Following stories are covered in detail and commented upon below :
..... 14th May - CPS refuse to prosecute drunk supporter who forced himself on female sabs
..... 14th May - Cattistock FH JM resigns as Wildlife Trust patron after badger cull protests
..... 10th May
- CA appeal for police to stop sabs concealing identities in hunting field
..... 9th May - Albrighton FH Huntsman killed
himself by shooting, inquest finds
..... 7th May - Avon Vale FH JM and terrierman both ined for severe damage to
..... 6th May - Row over LACS film showing child playing by mutilated carcass of stag
..... 28th April
- Activists may target estate of mega-rich Cattistock JM over badger cull
26th April - Female Portman FH rider sought by police after unprovoked attack on hunt spectator
April - Chairman of MFHA says that number of fox hunt packs should be cut by 50
..... 24th April - Cheshire Forest FH
whipper-in charged with assaults and sex offences on 2 women
..... 19th April - Artificial fox earth found in heart of
Heythrop FH country
..... 15th April - Old Berks FH woman rider fined for unprovoked attack on monitor
April - Three Cattistock FH supporters charged after monitors robbed of cameras
..... 12th April - Another RSPCA badger
sett interference case against hunt terriermen fails
..... 11th April - Crawley & Horsham FH Huntsman fined
for Crimal Damage to sab vehicle
...... 9th April - Weston JM acquitted as could not be shown he personally participated
in illegal hunting
..... 6th April - York & Ainsty S FH illegal hunting case dropped as sabs allege police
..... 25th March - Tedworth FH redcoat smashed sab windscreen next to driver, claim HSA
23rd March - 'Racist abuse' JM/Hunstsman claims dog killed, car damaged in mystery attack
March - HSA says C&H FH breaking law again with unauthorised street collections
..... 22nd March - Rare
conviction of anti-hunt activist, fined for abusing Surrey Union hunters
..... 21st March - Paterson tells Country
Life he strongly favours Hunting Act repeal
..... 18th March - Kent ex-JM, acquitted of attempted.murder, is jailed for
..... 17th March - Essex & Suffolk FH followers commit two sustained assaults on sabs
..... 16th March - LACS confirms plans to deploy drone surveillance of suspect Hunts
..... 11th March - Attempt to gain public subsidy for hunting in Ulster is rebuffed
8th March - BBC investigation exposes cruel, murky world of carted deer hunting in Ulster
..... 3rd March - School pupils anti fox hunting film wins
hunt supporter who forced himself on female sabs escapes charge
14-5-13 HSA Press Release On Tuesday
19th March 2013, Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt, Dean Common Farm, a drunken hunt supporter - Adrian Wood [right] -
forced entry to a hunt saboteur vehicle. The two female occupants could not stop his advances and had to drive away
with him inside the vehicle in the hope that other hunt saboteurs or members of the hunt would be able to assist in removing him from their vehicle. Although other members of the Hunt
were in attendance none made any moves to assist. The two saboteurs were the subject of unwanted physical advances while
trying to gain assistance by calling 999. Eventually they managed to remove him from their vehicle. Although called
the police did not attend the scene (Crime ref CR/06463/13). After an investigation the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused
to prosecute. Video of the incident can be viewed here.
Lee Moon, press officer of the HSA stated:- "If two women had been subjected to the forced entry of their vehicle
by a drunken yob in a town high street, and had then been made to drive him around while being the victim of unwanted advances
we suspect that the police would have responded in a different fashion. Once again those who try and protect our wildlife
from the excesses of the countryside thugs are left to fend for themselves. This of course will not deter our brave people
but it stinks of hypocrisy and inequality."
Cattistock FH JM resigns as Dorset
Wildlife Trust patron after badger cull protests
14-5-13 BBC News
Online Dorset Wildlife Trust patron quits in badger cull row One
of Britain's richest women has quit her post as patron of Dorset Wildlife Trust after the charity was targeted by animal
rights activists. Campaigners accused Charlotte Townshend of backing the government's pilot badger culls to tackle the
spread of tuberculosis among cattle. Chief executive Simon Cripps branded the activists "internet trolls". Pilot
culls are planned in Gloucestershire and Somerset this summer but Dorset is a reserve area.
A spokesman for Ilchester Estates and Mrs Townshend [left], who is also joint master of Cattistock
Hunt, said she would "never do anything to harm the work of Dorset Wildlife Trust". A statement read: "It
is a great shame that some of those who claim to be campaigning for wildlife actually focus on such negative activity rather
than engaging in the sort of positive conservation work which Mrs Townshend has carried out over decades."
her decision to step down, Stop The Cull, a coalition of action groups campaigning against the badger culling, posted online:
"We haven't 'targeted' the Dorset Wildlife Trust at all. "We have not asked anyone to stop their subscription,
we have not asked for boycotts, we haven't set up an email campaign, all we did with regards to the Trust was tweet them
a few times and leave some messages on their Facebook page. "If anyone thinks that is 'targeting' then they need
to sniff the smelling salts."
Mr Cripps said he Mrs Townshend's resignation was "a blow." He said:
"As yet Dorset's only on a reserve list so there isn't yet a cull, so it is strange to say the least that people
would assume that any particular landowner would be for and against because they haven't yet been asked." He added:
"These are internet trolls because they're not prepared to listen to a sensible reasoned debate on this. We are the
most outspoken organisation against badger culling, so why attack us?" Ilchester Estates has declined to comment on whether
Mrs Townshend supports the badger cull.
POWAPerson adds:- Viscountess Townshend has a personal fortune
reportedly worth £375 million, owns much of Holland Park in London and a 15,000 acre estate in Dorset, including the
Swannery at Abbotsbury. She has been the leading light of the Cattistock FH for many years. It is unusual these
days for an active hunter to hold a significant position in a county wildlife trust, though it was once common as they
sought to protect hunting and other bloodsports interests. So it is high time Dorset Wildlife Trust brought itself into the
21st century in this respect. Unless, of course, you count helping to slaughter the area's foxes [which, pre-ban
at least, would have involved significant badger-sett intereference] and blocking the creation of a national nature reserve
[including Chesil Beach, which she also owns] because she was annoyed about the imminent hunting ban, POWA is unclear what
she has done to positively help wildlife in Dorset. That she would permit her land to be part of a reserve badger cull
zone seems a reasonable inference to draw, especially given her refusal to comment on the subject.
CA appeal for police to stop sabs concealing identities
in the hunting field
Horse & Hound Antis must uncover their faces to protect hunt followers
Police are being urged to enforce laws stripping protestors of balaclavas, in a bid to help protect hunt followers. Countryside
Alliance chairman Sir Barney White-Spunner has written to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), following serious
assaults at a Badsworth and Bramham Moor meet and the High Peak kennels. "We at the Countryside Alliance are increasingly
concerned about attacks on hunt supporters and staff by people wearing balaclavas and face coverings to avoid detection,"
said Sir Barney in his letter to ACPO president, Sir Hugh Orde. "We ask you please to write to police forces across the
country, reminding officers of their powers under Section 60AA of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 [the power
to remove disguises]."
In October last year, Badsworth and Bramham Moor hunt supporter and landowner Charles Warde-Aldam
was repeatedly hit on the head with a heavy torch. Although the assault was filmed, his attackers were wearing masks and therefore
could not be identified. In a similar attack, two masked assailants clubbed and kicked High Peak huntsman Nigel Cox at his
kennels in December. No one has been charged over either incident.
There is currently a discrepancy in different parts
of the country as to how the police enforce Section 60AA. Crawley and Horsham senior master Antony Sandeman told H&H he
believes Sussex is "a soft target", drawing sabs in balaclavas from many areas because they know the police will
not challenge them. " Surrey Police [the neighbouring force] do enforce Section 60, but Sussex won’t unless
there’s a direct threat of violence," said Mr Sandeman. "I hope this letter will do some good, but I feel
like we’re banging our heads against a brick wall. It’s all down to the chief constable, and if he doesn’t
want to enforce it we’ve got no chance."
POWAPerson says;- Given the historically very high levels
of violence by hunters and supporters towards sabs [and, indeed, monitors] - and the attitudes of some police forces towards
sabs - it is understandable if some prefer to conceal their faces, though this is not standard practice. Sabs are themselves
not infrequently confronted, and sometimes attacked by, gangs of masked supporters. POWA, of course, does not condone any
physical violence other than reasonable force necessary for self-defence.
Suicide by shooting verdict on W.Midlands Huntsman
found dead at home
9-5-13 Wolverhampton Expess & Star Veteran of Albrighton Hunt shot himself,
inquest told An experienced member of the Albrighton Hunt shot himself in the head at his
home, an inquest has ruled. Ray Shaw [left] was found dead on December 11 last year after failing to turn
up for a hunt. South Shropshire coroner John Ellery today returned the verdict that Mr Shaw had killed himself.
