For full stories from 2011/12 season, scroll down to below
this season's entries
For reviews of Hunting Seasons 2010/11 & 2009/10 scroll down further
..... 27th February - Parliamentary answer reveals tiny % of HA prosecutions against
..... 27th February - Dyfed-Powys police identify pack responsible for A40 fox killing
20th February - RSPCA badger sett case against Cheshire FH members fails
..... 18th February - Gruesome LACS pre-ban video shows why Hunting Act must stay
..... 16th February - Hounds savage fox to death on main road
February - Ashford Valley FH JM acquitted of attempted murder, GBH charges
..... 13th February - Fiona Vigar, Cattistock
JM, dies after hunting accident
..... 13th February - N.Yorks fox hunt cause alarm by hunting next to primary
..... 13th February - Labour MP attacks Government over 'tacit support' of hunt law-breaking
..... 7th February - Cattistock FH Field Master critically ill after hunting accident
..... 5th February
- Benighted Heythrop FH suspends hunting after equine herpes outbreak
..... 4th February - Avon Vale FH 'Gang
of Five' trial to start on May 6th
..... 3rd February - RSPCA vigorously defends and explains its Heythrop
Parliamentary answer reveals tiny % of HA prosecutions against Hunts
27-3-13 Angela Smith, the strongly anti-hunt Labour MP, today requested detailed figures for prosecutions
brought under the Hunting Act 2004 for each year since its inception. The answer from a Government spokesman revealed
there have been a total of 330, 38 of which concerned hare coursing events.
The vast majority of these prosecutions
have been brought by the police/CPS but, as we know, only a tiny number of these have been against organised Hunts. Such prosecutions
often have to brought by LACS or the RSPCA.
The figures given did not give any indication of conviction rates. The detail
can be found here.
Welsh A40 fox killer pack identified by police - investigation
Carmarthenshire FH JM bemoans proliferation of 'rogue' foot packs
27.2.13 Carmarthen Journal
Fox attack: Dogs belong to foot hunt INVESTIGATORS say they have identified the hunt
which owns the pack of hounds that appeared to rip apart a fox on a busy Carmarthen road earlier this month.
Dyfed-Powys Police and the RSPCA are now working on a joint investigation into the incident on the A40
near Abergwili on Saturday, February 16. Witnesses travelling on a bus described how they watched in horror as dogs
caught the fox [right].
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said the hounds belonged to a foot hunt, but he would not
say which one. We have taken many statements," he said. "We have identified the hunt and the hunt master. It is
a joint investigation between the police and the RSPCA."
Last week witnesses told the Journal how the dogs came
down from the wooded area above the busy road. One witness.... reported the incident to the League Against Cruel Sports Wildlife Crimewatch line
and said: "I was on the 280 bus from Carmarthen to Llandeilo. "At around 10.30am the bus came to an abrupt halt
half a mile after the roundabout after Abergwili. I saw a pack of what seemed like hunting dogs bounding down from the wooded
hill on to the road where there was oncoming traffic. The dogs seemed to be attacking and surrounding something that was covering
them in blood and then I could just make out the shape of the fox. I could see the pack as clear as day on the other side
of the road, and the attack happened for at least five minutes." …
Police Inspector Craig Templeton said:
"We are conducting an inquiry into the incident and have been in touch with colleagues in the RSPCA who are assisting
us. While we are not making a further appeal for more witnesses we will of course listen to any information brought to us."
28-2-13 Horse & Hound Rebel packs give us a bad
name, says Master ... Carmarthenshire hunt master Mike Watts said... 'We believe it was a rebel
or a gun pack. There are a couple in the area and they are causing us a lot of trouble. It's a growing problem..."
.... Registered packs are regulated by the MFHA, but unregistered packs are accountable. A 2003 Welsh
Assembly report on pre-ban hunting put the number of unregistered packs at three times the number of registered packs,
of which there were 56. The MFHA said it did not wish to comment on the issue at this stage.
says: Monitoring footage suggesting how well 'regulated' the Carmarthenshire and other S.W.Wales hunts
really are can be seen at www.youtube.com/user/westwalesantis. Truth to tell, we've never been able to detect any real effective disciplinary or even moderating effects
of the MFHA's supposed oversight of registered Hunts anywhere. Clearly it will be harder for police or antis to check
on the activities of unregistered packs, but it's hard to believe the hunted animals notice much difference.
RSPCA badger sett case against Cheshire
FH members fails
20-2-13 Daily Mail RSPCA accused of wasting £13,500 of taxpayers' cash and donations after 'flawed'
case against family accused of disturbing a badger sett during hunt collapses.... Farmer Keith Watson
used a terrier to legally flush out a fox last year, before he and his family were then accused of disturbing a badger sett
by the charity. A police raid on their farm followed, with equipment seized, while Mr Watson, his partner Tanya Norlander,
and his teenage daughter Hannah Watson were separated and taken for hour-long interviews at a local police station.
For a year the family has lived under 'extreme stress' and Hannah now 19, was left 'unable to sleep' or study
for her A-levels....
But yesterday the case against them collapsed on the first morning at Crewe Magistrates' Court
after the RSPCA admitted they did not have enough evidence against them to continue.... Mr Watson claims animal activists
had 'hidden behind bushes' to secretly film the activity at a fox's earth - the evidence the later used to try
and prosecute him. He maintains the area was not being used by badgers and that his family was targeted for doing nothing
wrong in an effort to stop the hunt. 'It is a nightmare when you know you are not guilty and you have done nothing
wrong but you are being picked on to make an example of,' he said. 'The RSPCA are not interested in animal welfare,
they are just going after the hunting community. They do not have to pay the bills, it is the taxpayer.' Hannah,
who was eighteen at the time of the raid on her family's Cheshire farm in March last year called the behaviour 'intimidating.'...
Tim Bonner, Director of Campaigns at the Countryside Alliance, accused the animal charity of pursuing a 'vindictive
campaign' against legal hunts based on 'weak and flawed' evidence. 'It is simply disgraceful that the
RSPCA is using the criminal justice system to pursue a vindictive campaign against the hunting community,' he said. There
is no way on earth that the police and CPS would have prosecuted on such flawed and weak evidence, but the RSPCA pursued Mr
Watson and his family simply because they were part of the Cheshire Hunt.' He added the RSPCA also have two other
ongoing cases connected to hunts in the North West and Wiltshire, one of which also involves interfering with a badger sett.
The news comes as the Charities Commission questioned the RSPCA's use of its own funds to bring prosecutions after a
judge criticised the charity for spending £326,000 prosecuting David Cameron's local hunt the Heythrop. The charity
pointed out that the case against Mr Watson was reviewed against the Code for Crown Prosecutors and at all stages leading
up to the trial, it had been considered appropriate to prosecute. 'The RSPCA believes that if it is presented with
evidence of alleged offences concerning animal cruelty they should be properly investigated and prosecuted where appropriate,'
a spokesman said. 'It is extremely rare that RSPCA cases conclude like this. We prosecute roughly 1 per cent of the incidents
we are asked to investigate and have a success rate of around 98 per cent.'
Gruesome LACS pre-ban video shows why Hunting Act must
18-2-13 LACS Press Release League releases shocking pre-ban film on eigth anniversary
of Hunting Act The League Against Cruel Sports is today releasing a new film to highlight the cruelty
associated with hunting to coincide with the eight year anniversary of the historic Hunting Act 2004. In what the charity
are calling ‘their most shocking film to date', 'Don't Turn the Clock back
to Cruelty', shows the brutal reality of hunting with dogs before the passing of the Act on 18th February
2005. The leading anti-hunting charity, decided that it was time to release the film after the Secretary of State, Owen Patterson,
made it clear that he and pro hunt MPs would be working behind the scenes to repeal the Act, to bring back hare coursing and
fox, deer, mink and hare hunting, which were all banned by the Act.
Spilt into six main sections, the film depicts what
happens in each of these activities, including how these wild animals are hunted, chased to exhaustion before being caught
and how they are ragged to death by baying hounds. In several parts of the film the viewer will witness the extreme
determination by the hunts to get their trophy kill, including the digging up of foxes seeking refuge underground and hounds swimming after and surrounding an exhausted stag forced
to enter a river in an attempt to escape. The film highlights the full extent of the cruelty behind hunting, also showing
how hunt hounds and horses are victimised.
Joe Duckworth, the League Against Cruel Sports' Chief Executive explains:
"There are no words strong enough to describe the bloodthirsty out and out cruelty exposed in this film. While we do
not want to upset viewers, we feel it is important that the public see for themselves what turning the clock back to a time
of legalised cruelty would look like." The Hunting Act took over eighty years of campaigning by the League and other animal welfare organisations
to secure. Eight years on from the Act being passed and 237 prosecutions later, the League is today celebrating the
success of the important piece of wildlife legislation by raising awareness of what would happen if the Act were to be repealed.
Joe Duckworth concludes: "Sadly, the Hunting Act has never been so at risk. The Secretary of State has openly voiced
his determination to see these barbaric blood sports return. So, while we celebrate the Act's eighth anniversary, we are
calling on the public and MPs alike to watch our film today so we can all remember why the Act is so vital. We must keep this
cruelty history for good."
Some stills from the film:-
upper - Dug-out fox thrown to hounds by terrierman
Above left - Young male deer being savaged to death by hounds
Above right, lower - Hare ends as tug-of-war rope at coursing meet
Hounds savage fox to death on main road in Carmarthenshire
Passer-by in bus snaps the
carnage in lay-by on the A40
One of the hounds reported to have been killed by car
19-2-13 Daily Mail Horror of bus passengers as they see pack of hounds ripping fox to pieces by side of busy
main road 'in breach of hunting ban'
- Bus passenger caught distressing images
as hounds chased fox into road
- Dogs attacked the whimpering fox after running into road in West
- Police are investigating the incident and studying CCTV from the bus
- Master of local hunt has denied responsibility, saying its foxhounds were 20 miles away
passengers on a bus watched in horror as a pack of hunting hounds ripped a terrified fox to bits on a busy main road [right].
The exhausted fox had been chased across country when it ran onto the road - where the ten hounds pounced. An outraged bus passenger used his mobile phone to
take a picture of the grisly scene which he posted on Facebook. Onlookers had to put their hands over their ears as the ten
baying hounds attacked the whimpering adult fox.
Police were today investigating the fox 'kill' on the A40 in
the village of Abergwilli, near Carmarthen, West Wales. One of the hounds was also killed when it was hit by a car as it followed
the fox onto the country road. The passenger said on Facebook: 'This morning on the A40 just coming out of Abergwili a
group of hunting dogs came running down from the forest on the hill onto the busy road with a fox and started tearing it to
pieces. One of the dogs was hit and killed by a car in the process and it was one the most horrible things to experience.
If anybody knows who these dogs belong to and whether or not there was a hunt organised for this morning please contact the
police. These people need to be sent down.' The photograph was posted anonymously to the Spotted Carmarthen Facebook group.
Police investigating the incident are studying CCTV from a security camera mounted on the front of the bus.
The local Carmarthenshire Hunt yesterday denied responsibility saying its pack of foxhounds were 20 miles away at
the time. Joint Carmarthenshire huntmaster Martin Walters said: 'Our hounds were 20 miles away in the village of Pendine
when this happened. 'We are a registered pack and we are regularly monitored. In fact we were being monitored by the National
Trust on Saturday when this happened.' Mr Walters said unlicensed hunting with foxhounds was going on in the area. He
said: 'There are so many rebel packs at the moment - it's getting ridiculous. These hounds could have come in from
anywhere by people hunting on foot having a day out in the area.' Joint huntmaster Lee Facey said: 'The Carmarthenshire
Hunt was at a meet in Pendine, accompanied by animal rights campaigners and a police officer. 'No hunt would plan to take
their hounds onto a road like that. I imagine that whoever was involved would have been operating within the law but that
the dogs had gone off in what has ended up in this unfortunate incident. Obviously we realise it doesn't look good but
I am sure whoever is involved in this would be full of remorse.'
The Hunting Act 2004 made
hunting with dogs a criminal offence, although exercising hounds, chasing a scent trail and flushing out foxes to be shot
are all still legal. But animal rights campaigners claim loopholes in the law are continually being exploited. A spokeswoman
for The League Against Cruel Sports said: 'Wales and the Welsh borders are hotspots for this type of reckless behaviour.
Reported incidences of hunt havoc and so called accidents indicate that some hunts in that area are
going out intentionally to hunt wild mammals with dogs.'
A Dyfed-Powys Police spokeswoman said: 'We are investigating
an incident which happened on the A40 shortly after 10.30am Saturday, February 16. 'As part of the investigation officers
have been speaking with witnesses and members of the hunt to establish what happened. These inquiries are ongoing and it would
be inappropriate to comment further at this point.'
The incident was also reported by Wales Online, This is South Wales, Daily Telegraph and others
Ashford Valley FH JM acquitted
of attempted murder, GBH charges
Could still be jailed for illegal possession of firearm
14-2-13 Daily Mirror Married huntmaster cleared of shooting ex-lover but could still be jailed for lack of firearm
licence A married huntmaster was cleared yesterday of shooting his showjumper ex-lover after their
five-year affair. Brian Fraser [left], 63, was found not guilty of the attempted murder of Louise Leggatt, 55, and
also of causing her grievous bodily harm with intent. He was alleged to have been enraged at the end of his romance with Louise
- who the court heard was known in hunting circles as ‘Leg-Over Leggatt'. The verdicts came after a jury spent five and a half hours deliberating, following a two-week
trial at Maidstone Crown Court. But Fraser had already admitted possessing a firearm without a licence and was warned by the
judge he could still be sent to prison. Judge Charles Byers said: "You are at risk of serving a custodial sentence. I
have never come across such a lackadaisical and irresponsible attitude towards firearms, particularly for someone who is described
as a countryman." He bailed him him to return to court on March 18 to be sentenced over that matter. The judge also told
Fraser not to have any contact with Louise or her two grown-up sons Ben and William, saying: "I am considering a restraining
order which even in the face of an acquittal I can make."
Fraser showed no emotion as the verdicts were delivered
but there were cheers and cries of ‘Yes' from his family and friends in the public gallery, including his forgiving
wife Nanette who looked tearful. Louise, who was in court, held her head in her hands and looked shattered. She was shot outside
her secluded rented farmhouse home in Benenden, Kent, in March last year, as she went to tend her horses. She suffered shotgun
injuries to her pelvis and leg, and underwent surgery to remove some of the pellets....
Leaving Maidstone Crown Court
after the verdict, Brian's wife Nanette Fraser said: "There's a lot I could say. I'm just relieved it's
all over and we can get back to living together." Mr Fraser's solicitor Toby Burrough read a statement outside
the court yesterday, saying; "Mr Fraser has always maintained his innocence in respect of the charges he faced. He is
thankful to the jury for reaching the verdict they did. He is obviously tremendously relieved at the outcome today. He would
like to thank those who have stood by him and supported him through this case. It has been a tremendously stressful occasion
for both him and his family.....
Fiona Vigar, JM of the Cattistock
FH, dies following accident while hunting
13-2-13 Daily Mail
Hunt master, 43, dies in hospital three weeks after being thrown from her horse and hitting her head on the ground...
The field master of a fox hunt has died three weeks after falling from her horse while riding with a pack of hounds. Fiona
Vigar, 43, who was a former joint master of the Cattistock Hunt in Dorset, came off her horse while riding through a village
and suffered a serious head injury. Locals rushed to her aide and she was airlifted to hospital in Bristol but never regained
consciousness and passed away on Sunday evening. Mrs Vigar, who had hunted with the group from a very young age, was acting
as field master with the Cattistock Hunt when the accident happened on January 24.
Her friends and family paid tribute,
describing her as someone who was passionate about country sports. Friend Liz Elliott said she would be dearly missed in the
hunting community. She added: 'Fiona was a really good friend, I have known her for about 25 years and she was probably
my best pal. She will never be forgotten, everywhere I go in the countryside reminds me of a conversation we would have had
there'. Mrs Vigar, from Cerne Abbas, Dorset, had raised money in the past for air ambulance charities after being treated
following a previous accident.
Her husband, Chris, and sister Penelope Cobbold thanked medical staff, the air ambulance
and well-wishers for their help and support. They said in a statement: 'Fiona has left a huge void in many people's
life, but she would not want anybody to dwell on this tragedy. Life was always for living in her case, and that is what she
would want those that remember her to carry on doing. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from friends
and the local community in general and would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those people'.
was airlifted from Loders near Bridport and taken to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol where she was put into a coma and had immediate
brain surgery. But after almost three weeks in hospital she died. Mrs Vigar was born in Dorset but had a successful career
working for the Ministry of Agriculture in Whitehall before returning in the late 1990s. She went on to work in agricultural
merchanting for Banks Agriculture, Cargill and Frontier Agriculture, and had travelled extensively around the world.
N.Yorks fox hunt cause anger and alarm by hunting right next to primary school
York Press School's anger after fox hunt scare PUPILS at a North Yorkshire
primary school had to be kept indoors when a fox ran into the playground as a hunting party rode nearby. The riders and hounds
appeared in fields next to Linton-on-Ouse Primary School [right] and children who had been preparing for their afternoon
break were not allowed outside until teachers were sure the hunt had moved on, after the appearance of the wild animal and
the dogs sparked safety concerns. Head teacher Morag McLoughlin said the hunt should not have come so close to the school, with parents and children being told about what
happened at an assembly the following day. Fox-hunting is illegal, but one parent said he believed the hunters may have inadvertently
"frightened" the animal and accused them of "arrogance", saying it was lucky the children were not outside
when the fox came on to the school grounds.
Mrs McLoughlin said she saw about four riders and a dozen hounds close to
the Linton Woods Lane school just after 2pm last Thursday, while she was teaching. She said: "Lots of hounds were running
down the side of the field, so I went out and called for one of the riders to come towards me so I could ask them to move
away. He didn't and rode off in a different direction, and I was told horses and hounds had also been seen in a field
behind the school and a fox had run across the front playground. The hunt did not come on to the school site, but we did not
allow pupils out for their break until we knew all the hounds had gone, because children's health and safety is paramount.
We would have much preferred the hunt to keep away from this area. I'm sure they feel they are in control of their hounds,
but that cannot be guaranteed. It can also bring up questions from children about what happens with hunting." Mrs McLoughlin
said the school had not decided what further steps, if any, to take.
One parent, who did not wish to be named, said his
son seemed "upset" when he was picked up from school that day, saying: "The sheer arrogance of carrying on
a hunt when you enter a private estate appals me, but it really beggars belief they allowed it go on so close to a primary
school. Children may have been at risk from a frightened, agitated wild animal. Two minutes later and they would have been
in the playground when the fox passed by." It is not yet known which hunt was in the area at the time, with local hunts
not responding when contacted by The Press.
POWAPerson adds; Judging from the location, the Hunt
involved was probably the York and Ainsty South FH. It's a stretch to believe they had laid a trail so close to a school,
so what were they doing there, in close proximity to a fleeing fox?
Labour MP attacks Government over 'tacit support' for hunt law-breaking Chris Williamson,
a former Chairman and current trustee of the League Against Cruel Sports, now MP for Derby North, secured an adjournment debate
in the Commons and used it to assail Government attitudes toward the Hunting Act.
MSN News 'Blind eye' turned to hunt violence The hunting
ban is too often being ignored because the Government has given its tacit support to the blood sport, a Labour MP has claimed.
Chris Williamson [right] said a "significant minority" of supporters were physically assaulting those who
set out to monitor whether illegal hunts were taking place but the police were turning a blind eye because ministers had not issued clear guidelines that the ban
introduced in 2005 needed to be enforced. The MP, a trustee for the League Against Cruel Sports and a press officer for the
Hunt Saboteurs Association in the 1970s, said he was "delighted" by the ban when it came into force. But the MP
told the House of Commons the Government needed to give the police clear instructions to maintain the law.
North MP said: "Hunt violence and hunt havoc continue to blight the lives of ordinary people living in and visiting our
beautiful countryside. I have to say that I have been genuinely shocked by the evidence that has been passed to me about the
behaviour of these common criminals. "Anti-social behaviour, intimidation, harassment, and even violence towards those
even monitoring their activities are all too commonplace," he added. "I couldn't believe that the violence and
intimidation that I witnessed in the 1970s is even worse today."
Turning to Home Office Minister Damian Green, he
added: "Will you state for the record that as far as this government's concerned, no-one is above the law? And do
you agree with me that the mixed messages from senior government ministers could be misinterpreted by some people as tacit
approval to break the law? Will you urge your senior colleagues, including the Prime Minister, to stop criticising the Hunting
Mr Green said that since the ban came in to force nearly eight years ago, there had been more than 70,000
hunting days. Between 2005 and 2011 there had been 332 prosecutions, of which 239 people were found guilty. But he said he
could not direct police forces to clamp down on hunting. Mr Green said: "I should point out to you as gently as I can
that it is not for ministers to tell chief constables how to do their job. One of things that we most cherish about British
policing is that the police are operationally independent. There is not a single police officer in the country doesn't
know that the Hunting Act is the law of the land. It is up to the police to decide what resources they use to enforce the
Cattistock FH Field Master
Fiona Vigar critically ill after hunting accident
7-2-13 Horse and Hound Cattistock field master
critically ill after fall on road Cattistock field master Fiona Vigar remains critically
ill following a hunting fall on 24 January. Mrs Vigar, 43, was leading joint-master and huntsman Will Bryer’s
horse along a road in Loders, Dorset, when her horse slipped. She fell, hitting her head on the newly tarmacked road.
Surgeons at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, operated to remove a blood clot and she is being kept in a medically-induced coma.
Will Bryer said he hoped that Fiona — a former joint-master — would "muster that incredibly strong character
that we all know and love to pull herself back to us". She is, he added, "a mainstay of the hunt".
Benighted Heythrop FH suspends hunting after equine herpes outbreak
Oxford Mail Heythrop Hunt cancels meets due to horse virus outbreak THE
Heythrop Hunt has cancelled its meets for at least a week after cases of equine herpes broke out in the area the hunt covers.
The virus, which can be life-threatening, has been found in four horses stabled at a yard near Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire,
close to the hunt's headquarters in Chipping Norton. A number of members of the hunt keep horses at the yard.
Anyone who rode out with the Heythrop last week is being advised to isolate their horse, check its temperature morning
and evening, and contact a vet if they suspect the animal could be infected. Symptoms of the infection can include respiratory
problems, coughing, nasal discharge, a raised or spiking temperature and lack of interest in food. The infected horses are
reported to be responding to treatment and vet Tom Campbell is trying to trace the source of the outbreak...
Avon Vale FH 'Gang of Five'
to face trial in April
POWA understands that the trial of
five members of the Hunt on Hunting and Badger Act charges will begin on May 6th at Swindon Magistrates Court. The case is
being brought by the RSPCA and, unusually, does not rely on monitor video evidence. The charges relate to an incident
that took place last month near Calne, Wiltshire last month. The reports below provide further details.
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald Former huntmaster vows to fight badger sett charges Five
members of the Avon Vale Hunt, including a Wiltshire councillor, have appeared in court charged with breaching the Hunting
Act 2004. Joshua Charlesworth, 18, from East Tytherton; Benjamin Pethers, 28, from Hoopers Pool, Southwick; Stuart
Radbourne, 28, from The Common, Bromham; Paul Tylee-Hinder, 58, of Quemerford, Calne and Jonathon Seed, 54, of Chittoe Heath,
Bromham all denied the breach when they appeared before magistrates in Chippenham on Tuesday. Four of them denied an additional charge
of intefering with a badger sett, though Mr Radbourne, one of the joint hunt masters, indicated a guilty plea to that charge.
The case has been brought by the RSPCA and refers to incidents alleged to have taken place on March 6 this year at Stockley
Hollow, near Calne... Mr Seed, Wiltshire councillor for Summerham and Seend and a former hunt master, said he intended
to fight the allegation against him. In a statement outside court he said: "This is a private prosecution by the
RSPCA and I believe that is has been commenced for political reasons as their stance against hunting is well known and it
is of great significance that Wiltshire Police, after advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, declined to take this case
forward. In my opinion these proceedings are an abuse of the private prosecution system which needs to be addressed in
due course. I totally deny the allegations of any offence against the Hunting Act and there is simply no evidence of either
myself or any of the other defendants or anyone else being involved in any illegal hunting on the day in question."
Pic above:- Former senior Master Jonathan Seed getting a bit aerated when confronted by POWA's Denise Ward at a
Boxing Day meet at Lacock.
8-3-12 Wiltshire Gazette &
Herald Hunt denies disturbing sett at Stockley
Police were called to Stockley after reports that members of the Avon Vale Hunt were digging at a badger sett. A member of
the public called the RSPCA claiming four men, accompanied by terrier-like dogs, were digging in a field in the quiet hamlet,
near Calne, at about 3.30pm on Tuesday - hunt day in the area. The RSPCA in turn contacted the police who sent units to the
scene. PC Hans Monahan, of Calne Police, said: "A member of the public reported
seeing some digging taking place around a badger sett, which straddled the hedgerow between two fields in Stockley. "Units
arrived at the scene and examined the area and suspected the offences of disturbing a badger sett. They spoke to four males
and took their details. Officers have invited the men for interview. Enquiries are still ongoing." Police
said all four men were from the west.
The hunt has denied any wrongdoing and said it is helping police with their enquiries.
It is thought that, while the men were being spoken to by officers, one of the dogs appeared from within the sett and was
wearing a tracking device. The RSPCA was also looking into the incident and police called for a badger expert to examine the
scene yesterday so they could confirm it was a fresh, communal sett....
RSPCA vigorously defends and explains its Heythrop prosecution The
Daily Telegraph responded to the RSPCA's recent announcement that they intended to complain to the PCC about the series
of scurrilous articles published by the newspaper concerning the Society's recent prosecution of the Heythrop FH by giving
Gavin Grant, RSPCA CEO [left], right of reply. His statement is mostly contained in a video embedded in the online version of the print article below, which itself contains only a small
fraction of it.
In a separate Telegraph article, Mr. Grant was also quoted as saying that a 'legal defence fund' that they set up just before the Heythrop convictions
has already received donations of £160,000. He also added that he has "... written to major land owners and to the various hunt trade bodies suggesting to them that it would be timely to form
properly constituted trail and drag hunting association to ensure that hunts were acting within the law."
Daily Telegraph RSPCA: There are no political prosecutions RSPCA chief executive Gavin
Grant says it prosecutes "because people break the law" not for political motives. The animal welfare charity already
faces allegations of political bias after spending £326,000 prosecuting members of the Heythrop Hunt.
Prime Minister David Cameron is a local MP in the area and had previously ridden with the Heythrop
Hunt before law was changed to ban fox-hunting. The hunt and its members were fined £6,800 after admitting four charges
of unlawfully hunting a wild fox with dogs. The judge in the case drew attention to the fact that the private prosecution
cost nearly 10 times more than the defence costs of £35,000. Mr Grant denied the charity was pursuing a politically
motivated case against the Heythrop.
He said: "The RSPCA prosecutes because people break the law in abusing animals.
The evidence that was brought to us of the the Heythrop Hunt's activities showed a very clear pattern of gratuitous, repeated
and clearly knowing breeches of the Hunting Act of 2005. The RSPCA is motivated as it has been for 188 years by the interests
of animal welfare. There are no political prosecutions by the RSPCA. It could not happen, it would not happen and certainly
would not happen under my watch."
30th January - Kent hunt master on trial for attempted murder of his former lover
..... 29th January - NT bans Heythrop
from hunting on its land from end of season
..... 22nd January - RSPCA complains to PCC re. Telegraph 'smears'
after Heythrop prosecution
..... 3rd January - Scottish Hunt accused of illegal killing of fox on Boxing Day
hunt master on trial for attempted murder of former lover 30-1-13 Daily Mail
Spurned huntsman, 63, 'hid in bushes outside horsewoman's home and shot her after she ended their affair' -
Brian Fraser accused of trying to kill former lover, 54 - Court told he hid in bushes outside her farmhouse before shooting
her - 63-year-old denies attempted murder but admitted possessing a firearm without a licence
A marrried master of fox hounds shot his ex-lover after she rejected his bid to rekindle their romance, a court heard yesterday.
Brian Fraser [right] is accused of attempting to murder showjumper Louise Leggatt ‘in a fit of pique'
after she declined to let him watch a horse race with her on television at her house. Days later, Miss Leggatt, 54,
was blasted by a shotgun as she went to tend to her horses. Two months earlier, an arson attack had gutted her detached home [below left] in the exclusive Kent
village of Benenden, forcing her to rent another property next door. The divorced mother of two had a five-year affair with
Fraser after they met through the Ashford Valley Hunt in Kent in 2006, Maidstone Crown Court heard. They split up in
October 2011 when Fraser, 64, went back to live with his wife in Shadoxhurst near Ashford. But last year he bought Valentine's
Day flowers for Miss Leggatt, the court heard. Then, a few days before the shooting last March, he brought
her a box of chocolates when he arrived to help her move some boxes.
Ian Acheson, prosecuting, said: ‘He tried
to give her a cuddle or kiss. She did not reciprocate. They went back to her home where she made him coffee and they chatted.
These people are fond of horses and members of the hunt and it was the Cheltenham Festival. Louise said that as she was working,
she would record the Gold Cup at which Fraser suggested that he come round and they watch it together over a Chinese. When
she declined that suggestion, he was miffed and made a jibe or barbed comment as he was leaving.'
Six minutes before
leaving his house on the night of the shooting, the court heard, Fraser sent Miss Leggatt a text message, angrily telling
her not to ‘make any excuses' about not watching the Gold Cup the following day with him. Mr Acheson said:
‘In a fit of pique, and with the Gold Cup reunion dragged from under his feet, he sent a text message before trying to kill her, a woman
who was causing him pain and rage.' The court heard that the master of fox hounds lied to police twice, having initially
denied owning a shotgun and that he had left his house on the night of the shooting. But a shotgun and cartridges found
at his farm were compatible with the weapon with which Miss Leggatt was shot, and Fraser was captured on his own CCTV leaving
his home around the time of the shooting, the court heard.
Fraser denies attempting to murder Miss Leggatt on March 15,
2012. She was left with fragments of shot in her bowel and pelvis, but has made a good recovery. Mr Acheson told the
court that Miss Leggatt was at her house that night in Benenden, which is home to the public school of the same name where
Princess Anne was educated. He said: ‘At about 9.30pm she was going to go outside to tend to her horses. She emerged
and turned on the patio lights. Her dog was barking and had clearly seen something. His hackles were up. She shone a torch
but before she could see or did see anything, she screamed as she realised she'd been shot.' Initially, Miss
Leggatt accused her ex-husband Philip Gorringe, as she blamed him for the arson attack. He was arrested, but Fraser
was later arrested and charged. The trial continues.
Daily Mail Former showjumper sobs as she relives 'terrifying' moment gunman shot her and
she dragged herself inside home to call police The shooting, at about 9.30pm
last March, happened two months after arsonists attacked her home, forcing her to rent another property next door to where
the shooting happened in the Kent village of Benenden. At Maidstone Crown Court, Mrs Leggatt - who worked in a veterinary
surgery - fought back tears as she recalled how a gunman opened fire. She said: 'Every evening before I go to bed,
I always check my horses to give them some hay and make sure that they are all right. I always go to see the horses between
9 and 10 at night. The patio door was locked..... I opened the door and stepped outside to see that my dog was in the
corner of the garden, very upset, very angry and barking, not like he normally is with a rabbit or a fox.... I didn't
get very far on to the patio and, as I shone the torch across the garden and shut the patio door at the same time, I was shot.'
Ms Leggatt, a mother of two, said she could not see anyone. She said: 'First of all, I heard the sound and then I had
a horrendous pain in my leg and hip, and I realised what had happened.' Her experience of going on shoots and of
her sons' involvement with clay pigeon shooting led her to believe she had been targeted with a shotgun. She went on to
describe the frantic moments that followed as she crawled back into the house through the partly-opened patio door to try
to raise the alarm. 'I pulled the door to but I didn't manage to lock it. I was just desperate to get to a phone,'
she said. 'My mobile phone had been hit because it was in my pocket so I crawled across the dining room where the
house phone was and I managed to get the phone and dial 999.' Describing the thoughts running through her head at
the time, she told the jury: 'I was absolutely terrified. I had never been so terrified in all my life. I was really really
scared that whoever had done it was going to come back in and I couldn't get back to lock the door.' Mrs Leggatt
said it 'seemed like forever' for paramedics to arrive as an emergency operator told her a firearms unit would have
to be deployed first. 'I was aware that my leg was bleeding very badly and there was a lady on the end of the line who
was very, very kind,' she told jurors. 'She said that a firearms unit had to come and the paramedics couldn't
come until the firearms unit had arrived. I was just so scared.'
She was stretchered to an ambulance and taken to
Pembury Hospital in Tunbridge Wells but still felt her attacker might try to reach her again. Mrs Leggatt said the wounds
have healed but she has a large scar on her stomach where she was operated on and scarring on her leg. Some shotgun pellets
remain in her leg, causing her 'shooting pain' as they sit by her sciatic nerve. She also said she has suffered
a loss of feeling below her knee.
She told how she met Fraser socially through hunting circles in the early 2000s. Mrs
Leggatt, who finalised a divorce from her husband Philip Gorringe in 2007, moved in with Fraser. She explained that over time
their relationship hit difficulties. She said: 'He spent a lot of time at his farm, an unreasonable amount of time. We
spent very little time at weekends, he always seemed to have something else on or something more important to do. We just
spent no time together and our relationship just died.'.... Fraser left Mrs Leggatt's home in November 2011, telling
her that he was moving in with an older couple who had difficulties looking after their sheep.
After a couple of weeks,
Fraser started telephoning her, asking her to meet him. She said: 'I was quite upset that the relationship had deteriorated.
But by the time he had moved out, I was relieved he had gone because his behaviour had become quite strange. His behaviour
frightened me on a few occasions.'.... Mrs Leggatt said Fraser had a 'foul temper'. She said: 'On a
couple of occasion he did hurt me. He had such a foul temper that it could be sparked off by nothing in particular, and then
it was as if it never happened.'
Despite attempts by Fraser to woo her back with regular phone calls and text messages,
Mrs Leggatt said she resisted renewing their relationship. 'I said "no", we can remains friends but that
is all,' she said. Describing his reaction to the arson attack on her home two months before the shooting, she said
she was surprised that he did not give her emotional support.... On Valentine's Day, he bought her a large bunch of flowers,
something she described as 'very unusual'. He kept trying to maintain contact with her. Mrs Leggatt said: 'He
knew where I was and what I was doing a bit too much.' The trial continues.
National Trust bans Heythrop FH from hunting its land after end of season 29-1-13 National Trust Facebook Heythrop Hunt statement
The Heythrop Hunt is licensed to trail hunt on National Trust land in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. In light of the
fact that members of this group have recently been convicted of illegal fox hunting, the Trust has decided not to renew the
hunt’s licences when they expire on 31 March 2013.
A National Trust spokesman said: "We are very much aware
of the importance of countryside traditions and we allow field sports to take place on our property where they are traditionally
practised, providing they are within the law and are compatible with the Trust’s purposes. These include public access
and the protection of rare animals and birds and fragile habitats. Whilst the illegal activity in this case did not
take place on land we own, we consider it to be a serious breach of trust. The conviction has given us major cause for concern
about how the hunt runs its activities, which is why we will not renew the hunt’s license at the end of March.
We have spoken to the hunt and also followed up in writing to make it clear that they will need to work closely with our local
teams to rebuild our confidence in how they run their activities before we can consider an application to renew their trail
hunting license. The Trust is a charitable body and does not take a political position either for or against field sports."
6-2-13 Daily Mirror Tally no! National Trust bans David Cameron's local hunt from its land
David Cameron’s local hunt is to be barred from riding over land owned by the National Trust after it was convicted
of hunting a fox with dogs. The Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire was fined £4,000 with £15,000 costs. A National Trust
spokesman said: "We consider this conviction to be a serious breach of trust. It gave us major cause for concern about
how the hunt runs its activities. They need to work closely with us to rebuild our confidence."
Magistrates at Oxford saw film of a hound with a dead fox in its mouth. The Prime Minister rode with the Heythrop hunt
in his Witney constituency before fox hunting became illegal in 2005. The Trust spokesman added: "We are
aware of the importance of countryside traditions and allow field sports where they are traditionally practised, providing
they are within the law."
POWAPerson adds: One wonders why the NT did not withdraw
the Heythrop's existing licence for this season, as they did after the Senior Master and a terrierman of the Meynell FH
were found guilty of illegal hunting last year. One also notes they have left the door open for the Heythrop to renew if they
can convince that NT that they've mended their ways - and wonders how much convincing they'd actually need.
It is true that none of the Hunting Act offences to which the Heythrop and two of its members pleaded guilty took place on
NT land, but the incident that was subject to one of the other charges they were arraigned on did. This, and the other 7 charges,
were only dropped because of the last-minute agreement by the Heythrop to plead guilty to two counts. Monitors believe the
evidence in this case was quite as strong as that on the counts to which they pleaded guilty and would probably have resulted
in convictions of those charged had it been proceeded with.
to PCC over Telegraph 'smears' following Heythrop prosecution
22-1-13 RSPCA Press Release
RSPCA makes formal complaint to PCC The RSPCA has started the formal process of making a complaint
against the Daily Telegraph newspaper to the Press Complaints Commission after it failed to print an apology or offer a right
to reply after printing a series of potentially defamatory articles. The RSPCA says the stories are factually
incorrect and reflect biased and unbalanced reporting style. The articles show clear support for the political agenda
of the Countryside Alliance in seeking the return of blood sports. In their factual inaccuracies and bias they are not consistent
with high standards of journalism
The RSPCA is referring in particular to the stories claiming the RSPCA broke charity
rules over the successful prosecution of a hunt and saying that the RSPCA was warned on hunt prosecutions by the Charity Commission.
The Charity Commission has been clear that no rules have been broken, no warning has been issued and at no stage have they
investigated the RSPCA. RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: "These stories are a sustained attack on the RSPCA.
The facts are that we have always and will continue to only act in the interests of the animals. We simply want the truth
to be heard. The Daily Telegraph is entitled to its editorial position in support of blood sports despite the overwhelming
public rejection of that view. They are not entitled to produce factually inaccurate articles that smear the good name of
Scottish Hunt accused of illegal killing of fox on Boxing Day
3-1-13 Galloway News Hunt accused
of killing fox illegally A fox was found ripped to shreds after a traditional Boxing Day hunt.
A woman who was out walking her dog on Thursday was horrified to discover the remains of the animal lying by the side of a
road near Gatehouse. She contacted police over fears that the fox could have been killed illegally during the hunt.
However a spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said the incident is not being treated as suspicious although it
has been reported to council environmental health officers.
The dog walker described the sight of the dead fox as "horrific".
She said: "I found it at an area known locally as The Cape, between the town’s war memorial and tennis courts.
"The carcass was in such a mess and it was an horrific sight. "I walk the dog round there practically every day
and I can say for absolute certain that there were no animal remains there the day before the hunt. "What made it even
more suspicious was the fact there were a lot of hoof marks in the grass round the carcass. I don’t have any detailed
understanding of the hunting legislation, but I do know that actually killing the fox is against the law these days, so I
phoned the police when I got back home. The remains weren’t there the next day. I don’t know if the police had
removed them for evidence, if some scavenger had dragged them away, or if another disgusted walker had thrown them over the
hedge so no one had to see them any more."
Andrew Cook, master and huntsman of Dumfries and Stewartry Foxhounds
group, insisted that they were not involved in the killing of the fox found by the walker. He said: "There were eight
guns out and we killed two foxes, which is allowed under the law. The foxes were shot. "We did run into the woods briefly
which was unfortunate.The dogs are allowed to flush the foxes from cover, which is legal under the law, and sometimes this
does result in them touching the fox."
Ian Beaumont, of national animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel
Sports, said they had been "inundated" with calls from all over the country regarding hunting on Boxing Day. He
said: "We are currently processing the calls we’ve had and we are grateful to the person who reported this incident
to The Galloway News and to the newspaper for bringing it to our attention."
29th December - Hound caught red-faced suggests the C&H may still be at it
..... 27th December - LACS says they are
preparing to prosecute three more Hunts
..... 27th December - CPS moves to try to defend its abysmal record on Hunt prosecutions
..... 26th December - Southdown/Eridge FH thugs attacked & hospitalised sab, says HSA
..... 26th December - Paterson
admits they don't have the votes to repeal the Hunting Act
..... 26th December - New polling shows support for fox
hunting down to all time low of 15%
..... 24th December - Charities Commision rejects pro-hunt moan about RSPCA Heythrop
..... 22nd December - 'Hunt Watch' scheme proposed for Cumbria
..... 20th December - Ross Harriers
JM/Huntsman convicted of racial abuse is to appeal
..... 17th December - Heythrop FH, ex JM and former Huntsman
plead guilty to illegal hunting charges
..... 13th December - Albrighton FH Huntsman Ray Shaw is found dead at his home
,,,,, 10th December - Eglington FH had to pay ex-huntsman £40,000 after years of 'slave
..... 9th December
- Sir Patrick Moore, CBE - doughty anti-hunt campaigner - passes away
...... 8th December - Sabs claim film shows Old Surrey FH hunting fox and refusing to call off hounds
8th December - Sab ridden down by hunter at Tedworth FH - airlifted to hospital
..... 7th December - Shocked
resident sees N.Ledbury hounds chasing fawn across his land
..... 7th December - Assault on sabs case against
Mid-Devon FH rider dropped by CPS
Hound caught red-faced suggest Crawley & Horsham FH may still be at it
Hunt Sabs blog Today saboteurs from the south
visited the Crawley and Horsham Hunt who were having a young peoples meet near Coolham, Sussex. Despite the field being mostly children,
the recent convictions and media attention on illegal hunting nationally, the Hunt continued to pursue foxes as normal, with
hounds in cry from the very start.
Saboteurs were however able to intervene throughout the day, allowing numerous foxes
to get away to safety and keep the hunt on the run and unable to kill. However despite this at the start of the day
one hound was spotted [see photo] with blood on its face and one huntsman commenting "Well done Nick, that was quite
fast that one". Frustrated with cameras and the determination of sabs who stuck to the hunt all day, the hunt called
it a day, packing up at a very early 1.30! One likely kill but thanks to saboteur action many foxes were saved and the hunt
made an early retreat, clearly worried about another conviction ...
Hunting Act cases against anther three Hunts
Daily Mirror Hunters are hunted: Campaigners claim three hunts still kill foxes with hounds despite ban
Animal rights groups say some are ignoring the ban and continuing to allow dogs to savage the helpless animals. Furious
animal rights campaigners last night vowed to flush out hunting groups who break the law and use dogs to kill foxes. The League
Against Cruel Sports claim some are simply ignoring the ban and continuing the barbaric act of allowing hounds to savage the
helpless animals. And the charity insists it has found enough evidence to prosecute three unnamed hunts for illegal activity. The claims come
as the Government shelved plans for a vote on repealing the ban with the Tories admitting the bid would probably be thrown
Joe Duckworth [left] of the League Against Cruel Sports said it had spent £1million on hiring former
police officers to monitor hunts after the season started last month. As more than 300 legal Boxing Day meets got under way
yesterday, he added: "Even though the hunting season is only a few weeks old, we already have cases against three hunts.
We have invested £1million in recruiting investigators who are out in the field, many of them ex-police officers,
and we have quadrupled the number we have out in the field trying to catch these people hunting illegally. The lawbreaking
in the hunts is widespread. They are the extremists. They may dress up in posh clothes but they are conspiring to break the
Mr Duckworth said a former Special Branch intelligence officer leads the team of investigators which also
includes former RSPCA official based across England and Wales. The League has also provided training to police forces on investigating
illegal hunting and plans to recruit and train 100 volunteer investigators.... Mr Duckworth spoke just a week after
the RSPCA successfully prosecuted members of David Cameron’s local hunt, the Heythrop in Oxfordshire, for unlawfully
hunting a fox with dogs....
'Upper class should not be above the law'
- By Joe Duckworth of the League Against Cruel Sports.
Owen Paterson is
a blood sports enthusiast who wants to repeal the Hunting Act but knows most MPs won’t get rid of it. So
he will arm-twist them over the next year to try to get his way. Why doesn’t he listen to us? Three out of four
ordinary people want this cruelty kept as history.
We see no place in modern
Britain for feudal shenanigans. David Cameron should stop pandering to the hunting lobby and admit the Act is the will of
the people and here to stay. Yesterday our hunt line was red hot with reports. That’s why we’ve invested
in investigators. We shouldn’t have to, but it’ll carry on until we stop them. If you hunt, whether you
live in a castle or council house, you are not above the law. Stop now or we’ll see you in court.
CPS moved to try to defend its abysmal record on Hunt prosecutions The CPS, rightly in receipt of widespread criticism over its past failure to prosecute law-breaking
Hunts in the wake of the RSPCA's recent easy win over the Heythrop, felt obliged to issue a defensive, and typically misleading
statement, of their record. That statement follows, with the two letters below pointing out exactly what was wrong with
27-12-12 ITV News Online CPS denies claims over hunting prosecutions The
Crown Prosecution Service has denied reports alleging that it has not been prosecuting hunting offences, insisting that it
does so when it is in the public interest.
Statement from Peter Lewis, Chief Executive, Crown Prosecution Service
- There have been a number of recent reports inferring that the CPS is reluctant to, and does not, prosecute hunting
offences. This is wrong. Where there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, and it is in the public
interest, the CPS does prosecute such cases. Indeed, since the introduction of the Hunting Act in 2005, 371 offences have
been charged and brought to magistrates' courts.
2-1-13 Independent Sir, Mr Peter Lewis, Chief Executive
of the Crown Prosecution Service, says that it is wrong to imply that the CPS is "reluctant to, and does not, prosecute
hunting offences." I am one of the group of monitors who supplied the footage used in the RSPCA's successful
prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt Limited, and we turned to the RSPCA because over 30 similar previous submissions of ours
, relating to several hunts in several counties, had not been prosecuted by the relevant Crown Prosecution Services. The
RSPCA saw that our footage was of a high standard and duly prosecuted the Heythrop, a prosecution which resulted in their
Mr Lewis refers to the 371 offences that have been charged by the CPS under the Hunting Act,
which is very good, but, with a few exceptions, these have related to the horrible activity of hare coursing, undertaken by
a few yobs with lurchers. The prosecution of the wealthy and powerful organised hunts has been another matter, mostly conspicuous
by its absence, and I hope that the success of the RSPCA's prosecution will now encourage the CPS to look with fresh eyes,
and a new enthusiasm, at evidence of the illegal hunting of deer, hare and fox by what are simply organised gangs of bullying
animal abusers. The public need to know that these people are subject to the law of the land, just like everyone else. The
implementation of the Hunting Act cannot not be left to ordinary citizens (i.e. the monitors) and to charities.
sincerely, Penny Little, Gt.Haseley, Oxon
28-12-12 Guardian Sir, Peter Lewis, Chief executive of the Crown
Prosecution Service, is disingenuous when he says that the CPS prosecutes hunting cases. The CPS prosecutes lads out
with dogs who do nasty things to wild animals. It is most reluctant to prosecute registered hunts doing the same thing. Less
than a dozen or so of the 371 CPS cases he mentions have been against animal abusers of the red-coated variety. Lads
with dogs generally plead guilty and don't cost much; hunts are prepared to spend money to employ QCs to defend themselves.
The strong suspicion in the heavily hunted West Country, where only three public prosecutions have been mounted, is that if
you have money you can hunt illegally with virtual impunity.
Ivor Annetts, Tiverton, Devon
Southdown & Eridge FH thugs attack & hospitalise sab, man arrested
31-12-12 Brighton Argus Arrest following attack on anti-hunt group A man has been
arrested following an attack on an anti-foxhunting group as they monitored a Boxing Day meet. A member of the Hunt Saboteurs
Association has alleged to police he had a brick thrown at the window of his car, had his iPad and keys stolen and was assaulted
with sticks as he monitored the Southdown and Eridge Fox Hunt [right] in Plumpton on Boxing Day. Sussex
Police said a 23-year-old local man was arrested for criminal damage, assault and theft and bailed until January 30 while the investigation continued.
A spokesman from the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: "About seven masked men came running towards our parked 4x4.
"One of our members locked himself inside the car for protection. "The windscreen was smashed, another man was trying
to smash the driver's door and a third came through the rear door. As well as the windscreen both doors on the driver's
side have been severely damaged and they stole not only the keys to the vehicle but also an iPad."
A spokesman from
Sussex Police said: "Police are investigating a report of an attack on a man monitoring the Southdown and Eridge Hunt
on Boxing Day. "The man says he was in his Landrover at Plumpton on Wednesday morning when he was attacked by a number
of men who had approached on quad bikes. He said he was hit with sticks, suffering a cut to his hand and had his iPad and
ignition keys taken. A 23-year-old local man was arrested for criminal damage, assault and theft and bailed until January
30 for further inquiries."
In October, members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association said they were attacked by masked
men while they monitored a meeting in Firle, near Lewes. On that occasion, a 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of
assault. He was bailed until December 3 but police have since decided that no further action will be taken against him. The
Southdown and Eridge Hunt Secretary, Mrs D Grantham, refused to comment.
27-12-12 Independent Police have arrested a 23-year-old man after a hunt saboteur was apparently beaten with sticks
by a gang of men on quad bikes during a Boxing Day hunt The Hunt Saboteurs Association blamed hunt supporters
for the alleged attack in Plumpton, East Sussex, which left the victim with "severe injuries" to his hands. He had
been monitoring the Southdown and Eridge Hunt from a parked Land Rover, the association said. Tension between the pro- and
anti-hunting lobbies has intensified after a reported increase in illegal hunting. Members of the hunt did not respond to
a request for comment.
26-12-12 HSA Press Release
Vicious attack on hunt saboteur on Foxhunts' most prestigious day A hunt
saboteur has been viciously beaten by supporters of the South Down and Eridge Foxhunt during their prestigious Boxing Day meet at the White Hart pub in Lewes, East Sussex. The saboteur
was on his own in a vehicle when a hunt supporter got in through an unlocked rear door. A group of seven men then attacked
him with walking sticks and he was forced to curl up to protect himself. He suffered severe injuries to his hands
which he had used to cover his head. The attackers also stole an ipad, the vehicles keys and caused damage to the vehicle,
including smashing the windscreen [left]. One man has been arrested following the incident.
spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "Boxing Day is the most prestigious, high profile day in the
hunting calendar, the day when the national press are watching them and they are on their best behaviour. Yet still their
violent supporters cannot control themselves and viciously attack those who peacefully oppose them. We are pleased the police
have acted so promptly and are hopeful that more arrests will follow."
S.Downs Hunt sabs blog .... The Southdown and Eridge Hunt meet in the centre of Lewes, blocking
up the streets, and then ride up onto the Downs to the west. Brighton and Hastings sabs had already climbed the hill and were
waiting for them near Blackcap. From very early on several familiar men on quad bikes were driving at the group and attempting
to intimidate the sabs and other people out walking. The hunt recently told police these men are nothing to do with the hunt,
yet they always appear wherever the hunt is and claim to be 'agents' of the landowners, wherever they are. They even do what the hunt tells them to.
The hunt did not stop to cast for a scent until well away from all public rights of
way. No trail was laid. When sabs heard hounds in cry, the same men on quad bikes physically prevented sabs from leaving the
footpath and punched several sabs too. Eventually we had to walk to rejoin our vehicles as the hunt had moved off out of sight.
As our vehicles arrived on the busy A27, the men threw a rock at our vehicles, narrowly missing the windscreen of the car
Once we were back up
on the hills looking for the hunt our drivers told us they were being attacked in their vehicles. We must be very careful
what we write so as not to prejudice any criminal proceedings brought against the attackers. Both drivers were attacked, one
injured, property was stolen and a vehicle damaged. Police are investigating......
adds:- Sabs actually say there were several assaults on them on Boxing Day, of which the headlined one was
just the most serious. And this is by far the first time sabs have claimed to have been attacked by mobs of thugs connected
with this Hunt in recent years. Previous reports can be found here , here , here and here. Pic above right is of sab injured last time the hunt thugs cut loose.
Paterson admits they don't have the votes to repeal the Hunting
Act 26-12-12 Daily Telegraph Hunting ban will not be repealed, Tories admit - David Cameron cannot repeal Labour’s ban
on foxhunting, senior Conservatives have admitted Owen Paterson [right], the Environment
Secretary, told the Daily Telegraph there is no immediate prospect of winning a Commons vote on making hunting legal again. Supporters of hunting must do "more work" to win around sceptical MPs, he said. Backbench Tory supporters
of hunting also accepted that there is no realistic chance of a vote in 2013 and perhaps even in 2014.
In one of the
most controversial acts of the last government, hunting with dogs was outlawed in 2005. In the Coalition Agreement struck
in 2010, Mr Cameron has promised MPs a free vote on the overturning the ban as soon as parliamentary time is available. The majority of Conservative MPs oppose the
ban, but Labour, the Liberal Democrats and some urban Tories believe it should stay.
That means a Commons vote would
probably reaffirm the ban. Mr Paterson, a keen rider, is the Cabinet’s leading supporter of hunting and other country
sports. He said he accepts there is no prospect of winning a vote next year, saying only that the vote will come "at
an appropriate moment." Mr Paterson said: "There’s only a point having a vote if you’re going
to win. At the moment I, it would not be my proposal to bring forward a vote which we were going to lose. There needs to be
more work done on members of parliament." He added: "It is our clear intention to have a free vote but we
need to choose an appropriate moment."....
Some Conservatives believe
that Mr Cameron is dragging his heels over the hunt vote, fearful of revisiting an issue that could fuel Labour attacks.
The Opposition has sought to use the hunting issue to portray the Conservatives and the Prime Minister personally as preoccupied with the concerns
of a privileged elite, and out of touch with wider public opinion. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, last week taunted
Mr Cameron in the Commons, drawing cheers from Labour MPs as he suggested the Prime Minister was "looking forward to
the Boxing Day hunt".
Mr Paterson said that Mr Cameron, who used to hunt in Oxfordshire before the ban, remained
personally committed to legalising the sport. He said: "I think in fairness I think he’s been very clear about
it, but when parliamentary time is really tight there’s no point in bumbling ahead." Backbench supporters of hunting
also accepted that now is not the right time for a vote on the issue.....
Mr Paterson’s department will next year
make another attempt to start a cull of badgers in the south-west of England, a move ministers say would make it even less
likely for the hunting ban to be lifted. A Lib Dem minister said the badger cull makes it even less likely that the
Coalition will move on foxhunting in the next year. "I think even the Tories realise that we should only be trying to
kill one cute furry mammal at a time," the minister said.
Many traditional Conservative MPs oppose the ban but a
group of Tories first elected in 2010 in urban seats say it should stay. Tracey Crouch [above left], the MP for Chatham
and Aylesford, said it was sensible to postpone a hunting vote. "This is good news because the vast majority of the country
does not want to see a return to the barbaric sport of fox hunting," she said, adding that repealing the ban would hurt the party. The success of the Conservative
Party means that it elected Members of Parliament in urban areas where foxhunting has little or no support."
to the ban, Mr Cameron [above right, with Heythrop Hon.Sec.] rode several times with the Heythrop Hunt, which
covers his Whitney constituency. Last week, member of the hunt were fined after admitted killing foxes in breach of the ban.
Their convictions came after a controversial prosecution brought by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,
which spent more than £320,000 on the case.
Mary Creagh [above left], the Labour shadow environment secretary,
said her party would vote to maintain the ban. "Most people back Labour’s ban on hunting wild animals with dogs
and accept there is no place for animal cruelty in a civilised society," she said. She added: "After the recent
high profile conviction of members of the Prime Minister’s hunt, I hope that hunts will respect the law this year."
New poll shows over three-quarters of public favour
retaining the Hunting Act
Support for fox hunting hits all time low of just 15%
26-12-12 LACS Press Release Majority of Public Think Bloodsports Should Remain A Thing Of The Past - New polling shows majority of
Great British public are still opposed to Hunting with Dogs Today marks the most high profile
day in the hunting calendar, with hunts up and down the country rallying for their traditional Boxing Day meets. While they
may want to spin their "lawful hunting activities" to the media, the uncomfortable truth is that cruel hunting and
killing of wild animals in the name of ‘sport' still goes on. As recent prosecutions make clear, many hunts in England and Wales show a total disregard
for the law and for wildlife. They want the Hunting Act repealed so they can to travel back to a time where hunting wild animals
with dogs and ripping them apart was legal.
This attitude is clearly rejected by the majority of the Great British public.
A new survey carried out by Ipsos MORI for animal welfare charities, the League Against Cruel Sports, RSPCA and IFAW, shows
that three in four people in Great Britain, 76 per cent, think that fox hunting should not be made legal again; around eight
in ten, 81 per cent, think deer hunting should not be made legal again; and 83 per cent think hare hunting/coursing should
not be made legal again. Only 15 per cent of the 1,943 adults surveyed, aged 15+, think that fox hunting should be legalised
again; only 9 per cent think hare hunting and coursing should be made legal; and only 11 per cent think deer hunting should be legalised.
