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LATEST UK HUNTING NEWS

    For stories before MAY 2018, go to UK HUNTING NEWS ARCHIVE

        Warning - contains images of animals killed/ mutilated by Hunts that you may find distressing 

Detailed stories follow each month's headlines below, all in reverse chronological order

 

                           HUNTING SEASON 2018-19

 

JULY 2018

….. 22nd July - More police-bloodsports links revealed by H.I.T.

….. 21st July - Stag/fox hunting landowner was jailed for major fraud, reveal antis

….. 21st July - HIT finds artificial earths, blocked setts on publicly subsidised land

….. 21st July - Ledbury FH snapped exercising pack on busy road

….. 20th July - Barlow FH JM filmed illegally setting trap for badger

….. 19th July - Quantock SH Huntsman & Whip charged with illegal hunting

….. 18th July - Dwyryd FH JM/badger baiter convicted of shotgun offence

….. 17th July - LACS warns of disease risk from hounds in advance of Festival of Hunting

….. 17th July - Appeal launched to fund reward to help catch other Belvoir FH thugs

….. 17th July - Attorney General says Belvoir FH thugs' sentences can't be reviewed

….. 16th July - Sabs protest Ashby Show letting Atherstone FH hounds parade

 ….. 10th July - Pipewell Beagles refusing to help police re. illegal hunting inquiry

….. 10th July - Gogerddan Pony Club drops 'Hunt' from name, says against bloodsport

….. 10th July - Sabs publish film that proved Atherstone FH hunters lied in court

…..  9th July - Tesco supporting hunting via Pony Club donations scheme

…..  3rd July - Atherstone FH supporter drives car at sab on protest

…..  3rd July - New study says foxes can spread bTb - hounds also implicated

…..  2nd July - Monitors campaign for Hunts to be banned from Nantwich Show

…..  2nd July - Dead fox cub dumped at hunt monitors' property 

 

 

More police-bloodsports links revealed by H.I.T.

22-7-18   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    Shocking new evidence reveals the links between the police and fox hunting!   The links between the police and the bloodsports community run deep and are well documented. So why would anyone expect us to trust them to investigate wildlife crime and protect our identities. The most casual observations in the South Yorkshire and Derbyshire area reveal the following-  1. Joan Williams, Former Master of the Barlow Hunt, was a Superintendent with South Yorkshire Police.  2. David Hartley, Assistant Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, shoots grouse on the Fitzwilliam Estate which neighbours the notorious Moscar Estate.  3. There are many serving officers in the Derbyshire force actively involved in hunting and shooting, including at least one of the Wildlife Crime Officers. Please share. HIT.

       Police-bloodsportslinksH.I.T.2018.jpg

 

Stag/fox hunter landowner was jailed for huge fraud, reveal antis

21-7-18   Facebook - Somerset Wildlife Crime   The hunt always claim that we are the criminals. Yet this man claimed nearly £1 million of tax payers money in a massive fraud. He got three years for it.

He is a member of Quantock Staghounds and Taunton Vale Fox Hounds. Oh, and is a local councillor. He hosted meets for the Quantock Staghounds this season, and it was in his land that the QSH were last caught illegally hunting and prosecuted.

10-2-06   Daily Telegraph    Farmer's estranged wife shops him for £800,000 sheep fraud    A farmer who fleeced more than £800,000 from taxpayers by trading in non-existent sheep was caught after a tip-off from his estranged wife, a court heard.

Richard Coate, 59, who was jailed for three years and nine months, kept records claiming to have traded 425,000 sheep with a Spanish farmer called Senor Questos. He then applied for £865,799.27 in VAT compensation from the Government's agricultural flat-rate scheme.

But after the tip-off from Coate's wife, Faye, following an acrimonious split, customs officials visited his farm in Broomfield, Somerset. They discovered that the sheep had never existed, and that Coate owned just 29 animals.

In what was believed to be the first of its kind in Britain, Bristol Crown Court heard on Wednesday that Coate purported to have bought thousands of sheep from Senor Questos. He then sold them on to his own company, Owls Farm Ltd. Between June 1997 and June 2001, Coate "bought back" the sheep from Owls Farm Ltd and sold them on to the Spanish farmer.

On each transaction, Coate claimed back VAT on the sales under the agricultural flat-rate scheme, which is designed to compensate farmers. While Coate's records showed that there should have been 2,500 animals on the farm, officials found 62, of which Coate owned only 29.

Overseas inquiries established that Senor Questos had bought a small number of sheep from Coate in 1992, but he had no knowledge of the fraud. Coate told the court he had carried out the fraud to save his business. The Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office has begun proceedings under the Criminal Justice Act to recover £800,000 of Coate's assets.

Coate's girlfriend, Jayne, said last night: "His wife is a very vindictive person." Mrs Coate could not be contacted.

POWAperson  -  The revelation of this case, previously unknown to POWA, brings to 420 the number of separate people involved with organised Hunts in the UK known by us to have been convicted or cautioned for criminal offences since 1990. The total number of offences convicted/cautioned is now 1,003. 39 of these resulted in prison sentences, 11 of which were suspended. 243 of the offences were committed by hunt officials or employees. 241 of all the convictions were for violent offences.

 

HIT finds artificial earths, blocked setts on publicly subsidised land

Found during investigation of Barlow FH JM's badger trapping 

2nd trap + dead badger found by artificial earth found on JM's farm 

21-7-18   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    Huge tax payer subsidies were paid to the Horsleygate Estate and White's farm, where HIT's Barlow badger trapping operation was filmed. Many more artificial earths and blocked badger setts on publicly subsidised land were found during HIT's operation. Environmental subsidies are provided to conserve wildlife and biodiversity - not to persecute protected species. Yet more examples of bloodsports corruption.

Main trap site - Environmental Stewardship Agreement.

Second trap site - Countryside Stewardship.

Wood containing dead badger and artifical fox earth - Countryside Stewardship

21-7-18   H.I.T. @FoxHITeam   Replying to @broadchurch6 @BathHuntSabs     A second trap was found on the Hunt Master’s own land, in another wood which receives Countryside Stewardship subsidies. A dead badger was found close to an artificial fox earth in a third publicly subsidised wood on the farm.

      BarlowFHTrapfoundbyHIT21-7-18.jpg 

 

Ledbury FH snapped exercising pack on busy road

21-7-18   Facebook - Severn Vale Hunt Saboteurs    Somebody sent us this photo of who we believe to be the Ledbury Hunt this morning, dangerously exercising hounds on a busy road. This isn't an isolated incident as most packs act in this manner. It is a wonder there are not more accidents.

      LedburyFHExercisinghoundsonbusyroad21-7-18.jpg 

POWAperson adds  -  At least 13 hounds have been killed on roads while being exercised since the end of last season, in three separate incidents we know of. It is absurd to think that one or two kennel staff can control that number of dogs on busy roads and they should not be allowed to try. They are also a potentially life-threatening danger to other road users. It's bad enough having them careering round roads during the season trying to catch live quarry [against both the Hunting and Road Traffic Acts] without also doing it in the close season.

 

Barlow FH JM filmed illegally setting trap for badger

Action criminal but RSPCA just gave him 'advice'

20-7-18   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team   VIDEO   Master of Foxhounds Caught Illegally Trapping Badgers in National Park   Breaking report from the BBC of HIT's latest undercover operation in the UK's most visited National Park. Much more to come on this over the weekend including the full video shot by HIT operatives. Please share. Get active for wildlife. HIT. 

20-7-18   BBC News  VIDEO  Badger caught in trap 'illegally' set by hunt master    A Hunt Master has been accused of illegally persecuting badgers after he was filmed setting a trap and baiting it with peanuts. The trap later caught a badger but the animal managed to escape before Christopher White returned. The footage was passed to the RSPCA, which said it had "given advice about the legal use of traps".

       BarlowFHJMfilmedsettingillegaltrapforbadger20-7-18.jpg

Mr White, who is joint master of the Barlow Hunt, told the BBC he had not seen the video so could not comment. "I can't get the footage so I'm not commenting on nothing," he said. The BBC then emailed him the footage but he did not respond. An RSPCA spokesperson said: "We were made aware of this video footage and an inspector has in this case given advice about the legal use of traps."

The footage was secretly filmed in a Peak District woodland by a group of activists called the Hunt Investigation Team (HIT). A HIT activist said: "Badgers are illegally persecuted for a number of reasons. The Barlow Hunt master may have feared that badgers would reduce the success of the estate's reared pheasants for shooting or he may have been emboldened by the widening badger cull. By trapping adults during the spring, he would also eliminate dependent cubs. Whatever his reasons, to take or kill a badger without a license remains a criminal offence."

      BarlowFHJMfilmedsettingillegaltrapforbadgerIntraphour20-7-18.jpg 

Badgers are protected in England and Wales under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Offences under this act include wilfully killing, injuring or taking a badger, or attempting to do so. It is also an offence to cruelly ill-treat a badger. However, licences can be applied for to control badgers in certain circumstances.

Mr White set the trap on private woodland within the Peak District National Park, west of Dronfield, and was filmed going there several times in March and April.

Badgers are not currently subject to a cull in Derbyshire, although an application to grant such a licence is currently being considered by Natural England. Since 2013 licences have been issued in areas of Gloucestershire, Somerset, Cornwall, Herefordshire, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Cheshire and Wales. "The national badger cull programme has emboldened farmers and landowners to persecute badgers freely and with complete disregard for the law," said the HIT activist. A badger cull in Derbyshire would be clearly disastrous for indigenous wildlife."

Pics below  -  1/ White, masked up, visiting badger trap he'd set   2/  White hunting 

  BarlowFHJMfilmedmaskedupvisitingbadgertrap20-7-18.jpg  BarlowFHChristopherWhiteJMhunting.jpg 

 

Quantock SH Huntsman & Whip charged with illegal hunting

Huntsman Richard Down convicted twice, in 2007 & 2010

19-7-18   LACS Press Release   Avon and Somerset Police yesterday confirmed that the Quantock Staghounds huntsman Richard Down and whipper-in, Martin Watts are due to appear before Taunton Deane Magistrates Court on 21/08/2018, charged with offences under the Hunting Act 2004.

The alleged offences are said to have occurred on 22/01/2018: evidence obtained by investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports was passed to Avon & Somerset Police and the proceedings have been authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Pic below  -  Down hunting a stag in February 2006. Resulted in his first conviction.  

      QuantockSHHuntsmanRichardDownhuntingstag2-06Convicted6-07.jpg 

POWAperson adds  -  He was fined £500 in 2007 for the first offence and £375 [£125 less] in 2010 for the second. A perfect example of the utter failure of even convictions to deter hunters from continuing to illegally chase and kill wild animals. Even if he's convicted this time the CA will doubtless pay his fine and costs from their bottomless pocket - and will he change his behaviour? Do any convicted hunters?. Only very significant and thorough strengthening of the Hunting Act, including the possibility of prison sentences for breaches [as with other animal welfare Acts] can remedy this situation. Still, well done LACS investigators for getting Down and his sidekick to court.

 

Dwyryd FH JM/badger baiter convicted of shotgun offence

18-7-18   Facebook - North Wales Hunt Saboteurs   Convicted badger baiter and master of the Dwyryd Hunt David Thomas was spared another prison sentence today    A farmer who kept an unlicensed firearm behind a sofa for several years has been spared a jail term. David William Llwyd Thomas had initially denied the charge of possessing the bolt action magazine-fed shotgun without a valid firearm certificate and was due to stand trial. But the 52-year-old, of Cefn Gwyn, Trawsfynydd near Blaenau Ffestiniog, asked for the charge to be put again just before a trial was due to start at Caernarfon Crown Court. After admitting the offence, he was handed a nine-month prison term which was suspended for 12 months.

Judge Huw Rees said: “Your offence is best summed up in one of your character references which states this was an oversight. But it was a serious oversight and this is a serious matter.”

David William Llwyd Thomas, 52, of Cefn Gwyn, Trawsfynydd, was sentenced on July 18, 2018 for having an unlicensed firearm. Thomas had been due to stand trial on two charges of possessing shotguns without a valid certificate after police visited his home in February last year.

Also reported in Cambrian News and N.Wales Daily Post

POWAperson adds  -  A few months ago this disgusting person was sentenced to 22 weeks jail for badger baiting and six other serious animal welfare offences and disqualified from keeping dogs for 8 years.

 

LACS warns of disease risk from hounds in advance of Festival of Hunting

17-7-18    LACS Press Release    Animal welfare charity warns farmers of disease risk as hunting hounds gather at the Lycetts Festival of Hunting and Welsh Royal Show    Hunting hounds being shown and paraded at the Lycetts Festival of Hunting could potentially spread disease to other hounds and across the British countryside, according to research revealed by an animal welfare charity.

The annual Lycetts Festival of Hunting being held tomorrow in Peterborough boasts the ‘greatest gathering of hounds in the country’. But the League Against Cruel Sports is warning that the attendance of the packs of hounds is a major biosecurity threat.

According to a report analysing over a thousand published pieces of evidence in the public domain:- Hounds used for hunting carry numerous infectious diseases which can be spread to livestock, other hounds, and even humans. The dogs often contract the diseases after being fed the carcasses of diseased livestock.

Diseases spread by hunting hounds contribute to a substantial number of infections each year, costing the livestock and farming industries ‘millions’, as hunts regularly ignore ‘biosecurity’ measures which are designed to prevent disease spreading.

At least 4,000 hunt hounds are euthanised by Hunts each year, many around 6-10 years old, often because they are too ill to keep up with the rest of the pack. Studies suggest many of these will have diseases but post mortems are rarely done.

Chris Pitt, Deputy Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:- “Agricultural and country shows are a long-standing tradition and a part of country life, but research shows that they are basically a melting pot of disease which is leading to disaster for farmers and animal welfare. You’ve got hunting hounds from different parts of the country all mixing together. If even one of those dogs is carrying disease – which is highly likely – then the risk of it passing it to other dogs or livestock is also high. The disease then gets moved around the country and livestock dies, which is both a financial and welfare cost. Local hounds are then fed the carcasses – and the cycle continues. Anyone taking livestock to a show must follow basic biosecurity measures to ensure that their animals do not spread, or pick up, disease. There are question marks over how successful these measures are anyway, but evidence suggests that hunts take even less care with their hounds. Given the huge impact disease has on the countryside, it’s unbelievable that so little care or thought is being given to this problem.”

Hunting with Hounds and the Spread of Disease - The independent report, Hunting with Hounds and the Spread of Disease, 2018, pulls together research on disease spread over decades. It was commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports following the discovery of bTB in a pack of hunting hounds early in 2017. The intention was to identify any potential risks of hunting hounds spreading bTB, but the results were shocking. Accumulated evidence in the study suggests overwhelmingly that hunting with hounds maintains and/or spreads several livestock parasites and pathogens that have a major economic impact on British farmers.

Unlike pet dogs, packs of hounds pose a particular risk to livestock farmers because: (i) they are fed on fallen stock that have contracted a number of parasites and diseases; (ii) their poor veterinary care and inadequate vaccination and worming programmes; and (iii) they are out of sight of, and often a long way from, the huntsman, when hunting, so it is impossible to collect their faeces, to keep them away from livestock and vegetable crops, or to prevent them drinking from water troughs. Fouling of water supplies is a particular concern for minkhounds, which routinely hunt in streams, rivers and lakes.

Chris Pitt added:- “We’ve currently got thousands of badgers being killed to try and stop bTB, even though there’s no real evidence that they have any major impact on the disease. Meanwhile hunting packs are riding roughshod from farm to farm, travelling around the country and even abroad to different events, with no real biosecurity measures in place. If my livelihood depended on having healthy livestock, I wouldn’t be letting hunts anywhere near my land. Farmers may think that the hunts are doing them a favour by taking away their fallen stock, but they are getting a raw deal. If stock are diseased, then the hounds will potentially pick that disease up and literally drop it back onto the farm – so the livestock will once again get sick. It’s a vicious circle which could be costing the farmers a fortune, not to mention inflicting painful diseases on their animals. It looks like hunts are abusing the trust of the farmers because they don’t want to pay to properly feed their dogs or adequately vaccinate them, so they are saving money but it’s the farmers who are paying.”

Concerns around this issue are known, as in 2017 new government rules were put in place regarding feeding offal to hounds and treating hounds for tapeworm. However expert opinion is that the measures don’t go far enough and will not solve the problem.

If farmers or the government think they’ve dealt with this issue, then they will be disappointed,” said Chris Pitt. “This problem is a huge one which won’t be solved by half measures. We need an immediate independent inquiry about the current health risk to other animals and humans of hunting activities. There must be proper enforcement of current animal and public health regulations that apply to hunts to prevent them being ignored, and there should be an immediate ban on hunts being allowed to feed fallen stock to their hounds. This has been recognised as posing a significant disease risk for half a century but no-one seems to be taking it seriously.”

HUMAN HEALTH RISK - While the risk is believed to be lower than animal-to-animal disease transmission, the evidence shows that there are significant risks of disease transmission to humans, particularly to children, because of their immature immune systems and poor standards of hygiene, and older people. While there is the potential to catch these diseases from all dogs, including pets, the risk from hunting hounds is much higher because of what they are fed, the lack of veterinary care, and the freedom hunts have to move across farmland without biosecurity scrutiny.

Examples of diseases that can be spread from hunting hounds to humans include Salmonella, Toxoplasmosis, which can lead to serious problems for pregnant women, and Campylobacteriosis, a common cause of diarrhoea, fever and stomach pain, which can be carried by dogs without them showing any signs.

The study, Hunting with hounds and the spread of disease, by Professor Stephen Harris, BSc PhD DSc and Dr Jo Dorning, BSc PhD, is available online.

Examples of diseases that can be spread from hounds to farm animals, besides bTb and hydatidosis, are neosporosis, sarcocystosis, cystisersis ovis, cystisersis tenuicollis, Johne's Disease, toxoplasmosis 

 

Appeal launched to fund reward to help catch other Belvoir FH thugs

17-7-18   Green Future News   Podcast    Special edition about Attorney General’s refusal to refer hunt thugs case to court of appeal    Darryl Cunnington, a former police officer, had his neck broken after being brutally attacked by a gang of 6 hunt thugs while investigating alleged crimes against wildlife. In a move that sparked outrage, two of his assailants were allowed to walk free from court by the judge. The other 4 have never been charged and remain at large.

We are extremely disappointed at the decision of the Attorney General REFUSING to refer the soft sentences to the Court of Appeal. Please see the statement below from Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Eduardo Goncalves, Editor of Green Future News, criticising his decision.

Green Future News has announced that it is today launching a crowdfunding campaign for a reward for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the 4 other attackers. The money raised will also be used to cover the costs of expert assessment of the evidence, investigating other unprovoked attacks by hunters on members of the public, and exposing criminal and cruel hunting of wild animals for “sport” by hunters.

Please help share and promote the crowdfunding page – so we can catch these violent criminals, get justice for Darryl Cunnington, and help put an end to the litany of violence directed at all those who seek to protect animals from illegal persecution and ensure the law is enforced:- https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Justicefordarryl.   The email address for people to send evidence identifying the other 4 attackers is:- Justicefordarryl@mail.com.

Thank you, Eduardo Goncalves (Editor, Green Future News).

       BelvoirFHFiennesandGoncalvesstatement17-7-18.jpg 

 

The Attorney General says Belvoir FH thugs' sentences can't be reviewed

If had been convicted of rightful charges, review could have happened

RanulphFienneswithcorpseoffoxkilledbyCheshireFH.jpg17-7-18  BBC News   Belvoir Hunt attacks: Sir Ranulph Fiennes wants 'masked thugs' caught  

Sir Ranulph Fiennes [left] wants four masked men who took part in an assault that left a hunt monitor with a broken neck to be caught and brought to justice. Two men - George and Thomas Grant - have been prosecuted for instigating the attack but they have refused to identify their accomplices. The two attack victims were monitoring the Belvoir Hunt in Leicestershire.

Sir Ranulph and a fellow anti-fox hunt campaigner intend to raise money and offer a reward for information. They had previously written to the Attorney General asking for the suspended sentences given to the GrantsLadySarahMcQuorcodaleJMBelvoirHighSherrifLincs.jpeg to be reviewed on the grounds of undue leniency. However, the Attorney General's office said it was "not possible" to refer the sentences to the Court of Appeal for review. "The evidence clearly showed that these two criminals called on four masked thugs to come and help them carry out their brutal attack," he said. How on earth can letting those responsible walk free from court be considered justice?"

The Grants were given suspended sentences after Princess Diana's sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale [right], gave a character reference in court, arguing George Grant would lose his job and home if he were jailed. Sir Ranulph and fellow campaigner Eduardo Goncalves want people to come forward with information about the four masked men. Mr Gonçalves said: "There are four violent criminals on the loose. If they are not caught - and jailed - they continue to pose a serious threat to the public."

       BelvoirFHLACSinvestigatorseriouslyinjuredafterattackbymaskedBelvoirsupporters3-16.jpg 

Darryl Cunnington and his colleague Roger Swaine [above and below], who work for the League Against Cruel Sports, were attacked when they were monitoring the Belvoir Hunt in Leicestershire in March 2016. They were discovered by Belvoir Hunt terrierman George Grant and his son Thomas Grant, who approached them on a quad bike. George Grant then told his son: "Go and get the boys and come back."

     BelvoirFHLACSmanRogerSwaininjuredinattackbysupporter12-3-16.jpg  

Thomas Grant left on the quad bike and returned shortly after, accompanied by four masked men in a 4x4 vehicle who attacked Mr.Cunnington and pushed him off a 14ft drop, breaking his neck. The Grants attacked Mr Swaine themselves and stole his camera.The BBC has repeatedly contacted the Belvoir Hunt and given members the chance to comment, but they have not done so.

The Grants admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm against Mr. Cunnington and actual bodily harm against Mr Swaine, and were both given suspended sentences. The Grants refused to answer questions EduardoGoncalvesLACS.jpgwhen they were interviewed by police and have never identified who their masked accomplices were. Mr Gonçalves [left] said this lack of co-operation was a further reason why the judge should not have suspended the sentences.

A petition by Sir Ranulph and Mr. Gonçalves has attracted more than 85,000 supporters calling for the sentence the Grants were given to be reviewed. However, the Attorney General's office has said it does not have the power to refer the sentences to the Court of Appeal. This is because the most serious charge the Grants were convicted of was inflicting grievous bodily harm, which does not fall under a list of offences covered by the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme. If the Grants had been convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, which is a slightly more serious charge, then their sentences could have been referred to the Court of Appeal.

The Grants were originally charged with robbery for stealing Mr Swaine's camera, but they instead agreed to plead guilty to causing actual bodily harm and theft. If they had been convicted of the original robbery charge then the sentences could have been referred to the Court of Appeal.

 

Sabs protest Ashby Show letting Atherstone FH hounds parade

16-7-18   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Ashby Show demonstration   Yesterday, we held a demonstration outside Cattows Farm in protest at them promoting bloodsports by hosting the Ashby Show who allowed the Atherstone Hunt to parade in the main ring. Two Atherstone Hunt directors recently lied in court including current Joint-Master Mike Lane. Another Atherstone Hunt director was also recently convicted of a violent assault and homophobia. Then of course there are the countless other convictions for violence that the Atherstone Hunt supporters have amassed over the years and the numerous foxes we have witnessed them killing. The show also allowed the North Warwickshire Beagles and Dove Valley Mink Hounds to parade in the main ring as well.

This is the first of many demonstrations we will be holding at #CattowsFarm over the summer. Please consider donating to help us continue campaigning.. You can now also follow us on Instagram. And YouTube.

