VICTORY! ATHERSTONE HUNT FINISHED!
After six long years of an unrelenting and unstoppable campaign by West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs the 200 year old Atherstone Hunt have finally thrown in the towel and folded.
The Atherstone Hunt was one of a few local hunts we sabbed during the 2013/2014 season. The following season however we decided to focus completely on the Atherstone.
We have faced harassment, extreme provocation and regular violence from those associated with the Atherstone Hunt. We’ve received death threats, had our tyres slashed, cars burnt out and have been hospitalized. We have also faced a hostile campaign of police harassment from Leicestershire Police who have actively sabotaged investigations against the Atherstone Hunt whilst constantly seeking to prosecute members of our group at all costs.
We persevered and never backed down. Despite the regular violence we have faced our campaign has always remained non-violent. Over the last six years we have sabbed almost every single meet of the Atherstone Hunt. They have collected over 20 criminal convictions and cautions for their violence and antisocial behaviour and at their worst they were making the national press every other month for their hunting and violence. As well as stopping them killing foxes twice a week every week we have been able to expose the real face of fox hunting.
As a result of our campaign the Atherstone Hunt made a loss of over £13,000. They lost over 235 acres of farmland to hunt on. They have over 20 convictions, cautions and community resolutions for violence including one of their ex-directors. We have documented them killing five foxes. They got thorugh 5 huntsmen in those six years, had 8 Whippers-in and three terriermen.
Our investigation into the Atherstone Hunt blocking badger setts resulted in their terrier-man becoming so paranoid about hidden cameras that he eventually left the hunt. He was not replaced. The absence of a terrier-man was noticeable immediately, the number of foxes seen being chased by the hunt dropped considerably and suddenly badger setts across Leicestershire and North Warwickshire were free from persecution by the hunt. This shows just how important terrier-men are to fox hunts.
We witnessed them kill numerous foxes in front of us but that only made us more determined. We exposed all businesses that supported them. We held demonstrations at their biggest events of the year and at all of their fundraising events.
During their last two seasons we forced the Atherstone Hunt to abandon cub hunting completely. Considering that up to 40% of all foxes killed by hunts are killed during this two month period hundreds of foxes would have been saved
For six years the Atherstone Hunt have been completely sabotaged and as a result they have now folded. This means that for now the 908 km² area of West Leicestershire and North Warwickshire are completely hunt free and hundreds of foxes lives will now have been saved
Ultimately the Hunting Act needs to be strengthened however we are not waiting around for politicians to change the law or corrupt police forces to enforce the law. Fox hunting is cruel and barbaric and has no place in the 21st century. Hunt saboteurs will shut hunts down one by one until hunting is consigned to history.
We would like to thank all the different sab groups who have helped us and joined us in sabbing the Atherstone Hunt over the years. We would also like to thank all of you who have donated towards fuel and equipment costs over the years, all the kind words and encouragement and all the tip offs and information sent to us.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Dedicated to Leanne Bridgewater
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