All three charities welcomed the poll results saying they confirmed that the majority of
public remain implacably opposed to hunting. Joe Duckworth [above right], Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel
Sports, says: "Hunting is a barbaric and sickening blood sport belonging to the past. Whether you live in a castle or
council house, choose to ignore the law, we will catch you and see you in the dock. "The Coalition Government has said
it will debate repeal of the Hunting Act. They should listen to the majority of decent people in the country, support the
act and not waste valuable parliamentary time."
Gavin Grant [above left], Chief Executive of the RSPCA
comments: "The British people do not want a return to animals being chased and torn apart for fun. The RSPCA has just prosecuted a hunt successfully. These
wildlife criminals are totally out of touch with public opinion. The British people want to see people enjoying the countryside
and its wildlife whilst respecting the animals and the law."
Robbie Marsland [right], UK Director of IFAW,
says: "Our polling has consistently shown that the majority of people in the UK are completely opposed to the cruel,
inhumane activity of hunting wild animals with dogs. "The law is clear that it is illegal to chase deer, fox, hare and
mink with dogs and any hunts engaging in such activities should beware as sooner or later they will be caught and brought
to justice as this month's landmark case against the Heythrop Hunt so rightly highlights."
Charities Commission rejects pro-hunt complaint re. RSPCA Heythrop
24-12-12 Western Daily Press .... A clutch of pro-hunt MPs, including Simon Hart, the former head of the Countryside Alliance,
have called for an investigation into the RSPCA's handling of the case. A letter signed by the group of politicians said:
"We believe that this 'staggering' expenditure constitutes a clear breach of the ‘duty of prudence'
by the trustees of the RSPCA in that it cannot possibly be argued that charitable funds and assets have been used reasonably."
A spokeswoman for the charity hit back, saying that if the hunt had not broken the law, or had pleaded guilty earlier, the
case would not have cost the society so much to pursue. "The RSPCA and its trustees have acted entirely within the society's
charitable objectives and procedures and charity law and above all as the voice for the voiceless animals who have fallen
victim to human cruelty."
The Charities Commission, which the pro-hunt MPs want to investigate the RSPCA, said it
appeared the society had done nothing wrong. "At face value there's nothing we can see for us to take forward,"
said a spokeswoman. "Undertaking such prosecutions is in furtherance of the RSPCA's charitable objects and
is made clear to the public on their website."
Citizen-led multi-agency 'Hunt
Watch' scheme proposed for Cumbria
Lake District Herald Hunt Watch Scheme for Cumbria? Hunt
monitors are hoping to set up a multi-agency Hunt Watch body which will meet regularly to discuss issues. They have
also written to the Home Secretary... to seek her support. Hunt monitor Tony Locke, of Keswick, said "There
is a wide group of law-abiding local people who believe the Hunting Act 2004 is not being adhered to or policed effectively.
We are therefore advocating the formation of a new Hunt Watch scheme to include all stakeholders, which, hopefully, will encourage people
to come forward who have previously felt intimidated to come forward to a recognised body with any concerns re. hunting with
dogs." Among supporters of the scheme is a former hunt follower, stonemason Billy Bland, who has lived in
Barrowdale all his life..... he now volunteeers as a hunt monitor.... Mr.Locke hopes that the police, landowners, National
Trust, National Park Authority, United Utilities and Cumbria County Council will all join the new group....
Ross Harriers JM/Huntsman convicted of racial abuse is to
20-12-12 Hereford Times Herefordshire
huntsman who racially abused protester appeals against conviction A HUNTSMAN found guilty of racially
abusing a protester at a meet near Ross-on-Wye has lodged an appeal against his convictions. David Lee Peters, master of the
Ross Harriers Hunt, denied racially aggravated harassment during a trial at Hereford Magistrates Court last month. But
the 33-yearold, of Castle Brook Kennels, Coughton, was found guilty. He was also found to have used threatening words
or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to another protestor. Both appeals will be heard at a Crown Court
at a date to be fixed.
Heythrop Hunt plead guilty in first ever conviction
of a Hunt as body corporate
Former Huntsman and recently retired JM also confess to illegal
Some of the footage of the Heythrop hunting illegally can be seen
POWA issued a Press Release about the convictions which can be found here
More information about this case and the Heythrop's history of misbehaviour can be found here
17-12-12 Guardian David Cameron's local hunt convicted after RSPCA prosecution -
Prime minister has ridden with Heythrop, which admitted intentionally hunting a fox with dogs
Members of the David Cameron's local Oxfordshire hunt have been convicted of hunting foxes illegally in a prosecution
brought by the RSPCA. Richard Sumner [right], 68, and Julian Barnfield [left], 49, of the 176-year-old Heythrop
Hunt with which Cameron has previously ridden, each pleaded guilty at Oxford magistrates court to four charges of unlawfully
hunting a wild fox with dogs. The hunt, Heythrop Hunt Limited, also pleaded guilty to the same four charges of intentionally
hunting a fox with dogs on land in the Cotswolds.
Outside court, Barnfield, a former huntsman with the Heythrop, claimed
the prosecution had been politically motivated because of its links with Cameron's Witney constituency. He said he believed the animal charity was trying to put pressure on Cameron "not to give a free vote" in parliament
in any future debate on the Hunting Act, and to embarrass the prime minister. Members of the so-called Chipping Norton set
- an influential group of MPs and media professionals who live in the area - who have links to the Heythrop include the prominent
supporter and racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks, husband of the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks. Their
neighbour Jeremy Clarkson, the Top Gear presenter, has reportedly allowed the hunt to use his land and is among locals photographed
at the Heythrop's country fair. The prime minister is understood to have ridden with the hunt on six occasions before
the legislation came into force.
The prosecution followed footage taken by anti-hunt monitors over four days during the 2011-12 season. The court heard
hounds had been encouraged to chase foxes, which is banned under legislation which came into force in 2005. Barnfield
[left] and Sumner [right], a former hunt master, have since retired from their positions. Jeremy Carter-Manning
QC, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said the hunt was filmed on several occasions in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire during November
last year and in February and March this year by members of the Protect Our Wild Animals group. Footage was passed to
the RSPCA. It is believed to be the first prosecution of a hunt itself under the legislation, which abolished the hunting
of foxes with hounds in almost all circumstances and, in particular, traditional fox hunting.
Footage shown to the court
of an incident on 29 February showed evidence of "prolonged and deliberate unlawful hunting", said Carter-Manning. After a fox ran past hunt monitors, who were
recording footage from a road nearby, Barnfield drew up on horseback. "Two route-followers indicated to Mr Barnfield
the direction in which the fox had run. He immediately blows the hunting horn and enters the field as directed," said
Carter-Manning. Barnfield and another man then gave vocal encouragement to the remainder of the pack, shouting "tally
ho" and "forrard". In a subsequent piece of film, recorded 40 minutes later, monitors are heard shouting:
'There's a kill, there's a kill," and: "Call the police." Describing the events, Carter-Manning
said: "The hounds converge into semi-circles and the screaming [of the hounds] reaches a crescendo. The hounds are making
On another occasion, in March, footage shot by a volunteer shows hounds beginning to squeal as they try
to flush out a fox from dense cover, "and then almost immediately afterwards a double horn". Further footage
captures the hounds pursuing a fox and cries of "on, on, on" from the mounted hunt. Barnfield was "filmed
quite clearly amongst the pursuing hounds shouting 'on, on, on' in obvious encouragement", said Carter-Manning.
Philip Mott QC,
mitigating, said the charges related to four occasions within the full hunting season between November 2011 and March this
year. During that period there would have been around 100 hunts, each lasting some five hours. "What you have here is
unlawful hunting, shown and admitted, of no more than 15 minutes in total," he said. "It is our case that the rest
of the time this hunt was operating trail hunting."
Barnfield, of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, was fined £250
for each charge, totalling £1,000, and ordered to pay costs of £2,000. Sumner, of Salperton, Gloucestershire,
was fined a total of £1,800 with costs of £2,500. The Heythrop Hunt Limited was fined a total of £4000 with
£15,000 costs. All three were ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge.
Following the hearing, the RSPCA's
chief executive, Gavin Grant, said: "These defendants were well aware that they were breaking the law in that their actions
would lead to a fox being torn apart by dogs. No doubt the hunt will say that
those involved have now left and they have no knowledge of this crime," he added. "The truth is this hunt believed
that they were above the law – they were wrong." The anti-hunt monitors who shot the footage thanked the
RSPCA for having the "foresight and courage to take on the prosecution".
Outside court, Barnfield said he had
only pleaded guilty because he could not afford to fight the £327,000 case the RSPCA had mounted. "We conceded because the money wasn't there to defend ourselves.
I would like to stand there and defend it but there was no way it was possible. "I am staggered by it all. The fact that
a charitable body can take on this political thing and spend so much money which other people have given them for another
thing is stunning." Attributing political motivation to the animal charity, he added: "They could have picked on
any other hunt but they picked on Heythrop because we are in David Cameron's constituency. "I think they are trying
to put pressure on him not to give a free vote like he said he would, to embarrass him in some way."
the Heythrop Hunt, one of the most high-profile in the country, has been an intrinsic part of the Chipping Norton community.
Huge Boxing Day crowds gather to see it in Chipping Norton Square as one of the market town's Christmas traditions. In
2003, Cameron, recalled a day out with the Heythrop, saying: "Nothing had prepared me for the sheer terror of a day's
hunting. I battled in vain to control my powerful steed and careered through trees and bushes – completely out of control."
Above left, middle - - Heythrop hounds carry away fox corpse after
kill at Peasewell Wood
Above right, middle - Fox fleeing for its life from Heythrop hounds at Bourton-on-the-Water
Above right, lower middle - Heythrop whipper-in assaulting female monitor at scene of fox kill
Above left, bottom - PrimeMinister
David Cameron seen, when leader of the Opposition, kindly holding the reins of the horse of one of his many Heythrop
Hunt pals, Guy Avis, the Hon.Sec.
POWAperson comments:- Barnfield's assertion that they only confessed
because the 'money wasn't there to defend themselves' is utterly risible. The Heythrop is extraordinarily well-heeled
and numbers among its members and donors numerous multi-millionaires, many of whom also give very generously to Conservative
party coffers. But expecting the former Huntsman to tell the truth - he even had the gall to tell a news reporter he
was really innocent, even though he'd pleaded guilty in the face of incontrivertible video evidence - would be too much
to ask. He even had the nerve to say he'd resigned as Huntsman, partly because of the 'stress' of being monitored
so often, poor lamb. Our understanding is that, in a move that caused much dissension in hunting ranks, he was demoted
by the Heythrop when Charles Frampton joined them as JM from the Portman FH, because Frampton also wanted to be the Huntsman.
Barnfield was, reportedly, very unhappy about being offered a lesser post within the Hunt.
Many thanks are due to the
RSPCA, under the gutsy new direction of Gavin Grant, for taking on and succeeding in this prosecution, albeit that the Heythrop,
with their last-minute 'plea-bargain', effectively forced them into dropping 33 of the 45 charges and allowing two
of the accused, one of whom is the daughter of the Chairman of the MFHA, to escape scot-free.
But the real stars are
the incredibly brave and dedicated team of, mostly female, volunteer monitors who captured the footage, many of whom
are also POWA Associates. They are regularly subject to assaults, threats, various other menaces, vile abuse, harassment,
obstruction and damage to property by the hunters, but refuse to be deterred or intimidated from seeking justice for
the persecuted foxes. Bravissima tutte.
Albrighton FH Huntsman Ray
Shaw is found dead at his home
Wolverhampton Express & Star Huntsman is found dead at Albrighton home
A respected member of a hunting group has been found dead at his home in Albrighton. Huntsman Ray
Shaw was discovered at his property in Kennels Lane after failing to turn up to a meet. Colleagues at the Albrighton
Hunt today spoke of their shock and paid tribute to a "very hard-working huntsman".
Mr Shaw, who was in his
mid-40s, had worked for the Albrighton Hunt for the past two-and-a-half years. He was employed along with his wife Margaret
and they looked after the hounds and horses. He walked the dogs daily and was involved in the breeding of the horses. Members
of the hunt gathered for a meet on Tuesday and Mr Shaw failed to turn up. They visited his home and, after knocking the door
down, discovered his body.
Master huntsman Andrew Crane said that hunting had been suspended until further notice as
a mark of respect. West Mercia Police officers are investigating Mr Shaw's death but at this stage no-one else is thought
to be involved.
POWAperson understands from a pro-hunt source that a gun was found close by Mr.Shaw's body. Any
premature death is regrettable.
Eglington FH had to pay ex-huntsman £40,000
after years of 'slave wages'
Sacked for complaining to taxman, he refuses 'hush money' offer to
continue fight for justice
Employee of Hunt whose members 'read like Burke's peerage' treated 'like dirt'
10-12-12 Scottish Daily Record Revealed: Toffs' foxhunting club paid worker £1.50 PER HOUR and forced him to slop
out from caravan
A FOXHUNTING club run by some of Scotland's top toffs have been exposed
for paying a huntsman "slave wages" and forcing him to slop out. Mark Vincent [left]
, who worked
for the elite Eglinton Hunt [below, right]
Ayrshire for five years, was paid just £1.50 an hour and expected to work up to 80 hours a week. And while the club's
landed gentry lived in the lap of luxury in their castles and mansions, Mark claims he had to sleep in a derelict caravan
without plumbing. The 45-year-old was awarded £40,000 earlier this year after reporting the hunt to HMRC for paying
him less than the minimum wage. But yesterday Mark broke his silence, demanding to know why there had been no criminal prosecution
over the way he was treated. He said: "The hounds were treated better than me."
Among the members of
the foxhunting club were wealthy businessman Neville Washington OBE, former Tory councillor Rose-Ann Cuninghame and John Briggs,
who owns Kilhenzie Castle, near Maybole, Ayrshire. Mark said: "The membership of the Eglinton Hunt read like Burke's
Peerage. Yet these toffs were happy to pay me about £1.50 an hour and keep me living in shocking conditions in a caravan
on castle grounds. These people should be ashamed of themselves for the way I have been treated."
how he worked 10-hour days setting up hunts, looking after the club's 58
hounds and rebuilding the kennels for a miserly £100 a week. He said he was promised a cottage, holidays and a pension
- but none of this materialised. Mark added: "I stuck it out because I loved the job and thought things would improve.
But they never did. They just got worse. They think they are above the law because they've got money but I decided to
take them on over the way I was treated. At one point, I was working 80-hour weeks for £100 a week when they told me
to go down to Dumfriesshire and set up hunts down there too. It was nothing short of slave labour."
caravan was in the grounds of Caprington Castle, near Kilmarnock, which is owned by Cuninghame. He said: "There were
58 hounds and they needed someone to look after them 24/7, so they put me in a caravan next to the castle. "It was uninhabitable.
There was no plumbing, so I had to slop out. There was water running down the inside of the walls and the floors were rotten."
Mark, originally from Yorkshire, said he was headhunted by the Eglinton Hunt in 2003 after the new foxhunting laws were
brought in. He said: "They knew I had loads of experience and they wanted someone who knew what they were doing,
so they offered me the job, which was supposed to come with a decent wage, a cottage, a pension and holidays. Instead, I was
treated like dirt by the landed gentry. I was their skivvy. They had me running about like a madman doing everything, yet
paying me wages which didn't come anywhere near the minimum wage."... he made a complaint to HMRC, who enforce
the national minimum wage and have the power to order organisations to pay workers any arrears they uncover in investigations.
A lengthy probe revealed that Mark had been underpaid for five years and Eglinton Hunt were told to pay up nearly £50,000.
The amount was reduced to £40,000 after they contested it and he got his cheque in March.
Mark, who was sacked
just months after reporting the club to the taxman, is now taking the club to an employment tribunal..... Mark said
his decision to take action has ruined his career. He explained: "I haven't worked in foxhunting since I was sacked
in November 2008. "The toffs stick together and I'm just bad news to them because I stood up for myself." Mark
added: "I won my case with the taxman against them but I want to know why no one has been prosecuted over this. It seems
to be one rule for the rich and one for the poor. In the whole time I was employed, I never received a payslip. They said
they were paying my pension contributions but that was all lies."
No one from the Eglinton Hunt, who disbanded in
2008, wished to comment.... Washington, who is listed as one of the respondents along with Cuninghame in the tribunal
case, has offered Mark £10,000 to drop the case in a letter sent last month.... Mark turned down the offer. He
said: "I will continue my fight to clear my name. "I'm not interested in the money. I want justice. "These
toffs cannot be allowed to get away with treating people like that. It has been a long battle and I am not going to give up
now."POWAperson comments;- Somehow it comes as no surprise to learn that some Hunts treat their employees
hardly any better than they do the wild animals they chase and kill for fun, or the domestic animals they exploit as
tools of their 'sport'. Mr. Vincent complains that 'the hounds were treated better than me' -
but at least the Hunt didn't take him round the back of the kennels and put a bullet through his head when he was no longer
of use to them. However awful his conditions of employment, he managed five years service, which is more than a lot
of hounds are allowed before they are terminated - 'with extreme prejudice'. As Huntsman, he was probably party
to that hound 'culling' process. Nevertheless, we wish him fortune in his dogged pursuit of 'justice' against
the Eglington and, like him, wonder why no criminal prosecution of the Hunt followed the HMRC's apparent finding that
they had been breaking the minimum wage law for years.
Sir Patrick Moore - doughty anti-hunting campaigner for decades
Once assessed hunters with memorable phrase '... but you can't talk to these filthy people.'
9-12-12 The death of Sir Patrick
Moore CBE, at his home in West Sussex, aged 89, was announced today. He had suffered a series of illnesses, but
died peacefully with close friends, carers and his pet cat Ptolemy at his bedside. Moore was best known to the public as an
astronomer, the presenter of Britain's longest-running TV programme 'The Sky at Night', which began in 1957.
But he was much more than a science-educator to the masses. Sir Patrick was a 'Renaissance man': highly respected in his specialism, he also revelled in and,
at times, excelled at many other activities, such as music, chess, cricket, am-dram and much more, always leavened with a
hefty dose of English eccentricity and an endearing enthusiasm - and had almost assumed the status of 'national
Patrick Moore was fearlessly outspoken, holding
and expressing some political views which modern progressives would find objectionable, yet he inspired great affection in
many people. He was a complex, sometimes self-contradictory character. For instance, he saw himself as a great animal lover
and campaigned for and patronised many animal welfare causes and charities - yet, reportedly, he was not a vegetarian.
But, nonetheless, he will forever be remembered and respected by animal protection campaigners, especially as a forthright
opponent of the 'sport' of hunting with dogs, over many decades and starting at a time when such views were widely
regarded as crankish and bolshie, and were certain to attract obloquy and hostility, from social elites at least.
latterly became close to another prominent, if more recent, wildlife protection campaigner, and fellow scientist, Brian May
[pictured with Moore, above left]. Sir Patrick's last major intervention in the hunting debate came in
March 2009, when he made a six-minute film for the BBC show 'The Daily Politics', explaining how and why he believed
the Hunting Act 2004 was failing to stop organised Hunts from chasing and killing live quarry, and scornfully beat off attacks
on his views from Conservative politicians Theresa May and Liam Fox [regrettably, the online content isn't working].
Wildlife could do with many more prominent people with the conviction and passion of Sir Patrick Moore, to help defend
them against exploitation and abuse by other humans. He will be missed.
Sabs claim film shows Old Surrey FH hounds in full cry after fox
fails to to call them off - angrily shouts 'You are trying to stop us hunting!'
8-8-12 Hunt Sabs have uploaded footage to You Tube from today of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent FH operating near Felbridge. We first hear, then see, highly excited hounds in
full cry, suggesting they were not hunting a drag line, and one sab says she saw the fox break cover, though this was
not caught on film. We then see sabs chasing riders, including the Huntsman, Mark Bycroft [right] down the
road and advising him to call hounds off and that they are being filmed. Bycroft makes no attempt to do so, and,
instead, turns to sabs and screams 'You are trying to stop us hunting.... How dare you stop us from hunting!'.
POWA does not yet know what happened next. The Hunt will doubtless deny they were chasing a fox and that the
Huntsman meant the sabs were trying to stop them 'trail' hunting.
The following additional information on
the day soon became available:-
South Downs Hunt Sabs blog With the South Down and Erridge Fox Hunt not out, two landrovers of saboteurs
greeted the Old Surrey and Burstow Fox Hunt who were meeting just west of Tunbridge Wells, Kent. We kept them running all
day, with the hounds going into full cry a number of times, however our presence and actions prevented any kills. At one point
a fox was chased across a road in front of sabs, with the hound’s just metres from the foxes tail, we however quickly
intervened and were able to prevent a kill. As the day wore on the hunt got further frustrated with our presence resorting
to pushing and violence against saboteurs on a number of occasions. Comically one sab was told to go back to their "shitty
little council estate". It is rare that we see such blatant hunting as was witnessed today. No known kills, lots of foxes
South Down Hunt sabs blogs can be subscribed to here.
POWAperson adds;- Huntsman Mark 'How
dare you stop us hunting' Bycroft was convicted of assaulting a sab in the early 90s, when he was the OSBWKFH's
whipper-in, receiving a Community Service Order. He was rewarded by being promoted to Huntsman the next year. In the early
2000s he was also convicted for driving without consideration. Mark's father, John, was a self-confessed pro-hunt
militant in the run-up to the Hunting Act 2004, and acts as a terrierman for the Fitzwilliam FH. Earlier this year,
he was convicted of a Hunting Act and an Animal Welfare Act charge after he and his assistant had flushed a pregnant vixen
from a hole with a terrier and put the fox into a small barrel-type container on his quad bike. Mark's
brother, Nick, has been Huntsman of the Crawley & Horsham FH for the last couple of years. Three members of that Hunt, a JM, the Secretary/whipper-in and a former huntsman were this spring convicted of illegal
hunting in January and February 2011. Nick Bycroft may well have been acting as Huntsman on those days, but, even if he was,
he was not charged with the others and, unlike his father and brother, has not an official stain on his character.
The Old Surrey has acquired quite a reputation over the years, though most of the allegations of violence by
them and their supporters against sabs and monitors have not resulted in prosecutions. The most serious of these allegations
- In November 2011 a female sab [left] was allegedly assaulted by an OSBWKFH supporter, resulting in a nasty head wound. Statements and video were given to police.
In 2007, it is said that a mob of hunt supporters attacked sabs in their vehicle, smashing all the windows and leaving one sab with a badly
injured arm. He was ambulanced to hospital.
- In 2004, another group of sabs claimed they were attacked at the Old Surrey's opening meet. One was knocked unconcious with an iron bar, six received injuries
to face or head, others were bruised. Several sabs maintained that Mark Bycroft instigated and took part in the attack. A
sab's video camera was also allegedly stolen. Police took no action.
- In 2000, one of the most serious incidents in hunter-sab history occurred. Sab Steve Christmas was gravely injured when he was driven over by an OSBWKFH supporter's
4x4. He was on life support for many days and it was thought he would die. He has never fully recovered. The driver
was apparently identified as Martin Maynard, who is said to have had no insurance and a record of violence. He was charged
with 'Causing Grevious Bodily Harm with Intent', but the CPS dropped the prosecution for legal reasons. The Criminal
Injuries Compenstion Board later awarded Steve £18,500, recognition that he was victim of an extremely serious
- In 1994, three sabs stated that they spotted an Old Surrey rider whipping his horse. When they stopped to take photos he allegedly attacked
them with a hammer, wounding all 3 to their heads.
Sabs attribute these failures to prosecute
largely to bias against them by police. But, besides those above-mentioned of Mark Bycroft, the OSBWKFH followers have still
racked up a few other criminal convictions that we know of:-
- In 2002-3 season an Old Surrey rider was convicted
of not having a car licence.
- In 1999-2000 season, an follower punched a female League Against
Cruel Sports monitor in the mouth and broke her video camera. He was ordered to pay £550 compensation.
- In 1991, following the same incident at a cubbing meet where Mark Bycroft assaulted a sab, Nigel Trevithick-Wood, the husband of a JM, was given a 6 month
suspended prison sentence for punching a sab in the face and Kenneth Banks, a foot follower, a 12 month one for hitting another
sab in the groin.
Sab 'ridden down by redcoat' at Tedworth
FH - airlifted to hospital
9-12-12 Bath Hunt Sabs Facebook
A hard day yesterday as we teamed up with sabs from 4 other groups to tackle 2 hunts. Firstly we rocked up at a beagle
pack and as soon as the scum noticed us they were on the run in the opposite direction! We followed close on their heels rating
their beagles along the way and ran with the hunt back to their hound van. We patrolled the area in 2 vehicles safe in the
knowledge the hunt had packed up.
We then headed for The Tedworth Hunt and found them at just after 2pm. As soon as we
left our landie we could hear their hounds in cry. We got into the field and within 10 seconds two redcoats rode at a pair
of sabs and one was struck to the floor and badly hurt. An air ambulance and vehicle were on the scene within 20 minutes and
got our sab off to safety. The disgusting hunt carried on hunting so we stuck with them making sure they didn't get away
with much and soon enough they headed back to their kennels with our company. Thankfully, the injured sab is now doing well
and is on the mend. Despicable acts like the one the Tedworth Hunt carried out yesterday only serve to make us stronger and
more determined to put an end to their bloodlust.
Shocked resident sees North Ledbury hounds chasing fawn across his land 7-12-12 Ledbury Reporter Hounds on trail of fawn A CONCERNED West Malvern resident was shocked to see a pack of hounds on the trail of a fawn on Tuesday after discovering the animal in his garden.
David Sample, of Lower Road, said a huntsman confirmed they were part of the North Ledbury. Hunt but were trying to get the
hounds off the trail of the deer. Mr Sample raised concerns that the hunt should not have been on the land and described the
incident as "distressing, and a situation that should not be allowed." The Hunt's joint master,
Valerie Allfrey, declined to comment.
POWAperson adds;- The North Ledbury are not strangers to causing
havoc, especially where harassing ruminants is concerned. In September 2011, their hounds invaded a private
paddock at Suckley in Herefordshire and badly savaged some alpacas. 'Hounds Off' liaised with the affected owners, resulting in 170 acres of land being banned to the Hunt. Pic above right shows one of the
Assault on sabs case against Mid -Devon FH rider is dropped
by the CPS 7-12-12 POWA understands that the Crown Prosecution Service have abandoned
the prosecution of a rider with the Mid-Devon Hunt, Will Chanter. He was orginally alleged to have assaulted three sabs,
causing injuries to all, including black eyes, a sprained wrist and various cuts and bruises. The incident occurred
in March, on Dartmoor. Sabs claim they were trying to prevent what would have been an illegal dig-out of a fox that
the hunt's hounds had chased to ground. An argument ensued and Mr.Chanter [right] was said to have 'lost
it' and attacked the sabs. Statements and film were provided to the police, who decided to proceed with just one,
relatively minor, charge of 'assault by battery'. Now even this has been dropped - and Will Chanter must therefore
be presumed innocent.
The CPS are apparently claiming that there were problems regarding the rules of evidence concerning
the sabs' video recordings of the incident. POWA cannot know whether these alleged defects really were sufficient
to justify abandoning the prosecution or not. This is far from the first time police/CPS have cited such things as reasons
not to procede with cases against hunters. We would simply observe that getting Devon & Cornwall police and
the regional CPS, in particular, to take any effective action against Hunts and hunters, whatever the real reasons may
be, often seems to be harder than herding cats. The recent election of a 'countryside friendly' Conservative
as Police and Crime Commissioner seems unlikely to facilitate matters.
In 2009, LACS presented police with monitoring
film, which they said was of the Mid-Devon FH, which appeared to show one of the Hunt members uncovering a
fox from a rock pile on Dartmoor in which it had been hiding from hounds. The hound pack, riders and other hunters were nearby.
The fox is then seen bolting away and being hotly pursued by hounds into the distance. This film, which was later posted online
by LACS [but now seems to have disappeared], seemed as close to an 'open and shut' case of illegal hunting as one
was ever likely to see. LACS claimed that the police simply sat on the evidence until the six-month time limit had expired, and
complained about their handling of the case.
Weston & Banwell JM/Huntsman trial set for 8th April next year
George Milton denied the single charge of illegal hunting put to him at Taunton Magistrates Court on 31st October
and will face trial in the spring. POWA understands that further charges, based on a second day of filming by monitors,
have now been dropped.
..... 28th November - Horrific film of fox kill by Ledbury
FH hounds in private garden released
..... 22nd November - 'Guardian angel' monitor rescues young vixen from
jaws of Old Berks hounds
..... 22nd November - The hapless Ross Harriers trespass and chase pet cat up a tree
20th November - Sanctuary owners claim they're being terrorised by South Coast fox hunt
..... 20th November - Some
Somerset Hunts halted because of equine herpes virus
..... 17th November - N.Yorks policeman filmed explaining why he
can't/won't enforce Hunting Act
..... 16th November - IFAW announces their new 'enhanced' hunt monitoring
operation is ready to go
..... 15th November - Ross Harriers JM/Huntsman convicted of racially abusing female sab
..... 14th November - RSPCA alerts public to illegal cub hunting in S.W.Wales
..... 13th November - Former Beaufort
FH kennelman wins suit blaming them for his hydatidosis
..... 10th November - Sabs claim Sussex hare hunt supporter threw
decapitated rabbit at them
..... 5th November - Weston & Banwell JM/Huntsman denies illegal hunting, Trial set for
..... 3rd November - Beaufort FH hounds filmed chasing fox at their opening meet
..... 3rd November -
South Shropshire FH JM Otis Ferry gets 3 year driving ban and fine
Horrific film of fox kill by Ledbury FH hounds in village garden released
28-11-12 HSA Press Release Horrific fox death filmed by hunt saboteurs Graphic
footage of the Ledbury Hunt killing a fox has today been released. The incident happened
on the 23rd November 2012 in a private garden in Eldersfield, Gloucestershire and was captured on film by members of Three
Counties and Coventry Hunt saboteurs.
They were sadly too late to rescue the fox, but one did obtain film of the hounds repeatedly savaging the animal
for a protracted period, whilst she and a colleague attempted to get the dogs off it. It is unclear at what point the
fox succumbed to its multiple wounds, but when they were able to retrieve the animal from the pack it had been effectively
the kill, and from beforehand, is being examined by lawyers from the RSPCA to determine if there are grounds for prosecution
under the Hunting Act. Results of a post-mortem are being withheld pending a decision.
This incident is a sad contrast
to the events of a week earlier when hunt monitors from POWA saved a fox from the Old Berks Hunt [see separate 'Guardian
Angel' story below].
Left, close-up still of fox being savaged by hounds
Right, a presumed hunt supporter close
to the kill
On 3-12-12, BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester featured the incident in their Breakfast Show.
The Ledbury FH refused to supply a spokesman, offering just a written statement in their own defence. The presenter interviewed
Ian Beaumont, Campaigns Manager for the League Against Sports and Mike Foster, Labour MP for Worcester - who famously brought
in a Private Member's Bill that was the first attempt to effect a ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs during the last
Labour administration. The presenter, Howard Bentham, later also spoke to Lee Moon, Press Officer for the
Hunt Saboteurs Association. The relevant extracts can be heard here, with a pictorial background of graphic stills from the kill video, which viewers may find disturbing.
29-11-12 Hereford Heckler Ledbury Hunt filmed killing fox
It seems that not a weekend goes by without a hunt getting negative press or showing their truly outrageous colours.
A couple of weeks ago we reported on the case of Lee Peters, the huntsman of the Ross Harriers Hunt, who was found guilty
of racially abusing a hunt saboteur. Last week the Hereford Times also reported on he case, yesterday putting their
Last weekend a video appeared on Youtube, showing hunt monitors literally saving a fox from the jaws of
hounds. Now this week, a graphic video has been released showing the hounds of the Ledbury Hunt killing a fox
on Friday 23rd November.
A Hunt Saboteurs Association press release on the horrendous incident said:- ..... [HSA
PPR reprinted by the Heckler, as above]
7-12-12 Ledbury Reporter Caught on video - hunt hounds savage fox (WARNING: Graphic footage) LEDBURY Hunt
has strongly denied claims it is deliberately flouting the law by hunting foxes with hounds, after graphic footage was posted
on the internet by the Hunt Saboteurs Association. The footage, now being viewed by the RSPCA, shows a pack of hounds
tearing into a fox in a private garden at Eldersfield, Gloucestershire, on November 23 – an incident that happened after
the Hunt temporarily lost sight of the pack.
But hunt spokesman, former master Donald Haden said: “There is no evidence that the hounds killed the fox. The probability
is, they did.” However, Mr Haden said the fox appeared to be already dead on the footage, and sometimes hounds
may come across a dead fox in a hedgerow, such as one that had been shot previously. Calling the incident an accident,
he said: “There is no evidence of illegal hunting”, and he said it was the Hunt itself which first contacted the
police, about 15 minutes later. By law hunts are allowed to follow a pre-set trail but not actively hunt foxes.
Mr Haden said the hounds had been following an artificially laid trail and were out of sight at the time. When asked
if this was acceptable practice, he said: “It is the huntsman’s professional job to keep in touch with the hounds, but in
the countryside that is not always possible. The hounds can scream away in seconds.” Mr Haden said he “absolutely
refuted” claims by the Hunt Saboteurs Association that the Ledbury Hunt was flouting the law on hunting with dogs by
deliberately targeting foxes. Mr Haden said the hunt goes out about 50 times a year and on average only a handful of
foxes are killed by the hunt accidentally each year.
Lee Moon, spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “They
are trying to fudge the issue. They are claiming it was an accident, which we do not believe. The actual kill is in the video.
They are flouting the law, absolutely – the reason being the police does not
enforce the act and the act is full of loopholes.” A Hunt Saboteurs press release states: “Footage
of the kill, and from beforehand, is being examined by lawyers from the RSPCA to determine if there are grounds for
prosecution under the Hunting Act.” RSPCA press spokesperson Helen Coen said: “We have been made aware
of the footage and are currently looking into it.”
'Guardian angel' monitor rescues young fox from jaws of Old Berks hounds
of dramatic rescue can be seen on You Tube
22-11-12 Press Release FOX SNATCHED FROM THE SNAPPING JAWS OF THE
OLD BERKS* HOUNDS - DRAMATIC RESCUE OF FOX CAPTURED ON FILM A young vixen owes her life to the quick thinking and courage
of a hunt monitor who literally dived in and grabbed her from amongst the hounds that were just about to maul her to death.
The young woman was out monitoring the
Old Berks Fox Hounds last Wednesday, 14th November. The Hunt met at Elmwood House,
Black Bourton in Oxfordshire. Not long after the hunt moved off , the Huntsman sent the hound pack into woodland and thick
undergrowth. Just after 11.30 am, the hounds found the fox in scrub next to large slurry tanks on the edge of a farm.
Fortunately for the fox, her "guardian angel" was
only feet away. With no thought for her own safety, the monitor shouted at the hounds as they closed in on the fox, and running
forward, was able to snatch the terrified animal. She then scooped her up, away from amongst the hounds, which
would in moments have undoubtedly torn the young animal to pieces. The fox had already been bowled over onto her back, leaving her stomach exposed. Despite having been bitten by the terrified fox, the monitor hurried the
traumatised animal away, cradled in her arms, whilst her colleague, who filmed the whole incident, called for help.
Being followed by a Hunt participant, they reached a fellow monitor's car and the fox was then driven away to safety.
She was checked for injuries, and thanks to the monitor's lightning reactions, was found to have no serious bites.
The fox's rescuer (who wishes to remain anonymous) said of her actions:- “I just reacted. I couldn't leave
the poor little thing to be torn apart by the dogs. But it was worth all the pain and stress and I would do it all again in
a heartbeat. I feel privileged to have been able to rescue her. Words cannot express my contempt for people who terrify and
kill defenceless wild animals."
The fox has now been rehabilitated into an area where she will be safe from the hunt. The footage clearly shows that when
the hounds reach the fox, there is no "quick nip to the back of the neck", as claimed by hunters, a claim always
disputed by post mortem evidence of foxes killed by hounds. The incident has been reported to the RSPCA.
All hunt monitors mentioned above are Associates of Protect Our
Wild Animals. POWA campaigns for significant
strengthening of the Hunting Act 2004, both to deter hunters from bending and breaking the spirit and letter of the law and
to make it much easier to enforce. POWA fully supports the work of hunt monitors, but neither employs nor commissions them.
The Prime Minister's wife Samantha Cameron has links with the Old Berks Hunt. Her stepfather, Lord Astor, is
Chairman of the hunt. Lord Astor married Mrs Cameron’s mother in 1976 after her divorce from Sir Reginald Sheffield.
David Cameron is believed to have first ridden
to hounds with the Old Berks, many years ago. He is now associated mainly with another Oxfordshire Hunt, the Heythrop. The
Heythrop, and four of its members, are facing over forty charges of illegal hunting in a case brought by the RSPCA, scheduled
to begin on December 17th.
Mr. Cameron has pledged to try to repeal the Hunting Act.
and clear film of the incident was obtained by both monitors.
The YouTube video gained almost 10,000 views in its first
Hunt riders, including the Huntsman, and foot followers were very close to the scene.
Pics above illustrate
the sequence of events:-
Upper left - The young fox being menaced by the
Upper right - Hounds attacking the fox after bowling it over
Lower left - Immediately after, monitor
rescues the fox having rated the hounds off it
Lower right - Monitor carrying the terrified fox to safety
22-11-12 BBC News Online – Oxford
Oxfordshire anti hunt campaigners film fox with hounds Anti hunt campaigners have
filmed footage of themselves retrieving a fox from a group of hounds during a hunt in Oxfordshire. The hunt monitors,
lead by Judy Gilbert, said if they had not been there the dogs would have killed the fox. In a statement, the Old Berkshire
hunt said no foxes were hunted on 14 November when the footage was filmed, and rejected any suggestion that it broke the law.
It added: "A fox appeared in a farmyard with five stray hounds and was jumped on by animal rights activists."
Trouble-ridden Ross Harriers trespass and chase pet cat up a tree
alleges further invasion of his woodland by RH since
The Forester Pet cat ran for its life as hounds gave chase
A hunt has been accused of terrorising a family pet days after its master was convicted of racially harassing a protester.
Dad William Ricks claims Ross Harrier hounds chased daughter Anna's cat after coming out of the Forest of Dean and onto his land on Saturday. Five hours later the cat Minna [left, cradled by Anna Ricks] was found cowering 30ft up
a tree in the middle of the woods. He has complained to police and the Forestry Commission about the incident last Saturday.
On Thursday, Harrier’s hunt master David Lee Peters was found guilty of using racially abusive words to a protester
sitting in her car. He was fined £720, and ordered to pay his victim £200 compensation. He was in
charge of the pack when Mr Ricks claims dogs ran into his garden from adjoining Bailey Inclosure. “The cat legged
it into the woods chased by around six or eight baying hounds,” he said. “It was running for its life. You
can imagine how terrifying it must have been for the young cat to be pursued by a pack of hounds in full cry.”
He said the family and several neighbours spent more than five hours looking for Norwegian Forest cat Minna. “We
prepared ourselves for the worse because we thought she might have been ripped to shreds,” he said. “In
the end she was shaken but fine because she could scramble up the tree away from the hounds.” He reported it to
the police and the Forestry Commission. “Whatever people think about hunting in principle, I feel very strongly
that the hunt should be stopped from riding roughshod over local residents and allowing their hounds to enter residential
gardens and terrorise domestic animals,” he said.
West Mercia Police confirrmed officers were called to Hope Mansell
after a complaint about dogs from a hunt being on the land of local residents. A spokesman said: “Officers established
that no criminal offences had been committed. Words of advice were given to both hunt members and the landowners.”
Nationally, the Forestry Commission allows trail or drag hunting, but not fox hunting on its land. Only Cotswold Vale
Hunt has permits for Lea Bailey two days this season and Deputy Surveyor Kevin Stannard has asked the Harriers for an explanation.
Hunt spokesman Anna Ernsting said: “The Ross Harriers regret that hounds were able to freely access gardens from farm
land where we had permission to be. Letters have already been sent to the residents and we will inform them in advance should
we be in the area again. We are not the only hunt in the area.”
10-12-12 Hereford Times Anger after hunt hounds
chase cat though family garden POLICE were called after hounds from a Herefordshire hunt ran
through a family garden and chased a pet cat. William Ricks, who lives at Hope Mansell, has called for hunts to stop “riding
roughshod over local residents” after hounds from the Ross Harriers entered his private garden.... William said: “Whatever people think about hunting in principle,
I feel very strongly that the hunt should be stopped from riding roughshod over local residents and allowing their hounds
to enter residential gardens and terrorise domestic animals.”
Anna Ernsting, huntmaster of the Ross Harriers,
told the Hereford
hounds did unexpectedly run into woods on November 17. “We
understand Mr Rick’s garden is not fenced and his cat presumably took the best possible action if it sensed danger,
although, in our opinion, the hounds did not hunt or injure the cat.”
After receiving a card from Ms Ernsting
on November 21 – in which she said “should we be in the area again we will let you know well in advance in case
you may wish to keep your cat inside” – the Ricks hoped the ordeal was over. But, William claims, just a
few days later on November 24 the hounds were in the family’s woodland which is home to wild hare, deer and badgers.
Ms Ernsting said the dogs were this time returning from exercise when they came across a fresh scent and ran through an open
gate into woods. She does not, however, believe it was the Ricks’ wood. “The hounds are exercised regulary along
this stretch of road and local residents will know that there has never been any problems with any pets or farm stock.”
said Ms Ernsting. “The Ross Harriers take every precaution to hunt within the law at all times and are very grateful to the landowners who permit us to cross their land.
However we do appreciate that we are not welcome by all and do bear this in mind. The master huntsman
states that this was the first time this has happened in the three years he has been in charge of the hounds.”
spokesman for West Mercia Police confirmed that the force received a call to Hope Mansell on November 17 about hounds chasing a cat on private
land and an officer advised the caller it was a civil issue.
POWAperson comments;- The 'master huntsman' referred
to by Ms Ernsting above is presumably Mr. Lee Peters, the recently convicted racist. What organisation other than a
Hunt would think it was acceptable to leave someone who had so utterly disgraced himself, his employer and his 'profession'
in post? Not that the Harriers need much more showing up, when they hunt close to the legal knuckle, invade others'
property and chase their pets and have supporters convicted of violent offences. If local people, especially celebrity
followers like the 'Top Gear' presenter Richard Hammond, would simply deny the Harriers access to their
land and cease to support, them they would find things much harder and, hopefully, modify their behaviour, and, hopefully,
their personnel. Peters is pictured above, in January, with police - to whom he had, reportedly, earlier
said he was 'too busy' to speak when they wanted to discuss the accusation of racist abuse that had been made against
Sanctuary owners claim they're being terrorised by South Coast fox hunt 20-11-12 HSA Press Release Local
Hunt terrorises landowners Volunteers for a fox rescue project are being harrassed and terrorised by their
local hunt, believed to be the East Sussex and Romney Marsh [right]. On Saturday 17th of November they were walking
their 15 year old blind dog on their land in Trolliloes, East Sussex, when they saw a pack of hounds chasing a young fawn.
The fawn was inches from the hounds jaws and was swerving desperately to keep away from them. The hounds briefly had the deer on the ground but luckily it managed to
get back up and fled across the property's boundary. During the chase the hounds knocked over the old dog and it fled
When members of the hunt arrived on the scene they were abusive to the landowners and tried to run them
down with horses and vehicles. The police were called but claimed they were too busy to attend the incident. This
is the latest in a series of incidents including dead animals left on their property, repeated trespass and threats of arson.
The landowners have had it made clear to them that their ongoing work with animal charities and rehabilitation of wildlife
has made them a target for the Hunt.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: " For the
hunt to so blatantly target land that is purposely kept for animals to take sanctuary, and for the landowners to be treated
in this way, is indicative of the mindset of these people. They have no respect or regard for anyone but themselves"
POWAperson comments:- Assuming the report is correct, this is by far from the first time that hunters have
menaced local sanctuaries or nature reserves, and their owners, either deliberately or in their arrogant recklessness.
Many other landowners are invaded each year, with property being damaged and pets and livestock chased, injured or even
killed. We cannot be sure the Hunt concerned here is the ES & RM. But they seem to have some recent
'form' for havoc. In 2011, the League Against Cruel Sports stated that the Hunt had been so out of control on
Forestry Commission land the previous season that Commission staff revoked their licence. It appears they had caused
similar problems the previous season, but then the Commission trusted the MFHA to curb them by having a 'quiet word'.
The MFHA are hardly noted for their strict disciplinary control over misbehaving member Hunts. Indeed, it is rare for
them to take any action in response to complaints.
Somerset Hunts halted
because of equine herpes virus
20-11-12 BBC News Online Somerset hunts postponed over equine
herpes virus Hunts in Somerset have been cancelled due to fears of a virus affecting horses
in the region. Equine herpes virus (EHV-1) can cause inflammation of blood vessels in the spinal cord or brain.
Exmoor Foxhounds, Devon and Somerset Staghounds and Dulverton and West Fox Hounds have all cancelled this week's hunts
as a precaution. It comes as a stables in Devon was voluntarily quarantined after its horses developed the disease.
EHV-1 can be transmitted through the air from respiratory infection or by close contact between horses and, although
it can be treated, in some cases it can be fatal.
Sir Richard Peek, chairman of Exmoor Foxhounds, said: "Until
we know how this is going on, we thought it would be sensible to stay quiet for a couple of days and find out when the quarantined
period has gone past and we might be able to go on again." He said they were not intending to stop for very long.
"It doesn't seem right to be taking horses and hounds across ground where people might be unhappy that there
might be a disease about," he added. UPDATE - the suspensions lasted just one week.
Nice to see some Hunts behaving responsibly for once. Several Hunts were repeatedly filmed breaking biosecurity regulations
after they were allowed to resume hunting in the wake of the 2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic. Indeed, they don't usually
seem concerned about their potential for spreading whatever diseases, including the potentially human-fatal hydatid disease,
which can arise from poor feeding practices with hounds, possibly, bovine Tb, and now ash dieback, for which, given the
amount they travel from wood to wood over large distances, they are surely a serious likely vector. DEFRA, however,
surprise, surprise, have given Hunts the OK to carry on charging all over the countryside regardless.
N.Yorks policeman explains why he can't/won't enforce the Hunting Act 17-11-12
A short film clip has been uploaded to You Tube by 'Somersab'. It features the police officer, at a meet of the York and Ainsty South FH, stating
the problems he has acting against Hunts who look as though they may be hunting illegally. Among other things,
he says "You and I both know what goes on. Now I know, if it's a drag hunt, they're saying
it's a drag hunt, and I know sometimes they go out it isn't always a drag hunt, but until the law gets changed there
isn't an awful lot we can do with it. I tell you, it's an arse sometimes..... "
comments:- This officer's words aptly illustrate the 'double whammy' Hunts enjoy from the manifold
weaknesses of the Hunting Act itself, acting in a negative feedback loop with the clear reluctance some Forces and
individual officers evidently have to even try to enforce it. The Act's deficiencies often give the authorities an
excuse not to act, or even to fail to respond at all adequately to complaints, whether this reluctance stems from an unreadiness
to get involved in difficult, controversial cases that might just upset some powerful people, or whether they might not personally
support the ban and may be allowing this to influence their judgement and attitudes towards sabs and monitors.
It can be hard to tell which attitude you are dealing with. Though, in this Officer's case, and for their part,
Sheffield sabs, who seem to know him of old, are in little doubt which category he falls into, writing on their own Facebook
page that '....This cop is a nasty piece of work - he lies about sabs, says he shoots "vermin",
and as can be seen, he loves the sound of his own voice! He's one of the officers we have a case against for corrupt policing
at the moment.' Well, good luck with that sabs.
I expect he loves you too, but cop/sab is rarely a marriage made in heaven.
IFAW announces new 'enhanced' hunt monitoring programme
ready to go 16-11-12 IFAW website [by Jorge Casmitjana, Campaigns and Enforcement
Officer IFAW UK]
November brings the dark spectre of fox hunting season, and with
it new enhanced monitoring Every
year November brings something else to the British countryside than just darker evenings....
If you are a fox in an area where illegal foxhunting may take place, it also brings the dark spectre of the “hunting
season”. It is not that foxes are safe before that, as the “cub hunting” season already started a few weeks
earlier, allegedly to train young hounds to chase foxes, though hunts will deny that. They will say that since the Hunting
Act 2004 was enacted, cub hunting does not happen anymore, and that during the hunting season no foxes are hunted by any organised
hunt… unless “accidents” happen.
There have been several successful convictions on Hunting Act offences
(over 180 already), but the number of allegations of illegal hunting made by members of the public and experts on the subject
are far more numerous. We believe that not enough of these have been investigated, and not enough illegal hunters
have been prosecuted. This is why, in 2005, International Fund for Animal Welfare, together with other like-minded organisations,
decided to monitor hunts’ activities and gather evidence to help prosecutions. This was essential as hunts
were clearly defying the new law of the land, and in fact continue to do so whilst also calling for its repeal. We have been “hunt monitoring” ever
since, but we have seen slow progress by prosecuting agencies in taking the available evidence to its final conclusion.
In essence, we believe that the Hunting Act is not being enforced as it should. Whether this is because neither the
police nor the Crown Prosecution Service in the areas we operate are very enthusiastic about enforcing the Hunting Act, or
for other reasons, the fact remains that whilst straightforward “monitoring” has had some success, we would like
to see more and ultimately the eradication of illegal hunting.
This is why this season we decided to do something else:
“Enhanced monitoring”. By stepping up our hunt monitoring work, we are aiming to increase the number of
prosecutions under the Hunting Act. This means getting the latest State of the Art equipment, more cameras, and more
people to operate them. We are improving the way we present the evidence to those that have to take the case forward
and are developing better evidence gathering techniques. We are also diversifying our team of Wildlife Crime Investigators,
(which now includes ex-police officers, electronic engineers, professional investigators, wildlife crime experts, etc.) and
are developing new tactics and strengthening our methods. We can already say that we have moved to the next level, and IFAW’s
Enhanced Monitoring is a reality, not just an aspiration.
However, the logistics of our new team are far more complex
and challenging and the whole operation is also more expensive. We are having to work longer, and work harder, still under
the same harsh conditions of the British winter and the hostile environment created by the hunts and their supporters. This
is what drives us: dedication, endurance, perseverance, and never forgetting who we are working for: for those foxes, deer
and hares who are still chased and killed in the countryside, despite the fact that most of the nation has clearly decided
that this should not happen anymore.
POWAperson says:- POWA yields to none in its support and admiration for
hunt monitors, who do a fantastic, arduous, usually frustrating, frequently dangerous job, often for no reward.
So, it is great news that IFAW is beefing up its monitoring operations and we wish them safety and success.
But, much as we would love to be proved wrong, it remains POWA's position that it is unlikely that the fanatics of the
hunting community will be adequately restrained by more monitoring, or even an increased number of successful prosecutions.
We still believe it necessary for the Hunting Act itself to be substantially strengthened and its sanctions enhanced, both
to increase its deterrent effect and to make it easier to enforce. We would therefore like to see the major anti-hunting
organisations openly campaigning for this [though, clearly, the current Government would not grant it!].
And, much as
we are loath to agree with the CA about anything, it would be nice if the 'Big Three' would stop disingenuously
quoting the total number of Hunting Act convictions. We all know that the vast majority of these have indeed been
for 'poaching type offences, which were already unlawful before the 2004 hunting 'ban'. It
is liable to give the impression that the Hunting Act has been far more effective in bringing transgressive organised Hunts
to book than it actually has.
Ross Harriers JM/Huntsman convicted of racially abusing female sab
Second charge of using threatening words to another sab also proved
BBC News Online Ross Harriers hunt master guilty of racially abusing protester
A hunt master has been found guilty at Hereford Magistrates' Court of racially abusing and threatening a protester.
David Lee Peters, from Coughton, Ross-on-Wye, was fined £720, and ordered to pay his victim £200 compensation. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
said the the offence took place on 7 January when the Ross Harriers Hunt met at Aston Crew in Herefordshire. The
CPS said 33-year-old Peters used "racially abusive words" to a protester who was sitting in her car.
Molloy, from the CPS, said: "This type of language or behaviour will not and should not be tolerated by anyone."
He said people from all communities had a right to be protected from "the prejudice at the root of racist or hate crime".
Peters had denied charges of using threatening, abusive or insulting words and disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment,
alarm or distress.
The BBC story above omitted the most significant financial penalty, as Peters had to pay
£2000 prosecution costs. This is not, though, a 'fine', as the Mirror piece below suggests.
16-11-12 Daily Mirror Fined £3,000: Hunt master found guilty of hurling racist abuse at black protester
A hunt master was yesterday fined nearly £3,000 for calling a black protester a “f***ing w**”. Ross
Harriers hunt chief David Lee Peters, 33, launched the tirade at Hiba Hassan as she sat with a group of saboteurs in a 4x4
vehicle. At Hereford magistrates court, the married dad of one, from Ross-on-Wye, was convicted of racially aggravated harassment.
Witness Robert Muncey had said: “He yelled to riders behind, ‘They’ve got a f****** w** in here’.”
Reporter Ross Harriers hunt master found guilty of racially abusing hunt protester
A HUNTSMAN has been found guilty of racially abusing a protestor at a hunt near Ross-on-Wye. David Lee Peters, who is the master of the Ross Harriers Hunt, called a black woman “a
wog” during a meet in Aston Crews in January. The 33-year-old, from Coughton, was also found guilty of using
threatening words towards another protester at the same hunt........
POWAperson comments: Peters' conviction for racist abuse illustrates the mind-set of
hunters, which often seems replete with bigoted attitudes generally. Last December, Alan Morgan, the huntsman of the Cotswold
Vale Farmers FH was similarly convicted of racially abusing a sab. Earlier this year, POWA Associate Judy Gilbert posted on
YouTube a video of Heythrop FH supporter 'Jim French' spouting vile racist investive, including
the 'n' word, during a meet. POWA now has records of 311 persons from organised Hunts convicted
or cautioned since 1990, having committed at least 440 offences between them.
In keeping with POWA's no censorship
policy, the derogatory words and curses asterisked by the Mail in their report below of Day 1 of the trial have
been replaced by the actual words used. No offence to any group or person is intended by this.
14-11-12 Daily Mail The trial first day was also covered by the Daily Mirror
Hunt master 'racially abused black anti-blood
sports protester calling her a fucking wog'
Master 'hurled abuse at "saboteurs" who attended meet to voice protest
Peters claims he
was verbally abused and called 'Welsh sheep shagging cunt'
A hunt master hurled racist abuse at a black anti-blood sports
protester, calling her a 'fucking wog', a court heard. David Lee Peters [right, with police in January],
33, hurled insults at a group of ‘saboteurs’ who gathered in 4x4 vehicles to voice their protests at a meet in
Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on January 7. The married father-of-one - who is the master of the Ross Harriers hunt - went on to abuse protester Hiba Hassan and call her a fucking wog as he rode past
on horseback, JPs were told. A court heard Peters, also known as Lee, had called police to disperse the protesters who
claimed they were monitoring for illegal hunting. But he was arrested when the anti-hunting group told officers about
the alleged racist slur.
Today Peters, from Ross-on-Wye, appeared before Hereford Magistrates Court charged with racially
aggravated harassment. Addressing him prosecutor Michael Taylor said: 'You tried to take a look inside the Land
Rover. 'You even went to look in the back and when you saw a black person you shouted out "look there’s a fucking
wog in there". Presumably loud enough to impress the people behind you.'
Giving evidence Ms Hassan told
the court she was on her first hunt protest and was left 'upset' by the insult. She said: 'Mr Peters began
banging on the Land Rover and shouting at us. 'I heard him say "you’re going to get it" and he called
me a "wog" when he saw me. He saw me and then he said "they’ve got a fucking wog in there".
He was aggressive
the whole way through. Everyone was in hearing distance. 'I felt very alienated and upset and shocked. I don’t think
people use the word ‘wog’ in this day and age. Less than an hour later the police officer approached me.
They asked me if I had any trouble and if I’d experienced any abusive behaviour from anyone and I said yes I had, I
said the hunt master had been abusive towards me. I was quite upset at the time.'
Witness Robert Muncey told
the court he was tending to his garden when the incident occurred. He said: 'The lead rider crouched down as he
came passed the Land Rover looking in the cab window. He then crouched around by the back window. He yelled out
the following to the riders behind him: "Oh look, they’ve got a fucking wog in here". It was said very
loudly in a venomous manner. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. I really thought there was going to be
Peters admitted shouting some threats towards the group as he passed them on horseback
but denied using racist language. Giving evidence he said: 'I was told that there were ‘sabs’
(saboteurs) present. The information I had was that they had baseball bats. I phoned the police and just told
them the information I had. As soon as you’re aware of saboteurs, it’s my duty as a master to inform the
police. We left the pub and went around the bend and there’s some saboteurs to my left hand side just parked up
really. I did not stop because I had the hounds around me. And I didn’t say those words, I didn’t
hear those words. Then I retraced my steps back up the lane. I got near enough to the top and one of the saboteurs
made a grab for me and had me by the leg trying to get me off the horse. He called me a "Welsh sheep-shagging cunt.".
I managed to dislodge him and carried on around the bend away from him. I weren’t happy because he had tried to have me off the horse.
