaigner and author of the resolution, said: "As members of the National Trust who support the majority of the positive work they do - notably their recent commitment to increase efforts for declining wildlife - we have been dismayed by the constant media coverage given to stories of blatant criminal bloodsports on National Trust land. Our resolution to permanently bring an end to these so called trail hunt licenses has been submitted. "I'm pleased to see that in addition to this, an ongoing petition calling for the National Trust to drop this trail hunting sham has now surpassed 100,000 signatures."

A National Trust spokesman said: "A members' resolution has been received by the National Trust concerning trail hunting. Members are entitled to present resolutions each year and, if they are supported by a minimum of 50 National Trust members, those resolutions are then discussed and voted on by members at our Annual General Meeting in the Autumn. The Hunting Act 2004 made hunting wild animals with dogs illegal and it is banned on all public and privately owned land in England and Wales. The Act allowed what is known as trail hunting to continue. Trail hunting involves laying a scent for hunts to follow, effectively simulating a traditional hunt but crucially without foxes being deliberately chased or killed. The National Trust does licence trail hunts in some areas and at certain times of the year, where it is compatible with our aims of public access and conservation. We expect our licence holders to comply fully with the law and the terms of our licence. We will, and have, taken strong action (including suspension, revoking and refusing to grant further licences) against licence holders who breach their licence conditions or the law."

 

S.Herefordshire five are re-bailed yet again by the CPS
A year on, still no charges in cub-killing scandal

22-5-17   Hereford Times  Five arrested in South Herefordshire Hunt investigation have been re-bailed   FIVE people who were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty at the South Herefordshire Hunt's kennels in Wormelow have been re-bailed. The police are investigating an alleged offence in May last year.

The first two people, a 37-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, both from Hereford, were first arrested last May. A 37-year-old man from Abergavenny was then arrested in June, and a 53-year-old woman from Abergavenny and 45-year-old man from Powys were arrested in August. All five were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and have been rebailed until June. 


Anti arrested at PM camaign rally after 'shouts ''Kill May"'
Man denies wrongdoing and is released without charge
22-5-17   ITV News   Fox hunting protester arrested after shouting 'kill May' as PM arrived at campaign event in Wales   An anti-fox hunting protester has been arrested after shouting "save our wildlife, kill May" as the prime minister arrived at a election campaign event in north Wales. The 25-year-old, who said his name was Connor, played a hunting bugle before shouting out as Theresa May was driven to a community centre in Wrexham. He continued to demonstrate before police grabbed him and carried him away to nearby police vans. The man was later released without charge.The protester had yelled "this is the fascist state that we are living in under Theresa May's regime" as he protested his innocence during his arrest. The man said he was protesting about the repeal of the fox hunting act, fracking, austerity, "the lot" and added: "I've not done nothing wrong." Another demonstrator told police the man had "done nothing wrong" and described their response as a "farce" as they pulled him and then carried him into a van.North Wales Police Superintendent Nick Evans said a crowd of around 50 people had gathered, including onlookers and protesters. "In the main they were well-behaved; however, one particular person, despite a number of warnings, was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace," he said. "The man was arrested due to his behaviour and conveyed to a local police station. He has since been released without charge."
Mrs May did not appear to be affected by the nearby protest as she was greeted outside Gresford Memorial Hall. The prime minister has pledged to call a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting if she is re-elected. The Conservative leader said she has "always been in favour" of the blood sport, which was outlawed in 2004. 
POWAperson adds - We are assured that what the protester shouted was actually 'Cull' not 'Kill' May, presumably meaning vote her out of office.
     

Sabs stop Northants MH from hunting

20-5-17  Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   Us sabs are busy little bees. Even when the main hunting season is several months away we still keep our ears to the ground and get on with other stuff to help our native wildlife. However when you get a tip off it's time to get back into full on sab mode and spring into action. That's what happened today. We received some intelligence that the Northants Mink Hounds would be out hunting so a few calls later and we were hot footing it over to the meet which was at Tuckey Farm just south west of Winslow.

Mink packs are the last remnants of the Otter packs which used to hunt Otters before they became a protected species. Although they claim to hunt Mink it should be noted this is still illegal. Also otters are making a huge comeback in our rivers and they are displacing the Mink. It should also be noted that at this meet the farm had dug a commercial fishing lake and spent a lot of money on installing an anti-Otter fence to protect their fish stocks so they were fully aware that Otters were in the area. We also noted an Otter slide with prints leading to Claydon Brook where they would be hunting. Hounds also can't tell the difference and just putting a pack of hounds up a river course in the middle of breeding season is nothing more than environmental vandalism.

A small B&B team inserted upstream to monitor and shortly after we were happy to be joined by another team from Nottingham and Northants Sabs. By this time the assorted coffin dodgers and sicko's that were the followers had gathered along the river bank. We made our presence known with the Otter hounds actively hunting the river. It was pretty had work for the poor hounds, the overnight rain had swelled the river and it was running faster than normal.

The hunters, now realising they had been well and truly rumbled immediately pulled the hounds out of the water and headed back to the meet. Needless to say they weren't very happy and the language was enough to make a sailor blush. Sad thing is they had a young girl with them who had to not only take part in a sick illegal blood sport but also witness her parents spouting a tirade of 4 letter abuse. Such charmers!

With the hounds safely packed back in the hound van we retired to revel in our glory in the sun with the obligatory cake. Job well done.

Pics below -  1/ Hound struggling in swollen river    2/ The throwbacks 

 NorthantsMHHoundinswollenriver19-5-17.jpg NorthantsMHOn9-5-17.jpg

 

Ledbury FH terrierman charged with affray aftter attacking sab

18-5-17  Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs   We've just been informed by West Mercia Police that Ross Loader, Malvern tree surgeon and Ledbury Hunt terrierman has been charged with 'Affray' today.
December 28th last year was an intense day with our sabs at the North Cotswold Hunt assaulted by hunt staff while Bristol Hunt Saboteurs were being assaulted by Loader and the other Ledbury Hunt terriermen and supporters. The Hunt had been hunting in Castlemorton and Bristol Sabs were with the hounds when they were attacked by the terriermen. Knowing that there was a sett nearby our sabs returned to the scene, while Bristol kept tabs on the hounds. Sure enough the terriermen were attempting to dig out a fox from the sett. Angry at being disturbed they threatened our sabs and, following a short stand-off, filled in the hole they had started to dig and left.
Pic below - Loader attacking sab -  
        LedburyFHterriermanattackssab28-12-16.jpg
 
 

'Biggest ever' anti fox hunting demo scheduled for 29th May

18-5-17   Facebook - Dominic Dyer   Thousands confirmed & rising fast. If you care be there, join biggest ever anti fox hunt protest in London on Bank Holiday Monday 29 May.

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Police drop Surrey Union FH rider assault on sab case

18-5-17   Facebook - Guildford Hunt Saboteurs   More hunt violence given the all clear by police   3 months ago one of our sabs was assualted by Lulu Hutley (Joint master of the Surrey Union Hunt) with a whip. However today the police decided not to investigate any further due to lack of evidence despite there being a clear video of the entire incident. This was hardly a surprise, Surrey police's stance on this issue has been made very clear.

Please contact Surrey Police on the below links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SurreyPolice/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/SurreyPolice (@SurreyPolice)

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May confirms will hold free vote on repealing Hunting Act

16-5-17  Independent   Theresa May says she supports fox hunting because other ways of killing foxes are 'cruel' - The PM wants to hold a vote on bringing back the animal killings   Theresa May [below right] has defended her support for fox hunting, arguing that foxes must be killed and that hunting them with dogs on horseback is the most humane way of doing so. The Prime Minister said she had “always supported fox hunting” and that she would give Parliament a vote on bringing back the animal killings. “Some of the other forms of dealing with foxes can be cruel, so my view is it should be a free vote for Parliament so members of parliament individually should be able to exercise their view on this matter,” she said.

Fox hunting with hounds was outlawed by Tony Blair's Labour government in 2004 but successive Conservative manifestos have pledged to bring the animal killings back. A plot by pro-hunt Tories to bring back the spot was revealed in a leaked email this month. Lord Mancroft, the chair of the Council of Hunting Associations, describedTheresaMay.jpg the 8 June vote as “the chance we have been waiting for” to overturn the ban.

A large Tory majority in the House of Commons would likely give pro-hunt Conservatives insulation from any rebellion by anti-hunt Conservatives to stop the repeal of the ban. David Cameron had planned to hold a vote on repealing the ban but never did so after the threat of rebellion reared its head. Ms May said she did not consider the issue “important” and that MPs would be able to decide what happened to the animals if she became PM.

This is a subject on which you are either for it or against it. I have always supported fox hunting, but clearly I'm not saying I'm going to bring it back,” she told a Facebook Live session hosted by ITV News. What I'm saying is we will have a free vote in Parliament so MPs will be able to make up their own mind on this issue. This isn't the most important issue facing people at this election. I think the most important issue is about who's going to provide the leadership for the future to take us through Brexit and beyond."

A poll conducted in the run-up to Boxing Day 2016 found that opposition to fox hunting has hit an all-time high. A full 84 per cent of the public now believe fox hunting should not be made legal again, according to a survey by Ipsos MORI.

18-5-17   Daily Mail   Outrage as Theresa May confirms a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting WILL be held - Manifesto pledge will outrage animal rights activists ahead of the snap election   Theresa May provoked outrage today as she confirmed she would call a Commons vote on scrapping the ban on fox hunting. The League Against Cruel Sports said there was 'no justification' for scrapping the law against hunting with dogs. The lobby group said the controversial laws should instead be properly enforced, insisting the public as a whole did not back hunting. Mrs May promised a free vote on Government laws for the measure - but did not put a timescale on when the vote would be held.

The Prime Minister has said she would vote to lift the ban on fox hunting despite never having taken part in a hunt - insisting it was less cruel than other ways of controlling foxes. But it is hard to forecast how the new Commons might split on the issue. The 2015 Parliament was thought never likely to endorse repealing the ban.

Eduardo Gonçalves, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: 'We're disappointed to see the commitment to a free vote on the Hunting Act included in the manifesto given the strong support the ban on hunting has among Conservative MPs and Conservative voters. 'Hopefully any attempt to repeal, weaken or replace the Hunting Act will be prevented by those members of all parties who oppose the killing of animals for fun. I think most people can see through attempts to claim that hunting is somehow good for the animals that are killed, and these figures show the reality. The intention of the Hunting Act was to stop animals suffering because of hunting – and if the law had been properly enforced we believe it would have helped up to 2.8 million animals.'

He added: 'Contrary to what the Prime Minister mistakenly said, anyone who feels the need to kill foxes should never use hunting with dogs, as it is in fact one of the cruellest methods available. This is due to the long chases of the target animal involved. There is enough evidence to suggest that hunted animals suffer whilst being chased by dogs regardless of how they are then eventually killed.' The Prime Minister has said she would vote to lift the ban on fox hunting despite never having taken part in a hunt.

Speaking earlier in the election campaign Mrs May said she would personally vote to repeal the ban. She said: 'This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against. 'As it happens personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting and we maintain out commitment - we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party - to allow a free vote. And that's what it will allow, Parliament the opportunity to take a decision on this.'

The manifesto pledge said: 'We will grant a free vote, on a government bill in government time, to give parliament the opportunity to decide the future of the Hunting Act.' David Cameron was thwarted in his attempt to call a vote on repealing fox hunting after the 2015 election. While he also promised a free vote he sought to win and the SNP announcing they would vote against it left the measure ripe for defeat and the motion was withdrawn.

 

S.Herefordshire FH asks 'false allegations' be removed from Facebook

16-5-17   Hereford Times  South Herefordshire Hunt asks for false allegations on Facebook to be removed   SOUTH Herefordshire Hunt has asked for a Facebook post to be taken down which makes false allegations about the Hunt's hounds. The Hunt Investigation Team claimed in a post on Facebook that all of the Hunt's hounds had been put down, besides four of the animals. But chairman of the Hunt, Patrick Darling, said this is groundless and false and the hounds referred to are in kennels elsewhere. He invited members of the editorial team at Hereford Times to visit the kennels and see the hounds.

Mr Darling has got in touch with the Hunt Investigation Team and asked for them to take the post down. The kennels at the Hunt's base in Wormelow are currently being leased to a third party, not related to hunting, as the hunt placed itself under a voluntary suspension while a criminal investigation continues.The investigation started last year and five people were arrested following an alleged offence of animal cruelty at the Wormelow kennels. They are currently on bail until a date this month. 


S.Herefordshire FH said to have killed all but four of their hounds

15-5-17  Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team   Shocking news has reached us   'The South Herefordshire Hunt have shot all their hounds'. We received this message from a highly trusted source from within the Hunt. This source has provided accurate intelligence throughout. They went on to clarify that 4 had been spared, to make sure the bloodline survives presumably. We estimate that 30+ dogs will have been shot (they are normally shot in the head).

This is devastating news, no attempts were made to rehome these dogs and it is just the latest example of the brutal and callous disregard that Hunts generally and the South Herefordshire in particularly have towards the lives of animals. These are just 4 of the hounds - we don't know of their individual fate. We also know that the kennels are empty of hounds and hunt personnel in preparation for the sale and redevelopment of the site. Please share this story.

    Pic below - Four of the hounds - not known if any of them have survived

    S.HerefordshireFH4ofthepackallbut4killed15-5-17.jpg 

15-5-17  Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs    The South Herefordshire Hunt have killed all but 4 of their pack according to sources. One couple sent to the Ledbury, we do not know about the others. This is following a year of not hunting because of the ongoing police investigation concerning cruelty at the kennels. Killing unwanted foxhounds is something most hunts do. Hounds are culled if they don't fit in, are too old, or there are too many of them for the hunt's requirements. Hounds are also victims and they were probably terrified as they were taken out one by one to be shot.

Pic below - The S.Herefordshire pack before they stopped hunting 

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15-5-17  Facebook - Welsh Border Hunt Sabs     So - the crows have been gathering around the now redundant SHFH kennels- but not for road kill. A mass murder is alleged to have taken place very recently of all but 2 couple of their hounds-(one of which, we are told, the Ledbury hunt now have and not sure of the whereabouts of the other). The plot indeed thickens! It would appear the SHFH have now decided to form a "Hunt Club" with the intention of inviting other packs to come and hunt their country- obviously pocketing what ever revenue that would bring in. And lets not forget their new forged allegiance with their very "special Friends The Ledbury!" Clearly there is unrest amongst the creatures of the countryside as the birds, big and small continue to chatter, alerting all to the evil in our midst.....

                                     

9 year old girl killed in accident while hunting with the Cotswold FH
Inquest hears criticism of level of supervision of child riders

12-5-17  
Swindon Advertiser   Greater supervision needed for youngsters riding as part of a hunt, inquest hears   The level of supervision of children at a hunt meeting where a nine year old girl died after being kicked by a horse was 'far short of what could reasonably be expected,' an inquest was told. Health and Safety expert Philip Park, who investigated the tragic death of Bonnie Armitage, said he believes children under eleven taking part in hunts should be supervised by adults on a one to one basis.

The inquest has heard that tragic Bonnie, of Faringdon, Oxon, was one of five children all under the supervision of one adult rider, Melissa Kennedy, at the meeting of the Cotswold Hunt in Miserden, nr Stroud, Glos, on April 2nd last year. Bonnie was a pupil at St Hugh's preparatory school in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, where her father is deputy head. Bonnie was riding her Shetland pony, Lindsay, when she was kicked in the chest by a large horse called Harvey which was being ridden ahead of her by farmer and circus owner Toti Gifford, the inquest jury at Gloucester has been told.The Gloucester inquest jury returned a conclusion of accidental death.

Mr Park, a manager at Stroud district council, told the inquest "It is my view that the level of supervision fell short of what could be reasonably expected. My conclusion was that had Bonnie been actively supervised by a responsible adult who was in close contact with her there was a possibility she would have been instructed not to get too close to the horse in front. That could have had the effect of preventing the injury. If she had not got too close to the horse in front of her it could not have kicked her."

He told the inquest he believed it would be helpful in future if Hunts set a stipulated level of competence for child participants. It would also be helpful to have guidance on the ratios of children to supervising adults, he said. "I did not see any evidence that the Cotswold Hunt makes any enquiry about the competence of child riders. They rely in parents to make the decision themselves on the level of supervision that children should have at a hunt. "It is important for the Hunt to make a decision about the level of supervision otherwise there will be no consistency in the way it is implemented."

Asked to expand more on his views of what should happen at hunts where young children are taking part he said "Close supervision would mean one to one - one adult supervising one child. I would expect that adult to stay with the child as much as possible during the hunt. "I accept there is a chaotic and fast moving atmosphere but an adult could exercise more control over one child than one adult in charge of two or three children. I would suggest one to one supervision is reasonably practicable."

James Chamberlain, who was senior Master of the Hunt at the time but has now retired, told the jury agreed that the Hunt had not made any rules about children taking part. "If poor Bonnie had been supervised one to one I fail to see how it would have made any difference," he said. He believed that the real issue was the competence of both the young rider and the horse, he said. When he took his own children hunting in the past he had always made sure they stayed behind him, he added. But it had to be remembered, he said, that 'horses are dangerous at both ends' and riders should all be aware from an early age of the need to keep space around them at all times.

Mr Gifford told the inquest he was cantering across a field on his horse Harvey - 'a lovely, calm, gentle giant' - when the tragedy happened as Bonnie rode up alongside him. "My horse went irregular," he said. "He just didn't feel right. Then I heard a yell. I looked back. My horse is really big and there was this really little horse, the Shetland, underneath my feet almost. It went really fast, past me, and then carried on. Then I looked back and I saw Bonnie. At the time the incident happened I was going forward, looking ahead. You never think there is anything behind you because you are going forward. I just heard this yell. When I looked back she (Bonnie) was still landing. I pulled up. It's a bit of a blur really. I can't really remember....I just jumped off my horse. I didn't hang on to him but he followed me back. I went over. Then others all arrived. I can't really remember what happened, it was such a mad.....I grabbed all the horses and led them away. Then she was lying there. Big blue eyes... The emergency services and ambulance came and then we realised a helicopter was also coming."

He said his horse had been hunting for several years and is a 'fantastic animal.' I think it (what happened) was an instinctive thing, he was a bit shocked or frightened or spooked. I think, I don't know." He added "At the moment it happened it felt like the horse had gone lame. I thought maybe I had gone into a hole or the horse had stumbled. I didn't think he bucked. I just thought he had put his foot down a hole or lost a shoe or something had happened or he had stumbled on something."...

Det Inspector Wayne Ussher of Gloucestershire police said he had investigated the tragedy and concluded that the accident 'could not have been prevented.' "She was following the main body of riders in company with other children and under the care of a responsible adult. Her company approached the rear of a much larger horse which took an irregular stride and struck her. She died as a result of injury sustained from a kick to the chest by the horse but in the circumstances presented to me it could not have been prevented."

The inquest at Gloucester has heard Bonnie was one of about fifty riders at the last meeting of the season of the Cotswold Hunt at Miserden House. A jury of ten people has been sworn in to hear the case. The inquest heard a statement from Bonnie's dad, teacher Nick Armitage, formally identifying his daughter and describing her as a 'bright girl, fit and healthy, a good runner, she enjoyed everything... She was a very competent rider. She could walk, trot, canter and gallop, She had been hunting many times at different hunts. She would sometimes be out for many hours. She had hunted off a lead rein for two years. " He said the pony was eight years old and was 'experienced, dependable, safe and doesn't spook.'...

The jury heard that after the incident paramedics and an emergency doctor battled for 45 minutes to resuscitate Bonnie in the field before she was airlifted to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. But she was certified dead 15 minutes after arrival in the hospital. After a retirement of one hour the jury of ten people brought in a verdict of accidental death without any further comment. The coroner, Katy Skerrett, said she would consider over the next ten days whether to make recommendations about a minimum level of competence being required for child riders at hunts, whether safety equipment should be a requirement and whether children should be supervised...

POWAperson comments - We send our condolences to Bonnie's family and friends for their tragic loss. However, we believe it is simply wrong for Hunts to induct children, often much younger than nine, into the brutality of hunting with hounds and think it tantamount to child abuse. It is, of course, also inherently dangerous.
 

Labour Shadow Chancellor says HA must be enforced & strengthened

12-5-17  Ellen Hope Cobb   EXCLUSIVE film with John McDonnell, Rachael Maskell, and Anna Turley on keeping and enforcing the Hunting Act. For fox sake vote Labour on 8th June and remember to sign the petition.  
 
                                     

CA to pay £62k after N.Ireland Hunt invades lofts and kills racing pigeons

11-5-17  Belfast Telegraph   Hunt club loses appeal against £62,000 payout over dead pigeons   The Countryside Alliance has lost its appeal against a Co Armagh pigeon fancier being awarded £62,000 damages for the alleged slaughter of his stock by hunt club hounds. Senior judges in Belfast today rejected arguments that the killing of 59 racing birds by dogs breaking into Maurice Weir's premises on the Kinnego Road in Loughgall eight years ago never happened.

Kinnegohuntmichaelweirawarded62kafterhoundskilledprizepigeons11-5-17.jpgLawyers for the Alliance suggested it had been a fraudulent and fabricated claim by a man who destroyed his own pigeons by wringing their necks. But after the Court of Appeal threw out all grounds of challenge Mr Weir [left] declared himself fully vindicated. He said: "My credibility was called into question, and I'm just happy that it's been dismissed as tittle-tattle."

Mr Weir sued the Alliance over the alleged intrusion into his property by the Kinnego Grange and Canary Hunt Club's animals. At a previous hearing he recalled emerging from having lunch in February 2009 to discover "a bloodbath". Up to 15 hounds had broken into lofts and aviaries and killed pigeons highly sought for their ability to fly home from as far away as France, according to his account. He said he saw dead and injured birds lying on the ground and in dogs' mouths. Mr Weir also told of hearing crunching noises and witnesses two hounds pulling a pigeon apart as he tried to chase the pack off.

At the time of the incident he had planned to start up a small stud business at his home, the court heard. He sought damages for the killing of his pigeons, consequential loss, the cost of repairing his aviaries and a further payout for distress and injury to feelings. Counsel for Mr Weir claimed the huntsmen were negligent in failing to control their dogs.

In February last year a High Court judge held that the plaintiff was an honest and straightforward witness whose account was corroborated by others at the scene. She ruled that the hounds had been on his property, gained entry to the lofts and aviaries and, on the balance of probabilities, killed the pigeons. Mr Weir was awarded £59,580 in damages, with a further £2,500 for distress and injury to feelings.

The Alliance sought to have her verdict overturned, arguing again that the hunt's dogs were never on the premises. In a wide-ranging challenge its barristers questioned the credibility of Mr Weir and an independent expert. To succeed, according to the three appeal judges, the Alliance had to establish the hounds had no propensity to attack or kill pigeons, were not on Mr Weir's land and that the scenario he depicted was "a complete farrago of lies". However, Lord Justice Gillen held there was ample evidence for the conclusion that the dogs can inflict heavy losses on the birds. He also ruled: "We are therefore unable to conclude that (the trial judge) has gone plainly wrong in arriving at the conclusion that on the balance of probabilities the incident alleged by the plaintiff did occur." Rejecting all other grounds advanced, he confirmed the appeal was being dismissed and awarded costs to Mr Weir.

                                     

Leak reveals hunters asked to make huge push for Tory landslide
CA vice-chair mobilises Hunts to ensure Hunting Act can be repealed
Says they have assurance repeal vote will be in Tory manifesto

8-5-17   Daily Mirror    'This could be the chance we've been waiting for': Fox hunt bosses' leaked Tory campaign email in full - The email urges hunt masters to “mobilise supporters” and campaign for pro-hunting Tories in marginal seats   Tonight, the Mirror revealed fox hunt masters' secret plan to round up support for Theresa May, because they believe a Tory landslide would lead to the fox hunting ban being scrapped. The email, sent to Hunts across the country by Tory peer Lord Mancroft [right], urges Hunt Masters to “mobilise supporters” and campaign for pro-hunting Tories in marginal seats. He said a Tory majority of 50 or more MPs should be enough to secure a repeal of the 2004 Hunting Act in a Parliamentary vote later this year.LordBenjaminMancroft_2.jpg “This is the chance we have been waiting for,” Lord Mancroft wrote.

Here's the email in full - 'While anything can change in a six-week election campaign, and we know that the polls cannot be relied on, there is a real chance that on 8th June, Theresa May could achieve a majority significantly in excess of the seventeen seats she currently has. A majority of fifty or more would give us a real opportunity for repeal of the Hunting Act (HA), or perhaps an alternative legislative measure – but only if that leaves hunting in a better position than it is now. It must be clearly understood that repeal is our primary objective, but also that politics is “the art of the possible”, and we will take whichever option is the most advantageous to hunting when the time comes. It will only become clear what our best option is after 8th June.

First, we need a cast iron manifesto commitment from the Conservative Party, as we had in the last four election manifestos. Like everyone else, we will have to wait until the manifesto is published on 8th May to be certain, but Simon Hart MP and I have received assurances that such a commitment will be carried forward to the 2017 manifesto. I have made it clear that we will only provide support on that basis, and that if the manifesto does not contain an acceptable commitment, we will withdraw our support.

It is important that everyone understands why the idea that “the Government did not honour the manifesto commitments after the 2010 and 2015 elections” is incorrect. On both occasions David Cameron made it clear that he would authorise and fully endorse a vote in a manner, and at a time, of our choosing.

During the Coalition Government a vote could only take place if the Liberal Democrats agreed, which they did not. After 2015 the Scottish Nationalists reversed their earlier commitment to abstain from any votes that did not impact Scotland, and opposed the proposed Statutory Instrument, and consequently the Government Chief Whip did not think we could win a vote in the House of Commons.

All the advice we received was that we should not risk such a vote unless we had a reasonable expectation of winning. We therefore concluded it was not in hunting’s best interests to put the matter to a vote. I am sure that was the correct decision. We have repeatedly made clear that we need a Government that has both a manifesto commitment to repeal the HA, and a big enough majority to get repeal through the Commons and then the Lords.

It now looks, unexpectedly, as if there is a very real chance we could get such a Government. While nothing in politics is certain, this is by far the best opportunity we have had since the ban, and is probably the best we are likely to get in the foreseeable future. On that basis, we must do everything we possibly can to maximise the chance of getting repeal of the HA. I am confident that every Master will give the leadership and direction that our community needs at this seminal moment. Vote OK, under the direction of George Bowyer, has already started to plan what we are all going to do during the campaign. A number of constituencies do not yet have candidates, so there is a role for us in making sure that only candidates supportive of hunting are selected. Vote OK will advise how best to achieve this.

