Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

It turned out to be quite an eventful week, after writing my initial blog post there was movement on that particular case and the 2 terrier men from the Kimblewick Hunt were charge with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. Once this was confirmed I pulled my post as there was no need to rock the apple cart with regards to Thames Valley Police any further.

What was slightly annoying was how the case was reported in the press. The BBC‘s short article was pretty typical with only the most basic of facts reported but it, like most of the others singularly failed to mention that the accused were taking part in an organised hunt and were in fact employees of the Kimblewick.

We can probably imagine the damage limitation exercise currently being undertaken by the that particular hunt as we speak and no doubt the 2 accused will be dropped faster than a hot potato. As usual the so-called Countryside Alliance’s head moron, Timbo Bonner has once again been deathly silent on the matter. One wonders if there’ll be more “bad apples” claims if they get convicted. The whole cider barrel is starting to look significantly acidic. All the fruit in the CA’s sphere would appear to be rotten, but we knew that anyway.

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Moving on from that I finally received the written ruling from the Fitzwilliam case. It was very interesting reading it’s contents as I had missed that day in court due to illness. This will of course provide the basis for any future cases against hunts that pretend to use the Falconry Exemption within the hunting act.

The ruling itself is 15 pages long so I’ll spare you all the details but the most salient points within the ruling were well worth the wait. It defines what is to be considered “flushing” and the differences between that and hunting and how they can, in certain circumstances overlap. It also defines what is “cover”. This was a much argued point in the court case and now both of these have been defined there can be no further disagreements in a court of law. Essentially cover can be pretty much any vegetation and flushing is not pursuing. If the hounds are chasing the animal they are hunting it.

There were also some other interesting points to note:

“Now, we heard some evidence about the history of the Fitzwilliam Hunt and the court understands that the huntsman in this case would want to use the existing pre 2004 infrastructure where possible. However, the Act was designed to change behaviours. Protecting and maintaining the infrastructure for posterity, no matter how laudable, cannot be a legitimate reason to use behaviours which do in fact break the law or do intermittently break the law.”

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George Adams – Guilty

Tradition isn’t a defence for illegal hunting.

Judge Cooper continues:

“We note that the dogs were not called off the chase of the fox at any relevant point, with none of the three controlling riders, including George Adams, even closely present, nor was there any communication between the three of them, nor were any of the three capable of intervening at the moment when the fox met its end . . .”

In normal hunting cases the main point to prove is intent, however in this case the intent would appear to be given and lack of hound control is an offence in itself.

“Now, as the death of the fox demonstrates, we find that as a fact the hounds were not under meaningful control. We note our observation that since 2004 they had not been trained in fact to desist the chase, nor trained to desist from touching the prey if they caught up with it. From the point at which the fox broke away from the copse, to the time the dogs killed the fox, Mr Adams exerted no effective control of the dogs involved in the chase, nor direct others to do so”.

John Mease’s claims that the sabs present on the day were the reason he failed to release the bird were rejected out of hand, leaving the judge to draw his conclusion.

“Now, from the moment the fox – the hounds left the copse in visual pursuit of the fox, they acted in accordance with their breed instinct, as we have been told. They were unchecked and that instinct was to hunt and ultimately kill the fox.

We acknowledge that there might conceivably have been an opportunity earlier to deploy the bird as the fox broke diagonally across the field, but it was the very presence of the dogs, uncontrolled and chasing the fox up the riverbank and across the field that would in practice have prevented John Mease deploying the bird of prey. To the extent that John Mease blames the presence of saboteurs for not doing so, we reject that evidence as a complete account of his failure to slip the bird and, in conclusion, the presence of a bird of prey, close by and ready to join the hunt if the fox did go into open ground, makes no difference to the essential nature of what occurred during those particular five minutes and, in particular, the moment when dogs ran across open ground behind George Adams in pursuit of a visible fox in the open, unchecked by him. So we conclude that this was not exempt hunting, it was hunting by dogs”.

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The presence of a BoP does not constitute exempt huning

The final comments will have a profound effect on this particular exemption and I’ll confirm my original assertion that this will indeed be the end of mounted hunts using the falconry exemption.

“Now, the pursuit of a fox by uncontrolled dogs over open ground is behaviour which in itself constitutes the offence. The presence of the bird provides no defence at all”.

Finally we all had a bloody good laugh at the pro-hunting and killing brigade over the weekend with the complete and utter failure of their Countryside Rally in London. Organisers were claiming they were going to get 100,000 people attending and had spent over £17K on organising the event.

