Posts Tagged ‘Leicester Animal Rights’

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.

That was a comment from the former Mayor of Oakham on the 1st September 2016.

While I’m busy tied up putting sab sized spanners in the works of the Badger Cull in North Cots and making sure the Oakley Hunt aren’t able to successfully go cubbing I’m handing this blog entry over to Leicesters Animals Rights and their campaign to ban the Cottesmore Hunt from Rutland County Council land on Boxing day.

Oakham Town Council had a meeting on 25th November last year, and voted down The Cottesmore Hunt’s request to use a site on Boxing Day that they had been using for decades. Surprised? So were we, but perhaps not if you consider the fact that The Cottesmore Hunt’s terrierman was convicted just a couple of months before (17th September) for blocking a badger sett, illegal under Section 3 of The Protection of Badgers Act 1992. The Cottesmore Hunt set up a petition demanding the decision be reversed by Oakham Town Council; this gained 2,919 signatures, although some of them were reportedly fraudulent (for example, Basil Brush appears to have signed it… http://tinyurl.com/gksjtm5). We don’t know how the petition would have been received, as it closed on 23rd December, 11 days after Rutland County Council said they would host The Cottesmore Hunt in their office car park, and Oakham Town Council’s website appears to have shut down rendering the minutes inaccessible.

We do know, though, that Oakham Town Council rejected the request partly because of concerns over wildlife crime & animal abuse. Have Rutland County Council or The Cottesmore Hunt addressed this? Apparently not; it seems that so far they’ve pretended that Oakham Town Council never mentioned these problems at all. The Cottesmore Hunt went one further, and concluded their petition with a statement saying the main concern was the safety of children. This wasn’t actually mentioned, so we don’t know if they’ve even bothered watching the video of the meeting. Don’t believe us? Watch it here…

Perhaps we should clarify, for those not in the know, that blocking badger setts is something done by fox hunts to prevent foxes entering them for refuge when they’re being pursued by hounds. It cannot be argued to be a harmless act; it helps ensure the death of the fox, and can potentially be fatal for badgers too (see Appendix 7 of a 2002 report on the damage that fox hunts do to badger setts to see how this can & does happen: http://tinyurl.com/hblusam). Neither cannot it be argued to be an accident; in fact, when two employees of The Fernie Hunt were prosecuted in 2011 at Leicester Magistrates Court, the breach of The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 was declared evidence of intent to breach The Hunting Act 2004 i.e. pre-meditated criminal pursuit of the red fox. Is the same true of The Cottesmore Hunt? We’ll let you decide; the footage of The Cottesmore Hunt’s terrierman blocking a badger sett can be seen here…

Rutland County Council have no policies on animal welfare, or biodiversity, or the environment, so they may not be aware that a) badger persecution is a priority of The National Wildlife Crime Unit (http://tinyurl.com/ozyhu65) & b) as of 2014 the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) population is 29% lower than in 1995 according to a long-standing national survey (the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) from The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO); http://tinyurl.com/hy36dpa).

Because of these facts, we think perhaps it’s time that more was done so what we’re now asking of Rutland County Council is simple; acknowledge the concerns of the public, and act on it. What we’re asking of the public is simple too; sign our petition (see here http://tinyurl.com/gpx397f) and join the event on 30th September to fill Rutland County Council’s twitter feed with opposition to bloodsports (see here http://tinyurl.com/zk3n7fl).

Notes

The Rutland County Council statement dated 9th December in which they declared their support for The Cottesmore Hunt can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/hdpjjwx

The now closed petition in support of The Cottesmore Hunt can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/jqjd7ov