Tag Archive | sabs

Police kept badger cullers informed of protester movements, court hears

From The Guardian

Animal rights groups criticise police after marksman reveals officers kept him informed about the location of protesters

Photograph: Mike Kemp/ Mike Kemp/ /In Pictures/Corbis

Photograph: Mike Kemp/ Mike Kemp/ /In Pictures/Corbis

Animal rights campaigners have criticised police after a marksman involved in the badger cull said officers kept him informed of the location of protesters.

The claim was made during a court hearing involving David McIntosh, who was taken to court for crashing a van full of dead badgers into a bus stop during a cull in Gloucestershire.

McIntosh, 28, who played Tornado on TV show Gladiators and dated the model and television presenter Kelly Brook, told Stroud magistrates the crash was caused when a radio he used to receive messages from police fell under his foot pedals.

He said: “I was carrying badger carcasses to the furnace as I was involved in the cull. The radio was always kept in the vehicle on the dashboard so we could easily hear and keep up with police as to where the protesters were.

“It was blocking the clutch and the brake. Before I retrieved it I was heading off the road. I started to brake but it was too late.”

Gloucestershire police promised throughout the cull to deal with both protesters and cullers fairly, showing neither group favouritism.

He admitted driving without due care and attention and was fined £91.

On McIntosh’s claims, a police spokeswoman said: “At no point did Gloucestershire constabulary co-ordinate the resources of the company carrying out the badger cull.

“Our role before, during and after the pilot badger cull was to maintain operational independence and ensure the safety of the public.” The court was told that the accident happened in Gloucester city centre just before 1am on 29 September.

Anti-cull protesters demonstrated outside the court and questioned why the cullers had apparently been in direct contact with the police.

Jude Walker, of Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting, said: “It certainly goes against what we have always been told about the police being even handed.”

Article

 

March 4th sab report

A car-load (almost) of Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs turned up to the church in Weston-under-Penyard today to see the Cotswold Vale Farmers’ Hunt and the South Hereford who were having a joint meet.

The day began with a lovely opening speech which included the vicar not blessing the hounds… and an unexpected visit from Lee Peters (Ross Harriers) and some of his chums (hi James, Danny and the other one!)

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There’s a bit of a turf war going on between certain hunts (namely the Cotswold Vale and the Ross Harriers and the South Hereford and the Ross Harriers) and it would appear Lee only turned up to “piss off” the others. Having been introduced as “the antis” by the ever-charming Jason Warner, we took an opportunity to introduce Lee and his friends which ended with a lady confronting Mr. Peters about his “supporting the antis” and telling him how much she was disgusted by him and that he should not be in control of a pack of hounds.

Throughout the day the hunt drew a blank in pretty much every covert and woodland they went into, sabs staying with them until near the end. To be fair to the hunt, they did whip and call the hounds back when they noticed sabs running into a field to try and catch a lamb which had become separated from the rest of the flock (who were on the other side of a road in another field). But, then again, it wouldn’t be great publicity to have your hounds terrorise or kill livestock, so they probably wouldn’t want to run the risk. Plus they hadn’t told the landowner they were coming through, so…

After a bit of a chase and trying to herd this little'un away from the Cotswold Vale hounds (who had been called back away from the area) we finally got hold and lamby was returned to mummy

After a bit of a chase and trying to herd this little’un away from the Cotswold Vale hounds (who had been called back away from the area) we finally got hold and lamby was returned to mummy

Sabs were treated to a bit of on-the-spot farriery (not the sabs themselves!) and a nice bit of sunshine, so all in all, it was a pretty good day with no kills that we know of. Peters and co. however left earlier in the afternoon implying they were off to dig up some of our black and white friends, so who knows what’s going on in the countryside while we’re not looking.

Anyway, only a couple of weeks left until the end of season and, with a couple of the hunts in our area packing up weeks before they had been planning to, we’re still feeling pretty positive.

Police pay compensation to Shropshire hunt protester

Police have paid “significant” compensation to a hunt protester who was arrested at a demonstration against the South Shropshire Hunt.

An undisclosed sum has been paid to the woman, who was arrested outside the Mytton and Mermaid public house in Atcham, near Shrewsbury, in February 2012.

www.shropshirestar.com 2014-3-1 13 8 29

She had been part of a group of protesters from the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs and Northampton Hunt Saboteurs.

They have released a video of the incident which has been posted on YouTube.

It shows a woman being arrested by officers after one claimed he had been pushed by her. But, after a claim for unlawful arrest was made against the force, compensation was paid to the woman, who has not been named.

(Above, footage of the arrest)

A statement by West Mercia Police said today they had attended the scene following reports of a threat of disorder between the hunt meeting and the protesters. Two protesters were detained at the scene, with one arrested.

Deputy Chief Constable Karen Manners said: “West Mercia Police can confirm it has come to an out-of-court settlement relating to the arrest of one person following a disturbance in Atcham in February 2012. A settlement was made and accepted and a compensation payment has been made to the claimant.

Lee Moon, spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs’ Association, said the incident was a “shocking example” of West Mercia Police favouring local hunts over protesters.

“We hope this public shaming, and financial penalty, will force them to modify their behaviour,” he said. “We are pleased that the compensation received by the victim was used for essential repairs of the group vehicle which enabled them to be out in the field saving hunted animals.”

Link

Three Counties Sabs hit report 11-01-13

Please contact the pub where the hunt met and give them your “polite” view on them allowing a foxhunt to meet at their premises.

