Tag Archive | fox hunting

End of season report – Ross harriers 29/03/14

Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs celebrated End-of-Season(!) with a visit to the Ross Harriers.

The day started with an hour-long conversation with Huntsman Lee Peters (some interesting stuff there re: badger digging, human overpopulation and which sab groups to avoid if we don’t want to get hurt as well…) followed by their midday meet at the Tump Inn in Wormelow.

Ross Harriers end-of-season meet at the Tump inn, Wormelow, Herefordshire 29/03/14

Ross Harriers end-of-season meet at the Tump inn, Wormelow, Herefordshire 29/03/14

Paul Standen and his mate “Jack” arrived on their quad to sit in front of our van (but wasn’t quite quick enough on the ignition when we drove off behind him… sorry Paul!) and our 2 vehicles (and 6 sabs) split once they began to cover the hunt from 2 sides.

Needless to say, end-of-season madness did kick in as the day progressed. Staying in a rather small area, the hunt picked up on (and lost) a number of hares, some of whom escaped with no help, other chases we managed to intervene with to give the hares a few extra seconds to get away. A fox was run to ground in a badger sett which was blocked up and there was a lot of holloaing, pointing and not-so-sneaky radio-use.

Hare in red, lead hound in black, sabs just beyond the hedgeline. A second hare also escaped from the field

Hare in red, lead hound in black, sabs just beyond the hedgeline. A second hare also escaped from the field

Following a couple of angry farmers and a tractor, a sab in a hedge, Lee Peters “accidentally” almost riding a sab over (with some interesting use of a whip) and a bottle of engine oil thrown over the van windscreen and into the face of the driver and passenger, a hunt supporter attempted to enter the van and a sab was pushed over the bonnet with an older gentleman threatened by another.

Supporters seemed to want 2 things: the male sab to start a fight and to intimidate the women. They got neither. This report makes it sound far more eventful than it feels in our memories…

Danny, James, Daryl and the boys

Danny, James, Daryl and the boys

Investigations are pending.

An evening in A&E looking greasy and a night in a police station (still a bit greasy) followed by a bag of greasy chips meant 3C arrived home around 4.30am – our EOS celebration cup of tea ended up being a quickly-downed cup of chamomile in bed. Stylish!

We say goodbye to the ever-lively Danny Burton (son of ‘Stephen’ who you may find at the Hursley Hambledon drinking coffee) who leaves us to go be a kennelman in Hampshire and who is sad that he will have to work even when the hounds are out hunting. Our hearts bleed for you Danny Look out for his face in the county.

Danny Burton - look out for him down in Hampshire when he's heading now the season's over here

Danny Burton – look out for him down in Hampshire where he’s heading now the season’s over here

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3C/Bristol hunt saboteurs – Ross harriers report March 23rd

It was a pleasure to have Bristol out with us on Saturday and Lee Peters did not seem happy. Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs ran into him outside the kennels and, despite some dangerous driving and illegal road blocks, our little car managed to keep up with him all the way to the meet.

Our 2 pairs of foot-sabs were in an out of the vehicles all day, with one managing to avoid the 2 incidents that took place throughout the day and helping a couple of hares that sprinted past.

The ever-charming Lee did not seem best pleased at last week’s video of his hounds chasing the fox and his supporters (who usually check out this page quite regularly) claimed not to have seen it.

Solidarity and love to all the groups who were attacked and hurt this last weekend (or indeed before then!) It’s end-of-season madness time…

3C

and from Bristol Hunt Saboteurs

A return visit to the charming Ross Harriers today, who were hunting just outside of Much Marcle. Their huntsman, Lee Peters, burst a few blood vessels upon our arrival looking angry even by his standards.

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After lots of personal threats and some dicking around by some of the followers, he moved off with us close behind. Hares were put up all over the place with him encouraging his hounds on, with complete disregard of the law.

