UK (England): Recent Hunting News Snippets.


UK (England) Hunting News


East Kent

Photos – Mark Johnson – SAV.  Ban ALL Hunting !

Hunt Saboteurs praised by judge

On 25th March 4 hunt saboteurs were found not-guilty of committing aggravated trespass after a 2 day trial at Reading magistrates.

The trial took place following their arrest at a meet of the Surrey Union Hunt near Ewhurst in Oct last year. The saboteurs were trying to come to the aid of a deer that had been chased and injured by the hunt.

Instead of allowing the sabs, who had years of animal sanctuary experience, to help the animal; Surrey Police arrested them for failing to leave private land. They left the deer with the hunt terrier men who shot it.

During the trial a leading vet, Professor Andrew Knight, criticised the way the terrier men had treated the animal as they dragged it around by a broken leg and said it was almost certain its injuries had been caused by a pack of hounds.

It became clear from video footage that the police had lied about the events of the day and the district judge in his summing up said that the hunt and police had caused unnecessary suffering to the deer due to their handling of the situation and that if the sabs had been allowed to help the animal they would have been able to reduce it’s suffering.

He also praised the saboteurs saying: “All of you contribute immensely to society not only in your working lives but in your free time. You deserve high praise for managing yourselves and your behaviour.”

Lee Moon, press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Surrey police have a history of acting as private security for the Surrey Union Hunt. In this case they allowed their bias to lead to the unnecessary suffering of an animal. Despite the saboteurs informing the police that a crime had occurred they allowed the hunt to take the deer’s body and dispose of it and arrested the saboteurs who were trying to minimise the animals suffering.

We hope that the Surrey Union hunt will now be investigated for illegal hunting and that there will be an independent investigation into the actions of Surrey Police. Whilst we are pleased at the not-guilty verdict it is disgusting that this case ever came to trial.”

Paramedic sab helps huntsman

At a meet on Sat 7th March of the Old Surrey, Burstow and W. Kent Fox Hunt near Cowden, Kent, hunt master Ian Hamson lost consciousness after his horse fell and rolled on top of him.

A member of Croydon Hunt saboteurs who is also a trained paramedic provided critical medical treatment to the injured man until other paramedics arrived.

Despite initially stating that “he’d rather die” than receive help from a saboteur, Hamson, a crew manager at Dartford Fire Station, reluctantly accepted treatment when he realised there was a trained paramedic present. The saboteur assessed his injuries then stabilised him until the on-duty paramedics arrived having been called by other members of the sab group.

The saboteurs tried to move their vehicle to the top of a farm track to identify the access point for the arriving ambulance but were repeatedly blocked from doing so by hunt supporters, even after explaining their intentions. Other members of the hunt later apologised for this behaviour and thanked the saboteurs for their actions.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Well done to the sab who put his differences aside to act so compassionately, even in the face of hostility from the injured huntsman. His actions prove once again that saboteurs are compassionate not only towards animals but humans as well. This is another nail in the coffin of the Countryside Alliance’s campaign to portray us in a negative light and it would be interesting to see what would have happened if the roles had been reversed.”

Woman trampled – case re-examined

A decision not to prosecute a rider whose horse trampled a hunt saboteur, leaving her with 7 broken ribs and a collapsed lung, is to be re-examined.

The woman was hurt during the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Hunt on the border of Somerset and Dorset in August.  The huntsman was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to proceed with bringing charges.

The CPS is now reviewing the case under the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme.  The CPS said it originally decided not to bring the case to court as there was “insufficient evidence that the incident could have been foreseen”.  The victim, a medical professional who asked not to be identified, said: “As I lay in hospital the only thing on my mind was ‘have they got this on video?’ Because I wanted to ensure it was looked at properly.

“If you ride at speed through a narrow gap where there are clearly people standing, there must be a risk of hitting them.  “I’m a victim of crime and feel absolutely abandoned by a system that’s supposed to protect me.”

The master of the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Hunt, Rupert Nuttall, said he was “clearly sorry that the accident happened in the first place”.  “It’s up to them [the CPS], whether to bring charges – it’s nothing to do with us.”