      AtherstoneFHAshbyShowdemo15-7-18.jpg 

 

Northants MH packed up by sabs after tip-off from dog walker

14-7-18   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   A nice little operation this morning with our regular NorthantsMHSpadesandterriers14-7-18.jpgcomrades North Cambs Hunt Sabs in response to reports from a local dog walker that the Northants Stink (Mink/Otter) Hounds were hunting along the river Great Ouse at Lavenden Mill.

We found them without too much trouble and observed the usual band of miscreants in support including the now famous Uncle Albert. Claims of hounds exercise were clearly nonsense with the presence of terriers, spade and guns. As usual once their dirty little game was busted they packed up and headed back to the meet. We hung around to make sure they didn't go back out until the hounds were safely on their way back to kennels.

It didn't seem to matter to them that the wildlife in the area was already under pressure from a recent chemical spill in the river, their blood lust clearly more important however there was little environmental vandalism from them today thanks to our appearance.

With our work done we retired to the pub for beer and chips as is usual in these cases. Want to help out? Buy us a coffee. Every little hleps. ko-fi.com/bedsbuckshuntsabs.

   NorthantsMHRunningawayfromsabs14-7-18.jpg 

 

Pipewell Beagles refusing to help police over illegal hunting allegation

10-7-18   Facebook - Hunt Saboteurs    Beaglers shoot themselves in the (Pipewell) foot According to the League Against Cruel Sports, the masters of the Pipewell Foot Beagles - Philip Garlick and Stephen Reynolds - are refusing to cooperate with the police about allegations of illegal hare hunting.

The Hunt's governing body - the Association of Masters of Harriers & Beagles - have it within their power to easily force the Pipewell to cooperate with the police investigation. All they have to do is threaten the hunt with expulsion from the association: this would mean the loss of the Pipewell's official hunt "country" and other important privileges.

The AMHB claim that after the Hunting Act "all member packs changed their activities to comply with the new legislation." If this is true, why do they continue to support and protect the Pipewell Foot? Please contact the Director of the AMHB, Lizzie Pinney, urging her to force Garlick and Reynolds to cooperate with the police investigation into illegal hare hunting. Email: info@huntingoffice.org.uk.

        NorthantsharehunterssoughtbycopsreillegalhuntingPipewellBeagles17-2-18_29-5-18.jpg 

 

       

Gogerddan Pony Club drops 'Hunt' from names, says against bloodsport

10-7-18   Facebook - South Wales Hunt Saboteurs    So - the Gogerddan Hunt Pony club has changed it's name and dropped the 'Hunt'. They've also issued a statement saying they don't agree with hunting. Presumably they will now stop awarding the hunting certificate.

Thank you to everyone who contacted Tesco and the pony club. We're left wondering what the national Pony Club position is: enquiries@pcuk.org.

   GogerddanFHPonyClubsaysnotaffiliated10-7-18.jpg 

 

Sabs publish film that proved Atherstone FH hunters lied in court

10-7-18   Facebook West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   VIDEO   The footage that prevented one of our sabs going to prison - Hunt saboteur targeted by Leicestershire Police - The footage that prevented one of our sabs going to prison Anyone who knows anything about the Atherstone Hunt knows that they are compulsive liars, what is less well known is how readily Leicestershire Police will accept these lies at face value with no evidence to back them up.

      AtherstoneFHCathyatdemoatkennels7-18.jpg 

Last year whilst holding a peaceful demonstration outside the Atherstone Hunt kennels, senior members of the Atherstone Hunt made false allegations to Leicestershire Police. Huntsman Mike Lane, Joint Master Mark Halford and Kennelman Oliver Hope all claimed that a member of our group, Cathy, was shouting, screaming and swearing at them. She was charged individually with a section 4 and 5 for all three men.

       AtherstoneFHMarkHalfordJManMikeLaneHuntsman7-18.jpg

Leicestershire Police allowed the three hunt members to make statements with these allegations. They also allowed them to include a lot of speculation and irrelevant claims. This is completely the opposite of how we are treated by Leicestershire Police who have told us that when we make statements we have to stick to the facts. 

Despite the police intelligence of five years showing that she has never acted like this Leicestershire Police decided to charge Cathy. This was despite none of the three hunt members having handed in any evidence. Again this is the opposite of how we are treated by Leicestershire Police who have told us on a number of occasions that we have to hand in video footage whenever we make a complaint about the Hunt. 

Cathy was charged with section 4 and 5 of the Public Order Act causing harassment, alarm or distress, used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour. This could have resulted in a prison sentence and a restraining order banning her from going near the Atherstone Hunt. Leicestershire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to drop the case despite this footage being handed into them. There was even an attempt to stop the footage being shown in court. Why? Because it completely disproved the hunts allegations and showed that they had lied in their statements.  

Please sign our petition asking the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police to remove DS Matt Trott (the senior investigating officer of this case) from Operation Blackthorn, Leicestershire Police’s hunting operation

From the start of this investigation to the end Leicestershire Police have made a mockery of the justice system, more determined to secure a conviction on a hunt saboteur than to see justice served. We repeat our request from a few months ago that there needs to be an internal inquiry into this investigation and into Operation Blackthorn itself. #OperationBlackthorn.  

Leicestershire Police can be contacted here. Sign our petition . Please consider donating to help us carry on campaigning. . You can now follow us on YouTube by subscribing to our channel.

 

Tesco supporting hunting via Pony Club donations scheme

9-7-18   HSA Press Release    Tesco Again Supporting Fox Hunting    The Tesco store in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion is fundraising for the Gogerddan Hunt Pony Club as part of their Tesco Bags of Help Grant Scheme. The scheme will enable customers to donate tokens to the Pony Club and Tesco will then convert this into money.

Pony Clubs are an essential part of fox hunting, not only providing financial support, but also grooming future generations to believe that chasing and killing animals for sport is acceptable. Hunts hold special pony club meets, often in school holidays, where young riders are welcomed along and encouraged to become part of the Hunt.

Last year Tesco received international condemnation after selling a children's doll dressed as a huntsman. Media outlets from as far afield as America and China covered the story and Tesco were forced to recall the product.

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “If we're feeling generous we can assume that Tesco don't understand the close links between pony clubs and fox hunts. If this is the case then we expect them to quickly withdraw their support once it's made clear to them where their money is going. If they continue to support the Gogerdden hunt it's clear they have no ethics at all and are happy to publicly endorse the chasing and killing of wildlife. Following on from their gaffe last year, when they sold a child's toy dressed as a huntsman, Tesco need to seriously consider their PR approach as they're starting to look like they're actively recruiting the next generations of hunters for the Countryside Alliance.”

 

Atherstone FH supporter drives car at sab on protest

3-7-18   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs  VIDEO  Atherstone Hunt supporter drives car at saboteur     Whilst we were peacefully protesting at the Atherstone Hunt’s “pleasure” ride in Maxstoke one of their supporters drove at us in his 4x4 accelerating as he got closer trying to run one of our group over with his vehicle. Luckily we managed to move out of the way but a small misstep could have had serious consequences.

In the aftermath of the Atherstone Hunt’s failed attempt to send an innocent person to prison and take out a restraining order on a member of our group, the realisation may b e dawning on some members of the Atherstone Hunt that not only will their hunt never be believed in court again but also that that they are now stuck with us. It seems some members of the Hunt are now taking their frustrations out by trying to run us down with their cars.

      AtherstoneFHSupporterdrivescaratsab3-7-18.jpg 

We blame Leicestershire Police for this latest incident, not only does their repeated targeting of members of our group legitimise us as targets for the hunt, but their failure to take any kind of action against a number of serious assaults now means the Atherstone Hunt believe that they can get away with anything. Earlier in the year Leicestershire Police took no further action against Ashley Davies who drove into us with his quad bike. The lack of action over that case means the Atherstone have taken things to the next logical level - driving at us with their 4x4s.

Don't forget to sign our petition, until Leicestershire Police sort themselves out this type of incident will be commonplace. Leicestershire Police:- https://www.facebook.com/leicspolice/. Please consider donating towards our campaign costs. You can also follow us on You Tube

 

New study says foxes can spread bTb - hounds also implicated 

3-7-18   Independent    Foxes and hounds spread TB as well as badgers, study claims, prompting calls for greater hunting scrutiny - Call for packs to be reined in as research deepens row between wildlife cull supporters and opponents - Hunts are at the centre of debate after research showed foxes - and hounds - are susceptible to disease    Fox-hunting is poised to face greater scrutiny following arguments over the recent badger cull after a new study showed that foxes can also spread tuberculosis in the countryside. And a leading wildlife campaigner called for a moratorium on hunting on the grounds that bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is also spread by packs of hunt hounds.

French government scientists published the evidence showing foxes can also carry and transmit bovine TB. The research has further widened the divide between Britain’s animal-welfare groups and supporters of the badger cull, which was rolled out across most of England just weeks ago in an effort to reduce bTB.

The government and farmers have long argued that badgers, which carry TB, pass the disease to cattle that come into contact with them so eliminating the nocturnal animals will halt the spread. But opponents of the badger cull claimed the French evidence undermined arguments for the cull, while others feared it could even prompt ministers to order widespread official extermination of foxes, as they have frequent contact with badgers. If UK foxes are infected, eradicating bTB would be almost impossible, The Sunday Times reported.

"Infection in wild red foxes was found in southern France, where livestock and other wildlife species are infected," said researchers from the French food and environment agency, in a paper in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal. Foxes frequently interact with cattle but have been underestimated as a reservoir of M bovis [the bacterium]. Our results suggest a possible role of the red fox in the epidemiology of bTB."

The French researchers examined six wild foxes and tested each exhaustively, finding four were infected, and warning that the animals often had few visible symptoms. In Britain, no foxes have been tested for at least a decade.

Domnic Dyer, head of the Badger Trust and wildlife expert, said hunt hounds running around rural areas were also spreading the disease, in their faeces and urine, in the same way as badgers and foxes, and should be stopped.

In January, the League Against Cruel Sports issued a major report claiming that hunt hounds pose a serious risk of spreading infectious diseases in the countryside and to visitors to public events such as Boxing Day hunt parades and county shows. Earlier this year the Kimblewick Hunt culled 25 of its own hounds after an outbreak of bTB.

Prolific wildlife photographer Richard Bowler said he feared the new research could prompt a backlash against foxes, writing on Facebook: “We should I suppose think that the news coming out of France vindicates our claim that that badger cull is unscientific and needs to stop now. However, the news that foxes can carry and transmit bTb I fear will not halt the badger cull but be a catalyst for a mass extermination of foxes. After all no licence or permission is required to kill a fox, already down in numbers by 30-40 per cent.”

Mr Dyer pointed out that in areas where badgers have been cleared, fox, weasel and stoat number have risen, raising the risk of the spread of infection. A range of animals, from foxes and deer to alpacas, dogs, cats and rats carried TB, he said, and even if all wildlife were killed it would not eradicate bTB in cattle, insisting the disease should be tackled at source. “Bovine TB is a form of industrial pollution from intensive livestock production which spills over into many wildlife species. We could wipe out all the foxes and badgers in England and still have TB in cattle,” he said. “If all we’re doing is seeking to eradicate other animals it’s preposterous. We don’t believe the government have done enough research.” He called for new, more accurate TB testing techniques to be brought into use as well as more frequent testing.

However, a group in favour of the badger cull, called The Badger Cull Support Our Farmers, insisted foxes do not spread TB, saying: “It is a non-existent threat. Sheer hyperbole.” The group added: “The badger is the super-emitter of billions of TB bacilli - the best emitter in the whole wide world. And it's destroying our cattle. It should never have been given total protection. It desperately needs culling to reduce TB.”

A Defra spokesperson said: “Bovine TB is a slow-moving, insidious disease that presents many challenges. It is difficult to detect and there’s no single measure that will provide an easy answer, and that is why we are pursuing a wide range of interventions, including cattle movement controls and a cull of badgers where they are linked with herd breakdowns.” Defra says dealing with the disease costs taxpayers more than £100m each year and in 2016, more than 29,000 cattle had to be slaughtered in England to control the disease.


Monitors campaign for Hunts to be banned from Nantwich Show

Cheshire FH and Cheshire Beagles both scheduled to appear

2-7-18   Facebook - Cheshire Monitors    Nantwich Show [25th July] promoting blatant animal cruelty; celebrity chef James Martin appearing Please take action + please share!   We find it staggering that the organisers of The Nantwich Show think it is acceptable to still welcome the fox-killing Cheshire Hounds Hunt (‘The Cheshire Hunt’) and the hare-chasing Cheshire Beagles to their show. We believe these hunts’ participation in this otherwise fantastic and fun family event promotes and normalises the persecution and brutal killing of our wildlife by these hunts. They also actively encourage young children to mix with the hounds during the show, animals trained to kill and which are known to run the risk of carrying TB.

Many of the exhibitors and celebrities appearing at this event would be alarmed to discover the true nature of these Hunts. The Cheshire Hounds Hunt alone have been witnessed chasing and killing foxes, and investigated by Cheshire Police, on numerous occasions over the last hunting season.

Celebrity Chef James Martin will be appearing at the Nantwich Show as part of the International Cheese Awards, along with Coronation Street's Sean Wilson, as well as chefs Will Holland (Twitter @ChefWillH) and Jonathan Harrison (Twitter @_chefharrison). We would suggest that anyone concerned by the appearance of the Hunts, and would like to voice their concerns, should contact James and Sean's agent via the details below, along with James directly via his social media accounts.

Maybe we can all ask James and Sean to request the Hunts’ removal from the show’s itinerary. We are certain most attendees would support this decision, and it would increase local support for this event. Email: mail@limelightmanagement.com Twitter:- https://twitter.com/jamesmartinchef Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jamesmartinchefpage.You

You can also contact the organisers of the Nantwich Show, which is a trading name of a registered charity, George B Lawrence and Adrian Lawrence, to make your concerns known to them. (Adrian Lawrence is also organiser of the International Cheese Awards. A full list of their sponsors can be found at http://www.internationalcheeseawards.co.uk/, and include Tesco and Cheshire East Council - email letusknow@cheshireeast.gov.uk. Adrian Lawrence - 01270 780306 – adrian@internationalcheeseawards.com. George B Lawrence - 01270 780306 – AGL4nantwichshow@aol.com. Find more details on their Facebook pages... https://www.facebook.com/thenantwichshow & https://www.facebook.com/theinternationalcheeseawards. PLEASE SHARE!

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Dead fox cub dumped at hunt monitors' property

2-7-18   Facebook - Grafton Hunt Watch    The horrid experience awaited two of our young Monitors this morning:- "So this morning my mum woke up, went to let her chickens out, to find this darling fox cub which that had been shot in the head and placed outside the coop. The level of sickness amongst the hunting fraternity knows no bounds. Cruel to the core. As cubbing season approaches, spare a thought for these innocent beings. RIP little darling."

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JUNE 2018

….. 29th June - Almost all consultees want stronger Scottish hunting law

….. 29th June - Cheshire FH Whip gets Community Order for railway trespass

….. 29th June - Sabs stage pop-up demos at various Leics police stations

….. 29th June - Cheshire FH withdraw from Darnall Show after protests

….. 28th June - Ten Cottesmore FH hounds killed in horror crash on country road

….. 28th June - Figures reveal only tiny % of illegal hunting reports lead to arrests

….. 25th June - CPS let Cheshire Forest FH fox killers off yet again

….. 20th June - Attorney General asked to review Belvoir FH case sentences

….. 19th June - S. Herefordshire FH fox cubs cruelty case adjourned to August

….. 19th June - Leics police commissioner 'will not tolerate breaking of law' by hunts

….. 18th June - LACS issues reminder of cruelty of the roe deer Hunts

….. 16th June - Sab group claims regional police op aims to facilitate illegal hunting

….. 16th June - Ex LACS Department Head sues League for unfair dismissal

….. 16th June - Sabs assaulted & radio stolen at Culmstock MH

….. 14th June - Belvoir FH 2 get suspended jail for severe attacks on LACS monitors

….. 14th June - Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman appeals against illegal hunting conviction

….. 13th June - NT 'monitoring' of Hunts grossly inadequate says Hounds Off 

….. 13th June - Nat. Trust is advertising for a 'Trail Hunt Manager'

….. 13th June - Convicted Belvoir FH thugs to be sentenced tomorrow

….. 12th June - 3 Middleton FH riders in court charged with attacks on sabs

….. 11th June - Cases against 2 female sabs are thrown out of court

…..  9th June - Sabs prevent Northants MH hunting on notorious Estate

…..  8th June - Berwickshire FH pull out of Haddington Show after social media storm

…..  4th June - Wildlife Witness launch campaign to keep Hunts off roads

…..  4th June - Did ex Beds police senior officer/hunter assist Hunt against sabs?

…..  4th June - Beagle pack exhibitor at Show tells visitor used for hare hunting

…..  2nd June - Sabs ruin Culmstock Mink Hounds' day

.....  2nd June - Sabs upload film of Badsworth FH chasing fox, rejected by police 

…..  2nd June - Dove Valley MH driver tries to damage sab cars as they stop meet

.....  1st June - 3 charged with Hunting & Badger Act offences day of Badsworth FH meet

.....  1st June - LACS local woman refused stall at Bromyard Gala 

 

 Almost all consultees want stronger Scottish hunting law

29-6-18   The Ferret    Nearly all respondents to fox hunting consultation want law changed    Nearly all of the 18,787 respondents to a public consultation on fox hunting want the law to be reformed. The consultation, which closed five months ago, invited people to share their views on recommendations made by Lord Bonomy following his review of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act.

Analysis of the consultation, published today by the Scottish Government, shows that between 94 and 98 percent of respondents indicated support, or agreement, with Lord Bonomy’s proposals for reform of the current legislation.

Responding to concerns about fox hunting, the Scottish Government appointed Lord Bonomy in December 2015, to carry out a review of the operation of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 (the 2002 Act). The main purpose of the 2002 Act was to ban the use of dogs to chase and kill wild mammals. However, it also includes a number of exceptions which allow the limited use of dogs for certain situations.

Lord Bonomy’s report, published in November 2016, set out recommendations for addressing inconsistencies and a lack of clarity in the language of the Act, and strengthening aspects of it to enable more effective detection, investigation and prosecution of alleged offences. The Scottish Government then undertook a public consultation to gather views on Lord Bonomy’s suggested reforms.

 

Cheshire FH Whip gets Community Order for railway trespass

29-6-18   Facebook - Cheshire Monitors   VIDEO    Cheshire FH Whipper in receives community resolution order over railway trespass    We've witnessed the Cheshire Hounds hunt trespassing on a railway line on a previous occasion, with 'Fieldmaster' Keith Shore plus another figure (carrying a loaded shotgun, no less) wandering along the line at Beeston. More recently, we stumbled across Whipper In Jamie Whittles on the line at Marbury looking for a stray hound. As we all know, of course, this Hunt don't understand the definition of 'trespass'.

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Sabs stage pop-up demos at various Leics police stations

Protesting the force's favouritism towards Hunts

29-6-18   Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    POLICE DEMONSTRATIONS    Today as part of our Operation Blackthorn campaign, to expose the police bias towards fox hunts at Leicestershire Police, we did a number of “pop up” demonstrations at police stations around Leicestershire, we started at Beaumont Leys Police Station.

We think there is a clear difference in the way Leicestershire Police deal with saboteurs and how they deal with fox hunters, we have seen this in the different ways they have dealt with recent investigations. We chose to start at Beaumont Leys Police Station because this is where DS Trott is based along with other officers who have also engaged in biased political policing. "You are hunt saboteurs that's what you do, you trespass on other people's property and harass people"

We currently have a petition asking the Chief Constable to remove DS Trott from Operation Blackthorn (Leicestershire Police’s hunting operation) due to inappropriate comments he made on the phone to a member of our group. You can sign our petition here https://chn.ge/2MXYNH5.

The complaint was upheld yet Trott was allowed to continue being part of hunting investigations. As a result we believe his personal opinions have affected these investigations. Two separate investigations of assault on members of our group by the same farmer with connections to the Atherstone Hunt were dropped despite statements and footage being handed in by the victims.

     LeicsPoliceOneofpop-updemos18-6-18.jpg

Contrast this with another investigation he headed where three members of the Atherstone Hunt were allowed to make allegations about a member of our group WITHOUT HANDING ANY EVIDENCE IN. Was this case dropped due to lack of evidence? No it ended up going all the way to court (despite the lack of evidence) where the member of our group was found not guilty after the allegations were proved to be false. This isn’t an isolated case. A few years before he issued two of our members with harassment notices again despite not having any evidence from the Hunt. The harassment notices were later overturned and Leicestershire Police were forced to apologise to us. This didn’t stop them issuing one to us again which we again successfully challenged and overturned. Trott was also part of a bodged investigation into blocked badger setts. Again we provided statements and footage. Leicestershire Police didn’t even bother interviewing one of the suspects and eventually the CPS dropped the case because Leicestershire Police didn’t hand the evidence in on time.

Beamount Leys is also where one of our group was taken to after they were arrested at the Quorn Hunt. On that day Leicestershire Police deliberately misused legislation designed for severe violence at football matches to stop and search a group of non-violent hunt saboteurs.

One of our saboteurs refused to be searched on the grounds that it was illegal and that Leicesterhire Police were abusing their powers. She was arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer. At Beaumont Leys Police Station she was given bail conditions which banned her from going near any fox hunt in the country and banned her from entering the entire county of Leicestershire. We managed to get these draconian bail conditions dropped based on the fact that Leicestershire Police were again abusing their powers by applying conditions that had nothing to do with the charges. This case went all the way to court where it was thrown out by the judge who agreed with us that Leicestershire Police had misused the legislation.

Afterwards we obtained emails revealing the CPS had wanted to drop the case because they too believed Leicestershire Police had misused the legislation, however the police sent an email back to the CPS saying that the case mustn’t be dropped because they believed the defendant was “defiant of the law” and had recently sued another police force so they were worried she would sue Leicestershire Police. Once the case got dropped she did indeed successfully sue Leicestershire Police.

If you haven't done so already please sign our petition https://chn.ge/2MXYNH5. Leicestershire Police need to start being made accountable for their actions. Leicestershire Police can be contacted on their Facebook page here https://m.facebook.com/leicspolice/. Please consider donating towards our campaign costs: https://www.paypal.me/westmidlandhuntsabs.

 

Cheshire FH withdrawn from Darnall Show after protests

29-6-18   Facebook - Cheshire Monitors   Cheshire Hounds Hunt removed from Darnhall Show    We are pleased to report that the Cheshire Hounds Hunt will no longer be appearing at this year's Darnhall Show. Thank you to everyone who expressed their concerns to the organisers.

We are aware, however, that they are still due to appear at The Nantwich Show on the 25th July, along with the hare-chasing Cheshire Beagles Hunt, where they will "entertain the crowds with children invited to meet the hounds". More here: https://nantwichshow.co.uk/whats-on/.You

You can voice your concerns once again by emailing the organisers of the Nantwich Show at AGL4nantwichshow@aol.com or by calling 01270 780306. The Cheshire Hounds are also due to appear at the Pony Club Championships at Cholmondeley Castle on Saturday 18th August.

 

Ten Cottesmore FH hounds killed in horror crash on country road

28-6-18   Leicestershire Live    Pack of 10 Cottesmore hunting dogs killed in crash with car in Rutland - The horrific crash happened on a country lane near Oakham    Ten hounds died after an horrific collision involving the pack of hunting dogs and a car on a country road. The car was being driven along Whissendine Road, Ashwell, near Oakham, where two employees of the Cottesmore Hunt were out on bicycles exercising a group of hounds.

