Archive for the ‘Environmental’ Category

It’s a busy time of year this. Whilst most people are recovering from stuffing their faces on Christmas Day or perhaps diving into the scrums that are the post Christmas sales, me and many like me were making their presence felt on one of the biggest traditional hunting days of the year. Boxing Day is always the time the hunts like to get out and meet their public, show off and put an alcohol soaked gloss on their image of countryside ways. Of course the reality is completely different and while the headlines in the tory driven papers will claim thousands of supporters turning out in support the basic facts are somewhat different.

Even if thousands across the country did turn out the percentage of the population is minimal at best. Some brief figures quoted on Facebook recently suggested a mere 0.42%, that’s roughly 833 per hunt (there’s roughly 300 in the UK). Hardly something worth singing about considering it’s their biggest day. For some perspective that’s over 100,000 less people than signed the badger cull petition.

Of course many of those drinking sherry in the cold and hob nobbing with the affluent land owners would probably find viewing one animal being torn to shreds by many others pretty distasteful, if they didn’t I’d suggest there was something deeply wrong with them but it’s a side of hunting they choose to be ignorant about or simply believing the lies about hunting legally.

One of the joint masters of the Cambridge and Enfield Chace hunt, a Simon Bateman told the Cambridge News “We have got anti-hunt protestors here today again, but we are operating within the law”.

Well Simon old chap let me explain a few things to you. Firstly if you’re going to lay a trail I suggest the quad bike you claim to use to lay the trail is in front of the hunt. Secondly, shouldn’t the trail bag be on the rear of the quad being dragged along instead of tied up on the front and thirdly why do you need 4 spades and terriers on the quad as well? Surely trails don’t go to ground and need to be dug out?

As you can tell I was one of the protestors (as they like to call us) there on the day and we saved 4 foxes who all had hounds in pursuit, very close behind them and without intervention would have most likely been killed. Hunting within the law? You sad disgrace of a man. I’d probably respect you more if you had to gumption to openly admit to hunting but just lying makes you look like the weak coward you are. Still what do you expect?

hunter

I did intend to release a full video of the days encounters however I’ve had to edit the footage due to it being used as evidence in legal proceedings. Once I’m clear to do so I’ll include the rest.  It was one of those days when we were in the right place every time to cover the fox and rate the hounds, one beautiful dog fox appeared only feet in front of me. Just one of those times when karma intervened on the side of the righteous. The huntsman refused to call off his hounds and hunted them on but there were no kills. I can’t say too much on the other incident but what I will say is it’s fairly typical, the police once again acted purely on behalf of the hunt and ignored the blatant illegality going on right in front of them. It’s is, quite frankly a disgrace but not something that comes as a surprise.

On that note I hope you all had a great Christmas and thanks for the support and reading my blog. When I started last January I had no idea how it would turn out but all things considered I’m pretty happy to be making a difference in my own little way.

And to all those from the other side – we will never give up until you’re finished. And you will be, it’s just a matter of time.

Saturday was glorious. It was one of those clear and crisp winter days that invigorate the soul with the icy clean air filling your lungs while the watery winter sun shines low on the horizon. The frost under foot gave everything a Christmassy feel although it would seem goodwill to all men was definitely lacking somewhat. I wonder what the percentage of hunters follow the Christian faith? Do you think they justify their actions by the text in Genesis 1:26 or are they just a bunch of bloodthirsty junkies obsessed with killing wild animals?

I joined up with sabs from Northants, Notts and Derby to see what the Cottesmore Hunt were up to. It’s a pretty big hunt and also one of the oldest and after Saturday I can confirm one with some of the most arrogant riders. Lots of youngsters out with them as well. I always considered encouraging children to commit a crime as some sort of child abuse but I guess they have to indoctrinate the next generation of killers somehow. They’ve certainly got the rudeness off pat. Even the youngsters were pulling faces and shouting abuse. Charmers one and all and it’s easy to see how their superiority complexes develop.

It's not a car it's a chocolate tea pot

It’s not a car it’s a chocolate tea pot

The Cottesmore use the loophole in the Hunting Act of flushing to a bird of prey, in this case a Golden Eagle. However said Golden Eagle and handler were usually miles from any hounds and certainly not ready to engage in any hunting activity of it’s own. The hood never came off and it spent most of it’s time either in the box or precariously trying to stay on it’s handlers fist as he drove a quad bike erratically one handed. Not a great example of falconry and I’m pretty sure something you’re not supposed to do on the public roads. Birds of prey will only hunt if they’re the right weight and hungry. I’d wager this bird was well fed and unlikely to fly after anything. Eagles need big open spaces so hunting the hounds through woods is clearly in breach of the act.

