Archive for the ‘Environmental’ Category

The Fightback Starts Now

Posted: May 13, 2015 in Environmental

As you can all imagine I’m pretty pissed off with the result of the election.

What’s even worse is the fact that the Tories gained less than 25% of the vote and were still able to form a majority Government. This just goes to prove the fundamental flaws in our voting system. Although proportional representation would have seen a rise in UKIP seats it would have also seen significantly more Greens and other minority parties. We shouldn’t have to be governed by a party which does not represent the people. Of course another major factor is what I call “see something shiny syndrome”. This is those disposable parts society where instant fame and money are sought through reality TV, the instant gratification of consumerism driven by some parts of the media and those with a dark and controlling agenda.

Now the tories are in of course the blood sports lobby are rubbing their hand with glee and the first attempts at alienating some of our native species has already begun. An article in the Daily Fail this week with the headline “Do-gooders obsessed with increasing population of ‘avian predators’ are letting killer birds terrorise our countryside and attack our pets” is such a pile of unmitigated tripe it should be funny but some people believe what they read in the press and this is clearly an attempt by the shooting lobby to start the wheels in motion for the reduction in protection of our raptors. Of course there’s no mention of the mass produced and artificially reared game birds the gamekeepers are paid to protect from any competing wildlife be it avian or mammal that, incidentally have virtually zero impact on numbers released which are only then to be blasted from the sky by a tweed wearing twat with a gun and an inferiority complex. I could systematically debunk every claim they make without even thinking about it however I really don’t want to waste and more of my time with this vomit inducing clap trap. Fortunately the ever eloquent people behind Raptor Persecution Scotland do the job for me (see here). It was also nicely blown from the water by The Guardian with some proper science, the article can be viewed here.

The author of the Daily Fail article – Worzel Gummage

Of course it also means the badger cull will go ahead this summer/autumn. I was hoping for some time off however this now seems unlikely as the Government will be free to push ahead with their NFU sponsored eradication program which has nothing to do with controlling Bovine TB. In these days of austerity you’d think they’d look for the most financially viable solution to any situation however it’s pretty clear once the NFU or CA get involved and there’s killing to be done then money becomes no object. Those that care will of course once again be out there to face them. The promised free vote of a repeal of the Hunting Act is some way off yet and far from certain. The British public at large just don’t want to see a return to the dark ages and this cannot be ignored. Regardless of the outcome it will make little difference to those out there opposing cruelty. Of course direct action all costs money so please, if you can’t get out in the fields then dip in your pockets and help to fund the cause. You can donate here – Hunt Sabs Save Lives.

I’ve seen some pretty one sided policing. I’ve seen some pretty decent policing as well but when you’re on the Estate of David Cameron’s cousin it’s a sure thing you’ll get no sympathy from the boys in blue who were no doubt under instructions from above. What’s even more concerning is a new tactic they’re employing which seems to have been organised well in advance with the hunts to avoid any interruption from saboteurs and thus allowing them to hunt with impunity. This turn of events has the stink of the Countryside Alliance all over it.

I’m referring to the use of the Section 35 dispersal order. This effectively means anyone to whom the order is applied have to leave a designated area for 24 hours or face arrest. It’s part of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 details of which can be found here. Of course this legislation was never designed to be an umbrella for removing saboteurs or monitors from hunts but that’s how it’s being applied and it’s totally unjust, whether it’s actually legal or not remains to be seen and we’re taking advice on the matter. Now it would seem all the hunts have to do is make up a spurious trail map, hand it over to the police and they’ll do the rest. Of course the police aren’t interested or bright enough to figure out that following a trail would never require the services of terrier men on a quad with spades and yet they’re still present, ready to do their dirty work all under that nice, safe police protection.

Sargeant 1964

Sargeant 1964

Last weekend we were subjected to continuous drunken abuse while I and others were physically assaulted and you’ll see all of this in the video. Warwickshire Police have hardly covered themselves in glory and there’s been a significant backlash from the general public on their Facebook page. If you think this type of policing is wrong feel free to voice your opinion and let them know that you don’t approve of a significant amount of your taxes being spent in this way. The Hunt in question, the Atherstone have been seen actively hunting foxes in the last few weeks with some pretty damming footage being supplied by West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs which can be viewed here. The hunt support continue to show themselves for what they really are, violent morons that are desperate to maintain their bloodthirsty way of life.