In the crash on Monday morning one of the employees – a young man – was knocked off his bike and suffered severe bruising. Five dogs were killed outright and a further five were put down by a vet.

Andrew Osborne, spokesman for the Hunt, said: “It’s obviously a very unfortunate accident. Two of our employees were on bicycles with the hounds and one of them was the first to be hit by the car. He suffered a lot of bruising but fortunately nothing more permanent than that. The vehicle then hit several of our hounds, with unfortunate results.”

The North Cambs Hunt Saboteurs, which works to disrupt the activities of Hunts across the region, saidCottesmoreFHRoadwhere10houndskilled28-6-18.jpg the Hunt was irresponsible for allowing dogs on the road. A spokesman said: “There are laws to protect motorists from domestic animals on our highways. A driver would not expect a large pack of dogs to be in the road at any time – and they should never be in the road in our opinion – especially if they are still being trained. There have been a number of hounds killed on the roads over the years. We will be watching your Hunts very carefully next season. If, as Hunts claim, they are following trails and hunting within the law, there will be no need for hounds to be on the road during any hunt.”

However, Mr Osborne said the Hunt had rules for taking hounds on the roads and that they were acting within the law. He said: “It’s no different from a normal person walking their dog. We take great care.” No one has been arrested in connection to the incident.

A spokesman for Leicestershire Police confirmed the details of the collision, which led to the road between Ashwell and Whissendine being temporarily closed to traffic. He said: “We were called by the ambulance service to Whissendine Road in Ashwell, Leicestershire, just after 8am on Monday, June 25, to a road traffic collision. It involved a car, a bicycle and a number of working dogs and the cyclist suffered minor injuries. The driver of the car was unhurt and five dogs were killed, with five more being put down by a vet at the scene. The road was closed while the emergency services dealt with the incident.”

Pic above  -  The road where the hounds were killed 

Also reported in Stamford Mercury. 

POWAperson comments  -   This is the third instance of hounds being exercised since the end of last hunting season being killed on roads. Hounds, far from being beloved by hunters, as they claim, are simply disposable tools of their grisly trade. Taking hounds on to roads, often busy A routes, is commonplace, as is allowing them to charge on to highways in pursuit of their quarry. Not only are they careless of their dogs [and road users] safety, but they deliberately kill between 5 and 7,000 healthy hounds every year, mostly in slaughtering older hiounds to replace them with younger, more vigorous ones. See 'How Hunters "Love" Their Hounds'.   

 

Figures reveal only tiny % of illegal hunting reports lead to arrests

28-6-18   Daily Mirror    Animal campaigners outraged as just 5% of 'illegal' hunters arrested after 1,600 reports - The League Against Cruel Sports has demanded more police action and a tougher law to combat illegal hunting     Police have received 1,600 reports of illegal hunting in five years but have arrested just 83 people and charged only 30.

That means only 5% of complaints about breaches of the 2004 Hunting Act have led to legal action, Freedom of Information requests to police forces found. They showed 51 arrests over hare coursing and just four for fox hunting. Figures did not reveal how many prosecutions succeeded.

Animal rights campaigners have repeatedly accused officers of failing to crackdown on allegations of huntsmen and women breaching the law. The League Against Cruel Sports demanded more police action and a tougher law.

Campaigns director Chris Luffingham said: “These alarming figures indicate the sheer scale of brutal and illegal hunting activity still taking place across the British countryside 13 years after the ban came into force. “Foxes and hares are being literally torn to pieces by packs of hounds while exhausted deer are being chased for hours on end before being shot. The Mirror’s figures indicate that 95% of those allegedly hunting illegally get away with it so we need the police to put more resources and develop their expertise to properly tackle wildlife crime. We need to strengthen the Hunting Act and introduce prison sentences for those convicted of illegal hunting as we need a strong deterrent. Currently those who enjoy killing animals for fun get away with a slap on the wrist and are simply fined and then back out hunting the following day.”

PaulNethertonNationalPoliceChiefsCouncilhuntingspokesman2018.jpgPolice chiefs said reports were often invalid or “inadequate” but forces were working to improve prosecution rates. The 2004 Hunting Act banned the chasing of wild animals, including hares, stags and foxes, by two dogs or more. It came into force in February 2005 and polls consistently show it enjoys support of about 80% of voters. Details included in the responses revealed that 51 arrests were for alleged hare coursing, 18 arrests were for suspected deer hunting, six for allegations of rabbit hunting and just four for suspected illegal fox hunting.

National Police Chiefs’ Council hunting spokesman, Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton [pic left], said: “Police forces receive a large number of reports of illegal hunting activity. Unfortunately many of these reports are invalid and the evidence supplied to forces is often inadequate, meaning that police officers are unable to take action. We are committed to cracking down on illegal hunting and want to help improve the quality of evidence submitted to police forces. We are working with the League Against Cruel Sports to achieve this and using their guidance to help protest groups to provide usable evidence. Officers will be undertaking up-to-date training on how to effectively respond to illegal hunting and we are working with the Crown Prosecution Service in an effort to improve prosecution rates.”

POWAperson comments - The 5% figure in the headline is misleading. The vast majority of these arrests are of low-life, trespassing, hare and fox coursers. The % of people from organised Hunts who are arrested when they hunt illegally [which most do most of the time] is minuscule. Indeed, in some force areas, the witnesses reporting the illegal hunting are probably more likely to be arrested than are the criminals. In the 13 years since the Hunting Act came in only 100 people from organised Hunts have been charged with illegal hunting. Only 35 were convicted or cautioned - less than 3 per year. 39% of those charged had their cases dropped before or during trial. No less a figure than a former Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service has said that the hunting ban is being 'extensively flouted' by organised Hunts. There are still over 250 Hunts in England and Wales. Reports from monitors and sabs suggest that almost all of them illegally hunt live quarry most of the time. The Hunting Act is riddled with weak wording and loopholes which provide police and CPS - usually reluctant to take on Hunts' expensive lawyers - with plenty of excuses not to prosecute, even in the most blatant of cases.

 

CPS let off Cheshire Forest FH fox killers yet again

Police were confident of illegal hunting conviction 

25-6-18  Facebook - Cheshire Monitors    Third clear case of illegal hunting in a row rejected by CPS Mersey-Cheshire    On Boxing Day 2017, Andrew German, Huntsman with the Cheshire Forest Hunt, hunted and killed a fox on Crowders Lane in Byley, Cheshire. The fox was literally torn in two in front of numerous witnesses, and there were signs that it may have been held in a farm building on CheshireForestFHRemainsofkilledfox26-12-17.jpgMarsh Farm and released that morning for the hunt to chase.

A comprehensive case against the Hunt was submitted to CPS Mersey-Cheshire by Northwich CID, who were confident of a successful prosecution. However, the CPS failed to come to a decision within the required 28 days, and only following contact from two local MPs finally announced that they would not be sending the case to court.

During the incident, which took part during the traditional ‘Boxing Day Meet’ (hosted by The Three Greyhounds Inn in Allostock, regular supporters of this fox-killing hunt), where we believe the unusually large turnout of riders and followers expect the excitement of a kill – Huntsman German was witnessed hunting the fox for an extended period of time and giving encouraging voice and horn calls to his hounds on a number of occasions. After catching the fox, German and his ‘terrier man’ Shaun Watson then stood by and watched – without any attempt to intervene – as the hounds literally ripped the fox in two, before the pack ate much of one half of the body (an autopsy was later conducted on the remains).

CheshireForestFHHuntsmanandterriermanwithhoundsaskillfox26-12-17.jpgOne witness commented: “We saw riders cheering immediately following the kill, giving thumbs-up to one another, and even taking nips of whiskey from their saddle flasks. I recognised one of them as Liz Gorse.” Elizabeth Gorse is a joint master of the hunt – and domestic vet at Rose Cottage Vets in Sutton Weaver – who had been seen looking on as the kill took place; at a late stage in the investigation she came forward as the (so called) ‘trail layer’ on the day, something, we are led to believe, she wasn’t required to prove.

Members of our team were present on the day, and one clarifies: “We were around all day from early morning, and we certainly didn’t see anyone laying a trail. In fact, none of us have ever seen this Hunt lay a trail in all the years our group has been monitoring them. It just doesn’t happen.”

A number of anti-hunting groups were present on the day, including Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs and Bath Hunt Saboteurs, and have been involved in the case. All parties understand the difficulties in prosecuting under the Hunting Act 2004, commonly considered to be an incredibly flawed piece of legislation. However, reasons given by the CPS for not proceeding were numerous and, in our opinion, highly questionable. Furthermore, witnesses were told that appealing their decision would not be allowed.

This case is clear proof of how the current legislation to stop this kind of barbarity needs strengthening urgently. Fox hunting in its traditional form is a repugnant hobby to the vast majority of people, and will clearly never return. It has now been illegal for more than 13 years, and hunts have had all that time to adapt their behaviour to one that doesn’t involve the killing of foxes – whether intentionally or by accident – but they haven’t made any attempt to do so. All they have come up with is to claim they are ‘trail hunting’, which even the general public now understand to be merely a ruse to hide the truth.

The Hunt claim this kill was an accident, of course; they know that’s all they have to say to get awayCheshireForestFHHoundeatingdeadfox26-12-17.jpg with it. We know this claim isn’t true, but even if it was, if you train hounds using real fox scent, and then take them hunting in areas known to contain foxes, then what can you expect?Enough is enough. The current situation is clearly ludicrous, and now is the time to plug the gaping holes in current legislation and put an end to this cruelty once and for all. This doesn't end here... please stay tuned to this page. In the meantime, please share this post and send an email as details below - Please take a moment to complain about CPS Mersey-Cheshire to Siobhan Blake, their Chief Crown Prosecutor at siobhan.blake@cps.gov.uk, and john Dilworth, their Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, at john.dilworth@cps.gov.uk. If you receive no satisfactory response from either then please contact Stephen Shaw CBE, Independent Assessor of Complaints for the CPS , by email: IAComplaints@cps.gsi.gov.uk (Further details can be found at https://www.cps.gov.uk/feedback-and-complaints). Case reference number 07W20561318. Also, if you live in Cheshire, please contact your local MP to lodge your complaints about this case and continued concerns about the serial fox-killing Cheshire Forest Hunt. [Release of video evidence to follow]

Pics above  -  Top right - Remains of killed fox    Left  -  Huntsman and terrierman watch as hounds kill fox    Bottom right -  Hound eating dead fox

25-6-18   Facebook - Bath Hunt Saboteurs     Cheshire police & CPS give licence to kill     On Boxing Day 2017, whilst our main group were successfully sabbing a meet of the Woolaston Bassets, one of our sabs joined up with Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs to sab the Cheshire Forest Hunt, who met at the Three Greyhounds pub at Allostock - (please leave them a review at https://www.facebook.com/threegreyhoundsinn). Also present were Cheshire Monitors. There was a great display of opposition to the hunt by local protesters, who booed the Hunt as they attempted to parade past. Soon after the Hunt left the meet a fox was seen fleeing from a nearby farm. It was followed suspiciously by two terriermen and we believe this could have been a 'bagged' fox - taken either the night before or that morning to be released before the hunt to ensure a 'good day's sport' for them.

       CheshireForestFHsabretrievesmangledremainsoffox26-12-17.jpg 

With two sab teams and the monitors, we managed to keep track of the Hunt for most of the day. At around 1330 the monitors alerted us that hounds were in cry close to Crowders Lane, Lach Dennis in Northwich. There we found the hunt positioned as per cubbing around a dense covert; where they surround the covert on horses ready to scare a fox back in should it try to escape. Sabs and Monitors were ridden at in an attempt to stop them from getting to the hounds.

Undeterred we got to the area where the hounds were in cry and found Andrew German, the Huntsman, off his horse and leading - not following - the hounds through the covert making voice and horn calls to encourage them on. A very strong smell of fox was present, indicating that the fox was very stressed - the more anxious foxes are, the greater the scent they release. A holloa was heard; this is where hunt support whoop to indicate they have seen a fox. German took the hounds with voice and horn calls in this direction with sabs in close pursuit. He was then heard to make a brrrr sound, which is a voice call used to scare a fox back towards the hounds.

German was told numerous times to call the hounds off the fox but did not do so. German was hunting in a covert, off of his horse, with terrierman Shaun Watson. The supposed 'trail layer' was present as one of those surrounding the covert. All the 'trail layer'* had to do was tell the police they had laid a trail that day- no evidence was required. Neither sabs nor monitors saw a trail being laid and this hunt has never been seen to lay a trail previously. Before the kill the hounds had been searching for around 30-40 minutes through dense undergrowth that was not accessible to riders, German knew there was likely to be a fox in that area and he admitted it on camera.

Using voice calls and citronella spray we tried to take the hounds off the fox's scent and believed we had been successful but just outside a barn in the covert, the hounds were discovered with what was left of the young male fox's body, we were just moments too late. It was a horrific end to the day and sabs and monitors were understandably devastated.

German looked gleefully on as the fox was ripped apart and sickeningly blew a kiss to the camera. The hunt supportCheshireForestFHHuntsmanandterriermanhavejustwatchedhoundskilfox26-12-17.jpg were pleased with the result of their day's 'sport', with celebratory drinks all round and thumbs up to each other. A sab removed the fox’s body, which was sent away afterwards for a post mortem. We returned to the barn and found items which led us to believe that the fox had been encouraged to live in there, including a dog bed and fresh straw. There was also a fox skeleton strung up from the rafter with rope. The post mortem results showed that the fox had been more than likely killed by hounds and had just cat food in his stomach, adding weight to our opinion that this was a fox that had been kept by the hunt for the purposes of being hunted, there being no nearby houses who could have fed him.

Statements and footage were given to Cheshire Police and the overwhelming evidence was then handed over to CPS Mersey-Cheshire. What followed was what we believe to be a deliberate delay tactic, with their decision to drop the case for 'lack of evidence' being given to us despite repeated chasing just days before the six month prosecution deadline expired. When we requested that they appeal against the decision, Cheshire Police refused. Although the police officers we had dealt with during the investigation had been helpful, it seems those higher up have an interest in German not being prosecuted. Hunt Support have said to Cheshire Monitors previously that German will never be charged with an offence, as he is being protected by those in high places. We will leave you to draw your own conclusions on this.

CheshireForestFHLizGorseJMandvetsoonafterfoxkill26-12-17.jpgWe have named the poor fox who died in such a horrific way Noel, given that it was Christmas time, and we will continue to fight for #JusticeForNoel. A video is being produced showing our footage from the day, which we hope to release very soon... #PoliceCorruption #NoJusticeJustUs.

To make a complaint to the CPS Mersey-Cheshire for enabling hunts repeatedly to break the law and go unpunished, please contact them: - Stephen Shaw CBE, Independent Assessor of Complaints for the CPS - by email:- IAComplaints@cps.gsi.gov.ukby email: IAComplaints@cps.gsi.gov.uk or by post to c/o Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS.

The supposed 'trail layer' was Elizabeth Gorse; Director of Rose Cottage Veterinary Centre Ltd, Runcorn and Director of the Cheshire Forest Hunt. If you feel that a person who enjoys murdering innocent animals should not be trusted to treat people's beloved pets, please feel free to contact Rose Cottage Veterinary Centre, Runcorn.

To complain against Cheshire Police for not appealing the CPS' ludicrous decision, please go to:- https://www.cheshire.police.uk/contact/make-a-complaint/.

Pics above  -    1/  Sab retrieves mangled remains of dead fox    2/  Huntsman & terrierman smug, having just watched hounds kill fox    3 - JM [and vet] Elizabeth Gorse, soon after fox kill   

 

Rannulph Fiennes & ex LACS CEO ask Attorney General to review Belvoir FH case sentences

Antis who feel the same invited to also write to the Attorney General 

20-6-18   Facebook - Eduardo Goncalves    Sir Ranulph Fiennes and I have today written to the U.K. Attorney General requesting that he review the sentence given to 2 hunt supporters who walked free from court after viciously assaulting a wildlife crime investigator.

Darryl Cunnington, a former police officer, was observing the Belvoir Hunt when he was brutally attacked by 6 men - 4 of them wearing balaclavas - who then pushed him off a 14 foot ledge. Darryl’s neck was broken in 3 places. 2 of the men were found guilty last week but received only suspended sentences. They repeatedly refused to help police catch the other members of the group, who remain at large.

As Ian Hislop would say, if this is justice then I’m a banana.

      BelvoirFHFeinnesandGoncalveslettertoAttorneyGre.lenientsentencing6-18.jpg 

 

20-6-18   Facebook - Green Future News    Are you ANGRY that 2 Hunt thugs escaped jail after their brutal assault on a wildlife crime investigator which left him with a broken neck? Here’s how YOU can demand the UK’s Attorney General review their sentences.

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2-7-18  Daily Telegraph    Sir Ranulph Fiennes accuses judge of showing leniency to hunt attackers after Princess Diana's sister pleads for clemency - Sir Ranulph Fiennes has written to the Attorney General to complain about the sentence handed out    Sir Ranulph Fiennes has accused a judge of showing undue leniency to two violent huntsmen who were spared jail, following an intervention by the sister of Diana Princess of Wales. Lady Sarah McCorquodale, who is the joint master of the Belvoir Hunt, wrote to a judge offering character references for two of its members who had been convicted of attacking an anti-hunt campaigner. Darryl Cunnington suffered a fractured neck and was left with life threatening injuries during the assault. But despite admitting their role in the incident, George Grant and his son, Thomas, only received 16 month suspended sentences when they appeared in court last month.

Sir Ranulph, who is a supporter of the League Against Cruel Sports, has now written to the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, asking him to review the case under the unduly lenient sentencing scheme. The veteran explorer said he is concerned that the judge may have been influenced by Lady McCorquodale, who is the older sister of Diana, adding that such a lenient sentence could serve as a "green light" for hunt supporters to attack opponents of the sport.

In his letter, he wrote: "We strongly believe the sentences are not commensurate with the seriousness of the crimes committed. Darryl Cunnington suffered life-threatening injuries, including fractures to the neck in three places, as a result of the attack carried out on him. 

"By allowing the two men to walk free from court, this may be interpreted as giving a ‘green light’ for hunt supporters to commit serious assaults against local residents, charity staff or any other individual who may observe or be in the vicinity of a hunt." 

Mr Cunnington and his colleague, Roger Swaine were working as investigators for the League Against Cruel Sports and had been filming the activities of the Belvoir Hunt in Leicestershire in March 2016 when they were attacked by six men. George Grant, 57, who is a terrierman for the hunt and Thomas, 25, his son admitted grievous bodily harm, actual bodily harm, the theft of a camera and damage to an SD card. While Mr Grant senior did not physically attack Mr Cunnington himself, the court heard that the attack was a "joint venture" between him and the other men, four of whom have never been identified.

Mr Cunnington said: "They were completely dressed in black. They had got black balaclavas on so you could only see their eyes, and as soon as they got out of the vehicle they jumped on myself and Roger. Two or three approached me and basically kicked my walking pole out of my hand. As I bent down to pick it up I got punched in the chest, punched in the face, and one of them grabbed me and pushed me straight backwards off this 14ft drop." 

When the Grants appeared for sentencing last month, Judge Jinder Singh Boora told them: "Both of you flipped. Neither of you are by nature violent men." But Sir Ranulph said the evidence put before the court did not support that and he asked Mr Wright to consider overruling the judge's sentence. He said he feared the reference offered by Lady McCorquodale - who is Diana's older sister - may have swayed the judge when he was considering his sentence. She had written to the court explaining that Mr Grant senior would lose his job and home if he was jailed. She also told Leicester Crown Court that he was "very hardworking, good at his job", adding that she had "never seen him lose his temper like that".

The Attorney General's office has 28 days to consider whether the original sentence is appropriate.

Also covered by BBC News 

 

S. Herefordshire FH fox cubs case adjourned to August

19-6-18   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    The South Herefordshire Hunt fox cubs case has now been adjourned until August. No pleas were entered by the five accused. We await justice for the cubs. HIT. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/localnews/8224198-bartestree/10.

POWAperson adds -  Julie Elmore (55) and Nathan Parry, a hunt terrier man, (39) from Abergavenny - each face four counts of killing fox cubs. Paul Oliver (39), Huntsman of the S. Herefordshire FH at the time of the alleged offences and Hannah Rose (30) from Spalding - each face four counts of animal cruelty. Paul Reece (47) from Chepstow - faces two counts of causing unnecessary suffering. The five spoke only to confirm their names, ages and addresses.

 

Leics police commissioner 'will not tolerate breaking of law' by hunters

19-6-18   Leicester Mercury     Leicestershire Police commissioner proud of investigation into fox hunt supporters who attacked animal welfare monitors     'We will not tolerate any breaking of the law in relation to hunting' says Lord Willy Bach Leicestershire’s police and crime commissioner is "proud" of the force’s handling of a case which saw two fox hunting supporters handed suspended prison sentences for attacking animal welfare monitors.

Lord (Willy) Bach [right] spoke after father and son George and Thomas Grant, both supporters of the BelvoirLordWillyBach.jpg Hunt, admitted attacking two League Against Cruel Sports monitors – leaving one of the victims with a broken neck.

George Grant, 57, was employed as the hunt’s ‘terrier man’ when he and his 25-year-old son launched the attack in March 2016. Darryl Cunnington, a hunt monitoring investigator for the League Against Cruel Sports and a former police officer, suffered a broken neck after being punched, kicked and pushed down a 14ft slope. His colleague Roger Swain was also injured and had his video recorder stolen. Mr Cunnington and Mr Swain were monitoring the Belvoir Hunt at the time – although there was no suggestion that the Hunt was acting unlawfully on that day.

The Grants, who live in Belvoir, where the Hunt is based, had pleaded guilty to charges of causing grievous bodily harm, theft, criminal damage to property and assault causing actual bodily harm during an earlier trial. They appeared at Leicester Crown Court last week and were each given 13-month jail sentences, suspended for two years. They were also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and to pay each pay £500 compensation to their victim.

POWAperson comments - Lord Bach then needs to get a firm grip on those parts of Leicestershire police who appear to show blatant favouritism to Hunts, especially the Atherstone FH.

 

LACS issues reminder of cruelty of the roe deer Hunts

18-6-18  LACS website    No happy ending for Bambi    Roe deer are small, solitary animals that live in British woodland. The British Deer Society describe them as dainty creatures with large black eyes, which make dog-like barking noises when startled or alarmed. Roe deer are the species of deer that Felix Salten wrote about in his 1920s novel Bambi, later made into a Disney film, in which the eponymous hero loses his mother to hunters. Most of us would delight in them. Yet despite the ban on hunting being introduced 14 years ago, they are still being chased and killed by men on horseback with packs of baying hounds.

Driven to extinction in England and Wales by hunting, roe deer were reintroduced in the 19th Century. Since World War I they have been hunted again. Unlike larger breeds such as red deer whose mature stags can weigh nearly 200 kg and possess mighty antlers, roe deer do not have the size or power to hold the hounds at bay. When tired from the chase, many lie down in cover, only to be found and torn apart by the hounds, rather than being finished off by a huntsman with a shotgun.

Hunting takes place between August and May every year. Mature males, known as bucks, are targeted from August through October, before the females, known as does, possibly pregnant and caring for their young, are chased and killed throughout winter. The hunting season continues into spring, when the hunt switches to young bucks. The hunt itself takes place in the woodland that is home to roe deer, rather than the open ground favoured by the larger red deer, with the roe deer invariably chased round and round in circles before the kill. It’s the territory the roe deer know. It’s the territory, tragically, where the roe deer die.

