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HUNTING NEWS

UK –  Hound fits during hunt

A video shows hounds from the Ross Harriers Hunt rioting through a private garden in Gloucestershire, illegally chasing a deer. The disturbing footage shows one of the hounds fitting, presumably after being run to exhaustion by the hunt. The concerned land owner tried to take the distressed animal to the vets for urgent treatment but was threatened by members of the hunt and forced to return the hound to them.

He called the police due to the threats being made against him and was told to return the hound as it was the hunts property. Footage of the hounds illegally chasing the deer is being looked at by solicitors and will be presented to the police in due course so that the hunt can be prosecuted. 

Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Sadly we see illegal hunting like this all too often. Our immediate concern in this instance is the future of the fitting hound. If the Ross Harriers decide it is no longer fit for hunting they may well shoot it in the head as it no longer serves a purpose. We demand the Ross Harriers Hunt hand it over to an appropriate animal  welfare  organisation so that it can be re-homed and enjoy a well earned retirement.”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAMaTw7VcwI

 

UK – Cumbrian police to monitor hunts

Police in Cumbria are to launch an operation monitoring hunting activities in the county.  Officers will carry out patrols at meets as part of Operation Kilowatt.  The Hunting Act 2004 made it illegal to hunt a wild animal with a dog, with certain exceptions. The League Against Cruel Sports welcomed the police announcement but a Countryside Alliance spokesman called it “a waste of money” and police resources.

Police say they have “consistently” received reports of illegal hunting and suspicious activity, as well as complaints regarding associated offences. These include intimidation and harassment, assault, public order, obstruction of the highway and driving offences. The force is to liaise with agencies such as the National Trust, Lake District National Park and United Utilities, who are the major landowners and who operate a licensing system to allow trail or drag hunting activity.

Dawn Varley, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said 285 people had been convicted nationwide for breaching the act since it came into force in Feb 2005. She added: “We believe Cumbria Police is to be commended for putting resources and effort into checking hunts are acting within the law.”

UK – Hunt terrierman fined

Dicky Tonks (hunt terrierman of York and Ainsty South FH) was caught on video verbally abusing and threatening a sab. Tonks received a criminal record under Sec 5 of the Public Order Act and a £90 fine for his aggressive outburst. See here: http://youtu.be/55tJpOHo_4Q

More recently Dicky Tonks was caught attempting to dig out a fox at Escrick park. Fortunately sabs were there to intervene.

 

UK – Hunt hounds chase dog into lake

A fox hunt has apologised to a woman and her 9-year-old autistic son who watched in terror as hounds chased their terrier into a lake in Petworth Park, Sussex.  Mya, a 3-year-old Lakeland terrier, fled for her life from mink-hunting hounds from the Wealden pack.

The hounds, being exercised in the park, chased her until in panic she leapt into the lake and swam for an island. The hounds were called off by the huntsman but it took Linda Wickenden and her son Kian more than an hour to coax their petrified pet to swim back from her refuge out in the lake.  Linda, from Petworth, said “My son and I were distraught. Kian has Asperger’s syndrome and he does not have many friends. That dog is his companion and his life.”

They’d been walking the dog around the lake when they encountered the pack all roaming freely. The Wealden mink hounds are kennelled at Petworth Park under an arrangement with the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray fox hunt.  Nick Bamber, chairman of the CLC Hunt, said 2 Welsh mink hounds had recently been drafted into the Wealden pack and they had been attached by a lead to more experienced hounds during the exercise session but when Linda and her son appeared, they had been freed for the first time. 

“They got excited and started to hunt the terrier. We apologise to the lady and her son for the upsetting incident. The hounds in question are being moved on to a Welsh pack” he said.

Daily Telegraph 21st Jan

 

UK – Dug out vixen shot dead

A beautiful and petrified vixen was executed after being dug out by terrier-men connected to the Flint & Denbigh hunt.

