Posts Tagged ‘Brian May’

So it would appear that once again a hunt has been caught red handed holding a fox in an artificial earth and then dragging it from the hole and throwing it in front of the hounds to be chased and killed for the enjoyment of their riders and followers. This time it was the Kimblewick, a hunt which recently killed 97 of it’s hounds due to being infected with bTB. A disease that has unnecessarily caused the deaths of ten’s of thousands of badgers due to the Governments pointless culling policy. The hunt is the plaything of Lord Gardiner of Kimble, a long time Tory who’s been secretary for various ministers and ex chief spin doctor for the so-called Countryside Alliance and now member of the House of Lords.

The incident took place on New Years Day, the meet was at the Thame showground and was claimed as one of the high points of the hunting calendar.

The full video can be seen below.

 

I don’t think the video needs any explanation here. The Times originally reported on this and it’s clearly going to be a story which isn’t going to go away any time soon and has even made BBC TV. Considering the Kimblewick’s recent history and their claims of being a “super hunt” (whatever that may be) this is certainly big news. Whether there will be any action with regards to prosecutions remains to be seen however even to the most myopic viewer the video is clear evidence of illegal hunting or at the very least the intent to hunt a wild mammal. The terrier men are clearly working under the instruction of the huntsman so one would assume “joint venture” could be worth considering from a legal standpoint.

This compelling evidence once again blows apart the myth that hunts are obeying the law and legally following a trail. What shouldn’t be understated is the frequency in which this takes place. Hunts up and down the country will have artificial earths in their territory and will maintain these in an effort to have foxes to hunt on any given hunt day. This is certainly nothing new or out of the ordinary. Fairly recently the South Herefordshire, the Middleton, the Pytchley, and the Belvoir have all been implicated in keeping foxes purely for the purpose of hunting.

What happened to the fox on New Years Day remains unknown.

The so-called CA and Dim Tim Bonner are certainly going to have a hard time talking their way out of this one especially as their Head of Hunting (Polly Portwin) pretty much lives next door to the Kimblewick kennels and rides with them although they’ll no doubt do their best. If the Masters of Foxhounds Association have any credibility whatsoever they will suspend the Kimblewick immediately and then expel them after their own investigation but let’s face it, what are the real chances of that?

pe1

You’re absolutely right Peter, let’s see some action for the authorities

The simple fact is that the hunting lobby like to promote this chocolate box image of hunting, the spectacle and the pomp and also that they somehow provide a service to farmers by controlling fox numbers, not that its even necessary. The truth is however vastly different and this is being shown time and again. Even in the face of such overwhelming evidence some hunt supporters are offering their own explanation which is, as you’d expect completely laughable.

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Jo is clearly a master of fantasy fiction

Fox hunting (and all hunting with hounds) is nothing more than organised crime, an organised crime who’s product is cruelty to wildlife, enjoyed by a psychopathic minority who are prepared to pay for the privilege and will employ the lowest of the low to do their dirty work, be that digging out foxes or conducting violent operations against those who oppose them. The fact it is so deeply entrenched within the establishment means we are fighting a constant battle against those who wield both power and influence.

It’s time that changed.

ADDITIONAL

Below is an exert from a post on Facebook by Team Fox (Save Me Trust) run by Brian May. Let’s hope they are as good as their word if the authorities don’t hold the perpetrators to account.

smt

 

 

If you have any interest in wildlife or indeed animal welfare you’ll have no doubt seen much of the media coverage both in the national press and on TV with regards to the unscrupulous method in which the Tory Government are trying to repeal the hunting ban via the back door. Brain May has been his honest best by telling it how it is by calling these people “lying bastards”. Now any supporter of hunting can try and justify their actions by claiming it’s pest control but the simple fact it they hunt for fun, if it wasn’t fun for them then they simply wouldn’t do it. Brian crossed verbal swords with Owen Paterson on Sky News recently and while good old Owen bluffed and blustered his was through with only multiple repetitions of the pest control claims Brian shot him down with hard facts. Foxes are not pests, I’ve said this plenty of times before and I’m not going to go over it all again but what I will do is highlight a few instances that prove the pest control justification of hunting is a total lie.