They are also a species whose young emit a high-pitched whistle when they lose contact with their mother, according to experts. Tragically there is no happy ending if the mother doe is killed by the hunt today. This isn’t Bambi. This isn’t a novel or a film. The youngster dies too. This is happening. It’s hapCheldonBHSabAndyKaneafterattackedbyfollowers30-5-16.jpgpening here, and it’s happening now. 

The hunting is now confined to Devon and Somerset, although the League occasionally gets reports from around the country of fox hunts killing roe deer. It’s not as well-known as the hunting of red deer, Britain’s largest mammal, which also takes place in the west country. 

Three large, well-supported and financed hunts, chase and kill red deer. One of these, the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, exploits loopholes in the UK’s hunting law – the Research and Observation loophole – which many have caustically compared to the excuses used by the Japanese whaling fleet. The other two hunts – the Quantock Staghounds and Tiverton Staghounds – just hunt. Legally or illegally, they don’t seem to care. Killing is their passion.

The two surviving roe deer hunts are the Exe Valley Buckhounds and the Cheldon Buckhounds, throwbacks to an earlier age. The two hunts are secretive, with shadowy, operating practices. They are not much loved. They lack the big crowds which follow the red deer hunts, though in May, when the red deer hunts have stopped, they attract a few of the latter’s more ardent and barbaric supporters desperate for more blood. They generally meet in pubs and the alcohol fuels the violence they display towards the deer. 

The Cheldon Buckhounds are also known for their violence towards people monitoring their activity and masked followers recently broke the skull of an individual from a hunt saboteur group [above left]. The roe deer hunts are even shunned by the red deer hunts. Following a particularly unpleasant incident in the 1990s, the Master of Deer Hounds Association turned their back on them.

Paul Tillsey, the League’s Head of Conservation and Education, recently photographed the Exe Valley Buckhounds meeting next to St John’s Wood, a piece of land in Somerset, purchased by Sir Paul McCartney in the 1990s for the League Against Cruel Sports, to provide a sanctuary for deer.

He has also had the misfortune to witness the same hunt kill a roe deer before the hunting ban was introduced and has also seen the hunt chasing a roe deer recently. He saw their hounds chase a deer along a stream under the A396, witnessing the terrified animal trying to escape as it moved from one patch of woodland into another. This time he didn’t know the fate of the poor creature.

Kevin Hill worked for the League back in the 1990s and filmed the Cheldon Buckhounds as a huntCheldonBuckhoundsHuntsmansittingonroedeerin90s.jpg member dragged a distressed roe deer off the fence of a League Sanctuary, sat on it for many minutes [right] before bundling it in to a Land Rover that had subsequently arrived, before it was undoubtedly killed. Kevin then went undercover and followed the deer hunts, posing as a supporter and uncovering the brutal and bloodthirsty practices taking place before the hunting ban. 

Kevin spoke passionately about his memories of witnessing a roe deer being hunted, saying: “There is no defence for subjecting a roe deer to the suffering it sustains during a hunt. This small beautiful deer does not have the strength for long runs and will be chased to complete exhaustion until it is unable to move. I have witnessed a roe deer at the end of a hunt – the scene of a hunter restraining the deer will be with me forever.” 

The horrible truth is that hunting is still taking place today. We know, thanks to a blatant admission in the Horse and Hounds magazine, that hundreds of red deer are being slaughtered by the Devon and Somerset Staghounds every year. We know too that roe deer are also being targeted. We don’t know yet how many are being killed. We do know it needs to be stopped. And quickly. 

We’re calling on the Hunting Act to be strengthened and for any loopholes in it to be closed. We’re calling for effective deterrents such as custodial sentences to be brought in. We’re calling for an end to the slaughter. The cruelty. The sheer, bestial savagery that is still taking place. C’mon everyone. Let’s all stand up for Bambi.

PETITION - If you want to see an end to the killing of animals by hunts in the UK, please sign the League’s petition, stop the killing of animals by hunts in the UK, here.

 

Sab group claims regional police op aims to facilitate illegal hunting

16-6-18   Facebook – W.Mids Hunt Sabs    Operation Blackthorn   Leicestershire Police are targeting West Midlands Hunt Sabs again. As you may remember one member has just won a case where the Atherstone Hunt supported by Leicestershire police tried to get a restraining order to effectively stop an individual being near key hunt members. Leicestershire Police’s hunting unit named Operation Blackthorn are continuing to targetour group. This is due to the success of the Atherstone Hunt Campaign which has left the hunt financially crippled and is only continuing due to the Master of Fox Hounds Association propping them up. The many high profile stories/videos that have followed has shaken the hunting community to the core. The police are trying to bully us, label us as difficult so they can try and justify their actions. The police want our group stopped. We will not be bullied or silenced by corrupt officers and their many friends in the hunting field and the Crown Prosecution Service.

So we are starting a campaign to expose Operation Blackthorn and to highlight exactly what treatment this group has suffered at the hands of Leicestershire police in their attempt to protect their hunting friends. Please consider donating to help us to continue campaigning: https://www.paypal.me/westmidlandhuntsabs.

W.Mids Sabs website article re. Operation Blackthorn is here. 

 

 Ex LACS Department Head sues League for unfair dismissal

Claims sacked because objected to LACS pension scheme investments 

Rests his case on  'discrimination' because of his ethical vegan beliefs 

16-6-18    Observer      League Against Cruel Sports in legal battle with vegan ‘whistleblower’   Charity denies claim that employee was sacked for sharing details of its pension fund investments A leading animal welfare charity is locked in an acrimonious legal dispute with a former employee who claims he was dismissed for telling colleagues that its pension fund invested in companies that have been involved in animal testing. The ex-employee, a vegan, describes himself as a whistle-blower whose case will be the first to decide whether his beliefs should be protected under the Equality Act. But the League Against Cruel Sports, which was instrumental in securing the fox-hunting ban, has rejected Jordi Casamitjana’s claims that he was dismissed for the reasons he has given and has pledged to defend itself.

Casamitjana [below left, Credit IFAW], who is crowdfunding to raise money for his legal action, has instructed the leading law firm Bindmans to fight his case which will draw attention to the practice of “ethical JordiCastimajana.jpgveganism”. Unlike “health vegans” who choose not to eat meat, fish and dairy for their own personal wellbeing, ethical vegans consider the broader impact of how they spend their money on animal welfare.

On his crowdfunding website, Casamitjana says that this belief has “informed my daily existence, including my career and employment”. It was only after checking the small print on the League’s pension, he says, that he discovered it was apparently “investing in companies, including pharmaceutical and tobacco companies, who are known to engage in animal testing”.

He had previously worked for the league from 2004 to 2007 and is understood to have had no problems with its pension fund investments then. But the fund changed its investment strategy three years ago. On the website Casamitjana, who returned to the league in 2016 as head of policy and research, said: “When I wrote to my colleagues to tell them that their pension was being invested in non-ethical funds, and that there were alternatives to the single alternative that the company was suggesting, I was sacked. I was given no appeal hearing.” Casamitjana was dismissed in April.

The League explained to the Observer that, until 2015, its staff were automatically enrolled into an “ethical” pension fund, but the Financial Conduct Authority, the body responsible for pensions, changed the regulations and the fund became ineligible. We followed financial advice and changed our pension, while still offering the chance for individuals to change their own fund to an ethical fund,” said Andrew Knott, the league’s interim chief executive. “Mr Casamitjana was not dismissed because he raised concerns about the pension, either internally or externally, so there is no substance to his claims that he was ‘whistleblowing’. All staff were informed about the situation and the processes in place to enable them to make their own choices. The reason for his dismissal is different from that which he states but clearly this is confidential information which we are respecting.”

The case comes at a difficult time for the League. Its chief executive has stood down for health reasons and its chair is due to depart soon. Given the nature of our work, the League is often the subject of attacks from all sorts of quarters,” Knott said. “As a charity, we hold the views of our colleagues and supporters dear. While our main focus is on preventing cruel animal sports, we of course have many vegans in our workplace. We share vegan practices across our wider staff and when meeting with supporters, many of whom are not vegan. We reject any suggestions otherwise.”

When approached for comment, Casamitjana said: “Regrettably, I have been forced into a position where I am required to litigate to protect my rights as an employee and an ethical vegan. However I have no desire to cause any unnecessary difficulty for the charity or the wider animal protection movement. As a result, I will not be making a public statement at this time, save for the statement I have had to make in order to crowdfund my legal fees.”

LACS statement of their staff pensions investment and Jordi's case is here. 

 

Sabs assaulted & radio stolen at Culmstock MH

Hunt blockaded in kennels then tailed by sabs

Eventually gave up and returned to kennels

16-6-18   Facebook – S.Wales Hunt Sabs   Culmstock Mink Hounds – 16.06.18    Together with Bristol Hunt Saboteurs and Bath Hunt Saboteurs we joined up with Devon County Hunt Saboteurs to pay a second visit to the Culmstock.

We set up early and watched the Huntsman arrive at the kennels in Dulford near Cullompton, with hound trailer in tow, obviously thinking he was in for a day's hunting. Once he was safely inside the kennels weCulmstockMHPoliceresponsetoHuntcall15-6-18.jpg moved in to prevent him leaving with the hounds. The terrier thugs arrived and tried to bully and threaten us but ended up sulking and skulking. Next they tried calling in their mates, but no-one seemed interested. Eventually, after 3 hours or more, the police arrived – 5 vehicles and blue lights(!) - helping the hunt to leave with a small number of hounds. We were prepared for this, covering all exits and ready to pursue. We kept tabs on them along A roads, the motorway and country lanes – for an hour or so before the hound trailer returned to the kennels.

There was a markedly different police response when two sabs, who were waiting for a pick up, were assaulted by passing hunt supporters who then stole the sab radio. Funnily enough Devon and Cornwall police couldn't find the perpetrators vehicle, despite having the registration number.

Whilst all this was going on a separate South Wales sab team was sett mapping in one of the new cull zones. You can help keep us in the fields for the price of a coffee @ http://ko-fi.com/swhuntsabs. Thank you.

17-6-18    Facebook - Devon County Hunt Saboteurs    ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER ROBBERY ON OUR SABS     Yesterday we paid another visit to the Culmstock Otter Hunt, together with sabs from Bristol Hunt Saboteurs, Bath Hunt Saboteurs and South Wales Hunt Saboteurs. We turned up at their kennels just after Huntsman Mickey Hibberd arrived with the trailer to load up the hounds. To our surprise, Mickey donned a balaclava for the occasion. We're not sure why, seeing as he didn't bother to cover his face last time and had made a point of calling sabs cowards for covering their faces. "You only cover your face if you have something to hide", he said on that occasion. Hmm...

CulmstockMHDeadharedangledinfrontofsab15-6-18.jpgOur presence delayed the hunt from leaving the kennels until the afternoon as they made frantic phone calls to all their 'loyal supporters' to lend them a hand. Just three of the usual suspects obliged: Modbury Harriers terrier boy Mark Warnett, Dart Vale & South Pool Harriers terrier boy George Bailey and the ever-amusing Marie Walters, who stopped off for a burger at Mole Valley Farmers on her way to the kennels.

They pushed and shoved, made threats about knowing where we all live and told us how they were looking forward to killing lots of animals. Mark Warnett: "I kill animals all the time. I just like watching my dogs do it". Eventually they decided to call the police as they weren't getting their way. 5 police vehicles turned up from Cullompton and Honiton to escort the Hunt out of the kennels and block our vehicles.

Sab vehicles went off in different directions to catch up with the hounds. Not long after, we received a call to say that two of our sabs who were waiting to be picked up on the main road had just been violently attacked by a few latecomer thugs driving a black Mitsubishi. The two thugs were wearing full balaclavas and got out of their vehicle to punch one of our sabs in the face, injuring his jaw. As he was knocked back, they stole the radio from his hand. They got back in their vehicle just as a police car drove past and our sabs flagged them down. Police went in pursuit and managed to confirm the thugs' number-plate but were unable to stop the vehicle. Fortunately, we have footage of the incident and police are investigating.

This is the true ugly face of the Culmstock Hunt. When they're unable to get their kicks by killing animals, they go after humans instead. Unlucky for them, they are the only mink hunt in our neck of the woods, so if they wanted our attention, they've certainly got it now. See you again soon!

To join us or find out how you can help, contact us via Facebook or email to devoncountysabs@riseup.net. If you are in a position to help us replace the stolen radio, you can do so via https://www.paypal.me/dchs.

POWAperson adds -  A photo [above left] with this report shows what appears to be a large dead hare being dangled in front of a sab by, presumably, a hunt follower. I don't know how or when this hare was killed nor why it's not mentioned in the report.  

 

Belvoir FH two get suspended sentences for severe attacks on LACS monitors

Also ordered to do 200 hours work, pay £500 each to one of monitors 

Princess Di's sister, Belvoir JM, gave character reference for older defendant  

14-6-18    LACS Press Release    Fox hunt supporters given suspended prison sentences for brutal attack on League investigators    Two men received suspended prison sentences today at Leicester Crown Court for seriously assaulting two League Against Cruel Sports professional investigators who were attacked whilst monitoring a fox hunt on behalf of the animal welfare charity. One of the investigators, former policeman Darryl Cunnington, had his neck broken in three places during the assault, which took place as they monitored the activities of the Belvoir Hunt.

Lady Sarah McCorquodale [below right], older sister of Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, joint master of the Belvoir Hunt and former High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, gave a character reference in court for George Grant, one of the men being sentenced.

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George Grant, the Belvoir Hunt terrier man [below left], and his son Thomas Grant [right, below father] – both of whom pleaded guilty to charges of grievous bodily harm on investigator Darryl Cunnington [above, at scene], actual bodily harm on investigator Roger Swaine [below, at scene], theft of a video camera and criminal damage of a memory card – received the following sentences:- For the charges of grievous bodily harm to Darryl Cunnington, both received 18 months imprisonment with 25 per cent discount making 13 months and two weeks suspended for two years. Additionally, over the next 12 months they have to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and to pay a victims surcharge. For the charges of Actual Bodily Harm to Roger Swaine and theft of camera and damage to a SD card, a three months custodial sentence to run concurrently, suspended for two years for both of them. Both have to pay £500 compensation to Darryl Cunnington to be paid in full within 28 days.

      BelvoirFHLACSmanRogerSwain12-3-16.jpg 

The attack took place on March 12, 2016 close to the village of Stathern in Leicestershire and involved the two convicted men and four unidentified masked men who punched and then pushed the investigators off a 14-foot ridge before escaping with one of the investigator’s cameras. 

Martin Sims, League Against Cruel Sports Director of Investigations, and former Head of the Police’s British NationalLadySarahMcQuorcodaleJMBelvoirHighSherrifLincs.jpeg Wildlife Crime Unit, said:- “The people who are employed by or support Hunts often act like gangsters and this case illustrates what a dark and menacing blight they are on the countryside. The Hunts are a barbaric throwback to crueller times and should have no place in a modern, compassionate society. The Hunts have been conning the British public about their bloodthirsty hunting with hounds ever since the ban was introduced and they are clearly prepared to resort to desperate measures to maintain that deception. The fact that both guilty men made ‘no comment’ throughout this investigation shows their lack of courage when confronted with the part they played in this brutal and unprovoked attack on our professional investigators. Why didn’t the Hunt come forward with the names of the people who escaped prosecution when in court today it was stated that those individuals had been given the role of shadowing the investigators?”

Four other individuals were involved in this attack on Daryl and Roger and the League will consider a reward for any information that leads to their conviction.” Darryl Cunnington, League Against Cruel Sports Head of Field BelvoirFHGeorgeGrantterrierman10-4-18.jpgOperations, said:- “l am very lucky that the assault has left me with no long-term serious injuries. After falling fourteen feet, finding myself unable to move, I feared I was paralysed. The offenders refused to cooperate with the police and showed no remorse or concern. They must both think they are very fortunate not to have gone to prison today.”

Roger Swain, League Against Cruel Investigators Field Operator who was also assaulted, said:- “The Investigations team have a policy of non-interference and we are there purely to record any hunting or other cruelty offences. We were filming the Belvoir Hunt from a public bridleway from a distance of 1km. This violent response by an employee of the Hunt and five others was unprovoked and a complete overreaction.”

The East Midland BBC Inside Out programme filmed with the investigators during the 2016 fox hunting season and took footage of the aftermath of the assault and shared it on their Facebook account here and here.

The case comes 14 years after fox hunting was banned in England and Wales with the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004 which came into force in 2005. Professional investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports monitor hunts across the UK to obtain evidence that they are still illegally chasing and killing foxes, hares and deer.

In traditional fox hunting a Hunt would employ one or more terrier men. Their role was to stop up fox earths andBelvoirFHThomasGrantterriermanssonOutsideCourtPledguilty10-4-18.jpg badger setts before a hunt to prevent foxes from taking refuge below ground and to ‘deal’ with foxes that had managed to go to ground during the day’s hunting.

Martin Sims added:- “This case highlights the sheer thuggery and lawlessness of fox hunts and their blatant disregard for the laws of this country. Despite being banned in 2004, hunting is still widespread and endemic across the British countryside hence why we employ professional investigators to monitor their activities and bring them to justice. The presence of terrier men exposes the lies of the Hunts and shows they are clearly targeting foxes.”

Andrew Knot, Interim CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports, said:- “We are proud of Darryl Cunnington and Roger Swaine – their courage and integrity stands head and shoulders above the people that attacked them.”

Petition - The League is encouraging members of the public to sign their petition titled ‘stop the killing of animals by Hunts in the UK’. http://www.league.org.uk/huntingkills.15-6-18

15-6-18   The Canary    Two men receive ‘farcically lenient sentences’ after breaking the neck of an investigator    Two men with the Belvoir Hunt have been sentenced for attacking two anti-foxhunting investigators. But their penalty has provoked outrage for being “farcically lenient”.

Darryl Cunnington and Roger Swaine, two investigators for animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports (The League), were monitoring the Belvoir Hunt on 12 March 2016. But they were approached and attacked by father and son George and Thomas Grant. George Grant is the Belvoir Hunt’s terrier man.

The pair were involved in punching Swaine before pushing Cunnington from a 14-foot drop, breaking his neck in three places. And the pair also stole an investigator’s camera. Four other people were allegedly involved. Cunnington says he and Swaine were at least half a mile from the Belvoir Hunt. And according to BBC News, George Grant told his son to: 'Go and get the boys and come back'...

Speaking to The Canary, The League said:- 'Two men who broke a charity worker’s neck have received a suspended sentence. Many people will be questioning whether that’s an appropriate sentence. To say that we are disappointed would be an understatement.'

The animal welfare charity has no plans to appeal. But it is seeking information on the four other individuals involved with the assault. The Hunt Saboteurs Association called the sentencing “farcically lenient”.

It’s not the first time bad behaviour by the Belvoir Hunt has reached the public. In March 2018, gamekeeper Nigel Smith was found guilty of holding a fox captive. On the same day the Belvoir Hunt was meeting nearby, investigators from The League filmed him retrieving the fox. Cunnington headed up the operation to expose Smith’s actions.

In February 2018, police began investigating the Belvoir Hunt after it allegedly killed a fox in Melton Country Park. Melton town council said horse riding and hunting in its parks are prohibited by local bye-laws. And in March 2016, police officer Sharon Roscoe quit her wildlife officer role after being exposed as riding with the Belvoir Hunt.

See also  BBC News, Leicester Mercury  and Melton Times

 

Fitzwilliam FH Hutsman appeals against illegal hunting conviction

14-6-18   Morethanjustbadgers.net    You think it’s all over . . .    At least I did, but apparently not. I thought I'd written my last piece on the Fitzwilliam case as I explained here. However I have been informed by the court witness liaison that George Adams [below left] is going to appeal his conviction. This immediately bought into question the issue of the time limit for any appeal. As already stated in my blog post previously this is 21 days and those 21 days have long since past. I have asked the witness liaison to question this and he will be getting back to me in due course. Further examination of this rule was clearly required and indeed there is an option to apply to a Crown Court for permission to appeal.

FitzwilliamFHHuntsmanGeorgeAdams.jpgAt the time of writing I can't be sure that the appeal wasn't submitted within the 21 day limit and it has just taken this long to filter back to me however even by British Judiciary standards this would seem to be excessively slow. If indeed it was submitted after the date and permission for an appeal needs to be sought then I would imagine they would have to cite some fairly important reasons to justify this and there is still possibility this will be thrown out before any trial hearing. 

So what does this mean? Well, assuming it goes ahead then the case will be reheard in a Crown Court. This is a hugely risky strategy for the so called Countryside Alliance. Bearing in mind the original case was heard by a District Judge and not a normal Magistrate (which would normally be the case) the original decision may have more bearing.

Also should the decision once again go against them the verdict will be written into case law, all Hunts which use the Bird of Prey Exemption will have to use another method to circumnavigate the law as that one will have been proven in a Crown Court to be illegal. One wonders why the CA would put that at risk? Are they really that desperate to clear a retired huntsman's name? Is it in fact the hunt which are pushing this to clear themselves of having a conviction next to the name? I've no doubt there will be a team of expensive lawyers in an office somewhere pawing over the law books looking for a chink of light with which they think they can overturn the original conviction. Both the CA and the Fitzwilliam certainly have the necessary resources to alloy this.

The only real concern is a more sympathetic judge for the defence. It wouldn't be the first time a less than impartial member of the judiciary has ruled in a Hunting Act case and I doubt it will be the last. We can only hope that if it does go to court once again we get the same outcome with an impartial judge and we strengthen our case on this particular part of the Hunting Act. One has to wonder what their angle of attack will be considering the complete failure of the previous defence. I guess we'll wait and see.

UPDATE: After a further conversation with the court liaison it would appear that the appeal was submitted just within the time limit. Apparently there was some sort of delay between the submission to the Magistrates Court for the appeal and that transferring to the Crown. Well, I'm going back to court . . .

 

Convicted Belvoir FH hunt thugs to be sentenced tomorrow

13-6-18   Facebook - Hunt Saboteurs     George Grant and Thomas Grant, terriermen from The Belvoir Hunt, are due to appear at Leicester Crown Court tomorrow to be sentenced after pleading guilty to GBH, ABH and theft after breaking the neck of a League Against Cruel Sports investigator.

 

Nat. Trust are advertising for a 'Trail Hunt Manager'

13-6-18   Facebook - National Dis-Trust   The National Trust are now advertising for a 'National Trail Hunting Manager', to oversee the monitoring of hunts that are licensed to use National Trust land. The Hunts that use Trust land, however, have been regularly monitored already, and found to be pursuing foxes regularly...

See footage of the Warwickshire Hunt from West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, for example -> bit.ly/2ESCsdI. . Some of this footage was publicised before the Warwickshire Hunt received a licence for the 2017-18 season, but it was not taken into consideration.

We look forward to hearing how the National Trust will ensure that the successful applicant has no connections to any fox hunt, stag hunt or hare hunt, licensed or otherwise, or any organisation that lobbies on behalf of bloodsports, given that Countryside Alliance Hunting are already encouraging their followers to apply in public (bit.ly/2JVsnP7).

We also hope that whoever takes up this role takes seriously the constant stream of documented wildlife crime & hunt trespass (bit.ly/2hpoRwq) from Hunts that the Trust licences, something that has not happened at all to this date, and look forward to meeting the successful applicant.

For information, see the report from Jordi Casamitjana/International Fund for Animal Welfare - IFAW that demonstrated 'trail hunting' to be a false alibi and nothing more -> bit.ly/2Eh8Y8m. Hounds Off's response to this advert can be seen here -> bit.ly/2HLd8mD.

