Posts Tagged ‘Blood Sports’

Well it would seem that the recent sabotage of 2 driven grouse shoots has got a lot of people (shooters) hot under the collar. There has been a whole host of abusive and irate comments from the shooting community on various sab pages, clearly we’ve got under their skin on this and they’ve come out fighting although the comments from the general public as a whole have been, by a very large margin, very supportive.

Of course after my recent blog post about the subject I’ve had my own, well 1 anyway and that’s to be expected and if I’m honest I’m a little disappointed it wasn’t more. This one is from someone claiming to be a Paul Stephens, someone which such courage behind his conviction he took the time to create a fake email address and hide behind a proxy server, his IP address leading to a company based in Holland. It’s funny how those in the hunting and shooting community whine about masked sabs and yet do the same themselves, just in electronic form. This also proves this person is a little more IT savvy at least (or perhaps someone did it for him), most are, quite frankly too stupid.

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A suitably apt cartoon posted on Facebook by North Wales Hunt Sabs

Anyway, here’s the comment:

“This article is laughable. Firstly because you didn’t shut two shoots down. They both carried on. Your efforts of dragging 50max unemployed lay a bouts were wasted. If you were to ban driven grouse shooting you’d end up with thousands of acres baron moorland. As we’ve seen from unmanaged moorland it doesn’t take long for heather to grow to high, braccon and brambles to take over. You morons seem to love the countryside but aren’t willing to dip you hands in your pockets and pay for its upkeep. And you weren’t on a byway you were on a private track.

And I’m sure when punching the 15 year old in the face and throwing his quad keys in the hedge must have been a real highlight of your day. Well done. You’re really brave I’m your masks”.

Let’s break this down.

1 – We absolutely did shut 2 shoots down. The first was escorted off the moor and we sat and watched them drink away their sorrows in a local hotel. The second shoot packed up at around 4pm, a group had eyes on them setting up and that’s as far as they got. They also left the moors and certainly had no more time to set up another.

2 – Aaah the old unemployed thing. It’s like bumpkin bingo. Unemployed – check, layabouts (note it’s one word by the way) – check, no unwashed? I’m disappointed. What many from the hunting and shooting community utterly fail to understand is that sabs come from all walks of life. It’s a very wide demographic with a singular goal, to protect our wildlife from abuse. From a personal perspective all I can say is I’ve worked all my life, I’ve paid off my mortgage and am totally debt free. Not exactly the swampy-esq cliché the narrow minded bigots will have you believe is a sab.

Patchwork of vegetation across grouse moor, Deeside, Scotland.

A monoculture desert – photo Peter Cairns

3 – Here’s comes the environmental argument . . . First off the word is “barren”, a baron is a rank of nobility. Secondly the moorland used for DGS is heavily managed and was created by man. It’s not a natural environment so your opening statement is null and void. Left to its own devices it would, in time return to mixed woodland, an ecosystem with a much higher biodiversity than managed grouse moors.  Once again you lose points on spelling, it’s “bracken”. It kind of undermines any serious consideration for sensible discussion when ones opponent can’t even use a spell checker. You also fail to understand that grouse moors are largely devoid of any balanced ecosystem. All predators or conflicting species are suppressed to such an extent that the only animals which thrive are grouse, at hugely unnatural population levels.

4 – Yes we do love the countryside but what you fail (once again) to grasp is that we do actually pay for it. Grouse moor owners pull in millions of pounds every year in the form of land subsidies. What they put back into the economy is minimal to say they least. They produce no crops yet charge £1000’s a day for rich, tweed clad blood junkies to blast hapless birds from the sky (see here). One has to wonder how these estates will manage once we blunder our way out of the EU and those subsidies start to dry up. Perhaps these millionaire owners will have to delve a little deeper into their pockets.

tax break

5 – Regarding the access, we used an OS map app. This was shown to the police at the time of the incident and the land in question was confirmed by the police at the time as being open access. Regardless of that my comments on the mentality of those trying to prevent us from leaving still stand and are completely relevant.

6 – And finally here we have it. The pièce de résistance, the utterly unfounded claim of violence against a minor. This is a classic deflection technique although one which has been used so many times before no-one really takes it seriously any more, and that includes the police. I look forward to the thorough police investigation into this incident and the perpetrators bought to justice, except of course there won’t be any of that because it didn’t happen. Is there anyone who really believes this unmitigated tripe? Only those desperate enough that live in the blood sports bubble. The last sentence doesn’t make any sense but I’ll assume its in relation to hiding our identities, like you did with a false email and IP. By the way, I don’t wear a mask.

So all in all a pretty poor effort, I’m going to give it 3/10.

We have an anonymous guest blog entry this week originally published by my old friends at Berkshire Hunt Sabs on their Facebook page which highlights the issue of the promotion of illegal blood sports within the higher cost echelons of the education system. This issue clearly needed some more exposure and answers some of the questions as to why certain sectors of society and blood sports go hand in hand. There’s also link for you to get involved at the end of the piece so please take a little time to voice your concerns.

