Home/LinksWAAC comments pageLatest badger news...Latest hunt news/havocSnaring / Terrier-work/ Shooting NewsFarming and live exports News....General A/R News from around the world...Exposing pro hunt social media abuse....




I was cleared of harassment (the worst offence) but of assault. No video proof that I assaulted Smith but the judge felt I was guilty. If wanting to slap someone is an offence then I was guilty as charged. But the whole nasty affair was set up. The land owner admitted in court that he approached the firearms officer to see if he could still have me charged, wait for it, four months after that fateful day on the 28th January 2014. He also spoke with the Countryside Alliance.


To be continued.....



 Hunt Saboteurs Praised by Judge after being cleared of Aggravated Trespass 

HSA Press Release  25-3-15 

 Four hunt saboteurs were today found not-guilty of committing aggravated trespass after a two day trial at Reading magistrates. The trial took place following their arrest at a meet of the Surrey Union Hunt near Ewhurst, Surrey in October last year. The saboteurs were trying to come to the aid of an injured 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."...

JUDI - What a pity I got a horrid judge with sympathies for hunters and terrier-men - I've been through hell but it's not over yet!.

Morning Star  27.3.15  Police ‘Favours Hunters,’ Say Acquitted Saboteurs - POLICE were accused of bias in favour of fox-hunters yesterday following the acquittal of four hunt saboteurs charged with aggravated trespass for attempting to aid a wounded deer. The deer had been attacked by hounds of the Surrey Union Hunt last October when sabs ran to its aid. Police said there was no evidence it had been attacked by the hunt before allowing the toffs to shoot and kill it.... (story) 

Western Daily Press  19.3.15  Now IFAW admit Hunting Act needs strengthening after failed RSPCA case in Dorset - A leading architect of the Hunting Act has become the latest animal welfare group to change policy and call for the Hunting Act to be amended, after yet another prosecution of a West hunt was dropped. IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said it was 'changing its position' on the Hunting Act it helped draft, after its own monitors captured video footage which was not deemed strong enough to prosecute a Dorset hunt... (story)

Tamworth Herald 17.3.15 Atherstone Hunt organisers hit out at saboteurs 'harassment' - ATHERSTONE Hunt has spoken out against saboteurs whom it claims have been carrying out a campaign of harassment against it. Joint Master of the Hunt, Marion Carter, said that since December, police have attended virtually every meet, as the saboteurs have been turning up to each one. At last week's meet in Sutton Cheney, members of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs allege that they caught the Atherstone hunting a fox and police have confirmed they are investigating. But Marion insisted that Atherstone continues to hunt within the law… (story)

The Herald 17.3.15 Three accused of sabotaging fox hunt on Perthshire estate - Three people have appeared in court accused of donning masks and sabotaging a fox hunt in one of the first prosecutions of its kind in Scotland. Colin Milne, 48, Beverly Milne, 39, and Amy Lilburn, 21, are alleged to have followed and filmed people with the intention of disrupting a fox shoot on an estate belonging to one of the country's richest families. The trio were arrested on Friday last week and appeared from custody at Perth Sheriff Court yesterday. They were unrepresented by lawyers and entered not guilty pleas... (story)

The Drawn-Out Death of a Fox by Fife Foxhounds - Hunt ...


Brutal and disturbing footage of a fox being dug out of a badger sett and shot can now be made ... The incident occurred at a meet of the Fife Foxhounds on the 8th Nov near their kennels just South of Ceres. ... It is then thrown to the hounds still showing signs of life.

Western Morning News  24-11-14   Hunt horror as hounds are killed after being hit by train near Ivybridge    At least four hounds are believed to have been killed after running onto railway tracks during a weekend hunt, the Western Morning News has learned. Around 30 hounds belonging to the Dartmoor Hunt are said to have run onto the tracks unaccompanied between Langham Levels and Fardel Bridge near Ivybridge in Devon on Saturday. Several were then hit by a passing train in what members of the Hunt have called a “distressing and regrettable” incident.  Joint-master, Tom Lyle, said nothing like it had ever happened to the Dartmoor hunt before. “I was very upsetting to all involved,” he said. “Some hounds ran onto the railway line and were killed. Nothing like this has ever happened to the hunt before and it was very upsetting to all involved.” The incident occurred at around midday on Saturday. Network Rail said they were contacted by the police around to alert them that a pack of hunting hounts were unaccompanied on the line. The rail company then received a call from a train driver to say that he had gone through the area and had noticed the pack of hounds. He reported that his train had struck six of them, who died as a result of their injuries. Anti-hunting campaigners, have already responded to the incident by calling for greater accountability in the sport. CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports, Joe Duckworth, said it was “not an isolated case” and that it was “typical of the disregard that hunts show for their hounds and the public. Accidents in the past have involved road traffic collisions, other train accidents and the deaths of other animals, including pet dogs and cats caused by out of control hunt hounds,” he said. “Saturday’s incident begs several questions. Why was the hunt out hunting in such close proximity to the railway line in the first place and why were the hounds so out of control that such a tragic accident was allowed to take place? The sad fact remains, if the Hunt’s actions had of been different six dogs would still be alive and its members should be held accountable.”  [story]
Torquay Herald Express  25-11-14   Animal charity says Devon hunt should be 'accountable' for six hounds killed by train   The League Against Cruel Sports has criticised the Dartmoor Hunt for failing to control hounds who died on the line near Ivybridge on Saturday. At least six hounds were killed by a train as they wandered onto the tracks. The hunt has called it an 'upsetting' incident. But Joe Duckworth, CEO of the League said the hunt had failed in its duty to look after the animals... He said the hunt should be held 'accountable' for what happened.  [story]    We gather Network Rail is to take no further action because no human member of the Hunt trespassed on the railway. AK

Leicester Mercury 17-11-14   Fox hunters call for repeal while antis say law should be strengthened   The fox hunting community is calling for the repeal of the Hunting Act on its tenth anniversary... Many hunt supporters felt it would wreck the rural economy. But that has not happened and  anti-hunting  groups are calling for the law to be toughened. Three years ago the Harborough Fernie Hunt was one of the few organisations nationwide to be prosecuted under the law... Chris Parker, joint master of the Fernie Hunt, said the Hunting Act should be repealed.... He said: “It is a political act which is open to interpretation which makes it very difficult for hunt employees to know if they are complying with it or not. Hounds cannot differentiate between different animals to see if they are complying with the law either.”...LACS brought the prosecution against the Fernie and chief executive Joe Duckworth said: “The Hunting Act has proven to be an effective and popular piece of legislation... The problem is not with the law. It’s with those that flout it. It is time to build on the successes of first 10 years and strengthen the Hunting Act to ensure the spirit of the Act is fulfilled.”  The League wants three main improvements...   Alan Kirby, of Protect our Wild Animals, said: “In 10 years, just 33 persons from organised hunts have been convicted of illegal hunting, their sanctions averaging less than £500 fines each. Clearly the Act provides no real deterrent, clearly it needs to be strengthened to give proper effect to the will of Parliament and people - 80 per cent of whom, urban and rural now support the ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs for 'sport' it was supposed to have brought about.”  [story

Western Daily Press  19-11-14   Jail illegal hunters, League Against Cruel Sports say, 10 years after hunt ban  By Tristan Cork   The law banning fox and stag hunting in the West Country IS working, ten years after it came into force, but should still be strengthened with potential jail terms for perpetrators. That was the view of one of the main architects of the controversial Hunting Act, the League Against Cruel Sports, who finally lined up next to other anti-hunt organisations in calling for changes to the law they fought so hard to bring in back in 2004. The pro-hunt Countryside Alliance mocked that stance, and said while they agreed the Hunting Act was proving unworkable, it should be repealed completely, not strengthened.  After a long list of failed prosecutions – most recently the case against the Devon and Somerset Staghounds being dropped by the CPS last week – the League said three amendments needed to be made to the 2004 Hunting Act, to make prosecuting errant hunters easier... The League has long resisted calls from other animal welfare groups to demand the law is strengthened, but yesterday finally joined those calls.  They called for the use of dogs below ground – controlled by terriermen who still accompany hunts – to be banned, a ‘reckless’ amendment to be made to ensure hunts who kill foxes and then claim it was an accident can still be prosecuted, and the increase in punishments for convictions to put the Hunting Act in line with other animal cruelty laws. That third measure, if enacted – presumably by a future Labour Government – could see hunt masters facing prison sentences or community service. At present, those convicted of illegal hunting with dogs have only ever been fined....   Alan Kirby, from Protect Our Wild Animals welcomed the League change of stance. “Now the League have accepted our arguments, we look forward to working with them and other anti-hunting organisations to help formulate legislation to remedy all the problems that we have long since identified with the Hunting Act,” he said. “Once in force, this will make it much harder for Hunts to continue hounding and slaughtering wild mammals for fun,” he added. CA Campaign director Tim Bonner said ten years on from the Hunting Act, hunts were thriving, but the law itself was unworkable and should be repealed...."This is a remarkable law in that it seems that absolutely no-one concerned is happy with it...  hunts have to operate under ridiculous restrictions which mean they are at risk of prosecution every time they open the kennel gates; and now even the anti-hunting organisations who wrote the legislation are calling for wholesale changes. There is only one sensible solution to this mess and that is to get rid of the Hunting Act....  [story]  The above article was reprinted in the Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen...

Gloucester Citizen 19.11.14 Fox hunting ban should be toughened up with jail terms for perpetrators, say major campaign group - Anti-fox hunting campaigners in Gloucestershire have welcomed a call from one of the main architects of the controversial Hunting Act to toughen legislation. The hunt monitor group Protect Our Wild Animals said it is looking forward to working with the League Against Cruel Sports, to strengthen the law with potential jail terms for perpetrators... (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 19.11.14 Police on the tail of stray foxhounds in Brigsley - Police have been called to Brigsley to search for a pack of foxhounds that strayed from a hunt. The dogs and its owners were located and reunited shortly afterwards. (story)

Western Morning News 24.11.14 Why the League's case against three hunters was always doomed to failure - Solicitor Jamie Foster specialises in defending country sports cases. Here he explains the flawed case against three members of Devon and Somerset Staghounds, which recently collapsed.. These three men had been charged with hunting unlawfully following a massively expensive covert surveillance operation conducted by the League Against Cruel Sports. It is a case that highlights the extraordinary waste of court time and resources that are always involved in hunting cases.... (story)

North Devon Journal  25.11.14  Video shows angry scenes and foul language as protesters block Devon fox hunt - Angry huntsmen swear at hunt saboteurs and bang their fists against a car in a video posted on YouTube. The five-minute film shows the Devon Hunt Saboteurs attempting to disrupt the Tiverton Foxhounds on November 8... (story)

Wells Journal  26-11-14  How did the Mendip huntsman cross the river?   IT sounds like that riddle about the man trying to get a fox, chicken and bag of corn over a river. Last week, a huntsman had to get a pack of hounds across a river. Rob Williams, the master of the Mendip Farmers’ Hunt left his horse on the bank and requisitioned a boat to get hounds across a river in Godney. He said: “There was much hilarity from the lady who owned the boat – I hadn’t realised there was a bridge up the road.”  [story]

A once beautiful fox reduced to a shredded carcass that must have really suffered.

15th Nov 2014
The West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs were too late to save a fox before it was horrifically killed by hounds belonging to the Albrighton and Woodland Hunt. Just another example of how hunts are ignoring the ban so that they can carry on torturing foxes to death for fun. What kind of sick mind derives pleasure from the sadistic killing of these much persecuted animals?


ITV  4.11.14  Footage shows foxes being fed in area where hunting takes place By Rupert Evelyn: ITV News Correspondent - Think of a reason why anyone would repeatedly throw away dead chickens, rabbits, eggs and rats in an isolated Gloucestershire field. These are the images covertly captured by the Hunt Sabouteurs Association and, to answer the question, the HSA believe that what they've filmed shows the North Cotswold Hunt (NCH) leaving food out for foxes to eat... (story)    For further details on the N.Cotswold expose, see POWA website .


Footage shows foxes being fed in area where hunting takes place

 Hunt Saboteurs Association
Footage appears to show food being left out for foxes in areas where they are hunted. Credit: Hunt Saboteurs Association

By Rupert Evelyn: ITV News Correspondent

Think of a reason why anyone would repeatedly throw away dead chickens, rabbits, eggs and rats in an isolated Gloucestershire field.

These are the images covertly captured by the Hunt Saboteurs Association and, to answer the question, the HSA believe that what they've filmed shows the North Cotswold Hunt (NCH) leaving food out for foxes to eat.

The footage is graphic and raises important questions about what the NCH have been up to.

The time stamp on the video clearly shows the NCH pick-up, which we have filmed at their kennels, returning to the field over a number of months and it shows at least two foxes in the same location.

In both the HSA footage and ITV News footage the North Cotswold Hunt can be seen with hounds and horses in the same field.

And there are still tyre tracks in the field, which can also be seen from the aerial view on Google Maps.

The Hunt Saboteurs claim that "somebody would be doing this purely to encourage foxes to breed, to stay here so that they can obviously be in the vicinity of when the hunt choose to hunt.

"if they have a food source they don't need to travel and they don't need to go anywhere else.

"It's obviously certainly immoral. It would go against their own guidelines."

When the Hunting Act was passed in 2004 it became illegal to hunt foxes with dogs but the act does not cover the flushing out of an unidentified wild mammal and does not affect drag hunting.

 Hunt Saboteurs Association
Foxes are seen eating in the same area where the hunt later takes place. Credit: Hunt Saboteurs Association

The Master of Foxhounds Association golden rules say: "Hunting as a practice is the hunting of a wild animal in its wild and natural habitat with a pack of hounds. Nothing must be done which in any way compromises this".

So how does the NCH explain these images? They don't. We have sent them still frames from the video, offered to show them the full footage ahead of an interview, but the NCH has refused to engage with our approaches and, despite ample opportunity, refused to explain what has been shown.

 Hunt Saboteurs Association
Hounds and horses can be seen in the same field. Credit: Hunt Saboteurs Association

Of course, there maybe a perfect legitimate explanation, but in lieu of a statement from the NCH this remains a mystery disposal of dead animals, in a field inhabited by foxes, frequented by the NCH which is more than five miles from the hunt kennels in Broadway.

They have told us they are not involved in illegal fox hunting but hunt lawfully following a trail.

They have pointed out that 10 years on from the introduction of the Hunting Act their activity is still politically controversial.

Back then, one of the arguments in favour of continued fox hunting with hounds was pest control.

Then and now it would be very hard to argue "pest control" if foxes were being deliberately fed - which is why it is even more important that the North Cotswold Hunt explain what the Hunt Saboteurs Association have filmed.

Last updated Tue 4 Nov 2014

I also uncovered this in Denbighshire when I found the remains of dead sheep dotted about and at least four rotted down just yards from the sett/earth where my fox was killed.

POWA's message about the need to strengthen the Hunting Act was warmly received and apparently understood by many delegates at the Labour Party Conference last week. Amongst those to visit our stand and express support were several members of Ed Milliband's leadership team - Maria Eagle [Shadow DEFRA Sec of State ], Ed Balls [Shadow Chancellor], Yvette Cooper [Shadow Home Secretary], Caroline Flint [Energy & Climate Change]. - along with Shadow junior ministers, MPs, Labour peers, Parliamentary candidates and other delegates. Visitors were able to view the powerful new Campaign to Strengthen the Hunting Act [CSHA] video, at the content of which many delegates, including some from the police, expressed shock and outrage. Our campaign is spreading far and wide and gaining momentum. For Conference pics see the CSHA website.  The video is also now on the CSHA website and can be viewed here. Please circulate the URLs for the website and the film.. Huge thanks to POWA's Christine Harris who organised and ran our stand.

Sunday Express 28.9.14 Elizabeth Truss says scrap fox hunting ban - ENVIRONMENT Secretary Elizabeth Truss reopened the fox hunting row last night by calling for the ban to be scrapped. - In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express before the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, Ms Truss said the Hunting Act had been a 'mistake'. The Coalition promised a free vote on overturning the Hunting Act when parliamentary time allows. However, she indicated there would be no chance to repeal the Act prior to next year's election, partly because there is little chance of success..... (story) 
Tory minister Liz Truss a woman not to be trussted, as far as animal welfare is concerned - her hands are already soaked in the blood of badgers, now she wants them caked in the blood of foxes.
Western Morning News 28.9.14 Hague says hunting repeal vote "not on the cards - The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats agreed to put overturning the Hunting Act to a free parliamentary vote when the coalition was formed, though the enthusiasm for it came from the Tories. Asked whether a vote would happen, and if not would there be a Tory manifesto pledge on legalising hunting with dogs again, Mr Hague said: 'You'll have to wait for our manifesto.....(story)

Western Morning News 29.9.14 Hunting situation 'is as good as it will get' - UKIP's rural affairs spokesman thinks 'greedy' foxes should be hunted with dogs but suggested the ban on hunting should not be repealed as long as the hunting community does not enjoy it.. Stuart Agnew, MEP for the East of England, said the ban was 'probably as good as we are going to get', signalling protestors had been 'bought off'. His comments came at a fringe event at the UKIP party conference in Doncaster hosted by the Countryside Alliance, which warned the countryside vote is 'up for grabs'. But the campaign group.... warned UKIP's policy of county-wide votes to decide whether to repeal the Hunting Act was 'absolute nonsense'... (story)

Mirror 28.9.14 Threatened stag guarded round-the-clock by team of ex-soldiers to protect it from hunters - A threatened stag will reportedly be guarded round-the-clock by a team of former soldiers to protect it from hunters. Red, an eight -year-old red deer, is one of just nine stags of its kind left in the Quantock Hills area of Somerset. The cost of protecting the animal is due to be met by the League Against Cruel Sports, the Sunday Times reports... (story)

BBC News Online 25.9.14 Ballycrune farm cleared of cruelty to stag - A County Down farm has been cleared of animal cruelty involving a stag. The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recorded the stag being brought from Ballycrune farm to a location near Katesbridge last year. It was held in a trailer and shed for several days in March 2013, before being released into the path of a hunt. A judge said he had "deep suspicions" about why the stag had been brought to the hunt, but was not satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, the animal suffered.... (story)  See www.powa.org.uk/news.html for full details on this story
SOUNDS LIKE CLEAR EVIDENCE TO ME - IT SEEMS TO BE ONE LAW FOR CRUEL AND ANOTHER FOR THOSE FIGHTING OBSCENE ANIMAL CRUELTY. Poor wild stag - to be kept enclosed in a trailer inside a shed and then released ahead of the hounds to be chased and then shot for the pleasure of pychotic people - barbaric! 
Western Daily Press 20.9.14 Countryside stalwart is to stand down - Countryside Alliance chairman, Kate Hoey MP, is to stand down after the party conferences. She said: "I am sad to be resigning after more than nine years as chairman of the Countryside Alliance. The organisation has achieved much in that time, but I will always be most proud that having joined when hunting faced such uncertainty, I leave with new generations queuing up to join the hunting field..... (story)
Another disgusting person who appears to think animals are only here to be used and abused.

Protect Our Wild Animals release new campaign film http://youtu.be/1EtoolhbulE to persuade polititians to strengthen the hunting act and so put an end to fox hunting - because this terrible cruelty is still going on despite the ban.


Published on 9 Sep 2014

On 8th September 2014, The CPS dropped the prosecution charge of interfering with a badger sett, against 3 terriermen from the York & Ainsty South hunt on 28/12/13, 2 days before their trial.

This is despite damning video evidence, witnesses, and the badger sett having been declared in use by badgers, by an independent expert (on behalf of North Yorkshire Police).

And the police wonder why we feel the need to directly sabotage hunts!


North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

07960 038230

Blog - http://nwhsa.wordpress.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ManchesterHuntSabs

Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports

Hunt member arrested after he 'deliberately trampled female protester with his horse leaving her with seven broken ribs and suspected punctured lung'

  • Woman, 42, seriously injured after being 'hit by ridden horse during hunt'
  • Taken to Yeovil District Hospital with seven broken ribs and punctured lung
  • Police said man 'fled the scene of incident' but later attended police station
  • He was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and bailed

By Emma Glanfield for MailOnline

A hunt member has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm after a protester was left with seven broken ribs and a punctured lung when 'his horse trampled her' at a hunt.

The 42-year-old woman was left seriously injured when she was allegedly hit by the horse at the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale meet in Somerset last Thursday evening.

Police said they are treating the incident as a criminal assault and said the hunt member did not stop after the incident.

The 42-year-old woman suffered seven broken ribs and a suspected punctured lung after allegedly being hit by a hunt members horse during a 'cubbing' meeting by the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale group in Somerset

The 42-year-old woman suffered seven broken ribs and a suspected punctured lung after allegedly being hit by a hunt members horse during a 'cubbing' meeting by the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale group in Somerset

The woman was treated at the scene by paramedics (above) before being taken to Yeovil District Hospital

The woman was treated at the scene by paramedics (above) before being taken to Yeovil District Hospital

The woman suffered seven broken ribs and a suspected punctured lung and was taken to Yeovil District Hospital. 

Hunt saboteurs at the scene claim the alleged incident was caught on video from a camera mounted on a vehicle.

The Hunts Saboteurs Association said the woman was with another protester 'on a public road' when she was hit from behind and dragged along the ground.

The joint master of the hunt, Mike Felton, said members were 'very upset and deeply concerned' that she was injured while the hunt was out.

He said: 'We as a hunt and as individuals deeply regret any accident or incident that happens to anyone who is hurt. There is a police investigation so I can't say much about it.'

The hunt was meeting near its base and kennels at Charlton Horethorne near Wincanton close to the Dorset-Somerset border.

The 42-year-old woman was left seriously injured when she was allegedly hit by the horse at the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale meet in Somerset. Pictured: A previous meet held by the group unrelated to this incident

The 42-year-old woman was left seriously injured when she was allegedly hit by the horse at the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale meet in Somerset. Pictured: A previous meet held by the group unrelated to this incident

The incident occurred on Water Lane, Charlton Horethorne in Somerset and left the woman seriously injured

The incident occurred on Water Lane, Charlton Horethorne in Somerset and left the woman seriously injured

The hunt and its pony club, which consisted of around 60 riders, was met by protesters from the Dorset Hunt Saboteur group.

Saboteurs attend the planned hunts in a bid to raise awareness of animal cruelty and use two main tactics to throw the hunt off course.

One tactic is to cover the scent of a fleeing fox by using citronella (an essential oil) which stops the hounds from knowing which direction the animal has escaped.

The other tactic is to use calls - either voice calls, hunting horns or a small handheld device with an mp3 player attached - which calls them away from chasing the fox.

Jay Tiernan, spokesman for Stop the Cull, said the incident had come as a ‘massive shock to everyone’.

He said: ‘It’s a massive shock. It’s difficult to see someone who you care for ending up in hospital.

‘By being a saboteur you are in a particularly dangerous environment and there are several people who are injured every year.

‘There is a lot of anger out there, if there isn’t a successful prosecution what will happen to that hunt member?'

She was taken to Yeovil District Hospital (pictured) with seven broken ribs and a suspected punctured lung

She was taken to Yeovil District Hospital (pictured) with seven broken ribs and a suspected punctured lung

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed an investigation had been launched into the incident. 

A spokesman said: 'We've started an investigation after a woman was significantly injured after being hit by a ridden horse on Water Lane, Charlton Horethorne.

'An investigation began as soon as this incident was reported to us and at this time is being treated as a criminal assault.

'As part of this work we have a copy of some video showing the incident.'

The spokesman added that the man attended a local police station at the weekend and was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, interviewed and bailed while further enquiries are carried out.



July 2014

Horse & Hound 15.7.14  RSPCA facing donations crisis - A drop of £7million in donations has left the RSPCA facing fresh questions over whether its political activity and prosecution policy is alienating its support base.... (story) 
Western Daily Press  14.7.14  John Craven defends himself...  The former Newsround presenter said: 'I think of myself as very much a country person. Although I know I'll never be fully accepted.. There was an idea that you weren't a true country person unless you believed in hunting. I don't believe that to be true. I think there are a lot of country people who don't agree with hunting.... (story)
Horse & Hound  12.7.14  Hunts anticipate mastership changes for 2015-16 season - Although autumn hunting has not yet started, some packs of hounds are already anticipating mastership and staff changes for the 2015-16 season. Among those looking for a new mastership are the Taunton Vale Foxhounds. The Bicester with Whaddon Chase are also seeking applicants to hunt hounds following Patrick Martin's retirement... (story)



June 18th 2014

In February 3rd 2013 on land adjacent Brookfields golf course, Nantwich, Cheshire.

John Daly.

Aged 30 years from Liverpool,( who was defended by Clive Rees supporter of Banwen Miners hunt in south wales and former master of mink hounds). Banned from keeping any animal for 5 years without application until after five years (means he can apply to have the ban dropped only after 5 years).  sentenced to prison 14 weeks for Animal Welfare Act offence and 8 weeks for the two Badgers Act infringement  interfering with a sett.22 weeks half in custody means 11 weeks would have been more but pleaded guilty after RSPCA showed the video.

Van was seized under Badgers Act by police but in court Ms Knight DJ decided under the Criminal Courts Sentencing Act that the van should not be returned to Mr Daly ( he said it cost him£2,ooo) as she was satisfied that the van with it’s dog boxes and tools were used for the facilitation of committing the associated crime of animal fighting that he pleaded guilty to. This was justification enough to seize it.

He had a depravation order on Sadie the lurcher and she was given to the RSPCA for rehoming. Section 33 4A .

Ordered to pay £200 costs to RSPCA.

Works for a shed company will lose job has an 11 year old son.

He caused the unnesccary suffering (Section 4 Animal Welfare Act) to his lurcher dog SADIE by causing a fight with a fox. He filmed it on his phone.

District Judges comments on the recording she viewed;

“The contents were horrific, clearly sounding your own pleasure and encouragement. It was barbaric and medieval in its content and to hear him encourage the dog which took one month to recover, all for your own pleasure was showed intention.” The district Judge expressed dissatisfaction that the sentence only carries a 6 month maximum prison sentence she went on to say” In sentencing (Daly) that although generally your behaviour may be on an upward trend what type of society do we want to live in where animals are unprotected from unnecessary suffering and in this case in  the name of sport”.

She stressed that this was “serious crime”.

  Reece Welch aged 22 years.

He arrived in a spinal brace following a motorcycle accident.

He is unemployed .He has one previous conviction for trespass a t nightime.On bail.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment for failing to prevent unnecessary suffering to Sadie the lurcher and 4 weeks for interfering with a badger sett. Total of16 weeks to serve 8 inside. Never been I prison before, was joking with friends in gallery and using phone. He will be out on 11th August.

To pay RSPCA £200 costs from benefit.

Disqualification order stands for 5 years. Banned  from keeping any animal to be applied for repeal only after 5 years. Cannot own, keep, transport or participate in any dog related activity. He would not own up to owning Charger the patterdale terrier but it was seized by the courts for he RSPCA.

Daniel Ratchford. 29, unemployed. Liverpool

D district Judge  in sentencing him stated;

By failing to prevent unnecessary suffering to Sadie shows that there is a very low point to see it as something of a sport. Grown men, standing around watching that scene breaks the heart, how human spirit can descend to such an activity.”

12 weeks in prison serve 6 weeks out on 28 July.

£200 costs to RSPCA from benefit when out of prison.

He was disqualified from keeping any dog with no application for 5 years.

Ryan Kennedy.  25 years from Liverpool. Unemployed.

12 weeks custodial out in 6 weeks for causing a fight between a dog and fox. Animal. welfare act and 4 weeks for interfering with a badger sett.

Costs £200 from benefits.

He was disqualified from keeping dogs.

District Judge ; ” The horrific nature of the offence itself, to cause a fight between a dog and a fox and not one of you attempt to stop it”.


June 13th 2014

Angry Britain producers portray the violence of hunt thugs towards respectable hunt monitors and sabs. Footage showing anti-hunt monitor Judy Gilbert being pushed down a bank is not an unusual occurrence when trying to gather evidenced of deliberate animal cruelty involved in illegal hunting. But Judy, Penny and the team should be applauded for their bravery and for getting the Heythrope hunt prosecuted. Lots of evidence was collected over the years by this team, yet only this one prosecution was brought about, WHY? And why are many foxes still being killed horrifically by the Heythrope and other vile hunts across the country with nothing ever done about these other hunt atrocities?

It should be mentioned that not a single clip of film has ever been shot showing a sab attacking a hunt supporter or their vehicles, the violence is always perpetrated by hunt thugs towards peaceful anti-hunt monitors and sabs. The programme made the claim that violence was equal on both sides which is just not true! Hunt supporters are by their very nature violent people towards animals so why would they stop at people? Sabs and other anti-hunt hunt despise deliberate cruelty and so by nature are generally gentle beings.

The footage at the end of the hunt clip cleary shows hunt thugs violently smashing the windows of an anti's vehicle, note the flat cap on one of the pursuing terrier-men. These people are dangerous fanatics who defend their cruel actions by being aggressive towards anyone opposed to them. They are a disease on the planet.

We anti-hunt might be angry at the cruelty of so called fox hunters -  who are still unlawly killing our precious wild animals -  but we anti-hunt monitors never resort to the kind of violence seen on 'Angry Britain.'

Well done Judy, Penny and the POWA team. Brilliant hunt monitors.


Watch film  here . Hunt clip starts 36 minutes into the prog.

Western Daily Press 19-5-14  Brian May animal charity plans to turn Exmoor shooting estate into nature reserve   Former Queen guitarist and anti-badger cull campaigner Brian May's wildlife conservation charity Save Me is eyeing up a £7 million West Country shooting estate, for sale in the heart of badger cull territory. Turning the 665-acre Chargot estate in Exmoor National Park into a nature reserve could dent plans by DEFRA to continue the badger cull in West Somerset, but it is not the main reason for Save Me's interest. Anne Brummer, chief executive of Save Me said yesterday: "The location is a bit of a bonus for us, but the fact that it is in the cull area would not be the deciding factor. Our land agent is doing a report on it and we will be looking at everything about the estate and whether we can make it a long-term on-going conservation project. We are frequently looking at parcels of land and this one came up and our land agent contacted us and I said yes definitely look at it and give us a report. We are also looking to buy property in Devon." Save Me now has five land holdings country wide, including two separate reserves near Tolpuddle and near Bere Regis in Dorset, and another near Manchester.  The land, described as the 'jewel in the crown' of Somerset shooting estates, includes deep-sided valleys, a shooting lodge, two cottages, a farmhouse and three keepers' flats, and is said to employ around 100 people. It had been removed from the open market by the time Save Me expressed interest but it is understood it could be available through a private deal.... [story]       Hopefully, the sporting rights would come with the sale to SaveMe.... AK

Western Morning News  8.5.14  Blood sports are killing the Tories - So following the failed badger culls, which are still haemorrhaging Tory votes, the selfish and relentless blood sports lobby has decided to bully the Conservative party into a complete overhaul of the Hunting Act and to give a manifesto pledge on the issue; is this a true blue vote winner in modern Britain?... by Graham Forsyth, Chard (story)  

Western Daily Press  25.4.14  Devon and Somerset Staghounds trio deny illegal stag hunting in Taunton court - Three officials of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds denied allegations of illegal stag hunting when they appeared before Magistrates at Taunton today. Joint Masters David Greenwood and Rupert Andrews are charged with hunting a wild mammal with a dog, contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act, in relation to an alleged incident at a hunt meet at Warren's Farm, Simonsbath, on September 14 2013. David Greenwood faces a second charge of hunting a wild mammal with a dog, contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act, along with Huntsman, Donald Summersgill ,in relation to a separate incident alleged to have taken place on October 24 2013. After pleas were taken the cases were adjourned until May 30th... (story) 
Mail  22.4.14  Senior Conservatives abandon pledge to hold vote on controversial hunting ban before general election - The government has abandoned plans to hold a vote on repealing the controversial hunting ban before the next election. Despite the coalition agreement pledging that MPs would be allowed a free vote on the highly-strung issue, senior Conservatives have decided there is no point holding a vote before the election as most MPs support the status quo.... (story)  THEY WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO REPEAL THE BAN BECAUSE TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE OPPOSED TO THE SADISTIC NATURE OF HUNTING WITH DOGS. THOSE WHO THINK THEY CAN USE LIES AND SUBTERFUGE TO GET BACK TO KILLING FOXES (FOXES HAVE BECOME A RARITY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE THESE DAYS, THANKS TO AN INCREASE IN PERSECUTION FROM CRUEL TERRIER-MEN) WILL BE VERY DISAPPOINTED.  Judi 

 Horrific violence against vixen and cubs by Llandielo Hunt club terriermen 
Change.org  3-2-14 
On the 1st February, because of the weather, the regular Hunt organised by the Llandeilo Hunt Group was cancelled by the Hunts Master and Councillor , a Mr Colin Evans. On his FB page he added "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 two 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 two young newly born cubs were also dragged from the den she had made safe and secure to give birth and feed these two sweet little cubs, the dogs then tore the vixen to pieces and killed her. Not satisfied with this cruelty the "huntsman" teased the terrier dogs with the newly born defenceless cubs and allowed the dogs to take chunks from them. 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. We have a witness and evidence of the above facts. A photo of this "Proud achievement" was posted on the 'Walls of the Hunts', cowardly members showing two 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 killed fox cub. The older man teasing a terrier dog with a fox cub, obviously the poor thing is still alive though covered in blood, is Dai Bourne. The local police are more than aware of this Hunt Group's continual breaching of UK laws, of the cruelty this hunt group revel in causing. Yet they do nothing, they do not act upon this hunt group even though they are well aware they do not drag hunt but actually dig out the foxes and chase them to exhaustion with the pack of hounds where they then look on laughing and grinning as they watch a poor defenceless animal being savaged by their hounds.

All hunts that still allow cruel terrier-men to follow them are showing the world that they are still fox hunting despite the ban.

The remains of at least four sheep left close to the earth at Trefnant

TERRIER-MEN CONNECTED TO THE FLINT & DENBIGH HUNT DIG OUT VIXEN NEAR TREFNANT....AND THIS REPORT WAS USED IN COURT AS 'HARASSMENT' - you couldn't make it up. JUSTICE SYSTEM - WHAT JUSTICE SYSTEM? I had to fight like fury to clear my name against a ridiculous prosecution.  

Tuesday, Jan 28th 2014

Today I witnessed the execution of a beautiful and petrified vixen dug out by terrier-men connected to the Flint & Denbigh hunt. They had put three nets up to prevent her from escaping. The poor fox tried to bolt but bounced back into the hole off the net, then the thugs excitedly rushed up the bank and shot her inside that hole - this could be seen on my film. She was so stricken by the violence that shook her body that she was unable to breathe, in fact she never made a sound as they dragged her out of her refuge and shot her again at close range. I heard the awful dull thud as that last shot violently took her life. But what will haunt me was the glimpse I had of her just before she was finished off. I now have this image inside my head of a beautiful, young healthy fox, rigid with pain and fear just moments before these cruel men put out her lights forever and she flopped violently sideways like a rag doll - it is an image that will stay with me for the rest of my life. THERE WAS ALSO A VERY GOOD CHANCE THIS VIXEN HAD CUBS IN THAT SETT/EARTH - WAS THIS WHY SHE WAS SO RELUCTANT TO LEAVE - BECAUSE SHE HAD CUBS TO PROTECT FROM THAT TERRIER DOG??? It would explain why the dog was barking before the terrier-man called him out.
But what did this poor fox and her family do to deserve such brutality? Nothing because there were no game birds around NOT A SINGLE PHEASANT AROUND AT THE CLOSE OF THE SHOOTING SEASON and no nesting birds either. This to my mind was a flagrant breach of the hunting act.

Was the Trefnant land owner and rider with the hunt encouraging the feeding of foxes. Judging by the many sheep remains left near the sett that was being occupied by foxes it looked that way - even the dumbest person could figure this one out when viewing the area with its maintained fox earth (formally a badger sett). kept open. Lots of adult sheep remains scattered about elsewhere in adjacent fields too but the most telling was the remains of the four badly decomposed sheep just yards away from the old sett, one more recent than the other three . It stunk, quite literally, and should be exposed! Trading Standards should have checked this place out ages ago. 

Just a few of the vicious Comments (below) from animal abusers regarding my YouTube film now deleted by me after 25,111 hits. People who bullied, intimidated and threatened me because I'd exposed the killing of a fox by two terrier-men who work for the Flint & Denbigh hunt. All this happened on a typical hunt day. The comments below are from so called countrymen that either participate or support killing with dogs.
When viewing the comments below, Police officers told me that the people who made them didn't really mean it! What do you think? Judi

Coward no 1.
Brian Sowerby
who the fuck wants to impersonate a half wit like May , he needs a bullet himself 
Coward no 2.
lmao ok sweetness I'll continue doing what I do you are more than welcome to cry and get emotional. Fox count so far this year attributed to my lurcher..... 9 plus a litter of cubs but they don't really count ;) PS please feel free to kill yourself and help save the planet and relieve yourself of my slime hahahahahaha


5 hours ago

lmfao I would tell them once then shoot the fuckers by accident lol would be worth losing my license and liberty for. Bloody gobshites hahahahaha "you Devil" lmao I would have shot that fox to a pulp infront of you Judy just to ruin ya day ;)
Matthew Ellison
18 hours ago
You need to get a grip you fucking moron find something better to do you absolute twat. Shame he didnt slip wi that 12 and wipe another verminous pest off the face of the earth in the shape of you. Silly bastard just hope to fuck one of em attacks you one day . Or maybe with a bit of luck an "accident" with a shotgun does wipe you out. Its only a matter of time you trespassing bitch. Tick tock 

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 26, 2014


Youngsters watched on as countrymen with dogs unearthed and shot two foxes, in pictures released by anti-hunt campaigners.

The images show children thought to be as young as five standing just yards away as the animals are dug from an old badger sett and killed.

The incident happened after a hunt on December 28 by the Modbury Harriers, which rides in South Devon.

It was reported to the League Against Cruel Sports by a nearby farmer who took photographs and was appalled to see young children being taken on a hunt.

The RSPCA is said to be investigating to see if it breaches the laws which govern huntsmen, though the Hunting Act - which banned hunting foxes with a pack of hounds - doesn’t cover the use of dogs to flush out animals underground.

The Countryside Alliance said there was "no question" the behaviour was legal, describing the killing as "professional and humane".

Spokesman Tim Bonner said nobody associated with the Modbury Harriers was embarrassed by the pictures, adding that the "sensational" coverage by the LACS showed that people do not "understand the realities of the countryside and country life".

The farmer – who wishes to remain anonymous, but keeps a flock of 140 breeding ewes and a few chickens, said: “I sat there in disbelief - how could those guys think any of what had played out was fit for young children to witness?

“In fact, in the eyes of even my most pro-hunt neighbour, what those men showed those kids that afternoon crossed an unacceptable line.

The saddest sight for me was those lifeless bodies more resembling orange rags being dragged up the hill at the end."

The series of pictures were taken after the drag (fox hunt) hunt rode into the fields (breaking the law by chasing a fox to ground) then left, followed by three terriermen with their dog, carrying spades and a gun – and the three children.

The farmer went on: “I watched in horror as a whole pack of hounds poured into our neighbour’s field then piled into our meadow.

“They made that hideous blood-curdling squealing – known as ‘speaking’ – which means they are on the scent of a fox. I saw a beautiful vixen flash across the meadow and disappear into an old badger sett on my neighbour’s farm.

“At the top of the hill I saw a couple of guys carrying spades and a terrier on a lead. They were going to dig her out and kill her right then and there.”

"The men came down and filled in the exit holes (Breaking the law) to stop the fox escaping and then called the children over to watch as they dug out and killed the young vixen – and a second fox found cowering inside the hole.”

The farmer described how the older men looked into the sett as the children craned their necks to see, before shooting.

They began digging before firing two more shots into the hole.

They then dragged the body of the fox out and dumped it on a hedge for the children to see.

“Then the younger guys sprang back into action and started digging furiously again,” he added.

The gunman then fired another shot into the hole and they pulled out a second fox and laid it next to the first.

The farmer said: “This is the dirty underbelly of fox hunting, the bit they don’t like even their followers to see.

But I was disgusted to see the terriermen had brought three youngsters to watch – one was only about five years old.”

The sheep farmer is strongly anti-hunting and has complained about them trespassing on his land. But he doesn’t wish to be named for fear of reprisals.

He said: “We’re proud of the fact that with good husbandry we have not lost a single lamb to a fox in over 17 years.

“The local foxhunt is not welcome here. We have asked them countless times to not hunt or send hounds onto our land but they have never heeded or respected this repeated request.”

Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “This horrific incident of animal cruelty shows not only a total disregard for the dogs and foxes but also for the welfare of the ¬children. Terrier work is abhorrently cruel.”

Mr Bonner said he had spoken to the hunt, who told him the killing had been carried out as "pest control" with the permission of the landowner.

"The children were not in the hole - they were close by - and as far as we are concerned it was a totally professional operation and nothing which should upset anyone," he added.

"They were using the terrier work exemption and properly , professionally and humanely managing the killing of those two foxes.

"There would be plenty of children of that sort of age involved in pheasant shoots and ferreting.

"The vast majority of children eat meat and at the end of the day it is a dead animal.

"The crucial point is that it was all perfectly legitimate and done properly."


Fox Saved From Death At Dig-Out

Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 30/12/2013

On Saturday December 28th hunt saboteurs from Yorkshire attended a Pony Club meet of the York & Ainsty South Foxhounds at Escrick Park.


Three foxes that were deliberately hunted were aided in their escape by the sabs through the course of the day and, as the sun was going down, three terrier men were found just as they were about to finish digging the second fox out of an active badger sett. 

The sabs began to obstruct the men from continuing this illegal activity and the situation began to escalate, with about 8-10 more men with spades soon arriving at the scene. One sab was smashed in the head with the pistol the men planned to shoot the fox with and was also knocked down in a field by the men’s pickup truck. The sabs were not deterred by this, fought off the attackers and stood their ground.


On stopping the dig-out the sabs had to prize a terrier from the fox as it had locked on to the fox’s face. Sabs then had to help the fox free from the earth as the earth around it had been caved in, leaving only its head exposed. The fox escaped with little visable injury, the terrier’s face was badly wounded from fighting the fox.


The group are now preparing to prosecute the hunt for their actions and ask Escrick Park to stop facilitating these criminal activities. Anyone concerned by the activities of the Y&AS hunt should contact Escrick Park ( http://www.escrick.com/contact-us) to ask that they refuse the hunt access from now on.


Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Only two days after Boxing Day we see the real face of fox hunting. Boxing Day is the sanitized, media friendly press stunt that the hunting community use each year to pull the wool over the eyes of the British public. This is the grim reality of what occurs the rest of the time when the media spotlight is elsewhere. Escrick Park are a major supporter of the York and Ainsty South Hunt and are just as guilty as they allow these illegal acts to take place on their land. We call on them to ban the hunt from their estate before they become embroiled in any legal action taken against the hunt.”

WAAC - I can only repeat, "When are these low life pieces of s**t ever going to get paid back for their evil crimes?? They are evil personified!! HUNT SCUM, WHETHER RIDERS OR TERRIER-MEN, THIS HUNT FILTH (COUNTRYWIDE) ARE EVIL THROUGH AND THROUGH!! Judi


Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release December 27th 2013

During a meet of the Old Surrey Burstow & West Kent fox hunt at Fordcombe, Kent on the 14th December, huntsman mark Bycroft launched an unprovoked assault on a hunt saboteur. Despite calling 999 Kent police failed to take any action on the day. Following complaints they reviewed the video evidence and, although he has a previous conviction for assault on a hunt saboteur, decided that a warning would suffice as Bycroft freely admitted the assault.

The video clearly shows Bycroft looking around to see if he is observed, and then viciously punching the hunt saboteur in the face with no warning or provocation.

Roll on two weeks to Boxing Day and the same hand is shaking that of Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP. It seems Farage not only welcomes a return to the slaughter of our native wildlife but is also happy to shake the hand of a man who uses violence against anyone who intervenes to stop him illegally killing animals.

Is this the face of the new politics that UKIP is promoting?

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Are the hunts feeling so betrayed by the Conservatives and their years of broken promises that they are willing to climb into bed with this insignificant, minority political party? We celebrate this alliance between two groups that share such outdated, unpleasant ideas that are despised by the majority of the British public.”


Note to editors:

Photograph of Bycroft and Farage can be viewed here:


Link to film of the assault [very short] is...

pic of area where minutes earlier F& D hounds killed a fox...

