Battle In The Country: The Hunt Saboteurs
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Battle In The Country: The Hunt Saboteurs

November 18, 2019

A hunt saboteur is someone
who actively sabotages fox hunts. I’ve been called every single name
under the sun, from a paedophile to a terrorist. This isn’t a game for us –
this is serious business, you know, lives are at stake here. Hey, stop it! Go on, leave it! You know, I’ve been punched,
I’ve been kicked, I’ve been head-butted,
I’ve been hit with bars. We’re never going to
back down over this. Mind your own business! All right? HORN SOUNDS There’s a war
going on in the countryside and it’s far bigger
than people realise. Fox hunting was one of Britain’s
most controversial sports. Animal activists battled to stop
people hunting… You bastards! ..and hunters
fought for their right to hunt. A ban on hunting with dogs is
forced through at Westminster. It will take effect in three months. After the Hunting Act
came into play in England and Wales, hunting groups started
trail and drag hunting, where the hounds follow
an artificially laid scent instead of hunting for
a live animal. But it’s been 14 years since the ban and hunting is still
causing conflict. ALL: Keep the ban! Keep the ban! Even though hunters say
what they’re doing has changed, animal activists don’t believe them. WOMAN WHIMPERS AND SOBS I go out sabbing personally
each and every week, every Saturday
during hunting season. You know, I started in my teens. And the reason
it still appeals to me, almost 20 years later, is because
it really makes a difference. And, yes, some people might
see it as more extreme than going on a protest or
holding a placard. And, yes, maybe it is. But it’s something that gets
direct results. We’ve had a really good tip-off about the hunt that
we’re sabotaging today. It’s an integral part of our work, to find out
where these hunts are meeting, because they change their location
every single time they go out, and of course they’re not going to
give that information up to us. We have all sorts of people
messaging us. The hunt think that they’re onside but they’re actually relaying
all that information. So it can take a hunt
completely by surprise when we do turn up
at the start of the day. We’re on. The sabs claim they saw
a fox in the path of this hunt and are heading there again
to investigate. Our plan, first and foremost,
is to monitor the hunt and see that they don’t get up
to anything illegal. This is a hunt that
we know quite well, we’ve been sabotaging this
particular hunt for years. Never seen this particular
hunt lay a trail. If they’re illegally hunting foxes, then we’ll step in
and we’ll stop them. In every war, there are two sides, but only one side
has agreed to be filmed. We had a huge response
from the hunting community. People wanted to tell their story. But national organisations warned
people off and shut us out. So we’re having to tell half
of this story using archive footage and anyone else
who would talk to us. Do you guys go out hunting? Yes. Yes. Yeah, all three of us do. For most people that go hunting it’s
a major, major part of their life. They don’t want to break the law,
it’s just, they still need to exercise their horses, they need to
still exercise their hounds. We have terrific fun
following trails. It’s just enjoyable cantering
around the countryside. Yeah. I think it’s part of our heritage. The economy, you know,
it does rely on the old traditions. It’s going to die out, and along with it, all the work
placements and everything else. It’s nearby. Got horseboxes… OK. Here they are. Got them.
Just down in there. There’s quite a bit of
support there. We’re going to be grassed up
by the little horse person. It’s very, very intimidating. If someone on the street
comes up to you all in black. They are menacing. Like, opening hunt meet,
we had 30 of them running across the countryside,
blocking routes, blocking gateways. They’re not looking for a peaceful
way to resolve it. Yeah. It’s almost like a hobby for them going out and just being
a pain in the ass, causing trouble. HORN BLOWS So the huntsman’s just here, he’s cast the hounds out
into this wood here. You can see the hounds
working through the wood. OK. We’ve got company. Let’s go, let’s run.
Yeah. All right, let’s go. Let’s move, let’s move. I can hear him.
It’s not too far away. If we get a chance to sab him,
we’re just going for it. Sounds like he’s fairly close. We can just hear the huntsman
blowing his horn, not too far away from us. I think you’ll have to ask yourself
some serious questions when you’re walking through
a wood like this… In trail hunting, a scent is laid
through the countryside for the hunt to find and follow. They might tell you
they’ve laid a trail, but you can’t physically see it so you’ve just got to believe it,
right? Here’s the hounds.
