HSA news release 23rd February 2002
Another hunt saboteur (this time in Cheshire) has been seriously injured by hunt supporters in an atmosphere of increasing violence from beleagured hunters.
On Saturday 23rd February 20 members of The North West hunt Saboteurs Association (NWHSA) attended a meet of The Cheshire Forest Hunt which was being held at The Cock O’ Budworth public house, Great Budworth, near Northwich.
Throughout the course of the day hunt saboteurs were subjected to threats and intimidation from hunt supporters. An incident occurred at 3.30pm when members of the NWHSA were using non-violent direct action tactics to prevent the hunt from killing a fox when they were confronted by 15 hunt supporters. During this confrontation one NWHSA member from Liverpool was pushed to the floor, pinned down and a hunt supporter picked up a large boulder and deliberately smashed it down onto his legs.
These hunt supporters then tried to leave the area, however, Cheshire Police officers who were in attendance managed to stop one of their vehicles and arrested one of the occupants who was then taken to Northwich Police station. (At the start of the day the police had warned various supporters of the hunt)
Paul Timspon a spokesperson for the NWHSA said ‘This season there seems to be an upsurge in violence from hunt supporters as they realise that bloodsports will soon be banned’. He also said "We know we are winning the argument when hunts start resorting to violence and intimidation" The injured hunt saboteur was taken to hospital for further treatment.
Notes to Editors: -
Taking one day as a snapshot, Saturday 19 January 2002, attacks were made on hunt saboteurs at 5 different hunts across the country showing how widespread the problem of hunt violence is:
- Woodland Pytchley Hunt, Northants. A hunt steward was arrested and taken to Corby police station after a hunt saboteur was attacked.
- Four Burrow Hunt, Cornwall. A hunt saboteur was taken to hospital in an ambulance after being run over by a horse trailer.
- Vale of Aylesbury Hunt, Hertfordshire. A hunt saboteur was driven at by an angry hunt supporter and had to throw himself clear to avoid being hit.
- High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire. A hunt supporter drove at hunt saboteurs. She hit one female sab who landed on her bonnet and became trapped between two vehicles.
- Vale of White Horse Hunt, Gloucestershire. Hunt sabs driven at by van and one of them 'clipped'.
For further information please see the NWHSA website at www.nwhsa.org.uk