[Image credit: South Wales Hunt Sabs]

Thanks to a tip-off, Northern Counties Mink Hounds were unable to hunt at the start of the month following the arrival of hunt sab groups from West Yorkshire, Nottingham and Sheffield. Information that is passed on is vital for wildlife protection as, with only 26 packs throughout the UK and Ireland who operate in small numbers, these hunts are elusive. Once they are located, however, they often simply pack up and go home. Saboteurs have since been keeping an eye on their kennels which has deterred any hunting from taking place on specific days. This consistent pressure, if continued over a long period of time and combined with other tactics, is a sure way to force a hunt to disband. For example, it was announced this month that the Leadon Vale Basset Hounds, who have been hunting hare since 1967, have folded. One major factor in this was that multiple landowners were no longer inviting them due to ‘unwanted attention’ from hunt sabotage groups, including Severn Vale, over the last few years. Now there are only 5 basset packs operating, making them even more vulnerable to a targeted campaign. Tip off’s can be made anonymously via the Hunt Saboteurs Association tip-off line at 07443 148 426.

The supplementary Badger cull began at the start of the month and is operating in 29 zones. The cull is primarily known for its ‘intensive’ period in autumn but the murder of badgers also takes place for 8 months in areas which have already been victim to 4 years of culling. Supplementary culling often doesn’t receive the attention it deserves even though 10,000’s could be killed. However, action is being taken. Saboteurs and animal liberation activists survey the countryside for cage traps during the day and for marksman at night. Devon County Hunt Sabs was successful recently in stopping a shooter who was forced to hide in crops and inevitably left with empty body bags. Key to this success is based on years of expertise and intelligence gathering, but everyone starts from the same place and results can be achieved quickly. In a social media post also published from the group, advice is given on what you can do to help stop the cull. Derbyshire Against The Cull have also been active by providing a sett surveying workshop, giving people from the local community an opportunity to learn what to look out for. For further information on how to get involved, hunt sabotage and anti-cull groups can be contacted (all of which can be found via a quick search on the internet). 

The importance of surveying shouldn’t be underestimated. On discovering and dismantling ‘death traps’ used by the game industry, Suffolk & Essex hunt sabs highlighted how indiscriminate the killing of wildlife is for the purpose of protecting birds used for shooting. They reaffirmed that these can be dealt with simply by going ‘off the beaten track away from footpaths’ in the countryside and to ‘look for these cruel devices’.  

Snares, which are cheap and easy methods of brutal suffering, have now been banned in Wales. Though many wildlife killers are not concerned with abiding the law and are likely to continue using them, others will stop and should be seen as a positive step. This has been achieved through evidence gathering and campaigning by groups such as Hunt Investigation Team as well as many others.

Another important development relating to the legal world is the prosecution of Angela Jarrom; a hunt supporter who, in October 2022, almost killed a Northants hunt saboteur by hitting her at speed with her car. Though the state is not a realistic method for animal liberation (let alone total liberation), this prosecution is arguably positive as it will deter others from extreme forms of violence, even if the punishment is considered minor. It is likely that this would not have been successful in the courts without such damning video evidence, thus reaffirms how vital video cameras are. All sabotage groups benefit from donations, especially as equipment gets smashed, damaged or stolen, and is a sure method of support that people can contribute to, even if unable to take part directly.  


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