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PROTECT OUR WILD ANIMALS

WARNING: This site contains images of animals killed and mutilated by Hunts which you may find distressing

This site  The Web 

Please also visit the website
CAMPAIGN TO STRENGTHEN THE HUNTING ACT
and sign our
PETITION

STOP PRESS     See  LATEST UK HUNTING NEWS  for full articles on each item and for older stories  

POWA's message about the need to strengthen the Hunting Act was warmly received and apparently understood by many delegates at the Labour Party Conference in September. Amongst those to visit our stand and express support were several members of Ed Milliband's Shadow Cabinet, plus Shadow junior ministers, MPs, Parliamentary candidates and other delegates. Visitors were able to view the powerful new Campaign to Strengthen the Hunting Act [CSHA] video, at the content of which many delegates, including some from the police, expressed shock and outrage. Our campaign is spreading far and wide and gaining momentum. For Conference pics see the CSHA website. The CSHA video is now on the website [and YouTube] and can be viewed here.

..... 28th September - 'Red', the stag on LACS sanctuary, given 24/7 guard against hunters   The League stated that a Hunt has already tried to drive him off the sanctuary so he can be killed for 'sport' and that they are using patrols of ex-soldiers to help protect him.
...... 28th September - DEFRA Sec. of State confirms no Hunting Act repeal in this Parliament   Liz Truss, who replaced Owen Paterson in July, said repeal would have to wait until there were sufficient Commons votes in favour of it, but would not confirm that a commitment to scrap the Act will be in the Conservative manifesto.
..... 25th September - Ulster judge clears Co.Down SH of causing suffering to hunted carted deer   After the USPCA prosecuted the Hunt following their hunting of a stag they'd kept alone in a shed for some days, the Judge ruled that, though it was 'protected' under the Animal Welfare Act it had not been caused suffering and acquitted the Hunt.

NINE YEARS ON, Hunts still routinely bend and break the spirit and letter of the Hunting Act, still chase and kill wild animals for fun, still bring terror and havoc to our countryside - and almost always escape justice. The 'cynical subertfuge' the Judge scorned in dismissing the Fernie hunters' Appeal is the norm not the exception. 
It is a priority for POWA to support independent monitors, who bravely seek to expose Hunt wrong doing and the weaknesses of the current legislation - at considerable expense and risk to themselves.  POWA utterly opposes any attempt to repeal the existing Hunting Act, but regards amendments to strengthen it as essential if the obscenity of live quarry hunting with dogs for 'sport' is to be properly punished and prevented.

"It is difficult to interpret and apply and difficult for the CPS to prosecute."
Judge Daniel Curtis, of the Hunting Act. He had to acquit members of the Holderness FH of illegal hunting because of insufficient evidence of intent, August 2013. A resident's CCTV had shown their hounds chasing a bloodied fox through his garden.

                   PETER BUNCE        PeterBunce.jpg         R.I.P.

We greatly regret the sad and untimely death in July 2014 of Peter Bunce, one of POWA's founders.
Below is a selection of tributes paid to him by fellow POWA Associates.

Penny Little  -  "Peter was my very good friend. I first met him in the early '90s when he   became involved in the campaign to ban hunting.... 
Peter was kind, humorous and principled.  He was a good listener, he cared about the underdog, and he would always help anyone who was in trouble.  He was passionately opposed to cruelty to animals, and he was prepared to put time and effort into changing the things that needed to be changed.  He was a believer in decency, honesty and fair play, and he was always an adherent to those high standards in which he believed.....  None of us can remember Peter without a smile, a smile of affection, of remembered jokes and remembered conversations, of pleasure in shared successes.  But above all a smile of loving remembrance of Peter the endearing, clever, funny man, the generous friend in need, the modest and remarkable man that he was."

Christine Harris -  "He was such a talented and caring person, who was always there to help. His work in the field has helped push our cause forward
immeasurably."

Graham Forsyth -  "
His line in A Minority Pastime that still rings so true to me and I am sure to many others was;  "I just want this cruelty to stop and stop in my lifetime."

Denise Ward -  "He was so valued and will be so missed. I first met him when I went to his house to film him for 'A Minority Pastime'. His scene is one people always remember. His measured and ironical remarks after he is dragged around and battered on the head till the blood poured down make the point so beautifully.... Peter defined courage and rightness in a a uniquely clever, modest and reasonable way... and made the world a better place by being in it."

Rodney Hale  -  "The planet is surely a better place owing to the contribution Peter made towards the welfare of wild animals and they have lost a true friend."
 
Alan Kirby  -  "Peter was a close POWA Associate of mine for 13 years. We lived far apart and I met him only a few times, but we were in regular email and phone contact. He was calm, kind, ever obliging, with a wry sense of humour and unshakeable determination.  The very best sort of Englishman. POWA and the persecuted animals he strove to defend will miss him dreadfully."

