Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 26th June 2019
Convicted Conservative MP Chris Davies is a former master of two fox hunts and threatened in 2004 that members of his Golden Valley Hunt would break the law when hunting was banned. During his mastership both the Golden Valley and Banwen Miners hunts carried out violent attacks on hunt saboteurs.
In March of this year Davies was convicted of making false expenses claims. He received a £1500 fine and had to carry out 50 hours of community service. This led last week to the electorate of his Brecon and Radnorshire constituency raising a recall petition to have him de-selected as their MP and forcing a by-election. He has now been re-selected by the Conservative Party as their candidate in the upcoming by-election.
Davies was master of the Banwen miners hunt in the Swansea Valley from 1993-99 before moving to the Golden Valley Hunt on the Welsh Border in 2000. In 2004 in the run up to the ban he did not have the bottle to say he would personally defy the law, but told the BBC that some of his members would (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4026351.stm).
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “It's hard to think of a less useful member of society than an ex-hunt master, corrupt Tory MP. We hate to kick a man while he's down but we'll make an exception in this case. Davies is clearly a man who can't be trusted. Whilst master of the Golden Valley Hunt he implicated himself in flouting the Hunting ban and now as a public servant he has deliberately falsified accounts to rip off the public purse. It’s testament to the low moral standards of the Conservative Party that they’ve re-selected him for the upcoming by-election and we wanted the Brecon and Radnorshire electorate to know the type of man they’re potentially voting for.
Judge Cooper today announced that the Fitzwilliam hunt had failed to overturn their conviction for illegal hunting that they received in April 2018. Their appeal was heard at Cambridge Crown Court two weeks ago but the Fitzwilliam huntsman George Adams was unsuccessful in claiming he'd hunted within the law by flushing a fox to be killed by a bird of prey.
The case was brought using video evidence gathered by Beds and Bucks hunt sabs who filmed the kill. The appeal court upheld the original conviction despite attempts by the defence to discredit witnesses and ambushing the court with last minute legal claims and the questionable addition of their own so-called expert witness, a computer forensics expert with no background in animal sciences.
We hope this finally signals the end of the Bird of Prey or Falconry exemption within the Hunting Act. Other hunts which use this loophole will now have to reconsider their options as they will no longer be considered to be taking part in exempt hunting just by having someone with a bird of prey present. The use of birds of prey alongside hunting with hounds is not, and never was falconry. There are serious welfare issues for the raptors used in this manner alongside the abhorrent cruelty involved in setting 1 or 30 animals against another.
Judge Cooper, in summing up stated: “Something significant" must change in the planning and training of the hounds and the characteristics of hunts in the future if they don't want to be charged with illegal hunting”.
We will continue to actively target all hunts in an effort to stop their abuse of wildlife with all and every means at our disposal. The Hunting Act is in desperate need of strengthening, all the loopholes should be closed and hunting with dogs finally consigned to history. We will continue to work towards that end but in the meantime you will find us defending our wildlife in the fields no matter what violence, abuse and intimidation we face.
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