He was running alongside me pointing at me. I was threatening to keep him away from me. It was a reaction I had
because I was backed into a corner.' Peters denies racially aggravated harassment.
The trial continues.
RSPCA alerts public to illegal cubhunting in
South West Wales
Western Mail Incidents of illegal fox cubbing reported to RSPCA officers Illegal hunting for juvenile
foxes could be taking place in parts of rural Wales, the RSPCA has warned.
Officers in West Wales have said several complaints have been made about cubbing – the hunting of young foxes to train foxhounds. They say incidents have been reported in parts of Pembrokeshire
and Carmarthenshire and have asked that people report suspected cases. The Countryside Alliance said there was no evidence
to support the claims and have pointed to a lack of arrests or cautions by police.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said hunting juvenile foxes could be more difficult
to detect than adult hunting as it tends to happen very early in the morning. “One of the historical reasons behind
‘cubbing’ was to train fox hounds as juveniles are in theory easier to hunt than adults. In order to do this,
the hounds were taken out at around 3am or 4am before the cubs have dispersed. “I have had reports of it happening in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire and I want to remind people that this practice
is illegal.” He said in the last couple of months a number of alleged incidents had been flagged up in the
region. While fox cubs are the main target
, Mr Hogben said that very often a clearing in woodland is selected and other animals are hunted. It can be the case that
any small animal in that area is used as a bait and hunting practice, along with the fox cubs.
It is an unpleasant form of training dogs and something the RSPCA wants
to put an end to. The practice is entirely illegal under the Hunting Act 2004.”
The Countryside Alliance's hunting
officer Adrian Simpson disputed the RSPCA’s warning and said there had not been a single arrest in West and South Wales
since the ban on cubbing was introduced. He said: “These are spurious allegations. Trail hunts are legal and what hunts
do.The police have not made an arrest since
the ban came in and there has not been one prosecution. So I’d ask what evidence is there to say otherwise.”......
Pic above left is of 2 juvenile foxes, of the age likely to be victimised in cub hunting. They were released from
Little Foxes Sanctuary, in Oxfordshire. The sanctuary is run by POWA Associate Penny Little. Pic below right is of a
young fox allegedly killed at a cubbing meet of the Essex and Suffolk FH in 2007.
Carmarthen Journal RSPCA on alert after claims of rogue fox hunts AN RSPCA inspector is
urging the public to be aware of an illegal form of fox hunting he claims could be taking place in West Wales. Keith Hogben
said he had recently received several complaints about cubbing — the hunting of young foxes to train foxhounds. Mr Hogben
said: "I have had reports of it happening in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire and want to remind people that it is illegal."
However, the Countryside Council for Wales said there was no evidence to support the claims. Hunting officer Adrian Simpson said there had not been a single arrest across West
and South Wales since the ban on cubbing was introduced.
Mr Hogben told the Journal this week: "It is often done
early in the morning and is used to train young hounds." He added in the last couple months a number of alleged
incidents had been reported to him. However, while fox cubs are the main target, Mr Hogben said that very often a clearing
in woodland is selected and not just cubs are hunted. He added: "It can be the case that any small animal in that
area is used as a bait and hunting practice along with the fox cubs. I want people who spot any such activity to contact
the RSPCA immediately. It is an unpleasant form of training dogs and something the RSPCA wants to put an end to. The
practice is now illegal under the Hunting Act 2004."
The work being done by the RSPCA is being backed up by the
animal welfare group West Wales Animal Aid. Chairman David Petersen, of St Clears, said he was concerned about cubbing
across the UK. He said: "We in West Wales Animal Aid are determined that these cruel blood sports are exposed for
what they are. The young hounds are set onto known fox lairs where they scatter the young foxes and kill them, by ripping
them apart." Mr Petersen said he and members of West Wales Animal Aid were vigilant at this time of year and
were echoing the RSPCA in trying to raise awareness with the general public. He said as a group they tried to build
up any evidence and work with the RSPCA and police.
Adrian Simpson said there was no evidence to support such claims,
adding: "These are spurious allegations and the Countryside Council maintains that they are totally unfounded. Trail
hunting is legal and what hunts do. The police have not made one arrest since the ban came in. There has not been one prosecution,
so I'd ask what evidence there is to say otherwise?" Contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234999.
Note the mistake in the above article. Adrian Simpson does not represent the Countryside Council for Wales,
which is the Welsh equivalent of the independent advisory body on the environment, Natural England. After POWAperson
pointed out to the CCW this misascription, which they said had also originally appeared in the Western Mail, he was told their
Press Officer was 'hopping mad' about it and demanding an apology. The error was probably the newspaper's,
though the CJ journalist concerned insisted to POWA that this was how Mr. Simpson had represented himself to him.
Simpson has been a CA spokesman for several years, but we believe he is the same person who, under the psuedonym 'Daegi'
used to write extremely enthusiastic articles about terrier work for blood sport fanatic magazines such as Shooting News.
He was also one of the people arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in 2008, in connection with Otis Ferry
being charged with that offence. Ferry spent four months on remand, but the CPS eventually decided to drop that case,
so presumably the whole thing was another ghastly mistake by the forces of law and order. Ferry was, however, convicted
of causing fear, distress and upset to 2 female hunt monitors, reportedly avoiding conviction for robbery by maintaining he'd
intended to return the video camera he'd snatched from the ladies. Quite the gentleman, our Otis.
adds:- Cubhunting is one of the vilest aspects of fox hunting, practised usually, and secretively in the
early morning, very difficult and potentially very dangerous to monitor or sab. It is believed to be still widely practised,
even in its traditional 'hold up' form, where a mix of new and experienced hounds are put into a covert known to contain
foxes and the wood surrounded by riders and followers who try to turn back any foxes that attempt to escape. The 'prestigious'
Meynell & South Staffs FH were practising this form of cubhunting when they were covertly filmed by hunt sabs, film
that resulted in the conviction of their Chairman [precipitating his resignation] and a terrierman earlier this autumn.
Former Beaufort FH kennelman wins suit blaming them for his hydatidosis 12-11-12 Yorkshire Post Worms that turn out to be costly for employer
A LEADING English hunt has paid compensation to a former employee who claimed his liver problems were caused by poor control
of tapeworm in the hound pack. Lawyers have been circulating details as a warning to hunts and farmers who run
working dogs. They point out cattle and sheep could be carrying eggs from the same worms, making stock handlers vulnerable
- and also eligible to sue. They quote Defra figures showing more than nine per cent of hounds tested excreted the eggs of
Echinococcus granulosus and there was a substantial risk of human handlers picking one up.
Brethertons of Banbury, Oxfordshire,
represented Charles Wheeler, who worked 16 years for a "prestigious" Gloucestershire hunt, before moving to a Pacific
island to start a fishing business. He fell ill with serious chest and abdominal pains and was flown to Brisbane, Australia,
where his problems were traced to "hydatid cysts", on his liver, caused by the worm eggs. He recalled the
hounds he looked after would eat mainly raw meat and offal from dead sheep, which in turn were likely to have picked up eggs
from dog faeces. The dogs were not wormed regularly, he said, because of financial constraints. The hunt recently settled
out of court after five years of legal argument.
Sioban Calcott, a personal injury specialist at Brethertons, said: "It
is no longer an excuse to argue that you cannot afford costly worming programmes. The fact of the matter is, you cannot afford
not to." Felicity Wyatt, head of Brethertons' agricultural division, said: "The disease is endemic in most of
Europe. Sheep are important intermediate hosts, although this is also the case for cattle that graze on pastures contaminated
with dog faeces."
This is the advice to Hunts and farmers
with working dogs issued by Mr.Wheeler's solicitors, a firm that has a specialist agricultural division:-
Hound Parasite Creates Increased Risk To Human Health
Hunting with hounds has always proved controversial, but a recent legal case has highlighted increased
health risks to humans and prompted calls for more rigorous ‘best practice' worming protocols at all hunt kennels.
It is no longer the foxes that are in danger from hunting with hounds - it is now their handlers who face long-term health
risks from inadequate worming programmes because of financial constraints, according to DEFRA figures and Brethertons LLP,
a law practice with a specialist agricultural team that advised in a recent international case.
The case involved a kennel
huntsman of 20 years who contracted hydatid disease leading to the growth of a hydatid cyst on his liver. This disease
is very rarely acquired in the UK. Hydatid disease occurs when humans inadvertently ingest the excreted eggs of
the dog tape worm that can live in the dog's small intestines. Dogs are infected by eating offal from recovered
dead sheep stock that have hydatid cysts. Sheep in turn acquire hydatid disease from ingestion of dog tapeworm eggs
in the paddocks and the cycle of infection continues when dogs eat offal from infected sheep. The cycle can be
broken by frequent worming of dogs to prevent tapeworm egg shedding and ensuring that only properly cooked offal is fed to
dogs to prevent infection and re-infection of the dogs. For humans, this disease only requires one microscopic parasite
egg to be ingested for the disease to occur.
DEFRA figures reveal an increase in the reporting of Echinococcus granulosus
as more than nine per cent of hounds tested were carriers of the intermediate host which equates to a one in five risk to
human handlers acquiring the condition. Its report suggests that since the end of the dog worming programme in
the mid-1980s, there is an ‘increasing trend of dog infestation', as illustrated by the case in question that was
eventually settled out of court. The cysts which cause serious chest and abdominal pains can have long-term effects.
The experienced handler had left his 16 year employment at a prestigious English Hunt some years previously to start a new
life running a chartered deep sea fishing business in the Pacific Ocean. The Claimant who had to undergo a major operation
on his liver, and who now faces the possibility of recurring cysts, had to be flown more than 1000 miles to a hospital in
Brisbane, Australia to determine the cause of the illness.
The case took more than five years to resolve, but sends a
more immediate healthcare and legal message to hunting kennels, farming and rural-based livestock businesses about the importance
of rigorous worming programmes, according to Sioban Calcott, Head of Commercial Litigation at Brethertons, based in Banbury,
"It is not just hounds that carry or play host to the Echinococcus granulosus tape worm. Sheep
and cattle tested have also displayed signs of infection which of course could pose a great risk to farm workers, many of
whom may seek compensation if they begin to display symptoms themselves. This could have a devastating effect upon rural
businesses that have been impacted by other well-documented livestock health issues in the past," said Calcott, a leading
expert in personal injury litigation.
In the case, the huntsman claimed that the hounds would opportunistically eat from
carcasses of dead sheep stock on grazing farmland that they crossed whilst being exercised or out hunting. Perhaps more
importantly the hounds' diet consisted of 90 per cent raw meat and uncooked offal. He also repeatedly claimed the hound
worming programme was inadequate because of financial constraints imposed upon the hunt, and was not carried out regularly
"The message is clear and simple: put in place and maintain effective worming programmes and keep the records
up to date at both your business premises and with your vet. If a suspected case.... is raised, this paper trail will quickly
provide the necessary audit to demonstrate that you have acted in the best interest of your livestock and your own workers'
health. It is simple and good practice for all rural businesses. It is no longer an excuse to argue that you cannot
afford costly worming programmes because of the impact upon your business. Indeed, the fact of the matter is, you cannot
afford not to carry out this rigorous regime," added Calcott, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
and recognised.... as an expert in her field.
Control measures by kennels and other rural businesses to reduce and potentially
eliminate the spread of the disease include worming hounds, regular abattoir inspection of animal carcasses and the rapid
disposal of affected stock. All meat and offal fed to dogs must be properly cooked according to guidelines.
A Sussex hare hunt supporter threw decapitated rabbit at us,
South Downs Hunt sabs state that at the end of a day during which they
had successfully prevented hunting, a supporter in a passing car threw a rabbit corpse at them.
Hunt Sabs blog Local Hunt Saboteurs today converged on the ‘Brighton Storrington Surrey and North
Sussex Beagles’ meet at the Balcombe Estate north of Haywards Heath. Beagle packs hunt hares and fall under the same
laws which makes the hunting of foxes with hounds illegal. Unlike fox hunting however hare hunting with beagles is conducted
on foot and looks much like a scaled down fox hunt.
From the get go the hunt looked guilty calling the hounds in and
taking them for a short walk before calling the police and a few local ‘boys’ to encourage us off the land. However as they realised
they would not be hunting today they continued to get more and more frustrated, with a supposed landlord’s agent shouting
at and patronising police officers. Once a supposed agent had vented her frustration at police, the hunt eventually heading
back to the meet where they called in a couple more ‘boys’ who turned up wearing masks and who might be linked
to previous violence against groups at other local bloodsport meets.
Once the hunt had packed up and we were sure no
hares would be killed today we left, however whilst chatting in a local car park a decapitated rabbit [right] was
thrown at sabs from the window of a speeding small red car who rapidly exited. Actions such as these highlight the disrespect
of hunts for wildlife and is a clear act of harassment as well as their frustration.
Weston & Banwell JM/Huntsman trial set for 8th April next year
George Milton denied the single charge of illegal hunting put to him at Taunton Magistrates Court on 31st October
and will face trial in the spring. POWA understands that further charges, based on a second day of filming by monitors,
have now been dropped.
Beaufort FH hounds filmed chasing fox at their opening meet
Four weeks ago, the Mail on Sunday published an article implicating the Beaufort FH in the brutal slaughter of surplus bull calves at a
dairy farm that supplied milk to Cadburys. The calf corpses were taken away to feed hounds.[this is actually common
practice all over the country]. On the morning of 3-11-12, the Mail published a multi-picture feature article about the Beaufort and their opening meet which was virtually an
enconium to the Hunt, and which assured readers that they now only hunt 'trails' That same afternoon,,
sabs claim they witnessed at least two 'trails', looking remarkably like foxes, being chased by the Beaufort.
A film clip of hounds pursuing one furry red 'trail' was obtained. Alas, the video evidence that could be
gained would not be adequate to sustain a prosecution for illegal hunting. There follows that monitor's account,
then a PR issued by the HSA. The story was subsequently covered by a local paper [with video online].
of the Duke of Beaufort’s Opening meet from Worcester Lodge, Badminton estate. We observed
proceedings throughout the day and were behind the hunt on foot at the start. Due to low numbers we agreed that the best strategy was to keep a very low profile. At 16.00 on the Didmarton to Sopworth road we were aware of hounds in full cry from
Sopworth Brake. Hounds ran straight to the village of Sopworth and were seen by us hunting a fox from thick undergrowth.
We rated them and made it clear to the hunt (who were a bit surprised) that we were anti-hunt, that we had the fox being hunted
[left] on film and demanded that they call hounds [right] off. The fox ran through the
car supporters and to safety along the road towards Didmarton as the pack went back to hunt another fox through an old tin
shed in thick undergrowth and on through the church and village. We think that they found at Sopworth Brake,
that the fox ran to the village and that a fresh fox (the one we helped who, on a wet day, was dry, fluffy and unmuddied)
was put up [from cover], splitting the pack. If the Beaufort hunt were following a
trail as they claimed and as, indeed, the Daily Mail claimed how did they lay it through thick undergrowth, through detritus
(i.e. tin shed) and then through a residential area? We are certain that 2 foxes were being chased and that
it was only our intervention which helped them escape. We also are appalled at the naive acceptance
by the Daily Mail of this Hunt's blatant falsehoods. The Beaufort are known as a “premier”
pack and acting as though the Hunting Act had never been passed. Meets are advertised both online and in Horse and Hound.
4-11-12 HSA Press Release Prestigious Beaufort Hunt chased
filming a fox Hunt saboteurs fiimed the Beaufort hunt illegally hunting a fox during their
opening meet...... on Saturday. The small group of saboteurs kept a low profile throughout
the day's hunt until, near the end of the day, they saw the hounds in full cry, hunting a fox, near Sopworth village.
They attempted to call the hounds away from the fox and made it clear to the hunt that they had footage of the illegal hunting.
The fox ran through the car supporters and along the road to safety. The pack picked up the scent of another fox
which they hunted through an old tin shed in thick undergrowth and on through the village. Lee
Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "If the Beaufort hunt were following a trail,
as they claimed, then how and why did they lay it through thick undergrowth, underneath an old shed and then through a residential
area? We are certain that 2 foxes were being chased and it was only the intervention of our members which
helped them escape. The reality of a day out with the Beaufort is very different from that portrayed on
the Daily Mail's website."
9-11-12 Wilts & Glos Standard
Hunt saboteurs' footage
of Beaufort Hunt taking part in 'illegal fox hunting'
HUNT saboteurs have released video footage of what they claim shows
illegal fox hunting by the renowned Beaufort Hunt on the weekend. Undercover monitors followed the hunt during their opening
meet of the season at Worcester Lodge on the Badminton Estate. The film, which can be viewed at the
Standard’s website, shows the hounds chasing a fox across a field near the Cotswold village of Sopworth. A local hunting monitor,
who did want to be named for "fear of retaliation", told the Standard: "Nobody tried to stop the hounds. We
had to break our cover to call them off. If we hadn’t been there it would have been killed."
Beaufort hunt spokesman Jo Aldridge said some of the hounds had chased a fox during the hunt, but it was accidental after
the fox had crossed the path of a trail, laid legally for the event. She said: "At that particular moment there wasn’t
a member of hunt staff nearby, but they did call the hounds off as soon as they could."
S.Shrops FH JM Otis Ferry gets three-year
driving ban and fine
3-11-12 Shropshire Star
Shropshire hunt master Otis Ferry banned from road for three years Shropshire hunt master Otis Ferry [right] has been banned from driving for three years after appearing in court
following an arrest on suspicion of drink-driving. Ferry has also been ordered to pay a total of £415 in fines
and costs after being found guilty of failing to provide a breath sample after the incident in London on January 23 this year.
He appeared at West London Magistrates Court this week after a warrant was issued for his arrest last week, when he failed
to attend the hearing at which he was found guilty in his absence by magistrates. A spokesman for the court said the
29-year-old son of Roxy Music star Bryan Ferry, who was charged under the name Charles Frederick Ferry, had the opportunity
to reduce the length of his driving ban if he sits a specialist motoring course. “He was fined and disqualified for
three years from driving,” the spokesman said. Ferry, master of the South Shropshire Hunt from Eaton
Mascott, near Shrewsbury, was given a £200 fine, as well as being ordered to pay £200 court costs and a £15
victim surcharge. He had been stopped by police in the Kensington area in January and failed a roadside breath test.
Ferry was not available for comment today. In 2008 he spent four months in custody accused of attempting
to pervert the course of justice in relation to an affray and assault case before the charges were dropped. In
2004, Ferry was arrested for bursting into the House of Commons as a debate on the hunting bill took place.
POWAperson adds:- Pity the Court couldn't ban him from riding a horse as well. As far as we know, Ferry
has never killed anything while in charge of a motor vehicle.
..... 27th October - Southdown & Eridge FH supporters
attack and injure sabs - supporter arrested
..... 27th October - Otis Ferry convicted of fail provide specimen after
another drink driving arrest
..... 27th October - POWA condemns 'sick' CA advice to Hunts to get schools to
'adopt' a hound
..... 24th October - Ross Harriers supporter fined for assaults caught on camera
22nd October - Lush stores' fake fox hunts highlight low prioritisation of wildlife crime by police
..... 11th October
- Fox Hunts take fright at recent convictions and enhanced monitoring
..... 8th October - Zetland FH being investigated
by police for illegal fox hunting
..... 7th October - Beaufort FH, dairy farm and Cadburys implicated in brutal bull
..... 6th October - Sabs claim were assaulted by Rockwood Harriers - 7 injured, camera stolen
5th October - Cub-hunting convict Greenall resigns as Chairman of Meynell & S.Staffs FH
..... 2nd October - Hunts
mobilised in desperate attempt to save Corby seat for the Conservatives
Southdown & Eridge FH supporter mob attack & injure sabs, says HSA - hunter
HSA Press Release Hunt supporter Arrested after assault on Hunt saboteurs The
Southdown and Eridge fox hunt [right, Boxing Day meet 2010] held its opening meet of the season at Firle, nr Lewes, East Sussex, today. It was clear from the start that they intend to carry on their practice of flaunting the
hunting ban and launching organised attacks against any who oppose them.
Slightly east of the meet the huntsman put up
a fox and was encouraging the hounds onto the scent. Before sabs were able to intervene they were subject to an unprovoked
attacked by around 10 hunt supporters, the very same men who had been the perpetrators of similar attacks in the past two
seasons. The attack left three hunt saboteurs with head wounds and severe bruising which resulted in hospitalisation
and stiches. Their attackers also stole a video camera and glasses. Following these attacks the sabs were ridden
at by members of the hunt, driven at by a car follower and then assaulted by the ‘hunt stewards' while attempting
to seek medical treatment. The police were called but said they could not take any action until statements had been taken.
The remaining sabs soon located the hunt on the South Downs, a national park, with the Huntsman off his horse clearly hunting.
Before video evidence could be gathered they were surrounded by four quad bikes carrying the same men who had carried out
the earlier assault, and attacked again. The police were once again called and eventually arrested one hunt supporter.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "We are pleased that the police eventually arrested
one hunt supporter however they should of acted decisively much earlier in the day. The South Down and Eridge should have
realised by now that violence doesn't deter our members and in fact only makes them more determined to thwart their illegal
Pic above left is one of two sabs allegdly attacked by
a mob of S&E supporters in October 2009. Below is the story as covered by the local paper. It is rare for newspapers to
carry accounts of hunter attacks on sabs, though the HSA sends them plenty.
30-10-12 Brighton Argus Hunt saboteurs: 'Masked men attacked
us' An anti-foxhunting group claims its members were attacked by masked men for trying
to spot animal cruelty. Police were called to clashes at the Southdown and Eridge Fox Hunt in Firle, near
Lewes, on Saturday in which a number of people were hurt. One man was arrested on suspicion of assault.
The Hunt Saboteurs Association said three of its supporters had to go to hospital to be treated for head wounds. It
also claimed its video cameras and glasses had been stolen in what it described as an unprovoked attack.
The group monitors fox hunts in the South East to ensure hunters are abiding by the Hunting Act 2004 - legislation that outlaws
the hunting of foxes with dogs. A spokesman for the Association said: "Three of our members who were
filming the hunt were suddenly confronted and then assaulted by between eight to 10 men, some of whom were masked.
All three people were punched to the ground where the men proceeded to kick and beat them." Matt
Fincham, the head of media relations for the Countryside Alliance, said the people involved in the clash had no association
with the hunt. Sussex Police confirmed they had arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion
of assault. A force spokesman said: "The man, from Haywards Heath, was arrested around 4pm after an allegation
of assault was made following confrontations between hunt protestors and members of the Southdown and Eridge Hunt. Earlier
in the day, police had been called to Charleston where two people were treated for injuries by ambulance personnel."
The 28-year-old was questioned before being released on bail until December 3.
more detailed account of the latest incidents has also been uploaded, including a photo [below, right] of one of
the sabs injured during the day;-
South Downs Hunt Sabs Violent attack on hunt saboteurs leaves two in hospital At
the opening meet of the South Down and Eridge fox hunt.... . Three hunt sabs were attacked and severely beaten by ten
hired thugs. The sabs had been following the hunt at Firle, East Sussex and were in the process of filming them
hunting a fox when four cross-country quad bikes loaded with heavies arrived, and, without hesitation, attacked them. The attackers
were all wearing balaclavas and carrying weapons. They launched a sustained and extremely vicious and attack on
the trio. Outnumbered they stood no chance of defending themselves ,and once on the ground were repeatedly kicked
and battered with sticks, One of the sabs was almost unconscious by the time the attack eventually stopped. During
the assault a video camera containing evidence of illegal hunting was stolen.
Even then their ordeal wasn't over,
Covered in blood and in extreme pain they attempted to make their way back to find the other sabs, who were frantically trying
to reach them. As they tried to leave a driver of one quad bike attempted to run them down, as did one of the horse
mounted red coats. They were also attacked a few minutes later by the so-called stewards, hired by the hunt to monitor
the sabs, This only stopped when other sabs arrived at the scene. By the time they had managed to reach the road
the police and an ambulance had arrived. The news was worrying,the paramedics at the scene suspected that one activist
had a fractured skull and broken ribs (thankfully after x rays and a thorough examination in hospital this turned out not
to be true).
Just when we thought that the day couldn't get much worse, Sussex Police decided to get involved.
In their usual impartial manner. The thugs, now minus balaclavas, were pointed out. Unbelievably
one officer asked.. "Well,what do you want us to do about it.?". The sabs suggested that they should
at least take details so they would have something to refer back to later, or maybe conduct a search for the video camera.
The officer's response was..."Well,if you want to come to the station and make a statement...we follow it up later"!!!
Can you imagine..say you'd just been attacked in the street by some drunken thug and the police told you they weren't
willing to do anything about it at the moment, whilst that thug stood on the other side of the street gloating.. how
would you feel??
...... Well I suppose by now you probably thought that would be the end of the days events,
Sadly it was not as by now the hunt were in sight -,the Huntsman off his horse and clearly hunting the line of a fox. It
was at this point the police decided to leave. Left in an impossible situation, but knowing the three injured
sabs were at least safely away and out of the area, the remaining activists swallowed deep and decided to film these events.
Shortly the hunt thugs were back and spoiling for a fight. They started throwing flints at the sabs and then attacked.
This time,with greater numbers they were able to defend themselves, But even so one sab received a nasty blow to the
face resulting in a black eye and nasty gash. Again the police were called, and,eventually, a different set of
police officers arrived, claiming to have no knowledge of previous events. Initially they claimed to have been informed
by the Hunt that it was they who had been attacked by sabs. The police then started making noises about arresting the
sabs.... Luckily,at this point, some video footage taken by sabs was shown to them and, after a while,one of the thugs
was arrested. This all on the opening meet of the season!!
Otis Ferry convicted of fail to provide specimen after another drink driving arrest
27-10-12 Daily Mail Bryan Ferry's son Otis faces driving ban after refusing breath
test and insisting he had just had 'a pint at lunch' Otis Ferry was yesterday
found guilty of failing to provide a breath sample after he was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving. The 29-year-old
son of singer Bryan Ferry was stopped in the early hours of the morning as he drove a black Mercedes through Kensington, London.
Police became suspicious after noticing the vehicle's rear windows were down and a woman was smoking out of one of them.
When an officer pulled over Ferry - who famously took part in a pro-hunting protest in the Commons in 2004 - he could ‘smell intoxicating
liquor'. The Old Etonian said he had drunk ‘a pint of cider with his lunch'. Ferry,
who is Master of the South Shropshire Hunt, failed a roadside breath test and was taken to a police station where he refused
to take a further test. West London Magistrates' Court heard that Ferry, of Eaton Mascott near
Shrewsbury, was ‘argumentative' and ‘refused to comply with simple instructions'. Sergeant
John Longdon told the court: ‘He seemed to believe the incident was amusing.' Ferry was
not in court yesterday but was found guilty by Deputy District Judge John Greaves. He will be sentenced at a later date.
Failure to provide a breath sample carries a maximum fine of £5,000 and a minimum driving ban of one year.
POWAperson adds:- This is the sixth separate conviction or police caution that Ferry
is known by POWA to have acquired, two more than any other hunter for whom we have records. He was convicted of drink-driving
way over the limit a couple of years ago, but magistrates astonishingly gave him the benefit of the doubt - when a mate claimed
he had spiked Ferry's drinks for a laugh - and didn't ban Otis from driving. He is unlikely to escape that this
time. He may have to shell out for a chauffeur, poor lamb. Ferry is, of course, one of the most
fanatical of pro-hunters - and a fine representative of the breed. Pic left above shows an earlier encounter of Otis'
with the boys in blue.
POWA condemns CA advice to Hunts to get schools to 'adopt' a hound
POWA has responded to news that the Countryside Alliance is advising Hunts to inveigle
their way into schools to 'educate' the pupils - and, in particular, suggesting they should try to get schools to
'adopt' a hound - with a scathing Press Release. The Western Morning News 29-10-12 and the Western Daily Press 30-10 both quoted extensively from the POWA PR in their story. The original, D.Telegraph, news story and the
27-10-12 Daily Telegraph
Schools encouraged to adopt a hound Schools are being encouraged to "adopt a hound"
as part of a new drive by the hunting lobby to educate children about the sport. The Countryside Alliance
has issued new advice packs to around 200 hunts with a number of suggestions on how to engage people with hunting. The idea
is to educate people about hunting with dogs so that they support a repeal of the Hunting Act, which is due to be voted on
in Parliament. The huntsmen, who look after the hounds, are being encouraged to promote the hunt within the community by forming a relationship with the local school.
Ideas include ‘twinning' a hound with a local school. Photographs of the hound could be given to the school and
there could even be a visit. The CA also encourages arranging school visits to the kennels and involving children in
the work of the huntsmen, who need volunteers to help walk, feed and muck out the hounds. David Cameron, the Prime Minister,
has promised a free vote on the repeal of the Hunting Act during this Parliament.
Lt Gen Barney White-Spunner [left],
Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said supporters have to start explaining and defending hunting now so MPs
can feel confident to vote for repeal. "Welcoming newcomers to hunting, as well as promoting hunting activities to local
communities, is vital to the sustainability of hunting."
Hunts have recently been targeted by saboteurs, following
the badger cull. Lt Gen White Spunner was confident that the public can be persuaded to support repeal.
"We cannot expect hunting to be top of the Government's priorities at a time like this, but tackling the failed Hunting
Act is a matter of trust between the Government and the countryside."
However Emma Thomas, Senior Media Relations
Officer for the League Against Cruel Sports, said most of the public are already against hunting. She questioned whether parents
or schools will want to "adopt a hound." Already there have been reports of parents taking children out of schools
in protest at shooting days.
POWA Press Release Wildlife Protection
organisation condemns 'sick' Countryside Alliance advice urging Hunts to get local schools to 'adopt' a hound
Protect Our Wild Animals [POWA] has today reacted with revulsion to news that the Countryside Alliance is urging Hunts to
try to get their local schools to 'adopt' a hound, as a means of promoting their 'sport'.
Spokesman Alan Kirby said:- "Presumably the Hunts, if they are the 'decent and honest' people that DEFRA Secretary of State [and avid promoter of wildlife killing] Owen Paterson once
described them as*, will tell the kiddies about how they start culling the hounds they breed very early in their lives, should
they have any defect of character or physique that might make them unfit to hunt well with the pack. They
will want to detail how they intensify this winnowing process when young hounds are first trained to kill wildlife in cubbing,
etc. so that any disinclined to show the necessary savagery, or that 'babble', 'run mute', chase non-target
quarry or commit any of a host of other 'crimes' will likely get a bullet in the head, and how they remain liable
to this fate if they go similarly astray at any time in their short hunting 'careers'.
Hunts will surely honestly
reveal to the schools how hounds are liable to be similarly disposed of should they become seriously ill or injured, and,
finally, how, when the dogs reach six or seven - half their natural span - and are getting a bit slow, the great majority
are rewarded for their loyal service with a quick execution round the back of the kennels and a trip to the incinerator.
Of all their propaganda, Huntsmen's protestations of 'love' for their hounds are surely the most
vomit-inducing. In reality, the dogs are nothing more than disposable tools of the trade to them.
POWA calculations indicate that UK Hunts must kill - deliberately - between 5 and 7 thousand of their own hounds every year.
Somehow, we doubt that many children - those not already brainwashed into blood-lust, at least - would find these truths
too palatable. Are there no stunts too sick for the killers-for-fun of the bloodsports fraternity to come up with
in their desperation to preserve and promote their cruel and barbaric 'sport'? If they really wish to gain
public acceptance, they should abandon not just their obnoxious attempts to relegalise live quarry hunting for fun, but give
up 'cynical subterfuges**', such as 'trail hunting', by which many seek to avoid prosecution while they continue
to chase and kill wildlife much as they did before the long-overdue Hunting Act 2004.
Until they sincerely and transparently
do so, POWA will continue to call for the Act to be strengthened to fully achieve the ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs
which has such overwhelming public support."
* The Daily Mail reported on a Commons debate on the
Hunting Bill in 2001 - "During
the debate one Tory, Owen Paterson, likened supporters of the legislation to Nazis. He claimed only 'honest, decent'
people went hunting .... " Nb. POWA
knows of over 300 followers of organised Hunts who have been convicted/ cautioned for criminal offences, almost all hunting-related,
since 1990. About half of these were Hunt staff or officials.
'Cynical subterfuge': How Judge Pert scornfully described the attempts by the Huntsman and terrierman of the
Fernie Hunt to pretend they had simply been 'trail hunting', when dismissing their appeals against conviction for
illegal hunting and interfering with a badger sett, on 14-10-11 [Harborough Mail]. Judges in subsequent cases, eg. the
Crawley & Horsham FH and the Meynell FH, have since remarked on hunter evidence in similar terms.
- An article on how Hunts treat their hounds, with calculations, based on information from the Hunts themselves, as to how many hounds
UK hunts kill each year, can be found elsewhere on the POWA website.
Ross Harriers supporter fined after attack on sabs caught on
24-10-12 HSA Press Release Hunt
supporter pleads guilty to saboteur assault Paul Standen [left], a supporter of
the Ross Harriers Hunt, pleaded guilty today to assaulting two hunt saboteurs. Standen, who was on trial at Hereford
Magistrates Court, had to pay a fine, costs and compensation. The incident occurred in March this year when the
Ross Harriers met at Kilpeck near Hereford. Standen drove his vehicle at a group of saboteurs before jumping out and
violently pushing a female out of the way before punching another member of the group in the face. Unfortunately
for him the whole attack was filmed and he was arrested. Lee Peters, Master of the hunt, is also in
court next month for racially abusing a hunt saboteur.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated:
"It is always a pleasure to see justice done, however we wish Mr. Standen had done the honourable thing and pleaded
guilty much earlier in the proceedings and saved the tax payer a great deal of money. We look forward to a similar result
next month, when Mr. Peters is in court, and we hope the Ross Harriers will start to realise they are not above the law."
POWAperson adds;- This Hunt is fast acquiring a highly unsavoury reputation. Another
alleged incident of assault on the same day, in which a different sab was reportedly injured, appears not to have been prosecuted. The alleged
racial abuse incident, soon coming to trial, was vividly reported by the Daily Mail in January. Whilst excoriating the sabs generally, JM Lee Peters
is said to have exclaimed 'fucking wog' when he spotted a black female sab in a Landy. Allegedly,
when Peters was told police wanted to speak to him about the matter, he sent back word that he was 'too busy' !
One of the Ross Harrier's most prominent known supporters [seen with them, right] is the broadcaster Richard
Hammond, who presents 'Top Gear' with that other well-known hunt enthusiast, and member of the 'Chipping
Norton set', Jeremy Clarkson. Hammond has apparently often entertained the Harriers' at his country
pad. However, a recent rumour - apparently originating from a hunt source - suggests his enthusiasm for hunting
may have been dented. That rumour goes as follows;- ".... the Cotswold
Vale Hunt killed Top Gear presenter, Richard Hammond's cat last week. Our sources tell us that the hunt's hounds got
on to Hammonds property, killed the cat, and attacked a pony with such ferocity that it had to be cut out of the fence that
they forced it into. Hammond regularly hosts meets of the Ross Harriers and his wife, Mindy, rides with the Ledbury.
They're said to be furious about the incident.... " POWA
has no means of ascertaining the veracity of this account and would be happy to publish any statement from any of the parties
allegedly involved, whether confirming or denying the rumour.
Lush fake fox hunts highlight low priority given to wildlife crime by police
During the week, staff of cruelty-free cosmetics chain Lush staged fake fox hunts outside
their stores. The stunts, in collaboration with the Hunt Saboteurs Association, drew attention to the lack of resourcing and
priority given by police to wildlife crime - and asking people to challenge their candidates in the Police & Crime Commissioner
elections on November 15th to pledge to remedy this.
Swindon Advertiser Lush staff on the hunt for justice
STAFF at the cosmetics shop Lush dressed up as foxes and animal rights protesters to raise awareness of wildlife crime.
Staff, supported by the Hunt Saboteurs' Association, staged a mock hunt in Canal Walk with staff dressed as foxes and
as animal rights protesters chased around the high street by staff dressed as police officers.
Tuesday's protest was organised ahead of next month's Police Commissioners' Elections and they were also handing
out leaflets and getting people to sign petitions on the day. Christina Carvajal, the manager of Lush Swindon, said: ‘We
believe that, like us, most of the British public would feel money is better spent protecting animals from cruelty, death
and extinction, instead of gathering evidence on peace protests and environmental camps. When the newly elected Police Commissioners are setting
budgets and priorities, they should reflect the concerns of the public and society they serve. The event went really well,
with people coming and asking questions and we were also handing out leaflets on the day with more information for them."
Helen Ascott of the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: "It is shocking that wildlife crime is such a low policing priority,
76 per cent of the public supports the ban on hunting and yet, week after week we face hunts who are hunting illegally. We
believe it is madness to spend money on policing sabs when the real law breakers are getting away with it and we hope the
incoming Police Commissioners will take on board the public's concerns around these issues."
24-10-12 The Press [York] Fox-hunting
protesters stage hunt in Coney Street FOX-HUNTING protesters and staff from a York
shop have staged a hunt in Coney Street ahead of the police commissioner elections. Lush staff [left]
- supported by the Hunt Saboteurs Association - dressed as foxes and animal rights protesters were chased around by staff
members dressed as police officers. A spokesman for Lush said the protest was intended to dramatise the
public perception that police will turn a blind eye to wildlife crime, while surveying and intimidating animal rights, environmental
and peace activists. He said the police commissioner elections had provoked controversy as the elected candidates
will have unprecedented power over police funding and priorities, yet there have been predictions that fewer than 15 per cent
of the electorate will vote. Hilary Jones, ethics director for Lush Limited, said: "In the past,
Lush has had talks with the police and animal charities over the issues of wildlife crime and how we could help support the
efforts of the Police Wildlife Crime Unit. We were very shocked when we discovered how low their budget is to police the whole
of the UK. So you can imagine our surprise when the scandal broke last year regarding undercover police operations in the
environmental and animal protest movement and we learned of the huge allocation of money to that operation."
Other reports in Croydon Advertiser, Lincolnshire Echo, S.Wales Ev.Post, Bath Chronicle, Redditch Standard, Gloucestershire Echo
Hunts take fright at recent convictions and enhanced monitoring
11-10-12 Horse & Hound Hunts
warned to be diligent this season The Hunting Office is reiterating its message that there
will be more covert surveillance by antis this season - so hunts must diligently record evidence of their legal activities. Stephen Lambert [left],
chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA), told H&H that his colleagues had been working with hunts across
the country to ensure "that it becomes second nature to file evidence of trail laying or hunting within the exemptions
of the Hunting Act". Private prosecutions* by animal charities this year have seen members of the Meynell
and the Crawley and Horsham convicted of unlawful hunting. A case brought by the RSPCA against the Heythrop is
due to be heard in December. And the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) has hired eight new investigators since last
season, many of whom are former police officers. "Hunts are taking this very seriously and we are pleased
they have accepted that they must be able to defend everything they do and keep a log of their legal activity," said
Mr Lambert. "We must be absolutely punctilious about this and have our ducks in a row."
Mr Lambert's warning was echoed by Tim Bonner [right], campaigns director at the Countryside Alliance.
"LACS' strategy is covert surveillance, which would mean that in most instances, hunts would not even be aware that
they were being filmed. The threat of spurious allegations from such a biased source is obvious," he added. Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent huntsman Mark Bycroft
[left] said evidence gathering was not an onerous task. "It is just like extra paperwork - you get
used to it," he told H&H. "We have three teams of trail layers and each one has a camera. At the end of the
day you take the memory card out of the camera and put it onto the computer - so you've got the evidence in case of any
problem." Mr Bycroft stressed that this approach was essential to safeguard the future of hunting.
"There's a small minority who will try everything to get you into court," he said . "If the case
for repeal is presented to the government and more hunts have been up for illegal hunting, then it may not happen," he
POWAperson comments:- With the usual casual hunter disregard for
the truth, the writer 'forgets' that both the Meynell and Crawley & Horsham prosecutions were brought by the police/CPS - the first Hunting Act cases taken up by the
authorities against organised Hunts for quite some time. This would seem to be significant, indicating that they are
finally wising up to the 'cynical subterfuges' being used by Hunts - as would the scathing comments made by judges
in the past year concerning the behaviour and evidence of accused hunters. Quite how the hunt heirarchy think
that having video evidence of trails being laid is going to help them if hunters are then caught on camera hunting live
quarry - the minimum requirement for a conviction - is a puzzle. If they really want to avoid exposure and possible
prosecution, then they could try not using fox-based scents, not laying these in areas where foxes are likely to be laying
up, not sending hounds into such coverts and not chasing wildlife. Stephen Lambert is the father of 'Nessie'
Lambert [right], a JM of the Heythrop FH, one of four people from that Hunt who are facing trail in December on multiple
counts of illegal hunting.
Zetland FH being investigated by police for illegal fox hunting
8-10-12 Teesdale Mercury
Police probe illegal fox hunting claim POLICE are investigating an allegation of
illegal hunting after it was reported a historic hunt had been seen chasing a fox with dogs. The incident
was reported to North Yorkshire Police by a member of the public who claimed to have seen huntsmen pursuing a fox with dogs
in Eppleby. Officers have spoken to members of the Zetland Hunt about the incident, which is alleged to have happened
at around 8am last Tuesday. Hunt secretary Andrew Spalding denied any illegal behaviour. He said:
"We weren't doing anything wrong. We went out and laid scent trails in the morning and were chasing them. We were
hunting within the law." A police spokeswoman said the person who reported the incident said
they had seen the fox being chased but did not know whether it had been killed or not. She added that the alleged
incident was being investigated. "It's notoriously difficult to prove unfortunately but we want people to come
forward and we will take it from there," she said. Hunting animals with dogs was banned in 2005
following the introduction of the Hunting Act. Anyone who saw the alleged incident is asked to call North
Yorkshire Police on 101.
Beaufort FH and 'Cadburys' dairy farm in
brutal bull calf slaughter
Mail on Sunday Farm that sells milk to Cadbury 'shoots male calves to feed hunt hounds'
Campaigners' undercover footage shows shooting. Bristol farm shown in film supplies chocolate giant.
Animal rights campaigners have claimed dairy calves only days old are being shot to feed hunt hounds. Undercover
footage shows a young male being shot in the head as it stands on a pile of calf carcasses in a trailer. The farm
in Bristol shown in the film supplies milk to Cadbury, which makes 250million bars of chocolate each year. Male
calves are virtually useless to farmers as they do not provide milk and there is little demand to buy them. Campaigners claim
the calf is one of around 100,000 male dairy animals executed shortly after birth each year as there is no market for them.
The undercover film-makers from Viva! claim the calf was shot by a member of Beaufort Hunt. This was regularly
attended by members of the Royal Family including Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry before the 2004 foxhunting
ban. The calf's corpse was later taken away to be fed to the hounds. The footage was secretly recorded by
animal welfare activists who infiltrated a number of farms which supply milk to the confectionery industry. Despite the
distressing images, none of the actions seen in the film are illegal. Dairy cows must be impregnated yearly to produce milk
for human consumption but many of the male calves born are deemed surplus as demand for veal is limited. They are shot
soon after birth and turned into pet food or other low-value products.
Speaking after the footage was released, Viva!
campaigner Kat Affleck said: ‘Consumers have a right to know the brutal truth that Cadbury's would rather
keep quiet, how dairy products are produced. The cruel parental separation and shooting of thousands of male dairy calves
hardly fits in with their picturesque pastoral image. One hundred thousand shots ring out on dairy farms every year because
of unwanted males. Sadly virtually all milk, has similar provenance. The cruelty is inherent to the industry.'
Farquhar, joint master of the Beaufort Hunt, last night said the hunt was ‘helping out the farming community' to
deal with unwanted calves. He said: ‘It is not a question of being cruel. I was a farmer when calves were
raised and put into the food chain. But through EU legislation and DEFRA policy, there is no longer any market for them. It
has nothing to do with the hunts. It is simply non-viable for the farmers to raise calves. The hunts who still collect calves
are doing it purely for the benefit of the farmer. We do not enjoy it, it is simply a case of the rural community helping
each other out.'
A spokesman for Kraft, Cadbury's parent company, said the firm took animal welfare ‘very
seriously' and said it was an out-of-the-ordinary incident. The spokesman said this particular calf had a deformed
leg. He was taken from the farm by a licensed slaughterer from the Beaufort Hunt Kennels and dealt with humanely.
He said: ‘We purchase milk from hundreds of farms across the UK. This video is 18 months old and, at the time it was
released, we said we took animal welfare very seriously and nothing has changed.'
The story was also covered
by the Sunday Express
Sabs claim were assaulted by Rockwood Harriers - 7
hurt, camera stolen 8-10-12 animalrightsuk.org We spent Saturday following a team-up of hunt
saboteurs from the Midlands and Northern regions around Wortley, north of Sheffield, to monitor and disrupt any illegal hunting
committed by the Rockwood Harriers, a pack that hunts hares rather than foxes. We arrived and stood alongside
the hunt, we were amazed to see that that the hunt did not know how to react to the presence of hunt saboteurs. As a
result the hunt spent an hour of their time waiting around for an hour in an attempt to come up with a plan to ditch the sabs and carry on with their bloodsport.
After an hour's planning
the hunt made a rather feeble attempt to bolt off a great distance to lose the saboteurs and hunt in a nearby valley out of
sight from any roads. This plan did not go well for the hunt as the saboteurs swiftly relocated the hunt. The
sabs took a tactical advantage point in a nearby field with no present wildlife, then used a combination of voice calls and
horn blows to take control of the hounds [left], keeping them a safe distance from the huntsmen and wildlife.
Despite repeated attempts to retrieve the pack for the purposes of killing, two ‘whippers in’ (hunt staff with
the responsibility of controlling the hounds) were sent to remove the hounds from the sabs control. After their best
efforts, the ‘whippers in’ soon realized that the sabs were far better at controlling the hounds than their own
hunt staff and gave up. After over half an hour of no killing, the Hunt sent five rather large hunt staff
to force the sabs into losing control of the hounds. The hunt staff pinned a female sab against a brick wall, with help
from the other sabs she was able to escape and the sabs made a tactical retreat back to their vehicles.
The sabs quickly relocated the hunt in a nearby
field, shortly after making their way down a footpath the sabs were ambushed and blocked in by vehicles, riders and hunt support
in an unprovoked attack (or provoked by good hunt sabotage). A hunt supporter (yes we know who you are, charges will
be made) snatched a video camera off a female sab, once the hunt BELIEVED that there was no active cameras they began their
violent attack. Whilst the supporter was throwing punches and kicking a female sab half his size who
was already knocked on the floor, a hunt officialbegan whacking sabs with his riding crop whilst still on his horse.
As more hunt staff and support joined in the sabs were forced to make a tactical retreat through a field. Once
on the road they were quickly met by police. The police offered first aid supplies but made no attempt to question
the perpetrators as they rode by even when identified by the sabs. Two sabs received serious injuries needing hospital
treatment (one has broken tooth and nose [right], the other received a head wound needing stitches) whilst 5 other
sabs received bad but less serious injury.
One of the hunt saboteur groups now need a new camera as it was stolen, it
is a vital piece of equipment needed to log illegal hunting activity -hunts also tend to be discouraged from killing when
cameras are present.
Nb. Hunter names given in original report removed above to protect
the possibly guilty!
Cub-hunting convict Greenall resigns as Chairman
of Meynell FH
Mail Hunt chairman resigns after 'cubbing' conviction
THE Chairman of a renowned Hunt has stepped down from his role following his conviction for illegally pursuing fox cubs with
hounds. Master of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt Johnny Greenall, has been convicted of breaking the
law on hunting with dogs. The Honourable Johnny Greenall [left], son of the Baron of Daresbury, announced his
decision in the latest newsletter of The Meynell & South Staffordshire Hunt, citing the court case as his reason. Greenall
and Glen Morris, of Ludgate Street, Tutbury, were secretly filmed by anti-hunt campaigners trying to kill foxes near Hilton. Greenall, 52, was fined £3,515 and Morris, of Ludgate Street,
Tutbury, was ordered to pay £515.
Footage played at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court showed members of
the hunt surrounding a wood at Suffield Farm, in Sutton on the Hill, in October last year. The hounds entered the wood
to hunt young foxes in a sport known as ‘cubbing'. One fleeing fox was scared back into the wood by the surrounding
huntsmen, who were clapping their hands. Hunting foxes with dogs was made illegal in the 2004 Hunting Act.
The National Trust later banned the hunt from riding on its land, which includes Calke Abbey, near Ticknall, following a petition
urging the trust to remove access rights for the Hunt.
In the newsletter, Greenall said of the court case: "This
was a disappointing day, not only personally but for the Hunt. However, there are lessons to be learned and I am standing
down so that the result of the court case doesn't overshadow or provide a distraction to the new season and our law-abiding
activities." He added that he would stay on as a trustee of the Hunt and in the meantime, current vice-chairman
Richard Froggatt would take on chairmanship until May 1, 2013. The committee has approved the appointment of Richard Parrott
as chairman when he steps down as master at the end of the season.
POWAperson adds:- There
is not a hint of contrition or acknowledgement from Greenall that he, and indeed the rest of the Meynell, were caught red-handed
flouting the law and engaging in one of the most cruel and barbaric aspects of fox hunting. The Ashbourne
News Telegraph originally broke the news of his resignation on 12-9-12, additionally revealing that JM, and new Chairman-elect,
Richard Parrot, had had the nerve to complain that the NT had not contacted them before withdrawing the licences! They
really don't get it, do they? The article above states that Greenall is the son of [the late] Baron
Daresbury. Correct, but more pertinently, he is the younger brother of the current Lord Daresbury. Daresbury, as Chairman
of the MFHA, let down the side in 2004 when he wrote to Hunt Chairmen suggesting they urge 'their' farmers to provide
more brreding habitat for foxes, as there weren't enough to hunt in many areas, thereby holing the 'pest control'
argument for fox hunting below the waterline.
mobilised in desperate attempt to retain Corby seat for Conservatives
2-10-12 Horse & Hound Hunts urged to support Conservative
candidate in Corby by-election Hunts are being urged to support the Conservative candidate in
the Corby by-election - to ensure that a pro-repeal MP is returned. The by-election,
to be held on 15 November, was triggered by the surprise resignation of Tory MP Louise Mensch. Corby, Northants, is a marginal seat and it is feared Labour could
overturn her 1,951 majority. George Bowyer of Vote-OK - the lobby group that supports pro-repeal MPs - told
H&H he wanted hunting people to take an "active role" in helping Tory candidate Christine Emmett.
"We are organising people to go and campaign for the Conservatives," he said. "All the local hunts have
received, or will soon receive, information about how to help."
Christine Emmett [right], a local businesswoman
and county councillor, told H&H that she supported repeal. "It is quite clear why the ban was brought in and
why it should be repealed," she said. Labour candidate Andy Sawford [left] is not thought
to support repeal. His office did not return H&H's calls. Labour is currently 10 points ahead of the Tories
in the polls. Conservative blogger Tim Montgomerie said Mrs Emmett was a very good candidate, but warned
she would have "an uphill struggle to keep the seat blue". Labour and the UK Independence
Party (UKIP) have been campaigning intensively. Journalist James Delingpole has also thrown his hat in the ring, on
an anti-windfarm platform.
George Bowyer urged hunt supporters to do all they could to help. "Hunting people need
to regain the sense of the outrage that we all felt in 2002-03," he said. "Every time they go hunting under the
new regime, they should think, ‘This is outrageous, it should be repealed'. In order to get repeal, we need to get
the right people in," he added.
UPDATE Vote OK's
efforts were all for nothing, as, on November 15th, anti-hunt Labour candidate Andy Sawford romped home, his vote being nearly
double that of the Conservative Christine Emmett.
Vote OK is essentially a Tory front group, with the sole purpose of mobilising hunters to assist with campaigning in marginal
constituencies where an anti [usually Labour] is contesting the seat with a pro-hunt candidate [almost always Conservative].
They have been operating since 2001, often calling in hunter support from many miles away. Hunters are instructed to canvass
in normal clothes and not to mention hunting [usually a vote-loser] on the doorstep. Vote OK has claimed an influential
role in the outcome of some parliamentary contests, but there is really no way to verify this. Whatever,
it seems rather unlikely that they and the local Hunts will have anything to smile about after the by-election. Labour
look likely to regain the seat with something to spare. Their candidate's father is a former Labour MP, Phil
Sawford, who was always reliably anti-hunt. We assume his son is too. POWAperson predicts that the Lib-Dems will
suffer another electoral humiliation and that the Conservatives could suffer a significant haemorrage of votes to UKIP in
The fragrant Louise Mensch, who resigned her seat for personal reasons, was pro-hunt, so her replacement
by an anti will swing the balance of votes in the House of Commons on repeal even further against the hunting lobby, making
it even more unlikely that Mr. Cameron will try to bring forward the measure in this Parliament.
..... 30th September - S.Durham FH blame hunt sabs for hoax warning sign at their premises
26th September - Cumbria hunt supporters ambush, attack and
pursue LACS investigators
..... 26th September - Ledbury
FH filmed chasing fox into badger sett they'd blocked, sabs claim
..... 25th September - Avon Vale FH five face Hunting/Badger Act charges. JM owns up to one.
25th September - Surrey Union FH hounds hit by car in
illegal hunt, claims the HSA
..... 24th September - Weston
& Banwell Harriers JM/Huntsman trial to start on October 31st
..... 24th September - Jack Straw claims Tony Blair only committed to hunt ban by accident
..... 18th September - 'Hounds Off' says hundreds of extra acres
banned to Hunts in its first year
..... 12th September - Heythrop
FH rider is convicted of slashing monitor's car tyre
..... 12th September - Case against Weston & Banwell Harriers JM George Milton is deferred
..... 10th September - MT bans
Meynell FH from their land after cub-hunt conviction
S.Durham FH JM/Huntsman blames
sabs for hoax at hunt stables
30-9-12 Horse & Hound Hunt
saboteurs spread false strangles rumour Hunt saboteurs descended to a new low in Co. Durham
last week, putting up a sign falsely claiming the South Durham’s stables has strangles. Joint-Master and
Huntsman Garry Watchman found a notice declaring "Strangles — no entry" outside his yard in Stockton-on-Tees
at lunchtime on Wednesday, 19th September. He believes the sign had been in situ for a couple of hours before
he noticed it. "I moved it sharpish, but there were a fair few texts and emails flying around, asking if we would
be autumn hunting that evening," said Mr Watchman. He said the Hunt have been plagued by antis for the past five
POWAperson adds:- We note that Mr. Watchman appears not to have had the presence of mind
to take a photo of the alleged hoax sign, or, presumably, the H&H would have readily published it. Even if it existed,
he adduces no actual evidence as to who was responsible or why. All in all, pretty typical of nearly all accusations
made against antis - the hunters can hardly ever provide any proof. Note also Mr.Watchman's use of the euphemism
'autumn hunting', now preferred to the phrase 'cub hunting', which gives too many clues as to the brutal and
grisly reality of this aspect of the 'sport' of fox hunting. Of course, the S.Durham may be one of the few fox
hunts that aren't continuing to pursue live quarry......
Cumbria hunt supporters
ambush, attack, pursue LACS investigators
26-9-12 LACS Press Release Charity investigators
ambushed and assaulted by hunt supporters Wildlife Crime Investigators from the League Against
Cruel Sports were ambushed and assaulted by hunt supporters in Cumbria today. The League deploys highly trained undercover
investigators across the country to help detect and prevent wildlife crime.
Two such League investigators were preparing
to go home after spending the day covertly monitoring a local hunt suspected of illegal activities, when they were spotted
by a pro-hunt supporter who attempted to take photos of them. The situation quickly escalated as more hunt supporters
arrived, shouting abuse. Appallingly, one of the investigators was then physically assaulted before he could get away
and call for help. Retreating form the scene, the investigators called 999, only to find that they were being followed
by the hunt supporters. One car gave up after only a few miles, but the second pursued the charity workers for many
miles at high speeds down the M6. Once the chase was finally over, the investigators headed to the local police
station to report the matter. Shaken, but thankfully on this occasion, not seriously harmed.
A League Investigator
comments: "This kind of behaviour comes as no surprise to our team of investigators. Pro-hunt groups increasingly seem
to resort to intimidation tactics and even violence. Perhaps we have them rattled, they should be! Our recently
enlarged operations team combines the knowledge and skills of experienced investigators, legal experts and ex police officers
to make sure that these wildlife criminals are brought to justice".
Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League
Against Cruel Sports says: "If hunters have nothing to hide and if they are hunting within the law why do they resort
to violence and intimidation? We can only assume that they are trying to scare off investigators so that their illegal activities
are not witnessed. It won't work and this type of behaviour just makes us more determined than ever".
adds:- This follows an incident in Bucks a couple of weeks ago in which LACS investigators were ambushed
and menaced by hunt supporters before ploice came to their rescue. Supporters of some Cumbrian hunts have
an evil reputation. In March this year a group of Coniston supporters attacked sabs, injuring one. His assailant
is still being sought by Cumbria police. They then, reportedly, obstructed and abused paramedics trying to reach the injured
man. In 2010, two Coniston supporters were cautioned for assaulting a League monitor, in an attack in which he was pushed off a wall, and there have been a number of attacks on sabs, monitors
and even, in one case, on a media photographer in the past.