The inquest, held at Bridgnorth Council Chamber, heard that Mr Shaw had used his hand gun to shoot himself.
His wife, Margaret Shaw, told the inquest he had
used the hand gun frequently in his job. She said his role involved looking after the hounds and horses used for the
hunt, and humanely killing injured animals. She said: "He loved his dogs and his horses. He had the gun as a humane
killer. It took one bullet and he used it often in his job. He never made a mistake and never got anything wrong, even with
the horses." The inquest was told that when a CID officer told Mrs Shaw her husband had been found dead, she said
‘he’s shot himself’. Mrs Shaw said: "He always said that would be the way he would go, but I always
thought it was just in jest."
Miles Salmon, a former joint master huntsman for the Albrighton Hunt, went to Mr Shaw’s
house on Holyhead Road, Albrighton, when he failed to turn up for the hunt. Mr Salmon said: "I could see
that the food had been put out for the hounds for when they returned that night, but the horses had not been cleaned out.
They were not distressed, but something was clearly wrong. There was something in the air, that made the hairs on the back
of my neck stand up. That is a feeling I will never forget." Mr Salmon told the inquest that he decided to force
the door open with another huntsman who he had arranged to meet at the property, Brian Hinks. After forcing the door
open, they checked the house and Mr Salmon found 45-year-old Mr Shaw in his bedroom. He said: "He was white and
had his hands by his side. I called Brian and then we went downstairs."
Coroner Ellery ruled that Mr Shaw had died
at his home some time between 7.20pm on December 11 and had been discovered the next morning by Mr Salmon and Mr Hinks.
A post mortem, carried out at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford on December 14, said Mr Shaw had died from a gunshot
wound to the middle of his forehead. Following Mr Shaw’s tragic death friends and colleagues paid tribute to the
‘hardworking man’ who put everything into his job and was ‘extremely professional’ in all that he
POWAPerson adds; Being in such despair that one feels the need to take one's own life is not
a fate to wish on one's worst enemy, so condolences to Mr.Shaw's friends and family. Given his stated role in
the Hunt, though, it seems likely that he would frequently have used his gun to execute 'surplus' hounds. POWA
calculations, based on data provided by Hunts themselves, show that UK Hunts probably kill between 5,000 and 8,000 of their own dogs
every year, most of them perfectly healthy and aged no more than 6 or 7. So this, and the thought of how many foxes
may have died in terror partly due to his hunting activities might cause some to temper any natural human sympathy they
may feel for his plight.
Avon Vale FH JM and terrierman
fined for severe damage to badger sett
Judge criticises RSPCA for sudden dropping of Hunting Act charges
against them and 3 other hunters
7-5-13 Daily Mail Hunt master and friend caught digging up a badger sett as they tried to free a lost terrier
are fined £300 A joint hunt master and a terrierman pleaded guilty
to interfering with a badger sett today after they caused the 'most severe' damage an RSPCA officer had seen in 25
years. Stuart Radborne, 28, was caught 'waist-deep' in the sett as he and Ben Pethers, 29, frantically
excavated the animals' home to try and find a lost terrier called Jimmy. Members of the public suspected them of
illegal hunting and alerted the police and the RSPCA.
They were charged with the badger sett attack and jointly charged
with breaching the Hunting Act along with Jonathon Seed, 54, the former master of the Avon Vale Hunt, and two other hunt staff,
Paul Tylee-Hinder, 58, and Josh Charlesworth, 18. But today, at North Wiltshire Magistrates Court in Wiltshire, the
RSPCA dropped the hunt charges after Radborne and Pethers pleaded guilty to interfering with a badger sett.
an outraged Mr Seed condemned the RSPCA prosecution as a 'complete outrage' and a 'disgrace'. Mr Seed, a Conservative
councillor for Wiltshire, said: '.... The RSPCA has spent £50,000 pursuing this and they have been given £500
in costs. It is an absolute disgrace. The two members of our group who pleaded guilty to interfering with a badger sett is
an unfortunate event but they were going after their dog and the sentence reflected the judges view.'
Simon Cooper heard that on March 6 2012 the five men, who were out hunting, were alerted that their dogs had marked a fox
in a nearby field. Radbourne and Pethers, who were riding on a quad bike, reached the area first and
began to assess the situation. They let the inexperienced terrier, Jimmy, loose and it ran off and disappeared. The
huntsmen located the dog in the sett after they heard barking from below the ground. They tried to use a location collar
to pull him out but when that failed they began digging at the ground to free him, the court was told.
Jeremy Cave, prosecuting,
said: 'An onlooker saw the men digging in the sett and describes the digging as furious with soil flying. The police and
the RSPCA turned up and the men were questioned. There had been considerable interference with the set, digging and filling
in the entrances. In total there were 15 entrances to the sett, 11 of which had been blocked. RSPCA Inspector Ian Burns, who
turned up at the site, described it as "the worst find he has ever witnessed in his 25 years of being an inspector".'
He added that Radbourne had been seen by another onlooker waist deep in the sett digging. The traumatised terrier eventually
resurfaced two hours after it had first become stuck, suffering deep cuts and puncture wounds to his neck and face.
RSPCA had originally brought charges against all five huntsman of breaking the Hunting Act ban, but decided to drop the cases
after accepting the guilty pleas from Radbourne, of Chippenham, and Pethers, of Southwick. Mr Seed, of Bromham, Mr Tylee-Hinder,
of Calne, and Mr Charlesworth, of East Tytherton, all denied any wrong-doing. Clive Rees, defending Radbourne, told the court:
'It was certainly a badger sett and it was accepted that he had been the one who was up to his waist in it and he took
full responsibility for that. But it was out of concern for the terrier. Mr Radbourne accepted his responsibility from the
beginning. Seeing it was an active badger set made him even more concerned about Jimmy.' Janet Gedrych, for Mr Pethers,
said her client had accepted that it was 'reckless' to let Jimmy free. It was clear that Jimmy had escaped and it
was reckless to allow the dog out of the cage before fully investigating,' he said. 'He accepts that he was digging
in an effort to find his dog, he didn't intentionally set out to damage the sett but he acted recklessly to find his lost
District Judge Cooper handed the pair a £300 fine and ordered them to pay £250 costs and a £15
victim surcharge. He told them: 'In my mind the main aspect of this case was a failure to control Jimmy. Reliable or not,
he should have been kept in his box. He got out and disappeared down the sett. Why he did it is speculation, but that he should
have been allowed to do it was wrong. You are both responsible and you both could have prevented it.'
director of campaigns at the Countryside Alliance, accused the RSPCA of wasting money on a 'politically motivated'
prosecution. He said: 'It is absolutely disgraceful that the RSPCA has spent 14 months and £50,000 of its members'
money on a prosecution which was completely groundless and clearly politically motivated. It is even worse that the taxpayer
has had to pick up the bill for the court and the defendants' costs.'...
The RSPCA inspector who complied the
case against the five men said he would have been 'heavily criticised' if he had walked away from prosecution. Inpector
Ian Burns said: 'There was severe damage to that badger sett and with all the money it has cost I would have been heavily
criticised if I had walked away and left it. 'I have had 25 years' experience as a wildlife officer and I have dealt
with numerous badger cases and that is the biggest, deepest, hole that I have seen dug.'
A spokesman for the RSPCA
added: 'The RSPCA received a call that a group of men had been seen on and around a badger sett in Stockley Hollow at
the time that the Avon Vale was riding in the vicinity. On examining the area, RSPCA inspector Ian Burns found that
a large hole had been dug directly down into the active badger sett, breaking a tunnel and entrances had been blocked up.
A small Patterdale terrier emerged from the sett, muddy, dazed and bleeding badly from his jaw. He was fitted
with an underground location collar. The dog, which belonged to Pethers, was taken to a vet who found his injuries were consistent
with having been attacked by the claws and teeth of an animal whilst underground. The defendants gave conflicting accounts
at the scene including chasing foxes, rabbits and searching for a lost dog.' The badger sett where the men were
spotted was in Stockley Hollow, near Calne, Wiltshire. The RSPCA was today unable to confirm the exact amount spent on the
7-5-13 Daily Telegraph RSPCA criticised by judge for wasting 'valuable' court time by calling off Hunting Act prosecution
at 11th hour The RSPCA has been criticised by a judge for wasting "valuable" court time
and tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' and donors money by calling off a hunting prosecution at the 11th hour.