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Sabs found themselves in a perfect position when hounds went into cry, only seconds behind a hare. With the use of citronella sprays and whips, sabs ensured that the hare got away to safety. This only added to the frustration of Peters who tried riding sabs down as a response.

Catching up with the hunt again we witnessed the hounds actively chasing a hare with only a few feet between them. We were too far away to intervene but luckily the hare managed to slip away from the hounds. A truly horrifying moment.

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As we approached the hunt they were surrounding our vehicles on a road. At this point one of the tyres got slashed on our land rover and then the Harriers spearheaded by Peters launched an all out attack on sabs from both the vehicles and in the field. One female Sab is currently in hospital with head injuries and multiple others came away with battered and bruised.

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Just goes to show that when a hunt have a hard time trying to kill animals they turn their aggression elsewhere. It doesn’t bother us, as we get to go home in the safe knowledge that no animals were killed by The Ross Harriers.

Cameron faces Tory revolt over move to ease ban on hunting with hounds

From The Guardian March 23rd

Amendment to Hunting Act would allow up to 40 hounds to flush out a fox to face waiting guns

A growing number of Conservative MPs have warned David Cameron that he risks losing a vital Commons vote if he pushes ahead with what they believe is an attempt to weaken the ban on hunting to woo rural voters away from Ukip.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage shakes hands with huntsman Mark Bycroft of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt. Photograph: Luke Macgregor/Reuters

Ukip leader Nigel Farage shakes hands with huntsman Mark Bycroft of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt. Photograph: Luke Macgregor/Reuters

Environment officials are examining what they describe as a “viable amendment” to the Hunting Act, which would allow up to 40 hounds to flush out a fox to face waiting guns rather than two, a move that critics claim would effectively reintroduce hunting with hounds “through the back door”.

The Blue Fox, a group of anti-hunt Conservatives, said that 27 Tory MPs had contacted them to declare their disquiet over the developments, with another significant cohort yet to decide whether they will vote against the plans because of sizeable pro-hunt support in their constituencies.

The proposed amendment would be likely to use a parliamentary device known as a statutory instrument to amend the contentious 2004 act. Opponents of foxhunting predict that the move will be unveiled next month and it is has been claimed that the environment secretary, Owen Paterson, has tried to canvass support among MPs of all parties.

However, the plans will face sizeable opposition from within Paterson’s own party. Lorraine Platt of Blue Fox said more MPs were coming forward to voice their opposition, citing a statement forwarded to her by Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove and Portslade, which read: “My support for the Hunting Act remains completely unchanged and I will certainly vote against any attempts to weaken it.”

Anti-hunting groups believe that any attempt to amend existing legislation would be whipped, meaning that Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs would be told to vote with the government. Cameron promised last week that MPs will be handed a vote on whether to relax the hunting ban.

A letter from Glyn Davies, Tory MP for Montgomeryshire, to a fellow Conservative MP that has been seen by the Observer says that “all that has ever been discussed is a minor change which aligns the situation in England and Wales with that in Scotland”.

The devolved Scottish parliament passed its own hunting legislation in February 2002, making it the first part of the UK to ban traditional foxhunting, while still permitting hunts to use packs of hounds to flush out foxes to face guns.

In a letter dated 17 March, Davies writes: “Suggestions by LACS [League Against Cruel Sports] and others of ‘repeal by the back door’ are bizarre, as what is being proposed is a measure that they themselves support in Scotland.” The league, however, has accused the MP of “trying to mislead” and has released a statement denying that it supports hunting with a pack of hounds. It said: “We are strongly opposed to any amendment which would effectively allow traditional hunting with a full pack of hounds to openly take place in the countryside. The amendment being pushed would lead to this.”

Platt said her group believed that the amendment idea, put forward by Welsh hill farmers to defend their flocks from foxes, was a “device to bring back hunting with dogs through the back door”.