They put 3 nets up to prevent her from escaping. She was so traumatised that she never made a sound as they dragged her out of her refuge and shot her at close range using a double barrel shotgun. I heard the awful dull thud as the shot violently took her life. But what is going to haunt me was the glimpse I had of her just before she was murdered. I have this image in my head of a gorgeous vixen rigid with fear being held by the scruff just moments before by the evil men, Rob and Marvin Harvey.  It was truly horrific and I don’t know if I am ever going to get over the sight of her going limp like a marionette doll. 

After the vixens body was taken away by one of the terrier-men (Marvin Harvey) they refused to allow me to lay her rest instead I was then pushed down the 10ft muddy bank after trying to sit on the earth to try to stop the possibility of another fox suffering the same harrowing fate. He denied pushing me down the bank of course.  My film will be going onto youtube for all to see when I’m ready – right now I’m not sure I’m strong enough to play out the scene again. But this is something I’m going to have to do so that she didn’t die in vain.  I have a feeling that there may have been another fox in that earth and a dog fox close by because when we revisited this area 2 hours later to get a GPS location of where it happened we arrived just in time to see riders and hounds coming through and the hounds went into full cry as they entered scrub next to the earth.

The hunt went ballistic when they saw us back at the earth and told us that the police had told them that if we came near this earth again we would be arrested. One of them, Ed, pushed me around as he continued to film me, refusing to allow me a dignified walk back to the road in peace. This is the Flint & Denbigh hunt, all they understand is how to inflict suffering onto innocent and defenceless animals – they insult and abuse anyone who hates their sadistic cruelty.  I feet that this earth is regularly used by this hunt to dig out a fox for the chase. The earth is in a prime location for this particular area of Trefnant where the Flint & Denbigh likes to hunt. When we arrived on the scene, they had not been digging long because he said the dog had been in the earth for 5 minutes and he wanted to get her out. They were digging out this vixen at 11.30am which would have given this hunt loads of time to hunt her down (covered in urine) before packing in at around 4.15pm.

There were also lots of sheep remains lying around, not that far from where the earth is situated. Even before we saw the terrier-men, I thought it strange that there were so many skeletons in just one field next to and inside a wooded area. Judi Hewitt  PS. Last Saturday this hunts supporters slashed 3 tyres on 2 of our cars, so they are also carrying knives – we can’t afford this extra expense – we struggle to afford the fuel never mind tyres.  Nothing is ever done to get this hunt to stop their abuse towards us. I will not be calling out the police anymore – they really don’t care and just see us as a nuisance.

 

UK Wales – Huntsmen kill vixen and torture newborn cubs

On the 1st Feb because of the weather the regular Hunt organised by the Llandeilo Hunt Group was cancelled by the Hunts Master and Councillor of Gwynfe Ward Council a Mr Colin Evans. On his facebook page he added the following the message: “Unfortunately our ridden meet on Saturday has been cancelled due to the extreme weather conditions which have caused the fields to be waterlogged. However, we will be hunting on foot. Disgustingly they did go hunting on foot with terrier dogs, they came upon a young vixen who had just given birth to 2 young fox cubs. She was too weak to defend the cubs, and against the thugs of this hunt group and the dogs she did not stand a chance.  The vixen whilst battling to defend herself as she was being torn to pieces would have had to watch as her 2 young newly born cubs were also dragged from the den she had made safe and secure.

The dogs then tore the vixen to pieces and killed her, not satisfied with this cruelty the “huntsmen” teased the terrier dogs with the newly born defenceless cubs and allowed the dogs to take chunks from them, as you can see in the photo the cubs are alive in the guys hands, after the photo was taken they then threw the cubs to the terriers and laughed and jeered as the dogs tore the pups limb from limb.  A photo of this “Proud achievement” was posted on the Walls of the Hunts cowardly members showing 2 members of the hunt club involved in this sickening barbaric slaughter holding the terriers and one disgusting individual smiling as he teases the a terrier dog with the newly born fox cub. 