Our position is unchanged; we continue to call for a complete ban of so-called 'trail hunts' and ask that people sign Keeptheban's petition to this end -> bit.ly/2hjaB7Q. 

 

3 Middleton FH riders in court charged with attacks on sabs

12-6-18   Facebook – N.Yorks Anti Fox Hunting Group - Tommy Woodward    3 riders from the Middleton Hunt were in court in Scarborourgh yesterday to face charges of affray and assault as a result of attacking peaceful hunt sabs last year. They will next appear in York Crown Court on 9th July along with a fourth defendant.

13-6-18   Gazette & Herald    3 men deny affray charges at Scarborough Magistrates' Court   TWO Ryedale men and a man from East Yorkshire have appeared in court charged with affray. Richard Robertson Tierney, 30, of Cross Lane in Snainton, Robert Howard Robertson Tierney, 56, also of Cross Lane in Snainton, and Roger Marley, 50, of Church Lane in Langtoft, East Yorkshire, all appeared at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday. Richard Tierney appeared in jeans and a t-shirt, the other two men wore brown blazers.

In a hearing lasting about ten minutes, the men were all charged with affray - using or threatening violence towards other people - relating to an incident in Thixendale in March last year, while they were riding out with the Middleton Hunt. Marley was also charged with assault causing actual bodily harm. All three men pleaded not guilty to the charges of affray and Marley also pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault. District judge Adrian Lower said the case will be referred to York Crown Court on Monday, July 9. All three men received unconditional bail.

 

Cases against 2 female sabs are thrown out of court

Sabs say they often attacked by Oakley FH thugs

One charge ruled 'no case' the other 'self-defence' 

Sabs to make several complaints against hunters 

11-6-18   Facebook- Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs    OFFICIAL STATEMENT    We can finally announce that after well over a year of court appearances two of our female sabs were acquitted on appeal at Luton Crown Court.

After viewing the video evidence which clearly showed the sabs being attacked by a group of Hunt Stewards representing the Oakley Hunt, the Crown Court judge ruled one case of "no case to answer" and a second of legitimate "self defence". We are now in the process of putting several complaints to police from all the sabs who were assaulted, abused and violently robbed of camera equipment on the day in question and will be furthering discussions with Bedfordshire Police on how a more balanced approach toward the policing of hunts in the county can be achieved.

We will not tolerate the sustained physical abuse from this particular group of Hunt Stewards who assault us during hunts, threaten us with their vehicles, harass us at our homes and in our work places. We find it particularly upsetting that female sabs are regularly singled out and assaulted by large male hunt stewards and such a complaint was not taken seriously by the police on the day in question.

It is our opinion that the primary aim of Hunt Stewards is to protect Hunts who’s intention is to carrying out illegal hunting, we will continue to pressurise the police into taking action against flagrant illegal hunting. We will also continue to demand the police make efforts to become more aware of the issues around hunting and always treat both sides fairly and equally when called upon to attend hunt meets.

 

Sabs prevent Northants MH hunting on notorious Estate

10-6-18   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs    The Northants Mink (Otter) Hounds don't seem to accept their days are numbered. A rather pathetic attempt by a very small number of hunters to abuse wildlife on the Tyringham Estate today, proving once again that the owners not only support the Oakley Hunt in the winter but also this horrible collection of individuals. Tyringham is on the main river Great Ouse, a known Otter stronghold as well as a whole host of other river species.

But once again we caught them out along with sabs from North Cambs and Northants Hunt Saboteurs. As usual once sabs were spotted they high tailed it back to the meet in utter disgrace. Another job done and more wildlife saved and a delicate habitat spared. We believe the NHMK will soon cease to exist in the very near future, we'll always find them and they have no support, not a good mix for a Hunt's survival, but we shan't shed any tears.

Help us keep the pressure on, every donation goes towards saving lives and making change for the better. We rely on your generosity. https://ko-fi.com/bedsbuckshuntsabs.

      NorthantsMHPitifulturnout9-6-18.jpg 

 

 

Berwickshire FH pull out of Haddington Show after social media storm 

8-6-18   Scottish Sun    FOX OFF Scotland’s oldest fox hunting group forced to cancel appearance at East Lothian country fair after being deluged with ‘threats’     The Berwickshire Hunt were due to appear at Haddington Show but some voiced their displeasure SCOTLAND’S oldest fox hunt have pulled out of an agricultural show after a backlash and “threats” on social media. The Berwickshire Hunt were set to attend the Haddington Show in East Fortune, East Lothian, on June 30 but have now withdrawn.

When the Hunt’s presence at the Haddington Show was announced, the show’s Facebook page was flooded with complaints from furious locals. And now, the hunt, which dates back to 1740, claim that due to “threats” on social media they will not be attending the agricultural show. Some social media users celebrated the news, while others said they were “embarrassed” that the Hunt could not attend a country show – as it is part of country living.

Fox hunting with dogs has been banned in the UK since 2004, however Hunts have been known to use loopholes in the law – i.e. using dogs to “flush” out the fox so it can be caught by birds of prey.

     BerwickshireFHterriermenwithillegallykilledfocorpsesnatchedbackfromsab18-11-17.jpg 

Pic above  -  Berwickshire FH Terrierman has just snatched corpse of illegally killed fox back from anti 18-11-17

Simon Winpenny, the Hunt’s secretary said: “It’s the usual kind of threats, from animal rights activists and hunt saboteurs. “It’s not just on Facebook, but different parts of social media, so we had to make the difficult decision to pull out of the show. We don’t want to put anyone at risk in a public space, these sort of people come out and case trouble when it’s just us. It’s something we have to deal with when we are out on our own, and it’s on us to make the decision. We just don’t know what’s going to happen. It was the first time we were set to go to the Haddington Show, as far as I’m aware. It’s difficult for us because although there were people who didn’t want to see us, there were people that did.”

The saga kicked off on May 24th when the Haddington Show took to Facebook to announce the Hunt’s attendance at the show – which has been running since 1804. They added the caption: “We are delighted that Berwickshire Hunt will be joining us at Haddington Show with a parade of hounds. Come and see them and their smart red coats in the main ring on show day.”

The show removed the post after it was flooded with messages from furious locals threatening a boycott. And now locals seem pleased that the Hunt has pulled out. Kerry Kirk said: “Good. Bunch of sick b******s. Not so brave when it’s them that’s under threat.” Gill Mcgrath added: “They should never have been invited in the first place.” Isabél Combe wrote: “Never have I seen any posts of threats. Only people saying they would not be going. I think the fact that so many said they would not go was going to have a huge impact on the financial side. Great decision.” Karen Forbes commented: “Threats my backside. I’m thinking as soon as it became apparent that this was going to affect revenue the Haddington Show cancelled on them. What on earth were they thinking? Absolutely appalling to be promoting bloodsports even indirectly, in this day and age.”

Also reported in the Times 

 

Wildlife Witness launch campaign to keep Hunts off roads

4-6-18   Facebook - Wildlife Witness   We will shortly be meeting with Dorset Police to demand action against the Hunts in the county that on a regular basis cross busy roads and endanger road-users. Many traffic laws specifically include exemptions for "working animals" however trail-hunts no longer fall in to this category.

Trail-hunting is a recreational activity, much like cycling and cross country running, and they should be policed in the same manner. If a local cycling club created this level of disruption on the roads or rode through private gardens, week after week then something would be done about it.

If, as they claim, hunts are following a trail laid by them then there is no need to go anywhere near major roads and we will be pushing Dorset Police to take action to move Hunts away from busy roads next season.

         HuntsonRoadsWildlifeWitnesscampaign6-18.jpg 

 

Did ex Beds police senior officer/hunter assist Hunt against sabs?

And did he also ensure Oakley FH not charged with illegal hunting? 

4-6-18  Morethanjustbadgers.net    This Explains a Lot    I’ve had this blog post written for some time but due to an ongoing legal case I’ve held back it’s publication. That case has now been concluded (successfully) so it’s time for this to be in the public domain and may go some way to explain a few things when it comes to the policing of hunts.

I have long suspected that there was a high ranking police officer within our local Hunt – The Oakley FH. In the pastGordonhouseOpeningMeetsthere.jpg their supporters would often brag about it and claim it was down to this person that no action was ever taken against the Hunt. You may remember I’ve blogged about this several times in the past and thought I was getting closer to revealing who this was. Each time my lines of inquiry came up short, sometimes I was well wide of the mark but that was largely due to information I was supplied which turned out to be inaccurate.

My suspicions initially arose when multiple police units would attend the hunt, as well as air support which would stay on scene for a significant amount of time and at significant expense to the tax payer, so it was easy to assume that only someone with some serious clout could authorise these kind of resources to be deployed and potentially leave other parts of the county dangerously low in policing.

I had never really given up trying to identify the person behind this, although due to one thing and another it had be pushed to the back burner and we seemed to be making progress in our dealings with Bedfordshire Police.

DCIGordon.jpgA Breakthrough - The Oakley’s opening meet of the season is always traditionally held at a venue called the Dower House in Melchbourne, Bedfordshire [above right]. The location is in the same village as the Oakley Kennels and in the heart of their country and support. This location has recently opened its doors as a business for hosting weddings.

Now, I seem to remember someone mentioning the owner as being a “Jason” and as this was now a registered business I popped over to Companies house and did a search to see who indeed owned the business. Sure enough a Jason Gordon was listed as a Director, along with a female who I assumed was his wife, Alexandra Gordon.

Now the logical next step was to do a quick Google search for Jason Gordon to see what popped up. Needless to say I think I’d found my man. So things were getting interesting now. We have a very senior police officer (Detective Chief Inspector - pic left) with connections to a Hunt. Was he still a serving officer? A search for a Linked In profile produced this:-  It would seem he left the police around March 2015 and then took up the role of an Inspector with the HMIC. For those that don’t know the HMIC is the independent body which;- “Independently assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of police forces and fire & rescue services – in the public interest.”

So, in essence, he works for the service that polices the police and was definitely an acting officer when the incidents of the multiple attending units took place. His role at that time was head of the Serious Crime Office for the tri-force area, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. This guy had some serious clout and ironically also worked for the professional standards department!

Now bells were ringing loudly in my head, this guy looked very familiar and I recollected a couple of incidents fromJimbelievedJasonGordonatkennels3-17.jpg the past where we were treated exceptionally badly by the police present on the day. He was present at least one of these but referred to himself ‘Jim’ [right, at kennels, Mar '17]. Jason Gordon was known to his friends as Jim. So not only was Jim hosting the hunt as his house but it would seem he was a regular rider and someone of some influence not only with the police but also within the hunt. Further investigation revealed he was also listed as a master of the Oakley, from 1996-98 and again between 2004-06 which was incidentally the transition period when the ban on hunting with hounds came it.

If you look at the full photo right [on FB page] you’ll notice the police vehicle in the background parked in the Oakley kennels. Had Jim been speaking to the officers present and using his previous position to influence they way they behaved? A couple of seasons ago a previous Master of the Oakley, Guy Napier was less an than impressed with the violent behaviour of the thugs that followed the Oakley and did their dirty work. This included assaulting monitors/sabs, theft of their equipment and preventing them from accessing public rights of way. However Mr Napier was clear he didn’t want the Hunt to be associated with these people and in his defence they were instructed not to attend further Oakley meets. Unfortunately Mr Napier left the Oakley the following season and now the thugs have been welcomed back even though some now have multiple convictions for assault.

I think it would be safe to assume that Mr Gordon (given his connections) would be well aware of the violent record of these people and willingly accepts them and their behaviour provided they are of service to the hunt. Here [below] you can see Jim (with a female) once again riding with the Oakley. In front of him, on the left hand image, is Kelvin Pestel, hunt supporter and well known thug who is often present and likes to target female sabs in particular. Despite any protestations to the contrary, Mr Gordon is no doubt linked to them and accepts their thuggish actions.

     DCIGordonatopeningmeet11-17.jpg

So the implications seem fairly clear. Have we had a previously high ranking police officer and member of professional standards department bending the rules to suit his dirty little hobby and also wasting large sums of public money at the same time? Was he still using this influence to his advantage with local policing and was he advising the Hunt on the best way to carry on hunting while remaining free from prosecution? The Oakley openly hunt and make no pretence of laying a trail or using any other exemptions. The image below right was taken during one of their hunts last season, a day when Jim was once again riding with the Hunt.

We have built a good working relationship recently with Bedfordshire police with meetings and open discussionsFoxescapesOakleyFHhounds.jpg regarding hunting and the policing of, and I don’t believe any of the officers we met with were aware of this situation. If they were they certainly didn’t make it known to me. To say there was (and maybe still is) a conflict of interest here is an understatement and while people like Jason “Jim” Gordon are riding with Hunts its easy to see why so little action against them takes place.

Although the HMIC is an independent body you may with to write to them and ask a few questions. They can be contacted here. Should this man be part of an organisation whose role is described below? I don’t think so.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) independently assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of police forces and fire & rescue services – in the public interest. In preparing our reports, we ask the questions that citizens would ask, and publish the answers in accessible form, using our expertise to interpret the evidence and make recommendations for improvement. We provide authoritative information to allow the public to compare the performance of their police force – and, in future, their fire & rescue service – against others. Our evidence is used to drive improvements in the services they provide to the public.”

Help keep us active by donating here: https://ko-fi.com/bedsbuckshuntsabs

 

Beagle pack exhibitor at Show tells visitor used for hare hunting

4-6-18    Western Daily Press – Letter    Surely hunting the hare is not OK?    Although we had a lovely day at the Royal Bath and West Show today, I was quite upset when we were walking to the woodland section of the show we found a pen of beautiful beagles there, and when we stopped to look at them we were joined by one of the people looking after them.

We chatted away about the dogs, and were told they were used for hare hunting. While I am generally in favour of fox hunting I find it difficult to understand the reason for hare hunting. Admittedly beagles are not lurchers or greyhounds with their incredible speed, but surely hunting with any dog is, at the moment, banned. I'm afraid I wasn't very polite and quite quickly walked away.

We have lost about 80%of our brown hare population over the years, and I cannot understand why anybody would want to destroy such a beautiful and protected animal.

Hare coursing is another matter, being carried out across the country in a secretive and vile way - but this person explained quite openly to everyone looking at the dogs that hunting the hare was ok. Surely it isn't "OK" surely it is illegal. Not only because hunting animals with dogs is illegal, but also hunting a protected species in itself is illegal. Perhaps Roger Evans can help me.

Sarah Allen, via email

 

Sabs ruin Culmstock Mink Hounds' day

2-6-18   Facebook - Bristol Hunt Saboteurs   Today a few of us headed to Devon to join local sabs in a visit to the Culmstock Hunt, a mink hunt who were meeting at Collacott Barton near the village of Winkleigh.

Arriving in the area early, we were able to position ourselves perfectly so that when the hunt left the meet and started working along Bullow Brook at 12.30 we were ready and waiting to intercept them. Initially the hunt staff and hounds tried to hot foot it away from us, but were soon stood around trying to justify what they were doing before spending a considerable amount of time scratching their heads deciding what to do next.

So as not to lose face, their plan was to hunt up the River Taw, and despite a prolonged tantrum from the terrierboy in an attempt to stop us following to observe their ‘legal activity’, they half-heartedly attempted to hunt for half an hour with us in tow. Turns out the terrierboy was just pissed off that we had ‘ruined his day’ - validation if we ever needed it!

      CulmstockMHUnderstrictsabsupervision2-6-18.jpg     

After leaving their few bored foot followers behind, drawing a blank and with sabs ready to intervene if they picked up on a scent, they pulled hounds away from the river and hung around chatting for a while longer, before boxing up at 3.30.

The Huntsman then drove at ridiculous speed (with the hounds in the trailer behind) in a bid to lose us, but this was to no avail as we caught sight of him racing down the track back to the meet. Foot sabs then went in unbeknown to the hunt and hung about around the corner, listening in as they (you guessed it) stood around chatting for another hour before making themselves scarce.

All in all a successful day - we scuppered their planned day’s hunting and they spent more time trying to figure out what to do than they did anything else - a result for wildlife in the area. A message to the mink hunts active this summer - we can strike anywhere and at any time.

Mink hunting is the secretive Summer pass time for those who would usually be out hunting fox and hare. Most of the packs that hunt mink today previously hunted otter (and we’ve heard that the Culmstock have recently been hunting stretches of river where otter are known to inhabit), until a massive population decline and public outcry resulted in that practice becoming illegal in the late 70s. They often use the argument that they are somehow supporting conservation efforts by controlling the population of an ‘invasive species’, but in reality their actions cause great harm to the fragile habitats of river dwelling creatures, such as otter and water vole. Put simply, yet more lies from the blood sports lobby to try and justify their outdated and backwards actions.

We rely on donations to keep us in the field saving wildlife. For the price of a coffee you can help us to help them. https://ko-fi.com/A37126JE.

 

Sabs upload film of Badsworth FH hunting fox, rejected by police 

2-6-18  Facebook - Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs    VIDEO   In December last year, Sheffield Hunt Sabs along with West BadsworthFHFoxfleeingHuntinfarmyard12-18.jpgYorkshire Sabs disrupted the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt at Stutton. At one point during the day, hounds were led into what can only be described as a tip of a farmyard. Not the kind of place anyone would lay a trail, not even these idiots.

When the inevitable happened, sabs got over 30 minutes of footage on 3 different cameras. All the footage was handed into North Yorkshire Police. N.Yorks Police Task Force, led by Jonathon Grainge, decided there was insufficient evidence to prove intentional hunting because the footage didn't show the fox and hounds in the same clip - showing Jonathon Grainge's ignorance of both hunting and the law.

Strangely he doesn't show the same lack of interest when working class people are chasing wildlife, evidence of which will follow. Here are some clips from the footage that day. Just to add the fox did get away, but the ending would have been so much different without the presence of sabs.

Pic above right  -   Fox fleeing from hounds     Pic below  -   Hounds chasing fox  

     BadsworthFHHoundschasingfoxinfarmyard12-18.jpg

 

Dove Valley MH driver tries to damage sab cars as they stop meet

2-6-18   Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs    Hit Report 2nd June 2018: Dove Valley Minkhounds, New Inn, Shardlow     Continuing our summer campaign against the secret shame of the countryside, minkhound packs, hunt sabs acted on a local tipoff to find the Dove Valley Minkhounds at their meet at the New Inn in Shardlow, Derbyshire.

The pack of hunting hounds had not even been unloaded out of their trailer, when several vehicles full of hunt saboteurs arrived outside the car park meet of this group of environmental vandals.

      DoveValleyMHOhsodit_sabs2-6-18.jpg 

After sending in incognito sabs to the meet itself to ascertain their intentions, the Hunt immediately abandoned their plans to hunt, knowing full well that it would not be possible with so many activists at hand.

The field support scattered in all directions from the pub car park, leaving the core hunters deciding their plans. The hound van then pulled out of the meet - with the driver attempting to damage sab vehicles on his way out. After a short game of cat and mouse on the A50, other sab vehicles present were able to confirm the hounds had been returned to their kennels.

      DoveValleyMHAbusivesupporterwhopunchedsabcar2-6-18.jpg 

Pic above   -   Abusive supporter who punched sab car 

Overall a low key but successful outing, with hunting by this pack completely averted today. Groups present at today's shut-down were: North Cambs, Nottingham, Suffolk And Essex, Beds & Bucks and Lincoln Hunt Saboteurs.

Hunt sabs are all volunteers giving up their free time to prevent the hunting of wildlife in our countryside. If you would like to support our work in any way, you can join by messaging this page, or donate to the cause on https://ko-fi.com/northcambs.

 

3 charged with Hunting & Badger Act offences day of Badsworth FH meet

1-6-18   LACS Press Release     Wildlife crime and heritage crime court case     North Yorkshire Police have confirmed that three men – Sean Stringwell, Michael Sharp and Danny Smithson – are due to appear before Harrogate Magistrates’ Court at 09.30 on Thursday 14th June 2018, charged with offences under the Hunting Act 2004, the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

The alleged offences are said to have been committed in Rougemont Carr Wood, North Yorkshire on Tuesday 21st November 2017. The Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hounds were due to meet nearby on that same day. The police investigation was conducted as a result of evidence provided by professional investigators employed by animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports.

Martin Sims, Director of Investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:- “We welcome the news that three people will face a range of charges at Harrogate Magistrates Court including offences under the Hunting Act 2004, the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.”

PETITION - The League is encouraging members of the public to sign their petition titled ‘Stop the Killing of Animals by Hunts in the UK’. Full details can be found here.

 

LACS local woman is refused stall at Bromyard Gala

1-6-18   Hereford Times    Animal rights campaigner snubbed at gala    A RESIDENT who is against blood sports was shocked to be refused a stand at this year's Bromyard Gala. Karen Rock [below left, credit Hereford Times] wanted to hold a stall under the name of the charity The League Against Cruel Sports.

The Brockhampton group parish councillor intended to host a stall so residents could share their stories of where they had been adversely affected by hunting. She said: "I talk to quite a lot of people about fox hunting in the area. KarenRockLACS1-6-18.jpgIt is staggering the number of stories I hear where pets or livestock are killed or injured. I wanted to run a very low key support group stall at the gala. I wanted to give people an opportunity to come forward with experiences. A lot of people don't realise there is anything they can do about it. Actually there are steps they can take to stop the hounds coming onto their land or into their gardens."

Karen, who is also a representative on the Bromyard Downs Commons Association, was surprised to be told by the gala's committee that she was not allowed to hold a stall at the event, which is on June 30th and July 1st. The gala is in its 51st year and is described on its website as "Herefordshire's biggest celebration of country pursuits and rural lifestyle." Karen is keen to point out she is a fan of trail hunting as that does not impact on other people's lives and no fox is injured.

The League’s director of campaigns, Chris Luffingham, said: “The only contentious thing here is the committee’s decision. Public opinion on hunting is clear with 81 percent of people living in rural areas supporting the ban on fox hunting, so perhaps we need to question why conversation around the subject is being silenced at a countryside event." He added: "The League is a professional organisation and our team of investigators, who are led by a former chief inspector and head of the police’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, work legally and peacefully to investigate illegal hunting. To hear that one of our supporters is being prevented from engaging with their local community on genuine animal welfare issues is extremely disappointing and sets a very disturbing precedent.”

Chairman of Bromyard Gala committee Steve Matthews said: "We can't have political type stalls. It is classed as political."

POWAperson comments  -  Local League groups are currently being encouraged and supported by LACS, which is good to see. Just a little shame that Karen said 'trail hunting' when I'm sure she meant 'drag hunting'. The former is little more than an alibi invented and used to disguise continued live quarry hunting. 