We will only help candidates who give us an unequivocal commitment to support repeal when the time comes. Nor do we need to help candidates in “safe seats” with large majorities. Instead we will concentrate on those seats where we can make the most difference. Unless specifically advised to the contrary, every Hunt should assume that it will be needed to assist with political work and start making arrangements to mobilise supporters now. Please make sure that your Hunt has an active and effective Vote-OK Coordinator in place and that they are making regular contact with your Regional Vote-OK Director (RVOD). Please do not wait to hear where your Hunt should go, but contact them as soon as possible. If you do not know who your RVOD is, contact George Bowyer by email at [address redacted].

In the face of everything that has happened over the last two decades, the hunting community has never given up fighting for our sport, for our hounds, and to enable our children and their children to enjoy both, as we have. This is the chance we have been waiting for. We have six weeks to show, yet again, what we are made of, and our undying commitment to our way of life. We have six weeks to win back all that has been taken from us. Masters, if ever there was a time to give a lead, this is it. Please don’t waste a single day of those six weeks.

Thank you. Benjamin Mancroft   Chairman, Council of Hunting Associations

POWAperson adds -  Old Etonian Lord Mancroft became JM of the Vale of the White Horse FH in 1987, the same year in which he inherited his father's baronetcy, and held the Mastership for 11 years. In 1992, he became vice-chair of the British Field Sports Society and then a Director, when it changed its name to the more user-friendly Countryside Alliance. He was made vice-chair of the CA in 2005. His somewhat lurid past includes a time as a heroin addict, during which time he acquired a conviction for theft. In February 2008, Mancroft claimed that NHS nurses who had treated him at the Royal United Hospital in Bath were "grubby, drunken and promiscuous". The hospital's Chief Executive, James Scott, called the accusations "damaging and distressing", and requested that the peer retract them. Mancroft has so far refused to do this, or to apologise. Nice guy.

It's no surprise that a commitment for a repeal vote will be in the Conservative manifesto. The leadership has always seemed determined to ignore the mass of public opinion, including an estimated 72% of their own voters, and push through Hunting Act repeal to please their bloodsports loving friends if they got the opportunity. They probably thought that had come with the surprise election result in 2015 and must have been aghast to find that many of the new intake of Tory MPs refused to support repeal. They may find the same applies to the potential newbies this time round. Whether or not, they will face massive parliamentary and public opposition and risk reviving the 'Nasty Party' image, just to get rid of a law that does not seem to much inhibit organised Hunts anyway. Doubtless Vote OK will once more send out hunt supporters into marginal with instructions to wear plain clothes and not bring up hunting on the doorsteps.  


                                    

Isle of Wight FH appeals for funds to fix 'dire' finances

5-5-17   Isle of Wight Country Press 

    IsleofWightFHAppealsforfundstofixdirefinances5-17.jpg 

 

Three Derwent FH hunt servants charged with illegal hunting

Marles is to become Eggesford FH Huntsman next season

4-5-17   Wildlife Guardian   Three Derwent Hunt members charged with illegal hunting   Three members of a North Yorkshire hunt have been charged with illegal hunting under Section 1 of the Hunting Act. Hunt master Sean McClarron, kennel-huntsman Jason Marles and whipper-in Damian Readman will appear at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on 22nd May 2017. The charges relate to an allegation that a fox was hunted on 1st November 2016 at Wilton, Thornton-le-Dale.Sean McClarron runs McClarron Insurance Brokers in Malton, whilst Jason Marles is the new huntsman of the Eggesford Hunt in Devon. Readman was formerly a whipper-in for the Staintondale Hunt.The Derwent Hunt’s chairman is Viscountess Diane Downe of Wykeham Abbey. Its directors include John Swiers, of Broxa Farm, near Scarborough, and Robert Sword the manager of the Dawnay Estates at Wykeham.

 
     DerwentFH.jpg

16-5-17  HSA Press Release    Three Employees of Derwent Hunt Charged with Illegal Hunting   Three employees of the Derwent hunt in North Yorkshire have been charged with illegal hunting. The three: Huntsman Sean McClarron, Kennel Huntsman Jason Marles (now huntsman at the Eggesford Hunt) and Whip Damian Readman are due to appear at Scarborough Magistrates Court on 22nd May.

This follows footage obtained on the 1st November 2016 by members of Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs, at a meet in Wilton in North Yorkshire. Towards the end of the day sabs filmed a fox being bolted from underground and then chased by the pack of hounds. The law stipulates that if a fox is dug out it must not be released to be further hunted.

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It's telling that in practically the same week that the Tories are promising a vote on repeal, the hunting community are showing how above the law they believe themselves to be. Who else, apart from the Conservatives, would choose to reward law breakers by repealing the very law they so blatantly ignore? Hunt saboteurs were around long before the Hunting Act and we'll continue to protect wildlife whatever the self serving lackeys of the Countryside Alliance in Westminster decide to do next." 

12-5-17  Facebook - Kernow Sabs, Monitors and Animal Rights Team   New Eggesford huntsman to face illegal hunting charges    The Eggesford Hunt are in disarray. Only a few weeks after Eggesford Hunt Master Graeme Holmes was found guilty of stealing £48,000 of the hunt's funds, news has just reached us that their new huntsman is due in court in Scarborough later this month on charges of illegal hunting!

Earlier this season we began hearing rumours that young Jason Marles, formerly of the Derwent Hunt, was due to take over from previous huntsman Gary Boon, much to the disappointment of many of the hunt's long-standing supporters. We received messages and phone-calls about it and one member of the hunt even pleaded with us to do something about it, because "Marles doesn't deserve to hunt the Eggesford hounds". Perhaps there simply weren't that many takers for Gary's position, and who can blame them!

Jason Marles comes from a hunting family. His father, Chris Marles, was jailed for 6 months in 2009 after he used his horse to repeatedly ride at an elderly female hunt monitor. This was while he was whipper-in for the East Devon Hunt. He had previously received a 9-month suspended sentence for a serious assault on another hunt monitor. What a time to come back to Devon, Jason, and what a Hunt to choose!

        

                                 
RSPCA and Save Me come out for strengthening of the Hunting Act

3-5-17  Guardian Letters    Why the environment must be at the heart of the UK general election   Fears about climate change, air pollution, waste and possible changes to the Hunting Act concern readers from Brian May and Ranulph Fiennes to James Marsden of Much Marcle As party leaders prepare to sign off on their election manifestos, we would like to draw their attention to a policy that has the overwhelming support of the British public.

While 52% of British people voted to leave the EU, 84% want the ban on hunting foxes to stay, according to the latest Ipsos Mori data. In addition, 88% support the ban on deer-hunting, and 91% back the ban on hunting hares. Support for the ban among people in the countryside is at similar levels. Ipsos Mori projections indicate that there is a clear majority in favour of the ban in every constituency in England and Wales, including that of all party leaders, and that voters view more favourably those candidates who support the ban by a margin of more than seven to one over those who want it repealed.

We call on all party leaders not only to rule out any repeal, weakening or substitution of the Hunting Act but also to support its strengthening and enforcement.

The Hunting Act is one of the most popular pieces of legislation on the statute book today. We’re asking party leaders to send a clear, unambiguous message at this election that they fully intend to preserve Britain’s great natural heritage, and ensure that cruelty to animals in the name of “sport” remains firmly in the past.

Eduardo Goncalves Chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports, Jeremy Cooper Chief executive, RSPCA, Anne Brummer CEO, Save Me Trust, Philip Mansbridge Director, IFAW-UK, Bill Oddie President, League Against Cruel Sports, Dr Brian May Founder, Save Me Trust, Chris Packham, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Peter Egan...

POWAperson adds - Whilst POWA has been calling for strengthening of the Hunting Act since before the ink was dry, LACS and IFAW only committed to it 2-3 years ago. To our knowledge, however, this is the first time the RSPCA and SaveMe have publicly come out in favour, which is gratifying.


 
Revealed that Kimblewick FH btb outbreak advised on by vets close to the Hunt
Limited past national hound testing showed a 10% bTb infection rate 

2-5-17   Morethanjustbadgers.net    Kimblewick Cover Up?    I think most people will be aware by now that the Kimblewick Hunt had to destroy a large number of their hounds due to being infected with bTB. The original story broken by our friends over at Hounds Off can be read here. There is, justifiably a significant amount of concern from all sides regarding this news. Defra have always maintained that the risk of contracting bTB for pets and dogs in particular is very low but when you consider that hunting hounds are far from pets and live in conditions few would let their own companion animals live in you’ll start to get closer to the point.

Hounds are kept in a pack, they eat, sleep and live in close proximity. Most importantly they are fed on “fallen Stock”. These are animals which have died on surrounding farms for various and probably untested reasons, that the hunt will collect as a service to the farmers, which are in turn given to the hounds as food. In this instance it doesn’t take a genius to work out where the infection has come from. Another important point is the hunting country of the Kimblewick. Although based at their kennels just outside Aylesbury they cover parts of the counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Hertfordshire. An area which in total is roughly the size of Cornwall. Now consider that some of these counties are considered as part of the edge zones in the fight against bTB and the potential for the hounds to be spreading the disease over a vast area including those considered free from TB.

Obviously the risk of spreading the disease by hounds, regardless of the what Defra claim, is going to be high. The M.Bovis bacterium can survive for a significant time in the excrement left behind by the hounds, and they do leave a lot of it all over the place during a day's hunting and is obviously never cleaned up by the hunt staff. So what is being done? Well obviously the kennels were put under quarantine and the poor, affected hounds were shot. However that didn’t stop them from hunting. Visiting packs were used and hunted on the Kimblewick’s ground. Further revelations came to light when once again Hounds Off were sent a note which they in turn passed on to me. See below -

     KimblewickFHAnonnotetoHoundsOfbTbvetadvisorsclosetoHunt5-17.jpg 

There are only two listed vets in Berkhamstead I can find. St Johns and Clarke & Marshall. One would have to assume that is it one of these vets that are involved (feel free to contact them and find out which one). With all due respect to the practices shown you would have expected an organisation which specialised in bTB to be more appropriate. The equine vet in question, Bob Baskerville was originally a partner in the Baskerville Horgan & Partners practice which is now part of Hampden Vets. Although he is not currently listed as one of their equine staff, a quick Google search picks out several links between Baskerville and the Kimblewick so it’s safe to assume he is indeed a member of the Hunt.

Lord Garnider of Kimble is as described in the note, he was also chief spin doctor for the Countryside Alliance and is still an executive director. Clearly the hunting fraternity were so deeply concerned about the implications of a hunt having bTB infected hounds they brought out their big guns in collaboration with the CA in order to suppress the information for as long as they could (thank heavens for loose-lipped hunt followers) and then be seen to be dealing with it properly once it became public knowledge. Of course the real problem with this is a complete lack of impartiality. Any and all information which could have a negative effect on hunting in relation to bTB will be withheld once again. Hunting simply cannot afford to have this sort of negative publicity and potentially lose much of the ground they hunt over as concerned land owners withdraw their permission to hunt on their land. Many land owners have already banned the Kimblewick from using their land and rightly so.

Perhaps it’s now time for all Hunts to have their hounds tested, especially those in the high risk areas and all hunting suspended until each and every pack is given a clean bill of health. Considering it is now the hunting closed season you would expect this to be the perfect time. The only previous data relating to TB in hounds came from a FOI request by Keep the Ban and published by TB Free England and he summed up the response thus: “In the last 7 years, only 50 hunt hounds have been tested for Bovine TB, 5 of those were positive of infection (10%). 45 samples from hounds were taken over the same period, of which 7 were potentially infected (16%).

The sample sizes are too small to determine the statistical significance, but it does call Defra’s line that “M.bovis infection in dogs is extremely rare” into question… If they haven’t looked, how do they know it’s rare? And when they did look and found more than 10% to be infected, doesn’t this suggest it might be more of a problem than they thought?”

It’s fairly clear to me that this rabbit hole goes a lot deeper than those at Defra will admit, but while they’re so thoroughly within the sphere of influence of the CA then we will probably never know the full extent of the problem and hunts will continue to spread the disease over our countryside and badgers will continue to get the blame and die in their thousands.

 

APRIL 2017 

…..  29th April – Farmer involved with Fife FH kills restrained pet dog in front of owner
…..  28th April – Jedforest FH 2 defence claims 'invisible' gunman made fox hunt legal
…..  28th April – Eggesford FH official convicted of stealing supporter & riding club funds
…..  27th April – Court shown film of fox dig, flushing and chase at Jedforest FH trial
…..  25th April – Fitzwilliam FH illegal hunting case is adjourned yet again
…..  24th April – Man charged over fox found captive near Belvoir FH kennels
…..  24th April – Anti gets to see her apology letter from hunter abuser after 4 months
…..  24th April – Sabs stop Cheriton Mink Hounds from hunting
…..  21st April – Motorists appalled by horrific death on road of deer after hunt on Exmoor
…..  20th April – POWA presses for strengthening commitment in Labour manifesto
…..  20th April – Town Council secret meeting with Atherstone FH exposed by sabs
…..  14th April – Badsworth FH filmed trespassing along a canal towpath, not for first time
…..  11th April – Minehead Harriers hunt on NT land where recent bTb breakdown
..... 10th April - Monitors blocked, abused, menaced by VWH support as Hunt search for foxes
…..   7th April – Police powers to demand face mask removal are enhanced
…..   6th April – VWH FH run away as monitors find hounds marking to ground
…..   6th April – Badsworth FH filmed trespassing along a canal towpath, not for first time
…..   6th April – VWH FH relentlessly hunted fox late in day and may have killed
…..   2nd April – Film of monitor's car windscreen being smashed at S.Dorset FH meet
…..   1st April - 'Notorious' hunt supporter to be charged at last over 'vicious assault'

 
Farmer involved with Fife FH kills restrained pet dog in front of owner
Was in sheep field, but shooter had already tied dog up before he shot it

The man who allegedly killed the dog is the son of the Secretary of Fife FH and the estate he was working on is owned by one of the JMs

29-4-17    Facebook - Tracy Ward‎   On Thursday 27th of April, my sons dog, Stark, in my eyes was brutally murdered at the hands of a farmer by the name of Dave Bell, near Collinsburgh, Balarres Estate.

Stark managed to escape from his family home, and in the short time he was out, he managed to get into a field of sheep. I fully understand that if a farmer feels like his livestock is under threat of an animal, whether it being a wild animal or family pet he has completed authority to shoot the the animal.

The law also states that if the farmer FIRSTLY attempts to catch the dog, and restrain him with no further threat that it should be left alone and dealt with through law. This was not the case, the farmer FIRSTLY caught Stark, TIED him to a tractor, THEN fired a warning shot, THEN shot him dead.

The law also states that the dog can be shot if the farmer has attempted to contacted the dogs owner with no joy. My son was in the field trying to get to Stark at the time of the shooting. He just didn't make it from where he was standing in time to save his pet. The farmer had clearly seen him, and two family friends with in eye sight.

My son takes full responsibility for the dog being in the field, he knows this is a serious matter. But none of us can understand why a fully restrained dog should be shot dead in front of his owner. Stark was such a gentle wee guy. He will be sorely missed. R.I.P our handsome boy ������. Meet Stark, and the farmer who took his life.

    FifeFHSonofHuntSecwhokilledrestrainedpetdoginfieldinfrontofowner27-4-17.jpg


 
Jedforest FH 2 defence claims 'invisible' gunman made fox hunt legal

28-4-17  ITV Border News   Father and son deny deliberately hunting fox with hounds    A father and son from the Jedforest Hunt have denied breaching Scotland's fox hunting legislation, after a video filmed by investigators showed a fox being dug out of a hole and then chased by a pack of hounds. 66-year-old John Clive Richardson and his son, 24-year-old Johnny Riley [right, Credit ITV Border], have gone on trial accused of allowing the hounds to chase the fox ,which took place near Jedburgh in February 2016. Jedburgh Sheriff Court was shown a videoJedforestFHHuntsmanCliveRichardsonandsonJohnnyRiley28-4-17.jpg which had been filmed by an employee of the League Against Cruel Sports, which showed members of the Jedforest Hunt - including the two accused. 

James Hood told Jedburgh Sheriff Court that while it was illegal to deliberately hunt a wild mammal with a dog there were some exceptions to that. Commenting on the video of the Jedforest Hunt, he said: "A fox can be flushed by dogs from cover to guns. My opinion from the footage of the two incidents is that the fox is pursued by a number of hounds across open ground with one or two horsemen and other persons present. The pursuit is beyond what is allowed in the exception." The footage shows the fox disappearing into a blind spot with the dogs still chasing, so what happened to the fox was not captured on film.

The court was told that lawyers acting for two huntsmen, intend to lead evidence saying that the dogs were flushing the fox towards a gunman who was in the blind spot, where the fox was then shot. But Mr Hood - a retired police officer - said he could not hear any gunshots on the videos or any sign of gunmen. He also visited the scene three weeks after the alleged offence and discovered the carcass of a fox in the dead ground area. All that was remaining was a vertebrae and three legs intact and round the paws there was some red fur. Mr Hood said a post-mortem was carried out on the carcass and there was no evidence that the fox had been shot.

But he agreed under cross-examination from defence lawyer, David McKie, that he could not say for certain that it was the same fox which the video had shown being pursued by the dogs. The trial of the pair has been adjourned until next month. The case is due to resume on May 8th.

   

Eggesford FH official convicted of stealing supporter & riding club funds
Gets 20 month suspended sentence and CSO for embezzling £84,000

28-4-17    Western Morning News    Huntmaster took £84,000 from Devon countryside clubs    A Devon huntmaster has admitted stealing £84,000 while acting as treasurer for two country sports clubs. Graeme Holmes [left], 59, took the cash while in charge of the purse strings of the Eggesford Hunt Supporters' Club and the Sid and Otter Riding Club. He defrauded both clubs of funds for almost a decade and used the money to keep up his EggesfordFHofficialGraemeHolmesconvictedofstealingsupporterclubfunds28-4-17.jpgimage as a pillar of the local rural community. The successful IT salesman was a joint leader of the hunt, kept a stable of horses and bought a large house near Lapford.

But Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC told him his reputation now lay in tatters. He added: “What you did as I see it was very dishonest and it isn't clear to me why it was necessary to do it at all frankly. But it was a gross breach of trust. You treated money and funds of these organisations of which you were the treasurer as if they were your own and you've been caught."

Holmes pleaded guilty to abusing his position as treasurer of the Eggesford Hunt Supporters' Club between January 15, 2007 and April 15, 2016. He also admitted the same offence against the Sid and Otter Valley Riding Club between August 26, 2008 and April 8, 2016. He has since paid all the money back.

Prosecutor William Hunter said Holmes had volunteered to take up the role of hunt treasurer in 2004. He job was to hand the cash to the bank and bank cheques, among other duties. But when suspicions were raised the club checked the account and found almost £48,000 missing, leaving them with just £580.

Holmes had been a member of the riding club since 2006 and took the treasurer role in 2008. He had control of the debit card which he used to draw money for himself and had cheques made out to him. The club expected to find £30,000 in its account but when it checked the figure was much less. Holmes admitted taking £36,000 for himself.

Richard Crabb, mitigating, said: “He is a man of previous good character who used about £84,000 of hunt funds for his own purposes. Every penny has now been paid back." He said Holmes was a man who earned a lot of money as an IT sales team leader in the Home Counties. He moved to Lapford with his wife and bought a large house 'that needed a lot of work'. He became part and parcel of the local equestrian scene and lived beyond his means."

He hunted on a regular basis and was regarded as a 'pillar of the community'. When the post of treasurer came up the club 'considered his trappings of wealth and thought he was a very successful man' and was delighted to have him. But he estimated that he lived beyond his means by £8,000 a year.

Mr Crabb said there had been a backlash in the local community against Holmes after what he had done. Holmes had cashed-in his pension to pay the money back but was not left with a large tax bill.

Judge Mercer said he was lucky the Conservative government had changed the law to allow pension pots to be cashed in early. “The amount of money is substantial," said the judge. “Your saving grace is that you have been able to pay back the money you took and it's fully repaid."

Holmes was sentenced to 20 months in jail, suspended for 18 months. He must do 150 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £550.

                                     

Court shown film of fox dig, flushing and chase at Jedforest FH trial
LACS monitor says 'appalling' acts illegal and against MFHA rules

27-4-17   Border Telegraph   Video footage shown in fox-hunting trial   Video evidence showing a fox being dug out of a hole and then chased by a pack of hounds has been described as "appalling" at Jedburgh Sheriff Court [right].Witnesses claimed that the footage proved "traditional" fox hunting is still going on despite legislation being introduced 15 years ago.

An investigator from the League Against Cruel Sports gave the court his verdict on two videos filmingJedburghSherriffCourt.jpg the activities of the Jedforest Hunt at Townfoothill Farm near Jedburgh, on February 18 last year. Peter Cross filmed the incident on a video camera from a distance of 650 metres along with fellow investigator Terence Hill after they both set an observation point for a covert operation. The footage captured a fox being chased into an earth by the hounds and then a man spending more than 20 minutes digging a hole to locate the fox.

The law says the fox should then be dispatched or killed by a hand pistol or shotgun. But the footage shows the fox being released from the hole and immediately pursued by the hounds. The fox goes out of sight behind a land ridge - a blind spot for the cameramen - and its fate cannot be confirmed.

Mr Cross told the court: "What we have witnessed there is in direct contradiction of the Masters of Foxhounds Association rules. It is not only an illegal act but I think their governing body would like to have words about their behaviour too. If it is known a fox is in the earth they can be dug down and dispatched with a pistol if the farmer requires pest control." Referring to the hounds chasing the fox he said: "It is just not necessary to do that to a fox. Personally I find it appalling."

Father and son John Clive Richardson, 66, and 24-year-old Johnny Riley from the Jedforest Hunt are on trial accused of deliberately hunting a fox with hounds - which has been illegal in Scotland since the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002. The trial of Richardson and Riley of Abbotrule, Bonchester Bridge, continues.

Pic below shows Jedforest FH allegedly hunting a fox on 18-2-16

     JedforestFHhuntingfox18-2-16.jpg 


 

Fitzwilliam FH illegal hunting case is adjourned yet again
Trial now due to start 20 months after alleged offences

25-4-17  Morethanjustbadgers.net   Court Politics   Just a short update this week as I had hoped to be making the final preparations for my time in court as a witness for the prosecution of the 2 members of the Fitzwilliam Hunt. When you consider the offence took place on the 01/01/16 you begin to understand that the legal process is not something which proceeds quickly and there is good reason for that. However the when dates and locations for the hearing get changed multiple times it can get somewhat frustrating.

The case was supposed to be heard this week (26/27th) at Chelmsford Magistrates but I was contacted by a court official only last week and informed that the case would now be heard in August at Colchester Magistrates. While this delay is annoying the reasons behind it could be deemed to be in the prosecution's favour. Due to the high profile of the case it couldn't be heard in the county where the offence took place (Cambridgeshire) so other courts and magistrates had to be considered. I was informed the reason for the late delay was due to "court politics". According to a legal expert who has been advising me court politics usually refers to a "magistrate that was due to hear the case that had obviously expressed some views about hunting which compromised their ability to hear the case objectively".

This being the case, I guess I should be pleased with the delay although that statement could be taken in the both for and against (hunting) points of view. Further details from the court official once again highlighted that this particular case was more akin to that of a murder trial (to be honest I consider it a murder trial of the fox on that fateful day) in that it is being heavily scrutinised and is also the first time the use of the Bird of Prey Exemption has been challenged in the courts.

The investigating officer also contacted me the day after asking if we were all ready to go and I had to inform him of the further delays as he was unaware. From his point of view it made no difference as he wouldn't have to attend the court on the day. Even though he was the investigating officer he didn't conduct any of the interviews so wouldn't be cross examined by the defence, as this was done by more senior colleagues from the serious crime section, another sign that things were being taken very seriously indeed.

While preparing for my day in court I did go over my statement and also reviewed the video footage. It doesn't get any easier to watch and of course in my mind there can be only one outcome but, this is the Hunting Act and nothing is straight forward where that is concerned.

Pic below - The accused. Huntsman George Adams and bird handler John Mease.

    FitzwilliamFHGeorgeAdamsandJohnMease.jpg

POWAperson comments - I really hope the writer is correct in his assessment of the reasons for these extraordinary delays [though 20 months must be a record], and if a hunt sympathising judge has been recused, that must be good. But I have my doubts. Time and again we see illegal hunting cases being stretched out, often by defence manoeuvring, and how often that ends with acquittals or the CPS dropping charges - and that's just in the rare cases where the CPS do summon up the bottle to take on the hunt side's 'expensive lawyers'. 

  

Man charged over fox found captive near Belvoir FH kennels
Charge comes 17 months after incident - Hunt deny involved

24-4-17    Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   A man has been charged with animal welfare offences regarding the fox which was found in an outbuilding in preparation for the Belvoir Hunt which was meeting close by. Nigel Smith (59), of Stainby, Lincs, is due in court next month. Of course, the Hunt are denying everything claiming no knowledge or involvement. This is pretty standard behaviour. Get the serfs to do the dirty work then let them carry the can when and it they get found out.

POWAperson adds - The original story can be found here and here. Pic below - the fox found in the shed by LACS' investigators.

    BelvoirFHFoxfoundcaptiveonBuckminsterEstat12-15.jpg 

   

Anti gets to see her apology letter from hunter abuser after 4 months
His tirade of sexist abuse got him a conditional caution including apology
Police previously refused to allow victim to see his apology letter

24-4-17  Daily Mail   Anti-hunt activist who was called a 'f*****g slag' and a 'whore' at a protest battles for FOUR MONTHS to see a copy of her abuser's apology letter - Hunt spectator subjected Cathy Scott to barrage of foul-mouthed sexist abuse - He called her 'a f****** fat s***' and told her to 'f*** off back to Coventry'   After a video of the incident went viral, the unnamed man received a police caution over the incident on the condition he provided a written apology. Ms Scott said she had to battle police for four months to get a copy of the letter.

Cathy Scott was labelled a 'f****** slag' and a 'whore' by a 59-year-old man in Sutton Cheney, Leics,AtherstoneFHsupportertofemalemonitorYoufuckingfatbitchafterramminghercar29-11-16.jpg last November. After a video of the incident went viral on social media sites, the unnamed man received a police caution over the incident, on the condition he provided a written apology. The video emerged just days after a local councillor on horseback told a hunt protester that he would 'quite like to s***' her.

But after Ms Scott asked Leicestershire Police why she hadn't received the letter, she claims she was told she would have to view it at a police station but wouldn't be able to touch or keep it due to its 'sensitive nature'. When Ms Scott, 41, complained about the 'bizarre' decision, she says she was then offered a version of the letter with the perpetrator's name redacted. It was only after Ms Scott lodged a formal complaint that she eventually got given a copy of the letter - some four months after the incident, and two months after it was written.