That’s a lot of money to spend for the 50 people who actually turned up (and that’s an optimistic number).

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Look at the crowds, oh wait . . .

It was a hot day after all and FieldsportsChannel.tv tried to put a brave face on it and claimed 150 people attended. Even if that was the case it’s still a desperately poor turnout when they were expecting 100,000.

Always nice to end on a high point.

Last week on the One Show there was a piece about hunting and those that monitor the hunts in their own time. The Cheshire Monitors took part in the filming of this and you can see what they thought about what was aired on their facebook page plus you can also watch the piece itself if you haven’t already.

The major talking point however came from Countryside Alliance spokesperson Polly Portwin. When questioned on the presence of masked up men on quad bikes following the hunt she claimed they were there to mend fences, they carried tools for that job in the boxes on their quads and they were in fact masked up to protect themselves from dust. It’s a shame the program makers didn’t challenge this and in fact stop one of the terrier men present and ask to have a look in their box.

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Polly “Pinocchio” Portwin

Even by the CA’s standard this is laughable. Do they really expect the viewer to believe this unmitigated tripe? Even a casual observer with no real knowledge of the issue could see through these contemptuous claims and the evidence to the contrary is, to say the least, overwhelming.

The Hunt Saboteurs Association were quick to reply with 2 separate posts from their press officer, Lee Moon:

The Countryside Alliance claimed on The One Show tonight that Hunt terrier men use the metal boxes on their quads to carry tools to mend fences. These photos prove their lie. They carry terriers on their quads to corner foxes below ground that are then dug out and shot or thrown to the hounds.

The presence of terrier men on hunts proves the lie of trail hunting.

And also:

“The Countryside Alliance claimed on The One Show that Hunt terrier men wear masks to protect themselves from dust. These photos prove their lie. Terrier men and Hunt supporters wear masks to intimidate, threaten and assault anyone who tries to disrupt their bloodsport.

The presence of terrier men on hunts proves the lie of trail hunting”.

To see original posts click here and here.

These posts were accompanied by a selection of photographs (some of which you will have already seen on this blog) utterly disproving the nonsense the CA were spouting.

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Oakley Terrie Man Neil Young.

CA CEO Tim Bonner is also well known for spouting a similar amount of utter drivel and is obsessed with the issue of anti-hunt personnel hiding their identities (for legitimate reasons) and I’ve covered this many times in the past. His recent behaviour on Twitter also leaves a lot to be desired, particularly his comments regarding mental health and Chris Packham.

The CA is a truly insidious organisation. An organisation which will openly lie in an effort to try and claim their members aren’t breaking the law and will use any and all measures to discredit those who stand against them. They may have plenty of money and people with influence in their pocket but an overwhelming number of the general public stand against them and, given time, they will be shown up for what they really are. The rubbish spouted on the One Show is just another example that this failing organisation are becoming more and more desperate and will soon need the Fire Brigade to put out all those underwear fires.

 

It’s been quite an intense few days.

As the Oakley are such an embarrassingly bad hunt we decided our efforts would be better spent elsewhere so decided to join our comrades from the North & South Cambs groups. The full report of the day can be found on our Facebook page. What we didn’t know of course at the time was the impact that days sabbing would have.

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The incident regarding the nutter with the chain made several national news outlets including the Fail Online (which of course got some details wrong) and the Mirror who’s coverage was more complete. We’ve also been contacted by the BBC’s regional news team so expect they will be covering the story as well. I’ve been in contact with the press fairly constantly over the last few days but the PR is priceless so worth the effort.

Of course there is nothing new in these types of incident. I’ve been reporting on them all season but once again the hunts and their supporters are being shown up for what they really are, violent thugs who can only use threats, abuse and violence to justify their ends. As we arrived at the location to offer assistance to those under attack the terrier men responsible for the assaults on the sabs fled the scene when the odds weren’t so heavily stacked in their favour and this is typical of the mindset of these people. Although they were masked at the time we did catch footage of them unmasked and these will be sent to the police.

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Can you identify these men?

It would be very easy for the hunt to pass on their details to the police as they are no doubt paid employees of the Cottesmore but considering the hunt master, Nicholas Leeming wouldn’t even condemn their actions when challenged and could only mutter some nonsense counter claims before riding off speaks volumes. They need these cap doffing low lives to do their dirty work and if things get a little too close to home they can always disown them.

