The season of goodwill to all men (and women)?

Hardly.

It’s certainly no season of good will to animals. I have to say it’s been a Christmas I’d rather forget. I have images burned into my brain that will never go away, there’ll be there til I pop my mortal coil along with exactly how I felt at the time. The devastation, the helplessness, the revulsion, the anger but also the amazing feeling of strength and pride.

On boxing day we attended the Cambridge and Enfield Chace hunt at Eltisely. The hunt made a big show as they always do and made claims of their legality. All complete nonsense of course and this was proved when they killed a fox shortly after leaving the meet. It was in hunting terms known as a “chop”. The scenting conditions on the day were very poor. This can sometimes mean the hounds literally stumble upon a fox and kill it without a chase. It’s not really what the hunt want as the chase is all part of the “sport” for them and they will of course claim it was an accident. However if you don’t lay a trail in the first place and you cast your hounds into likely fox holding areas then it’s hardly an accident when you manage to find and kill one.

removing body

The terrier men remove the dead fox.

It was reported to the police and there was at least one decent officer on the day (PC Pete Mills) who, after some discussion with us and the hunt sent the hunt back to kennels very early on their biggest day of the year. Hardly the outcome the Cambridge and Enfield Chace were after and although they will all be interviewed regarding the kill the chance of anything further happening are virtually zero.

New Years Day is like a Boxing Day take two. This time we went along to the Fitzwilliam Hunt who held their meet at the Haycock in Wansford. The Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt haven’t been monitored or sabbed in many years and it showed. They were some of the most offensive people I’ve had the displeasure in meeting. The support were abusive and aggressive and we had to tread carefully.

Of course we never back down from these challenges.

We watched them chase and kill a fox. When I and some others arrived the poor fox was still alive and being ragged by the hounds, it’s guts spilling out all over the place. We did our absolute best to save it but sometimes there are situations you cannot control. There was a scuffle with supporters who were trying to hide the body, I dived in, I filmed, got covered in blood and, once the police arrived had to pronounce the animal dead.

dead fox

I look into it’s eyes but the light has gone out.

Support were shouting and jeering, reveling in the suffering of a sentient mammal and making lurid sexual references. It’s very difficult to describe what goes through your head at a time like this but we had to hold it together. We gave our details to the police, not something I do lightly but as I’m generally known to them now there seems little point in not being proactive. The hunt carried on and continued hunting as if nothing had happened.

Once away from the area I was left with the other sab who witnessed all the gruesomeness and also gave her details. As we walked back to the road we had a little moment and consoled each other, it was nothing more than a show of solidarity between people with a passion for animals and a common cause. We then got back on with the matter at hand.

We believe we have a good case against them. We have footage of the chase and the kill and more importantly the intent shown by the hunt staff. We’re getting good advice from a barrister with experience in prosecuting these cases (for free, thanks if you’re reading this) and we will proceed with it further. We know these cases are extremely difficult to get the desired conclusion however it won’t stop us trying.

I didn’t sleep well that night despite my best efforts of drowning the images in my mind with several beers and you know what, I hope it never goes away. It’ll be a constant reminder of why I and many others like me do what we do. It shows me that this barbarity cannot ever go unanswered and if the authorities won’t do it then we will. If over 80% of the population really are against this grotesque minority pass time then we really need to show it. Find your local sab group or monitors, join them, support them, get out there.

Happy New Year.

Comments
  1. Liz Batey says:

    I would like to help my local sabs, not sure where they are, I’m quite close to Newport Shropshire, I can’t stand the sadistic cruelty.

  2. James says:

    The biggest problem trying to stop hunting is that the people breaking the rules are often the same people that are supposed to enforce the rules. One day hunting will be stopped completely we must believe that to keep the fight going.

  3. Peter Thurgood says:

    Thank you for the pain, suffering, mental anguish that you and your fellow sabs put yourselves through to protect the vulnerable from the malicious.
    I admire your strength, courage and control in doing the right thing, I fear it is more than I could endure without losing my temper.
    Whist there are those that cause me despair for human nature there are others thankfully that kindle hope.

  4. Sally says:

    Thank you for trying so hard to safe the poor fox. I really cannot comprehend how anyone can gain pleasure from seeing an animal suffer. I admire you so much as I could not do what you do as I think witnessing those type of scenes would be too much to take or I might commit an atrocity against a hunter.

  5. Joann Dworkin says:

    Thankyou

  6. Joann Dworkin says:

    Thankyou for the foxes!

  7. karen delome says:

    Thank you for all you do and just know there are many of us out there that are supporting you and are so against this abusive, cruel, disgusting, inhumane torture that is still going on.

  8. docrichie says:

    You have my respect and support for your selfless efforts.

  9. Gavin says:

    I can’t really describe how reading this makes me feel, and I certainly can’t imagine how I could cope witnessing it. Rage, sadness, revulsion, frustration-these repulsive vandals have an entire world to enjoy yet they actually choose to go out and terrify wild animals who never asked to be born. You couldn’t make it up. Thank you sabs for being far better people than me-how you can bear to see these bastards revel in their sadism without literally going insane is beyond me but I admire you enormously and am so grateful that you are unselfish enough to do what you do. Huge respect.

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