AtherstoneFHSupportercautionedafterramssabcarthensubjectsfemaletotorrentofabuse29-11-16.jpgMs Scott, from Coventry, Warwickshire, said: 'Leicestershire Police were essentially protecting the perpetrator and treating me, the victim, like a criminal. If I have to jump through hoops like that to get a simple letter of apology, what chance do other victims of more serious crimes have? They told me I could come and read the letter at arm's length - what sort of rule is that? It was agreed that as part of his conditional caution he would write me a letter of apology and take a victim awareness course. Did they think I would never ask about the letter? This man called me some of the most horrible, misogynistic names under the sun. He waved his fist at me and another woman and we really did feel threatened."

"I had to chase the letter up time and time again and they gave me this most peculiar excuse that because it had details of a 'sensitive nature' they couldn't let me keep it. Obviously I questioned this but they were adamant that I couldn't have it and would have to meet a police officer to look at it. It was absolutely ludicrous and if I hadn't have fought it, I'd probably still be waiting for the apology."

The shocking footage was shared on Facebook by members of the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, who were on the country road to protest against the Atherstone Hunt. Ms Scott and another member of the West Midlands Hunt Saboteur group were involved in a confrontation with two men. after a collision between their cars during a hunt on November 29th last year. One man got out of his vehicle and said to Ms Scott: 'You want some of this, f*****? Eh?' before adding: 'F*** off back to Coventry where you belong you f****** w****.'

Ms Scott said: 'We were there to monitor activity on the hunt. We stopped our vehicle on the lane because weAtherstoneFHAntisapologyletterforabusebysupporter29-11-16.jpg could see them coming down the track. They drove their vehicle into us and that's when I was met with this tirade of abuse. It was really nasty stuff. He was effing and blinding and calling me all the names under the sun, all on camera. It was completely unacceptable language. I told him it was some of the worst abuse I had ever heard. It was unprovoked and unnecessary. I was feeling massively intimidated and that's why I reported it to the police. To be fair, they dealt with the initial incident swiftly. But I didn't expect to be waiting on an apology all this time later. He wrote the letter in January for goodness sake and I only got it in March.'

It is believed the unnamed man must now attend a victim awareness course which he must pay for himself and he must write a letter of apology to the victim. The letter read: 'I am writing this letter of apology to you as instructed, I apologise to you for the coarse language and derogatory comments used against you on Tuesday the 29th of November 2016. On the gated road [in] Sutton Cheney. The comments were made in the heat of the moment, and for that I apologise.'

A Leicestershire Police spokesperson said: 'An initial decision was made by an officer not to provide a copy of the apology letter due to some of the content within. A complaint was made from the victim regarding this which coincided with a review from a more senior officer on the original decision. After a review, this officer agreed to provide a copy of the apology letter to the victim. A complaint from the victim is still under investigation by our Professional Standards department therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage.'

Tory councillor Charles Carter, 33, quit his position at Breckland Council after a video of him being sexist and misogynistic to a hunt protester went viral. Carter told Linda Hoggard, who filmed his derogatory comments, that she was 'very pretty' and asked if he could take her to bed.

Original story and video can be found here. 

                                     

Sabs stop Cheriton Mink Hounds from hunting

22-4-17  Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs   Today we stopped the Cheriton/former Devon & Cornwall Minkhounds from killing wildlife on the river Torridge. Together with Somerset Sabs and South Devon Animal Rights we turned up to their meet at the Stevenstone Hunt kennels in Torrington and packed them up before they even got the hounds out of the trailer. A fairly relaxed stand-off ensued while the hunt members (all 6 of them) considered their options. One of them entertained us with the usual drivel about wildlife 'management', immigration, townies and ISIS. When we reminded him that hunting a wild mammal (including otters and mink) with hounds was illegal, out came the familiar excuse, "oh but we're just here to exercise them". When asked why he minded us observing the hounds being 'exercised', he said "well they might bump into an otter... and then we'd be doing what you're suggesting we're going to do". ... After an hour of standing around in a field, the hunt made the sensible decision to head home to avoid any 'accidental' hunting. Two hours and many country lanes later they were safely tucked up back at the kennels. Job done.

                                      

Motorists appalled by horrific death on road of deer after Exmoor Hunt
Quantock Stag Hounds believed to be responsible for outrage
Exmoor resident Sir Rannulph Fiennes says he feels 'ashamed'
LACS brands the deer killing as 'utterly horrific' 

21-4-17  Devon Live   Drivers horrified to witness 'public execution' of terrified deer A scared deer leaped from a bridge on to a road and was 'executed' by a huntsman yesterday in front of several 'disgusted' members of the public, according to someone who witnessed the incident.

An eyewitness, who does not wish to be named, said the shocking ordeal left her 'horrified and deeply saddened'QuantockSHSceneofdeerkillhorror21-4-17.jpg after the 'exhausted' animal was cornered by hounds on a bridge above a public road near Dulverton [right]. She watched as the scene played out and said she was left in 'pure disgust', and questioned how such a 'barbaric ordeal' was legal.

Speaking to DevonLive, she said: "I am not the usual type to complain about anything to this degree but yesterday I witnessed something which deeply saddened and disgusted me along with many other members of public present at the time. "The staghounds were out on a hunt close to the Mason's Kings, not far from Black Cat, Dulverton way and they had clearly been chasing a poor stag for some time when it came to the old railway bridge. he hounds had it cornered and the poor animal was so exhausted it could hardly stand, it's tongue hanging out and it's body wobbling all over the place."

She said she, along with others, were held up on the road when quad bikes and other vehicles blocked the animal's escape routes and a gunman scrambled up the side of the bridge towards the animal. She said: "The animal, clearly distressed, took one look at its only route to potential escape and threw itself off the top of the 30ft bridge and crashed on to the road below in front of all of the members of public. The animal lay in the road - seriously injured but still alive - to which the gunman then shot and ended the prolonged suffering."

She and many others watching were horrified by the 'barbaric ordeal'. She said: "Members of the public were frantic, shouting at the huntsmen in pure disgust. All of this is actually completely legal - how is this allowed? I think the law has a great deal to answer for. I am not against controlling populations of wildlife such as deer and foxes. I live on a nearby farm and have studied wildlife related subjects at a university level so have a good understanding of the countryside. I do not, however, think there is a place for such practices in this day and that alternative more humane and effective ways exist to manage wild populations and it is about time that these animals were protected and respected."

DevonLive has contacted several local staghound groups to ask who organised the hunt, but none of them have yet responded.

POWAperson adds - We have been privately informed that the Hunt responsible was the Quantock Stag Hounds. This Hunt already carries 2 convictions for illegal hunting. Sir Rannulph Fiennes, an Exmoor resident who turned against hunting after his local hunt killed a fox that used to visit him, has made the following Facebook post -

21-4-17   Facebook - Sir Ranulph Fiennes   As a resident of Exmoor I am ashamed!

Pic below, credit DevonLive -  

     QuantockSHHunteddeerleapsfrombridgeontoroadinfrontofmotorists21-4-17.jpg 

25-4-17   Devon Live   League Against Cruel Sports brands deer killing on busy road as 'utterly horrific'    A charity which vows to protect animals from cruelty in sports has branded the public killing of a deer on a main road as "shocking and utterly horrific". The League Against Cruel Sports contacted DevonLive after reading our story about a scared deer leaped which from a bridge on to a road and was 'executed' by a huntsman. The incident took place last Thursday (April 20) in front of several 'disgusted' members of the public, according to a driver who saw the events unfurl. The eyewitness, who did not wish to be named, said the shocking ordeal left her 'horrified and deeply saddened' after the 'exhausted' animal was cornered by hounds on a bridge above the A396 road near Dulverton.

Now the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), a charity which campaigns to ban hunting in the UK, has condemned the incident and says deaths like these need to stop. Eduardo Goncalves, chief executive of LACS, said: "This was utterly horrific for the stag and shocking for the members of the public who witnessedQuantockSHBloodontheroadwherethedeerwaskillednearDulverton21-4-17.jpg it. Unfortunately the killing of stags like this isn't as uncommon as people might hope. "Stag hunting is banned, but some hunts in and around Devon and Somerset continue to chase these animals, and continue to make excuses as to why deaths occur. Frankly it needs to stop. Don't think this was a one off. The League Against Cruel Sports has a wildlife sanctuary near Dulverton and we have to keep guard on a regular basis to stop hunts from chasing deer onto our land. I can't put a figure on the number of deer and stags who have run full tilt onto our land to reach safety. Reports from this incident say the stag appeared exhausted – that suggests it had been chased over a long period. Any suggestion that it was merely discovered by the hunt, or was accidentally chased for a short period before reaching the bridge, doesn't seem to match the facts. Sometimes hunts claim they are 'helping' an injured stag by chasing it to put it down. That doesn't sound like animal welfare to me."

Speaking on Friday, an eyewitness told DevonLive how the incident left her in "pure disgust", and questioning how such a "barbaric ordeal" could be legal. She said: "I am not the usual type to complain about anything to this degree but this deeply saddened and disgusted me. The staghounds had clearly been chasing the poor stag for some time when it came to the old railway bridge. The hounds had it cornered and the poor animal was so exhausted it could hardly stand, it's tongue hanging out and it's body wobbling all over the place." She said she, along with others, were held up on the road when quad bikes and other vehicles blocked the animal's escape routes and a gunman scrambled up the side of the bridge towards the animal...

DevonLive has contacted Avon and Somerset Police to see if they are aware of the matter. No hunt has yet claimed responsibility for the incident. DevonLive has tried to contact several hunts in the area, but none have got back to us.

Pic above right - Blood stains left on A396 

  

POWA presses for strengthening commitment in Labour manifesto

20-4-17    Protect Our Wild Animals has written to the Labour Party leadership and MPs requesting that a commitment to strengthen the Hunting Act 2004 be included in the Party's manifesto for the election on June 8th. Even if Labour do not win power this time, such a commitment will make it easier to get it made official party policy and included in any future manifesto. Penny Little, POWA member and highly experienced hunt monitor, has also launched a petition requesting a strengthening commitment. Please sign this urgently and share as widely as you can.  

To: Jeremy Corbyn

Include in the manifesto a commitment to strengthen the Hunting Act

Why is this important?

The Hunting Act of 2005 is far too weak to restrain the hunters. Illegal hunting is absolutely rife. The animal welfare consequences of this are horrendous. People who demanded a ban on hunting did not want a law that was weak, unenforced and laughed at by the hunters. The police refuse to even try to crack down on this anarchy. The only solution is a stronger - much stronger - law, with harsher penalties. A ban is supported by 84+% of the population. Labour can gather many, many votes from making this commitment in their manifesto. Please sign this petition and share it far and wide - the animals desperately need your help.  


Town Council secret meeting with Atherstone FH exposed by sabs

20-4-17   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Atherstone Town Council in secret meeting with Hunt    Despite the public interest in The Atherstone Hunt, who have had their violent, abusive, and criminal behaviour reported on by the media over 80 times, Atherstone Town Council have seen fit to accept the hunt's request for a private meeting over the violent events in the Market Square on the 02/01/2017. This meeting took place on 15/03/2017. We have no way of knowing what the Council and the hunt discussed as there are no notes or minutes that can be scrutinised. We will keep a closer eye on the activity of the Council from now on. Further unaccountable 'shadow' meetings with criminal bloodsport fanatics are unacceptable and disrespectful to all those who want justice & respect for wild animals.

The Council claim they have yet to make a decision over the Atherstone Hunts future use of the Market Square and are due to have a secret meeting with senior officers from Warwickshire Police. The same police force who are partially responsible for the violence by choosing not to police the event and who have subsequently lied and tried to cover up their involvement.

How can Atherstone Town Council make an impartial decision over this issue when the Councillors who have vested interests in the hunt are allowed to vote on the issue? All vested interests in the Atherstone Hunt should be declared and anyone with interests in the hunt should abstain from decision making. Complaints should be directed to http://www.atherstone-tc.gov.uk/contact-us.

    AtherstoneFHHoldsecreetingwithTownCouncil15-3-17.jpg

  

Badsworth FH filmed trespassing along a canal towpath, not for first time
Reported to landowners the Canal and River Trust

14-4-17   Wildlife Guardian   Fox hunt ignored warning signs to trespass on canal towpaths   A fox Hunt’s actions have been branded as extremely irresponsible for endangering public safety after repeatedly ignoring warning signs and galloping down narrow canal towpaths with a pack of foxhounds. The Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt have been reported to the Canal & River Trust for riding along towpaths on the New Junction Canal at Sykehouse and Fishlake, nr Doncaster, on several occasions during the past six months.

The Canal & River Trust, who manage the canal, prohibit horses using towpaths due to the serious risk to the public as well as the horses. During the latest incident, a local resident, who did not wish to be named, claimed that the Hunt, along with 30 foxhounds, spent up to an hour on the towpaths at Sykehouse and Fishlake, despiteBadsworthFHHuntsmanandJMtrespassingontowpath4-17.jpg warning signs clearly prohibiting horses on the towpath.

Mobile phone footage seen by the Wildlife Guardian shows Huntsman Richard Mould and Joint Master Nigel Dickson galloping down the towpath as the hounds are in cry. The Hunt then head to the opposite towpath, where the hounds are encouraged to hunt through wildlife habitat owned by the Canal & River Trust. The Hunt’s terriermen and terriers were later seen joining the Hunt on the towpath. The trespass occurred in full view of a Canal & River Trust manned station, and despite previous incidents being reported to the Trust, no action was taken to stop the Hunt.

A spokesman for the Wildlife Guardian stated, “The Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt behaviour is utterly reckless and they are endangering the safety of legitimate users of the towpaths, such as dog walkers and cyclists. They also demonstrated a blatant disregard for the safety of the horses. This is not an isolated incident, it’s occurring five or six times a year. It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured. The Canal & River Trust cannot keep turning a blind eye to the trespass and the extremely irresponsible actions of the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt.”

In 2014, a photo of the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt trespassing on the same towpath, led by then huntsman Nigel Dickson, was published on the Countryside Alliance Facebook page. Last year the Hunt made the national news when hunt saboteurs were driven at by terriermen in balaclavas on a quad bike.

                                     
Minehead Harriers hunt on NT land where recent bTb breakdown

11-4-17  Facebook - Chris Tasker    Do hunts give a toss about biosecurity ? Er, No ! On 1st December 2016, Cloutsham Farm, nr Minehead was listed for a bTB breakdown. So on 29th January 2017, the Minehead Harriers had a meet at the farm and spent 4 hours on the farm fields pretending to trail hunt, complete with equipped terriermen, a dozen riders, riders on point and overloaded quad bikes. To compound the issue, they had invited another hunt to join them, the Tiverton Foxhounds, so spreading whatever they picked up another 25 miles when they went home. The farm is National Trust property, and the Hunt had a trail licence from NT.

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Monitors blocked, abused, menaced by VWH support as Hunt tries to find foxes

Police called out three times by threatened monitor group 

10-4-17   Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch    Both the VWH and Cotswold hunts were out on Saturday, presumably able to hunt this late as they have access to large private estates and therefore don’t have to stop because farmers are growing crops. The fact that the foxes they hunt probably have cubs that need feeding is not considered by these people. With the help from a Three Counties sab, we covered the VWH meet which was in Cirencester Park the home of Allen Bathurst the 9th Earl of Bathurst and his Countess wife Sara who came out and attended the hunt in their 4x4.

The Hunt left the meet area quickly and disappeared into the large area of sloping woods behind the polo ground. It took a long time to track them down but eventually we did, finding them putting the hounds to search through the undergrowth. They continued to do this, but when the hounds picked up two of our team were able to get their heads up, much to the annoyance of the Huntsman. They moved on quickly, in fact they kept moving on, hunting when they could but as the huntsman told one of our team, the warm day and the wild garlic made it hard for the hounds to find scent.

Supporters were starting to gather and these included some of the Bicester Boys – ‘Tommy Gadget Man’ who seems to have swapped his ‘gadget’ for a mobile phone and also a truck load of ‘anti-antis’ from Dorset who presumably wanted to prolong their fun after their own hunts had all finished. They basically think it’s clever to surround monitors cars to try and harass and intimidate and to show off in front of their friends. During the day, we had 2 instances of drunken hunt thugs banging their fists on the window of our vehicles threatening and abusing the occupants. At one of these instances, a redcoat was watching. After the driver called the police, the redcoat suddenly decided he needed to apologise for the hunt thug. At another point in the day ‘anti-antis’ lay in the road and surrounded one of our vehicles to prevent it from moving! Foot-walkers were subjected to tactics of harassment designed to avoid legal action as well. This all resulted in us having to contact the police three times.

Despite extensive searching, the hunt found nothing in Overley Wood and went back down the park to the bottom end, trying to hunt the wood near the polo ground entrance but prevented by the timely arrival of two lots of foot-walkers. They changed horses at the polo ground and immediately set off again towards the north of the park, not seeming to find much and not heard on cry just repeatedly searching. Two women hikers in the park were shocked to learn what was taking place, and wished us luck. Sadly, towards the very end of the day after most of the field had gone home, they went quickly back up from the south end of the park to the Overley Ride area where they were heard in cry. As we only had one monitor in that area, they were able to hunt for some time- sadly we don’t know the outcome. It is pretty sure they returned to where they knew there was a fox – maybe the one that had gone to ground last Wednesday or maybe the one that our team had earlier protected.

The ‘anti-antis’ followed our vehicle at the end of the day. As we went towards the bend on the A419 near the polo ground entrance, a female pheasant was knocked by a car coming the other way and staggered to our side of the road. Our driver put on hazard lights and stopped while we collected the bird to try to help it. The ‘anti-antis’ in the vehicle behind, jeered and laughed at this action showing their complete inability to empathise with injured wildlife. Luckily we knew of a safe haven where the pheasant could be kept and monitored. We have since heard that it recovered and flew off. Stay safe little bird!

The Hunt went on until around 6pm. It was a terrible and disturbing sight on a beautiful spring day to see young children being escorted by veteran hunt riders actively indoctrinating them by pointing us out to be misguided.  

 

Police powers to demand face mask removal enhanced

7-4-17    Countryside Alliance   New power to remove face coverings from violent protesters comes into effect today   Today (3rd April) police have been given new powers to remove face coverings from violent protestors. Last month, Minister of State for Policing, Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, wrote to all Police Constables making them aware of a new power to make it easier for police officers to request that face coverings be removed from violent protestors. The Minister’s letter follows a Countryside Alliance led campaign.

Last December the House of Lords passed a Government amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill which will make it easier for the police to tackle violent masked protestors. The amendment was in response to concerns raised regarding the inability of police to request the removal of face coverings from violent protestors without prior written authorisation from a senior police officer. Last months letter by the Minister’s informed Police Constables that the new provision will commence on today (3rd April).

The amendment means that a senior police officer will be able to give immediate oral authorisation for a constable to remove face-coverings, where it is impracticable for that authorisation to be given in writing. The law had required prior written authorisation that the police have grounds for reasonable belief that activities may take place in an area that are likely to involve the commission of offences. The conditions and protections remain exactly the same, but the fast track process will now allow the police to tackle a serious issue both in rural communities and elsewhere.

Research by the Countryside Alliance using the Freedom of Information Act published last year revealed that the powers had only been used on one occasion in the past three years to require animal rights activists at a hunt to remove face coverings, despite the use of masks to intimidate and hide identity being a standard tactic of hunt saboteurs. The powers had been used on many occasions in relation to pre-arranged demonstrations and football matches.

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

POWAperson comments -  The CA and their hunting friends could well find the old saw 'Be careful what you wish for...' coming back to bite them. Hunt thugs and even some redcoats commonly mask up in order to conceal their identities from anti cameras, so they can carry out their illegal hunting and assaults on antis with even greater impunity than they currently enjoy. If the police apply these new powers fairly [admittedly, this is far from a given] they will lose that anonymity and the chances of their being arrested and charged will be that much greater. 

  

VWH FH run away as monitors find hounds marking to ground

6-4-17  Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch    5th April. Not enough for you VWH?   On Wednesday 5th April, a walker came on them [the Vale of the White Horse Hunt] yet again hunting in Cirencester Park. This time a secretive meet with a small field of followers, horseboxes and hound lorry all clustered together near the polo ground. It was late in the day but we managed to rally a couple of people and, trying to make a good guess, came in from the Overly Road where we came right on the Hunt with the hounds searching.

Just as we arrived and got seen by the redcoats, they went on cry and as we were already slightly behind them all we could do is follow. Just as we heard the disappearing sound of the hunting horn we rounded a bend to find part of the pack marking to ground and the rest of the Hunt completely vanished. The hounds were frantically digging at a hole, making it clear that the fox they had been pursuing had escaped underground. We got them off and they hung around as the Hunt had apparently abandoned them - maybe worried after the witnessed kill last Saturday? But they eventually drifted off and we guarded the area until we were sure they were not coming back for this fox, and visited again later to check. The Hunt had really run and we could not find them again, but we felt that at least we had managed to save this fox - for now.

  

Vale of the White Horse FH slaughter fox in front of monitors
Charged recklessly on to A roads before and after the kill
Monitors filmed them and have reported Hunt to police

Quote from monitor - "I know that what I saw today will stay with me the rest of my life. One moment that beautiful creature was in front of me running for his life, and the next I was looking at his blood soaking into the ground." 

6-4-17  Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch   Vale of the White Horse FH, Saturday 1st April   The Hunt met at a farm behind Coates and after bursting out onto the main Tetbury A433 road, chased and killed a fox in front of four of our team in the fields behind Cirencester Agricultural University The fox never had a chance as there were Hunt officials and groups of riders blocking every escape. Just like Wednesday, they seemed to be hunting recklessly with no heed for cameras or the law. A redcoat tried to block our view, but one of our monitors was coming from the other direction and was able to film. The Huntsman got off his horse and ran off with the body, leaving gobbets of flesh, hair and blood on the ground. We are talking to the Police and will be putting up footage in due course.

This event did not stop the VWH hunting foxes that day. They went on cry again between Tarlton and the A433 Tetbury road, but 3Cs sab working with us that day rated the hounds off the fox. We managed to get monitors in to the areas they were drawing around Tarlton Wood and towards the Tunnel Inn, and once again a CIHW monitor got the hounds heads up as they started on a scent. they finally disrupted the very busy A419 Stroud Road to take the Hunt across into the main park, where they went up the length of the park and back, seeming to be at last inhibited by a public event within the park, packing up at around five.

    VWHFHRedcoatrunningawaywithfoxcorpse1-4-17.jpg 

A member of CIWH [also of POWA] told us - Monitors saw no 'trail' laid before hunting began next to the main Tetbury road. The hounds burst out onto the main road, disrupting the traffic before going towards the back of the University farm.

When the hounds went into cry the huntsmen made no effort to stop them until it was too late A fox was seen by a monitor fleeing for its life, just before the pack caught it. The Hunt officials seemed to panic. The Huntsman galloped over, viciously whipped the hounds off and rushed away on foot with the body, running from the camera [see pic above]. Monitors filmed the remains - chunks of flesh, hair, skin and blood.

‘The worst of it is,’ she said 'orphaned fox cubs may have been left underground, where they will experience a slow and terrible death by starvation. Wildlife rescue centres are currently taking in fox cubs, some born as early as February. The Hunt will claim there were trails laid, but they were seen searching near main roads and through fields of oil seed rape, where they would be likely to find foxes resting up in cover. Like many other Hunts, they will claim the kill was an 'accident', but we filmed them chasing more foxes later in the day. We are supplying footage to the police and call for the law to be enforced against Hunts that we believe repeatedly chase and kill foxes 'accidentally on purpose’.


 

VWH FH relentlessly hunted fox late in day and may have killed

6-4-17   Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch   VWH Hunt, Wednesday 29th March   We were tipped off that the Vale of the White Horse FH were in Cirencester Park and two of us, plus a Three Counties sab managed to attend. It was a 'children's meet' but as we have witnessed before, once the children have left in the middle of the day, the Hunt gets down to it.

From mid afternoon they hunted up and down the main section of the park on the Sapperton side, where weVWHFHHoundshunting29-3-17.jpg found them. 3Cs sab got the hounds off one tired fox, but they were relentlessly after another - just glimpsed by CIHW at the Overly Road as it ran across with the hounds in cry after it, just too far away to try and stop them. The redcoats came blasting out onto the road after the hounds and refused to call them off even though they were told a fox had been seen.

The fox ran in a large circle, across the road and back into the main park and round again. The redcoat did retreat once when he came on a CIHW monitor with a camera. They had clearly lost the scent at one point, and were witnessed by CIHW bringing the hounds back to the spot and putting them to search through the thick undergrowth until they picked up on the scent again.

We have seen this before, but this time there was a difference. The redcoats and the small hardcore of riders left in the last hours of this hunt were avidly and blatantly hunting, totally ignoring our presence and absolutely relentless in pursuit of the fox, which they chased the length of the park and back again, for around one and a half hours, finally going quiet at 6.30. We strongly believe it was the same fox because the monitors trying to track the Hunt in the extensive woodland of Cirencester Park could hear the hounds go off cry, losing the scent followed by a shortish pause when they would be back on again. We have heard many times that at the end of the season Hunts become even more determined and bloodthirsty. We saw it. We do not know how it ended as a hunt suddenly going quiet can mean a kill or that the fox has gone to ground, to be dug out by terriermen and killed.

   

Film of monitor's car windscreen being smashed at S.Dorset FH meet
Video also has stills of young riders struggling to escape bog

2-4-17  Facebook - Dorset Hunt Sabs  VIDEO   Hit Report Thursday 30th March 2017, South Dorset Hunt Meeting at Rollington Farm, Corfe Castle    This [2nd] report focuses on two specific incidents of the day.

During the early part of the day, while the field were travelling through the forestry not far from the Oil Gathering Station, three young riders not knowing the all-consuming bogs in the area rode off track. Their horses sunk intoS.DorsetFH2youngridersstrugglingtoescapebog30-3-17.jpg the bog and threw the young riders. The horses, now under some stress, thrashed around to get a footing in the brown foul-smelling bog [right]. The monitor who was close by stopped videoing and carefully ‘danced’ over to the area trying to avoid the deepest of the bog sumps and gullies.

He was concerned the horses would endanger the young riders by falling on them and pushing them into the bog. After asking the young riders if they were okay he beckoned over adult riders. Two of the ponies came out of the bog without to much stress. The third was seriously struggling and moving the wrong way. Eventually the pony was persuaded to turn and came out the bog in the direction from which he came. Riders and ponies looked to be okay on exit from the bog, although probably stressed.

When the very same monitor returned to his car at the end of hunting he found his windscreen smashed. It appeared to have been smashed with a hard object [Dash-cam still below]. Police, who were on site all day, were called and attended. Frankly they were furious at what had happened and will follow up the crime. After the monitor was on the scene of the bog incident and standing by to help earlier in the day he was extremely disappointed that a hunt follower should resort to such vandalism.