A joint hunt master and a terrierman pleaded guilty to interfering with a badger sett after they caused the "most severe"
damage an RSPCA officer had seen in 25 years. But another prosecution at North Wiltshire Magistrates Court against five members
of the Vale of Avon hunt under the Hunting Act was dropped at the 11th hour.... The costs of the failed case - which
will be borne by the charity's donors and the taxpayer - are likely to run into tens of thousands of pounds.
After the pleas were entered, district Judge Simon Cooper criticised the RSPCA and the time
it had spent bringing the case, only for it to collapse at the last moment. He said: "It has taken a long time to get
to this point, I'm disappointed that seven days of valuable court time have been set aside for this trial only for it
not to happen. That is denying so many other defendants their chance to court time and prove their innocence.".... The
judge asked prosecutor Jeremy Cave to justify why the case was taken to court. He said: "Why don't you explain why
you bought the case Mr Cave because you are going to be criticised and I think you should explain why you bought the action,
and why you subsequently decided to drop the other charges?" Mr Cave replied: "This is a matter that the RSPCA
approached as they would any responsible prosecutor would. They looked at all the overall criminality and reflected
on the court resources and the seriousness of allegations and the amounts of culpability. They applied the CPS test in terms
of the public interest. This is a very significant case of set interference and in those circumstances the two individuals
that have pleaded guilty are the most serious players and in those circumstances we would consider it difficult to justify
very serious expenses of a seven day trial. The court will be aware that this case was referred by the defendants for
review by the complex case unit by the CPS. An independent review by the CPS said there was a public interest met in
this case.... "... Last year the RSPCA was heavily criticised for bringing a £326,000 private prosecution
against the Heythrop hunt in David Cameron's Oxfordshire constituency. A spokesman for the RSPCA said: "We make no
apology for trying to protect animals from suffering. We would not bring a case unless there was good evidence and have applied
the CPS test to do it."....
POWAPerson says:- Are we seriously expected to believe that
the terrier was released for any purpose other than to enter the sett, when the hunters apparently believed a fox had
been 'marked' by hounds to that very location? Why goto the sett, let alone take a terrier there, unless they
were intending to use it to pursue a fox underground ? Sorry, but the Judge seems gullible in accepting their flimsy
As a hunt monitor for many years I witnessed many pre-ban digouts of foxes and the hunters were always
quite fanatical about it. They would dig for hours, if necessary, anywhere, including active badger setts [in which foxes
will seek temporary shelter] and move prodigious quantities of soil - all to reach and kill one terrified animal, cowering
from the attacks of their vicious terrier [of whose welfare they are utterly careless]. If the Avon Vale terrier was
entered deliberately, then they - probably all of them, not just the two fined - were breaking the Hunting Act.
Whilst there may be some valid explanation of which we are ignorant, it seems
a great pity that the RSPCA prosecution did not press the Hunting Act charges and force the judge to decide whether to give
credence to the hunters' flimsy excuses. They may have lost, but that would, at least, have illustrated the weaknesses
of the Hunting Act. As is, I'm afraid they have opened themselves to stinging criticism from the Judge and provided
more grist to the pro-hunt mill.
Row over LACS monitoring film that shows small child playing near mutilated deer carcass
6.5.13 Western Morning News Video
showing child 'playing' near mutilated deer joins battleground over hunting The battleground
over fox and stag hunting in the West involved children this week after anti-hunt monitors controversially published a video
of a child "playing" near a mutilated deer that it claims had just been killed by a Somerset hunt. Meanwhile, the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance took its campaign to educate youngsters about fox hunting into
schools, by publishing a new document tailored "especially" for children who are engaging in classroom debates about
League Against Cruel Sports monitors said they filmed the video footage of a hunt chasing a deer while
they stood in their own sanctuary land on Exmoor at Baronsdown. The video, posted online, shows a deer being ‘herded'
by crowds of foot followers away from the league's land. Later images show a dead deer with its hooves removed,
and what the monitors said was a "young unidentifiable child" seen "playing with a ball beside the dead animal".
It claims the footage was taken on April 18.
For years, hunts have bitterly complained about anti-hunt monitors filming
them, and in particular filming young riders following the hunt, or children following on foot. A spokesman for the League
defended its decision to film the child. "The camera was fixed on a tripod and the child, which cannot be identified, wandered into view when playing around the dead, mutilated stag which
was being filmed," he said. "The child was not tracked by the camera coming into view nor leaving. The investigators
openly filmed the scene from a public footpath in clear view of hunt supporters. The League finds young children being exposed
to blood sports of great concern."
Meanwhile, the Countryside Alliance said it was actively encouraging school pupils
to get its side of the argument on hunting. Executive chairman Barney White-Spunner, from Dorset, said: "We have numerous
requests for material from young people taking part in school or college debates on hunting and so have tailored a new document
especially for them. There is a real thirst for information; it is up to us to provide the facts so that informed debate,
and a healthy interest in the countryside, can follow," he added....
above left - Hunters and hounds surround the slaughtered stag
Pic above right - Small child plays next to the mutilated
POWAPerson adds:- The video posted by LACS can be seen here. Pretending concern about children out with Hunts being incidentally caught on monitoring footage is merely yet another
of the cynical ploys used by hunters. Indeed, there are reports of them deliberately encouraging child riders in front of
monitors' cameras, then calling the antis 'paedophiles'. One woman rider recently worked herself into
such a froth about her teenage daughter being in shot that she attacked a monitor with her riding crop [for which she was
fined] while her daughter, distressed by her behaviour, screamed at her to stop.
The true 'child abuse' here
is surely inculcating children into a culture where they are taught that it is OK to terrorise and kill wild animals for 'sport'
and revel in their bloody, violent deaths. Traditionally, even very young children attending their first hunts were 'blooded'
by having the slaughtered animal's blood smeared on their faces and were often given a cut off part of the animal as a
'trophy'. POWAPerson has himself witnessed hunt supporters rushing tiny children to the scene of a fresh deer-kill,
where they were made to watch as the carcass was 'grallocked' [cut open and its inner organs removed] for the hounds
to feast on, and the cutting off of hooves and ears.
Trophy-taking is evidently still alive and well in the deer-hunting
community, as the classic hoof-stripping has clearly been done to the carcass of the slaughtered deer in the recent LACS
video and one caring parent was obviously sanguine about allowing their small daughter to play right next to the mutilated
body. Rumour has it that one particularly voluble hunt supporter is currently facing a possible libel suit after going way
over the top in his online remarks re. the filming of the child and those allegedly responsible for it.
Activists may target estate of mega-rich Cattistock
JM over badger cull
28-4-13 Sunday Times Badger activists target estate
of wealthy huntswoman over cull ANIMAL rights activists are threatening to target the Dorset
estate of one of Britain's wealthiest women after identifying it as a potential badger cull site. The Coalition of Badger
Action Groups, an umbrella group of anti-cull activists, believes the estate of Charlotte Townshend, ranked the 29th richest
woman in Britain in The Sunday Times Rich List, will form part of a cull being planned for the area. Jay Tiernan, a spokesman
for the badger coalition, said activists were planning to release game birds and deer from the estate in protest. He claimed they had already gained access to the 15,000-acre estate, which stretches along the south Dorset
coast, where they took photographs of pheasant pens.
Many dairy farmers believe culling is the only way to eradicate
bovine tuberculosis and save their cattle. Two trial areas in Gloucestershire and Somerset have been given licences to carry
out badger culls from June but a third, standby area in Dorset has also been licensed in case there are problems with the
first two. The activists say part of Townshend's estate - which includes her home, the 17th-century, grade I-listed
Melbury House [left] - lies within the standby zone, which is in the north of the county. A larger part
of her estate falls inside another area that is likely to be included in a second tranche of badger culls if those in the
trial areas go according to plan.
Trevor Cligg, deputy chairman of the county branch of the National Farmers Union, confirmed
that planning for a west Dorset cull was under way, but insisted no details had been finalised. "These activists have
added two and two together and got five or significantly more than that . . . I wish we were [more advanced with the cull
planning] but we're not," he said.
Townshend, 58, has a fortune calculated at £375m, largely through the
income produced from 20 acres of land she owns in Holland Park, an exclusive area of west London. The keen huntswoman inherited
the fortune from her parents, the 9th Viscount Galway and Lady Theresa, the daughter of the 7th Earl of Ilchester. Her Holland
Park properties include the mansion lived in by the late Michael Winner, the film director and restaurant critic, and the
home of Bryan Ferry, the musician.
POWAperson adds:- Hunting fanatic Lady Charlotte was so incensed at
Labour's plans to ban hunting with hounds that, in 1999, she reportedly blocked the creation of a much-trumpeted new Nature
Reserve which was to include Cheshil Beach - which she owns.
