Posts Tagged ‘Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Fox Hunt’

You may remember I reported on an incident last autumn when the huntsman from the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hunt deliberately rode down a sab causing her serious and potentially life threatening injuries. The huntsman in question, a Mark Doggerell even admitted he was the rider and was initially charged with grievous bodily harm, however the CPS, in their divine wisdom have chosen not to prosecute citing lack of evidence.

Lack of evidence.

To be honest I’m not really sure what more they would need to gain a successful prosecution seeing as there were eye witnesses and the whole incident was caught on video (see below). It makes shocking viewing, the sab has no idea of what’s about to transpire, the horse is at a full gallop and there’s plenty of space to avoid her. What’s more revealing is Doggerells actions once the impact has taken place. He’s clearly aware of what he’s done and kicks the horse on without even so much as a cursory glance backwards. The worrying thing about all of this is once again it has set a dangerous precedent, it would seem it’s open season on sabs without risk of repercussions. A new generation of hunt thugs will be rubbing their hands with glee knowing they’ll be able to dish out the violence and not face the wrath of the law. It’s not the first time sabs have suffered violence and some have even paid the ultimate price for their beliefs so if you feel as incensed as I and many others feel free to write to the CPS and sign the petition (details below). This kind of decision makes a mockery of our legal system and only further undermines the already fragile relationship with the general public. It would seem, no matter what your crime you really are above the law if you’re from the right demographic. Of course that won’t make one iota of difference to what we do, our principals are unshakable and we’ll continue to fight against the wrongs committed against our wildlife.

Note: Due to the new review of the evidence this video has been removed.

Of course this incident has been quietly ignored by the Countryside Alliance after their PR stunt in the Daily Mail. The hatred stirred up on social media and specifically aimed at the ethical cosmetics company Lush, who have long supported our work is quite frankly ridiculous. Some of the comments coming from the pro hunt lobby on social media would be laughable if it wasn’t such a serious issue. Apparently sabs have dragged children from horses, thrown acid over hounds and beaten horses. I’ve never heard so much unadulterated clap trap in all my life. Writing something on social media doesn’t make it a fact. Saying you witnessed it doesn’t make it a fact. This is clearly nothing more than CA inspired hearsay, fables dream’t up and exaggerated to turn the tide of opinion. Rather than address the real issue which is the cruelty the hunts like to deal out on our wildlife they choose a path of deflection and misinformation, smoke and mirrors to discredit an organisation which causes them so many headaches.

Here’s one particularly incoherent and delusional rant:

Hunt sabs are vile!!!! Lush supports them!!!!!..i witness them killing a dog when I was 8 years old, i was riding out in the woods and the hunts sabs were chasing down the hunt…any excuse to rebel against anything…lush who???? now I know that I would never buy from them…spread the word! anyone on here saying hunt sabs are animal lovers are a bloody joke…..i was a little girl when i saw that dog get beaten to death and i tell you what i will never ever forget that, they threw things at us and tried to pull us off our ponies…8 years old riding out in the woods, i was not on the hunt just happened to bump into them at the same time, the sabs caught up with them…rot in hell you disgusting vile hunt sabs…and lush cosmetics!!!! LUSH COSMETIC SUPPORTS HUNT SABS!!!!!!!”

Note the impeccable grammar and punctuation, the excessive use of exclamation marks and capitals. This person is literally foaming at the mouth with indignation and all she can muster is something which most likely didn’t happen from her long distant past. Of course a quick look through her profile and you’ll seen lots of connections with the pro hunt lobby so nothing surprising there. There’s little point in trying to reason with these people as reason is, quite frankly, beyond them.

Sabs hold all life dear. The very thought they’d throw acid over or beat animals is unthinkable. Stopping animal suffering is our ethos. The fact none of these spurious claims can be backed up by any hard evidence indicates their legitimacy. Had any child been assaulted the police would have been informed and the incident been in the public domain, no doubt with the full backing of the CA PR machine. It’s funny how, just with a cursory search through Google you’ll find lots of incidents of hunt violence towards sabs and monitors and yet little or nothing to the contrary but then when you’re dealing with the lowest common denominator of society the reality of the situation becomes irrelevant.

Sign the Petition.

Contact the Atourney General.