 

MAY 2018 

..... 31st May - Lauderdale FH Huntswoman given police warning after broke hunt law

..... 31st May - Three Wynnstay FH hounds run over & killed on A41

..... 31st May - Hunter who split sab's head open very weakly sentenced

..... 30th May - N. Trust sticks to 'trail hunting' policy after weekend protests

..... 29th May - Police seek 4 from Pipewell Beagles re. illegal hunting on 17-2-18

….. 28th May - Local's head hit by hunter as pet dogs attacked by Mendip Farmers FH hounds

..... 28th May - Acquitted sab gets vile death threat sabs say from Atherstone FH

..... 27th May - 'Trail hunting' protests held at N. Trust sites round country

..... 27th May - 'Going equipped' Northants MH soon packed up by sabs

..... 25th May - Sab video of Fitzwilliam FH fox hunt and kill finally published

..... 25th May - Time limit for appeal against Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman's conviction passes

 ..... 25th May - Online protests over Berwickshire FH invite to Haddington Show

..... 25th May - Doc shows government regards HSA as 'domestic extremists'

..... 21st May - Sabs say hunters conspired, police colluded, trying to falsely convict woman

..... 21st May - Easton Harriers Whip has lengthy criminal record, claim sabs

..... 19th May - Claro Beagles Huntsman facing trial for illegal hunting

..... 15th May - Court case against sab for agg. trespass at hare hunt collapses 

..... 15th May - Whip of Hunt in new CA video is one of the S. Herefordshire FH 5 

..... 15th May - S. Herefordshire FH five appear in court for the first time

..... 14th May - Atherstone Huntsman steps down, Director goes, after sab trial collapse

..... 13th May - N. Ledbury & N. Herefordshire FHs to 'trial' merger

..... 12th May - Dove Valley MH give up as soon as sabs find them

..... 12th May - Demo at Hereford police station calls for justice for animals

..... 12th May - Police won't name suspects in S. Herefordshire FH cubs cruelty case

..... 11th May - New, absurd account of where fox pee for 'trail hunting' from

..... 10th May - Cub cruelty case was held up by smear from pro-hunt source against PC

..... 10th May - 5 finally to face trial over S. Herefordshire FH fox cubs cruelty case

..... 10th May - Thurlow FH Huntsman & Whip summonsed for illegal hunting/assaulting sabs

..... 10th May - Sab complains formally to police re. handling of Ashford FH fox kill

…..  9th May -  Cornish girl, 14, kicked in face by horse on 'trail hunt'

.....  9th May - Sabs subject to sinister harassment campaign

.....  5th May - Fox cub saviour sab featured in piece on BBC Three website

.....  5th May - Northants MH pack up again when faced with mass sab

.....  4th May - Police/CPS still drag out S. Hereford fox cub scandal as demo due

.....  3rd May - Grafton FHC Huntsman to face trial on illegal hunting charge

.....  2nd May - LACS CEO quits due to serious health problem

.....  1st May - Belvoir FH hound killed on A1 slip road 

 

Lauderdale FH Huntswoman given police warning for breaching hunting law

31-5-18   Southern Reporter    Borders Hunt Master won’t be prosecuted over alleged breach of law     Scotland’s only female master Huntsman will not face prosecution after being accused of breaching the country’s fox-hunting laws.

Claire Bellamy [below left, Credit Southern Reporter] was charged by police after concerns were raised about practices employed at a Lauderdale Hunt meeting in the Borders last October. However, the Crown Office has taken the decision to issue a warning instead to avoid potentially lengthy court proceedings. The 42-year-old, master at the Lauderdale Hunt, based at Trabrown, north of Lauder, since moving to the region from her native Dartmoor in Devon last year, has accepted a direct measure as an alternative to prosecution. She will not appear in court and it will not be marked on her record, but it does serve as a warning about her future conduct.

The League Against Cruel Sports secretly filmed the Hunt’s activities on land near Galashiels in October and alerted the police, leading to Ms Bellamy being charged in February. It has criticised today’s decision not to prosecute her, but the Countryside Alliance has described it as a “victory for common sense”.

LauderdaleFHClaireBellamyHuntsman.jpgThe law in Scotland was changed 16 years ago to ban the hunting of wild mammals with dogs. Father and son John Clive Richardson, 67, and Johnny Riley, 24, became the first members of a mounted hunt to be successfully prosecuted last June since the 2002 Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act came into force. The pair, members of the Jedforest Hunt, based at Abbotrule, near Bonchester Bridge, were also filmed by investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports. Following eight days of evidence, sheriff Peter Paterson ruled that in two incidents Richardson and Riley were in breach of the act and found them guilty of deliberately hunting a fox with dogs. Riley, the man in charge of the hunt, was fined £400 at Selkirk Sheriff Court and Richardson, described as having a lesser role, was fined £250.

Ms Bellamy was unavailable for comment. A Crown Office spokesman said: “It is the duty of the Crown to keep cases under review and, after full and careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case The Procurator Fiscal decided there should be no further criminal proceedings and that the case would be more appropriately dealt with by way of an alternative to prosecution.” Direct measures can range from warnings to fines of up to £300 or orders to do a maximum of 50 hours’ unpaid work.

1-6-18   Times     Woman hunt leader given warning over fox ‘pursuit’    Scotland’s only woman hunt master will not be prosecuted after being accused of breaching fox-hunting laws. Claire Bellamy was charged by police after concerns were raised about practices at a Lauderdale Hunt in the Borders last October. However, the Crown Office has decided to issue a warning instead of starting court proceedings.

Ms Bellamy, 42, who took over at the Lauderdale Hunt last year, has accepted a “direct measure”, which is an alternative to prosecution. It will not be marked on her record but serves as a warning to modify her future conduct. Direct measures can range from warnings to fines up to £300 or 50 hours’ unpaid work. Ms Bellamy was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 states that dogs are allowed to pursue foxes as long as a marksman shoots the animal as soon as it emerges to open ground. The League Against Cruel Sports claimed it had footage of 35 hounds from the Lauderdale Hunt pursuing a fox but had heard no gunshots.

The League criticised the legal decision but the Countryside Alliance called it a “victory for common sense”.

Jamie Stewart, director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: “The law states that to be deliberately hunting a wild mammal there has to be purpose and intent, which there was not. She was trying to arrest the situation. We would happily have gone to court and are confident she would have been found innocent. But this decision saves expenditure to the public purse and she has effectively accepted the warning.”

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said: “We are concerned that anyone considering breaking this law may be encouraged into thinking that they will not have to face the courts even if they are found out. The law as it stands is confusing and convoluted, meaning successful prosecutions are extremely difficult which may explain the reasoning behind this case. However, this is not an acceptable position and only strengthens our resolve that the law must be improved.”...

Also reported in the Daily Record 

 

Three Wynnstay FH hounds run over & killed on the A41

Witnesses say just 2 hunt staff in charge of 40 hounds

31-5-18  Facebook - Cheshire Monitors    WYNNSTAY HUNT HOUNDS KILLED ON A41   [UPDATE 2PM]   It has been confirmed that 3 hounds from the Wynnstay Hunt were killed this morning after chasing a fox onto the A41 near Malpas in Cheshire. The hounds had been un-boxed on land owned by a supporter of the hunt in Edge, with around 40 hounds being 'controlled' by two middle-aged men (presumed hunt kennel-men) on pushbikes.

[UPDATE 1PM]  Reports of deaths of a number of hounds during this incident this morning. More information to follow. This message has just been forwarded to us and the incident happened around 7.30 this morning. We can all guess why hounds that are only supposed to be being exercised at this time of year got out of control, can’t we?! 

31-5-18   Facebook - Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs     Information coming through of the death of three hounds belonging to one of the Cheshire hunts in a traffic collision on the A41. Witnesses have said that around 40 hounds had been on the road, with just 2 men in charge of them. Unfortunately the laws do not apply to hunting dogs as they do for me and you because they are classed as working dogs, but this needs to be changed because other working dogs are rarely seen on the highways in large numbers, and therefore these unnecessary incidents are common across the country. RIP to these other victims of this cruel, outdated "tradition.'

Pic below    -    The A41 near where hounds were killed [Credit Chester Chronicle] 

      WynnstayFHSceneof3houndskilledonroad31-5-18.jpg 

3-6-18   Chester Chronicle   Hunting hounds killed on A41 near Malpas in tragic accident    Wynnstay Hunt says dogs strayed away from the rest of the pack Two hounds from the Wynnstay Hunt were killed on the A41 after straying from a pack of dogs being exercised in rural Cheshire.

An eyewitness reports ‘carnage’ on the 60mph road at Edge, near Malpas, following the upsetting incident which happened just before 7am on Thursday (May 31).The witness claims to have seen three dead dogs with ‘blood everywhere’, upset drivers and Whitchurch-bound traffic backing up as far as the Broxton roundabout. Police are inviting witnesses or anyone who ran over a dog to get in touch in line with their legal obligations.

Hunting with hounds became illegal under the Hunting Act 2004 but many Hunts lay trails for the hounds to follow pursued by the riders on horseback and others on foot.

Polly Portwin, from the Countryside Alliance speaking on behalf of the Wynnstay Hunt, insisted two not three dogs were sadly killed and none were injured during what she described as a ‘horrible day’. She said: “We can confirm that two of our hounds sadly lost their lives during routine hound exercise on bicycles early this morning (Thursday). The hounds were not in pursuit of a wild mammal but strayed away from the rest of the pack where they were unfortunately hit by a car. Thankfully incidents of this nature are very rare and this was, of course, distressing for all those concerned. Our thoughts are with the driver of the vehicle who was understandably upset to have injured the hounds and with our hunt staff who devote their lives to looking after the hounds on a daily basis and care deeply for each and every one of the pack.”

The eyewitness, who has supplied their name to The Chronicle but did not wish to be named, said about 40 dogs were let out of a horse transporter-type vehicle into a field but believes the pack were ‘out of control’ which was how they ended up going the wrong way towards the fast-moving A41. It was absolute carnage. I kid you not. Never in my life have I seen anything like it,” said the witness. “You cannot send 40 odd dogs out with two men on push bikes and expect them to go where you want them to go.” The witness, who said they had anti-hunt sympathies but were not a member of any group, claimed ‘at least three dogs were killed’ although the Hunt insists it was two. And the witness believes at least two drivers were in collision with the dogs – a man in a black jeep and a woman in a Mini. There was blood everywhere. The young lady was inconsolable,” added the witness, who is thankful no drivers or passengers were injured.

Cheshire Against The Hunt held a protest outside Bolesworth Castle near Tattenhall in January because it was allegedly hosting a Hunt although there was no suggestion whatsoever of any illegal activities. League Against Cruel Sports spokesperson Nick Weston said: “This tragedy is one of many reports we’ve had this year of packs of hunting hounds being out of control and wreaking havoc on busy roads.” Cheshire Constabulary wildlife officers are investigating.

See also Whitchurch Herald  

 

Hunter who split sab's head open very weakly sentenced

Had also been convicted of homophobic comment & skipping bail 

Then Atherstone FH Director failed to turn up for his initial trial 

31-5-18  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    FORMER ATHERSTONE HUNT DIRECTOR SENTENCED AtherstoneFHDirectorPeterTaroni11-2-17.jpg   On Saturday 11th February 2017 regular Atherstone Hunt rider Peter Taroni hit a member of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs on the head with his riding crop. The impact split her head open which she had to have treated in A&E. He was also filmed on the same day spitting at another saboteur and using homophobic language. Both incidents happened in Shackerstone, Leicestershire. At the time Mr Taroni was a regular rider with the Atherstone Hunt and also part of the Hunts board of directors.

On the 22nd November at Loughbourgh Magistrates Court Peter Taroni was found guilty of assault by beating. Taroni was also found guilty of disorderly conduct likely to cause harassment alarm or distress for his homophobia after he was filmed spitting at another saboteur and calling him a "gay c**t". He was also found guilty of failing to attend police bail. Taroni failed to turn up to court. The trail went ahead in his absence.

At a hearing on the 16th May 2018 at Carlisle Magistrates Court Peter Taroni was sentenced as follows:- Community Order - 3 Month curfew with electronic monitoring, he must be at home between the hours of 7Pm and 7AM until 15th August - To pay compensation of £100 - To pay £85 to victim services - To pay CPS costs of £350.

Please consider donating towards our vehicle costs and help us continue our Atherstone Hunt Campaign:- https://gogetfunding.com/west-midlands-hunt-sabs-vehicle-running-costs/We now have a YouTube channel please subscribe to it to keep up to date with our latest videos. https://youtu.be/-1fSOiXjk4k.

 

N. Trust sticks to 'trail hunting' policy after weekend protests

30-5-18   Shropshire Star     National Trust stands by hunting policy after Shropshire protests The National Trust has today stood by its decision to allow hunting on its estates. Protestors took to the hills of south Shropshire to demonstrate against fox hunting at the Trust's Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd estate claiming that Hunts are still killing British wildlife on its lands.

But the National Trust said today that it has listened to both sides of the argument and is happy for the protests to continue. A spokesman for the National Trust said: "We have been carefully listening to both sides of a highly polarised and passionate debate around trail-hunting for years. "People have the legal right to organise demonstrations and express their views. We accept these protests on our land, provided they are respectful and do not interfere with conservation or access for our visitors."

The protest was arranged by National Dis-Trust and backed by the Animal Welfare Party, Shropshire Against the Cull, Cheshire Against the Cull, Keeptheban, Welsh Border Hunt Saboteurs and the League Against Cruel Sports.

The groups have concerns that hunting is still taking place on National Trust land 14 years after it was banned nationwide. Hunts introduced ‘trail’ hunting after the ban was introduced, where hounds follow a pre-laid trail rather than chasing animals. However activists claim that some animals still die in 'trail' hunts.

A spokesperson for National Dis-Trust, said: “Serious questions hang over the National Trust about how it has handled its hunt licensing system, including ignoring numerous wildlife crime convictions amongst licensed hunts and providing a misleading statement to members at its 2017 AGM. We are protesting about the decision to license both the South Shropshire Foxhounds and the United Pack. At least one of the Hunts has trespassed across a local nature reserve which wouldn’t happen on a ‘trail’ hunt. The access for these two needs to be revoked, and the foxes need to be properly protected by the National Trust.”

Despite fox hunting being banned in England and Wales in 2004, campaigners say they are concerned that thousands of animals are still being targeted and killed every year by Hunts. A campaign to ban ‘trail’ hunting on National Trust land was narrowly defeated at the organisation’s annual general meeting last autumn.

Chris Luffingham, League Against Cruel Sports' director of campaigns, said: “Many people are frustrated and angered by the National Trust and their inaction to properly monitor hunt activity and the priority they appear to be giving to the protection of hunts rather than the protection of wildlife. “The Trust is letting down its members and the British public. If they have any respect for their members or their reputation, they should take this issue more seriously than they are at present.”

A petition has been launched called ‘Stop the Killing of Animals by Hunts’ by the League Against Cruel Sports - you can see it here.

3-6-18   Wiltshire Gazette and Herald    Protestors fight against fox and hare hunting     PROTESTERS gathered at Stourhead after groups monitoring hunt activity on National Trust land fear that hare and fox hunting is taking place, 14 years after it was banned. Campaigners believe that trail hunting is being used to cover up the indiscriminate killing of foxes, hares and deer by allowing Hunts to claim that any kills were accidental.

A spokesperson for National Dis-Trust said: “The access for this hunt needs to be revoked, and the hares that should never be subjected to this torture as a hobby need to be properly protected.”...

 

Police seek 4 from Pipewell Beagles re. illegal hunting on 17-2-18

29-5-18  ITV News    Police appeal after illegal 'hare hunt' in Northamptonshire     Police want to hear from anyone who recognises these people. Do you recognise any of these four people? Police in Northamptonshire are trying to trace them in connection with a suspected hare hunting incident.

Officers believe they took part in an illegal hunt at Dingley on the afternoon of February 17 this year. Anyone with any information should call Northamptonshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.

     Northantsharehunterssoughtbycopsreillegalhuntingon17-2-18_29-5-18.jpg  

Local's head hit by hunter as pet dogs attacked by Mendip Farmers FH hounds

28-5-18  Facebook - Locals Against The Mendip Farmers Hunt    This morning at approx 8.00am a resident was walking their two dogs on the lead by Priddy Mineries - a local nature reserve - when they came across the Mendip Farmers’ Hunt hounds being exercised. The resident went up another track and around 6 of the hounds from the pack broke away, chased and attacked their dogs. More hounds joined in, the hunt staff member with the hounds tried to call them off and used his hunting whip, which hit the resident over the head. Both dogs were shaken and traumatised but not hurt and the resident has a very sore head with a lump. The matter was reported to Police but they stated they could not do anything as it was an accident.

We ask why these hounds are not covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act, given the number of incidents they have been involved in now. Locals should be able to walk their dogs without fear of injury to themselves or their pets.

 

Acquitted sab gets vile death threat sabs say from Atherstone FH

28-5-18  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs   DEATH THREATS FROM THE ATHERSTONE HUNT   The sab who was interviewed in the recent BBC Three documentary about hunt saboteurs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsAJo1-191o&t=3s) has received a death threat from the Atherstone Hunt. Three members of the Atherstone Hunt along with Leicestershire Police tried to convict her for something she did not do. The Atherstone Hunt were hoping that a conviction would result in a restraining order banning her from the hunt meaning they could go back to hunting foxes undisturbed.

Their plan has gone badly wrong, not only will we be there making sure the Atherstone Hunt don’t hunt any foxes this coming season, any future accusations made by the Atherstone Hunt will no longer be believed in court.

Realising the future of their hunt is looking bleak they are now lashing out and have sent this letter. We have blanked out the first paragraph as it is too shocking and unpleasant to post on Facebook. It does however give us an insight into the violent mind of a fox hunter.

Some of the blame for this letter must rest with Leicestershire Police for not only allowing this particular saboteur to be constantly targeted by the Atherstone Hunt but also by actively participating in the constant harassment of her themselves making this sort of behaviour acceptable and more likely.

We will be with the Atherstone Hunt next season making sure they don’t kill any foxes, please consider donating to help us make this possible https://gogetfunding.com/west-midlands-hunt-sabs-vehicle-r…/. We now have a YouTube channel please subscribe to it to keep up to date with our latest videos. https://youtu.be/-1fSOiXjk4k.

     AtherstoneFHDeaththreattoCathyS28-5-18.jpg 

 

'Trail hunting' protests held at N. Trust sites round country

27-5-18    Facebook - National Dis-Trust    National Trust Protests   Protests at National Trust sites around the countryNTprotestLongMynd27-5-18.jpg on May 27th 2018 to help to bring a stop to so-called 'trail hunting' on National Trust land, with Keeptheban. [see pics].

To help, please get involved & sign these petitions or contact your local hunt saboteurs. Keeptheban's petition to stop hunting on National Trust land -> bit.ly/2hjaB7Q. LACS' petition to stop so-called 'trail hunting' -> bit.ly/2yOcPb1. Our two petitions to help stop the Warwickshire Hunt, South Shropshire Foxhounds & United Pack on National Trust land at Long Mynd, Upton House & Farnborough Hall -> bit.ly/2p8xuQ1 & bit.ly/2klChhC. Find your local hunt saboteur group to support them & get involved here -> bit.ly/2CykPKy.     #stopthehunts

27-5-18  Facebook - Jay Pear    We have had an amazing day at Seaton Delaval Hall today as part of the day of action. 30 People and foxy outside the main entrance. We had hundreds of cars honking their horns at us in support and several cars turned around.

This joint League N. East, N. East hunt monitors and National Dis-trust demo was a positive demonstration that clearly made an impact. Thank you to all who came today.

See also article in The Canary 

Pic right above  -  Long Mynd    Pics below  - 1/  Stourhead   2/  Upton House    3/   St. Michaels Mount    4/   Seaton Deleval Hall

      NTprotestStourhead27-5-18.jpg 

      NTprotestUptonHouse27-5-18.jpg 

      NTprotestSt.MichaelsMount27-5-18.jpg 

      NTprotestSeatonDelevalHall27-5-18.jpg 

      

'Going equipped' Northants MH soon packed up by sabs

27-5-18   Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs    Hit report: 27 May 2018 Northants Mink(Otter) Hounds, Mill Farm, Beachampton, Buckinghamshire     Sabs got together today after a local tip-off to shut down a meet of the Northants Mink(Otter) Hounds.

The Hunt had managed to get around 100m away from their meet at Mill Farm near Milton Keynes, when they wereNorthantsMHTerriersandspade27-5-18.jpg spotted using long range lenses from across the wheat fields. With a pack of mixed foxhounds and otter hounds, they hunted north-east along a tributary of the River Great Ouse, causing large amounts of destruction to the river habitat as they went. Otter slips (tracks where otters enter the water) were spotted by sabs, but the Mink Hound pack were not able to get any serious hunting done today before they were intercepted and sent back to their meet.

Again, the regular support were carrying spades, a gun and were leading several terriers. Clear signs of their intent to hunt live quarry, whatever they claim when sabs (and nowadays the police) show up. 

After a short stand-off, camera lenses at twenty paces, Thames Valley police were summoned to protect the Hunt. We politely but firmly stood our ground and stated that we weren't moving until hounds were packed and sent home. Police officers dutifully complied and shortly after, the hound van was sent on its way, leaving the ancient sandwich munching brigade stood about wondering what to do with the rest of their afternoon.

A successful afternoon, with the hunt packed up before even getting their boots muddy. Hunt sabs are volunteers, giving up their weekends to prevent the hunting of wildlife and spoiling these individuals "sport". Sabs from North Cambs, Beds & Bucks, Northants and Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs joined for today's work. If you'd like to support us, you can join by messaging this page, or donate to our running costs on http://ko-fi.com/northcambs for the cost of a coffee.

Pic below   -   Hounds being taken back to meet 

     NorthantsMHHoundsgoingbacktomeet27-5-18.jpg 

 

Sab video of Fitzwilliam FH fox hunt and kill published

Led to Huntsman being convicted of illegal hunting 

25-5-18   It took 2 years 4 months from the report of this crime to the court verdict. Somehow the Bird Handler, who was fully involved in the chase, escaped conviction. The sab video has at last been published and can be viewed here.

For further info on the case, see here. 

 

Time limit for appeal of Fitzwilliam FH Huntsman's conviction passes

25-5-18   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs   VIDEO    The time limit for an appeal of the conviction we secured against the Fitzwilliam Hunt has now past. This now concludes 2 years of hard work. We would like to thank Cambridgeshire Police and South Cambs Hunt Saboteurs, who's sab stood up in court to give evidence.

We can only achieve these results with the support of the general public. Every penny donated goes towards fighting these barbaric practices. We have more convictions in the pipeline and save many lives every time we go out. Please consider helping us by buying us a coffee. https://ko-fi.com/bedsbuckshuntsabs.

 

Online protests over Berwickshire FH invite to Haddington Show

25-5-18   East Lothian Courier    Online protests as Berwickshire Hunt invited to Haddington Show    A DECISION to invite the Berwickshire Hunt to Haddington Show has led to a storm of online complaints. The show, which takes place on June 30, has been running annually in East Lothian since 1804.BerwickshireFHInvitedtoHaddingtonShow18-5-18.jpg

However, a post on the show’s Facebook page yesterday (Thursday) has sparked outrage from a number of members of the public. The post, which has been deleted on Facebook but remains on Twitter, reads: “We are delighted that Berwickshire Hunt will be joining us at Haddington Show with a parade of hounds. Come and see them and their smart red coats in the main ring on show day.”

The announcement was met by an angry reaction from a number of people on social media. Gabrielle Bonar said: “A ******* disgrace. Should not be allowed. Very disappointing. Won’t be going this year.” Meanwhile, Evelyn Weir said: “Not the right decision for me, that’s for sure. I will now not be attending with my family, along with quite a few other people I know. The only ‘smart red coat’ I respect is the one on the fox. Even if the Haddington Show committee don’t care about losing respect, they will most definitely lose money, and they might care about that. It’s an annual tradition to go – but I’m out!” Allan James Beaton added: “Absolutely shocking… What are we, back in the dark ages… [Fox hunting] is a disgusting barbaric so-called sport that has no place in today’s society.”

However, there were people who felt differently. Alan Hardwick said: “Country show, country ways. The same way people who agree with it have to deal with the anti-fraternity, except they don’t feel the need to abuse and terrorise them.” Similarly, Sally Turnbull said: “Never been to a Haddington Show yet but I’m gonna try this year if work allows. “They are fab to see and the dogs are beautiful all excited but then I’d not be part of what they do personally it is part of history and country life. Each to their own and sure it will still be a fab day out.”