These weren’t the only crimes committed that day even if you ignore the blatantly illegal hunting and foxes aren’t the only animals to suffer. As we tracked the hunt across the Leicestershire countryside we counted around 5 large badger setts which had been completely trashed where spade marks were clearly visible. The terrier men do this in the morning before the hunt to prevent any foxes escaping underground. Even if your twisted view of hunting defines it as a sport, this is certainly not very sporting and also completely illegal. Interfering with a badger sett is covered by the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. The local wildlife groups have been informed and we returned to open up some of the wholes where we could to allow the badgers access to above ground. With all this in mind you’d think it would be a no brainer for Rutland County Council to withdraw from hosting the hunt on Boxing day but just in case there is a petition to remind them about the issue.

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Trashed sett entrance with clear spade marks.

It was the 12th anniversary of the Hunting Act last weekend and you have to ask yourself what has changed? If I’m honest not a lot, the hunts are still hunting foxes, hares and stags and people like me are still out there stopping them but the tide is definitely turning. They’re no longer having things all their own way and public opinion against hunting is stronger than ever. In some parts of the country the police are no longer servants of the hunt and the mountains of media coverage is making life very uncomfortable. Ultimately there is only one outcome. We will win, it’s just a matter of time.

I like Chris Packham, he’s my kind of naturalist.

On TV he doesn’t beat about the bush and paint nature as some kind of children’s book where it’s all fluffy bunnies and cutesy pie. It’s warts and all, predator and prey and the real circle of life . . . and death. Another fine trait he has is he’s prepared to stand up and be counted when it comes to highlighting the injustices that occur in our countryside. He’s prepare to take the fire from the heavy hitters in the wildlife abuse industry and face them off using solid science and sound arguments.

Of course the “nasty brigade” as he so eloquently described them are now seriously irked and have taken it upon themselves to tarnish his considerable reputation via his employers, the BBC (and not for the first time). Apparently the BBC and Springwatch have editorial guidelines which prevent them from engaging in debate on controversial issues. However Chris isn’t on Springwatch discussing these issues but independently as Chris Packham the naturalist and the last time I looked it wasn’t a crime to express an opinion. Tim Bonner the Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance released a statement complaining bitterly, it is a rambling, slightly desperate attempt to justify their claims using words like “obsessive” and “extreme” when describing Mr Packham.

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It always amuses me when these people start these frothy mouthed rants, Boner . . . sorry Bonner is famous for them. They mostly consist of long winded diatribes lacking in any real substance. They paint themselves as the traditional land managers, guardians of the countryside no less while generalising wildly that anyone with compassion and an alternative point of view is some kind of demented and dangerous terrorist on a par with IS. Well, they certainly don’t fool me and I’m pretty sure the only people who enjoy having this much sunshine blown up their arses are their animal abusing cohorts and lackies. The simple fact is times are changing. The CA may be big, rich and powerful but these Victorian attitudes to our landscape belong in the past and it’s only a matter of time before they go the same way as the dinosaurs. Chris Packham is only telling it like it is and that scares the crap out of them.

Of course this is all the more relevant right now after the Government refused to ban snares yet again (see here) even though the only MP’s to vote against the proposition were pro-hunting and shooting, like Simon Hart (member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire and also, unsurprisingly Chairman of the CA) but also that the start of the Grouse shooting season will be soon upon us, the inglorious 12th. The series of short videos made by Chris and showing the real price of Grouse Shooting are hugely effective and gaining significant coverage. He’s also urging Marks and Spencer to stop selling Grouse on the basis that the management of the moors from which they are shot is unethical.

It’s very hard to argue against what are undoubted the facts. These include the failure of Hen Harriers to breed in the Forest of Bowland once again, an area which should be their stronghold, purely due to illegal persecution from Gamekeepers. Shooting estates and Grouse moors in particular are wildlife wastelands, raptors and mammalian predators are conspicuous by their absence, they are man made environments designed purely for the benefit of raising an unnatural level of game birds, game birds which will be shot, for fun, by a very small minority.

These are the facts and as such are undeniable. It doesn’t matter how many teddies you chuck out your pram they are never going to change.

Ban Driven Grouse Shooting

For more info visit the excellent Raptor Persecution UK

UPDATE: Chris Packham’s management have just issued this statement.

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The nasty brigade show are showing their true colours once again. As one person commented, “they don’t like it up em!”. Indeed they don’t.