Email the CPS.

nid

The lack of an update last week was largely due to once again getting clearance to use footage which is likely to be used in legal proceedings. Releasing this footage prior to the outcome will ruin any potential case against the offenders but needless to say all is in hand and we’re hopeful of a successful prosecution. For a full update of the day visit the Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs Facebook page.

Another issue which came to light were the claims that a Huntsman from the Tedworth Hunt was kicked unconscious by sabs wielding metal bars on chains. Heavily edited and totally biased footage was aired on BBC Points West, complete with a Countryside Alliance spokesperson spouting their usual vitriol. However if you look at the complete footage compiled by Berkshire Hunt Sabs with additional comments a completely different story is clear to see.

What’s also evident by the CA releasing the footage is that they expect no action from the police on the issue otherwise they wouldn’t have released the video. The fact it was filmed by a hunt supporter and then picked up by the Daily Mail who are known to support hunting and love nothing more than printing sensationalist clap trap based on hearsay just proves this is nothing more than pro-hunt propaganda designed to fill in the cracks of their crumbling argument ahead of a general election. The simple fact is sabs face violence every week from hunts and their support. You are allowed to defend yourself and it’s pretty clear to me after watching the video the violence was instigated by the hunt or their support and they then came off second best. The so called metal bars on chains were nothing more than home made, lightweight whips sabs use for rating the hounds, hardly the pinnacle of personal defence armament.

The comments from the CA spokesperson were quite frankly laughable. Once again he tries to paint the picture of sabs being terrorists, covering their faces and leaving the towns for the countryside for a bit of a ruck and knowing nothing of countryside ways and wildlife control.

Lets break these issues down.

Face coverings. I’ve covered this before but it’s an issue which keeps arising so I’ll go over it again. Hunts and hunt support try very hard to find out who you are. They will go after you at your home or place of work. They will do all they can to discredit you, intimidate you and make you unemployable. Maintaining secrecy regarding your identity isn’t being a coward it’s sound operational security. Hunt support, especially the terrier men or the hired thungs used to protect the hunts regularly cover their faces, this is of course so it makes them difficult to identify in case they find themselves under investigation but we hear no mention of that from the CA.

Another article in the Torygraph sorry I mean Telegraph  once again claims sabs are all animal rights extremists, hard liners that are politically motivated thugs terrorising those involved in a lawful pursuit that need to be unmasked. Obviously the writer of the article, Clive Aslet is completely impartial in this but oh wait, he seems to be editor at large for Country Life, hardly a publication with nothing to gain and no doubt spurred on to write the piece by the CA as they’re obviously cosey bedfellows in this. The double standards and hypocrisy in the piece is rife to say the least. A bunch of pissed up thugs from the Royal Agricultural College trying to overturn a sab vehicle and smash their way in is nothing more than, and I quote “rosy-cheeked, well-spoken students in tweed caps behaving in a yahooish manner”. And lets not forget, despite their claims to the contrary, all were breaking the law by hunting illegally in the first place.

We’re all townies. Most sabs I know come from all walks of life, come from hugely varying backgrounds and live in both rural and urban locations. CA claims to the contrary are nothing more than ignorant bluff and bluster.

Wildlife control. Oops, the hunt in question were supposed to be drag hunting (aren’t they all) so then why is wildlife control mentioned? If you’re following a trail nothing will be hunted and killed. Seems like an admittance of illegal hunting to me and wildlife control is just a phrase designed to soften the image of killing. I also wonder if the hunt in question had any terrier men with them as they nearly always do? Those pesky trail layers, it’s amazing how they manage to go under ground in holes and badger setts. If you’re following a trail then terrier men are completely unnecessary.

Countryside ways. Once upon a time it was OK to flog your slaves, bait bears and burn witches if your crops failed. Things have thankfully moved on. They’re so called countryside ways are nothing more than an excuse for bloodthirsty sociopaths to get their jollies by watching a sentient mammal tormented and then killed in a most barbaric manner. I’ve spent my entire life in the countryside, living with and working for our native wildlife. I’d be hugely surprised if any of the hunt staff or support knew anything beyond the basics of the environment around them and the ecosystems they support.

Obviously the CA have money to burn in an attempt to win over the general population to their cause however with over 80% still in favour of a ban on hunting with hounds many of their arguments will fall on deaf ears. You only have to view the disturbing footage from last week filmed by Dorset Hunt Sabs to know that the hunts are continually breaking the law and no amount of PR and propaganda will cover up this fact. This time the hunt in question was the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale, the same hunt who almost killed a sab some months ago. Full press release from the HSA can be found here.

