So, after my publishing previous post I had some very nice comments on here and social media with encouragement to continue writing and I thank everyone for the kind words. I’ve decided to continue at least for another season and see what happens then. There may not be the weekly updates which I tried to publish previously but if there’s a subject which I feel needs a wider audience or promoting then I’ll put something out.

Moving on from there we are getting ever closer to the vote on Trail Hunting on National Trust land at their AGM on the 21st October. I’ve covered this previously (see here) and the National Dis-Trust are keeping up the pressure and encouraging members to use their vote appropriately. Even though I’ve said this before the importance of this vote cannot be understated and I urge all NT members to vote with their conscience and ban trail hunting on NT land for good. This will of course have serious ramifications for some of the hunts in question, with no land to use some of these hunts will cease to exist. Of course this is great news not just for the hunted wildlife but for the residents of these areas who suffer the bullying and intimidation from the hunts and their supporters.

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In our own neck of the woods we continue to work with our local police in an effort to break down the historical barriers between monitors/sabs and the law enforcement  authorities. Obviously things aren’t going to change overnight but I think we are making progress and hope the situation will continue to improve. We still have our liaison officers but a new inspector has taken on the responsibility for rural operations and I met with him for the first time last night. While new to the post and the hunting act in general I was pleased to see he’d taken some time to inform himself of the situation and had also spoken to at least one Master of our local hunt (the Oakley). It’s always interesting to get an insight from the police’s point of view and would have loved to have been a fly-on-the-wall at the meeting he had with Lady Lydia Thompson – pillar of the community, millionaire, choralist, model (I won’t publish the pics, they’ll give you nightmares) and wildlife killer.

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The Angry Egg gets his collar felt.

Despite all their claims to the contrary and much like many other hunts up and down the country the Oakley openly flout the law. We’ve caught them cubbing several times already this autumn and saved foxes when we were there. I believe the new inspector can see that this is taking place and while he also knows that getting a conviction under the hunting act is unlikely he can however restrict the hunts use of thugs to impede our operations. One particularly rotund chap we call the ‘Angry Egg’ was arrested a couple of weeks ago for another assault on a sab. Video evidence was supplied to the police and he was charged with common assault (after spending a very long time in the cells while I was in the pub) and bailed away from any hunting activity until his court case. I believe he is in court this week or at least very shortly regarding an incident last year and has to face a further 3 charges of assault and another of theft of one of our radios during a meet of the Pythley hunt at the very end of last season. Just restricting these morons will be a victory not only for us but also for justice and the decent majority of people who oppose hunting. People like him have been getting away with this kind of unacceptable behaviour for too long and but now the tables are turning. Sooner or later they’ll have to give up the thug act or end up behind bars.

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Lady Lydia Thompson.

Of course Lady Lydia would never admit to employing these low lives and denies all knowledge of them, even though previous master Guy Napier asked them not to attend Oakley meets previously after witnessing first hand their violence. Just like the hounds they are merely means to an end, tools to be used and discarded once their usefulness has run out.

We’ve changed the game and the thugs don’t know how to play by the new rules.

I haven’t written very much lately, but then if you’re a regular of this blog you’ll already know that. Thing is I just haven’t had the time. Although the main hunting season has yet to start this is probably the busiest time of year for anyone involved in wildlife protection. We’re well into the the badger cull now and sabs all over the country are travelling many miles to protect our stripey nighttime wildlife from those who wish to do them harm. Cubbing season for the hunts is also in full swing so those sabs remaining at home are getting up early in the morning to find and stop these hunts. Some are doing both and it’s draining, physically, emotionally and financially.

I’d have hoped to bring you more news of the Fitzwilliam case as well by now but there are more delays. I’m beginning to wonder if this will ever get to court. It’s incredibly important that the case is heard as it’s the first time the Bird of Prey Exemption in the Hunting Act has been challenged in court. Winning this case will be pivotal in future prosecutions and could render the exemption useless to those who claim to hunt with it. The latest news I have is that we’re again waiting for a date when a non-biased judge can be found to hear the case and that our expert witness is also available. By the time this gets to court it will be likely that the offence occurred 2 years past. The Fitzwilliam are still using the BoP exemption and are still killing foxes. John Mease, their bird man (and co-defendant) is still riding around with an Eagle on his arm doing absolutely nothing in terms of making the hunting exempt.

I shall be heading out shortly for the long drive to Wiltshire for another night shift searching for badger shooters. I’ll be doing the same for the next two nights and no doubt fitting in some anti cubbing operations as well. We’ve had people staying down there full time. My work commitments mean I have to juggle my efforts and do what I can when I can but this doesn’t leave an awful lot of time for anything else although we did manage to organise a training session for new sabs recently which proved a huge success. The Godfather of sabbing Mike Huskisson came along and did a fantastic talk and we did a talk on what is expected of new sabs and what they are likely to face in the fields both from the other side and the police. It was heartwarming to see so many new people wanting to get involved and if this is a reflection on things to come then the hunts are going to be facing a very tough time indeed.