After monitoring the Flint & Denbigh which was hunting over Bodrhyddan land, Tuesday 3rd December, I can now confirm that hounds did indeed kill a fox, This was also witnessed by a family whose small child was traumatised after seeing hounds chase and kill a fox. I have the sound of the kill on my video, and the urgent actions of a hunt worker hurrying past me to get across the field and over another barbed wire fence - probably to remove the pitiful body of what was left of the poor fox to prevent me from filming the aftermath

I'm amazed when I hear hunters and their supporters claiming that fox hunting isn't cruel! Such incredible ignorance, or is it that their hearts are just made of stone? Judi

Pro-hunt myths exposed as new report debunks claims made for change to Hunting Act   
20th November 2013
 The League Against Cruel Sports has today written to all party leaders, ministers and shadow ministers in DEFRA to expose the reality behind recent calls to amend the Hunting Act. Fundamentally questioned from the start, the call from the Federation of Welsh Farmers Pack (FWFP) to widen an existing exemption in the Act, and the accompanying research, was branded 'flawed' by the leading animal welfare charity, and has led to the new report released today and which has been sent to key parliamentarians. Widely reported calls for a weakening or relaxing of the Hunting Act last month were based on research which aimed to show that more foxes could be shot if more dogs were used to flush them out. However this call ignored any justification of the need to kill more foxes, and the League commissioned a report to look at the key assumptions made in it, namely that the fox population had increased since the hunt ban; that fox predation on lambs is a major problem for upland farmers, and that killing foxes helps control numbers. All of the assumptions, none of which were examined by the FWFP research, were proved to be unfounded on examination. Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, stated: "The report clearly debunks the rural myths peddled by the pro-hunt lobby when it comes to the need for fox control. Existing independent research and studies, brought together here, clearly shows that there is no real case for a change to the Hunting Act in terms of allowing farmers to kill more foxes. This is, and was always, nothing other than an attempt to open up an amendment process to the Act, and we have written to key parliamentarians to expose this move for exactly what it is � repeal by the back door.".... [story]     The report referred to above - essential reading - is here
Western Daily Press  21.11.13   MPs will vote against Hunting Act repeal, says League Against Cruel Sports - Repeal of the Hunting Act seems a long way off, as a detailed list of MPs' voting intentions published by the League Against Cruel Sports showed the scale of the challenge faced by hunt supporters. The  League claimed 322 MPS - enough for a majority in the Commons - have said they would vote to keep the Hunting Act, while only 257 have announced their attention to vote for repeal..... (story)

Latest crime news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter

Mirror  20.11.13   Morrissey attacks 'airhead' Kate Middleton and calls 'thickwit' sister Pippa 'sick face of modern Britain' - Pop star Morrissey has unleashed an amazing rant at the Duchess of Cambridge branding her an "airhead". And he also gives both barrels to her hunting-loving sister Pippa calling her a "thickwit" as well as attacking PM David Cameron. In a near 2,000-word blog entitled The World Won't Listen - a reference to a Smiths album - he attacks US TV presenter Melissa Bachman for posing over the carcass of a shot lion..... [story] Good for you Morrisey - love your music too!!

The evil image of fox hunting - poor fox bitten to death by dogs...

Hunting: The cruelty question debated by both sides

By Western Morning News

Sunday, November 17, 2013


It’s the big rural issue that just won’t go away. Questions of cruelty in hunting, hotly denied by the sport’s followers (WELL THEY WOULD WOULDN'T THEY???) but relied upon by those campaigning to keep the ban, have emerged again as the argument over a possible relaxation of the Hunting Act ebb and flow. Here, both sides debate the issue.

Lord Burns was clear - hunting is not 'cruel' (BURN'S NEVER ACTUALLY SAID THAT!!!)

  1. Huntsman

    A defiant huntsman blasts on his horn

by Tim Bonner (hunting's 'extremist' idiot!) Head of Campaigns at the Countryside Alliance.

When Lord Burns, the Chairman of the Government Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs, stood up in the House of Lords after the publication of his report and uttered the famous words: "Naturally, people ask whether we were implying that hunting is cruel... The short answer to that question is 'no'. There was not sufficient verifiable evidence or data safely to reach views about cruelty", that should have signalled the end of the long and utterly futile debate over hunting, but of course it did not. In fact, by that stage the end – a total prohibition on hunting – was already inevitable because the debate had nothing to do with logic, evidence and animal welfare but rather an obsessive and bigoted attack on a group of people who were perceived to be carrying out the activity.

The ultimate irony is that the (mostly) Labour MPs who pursued their quarry with such vigour were anyway chasing the wrong fox. Of course you will find the odd blue blooded aristocrat and wealthy landowner, of the type that had the class warriors on Labour's benches slavering with rage, in the hunting field, but you will find a lot more ordinary people who remain mystified by the stereotype some hold of them. When we put a nurse on a poster in her work uniform and her hunting kit the left nearly exploded: "nurses don't hunt" they screamed, but lots of them do. When we followed that with a poster of Dai Jones, a former miner who had been made redundant from his South Wales pit in the 80s and then taken up a career as a professional huntsman, and took him to the Labour Party conference, many would not believe it. I stood outside the conference centre with Dai for days whilst soft-handed Labour delegates who claimed to represent "the workers" told Dai he was an actor, a liar or worse. Yet in South Wales, hunting is a way of life for many, as it is in Cumbria, and of course the Westcountry, areas which are not exactly renowned for a surplus of either wealth or aristocracy.

In fairness, there are at least two Labour MPs who, whilst so very wrong about their target, were at least honest about their motivation. Denis Skinner was, as always, direct and to the point when he gave his reason for supporting a ban on hunting: "This is revenge for the miners". Whilst Peter Bradley, the ex-MP for The Wrekin wrote, once the deed was done: "Now that hunting has been banned, we ought at last to own up to it: the struggle over the Bill was not just about animal welfare and personal freedom, it was class war".

Even the likes of Skinner and Bradley were not going to be quite so blatant during the endless debates that preceded the Hunting Act so what was their case for a ban? Well it certainly was not based on a legal definition of "cruelty" which, broadly, is "the deliberate infliction of unnecessary suffering". To make the case against hunting on those grounds you would have to show that hunting is fundamentally worse than the other methods of killing foxes and therefore any suffering caused during the activity was both deliberate and unnecessary. It is important to remember that the Hunting Act does not protect foxes or other mammals. Far from it. Over 400,000 foxes die every year – most are run over by cars or shot, whilst trapping and snaring also remain legal. As Lord Burns said, there is no evidence to support the argument that hunting is worse in terms of welfare than those other methods.

So where was the "cruelty" that caused such harm and apparently justified the campaign to ban hunting? The key lies in the definition of cruelty. Hunting was perceived as cruel not because of any evidence of the infliction of suffering, but because its opponents saw people they did not like doing something they did not like. It is that simple. Parliament decided, in the absence of any evidence, to impose its moral view of the activity of hunting on those who took part in it.

Legislating against an activity which causes no "harm" breaks one of the basic tenets of libertarian politics, as articulated by John Stuart Mills in his famous book On Liberty, where he argued that: "The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."

But hunting is such a strange subject; an issue which turns the most logical people illogical and the most liberal illiberal, that some people will probably say that imposing a moral judgment through the criminal law in this way is not a problem. It is, however, a problem if you are part of the minority being discriminated against whether you were homosexual in post-war Britain, black in 1960s America, or Jewish in Nazi Germany. Hunting may be a minor, irrelevant issue compared to the great 20th century battles for human rights, but the principle is the same. Oh, and Hitler banned hunting too.

We cannot make immoral (and extremely cruel) acts legal

By Noel Sweeney, Barrister specialising in animal law.

Long after the Hunting Act 2004 was passed, strong feelings by those for and against hunting still rages across the pages of the Western Morning News.

To understand the issue we should forget the emotion that equally engages and enrages the hunters and those who find it abhorrent. The views of those who have clinically examined each claim are what counts. Then can we understand the reasons why hunting is now illegal.

In 2000 the Burns Committee analysed the debate in depth and detail. The Committee confirmed what hunting entails. In analysing the kill by the hounds above-ground, it found the following:

"The post mortem evidence which we have seen does at least suggest that – as we had tended to conclude from video footage – it is an over-simplification to say that foxes are almost invariably killed by the leading hound grabbing the fox's neck. Two post mortems carried out for us by the Department of Clinical Veterinary Science at the University of Bristol showed very few injuries to the head and neck area and indicated that death was caused by massive injuries to other vital organs."

And on the digging-out of foxes and terrier work it concluded as follows:

"One of the four foxes post mortemed for us by the University of Bristol, which had been dug out, had suffered injuries to its face, head, neck and eye.

"We are satisfied that the activity of digging out and shooting a fox involves a serious compromise of its welfare, bearing in mind the often protracted nature of the process and the fact that the fox is prevented from escaping."

So said the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs in England and Wales.

The Report logically leads to the view that hunting as a blood-sport has cruelty at its core. Surprisingly the Countryside Alliance did not agree. So they appealed to the High Court. They lost. So they appealed to the Court of Appeal. They lost. So they appealed to the House of Lords, then the highest court in England, in August 2009. Their Lordships scrutinised the claims of the Countryside Alliance. All five Judges unanimously dismissed their Appeal.

Lord Bingham explained why hunting was a crime: "We discern … that the legislative aim of the Hunting Act is a composite one of preventing or reducing unnecessary suffering to wild mammals, overlaid by a moral viewpoint that causing suffering to animals for sport is unethical and should, so far as is practical and proportionate, be stopped."

So concern for animal welfare was the mainspring of the legislation...

"It seems to me clear that this Act was based upon a moral principle, whether one agrees with that principle or not, and I do not think that doubt can be thrown on the rationale of the 2004 Act…"

His Lordship concluded by emphasising the ways in which animals are treated and the morality of those methods: "There are many people who would.... not accept the infliction of any suffering by way of sport."

[R (on the Application of the Countryside Alliance) v. Attorney-General [2008]]

The Appeal appeared to be a heaven-sent gift for the Countryside Alliance to finally answer their accusers and prove hunting was not inherently cruel. So what was their classic answer? When the Countryside Alliance was given the opportunity to prove the morality of hunting they chose to remain silent.

Lord Bingham addressed the issue head-on: "The latter proposal, [exempting foxhunting] although enjoying a measure of support in the House of Lords, was plainly unacceptable to a majority in the House of Commons, who did not feel that it went far enough. Why not? I do not think the appellants [Countryside Alliance] proffered any answer to this question. The only answer can, I think, be that it was felt to be morally offensive to inflict suffering on foxes (and hares and mink) by way of sport."

His Lordship then nailed the Countryside Alliance's claims to the Court floor:

"There is, however, a body of reputable opinion which accepts that the pursuit and digging out of foxes, and their killing by hounds, imposes a degree of suffering. This accords with common sense. To suppose that the contrary is generally true strains one's credulity to breaking point."

Sheryll Murray, a Tory MP, surprisingly, given her gender, tendered support to the hunters. As the connection between discrimination of people and animals is well-known, how could anyone who opposes racism or sexism, accept specieism? Marjorie Spiegel exposed the truth with her wry analysis of their shared pain: "After the kill in British bloodsports, the trophies are extracted from the victim... This too had its parallel in racist action … Our mutilated body parts smoked and sold as trophies."

[The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery]

So why does Dave Cameron fail to grasp the facts and remain intent on creating a culture of cruelty to animals? The answer lies in the view of Sir Ludovic Kennedy who said the qualification for being a member of the Bullingdon Boys Club was to be "rich, well born and addicted to blood sports."

If we are to change the independent conclusions of the Burns Report and the judgment of the House of Lords to make immoral acts legal, it changes the face of English law and English culture. In our treatment of animals it presents a choice that places us on par with China. Cameron's addiction strikes at the root of our humanity, leaving us with a cold-blooded choice of cruelty over compassion.

Noël Sweeney is a practising barrister who specialises in criminal law, human rights and animal law. He is based in chambers at Worle, Somerset and has lectured and written widely on the subject of animal law.


Hunting: a matter of trust (So say the barbarian's - it's clear to me that the following hideous report is a set up - designed to get the government moving, such is their desperation to get back to torturing foxes to death again. Now I would like to ask a fox hunter, "Would you like it if I came along with a pack of hounds and ripped your pet dog apart for the fun of it?"You people are truly sick perverts - the sad part is you don't even know it! It's only because you stick together and support each other's cruel views and actions (in a group) that allows you to believe you are right! It's called gang culture! Judi


Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner writes: Many lowland hunts have held their opening meets in the last week and for the ninth season they are operating under the ludicrous restrictions of the Hunting Act. For the hill packs and gun packs which operate across the uplands of England and Wales, however, there might be some light at the end of the tunnel. As I have previously reported the Federation of Welsh Farmers’ Packs (FWFP) are leading a campaign to remove the illogical restriction on the number of dogs that can be used when flushing and shooting foxes. 

The Government has made some positive noises about the proposal, but as yet has not taken any concrete action. Although this would only constitute a minor amendment to the Hunting Act the Alliance is fully supportive of the proposal because it is sensible and logical, but also because it would send a significant signal.

Rural people are not politically naïve (in fact the experience of the last 15 years means the opposite is often true) and they understand that a coalition Government inheriting a massive deficit might struggle to focus on rural interests. They do, however, expect at least consideration from the Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs they returned to form part of that coalition in 2010. Hunting is a totemic issue and even a small improvement to the current situation would go a long way to persuading rural voters that the Government is in step with them. There is, of course, a commitment to a vote on repeal in the Coalition Agreement and the issue of hunting has become a matter of trust between the countryside and the Government.

This week’s Spectator reports on our own research which suggests that many living in the countryside feel the Government is more interested in urban issues and that their votes are being taken for granted. I would not agree with all of the accompanying analysis, but as I have said before there is a feeling across the rural community that warm words from this Government have not always been followed by clear actions.

Meanwhile a range of Government policies including HS2, fracking, high speed broadband roll out and greenfield housing development are causing real concern and creating at least the impression that this is a Government more concerned about urban, than rural interests. Addressing the Hunting Act would certainly be a symbolic start to dispelling that perception.

Well, it's good that we can see straight through these hunt mutants!. Judi

Facebook - Norfolk Suffolk Hunt Sabs  26-10-13  Today we were at the vile killing estate of Raveningham Hall, Norfolk. We were in great company with the Essex sabs, who were fantastic. We stayed with the hunt all day, and kepted them contained to a much smaller area than they are use to hunting. The police as usual were only concerned about the sabs, which was very maddening as the hunt killed a hare, with the police just round the corner who did nothing. The huntsman was that worried that we would get the dead animal, that he dismounted & proceeded to walk up the field hedgerow trying to hide it. If that's not showing guilt, I don't know what is. More complaints to be made. And just to make a bad day even worse, 2 monitors returned home to find a mutilated fox on their driveway yet again. When are the police going to get their priorities right? One hare/fox is 2 to many.

The hunt concerned was apparently the Waveney Harriers  AK

Independent  23-10-13   Vote out these vandals of the countryside   Environment Minister Owen Paterson, seemingly encouraged by his spectacular failure to deliver on an ill-advised badger cull, is ploughing on regardless, with an extension to the original six-week plan in Somerset and probably Gloucester (if it survives a legal challenge from the Badger Trust). Meanwhile, his leader is plotting to ease restrictions on hunting via the back door. If he succeeds, farmers would gain the right to slaughter whatever wildlife they deem to be a nuisance (does this include ramblers ?) with a pack of hounds. Life in the countryside would become intolerable for the majority of rural dwellers.  Little by little this bunch of ministerial countryside vandals is destroying all that we hold dear. Owen Paterson has a vision of massive American-style factory farms, fields full of GM crops, fracking plants, and a free rein to pursue his sporting activities, as enjoyed by the rich and ignorant.  As large country estates expand and capitalise on the ever-growing band of City boys happy to spend their profits on shooting weekends, the ordinary peace-loving folk are further marginalised.   If this government remains in power, we will no longer see farm animals grazing in green fields; there will be "no go" areas where snares and hounds trap and kill any wildlife and domestic pets that roam into their path. Only cage-reared game birds, released in their millions every autumn, and tamed to the degree that they practically walk up the gun barrel, will colour our landscape.  It is within our power to restore the rural idyll we know and love to its former glory by voting at the next election.   Jill Deane, Staveley, Cumbria   [letter]

Western Morning News  28.10.13   In my opinion: Fox and stag hunting is about cruelty - not pest control By Mrs P H Duke - Many others besides farmers read the WMN, town and country. Not all country born and bred are bloodthirsty killers of innocent creatures! You concentrate on glorifying farmers like they're God's gift! At every opportunity, splattering offensive pictures of hunting scenes all over front pages, farmers and friends, of course… (letter)

Western Morning News  28.10.13   Protection for hares should be stepped up - Regular readers of the Western Morning News might be forgiven for surmising that the Hunting Act 2004 applies only to foxes. This suits the hunting fraternity well since although the public is now much better informed about the benefits of the fox to farmers, he does still suffer from an image problem which lends false credence to the myth that hunting is a free “pest control” service…. The case for retention of the Hunting Act is stronger for hares than it is for foxes, deer and mink…. by Rodney Hale MSc, Founder/Chairman South-West Action For Hares (letter)

Western Mail  28.10.13   Dogs attack sheep -David Thomas (Letters, Oct 24) from Federation of Welsh Packs tried to rubbish Alan Kirby’s excellent letter (Oct 17) by claiming that foxes take 5% of lambs each year, but this is not true. The 5% of lamb losses thought to be the result of predation also includes stray domestic dogs… why have we never seen a fox predating on lambs?... Judi Hewitt, Rhyl, Denbighshire (letter) 

Fox hunting: Calls for laws to be strengthened, not relaxed

24 Oct 2013 18:21

Federation of Welsh Farmers Packs (FWFP) claimed packs of hounds could be allowed to help kill foxes within a period  of just six weeks

Hounds look towards the Master of the Hunt 
Hounds look towards the Master of the Hunt (Chocolate box image hides the true gotesque truth) 

ANIMAL rights protesters have called for anti-hunting laws to be strengthened, not relaxed.

 The call came after the Federation of Welsh Farmers Packs (FWFP) claimed in last week’s Daily  Post’s Farm and Country that packs of hounds could be allowed to help kill foxes within a period  of just six weeks - if there was political consensus.

 A new study by the FWFP claimed there was a need to change the law on controlling foxes with dogs after research carried out by them in Scotland showed that limiting two dogs to flush and shoot foxes made the practice both ineffective and illogical as far fewer foxes were found and foxes chased for  a longer period before they could be shot.

 However, Judi Hewitt, of Rhyl, founder of Wales Against Animal Cruelty hit back at FWFP’s claims, made by its secretary David Thomas, of Llandrindod, claiming they were “based on supposition and fiction - designed to bring back a callously cruel sport through the back door.”

 Ms Hewitt said: “Lamb deaths due to abortion account for around 40%, exposure and starvation  30%, disease 20% and congenital defects 5%.

 “When you look at these figures it’s easy to see that foxes are not the main threat to lambs – or the farmers’ livelihood. According to a study by the  Ministry of Agriculture, 95% of lamb losses are down to poor husbandry. (The 5% accounts for predation, this includes dog attacks frequently reported by the media) accounts for almost 4%. Plus this 5% overall took into account hundreds of farms, not merely a single farm taking part in the survey. So the loss or cost to a lone farm is insignificant when compared to other risk factors during the lambing season).Judi

 “The fox has only ever been a minor nuisance, certainly not deserving of the kind of brutality meted out by hunts, whether mounted or on foot. This attack on the ban is motivated only by a deep desire to get back to killing for fun.

 Ms Hewitt said: “The reason the ban was introduced, was because using a pack of dogs to hunt a fox was considered a depraved act of cruelty. Pre-ban, we were told by pro-hunt apologists that shooting a fox was far more cruel than allowing dogs to rip it apart.

“It just seems too convenient that these same hunt supporters are now proclaiming that shooting is more humane!

 She said: “It seems to me that they keep moving the goal posts to suit their own agenda. Foot packs and gun packs use terrier-men.

“These people will hold a fox at bay underground using dogs  – then dig it out, often putting the boot on the neck of the fox to stop it escaping.

“This is the reality of Welsh foot packs – it's not just about flushing out a fox to shoot – they dig them out more often than not.

She added: “I don't want to see any relaxation of the hunt ban rules, because it will effectively give  hunts the thumbs up to hound and torture foxes to death again. Owen Paterson and David  Cameron – both fox hunters – want the ban scrapped to appease their Countryside Alliance  supporters.

“But they know they will never be able to repeal the hunting act   because they don't have  enough parliamentary votes. This is why they embrace any excuse to get fox hunting back on the    agenda. 

“The problem for this government   and the Federation of Welsh Farmers Packs   is that a lot of people know the truth about hill farming.

“They know that foxes are an insignificant pest  - especially when you look at the facts and figures.

“We know the real reason for high lamb mortality,  is poor husbandry and bad weather.”

Monstrous cruelty to a fox cub by cowardly terrier-men...

Daily Post 24.10.13  Fox hunting: Calls for laws to be strengthened, not relaxed - ANIMAL rights protesters have called for anti-hunting laws to be strengthened, not relaxed. The call came after the Federation of Welsh Farmers Packs (FWFP) claimed in last week’s Daily Post’s Farm and Country that packs of hounds could be allowed to help kill foxes within a period of just six weeks - if there was political consensus…. Judi Hewitt, of Rhyl, founder of Wales Against Animal Cruelty hit back at FWFP’s claims, made by its secretary David Thomas, of Llandrindod, claiming they were “based on supposition and fiction - designed to bring back a callously cruel sport through the back door.”… )
Cumberland News  18-10-13   New battle on the killing fields    ... at the moment it is illegal to hunt foxes, but two dogs can be used to flush it out of its den so it can be shot. Under new proposals, packs of dogs could be used... The move is supposed to help sheep farmers, some of whom say foxes are killing more of their lambs now that they are no longer being hunted.... But opponents, such as LACS, fear it is a calculated attempt to bring in hunting by the back door.... The new proposal is supported by Robert Fell of the Blencathra FH. He stresses that foxhunting has a  practical purpose - and this would make it easier to fulfil..... "Of course, we'd rather have the ban lifted" .... Sheep farmer Joe Mounsey from Caldbeck agrees... "Foxes aren't being killed in high enough numbers."... farmer Steve Pattinson hasn't lost any lambs to foxes... but says... "They've only become a problem since the hunting ban... Hopefully it will make the ban unworkable.... However, Alan Dickinson, Cumbrian Chairman of the NFU... says "I've never had a problem with foxes..."   Elaine Milbourn, associate of Protect Our Wild Animals, doesn't see a need for it. "The problem has been massively exaggerated by people who are pro-hunt. Very few lambs get killed by foxes. Dogs kill more... This is just a smokescreen."  Mrs. Milbourn... has lived all her life in the Cumbrian countryside and believes many Cumbrians are opposed to any relaxation of the hunting ban - but feel too intimidated to stand up and be counted. "Over the years I've had an awful lot of hassle - nuisance phone calls, appalling letters... even a dead fox left in the garden."... One hunt monitor points out that... "Last winter accounted accounted for the high loss in livestock, not foxes. This Government and the farming community will use any excuse to chase and kill our wildlife.... "    This was a very long article, but the paper didn't put it on their website, so I've precised it as best I can.   AK
Salisbury Journal  23.10.13   Hunting law change is a 'back door repeal'  - IT sparked one of the biggest political controversies in years and finally ended in defeat for supporters of foxhunting. But both sides in the debate could be facing a rematch following proposals to relax the hunting ban… The New Forest Animal Protection Group said the proposal was unlikely to have much impact in the Forest and other non-lambing areas. But it vowed to go into battle again if full-scale foxhunting ever looked like returning to the district… The NFU declined to comment, saying it preferred to remain neutral...  (story)
This I call dedication!  AK
Facebook - Cumbria Hunt Sabs  21-10-13   "One sab made a 40 mile round trip on a push bike to find the Blencathra at Dead Crags earlier. Alas on arrival all they found was peace and quiet, no sign of hounds, hunt, or support. Bollocks!"
Badger cull
Western Morning News  24.10.13  Stick to the rules or face lead ban Countryside Alliance warns shooters - The battle over the continuing use of lead shot in ammunition for shooting game is close to being won by the shooting fraternity, a meeting was told last week. But anyone who shoots live quarry must sign up to the "Use lead legally" campaign and ensure they arm themselves with non-toxic cartridges whenever they might be shooting ducks or geese, Countryside Alliance head of campaigns, Tim Bonner, insisted. The Alliance and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation have joined forces with other shooting organisations to end the misuse of lead shot with a high profile campaign… (story)
Express  24.10.13   AT LAST! Ban on ALL wild animals in circuses is passed - The RSPCA has said it is very relieved the Government has finally confirmed it will ban ALL wild animals in circuses. There were fears that only big cats and elephants would be banned from travelling circuses after MPs’ recommendations early this summer. But now there has been confirmation from Government ministers that a ban on the use of all wild animals in circuses in England will go ahead by the end of 2015…(story)
BBC News Online  23.10.13  Outfoxing the urban fox - There are an estimated 33,000 urban foxes in the UK's towns and cities. Outwitting the wily creatures is becoming an increasingly popular way to control them humanely. There are many people who dislike urban foxes. They have been blamed for biting babies and killing penguins at London Zoo, but others feed them and treat them like pets… (story)    The documentary 'Fox Wars', shown 22/10, can be watched/downloaded here
Western Daily Press  23-10-13  Hunts will exploit this new loophole All those who oppose the cruelty of fox hunting should be very aware of what is currently going on. A proposal is being made, ostensibly on behalf of sheep farmers, for an exemption in the Hunting Act to be amended to allow a full pack of hounds to be used to flush a fox out of cover in order to be shot. The claim that this is necessary because sheep farmers are allegedly losing more lambs to foxes is absolutely without foundation. Ever since the Hunting Act has come into force the hunting fraternity has claimed the numbers of foxes have fallen dramatically because they are all being shot rather than nurtured for the hunt to make sport with. Now they are changing their story and claiming fox numbers have massively increased! There is not a shred of truth in either claim... it is common knowledge that the Hunting Act has been ignored and hunts have carried on hunting foxes as they did before the ban because the authorities resolutely turn a blind eye: Fox predation on lambs is absolutely negligible, as shown by studies conducted by at least four universities. The Government knows it cannot get a repeal through due to insUfficient supportive MPso the conveniently , complaisant farmers have been trotted out to support the proposed amendment to try and give it some credibility.. Should this amendment succeed, hunts could claim at every turn that they were "flushing to guns" and, oops a daisy, had yet another inadvertent "accident", As farmers generally do not have a pack of hounds to hand, it is the hunts who will exploit this new gigantic loophole.   Penny Little, Great Haseley, Oxfordshire       Penny is a POWA Associate
Western Mail  24.10.13   Amend Hunting Act to protect lambs - The Federation of Welsh Farmers Packs proposal to amend the Hunting Act by Statutory Instrument is not an attempt to re-introduce hunting by the back door. I have not seen the Defra reports that Alan Kirby mentions in his letter (Oct 17), but I would say that 5% of viable lambs lost to foxes, as happened on some farms this year, is not insignificant. If someone stole 5% of your income I doubt that you would consider this insignificant either…. David Thomas Federation of Welsh Packs(letter) NO! THE OTHER 4% ARE DOG ATTACKS MR THOMAS! HOW THICK CAN YOU BE MR THOMAS? The 5% is overall, not just a single farm, duh!!!  Judi

Bournemouth Echo  24.10.13   Repealing hunt ban is political suicide - ARE the Conservatives politically suicidal? News that they are thinking of softening the total ban on hunting is showing no regard to the 72 per cent who were in favour of it…. SHEILA CLAYTON, Southampton United Animal Charities. (letter)

Bournemouth Echo  24.10.13   MP can’t know the true carnage of hunting - JULIAN LEWIS MP is to support any repeal on fox hunting, although he has never actually attended a hunt, only a “meet” on Boxing Day. So he can’t know the true carnage the hunt causes to our countryside twice every week, during hunting season… Years ago, when I was an “anti-hunt follower”, the Hursley Hunt had two hounds killed on a main road, which could have caused human disaster. The New Forest had four hounds killed on the railway line at Ashurst…. M MATCHAM, Hythe (letter)


Moves to repeal Hunting Act by 'back door' Condemned 
 -LACS  14-10-10          

Research, and need for change, fundamentally questioned   Calls for an ‘easing’of the restrictions of the hunt ban were today branded as ‘repeal by the back door’ by the League Against Cruel Sports, following reports of a proposal to increase the number of dogs allowed to flush out foxes to guns. The research underpinning the call was fundamentally questioned, as it is commissioned by hunting interests, has not yet been peer reviewed, and seemingly presents a problem for upland farmers were the proposed solution would be rolled out for all hunts....Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, stated ‘This is nothing but an attempt at repeal by the back door, as the pro-hunt lobby know they can’t get a majority to repeal the Act overall. This call for a return to the ways and means of hunting pre-ban comes from hunting interests, is for hunting interests – and is supported by clear pro-hunting MPs such as Kate Hoey, who just happens to be the Chairman of the Countryside Alliance....  Yet again foxes are the fall animal, and hunting them the easy solution, when in fact we need to look at the wider reality of how animals and man interact. Any attempts to move to weaken the Hunting Act will be resisted by both us, and the majority of the public who don’t want a return to hunting after a hard fought campaign to get a ban after some 80 years of campaigning.’ [story]

POWA has responded to the full-pack flushing proposal with a round robin letter to the media as follows:-

Sir,   The proposal to amend the Hunting Act to allow wild animals to be flushed from cover using a full pack of [around 40] hounds rather than the present limit of two is just a cynical attempt to further muddy and undermine the law and make it even harder for monitors and prosecutors to bring transgressing hunters to justice.  Knowing that they do not have the votes, let alone public support. to repeal the Hunting Act, the pro-hunt forces, including our Prime Minister, have cooked up a vaguely plausible sounding excuse to just amend it, purportedly for the sake of poor, suffering Welsh hill farmers whose flocks are allegedly under seige from packs of ravening foxes. In fact, DEFRA itself has long said that fox predation is an 'insignificant' factor in lamb mortality - as many scientific studies have confirmed - and nobody has ever produced film of a fox attacking a viable lamb. They cite in support of the proposal a 'study' conducted by, you guessed it, hunters and display their usual grotesque hypocrisy by arguing this would somehow actually help fox welfare!    The 'full pack' exemption would, of course, be available to all Hunts, intentionally blurring yet further the line between 'pest control' and hunting for 'sport', and giving them even more opportunity to pretend that any chases, or kills, that resulted were 'accidents'.  Even if the intention really was to shoot the quarry as soon as it was flushed from cover, having a full pack milling around the area would surely make that much harder and more dangerous.  
Not only this, but the proposal would effectively relegalise perhaps the most gruesome and distressing aspect of the 'sport' - cub hunting. Hunts would be free once more to unleash dozens of hounds to chase and dismember young foxes within coverts, the means by which they train the new hounds in their bloody business.   To allow the use of full packs for 'flushing' will largely neutralise the Hunting Act, which is precisely their intention. I would appeal to your readers, the vast majority of whom are opposed to the barbarity of hunting with dogs, to write to their MPs to ask them to oppose this cynical attempt to so weaken this essential and popular law.    yours faithfully,   Alan Kirby, for Protect Our Wild Animals  [POWA]

Western Daily Press 15-10-13  Assault charges drop wrong in hunting case  A senior Crown Prosecutor has admitted that theft charges against two men who took camcorders from hunt monitors should not have been dropped. But the charges cannot be reinstated and hunt monitor Helen Weeks says she has been left disillusioned. "1 think the Dorset CPS are afraid to take on any cases with Cattistock Hunt connections," she said yesterday. Mrs Weeks and fellow monitor Graham Forsyth were incensed that the theft charges were dropped when three supporters of the Cattistock Hunt appeared before Magistrates at Weymouth last August. The men, gamekeepers Lee Mabey and Lewis Longstaff, and Paul Bennett, admitted using threatening words or behaviour when Mrs Weeks and Mr Forsyth were monitoring the hunt from a stationary car at Portesham. Mabey and Bennett had also been charged with theft of the camcorders, but those charges were withdrawn after the court. was told that the men simply confiscated the equipment and planned to hand the camcorders in at a police station. Both camcorders were damaged. For using threatening words and behaviour the three were given a one year conditional.discharge... Bennett, who took a camcorder from Mrs Weeksroughly that one of her fmgerswas left painful and bruised, admitted assault. Mrs Weeks and Mr Forsyth complained about prosecutor Simon Clarke's handling of the case. John Montague, chief crown prosecutor for the region told them in a letter: "1have reviewed the file and consider that the decision to drop the charge of theft was wrong....

Monsters and animal rights heroes...all the latest news
Mirror  16.8.13  Middleton Hunt: Pictures and video of horrific moment hounds savage fox during illegal hunt - These pictures show the horrific moment a pack of hounds ripped a fox to pieces as huntsmen watched. The terrified animal is seen hiding in a tower of hay bales for 25 minutes as hunt staff use terriers and sticks to force it out… (story) 
York Press  17.8.13  Middleton hunt members fined after video footage showed illegal fox hunting  - VIDEO footage has emerged showing members of a North Yorkshire hunt taking part in illegal fox hunting. The four men, who are members of the Middleton Hunt, based nearMalton, were caught on camera taking part in the incident…. (story) 

Burton Mail  16-8-13   Decision due on further ban for fox hunt group   A WITNESS who helped convict two members of the Meynell & South Staffordshire Hunt for illegal hunting has asked Calke Abbey to extend a ban on its land. Roger Swaine, one of the protesters who filmed the hunt, has written to the National Trust which owns the South Derbyshire estate, to keep the hunting party off their land for another three years claiming its members have shown no remorse for their actions. The Honourable Johnny Greenall, son of the Baron of Daresbury, and Glen Morris, of Ludgate Street, Tutbury, were secretly filmed by anti-hunt protesters trying to kill foxes near Hilton. Footage played at South Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court showed members of the hunt surrounding a wood. The hounds entered the wood to hunt young foxes. One fleeing fox was scared back into the wood by the surrounding huntsmen who were clapping their hands. Following the conviction, the National Trust banned the trust from hunting on its land, which includes Calke Abbey. As the trust is now reconsidering all licences, Mr Swain has asked them to extend the ban....  [Story]

Western Daily Press  20.8.13   No stalking for Cameron as bad back flares - David Cameron has undergone hospital treatment after complaining about a "phenomenally bad back"…. During a family holiday on the Scottish island of Jura, the Prime Minister, who enjoys deer stalking, said his back pain meant he avoided the hunting activity, which requires crawling on the ground….(story) 

Telegraph  19.8.13  Welby too busy to be RSPCA patron?  But they don't do anything, says Vice-President Bill Oddie - Bill Oddie, the outspoken environmentalist and broadcaster, has turned his fire on the Archbishop of Canterbury, dismissing his explanation that he is too busy to be Vice-Patron of the RSPCA as “absolute nonsense”. By John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor - Mr Oddie, who is himself a Vice-President of the animal welfare charity, ridiculed the idea that it would involve a significant time commitment – claiming that those with honorary positions in it did not "do anything”…. He said the churches had a “dreadful record” on animal welfare, and also accused the Vatican of not doing enough to prevent cruelty to animals… (story) 
Mail  19.8.13  The hunting archbishop and 'snub to RSPCA':  Revelation Justin Welby once went pheasant shooting emerges day after he turned down honorary post By CHRIS BROOKE … It has emerged that Justin Welby once went pheasant shooting. And, rather unfortunately, the revelation came the day after he turned down the role of RSPCA vice-patron… Lambeth Palace has admitted Dr Welby ‘went on a live pheasant shoot on one occasion in the mid-1980s’, when he worked as an oil company executive…. (story) 

Observer 18.8.13 My battle with the urban fox - They chewed a sofa, slept in the bed and dug up the garden. Was there any way to outfox them? - Peter Beaumont - My battle with foxes began two years ago…. The first intimation of a problem was an incursion through the cat flap while we were away for a weekend's rock climbing. The fox that moved in chewed off the corner of the sofa before defecating on it; it knocked down bikes and surfboards, slept in the bed after burying a shoe under a pillow as a toy and chewed through the power cables of the washing machine and fridge, suggesting a cub that was teething... (story)

Western Morning News  19.8.13  Animal charity under investigation over badger cull campaign - The RSPCA is to be investigated over allegations that its lobbying on the badger cull has been “aggressive and threatening.” The Charity Commission confirmed that it is looking into whether the organisation’s activities have breached their charitable status. NFU President Peter Kendall said it had made a formal complaint about the RSPCA’s conduct, which has included urging consumers to boycott milk from areas where there is a cull and threatening to strip a welfare accreditation from farmers supporting it… (story) 

Dorset Echo  19.8.13  Thousands sign petition to stop badger cull - AN ONLINE petition opposing the badger cull has broken the record for the largest number of people ever to sign a government e-petition. Team Badger’s petition has received 263,000 signatures pledging support against government policy of killing badgers in a bid to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis in cattle… (story) 

BBC News Online  17.8.13  A Point of View: Why it can be good to give in to your enemies - In a democracy, leaders and the opposition must accept each other's legitimacy, says Roger Scruton. Last week I examined some of the institutions that form part of democracy as we in the West understand it. But I have yet to consider the fundamental point, which is that in a democracy we consent to be governed by people we dislike…. I experienced a version of my father's habitual rage when the government of Tony Blair decided, in the face of massive opposition from ordinary people living in the countryside, to ban our traditional forms of hunting…. (story)
Western Daily Press  19.8.13  Some people want to turn back the clock - It never fails to amaze me, the amount of coverage that the tiny minority that actually hunt live quarry gets if anyone who dares to challenge their blood sport…. Anyone who has any dealings with the blood sports lobby knows that the police will attempt to "time out" any cases that are raised against local hunts. The police simply do not want to get involved with any hunting activity as the political fallout for the chief constable and the police crime commissioner could be quite destructive for them…. Graham Forsyth Chard, Somerset (letter)  Graham is a POWA Associate
Western Daily Press  17.8.13  RSPCA should fight for animal rights - The Countryside Alliance's repeated accusations that the RSPCA has a "political animal rights agenda" are pathetic. I remain a member of the RSPCA because despite what I view as its animal rights shortcomings it remains the nation's animal welfare champion and without it the criminals who torture and abuse animals would never be brought to justice… So, is the RSPCA a "political animal rights society"? I wish!   John Bryant Tonbridge. Kent (story)  John is a POWA Associate
York Press  20.8.13  ‘Disgusted’ by hunters - AM I the only one to be disgusted by the behaviour of the Middleton Hunt members involved in the recent court case… Jenny Horner, Hornsey Garth, Wigginton, York (letter)



By Judi Hewitt
August 2013

There are some really horrific pics on Facebook (we like fox control) that has nothing to do with controlling foxes and all to do with gratuitous violence towards these harmless animals. I was literally shaking with anger after seeing these photos. The suffering to these poor foxes is something you could never imagine. What is truly sick is that Facebook does not consider this page to hold images of graphic violence -  but what else can you call it when a fox is being tortured to death and already has multiple bite wounds on its body. When my own dog was attacked in the forest by another dog -  she came running towards me terrified and screaming in agony then rolled around on the floor at my feet. That was after just one bite that tore her flesh - imagine the suffering to those foxes being continually torn into by a fox terrier or some other vicious dog? It makes me sick that Facebook consider this nothing. What kind of a world are we living in when this kind of terrible gratuitous cruelty is acceptable? What kind of sick mind gets pleasure from inflicting pain onto a defenceless animal? To my mind, it's only a minority of sick people who use excuses for their gratuitous cruelty by claiming foxes are pests - these excuses give them all they need to hide the fact that they're pathological psychotic killers and need to be locked securely in a mental institution until they're too old and feeble to hurt anyone or anything again. 
 Click on the following link to view this very sick facebook page - called 'We like fox control'.


RSPCA offers an olive branch to country set over fox hunting ban


The RSPCA wants to set up its own “fox hunt” to drive cruel and illegal blood sports from the countryside.

Published: Sun, July 21, 2013

RSPCA-came-under-fire-for-its-high-profile-prosecutions-under-hunting-with-dogs-law RSPCA came under fire for its high-profile prosecutions under hunting-with-dogs law

Having come under fire for its high-profile prosecutions under hunting-with-dogs laws, the ­society is looking at joining forces with the country set.

It wants to set up a hunting association that has all the pageantry and traditions of fox hunting but without the death and gore. The independent “trial and drag hunt” association would be able to ride with hounds across the countryside following laid down scents but keeping within the law.

Hunting remains one of the most divisive countryside issues with critics claiming the law is unfair and ineffectual and anti-blood sport campaigners saying it has not stamped out the killing.

Earlier this year the RSPCA caused outrage among the country fraternity with its successful private prosecution of David Cameron’s local hunt, the Hey­throp, at a cost of £326,000.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant has called on countryside groups to join forces and create a new self-regulating association, which would have greater access to private land.

RSPCA, fox hunting, cruel, illegal, dogs RSPCA went after David Cameron's local hunt, the Heythrop

We are quite happy to talk to the RSPCA when the they drop their increasingly radical and politicised animal rights agenda

Sir Barney White-Spunner

Speaking at the CLA Game Fair, Mr Grant, who has become the nemesis of the huntin’ and shootin’ set with his determination to enforce the hunting-with-dogs laws, said: “I seek common ground with all those who share our passion for enjoying our countryside, respecting our wildlife and obeying the law while out with their dogs and horses.

“I passionately believe the form­ation of an independent trial and drag hunt association would build confidence that people can enjoy riding out in the countryside without subjecting wild animals to unacceptable suffering.”

Last night Sir Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said: “We are quite happy to talk to the RSPCA in the interests of animal welfare when the RSPCA drops its increasingly radical and politicised animal rights agenda.”

foxes are still running for their lives

Click on the links below

Appalling behaviour of the Old Berks hunt (Cameron's father-in-law is Chairman).  

WAAC - These hunts people are absolutely vile....


ITV 15.6.13 Badger petition started by Brian May reaches 250,000 signatures - An online petition against the cull of badgers which was started by Queen guitarist Brian May has secured more than 250,000 signatures. It is the highest ranking active petition on the Government e-petitions website and has 100,000 more names than the petition which comes in second, about immigration rules…. (story) 
Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury 15.6.13 Secret World puts badgers in the picture - Alex Evans, Reporter- WILDLIFE lovers from across Somerset joined forces to make their voices heard on culling – by forming a giant badger’s face visible from the sky. Secret World in East Huntspill organised the photo, which was taken by The Badger Trust, after people formed a face using black and white t-shirts and cards, which was then snapped by a helicopter…. (story) 
Bournemouth Echo 16.6.13 Brian May on kicking off his tour in Bournemouth, Queen and being the figurehead for Team Badger By Faith Eckersall - In our noisy open-plan office you can always tell when someone is interviewing someone important. Because everyone else goes really quiet as they furiously ear-wig on the conversation. And so it was when I got to call up Dr Brian May… (story) 
14-6-13 Londonist.com   Boris: Bring Back Fox Hunting  London mayor Boris Johnson has called for the return of fox hunting to cull the capital’s roving reynards. Following a handful of high-profile attacks on small children and household pets, foxes were described as ‘a pest and a menace’. The subsequent mass anti-fox hysteria has led to repeated calls for a cull which Johnson seems only too happy to oblige. The mayor said: "I got wild with anger not so long ago because I thought our cat had been mauled by a fox. I wanted to go out with my 2.2 and blaze away. This will cause massive unpopularity and I don’t care. I’m pro liberty and individual freedom. If people want to get together to form the fox hounds of Islington I’m all for it" Given the congestion on London’s roads, we think that using cycle hire bikes might be more appropriate than a herd of horses galloping at full chat down, say, the Strand and would mean people with dogs could participate. And instead of air rifles — which could be a hazard for innocent non-fox pedestrians, we’d recommend a large fishing net. Or people could juststop putting food out for them and call pest control. Except that wouldn’t make such a snappy headline for the mayor.

WAAC says - So Boris, it's okay for your cat to torture and kill umpteen birds but God forbid that a fox has a go at a cat, hey?  There is ample evidence that cats and foxes get along with each other - I've seen it with my own eyes. And BTW, more cats are hurt and killed by domestic dogs every year but I don't hear you calling for pet dogs to be shot dead.
I have cats and I adore each and every one of them but my cats are kept under control within the perimeters of our home, not just for their own safety but so the wildlife can be left in peace. It's clear to me that if Boris's cat got run over he'd just go out and get another - the oh so caring cat lover, hey, Boris? Selective compassion!
Ugh, don't you just hate hypocrites?

Two men fined £150 for hunting fox with dogs

Two men have been fined £150 each after being found guilty of hunting a fox with dogs.

Nicholas Harris, 44, of Violet Hill Road, Stowmarket, and Anthony Laflin, 50, of Barretts Lane, Needham Market, denied hunting a wild mammal with a dog, contrary to the Hunting Act 2004, at West Suffolk Magistrates’ court yesterday.

Prosecuting, Ian Devine said at around 7.15pm on October 24 last year, PC Martin and PC Duncan spotted two cars parked near Greens Meadow, near Tot Hill in Stowmarket, while on patrol.

He said they checked the vehicles with a torch and found a dead bird and bloodied shears in the driver side foot well and a dog cage in the back.

They searched Greens Meadows, a nature reserve, for around 40 minutes, calling out to see if they could find the owners of the cars but eventually decided to wait out of sight for the drivers to return.

Around 10 minutes later, the lights of the cars came on and the cars starting driving off.

