More members of the public arrested after attempting to enforce the ban on hunting with dogs

Original article posted on Indymedia 1st December 2006

30.11.2006 four hunt saboteurs were arrested under section 5 of the Public Order Act, as they followed a beagle pack near Chipping Sodbury, just outside Bristol.

Bristol and Bath hunt sabs paid a visit to a beagle pack just outside Chipping Sodbury.

The groups followed a tip-off from a League Against Cruel Sports hunt monitor that the hunt were still illegally hunting hares.

The sabs arrived at the meeting point at 1pm and followed the hunt as they walked their hounds along the road. The hunt claimed that they were following a trail, explaining that as the law changed, they changed (ha!).

The saboteurs explained that they had no problem with trail hunting and would not disrupt the hunt unless they started to hunt hares, as they reminded them, illegal hunting.

After following the hunt for a good half-hour, preventing them from hunting nearby fields, four police officers turned up, threatening to arrest the saboteurs if they didn’t take their masks off. The police did not give the sabs a chance to however and arrested one sab before he had the chance to reach for his mask.

The rest of the sabs complied with the order and removed their masks, continuing to follow the hunt. However police backup arrived and promptly arrested three other sabs, who resisted, believing that they had been unfairly arrested.

The sabs were offered a fixed penalty notice with a fine of £80 which they may contest at a later date. Two sabs decided that this option was preferrable to spending the rest of the day in the custody of the state. This allowed one sab the opportunity to return and continue to follow the hunt.

The other two sabs refused to accept the fixed penalty, after all, the pigs seemed so keen to get them to accept, that was enough to make them suspicious! They were held in Southmead Police Station, in custody for a total of 9 hours, and released unfortunately just after pub closing time.

The ban has had NO effect on hunting, if anything it has helped them because people don’t think it’s necessary to sab any more. The police announced as the Hunting Act was passed that they don’t have the resources to enforce it.

The police continue to not only turn a blind eye to the hunts continuing to kill hares and foxes, they actively facilitate this. Since the ban came into “effect” Bristol and Bath sabs have seen the police:

block the road to prevent sabs following hunts repeatedly and SLOWLY searching sab vehicles to prevent sabs from following the hunt “lose” footage of the hunt attacking sabs fail to prosecute huntsmen despite clear video footage being presented showing the sabs being assaulted fail to respond to emergency calls when sabs were being attacked by the hunt repeatedly threaten sabs with arrest and continue to arrest sabs.

This is a clear example of the police force acting to protect the ruling classes, those with the money and power to secure virtual police immunity.

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