Note: The vehicle had a ‘dash cam’. The video from the dash cam is now being studied for evidence of who committed the crime. We have set up a GFM to pay for the damage to the monitors car, we have worked closely with him this season. We are in awe of his experience and he is one of the kindest and caring gentlemen you will ever meet. https://www.gofundme.com/dorset-sabs-vandalised-vehicle

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'Notorious' hunt supporter to be charged at last over 'vicious assault'

1-4-17   Facebook – Outpaced   We hate to tease with half a story but sometimes we have no choice. Outpaced, after a two year case have had a significant result in which one of the hunts most notorious and odious individuals is about to be prosecuted. It's even more satisfying that he thinks he has long got away with his vicious assault. We took it to the highest of review level with the CPS and at last to a specialist prosecutor. Given a couple of outrageous acquittals recently our compliments to the CPS in recognising that public interest is best served in bringing this case. We are only not giving more detail as we don't want to spoil his surprise. At such a time, I f the victim gives permission, we will publish the full story.

 

MARCH 2017 

..... 30th March - Police stop S.Dorset FH dig out, monitor has car windows smashed, kids ride into bog

..... 28th March - Lord Bonomy says even total ban wouldn't stop Scottish Hunts chasing foxes

..... 27th March - Wilts & Infantry Beagles filmed chasing a hare

..... 27th March - Charity Commission refuses Countryside Alliance bid for charitable status

..... 26th March - Middleton FH hounds killed/injured as taken across busy road 

..... 26th March - Portman FH blocks Wessex Ridgeway path and tries to stop walkers using it

..... 26th March - Sabs write to AAC after police fail to deal with multiple attacks at Woodland Pytchley FH

..... 26th March - Dart Vale Harriers chase deer for 2 miles before gizmo-aided escape

..... 26th March - Monitor uploads video compilation of hunt horse mistreatment

..... 25th March - Campaigners seek sacking of Kent Wildlife Trust hare hunter

..... 24th March - Old Surrey hunt foxes, hit sab, retiring Huntsman Mark Bycroft charges others

..... 24th March - As S.Herefordshire FH 5 re-bailed, sab gets threatening mail re. case 

..... 24th March - Anti hunt FB page responds to CA attempt to shut it down

..... 23rd March - DEFRA response to bTb in hunt kennels... do nothing

..... 23rd March - Chairman of Kent Wildlife Trust is JM of the Blean Beagles!

..... 23rd March - Director of NT contradicts official who said they can't monitor hunts on NT land

..... 23rd March - Sabs take hounds off 'Shag' Carter as Middleton FH have kill-free day

..... 22nd March - Ledbury FH shows solidarity with scandal-hit S.Herefordshire Hunt

..... 21st March - Sabs upload more film of Atherstone FH New Year meet violence & abuse

..... 19th March - Sab hospitalised, another hurt, in attacks by Pytchley FH thugs

..... 19th March - Reports that sabs badly hurt, property damaged/stolen at Middleton FH meet

..... 19th March - Isle of Wight FH Huntsman whacks sab around head with his crop

..... 18th March - South Dorset FH hound run over as hunt thug harasses sabs

..... 17th March - Heythrop FH very nearly caught fox then caused road rage on A424

..... 17th March - Sabs try to save hares hunted by Waveney Harriers as police look on

..... 16th March - Eight blocked setts found day after Heythrop FH closing meet

..... 16th March - Beaufort FH Huntsman refuses to pull hounds off fox they close behind

..... 16th March - Trial of two Jedforest FH hunt servants begins [adjourned on 2nd day]

..... 16th March - 'Two foxes pushed from van for Zetland FH to chase' allegation

..... 16th March - Bizarre hound blessing by Anglican priest at Chiddingfold FH meet

..... 15th March - Landowner finds Beaufort FH trotting through his wood without permission

..... 15th March - Monitors think Cotswold FH killed, as they hunted many familiar coverts

..... 14th March - Three Grove & Rufford FH members convicted of illegal hunting

..... 14th March - Terrierman trying to hit sab almost falls off speeding quad

..... 13th March - Woodland Pytchley FH Director resigns as Wildlife Trust trustee after short campaign

..... 13th March - Sabs stop 2 Essex/Suffolk FH dig outs, quad hits sab, redcoat endangers own horse

..... 13th March - Fife FH hunt foxes - no guns - sabs think first was bagged

..... 12th March - Sabs stop hare pack from hunting and fox pack from killing

..... 12th March - Sabs stop two dig outs by Taunton Vale FH as Hunt chase foxes

..... 12th March - Southdown FH follower punches out car window, injuring sab

..... 12th March - Call to boycott Atherstone FH as JM revealed to run pet kennels

..... 12th March - Another hunting vet is exposed

..... 11th March - Local monitors Axe Vale Harriers - sees blatant fox hunting

..... 11th March - Badsworth & Branham FH kill hare near day's end

,,,,, 11th March - Seavington FH cease season with no kills day thanks to antis

..... 11th March - Sab whipped as Fitzwilliam FH stopped from killing foxes

..... 11th March - Sabs get shock as Old Surrey FH spend all day trail hunting

..... 11th March - Hunts running riot in bTb hotspot risks spreading disease

..... 11th March - Blean Beagles head home as soon as sabs appear

..... 10th March - Fitzwilliam killed twice, 8-3 - follower admits hunting but 'nobody to know'

..... 10th March - Hunt causes havoc in Kent village named, ironically, Hunton

.... 10th March - Atherstone FH in disarray as sacked Huntsman & groom sue them

..... 10th March - Melbreak FH hounds seen hunting unsupervised on Nat Trust land

..... 10th March - LACS gets strong with NT over allowing illegal hunting on its land

..... 10th March - CA contests £60k award after racing pigeons killed by hunting hounds

.....  9th March - Film released of Beaufort FH apparently hunting fox

.....  9th March - Pet rabbit killed by hounds as Oakley FH trespass - owner 'devastated'

.....  9th March - Fox killed by Fitzwilliam terriermen died from 'blunt force trauma'

.....  8th March - Southdown FH supporter smashes sab landy window, rider badly hurt later

.....  8th March - Row over vet who is also Director of Cheshire Forest FH

.....  7th March - Four setts found blocked in area being hunted by Heythrop FH

.....  7th March - Two Jedforest FH hunt servants plead NG to illegal hunting charges

..... 7th March - bTb in hounds at Kimblewick FH kennels confirmed - 25 shot so far

..... 7th March - Hunting Surrey Union FH trespass and anger landowner

 ..... 7th March - Illegal hunting trial of Grove & Rufford FH three begins

.....  6th March - Senior equestrienne dies after fall during drag hunt [a real one]

...... 5th March - One fox has a very lucky escape from the Lamerton FH

.....  6th March - Vale of the White Horse FH hunt openly on roads and in gardens

.....  5th March - National Trust beefs up its policy on field sports - a smidgen

..... 5th March - Cheshire Forest FH massed thugs attract police attention at final meet

..... 5th March - Atherstone FH hunted fox out of nature reserve - escaped down sett

..... 4th March - Monitors believe Beaufort FH hunted fox at Prince Charles's place

..... 4th March - Oakley FH thugs assault sabs, steal cameras while police do nothing

….. 4th March – Antis' teamwork denies Portman FH kill, furious farmer tells Hunt off

..... 4th March - Huff Post reporter spends day with sabs visiting the Crawley FH 

..... 4th March - Equestrian business offering 'fox hunting days' on their website

..... 3rd March - Rumours of bTb outbreak at Kimblewick FH - 40 hounds shot?

..... 3rd March - Cotswold FH meet cancelled after 'redcoat fell off horse drunk'

..... 3rd March - Bloodsports lobby attacks anti-hunt Blue Fox again

..... 3rd March - Atherstone FH hounds all over roads, sometimes unaccompanied

..... 2nd March - Sabs violently assaulted by Flint & Denbigh FH 'security'

..... 2nd March - Old Surrey FH have to run gauntlet of derision to reach their Hunt Ball

..... 2nd March - Hunt for lost boy - S.W.Wilts FH hound missing for several days

..... 1st March - Crawley FH redcoats 'pinned sab to fence and kicked him in the face'

..... 1st March - Sabs told fox killed by Hunt - find Surrey Union FH in the area

..... 1st March - S.& W. Wilts FH hounds and horses blessed by 'countryman' priest

.... 1st March - Sab tyres slashed as hares saved from Waveney Harriers

..... 1st March - Veterinary practice hosts meet of the Cottesmore FH

 


Police stop South Dorset FH dig out as monitor's car windows smashed

Same monitor had helped rescue young riders stuck in a bog

30-3-17  Facebook - Dorset Hunt Sabs   Hit Report – Thursday, 30th March 2017   Today we paid a visit to the South Dorset Hunt meeting at Rollington Farm in Corfe Castle. We were joined by two hunt monitors and the police maintained a strong presence all day. It was a unusually large turn out for the South Dorset Hunt due to the fact that terrier boys and support had gathered from other local Hunts including the BSV who have finished for this season. After leaving the meet, the Huntsman lead the hounds and field along the ridge on the southern sideS.DorsetFH30-3-17.jpg of the B3351. Foot sabs were already in situ pre spraying and observing them...

We knew today would be difficult due to limited access in certain areas and the terrain being very boggy in places, but with a super fit foot team, sabs done a fantastic job of keeping the Huntsman on his toes. The Huntsman headed to Rempstone Heath and whilst waiting for foot sabs in the area the sabs in the landy saw a girl cantering along the grass verge looking like she needed help. We could see the Huntsman off his horse and a few other riders also on foot and we suspected there had been an accident.

One of the hunt monitors who was out today confirmed that everyone was now OK but 3 younger riders had strayed off the track and ridden their horses into extremely boggy ground where they had gotten stuck. The hunt monitor assisted them ( the riders, the Huntsman and other members of the field ) to free their horses and make sure they were OK. Perhaps the Huntsman should be more mindful of where he is taking S.DorsetFHYoungriderHorsemuddyafterpulledfrombog30-3-17.jpgthe Hunt in future - a little research into the local area would not have gone a miss. We did observe one of these riders ( photo of grey horse, left, with the mud up to top of its tail ) with her horse still covered in mud from the bog towards the end of the afternoon - poor thing must have been extremely tired !

This is not the first time this monitor has helped young riders who have gotten into trouble - the last incident being when young riders fell off whilst jumping a huge hedge and were then trampled by horses. This is shown in a previous video and he stayed with them and comforted them making sure they were safe until adults came to their aide.

The Hunt remained in the Rempstone Heath area for the rest of the day travelling as far up as Vitower House where the foot sabs observed a running fox that had been flushed out from the reed beds. This fox ran to ground seeking refuge and its life from the hounds -foot sabs were observing and ready to intervene if necessary so the Huntsman gathered the hounds and headed South toward the Lookout Tower.

The sabs in the Landy heard the hounds in cry in Wytch Moor and thankfully the foot sabs were soon on the scene from the other side and managed to intervene and call the hounds off the line - another fox saved !!

The Huntsman then headed back towards Ower Farm where the fox was observed running to ground. Again withS.DorsetFHSomeofdamagetomonitorcar30-3-17.jpg limited access we were getting a little worried for this fox. Luckily the police, who were amazing today, appeared and we sent them in that direction. Very shortly the terrier boys were fleeing the scene and we suspect this was due to the police sitting on the hill - either that or they thought they had stumbled into a vegan fair !! The terrier boys were getting pretty shirty by now having lost out on killing at least two foxes ! The Hunt packed up just after 5pm...

One of our hunt monitors had parked his vehicle by Wytch Farm, this being the monitor who I mentioned earlier who helped with getting the horses out the bog and the young riders earlier in the season. After walking miles and being a great help to us keeping tabs on the Hunt today, he retuned to his car to find his windscreen smashed. This had been done with a white flint type stone / rock in five places showering his seats and dash board with shards of glass - this is the thanks he has got for helping the Hunts he has been monitoring the last season ! We find this a beyond disgraceful way to conduct themselves - the South Dorset Hunt vehicles are regularly left strewn along grass verges and not once have we ever touched them, even though we don’t agree with what they are doing !! The police who had stayed in the area all day were soon with us and at the moment this is ongoing. We intend to fund raise to pay for the damage to the monitor’s car and will post a GFM up soon.

SHAME ON YOU - YOU BRING SHAME TO THE SOUTH DORSET HUNT AND THE HUNTING COMMUNITY !!!! Lets face it its already a disgraceful community but today they have certainly shown their true colours !!

Each and every one of us would like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thanks to all our supporters for their support, donations and the tip-offs we have received over the last season. We appreciate your support and can assure you we will be back fighting fit ready for the next season.


Even total Scottish ban wouldn't stop Hunts chasing foxes, says Bonomy

As reported below Lord Bonomy's replies seem somewhat cryptic, but he does appear to recognise that the England/Wales ban is being widely and openly flouted with little consequence for the offenders and that 'trail hunting' is at the heart of the problem.

28-3-17  Sunday Herald   Complete fox hunting ban would not ensure law adhered to, MSPs told    A blanket ban on fox hunting would not solve the problem of ensuring Hunts adhere to the law, MSPs have heard.

LordBonomy.jpgLord Bonomy [left] carried out a review of fox hunting laws in Scotland last year and recommended independent monitors to police Hunts. His report said some aspects of the current legislation ''complicate unduly'' the detection, investigation and prosecution of offences and there were ''grounds to suspect'' fox hunting takes place illegally.

Giving evidence to Holyrood's Environment Committee on Tuesday, he said he did not believe banning fox hunting and instead promoting drag hunting, where a Hunting follows the artificial scent of a fox, would solve the issues with the legislation.

Fox hunting with dogs was banned in Scotland in 2002, with the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act stating a person who deliberately hunts a wild mammal with a dog is committing an offence. An exception is made when dogs may be used to stalk or flush out a fox to be shot for purposes including the control of pest species, protecting livestock or ground-nesting birds. Mounted Hunts in Scotland have since offered farmers, landowners and estate managers a pest control service. 

MSP Emma Harper asked Lord Bonomy: "Wouldn't it just be better to promote drag hunting and ban fox hunting?" He replied: "Judging by the experience in England and Wales, I think the answer has to be no because the number of prosecutions proportionately is more or less the same there... there's lots of apparent breaches of the legislation by inappropriate drag hunting, which is called in fact trail hunting. A different material is used so it mimics the scent of a fox and inevitably in many instances where foxes are prevalent a fox appears on the scene. So I wasn't convinced that just moving to that instead of other changes like monitoring, I wasn't convinced that that would make any difference."

Questioned on why his review had not recommended a reduction in the number of hounds used to flush out a fox, he said: "I can't think of anything to suggest that reducing it to two dogs would change the situation other than to bring the whole practice of flushing to guns to an end. That change would see an end to hunting as we see it atMarkRuskellGreenMSP.JPG the moment." He said it was "impossible to say" if the 2002 law had reduced the number of foxes killed by dogs, currently around 160 each year, as he was not aware of figures prior to the law being brought in.

Following Lord Bonomy's review, the Scottish Government will create a code of practice for Hunt and consider developing a new monitoring scheme. Consultations are also planned on further changes proposed in the judge's report, including removing inconsistencies, extending the time limit for bringing prosecutions, the introduction of vicarious liability, and reversing burden of proof provisions.

The Scottish Greens' environment spokesman Mark Ruskell [right] said: "Lord Bonomy's evidence has confirmed that hundreds of foxes continue to be savagely killed every year by packs of hunting dogs. It's outrageous that a law that was meant to ban fox hunting with dogs is being systematically undermined with few consequences for the perpetrators. The Scottish Government must act now and legislate to achieve what the Scottish Parliament originally voted for in 2002 - a ban on fox hunting with dogs. While there may be a case for limited and humane control of foxes, using packs of dogs is an ineffective and barbaric excuse to continue this outdated tradition."

Story also in the Scotsman paper. 

 


Wilts & Infantry Beagles filmed chasing a hare

Hunt packs up when told were being filmed

27-3-17   Facebook - Guildford Hunt Saboteurs   VIDEO   On Saturday, along with North Downs Sabs, we paid a visit to the Wiltshire & Infantry Beagles at Manor Farm, Stockton. Soon after leaving the meet we got this video of them chasing a hare. Once they realised they were being filmed they got the hounds back to the farm and into the hound van and drove off.

   WiltshireInfantryBeagleschasinghare_2_25-3-17.jpg   WiltshireInfantryBeagleschasinghare_1_25-3-17.jpg   

 

WiltshireInfantryBeaglesHuntsmancallshoundsoffwhetoldbeingfilmed25-3-17.jpg

 

Countryside Alliance application for charitable status is refused

The main reason given for the Commission declining the CA's application is that the promotion of 'hunting, shooting and fishing' is not deemed to be a charitable purpose.

27-3-17   The Charity Commission   Decision of the Commission, dated 23 March 2017 The Countryside Alliance (‘the Alliance’) applied for registration as a charity   Having given full and detailed consideration to the application, the Commission has concluded that the Alliance does not meet the legal test for being a charity as it is not established for exclusively charitable purposes for the public benefit. Consequently it cannot be registered as a charity. Certain purposes of the Alliance relate to preserving, protecting and promoting the heritage and practice of activities related to wildlife, the countryside and wildlife management including hunting, shooting and fishing together with the management of the natural environment; and the advancement of rural community life.

These do not fall within a description of purpose which is recognised in law as being a purpose which may be charitable. In addition, in relation to the promotion of game or game production, it appears to the Commission that the primary result of the furtherance of this purpose is private benefit accruing to those commercially involved in the production of game for eating. Further, some of the research published by the Alliance appears to be promoting particular activities or points of view rather than being balanced educational research, and the concept of relieving need ‘in relation to rural economies’ generally is too wide to be exclusively charitable.

Some of the Alliance’s purposes are charitable, and the Commission recognises that the Alliance does important work protecting and promoting rural life and representing the interests of people living and working in the countryside from all backgrounds and geographical locations. But not every purpose that is beneficial to society is a charitable purpose for the public benefit.

The full decision of the Charity Commission is here.  

 

Middleton FH hounds killed/injured in horrific road crash

Hunt led them across busy road near bend - with no spotter 

26-3-17   Facebook - West Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs   VIDEO [WARNING - VERY DISTRESSING FOOTAGE]   Horrific last weekend meet at the Middleton Hunt [25-3] after at least 3 hounds killed and more injured when the Hunt took them across a busy main road near Norton, North Yorkshire.

The Hunt took the hounds down the road, with no spotter to check oncoming traffic on an upcoming bend. After the incident, one huntsman was heard to say, "Why did I bring them onto this road?"

Every week, Hunts across the country endanger human and animal lives with their reckless behaviour. This needs to stop, now.

Pics below -   Sabs try to comfort dying hounds  

  SabcomfortsoneofMiddletonFHdyinghoundskilledonroad_2_25-3-17.jpg  OneofMiddletonFHhoundskilledonroad25-3-17.jpg

27-3-17  Daily Mail   Whimpering hounds 'die beside a grass verge after they are hit by cars as a hunt crosses a "busy" road' - Video shows the moment three hounds allegedly died at the side of a road -They were 'hit by cars' when Middleton Hunt crossed a 'busy' road, activists say

Activists criticised the hunt for being laid near a busy road in North Yorkshire. Upsetting footage shows the moment three hounds allegedly died on a grass verge after they were hit by cars when a hunt crossed a 'busy' road. The dogs were allegedly discovered by hunt saboteurs after they crossed the road with horses from the Middleton Hunt near Norton in North Yorkshire on Saturday. Campaigners claim the dogs died at the side of the road and video shows them whimpering while being comforted by distraught activists.

Protesters can be heard calling the police while others stroke the dogs who are sprawled out and motionless on the grass verge at the road side. The Hunt Saboteurs Association - Sabs - are calling on the hunting group to make sure trails stay away from busy roads following the incident.

It comes weeks after the Middleton Hunt master Charles Carter resigned as a Tory councillor after he was filmed telling a female activist: 'I'd quite like to SHAG you.'

Lee Moon, spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: 'The Middleton Hunt claim to be following an artificial trail. If that's the case why on earth would they lay a trail anywhere near such a busy road. In fact if they're trail hunting, as they claim, then surely they can plan their activities in such a way that they NEVER have to cross main roads. Their wanton disregard for animals' lives extends to their own hounds as well as the wildlife they illegally chase and kill. Every week, hunts across the country endanger human and animal lives with their reckless behaviour. The Middleton Hunt is clearly out of control and as usual it is hunt saboteurs who are bringing their activities to the attention of police and public.'

They claim three dogs were killed and more were injured when the hounds were led across the road, close to a bend, by a huntsman. Onlookers claim one huntsman was 'distraught' by the deaths and was heard asking other Hunt members 'why did we take them over the road?'

It is not the first time the Middleton Hunt has come under scrutiny. In 2013, four hunt members admitted hunting a fox with a dog and were fined by York magistrates. In 2015, North Yorkshire Police launched an investigation after footage of 16 fox cubs held in a barn near to the Hunt's kennels emerged.

Middleton Hunt and the police are yet to respond to a request for comment.

POWAperson adds - This deeply distressing story was also run by the Mirror. This Hunt is clearly out of control and POWA is calling for the Master of Fox Hounds to expel it. The South Herefordshire FH has been suspended by the MFHA, a body which rarely takes any action over Hunts' infractions, following the fox cubs being fed to hounds story that broke last June. As yet none of the 5 people arrested have been charged. As for the hounds, to Hunts they are nothing more than easily replaced tools of their grisly and now illegal trade. See here for details. A 'rap sheet' for the Middleton FH, covering the last four years, is below -

MIDDLETON FOX HOUNDS The story so far....

On March 18th this year, hunt sabs were attacked, and some injured, by a mob of Middleton FH supporters. A female sab suffered cracked ribs, other sabs had broken fingers. Three sab cameras were stolen.

On 26th February they upset a pen full of bulls on taking hounds through a farmyard. Later they lost the hound pack completely.

On 16th February the Hunt lost several hounds who ran on to the B1249. One was run over and killed.

On 24th January their new Joint Master, Charles Carter, told a middle-aged woman [not a hunt saboteur or monitor] who was complaining to him about the Middleton's illegal fox hunting, that he'd like to 'shag' her, then asked her to go to bed with him. See the Sun coverage, The Daily Mail and Mirror also ran the story. This resulted in Lord Middleton, who was supposed to be hosting their meet the next Saturday, cancelling the invitation.

In early summer 2015 they made national news again when 16 fox cubs were found by League Against Cruel Sports investigators in a shed near the hunt kennels and filmed a man they claimed was connected to the Middleton visiting the shed. The cubs were rescued and no criminal charges ensued. It may be that no actual crimes were committed, but you don't need to be a genius to work out what a fox hunt with want with such cubs.

On 19th March 2016, sabs claim that they were attacked by masked quad bike riders and that a Middleton terrierman attacked the car they were in with a spade, causing serious damage and seriously scaring them. they also claimed that a mounted redcoat assisted in the attack.

On 12th February 2015 the Middleton's kennel Huntsman, Barry Andrews, and a terrierman, Lee Martin, were both charged with interfering [on separate occasions] with a badger sett. Hunts still customarily block them on hunting days, even though both fox hunting and sett interference are illegal and they are usually pretending to be 'trail hunting', which would not require earth blocking or the presence of terriermen, who still, almost invariably, accompany Hunts on their supposed 'trail hunts' and not infrequently engage in dig outs of foxes illicitly chased to ground by Hunts. The charge against Andrews was dropped, for reasons unknown to me, and, though Martin was initially convicted, he was acquitted on appeal for the absurd reason that the prosecution could not prove the sett was in use on the day in question, though there was evidence it was shortly before and after.

In September 2014, it was reported that the Joint Master and Huntsman Tom Holt had been summonsed for illegal hunting. He had a previous conviction. On this occasion he was caught on camera using hounds to chase a fox but was acquitted after claiming they'd been trail hunting and the chase was an 'accident.'

In August 2013, Holt, Martin, Whip Shaun Marles and another terrierman Brian Cuthbertson were all convicted of a particularly nasty piece of illegal hunting in which hounds savaged a fox to death, having been charged with breaking S.1 of the Hunting Act 2004 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Despite the film evidence of extreme and wilful cruelty, the three were fined a tiny fraction of the maximum then allowed [£5,000] and the latter got a Conditional Discharge. Some deterrent, also given that the offence of illegal hunting is not reportable and so does not appear on a criminal record.

 

Portman FH block Wessex Ridgeway, try to stop walkers using it

Walkers intend to report Hunt behaviour to the authorities

Sab has to free horse from barbie, horse/hound nearly run over

26-3-17   Facebook - Dorset Hunt Sabs   Hit Report Saturday 25th March 2017  Joined by our friends from S.West Sabs and a hunt monitor, we decided to pay a visit to the Portman Hunt today for their last Saturday meet of this season. The meet was at Smugglers Mead in Stepleton... With two landy’s out today, working with the monitor and foot sabs breaking into two and sometimes four teams we were able to keep track of the Hunt allPortmanFHField25-3-17.jpg day.

They spent well over an hour in the Happy Valley and Furzehill area and we suspect this was because there is only one footpath leading through the middle. This did not deter foot sabs though who did a marvellous job of patrolling the foot path from each end.

After lunch, there was the usual change of horses and this happened under the watchful eyes of the sabs. When re-mounted on his fresh steed the Huntsman took the hounds across the road...

Whilst searching Rough Ground the hounds picked up and there was a flurry of activity. With foot sabs either side and one of the Landy’s on the yellow road south of Rough Ground we kept them in our sights. At this point, one of the teams of foot sabs observed the hounds with what appeared to be fresh blood, we have footage of this which we will be reviewing and releasing separately. The police had been called by one of the Landy’s and one of PortmanFHHuntandsabs25-3-17.jpgthem was a Wildlife Crime Officer who was very interested in what was happening and we were grateful to have him around.

A hound and a horse had extremely close shaves with motor vehicles on the road today at separate times, both escaping serious injuries by a gnats whisker ! There was another incident when a horse got caught in barbed wire and a foot sab had to try and free the horses leg, sadly, despite this happening, riders behind continued to jump the fence without a care in the world or seemingly for their horses.

We also found several hounds running along the road South of Shales Coppice, there was a man chatting to two females riding bikes and following the Hunt and they caught the first hound. We stopped to tell them that there was another one further down the road but despite saying thank you they made no effort at all to go and get it ….. shortly after we spotted the third one !

The Hunt packed up around 4.30pm. Thank fully this season is about to finish but our work will continue with settPortmanFH25-3-17.jpg surveying over the coming months. If you want to join us please email us at dorsethuntsabs@riseup.net Massive thanks to our monitor for his help and a big thank you to the WCO from Blandford and his colleagues for their assistance today.