After stopping the vehicles, police searched Harris’ Renault Clio and found two terrier dogs, a plucked dead bird, a dead fox and a spade.

A hunting lamp was found in Laflin’s Peugeot and a lock knife on Laflin’s person.

Harris told the court that he had been walking his five dogs at around 3.45pm when his seven-year-old Jack Russel, Judy, ran off.

He said after spending three hours looking for her he returned home, dropped off four dogs and called friend Anthony Laflin to come and help with the search.

He said after searching the meadows again, they found the dog in a rabbit hole.

Harris claimed he found the dead fox in the hole with his Jack Russell and had decided to take it home to feed to his ferrets.

However, Mr Devine said the men’s clothing did not fit in with their story of simply taking the dogs for a walk and that the pair’s timings on the events did not check out.

Laflin was dressed in three jumpers, three pairs of trousers and three pairs of socks and when stopped was soaking wet.

Convicting Harris and Laflin, presiding magistrate Jane Heard said: “The prosecution had proved your intent to go hunting with dogs.

“All the evidence was present - the lamp, the spade, the dead fox, not to mention your attire.

“We find your evidence lacking in credit.”

Harris and Laflin were both fined £150, made to pay £300 in court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Laflin, who also pleaded guilty to carrying the lock knife, was fined an extra £150 for the offence.

Blyth speed driver Stephen Brown jailed for animal cruelty

    by Brian Daniel, The Journal
    May 10 2013

Stephen Brown, 29, of Blyth who was jailed for animal cruelty

A NORTHUMBERLAND man who took mobile phone pictures of his dogs killing a deer has been jailed.

Stephen Brown, 29, of Blyth, was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison and given a seven-year ban from keeping animals after sickening images were found on his phone by police who had arrested him for something else.

Brown pleaded guilty to two charges brought by the RSPCA of entering land without consent of the owner or occupier in search or pursuit of a deer with intent to take, kill or injure, and causing or attempting to cause an animal fight to take place.

Both charges were dated between November 18, 2011, and April 17, 2012, while three others were withdrawn.

Brown had already been jailed for 15 months at Newcastle Crown Court after leading police on a high-speed chase at twice the speed limit while banned from the road.

Mid and South East Northumberland magistrates in Bedlington have since heard how on July 12, last year, an officer from Northumbria Police arrested Brown, of Fenwick Drive, for an unrelated matter.

His Blackberry phone was seized and the contents of it reviewed.

In all, 25 photos were found, involving up to three lurcher dogs and a deer.

Dogs are seen shaking the deer by the head and biting its neck.

In another image, the deer is “struggling for its life,” prosecutor Denise Jackman told the court.

A further image shows the deer lying on its front with a dog’s jaws over the back of its neck.

In others, a booted foot is visible pressing against the deer’s head, pushing it towards the dog.

The dog is biting the jugular area, “a killing attack” Mrs Jackman said.

In some pictures, the deer appears to be unconscious or dead.

A person is visible in some holding the unconscious or dead deer while in one it is lain over a car bonnet.

The court heard the Grey Diahatsu Fourtrak 4x4 in the images was registered to Brown and that police had seen him in or with the vehicle on numerous occasions.

Furthermore officers knew he had owned a black lurcher which had been recently killed by a car.

A search warrant was obtained by police.

Items were recovered and seized which included hunting lamps, a battery pack, a mobile phone and a picture showing a black lurcher type dog attacking a deer.

Dog Lass was also seized with it resembling one of the animals on the photos.

Brown was arrested and the dog and photos examined by a vet.

Mrs Jackman told the court the case “covers a subject which the wider public are appalled at”.

She said: “These photographs depict such behaviour where it can be seen the dogs are attacking the deer and in other photographs the dogs are present when the deer is there.

“The defendant has deliberately and on several occasions caused immense suffering to deer by virtue of the dogs being set upon them.

“The extreme fear caused to the animals and the pain inflicted before death was entirely avoidable.

“The period of time cannot be exactly timed but the vet is certain it was not instantaneous.”

Magistrates imposed an eight-week jail term on the deer charge and 18 weeks on the other, ordering them to run concurrently.

The seven-year animal ban was imposed on the causing animal to fight charge.

The court ordered that it could not be challenged for three years.

Magistrates ordered that Lass be taken from Brown’s care and given to the RSPCA.

They also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the equipment seized from Brown’s home.

After the case, inspector Helen Bestwick said: “It is a very serious matter of horrific animal cruelty which has been taken very seriously by the RSPCA and the police and we are very happy with the outcome.”

Brown’s solicitor Graham Crouth declined to comment after the case.


North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

Hunt master and friend caught digging up a badger sett as they tried to free a lost terrier are fined £300

  • Stuart Radborne, 28, and Ben Pethers, 29, admitted interfering with sett
  • Caused 'most severe damage' RSPCA officer had ever seen
  • Members of hunt had been trying to find lost terrier called Jimmy
  • Judge fined pair £300 and ordered them to pay £250 in costs
  • Former hunt master branded court case a 'complete outrage'

By Kerry Mcdermott


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.

Hunt master Stuart Radbourne is seen leaving Chippenham Magistrates' Court today
Ben Pethers is seen leaving the court holding evidence bags

'Damage': Stuart Radborne, 28, left, and Ben Pethers, 29, both seen outside court in Wiltshire, were caught 'waist deep' in a badger sett

They were charged with the badger set 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.

Outside court an outraged Mr Seed condemned the RSPCA prosecution as a 'complete outrage' and a 'disgrace'.

Mr Seed, a Conservative councillor for Wiltshire, said: 'It has been a complete outrage and I would hope that every single member of the public think as to whether they give their hard earned money to the society in order to waste it.

'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.'

Hunt: (L-R) Stuart Radbourne, Paul Tylee-Hinder, Ben Pethers and Joshua Charlesworth are seen leaving the court, some carrying evidence bags

Hunt: (L-R) Stuart Radbourne, Paul Tylee-Hinder, Ben Pethers and Joshua Charlesworth are seen leaving the court, some carrying evidence bags

District Judge 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 soiling flying.

Former hunt master: Jonathan Seed branded the court case a 'complete outrage', and claimed the RSPCA had spent £50,000 pursuing it

Former hunt master: Jonathan Seed branded the court case a 'complete outrage', and claimed the RSPCA had spent £50,000 pursuing it

'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.

The 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 dog.'

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.'

Tim Bonner, 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 investigation set out to find evidence to justify a prosecution, not to seek out the truth. Even so it has now had to accept that there was absolutely no basis for the prosecution.'

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.

Inspector 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.


North West Hunt Saboteurs Association
WAAC says - These two terrier-men were guilty as sin - they were digging out a fox and should have been given jail sentences as well as a steep fine. Infact it is high time we started campaigning for tough sentences for animal abuse - as well as better enforcement of the hunting act. Judi

Animal cruelty suspects arrested in dawn raids in Darlington

3:00pm Wednesday 1st May 2013 Author By Hannah Bryan, Reporter (Darlington)

MEN suspected of using dogs to hunt and kill domestic and wild animals received an early wake-up call when police and RSPCA officers swooped on their homes in a series of dawn raids.
Hannah Bryan joined the operation.

THE stench is horrendous and the sight that greets us is not much better. Kept in cold, outdoor cages littered with faeces are a number of scruffy looking dogs. Some jump up to greet us as we walk past while others cower in corners, trying to keep warm.

In the middle of one cage shared between two animals is a small, black mound - the decaying body of a dead dog, left to be eaten by its companions.

These dogs are just some of the animals suspected of being used by groups of men to hunt, torture and kill wildlife, livestock and domestic pets in the Darlington area, often being filmed and the footage shared on social networking sites.

During a 6am briefing of Operation Stockholm – a joint initiative by the RSPCA and Darlington police to tackle animal cruelty in the area – officers tell us of a recent case where a pack of Lurchers ripped a female deer to shreds, tearing her leg off while she was still alive.

Other cases include packs of dogs, often terriers, Lurchers, Salukis and Bull Terriers, being filmed tearing apart screaming foxes while groups of men and women stand by and laugh.

To tackle this cruelty, a team of 40 police and 17 RSPCA officers working on Operation Stockholm raided homes across the Darlington area early this morning (Wednesday, May 1).

Setting off at 6.30am in a huge convoy of vans and cars, teams of officers descended on a number of properties.

Speaking during the operation, Chief Inspector Chris Reeves of Darlington police hailed the raids as a huge success after three men were arrested for offences under the Animal Welfare Act – an 18-year-old in Tyne Crescent, a 33-year-old in Brunel Way and a 25-year-old in Sadberge Road, near Middleton St George.

He said: “We have not only arrested the suspects, but we have rescued a number of animals who will now have a better life – they will never be returned to those people.

“It is not poaching, it is animal cruelty.”

Thirteen dogs were taken from the properties into RSPCA care, and mobile phones, computers and cannabis were also seized.

The raids were the culmination of months of investigative work using evidence gathered during last year’s Operation Merlin – one of the largest investigations into animal cruelty in County Durham – and come just days after the region was once-again named the animal cruelty capital of Britain.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Nick Welch said where there is evidence that offences have taken place, the charity will take action to bring suspects before a court.

“I hope this sends a message to anyone involved in this kind of deliberate, abhorrent cruelty – we are actively seeking you and the next knock on the door could be us,” he said.

WAAC says - These evil LOW LIFE SCUM should be given the maximum sentence, at least five years in prison. Sentences are usually too soft for these monsters - six months is just not nearly enough. Most decent people feel they should be locked up for e minimum of ten years. If they were, then these evil thugs, both men and so called women, would think twice in future before getting their sick thrills from horrifically abusing animals. The punishment should fit the crime and what they did to those poor foxes was utterly evil. If they can do this to defencelss animals then they can do it to other people. THEY ARE SICK!!! Ugh, how I would love to do to them what they did to those poor foxes. But at least the dogs rescued from this lowest form of life can now be re-homed into loving homes.

*) Horse & Hound 25.4.13 Too many’ packs, says chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association - The number of foxhound packs in Britain must be reduced by around 50 if hunting is to prosper, says Stephen Lambert, chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA). In an H&H interview to mark his retirement from the role next year, Mr Lambert says there are “too many packs operating on a small, overcrowded island” and the current total of 186 in England, Wales and Scotland needs to be dramatically reduced. It is, he stresses, better to have a smaller number of larger packs with less pressure on country.

To read the exclusive interview with Stephen Lambert go to p78 of this week’s issue of H&H (25 April 2013)

(*) ThisIsCornwall 25.4.13 Environment minister Owen Paterson "bored with high-profile public entertainers" on badger cull - The Environment Minister has spoken out against "high-profile public entertainers" speaking out on the proposed badger cull. Cabinet minister Owen Paterson's comments came days after a fresh appeal from Queen guitarist Brian May against the proposed badger cull…. (story)

(*) Wells Journal 25.4.13 Pilot badger culls are due to take place in Somerset and Gloucestershire - Pilot badger culls are due to take place in Somerset and Gloucestershire in June in an attempt to wipe out bovine TB…. Bryan Hill, who farms near Okehampton and represents the Badger Welfare Association claims a 99 per cent success rate in identifying diseased setts. He says he has helped farmers in 11 counties. Adrian Coward, chair of the Somerset Badger Group, said: "We have evidence that shows that vaccination is successful… (story)

(*) Wells Journal 25.4.13 RSPCA urges people to sign the petition - The Government's ill-fated and potentially devastating cull of badgers in pilot areas in England is due to begin in less than two months. We need to act now to stop this slaughter and to help the cows and dairy farmers who face the threat of bovine TB… Gavin Grant RSPCA chief executive (letter)

(*) Wells Journal 25.4.13 No place in society for culling badgers - In a few weeks mercenaries paid by the National Farmers' Union (NFU) will be attempting to humanely shoot thousands of healthy badgers across West Somerset and West Gloucestershire…. There is no place in a balanced and caring society for such policies. If you care and want to stop this then you must take action now; not when the bodies are piled high. Adrian Coward West Horrington (story)

(*) Bath Chronicle 25.4.13 Loach will speak at activists' get-together - Film director Ken Loach will speak at a conference bringing together campaign groups in Bath on Saturday. Visions for Change 2013 will open its doors to the public between 11am and 3pm at the Friends Meeting House in York Street. There will be stalls reflecting the work of groups from Bath Against the Badger Cull to Oxfam as well as talks and short films…. The other groups represented include Greenpeace, Bath Against Cuts, Bath Amnesty, Energy Efficient Widcombe, 38 Degrees, Bath Anarchists, Occupy Bath, Bath Stop War Coalition, Bath Foodcycle, Frack Free Somerset, Bath Quakers, Bath Friends of Palestine, the Clevelands Pool Trust, Bath Green Drinks, Bath Oliver and the Avon Co-operative Development Agency (story)

(*) Oxford Mail 24.4.13 Attacks on wildlife - DAVID Cameron’s henchman, Owen Paterson, has been dubbed ‘the Squirrel killing Minister for Wildlife’, after he boasted of slaughtering grey squirrels on his land.
A fellow Conservative has been quoted in the press as saying: ‘I’m not sure what was more shocking – the dead squirrels or the smile on Owen’s face’.
The grey squirrel has the misfortune to be a successful species and is now persecuted by those of the same warped mentality that persecuted the red squirrel in the past. The grey was imported from America, where it is of a distinctly different genetic variety.
This war on our wildlife is not confined to non-indigenous species however, and Mr Cameron, Mr Paterson and the rest of this ‘Countryside Alliance’ cabinet, are now intent on massacring 70-per cent of our badger population over the next nine years, commencing in a few weeks’ time. Cameron is also intent on overturning the Hunting Act, especially since the Heythrop Hunt, Mr Cameron’s local hunt, has been successfully prosecuted by the RSPCA for hunting illegally.
M PRITCHARD (Mr) Linkside Avenue Oxford

(*) Liverpool Echo 24.4.13 Stop badger cull - THE government has announced that the badger cull will go ahead… Please help, tell the government that they need to reconsider the cull, as it is not an effective method of controlling Bovine TB. James C. Maxwell, Old Swan (letter)

Female hunt rider hunted by police.
Police are looking for a woman horse-rider who hit a 63-year-old with her whip as he watched a Dorset hunt.
Friday 26 April 2013

Officers in Sturminster Newton are stepping up their appeal for witnesses and information after a man was assaulted during a hunt in a rural location near to the town – with police now issuing an image of a woman they would like to speak with.

Police have released these pictures of the woman in question

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.

North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

07960 038230

Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports

Western Morning News 22.4.13 Hunting was taking place, court hears, but joint master is innocent - The charge of illegal hunting against Somerset huntsman George Milton was dismissed with no case to answer. The defendant emerged without a stain on his character but the case was not entirely clear cut. Tina Rowe reports… The Crown Prosecution Service brought the case against George Milton, 54, Huntsman and Joint Master of Weston and Banwell Harriers… (story)
Western Morning News 22.4.13 Cleared... but huntsman still a victim of countryside 'war' - The League Against Cruel Sports has stepped up efforts to win some convictions for what is claims is illegal hunting still going on in the countryside. Specialist country sports and rural affairs lawyer Jamie Foster, a partner in Taunton-based Clarke Willmott, believes they are failing… (story)
Western Morning News 22.4.13 Eight years since the Hunting Act, but this battle between the still-thriving hunts and their opponents continues to rage By Philip Bowern - The act of Parliament banning hunting with dogs is now eight years old – but the controversy surrounding the subject and the vigour with which anti-hunt groups pursue hunts they believe are breaking the law shows little sign of dying down…. (story)
Western Morning News 22.4.13 In my opinion: Temporary lull in battle over countryside's bad law - It is hard to imagine there is a war in the countryside. Now that spring is here there has been a temporary ceasefire. Hunts all over the country have finished for the season. Horses and hounds will be rested until the autumn. Meanwhile the League against Cruel Sports will have few months to focus on its other campaigns, to prepare equipment and its monitors for re-engagement…. (story)

(*) Horse & Hound 22.4.13 Hunts rally against tough season - Hunting Office director Tim Easby has saluted masters and hunt staff for persevering through an “absolute swine of a season”.

Autumn hunting was delayed due to the very wet ground and meet cards were further disrupted by the continued heavy rainfall, snow and freezing weather.

The outbreak of equine herpes virus (EHV-1) in Gloucestershire “compounded what was already a very difficult season”, said Mr Easby.

“It made it very difficult for hunts to accept visitors,” he said. “There also seems to have been an increase in antis trying to film our activities — and hunts have coped remarkably well with the extra burden from ‘monitors’ trying to catch them out.”

Mr Easby also cited two “particularly spineless incidents” — in which the High Peak huntsman and a Badsworth and Bramham Moor supporter were seriously assaulted — as a return to “old-fashioned” violent behaviour by sabs.


But Mr Easby stressed that the hunting community was extraordinarily resilient.

“The determination, spirit and the atmosphere at hunt balls and end-of-season dinners, has been such that you wouldn’t believe it had been a difficult year,” he said.

He has also been cheered by the number of people coming forward to be masters and applications from “seven really good candidates” for the hunt bursary scheme.

“I think if we survived last season, we can survive just about anything,” he added.

(*) Western Daily Press 22.4.13 RSPB criticised for speaking at anti-shooting seminar - The RSPB defended itself against accusations it was “sullying its own reputation” by taking part in an event calling for shooting to be banned. The Royal Society’s head of investigations, Bob Elliot, has taken up an invitation to be the keynote speaker at a controversial seminar organised by the League Against Cruel Sports, entitled Gunning For Change, which the league is billing as an event to “expose” the game shooting industry…. The Countryside Alliance’s Dorset-based executive chairman said that the RSPB would be “seriously compromising its claim to be neutral” on the issue of game shooting if Mr Elliot took part in the conference, a claim he vigorously dismissed yesterday… (story)

(*) Herald 22.4.13 The Scottish Government should act immediately to get rid of snaring - YOU report in a Briefing paragraph that a cat has been caught in an illegal snare near Buckie ("Cat found killed by illegal snare", The Herald, April 18)… Snaring is a stupid, cruel and ineffective way of controlling wildlife. It is banned in most European countries and the sooner Scotland bans it the better. George Leslie, SNP Against Snaring, North Glassock, Fenwick. (letter)

Dorset Echo 22.4.13 Queen guitarist Brian May to write song about cull -THE rock star owner of a nature reserve in Dorset is writing a protest song against the badger cull. Queen guitarist Brian May, who has land at Briantspuddle, is producing a track for the Team badger campaign against the slaughter… Mr May revealed the plans at a rally in Somerset as he warned that the Government was on the wrong path with the badger cull aimed at tackling tuberculosis in cattle… (story)
Western Daily Press 22.4.13 Brian May leads anti-badger cull rally in Taunton - Brian May warned supporters of the badger cull they are taking the “wrong path”, in a meeting in Somerset on the weekend, as he led a rally against plans to kill thousands of badgers, words he has spoken many times since the cull was announced…. (story)
Western Morning News 22.4.13 VIDEO: Rock star Brian May warns that badger cull is wrong By Adam Walmesley - Rock star and countryside campaigner Brian May has warned supporters of the badger cull they are taking the "wrong path" as he led a rally against plans to kill thousands of the wild animals in a bid to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis in cattle… (story)

(*) Express 22.4.13 Blind orphan fox cub saved by animal lover following attack in wild By: Jaya Sisodia - The six-week-old cub was found under a tree by an animal lover after his family had been killed, believed shot, in Banbury, Oxfordshire. He was taken to Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary where staff nursed him back to health… (story)

(*) Irish Times 22.4.13 Irish circuses could become 'dumping ground' for animals - Dan Griffin - Ireland could become a “dumping ground” for wild animals as Westminster prepares legislation outlawing their use in circuses, animal rights organisations have warned…. While the legislation was welcomed by campaign groups, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and The Captive Animals’ Protection Society have said English operations could now attempt to offload their animals on Irish circuses… (story)


Essex Chronicle

Members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association make assault claims By Megan Tatum - 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.

Lee Moon, a committee member of the HSA, said: "Faced with a clear breach of animal welfare law and numerous assaults to hunt saboteurs, Essex police responded by blaming the victims and ignoring crimes against wildlife. They seem to be acting in the time-honoured stance of turning a blind eye to hunt violence and animal cruelty."

A police spokesman said: "Police are investigating the circumstances around allegations of an assault at an organised hunt in Layer Breton.

"Officers had initially been called at 1.30pm on March 16 following reports that a man had been attacked.

"A 54-year-old man from Dalston in London was found to have suffered minor leg injuries after allegedly being assaulted by two men. Our investigations are continuing."

Caring family man and animal lover attacked by hunt thugs.


Hunt saboteurs Association Press Release. 17th March 2013

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 attacked.

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.”

Crime reference: Essex Police 540160313

Twitter: @EssexPoliceUK

All Press enquiries: press@huntsabs.org.uk

It's not just the Essex and Suffolk hunt that attack decent people - it seems as though there may have been some kind of 'planned' intimidation and harassment towards myself (March 2nd, 2013) by some members of the Flint & Denbigh hunt (here in Denbighshire) including M**k F*****s (originally from Rhyl). It was this same evil scum that I believe deflated my rear tyre too. 
Ed, you must be so proud to be connected to these hunt thugs and criminals!

Fox attack: Dogs belong to foot hunt

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Carmarthen Journal


INVESTIGATORS say they have identified the hunt which owns the pack of hounds that appeared to rip apart a fox on a busy Carmarthen road earlier this month.

Dyfed-Powys Police and the RSPCA are now working on a joint investigation into the incident on the A40 near Abergwili on Saturday, February 16.

Witnesses travelling on a bus described how they watched in horror as dogs caught the fox.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said the hounds belonged to a foot hunt, but he would not say which one.

"We have taken many statements," he said.

"We have identified the hunt and the hunt master.

"It is a joint investigation between the police and the RSPCA."

Last week witnesses told the Journal how the dogs came down from the wooded area above the busy road.

One witness, who did not wish to be identified, reported the incident to the League Against Cruel Sports' Wildlife Crimewatch line and said: "I was on the 280 bus from Carmarthen to Llandeilo.

"At around 10.30am the bus came to an abrupt halt half a mile after the roundabout after Abergwili.

"I saw a pack of what seemed like hunting dogs bounding down from the wooded hill on to the road where there was oncoming traffic.

"The dogs seemed to be attacking and surrounding something that was covering them in blood and then I could just make out the shape of the fox.

"I could see the pack as clear as day on the other side of the road, and the attack happened for at least five minutes."

A picture, taken by one of the bus passengers, was posted on the Spotted Carmarthen Facebook page.

An accompanying comment said: "It was one the most horrible things to experience."

Police Inspector Craig Templeton said: "We are conducting an inquiry into the incident and have been in touch with colleagues in the RSPCA who are assisting us.

"While we are not making a further appeal for more witnesses we will of course listen to any information brought to us."

The Hunting Act 2004, which bans the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in Wales and England, came into force on February 18, 2005.

WAAC says - Foot packs like the Eryri and the Mid Wales Macynlleth hunt should be investigated - foot packs are basically terrier-men that use hounds to locate a fox so that the poor vixen can be dug out - these hunt thugs are PURE EVIL!!! 

Read more: http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Fox-attack-Dogs-belong-foot-hunt/story-18266187-detail/story.html#ixzz2MHXfQAAu
Follow us: @thisisswales on Twitter | thisissouthwales on Facebook

RSPCA could hire 'experienced criminal barrister' to review prosecutions, Attorney General suggests.
Britain’s most senior law officer has told the head of the RSPCA that he could consider hiring an ...

And the truth is here in RSPCA statement

This is yet another piece of misleading journalism from the Daily Telegraph who are the subject of a PCC complaint with regard to their continuing inaccurate coverage of the RSPCA’s historic and successful role in prosecuting those who abuse animals.

We were pleased but unsurprised to receive the endorsement of the Attorney General and MPs of all parties who recognise the importance of our prosecutions work.

During the recent Westminster Hall debate on the RSPCA’s role as a prosecuting body, the Attorney General said, “I am the first to recognise, as I am sure everybody in the room today does, that the RSPCA, through its charitable work, has performed an extremely valuable role in dealing with animal welfare and cruelty issues.”

He added that the RSPCA “...has its own prosecutions department and is seen as having expertise in this field, both as an investigator and prosecutor.”

In the Attorney General’s helpful letter to RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant, dated 30 January 2013, the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP does not suggest that a review of the Society's prosecutions is either necessary or desirable. He makes it clear that it is not his job to make such decisions and stresses that it is certainly not a task for HM Crown Prosecution Service.

Horror of bus passengers as they see pack of hounds ripping fox to pieces by side of busy main road 'in breach of hunting ban'

  • Bus passenger caught distressing images as hounds chased fox into road
  • Dogs attacked the whimpering fox after running into road in West Wales
  • Police are investigating the incident and studying CCTV from the bus
  • Master of local hunt has denied responsibility, saying its foxhounds were 20 miles away at the time

By James Rush

Shocked passengers on a bus watched in horror as a pack of hunting hounds ripped a terrified fox to bits on a busy main road.

The exhausted fox had been chased across country when it ran onto the road - where the ten hounds pounced.

An outraged bus passenger used his mobile phone to take a picture of the grisly scene which he posted on Facebook.

Shocked bus passengers watched in horror as a pack of hunting hounds chased a fox into the middle of a main road and attacked it

Horror: Shocked bus passengers watch as a pack of baying hounds attack a fox in the middle of the road in the village of Abergwilli, near Carmarthen

The exhausted fox had been chased across country when it ran onto the road - where the ten hounds pounced

Killing: The exhausted fox had been chased across country when it ran onto the road - where the ten hounds pounced

Onlookers had to put their hands over their ears as the ten baying hounds attacked the whimpering adult fox.

Police were today investigating the fox 'kill' on the A40 in the village of Abergwilli, near Carmarthen, West Wales.

One of the hounds was also killed when it was hit by a car as it followed the fox onto the country road.

The passenger said on Facebook: 'This morning on the A40 just coming out of Abergwili a group of hunting dogs came running down from the forest on the hill onto the busy road with a fox and started tearing it to pieces.

'One of the dogs was hit and killed by a car in the process and it was one the most horrible things to experience.

'If anybody knows who these dogs belong to and whether or not there was a hunt organised for this morning please contact the police. These people need to be sent down.'

Hunt: Martin Walters (centre) a master of the Carmarthenshire Hunt, which has denied being involved with the dogs

Hunt: Martin Walters (centre) a master of the Carmarthenshire Hunt, which has denied being involved with the dogs

The photograph was posted anonymously to the Spotted Carmarthen Facebook group.

Police investigating the incident are studying CCTV from a security camera mounted on the front of the bus.

The local Carmarthenshire Hunt yesterday denied responsibility saying its pack of foxhounds were 20 miles away at the time.

Joint Carmarthenshire huntmaster Martin Walters said: 'Our hounds were 20 miles away in the village of Pendine when this happened.

'We are a registered pack and we are regularly monitored.

'In fact we were being monitored by the National Trust on Saturday when this happened.'

Ban: The Hunting Act 2004 made hunting with dogs illegal, although exercising hounds, chasing a scent trail and flushing out foxes to be shot are all still legal. Pictured is Mr Walters (left) a master of a local Hunt

Ban: The Hunting Act 2004 made hunting with dogs illegal, although exercising hounds, chasing a scent trail and flushing out foxes to be shot are all still legal. Pictured is Mr Walters (left) a master of a local Hunt

Mr Walters said unlicensed hunting with foxhounds was going on in the area.

He said: 'There are so many rebel packs at the moment - it's getting ridiculous.

'These hounds could have come in from anywhere by people hunting on foot having a day out in the area.'

Fox: Animal rights campaigners claim loopholes in the law are continually being exploited

Fox: Animal rights campaigners claim loopholes in the law are continually being exploited

Joint huntmaster Lee Facey said: 'The Carmarthenshire Hunt was at a meet in Pendine, accompanied by animal rights campaigners and a police officer.

'No hunt would plan to take their hounds onto a road like that.

'I imagine that whoever was involved would have been operating within the law but that the dogs had gone off in what has ended up in this unfortunate incident.

'Obviously we realise it doesn't look good but I am sure whoever is involved in this would be full of remorse.'

The Hunting Act 2004 made hunting with dogs a criminal offence, although exercising hounds, chasing a scent trail and flushing out foxes to be shot are all still legal.

But animal rights campaigners claim loopholes in the law are continually being exploited.

A spokeswoman for The League Against Cruel Sports said: 'Wales and the Welsh borders are hotspots for this type of reckless behaviour.

'Reported incidences of hunt havoc and so called accidents indicate that some hunts in that area are going out intentionally to hunt wild mammals with dogs.'

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokeswoman said: 'We are investigating an incident which happened on the A40 shortly after 10.30am Saturday, February 16.

'As part of the investigation officers have been speaking with witnesses and members of the hunt to establish what happened.

'These inquiries are ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this point.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2281005/Horror-bus-passengers-pack-hounds-rip-fox-pieces-breach-hunting-ban.html#ixzz2LN15t2C5
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

'Blind eye' turned to hunt violence



The hunting ban was introduced under the Labour government in 2005

The hunting ban was introduced under the Labour government in 2005

The hunting ban is too often being ignored because the Government has given its tacit support to the blood sport, a Labour MP has claimed.

Chris Williamson said a "significant minority" of supporters were physically assaulting those who set out to monitor whether illegal hunts were taking place but the police were turning a blind eye because ministers had not issued clear guidelines that the ban introduced in 2005 needed to be enforced.

The MP, a trustee for the League Against Cruel Sports and a press officer for the Hunt Saboteurs Association in the 1970s, said he was "delighted" by the ban when it came into force. But the MP told the House of Commons the Government needed to give the police clear instructions to maintain the law.

The Derby North MP said: "Hunt violence and hunt havoc continue to blight the lives of ordinary people living in and visiting our beautiful countryside. I have to say that I have been genuinely shocked by the evidence that has been passed to me about the behaviour of these common criminals.

"Anti-social behaviour, intimidation, harassment, and even violence towards those even monitoring their activities are all too commonplace," he added. "I couldn't believe that the violence and intimidation that I witnessed in the 1970s is even worse today."

Turning to Home Office Minister Damian Green, he added: "Will you state for the record that as far as this government's concerned, no-one is above the law? And do you agree with me that the mixed messages from senior government ministers could be misinterpreted by some people as tacit approval to break the law?

"Will you urge your senior colleagues, including the Prime Minister, to stop criticising the Hunting Act?"

Mr Green said that since the ban came in to force nearly eight years ago, there had been more than 70,000 hunting days. Between 2005 and 2011 there had been 332 prosecutions, of which 239 people were found guilty. But he said he could not direct police forces to clamp down on hunting.

Mr Green said: "I should point out to you as gently as I can that it is not for ministers to tell chief constables how to do their job. One of things that we most cherish about British policing is that the police are operationally independent. There is not a single police officer in the country doesn't know that the Hunting Act is the law of the land. 

Conservative MPs chase votes in bid to overturn hunting ban - Main Section - Yorkshire Post
TORY MPs are “actively working” behind the scenes at Westminster to drum up support for a repeal of ...

No wonder the following report has made front page news in the Mail on Sunday, ahead of the horse meat fiasco... THEY NEED TO VILIFY FOXES AGAIN!!! SEE STORY BELOW!!
Edit Text

10th Feb 2013

If the mother had said it was a domestic dog that bit her baby - then this story would have been lucky to make even a single column towards the back of the paper - instead it made the whole front page ahead of other more importamt news. My former hair dresser who worked from home once told me how her dog had bitten her baby on the cheek out of jealousy. But I recall her looking any excuse to get rid if the poor spaniel - she seemed to dislike the dog. Apparently he had been her husbands before they married, and the scratch on her babies face was all she needed to get the poor dog put to sleep, even though I had offered to give him a home.
The story in the Mail on Sunday STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN.
Edit Text

(*) BBC News Online 7.2.13 Heythrop Hunt banned from National Trust land - An Oxfordshire hunt has been banned from using National Trust land after two of its members were convicted of illegal fox hunting. The Chipping Norton-based Heythrop Hunt will not have its licence to trail hunt on land in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire renewed in the spring…. (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 6.2.13 Heythrop Hunt banned from riding out on National Trust land By NADIA STONE - ONE of the West's most distinguished hunts has been banned from riding out on National Trust land after it admitted "repeated and gratuitous" breaches of the ban on foxhunting. In a strongly worded statement, the National Trust said land it owns in Gloucestershire would be out of bounds to the Heythrop Hunt because of a "serious breach of trust" by the hunt leaders… (story)
Mirror 6.2.13 Tally no! National Trust bans David Cameron's local hunt from its land - The Prime Minister rode with the Heythrop hunt in his Witney constituency before fox hunting became illegal in 2005 David Cameron’s local hunt is to be barred from riding over land owned by the National Trust after it was convicted of hunting a fox with dogs…. (story)
Telegraph 5.2.13 First shooting, now National Trust bans hunting – on estates created for country sports - The National Trust has banned David Cameron’s hunt from parkland created for hunting in the 17 Century following a controversial case brought by the RSPCA. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - Countryside campaigners have criticised the Trust for a 'populist' move and said instead it should be sticking up for the countryside…. Mr Barrington, a former director of the League Against Cruel Sports, pointed out that the Trust will still have to control animals like foxes using methods like shooting that can kill off the healthiest foxes and wound animals…. (story)

(*) Horse & Hound 7.2.13 Cattistock field master critically ill after fall on road - Cattistock field master Fiona Vigar remains critically ill following a hunting fall on 24 January. Mrs Vigar, 43, was leading joint-master and huntsman Will Bryer’s horse along a road in Loders, Dorset, when her horse slipped. She fell, hitting her head on the newly tarmacked road.
Surgeons at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, operated to remove a blood clot and she is being kept in a medically-induced coma.
Will Bryer said he hoped that Fiona — a former joint-master — would “muster that incredibly strong character that we all know and love to pull herself back to us”. She is, he added, “a mainstay of the hunt”.

(*) Kent Courier 7.2.13 Huntsman in Benenden shooting trial admits he lied about owning a gun - A HUNTSMAN accused of shooting his former Benenden lover felt "sheer panic" when police questioned him about the night of the attack, a court heard today… (story)
(*) Kent Online 7.2.13 Ex-hunt master Brian Fraser denies shooting ex-lover Louise Leggatt by Keith Hunt - A former hunt master accused of shooting his ex-lover after she rebuffed him has denied he ever tried to rekindle the romance after he left her…. (story)
Telegraph 5.2.13 Huntsman claims he was framed after 'murder weapon' found on his land - A huntsman claimed he was being framed after a shotgun suspected to have been used to gun down a horsewoman was found hidden on his land, a court heard today. Brian Fraser, 63, told police he had no idea how the single-barrelled 12-bore shotgun came to be concealed between two hay bales along with some shotgun cartridges…. (story)
BBC News Online 5.2.13 Kent huntsman Brian Fraser claims he 'was framed' - A Kent huntsman accused of trying to kill his former lover claimed he was being framed after a shotgun was found hidden on his land, a court has heard…. (story)
Kent & Sussex Courier 1.2.13 Huntsman 'shot his ex after racing date snub' By Scarlet Jones - THE former lover of Louise Leggatt, a veterinary nurse from Benenden, has appeared in court accused of trying to murder her after she spurned his advances… (story)
Kent & Sussex Courier 1.2.13 'Violent' ex denies trying to kill woman By Scarlet Jones - THE trial of a man accused of trying to murder a veterinary nurse with a shotgun was told he had previously beaten her. Louise Leggatt was shot in the garden outside her Benenden home when she went out to tend her horses one evening in March last year. Mrs Leggatt's ex-boyfriend, Brian Fraser, 64, of Criol Lane, Shadoxhurst, denies attempted murder… (story)
Mail 31.1.13 Former showjumper sobs as she relives 'terrifying' moment gunman shot her and she dragged herself inside home to call police By Anthony Bond - A horsewoman today described how she was left 'absolutely terrified' after being shot outside her country home…. (story)
Mail 31.1.13 Spurned huntsman, 63, 'hid in bushes outside horsewoman's home and shot her after she ended their affair' By Claire Ellicott - A marrried master of fox hounds shot his ex-lover after she rejected his bid to rekindle their romance, a court heard yesterday… (story)
BBC News Online 31.1.13 Kent huntsman Brian Fraser trial: Woman 'terrified by shooting' - A woman was "absolutely terrified" after being shot by a gunman who was hiding in the bushes outside her home, a court has heard. Louise Leggatt suffered leg injuries when she was shot as she tended her horses in Benenden on 15 March… Brian Fraser, 63, has denied attempted murder but admitted possessing a firearm without a licence. The court was told Mr Fraser, of Criol Lane, Shadoxhurst, was a former boyfriend who Ms Leggatt had met through the Ashford Valley Hunt…. (story)
Mirror 31.1.13 "I was absolutely terrified": Showjumper tells court how she was blasted by gunman who hid in bushes - Wealthy equestrian Louise Leggatt was shot in the leg as she went to tend to her horses around 9.30pm on March 15 last year…. (story)
Kent Online 31.1.13 Showjumper Louise Leggatt relives moment she was shot while tending horses in Benenden by Keith Hunt - A divorcee has today told of the terrifying moment she was blasted in the thigh and abdomen as she tended her horses one evening…. (story)
Kent Online 30.1.13 Former hunt master Brian Fraser tried to kill ex-lover Louise Leggatt as she tended horses in Benenden, court told by Keith Hunt - A scorned former hunt master tried to kill his ex-lover by shooting her as she tended her horses, a court heard…. (story)
Mail 30.1.13 Spurned huntsman, 63, 'hid in bushes outside horsewoman's home and shot her after she ended their affair' By JAMES RUSH - A spurned huntsman tried to kill a horsewoman by shooting her outside her home in a quiet village after she ended their relationship, a court heard today. Brian Fraser, 63, pulled the trigger 'in a fit of pique' in a bid to kill Louise Leggatt, 54, as she went to tend to her horses at Apple Pie Farm in Benenden, Kent, on March 15 last year, it was alleged… When Fraser, who was a master of the Ashford Valley Hunt, was arrested and questioned by police he initially said he was at home with his wife on the evening and did not own a shotgun… (story)

(*) Cornish Guardian 7.2.13 Columnist Andrew Gordon gets to grips with the howling hounds of Bodmin Moor. PEOPLE will complain about most things, but noise disturbing their peace and quiet is always a good excuse to fire a letter off to the powers that be…. Holiday guests of a St Breward resident have complained about the noise made by a pack of hounds kept in the village by the North Cornwall Hunt… (story)
Western Morning News 1.2.13 Lone howl of protest threatens to silence pack of hounds - An historic Cornish hunt could be stopped after a holiday-home owner – who advertises "dog friendly" cottages to let – complained about the noise of the hounds… local businessman David Clarke claims the baying, barking and howling of the hounds disturbs his customers and ruins the tranquillity of the moors…. (story)
Cornish Guardian 30.1.13 Howling hounds disturb peace of Bodmin Moor visitors. HOWLING hounds on Bodmin Moor are disturbing the peace of holidaymakers, and local people fear action could now be taken to cut their numbers. The North Cornwall Hunt has kept its foxhounds in kennels at St Breward for more than 100 years, but now the local authority has demanded action is taken over the noisy dogs. A man who owns holiday accommodation in St Breward complained to Cornwall Council's environmental health department… But people living in St Breward are outraged, and fear the hunt will have to get rid of some of the 50-strong pack… John and Kirstie Hewitt live next door to the kennels at Tor Down Quarry… "I'm not particularly pro-hunt but I'm very upset at what is happening, and so are most of the people in the village – it's outrageous and we want the kennels to stay here in St Breward… (story)

RSPCA raises £160,000 to prosecute illegal hunts

The RSPCA, Britain's biggest animal welfare charity, has amassed a £160,000 “fighting fund” in just eight weeks to pay for “major prosecutions” against illegal hunts and other groups, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Gavin Grant, the charity’s chief executive, said the cash in the fund had “skyrocketed” in the wake of its successful action against the Heythrop Hunt, with which David Cameron used to ride before the hunting ban.

Mr Grant disclosed that he had set up the “legal fighting fund” in early December, weeks before the case was due to start against the Heythrop.

He said that since then he had the fund had “already received £160,000 in contributions”, adding: “It is for those individuals who wish to subscribe to the work of the society in major prosecutions which are likely to be costly, as with the Heythrop Hunt, which are complicated and substantial.

“There should be capacity for those individuals who wish to subscribe to be able to do so. So I have established a legal fighting fund – a number of individuals have come forward and subscribed to it.”

The RSPCA spent £326,000 on the Heythrop prosecution – nearly 10 times the cost of the defence’s £35,000 legal bill – some of it on external firms of lawyers when the RSPCA has its own legal team.

Where is your money going? The RSPCA often brings cases of animal cruelty, including hunting, to court Photo: Paul Grover

The judge in the case criticised the charity’s “staggering” prosecution costs and asked whether the cash could be more “usefully employed”.

The Heythrop pleaded guilty to hunting a wild fox with dogs, claiming it could not afford to fight the charges. A former huntsman and huntmaster also pleaded guilty.

After the prosecution MPs and peers wrote to the Charity Commission, which regulates charities, claiming that the RSPCA’s trustees had breached their duty of prudence by sanctioning the prosecution.

This week the Commission cleared the trustees of any wrong doing, although the charity’s trustees were asked to review its prosecution policies.

In the interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Grant denied the charity was pursuing a politically motivated case against the Heythrop.

Sir Edward Garnier, who was solicitor general until September last year, criticised the RSPCA in a Parliamentary debate, suggesting there was a danger of the RSPCA “using the weapon of the state prosecution for political campaigns”.

Mr Grant denied the charity was pursuing a politically motivated case against the Heythrop.

Asked if donations had slowed since the Heythrop case, he said: “No not all - in fact this legal fund has skyrocketed. There has been no reduction.”

Mr Grant, a former chairman of the Liberal Democrats in the west of England, denied that he was pursuing a political agenda.

He said: “I gave that [the Lib Dem role] up to join the RSPCA and so the suggestion that I am pursuing a political career out of this is a nonsense.

“I have good friends in all of the parties and plenty of friends with no political affiliation as well.

“People who know me know I am not interested in scoring party political points – I am interested in animal welfare.”

He said he was keen to help other hunts to obey the law and had written to landowners and hunts asking them to set up a new trade association.

Mr Grant said: “I have written to major land owners and to the various hunt trade bodies suggesting to them that it would be timely to form properly constituted trail and drag hunting association to ensure that hunts were acting within the law.”

On the Heythrop case, Mr Grant said that not one of the charity’s trustees had objected to the prosecution.

He said: “The RSPCA has acted in accordance with its charitable objectives as it has done since it was founded in 1824 to ensure that those who perpetrate abuse of animals and who break the law for profit or for pleasure are brought to justice.”

The RSPCA denied that the Commission had asked it to set up the fund. In a statement last night, the RSPCA added that the legal fighting fund “was set up to give our supporters and the wider public the opportunity to contribute to the full range of the RSPCA's legal work.

“This money will be used in helping to prosecute people who break the law, which includes all illegal activities around animal cruelty and also work in relation to a possible judicial review on the issue of the live export of animals from the UK

“It was not a requirement from the Charity Commission. It was set up before the meeting with the Charity Commission and before the Heythrop Hunt trial.

“We have set up funds like this in the past and around specific issues and welfare campaigns to gain support for the work we do.

“There is nothing unusual about this activity. We will also continue to use our general funds to support our prosecutions work.” 

IFAW UK Director Robbie Marsland - Field Hunt Monitoring
In this video blog, Robbie Marsland, UK Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)...

WAAC note - I am finding the same thing happening to us on occasion when we go out to observe and film the Flint & Denbigh hunt... It cannot be allowed to continue! The police are going to have to sort these people out and stop them hunting and horrifically killing foxes!!!! It really is a war out there!!

Westminster debate highlights RSPCA support


Today’s debate in Westminster Hall, which challenged our role in bringing forward private prosecutions, only served to show how much cross-party support there is for the RSPCA from politicians.

The debate was sponsored by Simon Hart MP, the former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance which campaigns for the return of blood sports.

Upholding animal welfare

The RSPCA was formed in 1824 for the very purpose of investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty offences.

The Attorney General himself, Dominic Grieve QC MP, said the RSPCA plays a "valuable role" in protecting animal welfare.

And in the words of shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry MP:

Can we trust the RSPCA? The truth is that the vast majority of the public think they can.

Simon Danczuk, Labour MP for Rochdale, added: "Upholding the law is not a political act", a viewpoint re-iterated by Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green party, who quoted RSPCA founder Richard Martin saying the law is worthless if not upheld.

Cheryl Gillan MP for Chesham and Amersham, who witnessed the RSPCA's investigation and prosecution expertise first hand during the multi-horse Spindles Farm case, said: "I am second to none in my admiration for the RSPCA."

The former Secretary of State said the RSPCA was well placed to uphold animal welfare through court proceedings and questioned how many other organisations would have taken the Spindles Farm case.

Investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty

We take our responsibilities as a prosecuting body extremely seriously and will continue to do so. We are as committed to our mission, to promoting compassion to all creatures and prevent cruelty, as ever.

