HSA news release August 14th 2004
West Yorkshire Grouse Shoot halted
...But Saboteurs pay by being assaulted
Hunt Saboteurs gathering in West Yorkshire this morning managed to stop a grouse shoot involving over 60 people without a shot being fired and no grouse falling victim to the guns.
The shooting party was discovered by the hunt saboteurs at 9.00am this morning following a tip-off from a local anti-bloodsports supporter. Hunt sabs then followed the shooting party up onto the moor before the shooters were even able to leave their convoy of vehicles.
Unfortunately stewards hired by the shooting syndicate from a company called ‘Countrywatch (UK)’ took it upon themselves to inflict a vicious assault on a small group of protestors isolated on the moor at Snailsden Moor near Holmfirth, W. Yorks.
Such was police concern for the missing protestors, they scrambled the force helicopter to try and locate the injured protestors using a heat-seeking camera. All four protestors were eventually found but were sufferering from head injuries.
A three hour stand off ensued when no shooting took place, during which a large numbers of police arrived, the sabs then left the moor peacefully. Shortly afterwards, at 2.30pm, the shooting party was observed leaving the moor meaning that not one grouse was killed for ‘sport’.
Interestingly, all protestors were searched by police using powers under Section 60 of the Public Order Act (no weapons were found), whilst the shooting party and stewards were allowed to leave the moor without police interest.
The victims of the assaults have made statements to W. Yorks police and are awaiting action on the matter.
Notes: Countrywatch (UK) previously provided stewards for a number of foxhunts in Southern England, but discontinued their services after Surrey police confiscated a large cache of weapons from a van hired to the company on its way to a hunt. David Dunn, head of the company was quoted as saying at the time ‘business is booming – as long as there is trouble’.
Photo gallery of shoot thugs and lackeys available: North West HSA Grouse 2004 report