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Hunt saboteur knocked unconscious with
iron bar as hunt season starts
31 October 2004
October) a group of hunt saboteurs were attacked by a gang of hunt supporters at
the opening meet of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt and one was
KNOCKED UNCONSCIOUS WITH AN IRON BAR and ridden over by a huntsman. 6
received cuts to their eyes, lips and heads and others received bruising.
An ambulance was called for the saboteur, who was unconscious for several
minutes. He was checked over but did not want to attend
The incident occurred as the hunt appeared to be packing up at
3.15 p.m. following the meet at Lock Skinners Farm, Penshurst, Kent. The group
of saboteurs were observing the hunt from a nearby field. One witness
described how a mounted hunt member shouted "come on then" and 2 vehicles raced
across the field. Men armed with lumps of timber, sticks and an iron bar
jumped out and attacked the saboteurs, joined by riders with the hunt and
terriermen. The witness said "It was obviously planned".
saboteur who recorded the attack was targeted and told how the huntsman, Mark
Bycroft, shouted "Get him with the video camera" and rode over him. The
camera, containing vital evidence of the attack, was
Despite the seriousness of the attack and the fact that the
stolen video camera would still have been in the area, police near the scene
showed no interest. The police had been warned at the start of the day
that the hunt were notorious for their violence towards
Nathan Brown, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association
said "This was a serious attack and we are very lucky not to be reporting
another death. Hunt saboteurs are on the receiving end of the violent
backlash and campaign of intimidation against a possible hunt ban. This is
the true face of the so-called respectable minority that the Countryside
Alliance and their friends in the House of Lords are protecting. The Government
should ensure that it does not appease these violent bullies and must use the
Parliament Act to ban the animal cruelty that is hunting once and for
Notes for Editors: Photographs of injuries may become
1 November marks the official start of the fox hunting season.
Many hunts, including the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent (OSBWK), held
their opening meets on Saturday.
The OSBWK hunt is renowned among sabs
for the levels of violence dished out to saboteurs and is regarded as being
prominent among the more extreme elements of the hunting fraternity.
saboteur Steve Christmas was almost killed at a meet of the hunt on 1 Sept
2 hunt saboteurs, Mike Hill and Thom Worby, were killed whilst
protesting at hunts.
Mark Bycroft (huntsman) and Graeme Worsley (hunt
master) of the OSBWK hunt were fined and received penalty points after staging a
pro-hunt stunt on the M25 in Dec 2002. A motorway safety officer said in
court that it "posed an extreme danger" to the public.
Bycroft has a
history of violence and was found guilty of assault in 1991 after a saboteur was
attacked. Bycroft's father, John, admitted in a Guardian interview to
"acting like the IRA" (31 Aug 2002).
Mark Bycroft hinted at the campaign
of intimidation when he was quoted in Horse and Hound on 16 September 2004 as
saying "Every MP against hunting is on the hit list.".
information: Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Officer, Nathan Brown 07815
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