AS THE RAIN LASHES DOWN, POWA ASSOCIATES ARE SHOWERED WITH AWARDS
FEBRUARY 2014 - POWA congratulates the Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire Monitoring Group who have been given the Special Investigation Award by the RSPCA for gathering the huge amount of video evidence that resulted in the prosecution and conviction of the Heythrop Hunt, often while being obstructed, abused and assaulted by hunt followers. Most of the monitors, who operate independently, are also POWA Associates.  POWA also congratulates its Associate John Bryant, a former CEO of LACS and twice an RSPCA Council Member, who has been awarded the Queen Victoria Gold Medal for services to the Society. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Whitehall on 1st March.

SIR PATRICK STEWART BECOMES AN HONORARY ASSOCIATE OF POWA
SirPatrickStewart.jpgThe renowned actor, who narrated the revised version of the anti-hunting film 'A Minority Pastime', provided this statement:-

"I am delighted to accept the invitation to become an Honorary Associate of Protect Our Wild Animals.  I am strongly opposed to the cruel and barbaric 'sport' of hunting wild animals with dogs and was delighted when this was banned in England and Wales in 2004.
However, it appears that both the spirit and letter of the law continue to be flouted by some organised Hunts.  I fully endorse POWA's efforts to expose such activities and in campaigning for the Hunting Act to be strengthened in order to make the law both more of a deterrent and easier to enforce."

Fulsome congratulations to the incredibly dedicated team of hunt monitors [many of whomGavinGrantonHeythropprosecutionsS.Times23-12-12.jpg are also POWA Associates] whose evidence, on December 17th 2012, led to the convictions of the Heythrop Hunt, a former JM and its ex-Huntsman on 4 charges each of illegal hunting. They had taken similar evidence of illegal hunting by the Heythrop and other local Hunts to the police 30 times before in recent years, and either been fobbed off each time or found the CPS making excuses for not getting the cases to court. So, many thanks to the RSPCA, under their CEO Gavin Grant, for their courage in taking on the prosecution of this rich and powerful Hunt and for the Society's unflinching stance in response to the vitriol since heaped upon it by the pro-hunt lobby.
The monitors have also had to bear repeated assaults, threats, harassment, vile abuse, obstruction and property damage from Heythrop riders and followers, 14 of whom have been convicted or cautioned for such offences in the last six years. Monitoring is not just a very trying, emotionally draining, time-consuming and dangerous business - it is expensive. POWA assists the monitors when it can, but has limited resources itself. You can help enable the monitors carry on their work of exposing and bringing these flagrant animal abusers to justice by giving to POWA, using the 'Donate'
button [left].
 

Rescued by her 'Guardian angel' !  The moment a young vixen being attacked by the Old Berks FH hounds is saved by a brave young female hunt monitor and POWA Associate, 14th November 2012 
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To see rescue video click here

                                          MORE HUNT MONITORS WILL MEAN MORE HUNTERS IN COURT
The Heythrop FH - the P.M.'s own - are the latest to be found guilty of illegal hunting, in what was the first ever prosecution of a Hunt as a Body Corporate, on 17/12/12. A former JM and their ex-Huntsman also plead guilty, to four counts each, This followed convictions of the Senior JM and a terrierman of the Meynell and S.Staffs FH at Derby Magistrates Court on 9/8/12. Several weeks earlier, two senior members of the Crawley & Horsham Hunt and their ex-Huntsman were convicted for hunting foxes. In January 2011, the Huntsman and terrierman of the Fernie Hunt were found guilty of illegal hunting, and their Appeal scornfully dismissed by the Judge in October.
These hunts have been successfully prosecuted and convicted because of the hunt monitors, who have captured film of their illegal activities, footage which has provided the evidence needed to bring these people to justice. It is very encouraging that, at last, the sterling efforts of the monitors are beginning to show results in the Courts. But most hunts are never visited by monitors. More monitors would mean more convictions.
POWA strongly supports the work of the monitors, and we suggest that there are some people who may now feel they want to join a monitoring group and keep up the momentum against the hunts. If you want to become a monitor, or talk to a monitor for advice, please email POWA - via the contact button to the left of this article - and we will refer your query to someone in your area.

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"It was totally and utterly barbaric and shocking." Mick Heath, the 'not anti-hunt' resident of Bradfield, North Essex, after hounds of the Essex & Suffolk FH chased a fox into his garden, savaged it and the Whipper-in then beat it to death with a blunt object, leaving blood stains on the patio - all in front of the whole family and a guest, on 10-12-11


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The Hunting Bill gained Royal Assent on 18-11-2004 
The Hunting Act 2004 came into effect on 18-2-2005 
Full text of the Hunting Act 2004 is 
HERE

POWA's main role is to campaign for a complete, effective and enforceable ban on the hunting of wild animals with dogs in England and Wales.