We’ve got the hounds here. Sab. The horn is what the huntsman
uses to, to train the hounds. So we use them to reverse effect. BLOWS HORN Come on, hounds! Come on, hounds! BLOWS HORN Here we go, we’ve got ’em. Hold up, hold up! Hold up. Hold up. Hold up. Hold up. Hold up. Do you want to let them know
we’ve got the pack? Hold up. Hold up. Hold up. BLOWS HORN He now knows that
he’s been sabbed. He knows that we have the capacity
to take his hounds off him. He’s going to want to run now
and that’s great for us. So this is a really good start
to our day, a really, really good start. They kidnap the hounds,
which is when the problem starts, because they lose
control of the hounds because of the interference
from the saboteurs. They come and ruin a day’s lawful
safe hunting in a way that is affecting the hounds,
horses and people. They think they’re helping but actually they’re
making the situation a lot worse. All right,
huntsman coming towards us. Warning. Watch your talk,
he’s a bit spooky so just be careful when, if you’re near me
making a bit of noise, all right? Yep, that’s fine. Right, OK, because
I don’t want to knock you over. OK. Have you ever known of that? No! That is a funny place for a trail,
isn’t it? Yeah. So how are you laying
a trail through that, seriously? I can’t see where anyone’s
walked in there at all. Surely you’d go to the top bit,
wouldn’t you? Come on, mate, how can you
lay a trail through there? I haven’t laid it, so…
LAUGHTER I don’t think
anyone’s laid it, have they? It’s the trail layer’s problem to
walk through it, not me. Look at it! I want a word with them, like. I would dock his pay at least! The day before or
the morning of a day’s hunting, we have three or four trail layers. I set out to get the hounds
to hunt these trails. I am not told where
these trails have been laid because that would defeat
the object of it. You’re filming children again.
There’s no law, I’m afraid. Are you sure the police won’t…?
Call them. They have. Then we’ll tell them
you’re illegally hunting. OK. You’re not setting trails
through there. We’ve already done it. Really? HORN BLOWS Go back to your city.
We live in the country. You do? Oh, righto. Whereabouts? They’ve got a garden. So I’m going
to tell you where I live? I don’t think so. Anyway,
you’re just wasting my time. Of course, the kind of people
who are doing what they’re legally allowed to do are
going to kind of get quite upset. They’re filming us
and publishing it on the Facebook without our permission. Over 100 miles away, one of the UK’s most infamous hunt
sabs doesn’t hide her identity and is well-known for sabotage. I go sabbing four times a week. I’ve been arrested
probably five times. I was once banned from
going to any hunt in the UK, banned from entering Leicestershire. The police have labelled me
as defiant and dangerous. A bunch of criminals, who go
twice a week to break the law. And landowners are having
enough of you now, aren’t they? I’ve been spat at,
I’ve been punched, I’ve been kicked. I’ve been ridden at, I’ve been
knocked out. I’ve had broken bones. You’re not invited, so get going,
now! That’s not for you to decide. It is! No, it’s not. There’s
illegal activity going on here. Get it gone, now!
Do what you want, but get out! Get your hands off her.
We’re leaving. We’re leaving! We are leaving! We are leaving now! Did you provoke him? Provoke? I just stood there! You know, how can I provoke him? They say that I shouldn’t have been
on his land and all the rest of it. Well,
stop letting the hunt on your land. Do you do anything
criminal in sabbing? No. When they argue, when the hunters
will say about trespass, that’s a civil issue anyway,
so criminal? No. The farmer is behind us
now on the quad bike. OK. I’ve just said OK. I said OK. Let’s go. Come on. He knows exactly who I am. Why would you say to anyone random
that you’re not wearing a balaclava at this precise moment? Yeah, of course I’m scared.
Of course I’m scared, I’m human. Do you take activism too far?
Do you think you’re an extremist? How am I an extremist? I’ve got no record of violence, there’s nothing to suggest
I’m violent. But because I protect foxes,
I’m violent. Don’t you think you’re threatening
people that are just going on a peaceful day out
when you just turn up and you try and cause disruption?
