Tag: fox hunting

Update | Western Hunt and Mini’s Law

In mid-May we posted a ‘kudos’ to Keep the Ban, the excellent campaigning group fighting to stop illegal fox hunting. KKeep the Ban had been working hard to keep a petition in the news which had arisen from a disgraceful incident where out of control hunt hounds (belonging to the Western Hunt) had mauled to death a pet cat called Mini in a quiet residential street in Cornwall. A so-called ‘huntsman’ (you can draw your own conclusions about what sort of ‘man’ this was) was seen to throw the body of Mini into a neighbouring garden and walk off. Come forward to the present and some welcome news. A huntsman has been charged by Devon and Cornwall Police in connection with this incident. John Lanyon Sampson, aged 55, of St Buryan, is due to appear before Truro Magistrates’ Court on 22 July where he will face charges of criminal damage and being the owner/person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control in a private or public place.

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BBC News | Old sett blockers taught new tricks

A BBC News report this evening is headlined “Men deny interfering with active badger setts in Devon”. On the surface it’s a rather typical tale of ‘terrier men’ (who stand out even amongst a group of thuggish lawbreakers as one of the nastier forms of illegal fox hunters) blocking the entrances to badger setts. Now, badgers are protected by law of course. That has never stopped terrier men, who (allegedly, m’lud) routinely block badger setts to stop foxes disappearing underground (where they will be flushed out by the terriers who are also routinely scarred for life in fights with badgers) or to net emerging badgers for illegal badger baiting. Badger setts are protected by law too. But only if they’re active. This case is still going through the court so we won’t speculate on outcomes (even though the terrier men don’ deny blocking the sett with the hunt paying for lawyers who apparently couldn’t care less about badgers – or why defend these notorious thugs? – it’s likely they’ll get off). Same old, same old frankly. What is perhaps more interesting, though, is the language that the defendants use in court now and that is referenced to in the article from the BBC.

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Peterborough protest over city hunting festival

Hello Peterborough Council, this is the 21st Century calling…demanding to know what the actual f are you doing supporting a grubby lobby group like the Countryside Alliance and violent hunt thugs by hosting a so-called Festival of Hunting this month? Fox hunting was banned by the Hunting Act, everyone and their dog knows that ‘trail hunting’ is a smokescreen for illegal fox hunting, that hunts break the law every day they go out, This is a world of harassment and intimidation, of threats and aggression, a disgusting throwback to a time when ecology was poorly understood and wild animals were thought to be little more than furry (or feathered) machines acting on instinct and incapable of fear or affection. Get your act together and get this celebration of cruelty and lawbreaking banned – as your taxpayers and residents want you to.

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West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs Drone Appeal

The – er, somewhat robust language used in the following appeal may not be to everyone’s taste. but frankly illegal foxhunting is enough to make even a nun look to the skies and utter the odd curse word, so we’re just going to copy and paste the appeal and let you good folk out there decide for yourselves whether the Warwickshire Hunt are a bunch of ********* or not…whatever the case, however, monitoring hunts from the air as they try to create a smokescreen on the ground is without a doubt a great way to keep an eye on them. And if they’re doing nothing wrong then – great – the evidence is there for all to see as well…

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Guest Post | Dominic Dyer: Fox hunting – political poison for the Tory Party

“Fox hunting is now political poison for the government. Covid 19 and the restrictions on public gatherings has caused huge financial damage to hunts in England, and many might not survive the pandemic. Those that do will find themselves increasingly shunned by public and politicians alike as they face increasing restrictions on their hunting activities. Like drink driving, hunting with hounds is no longer socially acceptable to the vast majority of people in Britain. The last 17 years has seen many twists and turns in the debate on fox hunting, but we might soon be able to say we have “Made Hunting History” once and for all.” Guest post by Dominic Dyer, Policy Advisor & British Wildlife Advocate at the Born Free Foundation & Board Member at Wildlife & Countryside Link.

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Guest Post | Hunting on Protected Sites – Another Natural England Cover Up?

“In October 2020 I saw a pack of hunting dogs rampaging over open moorland above Bradfield, South Yorkshire. Almost all Pennine moors are designated as conservation areas, administered by Natural England, the key Government adviser for nature and the environment. Bradfield Moors is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area for ground nesting birds and a Special Area of Conservation for rare blanket bog habitat. The landowner has banned the public from taking dogs onto this moor because of the threat to wildlife, so what was going on? I will be appealing to Natural England and the Information Commissioner to find out why enforcement action was not taken and ask Olivia Blake MP to get on the case as well. In my opinion, this is yet another example of Natural England overlooking illegal activity by rich landowners.” Guest post by Bob Berzins

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Why is it so hard to prosecute wildlife crime?

“All wildlife crime investigations are extremely complex and without sufficient, strong evidence, it can be very difficult to bring about a successful prosecution. We know this is frustrating to members of the public and it is frustrating to our officers but we can only act within the legislation available.” (North Yorks Police ). While there is no doubt at all that some police officers on some forces actively support illegal fox hunting (either because they hurt themselves or their colleagues do) the Hunting Act (ie the legislation) needs strengthening to remove the exemptions which make evading the law so easy and pursuing hunters in court so difficult.

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AXA | Insuring fox hunting

Fox hunts (and there are still hundreds operating across the UK despite the passing of the Hunting Act which banned the hunting of wild mammals with dogs almost twenty years ago) operate as businesses. Many (scandalously in our opinion) received grants to help them through lockdown – according to a report in The Independent in September last year, councils in England and Wales had by then already given hunts more than £160,000 of taxpayers’ money in grants intended to help businesses struggling during the pandemic – and those ‘businesses’ need to be insured. A recent series of posts by the campaign group Hunting Leaks has shown that insurance is being provided by AXA, a French-based multinational insurance group which reported gross revenues of €96.723 billion for 2020. Here in the UK Axa trades as Axa UK, with subsidiaries including Axa Insurance, Axa Wealth and Axa Health, and Swiftcover. We have no doubt at all that AXA and Swiftcover want to do the right thing. Many of us are offering to help them do exactly that. All they need to do is ask…

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