HSA news release 16th September 2006

Blatant illegal hunting ignored by Suffolk Police - Police target wrong side as hunt kill and protestors are harassed

The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) today condemned the activities of Suffolk Police after they ignored a hunt killing a fox, and then proceeded to allow further incidents of illegal hunting choosing instead to target and harass the hunt monitors present trying to collect evidence of it.

The incident happened at a 'cubbing' meet of the Essex and Suffolk Fox Hounds, who met at 7am at Coles Green, near Ipswich. Despite claiming to have laid a false trail to follow, they then abandoned this and switched to hunting under the loophole of using a bird of prey to kill any fox flushed by hounds. The hunt was clearly seen by monitors to be chasing the fox, which hounds ultimately caught and killed by ripping out its belly (see attached photo high res image available).

Dawn Preston, spokesperson for the HSA, stated "As an organisation with over 40 years of actively following and disrupting hunts, we know precisely what we are looking at when it comes to hunting; this was a clear example of a hunt blatantly breaking the law.

"Despite initially claiming they had laid an artificial trail, they then ignored this completely and set about trying to flush a fox. The hunt is allowed only to use hounds to flush a fox, and as soon as it breaks cover they must be stopped and the bird released to catch and kill the animal. This did not happen - the hounds were allowed to flush, chase and ultimately kill the poor fox, by disembowelling it rather than the oft-quoted mythical quick nip to the back of the neck."

She continued "The police were in attendance from the start of the hunt, but despite being present at a clear instance of illegal hunting they seemed concerned only with harassing the hunt monitors, advising them that they faced arrest if they attempted to get close to the hunt to continue collecting evidence. The hunt was left free to continue hunting illegally for over an hour. The very fact that the hunt were out today and at such an early hour is a clear indication to anyone who knows anything about hunting that they were ‘cub hunting’. This abhorrent practice is intended to train new hounds on how to hunt prior to the start of the season proper on November 1st. As hunting with hounds as we know it is now illegal, there is no need to train new hounds, and indeed no need for any hunt to be out following old and now illegal practices. The sooner the police do their homework and realise this the better. In the meantime, we will try to do the jobs they are paid to be doing."

Notes to Editors:-
The HSA was set up in 1963 and has over 40 years experience of getting between the hunters and their quarry. Traditionally this was by using non-violent direct action, but since the Hunting Act the new tool of sabotage is the video camera, as activists seek to get evidence of illegal hunting.
For further comment please contact Dawn Preston on 07904 387559.
We invite any open-minded journalists to join us out in the field, to witness what the hunts are getting away with. Journalists must be prepared to face harassment and intimidation from the police, the same multiplied and with violence thrown in from the hunts and their supporters.