The older man is Dai Bourne.  The local police are more than aware of this Hunt Groups continual breeching of UK laws, of the cruelty this hunt group revel in causing. Yet they do nothing, they do not act upon this hunt even though they are well aware they do not drag hunt but actually dig out the foxes and chase them to exhaustion with their pack of hounds.  Colin Evans is not only a wealthy farmer but is also a local Councillor.  Could that be why police don’t act?

 

UK – The Llangeinor Hunt – The ugly truth

On 25th Jan hunters colluded in the brutal beating of a young woman saboteur who was punched to the ground by one of the hunt followers. During this cowardly attack on a woman, the mounted hunt milled on horseback, watching and shouting and pointing at the other sabs. 

At the beginning of the video, 2 male saboteurs can be seen on the ground surrounded by a ring of red coats on horseback who did absolutely nothing to stop the beatings. The sabs were punched, pushed and pummelled resulting in a slim female (whose only crime was to be against the hunting abuse of animals) being treated in hospital for her injuries. 

The footage shows that the saboteurs, from Bristol, Bath and South Wales, were not the instigators, and they were clearly out-weighed and outnumbered by the hunt heavies who, it would seem, were there expressly to prevent surveillance of hunting activities.

Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqn48Q0yjMo  and if you recognise any of the attackers inform the HSA

 

UK – What happens to the hounds

When the hunting ban was being discussed in Parliament, hunt supporters were saying, amongst other things, that hounds would be shot – in other words we would be responsible for their deaths.  The fact is that hounds are regularly killed by hunts. Any that don’t make the grade during the cub hunting training season or those past their best are taken to the back of the kennels and shot. 

Former huntsman Clifford Pellow has described the fate that befalls hounds that are unsuitable for hunting. He says, “We see plenty of images of young hounds and hound puppies being cuddled. What people don’t realise is that, if those young animals don’t ‘enter’ when they’re introduced to hunting, they will be shot. I should know, I’ve had to do it myself. In my day, out of a pack of 40 hounds, I would say that 10 would be shot in a year.”  Hunts regularly try to give the impression that they care passionately about their animals, and yet in reality they are simply tools of the trade – to be callously disposed of as soon as they are no longer useful. 

During the summer months, one-year-old hound pups that will have been looked after by hunt supporters, are introduced to the kennels. The Hunt will be looking to replace about one fifth of the pack each year. By the time the dogs have hunted for around 5 – 6 seasons they are considered too old and are usually shot in the head.

The new pups are introduced to hunting during summer and autumn fox-cub hunting training sessions, where over 8,000 immature fox-cubs are slaughtered to give the hounds a taste of blood. Those that don’t make the grade are also shot. 

In all, by the start of each hunting season in November, the League estimates around 6,000 dogs will have been executed simply to ensure the best hounds are left to provide ‘entertainment’ for those who ride to hounds

Hunts claim the hounds cannot be turned into pets, and therefore they have no choice but to destroy the animals.   Published in the Wildlife Guardian, Issue No. 30, Winter 1994/5  Old article but worth being reminded

 

Ireland – Foxhound saved

Fionn the foxhound, who was neglected, beaten and left to die on a rubbish tip in Cork has made a miraculous recovery. His skull shattered by a blow from an unidentified object, his broken body left to die in a pile of rubbish, Fionn was found before Christmas by a horrified passer-by who alerted welfare group DAWG. “He was barely alive and was cold to the touch,” a member of the group wrote at the time. “The poor boy was in a very bad way, covered in cuts and pressure sores, a mere skeleton, unable to move.  “It was obvious he had been put there, in amongst the rubbish and left to die.”  

It was touch and go whether he would survive. As it turns out, Fionn’s condition was worse than could have been imagined. An X-ray revealed a skull fracture consistent with having received a blow to the head, and while his initial recovery was good and Fionn enjoyed Christmas in his new foster home, things took a turn for the worse over the holidays.  Following an MRI scan in Dublin, DAWG and Fionn’s foster family were given the option of having Fionn put to sleep, or pushing ahead with high-risk surgery, performed by a specialist.  They chose surgery.

