HSA news release 17th February 2006

The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) today welcomed the coming anniversary of the Hunting Act, the anniversary of which is on Saturday 18th February, but stated that instead of being a mile-stone marking the end of 'traditional' hunting, it risked being a 'red herring date' unless the police started to dedicate resources so that the law could be enforced.

The HSA, one of the organisations at the forefront of the decades-long push for a ban, has over a 40 year history of getting between the hunters and their quarry - and continues to keep the pressure on hunts by the use of surveillance rather than true sabotage. February 2006 also sees another anniversary - the 15th anniversary of the death of Mike Hill, a hunt saboteur present at a hare hunt, killed by a vehicle driven by a huntsman. Another hunt saboteur, Tom Worby, was also killed in similar circumstances just two years later. Two people who needlessly lost their own lives whilst trying to save the lives of hunted animals.

Dawn Preston, spokesperson for the HSA, stated 'The traditional primary tool of a hunt sabotage in the past was always the hunting horn, so that we could gain control of the hounds and seek to prevent them successfully hunting the fox, hare, mink or stag. Today our main tool is the video camera - as the very last thing that the hunts that are arrogantly breaking the law want is to be caught in the act. The appalling thing is that it is us who are consistently keeping the hunts under surveillance - rather than police whose very job it is to uphold the law! We call on them to pull their finger out now, and do what they are paid to do, as the situation in the field is becoming increasingly violent. Incidences of desperate hunt staff and supporters attacking those who seek to ensure that the law is being abided by are on the increase, and it is only a matter of time before someone is going to get seriously hurt.'

She continued, 'Since the start of the season back in November (although the hunts were out from September) we have had members attacked and video cameras stolen, seen monitors dragged from their vehicles, been subjected to physical violence and had vehicles rammed off roads and tyres slashed. And perversely it seems it is only when such incidents happen that the police will get involved - surely if they had been there to enforce the law in the first place such horrendous attacks would not occur? A simple application of common sense could make all the difference here.'