Ledbury FH chase
two foxes in illegal cubhunting, claim sabs
Say second fox filmed fleeing down only hole of badger sett left open
Press Release Ledbury Hunt caught at blocked badger
sett This morning hunt saboteurs, from the Three Counties and Coventry groups, witnessed
the Ledbury Hunt [right] chase a fox down an active badger sett that had had most of its entrances blocked by hunt staff. The hunt had met at Redmarley,
Gloucestershire, and were clearly observed to be illegally cub hunting. They had already chased an adult fox and only
the intervention of saboteurs had enabled the animal to escape. They then chased a second fox and a saboteur filmed
the hounds follow it to an active badger sett. All but one of the entrances had been blocked with logs and soil
and fresh spade marks could be seen where the sett had been disturbed. When they realised they were being monitored the hunt
staff quickly removed their hounds from the scene.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated:
"At a time when badgers are such a hot topic, particularly in Gloucestershire, it is incredible to witness the arrogance
of the hunting community. They not only illegally chase foxes but are also illegally interfering with badger setts. With the
increased public interest in these issues due to the imminent badger cull, which has led to an influx of new members, we look
forward to being able to gather more evidence of illegal hunting and save more persecuted wild life."
adds:- Further to the above report, it is believed that the sett in question is WITHIN the West Gloucestershire
badger cull zone. POWA has been sent the following information;- "The Coventry and Three Counties hunt saboteurs were observing the Ledbury Hunt yesterday in
Gloucestershire when they found this large active badger set that had all but one of the entrances blocked up with fresh soil. They
had observed members of the Ledbury hunt 'on point' round the perimeter of a covert near to the badger set and also
filmed hounds running 'on cry' after a fox. Although the sabs concerned explained the hunting activity
to the TV crew during their interview, ITV chose not to mention this and cut any reference to the hunting activity that the
sabs had filmed. I understand that the crew were out with the sabs to see how they intend to try to protect the
badgers from the cull and how they are surveying the setts that are located within the cull zone.."
We have been further informed that sab footage is currently being examined by the authorities with a view to prosecution,
so will not be available for public viewing anytime soon. The ITV West Country News film of the blocked sett referred
to above can be viewed here. In February, Viva! drew attention to a marked correlation between bovine
Tb hotspots and intensity of organised hunting activity. Whilst any such correlation does not necessarily imply a causal link,
it could certainly be worth investigating further - which, to our knowldge, has not been done. Viva! suggested that the
infection could be spread via animals used for hunting and vehicles crisscrossing large areas of land. See item dated
25-2-12 on this page for full story on Viva's claims. Pic above left is one of the blocked holes of the
sett in question.
Avon Vale FH five face Hunting
and Badger Act charges in case brought by RSPCA
One JM to plead to interfering with badger sett, all other charges denied
Former senior Master Jonathan Seed among those charged
25-9-12 Wiltshire Gazette and Herald Former huntmaster vows to fight badger sett charges Five
members of the Avon Vale Hunt, including a Wiltshire councillor, have appeared in court charged with breaching the Hunting
Act 2004. Joshua Charlesworth, 18, from East Tytherton; Benjamin Pethers, 28, from Hoopers Pool, Southwick; Stuart
Radbourne, 28, from The Common, Bromham; Paul Tylee-Hinder, 58, of Quemerford, Calne and Jonathon Seed, 54, of Chittoe Heath,
Bromham all denied the breach when they appeared before magistrates in Chippenham on Tuesday. Four of them denied an additional charge
of intefering with a badger sett, though Mr Radbourne, one of the joint hunt masters, indicated a guilty plea to that charge.
The case has been brought by the RSPCA and refers to incidents alleged to have taken place on March 6 this year at Stockley
Hollow, near Calne. The bench heard that the case could not proceed on Tuesday so it has been adjourned until November
9 when a date for the trial will be set. The five all appeared on summons so the question of bail did not arise. Mr
Seed, Wiltshire councillor for Summerham and Seend and a former hunt master, said he intended to fight the allegation against
him. In a statement outside court he said: "This is a private prosecution by the RSPCA and I believe that is has
been commenced for political reasons as their stance against hunting is well known and it is of great significance that Wiltshire
Police, after advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, declined to take this case forward. In my opinion these proceedings
are an abuse of the private prosecution system which needs to be addressed in due course. I totally deny the allegations of
any offence against the Hunting Act and there is simply no evidence of either myself or any of the other defendants or anyone
else being involved in any illegal hunting on the day in question."
Pic left above shows Jonathan Seed getting
a bit aerated when confronted at a Boxing Day meet at Lacock by POWA Associate and producer of the film 'A Minority Pastime' , Denise Ward. The original report of the incident in March can be viewed here.
Surrey Union FH hounds hit by car during 'illegal'
hunt, claims HSA
25-9-12 HSA Press
Release Surrey Union Hounds hit by car during illegal hunt
Four hounds, from the Surrey Union Hunt, were hit by a car this morning on a road between Newdigate and Charlwood. The female
driver had no chance to avoid the hounds as they ran straight out in front of her car. One hound went under her car and was
taken away by the hunt. We have no confirmation, as yet, whether it's alive or dead. The woman's vehicle was covered
in blood after the incident and a van had to swerve of the road, into a hedge, to avoid the hounds, sustaining minor damage.
No hunt saboteurs were in the area during this incident but were contacted by a concerned witness.
Lee Moon, spokesperson
for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "If the Surrey Union were following an artificial trail, as they claim, then
what were their hounds doing near a road during the morning rush hour? We believe their hounds must've been hunting a
wild animal, in contravention of the 2004 Hunting Act. This is not an accident, as the hunt will no doubt claim, but another
example of hunts flouting the law and putting their hounds, wild animals and motorists at risk."
Weston & Banwell JM/Huntsman trial to start on October
POWA understands that the prosecution of George Milton,
who has been in charge of the Somerset-based Hunt for many years, is now to commence on October 31st. Taunton Magistrates
Court. He is facing two charges under the Hunting Act and another under the Protection of Badgers Act.
POWAPerson adds:- The W&B is a small Hunt, but has one eminent regular rider -
the Hon.Dido Harding [left], who is CEO of
telecoms giant TalkTalk. The daughter of Lord Harding, she grew up on the family pig-farm in Dorset. She studied
alongside David Cameron at Oxford University in the late '80s. Dido is married to the Conservative MP for Weston-Super-Mare,
John Penrose. She is a keen horse racer and owned the horse that won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1998. Dido participated in the
celebrity ladies race at Goodwood in 2011. She was described in a Telegraph article about the race as '...... a
consummate horse wonan who was as feared in her time in the ladies' changing tents of West Country point-to-points as
Boadecia.' The article's author was none other than Cameron's pal Charlie Brooks, husband of
Rebecca, who, with her, is facing charges of perverting the course of justice relating to the News International hacking inquiry.
Jack Straw claims Tony Blair
committed himself to hunting ban by accident
Daily Telegraph Tony Blair accidentally supported the ban on fox hunting after the Labour
Party got themselves "in a muddle" and he "misspoke" on television, Jack Straw has disclosed
Mr Blair apologised to the then-Home Secretary after inadvertently supporting a ban on foxhunting
while appearing on Question Time, Mr Straw [left] has claimed. In an extract of his memoirs published today,
Mr Straw disclosed he had felt the debate on hunting was a "nonsense issue" which was "best left alone".
Although Mr Blair agreed, he claimed, he was "put on the spot" while answering questions on live television and
unexpectedly announced he would support a ban.
In his book, entitled 'Last Man Standing', Mr Straw wrote:
"I remember the 1997 election that brought us into power. We in the Labour Party had got ourselves in a muddle over foxhunting.
To me, banning it was a nonsense issue for a serious party making a determined bid for government after 18 years in opposition. It was best left alone. But it crept into the manifesto in a suitably ambiguous form - until Tony, who didn't
think it important either, went on Question Time, was put on the spot and announced he'd support a ban. I went to see
him the next day to ask him why. ‘I'm very sorry, Jack,' he said. ‘I misspoke.'"
[right] later confessed the Hunting Bill was one of the measures he most regretted during his time as Prime
Minister, admitting he did not know enough about the debate. The ban became one of the most controversial laws introduced
by his administration, prompting mass marches in London and even an invasion of Parliament by protesters. Speaking
in 2010, Mr Blair said: "If I'd proposed solving the pension problem by compulsory euthanasia for every fifth pensioner
I'd have got less trouble for it. By the end of it, I felt like the damn fox."
says:- Most of the assertions by Jack Straw as reported above appear to be an attempt to
rewrite history. The Labour Party as a whole, rather than the elitist cabal at the top, was in no 'muddle'
whatsoever about hunting. An outright ban [supported by around three-quarters of the public] had been Party policy
for many years and a motion reaffirming that ambition had been passed nem con at Conference in 1993. Nobody was
in the slightest doubt what the 1997 Manifesto Commitment to a free vote meant - that a Government Bill banning
hunting had to follow the inevitable heavy backing for abolition from the Commons.
Labour's accompanying 'Manifesto
for Animals' made the intent to ban hunting even more explicit. In the event, Michael Foster MP drew No.1
position in the Private Members Bill ballot after the 1997 landslide victory and readily agreed to introduce a banning
Bill, thus saving the Government the trouble of having to write its own legislation. The Foster Bill passed
its Second Reading by the largest ever-margin for any PMB. But it would have outlawed live quarry
hunting far more effectively than did the grudgingly-conceded Hunting Act 7 years later, and that, for some in the Labour
heirarchy, was its entire problem.
Jack Straw was then Home Secretary, the Home Office, in those days, being the responsibe
Department. We knew he was a keen rider and close to the horse-racing fraternity which, obviously, itself has close
links with the hunters. Though he had never voiced any real opposition to the ban in public, it seems likely that
he was the prime mover in the dilution and then the killing off of the Foster Bill. POWA's John Bryant, then
with LACS, was primary adviser to Mr. Foster on the Bill and says "It was Jack Straw who hoodwinked
Michael Foster into amending his Bill so that the 'offence' became "hunting a wild mammal with a dog" instead
of "causing or permitting a dog to hunt a wild mammal" - hence 'Sorry guv, I know my pack of hounds chased a
fox and tore it to pieces, but it was an accident'.
The subsequent demise of the Bill was blamed on Tory opposition
in the Lords, but it was always clear that , so huge was the Commons majority for the measure, it could have been steered
through with help from the Government, or even taken over by them as their own Bill. A ban could have been
in place by 1999. Instead, they allowed it to be killed off and Straw kicked the issue into the long grass by commissioning the lengthy Burns Inquiry, presumably hoping
it would produce adequate excuses to enable the Government to drop any ban plans, much as the Scott-Henderson report had done
for Atlee's post-war administration. Doubtless to Mr.Straw's chagrin, however, Burns failed
to oblige. With the mass of Labour backbenchers, and some Cabinet members, still baying for a ban,
Straw continued delaying tactics with the Tripartite Bill. When the Commons once more voted overwhemingly for outlawing
hunting, he then adopted the cynical tactic of introducing a banning Bill only months before the 2001 election was due,
which meant it could not possibly become law.
As regards Blair's public commitment to a hunting ban, many of us still
have letters written by him supporting that policy from both and after and before his Question Time statement.
Perhaps he thought he meant it then - who knows what went on inside that slippery and convuluted mind? But we do
know the numbers mobilised on to the streets by the Countryside Alliance [left] badly scared him, even though
most were motivated primarily by discontent over a period of very low farmgate prices, which the CA skillfully misrepresented as
a mass rural uprising against a hunting ban. And we do know that Blair was ever mightily impressed by the
rich and powerful and reluctant to ever seriously upset them. And we do know that he colluded in delaying the inevitable
as long as possible and endeavoured to make any banning legislation as anodyne and ineffective as he could, even claiming
later in his own memoirs that he had 'sabotaged' the Hunting Act and told the then Policing Minister, Hazel Blears,
to ensure it wasn't enforced.
Jack Straw, by this time, was Foreign Secretary, with no direct control of policy on
hunting, but he was still a central figure in Blair's inner-circle 'sofa cabinet', so it's very possible that
he continued to play a role in undermining the efforts to obtain an effective and readily enforceable ban on the hunting of
live quarry with dogs. He remains a very senior 'elder statesman' in Labour circles, and one can
only hope that he is no longer able to exercise such a baleful and negative influence in the modern Party heirarchy's
attitudes and policy towards the hunting issue.
Off' says hundreds of extra acres banned to Hunts in its first year
Hounds Off PROGRESS REPORT No.1 Since September 2011, hundreds of acres of land are known to have been made out of bounds to bloodsports, affecting dozens of Hunts nationwide. In reality the figure
could be much higher because we have no system for monitoring Warning Off emails and letters sent by individuals.
Hounds Off encourages autonomous action. We deliberately make no demands regarding feedback or membership.
Following 26 complaints regarding Hunt trespass during the season 2011/12, Hounds Off offered practical advice and support
in warning Hunts off land in twelve different counties, including:-
- 170 acres lost to North Ledbury Hunt after alpacas were attacked by hounds.
- East Studdal, near Dover, forbidden to West Street Tickham Hunt following a hunt invasion and fox
killing in the village.
- At least seven Dorset properties banned to Portman Hunt in weekend
of action, 22/23 October.
- Securing hunt-free zone status for a Yorkshire property where the
family cat was killed in December following trespass by Staintondale Hunt.
- 15 Kentish acres
forbidden to Ashford Valley Hunt including woodland inhabited by foxes.
- Over 300 acres in Somerset
and Dorset confirmed as Hunt-free, affecting at least two foxhunts there.
- Confirming the hunt-free
status a 227 acre woodland Nature Reserve in Dorset following hunt trespass in November.
Heythrop FH rider
is convicted of slashing monitor's car tyre
MacFarlane, who plead poverty in court, said to live with Marchioness
The following is based on a Press
Release issued by the victim
14th September - HEYTHROP
HUNT RIDER FOUND GUILTY OF CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO MONITOR'S CAR A car salesman who rides with the
Heythrop FH, the PM's local Hunt, Thomas Edward Hastings Macfarlane [left] of Wootton, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
was found guilty of criminal damage at Banbury Magistrates court on 12 September 2012. He was fined £110, ordered to pay compensation of £105.60, and £500 costs.
Whilst Hunt Monitor Mrs Judy Gilbert of High Wycombe, Bucks was observing the Heythrop hunt near Chipping Norton on 7 January
2012, Macfarlane approached the rear of her vehicle and used a sharp implement to surreptitiously cut the wall of Mrs Gilbert's
rear offside tyre, bursting it and causing it to deflate. This action effectively immobilized her, preventing
her from monitoring the hunt for the rest of the day.
This is not the first time Mrs Gilbert has suffered criminal damage
to her property whilst observing the Heythrop Hunt. On two previous occasions a total of four of her tyres have been
deliberately destroyed [example below, right]. Mrs Gilbert said, " I am very pleased with the verdict and
that at last someone has been brought to justice for an attack on my vehicle. To suffer this kind of attack is very upsetting
and such abominable behaviour should not be tolerated."
Thomas Macfarlane lives with Rebecca, Marchioness of
Blandford at Wootton, Woodstock. Rebecca Brown was previously married to Charles James Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of
Blandford was born on 24 November 1955. He is the son of John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough owner of Blenheim Palace, Woodstock.
Heythrop Hunt and four of its members are being prosecuted by the RSPCA for 45 alleged offences under the Hunting Act 2004.
They denied illegally hunting foxes with dogs during incidents that took place during the 2011/2012 season. Huntsman
Julian Barnfield, whipper-in Duncan Hune, joint master Venessa Lambert and retired joint master Richard Sumner have all been
charged with a number of offences. The case will be heard at Bicester Magistrates Court which is due to start on 13th
December 2012 and is expected to last for several weeks. Mrs Gilbert suffered an assault at the Heythrop
hunt on 30th December 2006. Hunt Supporter Anthony Greaves received a police caution for common assault on Mrs Gilbert. The
assault was a nasty unprovoked attack and committed in front of his children.
adds;- The story was covered in the Banbury Cake, the Herald series and the Oxford Mail. Film of the 2006 assault on Judy can be found here. Several other examples of aggresive and abusive behaviour by riders and followers of
the Heythrop have been posted on YouTube. Examples can be found here, here, here, and here.
The Heythrop is, of course, the local and favourite Hunt of PM David Cameron and the rest of the 'Chipping
Norton set'. Monitors are frequently subjected to obstruction, abuse and intimidation from Hunt members and
followers and several such hunters have been convicted of assault, criminal damage and threatening behaviour against them
over the last few years. The Heythrop are very far from the only Hunt whose staff, riders and followers engage in such
behaviour and wildlife, sabs and monitors are not their only victims. POWA now has records of more than 300 who have actually
been convicted of, or cautioned for, criminal offences since 1990. All of which casts some doubt of the assertion
by Owen Paterson MP, who was recently appointed DEFRA Secretary of State by Mr.Cameron, that 'only honest, decent
people go hunting' !
Despite the obstacles placed in monitors' way by the weakness of the Act and the behaviour
of the hunters, Heythrop Huntsman Julian Barnfield was arraigned by the CPS on four charges of illegal hunting in 2008. But,
following the Judgement in the appeal of Exmoor Huntsman Tony Wright, which interpreted the Act in a manner highly favourable
to the hunters, the CPS dropped the case like a hot potato. The RSPCA subsequently charged the Heythrop Huntsman with
two new counts of Hunting Act offences last year. But, after, the Society decided earlier this year to launch a
multi-charge prosecution of the Heythrop itself, and four members including Barnfield, based on film taken by monitors
in the 2011/12 season, they made a pragmatic decision not to pursue these earlier charges against him because
continuing them would have delayed and complicated the much larger new case.
Hunting, Badger Act charges against Weston & Banwell Harriers'
understands that two charges of illegal hunting and one of interfering with a badger sett against the Hunt's prime mover,
George Milton, were to be heard yesterday, but have been postponed due to an administrative error.
No further details of the case are presently available. Mr Milton has been JM of the Weston since
1996, with his wife Lizzie, and it is believed he is also Huntsman. They hunt the Somerset levels, to the west of the
Mendip Hills. So widespread in their country are water-filled ditches that, apparently, it is 'not uncommon
for a tractor to be on hand to pull out both unfortunate horses and riders', and George is given to singing 'Always
look on the bright side of life' as yet another of his field takes a ducking. Presumably he is not so cheerful about the
charges he is now facing.
Meynell FH banned from National Trust land for a year following cub-hunting conviction
10-9-12 Burton Mail National
Trust bans the Meynell hunt from its land CAMPAIGNERS who ensured the conviction of members
of an illegal fox hunting gang have won another victory after the National Trust agreed not to grant licences for the hunt
on its land. Master of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt Johnny Greenall [left], has been convicted of breaking the law on hunting with dogs. The Meynell
& South Staffordshire Hunt will no longer be allowed to ride through Calke Abbey, near Ticknall, or two other sites in
Derbyshire, after anti-hunt campaigners, Derby Hunt Sabs, set up a petition urging the National Trust to remove access rights
to its land for the hunt. The ban comes after The Hon. Johnny Greenall, son of the Baron of Daresbury,
and Glen Morris, of Ludgate Street, Tutbury, were secretly filmed by Derby Hunt Sabs trying to kill foxes near Hilton. Last
month, Greenall, 52, was fined £3,515 and Morris, 43, was ordered to pay £515.
Footage played at Southern
Derbyshire Magistrates' Court showed members of the hunt surrounding a wood at Suffield Farm in Sutton on the Hill in
October last year. The hounds entered the wood to hunt young foxes in a sport known as ‘cubbing'. One fleeing
fox was scared back into the wood by the surrounding huntsmen who were clapping their hands. Hunting foxes with dogs was made
illegal in the 2004 Hunting Act. Roger Swain, one of the protesters who filmed the hunt, said: "We contacted the
National Trust and started a campaign to bar this hunt from the National Trust properties of Calke Abbey, Kedleston Hall,
and Ilam Park which traditionally lie within the hunting country of the hunt. "The National Trust allows
hunts licences if they behave in a legal manner. Clearly this hunt wasn't."
LACS officer sacked
after stealing £15k is jailed for 16 months
8-9-12 Western Morning News
Cornwall animal rights official jailed for £15,000 fraud A former senior member
of an animal rights lobby group has been jailed for spending £15,000 of the charity's money on himself.
Steve Taylor, the ex-head of campaigns and communications at the League Against Cruel Sports, used his company credit card
to pay for trips and accommodation, for food and online shopping. He even used it to pay for an Apple iPad as a present for
the outgoing chief executive Doug Batchelor, pocketing the cash from a collection raised by colleagues to buy the leaving
gift. Taylor, of Tideford, Cornwall, was jailed for 16 months by a judge who described his fraud as "a
serious breach of trust".
Staff at the League became aware of the credit card being used to make cash withdrawals
and Taylor received a warning. But the worker, who was involved in high-profile actions and in direct lobbying of MPs, continued
in what was called "systematic purchases of goods". Between January 2, 2010 and October 29, 2011, he
made 333 separate transactions. "These were both on the defendant's company credit card and also other persons',
from whom he borrowed credit cards." The total illicit spend was £14,925.88. The highest payment
was £488, the lowest a mere 48p. Adrian Lovett, defending Taylor, said in mitigation that his
client did suffer some mental health issues and as far back as 1996 he tried to commit suicide. Of the latest conviction,
he said: "He doesn't understand why he did it."
also emerged at the trial that Taylor was a serial fraudster and had been given a jail term of a year in 1998 for
stealing £12,000 from his charity employer. LACS has since carried out a major restructing of its staff.
Strong hunting fan Owen Paterson made DEFRA Sec. of
State in reshuffle
But abstainer Lib-Dem gets ag brief: Herbert & Garnier leave Government
5-9-12 Western Morning News Pro-hunting MP takes
charge of rural affairs An MP fiercely opposed to the hunting ban is to take command of the
Government department in charge of the countryside, it was announced in David Cameron's reshuffle. Owen Paterson [right] will take over as Secretary of State
for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) from Caroline Spelman, leaving his post as Northern Ireland Secretary.
Mr Paterson, Tory MP for rural North Shropshire, described the Hunting Act passing into law in 2004 as a "sad day for
the House of Commons". A date is unknown for a promised Commons vote on repealing the fox hunting ban,
an incendiary issue in the Westcountry. Mr Paterson also campaigned for a badger cull to tackle tuberculosis in cattle, which
is rife in the South West. .... and Somerton and Frome Lib Dem MP David Heath was appointed a Defra minister.
Person adds:- Paterson clearly feels much more strongly about hunting than did his predecessor Caroline
Spelman, having once likened antis to Nazis. In a Commons debate in 2001 he said that 'only honest, decent people' go hunting, adding this warning to anti MPS;- 'Before they troop through the politically correct lobby, brimming with self-righteous bile and spiteful prejudice,
they should remember the unhappy precedent of 1936 when the revolting Reichsjaeger Hermann Goering persuaded Hitler to ban
hunting.... A ban will be an ominous portent of further freedoms to be lost at the hands of an intolerant majority.'
But David Cameron has sent mixed messages to the hunting lobby with his appointments.
The bloodsports-enthsiast Agriculture Minister Jim Paice has been sacked. His replacement,
the Lib-Dem MP for Somerton & Frome, David Heath [left], abstained on the main Hunting Bill votes, but, after the 2010
election, told LACS that he would vote against repeal of the Act. Cameron had made Paice also the first Minister
for Hunting and Shooting and it is presumed this portfolio will be inherited by Mr. Heath. And, hunting fanatics
Nick Herbert and Edward Garnier QC, Policing Minister and Solicitor-General respectively, have both left government. Herbert,
a JM of a hare hunt for many years and a former Political Director of the CA, claims he was not sacked but quit voluntarily.
He says he will now concentrate on developing new ideas and 'protecting
the countryside'. No prizes for guessing what Herbert means by the latter.
..... 29th August - Minehead Harriers
whipper-in died from stroke after hunting accident, says inquest
..... 28th August - LACS Investigators call on police to protect them from hunters' intimidation
..... 28th August -
Police publish footage of Coniston FH supporter assaulting sab
..... 11th August - No
arrest after Surrey Union man filmed riding at/threatening to kill girl sab
..... 9th August - Meynell FH Huntsman and terrierman convicted after sabs filmed cub hunting
..... 6th August - Kent's West Street Tickham FH is
forced to disband
..... 4th August - Heythrop FH
trial set for December 13th. Hunt and 4 members to face 45 charges
Minehead Harriers whip died from
massive stroke after hunting accident horror, says inquest
Bradley, and his co-accused William Goffe , were the first men from an organised Hunt to be convicted of illegal
fox hunting in England when they were found quilty in January 2008 after a private prosecution by the League Against
29-8-12 Western Daily Press
Huntsman dragged by horse had huge stroke An experienced huntsman died after
being thrown from his horse when it refused to jump a gate, bucked and rammed him into a tree, an inquest heard yesterday.
Gary Bradley, 55, a "whipper-in", was riding with an organised hunt with 14 others, when his horse bolted at a gate
and threw them both down a steep hill. Mr Bradley, whose ankle caught in the stirrup, suffered a severe pelvic fracture, broken
ribs and a head injury after he was dragged down a "sheer drop" into a tree.... An inquest at
West Somerset Coroner's Court, in Taunton, heard how the huntsman.... was knocked unconscious during the horrific ordeal
on January 15 last year. His horse became spooked and bolted in Wheddon Cross, Somerset, while out on a ride with the Minehead
Harriers.... He was rushed to Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital, in Somerset.... Another
CT scan then showed that Mr Bradley had suffered a huge traumatic stroke and he was transferred to Frenchay Hospital, Bristol.
But a day later, on January 26, Mr Bradley, from Timberscombe, Somerset, succumbed to his injuries and died.
L.ACS officers probing Hunt
artificial earths rescued by police from hunters' intimidation
28-8-12 LACS Press Release
Local hunt resorts to intimidation tactics over artificial earth discovery Acting
on intelligence received, investigators at the League Against Cruel Sports visited areas in Buckinghamshire to investigate
reports of artificial earths set up in close proximity to hunt kennels. Upon arrival, the investigators identified several
artificial earths. One earth consisted of two entrances and a brick built central chamber with concrete tunnels leading off
it. Inside the immediate vicinities of the earths, investigators found the remains of a significant number of chickens in
varying states of decay, indicating the animal carcases were being purposely deposited there on a number of occasions.
Artificial earths are built by hunts to encourage the breeding of foxes to ensure that there are foxes to
illegally hunt in that area. Typically, this involves encouraging foxes to use the earth by leaving offal outside them to
feed off of. This practice completely contradicts the often used justification by the pro-hunting lobby that foxes are pests
and their numbers should be controlled. On returning to the area on a separate occasion, to recover further surveillance
footage of the culprits responsible for dumping the animal carcasses used to attract the foxes, it became apparent the Hunt
were not happy to find that their secret had been uncovered. The investigators found themselves surrounded by pick-up
trucks and quad bikes with terrier boxes fitted to them. After making a quick decision to take shelter in the village
pub, the pub became surrounded by vehicles with some of the occupants staring through the windows and others entering the
The investigators left the area and the police were called to protect their safety. Further attempts
to intimidate were then made, including blocking their exit and trying to photograph them, which was witnessed by the police
present. Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports says: "It
is sadly often the case that the individuals responsible for these shocking activities feel empowered by their fellow pro-hunt
supporters to intimidate investigators with verbal abuse, threats and violence. We will continue in our efforts to expose
those responsible and in doing so will not tolerate intimidation from illegal and violent countryside gangs."
League Against Cruel Sports Investigator comments: "The fact that those individuals responsible for building the artificial
earths and encouraging the foxes to use them, do not want this activity exposed, speaks volumes about their hidden agenda
and illegal intentions to commit cruelty to animals."
POWAPerson adds;- The
hunters' bully-boy tactics are, of course, no surprise. Anyone standing against them in almost any way places themselves
at some risk. LACS Investigators are more in danger then most. One was beaten up and had his camera stolen
last year They produced a dossier of evidence regarding artificial earths throughout the country last year. Read their
damning report here
Police publish footage of Coniston FH supporter assaulting sab in March
after the event, Cumbria police have uploaded, to their own website and to YouTube, a very
short piece of footage showing a hunt supporter striking a sab with a cudgel. The film gives a clear
image of the offender [right]
and police are seeking to know his identity. They do not, however, mention
that he was following the Coniston Hunt.28-8-12 cumbriapolice.co.uk Assault
on the Fells - Police ask members of the public to help identify man in video footage
Police officers in Windermere have release video footage which shows a man being assaulted in an effort to trace the person
involved. On 24 March 2012 at 1:30 pm, a man aged 46 was assaulted whilst out on the fells in the Ambleside area. The footage
shows a man lifting a stick to the victim and assaulting him. The victim suffered minor injuries. Police would like to speak
to the man shown and also anyone who was in the area at the time in order to identify the person involved. If you are pictured
or if you recognise anyone, can you please contact Windermere police on 101.
The assault was part of a larger
incident at the final meet on 24-3-12 [see Archive] in which sabs claim 3 of them were set upon by 15 hunt supporters. The sab was injured to
his back and one eye. Hunt supporters then blocked and abused paramedics. Walkers had apparently told sabs that
they had earlier seen the hunt killing a fox.
No arrest of Surrey Union rider who allegedly rode at and threatened to kill female sab
But she is arrested, for 'harassment' at a later meet, as sabs crimp cubbing attempts
11-8-12 HSA Press Release Cub hunting
starts in the South East with death threats The Cub hunting season has started in the south
east. After a tipoff from members of the public, Guildford Hunt sabs visited the Surrey Union at their kennels
at 5:30am. The ten invited riders (cub hunting is by invite only for the most blood thirsty) were not happy to see the
sabs and tried to lose them by fast riding. One of their number.... proceeded to try and ride down one the
female sabs repeatedly and then threatened to kill her in front of members of the public, who expressed their horror. The
police were called causing the Hunt to pack up but were greeted by Surrey Constabulary at their kennels. Video evidence
has been supplied of the incident.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "The practice
of cub hunting has no place under the Hunting Act and cannot be excused as a method of training hounds to a drag. The fact
that hunts still go out in the early hours should be enough evidence in itself to show that illegal hunting is taking place,
and all police forces should take this into consideration. Once again members of the HSA have to spend long hours monitoring
hunts only to be the subject of abuse and physical attacks. It is time the police clamp down on the illegal and violent countryside
gangs, masquerading as legitimate organisations."
Facebook - SabinGuildford Surrey police have shown their usual bias by
arresting one of our sabs for harrasment outside the kennels of the Surrey Union foxhunt this morning, just on the say so
of one hunter, whereas the same sab can have threats to kill her and be ridden down (with plenty of evidence ) and no hunter
gets arrested, even with the agreement of police on a previous day saying it was fine doing what we were doing, i.e. trying
to stop the hunt breaking the law by illegally hunting. The remainng sabs bravely stuck on the hunt despite threats of arrest
and saw the hunt pack up before 7 without attempting to hunt.
Meynell FH Joint Master and terrierman convicted after sabs film cubhunting
Rt.Hon Johnny Greenall fined £3,000 after failed to defend self in court
10-8-12 Derby Telegraph [contains video] A HUNT master and a member of his staff
have been found guilty of illegally hunting fox cubs with hounds Johnny Greenall [left],
52, and Glen Morris, 43, both pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them after anti-hunt protesters covertly filmed
the hunt in October last year. Roger Swain and Robin Ellison, were at the scene filming the hunt with hand-held
cameras. South Derbyshire Magistrates' Court was shown the footage, which showed huntsmen from the Meynell and South
Staffordshire Hunt surrounding a wood near Hilton. It was alleged the hounds entered the wood to hunt young foxes, in
a sport known as "cubbing". The video footage shows two foxes trying to escape from the wood, on Suffield
Farm in Sutton-On-The-Hill. One fox is scared back into the wood by the surrounding huntsmen clapping their hands.
Defending the case, Bertie Woodcock QC said that the footage did not show Greenall clearly involved. He said: "The only
evidence on the footage that Mr Greenall was there is audio." He said Greenall was on the other side of the wood to where
footage was filmed. "Mr Greenall's behaviour was not witnessed. There is no proof he had the shared intention
of hunting the fox with the huntsmen."
The defendants chose not to give evidence in court. But
Sarah Lloyd, prosecuting, said Roger Swain was certain Greenall was chasing down one of the foxes. Mr Woodcock
made an application to district judge Caroline Goulborn to throw out the case against the defendants as there was "no
case to answer". This was turned down by the judge. She said that she was satisfied the pair were engaged
in illegal cubbing. Summing up, she said: "The evidence that Mr Greenall was the hunt master is not in dispute
nor is the fact that he was there that day. Mr Greenall gave an innocent explanation as to why he was there in his police
interview. But he has chosen not to give evidence in front of me today. This is because the evidence would not stand up to
Speaking outside court, Mr Swain said: "We are very pleased that the case has been successful.
It is a relief to know that justice has been done. The downside to the situation is that the pack of hounds is out there and
is trained to kill fox cubs. We will be continuing the work we have been doing to put a stop to fox hunting."
Bonner, from the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, was disappointed with the ruling. He said: "I am surprised at the
verdict when there is no evidence foxes were shown to be pursued, let alone being caught by the hounds. The two clients are
considering their options." Greenall, of Wootton Hall, Wootton, near Ashbourne, was fined £3,000,
ordered to pay £500 costs and a £15 victims surcharge. He paid the sum in full at court yesterday. Morris, of
Ludgate Street, Tutbury, is currently off work with depression. He was fined £250, with costs of £250 and a £15
surcharge. He was ordered to pay the sum at £10 per fortnight.
POWAPerson says; It is hard to praise too highly the sabs who obtained this footage or the importance of the convictions, not least
the size of Greenall's fine, orders of magnitude larger than anything levied before. Albeit piffling to him, let's hope it has reset the benchmark.
Police will be more likely to take on well-founded complaints of illegal hunting if courts are handing down stronger penalties
than before this.
The conviction is especially embarassing to the fox-hunting fraternity as Greenall, the head honcho
of one of the most prestigious Hunts [formerly much patronised by Prince Charles] is close to their upper echelons.
He is the brother of the current Lord Daresbury. His Lordship who was, of course, the plonker who, when he was MFHA
Chairman, wrote, in early 2004, to all MFHA Chairs, bidding them to ask their local farmers to help foxes breed more, as they
didn't have enough to hunt! An email from Simon Hart, then CA CEO, rebuking him for this idiocy was kindly
leaked by someone and widely publicised. When Hart went on to become a Tory candidate, Daresbury donated £2k to his
campaign funds - presumably as belated apology. Daresbury has also donated nearly £50k to the Party itself. Chicken-feed
to him though.
The Greenalls are the old brewing dynasty and extremely rich. Daresbury has a huge estate in Cheshire,
which was one of the venues for the 'We'll break any ban' Declaration signing, later in 2004. Had, anyway, 'cos
he put it up to sale for £11 million in 2010, so he could move nearer to his favourite Hunt, the Sir Watkins Williams-Wynn
in N.Wales! Daresbury is close to the Royals and is Chairman of Aintree racecourse. Brother Johnny has a slightly
more modest estate in Derbyshire, Wooton Hall, but is also heavily into National Hunt racing. A former champion amateur jockey,
he now owns racehorses.
It's a little surprising that the Meynell were engaging in what looks like traditional 'hold
up' cub hunting that late in the season [October 22nd] as Hunts have normally switched to more standard hunting well before
that date. It was very evident from the film what they were doing and hard to pass it off as any innocent activity. Nevertheless, the
fleeting glimpse of a fox emerging from the copse was possibly crucial to the conviction, since case law requires there to
be an identifiable hunted mammal. And, gratifyingly, we have another instance of a Judge effectively calling
a senior hunter a liar. After Greenall declined the opportunity to repeat his statement to police under oath, she said that
would be because it 'would not stand up to any scrutiny'. For me, his failure to answer the allegation in court
probably makes this case unappealable, despite what Bonner said.
Kent's West Street Tickham FH forced to fold
6-8-12 Horse & Hound West
Street Tickham hunt to disband The Hunting Office has applauded the decision of the
West Street Tickham to disband, dividing its country between the Ashford Valley and the East Kent. Hunt secretary Sarah Leggat
said the move - which will take effect for the 2013 season - should strengthen hunting in mid and east Kent. "It is very
sad - but it's about the future of hunting," she said. Mrs Leggat said the hunt was facing financial challenges and
lacked sufficient country during the shooting season - so looked to their neighbours for a solution. "The Ashford Valley
have been very welcoming and are going to take on the Tickham name [becoming the Ashford Valley Tickham]," she said.
"We're looking for draft homes for our hounds and we hope that Paul [Saunders] will find a new position within hunt
service, because he's a cracking huntsman. He gives us some very good days, despite the obvious constraints of railways
and motorways," she added. A number of H&H forum users went online to say it was a "sad day for hunting".
But Tim Easby, director of the Hunting Office, said hunts need to consider their long-term viability. "This is excellent
progress and the hunts are to be commended on the mature way that this has been dealt with," he said.
says: The demise of an established fox hunt is indeed 'excellent progress', though not in the bizarre
way Tim Easby tries to spin it. The Hunt last came to public attention in October 2011, when their hounds staged an early morning raid on the village of Studall and upset residents by killing a fox there. Having seemed to initially deny involvement, the Hunt
later apologised saying the hounds picked up a fox scent and got away from them and that they couldn't control the dogs. Presumably
there will now be proportionally less hunting in East Kent, so the foxes there can sleep a little easier in their lay-ups
and residents will be less subject to hunt havoc.
Heythrop FH trial date set for December 13th. Hunt and 4 members face 45 charges
4-8-12 Oxford Times Heythrop Hunt and its members
have denied illegally hunting foxes with dogs They are being prosecuted by the RSPCA on a 45 count indictment in
contravention of the Hunting Act 2004. The Hunt faces nine counts of hunting a wild mammal with a dog across Oxfordshire and
Gloucestershire relating to the spring 2012 hunt season. The six-week trial is set to start on December 13 at Bicester Magistrates'
Court. Huntsman Julian Barnfield, 48, of Kennel Lane, Chipping Norton, was charged with the same nine counts as the hunt.
Duncan Hune, 32, also of Kennel Lane, and Joint Master of the Hunt Vanessa Lambert, 29, of Adlestrop, Moreton-in-the-Marsh,
each face seven similar charges. A fourth defendant, Richard Sumner, 68, of Penhill Farm, Salperton, Gloucestershire, faces
..... 20th July
- S.Pembrokeshire FH supporter jailed for firearms
offences after allegedly shot monitor
Welsh hunt supporter jailed for firearms
offences after allegedly shot monitor
20-7-12 BBC News S.W.Wales Pembrokeshire farmer, 66, jailed over firearms offences
A South Pembrokeshire Hunt supporter, arrested but not charged after a protester claimed she had been shot in the head, has
been jailed for firearms offences. Steven Barrett [left], 66, of St Clears, Carmarthenshire, had a sawn-off
rifle and ammunition inside his van, Swansea Crown Court was told. He admitted several fire arms offences. Due to his poor health, he was given a three-and-a-half year jail term instead
of the minimum of five years.
Janet Gedrych, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court how on 19 October last year the hunt
gathered in a clearing in a wood near Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire. There were also several supporters, travelling in vehicles,
and protesters. Both groups, she said, were "well known to each other". An argument took place and one of the protesters,
Dr Adrian Smallwood, began to film the scene. His wife, Monica, then said she had been shot in the head and blood could be
seen coming from her forehead. Miss Gedrych said the police were called and, after viewing the film
footage, identified several vehicles. Barrett was stopped as he returned home in his van. Under the front passenger seat officers
found a gun that has been illegally modified. Miss Gedrych said it was originally a 0.22 rimfire rifle
but when officers found it it was more like a single shot handgun. Barrett had shortened the barrel and replaced the stock
with a pistol grip. Officers also found 10 live rounds of 0.22 ammunition designed to expand on impact. His home was
searched and 10 air rifles and six air pistols were found. Barrett told police he had put the gun and ammunition into his
car because he had been under the impression that a nearby farmer would ask him to shoot a fox. But he would not say who the
farmer was. Miss Gedrych said police made
a thorough search of the clearing and could find no evidence of anyone being shot. Barrett was not charged in relation
to the alleged shooting.
James Hartson, defending, said Barrett, was a former gamekeeper and now a semi-retired farmer.
Mr Justice Spencer said he had given the matter "anxious consideration". He added that Parliament had laid down
a five year minimum sentence for such offences for a good reason and Barrett could avoid it only if there were exceptional
circumstances. He ruled that because of his age and his poor health he could reduce the sentence to three and a half years,
but no lower. He said Barrett admitted he had left the gun and the ammunition in his vehicle overnight and
had run the risk of the weapon falling into the wrong hands. Barrett admitted possessing a rifle with a shortened barrel,
illegal ammunition and an overpowered air rifle.
HSA Press Release Relief of protestors as hunt supporter jailed on firearms offences
A local hunt protest group has reacted with relief to the jailing of a prominent supporter of the South Pembrokeshire Hunt.....
The incident happened when two members of West Wales Anti Bloodsports were observing the early morning activities of the South
Pembrokeshire Hunt from a footpath. After encountering a gang of hunt supporters, a protestor [right]
was shot in the head with some kind of projectile, possibly an airgun pellet. Six individuals were arrested
and their vehicles searched, and a sawn-off rifle and ammunition was discovered in Barrett’s possession. He claimed
in court that it was for shooting foxes.....
The shooting occurred at a pre-season ‘cubbing’ meet, at Campshill Farm near Yerbeston. It resulted
in the protestor being taken to hospital with a profusely bleeding head wound. Shortly beforehand, Barrett had
subjected the couple to highly offensive and apparently racist abuse, and a South Pembrokeshire Hunt terrierman had challenged
them to a fight.
"We had a strong suspicion that a fox had been illegally dug out, and I was about to phone the
police when I heard a metallic pinging noise. Suddenly, there was an intense sharp pain in my forehead, and blood pouring
down my face. I knew that I had been shot with something, and a feeling of terror came over me" said the protestor. "I
was taken to hospital in an emergency ambulance, and found to have a circular head wound that had penetrated right through
the skin. I would have lost an eye if the missile had hit me lower in the face".
A spokesman for West Wales Anti Bloodsports said that Barrett had previously been openly threatening towards them,
and his behaviour reported to the police. "We are immensely relieved that this violent individual has been jailed. We
are however disappointed that the South Pembrokeshire Hunt Master was not apparently inclined to reign in such loose cannons.
Even after being arrested, Barrett continued to attend hunt meets, and was able to continue his pattern of intimidation.
On one such occasion, he appeared to be working for the hunt, and was cracking a long whip in a frightening manner.
We have had our car tyres slashed on three occasions when out watching the South Pembrokeshire Hunt, and had horses backed
into us on dozens of occasions. The incident also raises the question of why Barrett thought a local farmer might ask him
to shoot a fox on the same day the South Pembrokeshire Hunt were out. We are now more determined than ever to continue our
wildlife protection work, as it is clear that barbaric animal cruelty, despite being illegal, is still rife in our countryside".
POWAPerson adds;- Footage of the incident is on YouTube. Whilst the violent and bigoted behaviour of many hunt supporters is well known it still comes as
a shock to hear and see it so graphically illustrated. Footage of Barrett foul-mouthedly abusing and threatening
female hunt monitors is also online. The monitors also make the following claims about the S.Pembrokeshire:- "West Wales Anti Bloodsports has filmed foxes being pursued
by packs of hounds on several occasions. The group has recorded one instance in which a fox was shot and disembowelled. On
another occasion, a fox was filmed escaping from a hedge, where Pembrokeshire terriermen with nets and a dog were trying to
trap it. In addition, at least two active badger setts were dug out, one on land belonging to the Master of the South Pembrokeshire
Hunt. These acts echo wildlife crimes for which hunt officials in England have been convicted. The group has published video clips of what it witnessed on the Internet."
Stories below in reverse chronological order:-
27th June - Crawley & Horsham convict trio reported to have decided not to appeal
..... 8th June - Will Chanter, Mid-Devon FH mounted follower, denies assaulting
..... 7th June - MFHA chickens in flap over foxy monitors
in the coop as bite back begins in earnest
..... 7th June - Leading fox
expert blames hunting lobby for spate of media urban-fox scare stories
..... 1st June - Tiverton SH Huntsman's victim goes public to tell how Hunt rallied round her evil rapist
Horsham trio decide against appealing their Hunting Act convictions
West Sussex Hunt sabs say that they have heard that the three members of the Crawley & Horsham FH who were found guilty
of illegal hunting in May are not intending to appeal the verdicts, purportedly for 'personal reasons'. Presumably
they have been advised they would have little chance of acquittal. Neil Millard, a Joint Master, Rachel Holdsworth, Hunt Secretary
and a whipper-in and Andrew Phillis, former C&H Huntsman and now Master of a fox hunt in Devon, were convicted
of breaking the Hunting Act by using hounds to chase foxes at meets in January 2011. They claimed they were 'trail
hunting' but the Judge who found them guilty at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court on May 14th described this as a 'charade'.
Mid-Devon FH mounted follower appears in Court and denies assaulting sabs
A rider with the Hunt, Chartered Surveyor Will Chanter, appeared today
at Barnstable Magistrates Court, where he pleaded not quilty to charges of assaulting three sabs at an alleged dig-out site
during a meet on Dartmoor in early March. The matter will now go to trial, expected to be in 2/3 months time.
The picture below shows Mr.Chanter enjoying another of his hobbies It needs
a real man to take on such a fierce creature..
MFHA chickens in flap
over foxy monitors in the coop
7-6-12 Horse & Hound MFHA tells hunts they must record evidence
of legal activities Hunting within the law is not enough - hunts must make sure they carefully
record evidence of their legal activities. That was the central message from this year's Master of Foxhounds Association
(MFHA) annual meeting (29 May) in the light of recent prosecutions and efforts by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) to step up its campaign against hunting. Addressing the meeting at Cheltenham racecourse, MFHA chairman Stephen
Lambert said: "The pace of our opponents' endeavours has risen by several gears in the last few weeks. Therefore
we must ensure that at all times we have full evidence that we are hunting within the law." Three
members of the Crawley and Horsham were convicted of Hunting Act offences last month, while the RSPCA issued 52 summonses
against the Heythrop. Meanwhile, LACS recently appointed an additional eight "investigations officers"
- making a total of 10 - who will work in pairs around the country. At the AGM - which was also addressed by Countryside Alliance
chairman Sir Barney White-Spunner and Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames - Mr Lambert issued a stark warning to hunts. "The
RSPCA has adopted a scattergun approach [against the Heythrop]," he said. "This tactic could snowball unless hunts
diligently keep daily records to demonstrate their legal activity with hounds." Masters were
warned by Mr Lambert that covert camera operators have been at work in the majority of hunt countries, attempting to catch
hunts out. And that covert surveillance is set to increase next season. Louise Robertson of LACS told
H&H that most of the investigations officers were ex-policemen or RSPCA inspectors. "We have revamped our whole intelligence
system and everything we do from now on will be intelligence-led," she said. "They [the officers] won't just
pick a hunt we don't like and go after it; they'll go anywhere we've got intelligence that there is suspicious
activity." But in his closing comments to the AGM, Mr Lambert urged hunts not to be disheartened by
the heightened activity of antis. "The all-out attack by the opposition gives us an opportunity to demonstrate what a
ridiculous law this is," he said.
POWAPerson says;- Mr. Lambert, also a subscriber
to the PM's own Hunt, the Heythrop, seems strangely camera-shy, and we can only find one picture of him online.
Above, he is seen at the MFHA AGM in 2009. From left are Alistair Jackson, then MFHA director; Lambert
himself; Simon Hart, then CEO of the Countryside Alliance, who helped orchestrate the 'Declaration' campaign
prior to the Hunting Act in which a purported 50,000 hunt supporters were recruited to pledge to break any hunting ban, and
who is now a Tory MP; and William Hague, one-time Conservative Party leader [that went well] and now fellow bloodsport-lover Cameron's Foreign Secretary. Lambert's
daughter, Vanessa [left], aka 'Nessie', is a Joint Master of the Heythrop FH and is one of the five people from that
Hunt recently charged by the RSPCA with illegal fox hunting.
It is clear that the Crawley & Horsham convictions
- especially as this was the first Hunting Act case for years brought by the police/CPS against an organised hunting
gang - and the 52 charges by the RSPCA against the Heythrop, have seriously spooked the hunters, who had become
so complacent in their arrogant belief that the law would rarely, if ever, indict them.
Now LACS's big new wildlife crime investigation programme appears to have tipped them into
a mini-panic. Doubtless the countermeasures advised by Lambert [which some Hunts already practice] will not be their
only response to the enhanced dangers posed by monitoring. Expect also increased obstructiveness and aggression
towards hunt observers - and, probably, enhanced attempts to gain some measure of assistance from their political
friends in high places.
Since the Conservative heirarchy
cannot presently deliver a Commons majority for Hunting Act repeal, the least their pals, activists and donors in the hunting
fraternity are going to expect is a bit more protection from prying eyes, not to mention sabs.
After all the financial and campaigning help they have given the Conservative party in recent years,
including the 'undercover' canvassing conducted in the last three General Election campaigns by hunters in the constituencies
of anti-hunt MPs and candidates, organised by the Tory front group 'Vote OK', they surely believe they are entitled
to some favours.
From Cameron himself perhaps, who
is extremely close to the beleagured Heythrop FH, which Hunt is also supported by some of the Tory Party's biggest donors
and the now infamous 'Chipping Norton set'... or maybe from DEFRA Minister Jim 'Shoot the badgers' Paice,
a known bloodsports fanatic, to whom the PM did not just give the Agriculture brief, but even appointed as our first ever
Minister for Hunting and Shooting. Then there's always William Hague,
now Foreign Secretary, notably pally with the MFHA.... or Cameron's policing [!!!] Minister, Nick Herbert, who
was a hare hunt Master for many years as well as Political Officer for the CA... or Solicitor-General Edward Garnier,
who has long been very close to the Leicestershire Hunts. Both the latter served
on the Commitee to Repeal the Hunting Act [still chaired by Cameron's step-father-in-law, Lord Astor] before being
so deservingly elevated to high office.
though, all these men can clearly be trusted to act entirely objectively in the public interest and not show any
more partiality to their dear friends in the hunting community than Paice has demonstrated towards his cattle-farmer
colleagues with his badger-cull policy, or Jeremy Hunt did to the Murdoch empire. So that'll be all right then.
expert says hunting lobby probably behind spate of media fox scare stories
Stop hounding Britain's urban foxes By Professor Stephen Harris [left]
of Bristol University. Drummed up by the hunting lobby, news reports of giant, baby-threatening
foxes are little more than myths and nonsense. They are as big as Alsatians and getting bigger. Their numbers
are increasing and are out of control. They foul our gardens, they rip cats apart, they are getting bolder. It is simply a matter
of time before they kill a baby. City-dwellers cannot let toddlers play in the garden for fear they will be mauled or killed.
It's incredible how much hysteria the British press can generate about such a small, and largely inoffensive, animal
as the fox. In the war on the urban fox [West London resident, below right], truth is not so much a casualty as irrelevant.
The fox "cub" recently pictured sitting on a child's bed in London was actually an adult in the terminal stages
of mange. It had crept into the house to try to keep warm (foxes with mange lose most of their fur): it caused no problem
and was removed by the RSPCA. A non-story and an everyday occurrence with stray cats. Similarly, the fox
in the wardrobe. Having entered a house, it panicked and did exactly what foxes do when scared: it looked for somewhere dark
to hide. Again it posed no threat and hardly warranted newspaper coverage. In March the press hailed a fox shot
on a Scottish farm as the biggest ever killed in Britain, claiming that such large foxes were unthinkable a few years ago.
Yet foxhunts were killing foxes much the same size a hundred years ago. Every urban fox story quotes
an "expert", most of whom have little or no expertise on urban foxes. Here an expert was quoted as suggesting that
foxes are getting bigger because they are better fed in urban areas. All the more remarkable that the fox killed in rural
Aberdeenshire was about as far away from urban influences as is possible in mainland Britain, and none of the recent reports
of big foxes have been from cities. Extremes occur in all species, even humans. Since the biggest man in the world
was five times taller than the shortest, why are we surprised to see a fox twice as big as normal? With the anticipated climate
changes in Britain, foxes are likely to get smaller, not bigger, something not reported in the "giant fox" stories.
The first claim that foxes will kill a baby appeared in the Sunday Times in 1973: 40 years on, this still has not happened. While twins attacked in Hackney in 2010 sustained nasty injuries,
much about this incident puzzles me. Their injuries were unlike anything I have ever seen from foxes. Yet despite being such
an atypical event, it is repeatedly referred to in the press. In comparison, the seven children and five adults
killed by dogs since 2005, and the hundreds more disfigured, receive far less coverage. Nor are urban fox
numbers increasing, despite claims made by yet another "expert" on the recent Channel 4 programme. In many cities
fox numbers have declined due to sarcoptic mange, an extremely unpleasant and fatal disease. In Bristol, the fox population
is still recovering from the 1994 mange outbreak, which killed more than 95%. The same expert also claimed
that Channel 4 had undertaken "the biggest fox survey ever"; previous surveys have involved vastly more people.
Nor is there any basis for Channel 4 to claim there are now 40,000 urban foxes in Britain: this figure will undoubtedly dominate
the press even though the only scientifically based estimate is 33,000. With all this misinformation,
it is hard to believe that we know more about British urban foxes than foxes anywhere else in the world. We even know more
about urban foxes than most other British mammals: just about every aspect of their lives has been studied in minute detail.
The underlying problem is that anything to do with foxes has been politically charged since the upsurge of the hunting debate
in the mid-1990s. Until then press stories about foxes were largely balanced. However, influencing public opinion on the need
to kill foxes has been a key goal of the hunting lobby. Yet despite the subsequent 15 years of press hype, the vast majority
of British people still like foxes, particularly urban foxes. The anti-fox campaign hasn't worked, and it's time to
return to more factual, and balanced, reporting.
Tiverton SH Huntsman's victim goes public and
tells how Hunt rallied round her evil rapist
1-6-12 Jenni Southwood [below left],
the woman who was brutally raped by John Norrish [below right], long-time Huntsman of the mid Devon-based deer hunt, has waived
her right to anonimity in order to give further, disturbing, details of her ordeal at his hands and to recount how she and her husband have been ostracised by the local hunting community since making
the accusation and her attacker rallied around and feted by them. Her lengthy account was first published in the Daily Mail, and later reprinted in part by the Daily Telegraph and some West Country newspapers. Below are the extracts
from the piece in the Mail which relate to Norrish's fellow-hunters' behaviour.
of all to cope with, however, was the reaction she and Ian faced from the hunt. ‘Not one person came down here to see
us,' says Ian. ‘They've been absolutely gutless.' To add insult to injury, senior members of the Tiverton
Staghounds pressed ahead with a testimonial ‘meet' to mark Norrish's retirement last month. That event was attended
by hundreds, as was a dinner at the Tiverton Hotel that raised £3,500 - presented as a parting gift to Norrish at the
end of the evening. ‘Rubbing salt in our wounds' is how Ian [Jenni's husband] describes it. He has banned the
Tiverton Staghounds from crossing his land."
Behaviour like this by the Hunt, especially
one with as violent and ruthless a reputation as the Tiverton Stag Hounds should come as no surprise - but remains shocking.
I can do no better in reaction to it than to quote from West Country anti-hunt activist Chris Tasker, who posted the following
on the Facebook page of the documentary film A Minority Pastime , which exposes the anti-social behaviour and ruthless aggression underlying hunting with hounds, Chris's
use of the term 'redneck' to describe these hunters is, in the experiece of POWAPerson, who monitored them several
times in the '90s, excessively generous. As further accounts of their past behaviour detailed later here will suggest, most
of them are callous, sadistic brutes, pure and simple.
".... the hunts in
the area ( they all sent reps) thought that it was a good idea to fete this fella despite the fact that he was going to stand trial for rape within three weeks. Did they think
he was innocent, or that the victim brought it on herself because she was drunk? Did they not realise the implications of
celebrating this rapist's career while he was on a charge of rape ? Were they that remote from normal sensibilities that
it just didnt occur to them ? Or is the social glue that the hunt provides so strong that even as a rapist, Norrish is still
a master huntsman? This isn't the Appalachians - Tiverton is 1 hr and 40 minutes from London by train, three hours by
car. Most of the hunt riders are outsiders with jobs in the city - they arent locals. yet they still thought it would be OK
to go to a fund raiser so the b*****d could be given a golden goodbye. Weird, just plain redneck weird."
One of the many human victims of Hunts featured in the 'Minority Pastime' film, was Samantha Dunning, who
used to run a small goat farm in Tiverton SH country. She claims that her livelihood and family's life were both ruined
by repeated incursions by and aggression from the Hunt. She also recently posted on AMP's Facebook page as follows:-
"That's what they're like, they
backed him cos it's normal for them. They threatened similar to me to the point I stopped going out and always had my
guard dog with me on the farm. I had bull whips cracked at me and when they found out they'd made 32 of my goats abort
they laughed. The police said they'd only help if I videoed them - straight after they'd put a LACS man in hospital
for doing the same. They destroyed my business and drove me and my elderly parents out of our home. They think they're
above the law and mostly they are."