Fionn pulled through.  Subsequent investigations led to DAWG identifying the hunt club to which Fionn belonged, and the name of the person in whose care he should have been when he was found. Once told, the club transferred ownership of Fionn into the care of DAWG and expelled his keeper. 

 

UK – Watch out for wildlife crime

The Notts Police & Crime Commissioner has asked farmers and members of the public to be the eyes and ears of the force on wildlife crime. 

wildlife crimewatch card 

At a public meeting held by the League Against Cruel Sports at the Canalhouse, in Canal Street, Nottingham, commissioner Paddy Tipping – a long-term supporter of the League and its work – spoke on the importance of reporting any cruelty to animals. He said: “Supporting the cause is something that is close to my heart because animal cruelty is an important issue. “We want members of the public to be our eyes and ears when it comes to this type of crime and report any illegal activity they see or know about. “The sort of things we are seeing is hare coursing, illegal hunting and badger baiting.”

 

 South AfricaCanned hunting – the facts

There are 160 (and counting) lion breeding farms in South Africa. Female lions are forced to produce up to 3 litters per year (one litter every 3 years is the norm in the wild).  The cubs are removed shortly after birth and the mother is forced into the next pregnancy. 

The “orphaned” cubs are marketed by recruitment agencies in the UK, USA and worldwide to the “volunteer” market – unsuspecting people (in their droves) sign up to stay at these farms for 2 weeks or more (costing them circa £1,200 per fortnight plus their airfares). They are led to believe they are helping conservation and these cubs will be put back into the wild when they reach adulthood.  At the farms, further income is generated from cub petting, photographing and walking with the lion cubs.

The paying volunteers often avoid the need for the farms to incur staffing costs to man the operation.  Once the cubs reach maturity, the males (at about 3-4years) and the females (once they can no longer produce the new cubs in the “puppy mill” operation) are sold to the canned hunting operators.  Canned hunting is where the human habituated lion is put into a field and a tourist hunter comes along in his Land Rover and shoots it dead. Sometimes the lion is partially anaesthetised beforehand. It offers no resistance. It is a tame lion. The lion is shot through the body (to preserve the trophy quality) and the lion often dies an agonising death, particularly if the tourist is a bad shot and has several “goes” to kill the lion.  The tourist hunter goes home with his trophy and the lion carcass is sold into the lion bone trade for the Chinese Traditional Medicine market. 

Lion numbers are now feared to be close to 15,000.

DO NOT volunteer at breeding centres in South Africa.  Ask yourself … why do you wish you pet & feed lion cubs?  Ask yourself … where are all these cubs’ mothers?  Ask yourself … where do all the older lions go?  Meet Kirsten … http://lionexploitation.wordpress.com/real-life-experiences/kirstens-blog/

More than 1,000 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa last year, a 50% increase on the previous year, according to official figures. The South African Dept of Environmental Affairs said 1,004 rhinos were poached in 2013 – compared to 668 killed for their horn in 2012.

 

Killing rare birds in Pakistan

Pakistan is witnessing a mounting backlash against Arab sheikhs who spend part of their winters hunting a rare bird that conservationists warn is at risk of extinction.

Activists in the country say they are determined to end the annual killing of houbara bustards, an elusive bird that migrates each winter from central Asia to Pakistan’s warmer climes.

 

Massive wildlife trafficking syndicate

The $1m bounty that US Secretary of State John Kerry offered in reward for Vixay Keosavang’s downfall was a first. The bounty, for help in dismantling the “Xaysavang Network”, which Keosavang is said to head, marks a major escalation in the fight against wildlife crime.