26-3-17  Facebook -Tami Smith-Daniels   We were the couple who sent you the notes on spotting them Portman FH] near Preston Hill Farm. We were walking the Wessex Ridgeway Trail with our dog & happened to run into some sabs as we were crossing over a road into the woods where the Hunt was active. The sabs stopped us to warn us that our dog was in danger from the supporter vehicles being driven around at speed & explained what was happening. We carried on along the trail & having followed your page for a while knew what to expect. I was wearing black, & the Hunt made the assumption that I was a sab. At two points, the supporter vehicles were blocking the trail & at one of them three supporters lined up between the vehicles & stepped up to block our path. One if them told us we were on private land & they attempted to intimidate us to prevent us from going further. I told them I knew EXACTLY where I was - the Wessex Ridgeway Trail - & we were coming through like it or lump it. At the next trail gate they also had two vehicles parked blocking the style. We would like to raise a formal complaint to the managing authority for the trail about the attempt to prevent us from passing & the intimidation including lying about us trespassing on private land. We took a photo of the blockade vehicles. We were just waiting for proof of which Hunt it was, so thank you for confirming that for us :).

26-3-17   Facebook - Dorset Hunt Sabs  Well done Tami. Please do raise this with the police as Ray suggests. the hunt has no right block a highway.

POWAperson adds -  Additionally, a sab landy was blocked in by hunt support for ages and they had to call police to get released. Dorset Hunt Sabs say the police came out in force for the Portman's final meet on 27-3 and, for a change, were helpful and the Hunt weren't able to do much. 

 

Sabs write to AAC after multiple attacks on sabs ignored by police at W.Pytchley FH meet

Sabs pre-spraying find 3 men with dead badger -body recovered, reported to police

26-3-17   Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs   An Open letter to Northamptonshire Police, following yesterday's events   Please repost but add your own tag of the police force at the top of your post so they can see the number of people angry over this. You can also email mail@northants.police.uk  or tweet @NorthantsPolice .

For the attention of Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Swann - Yesterday, volunteer members of the public connected with the Hunt Saboteurs Association attended an event held at Drayton House in Northamptonshire with the aim of peaceful protest and preventing illegal activities occurring, by monitoring with video cameras. This event was the Woodland Pytchley Hunt [see below for 'Hit Report']. We understand you are familiar with the event, as you were nameWoodlandPytchleyFHSabsfollowingHunt25-3-17.jpgd by a Police constable present as the senior officer who gave authorisation to utilise section 60AA of the Criminal Justice Act 1994.

It became apparent from the outset, that the staff associated with the Hunt (‘Stewards’) were intent on using physical violence and intimidation against anyone protesting their activities. While walking on a public byway towards Drayton House, the hunt stewards, well known for their behaviour on previous occasions, immediately lashed out with unprovoked violence and threats to the protestors homes and property. The ringleader of this group, Shaun Stacey, is particularly well known to Police (and currently on bail following a charge of assault), and was responsible for punching one person in the face and throwing another person to the ground, before launching in with further kicks and punches. Northamptonshire Police were called to the scene immediately.

On attending the scene, Police Officers took evidence, names and details of the victims of the assaults. However the assailants were allowed to leave the scene with no questioning at all. Is this standard procedure? It seems unusual to allow violent repeat offenders to simply leave to cause further turmoil, while peaceful protestors and hunt monitors are left to clean up their own blood.

Later that day, Mr S Stacey and his hunt steward associates Chris Bull, Pete Walton, Charlotte and Brendan Tyers WoodlandPytchleyFHPoliceat25-3-17.jpgcontinued their violent actions, assaulting several people on an area of land just north of the Kettering Road Industrial Estate at Islip. Had these aggressive individuals been stopped earlier in the day, this confrontation consequent attack would not have happened. The incident was allowed to unfold, however, with around twenty officers stood on Kettering Road watching and not intervening. The assailants were once again permitted to leave the scene unimpeded. Officers in attendance then challenged some of the protestors for wearing face coverings (which some choose to wear, to hide their identities from the appallingly violent individuals we have described) and focussed on this issue alone, with little apparent regard for the continuing assaults suffered.

This style of Policing was seen to continue throughout the day. A protestor’s vehicle was stopped by Northamptonshire Police while attempting to follow the Hunt, and subjected to an unprompted vehicle safety check, and following yet another assault by Chris Bull and Pete Walton officers were only concerned with enforcing section 60AA of the Criminal Justice Act above all other issues. It seemed the crime of wearing a scarf had become significantly more serious than the crime of physically attacking people on public land.

We wish to put to you, ACC Rachel Swann, the following questions:-  Why, after the initial report of numerous violent assaults, and with the alleged assailants in sight, did Police officers not arrest the attackers?

Why was the known violent individual Shaun Stacey, currently released on bail pending another assault hearing, not immediately arrested by Police on arriving at to the location – especially given that he was reported to have just carried out more than one assault?

Why did Police on Kettering Road stand and watch as Shaun Stacey and his associates continued to assault peaceful protestors on open land?

Why were victims of assault so officiously harassed with section 60AA requests? The individuals concerned were not involved in any disruptive or violent behaviour, the order seems to have been wrongfully used and directed towards the incorrect individuals. It should be noted that several of the violent assailants were wearing face scarves too.

The mission statement of the Northamptonshire Police states, “We will act with integrity, compassion, courtesy and patience, showing neither fear nor favour in what we do. We will be sensitive to the needs and dignity of victims and demonstrate respect for the human rights of all. We will use discretion, professional judgement and common sense to guide us and will be accountable for our decisions and actions. We will respond to well-founded criticism with a willingness to learn and change.”

Based on what we saw, we do not currently feel that the actions of Northamptonshire Police in attendance at the Woodland Pytchley Hunt on March 25th 2017 were consistent with this. Maybe you can help us understand how it could have been. We look forward to your response.

26-3-17  Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs   Hit Report 25/03/2017  Yesterday we teamed up with S.Cambs,  Beds & Bucks, Nottingham and Cambridge Sabs to visit the infamous Woodland Pytchley Hunt, who were meeting at Drayton House, Northants.

We arrived early to pre-spray likely coverts and stumbled across three men who had just killed a young female badger [right] with a dog. They hurriedly attempted to stuff the dead badger down a hole to hide it. Her still warm body was recovered for evidence.WoodlandPytchleyFHDeadbadgerfoundonmenbeforehunton25-3-17.jpg We can't say much more about this at present as it's obviously now a police matter.

After that traumatic start to the day we put foot Sabs in near the meet on a public bridleway. Within minutes they had been attacked by a large group of the usual fat thugs with several Sabs suffering face and head injuries. Police were called and actually seemed sympathetic. However, as we pointed out the assailants as well as explaining one is already on bail and is not allowed near hunts the police did nothing and the thugs legged it over the field following the hounds. Having so many Sabs meant that others stayed on the Hunt whilst we were occupied with the police.

A little later, an officer stated that they were going to ask the Hunt to pack up as they were not hunting within the law. Fantastic, or so we thought. After a chat with the Hunt the police completely changed and started banging on about wearing face masks. The thug who was responsible for several assaults whilst on bail was allowed to carry on and within a short time had punched and stamped on several more Sabs.

Another 999 call went in and approximately 20 officers turned up. Then they stood in a line, refusing to act on allegations of assault even when shown video evidence. Instead they harassed Sabs and, even as assaults were happening in front of them, not one of them lifted a finger to help or to intervene. We have seen some atrocious and blatantly corrupt policing over the years but yesterday was in another league.

Throughout the day all teams managed to stay on the Hunt between them and there were no kills. A very grumpy Hunt of only 6 redcoats and 9 riders packed up late afternoon after riding horses into Sabs and kicking out at people. We will not be put off by the behaviour of these Neanderthals. We are not interested in stooping to their level and fighting with them. We are there to protect and save our wildlife and nothing will stop us doing that as long as these psychopaths are out there trying to kill for pleasure.

We had equipment stolen yesterday and over the next few weeks we will be servicing our faithful vehicle in preparation to fight the badger cull. Any financial help to do this would be massively appreciated. Thank you. Have a safe sunny Sunday.

 

Dart Vale Harriers chase deer for two miles before gizmo-aided escape

26-3-17   Facebook - Chris Tasker     Deer hunted by Dart Vale Harriers - hounds riot for 2 miles unchecked !   The Hunt had hounds in and out of cry all day and, with a reputation for releasing bagged foxes, we feared the worst when the hounds rioted on a deer, chasing it some 2 miles across open fields to within 20 metres of ourselves at the top of the valley. The gizmo was used and worked well, calling off the lead hounds, while the deer escaped at the top of the field and into water board land.

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     DartValeHarriersDeerstillfleeinghounds25-3-17.jpg 

 

Monitor uploads video compilation of hunt horse mistreatment                                     

26-3-17  YouTube – Scorpio Vulpes   How some hunters treat their horses   Monitors are often shocked by the way some hunters treat their horses. Here are some examples.

Pics below -  1/  Horse foaming at mouth    2/  Using horse as weapon against female monitor   3/  Galloping on hard road    4/  Hunting amongst traffic   5/  Hitting horse on head with crop    6/  Swerving horse in front of monitor's car

    Foamingatthemouth.jpg  Usedasweapon.jpg

    Gallopedonhardroad.jpg  Huntingamongsttraffic.jpg

   Hittinghorsesheadwithcrop.jpg  Swervedinfrontofmonitorcar.jpg

 

Campaigners seek sacking of Kent Wildlife Trust Chair hare hunter

Bax claims no longer involved with Blean Beagles but Baily's still list him as JM

25-3-17  Daily Telegraph     Head of Wildlife Trust faces calls to resign over hunting past    Nature lovers have called for the Chairman of a Wildlife Trust to resign after it emerged that he was the Master of a Hunt. Mike Bax , the former High Sheriff of Kent, was appointed head of Kent Wildlife Trust three years ago despite being master of Blean Beagles for “many years”. Kent Wildlife Trust said he has “no formal links” with the Beagles now.

Critics say Mr Bax’s involvement with the pack and role at the charity – which proclaims to be “Protecting Wildlife for the Future” – is a conflict of interest. A spokesman for the animal rights group Stop the Cull said: “It is hypocritical to say you are interested in wildlife and then go out and support killing it.” Dozens of critics have also emailed the Trust calling for Mr Bax to be investigated and sacked, or for his immediate resignation. Writing online, Lynne Aldridge said: “Should the Charity Commission review his appointment?” Pat Webb added: “That’s unbelievable. He’s obviously no animal lover!” Tim Salt wrote: “Just messaged the Kent Wildlife Trust, asking when this moron will stand down.”

It is not known whether Blean Beagles have been involved in illegal hunting. When The Blean Beagles Ltd was registered as a company in 2005, it stated its aim was to “promote the sport and practice of beagling”. Beagling is the hunting of hares or rabbits by scent by a pack of 10 or more hounds. The Hunting Act 2004 banned the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales.

As well as his role at the trust, Mr Bax, 62, from Ashford, is the director of land and property specialists BTF Partnership’s rural team. He sits on the Kent Economic Board and is one of the driving forces behind Rural PLC, “the voice of rural business in Kent”. He was High Sheriff of Kent between 2012 and 2013.

Kent Wildlife Trust said: “Mike Bax has been a member of Kent Wildlife Trust for nearly 30 years and chairman for three. He has a deep interest in wildlife matters and manages his own farm with wildlife foremost in mind. Mike was master of Blean Beagles for many years but has no formal links with them now. Pursuing live quarry with dogs is illegal and all associated with Kent Wildlife Trust support the law in this regard.”

Mr Bax said his active involvement with the Blean Beagles is “relatively historic”. He claims he has had “no role” in the Beagles’ affairs since 2005. He added: “The Beagles are run by a committee with which I have had no involvement, nor am I a current subscriber.”

Baily’s Hunting Directory lists Mr Bax, as one of the Hunt Masters.

POWAperson adds - I have checked the statement in the last sentence above. It is correct. Mr. Bax is listed as one of seven Joint Masters. His Mastership dates from 1991. Why on earth would the Blean Beagles Directory entry say he is a Master, and give his details, if, as he now claims, he is not and has not been for several years? If he is not, why would he not by now have arranged for his name to be removed from Baily's online directory listing? But even if he were no longer involved with the Blean  [and note that nowhere does it say he does not still hunt with them] he has, by past involvement - particularly in a leadership role - demonstrated and indulged a desire to gain pleasure from terrorising and killing defenceless wildlife, which, in this case, is also an endangered species. Surely this alone should disqualify him from holding any role within a Wildlife Trust?

On 4-3-17 East Kent Sabs visited the Blean, which was being led by the green-jacketed Stuart Sillars acting as Huntsman, a co-worker of Mr.Bax at BFT Partnership. The Hunt apparently left for home as soon as the sabs appeared. There was another green-jacketed grey-haired man in the short clip posted by East Kent Sabs whose face was not seen - but presumably this was not Mr.Bax, as he tells us he has he now has 'no formal links with them', which would surely preclude him wearing the green jacket. As far as we know all packs affiliated to the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles, which the Blean is, are signed up to the Campaign for Hunting's goal to re-legalise live quarry hunting.

A point re. something in the article above, which states that 'beagling is the hunting of hares or rabbits... '. Beagling has always been exclusively the hunting of hares [harriers, usually with a mounted field, while beagles are hunted on foot, hunt hares or foxes]. Attempting to hunt rabbits with beagles or harriers would be absurd. They would simply disappear down their nearest hole within seconds and, as rabbit warrens tend to have large numbers of holes it would not be realistic to attempt to block them all. Hounds bred for stamina rather than speed would have little or no chance of catching a rabbit. Hunting rabbits with dogs was not banned by the Hunting Act because the are a recognised pest species [hares and foxes are not] and because, being much smaller than hares, they can be killed relatively swiftly by dogs that do manage to catch them. POWA believes, however, that, if it is to be allowed at all, it was a mistake to allow any number of dogs to be used in hunting rabbits, since this can now be used as an excuse, albeit somewhat implausible, to mask hare hunting. We therefore think the maximum number of dogs allowed to be used to hunt rabbits should be reduced to two. 

 


Old Surrey FH hunt foxes, charge at and hit sabs

Retiring Huntsman Mark Bycroft in a paddy

Hunt closes three roads leading to meet

24-3-17  Facebook - Guildford Sabs  Old Surrey, Burstow & West Kent - 21 March 2017   Foxes saved and hunt violence   Along with South Coast, Croydon and Beds & Bucks sabs. They met at the Rock Inn Pub in Chidingstone and rather arrogantly closed off all 3 roads leading to the meet [right]. It's one of Bycroft's last days as Huntsman (good riddance to scum!) and was a large meet, with lots of support.

From the start vehicles were swerving dangerously across the road to block us in (one had two children in the back)! Not long after hounds went into cry, so two sabs deployed themselves into the woodland at which point Bycroft tried to ride down a sab. As the sab tried to escape Bycroft charged at him. Thankfully the sab managedOldSurreyFHHuntclosesroads21-3-17.jpg to get away after the Huntsman's little fit of rage.

A short time later sabs spotted a fox bolting across a field in view of the support and terrier men - this leads us to believe this fox had been released by the terrier men to guarantee a kill - not today! We masked the scent and ensured hounds didn't pick it up again. The same fox was filmed from the land rover running along the road and into another field.

Getting back on track a rider fell off her horse, we had a sab that was a trained medic present and offered assistance but the terrier man decided telling us to fuck off was the best course of treatment.

As we ventured into the woodland near Bassetts farm we notice Bycroft off his horse with hounds digging around a fox den. We believe a fox went to ground (odd place to lay a trail down a den?) As we arrived he quickly made a move with his hounds.

Yet again in the village of Chiddingstone another fox bolted in front of our vehicle. We could hear hounds quickly approaching and masked the scent. We stayed here for a while to make sure hounds didn't pick it up and once we were sure they hadn't we tried to locate the hunt. Other groups had managed to locate them with one sab being struck over the head. Throughout the day riders charged at sabs and used their horses as weapons against us and terrier men deliberately rode into a sab causing injury to her hand. We lost the Hunt for a little while but we are confident it was a kill free day. This clearly upset the Hunt which showed through in their aggression. They packed up at around 18.00 (having already lost most of the field/support throughout the day).

Pics below -   1/   Foolhardy pussy    2/  Leaving the meet   3/   Marking to ground    4/  Sab's offer of help refused 

    OldSurreyFHIscatantiorpro21-3-17.jpg.jpg  OldSurreyFHLeavingthemeet21-3-17.jpg

   OldSurreyFHMarkingtoground21-3-17.jpg  OldSurreyFHSaboffersaidtofallenriderrefused21-3-17.jpg

24-3-17  Facebook - South Coast Hunt Sabs   So, after many years of violent assaults on hunt Sabs, both pre and post the ban, Mark Bycroft is going. The kiiler of countless animals who once said to one of our long term sabs that he 'would hunt till he drops' is going. Good riddance, and to his replacement you can be sure that we will sab you until your morally defunct Hunt is no more.

We are of course now raising funds to replace our stolen Land Rover and are looking get in the region of £7,000 to get a vehicle which will last us a long time. Any donations very much appreciated and very much needed. https://www.gofundme.com/new-sabbing-vehicle-for-scoast-sabs

        MarkBycroftOSBWKFHHuntsmanHowdareyou....JPG 

 

As S.Herefordshire FH 5 re-bailed, sab gets threatening mail re. case

Still no charges laid in cruelty to fox cubs scandal that closed Hunt

24-3-17   Kidderminster Shuttle   Five arrested in South Herefordshire Hunt investigation have been re-bailed   Five people who were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty at the South Herefordshire Hunt's kennels in Wormelow have been re-bailed. The police are investigating an alleged offence in May last year.

The first two people, a 37-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, both from Hereford, were first arrested last May. A 37-year-old man from Abergavenny was then arrested in June, and a 53-year-old woman from Abergavenny and 45-year-old man from Powys were arrested in August. All five were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and have been re-bailed until May.

24-3-17  Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team   Police Update   The 5 suspects from the South Herefordshire Hunt have been rebailed again!! This time until May. Maybe the police think that this will just go away in time or that the longer they leave it that people's appetite for justice will diminish. We will not rest until justice is done in this case. We believe that the police have lost all interest in this case and any desire to follow the evidence. It stinks of corruption and collusion at the highest level. Meanwhile news has reached us that a local hunt sab, not connected to HIT, has received threatening mail hand delivered to their address in relation to this case. Again, the police inaction serves to embolden these psychopaths. Such threats to HIT personnel or associated groups will be met very robustly!

    S.HerefordshireFHFoxcubimprisonedthenkilled2.jpg   S.Herefordshirehuntservantabouttothrowcubtohounds5-16.jpg

       S.HerefordshireFHkennels6-16.jpg 

     

 

Anti hunting FB page responds to CA bid to have it closed down

24-3-17   Facebook - Ban Hunting with Dogs   Please if everyone can stop putting death threats on and abusive language because Tim Bonner is abusing his power and is trying to shut this page down via the House of Commons.

However there seems to be the usual lies by the Countryside Alliance as this quote is completely untrue, "The comments go beyond simply being abusive to being extremely threatening, with one simply saying, “Kill him”. Following a complaint by the Alliance this particular comment was removed but only after 48 hours, but all the others remain."

No complaint was made directly to the page and Facebook did not remove this comment as we had no notification to say it had been removed. Also the said post was removed anyway and does not exist on this page. It seems that Tim Bonner is misleading the House of Commons and Facebook so his buddies can literally get away with MURDER.

24-3-17   Countryside Alliance News    Countryside Alliance reports Facebook page to Commons committee for failing to moderate “abusive and threatening”   The Countryside Alliance have reported an abusive Facebook page, “Ban Hunting with Dogs” to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee for allowing abusive and threatening posts to be repeatedly published on the page.

YvetteCooper.jpgLast week the Alliance spoke out against vile comments that were posted on the page relating to the death of well-known show jumper, Sue Webb: Since then, further comments have been published on the page relating to a blessing of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt by a Surrey Vicar. The comments were posted last Friday and have not been taken down. The comments go beyond simply being abusive to being extremely threatening, with one simply saying, “Kill him”. Following a complaint by the Alliance this particular comment was removed but only after 48 hours, but all the others remain.

The Alliance have submitted evidence to the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Yvette Cooper MP [left], as part of her Committee’s inquiry into “Hate crime and its violent consequences”. Last week Ms Cooper blasted social media executives for “having a terrible reputation among their users for failing to act on reports of hate speech and other offensive material.”

Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee,.. In his letter to Ms Cooper, Chief Executive of the Alliance, Tim Bonner [right] said:TimBonner.jpg “We would like to bring to your attention, and ask your Committee to consider, the impact malicious communications can have on its victims and communities. Those involved in lawful hunting, as regulated by the Hunting Act 2004, are often subjected to malicious communications online. Abusive and threatening comments are repeatedly posted on the Facebook page; “Ban Hunting with Dogs”.”

The Alliance have also written to the London Facebook Headquarters requesting that the “Ban Hunting with Dogs” Facebook page be closed due to repeated offences that breach new social media guidelines published by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last autumn: Guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media , Countryside Alliance welcomes new social media guidelines aimed at tackling online abuse . The Alliance argue that the comments made in relation to the late Sue Webb breach Category 4 of the guidelines, “Communications which are grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false” and that the comments made in relation to a Surrey vicar breached Category 1 of the guidelines, relating to “credible threats”...

POWAperson comments -  Passions run high on both sides. Simple abuse, whomsoever by, achieves nothing, reflects poorly on the abuser and does not help their cause. Malicious threats are unacceptable wherever they come from. It is perfectly possible, and preferable, to make one's point and vent ones feelings, without indulging in it. However, it must be said that it is rich of Mr. Bonner to make the complaints he does when hunters and their supporters don't just routinely engage in vitriolic online abuse of antis but, in the field, frequently, obstruct, harass, threaten and assault them and steal and damage their property, as is documented, at length, in these pages. They also, of course, frequently indulge in vile acts of animal abuse, often contrary to law. Which is precisely why there is, much to Mr. Bonner's chagrin, such a large, strong and vibrant anti-bloodsports community.

 

 

DEFRA response to bTb in  Kimblewick FH kennels... do nothing

23-3-17   theyworkforyou.com    Written question in the House of Commons

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Chair of Kent Wildlife Trust is also JM of Blean Beagles!

23-3-17   Facebook - Stop the cull   In another Stop the Cull exposé we reveal yet another conflict of interest within a Wildlife Trust. Introducing Michael Bax, Chairman of Kent Wildlife Trust who just happens to be a Master of hare hunting pack, the Blean Beagles...   As the WT should know, the Brown hare is listed on Kent's B.A.P (Biodiversity Action Plan) as being a species in decline that needs protection.

Mr Bax also has his influence within the law, being a previous High Sheriff of Kent & Chair of Kent Police’s Crime Rural Advisory Group (CRAG),Trustee of Safer Kent , Ambassador for Kent Victim Support & President of Kent Crimestoppers!

A joint master of the pack, and Huntsman, Stuart Sillars is also Michael Bax's work colleague at BFT Partnership http://www.btfpartnership.co.uk/our-team-7

We are asking you to please complain to Kent Wildlife Trust via Facebook or on this link .

How can we trust those who claim to protect our wildlife? How can we trust the law to be enforced when illegal hunting takes place?

POWAperson adds -  Mr. Bax was appointed to the role of Chairman in 2014. The following passage appeared in the announcement on the WT's website -

 

Mike has a lifelong commitment to the county, its wildlife and rural landscape. As a partner of BTF Partnership, with offices in Challock, Canterbury and Hadlow, he leads a busy and widely recognised land and property agency practice dealing with all farming and agricultural matters.

He runs his own 240-acre farm and 120 acres of semi-natural ancient woodland in the Weald and has a long-standing association with the Trust as a member, active supporter and volunteer. One major volunteering contribution is his role as Honorary Warden of the Trust’s Stone Wood nature reserve - adjacent to his farm.

Mike comments: “I am delighted to have been chosen by the trustees and I look forward to working much more closely with an organization I admire and have been involved with for a number of years. Kent Wildlife Trust performs a fantastic role in not only protecting, but promoting the preservation of wildlife and habitats in the county. Wildlife and habitat protection and farming go hand in hand and many farmers and landowners play a key role in working with the Trust but I am keen to extend this with my connections in the agricultural sector.”

     MikeBaxChairKentWildlifeTrustisJMofBleanBeagles.jpg 


 

Chair of NT contradicts officials who said can't monitor licenced Hunts

Maintains happy to licence them despite evidence of multiple breaches

Cites a few, short suspensions to show won't tolerate law-breaking

23-3-17   Facebook - Leicester Animal Rights [LAR]   Last night the Director-General of The National Trust, Dame Helen Ghosh [below left, credit Daily Mail], gave a talk at Nottingham Trent University on the challenges the National Trust faces and how it responds to societal change. One of our members went along to question her about their organisations support of 'trail hunting', which we all know is a cover for illegal fox hunting. Here's the transcript of the questions asked...

LAR member - “I have been asking a question for quite some time now which I have not had an answer to, and that is have you read the 'Trail Of Lies' report which the International Fund for Animal Welfare - IFAW actually sent to The National Trust and to you. Really my question has three parts; we have a local hunt, The Belvoir Hunt, and the Huntsman said in the Horse & Hound that he is not surprised that foxes are killed when the Hunts go out. There is a huge overlap between 'trail hunting' and fox hunting. Given that you say that you are moving forward in the future to conserve wildlife, why are you still licensing 'trail hunts' on National Trust land when you know it will result in animals killed, that foxes are declining according to the latest research and you are not answering members questions and they are leaving because of it.”

NTChairDameHelenGhosh.jpgDame Helen Ghosh – “Thank you. The answer is yes, I have read it, essentially last year but I have read it . Our position on 'trail hunting' on National Trust land, as we have explained to members who have contacted us, is that Parliament has, we believe that Parliament should be the judge of what is legal activity. We have now all sorts of activity on our land if it is legal, we have about I think fifty licenses on our land at present for 'trail hunting'. We monitor carefully what goes on. We believe it is ultimately the responsibility of the police.”

LAR member - "Excuse me, you did tell me that The National Trust can’t monitor, so that is not true. You do not carefully monitor. You told me that you do not monitor.”

Dame Helen Ghosh – “We do monitor and we have good examples of suspending licenses against our criteria. As you say, the terms of our licenses are about conservation and access and we monitor the actions of the Hunts against the terms of our license. We work with the police on prosecutions and we suspend Hunts when we don’t believe that they are adhering to our license terms. So that is our response on 'trail hunting'. We of course have had a lot of correspondence, there has been a lot on social media, I think around something in the region of 20’s of members have left because of their views on this and I imagine there are members who will take the other view so having a membership of 4.7 million people there will always be a difference of view but at the moment that is our position. If Parliament has said that this is legal, and they adhere to or license, then we allow it.”