Since the creation of the Electoral Donations Register in
2001, she, her husband and her company, Ilchester Estates, have made donations totalling £84,000 to the Conservative
Female Portman FH rider sought after whip assault
on hunt spectator
26-4-13 Sky News Horse Whip Assault Woman Hunted By Police Police are looking for a woman horse-rider [right] who hit a 63-year-old with her whip as he watched a Dorset hunt. A
woman horse-rider, who whipped a man around the head with her riding crop as he watched a hunt, is being sought by police.
The 63-year-old victim was at the Portman Hunt near Sturminster Newton in Dorset when he was struck by the rider in what
police are describing as an "unprovoked attack". The man, from Somerset, was not injured in the attack but was left
"shaken" by the experience. Officers have released a picture of a woman horse-rider they would like to speak to
about the incident and appealed to anyone with information to come forward.
Police Constable Patrick McLoughlin, of North
Dorset Police, said: "Following extensive inquiries, we are now able to release a photo of a woman we would like to track
down and speak with in relation to this incident. "This was an unprovoked assault on a man at a prestigious Dorset event,
and we are very keen to find the person responsible. Luckily the victim did not require any hospital treatment, but was obviously
left shaken by the ordeal. The rider's horse is quite distinctive in that it has a white mark just above its eyes and
also on its nose."
The incident happened in the area of Crate Hill in Fifehead St Quintin at around 3.25pm on December
19. Witnesses have been urged to contact police and reports will be treated in the strictest confidence. They should use the
non-emergency number 101 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. No arrests have been made.
POWAPerson adds:- It
seems unlikely that other Hunt members do not know the identity of the alleged offender, so it would appear they have so far
been unwilling to give her up to police. The Portman has, over the years, acquired a reputation for the ferocity
of some of its followers [which POWAPerson once experienced]. Consequently the Hunt has long been largely avoided by antis.
The picture below shows Portman supporters in full attack mode in the mid '90s.
Chairman of MFHA says number of fox hunt packs
should be cut by 50
& Hound .... To keep British hunting healthy and to strengthen its chances of survival, Stephen [Lambert, left]] strongly believes that the number of foxhounds packs must be dramatically
reduced by as many as fifty [which is about a quarter of the total]. "We have too many packs operating on a small, overcrowded
island." he says " And I worry when kennels are staffed by just one person. Pre-ban, the MFHA had a five-point-test
- foxes, practical kennels, leadership, country and finance. If any Hunt fails one of those tests, they should consider their
position. It is much better to have bigger packs, properly staffed, better supported and with less pressure on country. that
has to be right. The MFHA needs to counsel and encourage as strongly as we can. We can help to a considerable degree
- but if hunting is to prosper, we have to have fewer packs."
That makes sense, but it is a sensitive issue about
which people feel strongly....POWAPerson adds:- What Mr. Lambert's words suggest is that, contrary
to the impression Hunts and their supporting organisations usually like to give, after eight years of the Hunting Act, with a significant number
of them regularly monitored or sabbed, several having been convicted of illegal hunting, and with no realistic prospect
of repeal in sight, many Hunts are beginning to struggle for support and adequate finance.
The H&H article also revealed
that Lambert is to step down as MFHA Chair at next year's AGM and will be succeeded by Lord Benjamin Mancroft
is, unsurprisingly, an Old Etonian and a Conservative. Mancroft is a former JM of the Vale of the White
Horse FH, was Deputy Chair of the BFSS from '92-'97, became a Director of the Countryside Alliance at its formation
and has been Vice-Chairman since 2005. He is also, reportedly, a former heroin and cocaine addict. In 2008, according
to the Daily Mail, he failed to endear himself to NHS staff, and angered his Party Leader, David Cameron, by accusing nurses
in a hospital where he had been treated as being 'grubby... slipshod, lazy... drunken and promiscuous'.
Overall, his appointment as MFHA Chairman presumptive brings to mind the words 'bottom', 'scraping' and 'barrel.'
Forest FH whipper-in charged with assaults and sex offences against 2 women
Guardian Sex assault case to be heard in June AN Ollerton man accused
of sex offences against two women will appear at Chester Crown Court this summer. Andrew James Callwood [below],
49, of Manor Farm, Seven Sisters Lane, appeared at Chester Crown on Monday for a preliminary hearing. He faces seven charges,
five of beating and two of sexually assaulting women, who can't be named for legal reasons. He will appear at Chester
Crown Court again on June 24 for a plea and case management hearing.
Artificial fox earth found in heart
of Heythrop FH country
19-4-13 Mike Huskisson reports on Facebook that an investigator from the Animal Cruelty Investigation Group [ACIG] earlier this month found and photographed an artificial earth [below] close to the traditional Boxing
Day meet site of the Prime Minister's favourite fox hunt at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.
Though it cannot be linked with certainty to the Heythrop, its presence in this location may be more than coincidental. The
Heythrop FH itself, its former Huntsman and an ex-JM all pleaded guilty to two counts each of illegal hunting in December
Anti-hunt campaigners, including ACIG, have, over many years, repeatedly exposed the existence
of these structures in numerous hunting countries, often close to kennels or well-known meet venues, clearly designed
to accommodate foxes. Some are, or obviously have been, occupied by the animals and there has sometimes been evidence of their
being fed there. In 1998, the Sinnington FH in Yorkshire was caught up in a scandal when young fox cubs were found being kept in a cage in an artificial earth on land owned by the Hunt, following which
a terrierman [possibly scapegoated] was sacked.
Hunts have never been able to satisfactorily explain the presence
of these structures evidently designed to house animals that they claim to be pests, usually just flatly denying any knowledge
In 2011, the League Against Cruel Sports released the results of an investigation conducted by them, in which many artificial earths, some clearly of recent construction, were found in numerous Hunt
countries, with evidence of food and water being provided at some. LACS claimed that six of these were on land regularly
hunted by the Heythrop.
Old Berks FH woman rider fined for unprovoked attack on monitor
Account from victim Gemma Margaret Brooking pleaded guilty to a charge of Assault by Beating
at Oxford Magistrates Court on 11th April 2013. On 15th December 2012 sab/monitor Colin Skilton attended the Old Berks
Hunt which met at the Rose & Crown, Ashbury. As one of Colin Skilton's colleagues legally and peacefully filmed the
hunt Brooking rode over to him on her horse and claimed he was filming her daughter, and told him to stop. He said he was
filming the hunt. Her 12 year old daughter was with her. Brooking [below] rode her horse at the monitor. Her
daughter was extremely distressed and kept shouting to her mother to stop. Colin Skilton tried to help his colleague
and slow the horse by putting up a hand to the horse's neck. Brooking lashed at him with her whip and bruised his arm.
The monitors said they were calling the police, and the daughter became even more distressed. Brooking was fined £100,
compensation of £75, court costs £85.
POWA person adds: Video of the whole incident is here. Ms.Brooking becomes the 324th person from an organised Hunt to be convicted or cautioned since 1990. 167 of the
464 recorded offences by these hunters have been violent ones. The Chairman of the Old Berks FH is Lord Astor, David
Three Cattistock FH supporters charged after monitors
robbed of cameras
12-4-13 Victim report
Three Cattistock FH followers charged by police Two, POWA Associate, monitors say
that, at a meet during February, they were surrounded by a group of four young men. Their video cameras were wrenched away
from them and the youths made off with them by car. Police were called and, later in the day, reported that they had apprehended
the alleged culprits and recovered the cameras, though the memory card was missing from one. Three of the young men have now
been charged: all three with public order offences, two with theft and one also with assault. They have been bailed
to appear in Court on April 29th.
Another RSPCA sett interference case against hunt terriermen fails
Daily Telegraph RSPCA drop latest case against a hunt - this time involving 79-year-old The
RSPCA has been accused of wasting thousands of pounds of taxpayers money and ‘stealing’ an old man’s dog
after its latest case involving a hunt collapsed. The charity accused 79-year-old Brian Nuttall and Justin Schofield, 42,
of disturbing a badger sett while out with the Cheshire Forest Hunt. The terriers of both men were confiscated for ten
months and a seven-year-old patterdale bitch named Topic owned by Mr Nuttall has not been returned.
However the case
has been dropped after the RSPCA offered "no evidence" at a hearing in Chester Magistrates' court. Because it
was a public prosecution, the defendants' cost of up to £10,0000 will be paid for by the taxpayer. The trial ended
in a similar way to a case in February where the RSPCA had to drop accusations of interfering with a badger sett against an
18-year-old girl and her family.
Campaigners said the case is the latest example of the RSPCA using the Badger Act as
a "back door" way to get to hunts. Although it is illegal to hunt with dogs, it is legal to chase a fox out of a
hole with a dog and then shoot the fox. Mr Nuttall and Mr Schofield had been given permission to carry out this "terrier
work" in March last year while the Cheshire Forest Hunt was active. The pair claim they investigated rabbit holes with
the terriers but found no evidence of foxes. A few days later their homes were raided and five dogs taken. Mr Nuttall said
that his dog, Topic, went missing on the day of the hunt and he has only recently learned that it was taken by the RSPCA.