AMPLE EVIDENCE OF ILLEGAL HUNTING AT AMPLEFORTH COLLEGE.

As Hunt Saboteurs we are prepared to go to great lengths to stop the cruel and illegal practice of hunting with hounds. Occasionally, though, we don’t even have to venture into the fields to expose what the hunters do. North Yorkshire’s Ampleforth Beagles made our job a lot easier when they published their Spring 2017 newsletter on the official website of the Ampleforth Society…

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“MORAL CONFUSION” AT AMPLEFORTH COLLEGE.

The £34,392 a year Ampleforth College is one of Britain’s most traditional public schools, offering the benefit of an education overseen by Benedictine monks. In his welcome message on the school website, the Headmaster, Father Wulstan Peterburs, states that, “The moral principles that the boys and girls develop here act as spiritual bearings to guide them through adult life in an increasingly secular world filled with moral confusion.” However, Father Peterburs’ extravagant claims of morality are seriously undermined by his school’s active involvement in the cruel and illegal “sport” of beagling.

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THE AMPLEFORTH BEAGLES.

The Ampleforth College Beagles were formed in 1915. While the pack have now dropped the “College” from their name this is a cosmetic change only. The school maintains a “Captain of Beagling” and their official Ampleforth Society website states that “Beagling is still very much part of school life today”. Students are actively encouraged to join the hunts and, according to an article on the pack in Horse and Hound (30th March 2017), there is an ambition to “strengthen ties with the school, allowing students greater access to the hounds and the wonderful hunting that they produce.”

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THE AMHB.

In their Spring 2017 newsletter the Ampleforth Beagles boast of their membership of the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles. This organisation hit the headlines in 2013 when the Hunt Saboteurs Association revealed that they intended to hold a “Young Hare Hunters Day” at Eton College (another public school with its own pack of beagles). The event was eventually cancelled but questions were asked about why the AMHB was offering training in the hunting of hares – an activity that is illegal – to vulnerable young people. Four years on, the Ampleforth Beagles inform us that the AMHB are still offering events that are “especially designed for young hare hunters”. Why does the college deem this material acceptable on its website?

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ILLEGAL HARE HUNT BY THE AMPLEFORTH BEAGLES AT COTE HILL, FARNDALE, FEBRUARY 2017.

Elsewhere in the Spring 2017 newsletter the huntsman, Toby Pedley (an ex-whip of the Claro Beagles) gives a detailed description of a February meet from Cote Hill, Farndale that can only be an illegal hare hunt.

Before looking at Pedley’s account, it is important to understand what hare hunting looked like before the 2004 Hunting Act. Beagles are bred to hunt hares using stamina, not speed. They kill the hare by gradually wearing it down over an extended period of time. When a hare is found it will initially be much faster than the hounds; however, as the hunt progresses the beagles’ stamina will begin to give them an advantage as the hare tires. The hare will generally run in large circles (as it is reluctant to leave its home range) and the huntsman will get involved if hounds lose the scent or start to chase another hare. Eventually, the exhausted animal will be overwhelmed by the hounds and torn to pieces. Pre-ban beagling is therefore a dynamic, fast moving activity characterised by broadly circular chases that can last anything between 30 minutes and three hours.

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Pedley’s account has all of the characteristics of pre-ban beagling outlined above. It is, in fact, a textbook account of a traditional (i.e. illegal) hunt and ends, we believe, in the death of a hare in front of college students and the “captain of Beagling Ben Saunders.”

A TRAIL OF LIES.

We know that, in an effort to protect its reputation, the college will claim that the event Pedley describes was a “trail hunt” (where hounds supposedly follow a pre-laid trail) and that these are the “lines” he refers to throughout. In anticipation of this claim, we ask the following questions:

(1) What substance was used to lay the trail ? It is clearly a remarkable one: it produced a “red hot” scent strong enough to sustain the keen interest of twenty-seven hounds for an hour across the very challenging terrain of the North Yorks Moors. Such a substance has never been seen in use at any other fox or hare hunt. Very, very occasionally, when hunt saboteurs are in attendance, hunts will lay a drag for a few hundred metres which is either ignored by the hounds or followed very briefly and with minimal interest. This hound activity bears no similarity whatsoever to the extensive and fast-paced hunt described by Pedley.

(2) Who laid the trail and when did they do it? Pedley’s description suggests that the hunt was approximately seven miles in length across steep, demanding terrain. Given that a pack of beagles completed this distance in about an hour, any human trail-layer must have been toiling for several hours on the moors before the meet. Additionally, this busy person must have laid other trails, as Pedley records that there were “fresh lines emerging” throughout the hunt.