Find out more about our prosecutions work and how we decide to prosecute.

Pro-hunt alliance funded RSPCA infiltrator

Special report: the countryside in crisis

The pro-hunting Countryside Alliance covertly funded an attempted infiltration of the RSPCA led by a former Olympic showjumper, according to leaked documents seen by the Guardian.

The animal charity has accused Richard Meade, who won three Olympic medals in 1968 and 1972, of spearheading a campaign to encourage 600 hunt supporters to join the society to overturn the society's long-standing opposition to bloodsports.

Mr Meade faces possible expulsion by the RSPCA, which is planning to look at legal options to force him to leave the society at a future meeting of its ruling council.

His group, the Countryside Animal Welfare Group, set up five years ago, consists of 5,000 RSPCA members who want to make the charity support fox hunting.

The internal accounts of the Countryside Alliance, seen by the Guardian, show that in 1999, it gave Cawg at least £13,490 to fund a mailshot and the "fees and expenses'' of Mr Meade. The alliance admitted that this was part of a larger sum over a longer period but declined to disclose the full amount that had been given to the showjumper.

Nigel Henson, the alliance's director of communications, said the unpublicised funding was "entirely consistent'' with its support for Cawg's aims. He added: "This is yet another disingenuous attempt by the anti-hunting lobby to smear the reputation of the alliance, and we are fed up with it.'' Mr Meade said Cawg had "certainly'' received money from the alliance, but was "not part'' of the alliance. `On the whole, we are separate, particularly now. Initially there was a bit of help,' he said.

Ben Stewart of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said: "This is blatant dirty tricks. You have to wonder just how low this lot will sink.'' In January, the RSPCA won the legal right to make people say why they wanted to join the society after an attempt by Mr Meade to recruit members of hunts.

Eyewitness accounts suggest suspicious behaviour of hunts in the South West

Eyewitness accounts suggest suspicious behaviour of hunts in the South West
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
London, UK

A recent video filmed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org) reveals its suspicions about the activities of hunts operating in the South West.

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, recently observed the behaviour of people normally associated with hunting activities which suggested that the hunt may have something to hide. In the video, Mr Marsland explains what he experienced during a day out with IFAW’s Wildlife Crime Investigators, where it appears that they had the path of their vehicles obstructed and were filmed by people who were following them for hours.

Hunts often claim that they are trail hunting (i.e. following a laid scent rather than chasing a live fox which is illegal under the Hunting Act 2004). They often say that they are not pursuing wild animals for sport and that any animal fatalities have been the result of an accident. However, IFAW’s professional Wildlife Crime Investigators, who are out in the countryside observing hunts to ensure that they are complying with the law, are regularly followed, intimidated and sometimes even assaulted by people associated with the hunts they are investigating.

In this and other recorded instances, suspicious people, sometimes wearing balaclavas, seem to be going to great lengths to gather information on IFAW’s monitoring team and to stop them from witnessing the activities of the hunt more closely. 

IFAW welcomes genuine drag hunts, which lay non-fox-based trails away from land where they have been asked not to trespass, but are wary of individuals who are behaving in an intimidating way against those who are peacefully and quietly observing hunts from authorised land, as it suggests that the hunt may have something to hide.

IFAW is calling on the police to monitor hunts claiming to be conducting trail hunting and yet behaving in such a suspicious manner, and to carefully consider claims of accidental fox kills by ‘out of control’ dogs.

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: “From what I saw whilst monitoring, I have grave concerns about the safety of IFAW’s Wildlife Crime Investigators who are being subjected to intimidating tactics by individuals who seem to be hunt supporters. 

“I am also concerned that some hunts which claim to be trail hunting are running amok across the countryside and may be breaking the law by chasing and killing foxes.  I strongly urge forces in Dorset, where I saw this worrying behaviour, to take action.”

Following his experience, Mr Marsland immediately wrote to the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for the area and met with the Assistant Chief Police Officer of Dorset Constabulary to express his concerns and urge them to take action.

IFAW is committed to ensuring that the Hunting Act continues to be enforced across the country. Its hunt monitors will continue to work tirelessly to document the illegal activities of a minority of individuals who are breaking the law.


Notes to Editors:

The video is available on Youtube and can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/Qrwafab7yjk

Please note: IFAW has no evidence that the activities seen in the video were approved by the leadership of the hunt being investigated.

Drag hunting involves riders pursuing a pack of dogs along a trail of artificial scent laid down minutes earlier, usually taking the riders over jumps including fences, walls, hedges and ditches. 

Trail hunting uses a fox-based scent and its aim appears to be to replicate many of the aspects of live quarry hunting.

If hunts are exercising their hounds or following a scent, and the hounds follow a fox, then the hunts must call the hounds back. The control of hounds is a crucial point. The whippers-in, the hunt master and others are responsible for the hounds and they must be controlled either by whip, horn, or voice command. Hunts that allow their hounds to follow a fox are breaking the law.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 Is Countryside Alliance trying to influence police policy?
(*) Western Morning News 24.1.13

Following the way that the Countryside Alliance organised a vendetta against the RSPCA for the successful prosecution of the Heythrop hunt, both the media and a collection of pro-hunt Conservative MPs are trying to bully the Charity Commission to take action against the country's number one animal protection organisation. No one, it seems, is allowed to protect wildlife if the hunters have their sights on it – then it will be called 'wildlife management'.

They were all shouting from the rooftops that the RSPCA was politically motivated in its legal action. But this must now be viewed as the Countryside Alliance's most hypocritical action as that organisation has now arranged a meeting on rural crime in the South West to be attended by new politicians who are now entering the police force. All three main parties put up candidates for the Police and Crime Commissioner posts. Many regions opted for the independent candidate, but alas not Devon & Cornwall, the Conservative candidate won.

Perhaps the Alliance are worried that hunting may be looked at more carefully and so they may wish to bend the ear of the Commissioner to not commit any resources for policing illegal hunting. After all they did advise their members that for Devon and Cornwall, Tony Hogg was their first choice for Police and Crime Commissioner. Perhaps they view this meeting as an opportunity to receive some payback for supporting Mr Hogg during the election.

Interestingly the meeting will take place on Thursday 21 February at 2pm at the National Farmers' Union (NFU) headquarters, Pynes Hill in Exeter. Perhaps the badger cull may also be on the agenda as following the postponement of last year's badger cull, as new locations are being considered and Cornwall may be a better bet with so many pro-cull farmers supporting the badger cull rather than vaccinate both cattle and badgers.


This would be a disaster for the holiday and leisure industry as the moors and countryside would be filled by farmers and shooters out with high velocity rifles, killing badgers on warm summer evenings, in a vain attempt to halt bTB in cattle, but then would that worry the hunters and cattle barons?

However if you are interested in attending, please contact Countryside Alliance South West Regional Director, Alison Hawes.

(*) Horse & Hound 24.1.13 Parliament to debate the role of the RSPCA - Flora Watkins - MPs are to debate the role of the RSPCA as prosecutor, in the wake of the charity’s controversial court case against the Heythrop.
The debate was requested by Simon Hart MP. Mr Hart, a former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, is among those to have heavily criticised the RSPCA for spending £326,000 on prosecuting the Heythrop.
He told H&H that the purpose of the debate, the first of its kind, “was to question whether a charity that acts as a prosecutor, and which claims to comply with the Crown Prosecution Service’s guidance on prosecutions, is conflicted by the fact that it also has a political and commercial interest in the cases that it takes.”
The debate will be held next Tuesday (29 January) in Westminster Hall.
Mr Hart told H&H that he also wanted to highlight that the charity’s good work “on the ground” was compromised by “an increasingly animal rights-based agenda being pursued by the RSPCA leadership”.
The Heythrop was fined at Oxford Magistrates Court on 17 December 2012 after admitting unlawful hunting.
Former huntsman Julian Barnfield and former senior master Richard Sumner also pleaded guilty.
But District Judge Tim Pattinson said the £326,000 the RSPCA spent on the case was a “staggering” figure.
He said: “Members of the public may feel that RSPCA funds can be more usefully employed.”

(*) Daily Post 24.1.13 Anti-hunt campaigner defends under-fire RSPCA by Andrew Forgrave - A PROMINENT animal welfare campaigner has leapt to the defence of the under-fire RSPCA.
Judi Hewitt, of Wales Against Animal Cruelty, accused rural lobby groups of conducting a “witch hunt” against the animal charity following its prosecution of the Heythrop hunt, Oxfordshire.
In recent months the RSPCA has found itself facing criticism for “politically motivated” actions which have insensed farming and countryside organisations.
They include:
The charity’s role in the shooting of more than 40 sheep at Ramsgate port in September;
Chief executive Gavin Grant’s threat to “name and shame” people who particpated in England’s planned badger cull;
The revelation it spent £330,000 prosecuting the Heythrop hunt.
Criticism from dog breeder over its stance on pedigree dogs;
Concerns over the RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme for farmed salmon.
Mrs Hewitt accepted the charity had made mistakes but said its intentions were honourable.
“I'd be the first to admit that the RSPCA have been far from perfect,” she said.
“But its new leader Gavin Grant has proved to be a real advocate for animals, which is why I have reinstated and upped my monthly donation to the charity.
“What is outrageous is the media witch hunt against the RSPCA for spending a large sum of money prosecuting the Heythrop hunt.”
Ms Hewitt, who regular monitors hunts in North Wales, said the RSPCA was paying the price for targeting David Cameron's former hunt.
She added: “It already spends far more every year on court costs for other animal abuse cases, so why should spending a large amount of money – some of it mine – seeking justice for foxes, be any different?”
The FUW says it has repeatedly written to the Charity Commission regarding the RSPCA’s use of “misleading campaigning” and a “lurch towards extremism”.
But the charity has insisted it always acts within the law and more than 98% of its prosecutions are successful.
A Government e-petition has been launched by dog breeder Mike Davidsohn which accuses the RSPCA of using “bully boy tactics” against the public and “misusing” donations for political gain.
The petition, which asks the Government to introduce new rules governing charities’ political lobbying, had been signed by 7,159 people by yesterday.
However, the RSPCA’s own Government e-petition, calling for a halt to live animal exports, has been signed by 34,500 people.
It has also raised £90,000 so far from supporters for a fighting fund so it can launch a legal challenge to the live export trade.

(*) Oxford Mail 24.1.13 The law of the land on hunts? SO THE Countryside Alliance contacted the Charity Commission over the prosecution brought by the RSPCA against the Heythrop Hunt… I also question the whole affair by wondering why the police and the CPS were not prosecuting a blatant breach of the law of the land…. D. MACDONALD, Wadards Meadow, Witney (letter)

[I needed to subscribe to get the full story]  Third Sector 23.1.13 RSPCA complains to the Press Complaints Commission about The Daily Telegraph By Andy Ricketts - Chief executive Gavin Grant says the national newspaper has run factually inaccurate articles that smear the charity - The RSPCA is to submit a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about The Daily Telegraph newspaper’s "potentially defamatory" coverage of the charity…. The newspaper has written a large number of stories about the RSPCA since its successful private prosecution in December of members of the Heythrop Hunt… (story)

Oxford Mail 23.1.13 Illegal hunting punishment was feeble - I AGREE with the points raised in Adrian Taylor’s letter. The small fine given to the Heythrop Hunt is meagre and will not affect the wealthy huntsmen.

The penalties must be at a level which deters and shows that this cruel, outdated practice is unacceptable.

Secondly, it is unfair that the RSPCA has to spend large amounts of money to pursue a matter of animal law. Justice appears to be on the side of the rich.

Hunting foxes became illegal in 2005. Despite the ban, all packs continue to hunt. Some follow artificial scent trails, while others carry on hunting as before, totally ignoring the intention of the law.

Pamela Treadwell, Dodgson Road, Cowley, Oxford

Hunting support?
Cotswold Journal
Latest roundup of letters and stories nationwide.

RE your piece “Crowds in show of support for hunts” (Journal, January 3).
A bit surprised to see a Countryside Alliance ‘press release’ in my local paper.

Where was the impartiality, the hint that fox hunting (not including “exempt” hunting) is illegal, the fact that it is obvious to any observer with the most basic understanding that all the hunts mentioned are still drawing coverts, still hunting foxes, still blocking roads, in fact doing everything they did before the Hunting Act was passed.

I would be astonished if all of the people present “supporting” hunting would have reacted with glee at the bodies of six fox foetuses we picked from the mud after their heavily pregnant mother had been torn apart by hounds.

Does the author of this piece think that the average person would show their children that scene of carnage?

I also suspect that the public might find the trashing of badger setts rather distasteful.

Funny how the local press are often silent when we provide film of these atrocities and yet see fit to spew out this sickly, glossed-over tripe.

LYNN SAWYER Evesham [A POWA Associate]

(*) Wells Journal 10.1.13 RSPCA is in the Alliance's sights - Another day, another year and the Countryside Alliance will have a go at anyone who cares about the welfare of animals.

The countryside blood sports Public Enemy Number 1 used to be the League Against Cruel Sports for their opposition to hunting, coursing and shooting. But recently it was the RSPB that was elevated to the Public Enemy Number 1 status, this was due to their campaigns like lead in shot and the 'scorched earth' management of some moorland environments solely for the production of pheasant shooting estates' profits.

Now the Heythrop is the Oxfordshire hunt that Charlie and Rebekah Brooks, Jeremy Clarkson, Andy Coulson and of course David Cameron all support and so the police and CPS would never dare investigate this hunt.

It's rather like the early days of the phone hacking scandal where everything was blamed on a single rogue reporter and no further investigation was carried out.

This was a great piece of work by the RSPCA and a great shame that the pro-hunt judge failed to award the charity with full costs. But in taking this case forward all the knives are being deployed by the pro-blood sports lobby.

The RSPCA has now the honour of being the blood sports lobby groups Public Enemy Number 1.

One wonders who will be next in the Countryside Alliance's sights, perhaps the Royal Institute for the Deaf for not getting its members out of the way quickly enough of a local shoot!

Graham Forsyth   Fairway Rise, Chard  [A POWA Associate]

BBC News Online 9.1.13  PMQs: Fox hunting ban question to David Cameron - David Cameron joked that "the only little red pests I pursue are in this House" when asked about the future of the fox hunting ban and Conservative pledges on a review of the law. [Worth seeing the brief video clip   (story) ]

(*) Western Gazette 10.1.13 Hunt leader: Vote to repeal could be win -HUNT leader Sir Barney White-Spunner has spoken out for the first time against the Government's refusal to allow a vote on repealing the hunting ban because it would be lost in Parliament. Sir Barney, the Dorset-based chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, criticised the view taken by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson that a free vote must not be rushed as it would be lost… Sir Barney described the court case against the Heythrop as 'the RSPCA's vendetta'. " (story)

(*) Scunthorpe Telegraph 10.1.13 Fox hunters should be dealt with in court says Barton reader - I AM against the fox hunt and have been for many years… Keep the fox ban - Sandra Brooks, Barton-upon-Humber (letter)

(*) Coventry Telegraph 10.1.13 DOES Kevin Lynch (Letters, January 2) really believe that the killing of foxes and squirrels is what should happen as they are only vermin?… I wonder if Mr Lynch would like to be hunted down by dogs and torn to pieces?… Andy McDonald, Standard Avenue, Tile Hill. (letter)

(*) Southern daily Echo 10.1.13 Not done with fox hunting - WHILST reading through the press, I have the feeling that the subject of fox hunting is to arise again – I thought the Government had put that one to bed. Wrong again. What disturbs me is what sort of people are they that like to chase a creature to exhaustion and then tear it apart with dogs… ALAN BLANDFORD, Southampton (letter)

(*) Wells Journal 10.1.13 Jason's splendid fox photo - Well done Jason Bryant for choosing to show the photograph of the fox at Secret World (Jason's Favourite, December 27) instead of photographing a meeting of the hunt… Jill Deane, Blake Road (letter)

(*) Lincolnshire Echo 10.1.13 Gamekeeper from Scunthorpe found guilty of using illegal poison to kill wild buzzards - A gamekeeper who used pheasants laced with an illegal poison to kill two wild buzzards has been fined £1,950. The bodies of the two birds were found on land at Bonsall Lane, in Blyton, near Gainsborough, on September 1 2011. The land is used for pheasant shooting and Robert William Hebblewhite, 72, from Appleby in Scunthorpe, is the self-appointed gamekeeper…. (story)

(*) Gloucester Citizen 10.1.13 Protect the badger fight group meet - BADGER campaigners are holding a drop-in event later this month. Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS), formed when plans for a controversial cull on the animals was announced, is holding the meeting in Hardwicke Village Hall on January 20…. (story)

Labour MP John Spellar claimed the "out of touch" prime minister was set to repeal the ban. It has been illegal to use dogs to hunt animals in England and Wales since 2005, and in Scotland since 2002.

Conservative chairman Grant Shapps said last month that he agreed with Environment Secretary Owen Paterson that a free vote for MPs on lifting the ban would be defeated

Hexham Courant 9.1.13 PROSECUTION OF HUNT HALTS DRIVE TO OVERTURN BAN - ON opening my post Boxing Day Hexham Courant I was sadly expecting the usual full page trumpeting of thousands of bloodthirsty hunt supporters gaily applauding the red coated warriors off to slaughter wild animals. What’s happening? There was just a tiny two column low key article… David Cameron’s cronies, The Heythrop Hunt, have been prosecuted for the first time by the RSPCA at a cost of £30,000, showing they mean business this time…. ALAN WRIGHT, Stocksfield (letter)

Hexham Courant 9.1.13 BLOODLUST - HUNTING with dogs is barbaric, illegal and unnecessary, so heralding the Tynedale Hunt as they paraded through Corbridge was distasteful… NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Nottingham Post 9.1.13 Who else will campaign against this unfairness? I READ Richard Baker's column on "Why lawyers don't need charity cash" (January 7) with great interest…I would argue that given that the Baker family were able to adopt their cat Jess while the RSPCA pursued prosecution of an illegal hunt, the charity is capable of multi-tasking and managing multiple agendas – as many charities have to… FERG SLADE Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service, Mansfield Road, Nottingham (story)

Worcester News 9.1.13 Hunting Act has not saved life of one fox - With respect to John Shearon (Worcester News, January 4) he is confused over the issue of hunting. Worcester MP Michael Foster never succeeded with any anti-hunting legislation. The time he wasted over hunting cost him his seat at the last election…. The resent prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt by the RSPCA put things into perspective. The RSPCA brought 52 charges against the hunt, withdrew most and were successful with just four after spending nearly £330,000 on the finest barristers and legal costs. While this was going on the RSPCA was announcing redundancies for more than 100 staff and destroyed 53,000 animals last year… JON BURGESS Malvern (letter)

Worcester News 7.1.13 We try to protect the foxes because we careI was listening to the radio in my kitchen and what I heard was very upsetting.

Someone was being interviewed about a fox hunt that took place in Ledbury in November.

They played on the radio the audio recording of a fox being killed and ripped apart by a pack of hounds.

The screams from the women trying to get the huntsmen to stop it made me feel sick.

The cruelty of this should be stopped straight away.

This man on the radio was saying that animal rights people don’t care about the foxes and that they are just political – what a load of rubbish.

The people who put themselves in danger trying to stop this cruel sport are brave and good people who care for our wildlife.

Why don’t they put the hunters in a field and train the hounds to chase them.

See how they would like to be frightened with nowhere to hide.

This is not political, it is protecting our wildlife from bloody-thirsty hunters who get a kick out of seeing a fox torn apart.


(*) Western Daily Press 8.1.13 Countryside Alliance chief hits out as ministers ditch hunting ban repeal - The leader of the hunting community in the region has spoken out for the first time against the Government’s refusal to allow a vote on repealing the hunting ban.

Sir Barney White-Spunner, the Dorset-based chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, criticised the view taken by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson that a free vote must not be rushed. Sir Barney White-Spunner has become the first from the pro-hunting lobby to abandon the Government’s line that the Hunting Act is not among its top priorities and call for the promised vote to repeal the laws.

It is the first such intervention from a community that had backed the government line that ministers had more important things to worry about and follows the first successful prosecution of a hunt – the Cotswolds-based Heythrop.

After Christmas, Mr Paterson said he wanted the Hunting Act repealed, but confirmed the Conservatives’ promise of a free vote on whether the issue should be debated by MPs again would not happen any time soon.

“There’s only a point having a vote if you’re going to win,” said the Environment Secretary. “At the moment, it would not be my proposal to bring forward a vote which we were going to lose. There needs to be more work done on MPs.”

Sir Barney said he disagreed with that view, and said he was confident the vote could be won as more MPs might changed their minds on repeal if the issue was debated again.

“While we understand the difficulties of coalition and that the numbers in the House of Commons are undoubtedly very close, we believe that a vote on repeal could be won, not least because any debate would again expose the Act as an illogical and illiberal mess,” he said.

Sir Barney believes there are fewer Conservative MPs opposed to repeal but that Scottish Labour MPs, voting on a law which affects England and Wales, are a problem.

“Support has grown to a point that we could be confident of winning a vote on the repeal of the Hunting Act among MPs in England and Wales, where the law takes effect,” he added.

Anti-hunt groups, including the League Against Cruel Sports, IFAW and the RSPCA, said the vast majority – three-quarters – of the population wanted the Act to stay.

Meanwhile, a fundraising campaign has been launched to help pay the legal bill and fines of the three huntsmen with the Heythrop Hunt, and the hunt itself, who all pleaded guilty to illegal hunting last season in the Cotswolds.

The Alliance paid tribute to Julian Barnfield, the now-retired hunt master of the Heythrop, after he admitted illegally hunting a fox three times in Gloucestershire and once in Oxfordshire. Sir Barney described the court case against him as ‘the RSPCA’s vendetta’.

“No other huntsman has had to endure so many allegations. He has never shirked from the limelight, being a consistently brilliant advocate,” said Sir Barney.

A Heythrop meet takes place in February to raise funds for the £25,000 fines and costs.

(*) Western Morning News 8.1.13 Review has no surprises but no mention of hunting - A renewed pledge to cull badgers, a Great Western rail link to Heathrow and greater devolved powers to the regions all featured in the Mid-Term Review… A Commons vote to repeal the ban on hunting, which featured in the original Coalition Agreement between the Tories and Lib Dems, did not feature, though ministers last month pledged it was still on the agenda…. (story)

(*) Hendon & Finchley Times 8.1.13 League against Cruel Sports and Countryside Alliance to debate hunting By Natalie O'Neill - Animal lovers and field sports enthusiasts will go head-to-head in a debate on hunting next week.

The League against Cruel Sports and the Countryside Alliance will discuss their legal and ethical arguments at Hendon Town Hall in The Burroughs on Wednesday, January 16.

The debate will be chaired by Middlesex University principle lecturer in law Dr Susan Pascoe from 4pm-5.30pm.

The event is free and refreshments will be available from 3.30pm. To book a place contact Sharon Procter on S.Procter@mdx.ac.uk

(*) Third Sector 8.1.13 Editorial: Standing up to the hunting lobby

Stephen Cook, editor

Stephen Cook, editor

The RSPCA should hold its nerve on hunt prosecutions, writes Stephen Cook

Thanks to Tim Pattinson, a district judge at Oxford Magistrates Court, the hunting lobby is in full cry over the RSPCA's recent successful private prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt and two huntsmen for chasing a fox. He said it was "staggering" that the charity had spent £327,000 on the case, and commented that the public might feel the funds could be better employed.

Leaving aside whether it's any business of the judge how the RSPCA uses its funds, his intervention sparked extensive media coverage and prompted Simon Hart, the Conservative MP who was chief executive of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance for seven years until his election in 2010, to write a letter of protest to the Charity Commission.

Addressed to the new commission chair, William Shawcross, and endorsed by a handful of other supportive MPs and peers, the letter expressed concern about the motivation for the prosecution and claimed the expenditure was a breach of the trustees' duty of prudence.

It seems unlikely that the commission will want to get involved, given its new emphasis on trustee responsibility and the fact that the RSPCA was acting within its charitable purposes and obtained prior sanction from its board for expenditure that amounted to about 6.5 per cent of its annual outlay on prosecutions.

It's also important to remember that the charity was acting to enforce the law of the land, and that it is the hunting lobby that is running a political campaign to change the law again. Meanwhile, the government declines to give MPs the free vote on hunting that it promised at the last election, for the simple reason that it knows they would stick with the hunting ban.

The RSPCA was wise to set up, just before this case, a special appeal to fund prosecutions. It might also want to review whether it got best value for money for the detailed study by lawyers of many hours of video. But the main point is that the charity should hold its nerve and continue with a mission that is endorsed by its supporters.

(*) Banwen Miners 8.1.13 Amazed at arrogance - I REFER to the article on the Banwen Miners Hunt (Post, Dec 27). The insolence and arrogance of hunters never ceases to amaze me.
They seem to think their selfish desires are above the law and act as if it's their right to maim and slaughter innocent animals.
Every piece of hard evidence of a fox being hunted and killed without mercy is a step towards bringing criminals to justice.
D Meskill
Sandfields, Port Talbot

(*) Lancashire Evening Post 8.1.13 Fox hunters must abide by the law - It seems that our ‘upper crust’ are determined to continue to flout the laws against hunting animals with dogs. They know there is little chance of their being brought to justice with so many of the top law enforcers being hunt members or sympathisers. Even when they are prosecuted by such as the RSPCA these organisations then face a witch hunt for profligate use of their funds.

Well if the police and judiciary won’t act who else will if not these animal welfare charities? The law is the law and must be enforced by the authorities even if they disagree with it.

Jeff McCann, Hoghton

Blackpool Gazette 7.1.13 MYSELF and many others lobbied against fox hunting. We were delighted to have won a victory when the last Labour government in 2005 passed a law making it illegal.

It is with great sadness I read reports in the national press that they are back killing foxes.

Campaigners have evidence of many hunts taking place.

Most people accept there isn’t any place for animal cruelty in a civilised society, and we should still care for our fellow creatures.

While people are struggling with low incomes, prices rising, jobs being axed among many problems, yet this government wants hunting back.

I hope hunts will respect the law as it stands.

With the government, we should all stand together against overturning the hunt ban.

Afterall, it is the wildlife and beauty of the planet at stake.

JEFFREY BILHAM  (Address Supplied)

 CPS must start to hunt the hunters  
Independent 4.1.13

Mr Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service (letters, 29 December), says that it is wrong to imply that the CPS is "reluctant to, and does not, prosecute hunting offences".

I am one of the group of monitors who supplied the footage used in the RSPCA's successful prosecution of the Heythrop hunt, and we turned to the RSPCA because more than 30 similar previous submissions by us, relating to several hunts in several counties, had not been prosecuted by the CPS. The RSPCA saw that our footage was of a high standard and duly prosecuted the Heythrop.

Mr Lewis refers to the 371 offences that have been charged by the CPS under the Hunting Act, which is very good; but, with a few exceptions, these have related to the horrible activity of hare coursing, undertaken by a few yobs with lurchers. The prosecution of the wealthy and powerful organised hunts has been another matter, mostly conspicuous by its absence, and I hope that the success of the RSPCA's prosecution will now encourage the CPS to look with new enthusiasm at evidence of the illegal hunting of deer and fox by gangs of animal abusers.

The public need to know that these people are subject to the law of the land. The implementation of the Hunting Act cannot be left to ordinary citizens and charities.

Penny Little   [A POWA Associate]

Great Haseley, Oxfordshire

The hunting law is not working. Hunting must be banned completely. So many hunts seem to believe that they are above the law and can continue regardless.

The Hunting Act was drawn up in such a way that the hunting brigade could still hunt. Unfortunately, they have abused it. If it were made a criminal offence even to hunt, there could be no dispute it.

Foxes would not get out of control if not hunted – contrary to Hilary Mills' suggestion (letters, 27 December). Not only do foxes control their own numbers, with some never breeding but acting as surrogate aunts, but more foxes are killed on the roads than are ever killed by huntsmen.

If the proper action had been taken by the authorities in the case of the Heythrop hunt, the RSPCA would not have been faced with such a huge bill. I commend the RSPCA.

P R Abbott

High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

(*) Dumfries & Galloway Standard 4.1.13 Hunt accused of killing fox illegally by Patricia Lewis - A fox was found ripped to shreds after a traditional Boxing Day hunt. A woman who was out walking her dog on Thursday was horrified to discover the remains of the animal lying by the side of a road near Gatehouse… Andrew Cook, master and huntsman of Dumfries and Stewartry Foxhounds group, insisted that they were not involved in the killing of the fox found by the walker. He said: “There were eight guns out and we killed two foxes, which is allowed under the law. The foxes were shot… (story)

 Darlington. (letter)

(*) Worcester News 4.1.13 Killing for the sake of it is outdated - I see the fox hunters are still hoping to get Michael Foster’s Hunting Bill overturned. This won’t happen because the hunters still want to kill animals for the sake of killing. This is not acceptable any more… JOHN SHEARON Worcester (letter)

(*) County Gazette 4.1.13 Secret World urges public badger cull petition - AN EAST Huntspill wildlife rescue centre is encouraging the public to write to a Government minister to protest against proposed badger culling. Secret World teamed up with the Somerset Badger Group and held another Badger Night Walk to encourage animal lovers to contact MP David Heath, Minister for Agriculture…. (story)

(*) Farmers Weekly 4.1.13 RSPCA launches Ramsgate legal battle - Philip Case - The RSPCA has launched a legal challenge against the export of live animals from a Kent port. The animal welfare charity lodged a claim in the High Court to seek a judicial review of the approval and supervision of live animal exports through the port of Ramsgate…. (story)




Vicious attack on Hunt Saboteur on Fox hunt's most prestigious Day

Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release.
26th December 2012

A hunt saboteur has been viciously beaten by supporters of the South Down and Eridge Foxhunt during their prestigious Boxing Day meet at the White Heart pub in Lewes, East Sussex. The saboteur was on his own in a vehicle when a hunt supporter got in through an unlocked rear door. A group of seven men then attacked him with walking sticks and he was forced to curl up to protect himself. He suffered severe injuries to his hands which he had used to cover his head. The attackers also stole an ipad, the vehicles keys and caused damage to the vehicle, including smashing the windscreen. One man has been arrested following the incident.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Boxing Day is the most prestigious, high profile day in the hunting calendar, the day when the national press are watching them and they are on their best behaviour. Yet still their violent supporters cannot control themselves and viciously attack those who peacefully oppose them. We are pleased the police have acted so promptly and are hopeful that more arrests will follow.”


Note to Editors
For photos of the smashed windscreen please see:

Previous incidents involving the South Down and Eridge can be seen here:

North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

07960 038230

Blog - http://nwhsa.wordpress.com

Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports

The evidence that convicted the Heythrop Hunt

Click on link below


From the Independent
(*) Guardian 19.12.12 We sued the Heythrop Hunt because it's our job to prevent cruelty to animals - The RSPCA has been accused of political motives in targeting David Cameron's local hunt. But we were compelled to act - Gavin Grant … (story)
[Many good comments, of which I have selected just three]
Puss   I was raised in the hunt circle and I've never come across a bigger load of pompous twonks in my life. If the RSPCA don't make a stand then the illegal hunters will continue to behave as if they are above the law. I donate to the RSPCA and I am delighted as to how they have spent the money in this case. Keep up the good work
Victoriatheoldgoth A very telling quote from the original news item on the trial - "attributing political motivation to the animal charity [the huntsman] said: "They could have picked on any other hunt but they picked on Heythrop because we are in David Cameron's constituency."  So, is he here admitting that they're all guilty of it? That similar footage of foxes being hunted and torn to pieces could have been filmed during 'any other hunt'?
Samvara I'm sorry, everyone. Earlier today, I posted the usual pointless rant against foxhunters, and made some meaningless comment of support for the RSPCA.  That was a bit daft, so I thought about it and now I have followed the link and made a donation to the RSPCA. That makes much more sense. Please, if you can afford to, do the same. You'll do some good, and you'll feel good.
(*) Gloucestershire Echo 19.12.12 RSPCA defends cost of fox hunting case - The RSPCA prosecuted the Heythrop Hunt for illegal fox hunting in the Cotswolds. This week, Oxford magistrates found the hunt and two of its members guilty and fined them. The case proved controversial, with critics questioning whether the RSPCA was making best use of money donated to it by members of the public. Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the charity defended its actions against the Chipping Norton-based hunt and said people knew what they were doing when they decided to give money… (story)
(*) Huffington Post 19.12.12 David Cameron: 'I Have Not Broken Law On Fox Hunting' By Ned Simons - David Cameron has insisted he has never illegally fox hunted, after members of his local hunt were convicted of hunting a wild fox with hounds…. (story)
(*) Oxford Herald 19.12.12 RSPCA defends £250k cost of taking fox hunters to court - THE RSPCA has defended itself after criticism that prosecuting an Oxfordshire hunt was “political”… (story)
(*) Morning Star 19.12.12 Cameron's hunt in the dock for fox killings by Peter Frost - Members of the Oxfordshire Heythrop Hunt have been convicted of hunting foxes illegally in a prosecution brought by the RSPCA. This is not just any bunch of Tory toffs on horses chasing a fox. It is David Cameron's and his notorious Chipping Norton set's very own local hunt… (story)
(*) Mirror 19.12.12 "Jail illegal fox hunters": RSPCA calls for stricter laws to crack down on cruelty - RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant says he is appalled that the maximum sanction at the moment is just a £5,000 fine - The RSPCA is on a collision course with David Cameron after demanding that illegal fox hunting carry a minimum sentence of two years in jail… (story)
(*) Oxford Mail 19.12.12 RSPCA defends £250k cost of taking fox hunters to court - THE RSPCA has defended itself after criticism that prosecuting an Oxfordshire hunt was “political”… (story)
(*) Evening Standard 19.12.12 The jacket fits for Rusbridger - Well done, the Guardian. The newspaper most savagely opposed to fox hunting got it right while covering the story about the RSPCA prosecuting Julian Barnfield, of David Cameron’s local hunt, the Heythrop, for killing a fox with hounds. Yesterday’s Guardian front page showed Barnfield in a green coat, which is correct as staff of the Heythrop and the Beaufort wear green… (story)
(*) Mail 19.12.12 Richard Kay - Huntsman goes a bit green over pretty in pink pictures - Fined £1,000 this week for illegally killing foxes, Heythrop Hunt stalwart Julian Barnfield, was amused to see pictures of himself in hunting pink, a colour he hasn’t worn for more than a decade. As the Heythrop’s popular kennel huntsman, Barnfield, 49, is required to wear green, because of the hunt’s links with the Duke of Beaufort whose staff livery is green…. (story)
(*) Telegraph 19.12.12 Animal abusers beware: the RSPCA bites - Criticisms by a judge won’t stop the RSPCA throwing its money and weight around in court. But is the animal charity’s mission becoming ever more political? By Harry Wallop - 'The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable” was how Oscar Wilde described fox hunting. District Judge Tim Pattinson missed a trick in not using the phrase when he rounded on the RSPCA, the animal charity, for spending what he said was a “staggering” amount of money in prosecuting the Heythrop Hunt… (story)
(*) Western Morning News 19.12.12 RSPCA face questions over cost of prosecuting PM's local hunt - The Heythrop case put the hunting debate back on the front pages. Tim Bonner gives his view… (story)

(*) Oxford Mail 19.12.12 Barbaric fox hunting - IT IS totally barbaric to hunt foxes with packs of hounds and the fines imposed on the Heythrop Hunt (December 17) should have been triple the £26,000 the judge handed out… ADRIAN TAYLOR Duncan Close Eynsham (story)

(*) Carmarthen Journal 19.12.12 Badger is just a scapegoat - HAVING read "Badgers' effect on farming" in the Journal letters column of December 12, it is very obvious that Eric Howells is not aware of the history and science of bovine TB. With regards to recognising the rural voice he fails to mention that when the previous Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones, who wished to carry out a badger cull, asked Wales: "Do you want to cull badgers?", she was told by a large majority in Wales: "No". This answer was based on science…. Michael Sharratt Badger Watch and Rescue Dyfed Whitland (letter)

(*) Falmouth Packet 19.12.12 Good to see MP trying to end live animal exports - I WOULD like to thank our MP Sarah Newton for her kindness and compassion in trying to end the vile trade in live animal exports from United Kingdom ports…. R G Hingston, Conway Road, Falmouth (letter) 

Heythrop Hunt "Jail illegal fox hunters": RSPCA calls for stricter laws to crack down on cruelty (THESE TWO MEN ARE EVIL!)

19 Dec 2012 00:00

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant says he is appalled that the maximum sanction at the moment is just a £5,000 fine

Only fined: Richard Sumner and Julian Barnsfield Only fined: Richard Sumner and Julian Barnsfield

The RSPCA is on a collision course with David Cameron after demanding that illegal fox hunting carry a minimum sentence of two years in jail.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant, who last night made the call for stricter punishments, is appalled that the maximum sanction at the moment is a £5,000 fine.

His passionate plea comes after the Heythrop Hunt was fined on Monday after members were secretly filmed as their dogs killed a fox.

Mr Cameron has defended fox hunting on various occasions and used to ride out with the Heythrop, which was hauled into court in the first prosecution of its kind.

Mr Grant, 57, said: “The Heythrop Hunt are wildlife criminals and should be ashamed.

"My advice to Mr Cameron is that no responsible person would want to associate with such people.

"They are no different to badger baiters – apart from their accents.

“They should face the same penalties as dog fighters and cock fighters who organise themselves to inflict pain on animals for pleasure or profit.

“The Prime Minister has said the hunting law is unenforceable and has no place in a civilised society.

“But chasing and ripping animals to shreds has no place in a compassionate and civilised Britain.

"The only thing that needs to change is the penalties, which are far too lenient.

“I believe this offence should carry a term in jail of at least two years.

“Mr Cameron appears to say he would be in favour of repealing the current act.

"If that’s the case, he is completely out of step with the British people.”

RSPCA of a still taken from a hunt monitor's video of dogs from the Heythrop Hunt with a fox Cruel: Dog rips apart fox during Heythrop Hunt


Using hounds to kill foxes became illegal in 2005 as years of public revulsion finally convinced MPs to change the law.

There were gasps of horror in court this week as footage was shown of a Heythrop Hunt hound with a blood-soaked fox carcass in its mouth.

Retired huntsman Julian Barnfield, 49, of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, and retired hunt master Richard Sumner, 68, of nearby Salperton, admitted four charges of illegally hunting foxes during the 2011-12 season.

Barnfield was fined £1,000 with £2,000 costs, while Sumner was fined £1,800 with £2,500 costs.

Heythrop Hunt Ltd, which covers Mr Cameron’s constituency in Witney, Oxon, was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 costs.

The prosecution at Oxford magistrates court was brought by the RSPCA at a cost to the charity of more than £300,000.

Outside court, Barnfield said he pleaded guilty as he could not afford to fight the case.

He said: “I hope RSPCA donors question what they are doing with their money.”

But the charity has now launched a £1million fund to pay for further prosecutions against hunters.

Mr Grant said: “Our message to the hunts is, ‘We are watching you very carefully’.”

Video footage: Warning graphic contents


It's after 10pm on Monday, and Newshound has not been updated since Friday 15th, so carries nothing yet on the day's big news.
Fortunately, Google provides a very good alternative. Use the link below and you will see the multitude of stories in the media as copied in below. Probably more as they will presumably be added to.

Heythrop Hunt members admit illegal fox hunting

BBC News - ‎10 hours ago‎
Members of an Oxfordshire-based hunt that Prime Minister David Cameron has previously ridden with have been fined for hunting foxes illegally. Richard Sumner and Julian Barnfield, of the Heythrop Hunt, pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates' Court to ...

David Cameron's local Heythrop hunt fined for fox hunting - Home News - UK ...

The Independent - ‎4 hours ago‎
The Heythrop Hunt, based in Oxfordshire, pleaded guilty to four charges of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs on land in the Cotswolds. Former huntsman Julian Barnsfield, 49, and recently retired hunt master Richard Sumner, 68, also pleaded guilty to the ...

David Cameron's local hunt convicted after RSPCA prosecution | UK news ...

The Guardian - ‎3 hours ago‎
Richard Sumner, 68, and Julian Barnfield, 49, of the 176-year-old Heythrop Hunt with which Cameron has previously ridden, each pleaded guilty at Oxford magistrates court to four charges of unlawfully hunting a wild fox with dogs. The hunt, Heythrop Hunt ...

Prime Minister's local hunt admits hunting foxes with dogs after footage shows ...

Daily Mail - ‎4 hours ago‎
The Heythrop Hunt Limited, along with members Julian Barnfield and Richard Sumner, pleaded guilty to a total of 12 counts of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs on land in the Cotswolds. Speaking outside court following his court appearance, retired ...

Heythrop Hunt video footage shown in court

BBC News - ‎5 hours ago‎
Film gathered by anti-hunt monitors of an Oxfordshire-based hunt that Prime Minister David Cameron has previously ridden with has been shown in court. Richard Sumner and Julian Barnfield, of the Heythrop Hunt, pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates' Court ...

David Cameron's hunt convicted as judge questions RSPCA's £330000 ...

Telegraph.co.uk - ‎2 hours ago‎
He fined the Heythrop hunt and its members £6,800, but then rounded on the RSPCA for laying out £330,000 to bring the case – 10 times the defence costs. “Members of the public may feel that RSPCA funds can be more usefully employed,” he told Oxford ...

David Cameron's local hunt fined £26300 for illegal fox hunting

The Independent - ‎2 hours ago‎
The Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire, closely associated with the so-called “Chipping Norton set” of friends of Mr Cameron, pleaded guilty to four charges of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs on land in the Cotswolds, in a case brought by the RSPCA.

Breaking news Heythrop Hunt fined for fox hunting

Cotswold Journal - ‎4 hours ago‎
THE Heythrop hunt has been fined thousands of pounds after pleading guilty to four charges of intentionally hunting afox with dogs on land in the Cotswolds. Former huntsman Julian Barnsfield, aged 49, and recently retired hunt master Richard Sumner, aged ...

Heythrop Hunt prosecuted for using dogs

Banbury Guardian - ‎4 hours ago‎
THE Heythrop Hunt has become the first traditional hunt to be successfully prosecuted of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs. At Oxford Magistrates' Court today (Monday), the hunt admitted four charges of intentionally hunting a fox with a dog, as did two of its ...

David Cameron's local hunt guilty of illegal fox-hunting

Telegraph.co.uk - ‎5 hours ago‎
David Cameron, the MP for Witney, has previously ridden with the Heythrop Hunt, which today pleaded guilty to fox-hunting. The hunt pleaded guilty to four charges of "unlawfully hunting a wild fox with dogs" on land in the Cotswolds. Julian Barnsfield, 49, a ...

Fox killed by Cameron's hunt - video | UK news | guardian.co.uk

The Guardian - ‎5 hours ago‎
Anti fox-hunt protesters filmed this footage of a hunt in Oxfordshire in which a fox is chased by hounds and killed. Members of the Heythrop hunt, Richard Sumner and Julian Barnfield, admitted illegally hunting a fox on land in the Cotswolds after the footage ...

David Cameron's local hunt convicted of illegal fox hunting

The Times (subscription) - ‎59 minutes ago‎
The Prime Minister used to ride with the Heythrop Hunt, which covers his constituency in Witney, Oxfordshire, and it is popular with the so-called “Chipping Norton set” of politicians and celebrities. Heythrop Hunt Ltd along with Julian Barnfield, a huntsman and ...

Hunt organisers admit illegal fox hunt | Meridian - ITV News

ITV News - ‎10 hours ago‎
The Heythrop Hunt Ltd of, Chipping Norton, admitted a charge relating to hunting a wild mammal, namely a fox, with dogs contrary to Sections 1 and 10 of the Hunting Act 2004. Richard Ward Sumner 68, of Penhill Farm, Salperton, Gloucestershire, and Julian ...

Oxfordshire fox hunters convicted in court

Oxford Mail - ‎8 hours ago‎
The Heythrop Hunt, based in Chipping Norton, along with members Julian Barnfield and Richard Sumner, admitted four charges of illegally hunting foxes with dogs. This is the first case where a hunt has faced corporate charges and is also the first taken by ...

Cameron's local hunt admit to illegal fox-hunting - ITV News

ITV News - ‎6 hours ago‎
Members of David Cameron's local hunt in Oxfordshire have admitted hunting foxes illegally. Richard Sumner and Julian Barnfield of the Heythrop Hunt, which the Prime Minister has previously ridden with, pleaded guilty to charges brought by the RSPCA.

RSPCA celebrates 'legal landmark' in fox hunting case - statement | Meridian ...

ITV News - ‎7 hours ago‎
The RSPCA celebrated the success of its first ever prosecution of a traditional hunt when the Heythrop Hunt today pleaded guilty to four charges of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs on several occasions. The case, based on footage of foxes being ...

Video footage of illegal fox hunt | Meridian - ITV News

ITV News - ‎7 hours ago‎
In the first case of its kind a hunt in Oxfordshire has admitted a charge of illegally hunting a fox. The charges were brought by the RSPCA, who filmed a hunt in which a fox was chased by hounds and killed. Members of the Heythrop hunt, Richard Sumner and ...