Our thoughts are as follows...

- It is an offence to host an illegal fox hunt under Section 3 of The Hunting Act 2004 (http://bit.ly/2kLs51k ) and if Dame Helen Ghosh has read the report (http://g.ifaw.org/2hbxOIR ) demonstrating that 'trail hunting' is mere fiction, how can she still condone crimes committed by her own organisation?

- In a recent statement by The League Against Cruel Sports (http://bit.ly/2nVckmo ), it was explained that senior staff from The National Trust considered themselves to have insufficient resources to monitor hunts using their land. They also declined the offer of assistance from The League Against Cruel Sports. How on earth, therefore, can this be considered 'careful monitoring' by Dame Helen Ghosh? Please feel free to remind her of what her senior staff are saying by emailing the LACS statement on 10/03/2017 (link provided above) to her at helen.ghosh@nationaltrust.org.uk .

- The National Trust recently announced that they had lost sight of the principle of protecting declining wildlife (http://bit.ly/2mU1qeL ). What measures will they now take to protect the red fox given that The BTO British Trust for Ornithology mammal monitoring program shows the red fox population to have declined by 34% (http://bit.ly/2dGQw7X ) in the 1996-2014 period? Feel free to forward this question to Dame Helen Ghosh too.

- Given that the talk was on how The National Trust responds to societal change, isn't it about time they updated their views regarding bloodsports that are opposed by an increasing amount of people each year (http://bit.ly/2iSAkE1 )?

If any members of The National Trust don't believe the 'trail hunt' lies then please send us a message on leicesteranimalrightsgroup@gmail.com .

 

Sabs take hounds off 'Shag' Carter as Middleton FH have kill-free day
 
Despite suffering multiple assaults and thefts by hunt supporters [see reports below, dated 19-3-17], sabs had a successful day. This was part of it.
  
23-3-17   Facebook - Sheffield Sabs  VIDEO  Sheffield and North East hunt sabs disrupt the Middleton on Saturday. Three foxes were helped escape from the hunt that day. The dig out of one was prevented by sab presence. Trail Hunting? Yeah right!  
 
Pics below -  1/  Huntsman casting hounds towards woodland    2/  Sabs call hounds up towards them    3/  Hounds respond to sab calls 
 
   MiddletonFHHuntsmanShagCartercastinghounds18-3-17.jpg   MiddletonFHSabscallinghoundstothem18-3-17.jpg
 
         MiddletonFHHoundsreachsabsaftercalled18-3-17.jpg 
 
 

Ledbury FH show solidarity with scandal-hit S.Herefordshire Hunt

Intend to hold meets next season at homes of SHFH Masters

CPS very soon due to say if charging anyone over the fox cubs affair

22-3-17   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    In 2 days time we will see how the state intends to deal with the 5 suspects in the notorious fox cub killing case. Will they follow the evidence and see what every fair minded, decent person sees and allow justice to take its course. Or will they revert to type, protect their own and turn a blind eye to this disgusting animal cruelty. The world is watching...

Meanwhile, the Ledbury Hunt have announced their intentions to host meets for next season at the homes of the Masters of the now defunct South Herefordshire Hunt. Surprise, surprise, it's the usual suspects that keep cropping up. More details to follow.

  S.HerefordshireFHservantmovingfoxcubtobethrowntohounds2-16.jpg  S.HerefordshireFHFoxcubimprisonedthenkilled1.jpg

 

Sabs upload more film of Atherstone FH New Year meet violence & abuse

21-3-17   Facebook - West Mids Sabs  VIDEO   MORE VIOLENCE FROM THE ATHERSTONE HUNT - Atherstone Hunt New Years Meet    As long as the Atherstone fox hounds are loose in the countryside we’ll be with them as they pose a threat to any wildlife they come into contact with. It also doesn't matter to us what new staff the hunt brings in, a leopard can’t change it’s spots and this is the Atherstone Hunt, you can't polish a turd.

The appalling violence from Atherstone Hunt supporters directed at peaceful non-violent protestors in AtherstoneAtherstoneFHSupporteraggro2-1-17.jpg Market Square on the 2/1/17 [crazed supporters, right] continued once the hunt had left the Square. The video speaks for itself, masked up males in balaclavas repeatedly attack a vehicle of mostly female sabs. Repeatedly blocking and surrounding the vehicle and throwing eggs, rocks and tree branches at the vehicle.

The violence from the Market Square is being investigated by PC Kim Stafford of Warwickshire Police whilst the incidents that followed later were reported to Leicestershire Police.

Complaints have been made to Warwickshire Police over their choosing not to police the violence despite having intelligence it would happen. The complaints have been investigated by Inspector David Williams, part of the team responsible for not policing it and himself named in some of the complaints. He inevitably came to the conclusion that Warwickshire Police had done nothing wrong and that there were no lessons to be learned. There’s nothing at all suspicious about investigating a complaint about yourself, anyone would think they have something to hide. Atherstone Town Council continue to blame the victims for the violence that happened to them. Paypal: https://www.paypal.me/westmidlandhuntsabs

Pics below -  1/  Supporter menacing sab before assaulting    2/  Supporter throwing egg   3/  The result    4/  Supporter throws stick at sab car   5/  Masked supporter thumps sab car window 

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Sab hospitalised, another hurt, in attacks by Pytchley FH thugs

Assaults came as sabs intervened to save hunted fox 

19-3-17  Facebook – S.Cambs Hunt Saboteurs   Hit Report – 18/03/17 Pytchley FH, Winwick (nr West Haddon), Northants   We teamed together with members from Northants , Suffolk And Essex, North East London, Norfolk/Suffolk & Cambridge Sabs to sab the horrible Pytchley Hunt. This Hunt are renowned for the aggression of both their foot support and riders with today proving no different.

Straight from the off we had the Hunt in our sights with good team work from the groups predicting their next move. As usual with most Hunts they raced across busy roads with no regard for the safety of their hounds, car drivers or their poor abused horses. Early on we witnessed several riders crash their horses into fences, with several red faced hunters falling off. From the smell of alcohol emanating from a lot of them and the meet being the last of the season, their brazen recklessness was very evident.

During the course of the day we saw the hounds go into cry and chase on several occasions, but we were well placed to distract the hounds enough for the foxes to make their escape. The amount of terrier men out todayPytchleyFH18-3-17.jpg and their activities around certain woods, indicated they had pre-caught foxes, either bagged up or boxed up ready for quick release. On two occasions the hounds went into immediate cry while entering woods, woods at which terrier men were already stationed. What are the chances, ey?

We had the usual hefty 'hunt stewards' out but they can barely make it more than 20 meters out of their vehicles without holding their chests and wheezing. The fact we were successful during the day meant the riders became more aggressive as they day went on. Moments after sabs intervened as hounds went into cry onto a nearby fox, two sabs were viciously assaulted and one hospitalized. We cannot say any more at this time as an investigation has started. Actions like this only make us more determined to stop wildlife brutally slaughtered - and the undeterred sabs made sure the cowardly Hunt ended the day with no kills made.

18-3-17   Facebook - Northants Hunt Saboteurs   HIT REPORT 18.03.17   We found ourselves paying a much-needed visit to the Pytchley Hunt today, and after we ruined their initial meet which was originally planned at a local pub who got cold feet and pulled the plug a couple of weeks ago, we could tell today would be an eventful sab.... We found the Hunt straight away, and watched as hounds spilled out on the road, with a redcoat milling aimlessly behind them. The field quickly took flight across some locked gates, causing damage and losing riders every which way. There were a lot of red faces as riders dusted themselves off, but we can't be sure if that was from embarrassment or the tipple they'd had before they started..

With three vehicles out today, we had eyes and ears on the Hunt at all times, and we could tell they were getting more and more irate. One group of foot sabs saved a fleeing fox right in front of all the blood thirsty support and hunt thugs. The hounds were right on top of the fox and it was a very close call but the fox got away safely. Immediately following this, sabs were forced to defend themselves against said thugs ! Our vehicle got blocked in early on in the day, and sabs in the field unfortunately found themselves assaulted not long after the Hunt had second horsed. Clearly frustrated at the constant sab presence and the lack of blood spilled, one rider assaulted a female and a male sab. Although we can't go in to any more details or post any footage, it's now with the police.

All in all a triumphant day with lots of good friends and no kills. Thanks to those who travelled to sab with us, and to the Northamptonshire police who genuinely surprised us with their sab-friendly demeanour.

 

Reports say sabs badly injured, stuff damaged/stolen at Middleton FH

Supporters from Derwent Hunt thought main assailants

Locals and some riders disgusted by hunter's behaviour 

Three sab cameras stolen on top of injuries - police involved

19-3-17   Facebook – N.E. Sabs   Hit Report 18/03/17   Yesterday we joined forces with W.Yorks, ,Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham Sheffield Hunt Sabs to pay a visit to the Middleton hunt who met in Uncleby in North Yorkshire.

As you may remember, at the end of last season the Middleton's hunt support did a good job of smashing up our vehicle so this weekend we weren't expecting great behaviour from them.

Having sabbed them at this location before we strategically placed groups of sabs so that right from the off, no matter which direction they turned we would be present. Within the first half an hour sabs had managed to draw the hounds out of a wood and to us so that a fox could be seen to safety by another group the other side of the wood. This is pretty much how the day went, with multiple deer and hares seen running away from the Hunt and one more fox going to ground. Whilst one group of sabs stood guard over the fox that had gone to ground weMiddletonFHSabsupwithHunt18-3-17.jpg caught up with a less than happy Hunt who decided to take their frustrations out on sabs, causing multiple injuries to sabs and stealing cameras. Police and paramedics were called to the scene and the police are dealing with the case. One of our sabs was in A&E until early hours of this morning with their injuries. Overlooking the attack on sabs, it was a successful day with all sabs working together to see at least two foxes to safety, which makes it all worthwhile.

As a group we are now down by two body cameras so any donations towards replacing these will ensure we can collect vital footage to assist in getting justice for our wildlife.

https://www.paypal.me/nehuntsabs

MiddletonFHInjuredsab18-3-17.jpg19-3-17  Facebook – W.Yorkshire Sabs     Yesterday we paid the Middleton Hunt a visit... Huntsman Charles Carter tried to evade sabs many times, but everywhere he turned there was a sab group present. A number of foxes were seen to safety throughout the day (see Liverpool Hunt Sabs great footage).

As the day progressed, the field of riders' tempers flared and a number of riders attacked sabs from North East, Sheffield and West Yorks. There have been multiple injuries to a number of sabs [one of them, left] and three cameras stolen. Luckily, we still have lots of footage of the incident which has now been handed to North Yorkshire Police.

Local residents were upset by the Hunt and support, some riders left the field after witnessing the assaults saying they wanted nothing to do with their fellow riders. The Middleton Hunt have now been involved in police investigations twice in the last year for holding captive fox cubs and killing a fox on the busy A64. The huntsman Charles Carter also recently resigned as Tory Councillor after making lewd comments to a member of the public. We think it's about time the police put a stop to their behaviour. 

22-3-17  Gazette & Herald   Police probe assault claims after Middleton Hunt demo   POLICE are investigating following claims from anti-hunt protesters that they were hit with whips and suffered head injuries as they were following the Middleton Hunt. Hunt saboteurs say they were assaulted during a meeting of the hunt at Uncleby, on the Yorkshire Wolds, on Saturday. North Yorkshire Police say they are investigating an incident. Additionally the saboteurs say their video camera and two body cameras were stolen. It is claimed that one female saboteur was left with cracked ribs, while others reported suffering broken fingers. The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) say they filmed the incident, but cannot release footage due to an ongoing investigation.

Lee Moon, spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “We repeatedly see hunters using their horses as weapons and, has been shown in recent years, this can result in serious injury. We are hopeful that the large number of police who attended the scene are indicative of how seriously they are taking this situation and we look forward to a swift and positive investigation.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “Police were called to reports that a number of people had been assaulted near Uncleby, at about 4pm on Saturday, March 18. Inquiries are ongoing.”

Yorkshire Ambulance Service said they sent two ambulances and an emergency care practitioner to the scene to treat three people with minor injuries, but all three declined to travel to hospital. The Gazette & Herald contacted the Middleton Hunt, but no one was available for comment.

19-3-17    Facebook - Liverpool Hunt Sabs   VIDEO   Short slideshow [still below] of the cunning fox that snuck right behind huntsman and hounds at the Middleton Hunt yesterday. Sabs sprayed its line with citronella so hounds were unable to follow.

We're currently low on citronella and are now ordering more. Any help towards the costs would be greatly appreciated: www.paypal.me/liverpoolhuntsabs

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18-3-17  Facebook - North East Hunt Saboteurs   Sabs badly assaulted and cameras stolen at the Middleton Hunt today. Full hit report to follow.  Pic below - Police and paramedics attending

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19-3-17  HSA Press Release   Hunt Saboteurs Assaulted by Notorious Yorkshire Hunt    Hunt saboteurs were assaulted by members of the Middleton Hunt at their meet in Uncleby, North Yorkshire on Saturday 18th MiddletonFHAnotherInjuredsab18-3-17.jpgMarch. Riders from the hunt stole a video camera and two body cams, hit sabs on the head with whips, attempted to ride them down and jumped off their horses to continue the attacks. One female saboteur has cracked ribs after being crushed between two horses.

Other sabs suffered serious head injuries and broken fingers. Multiple ambulances had to be called to the scene and several of the injured were encouraged to attend hospital. The attack was filmed, attackers have been identified and this information has been passed to the police who are investigating. The footage can't currently be released due to the ongoing investigation.

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “In 2015 an undercover investigation implicated the Middleton hunt in the rearing of captive foxes to be illegally hunted. In January of this year huntsman Charles Carter was filmed making sexually inappropriate comments to a member of the public. He subsequently had to resign as a Tory councillor. The hunt have now added violent assault and theft to their list of crimes and are fast becoming one of the most notorious in the country.

We repeatedly see hunters using their horses as weapons and, has been shown in recent years, this can result in serious injury. We are hopeful that the large number of police who attended the scene yesterday are indicative of how seriously they are taking this situation and we look forward to a swift and positive investigation.

Lord Middleton of Birdsall was Joint Master of the Hunt until 2013 and has their kennels on his Birdsall estate. It is alleged that that he no longer allows the hunt on his land due to the recent controversies. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to having his name associated to robbery and violent assault.”

 

Isle of Wight FH Huntsman whacks sab in head with crop

Later, hunt quad driven into sab landy

Loose hounds create road chaos 

19-3-17  South Coast Hunt Sabs  VIDEO  Isle of Wight Fox Hunt   After a call for assistance from colleagues on the Isle of Wight, we planned a road trip for S.Coast Sabs and others as our local Hunts had finished for the hunting season. A massive thank you to the HSA who covered the cost of the ferry crossing. Thanks guys...

No-one fell overboard during the trip, so meeting up with the local sabs we waited for the off. The Isle of Wight is a Hunt in trouble, the bulk of its supporters have left to setup a Bloodhound pack after clear evidence that they are hunting illegally and most likely bagging foxes. Foxes were introduced to the Isle of Wight in 1845 to provideIsleofWightFHHoundsprefersabcompany18-3-17.jpg ‘sport’ (the Isle of Wight FH were also established in this year) and the establishment of the population was in no small part the work of Huntsmen Ben Cotton and Henry Nunn, which once again destroys the myth of foxes as a pest species, and hunting the method of control. The ‘rump’ of the Hunt is now consisting of less than 15 riders, and so poor that their ‘whipper-in’s’ are a father and son team who wonder around on foot. We nicknamed them ‘Evil-Santa and ‘helper’. To add to this mix you have a Huntsman who is best described as inept, with little hound control. Now doubt the reason why the rumours of bagging foxes if rife.

The Hunt moved west from the meet and with no attempt to pretend to lay a trail started hunting, sabs were quickly put ahead of them and seeing the situation started to do what we do best. Of course our horn blowing skills outstripped the Huntsman [left] and we soon had his pack at our feet much to the dismay of ‘Evil-Santa and ‘helper’, one of whom tried to ‘borrow’ our hunting horn, we of course declined robustly where upon a sab was whacked around the head with his riding crop. Eventually, the Huntsman regained his pack and IsleofWightFHHuntsman25-1-17.jpgleft at speed such is his skill that in doing this he split his pack and for the rest of the day stray hounds were all over the place. [right, with sabs] We got the injured sab out of the field to the hospital, where we are pleased to say no real damage had been done.

Meanwhile, in another field a hunt support quad bike was deliberately driven into the side of our 4x4, before scarpering from the scene of the ‘accident’. The local Bobbie turned up and were as usual as useful as chocolate fireguard, and stood around looking into the distance repeating the mantra “we are here to prevent a breach of the peace” while crimes took place all around them.

The Hunt took to the woods on some hillsides which to the joy of our drivers had an accessible track, well accessible to land Rovers, and so the Hunt was kept on its toes for the rest of the day. One sab sprained his ankle and to be taken out of the field by a Landy driving where perhaps it shouldn’t have been, but cops just watched us do it and so the day ended with no kills.

We retired to Carisbrooke Castle for cakes and snacks before catching the ferry home, to strange looks from the public at our muddy sabbing look. The final comment should come from one of the cops; “They’ve gone home and you certainly ruined their day”. RESULT!

As always we are keen to welcome new sabs, so pleased drop us a line if you are interested on, it’s as mad as it sounds but our wildlife needs protecting:

We are of course now raising funds to replace our stolen Land Rover and are looking get in the region of £7,000 to get a vehicle which will last us a long time. Any donations very much appreciated and very much needed.

Pics below -  1/  The field, lurking      2/  Damage to sab landy 

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19-3-17   Facebook - Isle of Wight Hunt Sabs   End of Season Report   Season is now over, after the Hunt met at Reades Farm, Carisbrooke yesterday 18/03/2017. The Island Sab Group was in a buoyant mood as the group had been joined by Sabs from Southampton, Brighton, Croydon and the South Coast. With a group watching the meet to confirm the direction Hunt would take. Sabs then placed themselves in strategic positions in order to maximise observations of the Huntsman and hounds, no evidence of any trail was laid throughout the day and the IsleofWightFHMeet18-3-17.jpgHuntsman was observed to be continually purring the hounds on through thick woodland areas where no trail could be laid.

The Sabs were surrounded by numerous hounds who loved the fuss given to them, this caused severe frustration to the hunt Supporters who became aggressive and violent resulting in one female sab being injured and needing treatment at the A&E Dept, after being struck across the head with a riding crop. These incidents are being investigated and may be posted at some point in the future.

The police were called and several units, including a riot van attended. They were forced to try and control numerous loose hounds who were causing chaos on the A3054 Forest Road near to Three Gates Farm and making dozens of innocent car users to stop or be involved in serious collisions. If you were involved please contact the police.

Sabs then continued to monitor the Huntsman and hounds with the hunt becoming increasingly frustrated as they entered Brighstone Forest before moving off along Rowridge TV Station and finally returned to the meet for a very sad and pointless end to the day.

                                     

South Dorset FH hound run over as hunt thug harasses sabs

S.DorsetFHHoundafterknockeddown18-3-17.jpg18-3-17  Facebook - Dorset Sabs  VIDEO   Hit Report Saturday 18th March 2017    Joined by our friends from S.W. Sabs and two hunt monitors we decided to pay a visit to the South Dorset Hunt meeting at Buckland Newton. There was a record numbers of 50 riders out today for the SD and we suspect this is due to the fact their hunting season is one of the longest running... it came over the radio that a member of the public had approached one of the teams of foot sabs and told them they had just witnessed a hound being hit by a car...

The hunt servant Stuart Owen Masters got a little over excited here and was walking in front of the Landy punching the headlight and the grill. He also reached in the passenger window and was grabbing a sab and trying to pull his earrings out. Stuart aka Guilty has recently had to pay compensation to a hunt monitor for assaulting him in the past season...

It was a difficult day today not only for the lack of access and hilly terrain making viewing difficult but the foot sabs were up and down this hilly terrain on numerous occasions. With super fit foot sabs and the assistance of two monitors we kept them on the move all day and rarely lost sight of them, we know we saved lives today but the fate of the hound hit by the car sadly remains unknown.

Pics below -  1/ Thug blocks sab landy    2/  Thug grabs at sab passenger    3/  Walkies  

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Heythrop FH very nearly catch fox and cause chaos on A424

Numerous badger setts also found stopped before hunting 

17-3-16   Facebook - Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs  VIDEO 1  VIDEO 2   Wednesday 15th March 2017 The Heythrop Hunt  held their last meet of the season in Swell Wold, near to Stow-on-the-Wold. They changed their traditional 'posh day' to Tuesday instead of Wednesday last season to try and avoid attention from us and the Hunt Monitors but we caught on rather quickly and we heardHeythropFHFoxfleeinghoundsclosebehind15-3-17.jpg that their last meet would be held on the traditional Wednesday again.

We were out and about very early working alongside locals in the area with our sett-blocking patrols, catching a man on a quadbike leaving an area where we were about to check a sett around 5:30am. Perhaps unsurprisingly the tracks from the quad led right to the sett and it was freshly blocked. Elsewhere other patrols heard quads in the vicinity of other known setts and, surprise, surprise, more tracks leading right to and then away from blocked setts. In total we found 9 setts freshly blocked and we gathered evidence of the blocking, before removing the obstructions in order to give the badgers a helping hand while providing extra escape routes for hunted foxes. If following a trail, why block setts??

As the Heythrop Hunt have stalkers who follow our every move throughout the day, we grabbed some breakfast before they spotted us and one of our group was dropped inland where she knew she could keep an eye on the Hunt and on some of the setts which had been blocked to prove that the setts were blocked in areas the Hunt would be drawing.

Sure enough the Hunt drew through and near to the very same coverts and, just after 1pm having drawn blank in a few areas, hounds picked up strongly near to her. The fox leapt a wall and ran uphill and straight past her with hounds just metres behind him [above right. Fox left middle, hound bottom right corner], Hunt staff and field following around the bottom of the wood and making no attempts to stop the hounds. Fox jinked around in the HeythropFHFoxfleeinghounds15-3-17.jpgwood and crossed a fairly fast road into Eyford Park with hounds following close behind... fox had put some more distance between him and them at this point [left], but we are unsure as to his fate after this fast chase. For legal reasons we are currently only showing the first part of the footage, so watch this space in future.

Upon viewing our video online our stalker Lizzie commented that there were only two hounds giving chase and therefore the hunt was legal. It's good that she confirmed, from a Hunt member's perspective, that they were indeed the Heythrop hounds and they were indeed chasing the fox. She obviously missed the clear third hound in the video and the fact that the fox was being chased down a field and into a wood... For it to be legal hunting a fox can be flushed by two hounds to a gun... flushing is being chased OUT of an area. Not into one.

It was clear by now that the Hunt were likely to cause trouble on the roads considering their lack of concern for members of the public and their own hounds when crossing over into Eyford Park. Foot sab crossed over behind them and went inland in Eyford and, just after the Hunt second-horsed near Kineton Hill, hounds started to pick up again and move towards her. A fox sprinted up a hedgeline away from the covert where the hounds were speaking and tried to go to ground in what looked like an old sett entrance, now taken over by rabbits, which had had a slab of rock shoved into the middle of it which stopped him making his escape there. A Hunt rider holloa'd from a nearby field and Huntsman began to bring hounds in that direction. Fox, meanwhile, made a run for it across fairly open land so the sun and warmth of the day would have been an extra help in reducing the scent left behind.

Around 5 quad bikes at this time were asked to follow our inland sab and she was swiftly asked to leave the land. As the Heythrop are scared to be caught illegally hunting (again) they tend to leave foxes alone when they know we have them on camera, so she asked terrierman to pass on the message that she had fox and holloa on film (you know, just so that Huntsman didn't 'accidentally' give chase thinking it was one of those elusive trails...). He refused, but Huntsman moved away from the area with pack tightly grouped and soon left Eyford Park itself.

Some strange incidents of road rage (between members of the public and hunt supporters) and a very odd, and insulting, racist remark made to another member of our group.

The Hunt continued to draw and pick up on and off and, as the temperature became cooler and therefore better for scent,HeythropFHHuntcausingchaosonA424inpoorlight15-3-17.jpg hounds picked up during their last draw and chased a fox around land and across the A424 (at rush hour) not far from Stow-on-the-Wold . The pack split and Huntsman Charlie Frampton ended up on one side of the road... All we could do (especially when quadbikes were slowing us down) was to stop the car and put hazard lights on in order to warn traffic behind us... Unfortunately our stalker Di Campbell wasn't so clever or responsible and, with hounds crossing the road ahead, yelled at us that it wasn't safe to park (?!?) there and did not put her hazard lights on, meaning that fast-moving (and probably fed-up-with-the-hunt members of the public) swerved around the vehicles [below left] with no prior warning about the presence of the pack. She was probably too busy beeping her horn to prevent fox from breaking cover and filming with only one hand on the steering wheel to pay much attention to actual road safety issues!

HeythropFHHoundscrossA424inpoorlight15-3-17.jpgWhen it was mentioned that Huntsman was irresponsibly calling hounds across the main road, stalkers Lizzie stated 'how else would you get them across?!' Hmmm... well 1. You don't 'lay a trail' across the main road 2. You don't allow hounds to chase a fox across a main road and 3. If you need to cross a main road you gather your pack up on one side and you have people on standby to slow down traffic while you cross at an open and safe point where you will be visible, can move straight to a clear area on the other side of the road at a sensible pace and carry on your way. Surely? No? Then you shouldn't be in control of a pack of hounds... But we're not Huntsman or whippers-in so what would we know about basic common sense? When police were informed they told us they had already received other reports of the Hunt's behaviour, so we will be following this up.

With blocked setts, fox chases, holloas and hounds hunting across main roads, we think our evidence clearly shows that the Hunt are not actually laying trails. Make up your own minds about it.

Pics below -  1/  Hunted fox closely passes sab   2/  Sab's 'stalker' filming while driving   3/  Freshly blocked sett, Swell Wood   4/  Hunt quad on road, no reg plate and overburdened

 HeythropFHFoxfleeinghoundsyardsbehind15-3-17.jpg  HeythropFHStalkerfilmingsabsfrommovingcaron15-3-17.jpg

 HeythropFHFreshlyblockedsettSwellWood15-3-16.jpg    HeythropFHQuadwithnoplatelateronpublicroad15-3-17.jpg

    

Sabs try to save hares hunted by Waveney Harriers as police look on

17-3-17   Facebook - Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs   Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Sabs paid the Waveney Harriers a visit for their closing meet of the season, which took off from Frostenden Hall, Frostenden. Last year, the WaveneyHarriersHarefleeinghounds17-3-17.jpgWaveney Harriers chased a hare not long after setting off from the meet, on a nearby freshly ploughed field. Police were in attendance and soon dished out Section 35 Dispersal Orders. This time round was different. Farming equipment was being operated around this same field and so the Waveney Harriers travelled to Sotterley Estate which has already been hunted as part of joint meet with the Dunston Harriers earlier this season.