He said he was not informed the dog was in kennels for months, despite putting up notices and a number of people asking if
she had been seen. The retired gamekeeper said: "Of course I missed my dog. I did now know where she was."
Yesterday a spokesman for the RSPCA said that if Mr Nuttal can prove that he owns the
dog he can have it back.
The RSPCA’s use of donation to pursue hunts has been questioned since the charity spent
£330,000 to prosecute David Cameron’s local hunt the Heythrop. In February the Watson family, including Hannah
Watson, 18, were cleared of interfering with a badger sett after carrying out terrier work with the Cheshire Hunt. There is
an ongoing case involving the Avon Vale Hunt. Tim Bonner, Director of Campaigns at the Countryside Alliance, said the RSPCA
cost the tax payer even more money to pursue Mr Nuttal. "Defence costs of nearly £10,000 will be paid by the taxpayer
as will the costs of wasted court time. The tens of thousands of pounds the RSPCA have spent on the case, and the expense
of keeping 5 dogs in kennels for many months, will be met from charitable donations," he said. "This is yet another
example of the RSPCA abusing the criminal justice system to pursue its vendetta against members of the hunting community."
However the RSPCA stood by its decision to press charges after obtaining footage showing "two men digging in an area
where there was known to be an active badger sett nearby". But in the end it proved impossible to prove where the digging
had taken place.
Crawley & Horsham Huntsman fined for Crimal
Damage to sab vehicle
Press Release Huntsman of Crawley & Horsham fox hunt admits Criminal Damage On the 3rd of November 2012 the huntsman of the financially troubled Crawley &
Horsham fox hunt, Nick Bycroft [left], launched an unprovoked attack on a member of the Hunt Saboteurs Associations
(HSA) Land Rover. In the video Huntsman Bycroft is seen, riding at speed down School Lane, near Shipley, Sussex in a reckless
manner, with no care for the safety of other road users or his horse he forces his horse past the moving vehicle swearing
repeatedly. Turning his horse he comes back to the now stationary vehicle and makes two attempts to smash the driver's
side window, in an attempt to hit the driver. In the process he smashes the vehicle wing mirror [right].
Police at the scene made no arrest but Bycroft was latter summoned attend a police station where he
admitted Public order offences (swearing) and Criminal damage. He was fined £150, none of which will be returned to
the owner of the vehicle.
Lee Moon, press officer of the HSA stated: "Once more we have the Crawley & Horsham
hunt found guilty of criminal activity. This time it is the paid huntsman who in a fury at just seeing people opposing his
hunt launches a furious and unprovoked attack. The punishment is paltry and we can only hope that any future offences by this
hunt are treated in a more serious fashion." The video of the attack can be viewed here.
POWAPerson adds: Nick Bycroft, having managed to avoid any criminal conviction to this point, now enjoys
the same status as his brother Mark [Huntsman for the Old Surrey FH] and his father John [terrierman with the Fitzwilliam],
who have both found themselves on the wrong side of the law in the past. As, indeed, have many supporters, officials
and staff of the C&H, who can't now be far off meriting their own special section in the Police National Computer!
POWA has no fewer than 20 persons associated with this Hunt recorded as having been cautioned, convicted or given formal warnings
by the police for a range of offences, all hunt related. In recording his first two convictions, Nick Bycroft becomes the
323rd hunter known to POWA to have been convicted or cautioned since 1990, committing at least 463 offences between them,
and he is one of 42 official Huntsmen in the list.
Weston and Banwell Harriers JM/Huntsman George Milton
He and Weston escape despite evidence of illegal hunting by hunters
9-4-13 Western Daily Press Huntmaster not guilty of illegal
activity Magistrates found a huntsman and joint master accused of illegal hunting had no case to
answer yesterday but ruled that: "without a shadow of a doubt" there was evidence that hunting had taken place.
The Crown Prosecution Service brought the case against George Milton [left], 54, Huntsman and Joint Master of Weston and Banwell Harriers. Mr Milton was alleged to have committed
an offence under Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004 following an incident near Cheddar when the Harriers were out on February
11 last year. But through his solicitor, Jamie Foster, he maintained that he was nowhere near the scene of the alleged hunting,
but was riding his quad bike some distance away trying to call hounds together.
The sole prosecution witness was a former
schoolmate of Mr Milton’s. Both were pupils at Porlock Village School. Graham Floyd, also aged 54, is sanctuaries and
investigating officer for the League Against Cruel Sports. Mr Floyd monitored the Harriers from Nyland Hill and was sure that
he identified Mr Milton through binoculars. But he accepted that even if the man he saw was Mr Milton, he last saw him with
hounds some 25 minutes before hounds pursued a fox. Mr Floyd said he watched hounds and three people on quad bikes wearing
the distinctive green jackets and white breeches of Harriers hunt servants move through fields before stopping near a rhyne.
He knew that Mr Milton was the Harriers’ Huntsman and was looking out for him. Raising his binoculars he studied the
man he believed had blown a horn and said: "He had his back to me at the start and then he turned round, and it
was like he was looking at the camera. I could see it was George Milton. When he turned he was also limping, it was something
I was looking out for. He had a limp, a problem with his leg. I believe that was quite significant."
fox holes in the area and some men began digging with spades. Mr Milton had disappeared behind trees and the hounds, were
moved some 200 yards away, also out of sight. After a while a fox bolted out. Mr Floyd said: "There was a whip with the
hounds and obviously the hounds had been brought from 200 yards away. "The whip was walking the route of the fox with
the hounds and they got the scent and screamed away." Hounds eventually lost the scent and the fox got away. Video shot
by Mr Floyd showed the scene, but it was not possible to identify the men in hunt uniform.
Mr Foster submitted that there
was no evidence that Mr Milton was there. Finding no case to answer Chairman of the Court Mrs Jenny Hoy said: "We determine
that there was without a shadow of a doubt evidence of hunting. "What we are not convinced about is whether a jury or
tribunal properly directed could convict on the evidence which we have seen and heard today."
Adrian Simpson for
the Countryside Alliance said afterwards: "We are delighted and I don’t think Mr Milton should have been put through
12 months of anguish." Mr Foster said: "Mr Milton was clearly innocent from the outset and unfortunately it took
these proceedings to show that was the case."
POWAPerson adds: People will rightly wonder how it is that,
given that the Magistrates found there was proof of illegal hunting, that the Weston were able to escape without any sanction.
Clearly, it could not be adequately shown that Mr. Milton participated [and one feels for the poor chap's 'anguish'],
but it seems some other hunt servants clearly did, though they could not be personally identified from the video.
This illustrates both what an incredibly difficult job monitors have and at least one of the manifest weaknesses of
the Hunting Act. Maybe the corporate clause should specify that Masters are responsible for any illegal hunting by their Hunt,
but clearly general strengthening of the Act is essential to better deter offenders and to make it easier to enforce.
York & Ainsty illegal hunting case dropped as sabs
allege police complicity
6-4-13 Sheffield Sabs Facebook So North Yorkshire Police have
dropped the case of illegal hunting against the York & Ainsty South Foxhounds, as the huntsman has lied and said
their recent fox murder in front of sabs was an accident. Funny how he encouraged his hounds to run through thick crops just
before they picked up on the fox, then didn't think to intervine when they hunted it round and round in circles for minutes,
then sounded the horn to celebrate the kill, hid the fox's body, and rode past the police minutes after the kill without
mentioning it isn't it? It's also funny how Wildlife Crime Officer PC Sarah Ward who took on the case always seems
to pop up in cases against sabs as well, and continues with those cases no matter how petty they are. It's also funny
how she rides with the Badsworth & Bramham Moor Foxhounds, who kill foxes in breach of the Hunting Act week in week out.
Just as the police have shown us the green card to fight back when we are assaulted (as they couldn't give a funk what
hunt members do to us), they have affirmed our suspition that there is no other way than confrontational hunt sabotage, as
the law only works when they want it to.
Tedworth FH redcoat smashed sab windscreen
next to driver, claim HSA
25-3-13 HSA Press Release Criminal Damage on Saboteurs' vehicle by Red Coat of the Tedworth Foxhounds
On March 23rd, Hunt saboteurs from the Bristol and Bath groups were at The Fox public house, Tangley, on the Wiltshire/Hampshire
border north of Andover, the meet of the the Tedworth Foxhounds. During the days hunting the group's vehicles was blocked by riders as the hunt 'put-up' a fox with the Hounds close behind! Hunt saboteurs
on foot managed to intervene by slowing the hound with voice and horn calls preventing the fox's death and the breaking
of the Hunting Act.
