Hunt saboteurs were assaulted by members of the Middleton Hunt at their meet in Uncleby, North Yorkshire on Saturday 18th March. Riders from the hunt stole a video camera and two body cams, hit sabs on the head with whips, attempted to ride them down and jumped off their horses to continue the attacks. One female saboteur has cracked ribs after being crushed between two horses.
Other sabs suffered serious head injuries and broken fingers. Multiple ambulances had to be called to the scene and several of the injured were encouraged to attend hospital. The attack was filmed, attackers have been identified and this information has been passed to the police who are investigating. The footage can't currently be released due to the ongoing investigation.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “In 2015 an undercover investigation implicated the Middleton hunt in the rearing of captive foxes to be illegally hunted. In January of this year huntsman Charles Carter was filmed making sexually inappropriate comments to a member of the public. He subsequently had to resign as a Tory councillor. The hunt have now added violent assault and theft to their list of crimes and are fast becoming one of the most notorious in the country.
We repeatedly see hunters using their horses as weapons and, has been shown in recent years, this can result in serious injury. We are hopeful that the large number of police who attended the scene yesterday are indicative of how seriously they are taking this situation and we look forward to a swift and positive investigation.
Lord Middleton of Birdsall was Joint Master of the Hunt until 2013 and has their kennels on his Birdsall estate. It is alleged that that he no longer allows the hunt on his land due to the recent controversies. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to having his name associated to robbery and violent assault.”
The Fitzwilliam Hunt dug out and killed a fox in the vicinity of Kimbolton Airfield, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire on Wednesday 8th March.
A concerned member of the public witnessed the hunt chase a fox to ground and immediately three men arrived on a quad bike and commenced digging. He called police to the site and the hunt terrier men left the scene. When he returned to the site several hour later he discovered the same hunt employees with a fox that they had just killed. They subjected him to violence but he was able to retrieve the body of the fox.The incident has been reported to Cambridgeshire Police who are investigating. The fox has been autopsied and a vet has confirmed the Fox had more than likely died from blunt force trauma to the head, quite possibly caused by a spade.Prior to the incident the member of the public stopped to speak to foot support, and asked what they were doing. A female foot supporter stated that they were hunting. He questioned whether trail or fox hunting. The foot supporter stated that they were fox hunting but no-one was supposed to know. The foot supporter also stated that they had already caught and killed one fox that day.The Fitzwilliam are already embroiled in one court case following the illegal hunting and killing of a fox last year. Hunt staff are due to stand trial in Peterborough Magistrates court in April.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Well done to this brave passer-by who managed to gather evidence of a crime. It is one of the most blatant abuses of the Hunting Act that hunts still have terrier men out with them. If, as most of them claim, they are following a trail then why would they need terrier men to dig out foxes that they shouldn't be chasing in the first place. Not only are these thugs often the most violent members of the hunts but they are also the ones who prove illegality. The Fitzwilliam are clearly serial lawbreakers and we hope the upcoming court case serves up at least a measure of justice.”
Hunt saboteurs have been attacked by members of the Cottesmore Hunt at their meet in Burrough On the Hill, Leicestershire. The attackers used chains and lengths of wood in the unprovoked attack after being stopped from illegally chasing and killing foxes. Leicestershire Police were called and five vehicles turned up. They are currently investigating the incident.
One of the main attackers is a key member of the hunt, and is often involved in handling the bird of prey, which the hunt haul around all day as an excuse for their illegal hunting. He used a heavy length of chain to attack saboteurs, not the first time he's been implicated in such attacks.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, commented: “On the 12th anniversary of the Hunting Act illegal hunting and violent assaults still occur throughout the hunting season. We're pleased Leicestershire Police responded in this instance but if police forces enforced the hunting act in the first place then these attacks wouldn't happen as hunt saboteurs wouldn't be needed. The Cottesmore will now attempt to distance themselves from this cowardly attack but we know that one of the main attackers is a key member of the hunt and often handles their bird of prey. Saboteurs have also been attacked at the Surrey Union Hunt today and the video of this incident will further add to the hunting communities terrible reputation.”
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