Police stand by and watch as hunt illegally dig out and shoot hunted fox – then arrest two protestors!

For immediate release 14th November 2006
From The Hunt Saboteurs Association

Hunt monitors in West Sussex today expressed their disgust and dismay at the actions of Sussex Police after they allowed a hunt to dig out and shoot a fox, in contravention of the Hunting Act 2004, and then simply arrest two anti-hunt monitors rather than investigate illegal hunting.

The incident

took place at the Heaselands Estate (home of Lady Lucinda Kleinwort), near Haywards Heath, West Sussex after the Crawley & Horsham Hunt met at 11am. Around 1pm monitors saw the hunt chasing a fox, which then went to ground by entering a badger sett.

Besides being illegal to chase a fox in the first place, it is also illegal to interfere with a badger sett and, under the Hunting Act 2004, illegal to dig out and shoot a fox unless done to protect game birds. Hunt monitors were present on and around the estate throughout the day and saw no sight of any game birds or any evidence thereof.

Dawn Preston, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated ‘The Crawley & Horsham Hunt are believed to have been flouting the hunt ban since it was brought in, and here we have a clear example of their sheer arrogance – and cruelty.

They were seen blatantly chasing the fox and forcing it to take refuge underground, and then had the audacity to dig it out and shoot it as if the Hunting Act 2004 didn’t exist. And not only that, but the hunt were so desperate to get the fox they spent over 2 hours digging, and didn’t get it until after dark. Sad individuals indeed.’

She continued ‘Sussex Police weren’t much better in their useless attitude on arrival. How can the law be enforced if the police themselves don’t even know what it entails? The RSPCA, called by the Police due to the presence of the badger sett and threat to the fox, also seemed clueless as to the law, and left before the sad conclusion of the death of the cornered animal.

The hunt monitors called the police as they hoped they would deal with the situation, but instead they found themselves arrested as they moved in to see what had happened on hearing a shot ring out. The Officers simply arrested them, we suspect they will say to ‘Prevent a Breach of the Peace’, and let the hunt literally get away with murder.’

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