When I started this blog I had no real idea of what I wanted to do our where I wanted to take it but everything soon fell into place and turned into something I hadn’t really expected. However I’m now considering the future of this blog and the next step. I could carry on as before but time isn’t allowing me to put the effort in it deserves. This may change of course but as it stands I’m tempted to call it day at the end of this year when my hosting contract will need renewing and I can focus on the running of our sab group now that it is expanding.

Let me know your thoughts.

AA

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That’s the maximum number of badgers that can be killed in this horrific extension of the Governments extermination policy.

Just think about that for a moment.

That’s more than the average attendance of Spurs home matches last season. Imaging the old White Hart Lane with the stands full of dead badgers. There will be vast swathes of the south west and Cheshire where badgers will be wiped out. Setts that have existed for hundreds of years will fall silent. This iconic species relegated to the pages of history, never to return.

I started this blog back in 2014 on the back of the original culls to highlight the injustice taking place in our countryside. Now, almost 4 years and 4 Defra secretaries down the line we’re still fighting the same fight.

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The original cull zones (the so-called trials) have been extended until who knows when and with a total of 19 zones you begin to get an idea of the scale of this extermination. There has been no improvement in bTB results (an insignificant reduction in Somerset, an increase in Gloucestershire and a huge increase in Dorset) and yet the Government are wildly blundering ahead with a failing and hugely expensive policy. An expensive policy that you, the tax payer are footing the bill for.

With this being the case you have to ask yourself why this is taking place. I’ve made my point of view patently clear on several occasions and anyone fighting against this grotesque and cruel policy will no doubt have a similar opinion by what they’ve seen first hand. The Government know it’s not going to work but the NFU want it and they will get whatever they want. Badgers (they believe) are a pain in the arse for their members. Being a protected species they can’t be killed legally (although many are illegally killed throughout the year) so this cull is a way to circumnavigate this law.

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If they were really concerned with disease control do you think this trap would be left in this state?

There’s no independent monitoring, any moronic bumpkin with a shotgun and a hatred for the wildlife on their land can sign up for the cull in the relevant areas. We’ve already seen time and again that biosecurity rules are being openly flouted. This is about killing as many as possible in the 6 weeks allotted time and bugger the rules. Farms in these zones are often a disgrace, slurry is spread on the fields, animal are kept in disgusting conditions and shooting estates have no livestock anyway, just game birds to protect.

To witness these events first hand is soul destroying. No amount of lobbying, petitions and words are going to change the fact that badgers are being killed now. Sab groups across the country are working their socks off, juggling work and private lives around saving as many lives as possible, taking the action needed night and day in all weathers, whatever the personal and financial cost. The Wounded Badger Patrollers are out there walking the footpaths at night to dissuade shooters. Local people are getting involved where they can but we need more. There can never be enough. Perhaps if you’re reading this you may consider getting in touch with your local sab group and lending a hand. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, but boots on the ground are more important now that ever before.

The cruelty is making the front page in mainstream nation news (Mirror, Sun) and no doubt more will be published soon. In years to come when your children or perhaps grandchildren look back on these dark times for British wildlife and our countryside is a barren monoculture devoid of all wild things will you sit there and regret you did nothing to stop this travesty or will you explain to them you were part of a small but dedicated band of people who stood up to the immorality of the situation and took on the souless men with guns and a Government driven by greed and defeated them with compassion and the will to do the right thing?

“The only thing necessary for the truimph of evil is that good men (and women) do nothing”.

Get out there. Help f*ck some sh*t up.

Hunt Saboteurs

Stop the Cull

The National Trust are panicking.

The (so called*) Countryside Alliance are panicking.

The hunts that use NT land are panicking – all 60 of them.

The reason behind their fears is the vote to ban hunting from all NT land which will take place at their AGM on the 21st October. The subject has been covered previously here with a guest blog from National Dis-Trust (see here) but there has been several important developments since.

NT position

In an effort to perhaps sooth the concerns of many of their voting members the NT published a set of rules for hunts to abide by in the coming season. These included:

Banning the use of animal-based scents as a trail for hounds or beagles to follow. This will reduce the risk of foxes or other wild animals being accidentally chased. 

Prohibit the presence of terriermen, who have no practical purpose on a trail ‘hunt’, and the use of their vehicles.

More active management of hunts and how they operate including: mandatory reporting requirements after each meet; the provision of specified maps/areas; and requiring at the time of application details of all proposed hunt days.

Probing the track record of each applicant and establishing a consistent charging regime across Trust land.

Greater transparency for our members and the public.  We will post on our website the agreed days and locations, in advance, for our members and supporters to view.  This will include a primary point of contact for each hunt.

We are exploring how we can work more closely with the Police’s independent National Wildlife Crime Unit, which is the proper authority for handling alleged breaches in wildlife legislation.