The day consisted of Reuben taking the hounds from woodland to woodland. Hounds occasionally spoke but remained relatively unexcited due to having to move off frequently. The terrierman was also keeping a close presence to the Hunt with 3 terriers locked inside and a large shovel strapped to the top of the box.

Sometime had passed and hounds were found chasing a hare in full cry alongside a woodland. Becky Baker, rather than trying to take control of the hounds, focused her attention on trying to remove us from the area. As sabs approached hounds as they pounced, Reuben quickly took the hounds off. As he rode past a female sab, he stated 'I'd like to see you try and enter this wood on your own'. Under the circumstances, we can't guarantee that this Hare got away unharmed. No body was found.

WaveneyHarriersHuntsmanandterriermen17-3-17.jpgWhile Police Officer Sgt. Freeman had a laugh and a joke with the terrierman and Becky Baker, we kept up with the Hunt as best as possible. The pack split soon after entering a small woodland which resulted in hounds speaking in a field with cattle, while the other half was off in a different direction. Reuben eventually got the pack back together and sat and took pleasure in watching the terrierman, Joe Gilfillan, pushing and shoving sabs.

Quite late in the day, sabs came along the road in the nick of time to find a hare had been flushed out from a wood and was running at speed across the open field. The hounds were in full cry and not very far behind the hare. Sabs managed to slow the hounds up but unfortunately this (or another) hare was picked up further down the field. The hare was seen running back through the pack of hounds and was running for its life. As the hare crossed the road the Huntsman arrived on the scene and had little choice but to intervene to stop the hounds. The Huntsman's first response was to blame sabs for turning the hare. Luckily for us we have video evidence to prove this was very far from the case. The hare then ran down side of a hedgerow and then crossed back over the same road. By this time only a couple of hounds were still on the line and they eventually could not keep up and so this hare made it to freedom. Would the Huntsman have called the hounds off if we had not been there? We think we know the answer to that one!

After a long day, the Hunt headed back to the meet and packed up. Sabs shared Vegan cake as the sun set. Donations can be made to: inthenameofnaturehsa@riseup.net

Pic below -   Hare [ringed] fleeing from hounds 

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8 blocked badger setts found in wake of Heythrop FH closing meet

16-3-17   Facebook - Stop Badger Sett Blocking   Following the Heythrop closing meet at Swell Buildings yesterday, further sett checking continued today. So far 8 blocked setts have been found where they were hunting and there will be more. One of the setts today was still blocked meaning that the badgers did not manage to dig themselves out last night. All setts checked were in the North Cotswold cull zone so the questions are... did the sett blockers disinfect their spades and quads? If not then why do vaccinators have to ? And why, if the area is considered to be a bTb hotspot,  were hounds, quads and horses cross-contaminating the whole area without any restrictions?

 

Beaufort FH Huntsman refuses to pull hounds off fox they just behind

Only calls them away from two others because of monitor filming

16-3-17   Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch    Beaufort Hunt 13th March, 2017    The meet was at Trull Farm, a few miles west of Cirencester. It was great to have our friend from Three Counties Hunts Sabs join us for the day.

They hunted straight across to Rodmarton and they were seen hunting a fox at the first draw. They made their way to Tarlton and fields behind the Tunnel House Inn, where hounds were running across heads down, seen there by a member of the public. This was hunting over into VWH territory so they couldn't have been hunting a pre laid trail there surely.

Huntsman was spotted in wood next to Tetbury Road just past Tarlton turn off. The hounds were gathered round a woodpile wagging tails indicating ‘gone to ground’. After some time the fox burst out and the poor thing made a run for it with hounds closely behind it. Monitors asked Matt Ramsden to call off the hounds but he didn’t and continued to hunt in full view of monitors who couldn’t go fast enough to see what happened to the fox. We were worried because there are now pregnant vixens and dependent cubs underground. The fox could have been so reluctant to run because it was a vixen with cubs. Or the fox could have been trying to escape the Hunt by hiding within the woodpile. The old MFHA rulebook allows 'bolting on' a fox that has hidden so that it can be chased some more, providing more sport before it is killed. Of course hunting a fox with hounds is illegal now, although you wouldn’t think so.

We saw another fox forced out of a wood which ran across the road a few feet from two of our team who shouted to the Hunt not to chase it. As the Hunt went round the corner of the road another of our vehicles was there with a camera so they did not try to lay the hounds onto the fox and it got away that time.

Later we were there as they drew Black Covert with riders on point, supporters watching from the road and quad bikes near the wood and in the field behind. They came out of the wood and drew the hedges next to Aston Down airfield and went off quickly as we approached behind them, down towards Gillhays Copse and Gillhays Bottom where we found them on what we were told was Zara Phillip's land. We had seen this Hunt chase a fox - What is she doing allowing them to hunt on her land?

They took the hounds through the winding valley, past a notice that said 'Keep all dogs on leads' towards the Nag's Head at Avening where they picked up on cry in the woods backing on to Avening Court. We were on the path next to the hounds as they tracked around the thick bushes and undergrowth on cry, down the steep banks of the stream down and into back gardens in Avening. No trail possible there then! We had cameras on both sides and when he came down the path and saw this, the Huntsman called them off. An anxious villager was in the street, worried about the Hunt. They went off back southwards from there as reported by a runner.

They packed up just before dark and a couple of Beaufort followers on a quad pulled up beside us to ask if we’d had a nice day. They also said ‘see you next season’ – a bit premature we thought as they have three meets to go yet! See you soon BH!


                                    
'2 foxes pushed out of van for Zetland FH to hunt' claim villagers

16-3-17  POWA has been privately informed that, towards the end of February, two older residents of a village near Darlington claim to have seen two 'young-looking' foxes being pushed out of the back of a van, apparently to be chased by the Zetland FH who were in the immediate area. We gather that both residents say they are 'sick to death' of the Hunt who seem to be out in their locality, creating disturbance and apparently hunting, 'every bloody weekend.'

POWAperson comments - The Zetland's country covers parts of North Yorkshire and south Co.Durham, an area very rarely visited by sabs or monitors, so we've no real record of that particular Hunt's behaviour in recent times, other than this third-hand account. That, however, would not be out of line with the observed - and often filmed - activities of many other packs, who seem to behave as though the Hunting Act does not exist. POWA would welcome any comment from the Zetland FH regarding the above.

 

Trial of two Jedforest FH hunt servants begins

Fox was chased underground and terrier entered 

16-3-17   BBC News Borders    Fox-hunting trial gets under way   Two men have gone on trial in the Scottish Borders accused of hunting foxes with hounds - illegal in Scotland since the Wild Mammals Act 2002. John Clive Richardson, 66, and Jonathan Riley, 24, of Bonchester Bridge, deny the charge.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court saw footage filmed by an employee of the League Against Cruel Sports. Terence Hill told the court he had been observing hunts throughout the UK for 30 years.

He described what he said he had filmed on 18 February 2016 which he said was the Jed Forest Hunt and how the two accused were taking part. Mr Hill said the footage showed hunt members using a terrier to flush a fox from a hole and then encouraging foxhounds to chase and kill it. He said foxhounds could only be used to flush a fox out of cover towards guns, which should have been used to make the kill.

However, Mr Hill said there was no evidence of guns being there, but he described what he said was hunt members calling and encouraging hounds to chase a fox, which he said he assumed died later. He also said he saw one hunt member - in charge of the terriers - try to trip the fox up as it attempted to escape back down a hole. The trial continues. 

21-3-17  Southern Reporter   Huntsmen ‘wanted hounds to kill fox’   A father and son have gone on trial accused of breaching Scotland’s fox hunting legislation. John Clive Richardson, 66, and Johnny Riley, 24, from the Jedforest Hunt, deny deliberately hunting a fox with hounds – which has been illegal in Scotland since the introduction of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002. Jedburgh Sheriff Court, Jedburgh Justice of the Peace Court.

A video filmed by an investigator from the League Against Cruel Sports was shown on Thursday at Jedburgh Sheriff Court which, it is alleged, shows a breach of the act. The law allows hounds to flush a fox out of cover to waiting guns to be shot. But the footage shows the foxhounds chasing a fox through gorse land and down a hole. A male, described in court as a terrier man, put a terrier dog down the hole to locate the fox. The terrier dog was then taken out of the hole and the male spends the next 20 minutes digging to reach the fox. The law says the fox should then be dispatched or killed by a hand pistol or shotgun.

But the footage shows the fox being released from the hole and pursued again by the hounds. League Against Cruel Sports investigator Terence Hill, 51, shot the video after setting up an observation point for a covert operation on gorse-covered land at Townfoothill, near Jedburgh, on February 18 last year. It shows huntsmen Richardson and Riley on horseback at the scene of the incident and in charge of the dogs. Mr Hill – who has been observing hunts throughout the UK for the past 30 years – filmed the incident on a video camera from a distance of 650 metres. Giving evidence,

Mr Hill told the court: “Through the whole proceedings they had no interest in the proper fox control of dispatching it based on my observation and film material obtained. “Their intention was they wanted the hounds to hunt and kill the fox. “They allowed this to happen and did not have guns anywhere around that gorse.” Mr Hill said that when the fox was trapped below the ground there was plenty of opportunity to humanely kill it with a gun. He concluded: “They clearly wanted the hounds to kill the fox.” Around 20 minutes after the incident, the video shows Richardson and the terrier man carrying shotguns, but Mr Hill insisted they did not have them at the time of the death when the fox was supposed to be flushed out to guns. He said: “That is way after the incident of the fox bolting. And I did not hear a gunshot then.”

17-3-17  Border Telegraph   Trial hears how fox is dug from hole before being chased by hound pack   A father and son have gone on trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court accused of breaching Scotland's fox hunting legislation. John Clive Richardson, who is 66, and 24-year-old Johnny Riley from the Jedforest Hunt deny deliberately hunting a fox with hounds - which has been illegal in Scotland since the introduction of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002.

A video filmed by an investigator from the League Against Cruel Sports was shown which it is alleged shows a breach of the Act. The law allows hounds to flush a fox out of cover to waiting guns to be shot. But the footage shows the foxhounds chasing the animal through gorse land and down a hole.  A male, described in court as a terrier man, put a terrier dog down the hole to locate the fox. 

The terrier dog was then taken out of the hole and the male spends the next 20 minutes digging to reach the fox. The law says the fox should then be dispatched or killed by a hand pistol or shotgun. But the footage shows the fox being released from the hole and pursued again by the hounds. The fox goes out of sight behind a land ridge before it is presumably caught by the hounds and torn to pieces.

League Against Cruel Sports investigator Terence Hill, 51, shot the video after setting up an observation point for a covert operation on gorse-covered land at Townfoothill near Jedburgh, on February 18 last year. It shows huntsmen Richardson and Riley on horseback at the scene of the incident and in charge of the dogs. Mr Hill - who has been observing hunts throughout the UK for the past 30 years - filmed the incident on a video camera from a distance of 650 metres. He also claimed Hunt members were calling and encouraging the hounds to chase the fox. He said he saw one Hunt member - in charge of the terriers - try to trip the fox up as it attempted to escape back down a hole.

During his evidence Mr Hill said: "There are far too many loopholes in the legislation just now. Flushing to guns is not happening. Traditional fox hunting is still going on." 

No huntsmen has yet fallen foul of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, but two individuals have been convicted for hunting foxes with dogs and 10 for hare coursing. The trial of Richardson and Riley of Abbotrule, Bonchester Bridge, continues.

16-3-17   ITV News  Borders Huntsmen deny breaking fox hunting laws  Two men have appeared at Jedburgh Sheriff Court accused of deliberately hunting a fox with a pack of dogs

The court heard that 66-year-old John Clive Richardson and 24-year-old Johnathan Riley, from Bonchester Bridge, were on a Jedforest Hunt in the Scottish Borders in 18 February 2016, when they were filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports.

The video was shown in court, and Mr Terence Hill, from the charity, said it shows a breach of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act (2002). He told the court "opportunities to dispatch the fox humanely" were ignored.

But speaking in defence of Mr Riley, lawyer David McKee said that Mr Hill had "an agenda" and pointed out his viewpoint was from around 650 metres away. Both men have denied breaking the Protection of Wild Mammals Act. The trial continues.

17-3-17  BBC News   Borders fox-hunting trial adjourned   The trial of two huntsmen accused of breaching Scotland's fox hunting legislation has been adjourned. Legal reasons meant no evidence could be led on the second day of the trial of John Clive Richardson, 66, and his 24-year-old son Johnny Riley. The pair, both members of the Jedforest Hunt who live near Bonchester Bridge, deny deliberately hunting a fox with hounds near Jedburgh in February 2016. The trial will resume at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on 27 April. 

Deliberately hunting a fox with hounds has been illegal in Scotland since the introduction of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002.

POWAperson adds - Unfortunately, the Senior JM of the Jedforest FH is not on trial. He is the odious Johan Christofferson, an American hedge-fund manager and major donor to the Conservative Party. He helped bankroll the election as MP of the equally repellent Simon Hart, formerly CEO of the Countryside Alliance. While of the JM of the Isle of Wight FH, his Huntsman and terrierman, Stuart Trousdale and James Butcher [who already had a badger-digging conviction and has acquired a few other convictions since] thought it would be a good idea to dump large animal carcases [a cow and a horse] in Brighton city centre at the time of the Labour Conference there. It was 2004, the Hunting Act had had its second reading couple of weeks before. They were convicted of public order offences and given a slap on the wrist. Christofferson was not prosecuted but was suspended for a whole month by the MFHA for not controlling his servants. Not long after, Christofferson moved up country to become Jedforest FH JM. So disgusted with Trousdale's behaviour was he that he took the Huntsman with him, though he has since left. The most flattering pic of Christofferson I could find is below. Well, the horse looks nice.

    JohanChristoffersonJMJedforestFH.jpg

So effective has the Scottish hunting 'ban' been that not a single person from an organised Hunt in Scotland has been convicted of breaking it. Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with the demise of 'sport' fox hunting in Scotland, which is in rude health, and everything to do with the loopholes in the Act itself. Remind you of anything? Still, at least the government north of the border has promised to strengthen the Act. In England and Wales the best we can do is hang on grimly to an Act that is next to useless against organised Hunts.

 

Bizarre hound blessing by Anglican priest at Chiddingfold FH meet

16-3-17   Facebook - Surrey Hunt Monitors    Saturday 11th March saw the Surrey Hunt Monitors in Sussex at the hound blessing ceremony for the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray fox hunt at Toby's Stone. We normally keep a low profile and very often the hunts don’t even know that we are monitoring and filming them. This time it was different, we took time away from the grubby activities of the Surrey Union terrier men and following a tip off from a local sympathiser, we decided to film this rather bizarre ceremony. Four of us turned up separately at Bignor Hill and were rewarded with the spectacle of ‘Reverend John Bundock’ blessing the hounds and horses of the Hunt.

We know that the police, the judiciary and politicians are very close to the hunting community but we were somewhat surprised to find a ‘man of the cloth’ so willing to give his blessing to an activity whose main purpose is the killing of an innocent animal. The photo of the terrier contained in its box on the quad-bike, we were told belonged to the hunt terrier man Simon.

Our ‘friend’ Lulu Hutley, the Surrey Union master (infamous for being videoed 'apparently' whipping a young protester) had provided the priest "on loan from the Surrey Union" for the ceremony. Hypocrisy was rampant. A priest, who should be holding all life sacred, riding out with and sanctifying the very activity, whose objective is the opposite. Perhaps we should remind this ‘turbulent priest’ of his vows and point him in the direction of Saint Francis of Assisi and ‘All things bright and beautiful’!

"God requires that we assist the animals, when they need our help. Each being (human or creature) has the same right of protection." (St Francis of Assisi)

The Revd John Bundock, formerly Vicar of Bramley, and Canon Emeritus of Guildford Cathedral. Perhaps you may wish to contact the Bishop of Guildford and express your thoughts. http://www.cofeguildford.org.uk/whats-on/contact-us

     ChiddingfoldFHHoundblessingbypriest11-3-17.jpg


Landowner finds Beaufort FH trotting thru his wood without permission

BeaufortFHLandownerfindsHunttrottingthruhiswoodwithoutpermission15-3-17.jpg 

'Hounds Off' retweeted the landowner's tweet with URL to go to for advice on how to keep Hunts off your land http://www.houndsoff.co.uk/action-advice/landowners-farmers-residents/warn-off-your-local-hunt-belt-braces-approach/

 


Monitors think Cotswold FH killed as they hunted many familiar coverts

Two heavily blocked badger setts found and reported to police

15-3-17  Facebook - Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch   Cotswold Hunt, Saturday 11th March 2017    We were tipped off that the Cotswold meet was at Hill Barn west of Turkdean. We worked with a member of Three Counties for this hunt which initially went off towards Nut Tree Brake. Foot walkers went into the big valley from the north-east and others were already round at Judith Grove which is a favourite hunting place although some way off ... sure enough the Hunt didn't stay long enough to draw the coverts in the area of the meet and went eastwards fast and arrived at Judith Grove where the monitors had discovered all the terriermen in the wood [pic bottom] ... what were they doing or planning to do? The Hunt went through the wood quickly, again not staying long enough to hunt even a trail. They crossed the road then went back along south just under Turkdean village, with the hounds searching across the steep, rough ground there and through into the open area near Lower Dean Manor, suddenly speeding off apparently when they realised they were watched by another monitor on the lower road.

They disappeared into the big area of country there but we found them coming up from Quarry Covert, crossing the road there and the hounds being put to search in the field on the opposite side, once again arrival of CIHW vehicle seemed to bring about a sudden change in horn signals to the dogs and they were hurriedly gathered back to the road and taken northwards into the New Covert area, where they hunted up towards and along the disused railways - another favourite place...

A fox was seen escaping, a monitor watching its back and they did not seem to be picking up on it, but foxes are in braces at this time of year and the hounds went on cry around the old railway. Monitors were on the road at the Salperton end of the old railway path when half the pack were brought up to the road. The rest were coming along around the stream at the bottom of the slope, searching.

Monitors on the road heard a whistle just as they arrived and saw the supporter there wait and speak to the redcoat as he emerged. A whistle - not a human whistle but like a games whistle - is traditionally used when a fox has been sighted.

The searching hounds went over into the big cropped field and went across with their heads down and on cry into the woods across behind Salperton where they suddenly stopped. This was worrying, it can mean a kill. If it was it could have been a pregnant vixen or a vixen with dependent cubs underground. This fear haunts us at this time of year. The 3C monitor working with us once found and recorded fox cub foetuses after a Hunt had emerged from a wood, as well as some remains of the vixen which whoever took the body had not noticed.

When monitors got there terriermen were seen emerging fast from a roadside covert and instead of usual gestures and acknowledgements had their heads down, looking guilty. They didn't look at us. What had they done?

The Hunt had gone across Salperton Park and then disappeared from view. We found the Hunt again across the busy A436 at Aylesworth... hunting back down the old railway towards the A436 - another favourite haunt - but they didn't seem to be finding anything, not even a 'trail'... Redcoats were on the main road as the Hunt went down opposite Westfield Farm and we found the terriermen all in a cluster on the road up to the quarry... the terriermen all took off back up the Salperton road to a quarry area. This is the old quarry that the Hunt returned to three times the last time they were there. We watched as the Hunt came across the dip and the hounds were taken into the concealed area of the quarry and were put to search inside, all the noises of instruction and encouragement to search could be heard.

The steep sides of the inside of the quarry are lined with thick impenetrable bushes and undergrowth which the Huntsman instructed the hounds to search thoroughly as one of us watched. So much for looking for a trail. Luckily no scent was picked up ... which may have had something to do with the fairies having been there first to put a spell on the area which filled the hounds' nostrils with the smell of spring flowers.

The Hunt went back to coverts south of Penhill Farm and were seen drawing another old quarry area... They frequently hunt that spot... As the Huntsman encouraged the hounds to search through the big patch of thick bushes and old conifer plantation, a monitor was having a look at this area where they frequently go on cry. Ideal territory for a fox. In fact they area always searching areas that are ideal for a fox or are traditionally known as places where the Hunts find foxes... they are often called something Covert and that is what it means.

We were with them most of the day and although we suspect they may have chased and killed one fox, we hardly heard the pack on cry at all. they did rush around a lot. Ideal that, gives the field a good ride in the fresh air and does no harm. If they really did convert to drag hunting they wouldn't have to bother going round illegally blocking badger setts - two of these were found in the hunting area and reported to the police. These setts were heavy blocked with rocks and bits of tree rammed in, which was not allowed even when hunting was legal and light blocking of setts allowed to facilitate their pursuit of foxes.

       CotswoldFHTerriermenhangingroundbadgersett19-3-17.jpg

 


Three Grove & Rufford FH members convicted of illegal hunting

Judge rules presence of terrierman evidence of intent to hunt

14-3-17  Nottingham Post   Three members of Grove and Rufford Hunt fined for fox hunting  Three members of a Nottinghamshire Hunt have been fined after being found guilty of hunting a fox with dogs. The members of the Grove and Rufford Hunt said they were trail-hunting around Laneham, near Retford, which remains legal after fox hunting was banned in 2005, and the fox's death [right] on January 30, 2016, wasGroveRuffordFHhoundskillingfox30-1-16_3huntersconvicted_14-3-17.jpg accidental.

Birdwatchers Phillip Palmer and his partner Pauline Hogg filmed the fox being killed just after 1pm, in a field off Helenship Lane.

Huntsman Paul Larby, 57, of The Kennels, Kennel Drive, Barnby Moor, trail-layer Peter White, 57, of Leyfields Farm, Redhill Lane, Kneesall, and the Hunt's whipper-in Jane Wright, 63, of Town Street, Lound, each pleaded not guilty to offences under the Hunting Act.

Reaching his conclusion after a three day trial, district judge Tim Spruce said: "It's an inescapable conclusion that the Grove and Rufford Hunt were hunting foxes and not artificial scent trails. They maintained they were engaged in trail laying, but I am not convinced that this was the case. There were three sightings of foxes in the area and a fox was killed."

The court heard a man was seen in a field and appeared to direct the Hunt after a fox, and an eye witness provided evidence of a "terrier man" when none was needed. No action was taken to call off the hounds from the kill, or to take the hounds in a different direction [left, hunters arrive soon after the kill].

GroveRuffordFHHuntersarrivesoonafterkil30-1-16huntersconvicted14-3-17.jpgAn expert witness, who the defence had sought to undermine because of an alleged connection to anti-cruel sports groups, was "fully tested" and his opinion that foxes were being hunted was "fully supported" by the other evidence in the case.

District judge Spruce said the three defendants, of previous good character, had given no comment interviews or prepared statements when they were interviewed by the police. The couple had asked permission to take pictures of the Hunt and their photographs and video enabled a prosecution to be brought.

On the day, Mr Palmer, an accomplished birdwatcher. said: "This is going to be interesting. They must have seen the fox. Clearly they will need to call off the hunt."

Larby was fined £800, White was fined £550 and Wright, who played a lesser role, was fined £180. All three were ordered to pay costs of £248 and an £80 victim surcharge each, at Mansfield Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

15-3-17  Daily Mirror    Fox hunters found guilty of illegal hunting after they were filmed by two birdwatchers - Twitchers provided evidence to the court of members of the Grove and Rufford Hunt involved in illegal hunting with hounds    Three members of a fox hunt have been found guilty of illegal hunting after being filmed by birdwatchers. Twitchers saw members of the Nottinghamshire-based Grove and Rufford Hunt chase and catch a fox before the carcass was removed. 

Huntsman Paul Larby, 57, terrierman Peter White, 57, and the hunt’s whipper-in Jane Wright, 63, claimed they had been following a trail and the animal was caught accidentally. But footage taken by two birdwatchers of the January 2016 incident were shown to Mansfield Magistrates’ Court where the three, who denied illegal hunting, were convicted of hunting a mammal with dogs. It showed no attempt to call off the hounds.

Twitcher Philip Palmer told the trial a fox was chased by a pack of 45 hounds in view of members of the Hunt. District Judge Tim Spruce said: “It’s an inescapable conclusion that the Grove and Rufford Hunt were hunting foxes and not artificial scent trails. They maintained they were engaged in trail laying, but I am not convinced that this was the case.” He added: “There is good and compelling evidence that the hunt was aware of the fox, but it appears there is no evidence that hounds were directed away.”

Larby was fined £800, White was fined £550 and Wright was fined £180.

Speaking after the case, League Against Cruel Sports chief executive Eduardo Goncalves said: “ Fox hunts constantly chase real foxes while pretending they are following a trail, but this time they were caught bang to rights. This case highlights exactly why the pro-hunt lobby want to have the Hunting Act repealed. The law is waiting to catch them, and this case will send shock waves around all those hunts heading out today and for the rest of the hunting season. Burglars must wince every time they see someone convicted of burglary – and today the Hunts are wincing. Taking on hunting in the legal system is no easy task, but this shows that the Hunting Act is a good law that can be successfully used to punish illegal hunting. Hopefully more police forces will use this to see through the false alibi of ‘trail hunting’ and bring more hunts to book.”

14-3-17  BBC News   Grove and Rufford Hunt members fined after illegal fox killing   Three people have been fined for illegal hunting after their actions were recorded by birdwatchers.

Paul Larby, 58, Peter White, 57, and Jane Wright, 63, of the Grove and Rufford Hunt, insisted their dogs were on a trail when they stumbled on a fox. But the footage, taken at Laneham, Nottinghamshire in January 2016, showed no attempt to call the hounds off.

All were convicted at Mansfield Magistrates' Court of hunting a mammal with dogs. Including costs, Larby was fined £1,128, White £853 and Wright £448. Paul Larby, Peter White and Jane Wright denied the charge of hunting a mammal with dogs.

White, from Kneesall, Nottinghamshire, gave evidence of six trails he said he laid on the morning of the incident. Larby, a huntsman from Barmby Moor, and Wright, a hunt volunteer from Lound, both in Nottinghamshire, told the court they had been following a trail when the fox jumped out of a hedge in front of them. It was chased and killed by the dogs before they could intervene, they said.

The prosecution claimed no-one saw the trails being laid and the hounds had run across roads - which trails are not laid across. Birdwatcher Philip Palmer told the trial a fox was chased by a pack of 45 hounds in view of members of the Hunt. Both Larby and Wright were in the field, but Mr Palmer said he heard no attempt to call the dogs off.

District Judge Timothy Spruce said: "There is good and compelling evidence that the hunt was aware of the fox, but it appears there is no evidence that hounds were directed away."

The League Against Cruel Sports said it was the first case it was aware of where footage from members of the public was used to secure a conviction.