Prime minister has ridden with Heythrop Hunt, which admitted intentionally hunting a fox with dogs

    Caroline Davies and agencies
guardian.co.uk, Monday 17 December 2012 16.29 GMT   

Members of David Cameron's local hunt have been convicted of illegal fox hunting in the first corporate prosecution brought by the RSPCA.

The Heythrop Hunt Limited, based in Oxfordshire, pleaded guilty to four charges of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs on land in the Cotswolds.

The former huntsman Julian Barnfield, 49, and recently retired hunt master Richard Sumner, 68, also pleaded guilty to the same charges during a hearing at Oxford magistrates court.

The prime minister, who is MP for Witney, has ridden with the hunt. Charlie Brooks, the husband of the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, is known to have been a member and hosted the hunt's ball last year.

It is the first time a whole hunt has faced corporate charges, and is also the first case taken by the RSPCA involving the prosecution of a hunt itself.

Footage of hounds dragging the body of a fox across a field was played in court. District Judge Tim Pattinson was told the Heythrop Hunt met on four occasions and hunted with dogs in contravention of the Hunting Act 2004.

Jeremy Carter-Manning QC, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Barnfield and Sumner had been involved in a hunt which began at Daylesford House in Chastleton, Oxfordshire, on 29 February. Footage showed evidence of "prolonged and deliberate unlawful hunting", he said.

After a fox ran past hunt monitors who were recording footage from a road nearby, Barnfield drew up on horseback.

Carter-Manning said: "Two route followers indicated to Mr Barnfield the direction in which the fox had run.

"He immediately blows the hunting horn and enters the field as directed."

Barnfield and another man then gave vocal encouragement to the remainder of the pack, shouting "tally ho" and "forrard", said Carter-Manning.

In a subsequent piece of film, recorded some 40 minutes later, monitors watching the events unfold are heard shouting: "There's a kill, there's a kill," and: "Call the police."

Describing the events, Carter-Manning said: "The hounds converge into semi-circles and the screaming [of the hounds] reaches a crescendo.

"The hounds are making a kill."

The next clip showed the bloodied carcass of a fox clamped in the jaws of one of a pack of hounds, prompting gasps from a packed public gallery.

On another occasion, on 7 March this year at Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, a pack of hounds on a hunt was filmed making purring noises close to a section of dense cover as they tried to flush a fox out.

Describing video shot by a volunteer and played to the court, Carter-Manning said: "His footage captures the hounds beginning to squeal, going in and then almost immediately afterwards a double horn."

Further footage captures the hounds pursuing a fox and cries of "on, on, on" from the mounted hunt.

Carter-Manning added: "The foxes are clearly seen by a number of relevant people, including Mr Sumner and Mr Barnfield and others.

"They [the men] are seen actively pursuing the hounds in pursuit of a fox.

"Mr Barnfield is filmed quite clearly amongst the pursuing hounds, shouting 'on, on, on' in obvious encouragement."

Describing the four occasions to the court, Carter-Manning said: "It seems proper to suggest that the behaviour you have seen over the last hour or so clearly shows hunting foxes, with people there specifically to obstruct anybody taking photographs or video film and any suggestion of any trail laying of any kind is completely missing from any film, but also inconsistent with the way the hounds are working on the day."

Both men and the Heythrop Hunt admitted four counts of unlawfully hunting a wild mammal, namely a fox, with dogs.

The offences took place on 23 November and 30 November last year as well as 29 February and 7 March this year.

Philip Mott QC, mitigating, said the charges related to four occasions within the full hunting season between November 2011 and March this year.

During that period there would have been around 100 hunts, each lasting some five hours, he said.

"What you have here is unlawful hunting, shown and admitted, of no more than 15 minutes in total.

"It's our case that the rest of the time this hunt was operating trail hunting."

Barnfield was fined £250 for each charge, totalling £1,000, and ordered to pay £2,000 costs. Sumner was fined £450 for each charge, totalling £1,800, and must pay £2,500 costs. The Heythrop Hunt Limited was fined £1,000 for each offence, totalling £4,000, and told to pay £15,000 in costs.

After sentencing, the RSPCA's chief executive, Gavin Grant, said: "These defendants were well aware that they were breaking the law in that their actions would lead to a fox being torn apart by dogs. No doubt the hunt will say those involved have now left and they had no knowledge of this crime."

He added: "The truth is this hunt believed that they were above the law – they were wrong."

Well done RSPCA - I will be sending you regular monthly donations starting tomorrow.

Illegal hunting still takes place -
Carmarthen Journal 12.12.12

IN response to the anonymous letter ('We do hunt within law', Carmarthen Journal, November 21), the RSPCA does not regularly watch hunts as suggested.

We investigate suspected illegal hunting activity, as we do any other complaint regarding the mistreatment of animals — after we have received concerns from members of the public.

We commend the writer of the letter for acting within the law, however the sad fact is that illegal hunting practices do take place and we must treat such offences in the same way as any other animal welfare offence.

Interestingly, a recent Ipsos/Mori poll found that of those respondents who were in favour of charities collecting evidence of wildlife crime to pass to the police, 74 per cent lived in rural parts of the country.

Claire Lawson

External affairs manager for RSPCA Cymru

(*) Shropshire Star 13.12.12 Shock as huntsman found dead at Albrighton home - A respected member of a hunting group has been found dead at his home in Albrighton. Huntsman Ray Shaw was discovered at his property in Kennels Lane after failing to turn up to a meet. Colleagues at the Albrighton Hunt today spoke of their shock and paid tribute to a ‘very hardworking huntsman’…. (story)
He will probably come back as a fox being tormented by his own hunt....

(*) Telegraph 13.12.12 Government faces £65,000 bill for security over badger cull that never happened - The government will have to return tens of thousands of pounds to police forces in the west country after constabularies planned security for controversial badger culls which were later postponed by MPs... Charles Mann, chairman of Gloucestershire NFU, said the blame for the wasted cash must be placed on the "aggressive activists" who threatened to prevent the culls by direct action…. (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 13.12.12 Police spending on badger cull labelled "outrageous" - POLICE spending £64,703 on a badger cull that never happened has been labelled "outrageous" by a key figure in the county…. Charles Mann, chairman of Gloucestershire NFU, said the blame must be placed with the aggressive activists who threatened to derail a potential cull by aggressive means… (story)

Western Daily Press 12.12.12 Abandoned badger culls cost Government £1.15 million - The cost to the Government of the abandoned badger culls in the West was yesterday put at £1.15 million, as renewed demands to call off future culls were rejected in the House of Lords. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister Lord de Mauley confirmed that culling would be piloted initially in two areas next summer…. (story)
Western Daily Press 12.12.12 Anti-badger cull farmer: Improving cattle welfare will help fight bovine TB - An anti-badger cull campaigner has launched a service to help farmers up their bio-security and reduce bovine TB. Dairy farm worker Steve Jones has launched the new service to help rural workers improve cattle welfare and so reduce susceptibility to diseases such as bovine tuberculosis – an alternative to allowing badgers to be killed as part of the Government’s trial culling policy. But National Farmers’ Union bovine TB spokesman and dairy farmer Jan Rowe, from Whittington, near Cheltenham, said although good husbandry is important, it’s not a guarantee against infected stock… (story)

(*) Guardian 13.12.12 Live animal exports going via previously unknown routes - Campaigners shocked to discover that live animal exporters are using alternative ports in Scotland and Northern Ireland - James Meikle - Farmers, lorry firms and shipping companies have been operating a hitherto unknown route for live exports of animals for slaughter or fattening abroad, as the controversy over the trade through Ramsgate intensifies. Cattle from farms in England and Scotland have been transported, unknown to welfare campaigners, via a Scottish port and Northern Ireland for export either to Ireland or to Spain… (story)
Christ almighty - the Spanish are sadists..........

Thanet Gazette 12.12.12 RSPCA will take on High Court battle to end live animal exports from Ramsgate port - THE RSPCA has vowed to take on the legal fight against live animal exports from Ramsgate port after Thanet council threw in the towel. A High Court judge has indicated he will consider a fresh judicial review application from the animal charity in the New Year… (story)

Hucknall Dispatch 12.12.12 MP backs fight against cruel sports - BULWELL’s MP Graham Allen is continuing in his fight against cruel sports and has met a champion of the cause. The Nottingham North Labour politician met up with the chief executive of animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports, Joe Duckworth, this week… (story)

(*) Derby Telegraph 13.12.12 Chris Williamson joins protest against sale of foie gras - A DERBY MP joined high-profile politicians to protest against the sale of foie gras at Fortnum and Mason. Chris Williamson, MP for Derby North, brandished a replica of the metal pipes used to force-feed geese during foie gras production and held a sign which read: "It's Common-Sense: Stop Foie Gras Sales"…. (story)

  Anger after hunt hounds chase cat though family garden
Hereford Times

Anna Ricks with Minna the Norwegian forest cat

POLICE were called after hounds from a Herefordshire hunt ran through a family garden and chased a pet cat.

William Ricks, who lives at Hope Mansell, has called for hunts to stop “riding roughshod over local residents” after hounds from the Ross Harriers entered his private garden.

The family, including 12-year-old John Kyrle High School pupil Anna, feared the worst when the hounds chased Minna, their Norwegian forest cat.

After hours of searching, the cat was found 30ft up a tree.

William said: “Whatever people think about hunting in principle, I feel very strongly that the hunt should be stopped from riding roughshod over local residents and allowing their hounds to enter residential gardens and terrorise domestic animals.”

Anna Ernsting, huntmaster of the Ross Harriers, told the Hereford Times the hounds did unexpectedly run into woods on November 17. “We understand Mr Rick’s garden is not fenced and his cat presumably took the best possible action if it sensed danger, although, in our opinion, the hounds did not hunt or injure the cat.”

Days later

After receiving a card from Ms Ernsting on November 21 – in which she said “should we be in the area again we will let you know well in advance in case you may wish to keep your cat inside” – the Ricks hoped the ordeal was over.

But, William claims, just a few days later on November 24 the hounds were in the family’s woodland which is home to wild hare, deer and badgers.

Ms Ernsting said the dogs were this time returning from exercise when they came across a fresh scent and ran through an open gate into woods. She does not, however, believe it was the Ricks’ wood.

“The Ross Harriers take every precaution to hunt within the law at all times and are very grateful to the landowners who permit us to cross their land.

“However we do appreciate that we are not welcome by all and do bear this in mind.

“The master huntsman states that this was the first time this has happened in the three years he has been in charge of the hounds.”

[The huntsman being David Peters, as featured in these reports, and still employed by the Ross Harriers.

 Gloucester Citizen 15.11.12 Hunt master guilty of racial abuse - A HUNT master has been found guilty of hurling racist abuse at an anti-blood sports protester. David Lee Peters, 33, hurled insults at saboteurs who gathered in 4x4 vehicles to voice their protests at a meet in Ross-on-Wye on January 7… Yesterday Peters was found guilty of racially aggravated harassment and fined £700, ordered to pay £200 compensation, £2,000 prosecution costs, and a £15 victim surcharge. (story)
Small World News 15.11.12 Hunt master ‘called black protester a f****** w**’ during violent confrontation with saboteurs - A hunt master hurled racist abuse at a black anti-blood sports protester and branded her a f*****g w**, a court heard. David Peters, 33, hurled insults at a group of ‘saboteurs’ who gathered in 4×4 vehicles to voice their protests at a meet in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on January 7…. (story) ]

A spokesman for West Mercia Police confirmed that the force received a call to Hope Mansell on November 17 about hounds chasing a cat on private land and an officer advised the caller it was a civil issue.

(*) Mid Devon Gazette 11.12.12 The RSPCA is not raising profile through badger cull - THANK you John Twyford for voicing my own feelings opposing the comments by Neil Parish MP, who alleges that the RSPCA are only using the badger cull to raise its profile and bring in funds. This is a complete nonsense and absolutely outrageous… I for one, am extremely happy that my subscription to the RSPCA is helping it to fight unnecessary and mass slaughtering of badgers and will be increasing my subscription because of it. I am also extremely glad that the RSPCA are at last bringing prosecutions against some of the many illegal hunts… ELLEN ROACH Canal Hill Tiverton (letter)

Observer/Guardian 9.12.12 Sir Patrick Moore obituary - Dennis Barker - Sir Patrick Moore, who has died aged 89, had the air of a crusty, uncompromising bachelor and slightly dotty boffin… Moore was never a stereotype rightwinger or anything else, as his strong denunciation of hunting as an unnecessary cruelty ("but you can't argue with these filthy people") demonstrated… In the 1990s he announced that he would not back the Tories again because they were in favour of hunting. (story)

(*) Horse & Hound 11.12.12 Pack of bloodhounds faces disbanding - Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - A pack of bloodhounds may have to disband at the end of the season when the owners retire — unless sufficient help can be found to run the hunt. Roger Clark, who is a farrier, founded the East Anglian Bloodhounds in 1992, kennelling hounds at his farm on the Essex-Suffolk border. His wife Fiona joined the mastership in 2002. But Mr Clark, who is 65, says he and his wife would now like the time to “do other things”. “We’ve had overwhelming support calling for us not to retire, but it’s just the two of us [running the hunt],” he said… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 10.12.12 Animals must be protected - WILL the idiots who hunt animals for sport never learn? (Have Your Say, November 27). Did they not have toys to play with when they were children?... Name & address supplied (letter)

Sunday Herald 9.12.12 Banish 'gun porn' magazines to top shelf, says animal charity - Helen McArdle - SHOOTING and hunting magazines which carry graphic images of dead animals have been compared to pornography by animal rights activists, who are calling for a ban against selling them to under-18s. Charity Animal Aid is also campaigning for newsagents, supermarkets and other retailers to restrict their display to the top shelf, as they would for porn magazines… (story)

Irish Examiner 8.12.12 We have a confused attitude to animal welfare - We have a strange and confused attitude to animal welfare in this country. A man has recently been sentenced to four months detention for throwing a homeless man’s pet rabbit into the Liffey. I have no problem with that. But it comes in the middle of the coursing season, during which thousands of hares are captured in the wild and then forced to run from pairs of hyped-up greyhounds for "sport"…. John Fitzgerald Callan Co Kilkenny (letter)


Sab footage of the Old Surrey & Burstow FH from yesterday.
Saturday 8th December 2012
What our poor foxes have to go through just to give a few heartless thugs their jollies!!

Hounds in full cry on a [seen but not filmed] fox.

The infamous Huntsman Mark Bycroft making no attempt to call hounds off and even screaming at sabs 'You are trying to stop us from hunting!'

Hounds on trail of fawn
Tuesday 4th December 2012
A CONCERNED West Malvern resident was shocked to see a pack of hounds on the trail of a fawn on Tuesday after discovering the animal in his garden.

David Sample, of Lower Road, said a huntsman confirmed they were part of the North Ledbury Hunt but were trying to get the hounds off the trail of the deer.

Mr Sample raised concerns that the hunt should not have been on the land and described the incident as “distressing, and a situation that should not be allowed.”

The hunt’s joint master, Valerie Allfrey, declined to comment.


North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

07960 038230

 Sir David Attenborough in anti-badger cull Christmas number one bid
Sir David Attenborough has been enlisted by the producers of a charity single in the battle for the Christmas number one. The wildlife documentary maker appears in the video for the song, The Present of Life, which is being launched by BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham and is part of a campaign against plans for a badger cull. The video features Packham on drums and weather forecaster Michael Fish on guitar. Rob da Bank, the Radio 1 DJ, also appear in the clip. The song is produced by eco-friendly clothing firm Rapanui…. (story)

The Present of Life (Official Video)

Fox being killed by hunt dogs

Hunt supporter

Horrific footage of fox being killed by Ledbury Fox hounds in village garden. 
28th November 2012 
HSA Press Release  
 Horrific fox death filmed by hunt saboteurs   
Graphic footage of the
Ledbury Hunt killing a fox has today been released. The incident happened on the 23rd November 2012 in a private garden in Eldersfield, Gloucestershire and was captured on film by members of Three Counties and Coventry Hunt saboteurs.
They were sadly too late to rescue the fox, but one did obtain film of the hounds repeatedly savaging the animal for a protracted period, whilst she and a colleague attempted to get the dogs off it.  It is unclear at what point the fox succumbed to its multiple wounds, but when they were able to retrieve the animal from the pack it had been effectively disembowelled.
Footage of the kill, and from beforehand, is being examined by lawyers from the RSPCA to determine if there are grounds for prosecution under the Hunting Act.  Results of a post-mortem are being withheld pending a decision.
This incident is a sad contrast to the events of a week earlier when hunt monitors from POWA saved a fox from the Old Berks Hunt [see story below].

Left, close-up still of fox being savaged by hounds
Right, a presumed hunt supporter close to the kill



Western Morning News
20.11.12  By Alan Kirby MSc- A POWA Associate

In my opinion: Hunting for live quarry won't end under current Act

Mr Phelps (November 10) is right to query the purported use of birds of prey such as the South Devon Hunt's eagle 'Artemis' in hunting with hounds.

In nearly eight years, no hunt monitor has ever witnessed, or even seen film of, such birds actually being so used. The exemption was one of the many loopholes inserted into the Hunting Act, either very naively or perhaps as part of the 'sabotage' of which Tony Blair boasted in his autobigraphy. The fact that the country's leading falconry body, the Hawk Board, fervently opposed it, and was ignored, lends support to the latter theory.

The Falconry Exemption, in particular, readily gave hunts scope to carry on hunting live quarry much as before but pretend they were acting within the law. Given that more than 50,000 hunters had, it was claimed by the Countryside Alliance, previously sworn to defy any ban, including this loophole, was like handing a flame-thrower to a pyromaniac.

Many hunts cart such a bird, usually a smaller eagle owl or Harris hawk, around with them so that, if challenged as to why they are rampaging through coverts with their full pack of hounds, putting up and often chasing foxes, they can claim they were 'flushing' to the bird of prey. This cynical subterfuge is often used instead of, or as an adjunct to, the standard one that they were 'trail' hunting and had an 'accident'.

The Hawk Board were rightly concerned about the welfare of the birds. Whilst a golden eagle probably could kill a fox, such a confrontation would likely be bloody, prolonged and fraught with danger for it. Smaller birds of prey would almost certainly come off worst.

The potential danger of bird/hound clashes is also evident, ignoring the suffering likely to be caused to the quarry.

The Hawk Board ought also to be worried by the usual way such birds are transported while following hunts – often crammed into tiny boxes attached to quad bikes and bounced around on rough terrain.

But surely no one still seriously expects hunts to care much about the welfare of the animals they use as tools for their grisly 'sport'. It does seem extraordinary that respected news organs such as the Western Morning News continue to reproduce hunt propaganda, which is almost never properly evidenced and sometimes untrue, and effectively promote and protect a cruel, barbaric 'sport' which is supposed to have been outlawed.

Despite a few successful convictions of organised hunts recently, due to a combination of extraordinary dedication by monitors and extreme and arrogant recklessness in law-breaking by the hunters, the lax wording and loopholes in the Act still make it extraordinarily difficult to secure prosecutions. The scourge of live quarry hunting for fun will not begin to be eliminated until the Hunting Act, and its sanctions, are significantly toughened up.

(*) BBC News Online 20.11.12 Somerset hunts postponed over equine herpes virus - Hunts in Somerset have been cancelled due to fears of a virus affecting horses in the region.

Equine herpes virus (EHV-1) can cause inflammation of blood vessels in the spinal cord or brain.

Exmoor Foxhounds, Devon and Somerset Staghounds and Dulverton and West Fox Hounds have all cancelled this week's hunts as a precaution.

It comes as a stables in Devon was voluntarily quarantined after its horses developed the disease.

EHV-1 can be transmitted through the air from respiratory infection or by close contact between horses and, although it can be treated, in some cases it can be fatal.

Sir Richard Peek, chairman of Exmoor Foxhounds, said: "Until we know how this is going on, we thought it would be sensible to stay quiet for a couple of days and find out when the quarantined period has gone past and we might be able to go on again."

He said they were not intending to stop for very long.

"It doesn't seem right to be taking horses and hounds across ground where people might be unhappy that there might be a disease about," he added.

(*) Sun 21.11.12 Folks hunt - EXHAUSTED Alison Cammidge looks like she’s being hounded… She takes the place of foxes in a version of the sport known as a human hunt. Alison has stepped in following the ban on hunting foxes with dogs. Now the Highmoor Bloodhounds pack pursues her across muddy fields near Shipton, outside York…. (story)

(*) Carmarthen Journal 21.11.12 We do hunt within law - HAVING read Keith Hogben's (RSPCA) comments (Carmarthen Journal, November 14) on "claims of rogue fox hunts", I feel compelled to write in return.

I ride with my local hunt regularly, and since the Hunting Act 2004 we have always hunted within the law and lay a trail for the hounds to follow.

What Mr Hogben has failed to mention is that our hunt is regularly watched by the RSPCA.

This is comparable to me following a group wearing hoodies in case they at some point break the law.

I would sincerely have hoped that the RSPCA had more important work to do.

It troubles me to think that donations given in good faith — many of them by animal- loving country people like myself — are being spent in this way.

Name and address supplied   The Journal was unable to contact the RSPCA for comment before going to press

(*) Gloucester Citizen 21.11.12 Farmers left to decide on cull after council ruling - FARMERS who rent land from Gloucestershire County Council must be left to decide if they wish to carry out a badger cull after councillors voted to maintain its existing policy. The debate on the issue sparked into life after a public petition opposing the cull was presented to the council… Liberal Democrat leader in Gloucester Jeremy Hilton said: "Making a decision not to allow the culling of badgers on farms subject to future tenancy agreement would send a message to the government that we are opposed to this policy."… (story)

Mirror 20.11.12 'I tried to shoot a cat': Gun nut Tory MP who 'dreams' of shooting deer sparks fresh anger - Gun row Tory MP Glyn Davies sparked fresh anger yesterday by gloating that although he didn’t shoot a stag in his garden, he has taken pot shots at a cat…. (story)

Western Morning News 20.11.12 Badger cull delay could cost 'at least £80,000' as police try to recoup costs - Police forces have claimed tens of thousands of pounds for planning security around badger culls which were later postponed… (story)
Gloucester Citizen/Echo 20.11.12 Badger culls that never happened cost Gloucestershire police £64,000 (story)

Coventry Telegraph 20.11.12 First badgers trapped and vaccinated at Brandon Marsh by Mary Griffin - EXPERTS have carried out the first vaccinations of badgers in Warwickshire. Staff at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust set traps on their nature reserve at Brandon Marsh… Steve Trotter, Badger Trust chief executive, said: “This is our first real field work in vaccinations… (story)



*The Chairman of the Old Berks Hunt is Lord Astor, the stepfather of Samantha Cameron

A young vixen owes her life to the quick thinking and courage of a hunt monitor who literally dived in and grabbed her from amongst the hounds that were just about to maul her to death..   

The young woman was out monitoring the Old Berks Fox Hounds last Wednesday, 14th November.  The Hunt met at Elmwood House, Black Bourton in Oxfordshire. Not long after the hunt moved off , the Huntsman sent the hound pack into woodland and thick undergrowth. 

Just after 11.30 am, the hounds found the fox in scrub next to large slurry tanks on the edge of a farm. 

Fortunately for the fox, her "guardian angel" was only feet  away. With no thought for her own safety, the monitor shouted at the hounds as they closed in on the fox, and running forward,  was able to snatch the terrified animal.  She then scooped her up, away from amongst the hounds, which would in moments have undoubtedly torn the young animal to pieces. The fox had already been bowled over onto her back, leaving her stomach exposed. 

Despite having been bitten by the terrified fox, the monitor hurried the traumatised animal away, cradled in her arms, whilst her colleague, who filmed the whole incident, called for help.

Being followed by a Hunt participant, they reached a fellow monitor's car and the fox was then driven away to safety.  She was checked for injuries, and thanks to the monitor's lightening reactions, was found to have no serious bites. 

The fox's rescuer (who wishes to remain anonymous) said of her actions:-   

“I just reacted. I couldn't leave the poor little thing to be torn apart by the dogs. But it was worth all the pain and stress and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I feel privileged to have been able to rescue her.  Words cannot express my contempt for people who terrify and kill defenceless wild animals." 

The fox has now been rehabilitated into an area where she will be safe from the hunt. 

The footage clearly shows that when the hounds reach the fox, there is no  "quick nip to the back of the neck",  as claimed by hunters, a claim always disputed by post mortem evidence of foxes killed by hounds.

The incident has been reported to the RSPCA.


Remarkable and clear film of the incident is available.  For footage and stills, contact Judy Gilbert on 01494 483242   or   07970 221543

Notes for Editors:

All hunt monitors mentioned above are Associates of Protect Our Wild Animals [POWA]. POWA campaigns for significant strengthening of the Hunting Act 2004, both to deter hunters from bending and breaking the spirit and letter of the law and to make it much easier to enforce. POWA fully supports the work of hunt monitors, but neither employs nor commissions them.

The Prime Minister's wife Samantha Cameron has links with the Old Berks Hunt.  Her stepfather, Lord Astor, is Chairman of the hunt.    Lord Astor married Mrs Cameron’s mother in 1976 after her divorce from Sir Reginald Sheffield.

David Cameron is believed to have first ridden to hounds with the Old Berks, many years ago. He is now associated mainly with another Oxfordshire Hunt, the Heythrop. The Heythrop, and four of its members, are facing over forty charges of illegal hunting in a case brought by the RSPCA, scheduled to begin on December 17th

Mr.Cameron has pledged to try to repeal the Hunting Act.

(*) Mail 19.11.12 'I meant to say rifle!': Tory MP who tweeted 'I wish I had my 12 bore handy' after spotting stag in his garden rebuffs animal welfare critics By Anthony Bond

Controversial: After seeing a stag in his garden, MP Glyn Davies declared on Twitter that he wanted to shoot it

Controversial: After seeing a stag in his garden, MP Glyn Davies declared on Twitter that he wanted to shoot it

A Tory MP who sparked anger from animal welfare groups after tweeting 'I wish I had my 12 bore handy' when he spotted a beautiful stag has apologised - for referring to the wrong weapon needed to kill a deer.

MP Glyn Davies told his 1,500 followers that he wanted to shoot the animal when it ventured into his garden.

His wrote: 'Beautiful antlered stag in the garden, grazing on shrubs border. Oohs of admiration from family. I just wished I still had my 12 bore handy.'

The comments by the Montgomeryshire MP immediately drew criticism from animal welfare groups.

The RSPCA said: 'It is sad when people can't see the beauty in a wild animal like this and just want to kill it.'

The League Against Cruel Sports warned that the MP's attitude was evidence that the Conservative Party wanted to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs.

Labour's Kerry McCarthy told the Daily Mirror that yet another Tory had shown a desire to kill animals.

After learning of the backlash against him, Mr Davies took to his blog 'A View From Rural Wales' to make a humble concession, but only that he had mentioned the incorrect gun.

He said: 'It seems that some animal rights groups had considered this an offensive comment for an MP to make. I accept that reference to a 12 bore was wrong. It should have been a .22 or some other rifle.'

Shooting a deer with a shotgun is considered inhumane because the dispersal of the pellets means you rarely get a clean kill.

He added: 'Someone I know once did shoot a deer with a shotgun - a truly dreadful thing to do. He never did it again.'

 Mr Davies admitted deer were a 'nightmare' in his garden.

He said: 'Escapees from nearby Powis Castle have established wild herds of Red and Fallow Deer numbering thousands.

'Every year, a few of them sneak into our garden... and home in on our most valued shrubs. Adding insult, they normally just spit out the severed bits uneaten.

'During the spring/summer, I hide a switched-on radio in the middle of the borders all night to put them off.

'Friend of mine told me he thought subjecting them to listen to John Humphrys (Radio Today programme) grilling hapless politicians was more cruel than shooting them.'

 But he insists he has not shot anything for 40 years.

He added: 'I have "shot at" grey squirrels and a horrid feral cat with an airgun. Always missed. But when it comes to deer in the garden, I can still think about shooting them.

'I suppose I could buy a bow and arrow. I am after all the reigning Parliamentary Archery Champion.'

David Cameron has already pledged a vote in the Commons on the subject of blood sports.

League spokesman Joe Duckworth said: 'We worry about the Government's underlying beliefs about the importance of our wildlife. It should be respected.'

(*) Mirror 19.11.12 Stag-gering: Tory MP slammed by RSPCA for tweet about shooting deer - So much for their boasts about being the caring party… MP Glyn Davies has yet again shown the Tories’ true colours by declaring he wanted to shoot a stag that was in his garden. His comments on Twitter have ¬infuriated animal rights groups…. (story)

(*) Western Morning News 19.11.12 Birds of prey that get Martin the falconer's pulses racing - When the start of the hunting season is mentioned people imagine horses, hounds or groups with shotguns. The sight of a lone figure with his proud and haughty bird of prey spectacularly dispatching their quarry is somehow primeval and some would argue a fairer fight. For falconer Martin Whitley this is a time of year that really gets his heart racing. Hunting with birds is his passion and his enthusiasm for the job is infectious. Born into a family of country people – his great great uncle was the founder of Paignton Zoo; his great grandfather founded the South Devon Hunt and his great uncle Claude was one of the longest serving (47 years) master of foxhounds – Martin has hunted all of his life in one form or other, which has included being a whipper-in as well as a master of two packs of beagles… (story)

(*) Thanet Gazette 19.11.12 New Kent Police and Crime Commissioner targeted by campaigners over Ramsgate live animal exports - THE newly elected Kent Police Commissioner was welcomed into office by a demonstration of animal welfare protestors… Thanet district councillor Ian Driver, one of those leading the protest against animal export, said "Kent Constabulary have on five occasions in the last six weeks used their powers under section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 to restrict the rights of people to demonstrate against the horrendous cruelty happening at the port of Ramsgate… Protest leader Reg Bell said "I have been running retail business for the last 35 years. At least once a year my shops are broken into, vandalised or windows broken into. When I call the police it takes hours for the turn up, it they turn up at all…. (story)

November 2012

Independent on Sunday 18.11.12 Circuses blow their top at lion licensing plan - Owners say proposal is 'disrespectful' and could drive them out of business - BRIAN BRADY - A plan to force circuses to license all their lions, tigers and elephants – thrashed out after the Government shelved an outright ban on performing wild animals – could still drive many circuses out of business, owners have warned. Circus representatives told ministers the compromise was "disrespectful", imposed unreasonable costs and would stop them hitting animals to control and train them… The document also reported that the circus delegates had complained that "no hitting at all ignores various circumstances (such as breaking up fights)", and that "keeping animals in exercise areas overnight [was] not possible or safe"…. (story)


(*) Mail 17.11.12 The offal truth about PM's shooting party: Cameron was last week accused of being too squeamish to eat a stag's liver. But the chef who cooked it tells a different story... By ROSE PRINCE

Back in 1993, David Cameron was not even an MP. So it says something of the regard in which he was held that, in the late summer of that year, he was invited to join a select group of Tory powerbrokers for a shooting party in the Scottish Highlands.

Venison was served and with it came the liver, cooked so rare it was soaked in blood – and this is the humble piece of offal that has thrown Mr Cameron into a degree of bother.

First, anti-bloodsport MPs inveighed against his participation in such a gory feast. 

 Now his old pal, political commentator Bruce Anderson, has thrown fresh fat on the fire with claims that, to the dismay of countryside traditionalists, Cameron was too wimpy to actually sink his teeth into it.
Anderson said that while he himself was appreciative, some ‘wetties’ refused the liver, including Cameron, who later told him he had not eaten it but had hidden it under some salad.
Yet the details of Cameron’s supposed squeamishness are, to say the least, implausible.

I know, because I cooked the dish myself that day at Glenfernate Lodge in Perthshire. I served the plate to Cameron full, and it came back empty. Moreover, there certainly was no salad on the future Prime Minister’s plate.

Glenfernate Lodge is in the Highlands of Scotland, where salad hardly forms part of the terroir of the region and it would be inappropriate to put it beside the liver of a wild animal. Wild fungi, maybe, but not lettuce. Nor, Heaven forbid, rocket leaves.

Firsthand witness: Chef Rose Prince claims she knows that Cameron is not against eating liver - as she has served it to him

Firsthand witness: Chef Rose Prince claims she knows that Cameron is not against eating liver - as she has served it to him

But let’s go back to that interesting week in Scotland. Anderson and Tory MP Alan Duncan were the generous hosts to a group of politicians and journalists gathered for a few days stalking red deer.

There was no doubt the older members of the party had hopes for the young, politically ambitious Cameron. He was, if you like, being groomed. Also in the party was Rachel Whetstone, later a close adviser of Cameron’s and the wife of his guru, Steve Hilton. Then unmarried, she obsessively played jigsaws with another young Tory from a privileged background, David Faber.

Over dinner, the young Tories brayed and argued, sometimes until the early hours. At daybreak they rose, pulled on their tweeds, put their ‘piece’ (Scottish for packed lunch) in their pockets and set off for a day’s stalking.

I also remember that Cameron was the only one among the young to clear away the plates and offer to help with the washing-up.

It was a good-mannered gesture from the ruddy faced, obviously well-brought-up young man, which is more than can be said for Whetstone and one or two of the others. MP Derek Conway and his wife were also there. I recall Conway, there for the stalking although later to work with the Cats Protection League, being especially grandiose.

The house, set in a heather- covered Perthshire valley, was large, comfortable and thankfully well-heated.

The hallways were decked with stags’ antlers and the atmosphere that week was very convivial. After the day’s sport was over, all would gather in the gun room for a dram with the head stalker: a ‘man among men’ Anderson would often say. Anderson himself is a great buffalo of a bloke who could barely do up his Harris tweed ‘plus eights’: sort of calf-length knickerbockers.

He can be credited with making the early prediction that Cameron would one day be Prime Minister.

But that was far away from those evenings in Scotland, when another stalker would play the mouth organ and Scottish songs were sung before everyone changed for dinner.

It was on the first night that I roasted the entire venison liver from a freshly shot stag and served it medium rare. Alan Duncan, the host, was disapproving, but the blood-lusting Anderson and the others loved it. On the whole we ate only Scottish ingredients that week: beef, scallops, lobster, haggis – and venison. Vegetables were scarcer on the menu, it must be said.

There was some talk at dinner about how the ‘quarry’ (shot game) should always be eaten and that stalking should not only be about sport. It is this that makes it so extraordinary that Cameron, who was brought up in the shires, should not even taste the venison liver.

 It is not as if that week should embarrass Cameron now. Stalking is nothing if not a very middle-aged pursuit and, despite Labour MP and anti-blood sports campaigner Kerry McCarthy’s protest that the incident was a ‘disgusting’ instance of the kind of rituals carried out by the ‘old school, elitist, hunting, shooting, land-owning aristocratic classes’, wild deer in Britain must be culled.
For the sake of the health of the herds, and the environmental damage an over-surplus can do, deer must be stalked and shot because they are very elusive, and have no other predator apart from man.
And, out of respect to any animal killed in a sporting pursuit, none of its meat, offal or hide should be wasted. Nor indeed those other extremities: game dealers in nearby Pitlochry would ship the genitals and hooves to the Far East for use in medicine and aphrodisiacs.

The Prime Minister grew up in the countryside. His father Ian – along with my father – used to shoot regularly at Woolley Park in Berkshire. I remember the teenage Cameron, in a slightly too-clean Barbour jacket with his shotgun broken over his arm, looking unmistakably the future statesman. A little older, I would giggle at him then go for a smoke in the bushes with a friend.

The suspicion lingers that Cameron, once the darling of rural Conservative voters, no longer values their numbers, which are of little significance at election time. And he has become less keen to talk about his love of shooting and stalking. It might be unwitting, but Bruce Anderson’s rewriting of the past at Glenfernate Lodge is certainly convenient.

Cameron’s coyness at his county background and all that comes with it, including eating the liver of Bambi, is merely to woo the more squeamish urban voter.

There is nothing wrong with eating venison liver, as anyone versed in the ways of the countryside will know. There is a lot wrong with serving it with salad, however, and misremembering eating it.

If he was really turned off by it, why not do what any intelligent person does in that situation, and slip it to the dog under the table?

As usual a 'con' to appeal to the millions of voters - in other words make Cameron appear to be a little more caring so that his party can woo the masses to vote for him at the next election. This government is after all, desperate, to give the hunters their way on the hunting issue.

(*) Mail 14.11.12 Hunt master 'racially abused black anti-blood sports protester by calling her a f****** w**' By LARISA BROWN - A hunt master hurled racist abuse at a black anti-blood sports protester, calling her a 'f****** w**', a court heard.

David Lee Peters, 33, hurled insults at a group of ‘saboteurs’ who gathered in 4x4 vehicles to voice their protests at a meet in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on January 7.

The married father-of-one - who is the master of the Ross Harriers hunt - went on to abuse protester Hiba Hassan and call her a f****** w** as he rode past on horseback, JPs were told.
A court heard Peters, also known as Lee, had called police to disperse the protesters who claimed they were monitoring for illegal hunting.
But he was arrested when the anti-hunting group told officers about the alleged racist slur.

Today Peters, from Ross-on-Wye, appeared before Hereford Magistrates Court charged with racially aggravated harassment.

Addressing him prosecutor Michael Taylor said: 'You tried to take a look inside the Land Rover.
'You even went to look in the back and when you saw a black person you shouted out "look there’s a f*****g w** in there".
'Presumably loud enough to impress the people behind you.'
Giving evidence Ms Hassan told the court she was on her first hunt protest and was left 'upset' by the insult.
She said: 'Mr Peters began banging on the Land Rover and shouting at us.
'I heard him say "you’re going to get it" and he called me a "w**" when he saw me.

'He saw me and then he said "they’ve got a f*****g w** in there".

'He was aggressive the whole way through. Everyone was in hearing distance.

'I felt very alienated and upset and shocked. I don’t think people use the word ‘w**’ in this day and age.

David Peters, pictured at Hereford magistrate's court earlier this week, is accused of racially abusing a black anti-blood sports protester

'Less than an hour later the police officer approached me. They asked me if I had any trouble and if I’d experienced any abusive behaviour from anyone and I said yes I had, I said the hunt master had been abusive towards me.
'I was quite upset at the time.'

Witness Robert Muncey told the court he was tending to his garden when the incident occurred. [An independent witness. Very powerful. And a person who is prepared to go to court. Marvellous]

He said: 'The lead rider crouched down as he came passed the Land Rover looking in the cab window. He then crouched around by the back window.

'He yelled out the following to the riders behind him: "Oh look, they’ve got a f*****g w** in here".

'It was said very loudly in a venomous manner. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. I really thought there was going to be trouble.'

Peters, pictured on a horse at an earlier meet of the Ross Harriers,

Peters admitted shouting some threats towards the group as he passed them on horseback but denied using racist language.

He also claimed he was verbally abused himself by the group who labelled him a 'Welsh sheep s******* c***'.
Giving evidence he said: 'I was told that there were ‘sabs’ (saboteurs) present. The information I had was that they had baseball bats.

'I phoned the police and just told them the information I had. As soon as you’re aware of saboteurs, it’s my duty as a master to inform the police.

'We left the pub and went around the bend and there’s some saboteurs to my left hand side just parked up really.

'I did not stop because I had the hounds around me.

'And I didn’t say those words, I didn’t hear those words.
'Then I retraced my steps back up the lane. I got near enough to the top and one of the saboteurs made a grab for me and had me by the leg trying to get me off the horse.

'He called me a "Welsh sheep-s******g c**t". I managed to dislodge him and carried on around the bend away from him.

'I weren’t happy because he had tried to have me off the horse. He was running alongside me pointing at me.

'I was threatening to keep him away from me. It was a reaction I had because I was backed into a corner.'

Peters denies racially aggravated harassment.
The trial continues

(*) Ross Gazette 14.11.12 ‘Racist’ huntsman trial begins - The trial of the Master of Ross Harriers, David Lee Peters, 33, of Coughton, Ross-on-Wye, began at Hereford Magistrates Court on Monday, November 12th. … (story)

(*) Argus 14.11.12 Seven years on, has the Hunting Act ‘failed spectacularly’? By Kimberly Middleton - Seven years of living under a
law designed to stop fox hunting has not dampened involvement in this controversial countryside pursuit. In fact the meets are as strong as ever – with people forced to rally around to defend the tradition, reigniting interest, according to the Countryside Alliance. “Hunting remains in good heart” and “support is strong” said the group’s executive chairman Barney White-Spunner in the latest weekly newsletter. Under the headline ‘The Hunting Act has failed spectacularly’ he argues more people now follow hunts: 86% have the same number or more members and nearly all feel better or equally supported by the local community. Mr White-Spunner added: “The Hunting Act was an attack on rural people rather than an attempt to improve animal welfare, which is why it has failed so spectacularly.” The figures have reinvigorated calls from pro-hunters to scrap the “pointless” legislation.

But among the positivity and team spirit this year saw the county’s first prosecution.

Video footage led to four Crawley and Horsham Hunt members being fined after being found guilty of hunting a wild animal – a fox – with a dog.

And South Downs Hunt Sabs’ Simon Russell, said the Countryside Alliance’s figures are not reflected on the ground.

“They keep saying it’s more and more popular and more people are going out but that’s not our experience.

“It’s the same people, same faces, I don’t think the numbers have changed at all in the last ten years, it’s pretty static.”

He added: “There has been a number of prosecutions but getting one is extremely difficult.

“They constantly claim when they kill an animal that it was a mistake, it’s the default stance now.”

The saboteurs have been attempting to disrupt hunts across the county in recent weeks, including on the Balcombe Estate, north of Haywards Heath, and in Eridge, near Crowborough.

Despite the prosecution and continued protests, meets continue across East and West Sussex.

The Countryside Alliance’s director of campaigns, Tim Bonner, said: “Currently all of the hunts in Sussex are robust.
“In some areas, especially where there remains active animal rights and anti-hunt groups, a lot of police time can be wasted on what’s a completely pointless piece of legislation.”
Conservative MP Charles Hendry, who would support a vote to reverse the law, said hunts in his Wealden constituency are still strong.
He said: “Wealden’s always had an above average level of support. I haven’t seen that diminish, but I can’t say if it’s gone up.
“The intensity of the opposition has declined. It could be because we don’t see the big demonstrations and the conflict between the two sides, so it’s easier to support it than had been the case previously. Antagonism has subsided.
“Clearly it has to be done within the confines of what is now possible but I suspect on Boxing Day we will see huge turnouts.”
It’s a view reflected by director Mr Bonner. He said: “I think in many ways hunting is as open and active as it has ever been.
“Some people thought the new legislation would stop hunting all together. It was a case of if you couldn’t go to the football you would play golf instead.
“But that was never going to happen.
“People are incredibly passionate about hunting and are absolutely certain that fox hunting is justifiable and humane.”
He added that the hunt supporters were more determined than ever.
He said: “People have rallied around their hunts as they have come under attack.”
He said stereotypes of “the arrogant rich riding rough-shod through the countryside” could not be further from the truth.
Mr Bonner added: “The hunting people have a huge respect for the fox which is something that can be very difficult to understand in the modern world.”
He said there were numerous new faces in hunting, with Mr White-Spunner adding it can only bode well for the future.

Saboteurs tell of violent attack by masked gang

In October 2012 anti-hunt campaigners claimed to have been attacked by a group of masked men.

The Hunt Saboteurs Association said three of its supporters had to be treated for head wounds in hospital after clashes at the Southdown and Eridge Fox Hunt in Firle near Lewes.

A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and has been bailed until December 3.

The Countryside Alliance at the time said people involved in the clash had no association with the hunt.
No one was prosecuted under the laws in Sussex in 2010, sparking claims the bill was a “massive waste of police time”.
The Countryside Alliance said between 2005 when the bill was introduced and 2009 just four people were fined in Sussex – all in 2009. Alice Barnard, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said at the time: “With the opening meets of the hunting season just around the corner, these statistics are a damning indictment of the expensive and failed Hunting Act.”

But in May 2012 Sussex saw its first convictions for breaking fox hunting laws.

Neill Millard, Rachel Holdsworth and Andrew Phillis, from the Crawley and Horsham Hunt, were found guilty of hunting a wild mammal with a dog.

Video was captured of hounds “in full cry” chasing a fox at hunt meets at Marlpost Wood, Southwater, and Shermanbury Place in January 2011.

It was the ninth prosecution under the Act involving a pack of hounds since the ban came into force in February 2005.

At the time hunt monitors said the verdict would put more pressure on local groups to abide by the law.

Simon Wild, who shot some of the footage of the meets that was used as evidence, said: “This has done our credibility a great deal of good with police.

“I am sure we will be able to build up the pressure on this hunt and other hunts in the area.”

But the Countryside Alliance said it was “very disappointed” at the result.
Tim Bonner said: “This was a long and complicated trial.
“We never believed |there was the evidence to sustain a conviction and we still don’t believe so.”

The Hunting Act

The Hunting Act 2004 outlawed hunting with dogs – particularly fox hunting, but also the hunting of deer, hares and mink and organised hare coursing – in England and Wales from 18 February 2005.

The Labour Party came to power in 1997 with a manifesto saying: “We will ensure greater protection for wildlife.

