Ledbury Hunt: 5th February 2016

Back out to the Ledbury Hunt today (Friday 5th February 2016) who met in Hasfield and always interesting to see that they haven’t changed their ways at all. Once again we were joined by close friends North Shropshire Sabs and were pleased to have had some good information passed to us by anti-cull people active in the Hasfield area during the recent badger culls as all local knowledge really helps.

Towards the start of the day, whipper-in Tim Pearce-May’s girlfriend ‘Han Clift’, said something about being put online in the past, but it was obviously something that made little lasting impact as we don’t remember mentioning her before. She doesn’t want to be put online. So she probably shouldn’t have blocked the sab car on the road whenever she saw it today, driving at less than 5mph whenever she did decide to move. The agreement is that if you don’t do anything naughty, you don’t get put up online. She already knew that…

Hounds were speaking on and off all day, sometimes losing the scent, sometimes going for long chases, a couple of times marking to ground – once in an area they were not supposed to be in (surprise, surprise) and it got to an embarrassing point where it took a long time for hunt staff to call the hounds back out. Charlie and Oscar, the terriermen, were around for the whole day (on public roads, no number plate), terrier in tow. Well, terrier in box. Once hounds were (finally) gathered and moved on from where they had marked, they gave chase across the road, sab in pursuit, and lost the scent in a farm… Oscar had to try and push a lone sab into a puddle to make himself feel like a big man. Poor thing.

The drain under the road in Tirley where a fox ran to shelter during cubbing and which we found blocked with rocks at the Ledbury Opening Meet in November was once again blocked – this time with a great slab of stone. Another drain at which we found terriermen with a terrier marking a fox earlier this season had also been blocked at one end with a stave.

In the Corse area, sabs saw a fox running to safety across a road and sprayed the area with citronella. We believe there was a brace of foxes, however, and sabs stayed with hounds to try and ensure the other was not killed. Other than a little silliness regarding the exciting proposal to let our car tyres down (the idea seemed less appealing when the car camera was spotted – footage heading to the authorities soon) and some rather funny insults – “go home you prat” being a favourite for the day – we didn’t have too many issues.

As always, we can’t guarantee a no-kill day as it can only take one hound and a matter of seconds to kill a fox or the disappearance of the quad bike for more than 5 minutes for a life to be taken, but not a bad comeback to the hunt after a couple of car-less weeks. Don’t worry Mark Meladay, we’ll make sure to come visit every week until the end of the season now!

Cotswold and South Herrie Hunts: 30th January 2016

We dedicated today’s sabbing of two hunts to the memory of Marion from F.R.I.E.N.D – Farmed Animal Rescue whose funeral was held today. 3C split again this weekend, some of us meeting up with North Shropshire Hunt Sabs to go and find the South Herefordshire, others meeting up again with Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch and heading off to the Cotswold Hunt.

It was an odd mix of (sharp) snow, hail and strong sunshine all to the soundtrack of various strengths of wind…

Sabs at the South managed to call the hounds back from a fox early on and, to the end of the day, got the hounds on to the heel-line of another fox which the hunt didn’t catch on to and gave chase for some time. Being on the heel-line is a fancy was of saying ‘on the scent, but going the wrong way along it’. A very stone-faced Patrick Darling was, well, very stone-faced for much of the day. At least Paul Oliver had calmed down and was no longer having tantrums this week, instead trying this new thing called ‘banter’…

Meanwhile, over in the Cotswolds, sabs were getting to know a relatively new hunt for us. It looked like they weren’t expecting sabs and definitely didn’t look like they were happy to see sabs either. We wonder why. At one of the very first draws of the day, we heard 5 holloas and a couple of us ran in towards a covert only to find the terriermen speeding out of the area. We’re not into speculation, but…

We kept an eye on them for most of the day, the hunt practising some colourful word on us and there was some aggression from a hunt supporter, but we can’t say more for legal reasons. Hounds marked to ground in a covert midway through the day, putting them off potentially digging out.

The hunt had a relatively long run towards the end of the day, back into the area where we believe the first fox was flushed from a covert via a free-range egg place where the hounds went through a terrified bunch of hens and geese – an odd place to allow a trail to be laid we thought to ourselves* – and across numerous fields. The hunted fox managed to give the hounds the slip, collapsing in a road before giving it one last shot and carrying on to cover whilst the hunt gathered up the hounds and packed up.

*the woman was then pretty rude when a sab went, concerned, to ask if everyone was ok as it looked stressful for all concerned

On the way home we saw a couple of girls trying to help a nervous young dog on the side of a main road – luckily as we pulled over, someone came along who said she’d take responsibility for finding his people. Nice one to the girls for stopping! Getting home, we found a nice present sent by someone who had heard about the shit being thrown in one of our sabs’ faces at the Ledbury. Clouds and silver linings…

Where will we end up next? Watch this space!

West Midlands Hunt Sabs

Yet another great piece of work by our close friends and allies, West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs – check out their page for all of the other videos of the Atherstone Hunt that they’ve managed to film over the seaons. It’s always sad to know another animal has died, but if people have to start taking notice it’s not all negative. Help them out guys – share and like their page, share their videos even if you can’t watch them yourself, respond to their appeals for funds or to contact the police with your thoughts.

Daily Mirror Article