(3) With countless miles of moorland at their disposal, why did the trail-layer repeatedly lay the line across the Blakey road, such that whipper-in Russell Yardley had to “stay on the road stopping traffic numerous times”? At the very least this put hounds, hunt followers (including Ampleforth students) and passing motorists in danger.

(4) Why does Pedley state that he was “delighted” to see an experienced hound stick to “the original line” when there were “fresh lines emerging”? In trail hunting the idea of an “original line” is a nonsense: one laid trail is the same as any other. Conversely, in the long-illegal activity of beagling, a hound that was able to persist in hunting the original hare when fresh hares got up in its path would be highly valued by the huntsman. “Changing hares” in pre-ban beagling was something to be avoided at all costs as it significantly reduced the chances of a kill.

(5) How did Pedley know when the “hunt had concluded”? Countryside Alliance guidance on trail hunting (published 12th December 2017) very clearly states that the huntsman “does not know exactly where the trails have been laid” so how did Pedley know it had finished? And what does “finished” even mean in the context of a trail hunt?

PROVE US WRONG.

We believe we have shown that the Ampleforth Beagles have, by their own admission, committed illegal activities and that Ampleforth College is openly associating itself with this criminality.

However, the college and their hunt can immediately prove us wrong. All they have to do is take a genuinely independent observer onto the moors and demonstrate the process – from start to finish – of organising a “trail hunt” that exactly replicates pre-ban beagling, as Pedley’s hunt supposedly did. We set this challenge because we know it is impossible: there is no such thing as trail hunting; it is a crude and obvious deceit designed to disguise illegal hunting.

WHAT YOU CAN DO.

We need your help to raise these matters with Ampleforth College. Please make polite enquiries about the events at Cote Hill and the college’s active involvement with the Ampleforth Beagles. If they claim to have been trail hunting please also insist on answers to the specific questions we have asked.

01439 766000

reception@ampleforth.org.uk.

@AmpleforthSoc

@AmpleforthColl

I was sent a very interesting article to preview prior to publication in the next installment of HOWL. For those of you who aren’t members HOWL is the magazine of the Hunt Saboteurs Association. It’s a pretty good read with all the updates from the various groups around the country and some informative pieces regarding sabbing, the law and the history of the movement. If you aren’t a member I really encourage you to join. You don’t have to be active in the field but it is one way of getting involved and your money goes directly towards saving lives. All you need to know is right here.

Back to the preview.

The subject of the article is Phillip Davies. It’s a name many people wouldn’t have heard of. While most will know of dim Tim Bonner from the Countryside Alliance and his buffoonery and nonsensical ramblings on social media Phillip Davies is described in the article as “someone who prefers to operate in the shadows”. He is the Countryside Alliance’s police liaison officer. It should come as no surprise then that Davies was himself a police officer before retiring and taking up his position with the CA.

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Shadow Man Phillip Davies

The article goes into great detail on how this man has influenced police policy and decision making with regards to those who stand against the illegal hunting community and painting the CA as the voice of the countryside when the facts are indeed nothing of the sort. The CA’s main purpose for existing is the promotion of blood sports, the repeal of the hunting ban and the criminalisation of those who oppose them. The real issues of the countryside are completely ignored.

It goes on to highlight the other aspects of this mans work, the intelligence gathering and files of known sabs and investigators from LACS and the reason sabs are constantly having their photos taken week in, week out. It’s an obsession with those on the pro hunt side to the point of ridiculousness (and sometimes their own down fall).

Those who are regular readers of this blog with know the amount of hard work I’ve put in with the police to get their attitudes towards hunting changed. Phillip Davies is the man I’m up against and the reason why so many forces are pro hunt in the first place. It’s actually fairly unsettling to read and further highlights what a truly insidious organisation the CA really are. The article includes quotes from Kevin Blowe of Netpol (Network for Police Monitoring) who concludes:

“Mr Davies’ efforts at the conference to portray anti-hunt groups as violent criminals seemed like a rather crude attempt by the Countryside Alliance to try to co-opt local police forces as its own private security.”

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The real face of the CA

It’s a piece which pulls no punches and gets to the heart of the matter with regards to policing and why sabs and monitors are constantly fighting an uphill battle against what should be public servants acting to uphold the law and not be influenced to the point of obvious bias by those with a sinister agenda. It looks at those in power at the CA and perfectly highlights why we should be questioning what’s going on behind closed doors and need for transparency within the police force and from those who are advising them on matters of hunting with hounds.

A few freedom of information requests submitted to various forces throughout the country may shed some further light on the matter and indeed this may be the purpose of the article. Before you take on an opponent you have to know who they are and what they are about. Bringing the shadow man into the light might make things a little more uncomfortable for him and with such huge public support for the ban on Hunting with Hounds the police will be put in an uncomfortable position and maybe forced to changed their ways.

UPDATE: I have been given permission to publish the full article which can be found by clicking HERE.