"We have advocated new measures to promote animal welfare, including a free vote in Parliament on whether hunting with hounds should be banned.”

(*) Carmarthen Journal 14.11.12 RSPCA on alert after claims of rogue fox hunts By Ian Lewis - AN RSPCA inspector is urging the public to be aware of an illegal form of fox hunting he claims could be taking place in West Wales.

Keith Hogben said he had recently received several complaints about cubbing — the hunting of young foxes to train foxhounds.

Mr Hogben said: "I have had reports of it happening in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire and want to remind people that it is illegal."

However, the Countryside Council for Wales said there was no evidence to support the claims.
Hunting officer Adrian Simpson said there had not been a single arrest across West and South Wales since the ban on cubbing was introduced.

Mr Hogben told the Journal this week: "It is often done early in the morning and is used to train young hounds."

He added in the last couple months a number of alleged incidents had been reported to him.

However, while fox cubs are the main target, Mr Hogben said that very often a clearing in woodland is selected and not just cubs are hunted.

He added: "It can be the case that any small animal in that area is used as a bait and hunting practice along with the fox cubs. I want people who spot any such activity to contact the RSPCA immediately.

"It is an unpleasant form of training dogs and something the RSPCA wants to put an end to.

"The practice is now illegal under the Hunting Act 2004."

The work being done by the RSPCA is being backed up by the animal welfare group West Wales Animal Aid.

Chairman David Petersen, of St Clears, said he was concerned about cubbing across the UK.

He said: "We in West Wales Animal Aid are determined that these cruel blood sports are exposed for what they are.

"The young hounds are set onto known fox lairs where they scatter the young foxes and kill them, by ripping them apart."

Mr Petersen said he and members of West Wales Animal Aid were vigilant at this time of year and were echoing the RSPCA in trying to raise awareness with the general public.

He said as a group they tried to build up any evidence and work with the RSPCA and police.

Adrian Simpson said there was no evidence to support such claims, adding: "These are spurious allegations and the Countryside Council maintains that they are totally unfounded. Trail hunting is legal and what hunts do.
"The police have not made one arrest since the ban came in. There has not been one prosecution, so I'd ask what evidence there is to say otherwise?"


*) Yorkshire Post 12.11.12 Worms that turn out to be costly for employer - A LEADING English hunt has paid compensation to a former employee who claimed his liver problems were caused by poor control of tapeworm in the hound pack.

Lawyers have been circulating details as a warning to hunts and farmers who run working dogs. They point out cattle and sheep could be carrying eggs from the same worms, making stock handlers vulnerable – and also eligible to sue.

They quote Defra figures showing more than nine per cent of hounds tested excreted the eggs of Echinococcus granulosus and there was a substantial risk of human handlers picking one up.

Brethertons of Banbury, Oxfordshire, represented Charles Wheeler, who worked 16 years for a “prestigious” Gloucestershire hunt, before moving to a Pacific island to start a fishing business.

He fell ill with serious chest and abdominal pains and was flown to Brisbane, Australia, where his problems were traced to “hydatid cysts”, on his liver, caused by the worm eggs.

He recalled the hounds he looked after would eat mainly raw meat and offal from dead sheep, which in turn were likely to have picked up eggs from dog faeces. The dogs were not wormed regularly, he said, because of financial constraints. The hunt recently settled out of court after five years of legal argument.

Sioban Calcott, a personal injury specialist at Brethertons, said: “It is no longer an excuse to argue that you cannot afford costly worming programmes. The fact of the matter is, you cannot afford not to.”

Felicity Wyatt, head of Brethertons’ agricultural division, said: “The disease is endemic in most of Europe. Sheep are important intermediate hosts, although this is also the case for cattle that graze on pastures contaminated with dog faeces.”

Northern Echo 12.11.12 Bloodsports - HUNTING, and indeed, all wildlife crime, is a very emotive matter, I agree. I also agree that the Great North Air Ambulance is a very worthy recipient of money generated by the Tynedale Hunt’s calendar. However, the fact that it is a worthy cause is my main reason for complaint. It is nothing but blood money, raised to make the hunting fraternity look kind and charitable… Name and address supplied. (letter)

Western Daily Press 12.11.12 Foxhunting ban has 'failed spectacularly' as popularity grows - More people are riding and supporting foxhunts than ever before, which hunt leaders says shows the ban on hunting has ‘failed spectacularly’… The statistics were released in the week the Hunt Saboteurs Association posted a video on its own website of hounds from the West’s most senior hunt apparently chasing a fox at the end of the opening day meet last weekend. The Beaufort Hunt have denied deliberately hunting foxes, and said their hounds accidentally flushed out a fox and were called off from the chase, allowing the fox to escape… (story)

(*) East Anglian Daily Times 12.11.12 Update: Landowner speaks out over hare coursing confrontation in Hitcham By Matt Hunter - A LANDOWNER who was mowed down by a group of hare coursers said he fears someone will be killed in a similar confrontation. Speaking hours after being released from hospital the 62-year-old farmer from Hitcham, near Stowmarket - who only wants to be identified by his first name for fear of reprisals - has warned about the dangers of people facing up to coursers… (story)

(*) Gloucester Citizen 12.11.12 Big Issue: What next for badger cull debate? - THE Government's debacle over the proposed pilot badger cull was not a surprise to me, for I expected this misconceived idea to grind to a halt somewhere down the line. I was somewhat amazed, however, when the train became derailed before it left the station. This was due not only to the deluge of public opinion that has been gaining momentum against the badger cull, but also due to public safety concerns that would have undoubtedly arisen once the first shots were fired…. (story)

my pic of shot fox shows the barbarity of shooting foxes.


South Downs Hunt Sabs

Taking direct action against bloodsports
November 4, 2012

More violence in the South East

Write up from yesterday (3/11/12)

Around 25 sabs from Brighton, Croydon and Hastings turned up at the South Downs and Erridge kennels at 9am. We followed them to their meet at Firle. Three cop cars pulled into the meet to get a briefing from the hunt. The had no interaction with us, and showed no interest in us when we approached them to talk them. We entered the field where sabs were pushed off some land by ~15 ballied up boys and a couple of cops. Sabs were spat at, pushed around and kicked while the police looked on and helped push us off. The hunt left, following a fake trail. A hunstman shouted what sounded like “I will rape you” at sabs while they galloped away across a field. We left to get a pick up, walking down a path as quadbikes laden with lads wearing balaclavas and carrying big sticks and weapons sped past. There were about 10 men (from ages 16-40) piled into each quad, clearly flaunting highway laws while the police looked on and laughed about it.

We got to the landrovers where a concerned sab tried to raise concerns with the police about the amount of tooled people in the area. They said that it’s not illegal to carry sticks, and brushed the comment aside, regardless of the fact there was clearly intent for violence. We drove to get to the hunt but couldn’t get past a road where there were about 30 lads with sticks talking to the police.

There was a standoff during which the police addressed the sabs for the first time, telling us not to be silly and asking us why we were there (obviously to stop illegal hunting), ignoring the 30 men stood behind the police woman’s back, who were making aggressive threats and standing equipped with weapons. Amongst the men present, we recognised the people who were involved in the violent attack on sabs last week.

We are amazed that the police, so unashamedly, were partial on the side of a hunt that we know the police ride with. It is known that David Fuller, one of the huntsmen, used to be a member of the police force. (Corruption much?)

Sabs decided to leave the area as these violent thugs were clearly not going to let us get anywhere near the hunt. If we continued to attempt to sab, we were sure there would have been hospitalisations again as the police were showing no interest in protecting people from threats of extreme violence.

We travelled to the Crawley and Horsham’s opening meet near Knepp and found them resting at a pub. They were recently found guilty of illegal hunting, and the following events were not what we expected because we thought they’d be on their best behaviour.

We entered the field and sabs were with them all day. They were clearly not happy with this, so after an hour or two of successfully monitoring them, they launched an attack on. Three riders pinned a sab against a fence, redcoats ran sabs down and one sab was kicked in the chest by a rider.

They also used quadbikes a lot during the day to send more young men into the area to try to intimidate sabs and split us up by driving at our group. On one occasion, a man jumped off his quadbike and tried to trip a sab up from behind.

Later on, a red coat smashed a landrover’s wing mirror with their whip. Again police paid no attention to this.

Police, having nothing better to do than bother sabs who were trying to stop the illegal hunting, arrested one sab for carrying citronella. This is a lemony scent which is used to spray the ground to cover up the fox’s scent. He was later released without charge.

The events yesterday clearly show that hunts are violent thugs, willing to do anything to get what they want. The police have shown us that they are more than happy to assist illegal activities, and protect the thugs who are doing this.

We always need more funds and more help. Please get in contact if you can help in any way.

Written by South Down Hunt Sabs Posted in Sabbing Reports


  1. November 5, 2012 - 8:54 pm Judi Hewitt

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    WORDS FAIL ME! How are these evil bastards getting away with it? How are the police getting away with assisting in law breaking. THIS NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL – IT CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO CARRY ON!!!
    Judi (Hewitt)

Name (required)
WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

(*) Croydon Advertiser 26.10.12 'Fox hunt' protest at police's blind eye - A "FOX hunt" was staged in Croydon on Tuesday to promote the protection of animal rights. Employees from Lush in North End dressed as foxes and were chased by members of staff dressed as police officers…. (story)
(*) Redditch Standard 26.10.12 Hunt event - A FAKE fox hunt was staged by staff at a town centre store to raise awareness of the importance of tackling wildlife crime. Lush, on Evesham Walk in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, staged the stunt which saw workers dress-up as foxes and police…. (story)
(*) Bath Chronicle 25.10.12 Foxing the criminals . . . Lush Bath staff highlight wildlife crime - A mock hunt took place on the streets of Bath this week to push the issue of wildlife crime further up the political agenda. Staff from health and beauty firm Lush's Bath store dressed as police, foxes and animal rights protesters for the stunt…. (story)

(*) Irish Examiner 26.10.12 Ban coursing and protect endangered hare - While welcoming Minister Deenihan’s ban on the hunting of Kerry red deer and the curlew, I would urge him to go a step further, because this is the same minister who a few months ago issued a licence permitting the capture of thousands of hares for live coursing events… John Fitzgerald Lower Coyne Street Callan Co Kilkenny (letter)

(*) Western Daily Press 26.10.12 Environment Secretary accused of 'hissy fit' in badger cull debate - Environment Secretary Owen Paterson was last night accused of a “hissy fit” after he walked out of a heated debate on the badger cull. Critics claimed the ministerial meltdown came before MPs voted by a large majority to stop the controversial cull…. (story)
(*) Western Morning News 26.10.12 Government defeat as MPs' vote 'no' on badger culling - The Government last night suffered a humiliating defeat on its plan to cull badgers in two South West bovine TB hotspot areas. In the first-ever debate resulting from an online petition, it lost a backbench business motion calling on it to cancel the pilot culling schemes and find other ways to defeat the disease, which cost the lives of 26,000 cattle last year… (story)

(*) Grimsby Telegraph 26.10.12 Time to stop badgering Old Brock over Bovine TB - IN response to the letter by B Lundy, there are those of us who have an interest in all animals, and we are sick and tired of badgers being blamed for Bovine TB, when evidence suggests otherwise…. S Steer (address supplied) (letter)

(*) Isle of Thanet Gazette 26.10.12 Protesters and police in clash - PROTESTERS and police have clashed during "emotionally charged" rallies after live animal exports resumed at Ramsgate port… PROTESTERS and police have clashed during "emotionally charged" rallies after live animal exports resumed at Ramsgate port. On Friday, more than 100 campaigners turned out to register their disgust at the High Court decision to reverse Thanet council's temporary ban on live animals being moved through its port… Mary Knott, an animal charity worker from Margate, said: "They were quite brutal – they just didn't care…. (story)

(*) Sunday Express 7.10.12
By Francesca Librae and Camilla Tominey

PRINCE Charles is facing an animal welfare backlash as members of the royal hunt are filmed shooting Cadbury dairy calves.

Shocking undercover footage by animal rights campaigners shows a male calf just days old being shot in the head as it stands on a pile of rotting corpses.

The confectionery giant, which uses the Bristol farm to provide milk for 250 million bars of chocolate every year, hired the Prince’s Beaufort Hunt to shoot the calves because they are unable to give birth or provide milk.

Viva! campaigner Justin Kerswell said: “We’d hope that Prince Charles will be horrified that calves are being ripped from their mothers at just a few days old, shot in the head and then fed to the hounds. The trade in dead baby animals is fuelling the royals’ favourite hunt.”

The bodies are considered a useless by-product by the industry, to be dealt with by the Beaufort Hunt, with which Princes William and Harry have also ridden.

Cadbury’s Audrey Payne said: “The Viva! video captures an out-of-the-ordinary incident. This particular calf had a deformed leg and was taken from the farm by a licensed slaughterer from the Beaufort Hunt Kennels where he was dealt with humanely.

“Creating a market for bull calves is a challenge for the dairy industry, we are working with our farmers, suppliers and industry partners to encourage practical and humane solutions to this issue and will continue to do so. We take animal welfare very seriously.”

Viva! campaigner Kat Affleck said: “Cadbury appears to be suggesting that the heart-breaking scenes we filmed of a little, uncomprehending calf being made to stand on the dead bodies of other calves before being shot in the head was just a one-off.

“How can they explain the fact that Viva! filmed on at least four other dairy farms that supply Cadbury with milk and also shoot these animals?

“One hundred thousand shots ring out on British dairy farms every year because of unwanted males. The simple truth is that there’s a calf and a half of suffering in every bar of milk chocolate.”

 The undercover investigation also shows consumers the “brutal truth” behind the gruelling milking process at dairy farms.

The royals used to ride out with Beaufort near Prince Charles’s Highgrove home in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, until hunting with dogs was banned in 2004.

Clarence House declined to comment. 

WAAC says - Of course they have declined to comment - these people are psychotic....

September 2012

Jonathon Seed

Only a mother could love this guy! Poor horse having to put up with this on its back!!

Five members of the Avon Vale Hunt, including a Wiltshire councillor, have appeared in court charged with breaching the Hunting Act 2004.

Joshua Charlesworth, 18, from East Tytherton; Benjamin Pethers, 28, from Hoopers Pool, Southwick; Stuart Radbourne, 28, from The Common, Bromham; Paul Tylee-Hinder, 58, of Quemerford, Calne and Jonathon Seed, 54, of Chittoe Heath, Bromham all denied the breach when they appeared before magistrates in Chippenham on Tuesday.

Four of them denied an additional charge of intefering with a badger sett, though Mr Radbourne, one of the joint hunt masters, indicated a guilty plea to that charge.

The case has been brought by the RSPCA and refers to incidents alleged to have taken place on March 6 this year at Stockley Hollow, near Calne.

The bench heard that the case could not proceed on Tuesday so it has been adjourned until November 9 when a date for the trial will be set. The five all appeared on summons so the question of bail did not arise.

Mr Seed, Wiltshire councillor for Summerham and Seend and a former hunt master, said he intended to fight the allegation against him.

In a statement outside court he said: “This is a private prosecution by the RSPCA and I believe that is has been commenced for political reasons as their stance against hunting is well known and it is of great significance that Wiltshire Police, after advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, declined to take this case forward.

“In my opinion these proceedings are an abuse of the private prosecution system which needs to be addressed in due course. I totally deny the allegations of any offence against the Hunting Act (he would wouldn't he?) and there is simply no evidence of either myself or any of the other defendants or anyone else being involved in any illegal hunting on the day in question.”


North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

07960 038230

Blog - http://nwhsa.wordpress.com


Last Friday night (21st September 2012) at around 8/45pm I was busy on my computer when all the lights went out at home and my computer switched off, I got the strongest feeling that the first (cull) badger had just been shot dead. The feeling I got was a sudden and overwhelming feeling of sadness - a feeling I'd never felt before. It was only seconds before all the electrics came back on but I was sobbing uncontrollably. I went onto face book to see if anyone else had been affected and was surprised to see others had experienced something similar but in different ways. It was as if we were all linked in some strange way to the terrble tragedy that had begun to unfold. But I also had the strongest feeling that we were not alone and that some divine unearthly presence was and still is supporting us and will stay with us until the evil persecution of these defenceless and much loved animals is stopped, and those involved in the killing and maimings are punished - it's called KARMA!. Take care all you heavenly activists and stay safe!
Stop the Badger Cull video - sign the petition
Save 130,000 lives by signing the UK government E petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petition...

E-petition leaves badger cull 'up for debate'

badger Badgers are generally protected under UK law, but exceptions are allowed for disease prevention
Continue reading the main story

Related Stories

The badger cull in parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire could be reconsidered, after 100,000 people signed an e-petition to stop it.

The online petition was launched last week by Queen guitarist Brian May, as part of the "team badger" campaign.

The petition currently has 105,000 signatories, which means it could be debated in the House of Commons.

Last week, farmers were issued with the first licences to shoot badgers, in a cull aimed at preventing bovine TB.

Campaigners say the cull will not have a significant impact in reducing the disease and are calling for the government to focus on the vaccination methods instead.

But those in support of a cull argue the move is needed because badgers spread TB to livestock, costing taxpayers and farmers millions of pounds.

'Make things worse'

Scientific estimates suggest that culling badgers in areas where bovine TB is prevalent could reduce the number of new cases of TB in herds by 16% over 9 years, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Continue reading the main story

The pilot areas

  • West Gloucestershire pilot area description: mainly in the county of Gloucestershire, predominantly within the council districts of the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury, and parts lie within the districts of Wychavon, Malvern Hills and the south east part of the county of Herefordshire. The area does not include the public forest estate in the Forest of Dean.
  • West Somerset pilot area description: located in the county of Somerset. The application area predominantly lies within the council district of West Somerset and part lies within the district of Taunton Deane.
  • Source: Natural England

In Gloucestershire, farmers are being licensed to shoot up to 70% of badgers in one 300 square kilometre area.

The licence for a trial cull in Somerset is still under consideration.

Meanwhile, animal welfare and wildlife campaigners have opposed the cull, which will allow wild badgers to be shot by trained marksmen when the animals venture out of their setts at night.

The Badger Trust lost a fight challenging the legality of the cull in the High Court in early September.

The e-petition has called on the government to halt the cull, arguing that "over 70% of the badger population in large areas of the country will be killed, many of them healthy".

"Independent scientific studies have shown that culling would be of little help in reducing bovine TB, and even suggest that it could make things worse in some areas," it says.

"We urge the government to stop the cull and implement the more sustainable and humane solution of both a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity."

Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh said: "There is widespread concern about the government's decision to press ahead with a badger cull, despite their own official advice that it will cost more than it saves and will spread bovine TB in the short term as badgers are disturbed by the shooting.

"Ministers should listen to the scientists and can this cull which is bad for farmers, bad for taxpayers and bad for wildlife."

Clarissa Dickson Wright: 'I go to Mass to say thank you' (Is this creature kidding?)

Sunday Telegraph 23.9.12 Clarissa Dickson Wright: 'I go to Mass to say thank you' - Clarissa Dickson Wright, the outspoken cook and TV presenter, opens up about her faith, surviving alcoholism and the endangered joys of country living By Cole Moreton - Clarissa Dickson Wright is back, and ready for a fight. “David Cameron assumes the countryside is on his side,” says this formidable cook, countrywoman and campaigner, “but it could go wrong for him if he’s not careful.”… Her support for the Countryside Alliance led in 2007 to a private prosecution by the International Fund For Animal Welfare. She pleaded guilty to attending two hare-coursing events in North Yorkshire, although she had thought they were legal because the greyhounds were muzzled. The magistrate gave her an absolute discharge. “I did not get a criminal record for that,” she says. “I was quite looking forward to going to jail in Yorkshire and writing the prison cookbook. It would have been a rest.”… (story)

What a horrible creature  - this grotesque excuse for a human being glorifies cruelty and sticks a finger up at the law. Ugly inside and out then!!!! 

The Alliance, Number 10 and Defra - STINKS DOESN'T IT!!

Alliance Executive Chairman Barney (Shite)White (Spinner)Spunner writes: I have had a busy and rewarding week talking to the Government. On Wednesday the Prime Minister hosted a rural affairs lunch which I attended along with representatives of other rural-interest groups. At the lunch I was able to make the strong point to Mr Cameron that rural mobile coverage is a vital issue and the 4G rollout offers numerous opportunities. I also spoke to the Prime Minster about other issues of importance to our members and supporters, including country sports. 

This week I also briefed Secretary of State for Defra Owen Paterson and it is excellent to see him take a strong and early grip of his new role. Following my briefing on Asulam, the only viable bracken control spray on the market which has been banned by Europe, the Secretary of State has already instructed his department to lodge an Emergency Authorisation to ensure it can still be used. As you may know bracken is poisonous to livestock and kills other vegetation, particularly heather. It is one of the preferred habitats for the sheep tick, which can pass on many diseases, including louping ill. This affects grouse and can result in a 79% mortality rate in infected birds. Bracken control is therefore of considerable importance to agriculture, biodiversity, landscape, recreation and sport, and consequently the rural economy. The Secretary of State's decisive action will be welcomed by everyone who appreciates our uplands.

From the Prime Minister downwards I feel that the government reshuffle has given us a strong and interested team in Westminster who understand our rural concerns and who will help us start to solve them.

Delightful people aren't they? They can't see how much they're hated - they seem to think they're going to get back in at the next general election - well it ain't going to happen Mr Cameron - many who voted Conservative or Lib Dem will never do so again!!
These rotten to the core bloodthirsty Tory ministers are, how can I put it? Dead party talking!!

RSPCA CALLS FOR MILK BOYCOTT and so do all of us!
Western Morning News 20.9.12 RSPCA calls for boycott of milk from badger cull zones - The RSPCA has called on consumers to boycott milk from cull areas saying the products would be "soaked in badgers' blood"…. (story)
Independent 20.9.12 RSPCA calls for milk boycott as farmers prepare for badger cull - Landowners 'should be made to feel financial consequences of letting animals be shot' - The RSPCA has called for a boycott of dairy products from parts of the West Country where badgers will be culled, saying that farmers and landowners should be made to feel the "commercial consequences" of allowing badgers to be shot on their land… (story)

(*) Farmers Weekly 20.9.12 Farmers Weekly quizzes Brian May on bovine TB - Jane King - As one of the fiercest critics of the pilot badger cull Queen guitarist Brian May won't win a popularity contest with farmers…. Farmers Weekly editor Jane King invited Mr May to meet to explore his views further and to challenge some of his assumptions. The answers below are the highlights of the interview. The short video accompanying it gives a flavour of what turned out to be a robust exchange of views during the 45-minute conversation… (story)

(*) Huffington Post 20.9.12 The Problem Isn't Badgers, It's (Politically Led?) Bad Science - Hilary Burrage - After years of posturing and shadow boxing, it looks like the 'War of the Rurals' has finally begun. This very week will, extraordinary intervention excepted, see the beginning of a massive badger cullauthorised by DEFRA … Unfortunately it's not really going to work. The National Farmers' Union and the majority of farmers - but not all - may believe that badger culls will do the trick, and a lot of politicians want to keep the farmers onside…. (story)

(*) Daily Post 20.9.12 Ministers hit back in badger cull row - THE Welsh Government yesterday mounted a staunch defence of its decision to press ahead with a vaccination programme for badgers – revealing that 930 had been given the bovine TB jab already…. (story) [What a difference a year or so makes!!!]

(*) Gloucestershire Echo 20.9.12 Petition call over cull of badgers - A PETITION which asks Gloucestershire County Council to prevent badger culling on its land is likely to be refused next week… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 20.9.12 779 on petition - A PETITION seeking to prevent badger culling on county council-owned land could meet a dead-end… the council's tenant farmers are permitted to exercise their own discretion (story)

(*) Gloucester Citizen 20.9.12 Big Issue: Baroness Jan Royall of Blaisdon on the badger cull - AS a proud member of the Forest of Dean community, a tax payer, and someone who lives in the country and is both concerned about the problems of dairy farmers including the prevalence of TB and about our wildlife, I am angry at the Government's decision to begin the pilot to cull badgers in West Gloucestershire… (story)

(*) Wells Journal 20.9.12 Badger and TB debate is going to get worse - The Badger Trust's legal bid to halt the proposed badger cull failed in the courts last Tuesday and this clears the way for culling to start this autumn in the two pilot areas identified in Gloucestershire and West Somerset… Nothing is as simple as the quick sound bites we see on television and although I have some sympathy with Brian May's view regarding vaccination, he and the wider general public must also appreciate the financial and emotional impact TB has on farmers… (story)

(*) Leatherhead Advertiser 20.9.12 'Disappointment' at badger cull decision - A WILDLIFE charity has expressed its "disappointment and frustration" at the failure of a legal challenge aimed at stopping Government plans for badger culling… the Wildlife Aid Foundation, based in Leatherhead, calls the plan "unnecessary, cruel, and counter-productive"…. (story)

(*) Cotswold Journal 20.9.12 Thousands of badgers in Gloucestershire to be shot - The news that Gloucestershire is to stage a mass badger-culling trial has been met with ‘extreme sadness’ by Sir David Attenborough and Simon King OBE… (story)

Western Morning News 20.9.12 Brian May urges people to sign up for 'Team Badger' - Queen guitarist Brian May has launched a campaign to stop the “indefensible” cull of badgers which has been given the go-ahead to tackle tuberculosis in cattle. The Team Badger campaign, backed by major animal welfare groups, aims to raise public awareness and collect signatures on a government petition to force a debate on badger culling in Parliament…. (story)
Star 20.9.12 BRIAN MAY SPEARHEADING BADGER CAMPAIGN - QUEEN star BRIAN MAY has launched a new campaign against cattle farmers in a bid to save badgers from an "indefensible" cull… (story)

(*) Huddersfield Daily Examiner 20.9.12 Badger cull concerns - MANY of your readers will have been dismayed to find out that Natural England has this week granted the first badger cull licence to a group of farmers in West Gloucestershire… Nuala Reilly, Huddersfield (letter)

(*) Wells Journal 20.9.12 Blood on hands over badger cull - I just heard on the local news that the badger cull is to go ahead in Somerset and Gloucestershire and feel both deeply saddened and outraged by this. Who are these people who decide which of God's creatures has a right to live?... Badgers are beautiful, shy, magical creatures who don't bother us and only become aggressive if threatened. Leave them in peace for God's sake. Katerina Coulias Northload Street Glastonbury (letter)

(*) Gloucestershire Echo 20.9.12 'Science on the side of badger culling' - I AM concerned that the general public are being misled by all the emotional anti-badger cull publicity… In the early 1970s, when badger culling was first permitted in Great Britain, there were about 6,000 TB reacters in cattle slaughtered annually. By 1986, that number was reduced right down to 638, an all-time low. TB remained at that very low level until 1992 when it began to rise. Why did it start to rise? That was the year that badger culling was made illegal. It continued to rise until the last 10 years the numbers of TB reacters slaughtered annually have ranged between 24,000 and 38,000… Dairy farmer, Name and address supplied (letter)

(*) Bristol Evening Post 20.9.12 Needless killing is not the solution - THE accusation against the badger is that it spreads disease. Fox hunting was declared illegal and yet still goes on. Hunters blatantly ignore swine fever to carry on with their sport… The countryside need proper management. Needless slaughter of wildlife is not the answer. Miss E A Smith Ashton (letter)

(*) South Devon Herald Express 20.9.12 No scientific evidence to say cull will be effective - AS co-ordinator of national animal protection group South West Animal Protection, based in Devon, I am writing as a very concerned reader about the Government's cruel and needless proposed badger cull in order to tackle Bovine TB in cattle… The campaign against the badger cull is growing stronger every day so please be a part of it and help to change the minds of those in power who have the capacity to change the future for these poor, innocent badgers through public demand… Helen Stevens South West Animal Protection PO Box 129, Plymouth (letter)

Liverpool Echo 20.9.12 Grand National: Safety changes for Aintree race announced after official review By Sean Bradbury - RACEGOERS will see a host of changes at next year's Grand National after Aintree Racecourse and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) today announced a package of proposed safety modifications for the famous steeplechase…. (story)
International Business Times 20.9.12 Animal Rights Groups Attack Grand National Changes - Aintree and BHA alterations to the Grand National course have received vehement criticism from the RSPCA and Animal Aid By NICK HOWSON (story)
Telegraph 20.9.12 Grand National sees start changes for 2013 race as Becher's Brook and field size remain - Aintree and the British Horseracing Authority have announced a raft of changes that will be implemented for next year's Grand National, but have resisted calls to cull Becher's Brook and the field size from the world's greatest steeplechase. By Rod Gilmour (story)
Sporting Life 20.9.12 Aintree set to move National start - A moving forward of the start of the John Smith's Grand National by 90 yards was one of the most significant changes announced by Aintree and the British Horseracing Authority… (story)
Mail 20.9.12 Grand National shortened as safety changes bid to reduce horse deaths By MARCUS TOWNEND - The 2013 Grand National will be run over about half a furlong shorter after a safety review concluded that the start should be moved closer to the first of the 30 fences. The review, conducted by both the BHA and Aintree, will result in a change in position of the starting line by around 90 yards… (story)
Guardian 20.9.12 Grand National report resists RSPCA calls to remove Becher's Brook - Tony Paley and Will Hayler - The British Horseracing Authority and Aintree racecourse have resisted calls to remove Becher's Brook in their report out on Thursday… The BHA and Aintree have ordered the start of the world's most famous race to be moved forward 90 yards, away from the crowds and grandstands at the track… (story)
Horse & Hound 20.9.12 Grand National start is moved in attempt to improve safety - Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - Aintree racecourse is to move the start of the Grand National as part of package of modifications to the famous race. The changes are part of a review undertaken with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). It follows the deaths of two horses in this year’s race — Gold Cup winner, Synchronised and According to Pete… (story)

(*) Buckinghamshire Advertiser 20.9.12 Are opinions on guns changing? - AN OVERWHELMING majority of people want gun magazines that show animals being killed for sport consigned to newsagents’ top shelves, according to an opinion poll commissioned by Animal Aid…. News of the NOP poll results will come as a hard blow to shooting lobbyists, who are desperate to draw in more youngsters… Leafleting outside WHSmith branches will begin soon in earnest…. ANDREW TYLER, Director, Animal Aid (letter)

(*) Exeter Express & Journal 20.9.12 No place in a civilised society - READERS may be shocked to learn that every year in Britain, more than 45 million pheasants and partridges are mass produced to serve as feathered targets for wealthy 'guns'…. Killing animals for fun has no place in a civilised society. For a free Anti-Shooting Action Pack, contact Animal Aid… Frances Wicks St Thomas Exeter (letter)

(*) Flintshire Chronicle 20.9.12 Animal rights campaigners urge Flint residents to boycott travelling circus by Kathryn Quayle, Flintshire Chronicle - ANIMAL rights campaigners are urging residents to boycott a travelling circus. Peter Jolly’s Circus, which has been touring the UK for over 40 years, opened its doors on land in Oakenholt last week… On Saturday members of Wales Against Animal Cruelty gathered at the site. Campaigner Judi Hewitt said: “I find it very sad that some people are willing to turn a blind eye so that they can justify taking their children to watch animals being degraded in the ring.”… (story)


(*) Guardian 19.9.12 Badger cull poses risk to public safety, ministers told - Police warn of clashes between protesters and armed farmers as more than 57,000 people sign e-petition to stop cull - Damian Carrington, Leo Hickman and Steven Morris - Night-time clashes between protesters against England's imminent badger cull and armed farmers pose a clear risk to public safety, ministers have been warned…. Last week Defra secured a high court injunction against a website run by anti-cull protesters ordering them to remove personal addresses of ministers and others. Badger-Killers.co.uk, the web domain used to post the details, has been owned since 1999 by Debbie Vincent… "We've been totally overwhelmed by the response from people supporting us," said Jay. "They're coming from all over – London, Manchester, Birmingham. The hunt saboteurs are a vital group, but we've got lots of anti-vivisectionists coming too…. (story)

Your voice matters. 
From Compassion in World Farming

The increasing pressure on Defra in the face of this disaster could bring about the end of live export from the UK.

Could your friends and family also contact Defra? Please forward this link as widely as you can.


sign and share.

(*) Mail on Sunday 26.8.12 Vegetarian rock stars don't vote Tory. I did. But I'll never vote for Cameron after his bloody badger cull, says Brian May - I’ve done many things over the years that surprise people. I ate my fair share of bacon sandwiches on the road with Queen. I’ve often labelled myself as a Conservative – something that doesn’t always go down too well from a member of a rock band. But, just as a gradual realisation of what farming actually did to animals (starting with veal calves and foie gras) made me become a vegetarian, once I knew what a David Cameron Government had in store for Britain’s wildlife, and badgers in particular, I knew I had to square up and fight against his particularly nasty kind of Conservatism… The next step will be to shore up the Hunting Act and make it impregnable, enforced to the letter. There must be no return to the barbaric past (story)

(*) Press Association (via Yahoo) 26.8.12 Tougher laws urged on blood sports - Animal rights activists have called for tougher laws as it steps up its campaign against blood sports, fur farming and abuse. Hundreds of activists are expected to stage a mass rally in Dublin as welfare groups demand heavier penalties in the revised upcoming Animal Health and Welfare Bill. John Carmody, director of Animal Rights Action Network (Aran), said: "As a nation we should be hanging our heads in shame that we've turned our backs and a blind eye to the immense amount of animal abuse taking place in Irish society… (story)

(*) BBC News Online 26.8.12 Campaigners call for closure of animal research kennels - About 200 people joined a mock funeral procession through Cambridge in protest against kennels used to breed dogs for animal research. The Save the Harlan Beagles campaign wants to close the Harlan Interfauna kennels at Wyton near Huntington…. (story)
Cambridge News 17.8.12 Animal rights activist Joan to march for beagles at 93 - Chris Elliott - Veteran animal rights campaigner Joan Court is to join a protest march in Cambridge – at the age of 93. Hundreds of people are expected to take part in a demonstration in the city on Saturday, August 25, calling for the closure of the Harlan research labs, where beagles are allegedly subjected to experiments.. (story)

 Western Morning News 24.8.2012
Time to change country laws ? 
Time to change country laws or just to remind us what they actually are? - Rural Britain is a highly managed environment.

It is not just farmland that is governed by a mass of rules and regulations. Wildlife too is subject to a raft of laws, from the Game Laws of the early 19th century to the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981.

Now the whole lot, including laws in place for hundreds of years that govern what country sportsmen can and cannot do, which animals are deserving of special protection and what means are permitted for taking animals and birds, is coming under close scrutiny.

The Law Commission, the body charged with reviewing all of Britain's laws from time to time, has launched a public consultation with a view to overhauling and updating the laws relating to wildlife.

It is clear it sees changes coming out of the consultation and the work its own experts will do in assessing the effectiveness of current laws.

Law Commissioner Francis Patterson, QC, said last week: "The law must take into account the competing interests of all parties. With this project we are seeking to achieve a balance between the needs of the people who want to manage wildlife and those who want to protect it."

But, perhaps foreseeing concern among both the country sports community and the conservation lobby, he made it clear he did not intend to change the levels of protection currently enjoyed by wildlife.

He said, rather, that the review would seek to help people "understand what their obligations and duties are and what they can and cannot do and ensure they are properly licensed to do it."

A number of laws relating to wildlife and wild game in particular were already changed under the Labour government. The need to possess a Game Licence to shoot pheasants, partridge, certain breeds of duck and some other species was scrapped in 2007.

Buying the licences, which dated back to 1828, were an August ritual for six million shooting men and women in the UK. For a cost of £6 – and often a long queue at the Post Office – they were issued with a small square paper entitling them to "take" game on land where they had permission from the land owner.

The licences were a response to a time when poaching of game birds was rife and a modestly priced licence was seen as a deterrent to many poachers. If they were caught in possession of shot or trapped game and had no licence they could be arrested, fined or even imprisoned. By the early 21st century, it was recognised that poaching for the pot had gone into a steep decline and the "professional" poachers carrying out slaughter on an almost industrial scale would not be put off by the need to spend £6 on a licence.

Also removed from the statute book at the same time was the ban on selling game outside of its designated shooting season. It was a law brought in before widespread refrigeration when game sold out of season had clearly been killed out of season. The advent of the freezer means a pheasant shot in January can still be sold, eaten and enjoyed in April or May.

Lord Rooker, Labour's rural affairs minister at the time, said: "Many of the laws surrounding game licensing are outdated and irrelevant. We don't need laws that were originally intended to stop peasants killing pheasants. These proposals remove an unnecessary burden from shoots and retailers alike, making it easier for people throughout the country to buy local game."

He wanted to go further, lifting the ban on shooting game on a Sunday but that move was rejected by game-shooters themselves who, through their representatives at the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and the Countryside Alliance said they would prefer to keep those aspects of the Game Laws in place.

Now, however, even those restrictions may – if views have changed in the intervening five years – be swept away.

The Law Commission says: "The current law regulating wildlife is spread over a collection of Acts dating back to 1831. The original purpose of much of the law was to govern activities such as hunting and fishing, including poaching.

"Over the years it has expanded to conserve certain species, ensure the welfare of wildlife and protect local biodiversity from invasive species.

"The result is a legal landscape that is out of date, confused and often contradictory. For example, the hunting, management and welfare of pheasants is governed by four separate statutes. Much of the older legislation is out of step with modern requirements, and the principal modern Act – the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 – has been amended to such a degree that it is difficult for any non-specialists to use.

"The proposals we are putting forward in this consultation aim to simplify the existing complex framework, placing wildlife law into a single statute. The new regime would reduce the current dependency on criminal law, by allowing an appropriate mix of regulatory measures such as guidance, advice and a varied and flexible system of civil sanctions – such as fines and bans."

NOTE - Every effort will be made by the 'dark side' to get an 'all-encompassing' wildlife Act in place before the next election. One that makes it 1000 times more difficult to achieve a hunting with dogs prosecution, let alone a successful one.
Then they won't need to win a free vote as the Hunting Act will be repealed as a consequence.
But that is nothing new to us. These pieces in the WMN and Telegraph are just forerunners of more to come.

Badgered: How the cull got nasty

A trial scheme aimed at stopping the spread of TB in cattle looks set to provoke direct action by activists

Sun 20.8.12 'I could no more eat lamb than I could eat a baby...' - Says Paul O'Grady - PAUL O’GRADY reckons his love of animals could soon see him take to the streets – and be carted off by police…. “We’ve got a responsibility to the animals we look after. I’m a member of Compassion In World Farming, which campaigns to improve conditions for farm animals. “It’s disgusting the conditions in which these creatures are shipped from Ramsgate over to Europe. If I were to go and picket, I would probably get myself arrested. “If you are just stood there you’re ignored — but if you get arrested it’s all power to the cause.”… (story)

DEATH OF A HERO - Kevin Saunders
By Mike Huskinsson

Animal Cruelty Investigation Group

PO Box 8, Halesworth Suffolk IP19 0JL
website: www.acigawis.co.uk   

It is with the greatest regret that I have to announce the death of Kevin Saunders. I learned of this just this morning.
I was pleased to work with Kevin when he was in the Press Office of the League Against Cruel Sports in the 1990s. He kindly and generously supported the Animal Cruelty Investigation Group for many years. Kevin was a great campaigner - he always seemed to have that extra insight to put a new perspective on any campaign. He could fully exploit the weakness in the arguments from our opponents. He was a compassionate man always willing to go that bit further to help the helpless. This was never better shown than when he was severely injured helping someone in London.
I do not recall the exact circumstances but the key features were that he was walking away from a London underground station when he saw a complete stranger being assaulted by yobs. Without thought for his own safety he put his body between the victim and the assailants. The victim was saved but one of the three attackers stabbed Kevin in the back with a long stiletto knife. This pierced Kevin's spleen and caused massive blood loss. Had it not been for the fact that they were right outside a London hospital Kevin would have died there and then. As it was Kevin lost his spleen and as a result suffered from ill-health ever after.
Kevin had also previously been injured by a hunt rider whilst trying to protect our wildlife.
Kevin was an inspirational campaigner, a courageous man, and a really nice bloke. He died far too young. We will miss him.
Our ACIG News Bulletin 46 was e-mailed yesterday but there were some glitches here. If you did not receive your copy, perhaps because it was blocked by a setting on your computer that blocks e-mails with attachments please let me know.
Our campaign moves on - in sadness but with determination.

Seals' severed heads nailed to signs in Dingle

Continue reading the main story

Related Stories

The severed heads of two seals have been nailed to signs outside an animal sanctuary in the Republic of Ireland.

A passing motorists saw the heads outside the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary in County Kerry.

Irish police are investigating the incident and are examining plaques at the scene which read: "RIP - cull" and "RIP - I am hungry".

The seals' heads were left on entrance signs to the sanctuary.

The decapitated seals were about six months old. Staff at the sanctuary are said to be "sickened" by the discovery.

Dingle is famous for its tours to spot seals, whales and the famous dolphin Fungi.

However, some people are unhappy about the sanctuary and argue that the seals are destroying local fishing waters.

In 2004, about 60 young seals were shot, stabbed and bludgeoned to death on one of the Blasket Islands off the Kerry coast.

Many believe that such attacks are carried out by fishermen who regard seals as a menace to their livelihood.

WAAC says - Sick and cruel bloody fishermen - I hope they reap a whirlwind of trouble for their monstrous crime against nature. 


Brian May is a passionate animal welfare advocate

Brian May is a passionate animal welfare advocate

Friday July 13,2012

By Charlotte Meredith for express.co.uk

BRIAN May has spoken out today, after a High Court bid to halt the culling of thousands of badgers failed.

The Queen guitarist and animal rights advocate described Government plans to cull thousands of badgers in the hope of reducing tuberculosis in cattle as entirely unethical.

His comments follow the news that The Badger Trust lost its judicial review of the government's plans in the High Court yesterday, with culling now likely to go ahead later this year.

The Badger Trust, representing around 60 badger groups, said it may appeal against the ruling.

West Gloucestershire and west Somerset will be among the first sites where the cull will be implemented, with as many as 40 areas to be licensed eventually.

The first two pilot sites will be approximately the size of the Isle of Wight with an estimated 3,800 badgers being killed in each of the four years of culling.

Badger Trust loses cull challenge
Badger killings get the go-ahead
Brian May converts estate into wildlife refuge

May, who founded the Save Me animal welfare campaign, named after the hit Queen track, said: "We are obviously very disappointed with this decision, though we realise that it was made purely on points of law. The issue is not closed.

"We still regard the Government's plan to destroy thousands of native badger families as entirely unethical, scientifically unsound, contrary to public opinion, and, ultimately, bound to fail," he added.

May finished by saying: "We will continue to fight against this cruel and hopeless cull, and for decent treatment of the precious wild animals of Britain."

Badgers are usually protected under UK law, but exceptions are made for disease prevention, however, Badger Trust have argued that vaccination is a more humane disease deterrent.

WAAC says - What can we expect from a vile hunt supporting government? They are unfeeling - like robots, they have no emotions for anyone but themselves. The terrible suffering that is about to be unleashed on defenceless and YES innocent animals is really sickening. Farmers are the sole reason why cattle get TB - it is their own filthy farming practices that are at the root of this awful disease.
To any doubters - you need only check out the way farm animals are abused for dairy - the way they are transported from place to  place - the way most farm's are filthy breeding grounds for germs. CHECK THEM OUT - you will be shocked.



  • Comment is free
  • Our countryside has once again become a playground for the rich

    Anything that can't be shot and eaten is shot and hung from a gibbet. The aristocracy is back in charge, destroying Britain's wildlife

    Pheasant shooting
    'Between 2004 and today the total release of pheasants in the UK has risen from 35 to 40 million'. Photograph: Alamy

    I might have solved a minor mystery. Last week, after a public outcry, the government dropped its proposal to spend our money on capturing buzzards and destroying their nests to help pheasant shoots. The scheme was championed by Richard Benyon – the minister charged, as one of David Cameron's little jokes, with protecting wildlife and biodiversity. Benyon is the owner of a huge stately home called Englefield House, and the 20,000-acre walled estate that surrounds it. The estate employs gamekeepers to stock it with pheasants and kill the animals that might eat them.

    The rationale for this proposal was the weakest I have ever seen. The government intended to find new ways of persecuting buzzards on the grounds that "anecdotal evidence" suggests that their predation of pheasants "can be significant at the local site level". No reference was given. Research held by Defra shows that just 1-2% of young pheasants are taken by all birds of prey. So where did the "anecdotal evidence" come from?

    Yesterday I found a video, filmed in 2009, in which one of the gamekeepers on Richard Benyon's estate names buzzards as the first of the predators he blames for eating his pheasants. Could the source of the "anecdotal evidence" have been Benyon's own gamekeeper? In either case, has any recent minister proposed a more self-serving use of public money?

    This story is symbolic of government policy in the countryside. As Britain heads towards Edwardian levels of inequality, the countryside reverts to a playground for the rich, in which anything that cannot be shot and eaten is shot and hung from a gibbet. The aristocracy is back in charge.

