Hunting Leaks share minutes from ‘This is Hunting UK’ meeting

The bits we found most interesting:

– Johnathon Seed (currently running for Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner, and who claimed not to have hunted in the last decade) noted as a Mid-southwest regional coordinator of the group

– one hunt representative stated that they had decided to move with the times as there was too much confusion over whether the aim should be to fight for repealing the Hunting Act or focus on trail hunting. They stated that antis turned up to their meets but stopped when it was clear that they were in fact following trails, going against the popular hunt claim that we sabotage hunts regardless of whether they’re chasing live animals…

– the “discovery of maladministration” and “issues with the MFHA” (Masters of Foxhounds Association) were interesting points, including the taking of £7000 of funds by ‘a colleague’ (including money raised for a child’s memorial) without authorisation

– TiHUK were upset about “being treated with a degree of contempt” by the MFHA who they claim did not think hunting would actually be banned. Lee Peters wanted more transparency from the organisation, Ian Smith accused them of being “too scared” to rebut accusations from sabs and monitors and argued to “forget them and forge on alone”. There was also a feeling of dissent regarding guidelines for how TiHUK should operate, which the MFHA came up with in an earlier meeting in July 2018

– good to know that attendees were feeling disillusioned regarding the extent of effort needed to rebut accusations made against hunts by sabs and monitors – “it would take an office full of full-time people to rebut all the social media attacks on hunting”. Maybe the hunts should just move with the times and, you know, stop breaking laws / stop killing wildlife…

We also like the idea of TiHUK’s new tagline being “promoting the positive side of hunting and the countryside” as it shows that they’re aware that there are negatives and, more importantly, that they would not be discussing or allowing talk of such negatives…

The full document can be viewed at this link:

End of Season Report 2020 – 2021

Badger cull supplementary zones (zones 1 – West Glos and 9 – North Cots) commenced at the beginning of June ’20. Other zones began in September with 3 new zones starting nearby including Oxfordshire (where we sometimes sab the Old Berks and Heythrop Hunts), a new Herefordshire zone, Warwickshire (including some North Cotswold Hunt country).

Cage trapping continued until 30th November ’20 although some illegally-set cages were found after this time. We suspect that ‘free shooting’ continued for much longer in the two supplementary zones, but this will finish by the latest on 31st January when they have to legally stop.

Several abandoned cages have been found with with foliage growing through them in the interceding months.

As for hunting, our first sab of the season was with the Old Berks on 25th August ’20, within the new Oxfordshire cull zone at Longworth and we walked into a baitpoint full of peanuts whilst out with the hunt. The last sab of this (very short) season was on 30th December ’20, in very icy conditions, with the North Cotswold Hunt.

In total 52 days were spent sabbing hunts (we would normally do double this in a ‘normal’ season) which included visiting meets for the NCH, Croome and West Warwickshire, CVFH, Worcestershire, Cotswold, Ledbury, Heythrop, one day sabbing the Beaufort and one day sabbing the Old Berks.

In a normal hunting season we would be looking at late March / early April before the end of the season, but, with it being exceptionally unlikely that lockdown will start to be lifted in the next few weeks, the season effectively ended on 4th January ’21… twelve weeks early.

Having said that there were many meets over the Christmas / New Year period where they did not seem to turn out, maybe due to the weather and maybe due to Covid.

Syndicate shooting is also affected and the pheasant shooting season finishes on 1st February. In addition to Covid having an effect on the hunts, the HSA also released an expose on hunting webinars which took place over the summer which had many more people questioning whether ‘trail hunting’ ever actually takes place…

We are preparing now for next season, which will start August / September, and the badger cull which will start again in June in supplementary zones 1 and 9. Free shooting has to end legally by 31st January.

This season has been hard for us in different ways to normal, although, despite the fewer days out, it has been a tiring season physically once again. In mid-October one of our sabs (who was also the partner of another sab) was involved in a hit-and-run while working and died in hospital after being in an induced coma for 3 weeks. He is greatly missed, not least by his partner, everyday and his loss is a huge one to the movement fighting against animal exploitation.

Many thanks to our followers who continue to support us, morally, financially, physically, with intel, post shares and so on. It all adds up and it all makes us stronger. With love, 3C

31st December 2020 – Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt

*** third badger sett blocked by the Croome and West Warwickshire within the last 5 days ***

New Year’s Eve 2020

The Croome and West Warwickshire did not turn up at Peopleton today – a wise decision as the ground was incredibly icy and difficult to walk on. For hound feet and horses’/ponies’ legs it would have been very hard. We struggled, slipping over several times sett checking.

One sett was found to be freshly blocked. It would be very difficult in this weather for badgers to get out. Even with the apparent cancellation, no one had bothered to go back and release them from being entombed.

The Ledbury, The Croome and the Worcestershire hunts will still go out hunting as they are all ‘only’ in tier 3 and all of them block badger setts. Please call us if you see them around – 07891 639803

30th December 2020 – North Cotswold Hunt

It was a day of pretty much what the NCH usually do on Boxing day… first draw was Lidcombe woods where a whistle was repeatedly heard signaling the sighting of a fox. They hunted to Stanton then back up to Slatepits. A badger sett was found where the hounds had marked the fox to ground but no signs of a digout.
Hunted around Bourne’s Folly too.

Oliver Dale, huntsman and joint master, the thought it would be a really good idea to draw a Brussels sprouts field at 16.30. That fox was hunted back to the Slatepits where we think they lost him.