And finally, POWAPerson has his own story illustrating
the irresponsibility,mendacity and callousness of which the Tiverton SH [left] are capable:-.
"In 1997/8 my partner and I lived on the LACS main wildlife sanctuary at Baronsdown, on the eastern
edge of Exmoor, where we often assisted with monitoring the local Hunts, especially those victimising deer. The Tiverton SH usually hunted south of the major link road between Tiverton and Barnstable, itself several
miles south of our location. One spring Saturday morning, though, we got word that they been spotted north of
the link road, and, with others, left home to monitor them. We contacted and stayed with them for some time, but
around lunchtime found many of them packing up and going home. Very unusual, since they usually hunt till
late afternoon, if not early evening. We followed them back to their normal country, expecting them to restart
hunting there, but they just dispersed. It was not until later that we found out what had happened.
A panicking stag had fled across the dual-carriageway, high-speed, link road and been struck and killed by a car being driven
by a tourist about to start his holiday at Barnstable. He had his wife and baby in the car with him.
Fortunately, though badly shocked, they were unhurt, but the car was quite badly damaged. As the driver
recounted to the local paper, while parked at the roadside waiting for assistance, , a 4x4 pulled up behind him. They thought
a kind motorist had stopped to offer help. Instead, the passenger got out, picked up the deer carcass and
slung it into the boot, then just got back in. The vehicle drove off without even acknowledging them, though, the
holiday maker said, that it must have been obvious it was they who had collided with the animal and that they needed
aid. The Tiverton had the gall to deny that they had anything to do with the stag or the incident.
Few people seemed to believe that this deer just happened to decide to gallop across a busy main road in broad daylight
while the Hunt just happened to be in the vicinity. There was a small furore about it in the local media - but
that was the full extent of the sanctions suffered by the Hunt for causing this dreadful accident which did kill a stag and
only by fortune spared the lives of an innocent human family.
POWA that the Tiverton SH, who no longer, as with most Hunts, publicise their meets, have been continuing to hunt deer,
generally using about a dozen hounds, in the guise of 'trail hunting', but that, with Norrish as Huntsman,
they would make sure they stayed well back from the pack, making it very difficult to obtain adeqaute evidence of illegal
hunting. POWA cannot, however, verify these reports.
Stories below in reverse chronological order:-
28th May - Mid Devon FH rider accused of assaulting three sabs in March to appear in
..... 22rd May - LACS Wildlife Crime Unit launch as report claims very high 'suspicious
..... 21st May - Long-term Huntsman,
ex-JM, of Tiverton Staghounds gets 4 years for rape at Hunt Ball
..... 20th May - Young
Worcestershire FH huntswoman faces jail after admitting burglaries
..... 20th May - Obstructive cyclist
who provoked action from 'ninja' girl sab revealed as Heythrop JM
..... 17th May - N.Devon farmer banned after caught over double drink drive
limit coming back from Hunt
..... 16th May - Paice restates Governmwent
intent to hold 'Indicative Vote' on Hunting Act, but won't say when
..... 14th May - All 3 of remaining Crawley and Horsham 'Gang' convicted of illegal hunting
14th May - Rape trial of former Tiverton Stag Hounds JM and Huntsman John Norrish begins
..... 13th May - Mid-Devon FH rider summonsed after assaults on 3 sabs trying
to stop dig-out
..... 6th May - Heythrop FH faces
corporate hunting prosecution. PM's Hunt friends to answer multiple charges
..... 3rd May -
Fitzwilliam FH terrierman John Bycroft heavily fined for Welfare and Hunting Act breaches
...... 2nd May - Surrey Police/CPS drop aggravated trespass cases against two Brighton hunt saboteurs
..... 1st May - Crawley & Horsham 3 face two-week wait for vedicts as Judge
retires to review evidence
Mid Devon FH rider charged with assaulting sabs to appear in Court 28-5-12 That rider can now be named as Will Chanter [right]. He was educated at a minor public school and works as a surveyor in the Agricultural Department of Devon firm Seddons'
Tiverton offices. As reported earlier, he allegedly assaulted and injured three sabs at what the latter believed
to be an illegal dig-out on Dartmoor early in March. POWA has been informed that he is to appear at Barnstable
Magistrates Court on 8th June to answer a single, relatively minor charge, to which it is believed he is likely to plead
guilty. The injuries which the sabs claimed to have suffered at his hands included black eyes, a sprained wrist and various
cuts and bruises.
LACS Wildlife Crime Unit launch as
report claims very high 'suspicious hunting activity'
23-5-12 LACS website Bill Oddie launches Charity's
new investigations team MPs were last night given the opportunity to rub shoulders with wildlife expert, TV presenter and League Vice President, Bill Oddie [left] at
a prestigious event to launch the League Against Cruel Sports’ new investigations team. The outspoken
conservationist posed for pictures with elected members who were signing a declaration pledging their support to tackle wildlife
crime. The reception hosted by MPs Kerry McCarthy [right] and Adrian Sanders [left],
also Vice Presidents of the charity, was to raise awareness among parliamentarians of the growing problem of crimes committed
against wildlife and showcase the League’s newly recruited investigating officers. Among the
speakers at the event were shadow DEFRA Minister, Mary Creagh MP [below right] and Professor John Cooper QC [below left],
the League’s Chairman. Over the next three years a massive investment of £1 million will be ploughed
into the League’s operational activities to help stamp out wildlife crime. The event was also
used to publish the charity’s annual hunting report which highlighted an overwhelming increase in suspicious hunting
activity being reported to the League. Speaking at the event Bill Oddie said: "I am delighted
to support the League as they launch their new investigations team. There is a tendency to think of animal cruelty and crime
as 'not a British problem'. Britain is by no means immune or innocent. Illegal hunting, poisoning of birds of
prey, stealing of eggs and chicks, are all still rife and if anything are increasing. This is crime and they are criminals.
To track them down, investigators must take risks and face danger. The investigations team may sound like a Nordic TV drama,
but I am afraid it is very much a reality show, and it is British."
Western Morning News Campaigners report rise in breaches of Hunting Act Anti-cruelty campaigners have revealed a surge in reported breaches of the Hunting Act, which
they claim proves the controversial legislation is outperforming other wildlife protection laws. The League
Against Cruel Sports (LACS) said it logged 295 reports of "suspicious activity" on its hotline last year, up from
133 during the previous season. It claims only 42% of these allegations were passed to the police and points
to this as proof that wildlife crime is under-reported. But opponents who want to see the Act repealed say
97% of the 200 convictions since the law came into force in 2005 were casual hunters and poachers – unconnected with registered hunts – who could have been charged under earlier legislation. Campaign group
the Countryside Alliance has highlighted the absence of a single conviction in Devon and Cornwall – where police recorded
just four crimes in the whole of 2009 and 2010 – as evidence that the Act has "failed".
The details appear in the league’s annual report, which was praised by Torbay Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders at a House of
Commons launch on Tuesday. Mr Sanders said the sharp rise in activity was "worrying" and revealed a
"darker side" to hunting. TV presenter and conservationist Bill Oddie, the league’s vice-president, added:
"Illegal hunting, poisoning of birds of prey and the stealing of eggs and chicks are all still rife and if anything are
increasing." The Hunting Act effectively bans hunting with dogs, but allows the hunting of a
trail. The league said it focused most energy on hunting with hounds this past season, but observed only two trail hunts out of 55 days. Its annual report said there is a marked difference between suspicious
hunting incidents reported to the League and successful convictions. It defines "suspicious" as
activities it says are inconsistent with hunting a trail, such as terrier men following hunts, hounds chasing foxes and the
digging-out of foxes. The report said sources were "extremely concerned that their information is treated
with sensitivity. They have cause to be concerned – animal abusers are five times more likely to commit
violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history
of animal abuse," it claims. The Countryside Alliance says a dozen police forces, including Devon
and Cornwall and Dorset, have not issued a single caution, proceeded against, fined or convicted a single individual associated
with a hunt registered with the Council of Hunting Associations. Its campaign director, Tim Bonner [right]
said the convictions "simply aren’t coming" and urged readers to take the report with a "pinch of
salt. This report is a classic case of creative accounting, designed to reach conclusions that simply don’t exist,"
Long-term Huntsman, ex-JM, of Tiverton Staghounds is jailed for rape 21-5-12 Daily Mail website Huntsman found guilty of raping drunk woman he gave a lift home after black tie
ball is jailed for four years - John
Norrish, 68, convicted after taking advantage of married mother - Court hears victim, 33, may have passed out after
downing 20 drinks at ball - Judge says woman was 'too drunk to exercise a free choice to events' - He told married Norrish: 'This was a grave abuse of a vulnerable woman' -
Victim said after sentence: 'I've been violated in the most horrendous way'
A huntsman who raped a drunk woman after a black-tie ball was jailed for four years today.
Former huntsmaster John Norrish [left, arriving at Court to hear verdict], 68, took advantage of the 33-year-old
married mother when he offered to give her a lift home in the early hours of the morning. Norrish, who has been
married for 46 years and has two children, claimed she had already removed her knickers and lifted up her ball gown once they
were in the vehicle. But the victim, who was a stranger, denied his claims and said she had told him she did not
want to have sex. She told the court that she may have passed out in his car after downing 20 alcoholic drinks
that night at the annual Tiverton Staghounds hunt ball last July at Chawleigh, Devon. Exeter
crown court heard Norrish raped her in the front seat of his 4x4 at around 2.30am. A jury took more than
eleven hours of deliberations before finding Norrish [right, leading the Tiverton SH], 68, guilty of rape by a majority
of ten to two. The trial judge, Mr Justice Field, said it was a 'grave abuse of a vulnerable woman', adding that the 'effect of what you did will endure for her for years'. After the case, the
victim told how she had been 'violated in the most horrendous way'. She said: 'I would like to say that
this has been the most difficult ten months of my life. A community has been divided and I would like to think that we can
now put this behind us and rebuild our lives. John Norrish was seen as an upstanding member of the community and he abused
that trust. This result means that no-one else will be subjected to this type of abuse from him.'
There were gasps and tears in the packed public gallery from friends of Norrish who had attended the court every day for his
trial. He had his head bowed as the judge told him: 'It was in the early hours of July 2 last year when you
invited the victim to take a lift home with you. She was drunk. I have no doubt that you appreciated that. Instead of simply
giving her a lift home as you should have done, you took advantage of her as she sat in the front passenger seat of your car.
She did not consent to your advances, early on she told she did not want to. You did not reasonably believe that she was consenting
and proceeded to have sexual intercourse. This was a grave abuse of a vulnerable woman.' The judge
said the victim was 'too drunk to exercise a free choice to events'. Norrish remained impassive
as the sentence of four years was passed, of which he will serve half behind bars before he is considered for released on
licence. His victim was said to be 'beside herself with relief' at the jury verdict and thanked
her husband, friends and the police for their ‘support and professionalism'. She said that after the
rape she ran from his car and spotting a car’s lights in the field used for parking - it was a car carrying her husband
who had gone to fetch it to give her a lift home. She said she was 'hysterical' and her husband wanted to track
down Norrish who drove off with her shoes, knickers and handbag in the footwell of his vehicle. Det Con
Paul Feeney said: 'She is beside herself with relief at the jury’s decision and now wants to get her head around
it.' Norrish, who has no previous convictions, has a caution for an assault during a hunt altercation.
His lawyer Robert Linford told the judge that his client had led an outdoor lifestyle all his life and a custodial sentence
will be hard for him to bear. Norrish, who is now retired from is job as huntsman with the Tiverton Staghounds,
is still married. He will be placed on the Sex Offenders’ register for life. Norrish
was described by one of the people serving behind the fully stocked bar as 'the star of the show' that night.
It was said he stood proudly at the entrance to the Cobley Farm event wearing his red hunting jacket, collecting tickets off
the 300-400 people who were attending the Tiverton Staghounds ball last July. Norrish, who has two grown-up
sons, was a big part of the West Country hunting scene. During his lengthy career, which dated back to the 1980s,
he had been associated with the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, the South Devon Foxhounds, the Minehead Harriers in Somerset
and latterly the Tiverton Staghounds. He lived at the kennels where he looked after the hounds that took
part in the hunting over Exmoor. 'Popular' young Worcestershire FH huntswoman faces jail after admitting burglaries 20-5-12 Sunday Mercury Bromsgrove huntswoman facing
jail for burglary A POPULAR young huntswoman is facing time behind bars after pleading guilty to
two burglaries. Victims of Natalie Tongue [left], 21, from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, claim
she stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and family heirlooms from their homes during a crime spree last year. They
said the former South Bromsgrove High school student then pawned the stolen goods and used the cash to go on boozy nights out as well as pampering
sessions at local beauty salons. Her unsuspecting victims gave Natalie free rein in their homes, where
she would help them with odd jobs around the house or with tasks on nearby farms. They had no idea she was stealing from them
under their noses as many of the items she took were so valuable they did not wear them every day.
Tongue, who is a keen horse rider and is believed to have ridden with the respected Worcestershire Hunt, systematically stole
priceless family heirlooms. The victims said items she lifted included diamond rings and necklaces which
had been given to them as wedding gifts or as inheritance...... Her victims, who did not want to be identified,
are said to be "distraught" at her betrayal..... "Part of the problem was that it took
a long time to realise that anything was missing. The items she had stolen were hidden away, the types of things that you
would never wear on an everyday basis, because they were so precious. But as the victims looked around their homes they gradually
realised what had been taken, and they had to come to terms with the fact that someone they had trusted, so implicitly, had
betrayed them, so completely...... It is a really sad tale. Nobody can believe this young girl could have stooped so low."
Tongue pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and two counts of dishonesty and making false representations to make a gain
at Hereford Crown Court earlier this month. She is due to be sentenced next month.
Bromsgrove Advertiser ... Tongue pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary
and two of fraud, by representing that the stolen items were hers to sell. She was given a 51-week jail
sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
'Obstructive' cyclist who provoked action from 'ninja' female sab is JM
of Heythrop FH It
is a standard tactic of Hunts to use their vehicles to obstruct the progress of both monitors and sabs along country roads,
sometimes blocking them in from both ends. Indeed some Hunts make use of flashing orange lights, of questionable legality,
on their car tops to show their friends where the antis are. Occasionally, they will even use their vehicles in more aggressive and dangeous ways - and a number of sabs have been seriously injured
in the past as a result. But hunters normally rely on their 4x4s, or sometimes their horses, to
carry out their acts of obstruction - not their bicycles! Christopher Cox [right], discovered
the unwisdom of the bicycle tactic in January. As the video clearly shows, he was riding in the middle of a country lane and not moving over to let the
cars behind him past. The first of these, in what seems highly unlikely to be co-incidence, was occupied by hunt monitors.
Then, suddenly, a petite black-clad young woman, not known to the monitors, rushed past their car and demanded Cox move
aside. When he did not, she grabbed his bike and started shoving it and him towards the side of the road. She is then seen
reacting to Cox apparently shoving her in the chest by swinging a boot at his bike, at which point the monitors are able to
drive past and the clip ends. After the film was posted on YouTube it attracted much attention - and
police and media alike have been trying to find out who the cyclist and the young woman are. Today the M-o-S revealed their
names, and much more.....
20-5-12 Mail on Sunday UNCOVERED: The foxy face of the irate hunt saboteur in THAT road rage attack
ON first viewing, it seemed like a bizarre case of rural road rage. A video released by police last week showed an irate woman jogging up to a cyclist and assaulting him after he appeared to hold up traffic on a quaint country
lane in the Cotswolds. But as police appealed for help tracing the woman and her victim, wearing a flat cap, waxed
jacket and wellies, speculation grew that there was perhaps more to the altercation than the 60-second YouTube sensation initially
suggested.... The M-o-S can reveal that the cyclist is Christopher Cox, a joint master of David Cameron’s
local hunt and a descendant of William the Conqueror, while his red-haired assailant is 5ft 2ins saboteur Emily Marsh [left].
She is known to use a variety of pseudonyms, among them Emily Fox. But to her admirers, including the huntsmen she harangues
– and they are said to be numerous – she is known as Foxy Lady or simply The Fox. Her agility, striking
good looks and uncompromising manner have drawn comparison with fiery video game adventurer Lara Croft.... She
is one of the Guildford Hunt Saboteurs ‘Whippet Squad’ – two girls who, because of their speed, run with
the hunt, monitor it with video cameras and ‘do what we can to protect foxes’. Her clash with
Mr Cox on the B4425 near Bibury in Gloucestershire, was a flashpoint in a quietly simmering war being played out in the countryside because
of the hunting ban..... Both sides try to gather video evidence to prove the other breaks the law. The ‘antis’
seek to show that hunts pursue foxes not scents while supporters try to demonstrate that saboteurs use violence and intimidation.
Miss Marsh, a part-time nude model for artists, comes from three generations of saboteurs and is only too familiar with the
nuances of one of Britain’s most divisive issues. While some moderate campaigners believe the ban
can be successfully enforced, others – Miss Marsh included – believe that tougher ‘direct action’
is needed because, she says, illegal hunting still continues. In the video the 23-year-old can be seen apparently
attempting to push Mr Cox over [right] – though she denies this – kicking his bicycle and shouting
and pointing at him. It happened in January when Mr Cox was following the 176-year-old Heythrop hunt –
popular with the so-called Chipping Norton set – because his horse was lame. As he trundled along a narrow lane, he
is said to have held up a group of activists travelling behind him for ten minutes, though he disputes this.... In an interview... yesterday Miss Marsh was more measured in her description
of what happened. And she insisted she had no regrets. ‘You have to understand that this was the culmination
of months of abuse towards us,’ she said. ‘They always try to hold us up and on this occasion there were
about five cars behind our Land Rover. It was obvious what he was doing. Some of the other sabs asked why I didn’t pull
him off his bike – I could easily have done. But I didn’t want to hurt the idiot. I was shouting at him to please
move out of the way before I reached him. It was only when he went for my chest [left] that I saw red and gave
him a kick. But even then I only kicked his bike. He was just a foolish man brought up to think cruelty is okay.’
Afterwards she called the police ‘because the blow to my chest was painful and intrusive’ but didn’t follow
up the complaint as she eventually decided ‘it wasn’t worth it’. She added: ‘I rang the
police again last week after they put out their appeal. They said they had to investigate because of the video and would see
me this week but haven’t.’ Another campaigner uploaded the film to YouTube four weeks ago..... At his farmhouse
near Stow-on-the-Wold, Mr Cox, 54, an insurance company director and former Army major, described the incident as ‘nasty’.
He denied using his bike to deliberately obstruct the saboteurs.... Mr Cox, the great-great grandson of an Irish peer,
did not report the incident at the time but said he contacted police last week after they issued their appeal. He denies Miss
Marsh’s claim that he assaulted her..... Meanwhile privately-educated Miss Marsh, who is studying veterinary medicine,
grew up in the countryside on the Hampshire-West Sussex border..... It wasn’t until a few years ago that Miss Marsh...
made her mark among activists. ‘She is an incredibly fast runner, strong and fit, the Lara Croft of the antis,’
said one hunt supporter who has encountered her in the field. Many of the hunt find her attractive and try to flirt with her,
which she finds terribly annoying.’ Gloucestershire police said yesterday that following their
appeal they had received a number of calls from people identifying the man and woman. ‘The enquiry is ongoing,’
said a spokesman. Earlier this month the RSPCA launched an unprecedented prosecution against the Heythrop
for unlawful fox-hunting. It has laid fresh charges against the hunt and four of its members, provoking accusations that the
actions are ‘politically motivated’..... 'It is thought Mr Cameron could find the legal action politically
N.Devon farmer banned after caught over double drink-drive limit coming back from Hunt
17-5-12 North Devon Journal Driving
ban for farmer who drank after hunt POLICE were lying in wait for a farmer who had enjoyed
a couple of whiskies and then driven home after a day hunting a court has heard. David Arthur Evans, 60,
was on his way home to Border Farm, Sandyway, South Molton in his Mitsubishi Shogun when he was stopped by police at around
8pm on April 14. He was found to have 85 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
He pleaded guilty to drink driving when he appeared before North Devon Magistrates Court on Friday. Ben
Winzer, for the prosecution, said there were no aggravating features in the case and Evans is a man of previous good character.
Rod Ball, for the defence, said: "Mr Evans farms 50 acres in a glorious spot on the edge of Exmoor. It is four miles
to the nearest shop and eight miles to feed supplies." He said it was the day of the Grand National and the defendant
had been out trail hunting. Mr Ball said at the end of the hunt he gathered with others and whisky was passed around
in a hip flask. He said: "He was stopped only a mile or so from his farm. The police were lying in wait for him. Someone
had tipped them off who was not particularly friendly with Mr Evans." Mr Ball said the defendant had
to travel along public roads to reach the fields his animals are kept in and there will be animal welfare issues with him
not being able to drive as he will not be able to feed the stock. He told the court Evans is a single man, there is
no one at the farm to help him as he cannot afford to employ anyone. Evans was banned from driving
for 18 months and ordered to pay a £300 fine, £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
Paice:- We will still hold 'Indicative' vote on Hunting Act
- but I won't say when That
was the answer given by DEFRA Agriculture Minister Jim 'Shoot the badgers' Paice to a written Commons question asked
by Diane Abbott, the strongly anti-hunt Labour MP. Nothing new here - they are still procrastinating because they believe they could not win a Commons vote. Certainly, the Act has many weaknesses, which POWA
has pinpointed on many occasions, so many that we strongly believe it requires significant strengthening. It also currently
demands a mostly unrealistic level of evidence and lacks adequate sanctions. But, though offences by Hunts continue
to be manifold, and prosecutions rare, one wonders quite how Paice squares his assertion that the Act is 'unenforceable'
with the conviction of three members of the Crawley & Horsham FH for illegal hunting just two days before this statement
was made. Perhaps he - and the rest of the hunting lobby - are shocked and in denial about that!
16 May 2012 Written Answers Hunting Act
2004 Environment Food and Rural Affairs Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Labour) [left] -
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the operation of the
Hunting Act 2004; whether she has any plans to (a) review and (b) bring forward proposals to amend the legislation in the
next two years; and whether she had any meetings with interested parties to discuss the issue since May 2010.
James Paice (Minister of State (Agriculture and Food), Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; South East Cambridgeshire, Conservative)
[right] - The Hunting Act 2004 was passed under the previous Administration, and remains highly
controversial. Many people consider that the Act has not been a success and that it is unenforceable. The coalition Government
has said that it intends to put forward a motion enabling the House of Commons to express its view on the repeal of the Hunting
Act 2004 at an appropriate time. This position has not changed. I had a meeting with the Countryside Alliance in December
2011, during which the Hunting Act 2004 was discussed.
Remaining 3 members of Crawley & Horsham 'Gang' are all convicted of illegal hunting Guardian
website 14-5-12 Hunt members found guilty of illegally pursuing fox with hounds
Verdict is triumph for animal rights groups as trio from Crawley and Horsham Hunt convicted and fined
Three leading members of a Sussex hunt have been convicted of pursuing a fox illegally with hounds, in a case that will be
seen a significant victory for animal rights activists. The guilty verdicts at Haywards Heath magistrates
court are a blow for the hunting community, which is increasingly resentful of close scrutiny by monitors filming their pursuits.
Andrew Phillis [below, left], Neill Millard [right] and Rachel Holdsworth [below right],
who are all members of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt, were convicted for breaching the hunting ban on different occasions last year. Charges against a fourth member of the hunt were dropped two weeks ago during the
lengthy trial. All three had denied the charges, saying they were out trail hunting ― following an
artificially laid scent - and did not plan to hunt or kill any foxes. They are expected to appeal against
their convictions. Phillis, 50, now of Totnes in Devon, who was formerly the Crawley and Horsham's Huntsman,
and Rachel Holdsworth, of Pulborough, the Hunt's secretary, were found guilty for hunting illegally at Marlpost Wood,
Southwater, on 18 January 2011. Phillis, Holdsworth and Millard, 44, of Horsham, were found guilty of offences
on 25 January at Shermanbury Place. Phillis was acquitted of another offence. Holdsworth was
fined ￡500 for each of the two offences and ordered to pay ￡2,500 costs. Millard, the founder of a wealth management
firm in the City, was fined ￡1,000 and ordered to pay ￡2,500 costs. Phillis [left] will be sentenced
on a date to be fixed. [UPDATE Phillis was later fined £700, and also had
to pay £2500 costs.] A Sussex police spokesman said: "The introduction of the
2004 Hunting Act was extremely emotive on both sides of the hunting spectrum and continues to be strongly debated. Evidence
was provided that the accused had committed offences under the act and following early consultation with the CPS an investigation
commenced and subsequently charges were made. "As we have seen, District Judge Stephen Nichol has ruled that
they are guilty of these offences and we are satisfied with his decision. It is the duty of the police to uphold the
law and wherever offences such as this come to light, we will seek to bring them to justice." Simon
Wild, of the West Sussex Wildlife Protection Group, gave evidence at the trial after filming the hunt. He said: "I'm
very pleased with the verdicts. These sorts of things take a long time for the police to take them seriously. The next step
is to go for hunts as corporate bodies so that there can be confiscation of their assets ― like horseboxes and trailers." MPs have been promised a free vote on removing the 2004 ban on hunting mammals with
dogs during the lifetime of this parliament, but the presence of anti-hunting Conservatives in the latest intake means there
is unlikely to be a majority for repeal. During the trial, the Countryside Alliance said: "We
continue to campaign for repeal of the atrocious Hunting Act and have great faith in hunting's long-term future."
Since the ban on hunting mammals with dogs came into force in 2005, only eight other hunt members have been convicted of breaking
15-5-12 Brighton Argus Guilty: three
Crawley and Horsham hunters convicted of illegal fox hunting Three people yesterday became the first to be convicted of illegal fox hunting in Sussex. .....
Video footage of hounds “in full cry” chasing a fox at hunt meets at Marlpost Wood, Southwater, on January 18
2011 and Shermanbury Place on January 25, 2011 had been shown to the court during a seven-day trial. The
hunt said members were legitimately trail hunting but district judge Stephen Nicholls said he was “not satisfied”
that was the case. Trail layer and “whipper-in” Holdsworth.... and field master Millard were
each fined £1,000.... Phillis... will be sentenced at a later date. The maximum penalty
is a £5,000 fine. It is the ninth prosecution under the Act involving a pack of hounds since the ban came into force
in February 2005. In one of the videos Holdsworth was seen holding a riding crop with a duster
on the end as if laying an artificial scent, but Judge Nicholls said this was done “for the benefit of the cameras”..... Phillis
was cleared yesterday of an offence at the meet at Shermanbury when a fox was seen dead. Judge Nicholls
told Haywards Heath Magistrates’ Court yesterday that “no effort” was made to call off the hounds at the January 25 hunt. Yesterday hunt monitors said the verdict would
put more pressure on local groups to abide by the law. Simon Wild, who shot some of the footage of the meets that was used
as evidence, told The Argus: “This has done our credibility a great deal of good with police. I am sure we will be able to build up the pressure on this hunt and other hunts in the area.”
Animal activist Terry Hill, who also gave evidence
at the trial, said: “It’s a good day today, not just for those monitors and observers who dedicate their time
in helping to protect wildlife, but also for wild mammals across the UK. Somebody has to stand up for our wild animals.”
The Countryside Alliance said it was “very disappointed” at the result. Tim Bonner, from the alliance, said: “This
was a long and complicated trial. We never believed there was the evidence to sustain a conviction and we still don’t
believe so.”.....14-5-12 Horse & Hound Three members of Crawley and Horsham hunt convicted
Three members of the Crawley and Horsham have been found guilty of Hunting Act offences...... "We are surprised and disappointed
by this verdict, particularly because we do not believe there was sufficient evidence to sustain any of these prosecutions,"
said the Countryside Alliance’s Tim Bonner. "We will continue to support the Crawley and Horsham defendants if
they wish to appeal this verdict.".....
14-5-12 BBC News website Three Sussex hunters guilty of illegal fox hunting Three members of a West Sussex hunt have been found guilty
of illegal fox hunting.... The judge did not accept they were taking part in legitimate trail hunting....
District Crown Prosecutor Mark Bishop said: "The defendants claimed that the foxes seen on film being chased by the hunt's
hounds were not being hunted intentionally and that the hounds were following an artificial scent. We were able to fully utilise
footage from hunt footage from hunt monitors, which clearly showed a fox being pursued by hounds on two separate occasions
within a week. Their pursuit and hunting of foxes was not accidental, but intentional."
See also ITV's News report on Meridian Here it is reported that the Judge described the 'trail hunting' the
Crawley & Horsham claimed to be conducting as a 'charade'. Monitors and sabs have been saying this is the case
with many, if not most, Hunts all over the country for years. Maybe now the authorities will take their reports rather more
seriously than they usually do. The convictions bring to 304 the total number of persons from organised
Hunts known to have been convicted, cautioned or received other criminal sanctions since the 1990/91 season, and to 450 the
total number of offences so punished. 48 of the 304 were, at the times of their offences, serving or former Hunt Masters and
39 were official Huntsmen. POWA has no fewer than 17 members or supporters of the Crawley & Horsham
FH recorded as having committed offences [all but one in the hunting field], the most recorded by POWA for any single
Hunt. 8 have been convicted in court of criminal offences [including the Hunt's highest profile supporter,
former Conservative Defence Secretary Nicholas 'Fatty' Soames, the current MP for Mid Sussex], 6 have received cautions
[including 2 unnamed persons], 2 Fixed Penalty fines and 1 was served with a Harassment Order. The list includes
Jamie Hawksfield, the JM against whom charges in the recent Hunting Act case were eventually dropped, who was convicted of
assaulting an anti a few years ago, and Sara Phillis, the wife of Andrew [convicted of 2 counts of illegal hunting on 14-5-12],
who was reportedly given a fixed penalty fine for a Public Order Offence a couple of seasons ago - apparently for extreme
verbal abuse towards antis]. The C&H famously attempted to 'shut down' monitoring and
sabbing of them a few years ago by applying for wide-ranging injunctions. The Judge in the case was scathing about their case
and it was eventually dropped by them - a highly embarassing and expensive fiasco. In 2007 LACS published a report on a highly damning 'undercover' investigation of the hunting practices of the C&H, but, despite
their obtaining what they claimed was very significant evidence of Hunting Act breaches, no prosecutions resulted. But the
persistence, dedication and courage of the West Sussex Wildlife Protection Group has, at long last, brought to justice at
least some of the C&H for illegal hunting.
Rape trial of former
Tiverton Stag Hounds Joint Master John Norrish begins
POWAPerson remembers this particular gentleman [left] from his days helping to monitor the deer Hunts in the
mid-90s. Notwithstanding how deeply unpleasant a character he appeared then, he must be regarded as innocent until proved
guilty of the grave crime of which he is accused. Because the matter is not directly hunting related, only a short
digest of the trial coverage will be re-printed here, with links to main stories.
Daily Telgraph 15-4-12 Huntsman 'raped married woman after black tie ball', court
heard A former hunt master raped a married woman less than half his age after offering her a lift home
from a black tie ball, a court has heard. Mr Norrish, a former master of the Tiverton Staghounds from East Worlington, near
Tiverton, Devon, has claimed she had consented after kissing him in the car park.... "The
jury will hear from her husband who got into the car park and got out of his car to hear screaming and saw her running towards
him. She collapsed on the bonnet of his car, crying and distressed and saying Norrish had just raped her.".... Norrish...
initially claimed he could not have raped her because he was impotent but later told police she had consented.
Mid-Devon FH rider summonsed over alleged assaults on three sabs
POWA has been informed that a rider with the Mid-Devon
FH [Hunt pictured at Belstone, right] is to appear at Magistrates' Court to answer a police summons
in connection with alleged assaults on three sabs at the end of a hunt on Dartmoor on 3rd March this year.
It is understood that the sabs were attempting to stop what they believed to be an illegal dig-out of a fox, when one of the hunters suddenly attacked them. Reportedly,
the three persons injured were a pensioner, a woman and a young man and their injuries included black eyes, cuts, bruises
and a sprained wrist. The behaviour of the Hunt earlier had, apparently, given both sabs and monitors
reason to believe they were hunting illegally with hounds. Also reportedly in the area were the Mid-Devon
Huntsman, several hounds, their terrierman, who was filmed extracting his dog from the hole, the landowner and others from
the Hunt, but none of these people are believed to have participated in the alleged assault. A monitor,
who was acting separately from the sabs, claims to have seen the Huntsman with hounds around the dig-out site an hour before
the incident. She says she has seen film of the landowner saying he wanted to 'suffocate the fox' - and that he later
told her he was trying to protect lambs and pheasants. She also contends that there appeared to be no 'guns'
present ready to shoot the fox if it were flushed from underground, as is required by the 'Flushing' exemption of
the Hunting Act if a terrier is entered underground after a fox, regardless of whether that fox has been chased there by Hunt
hounds or not. She adds that she responded to sab requests to call police and ambulance, and that
police arrived 50 minutes later, who then themselves called for medical assistance. The sabs, who
remained at the site after all the hunters had moved off, apparently saw the fox pop its head out of the hole, and moved away
to let it escape, so, hopefully, it survived.
In 2009, LACS complained about alleged poor handling by Devon & Cornwall police and the CPS of film shot by a monitor,
which LACS claimed clearly showed illegal hunting by the Mid Devon FH. LACS said the authorities simply appeared
to sit on the evidence until the six-month time limit had been reached. BBC's Countryfile then promised to show the footage,
but pulled it at the last minute, claiming it contravened guidelinwes on secret filming, - even though it was not shot
covertly, and LACS also complained about this. The footage, which appeared to POWAPerson to be utterly damning, was uploaded
to YouTube by LACS at the time, but seems, for reasons unknown, to have been removed by them fairly recently.
Heythrop FH first pack
to face corporate prosecution as RSPCA bring new HA cases
Several members of PM's local Hunt to answer multiple
6-5-12 Mail on
Sunday RSPCA accused of political agenda over prosecution of Chipping Norton Set's hunt
David Cameron embroiled in fresh row over his local hunt Fresh charges laid against the
Heythrop hunt and four of its members David Cameron was embroiled in a fresh
row over his local hunt yesterday after the RSPCA launched an unprecedented prosecution for unlawful foxhunting. The animal
charity is already taking action against one member of the Heythrop hunt, which the Prime Minister has ridden with and which
is popular with fellow members of the so-called Chipping Norton Set in the Cotswolds. But now it has laid fresh charges against
the hunt [left, at Blenheim Palce] and four of its members – provoking accusations that the charity’s
actions are ‘politically motivated’. The four accused of unlawfully hunting a fox with
dogs in contravention of the Hunting Act 2004 are Vanessa Lambert [below left], 29, who is a Joint Master of the
hunt, Richard Sumner, 67 [right], Duncan Hume, 32, and 48-year-old Julian Barnfield [bottom left], a professional huntsman. The Mail on Sunday revealed last August that
Mr Barnfield was already facing two counts of unlawfully hunting a fox. That case is due to be heard by magistrates later
this year. The new charges have shocked the Heythrop’s supporters, who include Rebekah Brooks,
the former chief executive of News International, her racehorse trainer husband Charlie Brooks, and Top Gear presenter Jeremy
Clarkson, who has allowed the hunt to ride on his land. Critics have questioned how the charity can
afford such a move – pro-hunt campaigners believe the case could cost up to £1million in legal fees – at
a time when it is planning to make staff redundant. Ms Lambert said last night that all four defendants
would deny the allegations when the case comes before magistrates in Banbury, Oxfordshire, on June 1. She said:
‘The rural community is amazed that the RSPCA has the staffing, the money and the time to pursue what is clearly a politically motivated campaign against a hunt which operates
within David Cameron’s community.’ The RSPCA last night confirmed it had laid charges
against both the hunt and the four named individuals following a ‘careful examination’ of the evidence. But a
spokeswoman declined to comment on claims that its actions had a political agenda. She said: ‘While proceedings are
active in this matter, we cannot comment further.’ Apart from his personal connections with
the hunt, which he rode with in 2003, Mr Cameron [below right, with Heythrop secretary Guy Avis] could
find the legal action politically sensitive. The Coalition has promised to hold a free vote in Parliament
on the hunting ban introduced by Labour in 2004. Since the law came into force in February 2005, there have been only five
successful prosecutions involving more than 300 registered hunts in England and Wales, leading to eight individual convictions.
Seven other prosecutions have failed and a verdict is due in one further case involving the Crawley and Horsham hunt in Sussex later this month. According to pro-hunt campaigners, the RSPCA’s
decision to step up its offensive suggests that there are internal tensions in the anti-hunting movement. The League Against
Cruel Sports had been taking the lead on prosecutions and the RSPCA appears to have been pressurised by its own ruling council
to follow suit, following criticism that it was not adopting a sufficiently firm approach. RSPCA council
members include Dr Richard Ryder, who was director of the Political Animal Lobby which donated £1million to the Labour
Party before the 1997 General Election. The RSPCA is currently consulting on 130 redundancies because of a serious financial shortfall. A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: ‘The RSPCA’s decision to bring such a huge
prosecution is a blatant political attack on hunting and an abuse of the court system. ‘It is no accident that the RSPCA,
which was a major part of the campaign to ban hunting, only brings private prosecutions against hunts in the Prime Minister’s
constituency. We believe that these allegations, like 99 per cent of those made about hunts, are groundless and we are confident
that the prosecution will fail.’ In a newspaper article in 2003, Mr Cameron recalled a
day he spent with the Heythrop hunt. ‘Nothing had prepared me for the sheer terror of a day’s hunting,’
he wrote. ‘I battled in vain to control my powerful steed and careered through trees and bushes – completely out
It is our understanding
that a fifth person from the Hunt is also to face charges, namely Henry Ashton, Lord Ashton of Hyde, who is Secretary to the
Board of Heythrop Hunt Ltd. POWA will make no statement tending to pre-judge the validity of
the charges brought against the Hunt and its members and employees prior to their adjudication in a court of law.
However, the hunting community, as represented in articles from the Countryside Alliance website and Horse
& Hound [both below], seems not to feel itself bound by such propriety. POWAPerson would
swear he can hear the howls of anguished outrage emanating from the CA's inner-London HQ from his own West
Country fastness. They assert that 'police should be left to investigate crime and the CPS
to prosecute... ' - knowing that anyone from whatever Hunt who felt inclined to breach the Hunting Act and chase
live quarry, as they did pre-ban, would then have virtually free rein. They seem to forget that the
police effectively handed over the investigation and prosecution of nearly all animal welfare matters to the RSPCA years ago.
Or, perhaps, the hunting community were perfectly content with this arrangement until they suddenly found it affecting their
so-called sports. The Society has chosen not to invest in its own hunt observers [which the
CA presumably approves of], but when independent monitors bring them what they believe to be evidence of illegal hunting,
detrimental to the welfare of wildlife, one would surely expect them to look at, and, if they believe it appropriate, act
upon it. Time will show whether or not the charges will succeed. The CA are absolutely
wrong, and wholly self-serving, in asserting that 'The Hunting Act has failed'. But POWA makes no secret
of its long-held view that significant strengthening is necessary to make that law much more 'fit for purpose'.
Hunters often whinge about how 'confusing' they find the present legislation, so they should welcome the clarification
that strengthening amendments should bring. What is unacceptable to us, and to the vast majority of decent, civilised
people in this country, is the hunters' proposed solution of repeal - which would leave them free to return to the wholly
untrammelled, manifold and manifest cruelties of the pre-Hunting Act era.
8-5-12 Countryside Alliance website
The RSPCA has issued summons on 52 Hunting Act charges relating to the Heythrop Hunt, its Masters and employees as part of
a private prosecution. The allegations have not been the subject of police investigation or any charging decision by the Crown
Prosecution Service. None of those summonsed, nor anyone else involved with the Heythrop Hunt has been questioned by the police
or RSPCA over any of the allegations which all allegedly occurred in the 2011/12 hunting season. The Heythrop Hunt operates
in the Prime Minister’s Witney constituency and the kennels are just outside Chipping Norton. The CA's view is that
“The RSPCA’s decision to bring such a huge prosecution is a blatant political attack on hunting and an abuse of
the court system. It is no accident that the RSPCA, which was a major part of the campaign to ban hunting, only brings private
prosecutions against hunts in the Prime Minister’s constituency. We believe that these allegations, like 99% of those
made about hunts, are groundless and are confident that the prosecution will fail. The expenditure of such huge sums of money
on a political campaign by a registered charity, especially one which is claiming to be at ‘breaking point’ is
highly questionable. The RSPCA’s campaign will also have consequences for the taxpayer who will have to foot a large
part of the bill. “The Hunting Act has failed and that fact will not change however many summonses the RSPCA issues.
What cannot be justified, however, is the abuse of the legal system. It should be for the police to investigate alleged crimes
and the Crown Prosecution Service to bring cases, not for campaigning organisations to use the courts to make political points.”
10-5-12 Horse & Hound
Anger as RSPCA targets Heythrop as a whole The RSPCA is being accused of pursuing a political agenda after launching an unprecedented prosecution against
the Heythrop. . The animal charity has long spent large sums campaigning against hunting, but now — in a case that is expected
to cost over £1million — it has issued summons on 52 charges against four officers of the hunt. The Heythrop as a whole has also been summonsed
to face 10 charges — the first time this has happened since the ban came into force in 2005. ..... Tim Bonner, campaigns
director of the Countryside Alliance, told H&H that the case was an “abuse of the court system”.... The Heythrop
is the only pack hunting in the Prime Minister’s constituency...... A spokesman for the charity defended its actions.
“Any agency can bring a prosecution,” she said. “It just happens that we have been provided with the evidence
on this one and have taken the decision to prosecute.” Nessie Lambert told H&H that the hunt “firmly rejected”
the allegations. “We are amazed that the RSPCA has the staffing, money and time to pursue what is clearly a politically
motivated campaign against a hunt that happens to operate within David Cameron’s constituency,” she added.
Fizwilliam FH terrierman John Bycroft heavily fined for Welfare and Hunting Act breaches 3-5-12 Peterborough Evening Telegraph Hunt terrier man fined over
fox ‘in a barrel’ A LEADING member of Peterborough’s Fitzwilliam
Hunt [below left] has been fined for a breach of anti-hunting laws. Gamekeeper John
Bycroft (67), who is the terrier man to the Fitzwilliam Hunt, was found with another man using terriers to flush foxes from
underground dens. But he fell foul of the law after putting a live pregnant vixen in a tiny barrel because he "didn’t
have the heart" to shoot her. The Hunting Act demands that foxes flushed out of their dens are immediately
shot dead by a competent person. Police came across the two men only after being alerted to the sound
of shooting in a field in Fen Road, Holbeach on April 25 last year, Spalding magistrates heard. Officers found Bycroft and
Jamie Round (24) nearby with an open horsebox with a plastic barrel inside. The barrel measured just 75cms high and 30cms
across and contained a live fox. The court heard Bycroft intended to release the fox elsewhere, but
police ordered her to be freed on the spot. Bycroft, of Weston Hills Road, Low Fulney, denied one
offence under the Hunting Act 2004 and one under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, but both were proved at the end of a two day
RSPCA prosecution. He was ordered to pay a total of £2,065 – comprising fines of £525 for each offence,
£1,000 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. Jobless Round, of Penny Hill, Holbeach, denied
identical offences. He was acquitted of the Hunting Act charge but found guilty of the Welfare Act charge, which involved
confining the fox in a barrel with insufficient light, space, ventilation and a suitable environment to exhibit normal behaviour.
Round was fined £165 and must pay £100 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. The
court heard that Bycroft had written consent to be on the neighbouring land. Magistrates found neither man breached the trespass
element of Hunting Act law, but Bycroft alone breached the provision requiring him to shoot the fox as soon as reasonably
practical. Solicitor Daven Naghen said Round did not have a gun and expected Bycroft to shoot the animal. Solicitor
Rachel Stevens said Bycroft is held in high regard as a gamekeeper. She said Bycroft felt shooting the fox would have caused
unnecessary suffering to her cubs. There were ground nesting birds on the site where she was captured and he wanted to release
her elsewhere. No one for the hunt was available to comment.
Spalding Guardian 3-5-12 £2,065 court bill for
gamekeeper who put pregnant fox in tiny barrel.... Beris Brickles, prosecuting, said Bycroft asked
for and was denied consent to be on the children’s home land. The court heard the fox was caught on a dyke
bank outside the home’s boundary fence.... Bycroft and Round said all that happened on the children’s home land
was digging to free a terrier that was trapped underground. .... [Round's solicitor]
Mr Naghen warned against ascribing human feelings to the fox as its ten minutes in the barrel could have been the happiest
of its life. Solicitor Rachel Stevens said Bycroft is held in high regard as a gamekeeper and felt shooting
the fox would have caused unnecessary suffering to her cubs. There were ground nesting birds on the site where she was captured
and he wanted to release her elsewhere.
I can trace no previous convictions for John Bycroft, but he has been involved with hunting for decades. In 2003, the
Leicester Mercury named him as being an activist with the 'Real Countryside Alliance', a group which advocated
very robust activity to try to prevent the bringing in of a ban on hunting live quarry with dogs The previous
year, in an article about pro-hunt militancy, the Guardian reported an interview with Bycroft and a colleague, in which it
claimed Bycroft had admitted breaking the law and which quoted him as saying "That's why we've been [acting
like] the IRA... " [see articles below] It is a little hard to believe that such
a keen and experienced wildlife killer would suddenly 'not have the heart' to shoot a vixen. John Bycroft
is father to two professional Huntsmen. Mark has been with the Surrey Union for many years, acquiring a conviction for assaulting
a sab in 1990/1, when he was whipper-in, and another for inconsiderate driving in 2003. Nick Bycroft replaced Andrew
Phillis - currently 'in the dock' on Hunting Act offences - at the Crawley & Horsham a year or two ago, having
previously been Kennel Huntsman with the Avon Vale FH. Must be lovely to have kids this muat make you proud.
The convictions of John Bycroft and his oppo bring to 301 the total number of members of organised Hunts known to have been
convicted of or cautioned for criminal offences in the last 21 seasonns, and to at least 445 the number of offences for
which they have been punished.
15.9.03 Leicester Mercury COUNTRY
STRIFE - They are the rural radicals vowing to bring civil disorder to Britain. Lee
Marlow meets a huntsman turned Real CA activist. Wherever John Bycroft goes in his big, bad-boy pick-up truck, people pip
their horns and wave. "Good on yer mate," they shout, and stick their thumbs up and smile… John was born
in Ashby, chases foxes with the Cottesmore Hunt and grew lettuces in a greenhouse the size of a football pitch in Lincolnshire
before selling up five years ago....
30-8-02 Guardian 'We've been acting like the IRA' .... To Kieron Moore and John Bycroft, the confrontation has already begun. As hunt employees,
and chairman and committee member respectively of the Union of Country Sports Workers, they are well known, respectable advocates
for bloodsports. "Iain Duncan Smith is very supportive," says Bycroft. "I've met him. He tapped me on the
shoulder. He said, 'Keep demonstrating. The Countryside Alliance don't do enough.'" But Bycroft and Moore
also move in more reckless circles. Bycroft has admitted breaking the law and has been described in the Field as a "countryside
commando". Moore claims his phone is being tapped by the police. "When you hear it trigger," he says, beginning
to smile, "you say something like 'Semtex' or 'bombing up the London sewers!'" Bycroft and Moore
agreed to be interviewed after several phone calls. They arrive at Huntingdon station, in dustiest Tory Cambridgeshire, in
a large, pale-blue pick-up truck with a Real CA sticker on the back. They offer crushing handshakes and drive to a pub on
the ringroad. "We're working-class people," says Moore, thickset and deeply tanned, from behind his pint of
lager. "We don't want the toffs in the Countryside Alliance representing us." Bycroft, who is more middle-aged
but leaner, breaks in: "That's why we've been [acting like] the IRA..." Moore cuts him off with a snigger.
Moore leans across the table: "We've written letters and lobbied, and has it affected the politicians or public opinion?
Not a jot. Then does there come a time when you say, 'Stuff the public', and create a war? I don't know... But
where are the IRA and Sinn Fein now? Round the negotiating table with the government. And where are we?" When I ask if
they are members of the Real CA, Bycroft and Moore become less forthright. "The Real Countryside Alliance is not an organisation,"
says Moore, exchanging glances with Bycroft. "There are individuals who come up with different ideas." Bycroft adds:
"We will assist them... There are things we don't put our names to." The bravado re-enters his voice. "What
we've been doing so far is very tame. A shot across the bows." He mentions a hypothetical plan to "send 500
men with briefcases to London and leave them in stations". He and Moore are always going to London on legitimate hunt
business anyway. "We can be militant and we can be politicians," Moore says. He nods towards Bycroft: "...and
this bloke can be an IRA man!" They both laugh like drains.
Surrey Police/CPS drop aggravated trespass cases against two Brighton
2-5-12 HSA Press Release The case taken against
two Brighton hunt Saboteurs was dropped today Alastair Cannell of St Pauls Street,
Brighton and Gavin Pidwell of London Road Brighton were charged with aggravated trespass while attending a meet of the old
Surrey Burstow & West Kent fox hunt. The accusation from the police was the two has used citronella sprays to disrupt a lawful activity. No evidence was offered against
Mr Pidwell and the police and CPS decided it was not in the public interest to proceed against Mr Cannell.
On that day the hunt was clearly seen to be moving in front of its alleged trail layer and foxes were seen moving away from
the hunt. It also transpired that the police approached the land owner only after the arrests had been made.
The two saboteurs were released with bail conditions stating that they were not to consort with any other hunt saboteurs,
although the police then called a known hunt saboteur to pick them both up from the police station! These restrictions were
later dropped. On the same day the police impounded the Brighton hunt Saboteurs land rover claiming
that the driver did not have the correct driver's license to carry over 8 passengers. Surrey police have since admitted
that this was incorrect and the driver and vehicle was being used legally. It has since been admitted that the vehicle did
not need to be impounded and all costs refunded. It was the police's decision to impound the vehicle and to do so which
could have left a number of hunt saboteurs stranded in the middle of the hunt, if other groups had not managed to transport
them to safety. The police also had a number of Forward Intelligence Team (FIT) police officers attending
that day who only recorded by video the activities of the hunt saboteurs, regardless of the fact that they have been a number
of extremely violent attacks on hunt saboteurs from this hunt over the years and whose huntsman, Mark Bycroft has a conviction
for assault on a hunt saboteur. This is also the hunt whose supporter Martin Maynard, allegedly ran over and nearly killed
hunt saboteur Steve Christmas. Although the CPS discontinued the prosecution, Steve was awarded nearly £20,000
in compensation. Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt saboteurs Association stated: "Once
again the Surrey Police and the CPS have shown that they still consider it their job to persecute hunt saboteurs and view
them as the problem, when it is clear to all right thinking people that the prospective criminals morally and legally are
the hunt and its supporters. If the police put as much effort into targeting the hunts as they do the hunt saboteurs,
we would see many more convictions under the hunting act and the possible end of the flouting of this law, which is supported
by the majority of the populace. Until this day hunt saboteurs will take to the field and stop hunts from killing our native
Crawley & Horsham 3 face two week wait for verdicts on Hunting Act charges
County Times Hunt Trial: Day 7 ANOTHER charge was thrown out
today, before final arguments were made in the Crawley and Horsham Hunt court case. Three defendants - Rachael
Holdsworth... Neill Millard.... and Andrew Phillis - have pleaded not guilty to a total of six charges under the Hunting
Act 2004. Henry James Hawksfield had the last charge against him dropped today. District Judge Stephen Nicholls
ruled that he had no case to answer. After a day of detailed legal submissions from prosecution and
defence, Judge Nicholls is now considering his verdicts. With the trial having overrun its original
time slot, the case was adjourned until May 14 at Haywards Heath Magistrates' Court.
Stories below in reverse chronological order:-
April - Long-awaited trial of Crawley & Horsham FH 'Gang of Four' on Hunting
..... 19th April Welsh 'one man band'
Hunt Master, with 'form', heavily fined for firearms offences
..... 17th April - Hunting
fanatic ex-Minister Tory peer exposed as paid lobbyist for Cayman Islands tax haven
..... 14th April -
Hunt terrierman has his badger sett digging conviction quoshed on appeal
Long-awaited trial of Crawley & Horsham FH 'Gang of Four' 23-4-12
West Sussex County Times Horsham and Crawley Hunt members deny illegal foxhunting
FOUR people are on trial this week, accused of illegal foxhunting in Horsham District. Henry James Hawksfield,
59, of Bines Road, Partridge Green [left],
Rachael Holdsworth of Rock Road, Washington, Neill
Millard, 45 [below right],
of Dragons Lane, Shipley, and Andrew Phillis, 50, of Halwell, Totnes, Devon, have been
charged under the Hunting Act 2004. Prosecutor Walton Hornsby claimed in court that foxes were illegally
hunted at three Horsham and Crawley Hunt meets in January and February last year. At the third meet, he said, a fox was killed
by the hunt's hounds. The four defendants say they were out trail hunting - following an artificially laid
scent rather than an animal - and did not plan to hunt or kill any foxes. Mr Hornsby said the court would
have to decide whether the defendants really had been out hunting for foxes, or whether they had been trail hunting ‘where
any pursuit or killing of foxes was accidental, and incidental to their purpose'. The incidents are
alleged to have happened on January 18 near Southwater, on January 25 near Shermanbury and on February 15 near Twineham.
24-4-12 Horse & Hound Crawley and
Horsham hunt trial opens The trial opened yesterday at Horsham Magistrates Court.....
The evidence on which the prosecution is based comes from members of a West Sussex animal rights group. On the opening morning
of the trial the court heard from the prosecutor Walton Hornsby and saw video evidence filmed by members of the animal rights group - including Simon and Jane Wild and Carole Tibbetts
- from 18 January 2011, 25 January 2011 and 15 February 2011. In the afternoon a site visit to Southwater,
Shermanbury and Twineham was arranged, where it is alleged unlawful hunting took place. The case continues...
24-4-12 West Sussex County Times
Hunt trial: Day 2 A HUNT monitor has told a court he saw foxes being illegally
hunted on three occasions...... Today hunt monitor Simon Wilde, giving evidence at Horsham Magistrates'
Court, described three incidents in which he claims the Crawley and Horsham Hunt members were illegally pursuing foxes.
On February 15 last year, he said, he saw a dead fox being picked up by a huntsman before being taken by huntmaster Phillis
[below, left]. The hunt members' defence is that they were trail hunting - a legal hobby where
dogs and riders follow a prepared scent trail. Trail hunters are expected to control their dogs if they encounter a fox.
Although there were times when he saw hunt members trying to call their dogs off, Mr Wilde said their efforts were ‘half-hearted'. Cross-examined, he said he had been a hunt saboteur
for many years before the Hunting Act came into law. He accepted that relations between the Crawley and Horsham
Hunt and himself were ‘not happy'. Mr Wilde also agreed that he had never taken part in hunting,
and his knowledge of hunting methods was picked up during his time as a saboteur.25-4-12
W.Sussex County Times Hunt Trail, Day 3 MORE hunt
monitors gave evidence today, in a case where four people are accused of illegal foxhunting. Today hunt
monitor Terry Hill was called to give evidence. He described following hounds and Crawley and Horsham Hunt members into a
copse, then seeing a disemboweled fox being picked up and then taken away by huntsman Phillis. He said that
he believed hunt riders had been urging the hounds to chase after foxes. David Perry QC, representing the
hunt members, challenged this evidence and said Mr Hill was misinterpreting the cries and horn signals which hunt riders and
followers use to direct hounds. All four defendants deny any wrongdoing.
26-4-12 W.Sussex County Times Hunt Trial Day 4
MAMMAL expert Professor Stephen Harris [below, right] gave evidence in the hunt trial today.... Prof
Harris told Horsham Magistrates’ Court that he has been involved in many foxhunts, as far back as the 1970s when he
was first studying the animals. More recently, he said he has laid scent trials while experimenting with ‘bio barriers’
- ways to deter animals from crossing a boundary. Prof Harris said he had seen the videos, and believed they showed foxhunting
rather than trail hunting. The hounds were so fast and so noisy, he said, that they must be following a very fresh trail.
He is due to be cross-examined by the defence tomorrow. All four defendants deny any wrongdoing.
The case continues.
Brighton Argus Huntsman
encouraged fox chase, court told A huntsman encouraged his hounds to chase a fox, a court was told yesterday..... It is the first hunting prosecution
in Sussex..... Yesterday, the court was shown footage of a fox apparently being chased by a pack of hounds during the meet
on January 18, 2011. Hunt saboteur Carole Tibbitts, who was monitoring the hunt, told the court she shouted
to Mr Phillis to call off the hunt when a fox was spotted. In the video Mrs Tibbitts could be heard shouting: “Call
off Phillis, call off.” Terry Hill, environmental and animal welfare researcher, who monitored the hunt at a February
15 meet, claimed Mr Phillis encouraged a pack of about 20 hounds to chase a fox.....
27-4-12 W.Sussex County Times Hunt
Trial: Day 5 EXPERT witness Professor Stephen Harris had his evidence come under attack today....
Yesterday, Prof Harris gave Horsham Magistrates’ Court his opinion that, based on video evidence and prosecution witness
statements, the hounds had been chasing live prey rather than an artificial scent. Today, defence barrister
David Perry QC challenged Prof Harris’ claim that his report was ‘balanced and independent’.
