Posts Tagged ‘Philip Baker’

So it’s been a very busy week.

It’s pretty common knowledge now that the Fitzwilliam Hunt have initiated court proceedings against both myself and pretty much every other sab they know of (and some they don’t) in the form of an injunction. Obviously the purpose of this injunction is to remove the very people (from the countryside) who document their illegal activities and who have brought them to justice in the past.

Injunctions are nothing new in hunting. I wrote about a case involving the Crawley & Horsham (see here) and prior to the hunting ban the Brocklesby and the Fitzwilliam themselves were granted injunctions against anti-hunt activists, which I believe still stand, however pre-ban injunctions can’t really be compared with the current situation, the times they are a changing!

Obviously it would be very easy for us to let the injunction go unchallenged, after all legal proceedings like this are VERY expensive and the Fitzwilliam have Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland (4th Baronet) at their helm, a man of vast wealth and land ownership. It’s a name not shy of appearing in the UK’s top 1000 rich list and reportedly worth in the region of £174 million (2016).

And this is where their sense of entitlement comes from.

I’ve always been of the opinion that certain types of person, when pushed into a corner will always revert to type and throw whatever they have the most of at the problem. Old Phil is throwing his money at the issue in an attempt to buy the hunt impunity from  any sort of monitoring or prosecution. (See the Canary story here).

What has really warmed my heart and put some of my faith back into humanity is the overwhelming response we’ve had from the good old British General Public. We were never really sure how well our Crowd Justice funding would do and we prepared as best we could and made sure the word really got out on social media but ultimately we needn’t have worried. On the first day alone it raised over £6000 and had reached it’s target of £12000 only 2 days later. The stats make very interesting reading with the average donation being £21 and those donations coming from a huge demographic and age rage which once again proves that hunting and the people behind it truly are universally despised. We are of course hugely grateful to each and every person who donated. We couldn’t have carried this through without them.

What next?

We have employed a good legal team and will face them in the High Court on the 1st November. We all feel that it’s our duty to fight this, not only so we can continue to monitor hunts and call them to account but also for the rights of the common person. We simply cannot let it stand that those wealthy enough can simply buy their own laws and protection. This goes further than just hunting, this is about our right to protest, be that hunting or fracking, a genuine David vs Goliath and make no bones about it, we have a rock in our proverbial slingshot and we’re taking aim.

A slight lack of updates recently but the hunt season is now in full swing and I’ve been committed to saving lives in the field to which we’ve been very successful, which leads me nicely to the point of this blog post.

I’ve produced and published many videos over social media and YouTube over the last few years and many have had several thousand views and generally been well received. They got the point across and some of the footage was both revealing and damning at the same time. However the latest one has, for the first time gone completely viral, which is a first for me and out group. While the incident recorded is nothing particularly new there was one part which really stood out and made it interesting. If you haven’t seen it already check it out below.

I, for once wasn’t actually there, the scenes were shot by 2 colleagues who were travelling in a different vehicle. I was on driver duty that day and while this footage was being shot I was attempting to get to the scene with more sabs as quickly as I could without endangering both animals and other road users.

The video also made both local and national news (Mirror) although the video was edited down which of course was to be expected but in doing so missed out some of the wider context. The big talking point was the reaction from the local people in the rural Cambridgeshire village of  Upwood. The so-called Countryside Alliance will often claim they are the voice of the countryside but, as the video clearly shows these rural people were far from happy to have their village invaded by the hunt in pursuit of a fox. They made their feelings know in no uncertain terms and of course this kind of a reaction is pure gold for the anti-hunt side and dispels all of the myths perpetuated by the CA that they speak for any of these people. They have, and always will be, a minority bloodsports lobbying group.

We’ve had lots of messages of support from the locals thanking us for our efforts and also expressing shock at the total contempt and sense of entitlement shown by the hunt on the day.

Of course this is a major embarrassment for the Fitzwilliam Hunt (remember they are due in court in April) but their response was equally laughable. As expected they went on the attack claiming they were hunting within the law and accused animal rights activist of “telling blatant lies”.

2

Doesn’t look too interested in retrieving the hounds currently running amok.

Within the law – The Fitzwilliam cynically use the Bird of Prey Exemption. While no fox is caught on camera you can hear the villagers say they have seen it run through the village. For the BoP exemption to be legal once a fox is flushed the hounds have to be called off and the bird is released, in this case, a Golden Eagle. Do you really think they would release a Golden Eagle in a village? Any cats or small dogs would be at risk not only from the hounds but also from the bird itself but that was never going to happen. There’s a reason Golden Eagles live in mountains and uplands, they need a lot of space! Also a no point can you see or heat the Huntsman or Whipper In calling the hounds back. They are more interested in seeing them in cry and on the scent of live quarry. The legality claims simply hold no water.

The hunt also claimed; “The behaviour of animal rights activists shouting, screaming and telling blatant lies may well have caused some concern in the village to inflame the situation and was certainly of no help to anyone.”

1

Surely if the hunts claims are to be believed there would be a huntsman in this picture calling back the hounds.

Actually what those present did was clear hounds from peoples gardens and private property while attempting to stop them hunting. This is obvious for all to see in the full video but then again we don’t expect the hunt to admit this. The villagers also acted on their own initiative before our operative arrived. They were confronting the hunt on their own terms and we absolutely support them in the stance they took. Well done villagers of Upwood!

It doesn’t end there. I’m told the Master, Philip Baker had to apologise to the villagers of Alconbury Weston only a couple of weeks ago for a similar incident, it seems they have previous on this. Will he be forced into making another similar and embarrassing apology? I’ll keep you posted but no doubt an attempt to blame sabs on the day will be included as a way of saving face.

A the time of writing the video has had over 2500 shares and 216000 views and its still going. It’s had a reach of over half a million and there have been 15500 reactions and comments. We’e also received in that time frame over a 1000 more likes to our Facebook page. These kind of number prove the hunting debate isn’t going to go away but most importantly the vast majority of those commenting have been supportive of both our actions and those of the villagers in the video. This is a clear demonstration that the days of hunting with hounds is truly numbered. We just need a Government willing to listen to the people, improve the legislation and enforce it vigorously.