It’s amazing how fast some people can change their approach when dealing with others. Obviously when you’re in uniform and a public servant you need to assess any given situation and react accordingly so it’s never a good idea to go in all guns blazing and then have to back down with your tail between your legs when you get found out. This was the case last weekend when we were ordered to remove our face coverings in quite a forthright manner by a member of the Hertfordshire force. We explained our rights to this chap and at once he became all friendly and accommodating. Unless a section 60AA is in place (which needs to be organised in advance by a senior officer) the police have no justification in ordering you to remove your face covering. Thing is, the police will often try and push their luck, hoping you will be intimidated and comply with any request, regardless of legality. The same goes for giving your details, you really don’t have to do this unless there are a very specific set of circumstances. Some of our group were also told they weren’t allowed to use a public right of way and again this was totally unlawful and their orders were ignored.

Hounds rioting on a Roe Deer

Hounds rioting on a Roe Deer

I did however have a reasonably polite conversation with the local wildlife crime officer regarding the hunt we were attending. I showed him footage of the hounds trying to dig into a badger sett where a fox had gone to ground and he seemed sympathetic to our cause however sitting in a car won’t get you any evidence of illegal hunting when the hunts are well out of sight and looking for foxes. We stopped a potential dig out when we arrived on the scene just as the terrier men on quads were turning up and the hounds showing lots of interest in a particular sett entrance. The huntsman at once called the hounds away knowing his plans were well and truly scuppered. Apart from stopping one vehicle the police paid us little heed from then on in and left us to our work. Our biggest concern of the day was when the huntsman and whipper in lost control of several hounds and they rioted on a Roe Deer. The terrified animal was chased across several fields before finally getting away with some sab help. Just another potential victim of the hunts and even though it wasn’t their intended quarry it’s another reason why the law needs to be tightened.

Killing something by accident is no excuse, although as far as we could see no attempt had been made to even lay a trail so they were acting illegally from the outset. Remember, using more than two hounds is illegal and with no trail being laid or bird of prey in attendance (a ridiculous exemption as a bird large enough to take a fox, namely an Eagle of some sort, is wholly unsuitable for use in these environments) they could have been legally stopped from operating completely should the police have chosen to do so.

All in all it was a good day for us. Only one stroppy supporter felt the need to try and wind us up as most seemed to have seen a few too many summers and clearly in no position to get involved in any aggravation and the local wildlife remained safe for the time being. This was the same hunt we ruined on Boxing Day (the Cambridge and Enfield Chace) except this time they had a joint meet with the Puckeridge hunt on who’s territory they were using. Packing a hunt up early is always very welcome and a surefire sign of an effective operation, needless to say I utilised my extra free time recovering from all those miles run and stuffing my face with a well earned veggie curry.

I had a totally different blog entry all written up with details of our brushes with the Trinity Foot Beagles and the Cottesmore Hunt over the Christmas and New Year break however I’ve binned it in favour of something that happened more recently. The Fernie Hunt are notorious for violence. They have previously laid traps for sabs and called in thugs with baseball bats to protect their hunts. While we take this kind of thing very seriously we’ll never back down and just because a hunt may have a bad reputation doesn’t mean they’ll be ignored.

Much like on Boxing day it was another of those red letter days when everything went to plan. We saved a fox within minutes of finding the hunt. I always think it’s suspicious when the hunt manage to flush a fox on the very first covert they draw but we were on hand to help with it’s escape. Then after redeploying to a new area another fox runs right past us. One day I’ll have my video camera ready but as one of my colleagues said to me, “You sab first, video second” and they were of course right. This fox went to ground in a large badger sett but we’d already put the dogs off the scent and they didn’t even mark to ground.

If this is our next generation there's no hope for hunamity.

If this is our next generation there’s no hope for hunamity.

We faced plenty of abuse from the support and hunters alike. Even a spotty 15 year old boy wanted to fight me, along with his charming farther. I was kicked in the back by someone on a horse as they rode past and as you’ll see in the video horses were used as weapons. When one particularly overweight charmer thought he’d get a bit handy the police were forced to step in a take action and he was arrested. Funny how they’re all hard as nails but once the cuffs are on they squeal like little girls. The police on the day were, in the main fairly reasonable. Obviously they ignored the blatant illegal hunting (the Fernie don’t even pretend to lay a trail) and still did vehicle checks on the sab vehicles but at least they kept the peace and acted when necessary.

It was also pretty obvious due to our effectiveness we were going to get some special attention once the police weren’t looking so it was one of those times when you know when to call it day and make yourself scarce. The army would call it a tactical withdrawal however we were happy with a job well done and the day was kill free. Mentions go to all the sabs groups present; Beds & Bucks, Northants and Nottingham who turned up at exactly the right time.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions as to the type of person these hunts attract, it’s pretty obvious. The hunts will always try and intimidate us but we will never give up until every last hunt in the country is finished.