    The number of pheasants the landowners release could be seen as a cipher for the state of society. In 1960, 50 pheasants were released for every 100 hectares of estates in the UK. This number rose slowly until the 1980s, when it climbed rapidly. It slowed in the 1990s, then shot up again as the City boomed. The graph I have seen ends in 2005, at 300 birds per hundred hectares. But between 2004 and today, the total release of pheasants in the UK has risen from 35 million to 40 million. I would like to propose the pheasant, rather than the Gini coefficient, as the unit for measuring inequality.

    This growth has been accompanied by a rapid consolidation of land ownership. When Kevin Cahill's book Who Owns Britain was published in 2002, 69% of the land was in the hands of 0.6% of the population. Since then the concentration has intensified: between 2005 and 2011, government statistics show, the number of landholdings in England has fallen by 10%, while the average size of holding has risen by 12%. This could be one of the fastest consolidations of ownership since the Highland clearances.

    But, according to Cameron's government, this has not gone far enough. It has lobbied against European proposals to cap the amount of farm subsidy a single estate can harvest, on the grounds that this "would impede consolidation".

    The government wants the resurgent aristocracy to be hampered by as few concessions to the rest of society as possible. This year, for instance, only one pair of hen harriers has attempted to mate in England: the lowest number for around a century. Yet there is enough habitat in the uplands to support at least 300 pairs. Where are they? They have been shot and poisoned by grouse-shooting estates.

    As the law stands, only the gamekeepers who carry out these killings can be prosecuted for them. The landowners who commission them are not liable. At the beginning of this year, Scotland introduced a new law of vicarious liability, which will make the owners responsible for illegal persecution of wildlife by their staff. But when Richard Benyon was challenged in the House of Commons to introduce the same law to England, he dismissed the proposal out of hand. It is entirely coincidental that Benyon also owns an 8,000-acre grouse estate.

    Doubtless this also has nothing to do with the mysterious abandonment by the agency his department controls – Natural England – of its case against a grouse shoot in the Pennines. Natural England was prosecuting the Walshaw Moor estate, owned by the retail baron Richard Bannister, for damaging a site of special scientific interest. After dropping the case, it agreed that he could continue burning blanket bog: a practice that not only damages wildlife but also releases astonishing quantities of carbon dioxide as the peat ignites. Natural England refuses to explain why it abandoned the prosecution.

    This agency has been reduced to a husk on Benyon's watch. In 2009 it published a mild and tentative document called Vital Uplands. It suggested that the land might be managed a little more sustainably, a few trees might be allowed to grow, there might be little less burning and a little more wildlife. The landowners went beserk. The Moorland Association, whose 200 members own and manage most of the grouse estates in England, denounced it on the grounds that it would invoke the frightful prospect of "encroachment of scrub and trees".

    In February this year, Natural England's chairman, Poul Christensen, turned up at a meeting of the National Farmers' Union, publicly apologised for the document and denounced his agency's thought crimes. Vital Uplands was abandoned and its webpages deleted. Natural England explained that it had dropped the report because the government expected the agency "to work effectively with farmers and grouse moor managers".

    Not that it had to worry. Christensen, a dairy farmer, sometimes seems to be more loyal to his industry than to conservation. The same goes for some of the other directors. Attending the meeting at which Christensen denounced his own staff was the NFU's outgoing uplands farming spokesman, a large landowner called Will Cockbain. Where is he now? On the board of Natural England.

    Last week Benyon's department extended this appointments policy when it nominated nine new members of the national parks authorities. Among them were two chief executives, a former county chair of the NFU and a former director of the Country Land and Business Association.

    In the countryside, as in the towns, policy is becoming the preserve of the 1%. The rest of us pay the landowners to expand their estates and destroy the wildlife. That's what they mean when they say we're all in this together.

    Buzzard capture plans abandoned after 'public concerns'

    The RSPB had called the plans "totally unacceptable" Continue reading the main story
    Related Stories
    Buzzard capture plans condemned
    Shock at buzzard capture plans
    Plans which could have allowed some gamekeepers in England to capture buzzards and destroy their nests in order to stop them eating pheasants have been abandoned.

    Ministers said they would look at other ways of controlling buzzards "in light of public concerns expressed".

    Animal rights groups opposed the pilot study and the RSPB said the rethink was a "strong decision".

    But the Countryside Alliance accused ministers of "giving in".

    Ministers had planned to carry out research into "non-lethal" methods of controlling buzzards in areas where there was evidence of a "clear problem" of them preying on young pheasants.

    Buzzards, which are a protected species, are thought to target pheasant release pens if they find there is a readily available source of food.

    'Public concerns'
    Some gamekeepers have said their shoots have become unsustainable after more than a quarter of young pheasants were taken.

    Measures which would have been considered included issuing licences to destroy empty buzzard nests and allowing the birds to be captured to protect pheasant shoots, as well as providing protective cover for young pheasants and diversionary feeding of buzzards.

    Continue reading the main story

    Start Quote
    The success of conservation measures has seen large increases in the numbers of buzzards and other birds of prey over the last two decades”
    End Quote
    Richard Benyon
    Wildlife Minister
     Although ministers insisted they never had any plans to cull buzzards and they merely wanted to protect "legitimate businesses" from damage, the proposals prompted an outcry from wildlife groups, which argued they were unacceptable.

    And in a statement, Wildlife Minister Richard Benyon said the government would come forward with new ideas.

    "In the light of the public concerns expressed in recent days, I have decided to look at developing new research proposals on buzzards," he said.

    "The success of conservation measures has seen large increases in the numbers of buzzards and other birds of prey over the last two decades. At the same time it is right that we make decisions on the basis of sound evidence and we do need to understand better the whole relationship between raptors, game birds and other livestock.

    "I will collaborate with all the organisations that have an interest in this issue and will bring forward new proposals."

     The RSPB said it was "pleased" with the decision as it believed other methods could be used to limit buzzards' access to pheasant pens.

    "This is a strong decision, reflecting the strength of the nation's desire to see government protecting precious wildlife," its conservation director Martin Harper said.

    "The recovery of the buzzard is being celebrated by the public after many decades of persecution. It is clear that they don't want their taxes spent on removing buzzards and the government has to ensure that no bird of prey will be killed in the name of sport."

    But the Countryside Alliance - which campaigns on behalf of field sports - said it was "bitterly disappointed" by the decision since it believed the proposed research had been "sensible and proportionate".

    "Wild animal management is an essential part of the countryside that is largely misunderstood by those in towns, cities and, apparently, Whitehall," the organisation's campaign director, Tim Bonner, said.

    "This study was explicitly non-lethal and right for the countryside as a whole. That the government has chosen to ignore rural people in favour of a large and vocal special interest group shows ministers are now willing to give in to whoever shouts the loudest."

    Labour said it supported the government's change of heart, claiming its original plan had been "ill-thought through".

    "This was the latest environmental blunder from a government that has long forgotten its pre-election green promises with the forests sell-off and badger cull," said shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh.

    Buzzards have been protected for more than 30 years and there are estimated to be between 72,529 and 90,661 breeding pairs in the UK.

    You couldn't make it up could you? This rotten government! What the hell next? Oh yeh, sending lost pets to laboratories for testing. I'm lost for words, for once. Judi

    The size of cages holding beagles awaiting experiments could be reduced
    under new Government proposals, animal welfare campaigners warned yesterday.

    The Home Office published fresh plans for animal testing that it said would mean higher standards in Britain than in much of the European Union and would ensure special protection for primates, dogs and cats.

    But the RSPCA raised the alarm over suggestions that the minimum cage size for beagles could be reduced from 4.5 sq m to 4 sq m. Barney Reed, its senior scientist, said: "We believe the current minimum UK pen size is already far too small for active, intelligent animals such as these dogs."

    Testing on dogs fell 2 per cent in 2010, with 5,782 experiments being made on just over 3,700 dogs, more than 99 per cent of which were beagles.

    The proposals, due to come into force next year, were in response to a new EU Directive designed to guarantee minimum levels of animal welfare. Lynne Featherstone, the Home Office minister, said: "While we recognise the need to use animals in order to help develop potentially life-saving drugs... we are also working to reduce the use of animals in research."

    The number of experiments on animals rose steadily over the last decade to just over 3.7 million in 2010, but the Coalition agreement committed the Government to reducing the figure.

    Mr Reed said the RSPCA was pleased the Government had largely avoided the temptation to lower standards, but he added: "Much more needs to be done if we're going to make faster progress with reducing lab animal use and suffering."

    Troy Seidle, Director of Research and Toxicology at Humane Society International/UK, described the proposals as a "mis- sed opportunity to advance humane science without animal suffering". "The Home Office's response offers little in the way of reform in the way... experiments are regulated in Britain, and is unlikely to do anything to significantly reduce the number of animals subjected to experiments."

    The UK Bioscience Sector Coalition, said the moves would "maintain the UK's high standards of animal welfare, while cutting needless red tape".

    A Home Office spokesman added: "We will maintain all current UK standards for animal care and accommodation for all species."

    It's depicable, but it's what we have come to expect from this mind numbingly no conscience government.

    GUILTY verdicts in Crawley and Horsham Hunt case 
    Published on Monday 14 May 2012 17:40

    Three people yesterday became the first to be convicted of illegal fox hunting in Sussex.

    Neill Millard, Rachel Holdsworth and Andrew Phillis, from the Crawley and Horsham Hunt, were yesterday found guilty of hunting a wild mammal with a dog in the first prosecution of its kind to be brought in the county.

    Video footage of hounds “in full cry” chasing a fox at hunt meets at Marlpost Wood, Southwater, on January 18 2011 and Shermanbury Place on January 25, 2011 had been shown to the court during a seven-day trial.

     The hunt said members were legitimately trail hunting but district judge Stephen Nicholls said he was “not satisfied” that was the case.

    Trail layer and “whipper-in” Holdsworth, of Rock Road, Washington, near Storrington, and field master Millard, of Dragons Lane, Shipley, near Horsham, were each fined £1,000.

    Both were ordered to pay £2,500 in costs. Phillis, from Devon, will be sentenced at a later date. The maximum penalty is a £5,000 fine.

    It is the ninth prosecution under the Act involving a pack of hounds since the ban came into force in February 2005.

    In one of the videos Holdsworth was seen holding a riding crop with a duster on the end as if laying an artificial scent, but Judge Nicholls said this was done “for the benefit of the cameras”.

    The case against joint master of the hunt Henry James Hawksfield was dismissed at an earlier hearing.

    Phillis was cleared yesterday of an offence at the meet at Shermanbury when a fox was seen dead.

    Judge Nicholls told Haywards Heath Magistrates’ Court yesterday that “no effort” was made to call off the hounds at the January 25 hunt.

    Yesterday hunt monitors said the verdict would put more pressure on local groups to abide by the law.

    Simon Wild, who shot some of the footage of the meets that was used as evidence, told The Argus: “This has done our credibility a great deal of good with police.

    “I am sure we will be able to build up the pressure on this hunt and other hunts in the area.”

    ‘Good day’ Animal activist Terry Hill, who also gave evidence at the trial, said: “It’s a good day today, not just for those monitors and observers who dedicate their time in helping to protect wildlife, but also for wild mammals across the UK.

    “Somebody has to stand up for our wild animals.”

    The Countryside Alliance said it was “very disappointed” at the result.

    Tim Bonner, from the alliance, said: “This was a long and complicated trial. |We never believed there was the evidence to sustain a conviction and we still don’t believe so.”

    A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The introduction of the 2004 Hunting Act was extremely emotive on both sides of the hunting spectrum and continues to be strongly debated.

    “Evidence was provided that the accused had committed offences under the Act and following early consultation with the CPS an investigation commenced and subsequently charges were made.

    “It is the duty of the police to uphold the law and wherever offences such as this come to light, we will seek to bring them to justice.”

    Congrats to Jayne and Simon.


     WHAT A JOKE!!!

    Hunt trial: Day 7 
    Trial was adjourned until 14th May - watch this space...

    Hunt trial: Day 6
     Published on Monday 30 April 2012 17:21

    FOUR out of 11 charges have been withdrawn in the Crawley and Horsham Hunt court case.

    Henry James Hawksfield, 59, of Bines Road, Partridge Green, Rachael Holdsworth, 47, of Rock Road, Washington, Neill Millard, 45, of Dragons Lane, Shipley, and Andrew Phillis, 50, of Halwell, Totnes, Devon, have pleaded not guilty to offences under the Hunting Act 2004.

    With the prosecution case finished, prosecutor Walton Hornsby said he would withdraw

    four of the counts because the evidence supporting them was not strong enough.

    Defence barrister David Perry QC went through the evidence for the remaining seven charges, asking the judge to drop them under a ‘no case to answer’ ruling.

    He said much of the prosecution evidence was circumstantial, or from eyewitnesses who had made assumptions based on what they had heard, or the general impression they had of what was happening.

    “On all the occasions with which we’re concerned, the hunt was aware that filming was taking place, and that suggests that it’s implausible to contend that they would, knowing that their activities were being filmed, hunt,” he concluded.

    Mr Hornsby accepted that some of the evidence was circumstantial, but said it is ‘perfectly reasonable’ for the court to draw common sense conclusions from such evidence.

    The case was adjourned until Tuesday, to give the judge time to review the evidence.

    ugly badger baiters and don't they look like evil thugs?

    N.Wales Post  26-4-12
    North Wales men cleared over badger charges
    Dennis Dwayne Williams (left) and Keith WilliamsTWO men accused of digging for badgers were yesterday cleared of all charges by a judge.

    Keith Williams and friend Dennis Dwayne Williams, both 31, had denied the offence and also pleaded not guilty to attempting to take a badger and interfering with badger setts in a field at Betws Bach, Ynys, Criccieth, on April 3 last year.

    The men had gone for a walk with two lurchers and two terriers.

    Farmer Bleddyn Jones and his wife Anwen had heard a “frenzy” of noise and spotted the men and dogs in their field without permission.

    Mr Jones went “ballistic”, noted the registration number of Keith’s Vauxhall Astra van nearby and alerted police.

    Llandudno Magistrates Court heard that police acting on intelligence called later at Keith’s bungalow in Bethel Road, Caernarfon.

    They found two books about hunting, an electronic terrier finder and staples for treating animal wounds. PC Dewi Evans told the court he also found a lurcher with mouth injuries.

    Dennis turned up to use Keith Williams’ gym and, as he fitted a description given by Mr Jones, was arrested.

    But Keith Williams insisted he knew nothing about a badger sett and had simply been “educating” his two six-month-old terriers about the sights and sounds of the countryside, and looking for rabbits.

    Under cross examination, Keith Williams, who had once been to the field as a follower in a pre-ban fox hunt, told prosecutor Peter Jones he had no intention of putting young dogs down a fox or badger hole.

    He said: “It’s like putting a seven-year-old in a ring with Mike Tyson.”

    He added: “They barely had new teeth. The dogs are immature. You would dent its confidence if it got hurt by a fox or mauled by a badger.”

    He had been looking for rabbits. The prosecutor asked why choose such a remote area and Keith Williams replied: “There are so many people hunting rabbits in Caernarfon, there are no rabbits in Caernarfon.”

    He said the mouth injury and noise arose when his terrier puppy attacked his nine-year-old lurcher.

    His solicitor Clive Rees claimed there were “inconsistencies” in Mr Jones’ evidence.

    Dennis Williams, of Llys Tryfan, Caernarfon, told his barrister Anna Pope he was asleep in bed after a night out and never visited the field.

    District Judge Andrew Shaw found the defendants not guilty of all charges after a two-day trial.

    After the case, Keith Williams said: “I and my family have gone through hell because of the police. It’s not fair.”

    Sergeant Rob Taylor, North Wales Police wildlife and environmental crime officer, said: “We will continue to thoroughly investigate any allegations which come to our attention.”

    In my view these thugs were as guilty as hell, proving that the law is an ass in this country.....they had all the gear for Christ sake and their vehicle was spotted close by - the dog had injuries to its mouth - they had stuff to stitch their own dogs - a common ploy used by baiters who don't want to alert a vet to their wrong doing!!
    The lawyers defending these thugs should be bloody well ashamed of themselves - how the hell do they sleep at night after getting these men off when it's clear that they are probably into badger and fox baiting...I'm disgusted!! Clive Rees, their lawyer, specialises in cases of badger baiting.


    Yet another organisation has been able to release shocking undercover footage of an RSPCA Freedom Food accredited farm in Norfolk showing 'callous and cruel' treatment of pigs, including a piglet being hit on the head with a bar, pigs being hit, kicked and slapped, and another being thrown over a gate, appearing injured afterwards.

    Lee Grant, chief executive of the RSPCA's Freedom Food, was quoted as saying that he was 'absolutely disgusted' by what he saw on the footage and that it was 'absolutely unacceptable'  Yet, despite such stirring words for the press, the RSPCA have stated that they will NOT be prosecuting or even pursuing an investigation!

    Mr Grant added that the practices he saw at the Freedom Food unit were "extremely rare" and he was "convinced" that it did not happen at other farms under the Freedom Food label.  This is despite Hillside's own investigations highlighting conditions on over a dozen Freedom Food farms that were so bad they became the subject of a high profile television programme or shamed the RSPCA into initiating their own prosecution!  Animal Aid have also been successful in exposing terrible conditions on other Freedom Food farms, and very recently the treatment of pigs at the RSPCA Freedom Food accredited slaughterhouse, Cheale Meats. 

    It is hard to understand how Lee Grant can claim such ignorance of the cruelty and neglect which we, and others, have shown to be commonplace on many RSPCA Freedom Food farms! 

    How many more farms will be exposed before the RSPCA admit their Freedom Food scheme does nothing more than cover up cruelty and neglect and continually fails to provide the high animal welfare standards that it promises?

    You may watch the footage obtained by 'Animal Equality', which includes graphic scenes, by clicking the link below...


    No wonder so many people have become disenchanted with the RSPCA - they only seem to care about donations while farm animal abuse appears to be ignored most of the time! How can they add their name to animal welafre meat products without keeping an eye on the places that raise and kill the animals to which they endorse. They could easily do this by leaving secret spy camera's inside to uncover the brutal truth about goes on these farms and slaughter houses that they endorse?

    The fox attack myth, by BBC man: Chris Packham says he doesn't believe people who are attacked by the animal
    By Liz Thomas
    PUBLISHED: 00:26, 24 April 2012 | UPDATED: 00:26, 24 April 2012
    Comments (265) Share

    Chris Packham has come to the defence of the urban fox and said he doesn't believe people who say they have been attacked by them
    Chris Packham is becoming something of a champion for some of our less endearing wild animals.
    The BBC Springwatch presenter is already on record for favouring insects and bats over domestic pets.
    Now he’s come to the defence of the urban fox and, as for accounts of them attacking humans, he simply doesn’t believe them.
    He told Radio Times that fears the animals had ‘gone bad, attacking everything’, were without foundation.
    ‘Validated assaults on dogs and cats are nonexistent, except under exceptional circumstances,’ he said. ‘And as for attacks on humans – I’ll be necessarily diplomatic – I don’t believe it.

    ‘And as for other species, their natural prey, in cities foxes’ impact is minimal. They scavenge while our cats murder with genocidal impunity.’
    Over the past 70 years, the urban fox population has grown to more than 34,000. About 14 per cent of  foxes share our streets, gardens and alleys.
    Packham, 50, said: ‘People think they are out of control. Well, actually no, because even in the chaos of our cities animal populations will ultimately be self-regulating – disease or overcrowding and subsequent reduced fecundity will prevail to moderate the population.
    ‘And the reason there are “so many”? Because while half the world sleeps hungry, we waste enough food to feed them all.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2134197/The-fox-attack-myth-BBC-man-Chris-Packham-says-doesnt-believe-people-attacked-animal.html#ixzz1sxG4Flle

    West Sussex County Times  23-4-12
    Horsham and Crawley Hunt members deny illegal foxhunting

    FOUR people are on trial this week, accused of illegal foxhunting in Horsham 


    Henry James Hawksfield, 59, of Bines Road, Partridge Green, Rachael Holdsworth

    of Rock Road, Washington, Neill Millard, 45, of Dragons Lane, Shipley, and

    Andrew Phillis, 50, of Halwell, Totnes, Devon, have been charged under the

    Hunting Act 2004.

    Prosecutor Walton Hornsby claimed in court that foxes were illegally hunted at

    three Horsham and Crawley Hunt meets in January and February last year.

    At the third meet, he said, a fox was killed by the hunt’s hounds.

    The four defendants say they were out trail hunting - following an artificially laid

    scent rather than an animal - and did not plan to hunt or kill any foxes.

    Mr Hornsby said the court would have to decide whether the defendants really had

    been out hunting for foxes, or whether they had been trail hunting ‘where any

    pursuit or killing of foxes was accidental, and incidental to their purpose’.

    The incidents are alleged to have happened on January 18 near Southwater, on

    January 25 near Shermanbury and on February 15 near Twineham.

    Watch this space.....

    Owner: I'll never race again at National

    The owner of a horse that died after falling at the Grand National's most famous fence on Saturday has vowed never to enter the race again.

    The race was again marred by controversy at the weekend after both Synchronised, the Gold Cup winner, and According to Pete fell at Becher's Brook and were later put down.

    According to Pete was brought down as he jumped the fence for the second time. "If he had won, I would have paraded him down the street," said the owner, Peter Nelson, of Helperby, North Yorkshire. "But now, I will never enter the race again. I know I've had a bad experience. There are 40 horses running and any of them could be brought down at any time." The race was won by Neptune Collonges, and just 15 of the 40-horse field reached the finishing post. The RSPCA described the deaths as "totally unacceptable" and called for an "urgent examination" of the incidents.

    The fatalities are likely to lead to a review of fences such as Becher's Brook which feature a deeper drop than approach. The fence is the most famous in racing, and has an approach of 4ft 10in but a drop on the other side of between 5ft 2in and 5ft 8in.

    There is too much suffering on the part of horses forced to race the National - it's time it was banned!!

    A cruel fox killer who lost his soul - look at his dead eyes!!

    Terrierman wins badger sett appeal
    Saturday, April 14, 2012 Western Morning News

    A hunt supporter has been cleared of damaging a badger sett after a judge ruled he may have been the victim of mistaken identity.

    Andrew Bellamy, 41, had always denied that he was a man caught on film by anti hunt monitors sending a terrier underground and then digging out and killing a fox which it located.

    Andrew Bellamy

    He was found not guilty on appeal at Exeter Crown Court after Recorder Mr Malcolm Gibney said it was impossible to be sure he was the man on the film.

    The Recorder also ruled that there was no evidence that the badger sett had been active at the time of the digging two years ago.

    After the case terrierman Mr Bellamy said: “I am very glad that justice has been done. This has taken two years of my life and has had a detrimental effect on me and my family. I am just glad it is all over.”

    Mr Bellamy is the huntsman with the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt where his wife Clare is the hunt master.

    He was also the terrierman with the neighbouring South Devon Hunt, which has its kennels at Denbury, near Newton Abbot.

    Mr Bellamy, of The Kennels, Sampford Spiney, near Yelverton, appealed to Exeter Crown Court against his conviction by South Devon Magistrates last year for two offences of interfering with a badger sett.

    He was cleared by Recorder Gibney who ruled in his favour on both the main issues in the case, whether he was the man on the video and whether it was an active sett.

    During the four-day hearing the prosecution alleged Mr Bellamy was a bald headed man caught on a 31-minute video clip video by hunt monitor Edmund Shephard.

    The footage showed the man digging into an apparent badger sett during a meet of the South Devon Hunt at Beacon Farm, Bridford, near Newton Abbot.

    The Recorder awarded Mr Bellamy costs to cover his expenses in travelling to and from the appeal.

    Now I know we are living in very unjust times - a terrier-man gets off on the flimsiest of evidence.
    The injustice just makes me despise the hunt even more!! He should have been locked up just for being a rotten to the core terrier-man - a man with no compassion for foxes - the kind of man that sees nothing worng with causing terrible suffering to defenceless animals. He will no doubt have to pay one day for his hideous crimes - sooner rather than later!! Nobody gets away with such cruelty - we all have to answer one day!! Killing for one's survival is one thing, but to kill for fun, well, that is a violation of nature.
    Yes, I really do hate terrier-men, to me they are the lowest, most grotesquely cruel scum on God's earth, and Bellamy is vile scum to me!!.

    April 2012

    So, Horse & Hound gleefully portray these so called terrier hunts who go out on a killing rampage taking out every poor bloody rabbit young and old as far as the eye can see (with a pack of frenzied dogs) leaving the fox population wondering how on earth they are going to feed their cubs? And then the same tired old farts at these hunts, including staff at H&H, are the first to scream for the blood of foxes because they claim foxes need to be controlled for predating on 'un-protected chickens'. The only ones that need to be controlled are those that see it as their God given right to kill any animal that moves - and in the most vicious and grotesque way imaginable. 
    It seems the writers of Horse and & Hound just like their sick subscribers are not only without human morals (as I see it!) but are truly sick to glorify in the mass slaughter of an animal that other animals depend on to survive. Simply clearing an entire area of rabbits is really stupid, and yes, bloody cruel to boot!! 



    All hands to pump as late snow hits lambing
    by Andrew Forgrave, DPW West Apr 12 2012

    LAST week’s late snow caught many farmers unaware and prompted a flurry of emergency feeding.

    At 1,000ft Plas Dinam, Llandrillo, the farm was hit by 1ft of snow with Arwyn Roberts swapping his quad for a tractor to relay feed to sheep higher up the mountain.

    “The snow can get to hedge- level here,” said Arwyn. “It wasn’t that bad but the wind was blowing hard, so there was a danger of drifting.”

    Many farmers were left to count the cost of a cold snap which was more severe than forecasted.

     Phil Robinson, of Wal Goch Farm, Nannerch, said a second spell of snow over the weekend caused drifting on higher land at Moel Arthur, Flintshire.

    “We weren’t expecting it so late this year and we were caught out a bit,” he said. “The lambs were given extra feed but we lost one or two.

    “Had the drifts stayed for four or five days, it could have been much worse.”

    I bet this farmer lost more than one or two lambs. He should have taken his ewe's and tiny lambs indoors until they were strong enough to withstand the bitter chill.
    I saw with my own eyes some tiny lambs up at Cefn Berain standing forlornly with their mum's - they looked perished!  The freezing cold was clearly having an effect on these new born babies. When I mentioned my concern to an old farmer who was heading down the lane towards the village about some newly born lambs suffering up on the hillside, he said, "Oh they're happy enough." I just thought, what a croc! How would he like to spend the night on the hillside in snow and wearing only flimsy clothing?
    I'm so sick of the cruelty and the indifference!.


    PUBLISHED: 17:42, 27 March 2012 | UPDATED: 02:06, 28 March 2012

    According to legend, a black fox brings bad luck, but an amateur photographer could hardly believe his good fortune when he spotted the rare animal near his house.

    It is believed to be only the second time a black fox has been spotted in Britain.
    John Moore, 58, from Bassingbourn, near Royston, Herts, saw the creature, with its distinctive white-tipped tail, in fields behind his home.

     Rare spot: John Moore, 58, from Bassingbourn, near Royston, Herts, saw the creature, with its distinctive white-tipped tail, in fields behind his house yesterday

     'My neighbour thought it was a stray dog but I looked through my binoculars and realised it was definitely a fox, especially because of its white-tipped tail,' said Mr Moore
     Unusual: The black fox is so rare that wildlife experts believe there are only a handful of the breed left in the country

     Lucky: John Moore from Bassingbourne in Cambridgeshire
    His wife Cheryl, 64, first spotted what she thought to be a black sack blowing in the wind last week.

    Mr Moore then spotted it for himself last Thursday but it has disappeared by the time he managed to get his camera out.
     More...Wood you believe it - it's a tree-mu! Motorist spots mysterious emu-like creature peering over a hedge (but turns out it's a piece of old elm)
    Can't you read? Kingfisher catches a fish and cheekily eats it on a 'no fishing' sign

    He then spent four days watching for the black fox, which has a distinctive white-tipped tail and is believed to be one of just a handful in the country.

    'I've heard black foxes are mythical creatures because they supposedly don't exist,' he said.

    'My neighbour thought it was a stray dog but I looked through my binoculars and realised it was definitely a fox, especially because of its white-tipped tail.

    'I didn't realise how rare it was until I did some research. An RSPCA officer told my neighbour the organisation had never seen one before as they are that rare.
    The black fox is in fact an ordinary red fox which has black fur or is going through a phase where the colour of its fur is particularly dark.

    The phenomenon is normally seen in growing cubs and generally the fox will develop to have a dark chestnut coat.

    But a few red foxes will remain black due to a rare genetic flaw dating back hundreds of years. Only a handful of them are thought to exist in Britain. 
    Unwelcome sight: In medieval times, the black fox was considered a bad omen by superstitious villagers
     Colouring: The black fox is in fact an ordinary red fox which has black fur or is going through a phase where the colour of its fur is particularly dark

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2121148/Is-omen-Mysterious-BLACK-FOX-reappears-British-countryside-time-2008.html#ixzz1rimZbpQg

    Drop by drop, how the life of Billy the orphan badger was saved after his family died in house demolitionBy Jaya Narain
    PUBLISHED: 16:43, 1 April 2012 | UPDATED: 00:19, 2 April 2012
    Comments (10) Share

    Found cowering under a flagstone, he was a pathetic bundle of fur the same size and weight as a cricket ball.
    Billy the badger cub’s mother and six siblings had been killed when a wrecking crew destroyed a derelict house.
    At just six weeks old, Billy would have died if he had been left to fend for himself. But his life was saved by the milk of human kindness – or rather a mixture of high-protein liquids squeezed into his tiny mouth from an eye dropper.
     Weighing less than 5ozs when he was found, Billy is on the mend and is soon to be released into the wild
    After six weeks at the Folly Wildlife Rescue Centre in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, his 5oz body weight has almost quadrupled and he will soon be big and strong enough to be released back into the wild following tests which showed he is free from tuberculosis.
    The house at Polegate, Surrey, had been surveyed for wildlife before the demolition crew moved in with their diggers. But because his mother sheltered him and his siblings beneath the concrete block, they were all missed.
    ‘He was so small and so weak it was touch and go,’ said one of the team at the wildlife centre. ‘But Billy was a fighter. He made it.’

     More...Adorable baby baboon abandoned by mother after injuring her tail is adopted by zoo keeper
    Pet shop owner admits animal cruelty after sending LIVE FISH in the post

      Billy, who currently tips the scales at just under 600g, is being nursed back to full health following his fortuitous escape
    Ironically, the house had been surveyed for wildlife before the demolition crews moved in with their diggers.
    But because his mother sheltered him and his siblings beneath the concrete block, they were all missed.
    Now Billy, who has been tested and is free from TB - a common ailment among wild badgers - is preparing to be released along with several other badger orphans back into the wild.
    Plans for a badger cull in Wales were dramatically stopped last week after an outcry from animal lovers.
    Badgers have been blamed for the spread of bovine TB which kills hundreds of cows each year.
    But the Welsh government decided to look instead at the mass vaccination of badgers.
    Plaid Cymru ministers were accused of a ‘cowardly betrayal’ of farmers by scrapping the planned cull and warned the decision would cost many their livelihoods.
    The U-turn looks set to put pressure on the Government to rethink their plans for a badger cull in England.
    Though Defra is committed to a policy of culling badgers to combat the disease in cattle, which increased by 4.4% in the first half of 2011 compared with the same period the previous year.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2123565/Baby-badger-orphaned-demolition-crews-killed-mother-brothers-makes-remarkable-recovery.html#ixzz1qsFjIchr

    Iowa bans coverage on Animal Cruelty
    America's march to Fascism


    (NaturalNews) -- Capturing undercover footage of extreme animal abuse at factory farms is soon to be illegal in Iowa, thanks to the passage of a new bill that squelches First Amendment protections for agricultural whistleblowers. In one of the fastest legislative rush-throughs in history, the "American Heartland" state's House and Senate recently passed House File 589, also known as the "ag-gag" bill, which redefines undercover filming and various other whistle-blowing activities as "agricultural production facility fraud" punishable under the law.

    Prior to the passage of the bill, which now sits on Republican Governor Terry Branstad's desk for signing, exposing the horrific conditions in many of Iowa's factory farms was a legally-protected free speech right. Once signed into law, however, H.F. 589 will make Iowa the first state in America to actively muzzle individuals from exposing the ugly truth about what takes place at chicken farms, animal processing plants, and even behemoth genetically-modified (GM) crops farms across the state.

    "This flawed and misdirected legislation could set a dangerous precedent nationwide by throwing shut the doors to industrial factory farms and allowing animal abuse, environmental violations, and food contamination issues to flourish undetected, unchallenged and unaddressed," said Nathan Runkle, executive director of the Chicago-based animal rights group Mercy for Animals (MFA), to Food Safety News. "This bill is bad for consumers, who want more, not less, transparency in production of their food."

    Without undercover investigations, the horrors of the factory food industry would never see the light of day

    Undercover investigations, of course, were responsible for shutting down Hallmark and Westland, a California-based meat packing facility where extreme and highly-disturbing animal abuse was taking place on a regular basis. The company, which was eventually shut down thanks to undercover video footage captured by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), had been supplying tainted meat to public school lunchrooms across the U.S. [http://www.naturalnews.com/028905_school_lunch_beef.html].

    You can watch a clip of that investigation at the following link. Be warned, the imagery is deeply disturbing: [

    The sting that led to the ultimate demise of the wretched company responsible for this abuse, however, would not have been possible had an ag-gag bill similar to the one about to be passed in Iowa been in place in California at that time. In simple terms, H.F. 589 is an assault on free speech, and a clear manoeuvre by the filthy factory farm industry to shield its many horrors from public exposure.

    "This law is un-American and a broad government overreach," added Runkle. "It seeks to shield animal abusers from public scrutiny and prosecute the brave whistleblowers who dare to speak out against animal cruelty, environmental pollution and corporate corruption."

    Source: The Canadian (http://s.tt/16qli)
    If this ever happens in the UK, I for one will be proud to go to prison for my beliefs. We already live in a fascist society but it is getting even worse. I never thought America was a free country - it is corrupt and the UK is going the same way.
    Edit Text


    check out this clip of a hunt horse being whipped. I understand it was filmed at a meet of the Cheshire Forest FH on 26-11. The redcoat seems to be consenting to the guy on foot, who is presumably a servant/supporter, hitting his horse. I don't know why it ends so abruptly, or why there's no supporting text with the clip, as the whipping is clearly ongoing. I'm trying to find out more. I doubt this film would sustain a prosecution, even if we knew who the people are, but this is still embarassing for them and I'm sure better use could be made of it than just leaving it tucked away on YT where few will ever see it.
    I'm putting a news item [report date 1st December] about this on POWA website along with one on the Southdown&Eridge aggro [11th December].
    There seems to have been a big upsurge in the amount of sabbing going on this season and I've made Facebook friends with a  lot of sab groups. I'm picking up this kind of stuff from News Feeds from their Facebook pages. Only some of it is coming via HSA.

    Bow Group report, a damning verdict on badger cull - Creagh

    25 March 2012Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, commenting on a new report by the Conservative Bow Group opposing a badger cull, said:

    “This damning report from the Tory Bow Group reaffirms that the Government’s big society badger cull will cost farmers more than it saves them, put a huge strain on the police, and will spread bovine TB in the short term as badgers move out of cull areas. Ministers should listen to the scientists and can this cull which is bad for farmers, bad for taxpayers and bad for wildlife.”

    But what the hell, this government cabinet are so deeply involved in animal abuse they don't give a damn!!!Plus they don't  even care about people, including farmers, so animals don't stand a chance.


    HSA  Press release
    Sunday, 25 March 2012 19:27
    Hunt saboteurs attacked by Coniston Fox hunt


    A hunt saboteur was attacked by hunt supporters whilst monitoring the Coniston hunt yesterday. The hunt who were having their final meet of the season at their kennels near Ambleside had already illegally killed a fox before the attack occurred according to walkers who said they saw the kill.

    Three saboteurs were set upon by a group of 15 hunt supporters armed with sticks. One of them was left with stick marks to his back and a serious eye injury as the attackers tried to throw him down a ravine. An ambulance was called to treat him but couldn't reach him as it was deliberately held up by hunt supporters vehicles who hurled abuse at the paramedics. Police were called and are investigating the incident.

    Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs association, stated: “We see the calibre of these people that not only do they illegally kill foxes and seriously harm anyone who tries to stop them, they will even stoop as low as hindering and abusing paramedics whose only concern is helping the injured. We strongly urge Cumbria Police to investigate this incident and bring the guilty parties to justice.”

    All press enquiries : 07774 279133

    Rural gangs linked to drug operations

    Poaching and hare coursing gangs often linked with major drugs operations are behind most crimes against wildlife.

    In Cumbria last year, 363 wildlife crimes were reported to the police and of those 211 involved poaching, hare coursing and lamping – hunting animals at night with high-powered lights.

    In one incident at Sandysyke near Longtown, three people caught for deer poaching were part of an organised gang involved in an armed robbery.

    In another incident deer poachers who butchered a number of animals in a garage were found to be part of a major drugs operation.

    The shocking scale of wildlife crime in the area was revealed by John Shaw, wildlife officer with Cumbria Police.

    He was speaking at a rural crime conference at police headquarters in Penrith organised by the Crimestoppers charity.

    He said: “These crimes are of great concern to us and it is an area in which we are putting great efforts.

    “These incidents of poaching, hare coursing and lamping are often linked with major crime operations including drugs and armed robberies.”

    Also speaking was Cumbria’s Chief Constable Stuart Hyde who has just been made national lead for wildlife and rural crime with the Association for Chief Police Officers (ACPO)

    The conference heard that while the number of recorded rural crimes had fallen from 5,766 in 2010 to 5,581 last year, there had been a big rise in thefts of fuel, scrap metal and tools.

    Mr Hyde said the police were working with organisations such as Crimestoppers and the National Farmers’ Union to combat rural crime.

    “In a county such as Cumbria it is very important that we tackle this issue,” he said.

    “The theft of quad bikes, fuel and scrap metal impacts heavily on our farmers and their livelihoods.”

    Mr Hyde said one initiative was the issue of red stickers for farmers to put on their quads to remind them to remove the keys when leaving their vehicles.

    He added that in his new role as wildlife and rural crime lead with ACPO he was able to use the experience gathered in his policing role in Cumbria. “I think that is why I was asked. There is so much going on here in Cumbria in terms of wildlife and rural crime that we have good expertise in this area,” he said.

    Gary Murray, north west regional manager for Crimestoppers, said there was a major link between rural crime and serious, organised offences.

    “It is important that we get together as many ideas and initiatives as we can to protect Cumbria from these criminals,” he said.



    North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

    07960 038230

    Blog - http://nwhsa.wordpress.com

    Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports

    For those who have not yet seen it
    Cotwold Vale Fox Cubs

    After seeing the way the pregnant vixen in this film can be ripped apart FOR FUN, I have decided to step up my campaigns against hunting with dogs in my own area. I will be out at every single meet next season and I know I am going to get the footage I need to prove to the useless police that the hunt here are cruelly hunting foxes as they did pre-ban. 
    What right do these horrible people have to abuse these beautiful defenceless animals? What right do they have to stick a finger up at the law? What right do they have to put out the lights of an animal and her unborn cubs? Animals that have done them no harm
    The farm in question and every single member of this hunt will have to face karma sooner or later. I don't believe anyone gets away with abusing animals.

    Fox numbers soaring and other common animal misconceptions

    By Adam Parris-Long | Yahoo! News – 19 hours ago

    The number of foxes on British streets remains “stable” despite hysteria suggesting otherwise, new figures reveal.

    The People’s Trust for Endangered Species [PTES] said misconceptions over the apparent booming population of foxes across the country are harming the perception of a species that “are easily shooed away”.

    Added to that, commonly held myths that you are never more than six feet from a rat, that bats fly into your hair and that grey squirrels are responsible for the decline of red squirrels are equally as unfounded.

    “Giant foxes are apparently ‘mugging’ people of their groceries in dark alleyways,” said PTES chief executive Jill Nelson. “Grey squirrels are eating all the birds’ eggs and rats are apparently jumping at our throats.

    “Squirrels (grey and red) do occasionally eat eggs and fledglings, but not that many. And rats jump to escape not to attack. Contrast this with over 5,000 annual hospital admissions resulting from people being attacked by dogs. Or the annual toll of about 50 million birds killed by domestic cats.”

    So what are the most common misconceptions surrounding animals? Let’s take a look at debunked myths featured in this year’s PTES ‘Living with Mammals’ report:

    Myth - The number of foxes is increasing

    Fox populations are stable in the long-term. Mange has had a big impact in many areas and populations are slow to recover. Numbers in Bristol five years ago were only a fifth of those in 1994, before an outbreak of mange. ‘Living with Mammals’ found that numbers in urban areas nationally have changed little in the last decade.

    The pre-breeding (adult) population in urban areas is estimated at about 35,000; within the M25 there are fewer than 10,000.

    Myth - You are never more than six feet from a rat

    There are fewer than 10 million brown rats in Britain. In 2007, the English House Condition Survey found that rats occupied four of every thousand urban properties and were present in the gardens of just 3%.

    Myth - Inhaling rat droppings or coming into contact with their urine can be fatal

    Rats are fastidiously clean unless overcrowded, spending a considerable proportion of their time grooming themselves and others. They do carry some human diseases, particularly leptospirosis, but the risk of infection is low and is smaller from urban rats than those in rural areas.

    Myth - Bats damage buildings

    Bats rarely cause any damage to buildings: Unlike birds, they don’t bring in nesting materials and, unlike rodents, they won’t gnaw electric cables or wood. Their droppings carry no disease and are generally odourless.

    Large colonies of pipistrelles can number several hundred individuals in summer and can be noisy tenants, but so important are buildings to bats that managing and renovating them appropriately is a big part of bat conservation.

    Myth - Grey squirrels are responsible for the decline of red squirrels

    While grey squirrels have a competitive advantage over reds and have displaced them from much of England, red squirrel numbers declined drastically between 1900 and 1925, before grey squirrels had become established.

    In southern Scotland and Ireland, red squirrels were extinct by the 18th century due to deforestation and habitat loss – those there today are a result of reintroductions. In England, red squirrels were viewed as a pest and almost wiped out.

    Controlling grey squirrels in areas where reds occur today is necessary if populations of reds are going to be preserved, but elsewhere grey squirrels are simply part of the natural ecology and our mammal fauna.

    On the estate: Night-time screams still terrify me

    MOST gamekeepers are almost nocturnal. It comes with the territory.

    I certainly love being in the woods after dark although, even after all these years, there are still some night-time sounds that can make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up on end.

    One is the call of the vixen (female fox). Heard in the wee small hours, it’s like a murderous, strangulated scream.

    To my ears it’s pure Hammer House of Horror but to a dog (or male) fox it must seem like a sweet Shakespearian love sonnet.

    It is simply the vixen’s way of telling the world she’s ready to mate.

    Vixens are foxy ladies. Potential suitors who arrive on spec without an auditory invitation risk more than just their luck. They’ll probably get a bad mauling.

    These noisy vulpine couplings have been part of the soundscape at Rhug for quite a few weeks now. Mr (and Mrs) Fox know that to mate early in the year gives their cubs a head start in life.

    In fact, Charlie – as the red fox is often called in country circles – has his finger on the pulse in so many ways.

    He’s a magnificent predator: patient, wily and dogged. I have huge respect for him. Yet it is no secret – nor should it be – that gamekeepers legally control foxes (as indeed does the RSPB on some of its reserves.)

    A section of the public genuinely misunderstand why it is necessary. Others flatly refuse to listen to the scientific arguments. Either way, it is essential to stress that fox control is not, as often claimed, about total elimination or eradication. Far from it.

    I am happy to see the fox about. Indeed I want them here, to thrive in healthy, self- sustaining abundance – at a level that’s in balance with the conservation needs of other species on my patch.

    David Pooler is headkeeper at Rhug Estate, Corwen, and North Wales chair of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation.


    Keep checking your hoppers, and top up when needed. It’ll encourage wild broods, and save songbirds from starvation in a cold snap. Stop the wheat when the “buffet” is no longer eaten.

    With the trees bare, run pigeon roost shoots for helpers and let squirrel control kick off. Ferreters will want to get at warrens hitherto out of bounds.

    Balance the shoot accounts (with events still fresh in mind).

    Organise a shoot dinner to “chew the fat”. Perhaps invite neighbouring shoots along to swap notes?

    Next time: How to stop extinctions.

    Wales badger cull rejected in favour of vaccination

    NO BADGER CULL: Environment Minister, John Griffiths

    BADGERS in Wales will be vaccinated instead of culled a minister said today.

    Environment Minister, John Griffiths announced that a programme of badger vaccination will launched to eradicate bovine TB from cattle in Wales. The Minister said: "I have considered a number of options including whether culling or vaccination of badgers are appropriate. After careful consideration I have decided to pursue a badger vaccination project within the Intensive Action Area.

    "I am not satisfied that a cull of badgers would be necessary to bring about a substantial reduction in cases of TB in cattle."

    It shows the difference between a Labour led Welsh government and the English Tory led government . The Tory led cabinet and many of their MP's really are just a bunch savages intent on killing animals for whatever reason!!!

