Jonathon Seed, former huntmaster of the Avon Vale Hunt and Wiltshire’s Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner candidate, on being interviewed on ITV News (April 14th) seemed startled that the journalist should ask him about his hunting past – saying (as he repeatedly says) that no-one is interested in the fact he spent years killing wildlife – and as we repeatedly say, ‘Actually, yes they are‘. Check out our previous posts and the number of RTs and likes our tweet got after just a few hours online…(and see the EDIT below)
In the interview, Mr Seed is asked how he would police fox hunting. He responds with a rather ‘official-candidate-line-to-avoid-saying-anything-contentious’ that, “Operational policing is a matter for the chief constable” (which sounds fair but is somewhat disingenuous as he will spend much of his time talking to senior police officers) and goes on to say how fair he will be (no candidate is going to openly state they’ll be biased as hell of course, so that means very little in practice…).
How about hunting though? In a few lines that seems to suggest where his true intent vis-a-vis fox hunting (or so-called ‘trail hunting’ as he no doubt would have us think of it) lies, he states that, “However, I will encourage… firm policing of unlawful interference with legal activity in the countryside“. That again sounds fair enough, but this is a man steeped in fox hunting and tussling with monitors and sabs: the very strong implication here is that in his eyes fox hunting is a legal activity and therefore sabbing/monitoring it is interfering by trying to prevent it taking place.
This actually leaves Mr Seed with a problem: fox hunting is NOT legal, so-called ‘trail hunting’ has been repeatedly shown to be nothing but a smokescreen for illegal hunting – even hunts have been caught acknowledging that), and it is legal to try to stop a crime from taking place. And as the Crown Prosecution Service says, “Reporting the crime to the police could prevent further crimes being committed and protect others from becoming victims.”
So how will he deal with the lawful interference of an illegal activity so that a crime can be reported to the police?
We need to know before voting Mr Seed into power…oh, and if we’ve got all this wrong Mr Seed, please feel free to get in touch.
EDIT 17:00 17 April 21: If Mr Seed thinks there is no interest in his hunting past he needs to check out the increase in RTs and Likes for our tweet of two days ago – and we’re just one small corner of the anti-wildlife crime corner of the internet who very definitely are watching the PCC elections with interest…