The huntsman and whippers-in were on the scene, wearing the traditional red coats and, as one of
them passed the group's Land Rover, he used his riding crop to smash the windscreen [left] only inches from the
driver's face. The driver later spoke to a Police officer from the Hampshire Police who refused to take any statement
of the incident or interview any suspects on the scene. This is being followed up with Hampshire constabulary.
Press officer of the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated; "You would assume the Hampshire
Police would be interested in any Criminal Damage reported, particularly with a group of people with a history of violence.
It seems that when it comes to hunters Hampshire constabulary will turn a blind eye to illegal hunting and any other illegal
actions taken to protect their activities. We would in interested in a comment from the Hampshire Chief inspector regarding
his officers lack of action to this incident."
Huntsman convicted of racist abuse claims pet dog
killed in mystery attack
One or more vehicles also allegedly
vandalised at Hunt kennels
Ross Harriers source implies animal rights activists responsible, as police investigate
23-3-13 Western Daily Press Police investigate after dog killed in attack on hunt kennels POLICE
are investigating a ‘disturbing' attack on a hunt kennels in which a dog was apparently ‘beaten to death'
and left on the hunt master's drive and vehicles vandalised. Detectives are understood to be taking the incident ‘very
seriously', because it happened at the base of the Ross Harriers hunt on the Herefordshire-Gloucestershire border, and
is close to the area designated for this year's controversial badger cull.
Officers said they were called to an address
at which the Ross Harriers are based in Coughton, a small hamlet between Ross-on-Wye and the Gloucestershire border in the
Forest of Dean, earlier this week to reports of an attack from animal rights activists. A spokesman for West Mercia
police said the reports were that a 4x4-type vehicle had been vandalised some time between last Friday and Monday. "It
is also believed that a dog belonging to the victim, which was on the property at the time, was killed during the incident,"
said the police spokesman. "However, it has not yet been established exactly how the animal died and officers are
awaiting a report from a vet. Inquiries are ongoing at this time."
The Harriers' hunt master, who lives near
the kennels' is Lee Peters [right]. He said it was his vehicle and pet dog attacked. "I don't want to say too much about it, because obviously there's
a police investigation going on," he said. "But there was a dog killed and it was left on my driveway, and
it obviously did not die of natural causes. I've got a young family, and this is particularly worrying."
November, Mr Peters was fined £720 by magistrates in Hereford and ordered to pay £200 compensation to a hunt saboteur
he was found guilty of racially abusing during a confrontation at a meet at Aston Crew last January. A source close
to the Ross Harriers hunt, who declined to be named, said while they were still waiting for the vet's report into the
cause of death of the dog, which was not believed to be one of the Harriers' hounds, it appeared the dog had been beaten
to death. "This was not a very pleasant incident at all; the letters ‘ALF' were scratched into the vehicles
there and the dog was dead on the drive," he said.
The Animal Liberation Front is a hardcore shadowy group of animal
rights activists who target everything from animal-testing laboratories to factory farms. "The police are taking it extremely
seriously, obviously because it is serious anyway, but also because these are the same sorts of people threatening all sorts
with the badger cull in this area. The police are looking seriously at the activities of the animal rights activists, and
a lot of people are worried," he added.
A spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, which regularly targets
hunts in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, said his organisation and his activists had ‘nothing whatsoever' to
do with the action. "We simply do not engage in or condone criminal damage or any attacks on animals," he said.
"We engage in legal disruption of illegal hunting and we had nothing to do with this whatsoever. "It doesn't
sound like the sort of thing the ALF would do either, killing a dog. They have been known to steal an entire pack of hounds,
but they wouldn't harm one."
The story was covered by the Mail on 24-3-13, with the provocative headline 'Did animal rights activists beat dog to death and leave
its body on Hunt Master's drive?', but without adding anything substantive to the WDP report above. Meanwhile
the Hereford Heckler provided a more sceptical view of the reported incident.
HSA accuses Crawley &
Horsham FH of conducting illegal street collections
22-3-13 HSA website The Crawley & Horsham Fox hunt have once again been caught breaking the law
This time, in their desperation to keep their financially ailing hunt going, they have taken to street collections, but without
the gaining the proper authority. Horsham District Council have issued a warning to the hunt that it is illegal to collect
in their district without the correct permission.
The Crawley & Horsham hunt officials and its wider supporters are
known for their propensity to ignore the rule of law and have been frequently in court for acts of violence and, of course,
breaking the Hunting Act.
Lee Moon of the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated: "This hunt continues to ignore the
law; its members think they are above the normal restrictions of civilised society and continue to act as if they cannot be
touched. Our members will ensure they are kept under observation to ensure that any of their illegal activities are reported
to the correct authorities and appropriate action taken".
Rare conviction of anti-hunt activist,
fined for abusing Surrey Union hunters
22-3-13 This is Surrey Fine
for Oxted anti-hunting activist Nick Maffia Surrey Union Hunt staff and supporters were subjected
to a tirade of foul language and abuse by hunt saboteurs after they returned from taking their hounds out on exercise, a court
has heard. Anti-hunting activist Nick Maffia of Tally Road, Oxted, pleaded guilty to the charge of using threatening,
abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress, which took place at the hunt kennels in Ockley,
Surrey, early on August 16 last year.
The incident was one of a number of times Maffia had been seen close to the hunt
kennels. Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said: "This was completely unacceptable behaviour. Mr Maffia and others
were close to homes and children and were using frankly disgusting language towards hunt staff. "We are pleased that
Mr Maffia owned up to his despicable actions but are sorry it took so many months of wasting the police and courts' time
for him to do so."
POWAPerson felt honour bound to report this conviction, but, whilst
not condoning such behaviour, must emphasise that it is very uncommon for a anti-hunt activist to be prosecuted for any
offence against hunters - despite continuous, unevidenced accusations being made against them. Hunts have, for some time,
been almost as well-stocked with cameras as are sabs and monitors, and many Hunts even depute one or two people to follow
them around on hunting days and film them [and, it appears, some also to obstruct, harass or even assault them].
Despite this, Hunts are almost never able to back up their wild accusations against sabs and monitors.
Evidence of abuse,
harassment, obstruction, threats and physical violence against sabs and monitors by hunters is, however, legion. It is scattered
all over YouTube and convictions or cautions are frequent, though they represent only a tiny fraction of such incidents. Indeed, these
are commonplace, though monitors and sabs often find it hard to get police to act on their evidence. Indeed, were every
instance of hunter abuse [or worse] of antis to be prosecuted the Courts would probably have to sit 24/7 .
the inherent difficulties antis often face in getting offending hunters to Court, POWA records show 321 separate hunters or
supporters receiving criminal sanctions for 460 offences since 1990, a large proportion of which have been against antis.
166 of these have been violent offences, 127 of those against antis. There have also been 52 Public Order offences and 41
instances of criminal damage, most with antis as victims. Hunters have received no fewer than 28 custodial sentences in the
period. Just over half the recorded offences were committed by officers or other staff of Hunts, including 50 by Masters and 54
by Huntsmen or Whippers-In.
The Surrey Union itself scarcely appears to have an unblemished record:-
the HSA, on 11-8-12 an SU rider tried repeatedly to ride down a female sab, then threatened to kill her. They say that, despite
the incident being filmed and witnessed by members of the public, no arrest followed.
On 28-12-11, sabs reported that
a supporter attempted to ram their Landy, fired a catapult and verbally abused them, and was arrested and charged with
motoring offeces after he refused to stop for police. POWA has no record of any ensuing conviction or caution. Sabs also said
hunt terriermen later attacked them and that they were passing film of this to police.
Two days earlier, sabs
had reported their Landy being rammed by a supporter, who later fired a catapult at them, just missing the driver. Again police
arrested the driver and video was supplied by sabs.
On 28-11-11, sabs reported that arrests were expected after ' Our female sabs were pushed around by hunt supporters, one redcoat stole one of
our cameras and threw it into some bushes, then one of our male sabs was ridden down, head-butted and punched in the face.'
On 29-1-05, Surrey Union whipper-in, Andrew Hazletine, and groom
Jocelyn Cleveland, while hunting with the Crawley & Horsham attacked a sab driver. The former assaulted him while the
latter stole the van keys. Both were cautioned.
On 4-1-05, the HSA claims that SU supporters attacked sabs and stole
equipment. One sab had a broken rib, the other facial injuries.
On 1-2-03, the HSA claimed a sab suffered a broken cheekbone
in an attack by hunt supporters.
On 12-11-02, the HSA says all three sabs out that day were threatened and assaulted
by SU supporters and had equipment stolen.