    More violence from the Ross Harriers Hunt

    15th March 2012

    Supporters of the Ross Harriers Hunt smashed a vehicle window and attacked hunt saboteurs with an iron bar during a meet at Orcop Hill, west of Ross On Wye, yesterday.  The victim of the attack suffered injuries to the leg and head.

    Throughout the day the hunt had been threatening and assaulting saboteurs. This escalated until several of their vehicles blocked in the saboteurs near the end of the day  and attacked them. Mounted members of the hunt were quick to join in, throwing punches and riding at people. This is just the latest attack from this violent hunt. Their huntsman, Lee Peters, is currently on police bail for racially abusing a saboteur and one of their supporters was arrested this week for punching a saboteur in the face.

    Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt saboteurs association, stated: " The Ross Harriers continue to act outside the law and think they can get away with it. We are pleased that  the police have taken the last two incidents seriously and arrested the aggressors and we strongly urge them to do the same on this occasion. We will not let such violence deter us and we have members throughout the country willing to come and show support "

    Hmm, doesn't it just get to you when some hunters tell you that sabs are the ones who get violent, when the opposite is always true!!
    Keep up the great work you guys - if these cruel hunting types can do what they do to you, then God knows what they put the poor animals through - Clifford Pellows sordid account of hunting comes to mind!!

    APRIL FOOL - Tim Bonner becomes new director of campaigns for the Countryside Alliance.

    CA appoints new campaign director

    THE former head of media at the Countryside Alliance, Tim Bonner, is returning to the organisation as director of campaigns.

    Mr Bonner, who initially joined the CA in 2002, left in 2010 to become public affairs officer at the Hunting Office. He has rejoined the alliance to direct its campaigns for field sports and rural life under new executive chairman Sir Barney White-Spunner (shite spinner). 

    Mr Bonner, who lives in Hertfordshire, said: “They say never go back, but it feels a bit more like coming home. The alliance is full of brilliant people and it will be great working with them again.”

    He will take up his position on April 1, when the alliance will be staging its third annual Ascot Countryside Race Day.

    a terrified vixen ripped apart leaving her unborn cubs scattered, by the Cotswold & Vale hunt

    March 2012

    Anyone sitting on the fence needs to see this horrible picture. This is an illegal act. Our government wants to repeal the Hunting Act and make this legal. The Vixen was savagely ripped apart (by the Cotswold Vale Hunt) and these are her unborn cubs.
    Edit Text

    It is absolutely sickening to see these atrocities still taking place despite a law that was meant to protect foxes. But then Tony B liar made sure the ban did not work as it was intended. He also made sure that the police would not defend the hunting act. And now we have a vicious government in office that wants to make it all legal again. I ask, what kind of sick society are we living in?

    We aim to up my skills as hunt monitors here in North Wales this Summer - doing our home work in preperation for the next hunting season.

    Tony Gallagher - stinking rich and a supporter of obscene killing with dogs.

    Pennys car blocked by hunt supporterGallagher.

    This is the man who was causing me a lot of trouble on Saturday15th Jan  - who backed that strange open sided vehicle up to my car and trapped me, in cohoots with Charlie Brooks.  Only worth £500 million!  Gave £250,000 to the Tories in 2007.  See below article for two stills from my film taken on Saturday, and one of his vehicle backed up to mine.

    8 (14) HUNT SUPPORTER Tony Gallagher £500m (£500m)

    A start-to-finish approach to urban regeneration, a broad development portfolio, substantial cash resources and no borrowing. These are just some of the reasons that Tony Gallagher has survived the downturn in good shape.

    That, combined with valuable land and property assets in the UK and Europe assembled over three decades means that 58-year-old Tony Gallagher is one of the few super-rich Midlanders to improve their position in the Rich List while maintaining their wealth.

    If you look at the long lists of business, retail and residential developments under way by the two divisions of Tony Gallagher’s Warwick-based company, you wouldn’t believe there had ever been a credit crunch.

    Gallagher Estates and Gallagher Developments are involved in dozens of schemes across the UK from Cambridge to Caerphilly, from Bristol to Bedford. The company has worked with more than 50 local authorities on development and regeneration projects.

    If Tony Gallagher’s approach to the slump in the property market is to spread the risk geographically and across sectors, then it’s certainly working. The Gallagher signboards are up on a huge variety of projects from small 20 acre developments to entire towns.

    One of the flagships from Gallagher Developments is the Warwick Gates Business Park which offers business properties and offices of all sizes, complete with lake, tree-lined boulevards, a health and fitness club and a day nursery

    His Gallagher Estates is building not one but two sustainable new towns; one in Bedfordshire and one in Cambridge.

    These two huge projects form just part of the portfolio of developments across the country for Gallagher’s two divisions, which are rich in land and property assets. Gallagher Estates alone owns or controls land with planning consent for more than 32,000 residential plots. The company is partnering Milton Keynes Council in the development of new communities in its Western expansion area.

    Gallagher Developments owns land with planning consent for six million square feet of commercial development, with the emphasis on retail. The core business involves an investment portfolio of around 2.7 million square feet of retail parks throughout the country.

    Gallagher UK continues to be one of the most successful privately-owned commercial and residential property development and investment companies in the UK, with net assets valued at around £450 million.

    Tony Gallagher, as owner and chairman, has driven Gallagher UK to a powerful position in the development business, with substantial cash reserves and, he is proud to say, no borrowings.

    The Heythrope hunt make the hunt in my area seem like a bunch of pussycats.


    11 March 2012 Last updated at 03:11

    Advisers warned government on badger cull
    Richard Black By Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News

    UK badger culling plans could kill tens of thousands of the animals, worsen the cattle tuberculosis problem, and put the country in breach of a European wildlife treaty, advisers have warned.

    The government is to allow culling in England to curb cattle TB, with a similar move possible in Wales.

    The Labour Party used Freedom of Information (FoI) laws to obtain advice given by Natural England.

    It highlights aspects of ministers' plans that are not backed by science.

    Earlier this month, campaigners said they were seeking leave for a judicial review of the government's position.

    The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will allow two pilot culls this year in areas of about 150 sq km each, in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset.

    If they are judged to be a success, a further 10 areas could be opened for culling each year, up to a maximum of about 40, under licences issued by Natural England.

    Better, or worse?

    Ministers should listen to the scientists and can this cull”

    Mary Creagh MP Shadow environment secretary

    Defra sees the move as part of a package of bovine TB control measures that will prove beneficial in highly affected areas, alongside restrictions on cattle movements and enhanced biosecurity on farms.

    The disease costs the UK public purse about £100m per year.

    The Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT), the biggest scientific investigation of culling anywhere in the world, found that it can reduce incidence of TB in farm herds provided it is done in large areas with a large proportion of badgers being killed virtually simultaneously, and that it is sustained for at least four years.

    Without this rigour, it found, culling can increase disease spread because it perturbs the badgers, making them roam further and infect new farms.

    In the documents obtained by Labour, Natural England warns explicitly that the only badger-culling regime backed by science is that used in the RBCT.

    "While it is reasonable to assume that replicating the RBCT approach would deliver similar benefits in a future cull, it is far from certain that these benefits could be delivered via the farmer and landowner-led approach that has been proposed."

    In the RBCT, culls were performed by trapping badgers and shooting them, and each area had to be covered within 10 days.

    By contrast, the government will allow the much cheaper option of "free-shooting" by trained marksmen across a six-week period, which one former government ecologist has dubbed "a recipe for perturbation".

    The FoI documents show that Natural England warned "there is no evidence to support "any approach less onerous than the 10-day window.

    Shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh MP said the documents confirmed that Defra had "ignored scientists' advice" on the issue.

    "The scientists confirm that the government's cull could spread TB in cattle if farmers fail to oversee an effective cull," she said.

    "Ministers should listen to the scientists and cancel this cull which is bad for farmers, bad for taxpayers and bad for wildlife."

    A Defra spokesman told BBC News that the government "had taken on board" all responses to its consultation.

    "Culling will only take place in the localised areas where it will make a difference, the number of licences to cull badgers will be limited, the licence will specify the maximum number of badgers that can be controlled, and the number of animals controlled will be monitored to guard against local disappearance," he said.

    However, the six-week window aspect of the plans was not changed in response to Natural England's submissions, issued in January and July last year.

    Prepared for take-up

    How popular culling will prove with farmers is unclear. Much is likely to depend on experiences in the two pilot areas.

    Cattle testing for TB Animal welfare groups propose further enhancements to cattle testing, rather than culling

    If farmers embrace it enthusiastically, Natural England warns there could be a substantial impact on badger populations.

    If 40 areas are eventually licensed and if each has an area of about 350km, it calculates that "the cumulative maximum [badger deaths] that might be reached under the policy is about 90,000 to 130,000 in total".

    It continues: "It is unlikely that the survival of the badger nationally would be jeopardised by culling but the local disappearance of the badger in some areas cannot be ruled out if culling is carried out at a large scale."

    Killing badgers is generally prohibited under the UK Protection of Badgers Act, with exceptions allowed for disease prevention.

    The Badger Trust is already challenging the government on this aspect of its plans, arguing that reducing incidence by 12-16%, as Defra projects, does not constitute "prevention".

    Another animal charity, Humane Society International (HSI), is seeking judgement that the government is breaching the EU Bern Convention on protection of wildlife.

    Among other things, the convention says that governments "shall prohibit... the use of all means capable of causing local disappearance of, or serious disturbance to, populations of a species..."

    HSI's case may be bolstered by the revelation that Natural England specifically warned the government: "If implemented on a large scale... it is our opinion that culling poses a significant risk of contravening Articles 8 and 9 of the Bern Convention".

    The government has included in its guidance on issuing licences: "Natural England should aim to ensure that culling will 'not be detrimental to the survival of the population concerned' within the meaning of Article 9 of the Bern Convention".

    Last year, wildlife groups began programmes of vaccination, and they believe this will in the end remove any need for culling.

    The Welsh government is due to announce its decision on a proposed pilot cull in West Wales early this year.

    North West Hunt Saboteurs Association



    15st man 'mugged by fox
    Yes, and Elvis was seen dancing in the park - I know, because my dog told me. 

    A fully-grown man has told how he was mugged by a fox, which cornered him and forced him into handing over his dinner.

    A fully-grown man has told how he was mugged by a fox, which cornered him and forced him into handing over his dinner.
    A man has claimed he was mugged by a fox Photo: MARK BOULTON / ALAMY

    Seb Baker, 29, weighs 15 stone but was attacked by the common red fox as he walked home from the supermarket.

    The civil servant has revealed the wily fox, which had been sitting on a kerb at the side of the road, followed him into an alleyway.

    There, he told the Sun newspaper, the aggressive animal leapt at him, circling him like prey and trying to snatch his shopping bag.

    Despite making attempts to escape, the fox persisted and carried out a sustained attack on the food he had just bought from Tesco.

    Eventually, Mr Baker claims, he resorted to offering the animal his loaf of garlic bread and the fox scampered off.

    Mr Baker, from Orpington, Kent, told the Sun: “I had expected it to run away. I thought a fox would be scared of a 15-stone man.

    “But the fox started circling me and then jumped up, trying to grab my shopping bag.

    "Eventually I opened the bag and gave it a garlic loaf. He grabbed it and ran off.”

    Wildlife expert John Bryant said foxes were getting bolder but were not generally interested in humans, and confirmed attacks like this are rare.

    He advised: “If a fox is jumping at your shopping bag you need to shout at it and chase it off, not just give it the food.

    “The best thing to use is a water pistol.”

    In October 2011, five-year-old Marius Rook was mauled by a fox in his own bedroom in Hackney, London. Police used a noose to remove the animal from his home, after it it tried to bite his head.

    In 2010, mother Pauline Koupparis told how a fox found its way into the upstairs bedroom of her nine-month-old twins, in her east London home.

    The twins were left with severe injuries following the vicious attack.

    Racism at David CAMERON'S old Heythrop Hunt

    The £8m mansion RBS chief Stephen Hester gave to his ex-wife... while he rents £4m apartment

    By Michael Seamark and Nick Mcdermott

    Last updated at 1:57 AM on 28th January 20

    Stephen Hester remains annoyed whenever any newspaper prints the much-published photograph of him astride a horse dressed in full hunting regalia

    The notoriously thin-skinned Stephen Hester remains annoyed whenever any newspaper prints the much-published photograph of him astride a horse dressed in full hunting regalia

    First his annual bonus is cut to just under £1million. Now it seems that Stephen Hester’s still far from insignificant fortune has taken another hit.

    The beleaguered Royal Bank of Scotland boss separated from his Canadian-born wife Barbara in 2010.

    Mr Hester’s name has now disappeared from Land Registry documents listing ownership of their magnificent £8.6million marital home.

    The couple, married almost 20 years with two children, purchased the five-bedroom, four-bathroom mansion in one of the capital’s most exclusive areas in 1995 for £1.78million.

    Publicly available documents last year listed the pair as joint owners of the mortgage-free West London home, with neighbours including Simon Cowell and Sir Richard Branson.

    But now the property is registered with Barbara Abt, the maiden name of the banker’s estranged wife, as sole owner.

    The RBS boss – linked to attractive divorcee Suzy Neubert four months after his marriage break-up – is apparently renting a £3.8million apartment near his family.

    But while Mr Hester may have ‘lost’ the London home, he can fall back on his vast country pile in Oxfordshire, a 350-acre estate complete with eight gardeners. And there is always the ski chalet in Verbier.

    The Oxford-educated banker met his estranged wife Barbara when both were working at Credit Suisse.

    They married in 1991. The couple divided their time between London and Oxfordshire and shared a love of fox-hunting – she is a master of foxhounds for the Warwickshire Hunt.

    Shortly after taking over the helm at state-owned RBS in 2008, Mr Hester faced immediate criticism over his indulgent lifestyle after hosting a lavish hunt ball at his £7million country estate.

    And the notoriously thin-skinned Mr Hester remains annoyed whenever any newspaper prints the much-published photograph of him astride a horse dressed in full hunting regalia.

    Despite their shared country interests, the Hesters parted in the summer of 2010.

    One family source said at the time: ‘It’s terribly sad. They’re working on an amicable separation for the sake of their children and Stephen is getting on with his job.’ 

    Later that year, the RBS boss, 51, appeared arm-in-arm with mother-of-two Miss Neubert, like his wife a former banker.

    She works in the City, as head of sales and marketing for private bank J O Hambro, which handles the funds of hugely wealthy individuals.

    Stephen Hester separated from his Canadian-born wife Barbara (left) in 2010. His name has now disappeared from Land Registry documents listing ownership of their £8.6m home
    Mr Hester was linked to attractive divorcee Suzy Neubert (right) four months after his marriage break-up

    Stephen Hester separated from his Canadian-born wife Barbara (left) in 2010. His name has now disappeared from Land Registry documents listing ownership of their £8.6m home. He was linked to attractive divorcee Suzy Neubert (right) four months after his marriage break-up

    She was married to Jolyon Neubert, the barrister son of Tory MP Sir Michael Neubert, with whom she had two daughters.

    Yorkshireman Mr Hester has had a glittering, and financially rewarding, career, starting at Credit Suisse, then Abbey National and property company British Land.

    According to one City insider: ‘He’s very proud of his achievements but he doesn’t take kindly to criticism.’

    In an interview in 2009, Mr Hester said his upbringing and work in a sweet factory had taught him the value of money.

    ‘My first job was packing Polos in a factory so I don’t need anyone to tell me what it’s like being a normal person on normal amounts of money,’ he said.

    Hester's houses: Town and country

    Weeks after he took over at RBS, recruited to end the culture of excess, details emerged of his magnificent country estate, which has one of the most spectacular gardens in Britain.

    The gardeners are paid salaries of up to £20,000 to tend it throughout the year.

    Part of it was designed and created by celebrity landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, who has worked for Karl Lagerfeld and billionaire philanthropist John Paul Getty.

    The grounds include an 80-acre arboretum, parterre, sunken garden and water meadow.

    It emerged last night that while Mr Hester may have agreed to limit his bonus to £963,000 this year, he could still earn more than £7million for a year’s work.

    In addition to a basic salary worth £1.2million, he will be handed a pension contribution worth £420,000 and the bonus of 3.6million shares in the bank now worth £998,000.

    He could also be awarded ‘long-term incentive plan’ shares worth four times his basic salary, adding another £4.8million to his award for 2011.

    The multiple layers of executive reward mean Mr Hester could end up earning just over £7.4million.

    However, the poor performance of RBS – which has lost 40 per cent of its value this year – means he is unlikely to scoop the maximum available under the long-term incentive plan.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2092914/Stephen-Hester-The-8m-home-RBS-chief-gave-ex-wife-She-keeps-mansion--Hester-rents-4m-apartment.html#ixzz1kk5sMTfq

    Hunting repeal this Parliament ????
    Can the vote to repeal the Hunting Ban be won? The Joint Master of the cury Hunt doesn't think so, a...

    Alison Hawes encouraging the pros to lie and accused antis of assaulting the hunters.

    Hunt saboteurs Association Press Release January 4th 2012

    Female Hunt Saboteur violently assaulted during illegal Foxhunt

    On New Years Eve a female hunt saboteur was violently assaulted by a supporter of the Cottesmore Foxhunt who were meeting at Gunby, Lincolnshire. The saboteur was on her own when she saw the hunts hounds illegally chasing a fox. As she intervened she was thrown to the ground by a man who then smashed her over the head with an aluminium bottle before pinning her down and pouring the bottle's contents over her face. As other saboteurs came to her aid the cowardly attacker jumped in his vehicle and drove away. The attack was witnessed by a young girl who was sitting in the attackers vehicle as well as other members of the hunt who stood and watched rather than intervene and stop the attack. The police were called and are currently investigating the attack.

    Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt saboteurs association, stated: “ Such a cowardly attack is what we have come to expect from the hunting community. They are cowardly in their illegal murder of wildlife and they are cowardly when they attack those who try and stop them. This man only had the courage to attack a lone female but fled as soon as her friends arrived. We hope Lincolnshire police do everything in their power to catch him.”

    All Press enquiries: 07774 279133

    Family cat savaged to death by 27 hunt hounds (then handed back in dog food bag) was killed because she 'panicked and tried to run away' says huntsman

    • The 18-year-old deaf pet 'did not stand a chance' when she was set upon
    • Two days later the cat was returned to owners in an empty bag of Pedigree dog food

    By Kerry Mcqueeney and Chris Parsons

    Last updated at 9:57 AM on 15th December 2011

    Savaged: Moppet had been left out in the family's garden to stretch her legs when she was set upon by the dogs

    Savaged: Moppet had been left out in the family's garden to stretch her legs when she was set upon by the dogs

    An elderly family cat was savaged by a pack of up to 27 hunting dogs because she 'panicked', a huntsman claimed yesterday.

    Moppet, an 18-year-old deaf tabby, was set upon by the pack of hounds which was running through land belonging to her owners.

    The family pet's corpse was returned to its devastated owners in an empty dog food bag two days after being chased and killed near Ravenscar in Scarborough.

    Hunt chairman Bill Dobson yesterday said the beloved cat's death was 'regrettable'.

    He said: 'The cat panicked and tried to run away, which set the dogs off.'

    Moppet had been left out in the family's garden, in Stoupe Brow, near Ravenscar in Scarborough, to stretch its legs when the attack happened.

    Retired owners Les, 75, and Margaret Atkinson, 59, heard a commotion near their house and noticed the huntsman off his horse.

    They feared the worst when they later found blood on the ground and realised their elderly tabby was missing.

    They later spoke to two members of the hunt, who admitted the dogs had killed the cat by ‘accident’ and the pet’s body was returned two days later in an empty dog food sack.

    The incident was reported to the police, but after an investigation officers decided to take no further action.

    Distraught: Les and Margaret Atkinson say they are devastated at the death of their family pet

    Distraught: Les and Margaret Atkinson say they are devastated at the death of their family pet

    The couple live in countryside and the hunt can legally cross their land as a public right of way runs through it.

    Mrs Atkinson, a retired teacher, said: ‘It was horrific. She didn’t stand a chance. She was an old lady and it was not the way for an innocent animal to meet her end.

    ‘I can’t bear the thought that in her last few moments she was in terror. She didn’t deserve to die like that.’ The hunt said the dogs attacked when the cat ‘panicked’ and tried to run off.

    Mrs Atkinson said they had yet to receive an apology from an official from the Staintondale and Goathland hunts.

    ‘Moppet was a big part of the family. We bought her the year my daughter went to secondary school. She’s a 30-year-old teacher now and is married. She was devastated when we told her.’

    'Didn't stand a chance': Moppet, an 18-year-old tabby cat who was also deaf, was returned to her owners two days after she was was savaged

    'Didn't stand a chance': Moppet, an 18-year-old tabby cat who was also deaf, was returned to her owners two days after she was was savaged

    Remains: The lifeless body of Moppet was returned to the Atkinsons in an empty bag of dog food

    Remains: The lifeless body of Moppet was returned to the Atkinsons in an empty bag of dog food

    Mr Atkinson, a retired coach builder and grandfather, said: ‘We’ve spent a lot of time crying. She would curl up on our knees every night and would wake us up in the morning. I’m retired, so I would spend hours talking to her.’

    The incident happened last week and fortunately the couple’s other cat George managed to hide in a stable and escaped.

    'The cat panicked and tried to run away, which set the dogs off'

    The couple said they were alerted by the sound of the hounds and a huntsman was later seen ‘riding off with something bloodied in his hand.’

    Several hours later when two of the huntsmen passed their home again, the Atkinsons asked if they knew what had happened. They said they believed their cat had been killed by the hounds.

    Mrs Atkinson said: ‘They came back a bit later and said that was true and told us Moppet had probably been taken because they didn’t want us to see her in that state.’

    Jean Clemmit, Staintondale hunt master, said she wasn’t present at the time of the incident.

    She said: ‘It’s very regrettable and is upsetting for everybody but we can’t undo what has happened. I haven’t been involved in anything like this before. We will take preventative measures.’

    Riding party: The hunts (not pictured here) were on a 'legal trail hunt' in which an animal-based scent is laid down for the pack of dogs to follow

    Riding party: The hunts (not pictured here) were on a 'legal trail hunt' in which an animal-based scent is laid down for the pack of dogs to follow

    Bill Dobson, chairman of the Goathland hunt, added: ‘We always try to control the hounds and normally they are very well behaved.

    ‘We aren’t barbaric, we don’t set out to cause problems for people. This is a very unfortunate thing and it’s regrettable that the dogs set upon the cat.’

    The hunts were on a ‘legal trail hunt’ in which an animal-based scent is laid down for the pack of dogs to follow.

    Mr Atkinson said: 'We just heard a commotion outside and saw the hounds and a huntsman off his horse. He just kept saying ‘I’m sorry.’ Then he got back on his horse and he rode off.'

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2074175/Family-cat-killed-pack-fox-hounds-hunt-rides-land.html#ixzz1gcufYjLc

    Daily Telegraph 12-12-11

    Family's horror as fox clubbed to death on patio

    A family has spoken of their horror and disgust after they watched a huntsman club a fox to death on a garden patio.

    Family's horror as fox clubbed to death on patio
    Mick Heath standing on his patio where the fox was clubbed to death Photo: Eastnews

    Mick Heath, 53, was at home with his wife Jane, 61, in Bradfield, Essex when about 40 hunting hounds burst into his elderly neighbours' garden as they chased down a fox.

    The graphic designer, along with a friend and his teenager son, looked on in horror as a member of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt strolled across the patio before clubbing the fox to death just feet from where they were stood watching.

    The RSPCA have been informed of the attack and are now understood to investigating whether an offence took place.

    Mr Heath - who is not opposed to hunting - said "It was totally and utterly barbaric and shocking.

    "We were at home having a nice, normal weekend when we heard the commotion - voices, horns and the noise of the hounds and they were so close that I threw my three cocker spaniels indoors.

    "The fox had gone to ground at the end of our neighbours' garden. The hounds piled in and suddenly the whipmaster of the hunt walked across the patio and clubbed the fox to death in front of us.

    "My friend Joe, who is an outdoorsy chap who knows the ways of the countryside, turned to him and said 'you ba**ard".

    "The whipmaster just walked away with the fox leaving a large pile of blood on the patio and four adults and a teenage boy in absolute amazement."

    It is thought that the hunt was using the hounds to try to flush out smaller animals and then use the hawk to make a kill - which is legal under the terms of the Hunting Act.

    The blood from the kill remained on the shared patio area despite heavy rainfall during the weekend.

    Mr Heath has accused the hunt of not being in control of the pack of hounds.

    He said: "All 40 hounds were in the back garden in a tiny area - it was a disgrace and it was so inhumane.

    "I am certainly not anti-hunt, I have taken my grandchildren to the farm to watch as it is a wonderful spectacle and I have nothing against what they do.

    "It is the fact that they did this in front of four adults and an impressionable teenage boy in a private garden in Essex.

    "They could have taken that fox away from our view and shot it - no one should have to witness those events on a Saturday afternoon.

    "The fox was still alive so for the hunt to claim the hounds had killed it is simply not true - there are some mistruths being told."

    Mrs Heath, a business administrator, added: "It was horrific and it was absolutely ghastly."

    The Essex and Suffolk Hunt has denied that the fox was clubbed to death.

    James Buckle, a senior huntsman, said: "It was a horrible situation where we virtually had to watch and could not intervene.

    "The fox was killed by the dogs - there is no way that the hounds would do half a job.

    "I can see how it would have looked like that to a bystander and the would have been horrendous.

    "The huntmaster was whipping the pack to get the dead fox from them.

    "We have apologised to the owner of the garden and they have accepted the apology."

    An Essex Police spokesman said: "They were hunting with a bird of prey and the pack accidentally picked up on the scent of a fox which attracted the hounds.

    "The hunt mistress was spoken to by police.

    "Officers have also spoken to to the owners who are satisfied with police action - there was no offence committed on the hunt, which was legal."


    Policeman’s badger horror

    9:30am Thursday 8th December 2011

    By Kate Liptrot

    A POLICE officer has described the disturbing scene he discovered when investigating reports of badger baiting on remote farmland near York.

    Sgt Paul Stephenson found the body of a dead badger and badger foetuses after police were informed that a gang of men had watched badgers being ripped apart by dogs on the land between Scrayingham and Howsham Bridge, he told Scarborough Magistrates’ Court.

    After digging into a patch of land that he noticed had been disturbed but apparently recovered with sods of grass, Sgt Stephenson said he found the body of a pregnant female badger four feet under the ground.

    Post-mortem examinations of the two badgers have found that one had died from gunshot wounds after a sustained attack by dogs, and the other had been “torn to pieces and bled to death”.

    Eight men have been accused of wilfully killing a badger, digging out and interfering with a sett, hunting a wild animal with dogs, and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

    When first arriving at the scene Sgt Stephenson said some of the men had told him they had permission to be on the land. He said: “They were cocky, they were flippant. They would not tell me what had gone on. They said they had not killed a badger but would not say more than that.”

    Sgt Stephenson said that as he had found a badger tail, he suspected there was a possibility a third badger had been killed but he was unable to find a body.

    Cross examining Sgt Stephenson, Clive Rees suggested there were other people at the scene who were not apprehended. He also suggested that injuries found on the dogs owned by some of the men may have been caused by the animals fighting one another.

    Six of the men have pleaded not guilty to the charges: Alan Alexander, 32, of Bramham Close, York; William Edward Anderson, 26 of Hillside, Cropton Lane, Pickering; James Henry Doyle, 34 of Westfield Avenue, Knottingley; Richard Simpson, 37, of Wains Road, York; Paul Ian Tindall, 33 of Bramham Grove, York; and a 17-year-old York youth who cannot be named for legal reasons.

    Two other men, Christopher Martin Holmes, 28, of Bell Farm Avenue, York, and Malcolm David Warner, 28, of Princess Drive, York, pleaded guilty to jointly wilfully killing a badger, digging for badgers, and interfering with a sett, and had their cases adjourned until January 10. Both were granted unconditional bail.

    Police were alerted to reports of badger baiting following a 999 call from wildlife artist Robert Fuller.

    The trial continues.


    North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

    Hunters ‘feeding foxes up to kill’, claim anti-hunt campaigners

    Hunts across the West are engaged in a ‘nationwide criminal conspiracy to encourage and sustain fox populations in order that they can be hunted’.

    That was the claim by anti-hunt campaigners after a undercover operation found that artificial earths in hunting areas are still being maintained to make sure there are foxes to hunt.

    The covert surveillance operation was undertaken from July to October this year by teams of monitors from the League Against Cruel Sports, and targeted hunts the length and breadth of England.

    Hunts have denied that the artificial fox earths, the maintenance of them and video footage of people bringing food for the foxes are anything to do with them, and said the claimed evidence “proves nothing”.

    The revelation that artificial earths, to encourage foxes to breed, are maintained to keep fox numbers up dealt a major blow to the hunting lobby’s argument before the 2005 ban that foxhunting was necessary as a form of pest control. That they are still being maintained six years after the ban, claims the League Against Cruel Sports, shows that hunts are still routinely breaking the ban and intentionally hunting foxes. Monitors discovered three artificial earths in woodland around Stow-on-the-Wold and Cold Ashton in Gloucestershire, on land regularly hunted by the Heythrop Hunt. In Wiltshire, close to the Badminton Estate, the monitors discovered three more artificial earths were still being maintained.

    In other locations in the country, artificial earths were discovered with metal grilles hanging near them, which the league said was to make it easy to quickly block them up on hunt days.

    But the league claimed the most damning evidence came in Dorset, where hidden cameras filmed an unknown man dragging a barrel full of offal and dumping it close to a newly maintained artificial earth, inhabited by foxes.

    The spot between the villages of Cattistock and Evershot in Dorset, is owned by the Hon. Charlotte Townsend, the master of the Cattistock Hunt. Hidden cameras filmed a man dumping a barrel of animal by-products in the wood and filmed the foxes taking the food away.

    The league’s chief executive Joe Duckworth said the findings were the “tip of the iceberg”, given that 87 per cent of the hunts they chose to look at had artificial earths in their regularly hunted woodland. “In just a short space of time our investigators have shown without a shadow of a doubt that there is a determined effort among the hunting community to keep fox numbers artificially high.

    “The evidence points at a pattern of extreme behaviour which I am convinced goes far and beyond the evidence obtained by the league in this investigation and may be connected with other wildlife crimes such as hunting with dogs,” he added.

    League chairman John Cooper said: “This evidence points to a nationwide criminal conspiracy by foxhunts to encourage and sustain fox populations in order that they can be hunted.”

    The league admitted it cannot definitively prove that the people who maintain the earths or feed the foxes are connected to local hunts.

    The joint master of the Cattistock, Will Bryer, said the Cattistock was the victim of a ‘smear campaign’. “We refute these allegations, they’re ridiculous,” he said. “Artificial earths have been around since the beginning of time but we have no use for them now. If someone is putting food out for foxes, it’s not us.”

    And Tim Bonner, from the Masters of Foxhounds Association, said the hunts had nothing to do with artificial earths. “The earths are not only used by hunts. They are also used by gamekeepers to locate foxes so they can find them and kill them,” he said.

    Kate gets in some target practice in preparation for Sandringham Boxing Day pheasant shoot

    By Mail On Sunday Reporter

    Last updated at 7:42 AM on 14th November 2011

    The Duchess of Cambridge has been perfecting her shooting skills in preparation for the traditional Boxing Day pheasant shoot at Sandringham.

    The 29-year-old was given private lessons by Prince Charles’s ghillie, or hunt attendant, at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate last weekend.

    Kate will spend her first Christmas Day with the Royal Family this year, and a source said: ‘She wants to make the best impression and is taking the Boxing Day shoot very seriously.

    Aiming high: Kate is determined to improve her skills with a shotgun

    Aiming high: Kate is determined to improve her skills with a shotgun

    ‘She has joined the shoot in previous years, but she is not the best shot and she’s determined to get better. She spent the weekend having lessons and she has become a lot more confident with a shotgun.’

    Another source said: ‘William is an excellent shot. It is a passion of his and Kate knows that to fit in, not just with William, but with the rest of the Royal Family, she too must embrace the sport.

    Sporting: Prince William at a shoot in 2008, Kate is determined to be the best shot this year

    Sporting: Prince William at a shoot in 2008, Kate is determined to be the best shot this year

    ‘She was at Balmoral with William and her family at the weekend and they had plenty of time for shooting. It is still the hind season and William managed to do some deer stalking. It’s much harder, though, and Kate stuck to shooting pheasants.’

    Kate’s parents Carole and Michael and her sister Pippa were also part of the shooting party.

    Prince Charles and Camilla were in Africa, but gave the run of their Scottish home to William – who killed his first stag when he was 14.

    ‘William wants to make taking his in-laws to Birkhall a tradition,’ adds a friend.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2060803/Kate-Middleton-prepares-Sandringham-Boxing-Day-pheasant-shoot.html#ixzz1dfdZLQMp

    Chaos in the Countryside

    HSA - 7th November 2011

    A week after falsely blaming hunt saboteurs for the death of one of their hounds, the attached video shows the Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt casually risking the lives of their hounds.  They were filmed throughout the day hunting on main roads, causing traffic chaos and at least two cars were forced to make emergency stops to avoid killing hounds.   When the saboteurs voiced their concerns about how dangerous it was they were met with physical and verbal abuse.


    Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt saboteurs Association, stated:

    "It was very convenient for the hunt that saboteurs were present last week as it gave them an easy scapegoat for the death of their hound. This video shows conclusively that the hunts don't care for any animal, even their hounds, and are happy to put their lives at risk, and cause chaos, in the name of sport."

    here for video

    Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release November 5th 2011
    Saturday, 05 November 2011 22:44

    New Hunt season. More violence against hunt saboteurs.

    Members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, from different groups in the South East, visited the meet of the Old Surrey, Burstow & West Kent Fox Hunt, taking place just outside Lingfield in East Sussex. Due to previous violence from this hunts Staff and supporters (who’s Huntsman has a conviction for assaulting a Hunt Saboteur in 1991) the police had been informed of the Hunt Saboteurs intentions, and were in attendance.


    At around 3pm saboteurs were attempting to cross a narrow metal bridge on Environment Agency land when a supporter of the hunt took it on himself to block their passage. Other hunt supporters on foot were behind the group, and pushing forward against their backs. In the struggle the supporter pulled a female hunt saboteur over, knocking her head onto the concrete base, causing a deep bloody wound to the crown of her head.


    Riders of the hunt, supported by the foot followers, proceeded to barge into the other hunt saboteurs in what seemed to be an attempt to cover up the actions of their supporter. Some saboteurs were then asked to ‘arraign it’ so that the incident was not reported to the police. It is suspected that the perpetrator has a gun licence he would be in danger of losing if convicted of violence. The incident was reported to the Police and the man was questioned. Formal statements and video evidence will be submitted to ensure a conviction.


    Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: “This is just one more violent incident in the history of the Old Surrey, Burstow & West Kent Fox Hunt, an organisation whose reason for existence is the infliction of violence. It seems that if they cannot persecute foxes then hunt saboteurs will do as second choice.”


    Photographs are available on request.



    Further information on Old Surrey, Burstow & West Kent Fox Hunt can be found at:





    Hunt backed by PM accused of breaking rules to keep foxes

    League Against Cruel Sports claims it has found a national criminal conspiracy

    Daily Mail 28-10-11

    Garden centre worker's five-figure pay-out after he was sacked for anti-fox hunting beliefs

    • Animal rights activist sacked after secret filming helped convict Clarissa Dickson Wright of hare coursing
    • 43-year-old argued that views on fox hunting should be placed on the same legal footing as religious beliefs
    • Southampton Employment Tribunal ruled in his favour


    Last updated at 11:40 AM on 28th October 2011


    Professional gardener Joe Hashman (pictured outside the tribunal in Southampton) claims he was sacked from a Dorset garden centre because of his anti-fox hunting beliefs

    Professional gardener Joe Hashman (pictured outside the tribunal in Southampton) claims he was sacked from a Dorset garden centre because of his anti-fox hunting beliefs

    A garden centre worker who was sacked for his anti-fox hunting belief has won a five-figure pay-out.

    Joe Hashman, who has been an active animal rights campaigner for 30 years, was handed his P45 at Orchard Park Farm near Gillingham, Dorset, in September 2009, and he has been seeking justice ever since.

    Over two years later the 43-year-old has now succeeded in the landmark discrimination case which could pave the way for others to sue their former employers, if they have suffered in the work place because of their personal views.

    Mr Hashman had been looking for £50,000 for loss of earnings and injury to feelings from Orchard Park Farm garden centre.

    The managers sacked him two days after his covert filming had helped to convict the celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright of illegal hare coursing.

    He agreed an undisclosed settlement, believed to include a five figure payout, after a panel at Southampton Employment Tribunal ruled in his favour.

    As part of it, Orchard Park's directors issued a public apology to Mr Hashman, accepting that he had never sought to mislead them about his animal welfare activism.

    Married father-of-two Mr Hashman, of Shaftesbury, Dorset, successfully argued that his views on fox hunting should be placed on the same legal footing as religious beliefs.



    It was accepted that his concern about the environment, animal rights, veganism and, in particular, his opposition to fox hunting, amount to a philosophical belief under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003.

    Mr Hashman's solicitor Shah Qureshi, of law firm Bindmans, said: 'This is clearly a very positive tribunal decision for those who believe in animal rights.

    D.Telegraph 24-10-11

    Animals rights activist 'sacked over fox hunting beliefs'

    An animals rights campaigner claims he was sacked from a garden centre after his pro-hunting employers discovered he had helped convict celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright of hare coursing charges.

    Animals rights activist 'sacked over fox hunting beliefs'
    Image 1 of 2
    Sheila Clarke, right, did not realise when Joe Hashman, left, was offered the post that he had been an influential hunt saboteur since the age of 14 Photo: CHRISTOPHER PLEDGER

    Joe Hashman, a professional gardener, alleges that he was discriminated against over his anti-fox hunting beliefs after bosses found out he was a leading saboteur and animal welfare activist.

    The 43-year-old has been permitted to take his claim to an employment tribunal after a judge’s landmark ruling said his views on fox hunting should be placed on the same legal footing as religious beliefs.

    If successful, the case could pave the way for a flood of similar claims from employees who believe they have suffered in the workplace due to their personal views.

    Giving evidence, Mr Hashman said his dismissal in September 2009 came two days after covert video footage he had filmed helped convict Dickson Wright of attending an illegal hare coursing event.

    He explained that when he took the job of creating a demonstration garden for Orchard Park Farm, near Gillingham, Dorset, he had been “blissfully unaware” that its owners were keen supporters of the South and West Wiltshire Hunt.

    Likewise, owners Sheila and Ron Clarke did not realise when he was offered the post that he had been an influential hunt saboteur since the age of 14, the tribunal heard.

    However, Mr Hashman said he was “picked on” and abruptly sacked after he appeared on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show, explaining his part in Dickson’s Wright’s court case.

    “I believe now that my involvement in relation to hunting issues and ultimately my philosophical belief was the reason for my dismissal,” Mr Hashman said.

    “On September 1, 2009 there were two convictions at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court under the Hunting Act, which I was directly responsible for.

    “One of those convicted was celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright. I wrote a personal blog about this and also on that day appeared on the Jeremy Vine Show, which was discussing the convictions.

    “I believe that those connected with Orchard Park knew, or came to know, of some or all of these matters at some point leading up to my dismissal.”

    Mr Hashman also claimed his departure was hastened by the sudden death of the hunt’s terrier man Andrew Prater – a close friend and employee of the Clarkes – with whom he had clashed previously at hunting protests.

    Mr Hashman claims he was sacked on the same day his employers attended Mr Prater’s funeral.

    The former professional tennis coach alleged that he telephoned Richard Cumming, Orchard Park’s managing director, following his dismissal and asked if Mr Prater’s death and the Dickson Wright case had provoked his bosses’ “firm action”.

    “Mr Cumming confirmed this was the case,” Mr Hashman said.

    “I was told the board of directors were not prepared to sanction any more payments to me. I thought that was hardly surprising, given where we were all coming from.

    “He said that emotions in the local hunting community were running high.”

    Orchard Park Farm claims it dismissed Mr Hashman because his vegetable patch at the garden centre, encouraging customers to grow more produce, was not making them enough money. They insist that his views on hunting played not part in their decision,

    Mr Cumming claims he was unaware of Mr Hashman’s involvement in Dickson Wright’s case and that the centre continued stocking Mr Hashman’s gardening books, indicating that they did not “have it in” for him.

    He told Mr Hashman that the board of directors “felt that the expense of taking the [vegetable plot] project further was not justified”.

    Mr Hashman, of Shaftesbury, Dorset, added: “I believe this was a justification that was thought up after the event and was not the real reason my contract was terminated.”

    The hearing at Southampton Employment Tribunal centre continues.

    Hunting: who let the dogs out?

    Six years after foxhunting was banned, the bugle still sounds across the shires. Robert McCrum goes in pursuit of the hunters, and finds a world lustily disdainful of urban opinion

    foxhunting tedworth
    Tally ho!: out with the Tedworth Hunt, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. Photograph: Karen Robinson

    On 17 February 2005, the Tedworth Hunt, which for generations has pursued its quarry across the hillsides of ancient Wessex and often far on to Salisbury Plain, chased foxes for the last time. Louise Guinness, who has ridden with the Tedworth for 28 years, remembers the day so well. She has a photograph of the milestone moment: grooms, puppy walkers, whippers-in, young masters, veterans of the field, terrier men and stablegirls – a tweedy cross-section of an English rural community dotted with hunting pink.

    "We met here at Fosbury [her family home, near Marlborough]," says Guinness of the last day that it was legal to hunt foxes in Britain. "All the hunt supporters came to the meet, maybe three or four hundred of them. Our huntsman at the time was Rodney. He was, man and boy, a wonderful, old-fashioned huntsman: hard drinking, womanising, all that classic stuff.

    "Anyway, there were lots of foxes that last day, and, at the end, Rodney 'blew for home'. It's quite a mournful sound even on a normal day, but on that day it sounded really melancholy and, as he blew for home, we were all crying. Even Rodney was crying. His heart was breaking. He just packed up his hounds and went back to the kennels. It felt so sad and we all thought, 'That's it.'" Guinness allows herself a sly smile. "But then, strangely, it wasn't it."

    Six years on, with the ban still firmly on the statute book, hunting in England and Wales is flourishing against the odds. In an unintended consequence, New Labour has galvanised rural Britain. In 2011, middle-class men, and especially women, are hunting from November to April, apparently at the dangerous edge of legality, four days a week. And no one – not the police, not the courts, not the saboteurs – is able to do a thing about it. The hunt remains what it always was: the epitome of English independence.

    The scarlet coats might be more discreet, and the sound of the horn more muted than in the past, but the nation's hunts are still in full cry and so are its opponents – the "antis" such as the Hunt Saboteurs and the League Against Cruel Sports. Neither side is giving ground, especially here in horse racing-country around Lambourne.

    I've joined Guinness to watch a session of "autumn hunting" with the Tedworth, a hard core of dedicated riders and their hounds crisscrossing Salisbury plain in the first light of autumn. Before the ban this was known as "cub hunting", the elimination of the next fox generation after the long summer armistice, and before the hunt season proper gets under way. More rollicking members of the field still refer to it in such terms, and disdain the euphemism of "autumn hunting". After several weeks of getting to know the Tedworth's inner circle, I've come along as a neutral witness to an ancient and notoriously contentious country pursuit reviled by many for its cruelty.

    As the hunt slowly crosses the plain towards us, at about 9am, some 40 hounds, in couples, are fossicking through the long grass, while the following "field" moves at an easy trot behind. Any scene less controversial, or barbarous, would be hard to imagine.

    It's not difficult to glimpse the allure of a rural tradition that goes back to Merrie England and the greenwood tree. Salisbury Plain offers its own special magic: a pastoral theatre in which to experience a lovely dawn; the flight of rare birds; filigree spiders' webs laced into the hedgerows; immemorial tranquillity, and a lonely blue sky scored with vapour trails, almost the sole reminder of modernity. "When I'm out in the field," says Guinness, "I always get a great sense of privilege at the beauty, and the access to some lovely parts of England. The early mornings can be breathtaking."

    The actors on this stage will celebrate this with predictable gusto, but they become vague and evasive when pressed about what, exactly, they've been up to since six o'clock that morning. One says, "It's mainly just about training the young hounds to learn restraint in the field." When you join a hunt like the Tedworth, you cross into an Alice in Wonderlandworld. In our conversations, no one mentions the fox because, in law, the fox is no longer part of the equation. Theoretically, at least, hunts now follow a trail laid by dragging a scent in advance of the field. It doesn't always turn out like that, though few will speak candidly about what actually happens in the field. "Let's just say," says one, speaking carefully, "that it can be a bit like 40 in a 30 zone".

    In hunt society everyone talks about respect for the law and upholding community traditions, while carrying on like red-blooded Englishmen and women hellbent on having the time of their lives. Part of this is natural exuberance; part of it an instinctive defiance towards inexorable change, the defence of a way of life and a bloody-minded refusal to yield any advantage to the League Against Cruel Sports and the Hunt Saboteurs.


    Country pursuits are in fashion.