“We sabbed the Croome today from their meet at the Wheelbarrow Castle pub at Radford (thanks to the person who gave us the info). They spent half an hour before moving off whether because sabs were present or because it was a pub is unclear but they messed about a bit prior to hunting around some brambles at a farm in Kington.

The huntsman called hounds out of cover as it was obvious that they were hunting no trail, the fox was left be. On they went to Abberton where first one fox ran (and was helped by a quick witted sab who sprayed the line).

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A very cross man ran over the field but was not too dangerous when he confronted the sab as he was so out of breath, he grabbed the spray and broke the top off emptying some of the contents just where they were needed! The second fox then followed his mate to safety filmed on 3 cameras and so far too risky for them to hunt so close to a village.

They left those to. On the hunt went into Yield wood where the senior master Patty Allen got a bit cross and they then rioted on deer. They actually did manage to hunt a fox with hounds going through a garden frightening some Alpacas but were stopped dead on the road by being rated by asab’.

Just as well really because amateur huntsman (and master) Tim Allen was frantically zooming up and down on a quad bike wondering where his pack had gone, the sab had safely rated them back into a field from the road where they were harmlessly following a heel line. Both Patty and Timmy were confronted politely about the illegal hunting and they said that they were hunting a trail with one girl claiming to have laid one.

It was pointed out that she had only got a cutting whip so had nothing to lay one with…then it was the vicars wife wot laid it….and she had gone home….conveniently. We believe despite an effort to find that fox they failed. Even at 16.20 they tried to draw for another and had a go at sabs for using a footpath to see what they were up to. All in all a good day.”

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

New from sabs in the cull zone

October 7th

BShzj3TCQAArfDa“As we enter the final phase of the Gloucestershire cull we are requesting that people prepare for the final onslaught. Sett checking by day, sett sitting and patrols by night. We suspect that more cages and bait points will be put out as they are desperate to kill in the last week. As the Somerset cull finishes more activists will be freed to come to Gloucestershire. We would like to remind people of the office numbers:

01386 761455 and 07551 577870

and we are also using 07891 639803 if you cannot get through for any reason. Please do NOT put urgent call outs for help on FB, bear in mind many sabs will only read them days later when they have internet access and it interrupts what others are doing elsewhere.

There will be daily meeting points at Budgens in Newent for daytime sett checking which we are moving from 14.00 to 13.00 as from tomorrow but you can call us for info on where to go as well. Evening meeting point remains Eldersfield church at 19.00.
If you have your own setts that you check, please try and do so daily and let us know what you’re doing each day so that we don’t duplicate the checking.

Call us for more information and thanks for coming out!”

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)

Non violent direct action to stop the cull

Dear Friends

As many are aware the badger cull is going to start very shortly and a combination of activists and hunt saboteurs have vowed to stop the cull using non-violent direct action.

To stop as many badgers being slaughtered as possible during the pilot culls as possible funds are desperately needed to get activists and hunt saboteurs down to the cull zones and keep them fully equipped.

To stop this mindless slaughter of badgers takes Two things.

1. Getting Activists down to the cull zones.

This is what the money is mostly needed for, we have a small army of volunteers, activists and hunt saboteurs. and vehicles to take them in however to send them out every night of the week for 6 weeks is going to cost huge amounts of fuel and unless money is raised we wont be able to.

2. Equipment

This ranges from florescent jackets, noise making devices (such as rape alarms and bull horns), safety equipment such as first aid kits and other essentials.

Please donate and share this as far and wide as you can, we don’t have much time and need to act quickly.

Here’s the link to donate.

If you wish to join in with the direct action against the badger cull, please contact your local hunt saboteur group. See our Directory of Hunt Saboteur groups here.

If you have any equipment you think may be useful please send to:
Animal Rights UK
Sumac Centre
245 Gladstone Street
Nottingham
NG7 6HX

War declared on badgers by DEFRA in Gloucestershire, action points and *wish list

We are very busy at the moment making plans against the imminent cull.  We thought that it might be helpful to activists to make the following points re sustainability and welfare in the field.

Waterproofs, good boots, warm clothes, essential it will be cold and more than likely wet.

Try to layer , have a warm hat, bring a dry pair of socks, we have seen at least one frost and even on a clear night the heavy dew can leave you soaked.

  • Flourescent jackets.
  • Good water bottle, essential to stop dehydration, essential that each person has his/her own. High energy snacks.
  • Basic phone with basic essential numbers and credit (losing an expensive smart phone is not good). Please bear in mind coverage in many parts of Gloucestershire (especially the Forest of Dean) is not good so have a back up plan e.g radios, but of course the enemy can then listen in.
  • Sleeping bag for wherever you are staying, spare clothes,  toiletries etc
  • Torches  with spare batteries and bulbs. ABSOLUTELY essential
  • Pencil (writes better if damp) and paper
  • Camera video/stills charged and sd card
  • Whistle international distress signal is 6 blasts
  • First aid kit  including space blanket/plasters for blisters cuts
  • Compass
  • Money
  • Maps
  • Anything else

If you work in retail for outdoor supplies, electrical goods, whole foods, toiletries etc please consider discounts or donations of  supplies to help sustain activists during this physically and mentally challenging period.  If you know an individual or group coming to Gloucestershire to help the badgers please consider helping them be prepared, dig out old torches from the broom cupboard/lend a sleeping bag/ etc etc

*contact details in About/Contact section