He said Prof Harris had been too willing to take evidence from hunt monitors - former hunt saboteurs - at face value.“You knew that they’d had a long and bitter
battle against the Crawley and Horsham Hunt, and had campaigned for the ban,” he said. He also questioned
Prof Harris’ understanding of hunting. The professor accepted that, although he was present at many foxhunts in order
to study foxes, he had never ridden with a hunt, or taken part in drag or trail hunting.
30-4-12 W.Sussex County Times Hunt Trial:
Day 6 FOUR out of 11 charges have been withdrawn in the Crawley and Horsham Hunt court case....
With the prosecution case finished, prosecutor Walton Hornsby said he would withdraw four of the counts because the evidence
supporting them was not strong enough. Defence barrister David Perry QC went through the evidence for the
remaining seven charges, asking the judge to drop them under a ‘no case to answer’ ruling. He
said much of the prosecution evidence was circumstantial, or from eyewitnesses who had made assumptions based on what they
had heard, or the general impression they had of what was happening. "On all the occasions with which we’re concerned,
the hunt was aware that filming was taking place, and that suggests that it’s implausible to contend that they would,
knowing that their activities were being filmed, hunt," he concluded. Mr Hornsby accepted that some
of the evidence was circumstantial, but said it is ‘perfectly reasonable’ for the court to draw common sense conclusions
from such evidence. The case was adjourned until Tuesday, to give the judge time to review the evidence.
Welsh 'one man band' Hunt Master, with 'form', is heavily fined for firearms offences 19 April 2012 Cambrian News Hunt
master fined over gun charges A LLANBEDR hunt master has been fined £3,500 for ‘losing'
two guns and leaving a pistol in his car. Alan Owen, 63, of Glandŵr Cottages, Llanbedr, who is the Llanbedr
Master of the Hounds, pleaded guilty at Dolgellau magistrates court this week to three charges of failing to comply with the conditions of a shotgun and firearm certificate regulations.
Richard Edwards, prosecuting, said that on 14 February police officers attended at Owen's home to check that the shotguns
and firearms were kept under lock and key and complied with the regulations. The police discovered that a pistol was missing
and Owen said that it was in the glove compartment of his car. When the police asked about three other guns Owen said that
he knew where they were, one was in the lounge that was due to be cleaned and the other two were upstairs, but when he went
to get the two guns upstairs they had gone. Owen gave the police details of the person he thought had the two
guns, but the police enquiries did not sup-port what Owen had said. The defendant was responsible locally
for disposing of unwell animals and had used the pistol that morning to destroy two unwell sheep, the court heard.
Owen said that he felt unwell and on doctors advice went to lie down. He told police that he forgot about the pistol, but
reminded the officers that there was no ammunition in the vehicle.
POWAPerson says:- Alan Owen set up the Nantcol
Valley FH [Hunt badge, above left] as a foot pack in 1975, at Llanbedr, which is in NW Wales, between Snowdonia and
the west coast. He has about 50 fell hounds. It appears to be a 'one-man band', in that Owen is not just the Huntsman
and sole Master, but also Hon.Sec, with no other personnel listed in his Bailys entry. After his convictions
in the mid '90s, one must wonder not just why he was allowed to remain in operation, but continued to be recognised by the MFHA. That organisation
refused to reply to an enquiry to this effect by LACS at the time. In November 1993, Owen was convicted
of neglecting his own pet lurcher. We don't have details, but Magistrates evidently saw it as serious, because they fined
him £450 and banned him from keeping dogs, regrettably only for a year. What happened during this year regarding his
hound pack we don't know. In March 1996, he was in Court again, accused of punching, kicking
and threatening with a knife a neighbouring farmer who had shot and wounded a hound that was worrying sheep [itself an
offence]. He was convicted of assault and fined. The next year he apparently appealed unsuccessfully against
the police's revocation of his firearms certificate. POWA doesn't know why police had done this, but it may well have
been related to his assault conviction. Evidently, though, the certificate was, also regrettably, reinstated at some later
date. In 2005 he caused controversy among his neighbours by applying to extend the incinerator
[right] that he used to burn the bones of the fallen stock on which he fed his hounds. Given the
severity of the fines, one assumes his latest crimes will result in his firearms certificate again being revoked, hopefully
permanently - which should put a major crimp in his odious activities.
These convictions bring to 442 the number of convictions
or cautions known by POWA to have been given to members and followers of organised Hunts since 1990, and to 47 the number
of Hunt Masters convicted or cautioned in that period.
Hunting fanatic ex-Minister Tory peer exposed as paid lobbyist for Caymans tax haven 17-4-12 Independent Ex-Conservative minister Lord Blencathra paid to lobby for island tax haven
. A former Conservative minister with close links to the Government is sitting as a peer in the House of Lords while
simultaneously lobbying on behalf of a Caribbean tax haven. Lord Blencathra [left], a former MP and Tory chief whip,
is being paid by the Cayman Islands government to represent the interests of its financial services industry - despite also being able to vote on legislation affecting the territory...
[he] has lobbied on behalf of the Caymans while claiming thousands of pounds in House of Lords attendance allowances. At present
there are no clear rules stopping members of the House of Lords effectively acting as paid lobbyists...
Lord Blencathra, who was ennobled in 2011 after standing down as an MP in the 2010 general election, has claimed up to £5,500
a month in attendance allowances in the House of Lords.. Asked if his activities were compatible with
the House of Lords code of conduct, Lord Blencathra said: "You have confused lobbying Parliament, which I do not do,
with lobbying the Government which I do."..... George Osborne has come under pressure to crack down on tax
havens like the Caymans - where many UK companies are based for tax purposes. The Caymans.... is home to 70 per cent of hedge
fund registrations worldwide..... Since his appointment Lord Blencathra has contacted Bob Cryer MP, after he submitted an
Early Day Motion calling for the Caymans to be closed as a tax haven. Mr Cryer said: "I just got this email from Lord
Blencathra asking if I would meet with a delegation from the Caymans who were in London. I had no idea at the time that he
was being paid to lobby for them. It is outrageous for him, as a parliamentarian, to be doing that. Members of the House of
Lords should not be representing foreign governments.... ".... Shadow Cabinet minister Jon Trickett said: "It can't
be right for a member of the legislature, responsible for setting tax policy, to be employed by a well-known tax haven."
18-4-12 Independent Watchdog set to investigate Lord Blencathra
over lobbying for Cayman Islands Peer's paid role for tax haven may have broken parliamentary regulations
Parliamentary standards authorities are set to investigate whether a former Conservative minister who sits as a peer while
simultaneously lobbying on behalf of a Caribbean tax haven has broken House of Lord rules. Labour yesterday
wrote to the Independent Commissioner for Standards asking him to investigate whether Lord Blencathra [right, wearing a 'Blencathra' sweatshirt] had breached regulations designed to stop lords taking
on paid advocacy roles which could interfere with their job as legislators. The intervention is likely to trigger a full inquiry
which - if it finds he has broken the rules - could result in Lord Blencathra being censured....
Last night Paul Flynn,
MP for Newport West, accused the Tory peer of abusing the system and said he would refer him to the Committee for Standards
in Public Life.... The President of the Liberal Democrats has also attacked the peer's activities. Tim Farron said: "With
all the controversy surrounding lobbying and tax at the moment, it's astonishing that a Tory peer is now the lead advocate
in Britain for one of the world's biggest tax havens.... Jon Trickett, Shadow Cabinet Office minister, welcomed the call
to investigate Lord Blencathra "... With almost daily revelations of Tory sleaze along with a significantly watered down
consultation paper on lobbying it is clear this Government is unwilling to make bold decisions in the national interest but
rather maintain the influence of a small circle of elites."
POWAPerson says:- David MacLean, who
stood down as a Conservative MP in 2010 and was a Minister in the Major government, was one of the most fanatically pro-hunt
of all Tory MPs. On being ennobled, he even took the name of a leading Cumbrian hunt, becoming Lord Blencathra. For the 2005
General Election he was the Party's co-ordinator of Vote OK, a Tory front organisation that recruits hunters to campaign at constituency level against anti-hunt
Labour and Lib-Dem candidates, often some distance from where they live, and without, of course, ever telling the electors
the real reason they are campaigning for the, invariably, pro-hunt Conservative candidate. MacLean
is no stranger to controversy. He led an unsuccesful attempt to stop the Freedom of Information Act being applied to
MPs. When the FoI was used to reveal the MPs expenses scandal, it was discovered, according to the Telegraph, that MacLean had spent more than £20,000 doing up
his farmhouse under the Additional Costs Allowance (ACA) before selling it for £750,000. He was entitled to claim under
Commons rules as it was designated as his "second home" with the Commons authorities, yet Mr Maclean did
not pay capital gains tax on the sale because the taxman accepted it was his main home. One might wonder how come this, if true, was not deemed to constitute fraud.
Hunt terrierman has his badger sett digging
conviction quoshed on appeal
Western Morning News
14-4-12 Terrierman wins badger sett appeal A hunt supporter
has been cleared of damaging a badger sett after a judge ruled he may have been the victim of mistaken identity. Andrew
Bellamy [right], 41, had always denied that he was a man caught on film by anti hunt monitors sending a terrier underground and then digging out and killing a fox which it located. He was found not guilty on appeal
at Exeter Crown Court after Recorder Mr Malcolm Gibney said it was impossible to be sure he was the man on the film. The Recorder
also ruled that there was no evidence that the badger sett had been active at the time of the digging two years ago.
After the case terrierman Mr Bellamy said: "I am very glad that justice has been done. This has taken two years of my
life and has had a detrimental effect on me and my family. I am just glad it is all over." Mr
Bellamy is the huntsman with the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt where his wife Clare is the hunt master. He was also the
terrierman with the neighbouring South Devon Hunt, which has its kennels at Denbury, near Newton Abbot. Mr Bellamy, of The
Kennels, Sampford Spiney, near Yelverton, appealed to Exeter Crown Court against his conviction by South Devon Magistrates
last year for two offences of interfering with a badger sett. He was cleared by Recorder Gibney who ruled
in his favour on both the main issues in the case, whether he was the man on the video and whether it was an active sett.
During the four-day hearing the prosecution alleged Mr Bellamy was a bald headed man caught on a 31-minute video clip video
by hunt monitor Edmund Shephard. The footage showed the man digging into an apparent badger sett during a meet of the South
Devon Hunt at Beacon Farm, Bridford, near Newton Abbot. The Recorder awarded Mr Bellamy costs to cover his expenses in travelling to and from the appeal.
Western Morning News 13-4-12
I was a victim of mistaken identity, terrierman insists A hunt supporter has
denied damaging a badger sett while trying to dig out and kill a fox. Andrew Bellamy, 41, says he is not the man who can be
seen digging in a video which was shot secretly by anti-hunt monitors at a Dartmoor beauty spot. The terrierman
said he had laid three trails for the South Devon Hunt on foot and had not ridden the quad bike which can be seen in the video
camera footage. Bellamy, who is the kennelman with the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt [left]
where his wife Clare is Master, also works with the Denbury-based South Devon Hunt. He told a judge yesterday he was the victim
of mistaken identity and that the site of the diggings was not a badger sett in any case..... The prosecution say he is a
bald headed man caught on a 31-minute video clip by hunt monitor Edmund Shephard in April 2010 digging into a badger sett
during a meet near Tottiford Reservoir at Beacon Farm, Bridford, near Newton Abbot. They say he arrived on a quadbike
with a second huntsman, put a black coloured terrier down a hole into the ground, then dug out a fox which was then shot and
taken away. It is alleged he was acting as terrierman and so had the job of digging out the fox when it went to
ground and that he did so even though it should have been obvious it had taken refuge in an active badger sett.
A badger expert has testified that the digging was into an active sett but the defence insist it was a rabbit warren.
Bellamy was identified by hunt observers who recognised him from their film after he and his wife were featured in a photo
story in Horse and Hound magazine a couple of months later. During a police interview he admitted he had
driven a quad bike on the day of the hunt but he told Exeter Crown Court he had been confused over dates. Bellamy
said he was not the man seen on the quadbike in the footage, that he did not own any black terriers similar to the one shown
being put underground, and had not been near the scene at the time. He said: "When the police came to the
kennels they indicated they were looking for a black dog. I was happy to show them all my terriers because I have never owned
a black terrier.".... Bellamy plans to call his own expert witness to testify that the sett did not contain
Stories below in reverse chronological order:-
31st March - Local press finally covers case of female pensioner punched by CVFH hunt
..... 27th March - Cotswold Vale fox hunters launch vicious attacks
on three members of the public, says HSA
..... 27th March - Badger group
claim that an Essex hunt trashed a badger sett in Halstead
..... 25th March - POWA alert media to fox
foetuses find by monitors after Cotswold Vale FH killed vixen
..... 24th March - Coniston
FH supporter mob attack sabs, injure one, then block and abuse paramedics
..... 23rd March - I.o.Wight FH terrierman, notorious James Butcher, loses firearm licences revocation appeal
..... 17th March - Another Ross Harriers follower arrested, one sab injured,
as hunt violence erupts again
..... 15th March - Axe Vale FH fox killers
escape prosecution by claiming slaughter was 'accident'
..... 14th March - Council
rejects attempt to bring Grove & Rufford FH back to Retford on Boxing Day
..... 13th March - Charlie Brooks, leading Heythrop hunter and Cameron pal, arrested with wife in dawn raid
6th March - Four men allegedly digging badger sett apprehended by Wilts police on Avon
Vale hunt day
..... 5th March - UKIP leader Farage and I went hare-coursing
in 'the good old days' says defecting Tory MEP
..... 4th March - E.Kent sabs sure killed fox
they retreived was hunted to death at joint meet near Wye
..... 4th March - P.M. DID
ride police-horse. Got hunting advice from Heythrop pal Charlie Brooks, says Mail
..... 3rd March - Hunt supporter run over and leg injured as Cattistock FH hunt along
and across coast road
Local press finally cover case of female pensioner punched by CVFH hunt thug
31-3-12 Gloucestershire Echo Pensioner
'attacked' by Cotswold Vale hunt on own land PENSIONER Jean Adams claims she was punched
in the face by hunt followers as she tried to move hounds off her land. The 67-year-old woman says she was "whacked"
as she came to the defence of her son, Tony, at their home in Lower Apperley. But the hunt say they were only
acting in self-defence. Mrs Adams claims she was trying to protect her son who she says was knocked to the ground when he confronted the Cotswold Vale Farmers'
Hunt after dogs raced onto their property on Tuesday.
Mrs Adams was taken to Cheltenham Hospital with facial bruising,
(pictured right), and her 47-year-old son suffered minor injuries. Mrs Adams said the family had
heard "yelping and howling" and noticed the hounds were on their land. She said her husband John
was ignored when he asked the remaining lone huntsman to clear the hounds and a "commotion" erupted when her son
got involved. Mrs Adams said her son ended up being knocked on the ground and punched. She alleged:
"When I tried to pull him off, I knocked a man's sunglasses off and he whacked me full in my face. "I
fell back on the road and there was blood everywhere and some activists helped me."
Mrs Adams, who has previously
suffered a brain haemorrhage, said six years earlier the family had "come to an agreement" with the hunt that hunting
wasn't allowed on their land. She said: "I'm not an activist but an animal lover and feed foxes on our scrub
land." Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesman Lee Moon added his support to Mrs Adams and
her son, who he said were unhappy the hunt was on their land.
Countryside Alliance hunting office spokesman Tim Bonner
said: "The hunt has been very happy to help police with inquiries. It's our firm belief no one connected to or employed
by the hunt has acted in any other way than in self-defence. It is unfortunate the hounds were where they weren't meant
to be but the hunt was only seeking to move them as fast as possible. He also claimed: "The hunt has been a victim of
a campaign of harassment by animal rights activists." A 47-year-old man from Ashleworth and a 22-year-old
man from Longlevens were both arrested on suspicion of affray. They have been released on police bail pending further enquiries
until May 4.
Cotswold Vale fox hunters launched vicious attacks on three members of public, say HSA
hunter arrested, another being sought by police'
27-3-12 HSA Press Release Cotswold Vale Fox Hunt attack three innocent residents during
illegal hunt The Cotswold Vale hunt [left] today attacked 3 people, one of
them a woman in her sixties, during their final hunting day of the season. The first attack involved a motorist
who they claimed had hit one of their hounds on the B4213 near Apperley, Gloucestershire. One of the hunt terrier
men punched him in the face despite witnesses saying he had not hit the animal. Later in the day they
attacked a mother and son who were unhappy that the hunt were trespassing on their land. A group of twelve men kicked the
son to the ground and then attacked his mother when she tried to help him. Hunt saboteurs who witnessed
the attack called the police and an ambulance. One member of the hunt has been arrested and another is being sought
by the police. Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs association, stated: "For years
the Cotswold Vale have been assaulting hunt saboteurs. It is very worrying to see they have escalated their level of violence
and will now attack anyone who stands in their way. They clearly believe they are above the law and we urge anyone who sees
them hunting to call the police straight away rather than intervene themselves".
28-3-12 Gloucestershire Echo Fight after claims
hunting hound struck POLICE were called to reports of a fight which broke out between huntsmen and members
of the public yesterday afternoon. Officers were called to the B4213 near Lower Apperley, between Cheltenham and Tewkesbury,
shortly after noon. An altercation had started near to the A38 road to Deerhurst. A police spokesman confirmed officers arrived
to find four or five people involved in an argument after claims one of the hounds had been hit by a passing car. The dog
is believed to have no major injuries. A police spokeswoman added the people involved did not wish to press any charges and
the incident was resolved among themselves.
Gloucs Constabulary Facebook Two men have been arrested after police were called to reports of a
fight in Apperley near Tewkesbury. A woman suffered facial injuries during the incident and was taken to Cheltenham
General Hospital for treatment. Two other men suffered minor injuries and were treated by paramedics at the scene. A 47-year-old
man from Ashleworth and a 22-year-old man from Longlevens were both arrested on suspicion of affray. They have been released
on police bail pending further enquiries until May 4.
POWAPerson says;- The Echo
story appears to be a simple reprint of a Gloucestershire Police press release. On reported past performance, it's no
surprise this Force might seek to minimise any incident involving the Hunt. But the Cotswold Vale now seems to be completely
out of control and serious action is needed by the authorities to restrain them before they kill somebody. They may be an
extreme example, but are, of course, only one of hundreds of gangs who are still allowed to roam round our countryside,
for no good reason, with packs of trained killer dogs, often blatantly ignoring the law, or evading it by 'cynical
subterfuge', and endangering not just our wildlife and their own animals, but members of the public too - and now, it
seems, savagely attacking them.
An Essex Hunt's terriermen trashed sett while trying to dig out fox, say badger group 27-3-12 Halstead Gazette Campaigners blame hunt after badger sett destroyed
ANIMAL campaigners are blaming huntsmen after a badger sett was found dug into and destroyed. Police are investigating
reports of a sett allegedly being destroyed by terriermen belonging to an Essex hunt, near to Sturmer Road, New England, in
Halstead. It is illegal to enter or disrupt a badger sett without a licence. Renee Hockley Byam
[left], of the North Essex Badger Group, said: "This is not the first time we have had reports like this, there have
always been problems with the hunts but until we can catch someone red-handed, we will get nowhere."
It is believed a fox had sought refuge from the hunt by going to ground into a sett. "When that happens, the hunt should
stop but in this instance, the report is that the terriermen dug in to find the fox," she added. "In doing that, the badgers would have been disturbed and if they
feel under threat they will turn nasty and at this time of the year they are defending their young. This sort of thing is
going on all the time but it is just that supporters of the hunts, for one reason or another, will not talk about it."
Mrs Hockley Byam has inspected the sett herself and reported it to the police.
Andy Long, wildlife officer at Essex Police,
confirmed he was investigating the reports "with an open mind". "Disturbing a badger sett is illegal
as well as being a deplorable thing to do and it is important people know Essex Police take these crimes seriously."
He also urged anyone with information about the alleged crime to contact him at Braintree police station on 101. The
badger group were told of the incident on March 12 after receiving a call from an eyewitness. Mrs Hockley Byam added: "I
would urge people who see this sort of thing to firstly call 999 and then call our group to report it. To contact the
group, call 07751 572175. Spokespeople for the East Essex Hunt and Essex Hunt said there has been
no contact from police.
Grisly foetuses find exposes heartless pregnant vixen hunters of the Cotswold Vale FH 5-3-12 PRESS RELEASE from PROTECT OUR WILD ANIMALS Unborn
fox cubs ripped from their mother's body as she is torn apart by hounds - Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt filmed at scene of
bloody carnage On Tuesday 6th March 2012, hunt monitors found the bodies of six fox
cub foetuses [below right] strewn on the ground in a piece of land which had just been visited by the Cotswold Vale Farmers
Hunt. The monitors followed the hunt all day in the Gotherington area of Gloucestershire, and in the afternoon
saw the hunt enter their hounds into a piece of wooded covert near Bozard's Farm. The monitors heard a commotion
within the covert, with hounds baying noisily, and then heard the hunting horn blown in a way which traditionally indicates
a kill. Certain that the hounds had killed a fox within this piece of land, the monitors entered the land after
the hunt had left, and to their horror found not only blood and fox fur on the ground, but also the pathetic, bloody remains
of six unborn cubs. They filmed the remains on the ground, and then gathered them up and took them to the Vale Wildlife rescue
centre near Tewksbury. Here the dead cubs were identified as unborn fox cubs.
These were the Vale's findings:
6 fox foetuses, 2 beheaded, one of whom had no body retrieved, some partially eviscerated, some with trauma to their bodies,
tooth marks and bleeding, some placental tissue remained and one cub was still attached to it with the umbilical cord still
present. Fox fur. A small piece of liver. A small piece of lung tissue. One of the monitors
present said "The hunt went into the covert, and we heard the hounds begin to speak, and then a gruff grunting noise,
and then a kill was blown. We ran towards where the hounds were obviously breaking up the fox within the c the overt. We saw
a man and woman retrieving something from the covert, and the woman turned and gave a "thumbs up" sign to the hunt
followers, as did the terrierman when he left the wood. We asked to see what was inside the metal box on his quad bike
but he held it closed with his hand. A short while later we returned and found a scene of carnage."
The filmed evidence
has been examined by experts, but, due to the ineffectual framing of the Hunting Act, the evidence would not be adequate to
secure a prosecution of the Hunt. Protect Our Wild Animals [POWA] has repeatedly stated that hunts are blatantly
evading and breaking the law all around the country, and has campaigned consistently for a strengthening of the Hunting Act. Penny
Little of POWA said : "Hunts always insist that pregnant and lactating vixens are not chased
or harmed by them. This is, and always has been, another of their downright lies, and we now see further evidence of the utter
barbarity of hunting. Prime Minister David Cameron is strongly in favour of fox hunting, which he wants to re-legalise. It
follows that he thinks it absolutely fine for gangs of people
to take out killer dogs to chase. attack and tear apart pregnant foxes for 'sport'. Indeed, he has recently made it
clear he believes that hunting should be immune from the law*." The footage has been posted
on You Tube,
The Cotswold Vale Farmers hunt [left] is no stranger to trouble. Saboteurs have made several complaints of violent
assaults by hunt staff and supporters in recent years and the Hunt have been filmed causing havoc on roads**. Earlier this
season, their then Huntsman, Alan Morgan, was convicted of racially abusing a hunt saboteur and fined***.
Notes for editors:- * On 13-1-12,
in an interview given to the BBC, Mr.Cameron restated his intention to try to seek repeal of the Hunting Act and said that
the passing of the Act ".... was just taking the criminal law into an area of activity where it didn't really
belong.". A former hunter, Cameron is close to the hunting lobby, which provided a great deal of financial
and logistical support prior to the last Election. But he is particularly close to his local Hunt, the Heythrop,
including to its Point to Point Committee Chairman Charlie Brooks, recently arrested in the phone-hacking investigation.
At least 8 Heythrop supporters have convictions or cautions for assaulting, menacing, abusing or damaging the property of
monitors. Many of the Heythrop's rich supporters donate to Party coffers, several bountifully so.
Mr. Cameron, whose stepfather-in-law, Lord Astor, is Chairman of the Hunting Act Repeal Committee, talked about fox hunting
in his maiden speech in 2001 - and repeal of the Hunting Act was his first, and for a long time only, firm policy commitment
after his election as Party leader.
In October 2011 a Cotswold Vale hound was killed by a lorry on the A38, whilst, claimed monitors, they were hunting
illegally very close to this major route. Hunters tried to blame sabs, but, a few days later the Hunt was videoed causing more road havoc. In February 2011, sabs claimed several of them had been subjected to a sustained
and violent attack, during which a camera was stolen, by riders and foot followers, instigated by the Huntsman, Alan Morgan.
It was also asserted that, three years earlier, a female sab was smashed over the head with an iron bar and that previously
a sab had been kicked unconscious, several had ribs broken and a number of video camers were stolen. In 1997,
one of the Hunt's Masters was cautioned for indecently assaulting a young female sab.
*** Convicted at Cheltenham Magistrates, December 2011 of racially abusing Aubrey Burge. Fined £100 and
ordered to pay £200 compensation. Racism is by no means limited to this Hunt though. Since Morgan's
conviction, Lee Peters, Master and Huntsman of Ross Harriers, in Herefordshire, has been arrested for racial abuse and footage has been released of a supporter of Mr.Cameron's Hunt, the Heythrop, using the most obnoxious and aggressive
racist language imaginable while following that Hunt.
POWA has been sent the following
account by one of the monitors out that day. Monitor and hunters names have been removed to protect the innocent and the guilty.
Tuesday 6th March 2012, Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt, Hunt Kennels, near
Gotherington/Bozards Farm/Bozards Lane OS 190 930/302 (purpose built and new). We arrived late at the meet noting
that hounds had moved off from Fiddington Brake down the footpath. I followed and heard the horn and a holla near Claydon
Farm, despite the hounds being near they did not speak and despite the huntsman hunting them on with horn calls. I met the
terrier man on my way back to the vehicle and asked him where hounds were, he replied it was a crap day anyway and pointed
in the general direction of Tewkesbury. We lost hounds for a short while and concluded it was a very bad
scenting day , very sunny and warm. Furthermore the area was surrounded by 2 main roads the M5 and a railway line.
found the hunt on the A46 near Aston Cross. It was a very busy fast moving road. The field were lining the south most side
of the road in the land. As soon as they saw us they ran south east with hounds drawing along hedgerows. They then went out
onto the A435 the main Evesham/Cheltenham road and caused a traffic jam in the Cheltenham direction. They turned right from
that road into Bozard’s Lane and towards Bozards Farm. We saw hounds put into a covert near the farm 944/30
and it was quiet. And both terriermen were in the covert on their quad bike. We then heard hounds begin to speak
, a gruff grunting sort of noise and then the kill blown. Myself and my companion looked and one another and said "they’ve
killed", I ran up the on towards where hounds were clearly breaking up the fox within covert.
I was joined by hunt followers who found it all rather amusing. The Huntsman came out to the road very quickly
with hounds and was smiling, in the covert we could see the terriermen and a woman retrieve something and then the quad bikes
came out. The woman was giving a "thumbs up" to the supporters. One of the terriermen came
over to us and we asked if we could see what he had in his terrier box, he replied that he only had spades there, his hands
We drove up the road to Bozards Farm where we were blocked in and he warned us about a faulty brake light,
many of the hunt were milling around there. Eventually we were "released" and noted that the Huntsman
was drawing a covert on our left with high speed trains racing past and filmed only meters away in the same field. He
drew blank and finished by the kennels. We drove down the A 435 and parked up in a safe place. We
then returned on foot to the kill site where we found in the exact same spot as the terriermen had stood the remains of an
adult fox and numerous foetuses. We filmed the scene and retrieved the remains before returning to the vehicle.
was sought from various parties en route and Vale Wildlife Rescue agreed to identify the species of the foetuses we had retrieved
from the kill scene. We drove 5 miles north to Beckford and met with Vale Wildlife Rescue personnel. We
emptied the bag of remains and we all noted the following; 6 fox foetuses, 2 beheaded, one of whom had no body retrieved,
some partially eviscerated, some with trauma to their bodies, tooth marks and bleeding, some placental tissue remained and
one cub was still attached to it with the umbilical cord still present. Fox fur, a small piece of liver, a small piece of
lung tissue. This is the truth and an honest account of the events of today the 6th March 2012, I am if necessary
prepared to be a witness in court.
FH thugs attack sabs with weapons, injure one, block and abuse paramedics
25-3-12 HSA Press Release Hunt saboteurs attacked by Coniston Fox hunt
A hunt saboteur was attacked by hunt supporters whilst monitoring the Coniston hunt [left] yesterday. The hunt
who were having their final meet of the season at their kennels near Ambleside had already illegally killed a fox before the
attack occurred according to walkers who said they saw the kill. Three saboteurs were set upon by a group of 15 hunt supporters
armed with sticks. One of them was left with stick marks to his back and a serious eye injury as the attackers tried to throw
him down a ravine. An ambulance was called to treat him but couldn't reach him as it was deliberately held up by hunt
supporters vehicles who hurled abuse at the paramedics. Police were called and are investigating the incident. Lee Moon, spokesperson
for the Hunt Saboteurs association, stated: "We see the calibre of these people that not only do they illegally kill
foxes and seriously harm anyone who tries to stop them, they will even stoop as low as hindering and abusing paramedics whose
only concern is helping the injured. We strongly urge Cumbria Police to investigate this incident and bring the guilty parties
Carlisle News & Star Police probe attack on Carlisle man during hunt
Police are investigating an alleged assault on a Carlisle man that occurred during a hunt. It is alleged that the victim,
who is a man in his 40s, was monitoring the Coniston Hunt on Saturday when he was assaulted by at least two men who hit him
with sticks. He suffered minor facial injuries in the attack that happened at about 1.30pm. A spokeswoman for Cumbria police
said: "A 72-year-old man from Windermere voluntarily attended Kendal police station yesterday to help officers with their
enquiries. He has been released from custody and investigations will continue and the evidence will be assessed." Anyone
who witnessed the alleged incident should contact PC Roy Williams on 101 or Crimestoppers.
James Butcher, notorious IoW FH
terrierman, loses firearms revocation appeal
23-3-12 Isle of Wight County Press Firearm licence appeal rejected
The militant hunting supporter who achieved notoriety by dumping a dead horse outside the Labour Party Conference has been
banned from keeping guns after being branded a danger to the public. A judge backed the Hampshire Deputy Chief
Constable, who personally revoked 47 year old Butcher's firearm and shotgun licences. Recorder Simon Rainey turned down
Butcher's appeal against the ban, branding him a volatile danger to the public if he had a gun in his hand, and telling him to pay £1,500 legal costs. Butcher [left] ...
was filmed by monitors at an IW Hunt meet on March 12 2011 hurling threats and a stream of abuse - and at one stage having to be
held back by three hunt supporters. The Court was told it was Mr. Butcher and an accomplice who dumped a horse
carcase and dead calves outside the Labour Conference in 2004.... And the Court was told that it was Mr.
Butcher who last year accepted a police caution for shooting fledgling rooks.... The DVD of the March 12 meet
showed Mr. Butcher on his quad bike in one exchange telling a protester "I'll tear your head off."
Mr. Butcher... was associated with the IW Hunt since the early '90s... became a professional terrierman, worked in the
kennels and shot foxes with his .32 single-shot pistol after they were flushed out. He said he was regularly abused
by monitors, who he descrinbed as 'saboteurs out to wreck our day' and on March 12th he had been spat at three times
before he behaved in a way he was "not very pleased with". Mr. Butcher, who resigned from the
IoW Hunt on November 1st, used his shotguns for pest control and his humane-killer pistol for foxes and for putting down injured
farm animals..... But, dismissing his appeal, the Judge said "We believe there is an appreciable and real
risk that he might misuse firearms to the detriment of public safety because there is evidence of violent, aggressive and
anti-social behaviour during hunting, which forms a large part of his life. "One of his bouts of anger may escalate higher." After
the ruling, Tim Bonner of the MFHA, said "We remain uncomfortable that the Deputy CC can remove a man's... certificates
and effectively strip him of his livelihood on the basis of unproven evidence that did not even result in prosecution."
Ross Harriers supporters arrested after attacks on sabs on separate days 18-3-12
Hunt Sabs Association PR More violence from the Ross Harriers Hunt Supporters
of the Ross Harriers Hunt smashed a vehicle window and attacked hunt saboteurs with an iron bar during a meet at Orcop Hill [right],
west of Ross On Wye, yesterday. The victim of the attack suffered injuries to the leg and head. Throughout the day the
hunt had been threatening and assaulting saboteurs. This escalated until several of their vehicles blocked in the saboteurs near the end of the day and attacked them. Mounted members
of the hunt were quick to join in, throwing punches and riding at people. This is just the latest attack from this violent
hunt. Their huntsman, Lee Peters, is currently on police bail for racially abusing a saboteur and one of their
supporters was arrested this week for punching a saboteur in the face. Lee Moon, spokesperson for
the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: " The Ross Harriers [left] continue to act outside the law and
think they can get away with it. We are pleased that the police have taken the last two incidents seriously and arrested the
aggressors and we strongly urge them to do the same on this occasion. We will not let such violence deter us and we have members
throughout the country willing to come and show support " Axe Vale Harriers escape prosecution, claiming Boxing Day fox kill
was an 'accident' Exeter Express & Echo 15-3-12 Hunt avoids prosecution THE people who tried
to protect a fox from "ferocious" hounds in East Devon have expressed their disappointment and frustration that
police were unable to prosecute the hunt responsible because of lack of evidence. Seaton PC Steve Speariett
confirmed that during police investigations the Axe Vale Harriers admitted to being involved in the hunt that killed a fox
[left] near Shute on Boxing Day. As revealed in the Echo, Priscilla Lynch, 52, and her father from
Sidmouth, witnessed the group's hounds enter her field and kill the fox. Metcalf, 31, [below right] a student
from Cardiff and his family who were driving past, also witnessed the incident. Mr Metcalf crawled through the hedge and crouched over the animal in a bid to protect it. However,
PC Speariett said that to prove the incident was deliberate police required evidence that a chase had happened over a few
minutes rather than seconds. "Following interviews with hunt members the Axe Vale Harriers was identified as being the
hunt involved after they admitted they were trail hunting in the area and their dogs were involved with the incident with
the fox," he said. "We collated evidence and witness statements and the file was submitted for a decision on whether
there was enough evidence for prosecution to the decision makers. Evidence has to show
a hunt and hounds pursued the fox over a distance and prove that the hunt's master did not take reasonable steps to get
the hounds off the fox. If we had evidence over a few hundred yards and a couple of minutes there may have been enough evidence
for the case to be put before the courts." PC Speariett said that the nature of hunting - which
takes place outdoors in wide rural areas - makes it hard to obtain sufficient evidence to carry out a prosecution. "We
always investigate as fully as possible and if there's evidence of an offence it will be prosecute," he said. "Hunting
with hounds is a criminal offence. However, there is a defence of accidental hunting." Miss Lynch said: "The law needs tightening up - the proof was there." Mr Metcalf
added: "The outcome is of course disappointing. The police need witnesses over several minutes and it is unlikely members of the public are going to be able
to follow a hunt for this length of time."
POWAPerson says:- Yet further evidence, were it needed,
that the Hunting Act needs serious strengthening to stop hunts getting away with murder. In this case - unlike some we
could mention - it does look as if the local police have tried their best, but the Act demands standards of proof so
high they are, in practice, approaching impossible. And, relatedly, here is yet further evidence, were it needed, of
just how cosy the country's Hunts are with the Tory party establishment. The photo [left] shows the local MP,
Neil Parish [far left of pic] posing last summer with the Axe Vale hunt at their puppy show. Parish - a former livestock
farmer who is avowedly pro-hunt and in favour of badger culling is also... wait for it.... Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary
Group for Animal Welfare [APGAW]. Talk about putting a fox in charge of the chicken coop. You couldn't make it up.
Council rejects attempt to bring Grove & Rufford FH back to Retford on Boxing Day Worksop Guardian 14.3.12 Rufford Hunt will not be back
THE Grove and Rufford Hunt [left] will not be returning to Retford town centre for the annual Boxing Day Meet.
Councillor Wendy Quigley presented the motion on the grounds it would help boost tourism and trade in the town.
But the proposal was met with fierce opposition from the room at Monday night's budget meeting. Coun. Ivor Jones said: "I never thought it
would come under this chamber again. How men, women, boys and girls can sit on a horse and kill a defenceless animal until
it's ripped apart, and then say it's going to bring tourism back into Bassetlaw - you are running an animal to death."
The annual Boxing Day meet attracted more than 2,000 people to Bawtry last year, councillors heard. And Councillor Annette
Simpson added: "Having hunted when I was younger, it's actually illegal to do what people have been told today. I
have been on mock hunts and it's terrific, it's fantastic to get out with the horses and dogs and hunt across the
country. We were in Bawtry on Boxing Day and it was the most fantastic atmosphere." But Coun. Ian Campbell
maintained it was inhumane. "I wasn't going to speak on this issue but I felt I had to after some of the comments,"
he said."I do not want Retford to be known for the hunt. We can come up with some better ideas for Retford and Bassetlaw."
Coun.Wendy Quigley said she wanted to encourage more people to see what a lovely town Retford is. She added: "People
do not hunt foxes - how many more times do we have to say it ? It's a spectacle to bring back an old tradition. I wish
people would support this we have got shops closing and we need to bring life back to our town."
POWAPerson says:- We welcome the Council's rejection
of the bid to restore the Hunt's Boxing Day propaganda fest to the district's main town centre. We do not know whether
or not the G&R are among the many hunts that persist in chasing and killing foxes under the guise of 'trail
hunting' or exploiting some other exemption, but they have come under that suspicion. In November 2010, sabs monitoring
the Hunt claimed to have seen at least one fox fleeing from them. Three were arrested for aggravated trespass. The case
was dismissed in court the following May when, the HSA claims, "material came to light that showed prosecution witnesses, including police officers,
had lied under oath" and the Judge said the case should never have been brought by the CPS. The Grove
& Rufford has had to migrate its Boxing Day meet from Retford, Notts, town centre to Bawtry, a large village just
over the Yorkshire border. A contemporary report of that meet, in a pro-hunt publication, spoke of attendance 'thought to be in excess of a thousand'.
The pro-hunt Coun. Quigley, above, seems to have done their usual trick of taking the number first thought of and
doubling it. And certainly one of their younger riders, at least, seemed to think they were still a fox hunt, finding it amusing
to combine her hunting gear with a fox head and Santa hat [right].
Charlie Brooks, leading Heythrop hunter and Cameron pal, arrested with wife in dawn raid 14-3-12 Daily Mail Rebekah Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie were arrested
in dawn raids yesterday by police investigating allegations of a cover-up in the phone hacking inquiry. The
former News International CEO and her husband - both close friends of David Cameron - were held on suspicion of conspiracy
to pervert the course of justice.... Mrs Brooks, the former editor of The Sun and the News of the World, has been
on bail since last summer when she was arrested on suspicion of phone-hacking and corruption. That arrest in July was ‘by
appointment' but yesterday the couple were woken by a sharp, unexpected, knock on the front door of their Cotswolds mansion.
The dramatic new police action is hugely embarrassing for the Prime Minister, who was flying to the United States for an official visit to
President Obama while his friends and neighbours in the so-called Chipping Norton set were being questioned by police.
Earlier this month Mr Cameron's links with the couple came under fresh scrutiny over the ‘Horsegate' revelation
that the Met Police had lent Mrs Brooks a retired police horse. He was forced to admit he may have ridden the horse with Mr
Brooks, a friend from their Eton days.... [together, left].
Chris Bryant, the Labour MP who was a
victim of phone hacking, tweeted: ‘Cameron flees the country as his mates are arrested.' The extent
of David Cameron's close relationship with Rebekah Brooks was exposed when it emerged he had ‘ridden' a retired
police horse lent to her by Scotland Yard. The Prime Minister was forced to concede that ex-police horse Raisa was among those
he used while out with Mrs Brooks's husband Charlie, an Eton schoolfriend. The Prime Minister described Rebekah's
husband as a ‘good friend' and ‘neighbour' whom he had known for over 30 years. Mr Cameron
attended the Brooks's wedding in 2009 and Mr Brooks is chairman of the Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire, which the Prime Minister has ridden with.... Mrs Brooks, 43, was arrested three days before she was due
to answer police bail from her arrest last year and it is understood that she was planning to go to the Cheltenham Festival
with her husband*.
In his newspaper column on Monday, Mr Brooks, 49, described queuing for his first pint of Guinness
on the first morning of the race meeting as ‘the happiest moment of my year'.... Five of the people arrested yesterday
- understood to include Mr and Mrs Brooks - were released on bail last night.... Labour last night called for the Leveson
inquiry into press standards to include Mr Cameron's links with Rebekah and Charlie Brooks. Mrs Brooks was forced
to resign last July following the revelation that a phone belonging to murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler was targeted by her
newspaper. She was introduced to her husband by Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, another member of the rich
and powerful Oxfordshire set located in and around Mr Cameron's Oxfordshire constituency. Nicknamed Champagne
Charlie and Looks Brooks, Mr Brooks became a racehorse trainer after an accident ended his hopes of being a jockey....
The racehorse trainer, who has dabbled in sports marketing, once ran a mail-order sex-toy company and hit the headlines after
sending sex aid brochures to parents at Prince Charles's old school, Cheam Hawtreys, entitled A Little Something For The
Channel 4 News included in their eveNing bulletin footage taken by an anti-hunt activist at a meet of the Heythrop in January
2011, which showed a young female monitor being hassled by Mr.Brooks, who repeatedly invaded her personal space and shoved
a camera in her face. Still from this clip is right, above. Four men allegedly digging badger sett apprehended by police on Avon Vale FH day 8-3-12 Wiltshire Gazette & Herald Hunt denies
disturbing sett at Stockley Police were called to Stockley after reports that members of
the Avon Vale Hunt were digging at a badger sett. A member of the public called the RSPCA claiming four men, accompanied by
terrier-like dogs, were digging in a field in the quiet hamlet, near Calne, at about 3.30pm on Tuesday - hunt day in the area.
The RSPCA in turn contacted the police who sent units to the scene. PC Hans Monahan, of Calne Police, said: "A member
of the public reported seeing some digging taking place around a badger sett, which straddled the hedgerow between two fields in Stockley.
"Units arrived at the scene and examined the area and suspected the offences of disturbing a badger sett. They spoke
to four males and took their details. Officers have invited the men for interview. Enquiries are still ongoing." Police
said all four men were from the west.
The hunt has denied any wrongdoing and said it is helping police with their enquiries.
It is thought that, while the men were being spoken to by officers, one of the dogs appeared from within the sett and was
wearing a tracking device. The RSPCA was also looking into the incident and police called for a badger expert to examine the
scene yesterday so they could confirm it was a fresh, communal sett. Jonathon Seed [left], senior joint
master of the Avon Vale Hunt, said: "I am aware of a difficulty near Stockley yesterday. "I wasn't present at
the time but I understand that the police attended. As far as I am aware, all parties left the scene and the police want to
talk to one of the individuals to clear up matters some time next week."
The Avon Vale Hunt has been established
since 1888. RSPCA spokesperson Jo Barr confirmed they had received information about the case but that it was no longer their
investigation. She said: "I can confirm we received a complaint from a member of the public on Tuesday in relation to
a badger sett in Stockley. But we were told police were on their way to the scene and the investigation is now in their
hands." Enquiries are now being carried out by Wiltshire Police's rural crime team and any witnesses to the incident,
or anyone with information, should contact them on 101.
UKIP leader Farage and I went hare-coursing in 'good old days' says defecting
5-3-12 Roger Helmer, the hunting fanatic Tory MEP for East Midlands, who has
recently defected to UKIP, has revealed that he and that Party's leader, Nigel Farage [right], used to go hare-coursing together.
In an article in the Derby Telegraph, Helmer stated that in what he called 'the good old days before the Hunting Act' he and Farage would
visit the notorious Waterloo Cup together.
POWAPerson says:- It came as no surprise that Helmer, always on the extreme,
especially extreme Euro-sceptic, wing of the Tories should defect to UKIP. Presumably he felt that the Party that is seeking
to dismantle and privatise much of our public services and wants to re-legalise hunting with dogs isn't far enough to
the right for him. We had known that UKIP's policy was pro-hunt, but not that Nigel Farage had any personal involvement in bloodsports. POWAPerson once attended
a protest at the Waterloo Cup [left] and remembers it being like stepping back into a primaeval past, perhaps
the eighteenth century when crowds would gather for bull or bear baiting, or dog or cock fights - or some vision of hell
painted by Bosch. He recalls seeing both richer and poorer elements mixing freely among the mob of several thousand, united by their common love of seeing animals terrorised and killed for 'sport' - much as in any
hunt - but in much vaster numbers and coarsened still further by the all pervasive drink and gambling. Most striking were
the banks packed with, mostly urban, low-lifes [right], who would burst into joyous cheering whenever a hare was
caught by one or both greyhounds. A policeman said to him that if they could just arrest all the spectators on that bank,
Liverpool's crime rate would halve overnight. One wonders how many of UKIP's voters, or viewers who see
him in his regular appearances on Question Time, know that that he gets thrills from seeing a terrified animal fleeing for
its life and from being literally torn apart by dogs. Participants in bloodsports constitute a tiny proportion
of the population, yet we now know that two of our leading political parties are led by such depraved individuals - the other,
obviously, being the Party from which Roger Helmer has defected.
E.Kent sabs sure disembowelled fox they retreived chased and killed at joint Hunt meet
9-3-12 Faversham Times Huntsmen blamed after East Kent hunt campaigners find savaged fox
ANTI-HUNT campaigners have discovered the mutilated body of a fox they
claim was savaged during an illegal fox hunt. The disembowelled carcass [right] was found after a joint meet of Faversham-based West
Street and Tickham Hunt and East Kent Foxhounds on Saturday at Crundale estate, near Wye. East Kent Hunt
Saboteurs secretly filmed the event after suspecting that foxes were being hunted illegally. But when the Times
contacted the hunt, members said they had not seen any foxes and were trail hunting (following an artificially laid scent)
which is legal. Members of the saboteur group described hearing a huntsman blowing his horn to signal a kill. They
later discovered a mutilated fox with its tail removed in woods near a public footpath. They claim it was killed by hounds
and the tail would have been kept as a trophy. The body was handed to the RSPCA.
A spokesman for East Kent Hunt Saboteurs said: "Hunting of this kind has once again become commonplace. Our wildlife is still being tortured
for these people's amusement. Due to our proximity, we couldn't save the fox in this instance, but we just hope that
the image of its poor mutilated body will wake the public up to what hunting really is under the ban. The legalities and loopholes of the Hunting Act need to be tightened up, as these people still cannot help themselves from using our wild animals
as toys, for their so-called sport."...
Joint master of the Hunt Mallowry Spens [left] denied
that any foxes had been killed and stressed that the hunt had been above board. She said: "There's always a risk
that something can go wrong with the trail hunts, but as far as I'm concerned it all went according to plan. There may
well have been dead foxes around the place but we were hunting within the law." West Street and Tickham
Hunt secretary Sarah Leggat [right] added: "I didn't see a fox all day. Our hunts are carried out with
a team of people, some on quad bikes, some riding, following the scent on a duster. We're always very clear that we're
hunting within the law."
RSPCA spokesman Andy Robbins could not comment on the specific case. He said: "Without
footage it is difficult to prove foul play, as sometimes an animal body which may look suspicious may simply have been attacked
by another animal. We would need to be able to prove illegal hunting beyond all reasonable doubt before taking a case to court."
4-3-12 East Kent Sabs Facebook A search of the meets then
failed to find the beagles, so sabs attended a joint meet of two foxhound packs undercover... the meet was thronging
with supporters and vehicles, and sabs sadly witnessed the huntsman blowing for a kill in the woods at the end of the day.
Absolutely nothing we could do, due to the sheer weight of support/thugs. But, we filmed what we could, and its just yet more evidence for the national picture that hunting is just going on as normal-illegal/legal....
POWAPerson added the following Comment to the Faversham
Times story online:-
The disembowelling shown in the picture is characteristic of foxes savaged and killed by hounds. Veterinary evidence
given to the Burns Inquiry confirmed this and was adamant that death by such means is dreadful and a long way from the 'quick
nip to the back of the neck' myth that hunters have peddled for years. This is the second time this season
that a fox with such injuries has been found where this pack [the W.Street Tickham] had been hunting. The first time
[in October] they chased one into the village of Studall and killed it there, and had little option but eventually admit that
they were responsible, having been seen by villagers - but, of course, they claimed it was an 'accident' while they
were 'trail hunting'. Otherwise, we can be sure they would have denied any connection, as they are here.
would urge your readers not to give hunters the benefit of the doubt in such cases. Monitors and saboteurs all over the country
report all the time that in the vast majority of cases 'trail hunting' is nothing more than cynical subterfuge - simply
a cover for hunting live quarry much as before the 'ban'. There have been numerous incidents of 'accidental'
fox chasing and kills, pet and livestock chasing and killing and incursions on to roads and railways all over the country
this season..... Such incidents never occur with genuine
drag hunts and should not if Hunts are really doing what they claim. But it should be no surprise if most, if not all,
fox, deer, hare and mink Hunts are both ruthlessly exploiting the weaknesses if the law and its enforcement, and brazenly
breaking it, because, prior to the Hunting Act tens of thousands of hunters publicly declared that they would defy any prohibition
of the selfish, cruel and barbaric pastime of terrorising and slaughtering defenceless wild creatures - in a deliberately
and artificially prolonged way - for fun. These people have always, do always and will always tell any lies to try to
deny, excuse or defend their actions. They are not just pathologically mendacious, they are sick and potentially dangerous
and need to be seen and treated for what they are by society generally - and especially the media. And the Hunting Act's
provisions and penalties need to be substantially strengthened to stop them - not repealed to reward them - as Cameron and
his bloodsports-loving cronies are still intent on doing if and when they get the chance.
Cameron DID ride police-horse - getting hunting tips from
Heythrop pal Brooks, say MoS 4-3-12 Mail on Sunday How No10 misled the Mail on Sunday about Cameron and THAT police horse David Cameron was under further pressure last night over the bizarre ‘Horsegate' controversy
following new claims about his links with disgraced ex-News International boss Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie Brooks.
The Prime Minister was last week forced to admit he had ridden Raisa, a horse loaned to Mrs Brooks by the Met.Police after No.10 spent three days trying to cover it up. And he admitted he had been
riding with her husband, a racehorse trainer. However, the Mail... can disclose that Downing Street spent more
than a year trying to conceal his horse-riding links with the couple. Acting on a tip-off in late 2010... this newspaper
asked No,10 to confirm that Mr Cameron had been riding with Mr Brooks. A well-placed source said the pair had been out
together and that Mr Brooks had been helping Mr Cameron
improve his hunting style.
The Mail... put the story to Andy Coulson....
He denied the claims, stating that the Prime Minister had not had lessons from Mr Brooks and had not been riding with
him. On Friday, Mr Cameron finally confessed: ‘I did go riding with Mr Brooks and one of them was
this police horse Raisa.' Another friend of the PM recalled yesterday how, before the 2010 election, he had talked of his love of hunting and how he had wondered aloud whether his public profile
would prevent him ever enjoying the sport again. The
closeness of the relationship of the two men [together in 2009, left] is illustrated by the way Mr Brooks was
reportedly teased by Mr Cameron when he started his relationship with Mrs Brooks.... The bungled No.10 cover up started after
it was reported on Tuesday that Mrs Brooks had been loaned the former police horse. The story was seen as dramatic evidence
of the incestuous relationship between the Met and News International.... When the PM's spokesman was asked on Tuesday
afternoon if Mr Cameron had ever ridden Raisa, he scoffed: ‘That is not something that I keep tabs on.' On Wednesday, an official used a similar mocking
tone to shrug off the story... Asked a third time, the next day, when the PM first learned that Mrs Brooks had an ex-police
horse, the spokesman responded with a curt: ‘I don't know.' An hour later, the first cracks appeared in Mr Cameron's
account of ‘Horsegate'. He gave a hastily arranged TV interview, choosing his words with extreme care. ‘It's
a matter of record that I have ridden horses with Rebekah Brooks's husband in my constituency. Since becoming PM I may
have got on a horse once, but not that one.' Note the lawyerly way he stated that ‘since becoming PM'
he ‘may' have got on a horse, but ‘not' Raisa....
Later that afternoon, Downing Street stumbled again,
admitting Mr Cameron ‘might' have ridden Raisa but had ‘no recollection' of riding with Mrs Brooks [right,
+ Cameron]. The stonewalling might have worked but for one dogged newsman who kept interrogating No.10.... where
disdain was being replaced by a mood of dismay. Mr Cameron finally told officials he had ridden Raisa - making fools of his
trusting staff who had spent three days giving exactly the opposite impression. Well aware that cover-ups have claimed more
political scalps than the initial misdeed, Mr Cameron knew he had to come clean - but it could hardly have been more humiliating....
Later that afternoon, a spokesman confirmed Mr Cameron did know Raisa was an ex-police horse, and he had ridden it ‘more
3-3-12 Daily Mail 'I
DID ride Rebekah's horse' .... The PM yesterday denied riding a horse since
he entered Downing Street in 2010 - but did not deny doing so in 2008 and 2009. Mr Cameron... confirmed he had gone riding not with her
but with her husband... [he] also insisted he had not ridden the police horse, which has since died, since becoming
PM... He told reporters that Raisa was among his mounts when he rode with Mr Brooks, a friend since they
attended Eton. ‘I have not been riding with him since the election,’ said Mr Cameron.'... I don’t
think I will be getting back into the saddle any time soon.’ Horsegate has revived speculation
about the Prime Minister’s closeness to Mrs Brooks.... Tory sources insist Mr Cameron has ‘no recollection’
of riding with Mrs Brooks but according to former News of the World feature writer Paul McMullan,...' [they] regularly
went riding together. He claims he was sent to ‘doorstep my ex-boss by hiding in the bushes, waiting for her to come
past with Cameron on a horse’. Mr Cameron attended the Brookses’ wedding in 2009 and the ex-racehorse
trainer is Chairman of the Heythrop Hunt* in Oxfordshire, which Mr Cameron has ridden with. According to Vanity Fair magazine,
Mr Cameron was so close to Mrs Brooks that he signed his letters to her ‘love, David’.
Heythrop supporter and Chipping Norton set member Jeremy Clarkson, who is a Murdoch-paper columnist, had earlier
written:- ‘I can categorically state that he never rode that horse. I do actually live there. It’s
all rubbish.’ - managing to make an even bigger idiot of himself than usual.
is pictured left, above with Cameron and fellow bloodsports enthusiast and C.N.set member Alex James, guitarist with
Blur and wannabe country gent..
* Brooks is Chairman of the Heythrop FH point-to-point Committee, not the whole
Monitor complaint to police after Cattistock FH cause havoc hunting next
to and across busy road
Hunt follower knocked down by car and sustains broken foot as trying to shepherd hounds
3-3-12 Hunt monitor and POWA Associate Helen Weeks
has submitted the complaint below to Dorset police following a meet of the Cattistock. The supporter is understood to have
sustained broken bones in his foot.
Dear Inspector Leat, I wish to make a complaint against the Cattistock Hunt.
Yesterday, Saturday 3rd March 2012, the Cattistock Foxhunt met at Modbury Farm, Burton Bradstock. At about 13:30
pm Des Martin, a Cattistock hunt supporter, was hit by a car, as he got out of his vehicle on the busy B3157 coastal road
close to West Bexington [right]. Graham Forsyth and I were filming the hunt and arrived on the scene at 13:30. A hunt supporter told us that Mr Martin had got out of his
car and was hit by a passing vehicle. We think he was attempting to stop the traffic because of hounds on the road. This is
what hunt followers do. Mr Martin lay on the road while the mounted huntsmen and women continued to hunt in the
gorse just yards away from the road. At 13:38, the huntsman gathered the hounds together and the traffic was held up
while the hounds and riders crossed back over the road. At 13:48, a police car arrived and closed the road. We then
left in the Abbotsbury direction. A second police car passed us on the way to the accident.
Monitors have complained
many times to the Dorset Police about the reckless behaviour of the Cattistock hunting foxes alongside busy roads [left, on
3-3-12]. They are not trail hunting - no one in their right mind would lay a trail along the coastal road, causing danger
and havoc to motorists going about their normal activities. Saturday was a fine day with plenty of day-trippers and ramblers
enjoying the sunshine, ignorant of the real and possible danger of a fox -hunt close to them, as it was many people were disrupted by the road closure. If the hunt had not been hunting near the road, the accident would not have happened. We both
have film of the above complaint. Helen Weeks, Hunt Monitor
Felllow monitor Graham Forsyth
[also a POWA Associate] has uploaded a video to You Tube and sent a report to the local paper, in which he added to the above information:-
Thankfully he [Mr. Martin] was discharged from Dorchester Hospital on Saturday evening with
injuries to his foot, but this is second hand information, so worth checking....