Encouraging Foxes. Some year back a national newspaper came into the position of a letter sent by the Masters of Fox Hounds Association to 800 hunt masters and the chairmen warns of a nationwide “shortage of foxes”. It also urged that landowners should be encouraged to breed more foxes to solve the “problem”. The letter came to light when the Sunday Mirror obtained a copy of an email sent in response to it by Simon Hart, chief executive of the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance. In the email to Lord Daresbury, chairman of the MFHA, he expressed his concern that if the letter was leaked, “we would be ridiculed in Parliament, the Press and in all parts of Britain where hunting is firstly population control and secondly recreational.” He added: “I do want to re-stress that the Alliance is here to play its part in securing hunting’s future but we cannot do this if the core arguments are undermined. I am one of those who has never been happy about our reliance on the ‘pest control’ case, partly because so few people understand that control is not always the same as extermination – in fact it rarely is.” He calls the letter – which he says “advocates the artificial enhancement of a pest species for purely sporting benefit”“politically naive”. He says the letter’s suggestion that hunt masters “should be firmer with subscribers ‘who do not keep foxes’ dismays me”.

Artificial earth in Cambridgeshire.

Artificial earth in Cambridgeshire.

Artificial Earths. Moving on from what’s outlined above it seemed many hunt subscribers did indeed take action to encourage foxes. The Stop the Cull organisation have been releasing images on social media over the past few days of earths that have been constructed to encourage foxes to breed. These are not exceptions either, it would seem they are numerous and widespread. Footage secretly obtained by the HSA and shown on prime time news by ITV also showed the Cotswold Vale Farmers hunt no only providing a suitable breading earth but feeding the foxes with chicken carcasses and eggs. This would of course enable foxes to produce larger litters and so have more young foxes to hunt come the autumn.On hunt day this means many hunters would know exactly where to find a fox and so would send in their dim witted lackeys and their terriers to flush them in front of the hounds and block up any other holes where they may escape, including badgers setts which is illegal in its own right.

Upland farmers losing livestock. This was the repeated line spouted by Own Paterson on Sky News. Hard working, good old honest, salt of the earth upland farmers (OK I admit I embellished that a bit but that was the impression he was trying to achieve) are finding it hard to survive due to massive losses by aggressive foxes. This is another downright lie. By Defra’s own studies (weren’t you boss of Defra once Owen, you know, when the Badgers moved the goal posts?) lamb losses are below 1% (0.8% to be precise) and chickens a mere 2%, hardly earth shatteringly large numbers. Foxes will no doubt scavenge on the carcasses of dead lambs but actually taking and killing healthy lambs is a complete nonsense. Have you ever seen a breeding ewe defend her offspring? No fox would even attempt taking one on when there are easier meals to be had. The simple fact is that it is down to poor husbandry that so many casualties occur.

Even some hunters are disgusted. Clifford Pellow was a huntsman for 23 years before turning his back on the practice. The Daily Mirror published his story (13/07) with some horrific claims of cruelty but for the point in question here regarding pest control he has to say this: “It is nonsense and lies to say hunting has anything to do with ­controlling a pest in the countryside. When I worked on a farm, it was more effective to flush foxes out with two sheepdogs than with a pack of dogs. It’s got to be the worst method of fox control. There are more foxes killed on the motorways than killed by hounds. The hunting fraternity have a lot of excuses for hunting but not one ­justification. The only justification is to kill something at the end of the day.”

So as you can see and as Brian May so eloquently put, they really are a bunch of lying bastards.

UPDATE: The Tory’s hope of winning on the hunting amendments could be scuppered as the SNP throw their weight behind the no vote.

The Scottish National Party Westminster Group met this evening and decided to vote against the Tory Government’s attempt to relax the ban on fox hunting south of the border in Wednesday’s vote.

SNP Westminster Group Leader Angus Robertson MP said:

“We totally oppose fox hunting, and when there are moves in the Scottish Parliament to review whether the existing Scottish ban is strong enough, it is in the Scottish interest to maintain the existing ban in England and Wales for Holyrood to consider. 

“We are in a situation where the Tory government are refusing to agree to any amendments to improve the Scotland Bill – which are supported by 58 of Scotland’s 59 MPs – and imposing English Votes for English Laws to make Scotland’s representation at Westminster second class. 

“In these circumstances, it is right and proper that we assert the Scottish interest on fox hunting by voting with Labour against the Tories’ proposals to relax the ban – in the process, reminding an arrogant UK government of just how slender their majority is – just as we will vote against the Tory welfare cuts next week, and appeal to Labour to join us.”