For my own part I ran miles, got very muddy and had lots of lovely cuddles with the hounds who are always pleased to see us (it’s the only affection they ever see) and managed to save some wildlife. I was also hit by a horse and the local Gamekeeper tried to kill me with his Landrover. Shame I didn’t get it on video but I was diving out the way at the time and doing my best not to end up under his wheels. The police were their usual pointless selves, their local Wildlife Crime Officer (PC Draper 1350) happy to sit in her car or mingle with the support. Later on she ever denied she was the WCO and they were just using that particular vehicle. Yeah sure, we believe you.

Quote of the day came from the Huntsman: “I’ve never killed a fox in my life”. Needless to say we treated that with the contempt it deserved. Anyway, enjoy the video and feel free to share.

You may remember the story from September (see here) involving the serious injury to a sab caused by a red coat from the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt when he deliberately rode her down while she had her back to him. To add insult to injury the hunt support then blocked the attending emergency vehicles, wasting valuable time in treating her potentially life threatening injuries.

They have of course been carrying on hunting regardless and last Saturday evening had their hunt ball with a days hunting prior to donning the party frocks and toff togs. Of course being an organisation that refuses to accept violence in any form the Hunt Saboteurs thought it might be a nice idea to remind them of this fact on one of their biggest days of the year.

Around 100 sabs, from groups as far apart as Cornwall & Norfolk and everything in between got together in a show of solidarity to let the hunters know they’re still in our sights and we don’t back down from intimidation. The hunt panicked on the day when they saw the fleet of 15 or so vehicles arrive. The call went out to get as many of “their boys” in as possible, but a few bumpkins acting tough really aren’t anything to worry about. It was a busy and tiring day, but absolutely worth it.

I’d go back tomorrow if the call went out. Enjoy the video.

First off my apologies for being a little quiet of late. This was largely due to a total hard drive failure of my PC. Unfortunately I’ve lost the majority of my video files plus a few others things which could prove to be a pain in bum. However I’m now up and running once more with a new PC rebuild complete with fetching army green case!

Of course not being able to write my blog doesn’t mean I haven’t been active in the field. Two weekends ago we hit the Old Berkeley Beagles who intended to hunt hares in the area around Marsh Gibbons. The weather was foul, but us sabs are made of fairly stern stuff and a bit of rain won’t put us off although the hunters seemed less sturdy and spent the majority of their time hiding in a rickety old barn which was full of crap. When the rain finally abated they took us on a very pleasant 7 mile walk, the only highlight being a stroppy farmer who could only throw some pretty pointless abuse in our direction.

Old Berkely Beagles

Morons in green & white. They treat their own animals pretty badly so it’s no wonder they kill for fun.

Next up we spoiled the fun of the Hursley & Hambleden who were having a joint meet with the Hampshire Hunt. As expected we had a little trouble with them as one female sab was assaulted and another racially abused. Both incidents are being investigated by the police as we have supplied video evidence for both so we hope for a successful prosecution. Once again we proved effective, taking control of the hounds at one point and splitting the pack using horn and voice calls. It was a tough day with lots of running and plenty of mud but seeing the annoyed faces of the hunters  and no wildlife killed makes it all worthwhile.

However not every sab group have been so lucky. Our friends over at West Midlands Hunt Sabs were unable to save a fox which fell victim to the bites of many hounds, literally disemboweling the poor animal. They did however manage to retrieve the body which you can see below

dead fox

I make no apologies for the graphic nature. This is what these sick and twisted individuals take delight in and something I’ll never understand. Those responsible, the Albrighton and Woodland Hunt met at the Robin Hood Inn, Drayton Road, Stourbridge. Perhaps you may wish to contact them and ask why they support illegal hunting or maybe leave a review on their Facebook page. Another casualty last weekend was a deer which had to flee the as the South Dorset Hunt was active between Sherborne & Dorchester. In it’s desire to escape it ran right across a busy road and was struck by a car and killed. This incident highlights once again the damage the hunts do to more than just the animal they’re targeting.

The real problem of course remains in the policing of the legislation in place, or should I say the complete lack of it. If this was any other situation in any other location the police would be all over it like a tramp on hot chips however I think it’s pretty clear that they have instructions from on high not to get involved unless they can either cheaply arrest some sabs (who are in effect doing their job for them) to make their figures look good and justify some costs or if there’s a credible threat of violence, which is often the case and generally focused in our direction. The recent dropping of a case by the CPS which involved the killing of a stag by the Devon and Somerset Stag Hounds is quite frankly a disgrace. They claim the kill was made under the exemption of “Scientific Research” which is of course complete bullsh*t.

Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports said: “How on earth can chasing a wild animal to exhaustion be considered as genuine scientific research and observation? The decision taken to drop the case against members of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds needs immediate explanation. We urge the public to watch the footage for themselves and make up their own mind as to whether the primary purpose of the hunt member’s actions was for research or for sport.”

Watch the footage, decide for yourself.