These changes would seem to be the answer many people were looking for however dig a little deeper and it would seem that this is nothing more than smoke and mirrors and an attempt to scupper the vote to completely ban all hunting.

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Even TV presenter Ben Fogle is putting pressure on the NT.

The problem is many of these restriction were already in place. The hunts would simply ignore them and with no NT staff to police the laws laid down then they would become nothing more than a paper tiger. The League Against Cruel Sports even offered their support in the policing of these rules but were turned down. You have to ask yourself why would the NT do that? The simple fact is trail hunting was invented after the implementation of the hunting ban as a method to circumnavigate the new law. Hunts have been cynically exploiting this and killing foxes, hares and stags in much the same way as they did before. The rules put forward by the NT pretty much amount to drag hunting which is a completely different thing and has no bearing on real hunting at all, it is “clean boot”, they follow a scent or drag laid by a fit person like a fell runner or similar and largely use bloodhounds. No animals are hunted and there are no “accidental” killings.

Of course the CA immediately threw their teddies right out of the pram with Tim Bonner being his usual self and shooting his mouth off to anyone who’d listen with his usual mixture of lies, playing the victim card and claims of  intimidation from “animal rights extremists”.  All of this is of course, completely laughable and only serves to show once again how detached from reality with their own sense of self entitlement they really are. It sometimes makes me wonder if they realise what a tiny (but well funded and vociferous) minority they really are?

Of course this escalated into the mainstream press with reports coming in from generally pro-hunting papers like the Telegraph to the more moderate like the Independent and the Guardian. Much of what the CA complained about seemed to be centered on the fact that hunt meets would be publicised, something every hunt in the UK will only do to it’s members. The reason for this is of course to remain secretive so they can go about their dirty business without interference from sabs, monitors or indeed the police (where they aren’t in the pockets of the hunts). Of course if they were abiding by the law there would be no need for all the secrecy but this fact seems to have escaped them. Monitors & sabs pay no interest in drag hunts. These hunts also openly publish their meets as they have no concerns about being caught killing animals.

The NT then took the further step of writing to all their members to advise them on how to vote.email 1

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The campaign group Nation Dis-Trust responded to this email.

“To explain how ‘trail hunting’ works to members who have witnessed foxes being eviscerated by hounds is insulting. It also ignores the fact that ‘trail hunting’ is fictional (http://g.ifaw.org/2kD1orC) except as a false alibi for wildlife crime, despite Dame Helen Ghosh having read the report which proves this (http://bit.ly/2u8XKua).

The Trust don’t monitor the activities they licence; this is an outright lie. They have both said that they don’t have the resources to monitor as well as stating in a leaked internal memo to staff that the onus is on the hunts for adhering to the licence and the law (http://bit.ly/2eLfI01).

If the Trust now think terriermen are a redundant element of ‘trail hunting’, what do they think terriermen have been doing on their land for the last 12 years?

In a separate note, the Trust have also said that the vote at the AGM isn’t binding, implying that the Trust are preparing to ignore the wishes of their own membership. Putting aside how disrespectful this would be to their members as well as the wildlife that will soon be terrorised & slaughtered by hunts on their land, it also forgets that whilst a vote may not be binding, the law is. It is an offence to knowingly host illegal hunting with hounds (http://bit.ly/2wp0Ai4)”.

Of course should hunts be banned from using NT land it could spell the end for many of them. Having land to actually hunt animals on is a primary concern for all hunts. While there are still plenty of land owners who will accept them the tide is slowly turning and some hunts are feeling the squeeze. With no land, they can no longer hunt, if they can’t hunt they won’t make any money, with no money they, like any other business will cease to exist. There are several hunts which rely on NT land for the majority of their meets.

Of course should the NT ban hunting then it would also set a precedent for other large land owning organisations to do the same. The Forestry Commission and the MoD could follow suit along with utilities companies. This vote could potentially have a huge impact on how hunting is viewed in England today. The vast majority want to see and end to this barbarity and winning this battle would be a huge step towards that goal.

Final word from National Dis-Trust:
“The NT updated rules are a smokescreen to prevent members voting for the member’s resolution. If the resolution fails, another one cannot be proposed for 3 years. Therefore there will be another 3 years of illegal hunting on NT land. Leaked internal memos (see blow) have shown that the NT intend to allow hunts to self-regulate with regard to abiding by the terms of the licence. The leaked memo’s doesn’t mention giving out times and dates of meets but instead mentions an annual list of places that will be published.

On top of all this the hunts that are likely to be affected are threatening to hunt without a license from the NT, effectively trespassing on NT land, and lets not forget thousands of hunters signed a declaration to defy the ban when the law was passed in 2005, they will do the exactly the same to the NT”. 

National Dis-Trust

 

*We think this is a good idea. Thanks to Hounds Off for publishing.

so called.