Mink and Otter hunting season has begun so hunt saboteurs across the country are keeping an eye on the activity at kennels. Only 26 registered packs exist in the UK and Ireland, making them vulnerable to the multiple sabotage groups that operate. These packs operate using a small number of hounds and are usually transported in commercial and domestic vehicles, thus making them more difficult to locate oppose to a mounted hunt who are more obvious in appearance and use larger vehicles such as horse boxes and trailers. Efforts to continue hunting under the radar however inevitably get ruined upon the arrival of multiple sabotage groups forcing them to pack up. This was seen recently when Three Counties Hunt Sabs, Severn Vale Hunt Sabs, Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch and Herefordshire Hunt Sabs who recently stopped Three Counties Minkhounds from hunting. Members of the public can play an important role in sabotaging a hunt by notifying suspicious behaviour. This can be done by contacting the Hunt Saboteurs Association tip-off line at 07443148426. Making a call or sending a message can be enough to stop wildlife from being killed.

Whilst on the lookout for ‘any wildlife murders’, Jorvik and West Yorkshire hunt sabotage groups came across a lone shooter setting up a shooting hide and forced them to pack up and leave. Multiple sabotage groups elsewhere, including West Yorkshire, Hertfordshire and Staffordshire, were also successful throughout the month after finding and ‘decommissioning’ various spring traps and larsens. Underground Badger Syndicate, who also discovered an array of ‘animal persecuting contraptions’, concluded that there is more to be done; ‘It’s not the end though…[we] will be back’. The more you look, the more you find.

Demonstrations and outreach continued throughout the month, including against the West Norfolk Foxhounds and the North Cotswold Hunt. These are important as hunting relies heavily on securing revenue through fundraising events, which double up as recruiting drives for mounted riders and other followers who pay to spectate. Eliminate these lines of support and a hunt soon starts to crumble.

One protest that had a large presence of saboteurs in attendance was outside Dorchester Police station, following increasing violence and illegal hunting from hunts in Dorset. This reaffirms that even though legislation against hunting (with packs of hounds) exists, the police and crime prosecution service do not care about wildlife. As a matter of fact, the UK government took a last-minute U-turn on the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, which would have added extra complications for hunting and detrimental to other animal industries. True wildlife defence has, and always will, come from action on the ground, implemented through a range of tactics from a myriad of people from different communities. Not the state.


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