Officials in the US describe the network as the world’s most prolific international wildlife trafficking syndicate. They say Keosavang’s organisation, based in Laos, facilitates “the killing of endangered elephants, rhinos and other species for products such as ivory”. Keosavang’s organisation is said to have “smuggled wildlife and products such as ivory and rhino horns from countries in Africa and Asia through Laos to countries including Vietnam and China” for nearly a decade.

US State Dept officials say the $1m reward reflects the seriousness with which the crime is now viewed in Washington and elsewhere. The network came to light in South Africa in 2008 when 5 men were arrested for offering an undercover police officer tens of thousands of dollars for 3 rhino horns. A year later, Kenya Wildlife Service and customs officers seized 280kg of elephant ivory and 36kg of rhino horn at Nairobi airport. The shipment was registered to Xaysavang and bound for Laos. Police then arrested a number of people in connection with the shooting of rhinos. Chumlong Lemtongthai, one of Keosavang’s key lieutenants, was later jailed for 40 years, reduced on appeal to 30 years for his part in the smuggling racket.

In jail, Lemongthai is said to have given a detailed insight into the Xaysavang Network, prompting Washington to offer the reward. “The increasing involvement of criminal organisations such as the Xaysavang Network in wildlife trafficking fuels corruption, facilitates conflict, threatens biodiversity and deprives communities of economic opportunity,” said Brooke Darby, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. The activities of the Network have been detailed by the South African journalist, Julian Rademeyer.  He spent over 2 years investigating key players in the murky trade and in 2013 authored ‘Killing for Profit’, an account of his chilling discoveries.  He has described the current battle against poaching as: “the rhino’s last stand”. Keosavang, a former soldier said to be in his 50s, is reported to have close links with the military in Laos.  Described as the “Pablo Escobar” of wildlife smuggling, Keosavang is said to be protected by his contacts in the Laotian government.

It is also said he held a senior position in a state-run firm with interests in construction and international trade. His business card lists him as vice-president of the Laos national swimming and boxing committees and it is claimed he has accompanied a former deputy prime minister of Laos on state visits. According to documents unearthed by Vietnamese journalists he also has interests in trading hundreds of thousands of live animals, including endangered temple turtles, king cobras and rat snakes. The Network is also said to own a farm in Laos which breeds long-tailed macaques for export to China as laboratory animals.

Freeland, a wildlife NGO, has painstakingly constructed a case against Keosavang. One contract from 2009 obtained by Freeland reveals him agreeing to sell 70,000 snakes, 20,000 turtles and 20,000 monitor lizards to a Vietnamese firm in a deal worth $860,000 (£523,000). It says he remains “untouchable” in Laos despite detailed evidence being presented to them.  “He is the single largest known illegal wildlife trafficker in Asia,” said Steven Galster, Freeland’s executive director, insists. “He runs an aggressive business, sourcing lucrative wild animals and body parts wherever they are easily obtained.

Every country with commercially valuable wildlife should beware.” The Laos Embassy in Paris declined to comment on Keosavang and his links to Laotion government figures despite repeated requestsIndependent 18th Jan

USA – Judge won’t block wolf killing

A U.S. district judge has denied a request from conservationists to block Idaho’s efforts to trap and kill 2 wolf packs targeted for eradication in a federally protected wilderness area for preying on elk prized by hunters. 

The state Dept of Fish and Game last month hired a trapper to eliminate the pair of wolf packs from the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho, where wolves were imported from Canada in the mid-1990s in a bid to reintroduce the species to the Northern Rockies. The trapping programme has become the latest flashpoint in a long-running controversy over wolf management in the region.

State officials have not specified how many wolves are believed to make up the packs in question but said 9 animals have been killed so far. Grey wolves were placed under safeguards of the federal Endangered Species Act in 1974, after being hunted, trapped and poisoned to near extinction decades earlier throughout the USA. But wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming lost their protected status in recent years as their numbers rebounded and states pushed to renew hunting and trapping rights, arguing that the predators had become too big a threat to livestock and to big-game animals such as elk.