Pic below -  Larby, White and Wright - the convicted fox killers  [Credit BBC]

    GroveRuffordFHLarbyWhiteWrightConvicted14-3-17.jpg 

14-3-17  Horse & Hound   Hunt members consider appeal following guilty verdicts under Hunting Act  Three hunt members are considering an appeal after being found guilty of illegal hunting. The Grove and Rufford Hunt members — who denied the charges — are seeking legal advice and are considering appealing the decision to a higher court.

The three-day trial at Mansfield Magistrates Court concluded today. This is the first time in more than two years that there has been a successful prosecution of a registered hunt under the 2004 Hunting Act.

Paul Larby, 57, was ordered to pay total costs of £1,848, including a fine of £800; Peter White, 57, was ordered to pay £853, including a £550 fine; and Jane Wright, 63, £448, including a fine of £180. The alleged incident took place on 30 January 2016 and the trio, who are all from Nottinghamshire, pleaded not guilty to offences under the Act.

Speaking after the trial had concluded, a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said the organisation is “disappointed by the verdict”. “These three individuals were of impeccable character and we believe that the evidence showed they were trail-hunting within the law,” he said. “The activity is legal and they were aware that they were being photographed and filmed throughout the day. They had nothing to hide and were acting lawfully within the Hunting Act legislation. They will now take legal advice and may very well appeal the decision at a higher court.”

POWAperson adds - This is indeed the first conviction of organised hunters under the Hunting Act 2004 for more than 2 years and very welcome. The judge appears to have seen through the [what another judge once described as] 'cynical subterfuge' of the hunters and determined that their hunting was wilful. Of particular note is the fact that he described the presence of a terrierman as indicative of intent to hunt. Mmm, what have we and other antis been saying about that for many years?  We do expect an appeal against this verdict because if it is established as case law it will be quite damaging to the hunt side. The matter is likely to hang on interpretation of 'engage or participate', the criterion in Section 11 of the Act that determines whether or not any given hunter is committing an offence, and the extent to which other evidence, including the presence of terriermen, helps to adduce an intent to hunt on the part of the accused.

These convictions bring to 378 the number of persons from organised Hunts who have been convicted of or cautioned for criminal offences since 1990, having been guilty of at least 916 offences. 200 of these are violent offences, 47 are Hunting Act offences [though thousands have been committed every season since 2005]. People known to be officials or staff of organised Hunts have committed 203 of these offences. The rest are down to riders or car/foot followers not known to have any official standing.

Tables detailing all the known prosecutions of organised hunters since 2005 for HA offences and under other animal welfare Act laws can be found on this website here, along with analysis of the Hunting Act data. 


 

Terrierman almost falls off speeding quad trying to hit sab

Berwickshire FH thwarted in attempts to kill foxes 

14-3-17   Facebook - Fife and Central Scotland Hunt Sabs   VIDEO   On Saturday The Berkwickshire Hunt Terriermen made a pathetic attempt to assault sabs and almost fell off their quad! Sabs stopped them killing a fox illegally so perhaps this was the reason for their stupidity. Join - Sab - Donate

   BerwickshireFHTerriermantriestohitsabaspasses11-3-17.jpg   BerwickshireFHTerriermanwhojusttriedtohitsabnearlyfalloffquad11-3-17.jpg

 

    

Woodland Pytchley FH Director resigns his Wildlife Trust post

Robert Brudenell's resignation as a Trustee of Beds, Cambs and Northants Wildlife Trust came after a very short social media campaign...

13-3-17  Facebook – Stop the Cull   Would you be surprised to hear that a director of a Wildlife Trust was also a director of a fox hunt and runs a shooting estate?

You may think this is a conflict of interest and a contradiction. We certainly do. If you are a member of this Wildlife Trust you may not be too happy to learn about this strong link between wildlife killers & those you trust to protect wildlife for future generations.

We question the ethics of The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire... The Woodland Pytchley Hunt have a reputation for violence against hunt saboteurs and have at least one conviction against them.

We had a look around the Deene Park estate, (ancestral home to Robert Brudenell) and found several shooting towers, poisoned traps designed for squirrels and alarmingly, the viscera of what we believe to be butchered fallow deer, sadly including an unborn foetus. This is an Estate where people pay to kill partridges and pheasants http://www.deenepark.com/shooting/.

A BCN Wildlife Trust Member posted this in reply to the above -  

15-3-17     BCN Wildlife Trust Statement  received by Gill Mitchell   Following recent criticism on social media, Robert Brudenell, one of 12 Wildlife Trust BCN trustees, has decided to stand down as a trustee with immediate effect, Monday 13 March, to spare the Trust further unwelcome distractions from its valuable work.
The Wildlife Trust Council of Trustees consists of people from a range of backgrounds: practical conservationists and volunteers, ecologists and conservation scientists, business people and landowners, all with a commitment to the aims of the Trust. Trustees are required by law to uphold the interests and the objectives of the charity when making decisions in Council meetings.

 

 

Sabs prevent two Suffolk & Essex FH dig outs, quad driven into sab

Redcoat deliberately rides his horse into path of sabs' landy 

13-3-17  N.E. London Sabs    Hit Report  11.03.2017  Suffolk and Essex Hunt   Thanks to your donations we managed to go out again on Saturday. We got transport to the area of Suffolk and Essex and then jumped in CHS’s landrover. The meet was at Langham Hall near Colchester. We were out with SES - Suffolk and Essex SabsEssexandSuffolkFHQuaddrivenatsabdeliversglancingblow11-3-16.jpg and CHS - Cambridge Hunt Sabs.

The conditions were not ideal for the Hunt at all as it was warm and sunny for the hounds to pick up any scent therefore the Hunt tried a couple of unsuccessful dig outs. The hounds went in cry on just one occasion but the fox went to ground pretty fast. The SES sabs quickly intervened so when the rest of the sabs arrived the hunt was leaving the area without marking the earth for the terriermen. Soon after another fox went to ground but we again prevented the dig out by sitting on the holes and let the Huntsman know that we intended to stay. We prevented 2 dig outs and made sure we follow the Hunt throughout the day not allowing them any time to try another dig out.

The Hunt grew more frustrated as the day went resulting in terriermens’ aggressive behaviour. They drove their quad-bike straight into walking sabs actually hitting one of us [above right] and also tried to kick and punch others. Once the weather was getting warmer and they also realised that they were constantly followed and could not dig out they packed up just before 3pm.

Thank you all again for your generous donations and support!

18-3-17   Facebook - Cambridge Sabs  VIDEO  The Suffolk and Essex Hunt claim to care very much about animals, namely their horses. This video alludes otherwise.

Pics below -  1/  Redcoat gallops up alongside sab landy  2/  Pulling horse into its path   3/  Brakes and turns in front of landy   4/  Joined by 2nd redcoat

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Fife FH hunt foxes in open, no guns, sabs think first was bagged

13-3-17  Facebook - Perthshire Sabs   Fife FH Closing Meet 11-3-17   The Hunt unboxed at Letham Farm to meet at Cunnoquhie House for the last meet of their season. The day started very suspiciously, with Adam GalpinFifeFHWaitigforfoxtobrakcoverabouttobottomright11-3-17.jpg the terrier-man and his digging friend Colin George driving into position around 10 minutes before the Hunt set off. Seconds after they arrived a fox was seen by a sab running from their position into the nearby gorse and this is where the Hunt made a beeline to as soon as they left the meet. We strongly believe this fox was released from the terrier-man. Sadly the sab who witnessed this did not have a camera.

The hounds did not pick up on the fox and were quiet as they searched the gorse, but the Hunt clearly knew it was there and Mark Fleming, Master acting as whip for the day, saw what way the fox went once it ran from the gorse. Thankfully the hounds seemed to lose this fox and another group of our sabs waiting for the Hunt in another position saw what we believe was the same fox heading in their direction, now looking exhausted.

The hounds soon picked up on another fox though and were left to run a large distance away from any riders or token guns after it - more illegal hunting. After a while, a terrified fox was seen running from Cairnie Hill where the hounds were in and out of cry, the fox headed for cover at the back of Whitefield, sabs moved into the area, but soon the hounds came rampaging back across the estate, past Whitefield in a different route to what the fox had taken. They carried on, over Dunbog Hill and onto Balmeadow Hill, where they met another group of our sabs, the hounds leaving behind the Huntsman, whip and field still on Cairnie Hill, so nobody there apart from sabs to ensure an illegal kill was not made.

Eventually the Hunt caught up with their hounds and proceeded to hunt the gorse on Balmeadow Hill. By this time, two groups of sabs were there and a fox was seen sneaking out of the gorse, thankfully unseen by the Hunt, with the sabs present the Hunt gave up on this area, allowing the fox to safely escape.

The Hunt then headed in the direction of Collairnie Hill, sabs followed and caught sight of them heading back towards the meet and when sabs made their way back towards Letham the Hunt were observed packing up.

The season may be over, but we will still be out in the countryside till the start of next fox hunting season doing what we can to expose wildlife persecution and save lives

Please help keep us in the field : https://gogetfunding.com/fuel-costs-and-vehicle-maintenance/

Pics below -  1/  First fox fleeing immediately after pic above  2/ Second fox fleeing, just beyond fence to right of horse    3/  Second fox exhausted   4/ Third fox fleeing

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Sabs stop hare pack from hunting and fox pack from killing

12-3-17   Facebook - Bristol Hunt Saboteurs   This weekend we headed across the bridge to join up with sabs from S.Wales, Bath & Severn Vale Sabs.

The first stop off was with the Woolaston Bassets, who were holding their last meet of the season at Lydney Park, just to the south of the Forest of Dean. This foot pack are fairly new on the scene, only existing for a few seasons, so we thought it would be a good shout to go and see what they were up to, as they have been left alone for a couple of seasons now.

We took a stroll up to Lydney Park house as most of the support and hunt staff were arriving. We waited around for a while for the Huntsman and hound van to show, before an empty trailer arrived. They seemed very keen to let us know that they knew we were coming as they had spotted us earlier, fine by us if it meant they weren't going to bring any hounds to hunt with!

There was some more waiting around, some arm flapping from hunt staff, and an attempt to dash off in the hound van. However we were hot in pursuit, following them back to their kennels at the Old Rectory in Woolaston, where hunt staff abandoned the trailer and took off in a car. With word that supporters had all left the meet in dribs and drabs, we left in the knowledge that their hare/rabbit hunting plans for the day had been scuppered. Result!

Then it was back across the border into Wales and on to the nearby fox Hunt, the Curre & Llangibby, who were also holding their final meet of the season at their kennels in Itton.

After a bit of a search we located the Hunt in a valley not too far away. We kept tabs on the Huntsman and hounds from our vehicles for a while, despite numerous attempts by their car support to block us in.

We kept on them, later coming across the Huntsman and hounds working through a wood not far from the kennels. With hounds picking up foot sabs went into the field, gaining a couple of drunken chaperones, who we can only presume were laid on by the Hunt as end of season entertainment. They were so preoccupied with our choice of clothing that they were completely oblivious to the fox bolting from the wood that the Hunt were drawing.

Thankfully, a couple of eagle-eyed sabs spotted it, as did a rider on point, meaning we could get into the right position to stop the hounds who were now in cry. A few sabs used citronella to cover its line and we waited to intervene further if needed.

The hounds went in and out of cry for a while, before moving off in the other direction out of the woods. With darkness quickly setting in and supporters leaving, we soon caught up with the Huntsman gathering up loose hounds at the kennels, and our day was done. 'Til the next one...

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Sabs twice stop Taunton Vale FH dig outs as Hunt chase foxes

Also invaded Nature Reserve & caused chaos on busy road

12-3-17   Facebook - Devon County Sabs   VIDEO  Taunton Vale Foxhounds 11.3.2017   Yesterday was one of the most stressful days we've had all season, but also one of the most rewarding. It's a long one, but there's a lot to report.

Together with our friends from Somerset Sab Group we showed up to the Taunton Vale Foxhounds closing meet at Long Grove Farm, north-west of Ilminster. With a field of about 30 riders the Hunt set off south into the River Ding valley. Sabs positioned themselves downwind of the Hunt, just in time to spot a fox running away from the hounds. Sabs gave the fox time to get away and then went in to cover the scent. Fortunately, hounds didn't pick up on it. At this point, sabs were greeted by Taunton Vale terrierman Paul Martin, who told them to "stick to the footpaths and that's all I'm going to say the rest of the f***ing day". Shame he didn't keep his promise.

The Hunt crossed the river and headed west towards one of our foot teams. From quite a distance they witnessed hounds enter the bushes by the river where it later turned out they had marked to ground at a fox earth [below right]. Huntsman Guy Landau got off his horse, made a phone call and was joined shortly after by Paul and his mates on their quadbike. Landau called the hounds out of the bushes and moved them on along the river while the terriermen got a terrier and spade from the boxes on their quad bike and made their way to the earth.TauntonValeFHHunthavemarkedtoground11-3-17.jpg

Several foot sab teams were mobilised to converge on the location. When they got there the terriermen had filled all but one entrance hole with soil and one of them had begun digging. There were fresh hound scratch marks at one of the entrances, where hounds had marked to ground. Sabs got in between the earth and the spade [below left] and signalled to the other teams in the area to call the police. With 8 foot sabs at the earth the terriermen were outnumbered and forced to abandon the dig.

Paul insisted his terrier was still underground and that he needed to dig her out. Sabs encouraged him to get his transmitter to locate the terrier and extract her, but he refused. Instead he made a phone call to one of the Masters and, like a petulant child, whined about the fact we were trespassing, claimed we were being violent and preventing him from getting his terrier out! Sabs were peaceful throughout and Paul's lies and complaints look rather silly on the video footage.

TauntonValeFHSabspreventdigout11-3-17.jpgBy now the hounds had been entered into a covert to the south. One of our teams left to keep an eye on them while the stand-off at the earth continued. Eventually the terriermen gave up and sped off. On their way out Paul shouted "by the way you're all too late, that one's already dead". He had earlier stated his intentions to bolt the fox into a net and kill it. Terrier-work is legal only under very limited circumstances, which were not met in this instance. Firstly, flushing a fox from an earth can only take place with the purpose of preventing serious damage to birds that are being kept or preserved for shooting. There was no evidence of this, nor did Paul carry the requisite written permission from the landowner. Secondly, the law requires that when a fox is flushed from an earth it is shot immediately. There were no guns present, nor any shots heard prior to sabs arriving at the earth. If Paul's claim that the fox had already been killed was true then it would mean he had killed the fox illegally. There was no blood or evidence of a kill.

Away from the earth sabs alerted one of the Masters to what had just gone on. His response: "I've spoken to Paul. It was a false mark" (i.e. no fox found at the earth). This whole episode highlights the farce that is 'trail-hunting'. There was no evidence of trails being laid during the day, but several foxes were seen running from hounds. Hounds don't mark a trail to ground...! The fact hounds so often mark to ground proves that they are following the scent of live foxes. More importantly: the fact that terriermen are called when they mark proves that the terriermen are not just accidental accompaniments to the Hunt, as they so often claim, but rather an integral part of their operations. Here we had a Master of the Hunt admitting on camera that hounds had marked the earth and that the terriermen had been called in to deal with it.

Nevertheless, the Master didn't look too pleased [right, telling terrierman off] when we told him about Paul's boasting and pointed to the four police cars that had by now arrived on the road. With a stern face he went over to whisper something to the Huntsman, whose expression dropped. Paul was pulled aside and - we think - encouraged to head to Lower Burnt House Farm to speak to the landowner and ask him to print off the written permission for digging to take place on his land, should the police demand it! Our suspicions were confirmed when we spotted Paul'sTauntonValeFHHuntsmantellingterriermanoff11-3-17.jpg quad bike leaving the farm half an hour later. He produced an envelope from his pocket containing a fresh printout signed by the landowner, Mr Chidley, and claimed that he had one for every landowner in the area. Funny that he only had one envelope on him though...!

By this point hounds were in cry again north of Dommett, where they crossed the road right in front of our vehicles. A foot team to the south called them off the scent. The pack ended up scattered all over the Dommett Moor Nature Reserve. However, half the pack then continued to follow the scent onto a very busy road. Luckily sabs were already there to stop them from spilling out into the traffic. When the Huntsman finally arrived to join in, he called hounds back ACROSS the road, causing chaos and frustration amongst the red coats who by now were arguing amongst themselves. A bus and other traffic was forced to come to a standstill while the entire Hunt took their time riding north on the busy road.

The Hunt entered the area north of Hare Lane, where hounds picked up another scent. Sabs did their best to call them off and hounds appeared to lose the scent as they entered an area of brambles close to a stream. Much to the sabs' horror, a fox then jumped out of the brambles right in front of the hounds. They chased the fox along a hedge and it looked like they had caught it as there was a lot of frantic milling around beside the hedge. Sabs were desperately trying to get to them and call them off. Other teams in the area received the distressing message over the radio to say the fox had probably been killed. However, when sabs got to the location there was no sign of blood or fur, but rather a very fortunately located badger sett which - we hope - was where the fox had taken refuge! Sure enough, hounds were marking at the sett and desperately trying to claw their way in. The Huntsman, who had made no efforts until this point to call the hounds off, must have realised sabs had witnessed the whole thing and quickly took the hounds away.

They drew a few more coverts on their way back to the meet but whenever hounds went into cry they were loudly rated by hunt members, who appeared increasingly nervous about our cameras and the police presence in the area. Some sabs made the wise decision to stay behind to quietly guard the area around the badger sett until the Hunt packed up. Just as well, as the terriermen 'mysteriously' turned up near the sett a while later. Paul had strangely changed his clothes and seemed surprised to see sabs. Another fox that might have been dug out and killed if sabs hadn't been there. Not to mention the badgers at the sett who would have also been targeted.

The Hunt packed up shortly before 5pm, their frustration clearly showing as they drove away from the meet. A day we had hoped would be an easy one due to the mild weather turned out to be rather more eventful than we had anticipated. At this time of year many foxes will be heavily pregnant. Others are nursing young cubs. What kind of sick person thinks it's OK to not only chase and kill pregnant vixen but also dig into earths that could be harbouring cubs?... Although this was the Taunton Vale's final meet of the season, we will be out until our other Hunts finish. Get in touch to join us or donate via Paypal to devoncountysabs@riseup.net

Pics below -   1/  Paul losing it with a sab    2/  Master tells Huntsman Paul has told sabs they killed    3/  Hunt obstructing traffic on busy road     4/  Seems hunters can't read any better than their hounds 

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Southdown FH follower punches out car window injuring sab

12-3-17  Facebook - South Coast Sabs   Report 11/03/2017 from mid-week hit on Southdown & Eridge Hunt   Sabs from S.Coast and Brighton joined up for a mid-week hit by those who could take time off work. So a small number were able to attend... We parked and dropped off sabs at the main gate to the estate, around 11.10am having seen horseboxes further back near Platchetts Wood (Harvey's Lane), and followed four riders to the estate entrance... Sabs went on footpath into estate grounds to have a look for the meet itself.

Suddenly the S&E usual quad terrier men 1 x rider plus 1 x pillion (no helmets or hats) had pulled up alongside the driver window, and stood by the window swearing and threatening. The pillion rider had gone around the back and checked the back door, it was locked though. Then the rider, followed him around and confronted the passenger through the window.

In very few seconds, after some verbal abusing and shouting, the rider of the quad punched the window and followed through with his elbow which smashed it completely, throwing glass everywhere inside. The passenger sustained cuts to face and hand.

The assailant did not throw another punch nor try to open my (passenger side door), he went back round to his quad and followed us, as we were able just after the smashing of the window, to head off northwards towards the A26. We were followed for about 2km before we lost them. The police were called and two cops, who took details. They suggested we leave with all the sabs since there were no other units available.

Cops left and we left 5 minutes later, only to find an ambulance back on Harveys Lane at Mounts Farm (and gone past two riders with one riderless horse by the estate entrance). This was for the Hunt, and there were lots of support on the road, in vehicles alongside the wood and later at vantage points to watch from. There were perhaps about 15 vehicles on the road watching the whole day. The Hunt spent more time in the woods... and finished at Mount farm.

In all there were at least 5 redcoats, and 25-30 field. Many of the support were much older people but some obviously were working in the area. Near the end of the day, another vehicle towing a farm/logging trailer came face to face with our vehicle, demanding to pass and not giving room for us to manoeuvre, keeping on moving at us and swearing etc. through the window, nearly getting out and threatening us.

Meanwhile, in the field, sabs were with the Hunt the entire time, at the start of the day a rider had fallen and was injured. This had delayed them for some time, but, as usual, they continued to hunt regardless of injuries to riders. Sabs were able to stay with them all day and prevent any kills.

As always we are keen to welcome new sabs, so pleased drop us a line if you are interested on, it’s as mad as it sounds but our wildlife needs protecting. We are of course now raising funds to replace our stolen Land Rover and are looking get in the region of £7,000 to get a vehicle which will last us a long time. Any donations very much appreciated and very much needed. https://www.gofundme.com/new-sabbing-vehicle-for-scoast-sabs  or https://www.paypal.me/SouthCoastHuntSabs .

                                      

Call to boycott Atherstone FH as JM revealed to run pet kennels

12-3-17  Innocent badger.com   Boycott the Atherstone Hunt   Do you want your pet dog or cat looked after by the Atherstone Hunt? Davret Boarding Kennels & Cattery is run by Atherstone Hunt joint master James Sharland and his dad David Sharland, who is also involved in the Hunt.

The Atherstone Hunt are constantly losing control of their hounds, they’ve been documented running all over busy main roads, chasing and killing foxes and rampaging through people’s back gardens that could easily have had pets in them (http://bit.ly/2mPtnrW ). Last season they even chased a dog walker's dog through Battram woods in Ibstock (http://bit.ly/2nsPOQI ). These very same people are running a boarding kennels and cattery to look after people’s pets.

Do you want your pet cat or dog looked after by the notorious Atherstone Hunt, well known for its concern for animal welfare? If you do the details are - Davret Boarding Kennels & Cattery, 8 Station Rd, Elmesthorpe, Leicester, Leics LE9 7SG 

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Another hunting vet is exposed

12-3-17   Facebook - Jan Bee   Another equine vet who is a member of an [allegedly] illegal hunt, Jo Hales, in this case the Bicester Hunt (plenty of proof of illegal hunting online, e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_roHrw13tk . See http://www.buckinghamequinevets.com/jo-hales/

  

Local monitors Axe Vale FH - sees blatant fox hunting

11-3-17   Live Leaks    Illegal hunt in Otterton    The Axe Vale Harriers, with some of the East Devon Hunt were illegally hunting in the Otterton area on 07/03/17.  One rider even tried to intimidate me by riding her horse at me, trying to stop me filming the hounds in cry, trying flush a fox out of a hedge.

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Badsworth FH hounds chase and kill hare near day's end

11-3-17   Facebook - Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs   Today, on a beautiful early spring morning we set off to meet our friends from W.Yorkshire and N.E. Sabs. We would have enjoyed the mild temperatures and flowers blooming in the hedgerows if this hadn't brought with it the knowledge that the foxes Badsworth and Branham Fox Hounds were chasing were paired up and the vixens almost certainly pregnant, some with tiny cubs left to starve if their parents died today. Also there where a large amount of beautiful hares all over the place.

This was B&B's last weekend meet of the season and to be honest we where expecting more than the lacklustre show they did. They left from Hutton Wandesley and trotted about trying to evade sabs. But they where out manouvered at every turn with good use of vehicles and field sabs thwarting them at every attempt to pick up a scent.

Sadly towards the end of the day the hounds lucked on a terrified hare which they killed in front of us. This shows that the huntsman has little or no control over his hounds. Aside from this lost beautiful creature we ruined their day. They packed at 4.30.

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Seavington FH cease season without kills day thanks to antis

11-3-17   Facebook - Dorset Sabs   Hit Report 11/3/17 The Seavington Hunt: Meet at Pilsdon Barn, Dorset   As it was this Hunt's closing meet of the season we decided it would be rude not to see them off!! With information we had been given we arrived early to pre-beat and spray the areas that they were known to go to.SeavingtonFHFoxfleeing11-3-17.jpg After all the end of season speeches had been delivered, they finally set off at 11.45.

So with foot sabs in place, two legendary monitors and spotters in vehicles we were prepared for anything. They headed off towards Laverstock farm before turning to Kings Moor Coppice, already sprayed by sabs earlier. The Huntsman kept on putting the hounds in with no effect, then proceeded to draw along the edges. At this point sabs were told by very cross supporters that a trail had been laid and even pointed where. Couldn't have been a very good one as the hounds went in the opposite direction!!

The Hunt then headed off in the direction of Swillets farm where the hounds picked up the scent and a fox was seen running by sabs in Great Beech Coppice. Using voice calls and the horn the sabs called the whole pack off the fox and straight to them... one Fox saved. Meanwhile a Monitor observed a very healthy fox running and sabs quickly went to spray the area.... second fox saved [right].

SeavingtonFHHunterscoveringfaces11-3-17.jpgFrom here the Huntsman gathered the pack and headed along Great Beech Coppice towards Laverstock Farm, Sabs were there watching so he headed towards Higher Coombe Coppice....Sabs were already there! Seeming very confused he half-heartedly drew along the edge of the copse along the river before gathering them and heading back to Laversham Farm before coming out onto the road... Sabs were there waiting. They headed along the road towards Gerrards Farm all trying to hide their faces from us [left]. Surely they have nothing to hide if they are only trail hunting???

Sabs who had driven round to get ahead of them spotted a very distressed sheep in a field and went to help it, joined by the rather helpful hunt supporter who had been on the trail of our landy all day. The farmer was called to come and do something for the very ill ewe. After screaming at sabs for trying to help the ewe he picked it up with [right] one hand by its neck and threw it into a box on his quad - just shows how emaciated the poor thing was. The Landy rejoined the Hunt at Batts Lane where a fox was marked to ground just behind Batts Farm. Thankfully a monitor close by was able to see that the hounds didn't get a kill.SeavingtonFHFarmerwithsickewe11-3-17.jpg

A team of sabs was then dropped off at Sliding Hill to spray the area as that was thought to be where they were heading and, sure enough, they did after drawing through small copses along the way. With the Huntsman now hunting on foot through the gorse and scrub he looked desperate to get a kill at the final meet. Thanks to the sabs they found nothing and at 4.40pm they ended the season with no kills today.

It may be the end of their season but we still have lives to protect and Hunts to visit. If you would like to help us protect our wildlife then email us at dorsethuntsabs@riseup.com Our Landys have worked very hard this season, and would very much like to have a full service so they are fit and ready to tackle the upcoming Badger murdering spree. If you can give a donation towards this please go here.

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Sab whipped as Fitzwilliam FH stopped from killing foxes

11-3-17 Facebook - Beds & Bucks Sabs After the habitual fox killers (the Fitzwilliam) k