The NCH have kennels in Worcestershire so now tier 3 but every hunt meet has Gloucestershire bits (tier 4) so we think they are pretty much grounded. As Lloyd Heard was out from the Cotswold we know they won’t have been out today and are also now in tier 4. Heythrop are also grounded. That leaves us with the Ledbury (Monday and Friday), Croome (Tuesday and Saturday) and Worcestershire (Wednesday and Saturday)who will probably still hunt foxes until Worcestershire goes into tier 4 or there is a national lockdown or a proclamation from the Hunting Office stopping them.

26th December 2020 – Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt

*** 50 people meet up to hunt foxes as covid levels rise * 2 blocked badger setts * hounds allowed all over the railway line… twice ***

Breach Farm, Drake’s Broughton

Despite many misleading headlines stating that all Boxing Day hunts had been cancelled, this lot met a few miles away from their usual Town Centre meet in Pershore. Other hunts also went ahead wherever they could. Note that as the entire country is being ordered to be vigilant, this hunt met in a large group and the mounted field were seen bunched together repeatedly throughout the day. 🤔

They spent much of the day around Upper Wolvercote and several holloas were heard. A couple of hours were spent near the railway line at Whittington with huntsman Ben Dalton and whipper-in Simon French just letting them run back and forth along the railway line.

There were also 2 blocked badger setts nearby. Horrified villagers out walking were very upset indeed about this.

They finished about 3.30pm with 13.5 miles covered by a very tired foot sab!

18th December 2020 – Ledbury Hunt

*** Ledbury block a badger sett in an active cull zone * 50 plus riders all bunched together as Covid levels climb ***

A REALLY wet day!!!

First draw was up the hill at Catsbury… but blink and you would have missed it. Then over to the other side of the road (in order to draw blank) and then the obligatory romp up Limbury Hill.

Eventually huntsman Mark Melladay brought the hounds to Carter’s Grove where they did hunt a fox towards Catsbury Hill but then quickly checked in torrential rain. Over the road then to what is know by us as the Duck Shoot near Maisemore. This is where shooters kill semi-tame ducks for fun and indeed where many a shooter has been found killing badgers.

They were then found again near Rudford with one sab’ wading through water to check on a nearby badger sett (which had been freshly blocked) and unblocked by the sab to ensure that any fox could escape and that badgers could get out. Very wet weather can make the soil much heavier and more likely that badgers will be trapped when trying to dig their way back out.

This is the eight year of the badger cull and they are still free shooting in this area Gloucestershire badger cull zone 1.

Wringing out very wet clothes and preparing for tommorrow now!

Thankyou to all those who keep us on the road. Very wet and cranky cameras and radios now…

16th December 2020 – dedication to a lost sab

On the day we say goodbye to one of our own. Today is the funeral of our sab Malachi…

We’ve dedicated sabbing today and indeed every day we are out to one of our group, Mal, who was tragically killed recently in a hit and run. He sabbed as part of 3C Sabs on several occasions, unblocking badger setts, rating hounds off foxes’ lines, getting a fox’s body away from the North Cotswold Hunt last year, looking after the vehicle on the day we found a shot badger in a blocked sett, traipsed through wet fields on the early hours of mornings when cubhunts would be going out and was a great teammate to our other sabs in terms of gathering evidence and watching each other’s backs. He also put time into fighting the badger culls in Gloucestershire.

In addition, Mal is the partner of one of our core group of sabs and on the days he wasn’t out with us he would always check in to ensure we were ok, coming over to attend hospital with Emma when she had whiplash injuries from an assault by the CVFH on a day they killed a cub in a hedgerow, making sure she had cups of tea, food and hot baths ready when she got home after long hours in the field and would help on stalls and at events when he could, always supporting her with writing articles and sorting through footage. Mal loved his 3C t-shirt and hoodie and was particularly fond of the friendship between us and the amazing Vegan Cakery. His love, energy, dedication and his infectious smile will be greatly missed.

Rest in Power Malachi aka ‘the Beardie One’ (nicknamed by a rider from the NCH)

12th December 2020 – Heythrop Hunt

Kirkham Farn, with independent hunt monitors. On sett checking this mornng a sab’ was caught up by 2 lots of quad bikes on the road, covered in mud. One reg’ plate was the wrong way round, the other smeared his with mud. They called the Heythrop stalkers and they stuck like glue for the rest of the day. Fortunately monitors were free to sett check and observe the terriermen mess about in some brambles where a fox had gone. Their presence seems to have deterred them from doing more.

Following the first draw from Slaughter woods a fox was hunted into a well known badger sett which has been blocked repeatedly over the years. With this area well known to us for many years and reported both prior to this becoming a cull zone and since it became zone 9, the sett is blocked far less often. The fox escaped and they left him alone.

Not much happened until they reached Debdene and a fox was hunted across to Hinchwick Manor, into North Cotswold Hunt country to the Warren and back. a sab managed to slow them down by a few seconds but despite Lizzie Coombes telling Huntsman Charlie Frampton that the hounds “were wrong”, this fox was hunted for a long time into the dark. There was no attempt to stop them and no one lays a trail in another hunt’s country but it is common for the Heythrop to blunder into NCH territory, even if they are hunting nearby.

We do not know what happened to the fox but heard hounds being gathered up at 4.30pm at Debdene.

Many thanks to the monitors who drove, ran and checked loads of setts (none of which were blocked) today.

9th December 2020 – Cotswold Hunt

The Cotswold Hunt met near the Hunting Office HQ at Daglingworth. And no they did not lay trails and basically just carried on hunting foxes, followed by about 50 mounted field with no social distancing.

Two setts were found to have been interfered with, both have been targeted by the cull as well (this is Gloucestershire zone 29). One was blocked today/yesturday, the other had some fairly fresh spade marks but someone had got back in.

Hounds marked 2 foxes to ground in another badger sett on 2 seperate occassions.