Hunt saboteur seriously injured in Somerset

The hunting season is only a few days old and already a hunt saboteur is in hospital with serious injuries. On 28 August, 2014  the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hunt was out cubbing, the ‘sport’ of sending a pack of hounds into a wood whilst riders and supporters surround it and prevent any fox from escaping.  The purpose of cubbing is to weed out young and inexperienced hounds who won’t kill and are therefore useless to the hunt and are destroyed.

Whilst Dorset Hunt Sabs were on a public road documenting the hunt’s unlawful activities, an angered rider rode his horse at speed into a hunt saboteur – throwing her up in the air and trampling over her with his horse – before riding off laughing.

An ambulance was called immediately but was prevented from reaching the scene by hunt vehicles deliberately blocking the road. Eventually the victim was taken to hospital with several broken ribs,a collapsed lung and a back injury. Naturally the hunt callously carried on with their barbaric pastime before returning to the kennels for a BBQ. Fortunately the sab is currently in recovery at Yeovil Hospital.

Two days later a man attended a local police station where he was arrested for GBH. He was interviewed and released on police bail. The joint master expressed his “deep regret” for any “accident or incident that happens to anyone who is hurt” but those words will be taken with a pinch of salt by hunt saboteurs up and down the country who regularly face intimidation and violence from the hunting fraternity.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “The Blackmore and Sparkford Vale have a long history of violence towards hunt saboteurs but this is a particularly cowardly attack even by their standards. Cubbing is a vital time of the hunting season for the hunts as they are training young hounds to kill. Disruption by hunt saboteurs can affect their whole season which is why they often react with violence at this time of year.”

It remains to be seen whether the culprit will be charged but history proves that the police are notorious for failing to pursue justice against the thugs who enjoy killing animals on horseback and assaulting and killing those who try to stop them. In 1991 Mike Hill died while sabbing the Cheshire Beagles, due to falling under the wheels of a vehicle being driven dangerously by huntsman Alan Summersgill. The police referred to it as a “road traffic accident” and Summersgill was never charged.

Two years later 15 year old Tom Worby was killed while sabbing the Cambridgeshire Foxhounds when huntsman Anthony Ball drove into a group of sabs at high speed.  As sabs held Tom and screamed out for someone to call an ambulance, supporters of the hunt watched and laughed until Tom died in the arms of his girlfriend. Like Summersgill and the rider from the Blackmore Vale, Ball did not stop hunting after knocking Tom down. Nor was he ever charged.

What makes all this even more farcical is that cubbing is supposed to be illegal under the 2005 Hunting Act yet is still commonly practiced by most acts. So in the case of the Blackmore Vale, it is due to the police’s failure to enforce the law that a young woman was seriously injured.

This should come as no surprise, however. Ever since hunting with hounds was “banned” nine years ago, it has been regularly flouted by most hunts and the police have refused to do anything about it. Hunting is largely a ruling class pastime and they aren’t going to let anything as trivial as the law get in the way of their “sport”. Hunt members are on first name terms with senior police officers will know exactly who to talk to to make sure that charges are dropped or minimalized.

Just goes to show, doesn’t it, how useless political campaigning is. It really is one law for them – the rich and powerful – and another for us.

Further information on how to support the Hunt saboteurs or how to get involved in sabbing:


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