Latest – Idaho has called off a professional hunter hired to kill wolves in a federally protected wilderness area because he had succeeded in reducing the population enough to protect the elk prized by hunters. “If he wasn’t catching any more, there wasn’t any reason to keep him there,” said Fish and Game spokesman Mike Keckler.  Killing one animal so we can kill another – human madness and absurdity

sea shepherd 1 

Sea Shepherd news

The factory ship Nisshin Maru was re-located in the Ross Sea, far south-east of Australia, by the Sea Shepherd activists after it gave them the slip earlier in January.  Crew say they have followed a trail of “remnants of butchered whales” to relocate the Japanese whaling fleet. After a standoff for over a week where no whales were butchered on 31st Jan  Captain of The Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, said, “The primary strategy of our Antarctic Whale Defence Campaigns is to secure the slipway of the Nisshin Maru, and allow no dead whales to pass into this floating abattoir: We have achieved this goal. We will continue to block the slipway of this poaching ship, relentless in our mission to protect the whales and the sanctity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.” 

Throughout January, the Sea Shepherd Fleet has engaged the Nisshin Maru for a total of 9 days and has monitored the poachers for an additional 2 days from The Steve Irwin’s helicopter. Further, accounting for the 3-day journey it would have taken the whalers to return to their self-designated killing grounds after being chased from the region, Sea Shepherd is able to say with absolute certainty that for at least 14 days of January, the Japanese whaling fleet has been unable to kill whales. With half of the month of January accounted for, alongside the monitoring programme by the Australian government and bad weather conditions that would have made whaling during this period difficult if not impossible, the whaling fleet has had a disastrous month. The whalers rely heavily upon January as their most profitable month, and Sea Shepherd is hailing January 2014 as our most successful in a decade of enforcing the 1986 international moratorium on commercial whaling. Early interception and a persistent chase enabled the Sea Shepherd Fleet to effectively suspend whaling operations until they were able to take up position and secure the slipway of the Nisshin Maru.

 Given the whalers average 25 whale kills on a good day, Sea Shepherd estimates that intervention during Operation Relentless has so far saved the lives of approximately 350 whales. Captain of The Sam Simon, Adam Meyerson, said, “2014 has been a great year for the whales so far. Now that Sea Shepherd has a small navy, it gives us flexibility to use our ships to keep the whaling fleet on the run and out of the hunt indefinitely. We will not rest until this illegal fleet is driven from the sanctuary.”

Then on 2nd Feb Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd says one of its ships was rammed by a Japanese whaling vessel.  The Bob Barker was hit by the harpoon vessel, the Yushin Maru 2, when it crossed in front of its bow in sub-Antarctic waters just before 9am (NZT), the group said. The incident was a part of an attack by the Japanese whaling fleets’ 3 harpoon vessels, on the Sea Shepherd ships, The Steve Irwin and The Bob Barker, Sea Shepherd said. “The assault is an attempt to deter the Sea Shepherd ships from their current position, blocking the slipway of the Nisshin Maru, preventing the whalers from loading whales poached from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.” During the clashes, which were continuing into afternoon, the whaling vessels had also made consecutive attempts to tangle the propellers of the Sea Shepherd ships by dragging steel cable across the bow of the conservation ships, a Sea Shepherd spokesman said. 

The crew of the whaling vessels had also thrown projectiles at The Steve Irwin’s small boat crew and turned water cannons on The Bob Barker’s small boat crew as they attempted to cut the steel cables, he said. The alleged attack has happened while the group was celebrating a “disastrous” Japanese whaling operation last month as a direct result of actions taken by the Sea Shepherd ships. “Early interception and a persistent chase has enabled the Sea Shepherd fleet to effectively suspend whaling operations and allowed the fleet to take up position and secure the slipway of the Nisshin Maru,” the group said. Sun Feb 2, New Zealand Herald

All repeated from Sue at ‘the Protestor’ – Brighton, England UK.

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