A spokeswoman for the Haddington Show declined to comment.

 

Doc shows government regards HSA as 'domestic extremists'

25-5-18  The Canary    ‘Official’ counter-terror document slammed as ‘political propaganda masquerading as public safety information’     An “official” document from British “counter-terrorism” police lists anti-fascists, animal rights campaigners, and supporters of the Kurdish-led anti-terror fighters of the YPG as extremists – alongside neo-nazi and other far-right extremists.

The Canary appears to be the first organisation to reveal the existence of this document, entitled 'Extremist Symbols and Flags'. We discovered this document online among training materials for the government’s ‘counter-radicalisation’ Prevent programme.

The document would appear to be no more than one year old, as it lists National Action and Scottish Dawn as proscribed (banned) groups. Scottish Dawn – which appeared just after National Action was banned in December 2016 – was only banned in September 2017. It is unclear whether the document, by “Counter Terrorism Policing” of the “Eastern Region Special Operations Unit”, was produced specifically for implementing the PREVENT strategy.

We found the document within the “Safeguarding Topics” section of the Suffolk Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) website. It was in the “Resources” section of a page entitled “Prevent and Vulnerable to Radicalisation”...

Alongside far-right Islamist and nationalist extremists, the ‘counter-terrorism’ document also listed the following [see pic below] as ‘domestic extremists’:-

    HSAseenasextremistorganisation5-18.jpg 

Kevin Blowe, coordinator of the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol), told The Canary:- This document shows how completely subjective the terms ‘domestic extremist’ and ‘extremist symbols’ are: no wonder the police and the government have failed to pin down a legally robust definition. Both the Animal Liberation Front and the Hunt Saboteurs Association are included because of political policing’s obsession with animal rights campaigners, but the ALF is now inactive and, since 2005, the focus of hunt saboteurs is on documenting and preventing illegal hunting, although they are still more likely to face harassment themselves from police who turn a blind eye to breaches of the Hunting Act...

As this guidance illustrates, the vague criteria/requirements of the Prevent programme are predictably turned into an agenda for stigmatising political dissent, perhaps intentionally…

The misidentification of protest and liberation movements as extremist is the logical result of the Prevent policy, which offers no plausible definition of extremism yet seeks to make “extremism” the basis for surveillance and criminalisation.

 

This document provides a crucial and disturbing view into the thinking of the British state and the ‘training’ of increasing numbers of doctors, teachers, nurses and other public servants in the ‘identification’ and reporting of ‘signs of radicalisation and extremism’.

As Blowe told The Canary:- If this is a basis for referrals to the Prevent programme, then it is little wonder that so many people are falsely identified as a ‘risk’. Although there has been extensive resistance to Prevent, there is still a long way to go before such resistance leads to the dismantling of the state surveillance apparatus that appears to be just as concerned with suppressing dissent and undermining legitimate movements for self-determination as it is with preventing extremist violence directed against innocent civilians. The more people stand up against this disturbing system the better.

Disclosure: The author of this article also volunteers with CAMPACC.

 

Sabs say hunters conspired, police colluded, trying to falsely convict woman

21-5-18  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Atherstone Hunt update    There is no long term future for the Atherstone Hunt as long as we are around preventing them from hunting foxes. They will do and say anything to try to get rid of us. This was no more apparent than when they recently tried to convict an innocent person for something they did not do. The hope was that with a conviction they would then get a restraining order.

Three members of the Atherstone Hunt including Huntsman Mike Lane and Joint Master Mark Halford claimed that Cathy Scott had sworn at them and made threats towards them. Footage shown in court disproved their claims along with the three hunt members contradicting themselves on the stand.

Halford posted this [below] up around the same time he made a statement to Leicestershire Police. "Add to that injunctions on their ring leaders and we'll be a lot closer to starving them of oxygen" This screenshot of Mark Halford's activity on Facebook shows that the three Hunt members conspired to lie in order to get rid of a saboteur who they perceived as a ringleader. Not only is it clear what the three hunt members intentions were it's clear that Leicestershire Police allowed them to make these lies without providing any evidence. Atherstone Huntsman Mike Lane was allowed to say in his statement that he found a banner showing a fox that his hunt had killed upsetting. Halford was allowed to make all kinds of speculative accusations such as he thought saboteurs had bugged his phone.

Ollie Hope the third member of the Hunt made one of the biggest contradictions whilst on the stand. He claimed that on the day in question he felt fearful for the safety of his wife and children. When asked where they were at the time he replied that they weren't present.

We are not going anywhere and will be making sure the Atherstone Hunt do not kill any foxes next season. The Atherstone Hunt will now no longer be credible witnesses in court. Leicestershire Police have made a mockery of the justice system and their hunting operation has damaged the forces credibility when dealing with hunting issues.

Please consider donating to help us ensure the Atherstone Hunt don't kill any foxes when this upcoming season starts. https://www.paypal.me/westmidlandhuntsabs. Don't forget to subscribe to our new YouTube channel to keep up to date with our latest videos. https://youtu.be/-1fSOiXjk4k.

      AtherstoneFHPostbyHuntDirector24-8-17.jpg

 

 

Easton Harriers Whip has lengthy criminal record, claim sabs

21-5-18   Facebook - Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs    He [Mike Lee, pic right] is an amateur Whipper-in for the Easton Harriers, who are based in Woodbridge, Suffolk. After being informed by some members of the public about their concerns regarding his recent history, we decided to do a little bit of research. The Easton Harriers have notEastonHarriersWhipMikeLeeCriminalrecord.jpg had the best public relations in the last few years, what with open displays of hunting which resulted in the numerous killing of hares (including one of which involving a Master stuffing one up her jacket during a cub hunt meet - pic below left), as well as disregard for the well-being of their hounds, you would think that they would be careful not to embarrass themselves once more.

During a visit to the Easton Harriers last season, Norfolk/Suffolk were met by a member of the public who gave us some rather interesting information. It seems that Mike believes he doesn't require a driving license even though he has had his vehicle confiscated on four separate occasions:- - Saturday 25th March 2017, Saturday 24th June 2017, Thursday 28th September 2017, Tuesday 26th December 2017.

Considering how far apart these dates are, it certainly makes you wonder how long he drove without a licence for. Norfolk/Suffolk sabs were present for the Boxing Day meet on the 26th December and can confirm that Mike was in attendance at the Old Mill House pub in Saxtead. He was on his horse and dressed in regular harrier hunting attire but didn't join the Hunt in the field. Now we know why.

EastonHarriersJMLydiaFreemanwithharekilledbyHunt8-10-16.jpgMike has also appeared in court in relation to stalking & harassing a woman via his mobile phone. He appeared at Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich on Tuesday 5th September 2017 and again on Wednesday 4th October and pleaded guilty. He was fined £250 and given a year long restraining order. And to top it all off, he has also been given a County Court Judgment for cruelty to animals.

You may be asking why we have decided to release this information. We believe his past paints a clear picture that he has a disregard for the law, as well as humans and animals. Norfolk/Suffolk Sabs have had plenty of experience with this Hunt and we know their true intentions - to hunt and kill the beautiful brown hare. Having someone such as Mike Lee as part of the Hunt only reinforces our concerns. This is why this information is being released. Because the concerns of the Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Sabs are the concerns of the general public. The brown hare is in danger and these are the people who are threatening it.

Just weeks before the Fitzwilliam Hunt lost its court case about the Hunting Act's falconry exemption, we came across Mike trying to purchase a bird of prey via Facebook. Birds of prey are commonly used by Hunts to make use of the falconry exemption. Since the Fitzwilliam lost its court case, this post has disappeared. Perhaps the Easton Harriers will continue to claim they are following a trail?

Norfolk/Suffolk sabs have addressed these concerns about his past to the master Lydia Freeman and the Huntsman Gary Wingar who both refused to comment. This begs the question; will the Easton Harriers continue to allow Mike Lee to join them next season? I guess we will wait and see.

Please help support our work. This can be done directly in the field or by donating us a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/A8634QOZ. Feel free to share this post far and wide! (the image of the hare [below] is one of many victims of the Easton Harriers Hunt).

     EastonHarriershuntandkillhareyetagain21-11-16.jpg 

 

Claro Beagles Huntsman facing trial for illegal hunting

19-5-18   Message from Roger Swaine    Stuart Harrison, Claro Beagles Huntsman, has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to an allegation of Hunting a Wild Mammal (hare) with a Dog, contrary to the Hunting Act 2004, and will appear before Skipton Magistrates’ Court on 25th September 2018 for trial.

 

Court case against sab for agg. trespass at hare hunt collapses

The accused was acting as a member of the Hunt Saboteurs when she was arrested and charged. She is 48 years of age and a law-abiding person with no previous convictions. See here and here for contemporaneous reports of the day, 18-11-17, at the Dunston Harriers.

She writes - 15-5-18   CrowdJustice    Success for Hunt Sabs and hunted wildlife!    The case was heard on the 10th of May 2018. The Huntsman was asked why he videoed the briefing and a trail being laid. He answered "to cover our arses." Here again is yet more proof that "trail" hunting is a myth and a cover for killing animals for fun. He also said that he was unable to film the full hunt as he couldn't wear a go-pro camera on his riding hat due to "health and safety" measures. The policemen riding the quad bike now "regrets" his actions [see pic below].

Additional evidence came to light half way through the trial which would have provided important support for my defence. This had NEVER been seen by my solicitor and included details given by my colleagues in the field that day which would support our claims of illegal hunting. Why was this concealed? The case then collapsed and I was free!

Without your help and support this may not have been the result. Thank you everyone for your contributions, no matter how small.

     DunstonHarriersNorfolkpoliceofficershitchingliftonHuntquad18-11-17.jpg

 

Whip of Hunt in new CA video is one of the S. Herefordshire FH 5

Paul Reece is facing trial for horrendous cruelty to fox cubs

15-5-18   Facebook – Berkshire Hunt Sabs    FOX CUB ACCUSED'S HUNT FEATURES IN COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE VIDEO    The Countryside Alliance recently produced a glossy video promoting "trail hunting". It makes the claim that Hunts have "enjoyed over a quarter of a million days of legal hunting" since the hunt ban of 2005.

The Hunt they chose to use in the video is none other than the Curre & Llangibby, whose Whipper-in, Paul Reece, is one of the five people currently accused of throwing live fox cubs to hounds at the nearby South Herefordshire Hunt.

The video therefore tells you everything you need to know about "trail hunting" - just not in the way the idiots running the Countryside Alliance imagined.   #TrailHuntLies 

     TrailhuntingStillfromCAvideo5-18.jpg 

 

S. Herefordshire FH five appear in court for the first time

All charged with multiple Animal Welfare Act offences

15-5-18  Hereford Times    Five charged with animal cruelty in South Herefordshire Hunt case appear in court     FIVE people who have been charged with animal cruelty in relation to an investigation into the South Herefordshire Hunt have appeared in court. They appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court today and have been released on unconditional bail.

The five charged are: Paul Oliver, 39, of Sutton Crosses, Long Sutton, Lincolnshire [who was Huntsman at the time of the alleged offences]; Hannah Rose, 29, of Sutton Crosses, Long Sutton, Lincolnshire; Julie Elmore, 54, of Brynarw Estate, Cwmyoy, Abergavenny; Nathan Parry [a hunt terrier man], 38, of Brynarw Estate, Cwmyoy, Abergavenny [a known follower of the S. Herefordshire FH], and Paul Reece, 47, of Chepstow [whipper-in of the Curre & Llangibby FH].

Oliver, Rose, Elmore and Parry have been charged with four counts of animal cruelty, while Reece has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty. They did not enter pleas and will next appear in court on June 19. The five people were first arrested in two years ago on suspicion of animal cruelty at the Hunt's kennels in Wormelow.

POWAperson adds  -   The Hunt Investigation Team have released a few minutes of their video [hunter identities obscured].  Be warned - it's a tough watch.

Pics below  -  1/  Rose and Oliver at Birmingham Magistrates Court [Credit - Yorkshire Post]   2/  Paul Reece, Whipper-in, Curre & Llangibby FH

      S.HerefordshireFHAccusedRoseandOliveratMagistrates15-5-18.jpg

      PaulReeceCurreFHWhip.jpg

 

Atherstone Huntsman steps down, Director goes, after sab trial collapse

Both, and another man, being investigated on suspicion of perjury 

14-5-18  Facebook - West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs    Mark Halford was the Atherstone Hunt Joint Master who was brought in at the start of last season as the saviour of the Atherstone Hunt along with fellow Joint Master and Huntsman Mike Lane. Both of them were recently humiliated in court and are no longer credible witnesses after lying in court when they tried to get an innocent person sent to prison (with help form Leicestershire Police). It was an attempt to rid themselves of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs so they could get back to hunting foxes undisturbed. The Atherstone Hunt cannot survive long term whilst we are around exposing their hunting.

Their plan backfired, we are not going anywhere. Halford, Lane and Ollie Hope are all being investigated by the police for lying in court. Mike Lane's hunting career is in tatters after an astonishing season where he demonstrated that he has no control over the hounds. Some of the low points include losing his pack after just riding out from the meet, losing the pack for over an hour whilst they got dangerously close to the busy A5 and there was always the constant worry that the pack would shoot off at any given moment after who knows what. Thankfully Mike Lane has stepped down as Atherstone Huntsman, he remains as Joint Master.

We can reveal that Mark Halford resigned his position as one of the Atherstone Hunt's Directors on the 30th April.

The pictures accompanying this post are screen shots from Mark Halford's activity on Facebook. Halford who has openly supported the Countryside Alliance’s [anti] online abuse and bullying campaign can be seen doing the exact opposite, inciting people to participate in online abuse and bullying by targeting not only a local business but also a cathedral who hosted West Midlands Hunt Sabs. Not only a proven liar but now also a hypocrite.

Please consider donating to help us carry on campaigning - https://www.paypal.me/westmidlandhuntsabs.

    AtherstoneFHDodgypostsbydiscreditedex-director14-5-18.jpg

 

N. Ledbury & N. Herefordshire FHs to 'trial' merger

13-5-18   Facebook - Herefordshire Hunt Sabs    ANOTHER HUNT BITES THE DUST    Great news - one less hunt in Herefordshire. The North Herefordshire Hunt and the North Ledbury Hunt, which share a kennels at Bodenham, have amalgamated. Touted as a twelve months trial partnership, but read between the lines and it is clear that the North Ledbury Hunt is finished.

We covertly monitored the North Ledbury on a couple of occasions last season and wondered how long they could survive. Not even to the end of the season it appears, with Derek Tyler hunting the North Ledbury hounds for the last time on February 24th. What concerns us most is the fate of the North Ledbury hounds. How many, if any, will have survived the merger?

       N.LedburyFHTosortofmergewithN.HerefordshireFH13-5-18.jpg  

 

Dove Valley MH give up as soon as sabs find them

12-5-18   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs    Well, the weather may be a bit grotty now but it started off fine and dry with some nice sunshine, the sort of weather to go out and find some undesirables up to foul deeds byDoveValleyMHThiswheretheywerehunting12-5-18.jpg terrorizing our wildlife and scupper their dastardly plans. 

So we headed north to Derbyshire and met up with North Cambs, Cambridge, Notts, Sheffield, Suffolk & Essex, Lincoln and W.Yorks Sabs to pay an overdue visit to the Dove Valley Mink (Otter) hounds who were hunting the river Dove close to Marston.

We found their meet easily enough however the Hunt were being somewhat elusive. With limited vehicle access and lots of streams and tributaries to check it meant lots of miles on foot to cover. However, SES managed to get eyes on the Hunt and we were guided in.

We had already been noticed by a lone and grumpy hunt supporter some distance away and she was on the phone pretty sharpish to alert her fellow wildlife murderers that sabs were on the way. By the time we finally caught up with them they had decided the writing was on the wall for their day and called for the hound van to pick up the hounds. All that was left was a motley crew of reprobates hanging around looking peeved waiting for their lifts back to the meet.

But our job was done so we made the most of the last of the sunshine with a well earned beer in a nearby pub where it was great to catch up with sabs and old friends from other groups. Help us keep the pressure on the criminals - https://ko-fi.com/bedsbuckshuntsabs.

    DoveValleyMH12-5-18.jpg 

 

 Demo at Hereford police station calls for justice for animals

12-5-18   Facebook - Global Animal Protection "Alliance"   VIDEO   The case that sparked this event has finally resulted in charges being brought, so that case is now sub-judice, hence no-one talking directly about it, but this was just one of a constant stream of cases nationwide where no justice was brought, so it was decided the protest should go ahead for all those other cases awaiting some justice.

     S.HerefordshireFHDemoatpolicestation12-5-18.jpg 

      

Police won't name those charged in S. Herefordshire FH cubs cruelty case

Say it is in order to protect them

12-5-18   Facebook - Hunt Investigation Team    Naming the South Herefordshire suspects    The police have still not named the 5 suspects in the cub killing case. Despite saying that they would be named when charges were brought this week they changed their mind to 'protect them'. This seems to be a recurring theme in this case, vilify and persecute the messengers whilst protecting the perpetrators. How many witnesses for the prosecution in West Mercia have had their houses searched by West Mercia Police? Just us we suspect!! This reflects a nationwide theme of protecting the hunting community from justice often in the face of overwhelming evidence. Things need to change. They should be named by the media on Tuesday after their court appearance unless the court decides to protect their identities too. Please share. HIT.

      S.HerefordshireFHCubbeingmaltreatedatkennelsMay2016.jpg 

     

New, absurd account of where fox pee for 'trail hunting' from 

11-5-18  Facebook - Chris Noonan    A comment some deluded little girl posted today.. Apparently they get the fox urine from animal sanctuaries... Of course, on asking which ones, the silence was deafening.

  TrailhuntingWeirdclaimwherefoxurinefrom1_11-5-18.jpg  TrailhuntingWeirdclaimwherefoxurinefrom_2_11-5-18.jpg

 

Cub cruelty case was held up by smear from pro-hunt source against PC

The PC now exonerated and 'multiple charges' laid against hunters

10-5-18  BBC News   Fox killing inquiry: 'Smear campaign' against PC stalled investigation   A police inquiry into the alleged killing of fox cubs by hunting hounds stalled for nearly two years while the officer in charge was himself investigated, the BBC can reveal.

West Mercia PC Richard Barradale-Smith [left] has now been cleared of the allegations against him - including that he had had affairs with anti-hunting activists. At least one claim was made by somebody with links to the Hunt in the case. Police have now said five people are to be charged with animal cruelty. Three men and one woman aged between 29 and 54 will appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court next week.

S.HerefordshireFHPCRichardBarradale.jpgIn May 2016, activists from the Hunt Investigation Team used hidden cameras to film a South Herefordshire Hunt terrierman apparently taking the young foxes into a shed of barking hounds before emerging with their lifeless bodies. The anti-hunting activists believe the terriermen were training the dogs to see foxes as prey.

The footage and the bodies of two cubs were handed to PC Barradale-Smith who had investigated previous allegations made by animal rights campaigners. But West Mercia Police then began an investigation into the officer after receiving an allegation that PC Barradale-Smith had been in a relationship with two anti-hunting activists, including the woman who brought him the evidence. This would have been misconduct in public office.

Police searched both his house and that of the anti-hunting activist, who has asked the BBC not to use her name. Anonymous threatening letters were sent to another woman who has campaigned against fox-hunting, also accusing her of having an affair with the officer. She passed them to the police.

The person who made the allegation works in the farming community and has close links to the South Herefordshire Hunt. He is not one of those charged. The BBC understands he did not name the officer and told the force he did not want to get further involved. Mr Barradale-Smith's family believes it was a "smear campaign" aimed at disrupting the case.

Further allegations against the officer were made in October 2016 by a senior prosecutor who said PC Barradale-Smith had leaked confidential information to the activist who gave him the video evidence. He was also accused of bombarding the CPS with emails. This triggered a separate misconduct investigation and he was taken off the fox cubs case. In January 2017, the officer went on sick leave and is yet to return to work.

By March this year both investigations had been resolved and he has been cleared of any wrong-doing. Now, within weeks, the decision to prosecute has been taken, two years after the investigation began.

The Hunt Investigation Team described the force's response as a scandal and claimed the police seemed more interested in "harassing" the officer who investigated the allegations than examining the allegations themselves. The activist alleged to have been involved with the PC asked to remain anonymous but said: "The police are there to investigate without fear or favour when evidence of a crime is brought to their attention. For two years they've been investigating an unsubstantiated allegation that I had an affair with a police officer that I've met once. It would have been very easy to show that was completely false and what you would have expected West Mercia to do is say, given the source, 'is there a conflict of interest here'."

In a joint statement, West Mercia Police and the CPS said the fox cub inquiry had involved a number of "complex factors". The force refused to comment about PC Barradale-Smith.

See also report in Daily Telegraph 

 

5 finally to face trial over S. Herefordshire FH fox cub cruelty scandal

10-5-18   BBC News    Five to be charged with animal cruelty offences over fox cubs     Five people are to be charged with animal cruelty offences after the BBC broadcast pictures appearing to show fox cubs being taken into a kennel of hunting hounds. The police investigation began after anti-hunting activists installed hidden cameras at the South Herefordshire Hunt kennels in 2016. The video appears to show a man then dumping a dead fox cub in a bin. The activists say the cubs were used to give hounds a taste for killing. Anti-hunt investigators found some of the foxes alive.

Campaigners had been expected to protest outside a police station later this week over how long the investigation was taking. Det Insp Jonathan Roberts, of West Mercia Police, said the three men and two women, aged between 29 and 54, would face multiple charges of animal cruelty. "This follows a complex investigation in South Herefordshire. The individuals will appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Tuesday May 15," he said. "Cases of animal cruelty are treated very seriously by West Mercia Police and we actively seek to protect animals from cruelty and to prevent their suffering."

Pics below    -  1/   Young fox in captivity    2/  Young cub about to be thrown to hounds in the building 

  S.HerefordshireFHFoxcubimprisoned1.jpg  S.Herefordshirehuntservantabouttothrowcubtohounds5-16.jpg

POWAperson comments   -   Better [very] late than never. Glad to see the first hearing has been moved to Birmingham, well away from the sphere of possible influence of the SH FH bigwigs. The former senior Joint Master, Sir Patrick Darling, is the High Sherriff of Herefordshire. Also good to hear they face 'multiple charges'. What betting none of them seek to implicate any of the Hunt high-ups? And note, unlike the Hunting Act, the Animal Welfare Act charges carry potential prison sentences. Many congratulations to the Hunt Investigation Team for bringing this appalling cruelty to light and securing the prosecutions.

   

Thurlow FH Huntsman and Whip summonsed illegal hunting & assaulting sabs

10-5-18   Facebook - Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs    We have just been informed that the CPS will be issuing a summons for both the Huntsman & Whipper In of the Thurlow Hunt for the kill on Boxing Day. Huntsman will also be charged with common assault and the whip for assault by beating. This is of course great news and we are very pleased with the response from Suffolk police on this matter and hope to secure a conviction.

POWAperson adds  -  The Hunt killed a fox in front of sabs [and blamed them]. Very unusually, the Huntsman was arrested at the scene. Story covered by the Guardian.  The original sab report is here.  

Pic  below  -   The fox killed by the Thurlow on Boxing Day 

     ThurlowFHFoxkilledHuntsmanarrested26-12-17.jpg 

 

21-6-18   Haverhill Echo    Two men charged in relation with altercation at Thurlow Hunt Two men have been served a summons to appear at court in connection with hunting offences and an assault following an incident at the Thurlow Hunt last Boxing Day.

