Summer is typically a quiet part of the year for hunt sabs. This year however, we have been very busy! In addition to lots of creative and successful fundraising – thanks and well done to everyone who has helped with this – we have continued to sab over the Summer, but with a few new (and refreshed) targets…
Following on from a very successful trip to help Sea Shepherd stop The Scottish Wild Salmon Company (Usan) killing seals in Gardenstown in April, we made another 5 day trip to Scotland in May. We travelled to Montrose to monitor the same company. Only 1 attempt was made to shoot seals while we were in the area, and this was stopped by Perthshire Hunt Sabs.
We started sabbing mink hunts in May, for the first time in 10 years. Many groups have come together from far and wide to sab these hunts – Nottingham, Manchester, Beds & Bucks, West Yorkshire, West Midlands (to name a few) – with great team work and tenacious determination making each hit a success.
We started with the Dove Valley Mink Hounds on May 10th, these were the last mink hunt we sabbed all those years ago! The hunt took one look at us, and many other sab groups waiting on their drive and decided to keep the hounds in the kennels and cancel the hunt. While some sabs guarded the Dove Valley kennels, others then went on to the Northamptonshire Mink Hounds who were already out hunting. These were seen to put up a rabbit when sabs arrived, but called the hounds off and packed up straight away.
We visited the Dove Valley Mink Hounds kennels again on May 31st and again caused them to cancel and stay home.
We attended a meet of the Northamptonshire Mink Hounds on June 14th. The hunt were clearly surprised to see us again, packed up and had a picnic in a field nearby.
Next, we sabbed the Teme Valley Mink Hounds on June 28th. These had just left the pub meet when we arrived, but were quickly located by sabs in the fields. The hounds were seen to put up a rabbit, but were moved on by the huntsman as he tried to evade sabs and box up the hounds as quick as possible. Sabs moved quickly and were able to follow the hound trailer’s movements. The driver of the hound trailer drove erratically and strangely for some time, obviously not wanting to be followed home, until some sabs were spotted waiting at their kennels and he took the hounds back!
The National Dis-Trust campaign called a national day of action on June 29th. This entailed us visiting the Barlow hunt’s territory which crosses the land of the National Trust on the Longshaw and Eastern Moors in Derbyshire. Here we had the pleasure of meeting two venerable old toffs who claimed to be members of the Barlow hunt and a few other pro-hunters, but 90% of the people we met backed us totally. We also stuck up lots of very authentic looking posters, gave out hundreds of leaflets and flyered every car we found. We did a lot of enlightening the public and got nearly a hundred signatures on petitions asking the National Trust to stop supporting illegal hunting.
Northamptonshire Mink Hounds were sabbed again on July 12th. These were on a riverbank with hounds, spades and guns when sabs arrived. Their progression along the river stopped immediately as sabs came into their view, and after standing around for a very long time, they cancelled the hunt.
We sabbed the Northern Counties Mink Hounds on July 19th. These are now kenneled with and hunted by members of the York & Ainsty South Fox Hounds. After some traditional tantrum throwing (from them) at the pub where they had met, they were followed back to the Y&AS kennels where the hounds were put away.
We sabbed a joint meet of the Three Counties and Teme Valley Mink Hounds on August 9th with several other sab groups, and another day of bloodsports was ruined! Hunt members were clearly totally furious at the sight of sabs on arrival. The usual boring threats and attempted insults, and much standing about followed, before the hunt went their separate ways from the meet. The police then showed their true colours by deliberately obstructing sabs on the roads, and failing to prevent us confirming the hounds were taken back to the kennels.
We had a great day preventing the senseless murder of grouse just off the A616, near Langsett and Sheffield, in the Peak District on August 23rd. Around 40 people had decided they would shoot these harmless birds, for their perverted amusement, but were met by around 40 hunt saboteurs who brought their plans to an end after they had fired 3 or 4 shots at 10.30am. The shooters dispersed but most stayed nearby, and clearly intended to return at around 2pm. We stuck around and ensured this couldn’t happen. Thanks a bunch to the groups who travelled for hours to join us!
Sadly us hunt sabs still won’t be putting our feet up, and over the Autumn and Winter we will continue to take action – against the planned badger cull, hunts and shoots. To get involved or offer information, please contact us or the Hunt Saboteurs Association.