In the mid '90s, supporter Gary Moore attacked sabs outside a pub and
was heavily fined for Assault and Affray.
In 1995, the HSA states that supporter Noel Cahill was arrested after an attack
on sabs left one hospitalised, and the police found a death threat ready to be posted to an HSA officer at Cahill's home.
In the early '90s,a JM, John Funnell, was given a suspended sentence for riding down a sab, causing a serious head wound.
Paterson tells Country Life he strongly
favours Hunting Act repeal
21-3-13 Daily Express Bring
back fox-hunting: Owen Paterson reopens row over controversial 'sport' ENVIRONMENT
Secretary Owen Paterson yesterday reopened the fox-hunting row by calling for the ban to be repealed. He told the country set's bible
Country Life that no-one wants to see the Hunting Act repealed more than him. But the League Against Cruel Sports immediately
vowed to fight any attempt to legalise foxhunting again.
Mr Paterson, a Shropshire MP whose interests include horses,
used to ride to hounds himself. He no longer hunts but two years ago he and his wife Rose rode across Mongolia. His family
shares his love of horses - last year his daughter was a junior member of the UK Eventing team. Mr Paterson told Country Life
that his vision for the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs is to grow the rural economy in line with environmental
offsets, to improve and re-balance the environment. He added: "No one is more keen than me to see the Hunting Act repealed
because I believe in the management of wildlife." The Coalition promised a free vote on overturning the Hunting
Act when parliamentary time allows. But sources say a vote is unlikely in the near future, partly because there is little
prospect of it being successful.
The chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports Joe Duckworth [left],
said public opinion was set firm against a return to hunting with hounds. He said: "Most parliamentarians and the vast majority of
people in this country disagree with Owen Paterson and do not want to see the Hunting Act repealed.In addition, it is a complete
fallacy that hunting with dogs in any way manages wildlife. It doesn't. It is a barbaric activity, masquerading as sport,
that has no place in modern civilised society and the League will continue to do everything we can to protect both the Act
and the wild animals it seeks to preserve."
Since coming into office Mr Paterson has also ordered a cull of badgers
in a bid to halt the spread of TB in cattle. He is pressing ahead despite a Government-funded study showing that culling could
make bovine TB worse. Mr Paterson is backing the cull even though he once had a pet badger.
Ex-JM of Ashford Valley FH is jailed
for possessing gun without a licence
BBC News Online Kent huntsman Brian Fraser jailed for gun offences Ex-master of
the Ashford Valley Hunt Brian Fraser, 63, had earlier been cleared of the attempted murder of his former lover Louise Leggatt. Fraser, of Criol Lane, Shadoxhurst, was also cleared of grievous bodily
harm at Maidstone Crown Court in February. Mrs Leggatt suffered leg injuries when she was shot on 15 March 2012. She was attacked
when she went to tend her horses at Apple Pie Farm in Benenden.
The court heard police had found an old, single-barrelled
shotgun hidden between two hay bales on Fraser's land, along with some cartridges. He initially said he had not owned
a shotgun for 20 years, but when officers disclosed that one had been found on his land he suggested he was being framed.
But later he admitted he did own the gun, telling officers it had been handed down to him by his father. After the trial,
Judge Charles Byers said: "I have never come across such a lackadaisical and irresponsible attitude to firearms, particularly
from someone described as a countryman."
Essex & Suffolk FH followers commit two sustained assaults on sabs
Attacks and digging into
badger sett ignored by police says HSA
Press Release Planned attacks on saboteurs by Essex & Suffolk hunt supporters
On Saturday 16th of March, as part of a clearly planned attack saboteurs from the Essex and Suffolk group were attacked. Using
sticks tipped with metal supporters of the hunt assaulted and beat the saboteurs aiming in particular for the person carrying the video camera, smashing it beyond use. Saboteurs were also kicked and punched in the head in the sustained
Following this incident the hunt chased a fox to earth into a badger sett and proceeded to dig into the sett
in breach of both the Protection of badgers act 1993 and the Hunting act 2004. Saboteurs on the scene were again attacked
with spades and multiple assaults were committed, resulting in many injuries such as pictured. Essex police responded to a
999 call with four vehicles and a helicopter and acted on the clearly visible injuries by arresting a saboteur for breach
of the peace, although no charges were pressed. On request for action to their assaults they were told by police in attendance
to report them to a police station later.
Lee Moon of the hunt Saboteurs Association stated:- "Faced with a clear
breach of animal welfare law and numerous assaults to hunt saboteurs, Essex police responded by blaming the victims and ignoring
the crimes against wildlife. They seem to be acting in the time honoured stance of turning a blind eye to hunt violence and
animal cruelty. It’s about time Essex police started realising that times have changed and the public expects these
criminal acts to be treated the same as if they were in the high street on Saturday."
4.4.13 Essex Chronicle Members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association make
assault claims PROTESTERS attempting to film a fox hunt claim they were attacked with sticks,
kicked in the head, and had their camera equipment destroyed. James
Kapteanoc, 54, a veteran member of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, says he and two others were subjected to an attack on March
16 as they tried to film activities by members of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt.
"I was punched and beaten by three
people who knocked me to the ground, while our cameraman was hit with a heavy metal handled cane from behind," claimed
Mr Kapteanoc. "He was in so much pain that he had to pass over the equipment but they started jumping on that person's
hand to force its release. The worst thing is that our camera is smashed, destroying all the evidence," added Mr Kapteanoc,
who has been campaigning with the HSA for a decade. The saboteurs claim that the initial attack occurred on a public footpath
at Breton Heath, near Tiptree. Mr Kapteanoc, a full-time carer, was left with bruises to his ribs and legs, he says. The group
also allege that just a short while later an attempt to intervene on a private estate as members dug out a badger sett, where
a fox had sought refuge, led to further attacks. "People tried to force the group off the land using spades and walking
sticks as weapons," claimed Mr Kapteanoc. "We're at the coal-face of those in opposition to the hunt by going
out into the field. We're not afraid to intervene if an animal is in danger. But as a result of that we provoke a lot
of hostility and that's the risk."
However, James Buckle, a senior master with the Essex and Suffolk Hunt, strongly
denies that any of its members had anything to do with an assault. "If this involved anybody associated with the hunt
then I would be absolutely furious but I'm certain that is not the case," he told the Chronicle. "I was told
by the landowner on the day that things got quite heated and confrontational as the people filming refused to leave their
land but this didn't involve people in our group. It is also completely out of the question that anyone was attempting
to dig out a badger sett. If I was aware of that I would have reported it to the police myself," added Mr Buckle. Police
were called to the scene but as yet no action has been taken, although the HSA protesters say this is typical.
adds:- Essex police apparently continung their tradition of siding with hunt lawbreakers. Last season this same
Hunt's hounds invaded a garden en masse and caught a fox, which the whip then proceeded to beat to death on the patio
of a shocked family who were there enjoying a barbecue. Not only did Essex police blithely accept the Hunt's claim that
the chase was an 'accident' they failed to press any charges against the whip, when he appeared to have committed
a range of other offences.
LACS confirms drone surveillance plan for Hunts and
other wildlife abusers
Press Release Charity looks to new and innovative technology to stay one step ahead of illegal
hunters and wildlife criminals Leading anti-hunting charity, the League Against Cruel Sports
has announced plans to deploy surveillance drones (UAV's) to aid its efforts in protecting Great British wildlife from
cruel criminals. Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive at the League Against Cruel Sports, explains: "There is a war in the
countryside and whilst there are still individuals determined to flout the law and seek new ways to avoid detection, the League
will continue to explore safe, tested and innovative technology to further our charitable aim of ending cruelty to animals
in the name of sport."
Drone deployment is deemed a necessary tactic by the charity to help catch and bring hunts, gangs and individuals illegally hunting and committing other wildlife crimes such as hare coursing and badger baiting,
to justice. The option of drone deployment will further enhance the charity's already successful tactics by providing
support to the teams operating on the ground gathering intelligence and evidence of illegal activity. The League uses comprehensive
intelligence to ensure all operations are proportionate, necessary and justified. Investigations are only carried out where
the charity knows there is a strong possibility of cruel criminality taking place.
Partnering with non profit aerial
surveillance and monitoring organisation, ShadowView, the League is the first animal welfare charity in Great Britain to explore
the innovative technology. Drones have already been used by the USPCA in Northern Ireland to deter badger baiters, and by
the WWF in operations against poachers in Africa. Joe Duckworth concludes: "We are excited to be the first animal welfare
charity in Great Britain to be exploring drone technology. We are confident that it will make a fantastic contribution to
bringing wildlife criminals to justice."
See Joe Duckworth and Steve Roest of ShadowView
talking about drone surveillance here.