At around 2pm on Tuesday, December 26th, police were called to reports of an incident between a hunt group and hunt monitors in Trundley Wood, off Bury Road near Great Thurlow. Police attended and launched an investigation into an alleged hunting offence under the Hunting Act 2004, and an allegation of assault.

A 19-year-old man and a 58-year-old-man both from the Great Thurlow area have been summoned to court where they will be charged with intentional hunting of a mammal with dogs, contrary to sec.1 of the Hunting Act 2004. The teenager will also be charged with assault by beating and the man will be charged with common assault. Both men are due to appear before Ipswich Magistrates Court on July 9th.

 

Sab complains formally to police over handling of Ashford FH fox kill

10-5-18   Facebook - East Kent Sabs    JUSTICE FOR THE COLLIER STREET FOX !   Below is the text of an official complaint that has been sent into Kent Police over their handling of the investigation into the fox killed by the Ashford Valley with Tickham hunt in November 2017. See Kent Online here.

PLEASE-SIGN THE PETITION DEMANDING THAT THE INVESTIGATION IS REOPENED- You can also politely contact Kent Police here.

TEXT OF COMPLAINT (all names have been removed)...

Dear Sir/Madam, I would like to make a complaint against Kent Police for the conduct and outcome of its investigation into illegal hunting on the 11th November 2017.

I filmed the Ashford Valley Tickham Hunt search and hunt a fox. The Hunt did not try and stop the killing of this animal and made every attempt to hide the evidence of the dead fox. No trail was laid by the Hunt, in fact the footage caught on camera shows the events ten minutes prior to the kill and following the kill. Whilst I was filming the kill I left my vehicle unattended, only to return to find that my vehicle keys had been stolen.

An associate of mine called the police, which the police attended and gave the CAD 11-625. I have no problem with the conduct and behaviour of the officers who attended the scene. They were polite and helpful and did what most people would expect a police services to do.

Contact by email was made by myself to PC xxxxxxxxx and on the 21st November at Ashford Police Station. I handed in the original SD card from my camera. On the 29th December I emailed xxxxxxx to express concern that no one had contacted me to take a statement.

At the end of January 2018, I was contacted by PC xxxxxxxx who arranged to take a statement over the phone. On the 26th the statement was given and I am happy with the way the statement was taken. PC xxxxxxx was polite and professional.

On the same day xxxxxxx emailed me. Her email said - "There is no dispute that the fox was killed, however the images haven't fully made out the offence." I mention this because of her use of the word "images". She also refers to "images" in an email to my associate xxxxxxx, when referring to my video evidence.

In an email to xxxxxxx, xxxxxxxx advised ... "you will be able to provide them with the footage that you have in order that it can be included in the investigation". There is a clear distinction between the two words and I don't think this is a clerical error. It is at this point in time that I believe that no video evidence, provided by myself, was passed on to any investigating officer. In summary I am accusing xxxxxxxx of perverting the course of justice. My fears where confirmed when I had a call from Sergeant xxxxxxx from Maidstone police on the 2nd February. He contacted me as he was the officer dealing with the theft of my keys on the 11th November 2017. He confirmed to me that he had not seen the footage I had provided to xxxxxxx.

It is not an unreasonable conclusion to assume that if the officer dealing with the theft of my keys was not given all the evidence, then it is more that likely that this same video footage was not shown to the officers dealing with the illegal hunting. The inevitable outcome that no action will be taken against the hunt was no surprise, and is the outcome I expected from Operation York.

I have three components to my complaint. 1) I would like to complain at the deliberately slow and botched investigation. 2) I would like to complain about the deliberate withholding of evidence, from the investigation of my stolen keys and the illegal hunting by xxxxxxxxxxx. 3) I would like to complain about the outcome of the investigation into the illegal hunting.

I find it hard to believe that with the level of evidence provided to Kent Police there was not enough evidence to put a case to the Crown Prosecution Service. This is not the first time I have complained about Operation York; I believe it is corrupt from top to bottom.  Yours faithfully, xxxxxxxxx

Pics below   -   1/  Pack has almost caught fox    2/  Terrierman retrieves carcass from pack  

    AshfordValleyFH5Packclosesin11-11-17.jpg

    AshfordValleyFHFoxkilledTerriermanretrievescarcass11-11-17.jpg 

POWAperson comments  -   This is a classic example of poor wording of the Hunting Act letting Hunts get away with murder. The Act requires that the prosecution prove that someone 'engaged or participated' in the chase by hounds. Although hunters, mounted and on foot, can be seen in the footage observing the chase start [and probably its finish] they do not appear to 'engage or participate, but simply let the hounds get on with it. Extraordinarily, the Act places no obligation on hunters to try to stop hounds that are chasing live quarry. One of many reasons why the Hunting Act desperately needs significant strengthening.

 

 Cornish girl, 14, kicked in face by horse on 'trail hunt'

9-5-18   Cornwall Live    Teenage girl from Wadebridge loses five teeth after horse kicks her in the face - Brave Georgia Hull was riding her pony again only days after leaving hospital    A brave teenager from Wadebridge is riding her pony again just days after a horse kicked her in the face, causing her to lose five teeth and unable to eat solids. Georgia Hull, 14, was out trail hunting with friends and family when a horse in front of her kicked out just over two weeks ago on private land near the town.

Horrified mother Julie was just ahead of Georgia on her own horse when she heard the screams coming from behind. Georgia was knocked unconscious and had to spit her teeth out, while her swollen mouth left her unable to breathe. She also sustained multiple facial fractures, including severe damage to her jaw, and cuts to her face that have required stitches.

The air ambulance [treating Georgia, right. Credit Cornwall Live] flew her to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where she spent five days after undergoingCornishHuntGirlkickedinfacebyhorse9-5-18.jpg four-hour surgery to pin and plate her jaw. Georgia has lost five teeth as a result of the kick, and may have to wait until she finishes growing before she can have new ones fixed.

She was transported up to a field and the Cornwall Air Ambulance took her to Derriford for surgery. She’s had a four-hour operation already, and she’s got more to come. She’s lost her teeth at the top but can’t have permanent surgery for implants yet.” Initially Georgia could only eat through a syringe, but now she is eating pureed foods.

While most teenagers would be left traumatised by such an incident, brave Georgia was riding her pony again just days after being discharged from hospital. “She is really brave, I’m struggling to ride again myself but her pony is her best friend and I think it’s her love of that pony which has got her through this,” Julie said. “She is embarrassed about the teeth missing and she’s still got a big lump on her lip and scars where she was stitched, but she never complains. She’s happy with her ponies and not like a typical teenager obsessed with make-up and designer clothes. She can’t chew, and she’s eating mashed up foods and drinking through a straw. But we’re getting there.” Georgia's mum has thanked the Cornwall Air Ambulance. “They are absolutely amazing and we can’t manage without them,” she added. “It saved an awful lot of time for us that day in getting her to hospital. We’ve got a lot of fundraising going on for the air ambulance as a result of this. The guy who drove Georgia from the track to meet the air ambulance, he has had a long beard for 20 years and at the Royal Cornwall Show he is shaving it off to raise funds. Also, there are a lot of people who experienced the accident who are already doing things differently on the safety side.”

In the meantime, Georgia’s hunting friends have set up a fundraising page to raise cash to cover the costs of the dental work she needs. So far nearly £3,400 of the £4,000 target has been raised.

 

Sabs subject to sinister harassment campaign

Anonymous letters delivered to their houses

9-5-18   Facebook - Cambridge Hunt Saboteurs    Members of Cambridge hunt sabs are under a constant barrage of harassment and intimidation. Over the last four months, members of CHS have received over 5 hand made, unsolicited, anonymous letters, some hand delivered to their homes, often threatening to visit their homes. This kind of harassment is unacceptable yet common place. Please donate to help keep the group going. We'll keep everyone updated on the pending police investigation into this attempted intimidation. http://cambridgehuntsabs.org.uk/donate.

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Fox cub saviour sab featured in piece on BBC website

5-5-18   BBC3 website    Knocked out, punched, and charged by horses: the life of a hunt saboteur   Cathy Scott [below left, credit BBC3] spends her spare time trying to show why she thinks the hunting ban isn’t working “I’ve been knocked out. I’ve had a broken nose. I was punched in the face. I got a fractured cheek. I’ve been hit on the head with bottles. I’ve been attacked a lot.” Cathy Scott has experienced the kind of injuries you might associate with a cage fighter. They have all been inflicted by men or animals. Three times a week she heads for the countryside to follow the riders and hounds of various hunts in order to film what she believes is illegal activity, handing over the footage to the police. Sometimes they manage to save a fox. Sometimes they get charged by horses. “I’ve been ridden into quite a few times. And it hurts,” she says.

Cathy, 42, has been ‘sabbing’ – or sabotaging hunts – with two to three associates at a time since the Hunting Act came into force to make fox hunting with dogs illegal in 2005. Attempts by her and her fellow saboteurs to disrupt hunts are shown in new BBC Three documentary 'The Hunt: Battle In The Countryside', which captures some of the skirmishes between hunt supporters and saboteurs.

CathyScott.jpgThere is a faintly paramilitary aesthetic to some hunt saboteurs: a fetishisation of ‘tactical gear’, balaclavas and utility belts – all in black. The saboteurs claim they are non-violent but need to retain their anonymity to prevent them from being tracked down online and harassed. Hunt supporters say they resemble "terrorists" and accuse them of intimidation and even violence. In 2015 a Westcountry huntmaster was reportedly knocked unconscious in an attack by hunt saboteurs ‘armed with iron bars’. A video posted last year shows a saboteur grabbing hold of a horse by the bridle; the rider responded by whipping the saboteur.

Cathy prefers not to conceal her identity. She maintains she is a pacifist who uses non-violent methods. These include the use of citronella spray, which prevents the hounds from picking up the scent of the fox; a whip which makes a noise to halt the hounds; and voice commands to confuse them. “I don’t believe in violence,” says Cathy. “I think bloodsports by nature are violent, and violence breeds violence. So it doesn’t surprise me that they attack us.”

She says she has personally witnessed seven or eight fox kills – although there is no suggestion these were unlawful. Her passion for intervening in them has left her with some unusual scars. In summer, when she goes walking in the Welsh countryside to unwind, little marks on her cheek darken like freckles in the sun – from a vixen that bit her face in 2013 after she rescued it from a pack of hounds. “[It] was the classic pre-kill,” she says. “They were trying to turn her [the fox] onto her back and bite the stomach to start the disembowelment.”

Cathy says she waded through the hounds and gripped the vixen by the scruff of the neck, and with the help of a fellow saboteur bundled it into her car with a jacket over its face. The feeling of the fox’s teeth breaking the skin of her cheek as she clutched its wet fur tight to her chest was “like loads of pins biting down”. “When I went back to the hunt the huntsman said: ‘I hope your tetanus is up to date'.”

The vixen survived with the help of a vet. Cathy recovered with the help of a nurse. “I had to sit there with my hands in iodine for 40 minutes and I got a very strong round of antibiotics,” she says.

Hunt saboteurs have existed since the 1960s – but hunt supporters argue that the Hunting Act has made their roleWarwickshireFHAggressivesupporterhitsfemalesabinface9-11-17.jpg adopted legal methods. The most popular legal alternative – according to the Countryside Alliance – is a ‘trail hunt', in which a runner lays an artificial scent for mounted riders to follow. If a fox is inadvertently killed in the course of such a hunt, it does not mean the hunt is unlawful, however. Indeed, there is no proof the incidents Cathy recounts were deliberate fox kills organised by hunts.

The Countryside Alliance, which supports all forms of legal hunting, says there have been more than 250,000 hunts since the ban – and they claim the overwhelming majority have been lawful. More than 400 people were convicted in the ten years after the Hunting Act came into force, according to Ministry of Justice statistics – but the Countryside Alliance says just 24 of those were involved with “registered" hunts.

Anti-hunting activists have long campaigned on behalf of animal rights yet their allegations of continuous law-breaking by hunts is completely unfounded,” a spokesperson said.

The earliest known hunt in Britain is thought to have taken place in 16th century Norfolk. It was eventually banned by Labour, under Tony Blair, in 2004. Both subsequent Conservative Prime Ministers have expressed their desire to repeal the ban, promising parliament a free vote on the issue – but both ultimately abandoned the idea.

This may be because the fox hunting ban is thought to be overwhelmingly supported by voters across the political spectrum. A poll by ComRes for the Daily Mirror suggested retaining the fox hunting ban was the most popular policy in Labour’s 2017 general election manifesto, with the support of 78% of the voting-age population (and 64% of Conservative voters).

The saboteurs argue that their attempts to disrupt the hunts is justified by such public support – and the law. Acquiring the video evidence necessary to prove illegal activity is a risky pastime, however. Interfering with a hunt often requires trespassing on others’ land; a civil offence which gives property owners the right to use 'reasonable force' to eject unwelcome visitors.

Last year a man was cautioned by police after Cathy was left with a bloody cut to her face while trying to film and monitor a hunt in Warwickshire. Video footage shows a man pushing Cathy after she initially refuses to leave his land. “The guy’s pushing and slapping and sort of whacks me in the face,” says Cathy. “He said, ‘You can hit me if you want’ – and the answer’s no, I’m not like you. What sort of natural response is that?"

Cathy has also been arrested – “four [or] five times”, she says. She was recently charged with three Public Order offences over a demonstration at a fundraising event for Atherstone hunt. Last month she was found not guilty of all charges. “It shouldn’t have gone to court in the first place,” she says. This hasn't dissuaded her from hunt sabotage though – but it does leave her feeling exhausted and in need of some recovery time.

On a Saturday, when I get in, it’s a beer in a bath,” she says. “It’s not, ‘I’m going to get ready and go out clubbing'.” Tucked up in her bed, surrounded by fox cushions, ceramics, pictures, and other curios, she says she sleeps sound in the knowledge that she has done all she can to help the lives of animals that she believes society has a “duty of care to protect”. “There’s something magical about [foxes],” she says. “It’s that lovely sort of slinkiness that they’ve got, and they just sort of glide away. I find them really enchanting.”

POWAperson comments  -  As Cathy would be the first to acknowledge, there are many heroes and heroines amongst the hunt sab and monitor community. They all seriously risk their safety [two sabs have been killed in the hunting fields, many others badly injured. They have to tolerate routine violence, abuse, threats, harassment, property damage and thefts from hunters and their associated thugs [with precious little protection from the police]. They exhaust themselves in all weathers, often seeing the terrorisation and slaughter of the animals they seek to protect, all for no reward but the satisfaction that they have at least tried to save and advocate for them and borne witness to the lawless savagery of hunts and hunters. 

As you will have noticed, there are a number of very challengeable assertions by the author in the text above. Charitably, one might regard these as an attempt to achieve the famous BBC 'balance'.

Firstly, the claim that a hunt rider was knocked unconscious by sabs armed with iron bars was highly questionable. The only video evidence provided by the hunt side showed the hunter already lying on the ground when the clip started, with no evidence as to how he got there. The hunt side claimed the clip showed sabs assaulting hunt followers. In fact the only person being assaulted in it was one of the two sabs, who were heavily outnumbered by hunters and followers present. There were no 'iron bars'. Some sabs carry 'soft' whips - a short wooden handle attached to a piece of rope, occasionally used to discourage hounds and, in extremis, to help get them off their quarry, without hurting them. These were the only 'weapons' the sabs were carrying. Despite hunt side claims that there were other clips showing violence by the sabs, they have, surprise, surprise, never surfaced - and the police dropped the case pretty quickly.

The author's claim that there is no suggestion that any of the fox kills Cathy has witnessed were illegal is laughable. I'm sure Cathy and other sabs would assert that all of them were. This is because she, all other sabs and monitors believe, and repeatedly witness, illegal chasing and slaughter of live quarry routinely, in the pretend guise of 'trail hunting.' The author seems unwilling to acknowledge the mountain of evidence that this is the case.

Secondly, the sab filmed grasping a horse's bridle was doing the only thing he could to try to protect a female colleague, as the huntswoman had repeatedly ridden her horse at her. For his pains he was whipped 17 times, but the police did not consider this sufficient violence to merit an assault charge against the huntswoman.

Pic above right  -   Cathy being hit in the face by a former director of the Warwickshire FH

Pic below   -  Cathy rescuing a juvenile fox from the jaws of the Old Berks FH 

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The BBC Three documentary 'The Hunt: Battle in the Countryside' is on the website. BBC Three is now available on the internet only [unlsss you have a Smart TV. It's also on You Tube.

 

Northants MH pack up again when faced with mass sab

5-5-18   Facebook - North Cambs Hunt Sabs    Hit Report: 05.05.2018, Northants Minkhounds. Mill Farm, Newport Pagnell    Sabs from numerous groups joined forces today to put a stop to another meet of the Northants Minkhounds, hunting in baking heat near Lathbury just outside of Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire.

The pack were spotted hunting the riverbanks of the River Great Ouse, just outside of the town and very quickly found themselves surrounded by sabs holding video cameras. This area of river is home to all sorts of wildlife, but notably it is a known otter habitat (https://bit.ly/2IgwJz9), so it is of no surprise that the Northants Otter/Minkhounds are so keen to hunt there.

Once the Hunt sighted sabs, they made their predictable escape. Now, while the hunting set have spent a lot of time coming up with lies to cover up what mounted fox hunts are really doing, they have given precious little attention to protecting their partners in crime, the mink hounds. As the packs have absolutely no possible legal excuse for what they are doing, they always turn and run whenever they see hunt sabs. [Below - packing up]

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The Hunt headed back to Mill Farm, near Gayhurst, and after a short conflab they seemed to admit defeat, and summoned their hound trailer to pack their ragtag assorted pack away and write off another weekend’s hunting ruined.

Police from Thames Valley attended (in four vehicles) to protect the Hunt until they had packed and left. They showed no interest in the fact they were stood around with wildlife criminals, or to the concerns raised by sabs that the hounds had simply been boxed up in a trailer and left for around 30 minutes on the hottest day of the year. [Below - Off home, with police escort]

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Groups with sabs present today included: North Cambs, Beds & Bucks, Suffolk And Essex , Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Northants, West Midlands and Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs. Hunt sabs give up their free time to stop illegal hunting in our countryside, if you would like to support our work for the price of a coffee, you can click here: https://ko-fi.com/northcambs.

 

Police/CPS still drag out S. Hereford FH cub scandal as demo due

4-5-18   Hereford Times    Protest outside police station over South Herefordshire Hunt case    A demonstration outside Hereford Police Station will see animal rights protestors call for charges to be made in the South Herefordshire Hunt investigation.

Five people were arrested two years ago on suspicion of animal cruelty at the Hunt's kennels in Wormelow but they have since been released from bail and no charges have been made. The police said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) awaits a limited amount of further information from West Mercia Police before a decision on possible charges can be made.

The protest, organised by the Animal Welfare Party (Cheshire East) and Save The Ban, will demand that wildlife crimes are properly investigated and prosecuted by the police and the CPS. Jane Smith, from the Animal Welfare Party, said: "It will be two years since it happened and, despite very clear evidence, there have been no charges. We feel there has been no justice. "It has been a really prominent example across the UK of police forces and the CPS not appearing to take wildlife crime seriously. We don't feel the police are out there investigating properly."

The Hunt Investigation Team obtained footage which, they claim, was secretly recorded at the South Herefordshire Hunt's headquarters. The video footage appears to show a huntsman handling foxes illegally and was published on social media.

Ms Smith said the protest aimed to "show the police and CPS we are going to keep being vocal about 'crimes' not being prosecuted". "We are not going to shut up and go away," she added. But she was keen to highlight that it will be a peaceful protest on May 12 in Bath Street between 12pm and 3pm. Ms Smith said: "It is going to be extremely peaceful. But I believe emotions will run high because it is a a very emotive cause."

Last September police released five people from bail, but said the investigation is ongoing. A 37-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, both from Hereford, a 37-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman, both from Abergavenny, and a 45-year-old man from Powys were earlier arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty relating to an alleged offence in May 2016. South Herefordshire Hunt placed itself in voluntary suspension – and remains that way – as the police investigation continues.

Sue Thomas, the Supt for Herefordshire Local Policing area, said she was aware of the planned demonstration. "We plan to talk with the organisers around their plans for the event, but we would welcome direct contact from the organisers," she added. "We will be working with colleagues at Hereford City Council to ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum, while facilitating the right of people to lawfully protest. Our role with such events is to ensure members of the public can exercise their lawful rights whilst preventing disruption, crime and disorder. We will ensure that we provide a proportionate policing response. This is a live investigation involving a number of complex factors. The CPS prosecution team have been in regular contact with Senior Officers from West Mercia Police in order to jointly progress this case. As part of the ongoing review of the case, the CPS awaits a limited amount of further information from West Mercia Police before the tests in the Code for Crown Prosecutors can properly be applied, and a decision on charge made. Cases of animal cruelty are treated seriously by both organisations. Resources have been invested to ensure that the best evidence can be achieved in these cases and we actively seek to protect animals from cruelty and to prevent their suffering."

POWAperson comments  -  The partially successful  prosecution of the Warwickshire Hunt was completed last month two years and four months after the incident was reported to police. The South Herefordshire case has now been going on for almost two years since the Hunt Investigation Team turned their footage of truly shocking cruelty to young fox cubs over to the police - and still no charges have been laid. Let's just hope these excessive delays are due to the CPS determination to get all their ducks in a row in this disturbing case.  

Pics below -   1/  Fox cubs held in captivity    2/  Man believed to by S. Herefordshire FH servant about to throw cub to hounds inside the building

    S.HerefordshireFHFoxcubimprisonedthenkilled1.jpg S.Herefordshirehuntservantabouttothrowcubtohounds5-16.jpg

 

Grafton FH Huntsman to face trial on illegal hunting charge

3-5-18   Information from Hunt Monitors Association    Huntsman Mick Wills is to face trial on 3rd September at Wellingborough Magistrates Court on a charge of illegal hunting. The charge relates to an incident on 23rd September last year. Wills pleaded Not Guilty at an initial hearing last month.

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LACS CEO quits due to serious health problem

2-5-18  LACS website    League statement    “I regret to announce that Eduardo Gonçalves is stepping down asEduardoGoncalvesLACS.jpg CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports. Eduardo was diagnosed with a serious condition last year, and has been courageously battling his illness with the determination and good humour we have come to expect of him. This is the same determination that we saw him put into all his work, helping to see off multiple attempts to repeal the hunting ban and to force the government to abandon plans to hold a vote to bring back this archaic sport topping the list. He has worked tirelessly to fight the powerful interests of those who wish to persecute animals. Eduardo has been a loud and compassionate voice for animals, and we expect him to remain so in the future. We wish him and his family well.”

Iain Blake-Lawson, Chair, League Against Cruel Sports Board of Trustees

POWAperson adds -  We are sad to learn that Eduardo has had to step down. He was a very good leader of the League and continued its renaissance, which began under Joe Duckworth. We very much hope he can overcome his health problems soon.  

 

Belvoir FH hound killed on A1 slip road

1-5-18  Grantham Matters     Hound killed on A1 slip road Two hounds were reported as loose this morning around Barrowby. Sadly, one was hit by a car and killed. Two men reportedly from the Belvoir Hunt collected the dogs.

BelvoirFHHoundkilledonA1slipoad1-5-18.jpg BelvoirFHHoundkilledonA1sliproadHuntcar1-5-18.jpg

 

For stories before MAY 2018, go to page  UK HUNTING NEWS ARCHIVE

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