She added: “What it will do is allow a full pack of hounds to flush out a fox. It will almost be impossible to shoot that fox because you can’t control a pack of hounds in the same way you can control two dogs; you wouldn’t be able to hold off those packs of hounds. It’s not an acceptable amendment and we urge all Conservative MPs not to back it.”

Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the LACS, said: “We know that moves are afoot to weaken the Hunting Act through a back-door amendment. The government need to stop dancing the political ‘hokey cokey’ and come clean about their intentions on bringing this forward. If they have the courage of their convictions, they would fulfil their coalition agreement promise and hold a free vote on repealing the act and end this constant uncertainty about its future.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “A number of Welsh farmers have brought this issue to our attention and we are looking at it.”

Article

Report from Bristol Hunt Saboteurs November 18th

Today Bristol Hunt Saboteurs joined up with sabs from Three Counties Hunt Sabs, Southampton and Swindon to visit the Ledbury Hunt.

The Ledbury only have a few Saturday meets a season, usually hunting on Mondays and Fridays, so we thought we would take the opportunity to say ‘hello’ with a few more of us.

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A large part of this hunts country also makes up some of the Gloucestershire badger cull zone and they have more links with the cull than any other hunt in the area.

Some of their staff and supporters have been out during the cull killing badgers, setts in their country have been filled in/destroyed completely, and places like the Forthampton Estate (a regular haunt of the Ledbury) have seen a large amount of cull activity. Even more reason to pay them a visit!

It was a tough day on foot but we managed to keep them moving on quite a lot. There was blatant illegal hunting from the start and aggro from the usual faces who tried throwing their weight around assaulting sabs. We shook this off and carried on doing our thing. When will they learn that this doesn’t deter us?!

At one stage we caught up with the hunt drawing a covert and one group of sabs saw a fox make its get away. They jumped into action when the fox passed, covering it’s path with citronella spray (to mask the foxes scent), and then using whips and voice to ‘rate’ the hounds.

Thankfully none of the hunt saw this happen so were none the wiser, and another group of sabs used horn and voice calls to call the pack of hounds out of the other side of the covert, giving the fox valuable time to get away.

We pressed on with the hunt after this and were never too far behind and were ready to spring into action again when the hounds were picking up on a fox once more. Thankfully nothing came of it, the hunt calling it a day shortly afterwards.

An angry Roger Warner, the master of the Ledbury Hunt, also gave us a tirade of bollocks on our departure. Roger has been in the limelight a bit recently, after photos of him and the badger shooting team he was part of getting a talking to from the police were published online – one of his mates was arrested for assaulting an anti-cull protester and damaging their car.

We’ll be seeing the Ledbury Hunt again very soon.”

To help us keep up our activities against hunting and the badger cull, please consider donating to our funds: http://www.gofundme.com/4qvels

David Cameron’s local hunt convicted after RSPCA prosecution (Guardian 17.12.12)

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

Heythrop Hunt

Members of the Heythrop Hunt in the Cotswolds. Photograph: Tim Graham/Getty Images

Members of the David Cameron‘s local Oxfordshire hunt have been convicted of hunting foxes illegally in a prosecution brought by the RSPCA.

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 Limited, also pleaded guilty to the same four charges of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs on land in the Cotswolds.

Outside court, Barnfield, a former huntsman with the Heythrop, claimed the prosecution had been politically motivated because of its links with Cameron’s Witney constituency. He said he believed the animal charity was trying to put pressure on Cameron “not to give a free vote” in parliament in any future debate on the Hunting Act, and to embarrass the prime minister.

Members of the so-called Chipping Norton set – an influential group of MPs and media professionals who live in the area – who have links to the Heythrop include the prominent supporter and racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks, husband of the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks. Their neighbour Jeremy Clarkson, the Top Gear presenter, has reportedly allowed the hunt to use his land and is among locals photographed at the Heythrop’s country fair. The prime minister is understood to have ridden with the hunt on six occasions before the legislation came into force.