16-3-13 Daily Mail Animal welfare charity is to use DRONES to spy on people illegally hunting... A leading
animal welfare charity is to use surveillance drones to catch people illegally hunting. The League Against Cruel Sports will use cameras mounted on remote-controlled aircraft to monitor
land previously off-limits. The charity said it was targeting people hunting illegally, hare coursing, badger baiting
and other wildlife crimes. The charity will use cameras mounted on remote-controlled aircraft to monitor land previously off-limits....
Tim Bonner, of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, said the League Against Cruel Sports was becoming 'increasingly
desperate' and was living in 'cloud cuckoo land'. 'We think this is completely impractical and the League
Against Cruel Sports has spent the last three years talking about the investment in what it calls "surveillance",'
he said. 'They haven't had a single conviction under the Hunting Act of a hunt as a result of their activities in
the last three hunting seasons. We think they are increasingly desperate. The idea that flying a drone over a hunt is suddenly
going to lead to convictions [...] They are living in cloud cuckoo land. The fact is that the law is unworkable and in our
view a ridiculous piece of legislation. The chance of multiple prosecutions of hunts are very, very limited.' Mr Bonner
said there were also civil liberty questions to answer on drones flying over private property filming.'They are some really
quite profound arguments going on about whether a non-Governmental organisation should be able to carry out these sort of
activities without proper scrutiny,' he said. 'If this was a serious attempt to bring hunts to court we would have
expected to have heard about it in the courts and from lawyers - and not in the newspapers. They are increasingly desperate
and when you look at the effort organisations like the League Against Cruel Sports put on using the legislation, we consistently
beat them in the courts*. There have been a handful of hunts prosecuted in the last eight years. There are nearly 300 hunts
in the country and between 20,000 to 25,000 individual hunting days each season, and from that you are seeing a tiny number
of prosecutions - most of which fail.'
POWAPerson comments;- Mr. Bonner seems to struggle
with truth-telling. In fact, the majority of prosecutions brought against organised Hunts in recent years have been
successful. Hunts are clearly very worried about this innovative form of surveillance of their illegal activities and one
can expect legal challenges to drone use. The police have said they will treat any evidence produced by legitimate drone use
in the same way as CCTV footage.
This story was widely covered in the media, including the Western Morning News , Western Daily Press and BBC News Online.
Attempt to gain public
subsidy for hunting in Ulster is rebuffed
The Hunting Act 2004 did not apply to the Province and hunting live quarry is still legal, though hare coursing
is banned. Legislation on this topic is now a matter for the N.Ireland Assembly.
11-3-13 Belfast News Letter Minister rules out backing hunting
A Stormont minister has ruled out providing financial backing to the hunting community after being urged to reconsider her
department’s position on so-called country sports. Culture, Arts and Leisure minister Caral Ni Chuilin [left] told
the Assembly she personally did not support hunting or recognise it as a sport. The Sinn Fein representative said her position was also backed by the official
departmental definition of sports. She said activities traditionally termed "country sports" - such as hunting,
including that on horseback, and the shooting of live quarry - were not supported by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
But the minister said other forms of shooting, such as clay pigeon, equestrian pursuits and angling were covered by her department
and had been provided more than £800,000 in support in the last three years.
During Assembly question time, the
DUP’s Lord Morrow had urged the minister to reconsider the definition of country sports. "I wonder would she give
some thought to looking again at the definition of country sports and is she aware that shooting on its own generates some
2,100 full time jobs and it also generates some £45 million per year?" said the Fermanagh and South Tyrone member.
"I think that merits some consideration and I would ask the minister to take a look at this again because I think it
is one of those areas that has been neglected and is being neglected." The minister said she would look again at
activities that did not include hunting.
Investigation exposes murky world of 'carted' deer
hunting in Ulster
'Carted' deer hunting has long been the traditional form of that 'sport' in the Province.
Captive, de-antlered, deer are released into the wild and chased by hounds and riders. The aim is not to kill the deer, though
this may happen, but to re-capture it for hunting again. Arguably, the practice has been rendered illegal by the
Animal Welfare Act [N.I.] 2011, which is very similar to our AW Act 2006. Which is why the hunter quoted below was keen
to deny they were hunting a 'carted' deer, insisting it was a wild one. Because our Hunting Act 2004 does not
apply in Ulster, this would, alas, still be allowed.
8-3-13 BBC News Online BBC Newsline investigates deer carting issue
The animal lay silently in the darkness of the trailer, its eyes burning red in the viewfinder of the men's night-vision
camera. It seemed unperturbed by their presence, familiar with human attention. The two men knew the farm complex well. They had been here many times. They knew that deer were kept here in pens,
fed, watered, cared for. They finished filming the animal, almost silently closed the trailer's hatch, and slipped away
into the night. They would see this animal again - soon.
For some time, the USPCA had believed deer from the farm complex, near Hillsborough, were being 'carted' to be used
in hunts. 'Carting' is when captive animals are moved by trailer to a location then released to be hunted. When BBC
Newsline learned that a hunt was to be held last Thursday, the charity decided to mount a surveillance operation at the farm.
On Wednesday evening, they watched as a deer was loaded into a trailer. On Thursday morning, they followed the trailer to
a location close to Katesbridge. Nearby, the County Down hunt was saddling up and moving out. All day, the animal remained
in the trailer. People approached it, but it was not released. That night, it was moved into a shed at the same location.
There it remained for four days [left].
On Tuesday, once again, BBC Newsline had learned a hunt was to take place, once
again it was to be in the Katesbridge area. The USPCA were still watching the deer. Around half a mile away, the hunt began
to assemble. As the time for the riders to set off drew nearer, the activity intensified around the deer's shed. A fence
was erected to guide the animal out and a mounted rider wearing hunt livery circled nearby. Almost simultaneously with the
hunt setting off, the deer was finally released. The lone rider pursued it up a nearby hill. Within six minutes, the rest
of the hunt came galloping past the shed before following the deer's trail up the hill. Throughout the afternoon, we followed
the hunt. Often, we found ourselves among its followers and supporters. At times, I could have reached out to touch the horses.
But we couldn't film anything without risking giving away our presence.
As afternoon began to slide towards evening,
it was clear the hunt was winding down. It appeared the deer had got away. I decided to approach some of those taking part. Most of the riders wore black jackets, three wore red. I had been told these were the people I needed to speak to, the masters.
The first rider decided not to speak to me but, instead, to urge his walking horse into a gentle trot - away from me. The
second huntsman was willing to talk [right]. He insisted they only ever hunted "outliers", a common term in
hunting circles for deer living in the wild. I told him what we had witnessed, but he again insisted they only ever hunted
So, had we witnessed a criminal act? Well, the USPCA believes we had, the department of agriculture
suspects we had, the courts have yet to decide. The law says it is an offence to hunt a protected animal. It also says any
animal under the control of man, permanently or temporarily, is a protected animal. This deer was clearly under the control
of man, and so a protected animal, up until the point of its release. The legal question though is whether or not that status
still applied after its release. The legislation involved is the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) which was updated in 2011.
So far, that act has not been tested in court in relation to 'carting'.
Footage of the 'carted' deer in captivity, its release, the subsequent hunt and of reporter Gordon Adair confronting
one of the Hunt masters can be seen here.
Mill Hill school pupils anti fox hunting
film wins Festival screening
Hendon etc. Times Film festival feat for young movie-makers from St Vincent's Primary School, Mill Hill A class of budding young movie-makers [right] will
experience life on the red carpet after their film on fox hunting was shortlisted for a festival award. Pupils from St Vincent’s
Primary School, in The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, put together a short film opposing what they described as the bullying nature
of the now-banned rural sport. The five-minute short highlights the hypocrisy of those who would encourage fox hunting
but criticise young people for picking on someone in the school playground. Year Six pupil Kulani Wijenayake came up
with the premise to the story, which has now been shortlisted for an award at the St Albans Film Festival. The ten-year-old
said: "I was amazed because I have never done anything like this before. I really enjoyed seeing everyone in the class
get involved and act it out. It is an important subject to me and I’m hoping it will spread a message that will make
people think differently about foxes."
All the Year Six pupils had a hand in producing the video – whether
it was acting in scenes, creating drawings or helping with the filming. The school regularly lets pupils create films in their
ICT classes but this year is the first time they have entered the film festival awards. Class teacher Aaron Doherty
said: "It feels like we have already won by the fact it has been shortlisted. "The movie-making gets them really
involved in subjects and it’s often interesting because it is so different to what they normally do." The festival
will be held at St Peter’s School in St Albans from Friday March 8, and Sunday March 10, with the school’s film
being screened on the Saturday. Kulani added: "I feel very happy and proud about what we have achieved - we’re
all really looking forward to it."