 

UPDATE: It would appear, as expected that the Tedworth footage was supplied directly by Jill Grieve, who just happens to be director of Communications for the Countryside Alliance.

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.

I have to admit to being a little quiet recently and lacking somewhat in putting finger to keyboard and getting some thoughts down regarding what’s happening in the world of the Accidental Activist. My videos seem to be a hit so thanks to all who viewed them and left comments on Facebook and sent me nice emails.

However it seems dark times really are upon us. The nights are drawing in and the warm summer will soon be a memory lost in the falling leaves but it’s now that the meanest and most callous individuals come creeping from their other lives of the socially respectability, the tweed & Chelsea tractor brigade brought up on a diet of delusional superiority and drinks before dinner. However we must not be fooled and we must show them for what they really are and what they stand for.

Last week a well-known and dedicated sab was rushed to hospital after attending a meet of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Fox Hunt who were what the hunting fraternity like to call Autumn Hunting, but is more accurately know by those who oppose them as ‘Cubbing’. This involves the hunt surrounding a covert and sending in the hounds with the riders and foot followers preventing the foxes from escaping. The intention is to teach the new hounds to kill and they do this against the most inexperienced foxes they can find; this year’s cubs. Older foxes are usually left to escape as they will be considered good sport for later hunts. Cubbing has been illegal since 2005 but those hunts intent on maintaining their sick tradition will always need new hounds to do their dirty work and the new hounds need to know the taste of blood. Of course any hound not showing the correct aptitude for killing will itself be destroyed as it, in the eyes of the hunt, will have no purpose and use.

stretcher

During this meet the sab was standing on a public road observing the hunt when a rider from the hunt rode her down at speed with his horse, from behind. She was thrown in the air before being dragged some distance. The attacker then rode off laughing. There was clearly huge concern for her welfare and an ambulance was called immediately as she was suffering from shortness of breath due to a possible collapsed lung and in a great deal of pain. The attack however wasn’t the end of the matter. The attending ambulance was blocked deliberately, as hunt followers refused to move their vehicles for several minutes. These minutes could have proved vital and once again shows the level these people are prepared to stoop. The air ambulance also attended the scene, a decision which isn’t taken lightly such was the concern for the victim.

The hunt showed a complete disregard for the incident, laughing and joking as they carried on hunting before returning to the meet for a BBQ. Fortunately the whole incident was captured by a dashboard camera in one of the sab vehicles. This crucial evidence was handed to the police who I believe have arrested a man in conjunction with the incident. What remains to be seen is the charge and ultimately the punishment. Riding someone down with half a tonne of horse is no different from hitting them with a car as far as I’m concerned and should be treated as such. The perpetrator of this cowardly crime clearly had intensions to severely injure or even worse and my hope is the law will see things in the same way and a suitable conviction will be gained. I also hope once inside and serving his time a nice chap, built like the proverbial brick outhouse takes a liking to him in a most intimate manner and refuses to take no for an answer. Perhaps then he’ll understand a little what it’s like to be hunted and abused.

chopper

The sab is recovering in hospital, covered in bruises and with 7 broken ribs plus a tear in the lung. My best wished go to her for a speedy recovery. This kind of incident shows we’re having an effect although this particular hunt is known for its violence so it highlights the courage required by the sabs to undertake such a daunting prospect and once again highlights why many sabs choose to hide their faces due to the potential for repercussions. If the hunts think this type of violence and intimidation will have an effect then they are sorely mistaken. This makes us stronger and more determined, we will never give up until every hunt has gone the way of the dinosaurs. You keep hunting and we’ll be there, saving wildlife through non-violent direct action.

In other news and sadly as expected it looks like the badger cull will start in the next few weeks. I will of course be out there doing my best, along with all the other groups to save as many of these wonderful animals as we can from the guns of the hired thugs from the NFU. I’ll try and keep you up to date with proceeding but in the meantime please donate, share or even better get out there. It’s your duty to fight injustice, be it state sponsored or otherwise. I could never sleep at night knowing I stood by and watched as our wildlife was iradicated.

UPDATE: A man has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and has been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Photos courtesy of Dorset Hunt Sabs