I wonder what vitriolic, literary vomit James Barrington will come up with in response to this news?

UPDATE#2: David Cameron has now withdrawn the amendment vote knowing he’d lose it. This looks like an attempt to delay until he can get through the English Votes for English Laws legislation which would effectively end the possibility of the SNP voting on such matters. Whatever democracy we had is now dead.

UPDATE#3: Wow, things are moving quickly. It would now seem that even if the EVEL legislation was brought into effect the SNP would still be able to block any move to weaken the Hunting Act. We won the battle. Now lets make sure we win the war and consign these evil people to history and get hunting with dogs completely banned and properly enforced.

We all knew it would happen sooner or later but perhaps what is a surprise is the method Cameron is attempting to use and the speed in which the story developed.

If the information being leaked to the media is to be believed it was looking increasingly unlikely that Cameron would get what the Countryside Alliance were aggressively lobbying for through the house. A total repeal of the Hunting Act was looking like it may be in serious trouble as MP’s from all sides were distancing themselves from something which obviously had so little support from the general voting public. However Cameron, in an effort to push through with his manifesto promise has chosen a somewhat unscrupulous method of watering down the current legislation without risking a potentially damaging free vote on a repeal.

The solution for him involves amending the Hunting Act by statutory instrument. This would allow hunting for pest control purposes, using an unlimited amount of dogs to flush a fox to waiting guns. Of course calling the fox a pest in the first place is up for debate, most with any understanding of wildlife and ecology will know the fox has an important part to play in the food chain and can in fact be hugely beneficial to farmers by naturally controlling the numbers of rodents and rabbits that chomp their way through millions of pounds worth of crops each year and quite frankly if you can’t protect your livestock from a small wild dog then perhaps you really shouldn’t have the responsibility in the first place. Of course it’s been proven beyond doubt that hunting with hounds is an inefficient way of killing any animal, this is nothing more than a back door approach to appease his sponsors at the CA and save face by avoiding an embarrassing commons defeat.

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How these changes would affect how the hunts operate would in fact be minimal in real terms but would muddy the waters enough to make prosecution even harder than it is already. Regardless of the number of hounds allowed once flushed the fox would have to be shot. Any continued chase by the hounds would then be in contravention of the law and this is the crux of the matter. The whole point in fox hunting is the protracted chase and the kill. This is where the hunters get their kicks, the “thrill of the chase”. It would also mean the hunts would have to employ a number of gun license holders who would have to be in a suitable position to kill the animal once it bolted which, when you consider the fluid nature of hunting, would prove to be totally impractical.This whole situation also has the makings of a complete disaster. Most shotgun license holders probably couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo let alone a fast moving fox, throw into the mix 30 or so hounds in hot pursuit and a bunch of sabs hell bent on preventing any killing and it doesn’t take a genius to work out what could happen next. The boys in blue would also be getting increasingly twitchy with all those firearms knocking about, especially considering how easily the hunts and their lackeys like to get violent when someone interferes with their idea of fun.

It’s somewhat odd then that such a staunch supporter of fox hunting, our old friend Owen Paterson supports such a weakening of the act. He’s on record as stating that shooting foxes is not a good way of controlling them as often the shooters aren’t good shots and many will die from their injuries over a period of time (although that didn’t seem to bother him when it came to badgers). We can only surmise that he must now be doing the fastest U turn ever in an effort to support Cameron who now seems think it’s safe and humane. Of course that’s neither here nor there as it has nothing to do with animal welfare in the first place. The whole issue has an overwhelming political stink about it. Bury the issue behind the first Tory budget and go in by the back door and hope no-one notices. If ever you had any doubts about the integrity of the Government and Cameron in particular then this issue should answer everything you needed to know.

Sign the petition here.

Write to your MP regardless of their stance on the matter. Find out yours here.

Stop the Cull – Protect the Foxes

UPDATE: Having now had chance to read and digest the amendments to the act it would seem things could be more serious than I previously perceived. If this gets approved it would in effect make the act utterly pointless and give a free reign to those who like killing things for pleasure with little no risk of prosecution. Please contact your MP, contact the SNP and encourage them to get involved and if you can get down to Westminster next Wednesday and make your feelings known in person.