The Cattistock cannot say this is a one off incident because we have filmed evidence of many other occasions of hunting along
roadsides and hounds out of control on roads. I have enclosed a dated photo (2009) of Mr Martin acting as a road marshall
on the A37 a few years ago and two stills from Saturday showing the hunt and riders (still hunting) on and close to the coast
The local paper ran the following story:-
5-3-12 Dorset Echo Man suffers 'significant'
leg injury in accident on B3157 A MAN suffered a ‘significant’ leg injury after being involved in a collision
on the Weymouth to Bridport coast road, police said. The crash, involving two vehicles, happened on the B3157 between Swyre
and Abbotsbury on Saturday afternoon. Dorset Police said the injured person was taken to Dorset County Hospital for treatment
to a ‘significant’ leg injury. Police would not confirm whether the injured person was in a vehicle or a pedestrian.
Tony Edwards, who lives close to the scene, saw the injured man lying in the middle of the road and emergency services at
the scene. He said: "I didn’t see the accident, but I noticed a lot of cars, and about 40 horses, piling up outside
and the traffic had ground to a halt. There was an unfortunate man lying in the middle of the road, and an ambulance took
him to hospital." He added that the road had to be closed for around an hour. It is believed the injured person was a
man who was following the Cattistock Hunt. The group confirmed a foot-follower was hurt during a collision on the road. Hilary
Tutte, a member of the hunt, said: "I was not there at the time, but I do know the man has quite a serious leg injury,
and that he was taken to hospital." Dorset Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash, which happened at around
This You Tube video shows the Cattistock hunting along and across the same road, incredibly recklessly, in misty weather in
Stories below in reverse chronological order:-
..... 25th February
- Viva! research suggests hunting could be implicated in spread of bovine
..... 25th February - 'Masked protesters' shouted at hunters at S.Shropshire FH meet,
..... 24th February - Ex-Army Major Tim Easby to succeed Alistair Jackson as head of MFHA
23rd February - Parent pressure forces primary
school to abandon plans to take children on fox hunt
..... 21st February - Cattistock escape prosecution as CPS run scared of CA-funded specialist lawyers
..... 19th February - Autistic child traumatised
as Wealden MH hounds chase his pet dog into lake
..... 11th February - Sabs say Badsworth FH man allowed to get away with punching one of them in front of cop
7th February - Hapless Blackmore FH threatened with court action
over yet another trespass
..... 7th February - Hare
hunting and hound death on road reported in South Midlands
..... 6th February - South Devon FH terrierman cautioned for attacking sabs
..... 4th February - North Down
FH hounds invade garden and kill pet cat. Owner calls for hunt ban in Ulster
February - Portman FH hounds reportedly invade same gardens as
Blackmore 5 days earlier
Viva! suggest Hunts could be implicated
in spread of bovine TB
25-2-12 Western Morning News Hunts linked to
spread of bovine TB, group claims The Government should examine a possible link between hunting
and the spread of bovine tuberculosis before embarking on controversial badger cull trials, according to animal campaigners.
Vegetarian group Viva! claim that the infection could be spread via animals used for hunting and vehicles crisscrossing large
areas of land. They believe that even if a hunt does not travel over spaces currently holding cattle, it may pass through
areas that have done so recently - and still contain actively infected soil or faeces. Viva! said the "onslaught
of rampaging feet, hound's noses and tyres almost certainly acts as a disease and muck spreader on an enormous scale."
But the claims have been dismissed as "pseudo-science" by the Countryside Alliance, who said the group were "embarrassing
themselves.".... Justin Kerswell, campaigns director at Viva! said: "It is possible that no link
between these hunts and the spread of cattle TB has been ascertained because it has never really been looked at. That does not mean that it isn't
a considerable vector. Drag and trail hunts still gallop over vast swathes of land, churning it up and potentially taking
the infection - which can live in the soil and animal droppings - with them. How can the Government be thinking of killing
many thousands of badgers when it doesn't appear that hunts have ever been held accountable for their potential role in
spreading the disease?" The group said that by overlaying visual illustrations of the location of hunts and the highest
rates of TB, a "clear correlation" is shown [right]. But both Defra and hunt
supporters dismissed the claims. Jim Barrington, animal welfare consultant for the Countryside Alliance, said: "In my
40 years working in animal welfare I have never seen or heard of Bovine TB being spread by hunts. The pseudo-science Viva
are using is to lay one piece of evidence over another and claim a false correlation. Farmers, Government and animal welfare
advocates have spent several decades trying to combat Bovine TB and in all that time no-one has ever linked its spread with
hunting. As with so many people and groups who claim to represent the cause of animals, they are letting their own blind prejudices
inform proper research and evidence, and in doing so are embarrassing themselves and the people who would otherwise be supportive
of their viewpoint." A spokesman for Defra said: "There is no evidence that hunting contributes to the spread of
bovine TB. There is no obvious correlation between the location of hunts and high incidence of TB in cattle." The badger
cull trials will test the shooting of free-running badgers as part of a package of measures to tackle the TB virus, which
led to 25,000 cattle being slaughtered last year. If successful, it could lead to a wider cull of the animals.
says: My social science training forces me to acknowledge that the apparent correlation Viva have drawn attention
to is, on its own, of little evidential value. But, as a potential transmission vector, what they suggest does not seem
that unfeasible. As it's never been investigated, denials by CA/DEFRA [the two organisations being pretty much as
one these days] carry little weight. Hunts have certainly been implicated in unsavoury and potentially
disease spreading activities in the past. When Jim Barrington was LACS CEO [before he decided betraying the
cause and his colleagues and taking the Hunts' shilling to propagate their mendacious propaganda was a good career move]
the League published evidence strongly suggestive that Hunt hound feeding practices [raw fallen livestock offal] were
a, if not the, major vector in the spread of hydatidosis - a particularly nasty disease that causes some human fatalities
and large-scale rejection of sheep's livers after slaughter. Hunts apparently continued doing this even after it
was banned by EU Directive - and may still do it for all we know In the '90s, several Hunts
were heavily fined for blatant breaches of the BSE regulations, at the height of the CJD panic. And
in 2001, monitors filmed compelling evidence of Hunts ignoring mandatory disease-safety precautions after they
had been allowed to resume operations following the Foot-and-Mouth epidemic, evidence which, even then, DEFRA
refused to act upon. Indeed, Hunts seem often as careless as many livestock farmers themselves about the
effects of their actions and as willing to blame other creatures and people for the consequences. Viva!
investigations have also revealed widescale ignoring of bio-security measures at cattle markets in Welsh hot-spot areas. Visit their report page for more details and how you can help try to stop the proposed badger culls.
at South Shropshire FH meet, claims Ferry
27-2-12 Shropshire Star Masked
protest at South Shropshire Hunt Men wearing balaclavas and hooded tops gatecrashed an annual hunt
in Shropshire, it was alleged today. Officials from the South Shropshire Hunt said a minibus containing about a dozen people
pulled up outside the Mytton and Mermaid pub in Atcham, near Shrewsbury, just before the start of its annual hunt. Hunt master
Otis Ferry said the men began shouting at the people who were due to take part in the event at about 10.45am on Saturday.
The hunt went ahead as planned on Saturday. Mr Ferry said it was very unusual for hunts to be targeted and said he believed
the protesters travelled from outside the county. He said: "We left to start our day’s activities as planned but
some of the followers were very concerned and notified the police." Inspector Emma Wright, of West Mercia Police, said:
"We were called to an incident at the Mytton and Mermaid which involved anti-hunt protesters. One woman was arrested
for a breach of the peace."
POWA Person says: Note that the Star saw fit to publish this 'not many
hurt' non-story, presumably at the behest of the five times convicted/cautioned Ferry, but failed to give any space to
the recent incident in which hounds invaded a couple's garden and the pack then ripped a fox apart right in front
of the residents. This was just the latest of several such incidents not reported, or covered only reluctantly, by local
papers around the country this season. Oh the wonders of a 'free' press.
This is ground control to Major Tim, you've really
made the grade...
24-2-12 Horse & Hound Major Tim Easby
appointed as new MFHA director Major Tim Easby takes over from Alastair Jackson as director of the Masters
of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) on 1 May. Major Easby is currently deputy director of the MFHA and has hunted the Middleton
and West of Yore in his native Yorkshire. Mr Jackson, a master of foxhounds for 24 years —with the South Dorset, Grafton
and Cattistock — took over as director of the MFHA in 1997. He will continue in his part-time role of chief executive
of the Hunt Staff Benefit Society.
POWAPerson says;- After the appointment of the extraordinarily-named Sir Barnet
White-Spunner, an ex-General who was head of the British land army, as CA head, the elevation of Major Tim to MFHA
leader means both main pro-hunt bodies are in the hands of ex-soldiers. We don't know a lot about Easby, other than that
he has been a JM with the Middleton since 2006 and was JM/huntsman of the West of Yore FH before that. Can't even find
a photo of him on the Net. It appears some military men develop a taste for killing they just can't let
go. One wonders if anti-hunt activists can expect to be met with fixed bayonets, or even tanks, in future! Mind, with
the hunting lobby unable to get their long-wished repeal [which Cameron promised but can't deliver], 5 of their number
currently facing illegal hunting prosecutions and the public and media slowly taking in and decrying their continued anti-social
and lawless sidestepping of the Hunting Act, he might have a job communicating their 'message'. "Ground control
to Major Tim, your circuit's dead, there's something wrong.... "
Police/CPS fail to act on clear evidence of extreme racist language by Heythrop supporter
Warning;- This report and the video contain extremely offensive language
23-2-12 Monitor and POWA Associate Judy
Gilbert today uploaded a composite video to You Tube containing evidence of a follower of the Prime Minister's home Hunt using extreme and vile racist language on two occasions
and alerted racial equailty groups and media about this. Police and CPS apparently sat on this evidence
without acting for so long that the statuatory period within which a prosecution could be brought expired. This is a
disturbingly common experience for monitors who provide police with solid video evidence against hunters. Another
charming supporter was recorded wishing cancer upon a female monitor. and calling one a 'dirty old slag' and
'bitch'. The overtly racist Heythrop hunt follower, who goes under the name Jim French,
among others, says at a meet in September 2010: "I come over to see these bloody antis... We don't get them in France....
We shoot the bastards, like they do niggers!". At another meet the next month he adds "Foxes
should be like niggers, dead on the side of the road." He also told a female monitor he would drag
her to the slaughterhouse with a ring through her nose. It is worth repeating that this is the Prime Minister's
home hunt, he is known to be close to many of its senior members and supporters and that he frequents its events
from time to time. Several Heythrop FH supporters have criminal convictions or cautions for assaulting and abusing monitors
or damaging their property. Their Huntsman, Julian Barnfield, is awaiting trial on illegal hunting charges. He faced
similar charges in 2008, which were dropped later. This action by the CPS followed - but presumably did not result from
- apparent intervention by then leader of the Opposition, David Cameron, on behalf of his constituent, Barnfield.
"Duck shoot scandal" primary school forced to drop new plan to take kiddies to fox hunt 23-2-12 Hunts Post Parent pressure forces school to abandon plans to take
children on fox hunt HUNTINGDONSHIRE primary school is at the centre of another
controversy just three months after taking youngsters on trip to see duck shoot
three months after taking pupils to watch wildfowling - including a duck being shot
- Ashbeach School [pupils seen on a more savoury trip, to a bee centre, right],
in Ramsey St Mary's had planned
to take Year 6 children, aged 10 and 11, to watch a hunt. The trip was scheduled for February 7 at Ellington, and a letter
had been sent to parents of Year 6 pupils, but it was cancelled following complaints. Elaine Knighton, whose 10-year-old
niece attends the school, said the letter failed to mention the word "fox", just as the wildfowling trip letter
failed to mention the words "duck shoot". She said it was only after her brother, Ray Poolman,
researched the details of the trip - which mentioned horse, hounds and an eagle - that they realised what the school had in
mind. Mrs Knighton, 40, of Ramsey Heights, said the hunt would have involved two hounds trying to flush
out a fox and, should one have been found, the eagle would have been used to kill the animal. The method of hunting
foxes is allowed within the 2004 Hunting Act and the school's letter made it clear children would not follow the hunt,
which was to start at Ellington, but would watch it leave and would sometimes be able to see it in the distance.
the idea of taking children to a hunt upset some parents. Mr Poolman, 49, of Ramsey Heights, said:
"I asked headteacher Shirley Stapleton if she really wanted her school to be seen as pro-hunting, not to mention all
the health and safety risks associated with it. "I don't think it is right. Children and staff sitting having their
sandwiches and fizzy drinks while the hunt sets off." But not all Ashbeach School parents agreed.
One parent sent a letter to The Hunts Post which stated: "The school, which is fantastic, did arrange to take older children
on another trip to a hunt. However, this has now had to be cancelled as the same parent who complained before has threatened
that if the school took pupils on the trip he would turn up with anti-
hunt demonstrators. "This has resulted in a lot of upset children and some very angry parents who agreed with these trips."
A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman said: "There had been some previous discussions about going on outside activity
trips, and it has been decided not to organise any such trips at this time." In November, a group of
10-year-old Ashbeach children were taken to Welney Marshes to watch members of the Ely & District Wildfowlers Association
shooting ducks. The school said the trip was to show about children normal rural life. William Burton [left],
Eastern regional director for the Countryside Alliance, said: "It is a real shame that just because of one parent's
prejudices, children at Ashbeach School have been prevented from watching one of the British countryside's oldest and
finest traditions. As the school has said, children would not have been going out with the hunt but instead would have been
able to take in the great atmosphere at a meet, and get up close with some of the beautiful horses and hounds that form the
hunt. We would encourage more schools to do as Ashbeach intended and take children along to fine rural occasions like
hunts and shoots, so that they can learn first-hand how the countryside really works, rather than the picture-book version
some people would prefer they saw. Schools can always get in touch with their local hunt to arrange a kennel visit. These
sort of experiences will do much to enrich any child's education."POWAPerson says;- We understand the Hunt
involved was the Enfield Chace FH.
CPS cite specialist, CA-funded lawyers as reason not to prosecute Cattistock
for illegal hunting 21-2-12 Guardian Fox hunt investigation abandoned
amid row between campaigners and CPS
criticises prosecutors for letter claiming Dorset hunt was 'media savvy' and would use specialist lawyers
investigation into a Dorset hunt has been abandoned amid a row between animal welfare monitors and the Crown Prosecution Service
over the text of a letter explaining why no arrests should be made. IFAW has accused the CPS of ignoring filmed evidence and
using the fact that members of the Cattistock Hunt can afford "specialist" defence lawyers as grounds for giving
up their legal inquiries into allegations of fox hunting with hounds. The Hunt has denied doing anything illegal and
prosecutors insist the reason for not proceeding is that there is "insufficient evidence to convict beyond reasonable
The letter at the heart of the dispute was sent by a senior prosecutor in Dorset to IFAW explaining why
allegations made against the Cattistock Hunt and accompanying video footage would not be followed up. The hunt was on 8 October
last year, near the village of Wraxall in west Dorset. IFAW monitors, at a distance, captured what they claim was evidence
of hounds chasing a fox and no one calling dogs off the pursuit. The quality of the pictures means that individual hunt officials
allegedly involved are not identifiable. In its letter, the CPS official said: "Any arrest ...
would inevitably mean that they will be represented by specialist solicitors ... funded by the Countryside Alliance. They
will be advised to go 'no comment' and to decline to identify themselves on the footage obtained by your monitors.
There would be insufficient evidence to convince a court beyond reasonable doubt ... that the person standing before them
committed the offence alleged. May I suggest that arrests and release without charge or, worse still, a failed prosecution,
could, potentially, be a media disaster for your organisation? The Cattistock Hunt are very media savvy."
with a complaint to the CPS suggesting that the "methodology stated in the letter is surely contrary to the normal practice in dealing with
cases.... We cannot imagine any other possible offence which could be dealt with in this way. Does the burglar in Dorset
who always gives no comment and is legally represented not get investigated?" The fact that a hunt is "media
savvy" should not, IFAW added, have any relevance to a decision on prosecutions. But a CPS spokesperson
said: "It is absolutely right for prosecutors to consider the most likely defence in deciding whether there is sufficient
evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction. We accept, however, that this letter was somewhat clumsily worded. The Crown
Prosecution Service carefully reviewed this file of evidence three times in accordance with the code for crown prosecutors.... third
time by a second lawyer.... both concluded that we cannot prove to the criminal standard which of the two men it was,
since the footage is unclear and both men are dressed similarly. We cannot bring any prosecution without being certain which
offender committed the crime. As a result, we concluded that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect
of conviction.... "
No one associated with the Cattistock has ever been prosecuted. Will Bryer [right],
Master of the Cattistock Hunt, said he had been unaware of the complaint. "Our intention is to hunt within the law and
lay trails. We practise [legal] trail hunting," he said, and there had been no breach of the ban. It's extraordinary.
These people spend hours and hours monitoring..... Tim Bonner, of the Master of Foxhounds Association,
said: "This is the third investigation of the Cattistock in the past 12 months. The other two times they were questioned.
They [monitors] are wasting police time. That's hundreds of hours spent by Dorset police that have come to nothing.....
No one likes being followed around or finding people hiding in bushes filming them. There's a huge question around some
of this activity, especially the surveillance." .....
Autustic boy's trauma as Mink Hunt hounds chase pet into a lake Midhurst & Petworth Observer 23-2-12
Boy watches in horror as hounds chase pet in Petworth A mother and her nine-year-old son watched helplessly as a pack of hounds chased their pet terrier around a lake in Petworth Park
on Sunday. Mya, a three-year-old Lakeland terrier, fled in terror as mink hounds from the Wealden pack, on exercise in the
park, pursued her until in panic she leapt into the water and made for a nearby island. After the hounds had been called off,
it took Linda Wickenden and her autistic son, Kian [right, with Mya], more than an hour to coax the petrified pet
to swim back from her hiding place. Miss Wickenden, who lives in Petworth, said on Monday: "My
son and I were distraught. Kian has Asperger's syndrome and he does not have many friends. That dog is his companion and
his life." The pair were walking around the lake on the A272 side of the park at about 11.15am when Miss Wickenden said
they encountered the ‘hunting pack' all roaming freely. The Wealden mink hounds are kennelled at Petworth Park under
an arrangement with the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Fox Hunt. Nick Bamber, chairman of the CLC, said two Welsh
mink hounds had recently been drafted into the Wealden pack. They had been ‘coupled' by a lead to more experienced
hounds during exercise but on Sunday they were free for the first time. "They got excited and started to hunt the terrier,"
Mr Bamber said. "We apologise to the lady and her son for the upsetting incident. The hounds in question are being moved
on to a Welsh pack." Police won't act against Badsworth FH man who punched sab in front of cop, claim activists 15-2-12 Facebook Sheffield Saboteurs A farmer launches an assault on hunt sabs in full view of police [right]. If
sabs so much as swore at a hunt member they would be arrested immediately. (11/2/2012)
Fortunately the sab
was not seriously hurt. The group claim that this is part of a pattern of gross favouritism shown to Hunts by both North
and South Yorkshire police forces. Other photos on their Facebook page purport to support this assertion.
Hapless Blackmore FH face legal action if yet another trespass is repeated
Blackmore Vale Magazine Court threat after hunt strays
A HUNT has been threatened with court action after horses and hounds strayed on to private land in Hazelbury Bryan. The incident
happened at High House Farm on West Lane during the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt's meet last Tuesday.
Magistrates instructed the hunt to keep off the farm after organic dairy farmer Leslie Head and his father Robert took court action for trespass 20 years
ago. Robert Head said he saw around 15 riders on the lawn between his home and farm buildings at midday last Tuesday. "My
son has farmed here for 40 years and it has been made clear from the outset that we didn't want the hunt on our land.
The hunt has been sent detailed maps and Dorchester magistrates have told them to keep off our land," he said. "If
they trespass again I will not hesitate to take them to court once more. If they want to ride their horses they must do so
where they have permission." Michael Felton, joint master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt,
said last week's incident was the result of a misunderstanding over a right of way between fields and the road. Although
he was not riding on the day, Mr Felton said he was aware that Mr Head had sent a letter threatening court action and fellow
joint master Lady Arabella Moger [left] had visited the farm to apologise for the incident. "The hunt was
in the wrong. We have apologised and won't let it happen again," Mr Felton said.
Report of hare hunting and hound killed on road in south Midlands
has today received a report from an eye-witness who claims to have seen a Hunt, believed to be the Old Berkeley Beagles, chasing
three hares and that a hound was subsequently killed on the Wantage-Hungerford Road. Police and local paper have both been
South Devon FH terrierman cautioned by police for attacks
POWA has today been informed that Simon Williams, a terrierman [or 'countryman', a rather more cuddly title such thugs now prefer] with the S.Devon FH has received a formal caution. Further details are awaited,
but we understand that at a meet last month, Williams allegedly drove his quadbike at a group of sabs, but also grabbed one
sab by the throat, causing his victim's face to turn blue as he wouldn't let go. Apparently this isn't
sufficient violence to merit a court appearance. This is not Mr.Williams' first such
offence. In the '98/99 season he was cautionerd for threatening a sab with a metal pole. A fellow South Devon FH
terrierman, Andrew Bellamy [right], was convicted last year for digging into a badger sett and fined £500.
North Down FH hounds invade garden and kill pet cat in front of distressed owner BBC News website 6-2-12 North
Down hunt dogs kill cat in Kircubbin Lisa Smith's cat Sophie [below, right]
was killed by foxhounds on Saturday afternoon. The Kircubbin woman has called for the hunting laws in Northern
Ireland to be changed after her cat was killed by dogs from the North Down hunt [below, left]. The dogs
had been hunting a fox when they left the field and entered Ms Smith's garden. The Countryside Alliance has apologised
to her for the loss of control of the dogs. Fox hunting is banned in the rest of the UK but is still legal in Northern
Ms Smith owns seven cats and the others, apart from Sophie, escaped the foxhounds. "There was about 10
dogs in my garden with more dogs really, really, struggling to break their way through the fence," she told Talkback. "I was shouting and screaming and clapping
my hands trying to get them to go away. "Poor little Sophie was in her cat house and she popped her head out the cat
flap. One of the foxhounds dragged her out of her house. I am not going to go into any graphic detail but I am quite sure
everybody can imagine what happened next when a pack of 10 to 15 dogs, that have been trained to kill, got a hold of her.
I wasn't physically hurt but the fact is these dogs killed a cat on my private property and that poor animal must have
For that reason Ms Smith wants to see a change to the hunting law in Northern Ireland. "I do feel that the animal welfare laws in Northern Ireland are flimsy and weak,"
she said. "I know they have recently been revised but I still feel there is a way to go. I have never been a supporter
of any sport or activity where people or animals get hurt. Why they have to breed and hunt innocent animals - whether they
be foxes, a cat or whatever - it's barbaric."
Lyall Plant, the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance,
said: "We would like to pass our condolences on to Ms Smith about this incident and the hunt in question is extremely
sad this situation occurred.The hunt tried in vain to call the hounds off and it took them a few minutes to get them back
under control. It's a very, very sad incident and I know the hunt are just as much choked about this as anybody else.
They have never had any incident like this in the history of the North Down hunt."
FH reportedly invade same banned land as did the Blackmore five days before
1-2-12 POWA has been told that monitors observed
the Portman FH trespassing in the same set of gardens as their neighbouring hunt had only a few days earlier. The incident
has been reported to police and the local press. The village of Wonston is apparently at the confluence of the Portman,
the Blackmore and the South Dorset FHs and there is at least one hunt near it almost every week.
South Wold FH endanger pets as hounds chase fox in village gardens
1-2-12 Horncastle News Complaints after hounds catch
the scent of live fox during routine hunt A VILLAGER has complained after a stampede of hounds
trampled through their garden during the South Wold Hunt on Saturday. Alastair Grant, who lives near Edlington, said around 15 hounds raced through his garden
in pursuit of a fox. He said: "It’s unacceptable. My cats were in the garden and also my dog. Both were very shocked
and traumatised by the amount of hounds crashing though the garden. "I could have had my friends’ toddlers here
and they would have been seriously injured by the stampede at full speed. They were chasing a fox and proceeded to hunt it
down in the field behind my house. They were also in neighbouring gardens. When a huntsman finally appeared I told him how
upset we and our animals were by it and not even an apology was offered." However Nick Ashcroft,
Master of the South Wold Hunt [left], said this sort of thing can sometimes happen and that they did not break the
law by deliberately setting the hounds after a fox. He said: "There was an artificial scent and a fox must have jumped
up in front of them. As soon as it happened we worked to get them under control and we apologized and moved on. We always
do our best to hunt within the law."
POWAPerson says:- Yet another'accident'. POWA received a report
of this Hunt rampaging in another village a few weeks ago, but the resident was too nervous of possible repurcussions to allow
us to publicise any details.
Residents fury as Blackmore & Sparkford Vale hounds
riot through village and gardens
Third rampage by this Hunt's hounds in four weeks
Gazette 2-2-12 Anger as hunt's hounds run riot in woman's garden
A furious Leigh resident has called on her neighbours to complain to police after hunting hounds ran riot in the village. Julie
Hounsell [left] of Leigh wants her neighbours to act after hunting hounds ventured off the trail and ran riot in her garden, as captured on CCTV. She has now called on her neighbours to make public their discontent as she feels
it is the only way to ensure the dogs are kept under control in future. She said: "Surely it must be possible
if enough people complain to keep the hounds out of our village. People need to stand up against this issue and be counted.
I don't understand why people put up with this nonsense." Miss Hounsell discovered
the runaway hounds after checking her CCTV footage [right] set up in the garden. She installed the cameras after
one of her cats was mauled to death on her lawn by a neighbour's dog in May last year. She said: "I looked at the
footage and saw that two dogs had been in here. I rang the police and told them, and they said that they had received several calls from other residents. The police have said very little. The hunt
master has since visited people in the village and apologised, but I'm not prepared to listen to that rubbish. Do we have
to wait for the dogs to kill other animals before something is done? It seems that the answer to that is yes. Surely if the
hunters are taking out that many dogs they must take have control and take responsibility."
Anthony Mayo, joint
hunt master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, confirmed he had visited those affected, and believed his apology had
been accepted. He said: "I went around the next day and saw the people who it involved and apologised for the situation.
The hounds ventured off the trail and got into the back of the village. I saw those involved and my apology was accepted."
Retired priest Tony Durkin, who lives on Chetnole Road also witnessed the incident. He joined Miss Hounsell in calling for
the hunt to be more strictly controlled. He said: "The hunters have no business down this particular part of the village.
The hounds were out of control and were running loose all over the village. It was chaos. The hounds were running through
the churchyard. What we want is the thing properly controlled, so the hunters have a grip on where they can go and where they
are not welcome. I am concerned not only for people's properties in the area, but mostly for their pets and animals." A
spokesperson from Dorset Police said: "Dorset Police received three complaints from the public in Leigh about the Blackmore
Vale hunt on Thursday, January 26. A police officer from Sherborne Police attended and spoke to members of the hunt in Chetnole.
The hunt master has been contacted, and is assisting police with their inquiries."
Earlier in the month, Michael
Felton, joint master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, issued an apology after complaints that hounds ran through
gardens and private fields in Wonston near Hazelbury Bryan. At the time he said: "We would not deliberately go on to
ground where people don't want us - we endeavour to make every effort to stop this from happening. Unfortunately, there
are times when the hounds deviate on to live quarry or when wind shifts the trail. The hunt is making an extra effort to ensure
this doesn't happen again."
POWA understands that monitors claim to have obtained
footage of this Hunt in full pursuit of a fox the same day and have passed their film on to the police.
Stories below in reverse chronological order:-
28th January - South Wold FH endanger pets as they chase fox through gardens in Lincolnshire
......26th January - Residents fury as Blackmore & Sparkmore
Vale hounds riot through village & gardens
..... 25th January - Trespassing N.Shrops FH chased and
killed fox in full view, say residents of Marchamley
..... 21st January - Monitor
thinks Cattistock were hunting fox that tumbled down bank at her feet
..... 19th January - Seavington
FH Joint Master seriously injured in freak farm accident
..... 19th January - 'Have
a go hero' who protected fox from Axe Vale hounds savaging it comes forward
..... 17th January - Blackmore & Sparkford Vale hounds invade banned land, disturb pregnant ewes
16th January - Staintondale FH hounds again invade land of couple whose cat they killed
..... 14th January - Dorset farmer 'arrests' sett-stopper who at first
claims to be with local Hunt
..... 13th January - PM says law should
never have been used against hunting with dogs and will seek repeal
..... 11th January - Otis
Ferry's S.Shrops FH hounds cause traffic chaos in village, spook valuable horses
..... 10th January
- At least one Cottesmore FH hound killed on railway during 'trail
..... 9th January - Cumbria antis claim internet post backs
their claims of illegal fox hunting on fells
..... 7th January - Sabs
claim fox chased and killed at Kent Hunts joint meet
..... 7th January - Another
Huntsman [Ross Harriers] is arrested for racially abusing a sab
..... 4th January - Female sab
violently assaulted by Cottesmore FH supporter, says HSA
FH rampaged over private land and killed fox, say shocked villagers 26-1-12
LACS website N.Shropshire FH have anothrer 'accident' A
fox was killed yesterday by a pack of out of control hounds who had already spent several hours rampaging through private
properties in a village in Shropshire. Shocked residents near the village of Marchamley, in North Shropshire, witnessed the fox being ripped apart by the hounds following a pursuit in which hounds were seen chasing the fox across private property
with the huntsmen in pursuit. One local resident said "this isn't the first time the hunt have trespassed onto my
land. It's absolutely galling that once again they have shown absolutely no consideration for the local landowners".
The League Against Cruel Sports, which runs a dedicated phone line for people to report wildlife crime, received several
calls about this incident yesterday and has stated that this is not an isolated case. The League's Chief Executive Joe
Duckworth said: "Unfortunately this is just the latest in what can only be described as a clear pattern of law breaking.
We are absolutely appalled by the behaviour of this hunt. We received several reports from distressed residents who are at
a loss to understand how this kind of blatant illegality can be tolerated. Last month after hounds
from the North Shropshire Hunt strayed onto a major road [see below] they said that it was a ‘freak accident
and wouldn't happen again'. Clearly this is not the case as yet again they claim to have lost control of their hounds.
We would like to see the Masters of Fox Hounds Association take action against this hunt who obviously are either wilfully
breaking the law or who cannot control their dogs" The incident has been reported to West Mercia Police.
Were the Cattistock hunting terrified
fox that tumbled on to road in front of monitor? 24-1-12
Western Daily Press Letter from monitor Helen Weeks [also a POWA Associate];- Last Saturday (21st
January), the Cattistock Foxhounds, were hunting in a wood just outside Halstock in Dorset. Hunt followers lined the road
half a field away with binoculars trained on the wood. A huntsman was shouting encouragement to the hounds in the trees. After
a while, I saw part of the pack at the edge of the wood with their noses to the ground searching for a scent. When suddenly
the hounds ran back into the wood and all hell broke loose. The air was full of the unearthly sound that hounds make when on the scent of a fox.
This terrible din went on for what seemed minutes - if they had not caught their quarry, they were very close to it. Then
there was silence. I started to walk back up the road to where the followers were and where my monitoring
partner was standing, when a fox, dark with mud burst through the hedge from the direction of the wood and toppled down the
bank and onto the road in front of me. While monitoring I have seen many foxes running for their lives, but
never one in such a blind state of panic so near to the start of the hunt. It recovered itself and bolted to the other side
of the road. As I had seen quad bikes complete with terrier boxes at the edge of the wood, and given
the state the fox was in, I wondered if this poor little fox had sought refuge underground and been dug out for the hounds
to chase. I accused the hunt followers of hunting foxes and they did not deny it. Instead, they said, "Foxes are vermin". Stop all the talk of "to repeal" or not "to repeal". The only conversation
we should be having; is how to strengthen the Hunting Act in order to stop the barbaric practises of hunters flouting the
& Sparkford Vale hounds invade banned land again, disturb pregnant ewes
Second incursion by this Hunt in less than
21-1-12 Blackmore Vale Magazine Another apology
after Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt strays off trail A HUNT master has made
another apology after hounds ran out of control for the second time in recent weeks. Complaints have been made to the Blackmore
and Sparkford Vale Hunt [left] after hounds ran through gardens and private fields in Wonston near Hazelbury Bryan last Tuesday. As previously reported,
the hunt received complaints after hounds ran through residential roads in Marnhull on New Year's Eve.
Rupert Emerson, who runs Orchard Farmhouse organic B&B [right]in Wonston with his partner Sarah Cousins, explained
that he had notified the hunt that he didn't want hounds in his paddocks, which are managed for wildlife and as a community
garden. In spite of reassurances from the hunt, hounds have strayed onto Mr Emerson's land on several occasions, including
last week. Mr Emerson said he was particularly concerned as he had recently put a ram to his Portland ewes and it is likely
that the animals were pregnant. "I was in my office when I saw hounds in our garden. Sarah ran out and saw a lot more
going across the paddocks - there appeared to be no attempt to control them," he said. "The sheep were visibly distressed and were
still nervous when we went to feed them the next day."
Mr Emerson said he was particularly disappointed as he asked
the hunt to stay off his land when he first moved to the area. He contacted hunt officials again and received an apology and
compensation after his hedges were damaged by the hunt last year. "They knew very well that we didn't want them on
our land yet they have disrupted our business, disrupted the community garden and caused distress to us and our sheep. We
are not trying to stop the hunt, we are just asking that they keep off our land," Mr Emerson added.
Michael Felton, joint master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, apologised for last week's disruption. He said
he wasn't riding with the hunt, which was out with around 34 hounds, last Tuesday but was aware of the incident.
"We would not deliberately go onto ground where people don't want us
- we endeavour to make every effort to stop this from happening. Unfortunately, there are times when the hounds deviate onto
live quarry or when wind shifts the trail," Mr Felton said. "The hunt is making an extra effort to ensure this doesn't
happen again. Our trail layers have been told in words of one syllable."
Seavington FH JM critically
injured in freak accident as cow kicks out UPDATE
22-1-12 Mr. Darke's condition has improved significantly.
19-1-12 Western Morning
News Vet fights for life after farm accident
leading vet was in a critical condition in hospital yesterday after he suffered a brain haemorrhage when a cow kicked a metal
gate into his face. Experienced Jereme Darke [right], 45, fell backwards and cracked his head on the concrete floor after
the heifer bucked the swinging cattle gate straight into him. He was airlifted to hospital following
the freak accident, suffering from a fractured skull, bleeding at the rear of the brain and other severe facial injuries.
Colleagues said Mr Darke, a director of Dorset-based Synergy Farm Health Veterinary Services, which operates across Dorset,
Somerset and Devon, was critical but stable yesterday following surgery. Andrew Davies, managing director of the practice,
said: "We appreciate how devastating this news is to take and the emotions associated with it and we all know how popular
and active a character Jereme is in the local and agriculture community. Our thoughts are very much with him and his family
very difficult time for us all. There have been signs of optimism in the past 48 hours.... Mr Darke
was caught by the cow while blood testing beef cattle at a farm in Donyatt, near Taunton in Somerset, at 3.10pm on January
9. He was airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol - which has a specialist head trauma facility - to undergo surgery. Following
a procedure to remove the blood clot, reduce brain pressure and assess damage, doctors said he was responding well to treatment. .....
Mr Darke, who lives in Devon, is joint Master of the Seavington Hunt and secretary of the Crewkerne Farmers' Skittle League.
POWAPerson says; - Much as we despise Mr. Darke's bloodsports activities, we trust he will recover from his
trauma. Perhaps his experience will give him some insight into how fragile and precious every life is to its possessor. It
seems particularly odious that a veterinary surgeon, trained to heal and care for animals, should devote his spare time
to tormenting and killing them for fun.
Mystery man who shielded wounded
fox from Axe Vale hounds savagery identified
19-1-12 Exeter Express & Echo Fox's protector comes forward
THE "mystery" man who helped protect a fox from hounds in East Devon has come forward. Police are continuing to
appeal for witnesses to the incident which happened on Boxing Day afternoon near Shute. Sidmouth resident Prescilla Lynch, 52, claims to have found herself
in the middle of the pack of hunting hounds in her field when Alun Metcalf [right] stopped to help. The psychology
student at Cardiff University, had been to Sidmouth for the day with his family when he saw the hunt. "Traffic was stopping
to let the hunt cross the road and as we got closer I saw a fox come out of the hedge closely followed by the hounds,"
he said. "I could see that a lady was shouting to keep the dogs off the fox so I decided to help."
crawled through the hedge and pushed the hounds off the fox and then protected it with his body, until the dogs went back
to the hunters. "If it hadn't been for Mrs Lynch's actions the fox would have been torn to bits, that I have
no doubt," he said. "If the law is hard to enforce then it needs to be improved, such as muzzling the hounds."
PC Steve Speariett, who is investigating the incident, said: "In order to prove there was an offence, it has to be shown
that the hunt did not take reasonable steps to get the hounds away from the fox. We will gather all available evidence and if there's enough to prosecute,
we will. "We believe we know which hunt was in the area at the time."
The Hunting Act came into force in 2004,
preventing the pursuit of wild mammals with dogs - but not banning trail or scent hunting. East Devon MP Hugo Swire said:
"The Hunting Act is a badly drafted piece of legislation because many elements simply cannot be enforced. There are more
people hunting than ever. I don't want a repeal of the Act but a bigger and improved Bill looking at animal welfare. Although
the Government is committed to a free vote it's not going to be a priority when there is the budget deficit to deal with."
Anyone with any information should contact Devon and Cornwall Police on 101, quoting log number 216 of 28/12/11.
Cat-killing Hunt piles on misery
by again invading land of bereaved couple
16-1-12 Scarborough Ev.News
Couple's horror at hounds' return A COUPLE have spoken of their horror at seeing
a pack of hunting hounds bounding past their Ravenscar home [right] - little more than a month after their beloved pet
cat was savaged and killed by 27 dogs. Les and Margaret Atkinson told the Evening News they had been assured by hunt members
at the time of the incident that they would be given advance notice if they planned to be near their property. But they were surprised last Tuesday when
they saw hunt members on horses and dogs near their home but had been given no warning. Mrs Atkinson said
they had been out during the morning and when they returned they saw a lot of cars parked in a narrow lane near to their Stoupe
Brow home, where they have lived for more than 30 years. She said: "As I walked home I could see the hounds all over
and I could see some running across the fields. I could see horses going past my house. As I got nearer I could see one of
the hounds as it jumped over my wall into the lane by our house." Mrs Atkinson said that her husband took several pictures.
One showed a hound just yards from where their cat Moppet was killed, and she felt like she was having to relive the traumatic
event. She said: "By the time I got back I was shaking like a leaf and I was in tears. I heard them coming along the
lane. The dogs were out of control."
Mr Atkinson added: "I couldn't believe it - it was like we were reliving
it all over again." Mrs Atkinson said if they had been warned then they could have made sure that their remaining pet cat,
seven-year-old George, and five pet hens were safe and secure. Members of the hunt are legally allowed to pass through a bridle
track on the Atkinsons' land.
Last month's incident was during a joint meet between hunts from Staintondale and
Goathland and initially a huntsman picked up a lifeless and bloodied Moppet and rode away after it was brutally attacked.
But the body was returned to the Atkinsons by members of the hunt two days later in a dogfood bag. Last
week's hunt was by members from Staintondale and at the time of going to press no one from the group was available for
comment. Following the original incident hunt master Jean Clemmit said that they would take "preventative measures"
in future. And a spokesman for the Goathland Hunt said they would: 1/ leaflet residents living
along any planned routes 2/ place marshals at properties 3/ make sure at least two people were with the hounds at all times.
When the Atkinsons reported last week's incident to the police they were told that because there was no damage nor injury
it was a civil matter. The Atkinsons added that they had been overwhelmed by the messages of support they had received
from members of the public when the story first hit the headlines last month. Mr Atkinson said they had received a number
of letters and Christmas cards - including one addressed to "The people whose cat was killed" - and an offer of
a slate memorial stone. He said: "He just rang up because he felt so terrible about it and said he'd like to offer
a free headstone. I was very moved that someone was prepared to do that."
Farmer 'arrests' man he finds blocking sett, who first says he's with the local Hunt
Two men later detained by police. South Dorset FH decline to comment
16-1-12 Dorset Echo Police
called after farmer saw man allegedly filling in badger setts TWO men were detained by police after
a farmer saw one of them allegedly filling in badger setts. Gaius Vincent, of Muston Farm, Piddlehinton, was walking along Waterston Ridge, off the B3143 near Dorchester, when he saw a man who appeared to be digging around a sett. Mr Vincent said: "I heard a quad bike,
and we have had trouble with people trespassing and filling in holes before, so I followed the noise. I went up to the man and asked
what he was doing. "He was obviously filling in holes, which indicates he was hunting
wild animals, which is illegal, but he denied that." Mr Vincent told the man
he was performing a citizen's arrest, and the man made a call on his mobile phone. He
added: "That's when I called the police. At first the man claimed he was with a hunt, who were out that morning,
but I didn't know who he was calling and who would turn up, so I played it safe. "Later on he said he wasn't
employed by the hunt."
PC Jacqui Allen [right, with Mr.Vincent], who attended the incident, said: "When police arrived, the man had left the scene. "By the time officers caught up with him, he was accompanied by
another man. Enquiries are still ongoing." Mr Vincent said that the South Dorset Hunt [left] was out in the area on Saturday morning
but there is no indication that the hunt was responsible for the men's alleged actions. David Walsh,
chairman of the South Dorset Hunt, said: "I am not prepared to comment on the incident at this time."
James of the Dorset Badger Group, said: "I think this is disgraceful. I don't know why this man was stopping the
holes, or what he was using to fill them but it makes me cross to think people can just come into the countryside and harm
animals. In the old days the hunt was allowed to soft-stop setts with loose soil, hay or straw to stop foxes escaping down
them, and that was legal. "Badgers are strong animals and they can dig out of that. But it's not legal now, and you
still hear of people filling the setts in with plastic bags or big pieces of rock. That's called hard-stop and it means
the badgers are trapped underground. A whole family can suffocate when that happens. It's
a horrible way to die."
PC Jacqui Allen, who attended the incident, which took place on Saturday, said: "Two
people have been detained and are helping us with our enquiries." Mr Vincent said: "It does
make me angry. I farm cattle, and, yes, we kill for food, but I can't relate to doing it
for fun. It's an unpleasant thing to do." He added: "If it was
some bloke from a council estate with a Doberman, there would be uproar, but people hunting wild animals in the countryside
so often seem to get away with it."
PM restates repeal intent, bizarrely claiming law should have no dominion over hunting 13-1-12 David Cameron today gave an interview to
BBC1's 'Countryfile' mostly concerned with the potential difficulties of the proposed badger cull later this
year. He also used the opportunity to assert that he still intended, despite rumours to the contrary, to try to repeal the Hunting Act in this Parliament. But then, in a
quite extraordinary supplementary sentence, he appeared to opine that he thought hunting with dogs should have always been
immune from any legislation to ban or even regulate it. This, despite the fact that around three-quarters of the public have
regarded it as cruel and barbaric and wanted these 'sports' banned for decades. His statement seems
emblematic of the extraordinary arrogance of the hunting fraternity, of which he is now the most prominent member, and
of his own disdain for democracy, public opinion and the rule of law in matters concerning the close interests of he and
his friends. Cameron can be seen right, posing with his pal Guy Avis, Secretary of his 'homies', the notorious
Heythrop FH hunt gang.
Press Association 13-1-12 PM
admits badger cull difficulties David Cameron has acknowledged that the proposed badger cull trials will
involve "no end of difficulties", including concerns over policing..... Mr Cameron used the interview to repeat
his pledge to allow a vote on repeal of the Hunting Act in this Parliament: "I always thought the hunting ban was a pretty
bizarre piece of legislation, I think there should be a free vote in the House of Commons. My problem has always been that
it was just taking the criminal law into an area of activity where it didn't really belong."
Ferry's hounds cause prolonged traffic chaos in village, spook valuable horses Shropshire Star 14-1-12 Huntmaster Otis Ferry sorry after complaint over
dogs South Shropshire huntmaster Otis Ferry today apologised to a resident following complaints
that a number of hounds caused chaos in a county village. The huntsman, who is the son of Roxy Music star Bryan Ferry, said
he was ‘very sorry’ that Jonathan Edwards had not been informed that the South Shropshire Hunt [right] was
meeting on Wednesday at Pontesford, near Shrewsbury. Mr Edwards, 45, who lives at Lower Mill Farm,
claimed about 30 hounds ran through the village causing disruption to traffic on the A488 and frightening his horses. Mr Edwards
said the incident happened at about 1pm and lasted for about 25 minutes.
He said: "They had absolutely no control
over their hounds which were running all over the main road, causing multiple vehicles and lorries to screech to a halt."
He also claimed that the hounds endangered the lives of his three horses, who were spooked by the dogs. "One
of my horses jumped over a 4ft high electric fence. If I had not been at home he could have run into the road and been killed
and caused injuries to passing drivers. It took a long time to get the horses under control again. The one who jumped cost
£9,000 and is a great friend and companion," he added. "It was a sheer lack of respect and it makes
me very, very cross. I am not anti-hunt, but in previous years I have had a letter to say it will be happening so I can get
the horses in." Mr Ferry today said: "I do not think at any point the hounds were out of
control. People assume they are out of control when actually they are just doing their job. I am very, very sorry that Mr
Edwards did not get notification. We do our best to notify every landowner when we are in a particular area. Recently we have had a different master for that area and I can only
imagine that when the last list has been compiled this landowner was not on it. I would urge him to get in touch with me so
he can be added to the list of landowners."
POWAPerson says:- Hunting fanatic and serial
offender Otis Ferry needs no introduction to students of bloodsports in the UK. This is just the latest, by no means
the most serious, in a long line of complaints about his conduct. Here he adds a bizarre twist by claiming that his rioting
hounds were not out of control and 'just doing their job.' Perhaps he'd actually written causing traffic
chaos by rampaging all over an A road, and frightening expensive horses, into their job description. It's certainly a
novel way to conduct 'trail huunting'. Ferry would, presumably, be happy to be portrayed as in the pic above
right, but many people would prefer to see him in the care of the authorities, as he was, alas temporarily, when
pictured left in 2005.
Cottesmore FH 'single stray hound' account after death on railway called into doubt Evidence appears to have emerged that questions the veracity
of a statement given by Clare Bell, Secretary of the Cottesmore FH, to the Leicester Mercury. She claimed that a single hound
of theirs had strayed away from the rest and wandered on to the railway to be hit and killed by a train. The train driver
maintained from the start that he thought he had hit 'a number' of hounds. Now, in a second item on the incident,
the Melton Times reports an independent witness, who was out running, saying that he saw hounds 'splayed all over the
track'. The reports are below.
Melton Times 14-1-12 Hunt to review
trails after hound is killed on train track A HUNT has said it will review how it sets out trails after a hound
was killed when it was struck by a passenger train. The incident happened at about 11.45am on Saturday, January 7 when it
is understood some hounds from the Cottesmore Hunt strayed on to the railway track at Wyfordby. As reported in the Melton
Times the driver of the 10.22am train from Birmingham New Street to Stansted Airport told Network Rail he thought he had struck
‘a number of dogs' on the line.
A runner who says he witnessed the incident told the Melton Times: "The
train came to a stop by the crossing and I could see the hounds splayed across the track. They were later recovered by the
huntsmen. To run the hounds close to the track does not seem a little irresponsible to me." Cottesmore Hunt secretary
Clare Bell said: "We think the hound in question got distracted and strayed on to the track and what happened was a tragic
accident. Network Rail is satisfied that was the case. The trail was not set close to the railway line but occasionally and
tragically something like this can happen as tracks in rural areas are not fenced off as they are in built-up areas. We will
review what we do. If we had been another field away perhaps this would not have happened."
Mercury 12-1-12 Hunting hound killed after straying on to train track
A hunting hound was killed when it was struck by a passenger train after straying on
to a railway line. The dog was out trail hunting with riders from the Rutland-based Cottesmore Hunt on Saturday when
it got on to the track at Wyfordby, near Melton Mowbray. It is thought the hound, a four-year-old foxhound called Hazard,
became separated from the other dogs at about 11.45am and was hit by the Birmingham to Stansted airport train. Cottesmore
Hunt secretary Clare Bell [right] was riding nearby at the time, as part of a trail hunt. She said: "This
was a freak accident. It was extremely tragic. It looks as though he got through a hole in a barbed wire fence and strayed
on to the track. We think he got a little left behind the other hounds and was sniffing about as dogs do. The train stopped
and we were able to retrieve the body and take it back to be buried at the kennels, in Ashwell. We are all devastated. I have
been hunting for nearly 10 years and I have never experienced anything like this. We go (hunting) where we are invited by
farmers and sometimes that is near railway lines. We take every precaution to prevent the hounds going where they should not,
but sometimes it does happen."
A spokesman for the kennels said he was saddened by Hazard's death. He said: "It's unfortunate but the hounds don't notice and carry
on as normal." Network
Rail spokesman Russell Spink: "It does appear one of the hounds was struck by a train and killed. While in urban areas,
most railway lines are secured by fences. In the countryside, there are points where it is possible for animals to wander
on to the tracks. We have 20,000km of track and we cannot fence it all off.... It is very rare to have an incident involving
Melton Times 10-1-12 Hunting dog killed by train A
HOUND taking part in a hunt on Saturday died after being struck by a passenger train. The accident happened at about 11.45am
when it is understood that a number of hounds from the Cottesmore Hunt strayed onto the railway line in the Stapleford area
near Wyfordby Church. A Network Rail spokesperson said that the train driver of the 10.22am train from Birmingham New Street
to Stansted Airport reported that he thought he had struck a number of dogs on the line. A local farmer contacted the Cottesmore
Hunt and the secretary came to collect the dog. The secretary was unavailable to comment on the incident.
POWAPerson says:- Whilst scarcely an everyday occurence, reports of hounds on railway
lines, including incidents in which they are killed or injured, are regrettably common. Early this season a fox, then hounds,
were filmed on a line in Somerset [above left], and hunters only removed the dogs 10 minutes before a mainline train was due. In January last year at least one hound was killed on a high-speed line in Wiltshire, and at least six hounds of the Beaufort
FH had been slaughtered on the same line just over a year before. There have been many such instances in the past, including
some where hunts were actually being conducted on railway lines. Hunts are perfectly aware of the dangers to both their dogs
and travellers, and, if they are genuinely 'trail hunting', you have to ask why on earth they would lay trails anywhere
near railway lines. The claim that the Cottesmore were 'devestated' by the hound's death is risible, given
that they, like all other Hunts, doubtless routinely 'cull' at least ten of their own, healthy, hounds every year.
I leave to the reader the drawing of any conclusions about the apparent discrepancies between the Hunt Secretary's
account of what happened and those of the train driver and the independent witness.
Antis in Cumbria say supporter internet post backs claims of illegal fox hunting on fells
9-1-12 Carlisle News & Star Is internet post evidence
of illegal hunts in Cumbria? Anti-hunting campaigners claim to have found written evidence that one of
the Cumbrian fell packs has been hunting foxes illegally. They say that a follower of the Blencathra Foxhounds [left]
has boasted openly of hunting with hounds on an internet message board. The Blencathra denies it has ever broken the law.
The post - on the website www.thehuntinglife.com/ - is almost two years old but campaigners have asked Cumbria Police to investigate.
A hunt follower posts how a Blencathra meet was disrupted by anti-hunt campaigners from Northampton. He writes: "The
antis then phoned the cops, which turned up to make sure we behaved ourselves (typical), so we waited about an hour then got
away and hunted the other side of the mountain. When we did get hunting it didn't take long for some real good sport.
" Hunting foxes with hounds was outlawed in 2005. However, hunts still meet to drag hunt where hounds follow a scent rather than chase a fox. Anti-hunting groups are convinced this is a sham and that illegal fox
hunting is rife. Elaine Milbourn [right], of Torpenhow, a member of Protect Our Wild Animals, said:
"On many occasions when our people have gone out, they have seen hunts on to a fox. They are not following the law at
all. "The police have agreed to go up there but it's a waste of time. They behave themselves when the police are
there. They are just laughing at the law and this is happening up and down the country."
The Blencathra hunts on
foot on fells around Keswick. Its kennels are at Threlkeld. Secretary Bob Fell said that a minibus of anti-hunt campaigners
from Northampton turned up at Blencathra meets up to four times a year. But he could not recall the occasion in January 2009
mentioned in the internet post. He said: "Since the Hunting Act came into force, the Blencathra has tried to abide by
the law. There are occasions when accidents happen, when the hounds get away and we can't stop then, but we abide by the
law and the Hunting Act." He added: "These antis call themselves ‘hunt monitors', which is ridiculous.
They are antis and saboteurs. They cause problems, leading hounds to stray and being abusive to people."
Another Huntsman, also a JM, is arrested for racially abusing a sab
Tells police wanting
to speak to him that he is 'too busy'
A local vicar rides with Hunt, school head has worked closely with JM
note: POWA Hunting News page has a 'no censorship' policy. So the letters starred out in the Mail article are
14-1-12 Daily Mail Hunt master 'hurled race
abuse' at anti-blood sports protestors
Accused of shouting 'You are fucking going to get it, you bunch of blacks'
Arrested by police, despite calling the authorities to remove the demonstrators
A hunt master has been arrested
on suspicion of racially abusing an anti-blood sports protester. Lee Peters [right], 33, is said to have shouted
obscenities at protesters, and is accused of loudly referring to a black woman as ‘a fucking wog'. The father of one is believed to have called police to disperse the anti-hunting group. However when
they arrived, officers were informed of his alleged outburst and arrested him. Mr Peters is master of the
Ross Harriers hunt in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, where around a dozen protesters gathered in 4x4 vehicles at last Saturday's
Yesterday a friend of the black woman said Mr Peters was visibly angered by the protesters' arrival.
Sally James said: ‘When Lee Peters spotted us shortly before they set out, he looked absolutely furious. ‘He immediately
rode over to us and shouted, "You are fucking going to get it, you bunch of shits" [Nb. This may have been an
even more vulgar word]. He was banging the handle end of his whip against the windows of our vehicles. Then he spotted
a black woman in the back seat of one of the Land Rovers and shouted to the others he was with, "Oh my God, we've
got a fucking wog in the back here". The woman in question was clearly very upset by this and quite shocked, as
we all were.'
Miss James claimed that when police were told of the alleged remarks, they asked a rider to tell Mr
Peters they wanted to talk to him, but he sent back word that he was too busy and would contact them later. She went
on: ‘The officers couldn't believe what they'd heard and went off looking for him. They were zipping along the
lanes until they caught up with him and arrested him.' The police also stopped the hunt for the day.
Another witness said: ‘The man's behaviour was outrageous. It was almost impossible to believe that in this day
and age someone could be so unspeakably vile to another human being.'
HSA Press Release Huntsman Arrested for Racially Abusing Hunt Saboteur
Lee Peters, huntsman for the Ross Harriers, was arrested today for racially abusing a hunt saboteur who was present
to try and stop illegal hunting taking place. As the Harriers left their meet at Penny Farthing, Aston Crews, Mr. Peters shouted
racist remarks about a saboteur to other members of the hunt. Fortunately he was overheard by an independent witness who called
the police. The arrest comes just weeks after Alan Morgan, until last year huntsman to the Cotswold Vale Farmers Fox hunt,
pleaded guilty to racially abusing a hunt saboteur after an incident in late 2010. Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt
saboteurs association, stated: " Sadly it no longer surprises us at the depths members of the hunting community will
sink to. This kind of behaviour is, sadly, all to common and it is just fortunate that on this occasion there was an independent
witness. Hunt saboteurs are verbally and physically abused weekly by hunts but such behaviour only spurs us on in our efforts
to see an end to illegal hunting."
POWAPerson adds;- South Herefordshire and Ross Harriers [left], to give them their full name, hunt close
to the Welsh border near Ross-on-Wye. It is one of the few remaining packs to boast that fine English rural tradition,
a hunting vicar. Online hunting magazine 'The Master's Voice' [should be 'Vice', surely? Ed.] reported in March 2011 that the vicar of Weston-under-Penyard,
Neil Patterson, suggested the local primary school be invited to take part in a 'trail hunt' with the Ross Harriers.
Lee Peters and the headmaster, Brian Bird then arranged this, and 38 mounted children, and 40 on foot, participated.
One wonders, if Peters is convicted of the racial abuse for which he was arrested, what the attitude of the Church of England
and the local education authority will be to their vicar and head teacher respectively associating with him. Though, of course,
our established Church has always smiled indulgently on 'sport' involving the wilful infliction of suffering on defenceless
animals, and allowed hunting on most ecclesiastical land, its modern doctrine, at least, rather frowns on any manifestation
of racism, let alone one so extreme as that with which Mr. Peters is accused. Local education authorities tend to be a touch
intolerant of such behaviour too, so perhaps they'll have a word in the Headmaster's ear about maybe not taking the
kiddies out on any more animal-abuse inductions, at least not with this particular Huntsman.
claim Old Surrey/Ashford Valley FHs joint meet chased and killed fox
Paddock Wood Courier 13-1-12 Protestors claim fox was killed
by dogs on hunt near Paddock Wood TENSIONS between
anti-hunt protesters and hunt supporters have escalated following claims a fox was killed by hounds in Paddock Wood countryside
at the weekend. Protesters, keen to see if groups have been flouting the 2004 ban, said they were prevented from following
riders as they entered fields close to Pike Fish Lane. Prominent anti-hunting campaigner Dave Wetton [left] then
claimed hounds had been used to kill a fox during the meet on Saturday, organised from the nearby Upper Fowle Hall Farm. He
said: "The leading redcoats blocked the road to delay us monitors from following the hounds into the fields." Mr
Wetton and other monitors from the Hunt Saboteurs Association were attempting to observe a joint meet of the Old Surrey, Burstow
and West Kent Hunt and the Ashford Valley Hunt. As the horses and hounds headed towards fields near Collier Street he claimed
hounds were heard "baying" at around 1.30pm. "We believe they had found a fox, or at least a strong scent of
one. The baying went on for less than a minute before stopping," he said. "Scents can suddenly disappear but we
think they caught this one because the huntsman gave the standard single drawn-out blast on the horn, which signifies a kill."
