Posts Tagged ‘Mink Hunt’

For those of you who get the regular updates you’ll be aware of the operations undertaken over the last few weeks involving the targeting of illegal Mink hunts across the country which, I’m glad to say, we successfully disrupted. The last operation was particularly interesting mainly due to the excessive police involvement from the West Mercia force. This became of particular interest, as a law abiding tax payer I like to know how my hard earned cash is being spent so a Freedom of Information Request to the West Mercia Force asking for their policing costs for that single operation.

Today I got their response.

Total policing hours: 35

Cost: £661.59

Police helicopter: Airborne for 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Cost: £2770.50

Additional costs would have been incurred in the control room but as they were dealing with multiple incidents they cannot specify costs.

I would imagine there would also have been additional costs in terms of fuel for the police vehicles, we counted 10 separate vehicles at different times during the operation and allowing for various other costs not specified I think it would be safe to say the overall costs would have been in excess of £3500.

West Mercia Police – Spending your cash

I don’t know about you but that seems like a lot of money. What makes these costs even more galling is that it was in support of an illegal activity. There’s no argument about the previous point, the hunt themselves even admitted on the phone to the police they were hunting, not exercising hounds, not going on a nice run in the countryside, not engaging in any other lawful activity.

They were hunting, with dogs, in contravention of the Hunting with Dogs Act 2004.

Of course it’s difficult to deny the activity when you have spades for digging out your quarry and terriers to send down holes but the stupidity of openly admitting your guilt beggar’s belief. Unless of course you know you’re not going to get prosecuted. Not only not get prosecuted but have the police spend thousands of pounds acting as personal security.

If that doesn’t sound wrong then you’re either an immoral hunter or just not comprehending the issue.

I’m not sure what’s worse here, the fact that illegal hunting continues with an annoying level of impunity or the fact their protection is being paid for by a largely unsuspecting general public. Most people I talk to honestly believe that this type of hunting is a thing of the past since the act came into force and they’re astonished when they find out it still goes on. Figures released in the last few days show prosecutions under the act are at their highest level since coming into force (110 individuals in 2013) with the numbers showing a distinct upward trend but this is largely down to the various dedicated groups obtaining the required evidence to gain these prosecutions and little to do with effective policing. The Act is far from perfect but it’s what we have to work with until it can be improved.

So if you’re feeling a bit peeved with the situation maybe give West Mercia Police a call and ask why they’re spending so much of your money protecting criminals and not enforcing a piece of legislation supported by over 80% of the population.

If you get a response let me know.

The type of comment or abuse directed at you as an active sab tends to be of a similar ilk. You’re generally classed as a workshy layabout who’s generally high on some sort of narcotic and the last time you had a wash was when you fell in the river due to excessive refreshment all funded by the hunters hard earned tax pounds. However last weekend I witnessed a new one. On our arrival at the meet location we were asked if any of us spoke English.

Well I may not be Shakespeare but I’m fairly confident my grasp of our native tongue is enough not to be considered to be from foreign shores. Who did they expect? Perhaps this is a UKIP stronghold? I found this a very strange comment to say the least but then I find the idea of chasing an animal to exhaustion before being ripped apart by dogs or, if it’s lucky a single gun shot to the head a rather unpleasant way to spend a day in the countryside. Of course in due course the usual insults of “you’re all parasites” and “maggots” got the standard airing, hardly any imagination shown there at all and I’m pretty sure in their shoes I could come up with something much more artistic. The irony of all their stereotyping and narrow minded opinions is clear to see in the pictures and videos. If you wanted to create a stereotypical landowning hunter/follower they would all fall neatly into the demographic with little in the way of variation whereas the sabs I’ve met have covered a vast and varied section of society.

Insert your own caption, I have no words.

Insert your own caption, I have no words.

I wonder how many hunters spewing forth their verbal bile in my direction would believe I’m a 40 something professional who’s almost paid off his mortgage through hard work and long hours and an education likely to exceed many of those doing the insulting? Anyway, I digress.

Several sabs groups once again joined forces and decided it was the turn of the Northants Mink Hounds to get a visit. We chased them from their intended hunting ground back to the meet where they boxed up the hounds and called the police. The police had little idea what to do (apart from discuss the variations in combat trousers) even though the hunt tried to encourage them to arrest us for all manner of offences including carry acid in our bottles. The fact they had personnel carrying firearms and spades was clearly overlooked and I didn’t realise such equipment was necessary when exercising a pack of hounds. Dangerous place you know this countryside of ours. Anyway after a standoff they admitted defeat and went for a picnic but we kept our eyes on them just in case, all under the usual torrent of monosyllabic abuse.

Just for fun I made a little video of the day, a collection of scenes which you may find interesting. Enjoy!

 

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