HSA news release 7th February 2004

More violent attacks on hunt saboteurs by huntsmen, women and supporters.

Hunt saboteurs were attacked with whip handles in two seperate incidents at hunts today. One involved the whole mounted field at the hunt, whilst the other happened as terriermen tried to dig out a fox.

2 hunt saboteurs had to receive hospital treatment today after being attacked at a meet of the Essex Foxhounds at Nether Hall, Essex. One was taken to Harlow hospital where he received 4 stitches to a head wound and another had bumps and bruising to his head examined. The protestors state that they were attacked with whip handles when they tried to prevent members of the hunt from digging out a fox that had sought refuge in an earth.

Meanwhile at the Dartmoor Hunt, saboteurs have reported that the entire mounted field attacked sabs less than an hour after the meet, held at Delmore House, Cornwood. One of the sabs was struck repeatedly around the head with the handle of a whip resulting in large bruises. His hand was also damaged when he tried to protect his head. A 17 year-old saboteur was picked up by two riders and dragged down the road. A female saboteur was dragged along by her hair.

The incident happened on public access land. When protestors made a complaint to the police, they failed to take action against the violent hunt members, but threatened they would arrest protestors for causing a breach of the peace if they went back on the moor.

Commenting on the violence and police behaviour, a Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson said, "These attacks show the true violent side of hunting. The incident on Dartmoor illustrates the bias hunt saboteurs suffer from the police. The police will permit hunters to commit acts of serious violence and public disorder and then use minor aspects of the law to curtail our legitimate right to save animals' lives.

"This Monday (9th February) sees the anniversary of the death of Mike Hill, a Merseyside hunt saboteur who was killed under the wheels of the Cheshire Beagles hound van in 1991. Surely we don't need to see the death of a third hunt saboteur (Tom Worby was killed by the Cambridgeshire Foxhounds vehicle in 1993) before the police are forced to take action against the real violent criminals in this issue?"

At the Hampshire Hunt near Basingstoke on the same day, a hunt horse collapsed and died in a field. It is not just foxes, hares, stags and hunt saboteurs that are casualties of hunting.

ENDS