The prosecution followed footage taken by anti-hunt monitors over four days during the 2011-12 season.

The court heard hounds had been encouraged to chase foxes, which is banned under legislation which came into force in 2005.

Barnfield and Sumner, a former hunt master, have since retired from their positions.

Jeremy Carter-Manning QC, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said the hunt was filmed on several occasions in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire during November last year and in February and March this year by members of the Protect Our Wild Animals group. Footage was passed to the RSPCA. It is believed to be the first prosecution of a hunt itself under the legislation, which abolished the hunting of foxes with hounds in almost all circumstances and, in particular, traditional fox hunting.

Footage shown to the court of an incident on 29 February showed evidence of “prolonged and deliberate unlawful hunting”, said Carter-Manning.

After a fox ran past hunt monitors, who were recording footage from a road nearby, Barnfield drew up on horseback. “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,” said Carter-Manning. Barnfield and another man then gave vocal encouragement to the remainder of the pack, shouting “tally ho” and “forrard”.

In a subsequent piece of film, recorded 40 minutes later, monitors 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.”

On another occasion, in March, footage shot by a volunteer shows hounds beginning to squeal as they try to flush out a fox from dense cover, “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. Barnfield was “filmed quite clearly amongst the pursuing hounds shouting ‘on, on, on’ in obvious encouragement”, said Carter-Manning.

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

“It is our case that the rest of the time this hunt was operating trail hunting.”

Barnfield, of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, was fined £250 for each charge, totalling £1,000, and ordered to pay costs of £2,000. Sumner, of Salperton, Gloucestershire, was fined a total of £1,800 with costs of £2,500. The Heythrop Hunt Limited was fined a total of £4000 with £15,000 costs. All three were ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge.

Following the hearing, 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 that those involved have now left and they have no knowledge of this crime,” he added. “The truth is this hunt believed that they were above the law – they were wrong.”

The anti-hunt monitors who shot the footage thanked the RSPCA for having the “foresight and courage to take on the prosecution”.

Outside court, Barnfield said he had only pleaded guilty because he could not afford to fight the £327,000 case the RSPCA had mounted.

“We conceded because the money wasn’t there to defend ourselves. I would like to stand there and defend it but there was no way it was possible.

“I am staggered by it all. The fact that a charitable body can take on this political thing and spend so much money which other people have given them for another thing is stunning.”

Attributing political motivation to the animal charity, he added: “They could have picked on any other hunt but they picked on Heythrop because we are in David Cameron’s constituency.

“I think they are trying to put pressure on him not to give a free vote like he said he would, to embarrass him in some way.”

Since 1835 the Heythrop Hunt, one of the most high-profile in the country, has been an intrinsic part of the Chipping Norton community. Huge Boxing Day crowds gather to see it in Chipping Norton Square as one of the market town’s Christmas traditions. In 2003, Cameron, recalled a day out with the Heythrop, saying: “Nothing had prepared me for the sheer terror of a day’s hunting. I battled in vain to control my powerful steed and careered through trees and bushes – completely out of control.”

Original article

Video “Fox killed by Cameron’s hunt” (Guardian link)

Ledbury Hunt filmed killing fox

Taken from the Hereford Heckler November 29th

It seems that not a weekend goes by without a hunt getting negative press or showing their truly outrageous colours.

A couple of weeks ago we reported on the case of Lee Peters, the huntsman of the Ross Harriers Hunt, who was found guilty of racially abusing a hunt saboteur. Last week the Hereford Times also reported on he case, yesterday putting their story online.

Last weekend a video appeared on Youtube, showing hunt monitors literally saving a fox from the jaws of hounds.

Now this week, a graphic video has been released showing the hounds of the Ledbury Hunt killing a fox on Friday 13rd November.”

A Hunt Saboteurs Association press release on the horrendous incident said:

“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.”

To take action against fox hunting, visit:

Hunt Saboteurs Association