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It's a double -whammy for our camouflage clad, land rover loving, comrades in arms, the hunt sabs.
Firstly there was the news that the West Tickham Hunt in Kent are disbanding. Although they weren't a particularly noteworthy hunt - (One long time Kent hunt sab confided in SchNEWS “They were just your average bunch of occasionally violent inbreds, dull,dull,dull” ). The hunt claimed they were folding for financial reasons but farcically tried to claim the bankruptcy as a 'excellent progress'.
Secondly two members of the prestigious Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt were found guilty of breaching the 2004 Hunting Act, based on evidence gathered by the local Derby hunt sabs. Right Honourable John Edward "Johnny" Greenall, recently resigned huntmaster and major patron of the hunt was fined £3515 and Glen Morris, steward and assistant terrierman copped fines and costs totalling £515.
This is the first time that evidence gathered by sabs of the practice of cubhunting has resulted in convictions. Cubhunting is where young hounds are introduced to the practice of hunting. A wood or copse is surrounded by members of the hunt and the hounds enter it. The hunt make a noise to terrify the young fox-cubs back into the wood to be torn apart by the hounds. It's a crucial ingredient in maintaining a pack of foxhounds as the dogs do not naturally chase and attack other carnivores. There is no way it can be mistaken for trail-hunting.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “It is a great credit to these saboteurs that, despite the flaws in the Hunting act, they were able to gather concrete proof of illegal hunting. Cub hunting is one of the guilty secrets of the hunting community and we hope this evidence that it is still being practised by such a prestigious hunt will force the police to enforce the Act more rigorously. This is proof that, over seven years after the Hunting Act became law, hunts are still training their hounds to illegally chase and kill wildlife.”
The full video of the incident can be viewed here. (It only gets interesting in the last five minutes)
Meanwhile the RSPCA have thrown their considerable financial muscle behind a campaign against the Heythrop Hunt, who hunt in David Cameron's constituency. They've prepared 52 separate charges against four senior members of the hunt and in a first will attempt to prosecute the hunt as a corporate entity....watch this space.
For more on taking the fight to the hunt scum check out the Hunt Saboteurs Association
Somerset's badgers are in the sniper's sights as activists vow to disrupt the cull.
A member of the Old Berkshire Hunt pleads guilty to assault.
Things are heating up in Antarctica as Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whaling fleet are about to come head to head for the 9th season.
Murky goings on as Sussex fox-hunt fronted by ex-policeman attacks monitors and flouts the law.
Despite the amazing success of the counter-mobilisation that saw this year's planned badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire cancelled in October DEFRA are already looking for new cull zones.
Frank exchanges of views are par for the course when the hunt meet the sabs, but David Lee Peters, master of the Ross Harriers Hunt overstepped the mark when he unleashed a volley of racist abuse at a hunt sab in January this year.
Vicious hunt attack fails to deter sabs.
Animal activists gear up to confront badger cull after legal challenge fails.