Kent Police confirmed they were looking into allegations over dangerous driving and road blocking but said there was insufficient
evidence to investigate claims a fox had been killed by hounds. Both hunts refused to comment.....
Mr Wetton accused the hunt parties of using fox scent trails which he claimed endangered foxes near the hunt.
Female sab violently assaulted by Cottesmore FH supporter in Lincs, claim
4-1-12 HSA Press Release Female Hunt Saboteur
violently assaulted during illegal Foxhunt On New Years Eve, a female hunt saboteur was violently
assaulted by a supporter of the Cottesmore Foxhunt who were meeting at Gunby, Lincolnshire. The saboteur was on
her own when she saw the hunts hounds illegally chasing a fox. As she intervened she was thrown to the ground by a man who
then smashed her over the head with an aluminium bottle before pinning her down and pouring the bottle's contents over
her face. As other saboteurs came to her aid the cowardly attacker jumped in his vehicle and drove away. The attack was witnessed
by a young girl who was sitting in the attackers vehicle as well as other members of the hunt who stood and watched rather
than intervene and stop the attack. The police were called and are currently investigating the
attack. Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt saboteurs association, stated: " Such a cowardly
attack is what we have come to expect from the hunting community. They are cowardly in their illegal murder of wildlife and
they are cowardly when they attack those who try and stop them. This man only had the courage to attack a lone female but
fled as soon as her friends arrived. We hope Lincolnshire police do everything in their power to catch him.
Stories as below in reverse chronological order:-
..... 31st December - Pentrych FH hounds riot after fox in gardens near busy shopping
..... 31st December - Blackmore & Sparkford Vale FH cause
'mayhem' as hounds riot through village
..... 29th December - Fox
disembowelled by Devon hounds. Landowner & mystery man fight in vain to protect it
28th December - Surrey Union FH thugs lose it again as sabs say they filmed assaults
..... 27th December - Cottesmore terrierman to face
prosecution for hunting fox, failing to ensure cubs' welfare
..... 26th December - BBC News features POWA Associate anti-hunt film-maker and veteran sab, trouncing CA rep
26th December - Surrey Union FH supporter arrested after sab car rammed and missile fired at
..... 22nd December - Cumbria sabs save pussy cat from Blencathra
..... 21st December - N.Shropshire FH hounds chase
fox through Newport housing estate, run on to main road
..... 20th December - Motorist
couple find themselves suddenly in midst of'illegal' fox hunt in Leicestershire
..... 18th December
- Cotswold Vale Farmers Huntsman is fined for racially abusing a sab
16th December - Moppet's massacre by hunt hounds creates small media storm
14th December = Cattistock FH chased fox across A30, then blocked road causing tail-backs,
..... 13th December - N.Yorks Hunts savage pet cat to
death and take body away Owners devastated
..... 12th December - Family
watch in horror as Essex & Suffolk FH whip beats fox to death on their patio
..... 11th December - Redcoat whips sab on film amid reports of more supporter violence at Sussex hunt
8th December - Hunt thug violence video released after charges against Sheffield
..... 4th December - Scots hunt ban architect calls
for police probe as apparent abuses revealed
..... 1st December - Clip
seems to show Cheshire Forest FH redcoat's horse being abused with whip
Pentrych FH hounds riot after fox through gardens
near busy shopping centre
South Wales Echo Fox hunt's dogs terrify neighbours Hunting hounds left families terrified in their homes as they cornered a fox close to a busy South Wales shopping centre at the weekend. More than a dozen dogs from
the Pentyrch Hunt [right] chased the fox thorough gardens in Talbot Green before escaping back into the countryside.
Startled residents in Maes-y-Rhedyn [left] said the dogs tried to get into their houses - and then jumped over garden walls into a busy main road. Housewife Gillian Webber
said: "I was in the kitchen and I heard someone shout out to the hounds ‘get back'. I said to my son, ‘the
hounds are out of control', but was only joking. Then, to my horror, I realised it was true. The dogs were in my garden.
The hounds then ran riot."
POWAPerson says:- Thanks to former huntsman turned anti Clifford
Pellow for alerting us to this incident. Looks like nobody actually reported it to the authorities, so the Pentrych didn't
have to give any account of themselves. But we know what the explanation would have been, don't we? 'Trail hunting'
blah blah... hounds stumbled across a fox... blah blah ... couldn't call them off.... blah blah.... accident. Left
is a map, with Maes-y-Rhedyn, in the S.Wales town of Llantrisant, in the top left quadrant. Doesn't really look like ideal
fox hunting country to me. All those traffic fumes and cooking smells must wreak havoc with the scenting conditions.
'Mayhem' as Blackmore &
Sparkford Vale FH hounds riot through village after fox
Blackmore Vale Magazine 6-1-12 Hunt says sorry for Marnhull hullaballoo
A HUNT master has apologised to villagers after hounds broke away from their trail scent route and chased through Marnhull [left] after a fox. Michael Felton, joint master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt [below right]
, said he was sorry if the hounds had upset residents by the New Year's Eve incident. His apology followed a complaint
made by a villager who claimed the hounds had caused alarm as they ran through residential roads off Burton Street. The villager,
who does not want to be identified, said: "A lot of people were really upset and anxious. The hounds were running through
gardens and trying to scale fences. They were not under control and just rampaged through there. There weren't many riders
but there were followers on quad bikes. It was mayhem for about half an hour." The villager said people had been anxious
about their pets' safety. Some hounds had been seen running through a field of sheep. Another resident described the incident as chaotic and noisy.
Mr Felton said: "We got slightly out of where we intended
to be. "The hounds follow a trail but it seems they picked up the scent of a fox and went after it. There are occasions
when foxes jump up and the hounds switch. Hunt staff know if that happens they must stop the hounds at once and get them back
on to the trail." Mr Felton said he was too far behind the hounds to witness the incident but understood three hunt staff
were present and called the hounds away as quickly as possible. He added: "I apologise without reservation if anybody
has been upset by it and we would, of course, make reparation if there has been any damage. This sort of thing happens very
rarely but I can understand all the hullaballoo would make people jumpy and I am sorry."
hunt had set out from Yenston with approximately 80 riders plus people on quadbikes and in vehicles. Mr Felton said far fewer
riders were with the 35 hounds as they reached Marnhull. He said he had not heard of any damage caused nor a fox being seen
in Marnhull. A spokesman for Dorset Police said they had gone to Marnhull after receiving a call from a member of the public.
No offences had been committed.
POWAPerson says:- Yet another 'accident' while 'trail hunting'.
There cannot be many, if any, fox hounds still hunting that were active before the Act. Hunts have had seven years to train
their hounds not to hunt foxes, yet strangely they riot on to them time and time again. And isn't it strange that, almost
regardless of what Hunts do, police all over the country are nearly always quick to conclude that 'no offences have been
committed.' - unless its racism, of course. At least something seems to trump social deference,
or whatever it is that normally inhibits them.
INVADING HOUNDS SAVAGE FOX IN DEVON. LANDOWNER & PASSER-BY
FIGHT VAINLY TO PROTECT HORRIBLY INJURED ANIMAL
Hounds Off Press release Mystery man who wrestled with hunting hounds in 'nightmare'
incident remains unidentified Sidmouth
resident Miss Cilla Lynch found herself in the middle of a pack of hunting hounds as she tried to save a fox on Boxing Day.
The incident happened adjacent to the A35 near Shute, Axminster in Devon, on land which has been owned by Miss Lynch's
family for 25 years, and has been reported to the local police. Foxhunting with hounds has been illegal since 2005. As
dusk approached, shortly after 4pm Miss Lynch was in her field with her father and three dogs. She could hear horsemen on
the road and the sounds of a hunting horn, which she described as a "commotion". Some hounds came in to her field
and, in the instant that she opened a gate to let them out, a fox came through a hedge with a pack of hounds almost on top of it. Miss Lynch shouted at the hounds and wrestled them to get them off the fox. Then a passer-by, who had
stopped his car and got out, pushed his way through the hedge on his hands and knees.
Lynch said, "He waded in amongst the hounds and fought them off before crouching over the frightened animal to save it
from being ripped to pieces." There was a lot of yelling then horsemen
called their hounds away. The fox [left] had been fatally wounded and could not be saved. Miss Lynch added, "You see these things on telly but to see it actually in real life so close it's
dreadful. I told the people on horseback and their followers to clear off so they couldn't cut the head and tail off for
trophies, but I feel terrible." Miss Lynch, who remains in a state of shock
and described the episode as "a nightmare", would love to find and thank the man who "appeared from nowhere"
and helped her to protect the fox. Miss Lynch described him as "a very nice man" and "a hero". She
said everything happened so fast that she didn't even have a chance to find out his name but recalls that waiting for
him at the roadside was two woman and another man.
The Axe Vale Hunt is known to operate
in that area. Their Chairman is Mr C.R. Williams from Whitwell near Colyford. He claimed not to have been hunting on Boxing
Day but said, "I expect that probably a fox jumped up and the hounds couldn't be stopped. We use a false scent but
if a fox jumps up their smell is a lot better and they (the hounds) follow that." Mr
Williams said "I don't know" when asked what the Axe Vale Hunt used as an alternative scent to live fox
but observed that stopping a pack of hunting hounds was very difficult without being able to actually get in front of them.
A spokesman for the advisory group Hounds Off, which supports people who suffer from hunt trespass, said that they were aware of what happened and working with Miss Lynch
to ensure that it is not repeated in the future.
The UK Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said, "I am shocked to hear of yet another hunt that has let their dogs run amok and kill a fox. It's
important that the police investigate this case thoroughly as no one should be above the law. This horrific incident was clearly
distressing for those who witnessed it and our sympathies go out to them."
The Sun 31-12-11 Fox dogs fought off AN
animal lover fought off a hunt's pack of hounds to stop them ripping a fox to pieces. He then crouched over the wounded
animal to protect it as huntsmen recalled the ten dogs - but the fox died 20 minutes later. Priscilla Lynch, 52, saw the bloody
scene on her land in Shute. Devon. She said: "I kicked at the dogs then a passer-by wrestled them off. I don't know
how he wasn't bitten. It was just awfu!." Priscilla has reported the hunt to police for allowing dogs to kill foxes
- illegal since 2005. A hunt spokesman said they would co-operate with the police probe.
Sunday Independent 1-1-12 Woman tells of fox killed by hunt
POLICE are investigating a hunt after a landowner reported that a pack of hounds had killed a fox in
her field. Priscilla Lynch, 52, said she and a passer-by had tried to save the fox from ten dogs. Police confirmed they were
aware of an incident at Shute, near, Axminster, East Devon, and had begun an in-vestigation into the conduct of the Axe Vale
Hunt. Foxhunting with hounds has been illegal since 2005.
Miss Lynch said of the incident: 'I am an animal lover
and this was just awful. think they are breaking the law, that is why I reported it to the police? Devon and Cornwall Police
confirmed that they had received a complaint from Miss Lynch and were set to interview her. The Axe Vale Hunt confirmed they
had gathered for a most on Boxing Day and had been in the Shute area. Hunt spokeswoman Sally Maynerd said she had not seen
any incident bit the hunt would co. operate with any police investigation. She said "We were legally hunting on Boxing
Surrey Union FH terriermen and supporter assaults caught on film, say
Landy-ramming supporter from Boxing Day arrested again
and car impounded
Facebook - Sabin Guldford 28-12-11 ...
back from another successful, interesting and violent day at the Surrey Union foxhunt at Newdigate [below].
After the violence of Boxing Day we were joined by the Croydon and Hastings group whose presence was most welcome. The day started well when the [gentleman] that rammed
our Landy and fired a catapult at us turned up again giving us some verbal. He refused to stop for the police
was promptly chased by the police who arrested him for having no insurance and failure to stop and had his vehicle impounded......
the Hunt were aggressive and [irritated] from the start (we must be getting to
them), saying we were on private property even when we were on a footpath. The terriermen and supporters then attacked the sabs [seen right, reporting the assaults]. We had a least
5 videos running all of which show our people being attacked and punched by the terriermen. We will be supplying
videos to the police of these known terriermen and arrests will hopefully follow The
police then pressed the panic button and at least 10 police vehicles turned up (didn't give us any grief). The Hunt can't
be happy that the whole area looked like a war zone and it must put landowners off from hosting meets. The sabbing was good we were on the hunt most of time only lost them for about half an hour and they
spent most of their time avoiding us rather than hunting, which was a result. Photos to follow as usual (videos will have to wait until we show them to the police).
Cottesmore terrierman to face prosecution for hunting fox, failing to ensure
27-12-11 Spalding Guardian RSPCA fox welfare case adjourned
AN RSPCA prosecution in which two men are accused of hunting a wild fox with a dog and failing to ensure animal welfare by
confining a fox in a barrel will go ahead at Spalding Magistrates’ Court next year. John Bycroft, 66, of Weston
Hills Road, Low Fulney, and Jamie Round (24), of Washway Road, Holbeach, deny the charges which arise from an incident in
the vicinity of Fen Road, Holbeach, on April 24 this year. Bycroft denies three further charges of aiding a person unknown
in the vicinty of Spalding to fail to ensure the needs of an animal were met. These cases relate to the following day and
the alleged abandoning of different numbers of fox cubs – seven, six and five – in a sack without adequate ventilation
and light. Neither man was present in court yesterday when solicitor Rachel Stevens entered not guilty pleas on their behalf.
The hearing was adjourned to January 18 for a trial date to be set.
knows nothing about the younger man, but John Bycroft is the father of two professional Huntsmen. Mark, who has a conviction
for assault on a sab is with the Surrey & Old Burstow FH, while Nick is in charge of the notorious Crawley & Horsham's
pack. John is, or was, a terrierman with the Cottesmore, Union of Country Sports Workers and, according to the Leicester
Mercury [see below] was a 'Real Countryside Alliance' activist. The circumstances leading to his present prosecution
are unclear and they may or may not be related to charges of armed trespass which were dismissed a little earlier in the month
19-12-11 Spalding Guardian Gun
at care home charges are dismissed Low Fulney man John Bycroft has had two charges of trespass
with firearms dismissed. Bycroft (66), of Weston Hills Road, pleaded not guilty to trespass with a shotgun at a children’s
care home in Holbeach, The Three Chestnuts, on April 25 this year. He also denied trespass at the same place on the same date
with a slaughtering pistol. The cases went to trial at Spalding Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and were dismissed after
defence solicitor Rachel Stevens made a submission there was no case to answer.
15.9.03 Leicester Mercury COUNTRY STRIFE - They are the rural radicals vowing to bring civil disorder to Britain. Lee Marlow meets a huntsman turned Real CA
activist. Wherever John Bycroft goes in his big, bad-boy pick-up truck, people pip their horns and wave. "Good on yer
mate," they shout, and stick their thumbs up and smile… John was born in Ashby, chases foxes with the Cottesmore
Hunt and grew lettuces in a greenhouse the size of a football pitch in Lincolnshire before selling up five years ago....
BBC News features POWA's anti-hunt film-maker and a veteran sab, trouncing
fairly extensive and, for a change well-balanced, coverage of Boxing Day hunting featured the meet of the notorious Warwickshire
FH [left] at a National Trust property near Banbury, Upton House [right]. First interviewed was an aged female rider who decried the Hunting Act but said they were having 'lovely fun'
trail-hunting within the law While waiting for repeal, and trotted out the standard CA li[n]e about them enjoying
more support than ever. Then a local farrier was interviewed, claim who claimed that his trade had been hit by the decline
in hunting. [Some confusion here?! Ed.]
Early bulletins featured Denise Ward,
producer of 'Minority Pastime' [below right] talking about her disturbing experience of investigating organised hunting post-ban. She said she thought about 85% of Hunts were still chasing and killing wild
We later saw a debate between veteran anti-hunt activist and sab Michael Haines and Tracy Casstles, National Director of
the CA [below right, Mick is the pretty one]. He talked with passion and knowledge, strongly asserting
his repeated personal witnessing of hunts breaking the law, attacking activists and stealing their cameras. Tracy
was stilted, parroting stock pro-hunt propaganda sound-bites. She got into particular difficulty after complaining
that monitors film children who are out hunting. Mick retorted that a favourite hunter tactic is to call the kids in
front of the cameras, then accuse monitors of being 'paedopholies'. But they are the animal abusers and [as scientific studies have shown] animal
abusers are often more than ready to abuse humans too.
Joint Master Michael Spencer later denied they were breaking the
law and said their activities were open for everyone to see - but one wonders, if that is so, why this Hunt has seemed even
more aggressive than most towards monitors. Denise, who'd accompanied Mick to the Warwickshire meet, later posted on Facebook of feeling indimidated by the mass of hunters - and
of how they were menaced and harangued by Hunt terrier men;-
As some people have seen AMP was mentioned both on BBC Breakfast and on the national news yesterday. I was at the
Boxing Day meet reported on BBC news and was interviewed - it was quite an intimidating experience isolated in the country
with a huge hunting crowd, and I was given 'friendly' advice by the hunt master that we 'slip away quietly'
after the filmed interview - good avice it seems as the terrier man quad bike which was behind the scenes came and parked
right up against our car as we sat quietly out of sight waiting to be able to leave, and a young terrier man ranted and raved
at the car window telling us we weren't alllowed to be there (on National Trust property). There was no way out through
the meet itself so someone had to let us out of a back entrance.
Union FH follower arrested after sab car rammed and missile fired at it
Facebook Sabin Guildford 26-12-11 A
great ( if violent day ) at the Surrey Union foxhunt [left] at Oakwood Hill.... The sabbing
was very good we got two foxes away thanks to the skill of our foot sabs, but the main story of the day was when a hunt supporter in a Shogun rammed our Land Rover from behind and shunted us
ten yards up the road. When we chased after him.... to get his number plate the hunt supporter fired a catapult at us, hitting
our Land Rover and narrowly missing our driver (all of which was captured on video). The hunt supporter was then chased by
police and arrested [right], and we carried on sabbing and later gave statements of the attack at Reigate police
HSA PR 26-12-11 Surrey Union press release
Another day of hunting on Boxing Day, no doubt the Countryside Alliance will paint a picture of thousands of people enjoying a picturesque day in the beautiful English
countryside, hoping to ignore the hidden truth. The hunting community is in its death throes, it wants to be allowed to kill
animals with impunity once more, and as this possibility becomes more and more distant the hunters get more desperate. The
Surrey Union no doubt sees itself as one of the more prestigious hunts located as its territory is, in the home counties.
This Boxing Day it met at the Punch Bowl, Oakwood Hill, Surrey. As usual the local hunt sabs were in attendance keeping an
eye on any illegal hunting. Towards the end of the day a 4WD vehicle rammed the saboteurs Land Rover from behind and proceeded
to shunt it about ten yards down the road, while another hunt vehicle tried to block them in from the front. Managing to extract
themselves from this incident the police were called, but the attacking vehicle was kept under observation to assist the police,
the driver then pulled out a catapult and fired at the vehicle hitting close to the drivers door. The police duly arrived
and a man has been arrested and charges are expected shortly.
showing errant Blencathra hounds hunting a cat released
22-12-11 POWA today received
a short clip clearly showing what Cumbria sabs say are hounds from the Blencathra Hunt trying to catch a pussy cat [left]. The
voices are those of hunt sabs. The horn was used by them to successfully distract the hounds away from the cat, which
escaped. They say the Blencathra Huntsman, Barry Todhunter, was half a mile away, alone, and the pack he was supposed to be
controlling were scattered far and wide. The footage was shot between Penrith and Keswick. Cumbria Sabs have posted
Facebook 22-12 Cumbria hunt sabs dropped in at the
Twa Dogs Inn coffee-morning of the Blencathra foxhounds on Tuesday. Three sabs arrived at Twa Dogs Inn around 10am, prompting
hunt support to jump in their vehicles and scatter off.... The next hour or so was spent searching all likely bolt-holes
for the pack, and our determination paid off just
after noon.... the sabs decided to split up, two going it on foot, the other remaining with the vehicle to stop it being
damaged..... The two sabs on foot worked their way to the old railway line, just off Mosedale viaduct, and managed to
position themselves just in front of oncoming hounds. Within seconds they, in full cry, were upon the sabs and it was only
quick intervention which stopped the hounds catching and killing what they were onto, a cat! Some timely horn calls raised
their heads for a few precious seconds, giving the terrified moggy enough time to make good its escape, and allow the sabs
to quickly spray the area! The whole incident was also captured on video, and this footage is being made the most of.... The next hour was spent trying to catch up with
Barry [Todhunter, the Huntsman], who by now was desperately trying to call the hounds back in. As the sabs on foot got closer
to him it was apparent he'd totally lost control of his pack..... By 2 o'clock the hunt was over.... A good day for Cumbria hunt
sabs, a very good day for the poor cat, and
some valuable video footage captured, sorted! :)
N.Shropshire FH hounds chase fox into housing estate, run on to major road
Shropshire Star 21-12-11 Hounds in
Newport housing estate rampage Thirty hounds went rampaging along the A41 and a Newport housing
estate after a huntsman lost control of the dogs. Organisers from the North Shropshire Hunt [left] said they were at a loss as to why the hounds ran off on Saturday. The dogs ran
across gardens belonging to residents of Deer Park Drive [right] before scampering onto the A41. Andy Wheals,
who was leading the hunt, said: "I would like to profoundly apologise to any residents and anyone driving along the A41.
I'm just so pleased that neither a person nor a dog was hurt. "We were out trail hunting around Edgmond late Saturday
morning when we lost the hounds. It was a freak accident and won't happen again." One resident, who didn't want
to be named, said: "Two of my neighbours saw the hounds running up Deer Park Drive chasing after a fox. It was horrible
to see." Chris Ammonds, spokesman
for West Mercia Police, said they attended the incident within 10 minutes of receiving a call at 12.20pm from worried residents.
POWAPerson:- 'Freak accident' while 'Trail Hunting', eh? Ah well, can't be helped then. In a further
development a squadron of flying pigs has also been seen circling over the town.
Motorist couple drive into midst of fox hunt nightmare. Police
Mail 20-11-12 Police investigate illegal hunt claims CLAIMS an illegal fox hunt was taking place in the Harborough district are being investigated by police. Officers
are looking into a report of illegal hunting activity dating from November 26 in Shearsby where a fox was allegedly seen being
harmed. A witness to the alleged breach of the Hunting Act said she was appalled by what she and her husband saw. Driving
past, she said they had to brake when they saw a fox being chased across the road in front of them by around 30 hunters, all
wearing black. The woman said there were hounds with blood on them and a number of 4x4 vehicles following the hunt. She added:
"We didn't see the kill. We drove off but my husband said ‘you shouldn't be doing that' to one of them
but the hunter just turned away. We live in the middle of the countryside but it is against the law and they shouldn't
be getting away with it." .... No arrests have yet been made, a police spokesman said.
POWAPerson says: It is absurd and offensive that nearly seven years after the Hunting Act wild animals
should still be regularly subject to this ruthless persecution for 'sport' or that passers-by should have to risk
running into the vile business and the vile, arrogant people who indulge in it. Although in their 'country', it may
not, of course, have been the Fernie. But they do have 'form' for illegal hunting, though they tried to wriggle out
of their Huntsman and terrierman's convictions with what the Judge scathingly described as 'cynical subterfuge'.
Cotswold Huntsman Alan Morgan
convicted of racial abuse of sab
18-12-11 POWA has today been informed that,
following incidents at a meet in February and complaints to the police, the Huntsman of the Cotswold Vale Farmers FH has pleaded
guilty to racially abusing a sab, fined £100 and ordered to pay £200 compensation to his victim. As Morgan's
offence was, apparently, fully captured on video, a guilty plea was probably wise. He becomes the 296th individual
connected with an organised Hunt in the UK who POWA records show as having received a criminal conviction or caution in
the last 20 years, and the 39th official Huntsman to receive such legal sanctions.
says:- Sabs have made numerous reports, and complaints to police, of assaults by servants and/or supporters of this
Hunt. I believe the racial abuse incident was at the same meet, on 26-2-11, when they made allegations of a mob-handed
and prolonged attack on several sabs, resulting in some injuries, and which they claimed was both instigated, and participated
in, by Mr. Morgan. The full text of the sabs' report can be read here. Since then, in March police arrived in force at the Hunt's behest, arrrested several sabs for, the
activists say, no good reason and then red-facedly had to drop the charges. In October a CVFFH hound was killed by a lorry
when the pack ran out on to an A road, with hunters and sabs blaming one another. A week later, monitors filmed the Hunt all over another road for several minutes, causing traffic chaos. Pictured right, A CVFFH hunter berates sabs in that calm
and polite way they have. The horse seems resigned to listening to it yet again.
Cattistock chased fox on to A30, blocked
road, held 'procession' on it, say monitors
14-12-11 The following account has been sent by Helen Weeks, POWA Associate, to the press, police
and her MP.
On the 8th December, the Cattistock Hunt [left] met in Hardington Mandeville. I went to the meet to tell the
Joint Master/Huntsman Will Briars to stay away from where I live near Coker Hill because there were foxes in this area. Mr.
Briars turned his back on me as I spoke to him. I was polite. My fellow monitor and I were told to leave (or the police would be called), which we did. An hour later,
at mid-day, the full pack of hounds chased a fox across the fields below Coker Hill on to and across the busy main A30 to
Crewkerne ending up scattered all over the place on the other side of East Chinnock. Three quad bikes, the professional huntsman,
the whipper-in, Lady Charlotte Townsend [left], a guest Lord in a tweed coat, several visiting red coats and the rest of the riders came thundering past us in a dangerous manner (we were on
foot on the narrow public bridge which crosses the A30), while their supporters in 4x4s rushed down the Coker Hill slip road
and on to the A30. The hunters did not have a clue where the hounds were. Half an hour later,
most of the hounds were rounded up and led down Chinnock Hollow and the whole hunt formed a procession, over both lanes of
the A30 [right, above & below], through the whole length of East Chinnock. Hunt quad bikes held back the traffic.
A furious police officer turned up in response to angry phone calls from motorists, but unfortunately, not furious enough
to look for the hunters who were carrying on hunting in the area. So concerned were we that only luck prevented a serious accident, my fellow monitor Graham Forsyth visited our MP, David Laws
in his surgery two days later. Mr Laws's response was that police were short of resources.
It was a miracle that no one was injured that day with an out of control, pack of hounds, suddenly and unexpectedly running
onto a busy main road. If there had been a pile-up with people injured or killed - then the police would have had to find
the ‘resources'. I think it is scandalous that these fox hunters are flouting the law and endangering human lives,
and no one does anything about it. When I told some hunters that the police were looking for them, they just smiled and thanked
me in a sarcastic way.. These arrogant people just do not care - little wonder when we have a fox hunter for Prime Minister
and Minister Nick Herbert, another hunter, in charge of policing.
& Staintondale FHs' hounds kill pet cat, hunter steals body
Scarborough Evening News 13-12-11 Hunt
dogs savage family pet A COUPLE have been devastated after dozens of hunting party hounds savaged
and killed their family pet. Elderly tabby Moppet [left, relaxing at home, right, dead], aged 18, was outside her
home in Stoupe Brow, near Ravenscar, when 27 hunting dogs bounded onto land belonging to her owners Les and Margaret Atkinson. The dogs brutally attacked the cat before a huntsman picked up a lifeless and bloodied Moppet and rode
away. Hours later members of the hunt, which was a joint expedition between Staintondale and Goathland parties held earlier
this month, were confronted by the Atkinsons - and it was admitted that Moppet had been killed. Moppet's body was returned
to the Atkinsons by members of the hunt two days after she was killed and she has now been buried. A younger cat belonging
to the Atkinsons, George, escaped the dogs by hiding in a stable.
said: "We just heard a commotion outside and saw the hounds and a huntsman off his horse. He just kept saying ‘I'm
sorry.' Then he got back on his horse and he rode off." The couple then searched in vain for Moppet, with splashes
of blood on the ground being the only trace of their beloved pet. When two huntsmen passed a few hours later, the Atkinsons [right] asked
whether they knew what had happened. Mrs Atkinson said: "I just said I think your hounds have killed my cat.
They went to find out and came back. They said the dogs had killed her but that it had been an accident." She added:
"It was horrific. She didn't stand a chance. She was an old lady and it was not the way for an innocent animal to
meet her end. I can't bear the thought that in her last few moments she was in terror. She didn't deserve to die like
that. Moppet was a big part of the family. We bought her the year my daughter went to secondary school. She's a 30-year-old
teacher now and is married. She was devastated when we told her." Mr
Atkinson said: "To be honest, we've spent a lot of time crying. She would curl up on our knees every night and would
wake us up in the morning. I'm retired, so I would spend hours talking to her. I had to take photos of her for the police
which was a bit harrowing. You could see the bite marks."
Members of the hunt are allowed to pass through a bridle track on the Atkinsons' land legally. In future the couple, who have eight grandchildren,
will be given advance warnings of any hunts. Jean Clemmit
[left], Staintondale hunt master, said: "I wasn't there at the time, but as soon as I was aware of the incident
I went to see the Atkinsons. "It's very regrettable and is upsetting for everybody but we can't undo what has
happened. I haven't been involved in anything like this before. We will take preventative measures." She claimed
that the cat's death would have been reported to the Atkinsons and the body returned - even if the couple had not been
aware of the incident.
Bill Dobson, chairman of the Goathland hunt, also said that Moppet's death had been "regrettable".
He added: "We always try to control the hounds and normally they are very well behaved." Scarborough RSPCA officer
Geoff Edmond said he was "very concerned" after learning of the incident. He added: "Obviously, this would
have been very distressing for the cat and her owners." The incident was reported to the police and although they investigated
the matter a spokesperson said yesterday that no further action will be taken.
The Daily Mail ran a feature on this incident on 14-12-11. It included the pic of Moppet's corpse [above right] and
of the bag in which the Hunt returned her. In what is either a crass piece of insensitivity or a premeditated insult they used
a DOG food bag.. As the Atkinsons say they have not actually received an apology, perhaps we should presume it was the latter.
The Hunt Chairman just saying it was 'regrettable' and apparently trying to shift the blame to the cat by saying
it was only attacked by their hounds because it 'panicked and ran away' was also hardly likely to bring comfort to
the bereaved couple.
Lack of normal human empathy or shame, often outright callousness, and attempts to evade responsibility
are regrettably typical of Hunts when they invade others' property and cause distress to residents and terror to their
animals. The chasing and sometimes savaging and even killing of pets or livestock by their out-of-control dogs seems
to be just an occupational hazard to them.
"It was totally and utterly barbaric and shocking."
says 'not anti-hunt' resident as Essex&Suffolk FH invade his garden as family relaxing there
Whip beats savaged
fox to death on patio just feet from shocked residents
Daily Mail 12-12-11 CLUBBED TO DEATH ON A PATIO: Family claim they watched 'barbaric'
huntsman kill fox in neighbour's garden A family watched in horror as a hunt killed
a fox on their patio after the hounds went wildly off course. Mick Heath [left], 53, was at home with his wife Jane, 61, in
Bradfield, Essex when 40 hunting hounds burst into his elderly neighbours' garden as they chased down a fox. The graphic designer, along with a friend and his teenage son, claim a member of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt strolled
across the patio and clubbed the fox to death just feet from where they were watching. Although the hunt group say the fox
was killed by the hounds Mr Heath is adamant the animal was clubbed to death. The RSPCA have been informed of the attack and
are now understood to investigating whether an offence took place.
Mr Heath, who is not opposed to hunting, said 'It
was totally and utterly barbaric and shocking. 'We were at home having a nice, normal weekend when we heard the commotion
- voices, horns and the noise of the hounds and they were so close that I threw my three cocker spaniels indoors. The fox
had gone to ground at the end of our neighbours' garden. The hounds piled in and suddenly the whipmaster of the hunt walked
across the patio [still blood stained, right] and clubbed the fox to death in front of us. 'My friend Joe, who is an outdoorsy chap who knows the ways of the countryside, turned to him and said "you ba**ard".
It is thought that the hunt was using the hounds to try to flush out smaller animals and then use the hawk to make a kill
- which is legal under the terms of the Hunting Act. Mr Heath has
accused the hunt of not being in control of the pack of hounds. He said: 'All 40 hounds were in the back garden in a tiny
area - it was a disgrace and it was so inhumane. 'I am certainly not anti-hunt, I have taken my grandchildren to the farm
to watch as it is a wonderful spectacle and I have nothing against what they do. Mrs Heath, a business administrator,
added: 'It was horrific and it was absolutely ghastly.
'Animal rights group PETA has slammed the hunt. A spokeswoman said: 'Whether the fox was clubbed to death or ripped apart by dogs, the animals horrific death was
the result of a barbaric pastime has no place in a modern, ethical society. It takes a small person to enjoy traumatising,
hurting, and killing animals.'
The Essex and Suffolk Hunt [left] has denied that the fox was clubbed to
death. James Buckle [below right], a senior huntsman, said: 'It was a horrible situation where we virtually had
to watch and could not intervene. 'The fox was killed by the dogs - there is no way that the hounds would do half a job.
I can see how it would have looked like that to a bystander and the would have been horrendous. The huntmaster was whipping
the pack to get the dead fox from them. We have apologised to the owner of the garden and they have accepted the apology. 'There
is no way that a pack of hounds would have been on that fox and not killed it. It could have easily looked like he was hitting
the fox but he would have been moving the hounds off it - it must have been quite a shock to see. It is like giving your dog
a bone and then trying to take it back..... he would have been quite tough with the hounds. They should not have been in the
garden in the first place - the whole thing was incredibly unfortunate.'
Lawrie Payne, national secretary for the
League Against Cruel Sports, said: 'Hunts up and down the country are going out with these birds with no intention of
of using them. 'It is done to allow them to carry on their sport without, supposedly, breaking the law. 'There are
very few birds which are able to take on an animal as large as a fox - it is a joke and what they are doing is cock a hooting
at the law and making a total and utter mockery of it. An Essex Police spokesman said: 'They were hunting with a bird
of prey and the pack accidentally picked up on the scent of a fox which attracted the hounds. The hunt mistress was spoken
to by police. Officers have also spoken to to the owners who are satisfied with police action - there was no offence committed
on the hunt, which was legal.'
was was also covered by the Telegraph, London Evening Standard and Daily Mirror, but those articles are shorter
and add nothing.
POWAPerson says:- This is one of the worst public outrages [most of their cruelty goes
unseen] perpetrated by a Hunt since the supposed ban in 2005, though it is by no means unique. It is wrong on so many levels
it's hard to know where to start.
The Falconry Exemption [Hunting Act 2004, Schedule 1, Part 6] is the element
of the legislation behind which the Essex & Suffolk Hunt are sheltering in this case. Whilst POWA objected
strongly to the number and laxity of the loopholes being afforded to Hunts while the Bill was being enacted, it appeared even
then that the Falconry Exemption was the likeliest to give them scope to carry on hunting live quarry much as before, but
be able to pretend they were acting within the law. Given that 50-60,000 hunters had, it was claimed, already signed a public
declaration that they would not obey a ban, that seemed like handing a flame thrower to a pyromaniac. Other animal
welfare groups, and UK falconry's main governing body, the Hawk Board, also objected. There was no real reason to
include this exemption, it being totally unnecessary to permit free-running dogs to be used to flush quarry to birds of prey.
What was worse, unlike most other exemptions, Part 6 allowed ANY quarry to be 'flushed' by ANY NUMBER
of dogs ANYWHERE they had landowner permission - and it failed to specify exactly what 'flushing' was, or
for how long a wild mammal could be chased by hounds during it.
It was immediately obvious that
Hunts would drive a coach and horses through the spirit, probably also the letter, of the law with this gift - and they have
done so. Yet, mysteriously, the exemption survived the scrutiny process intact. Tony Blair has since, in
his memoirs, boasted that he had 'sabotaged' the Hunting Act and said he'd told his Policing Minister not
to enforce it. One does not have to be a conspiracy theorist to seriously wonder if this exemption was specifically designed
for the Hunts' benefit. Since the Act, monitors and sabs have reported seeing many Hunts carrying birds of
prey round with them [often bumped about in tiny containers all afternoon] but not a single report of a bird of prey actually
being used by a Hunt is known to POWA. In any case, the birds in question, mostly eagle owls or Harris hawks, would scarcely
be willing or able to tackle prey as large, and dangerous to them, as a fox. If they tried, the likely outcome would
be a protracted fight with both seriously injured, and the bird would seem likeliest to be killed.
truth is that the Exemption is being used by many fox Hunts simply as a fig-leaf to disguise illegal hunting and to provide
a fallback excuse if they are seen chasing foxes with a pack. Hare hunts don't need the exemption, because they
simply [and equally absurdly] can just pretend they were hunting rabbits, which remained legal. Despite
its ridiculous misuse, though, police and CPS have so far singularly failed to challenge any Hunt relying on the Falconry
Exemption. Should either of these pieces of 'cynical subterfuge' look likely to fail, though, Hunts have
a second line of defence - they will simply claim they were 'trail hunting', the dogs picked up a scent and they couldn't
get them back. It was an 'accident' and so not illegal hunting. Lax wording in the Act itself allows Hunts usually
to get away with this defence - though genuine drag hunts never seem to sufffer these kind of 'mishaps'.
To what happened at Bradfield on 10-12-11. Whether the Essex & Suffolk FH were wilfully breaking the law or whether
they were just being reckless in how they hunted, this sort of incident was an 'accident' waiting to happen. Only
last year, residents of Bildeston reported seeing hounds of this Hunt chasing a fox through the village, with riders and supporters
following after [Ipswich Evening Star 26-3-10], but there have been many instances of such 'havoc' with the Hunts
bringing trauma and, often, death, on to the doorsteps of the public, since the Act was passed.
It is understandable,
for the reasons outlined above, if the Essex police felt unable to press a Hunting Act charge in this case. It is less comprehensible
that they appear to have decided against any of a multitude of possible other criminal charges. Off the top of his head, POWAPerson
[a former criminologist] can think of at least five candidates which, if the main witness was reported correctly and assuming
he'd be backed by his family and friend who were present, might well 'fly': 1/ S5 Public Order Act [causing
fear, alarm, distress, etc] , 2/ Wild Mammals Protection Act offence [beating a wild mammal is amongst its prohibitions.
Unlike the feeble Hunting Act, the WMPA carries a potential prison sentence for offenders], 3/ Agravated trespass [trespaasing
and disrupting a lawful acyivity], 4/ Criminal Damage, 5/ Theft [as the fox was killed on Mr.Heath's land, the corpse
became his property and the Hunt removed it without permission].
There may be prevailing reasons why police could
not proceed with some of these, but I think most people will be really shocked that they seem content with letting the Hunt
get away with this outrageous and callous behaviour. Obviously, the fact that the Hunt's Senior Master was High Sheriff
of Suffolk [a royal appointment] until last year would have nothing to do with their decision-making though.
In the experience of POWA and other anti-bloodsports campaigners, Hunts simply do not care who they inconvenience, scare
or cause expense or give grief to, so long as they have their perverse 'sport'. They will continue to chase and
kill wild animals with dogs, continue to put other people's pets, livestock and feelings at jeopardy, continue to
endanger users of road and rail, continue to threaten and attack people who try to disrupt or record their wrongdoing, until
the Hunting Act is strengthened so significantly that it becomes much easier to enforce/prosecute/convict and much
more of a deterrent.
POWA extends its sympathy to Mr.Heath, his family and friend who were forced to witness this
atrocity at close range, and to their, we understand, elderly neighbours, whose garden was invaded also. We would refer
all of them and other residents to the 'Hounds Off' website, or to that of the League Against Cruel Sports, where free advice about how to try to make your property/neighbourhood
a 'HuntFree Zone' can be found.
filmed whipping sab as more Southdown/Eridge FH supporter violence reported
HSA Press Release 11-12-11
Violence and intimidation in a national park On Saturday 10th December, over 50 hunt saboteurs attended the meet of the South Down & Eridge fox hunt at Old Erringham Farm, north of
Shoreham. This Hunt has been increasingly violent to any anti-hunt people during the season and the last time they were attended
a catapult was used to fire missiles at people, injuring one female hunt saboteur. Right from the start the hunt tried to
run from any observation and one red coat used his whip to attempt to strike people. Although the hunt was kept in close observation
during the day only one attempt to make a false scent was observed, the rest of the day they seemed to be hunting illegally.
Towards the end of the day hunt supporters drove quad bikes at hunt saboteurs, blocked access onto to public access land,
punched people and finally attempted to gain access to force their way into a vehicle punching anyone who tried to resist.
These are not isolated incidents, but a continuous campaign to prevent anyone observing the hunts activities, and trying to
make sure they stay within the bounds of the hunting act. If they are hunting legally why do they try to hide? The South Downs
is now a national park run by the South Downs National Park Authority, and it has to be questioned why they allow such activities
in the national park, when they will be liable for any incidents of illegal hunting?
right, shows redcoat about to strike the sab [in black] as he climbs over the gate.
Video shows hunter aggression as dig-out stopping sabs' charges are dropped
Facebook Sheffield Saboteurs ..... Five
sabs were later arrested for "tresspassing to disrupt a lawful activity" and had all their changes dropped the day
the were due to appear in court recently!.... So, yet again the
arrests of sabs by North Yorkshire Police have come to nothing. They have continually ignored illegal hunting, gone to great
lengths to protect the hunts in the County and made 14 arrests of sabs this season. As we are not breaking the law, 12 of
those cases have been dropped with no further action (except suing the police), long before trial and the other 2 will no
doubt be dropped soon as well.
See 28th November report below for the origin of this story.
Sheffied Sabs, who were covering the hunt with Doncaster and W.Yorks groups, have now posted a clip on Facebook which shows sabs bravely and non-violently resisting
attempts by several hunter thugs to remove them from the earth [above left], despite some of the sabs being struck
and manhandled. One of the hunters calls up his masters for instructions and is told to return to kennels,
but they vow to return later for the fox. Sabs say they decided to remain because of this and that they resisted two
further attempts to by hunters get at the fox. The pic right is a shot from film taken by sabs of what they
claim was a fox fleeing the Hunt earlier in November.
Scots hunt ban
architect requests police probe as 'abuses' revealed
4-12-11 Scotsman on Sunday Lord Watson calls
for police to probe fox hunts THE architect of the ban on fox hunting in Scotland has urged police
to ensure the law is being enforced after it emerged that as many foxes may be being killed by hounds as before the change
in legislation. The controversial ban on hounds being able to kill their quarry was introduced ten years ago in one of the flagship reforms of the first Holyrood
parliament. But according to hunt officials, three times as many foxes are now being killed as before, with two-thirds being
shot. The rest are still being killed by hounds, although the hunts argue they are working within the legislation.
Lord Watson [right], who as Mike Watson MSP introduced the Protection of Wild Mammals Act (Scotland) 2002, said:
"I'd be very unhappy if that's the case, and that is a matter for police to pursue. "It was difficult legislation
to frame and I accept that it's difficult legislation, in some circumstances, to enforce. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be enforced.
The exemption was not designed to give carte blanche to those involved in hunting to let their dogs run amok."
Act makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with a dog. An exemption allows foxes, as a "pest species", to be
flushed from cover and shot, and states that no offence is committed if the dog kills the fox in the course of it being flushed
towards the guns. According to Trevor Adams [left], huntsman with the Buccleuch Hunt, Scotland's largest fox
hunt, up to three times the number of foxes are being killed by the Buccleuch Hunt as before the change in law, which would
mean that as many foxes now are despatched by dogs as a decade ago. The remaining two-thirds are shot. The protocol on how
to hunt foxes within the new law was developed by Adams and other leading members of the Buccleuch Hunt, and endorsed by the
Masters of Foxhounds Association.
Tim Bonner, a spokesperson for the association, said the Buccleuch figures were likely
to be typical of other hunts. "Those numbers make perfect sense," he said. "When you're flushing to guns, of course a proportion
of the foxes will be caught by hounds before they get to the guns. There is also a significant level of wounding by the guns,
and the foxes are finished off by the hounds. We don't believe that the foxes killed by hounds are necessarily any worse
off. Endless research has been done which shows that it is no less humane than any other method. The legislation doesn't
make any sense and the act is no victory for animal welfare."
Six of Scotland's ten mounted fox hunts are within
the Lothian and Borders Police area, but the force do not police hunts as a matter of course. Detective Superintendent Cameron
Cavin, in charge of wildlife crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, said: "The Scottish police
service has a duty to investigate any complaint of a breach of the law. If an allegation is received of a possible offence
under the legislation, this would be investigated thoroughly, including application of the statutory exceptions."
6-12-11 Scotsman.com TEN years after
controversial legislation changed fox hunting for ever, it still thrives among the riders who regard it as a birthright
It is a beautiful late autumn day in Selkirkshire..... A shaft of sunlight slants down
through the clouds, falling on a distant field and picking out a figure on horseback, a man in a scarlet coat galloping after
a pack of hounds and followed by a dozen or so riders. The urgent, staccato sound of a horn carries quite clearly through
the mild morning air and confirms that this is indeed a fox hunt... Yet this is 9 November, 2011, almost ten years after a
law was passed that, most people believe, banned the blood-sport forever. In fact, fox hunters - in a wily move reminiscent
of their cunning, jinking quarry - have survived the politicians' attempts to exterminate their way of life and are thriving
in 21st-century Scotland. "Hunting is not," as one female rider observes, "something people round here would
ever give up lightly." ....
The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act was passed - in the teeth of furious opposition
led by the Scottish Countryside Alliance - on 13 February, 2002. The legislation outlawed the hunting of wild mammals with
dogs, but made some exceptions. It is legal to use dogs to flush a fox from cover in order for it to then be shot, so long
as this is done as a form of pest-control. The Act further states that no offence is committed if the dog kills the fox during
the course of this activity, in other words if it was not the intention of the huntsman that the dogs should do so. These
loopholes have allowed fox hunting to continue in Scotland. Hunts now present themselves as pest-control operations offering
a service to farmers. The packs of hounds, followed by riders, chase the fox towards waiting gunmen who attempt to shoot it.
If the fox is killed by the hounds before it runs towards the guns then that is regarded as an accident and therefore within
the law. Hounds are also used to kill foxes that have been wounded by the gunmen or are otherwise seriously injured or diseased. Once
the fox is dead, either by bite or shotgun pellets, the hounds still sometimes chew on it.
Adams, huntsman with the Duke of Buccleuch's Hunt [left] for the last 23 years, suggests that of all the
foxes killed by his hunt, one third are dispatched by hounds. However, as a result of the introduction of guns, many more
are now killed than before the change in law; in the case of the Buccleuch, it is thought that up to three times as many foxes
now die in a season. This means that roughly the same number of foxes are being killed by hounds as before the ‘ban',
and there is no reason to believe that the Buccleuch is unrepresentative. Indeed, the protocol on how to hunt foxes within
the new law was developed by the Buccleuch and endorsed by the Master of Fox Hounds Association, the governing body for fox
hunting in the UK. The new approach was then tested in court when - in 2004 - Trevor Adams became the first person to be prosecuted
and the first to be acquitted under the new law.
The huntsman is "majorly proud" of the role he has played.
As he puts it. "I'd love my gravestone to say, ‘Here lies Adams. He was the saviour of fox hunting in Scotland.'"
Lord Watson, who, as an MSP, introduced the bill
that changed the law, remains confident that his legislation has made fox hunting less cruel than it was before. How does
he feel, then, about the idea that a third of the foxes killed during hunts are killed by hounds? "I'd be very unhappy
if that's the case," he says, "and that is a matter for the police to pursue."
But the hunt would say that everything it does is within the law and its exemptions. Should the law, therefore, be changed?
"No, I don't think the Act should be revisited. It was difficult legislation to frame and I accept that it's
difficult legislation, in some circumstances, to enforce. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be enforced. The exemption
was not designed to give carte blanche to those involved in hunting to let their dogs run amok."....
Make no mistake, though fox hunting is presented as a form of pest control, few if any of the riders with the Buccleuch -
or, surely, with the other hunts - pay their annual subscriptions because they want to help farmers protect their hens. Trevor
Adams is quite open about it. "We are very definitely in the entertainment business," he says......
Richardson, the 19-year-old whipper-in, has hounds speaking as his mobile ringtone. "When they are absolutely screaming,
you turn into an animal," he says. "I can't describe it. It just puts you into a different world."... The
Buccleuch... works with around 25 hounds at a time, or to use hunting's curious arithmetic, twelve and a half couple. Fox hunters in Scotland are no longer lobbying for a change in
the law. They are grumblingly content with the present situation and consider it unlikely - even with an SNP majority - that
a Holyrood vote would go their way. Scottish hunters say they would not cross the line and start allowing the hounds to catch
the fox, as they are worried that if they were caught doing so, Holyrood might decide to outlaw their sport entirely.
present, fox hunting in Scotland is not policed. Lothian and Borders Police would respond to any complaints of law-breaking,
but there are no officers out there making sure that foxes are shot rather than killed by hounds. Neither do there seem to
be many hunt saboteurs - known as ‘antis' - monitoring what is happening..... For all the political and media attention
given to fox hunting in the run-up to the ban, almost a decade on, as the huntsman flashes scarlet through the fields and
woods, he does so largely unobserved.... During the day Scotland On Sunday spends with the Buccleuch Hunt, only one fox is
killed. A second is shot but escapes wounded into woods at the side of the A7, pursued by the pack screaming across the road
in full cry. It seeks refuge in a badger sett, where - because of the legislation that protects badgers - the hunt must leave
it alone even though it may die from its injuries. One, possibly two deaths, then, but fox hunting itself is in seemingly
rude health. Whatever you think of it, whether morally repugnant or a splendid tradition, it would seem that this is the sport
they couldn't kill. "The antis won the battle," says Allan Murray, chairman of the Buccleuch [above right],
with evident satisfaction, "but they haven't won the war."
on foot filmed whipping Cheshire Forest FH redcoat's horse
1-12-11 You Tube A short video clip uploaded today purportss to show a hunt servant or supporter whipping the rear of a horse being ridden by
a redcoat from the Cheshire Forest FH on 26th November. It shows two redcoats trying to persuade their mounts to jump a hedge.
A man carrying a whip, who can be heard shouting 'Hang on' to them, then runs up and, as one of the redcoats tries
again to get his horse to jump, starts whipping its rear. It seems the rider is consenting to this. The hors can clearly
be seen reacting adversly to the blows. The clip ends abruptly mid-incident and POWA is trying to get more information.
Stories below, in reverse chronological order, on the following topics:-
..... 28th November - Sheffield sabs claim they
stopped York & S.Ainsty FH dig-out three times
..... 27th November - 'We don't want
repeal' blunder by hunting's biggest Tory
..... 26th November - Crawley
& Horsham hunters 'lose it' with police over sab presence
..... 25th November - Leading S.W. Joint Master admits hunters would lose Commons vote on repeal
..... 24th November - 'Minority Pastime'
revised version to preview in Stroud
..... 22nd November - Surrey Union FH accused of assaults on sabs,
..... 18th November - Cattistock deny use of artificial earth after LACS 'criminal
..... 17th November - Alice doesn't live here any more. Shock departure of
..... 17th November - League sacks press officer over 'financial irregularities'
..... 13th November - Southdown & Eridge FH supporter injures sab with catapulted wheel-nut
..... 7th November - Cotswold Vale FH in prolonged havoc incident
on busy road
..... 7th November - Local witnesses
say clearly saw hare being illegally hunted in Pendle, Lancs
..... 5th November - Head wound to female sab after pulled over by hunt supporter, claims HSA
November - Cotswold Vale FH reported to police for apparent illegal
Sabs stand ground three times to stop 'illegal' York & Ainsty S. FH dig-out
Facebook Sheffield Saboteurs 28-11-11 Here [see photos left and right] sabs are preventing an illegal
dig-out of a fox which had been hunted into an earth by the hounds of the York & Ainsty South hunt. Sabs stood their ground - taking several punches
from the terrier men in the process. The terrier men eventually backed down and left. They returned to the earth a further
two times that day to try and resume the dig-out but sabs stopped them each time and stayed there till dark to ensure they
couldn't kill the fox. Five sabs were later arrested for "tresspassing to disrupt a lawful activity" but will
be found innocent in court soon. Video is here.
hunting Tory MP's "We are perfectly content" quote undermines pro-repeal campaign 27-11-11 James Gray, the Conservative MP for
North Wiltshire who rides with the Avon Vale FH [right], has long been one the very most fanatical campaigners against
any restrictions on quarry hunting with hounds. His opponents will be astonished - and his fellow bloodsports aficionados dumbfounded and aghast - by what he said today
on the BBC's Politics Show West. His words seemed to both undermine the fight for repeal and to rather give the game away about
how little Hunts are being restrained by the provisions and enforcement of the Hunting Act. He averred that:- "... the law is so bad that hunting
today is better than it's ever been before, so that it's a really thriving sport within the law, so we're not
calling... for repeal just now, we're perfectly content with the way it is."
There seem two possible
interpretations of Mr. Gray's words. One is that Hunts are genuinely 'trail hunting' and finding it so enjoyable
that they don't wish to return to live quarry hunting. Active anti-hunt campaigners know this is not, with very
few exceptions, the case. What pretty well all other pro-hunt campaigners say confirms that. Anyway, the MP/huntsman's
unequivocal stance in favour of quarry hunting to date makes this interpretation untenable - in the absence of a
Damascene conversion. The other interpretation is that what he really
means by saying the HA is 'so bad' is 'so ineffectual'. This makes more sense, but also seems to render
his statement a tacit acknowledgment that the Act is so riddled with lax wording and exemptions, and so little enforced, that
Hunts are finding it interferes little with 'business as usual.' All 'within the law' though [obviously]. Except when it's not, and those are always 'accidents'. Either way, the MP's
words will be embarassing and perplexing for the Countryside Alliance, the Campaign for Hunting, the rest of the bloodsports
lobby and - not least to Gray's friend the Prime Minister, who has only recently reaffirmed his personal support
for repeal. It's unclear, then, quite who Mr. Gray claims to be speaking for. Perhaps he was employing
the Royal 'We'! Maybe he [they?] could elucidate.
The MP's comments are at 53m 54s in
the Show, with the filmed report referred to in the article below repeated before that, starting at 49m 55s. Further
information on the hunt-loving MP is also in the article below.
Crawley & Horsham hunters 'lose it' and insult police over alleged inaction on sabs
The HSA uploaded a video clip on to YouTube showing extraordinary scenes of prominent hunters from the Crawley & Horsham FH lambasting and insulting police officers
at a meet. They seemed angry that the police had not responded immediately to their summonses and had failed to arrest any sabs. The tirade of the Huntsman into a policeman's face [right] is worth quoting: "I've put up with this for twenty b*****y years. And you lot have done nothing. We are sick
and tired of you people. You are useless." He stomps off, then calls over his shoulder - "Why
don't you just go and admit you're one of them, huh?" Another, plain-clothes, hunter, appears to
call a police sergeant a liar. The hunters claimed that people had been driven and spat at by sabs. Since
everything sabs and monitors do now seems to be filmed, they will surely come forward with evidence of the allegations. But
don't hold your breath - somehow such claims always seem to melt away when proof is called for.
One would have thought, especially given that four senior Hunt members have to appear in court to be tried for various
Hunting Act offences in April, that the C&H would want to try to maintain good relations with the forces of law and order.
But, apparently, some of them are just unable to restrain their natural arrogance, sense of entitlement and vicious tempers.
The C&H has an appalling record of violent and aggressive behaviour towards anti-hunt activists, with several convictions
against supporters, servants and Masters. See W.Sussex Wildlife ProtectionGroup website for more details.
Leading South West JM admits hunters would lose Commons
vote on repeal 25-11-11 BBC Regional News
'Points West' and 'Spotlight' both ran items featuring Diana Scott [left],
long-standing JM of the
Devon and Somerset Staghounds, acknowledging that her side would lose a vote in the House on
repeal of the Hunting Act. She averred "... I think the vote would be bound to be wrong for us. Yes." .
It was also stated that many pro-hunt Conservative MPs privately admitted believing the same and did not want the 'Indicative
Vote' promised by fellow hunter David Cameron to take place because of this. Spotlight's Poltical Correspondent,
Martyn Oates, pointed out that the excuse for not having brought the Indicative Vote forward already - the need to deal
with the failing economy - doesn't really wash, because it would use only a little of the time routinely allotted
for such measures in the House. Robbie Marsland of IFAW pointed out that the National Wildlife
Crime Unit have st