After ten overwhelming Commons' votes, over seven years, in favour of a complete ban on hunting, the will of the people and their sovereign Parliament finally overcame decades of resistance and mendacious propaganda from the rich and powerful bloodsports lobby and a largely compliant media - democracy indeed! 
Regrettably, POWA believes that the Hunting Act 2004 has manifest deficiencies which, in practice, make it of very limited utility in preventing organised Hunts carrying on chasing and killing wild mammals for 'sport'. Hunts are able to do this by exploiting the numerous loopholes and/or by pretending to be ‘trail hunting’ and ascribing any incident involving wild mammals as 'accidents'. Monitoring reports countrywide appear to confirm that many, perhaps most hunts, engage in such behaviour. 
Nevertheless, the Act, so long and hard fought for, is a lot better than nothing - and of huge symbolic importance. POWA therefore also campaigns against any attempt to further weaken or repeal the Act and to ensure, as far as possible, that it is complied with in the hunting field and upheld through the courts. 
But - like its long-illegal fellow bloodsports, cock and dog fighting, bull and badger baiting - the hunting of foxes, deer, hares and mink with packs of dogs must be consigned to the history books in practice, not just in theory.

Below, see how the hunters like to change the beautiful, sensitive, living creatures portrayed above - for 'sport'
The Hunting Act has slowed but not stopped them. 
Join POWA's campaign to have the Act strengthened

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"WHEN CRIMINALS CIRCUMVENT THE LAW IT
SHOULD BE STRENGTHENED TO STOP THEM 
NOT REPEALED TO REWARD THEM"

*Click HERE to read POWA's case to strengthen the Hunting Act,
 including our proposed changes

Read POWA's statement on the High Court Ruling in 2009 on the Hunting  Act 
This confirmed that  'intent' to hunt a wild mammal must be proved and that 'searching' is not 'hunting'. The CPS dropped nearly all their pending cases as the evidential burden was now too great.
These cases included charges against the Huntsman of the Heythrop FH - the home hunt of David Cameron, who has ridden with them in the past. It is widely supported by the famed 'Chipping Norton set', including Rebekah Brooks and husband Charlie, who are known to be friends of the P.M.
Press Release 

Download a copy of the publication

   
   



LATEST POWA PRESS LETTER
31st July 2014
POWA replied to various press articles suggesting that the RSPCA will and sshould respond to pro-hunt criticism of their prosecution of organised hunters by attacking the critics and stating that the Hunting Act needs to be strengthened not repealed or shied away from.
 See POWA press letters

LATEST POWA PRESS RELEASE
17th March 2014
POWA Press released to a selection of media regarding the civil court victory of 2 female hunt monitors, one a POWA Associate, who had been attacked in an isolated country lane during a meet of the Heythrop FH in 2007. Otis Ferry and John Deutsch are to pay over £32,000 + costs to them. .
See POWA Press Releases

In Memoriam

Mike Hill  d. 9-2-1991

Mike, an 18 year old hunt saboteur was killed, in what police decided was a 'road accident', while sabbing the Cheshire Beagles.  Read this for sabs' account of how Mike's death really came about.

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Stag in Devon desperately fleeing from the hunt
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Deer hunting continues using the 'Research' exemption in the Act

POWA  Hounds Off
Despite the Hunting Act, hunters and their dogs are still running amok and intimidating law-abiding folk, trespassing on private property. New site Hounds Off is encouraging a countrywide network of hunt-free zones, creating an ever-growing land area where wildlife has sanctuary. Use Hounds Off to help you ban your homestead to hunters, wherever it is. Support Hounds Off on Facebook
Hounds Off has issued a Progress Report

Fox hounds are rewarded - by a public road
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Fox hunting is disguised as 'trail' hunting - chases & kills are always claimed to be 'accidents'

OVER 200 MPs SIGN!!!
Early Day Motion 116 - reaffirming support for the Hunting Act - was signed by 209 MPs in the first session of the current Parliament. This is a very large number for an EDM. POWA thanks all those MPs for their support.
* Click here for info on EDM 116  - Hunting Act 2004

Hare being coursed at the notorious Waterloo Cup
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The Hunting Act has succeeded in stopping organised coursing events

REQUIRED READING
'Bad Hare Days" by John Fitzgerald, veteran anti-courser and founder of the Campaign to Abolish Cruel Sports, in Ireland. The book details the long struggle to try to get hare coursing banned in the Republic - and its effect on the campaigners. Available free to read/download here       
The campaign eventually managed to get coursing greyhounds muzzled, but this is far from complete protection for the hares against serious trauma and injury. The photo below shows a hare [top left] that has been batted up into the air by one of the chasing dogs
.
 

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Hare sent flying high into air by pursuing muzzled greyhounds

Beagler cuts off hare's tail to reward his hounds
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Hare hunting continues in the guise of rat or rabbit hunting


 
Contact details  -  enquiries@powa.org.uk
Protect Our Wild Animals Limited is a Private Limited Company, registered in England & Wales, number 6687073, registered address 101 Ely Road, Llandaff, Cardiff, CF5 2BZ
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