A petition calling on the CPS to reverse its decision not to prosecute has gathered almost 12,000 signatures since Feb.  Campaigners from the International Fund for Animal Welfare believe the decision not to proceed with the case was “legally flawed”.  They argued because the incident and the injuries “were so serious” that “a court of law with a jury should have made the decision and not someone in a CPS office”.

Hounds rampage at RSPCA centre

Police are investigating reports from the RSPCA rescue centre at Godshill, IoW being overrun with up to 20 out of control hounds from the IoW Hunt.

Staff were forced to put the centre into lockdown and they were especially concerned for the welfare of terrified rescue badgers.

RSPCA Inspector Buggie said it took him 20 minutes to drive to the centre after being called by staff and the hounds were still running wild.  They were out of control.  He said it was the 2nd year it had happened and the arrogance of the hunt took his breath away.

Hounds in nearby roads were witnessed by Joan & Julian Tisdale from the League Against Cruel Sports who said it was one of a number of such incidents. A bus was amongst vehicles forced to stop for safety reasons.

Joint Master Anthony Blest said they were welcomed by landowners all around the RSPCA centre and for them not to use land within miles of the RSPCA would sterilise a large area.  He said he was reasonably satisfied the hounds were under control as the huntsman is experienced.

Fox killed on Sam Cameron’s dad’s estate

Police are investigating claims that a fox was killed in a hunt hosted by David Cameron’s father-in-law.

Hunt protesters clashed with the York & Ainsty South Hunt amid claims that 8 hounds chased and killed the fox after setting off from the 18th Century country estate of Sutton Park, in N. Yorkshire, owned by Samantha Cameron’s father Sir Reginald Sheffield.

sam cam

Samantha Cameron – or ‘SamCam’ as she is known.

The hunt saboteurs allege that a member of the hunt – the ‘whipper-in’ whose job it is to keep the pack of hounds together – tried to take the animal’s lifeless body away but fled when a protester came across the scene. Afterwards, the Hunt Saboteurs Association, who had been monitoring the hunt on Feb 21, posted gruesome photos of a dead fox dripping with blood on social media.

The hunt had met at the home in the village of Sutton-on-the-Forest, before setting off on a legal ‘trail hunt’.  A spokesman for the hunt claimed the fox had not been killed by its hounds.  But hunt saboteur Jay Gillette  said: ‘We were following the huntsmen through a woodland, and then the hounds started to cry, which means they were on the scent of a fox.  ‘We did our best to put them off – we used horn calls to try and stop them chasing the fox. We use the same horn that a huntsman would use.  ‘I then saw a fox bolt along the edge of the woodland so I raced over that way.

The best way to stop the hounds is to get in between them and the fox. Once I got to the fence where I saw the fox run past, I saw about 8 to 10 of the hounds in a semi-circle and a whipper-in.  ‘She was in the semi-circle with the hounds. I couldn’t see what she was doing but I believe she was trying to pick up the fox and take it away so we couldn’t see it.  ‘The whipper-in then took the hounds away as soon as I got there, leaving the fox.  ‘After that, none of the huntsman would talk to us.

They went quiet and just carried on – moved off with the hounds to the next woodlands.  ‘I could see the fox’s intestines. The hounds had opened up its stomach. I believe it was still alive when the hounds left and I came to it. When I carried it back to our van I could still hear short breaths from its mouth. We then gave it to the police for evidence. I was pretty distraught.’

A spokesman for the hunt said: ‘The York & Ainsty South Hunt were involved in legal trail hunting and were afterwards asked by police whether a fox had been killed by hounds. The answer to that was no.

It’s not unusual for hunt saboteurs, who’ve been harassing the legal activity on regular occasions, to make up such stories. From looking at the photos of the animal there was no indication of how it was killed.’  A spokesman for N. Yorkshire Police said: ‘We are aware of reports a fox was hunted illegally in the Sutton-on-the-Forest area. We take any allegation of wildlife crime seriously, and our enquiries into this incident are ongoing.’  Sir Reginald Sheffield was not available for comment.

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