It’s not a peaceful day out. They’ll say we’re winding them up. We’ll say,
we’re protecting wildlife. Don’t block the path. Don’t hit me. Don’t hit me. I was tipped off a horse by a hunt
saboteur and I wasn’t even hunting. It’s scary. Yeah, I used to have
people spit in my face. THEY SHOUT Oh, look.
She’s pushing him out the way. Fair enough, have your opinions,
we all have our own opinions. But it’s not good
when people are on private land. You want to
talk about breaking the law, you guys are on private property. Upsetting the hounds,
damaging the horses as well because I’ve seen incidents
when things have not been good. Trying to bring the hounds
off with the gizmo. They see people on horses as
sort of elitist people that actually they disagree with fundamentally. We are not violent individuals. We are not hellbent on
going into the countryside, creating some sort of class war. The reason that we do cover
our faces is we’ve seen a huge escalation in online activity
trying to find out who we are. We do this for security measures. Get off the horse. Stop using it… Sabbing most definitely
is a risky job. HORN BLOWS WOMAN SCREAMS Oh, my God! I don’t think a week goes by
where one hunt saboteur group from around the country
isn’t experiencing violence. OK, I’m leaving. Keep on fucking moving! Oi, get off her! I think it, it stands testament
to the work that we’re doing. If we weren’t making a difference,
then we would be ignored. ..Normally support and terrier men
are normally the aggressors. As you’ll see in a second, I think. Yeah, here we go.
These are terrier boys. Front of the quad bike you’ve got a
box, so you have terriers in there. There’re sent in to flush out a fox
if it goes to ground. Mind your own fucking business! How’s that sound? Piss off! Go on. Hey, hey, hey,
there’s no need for that. What have you got to say, eh? Let’s have a look at you. Do you have permission showing
you’re allowed to be on this land? Mind your own business! all right? Mind your own business. We’ll have a look at your faces. RADIO: ..cos I think that would
be a good idea. Cos if they can start a fight, then we’re not out there
stopping them hunting. Come on.
Sabs, he’s long gone. Come on. Greenlandy to Bluefootsabs.
What’s your location, over? I just don’t want my face
posted all over social media. The way you lot use it, yes. And if you weren’t breaking the law,
we wouldn’t be here. The huntsman’s taken off
at some speed with the hounds. I think he’s hoping that
he’ll lose us. Anyone on channel? RESPONSE ON RADIO He’s done a runner to the south. He’s got quite a bit of distance
on us, over. Copy that. Beautiful. Hopefully he’s coming your way,
over. What I’m doing now is trying to see
if I can get in front of them to inform the foot sabs
where the hunt is. Hello, sir. We’ve come to the area
because we’ve had a report of numerous persons, perhaps taking
part in a kind of a protest against a hunt
that could be ongoing. Yeah. Um, is there anything to say that you’re anything to do
with that or…? Quite probably, yeah.
Quite probably. OK. Are you from a particular group,
or..? Not really, no. You’re obviously not
obliged to answer my questions, you know that. We can obviously stop
you under the Road Traffic Act. Yeah, sure. So you don’t know
where the hunt is? No. Not a clue. We’re just trying to listen
to hear the hounds. We’re just trying to locate
the huntsman. We’ve got rider on point here
with some support. Do you prefer to film me? Hmm? You do what you want. When we stopped just a moment ago, we actually heard
the hounds speaking. We’re just trying to get that again.
Got to go. OK. Just by the footpath
and they’ve got hounds there. Not sure whether to commit
without another group with us. It’s Greenfootsabs. We’re pulling
along the footpath a bit and try and get a view
on what’s happening, over. Oh, look – they’re all working
through here. Fuck’s sake! Back to him, then! The hounds are trained to
obey the whip – it tells them
to stop what they’re doing. Leave it! Yes. We mimic the huntsman. We use all
of his methods in reverse effect. Go on back to him! Then this is a citronella spray. We put this down to
cover the fox’s scent. Back to him. They’ve been cast
out into this wood here. We can see the huntsman
at quite a distance away doing nothing to gather them back up and we’re quite simply
sending them back to him. Huntsman. OK, shall we carry on? So this is where I live. So I’ve got fox cushions, fox
pictures, fox bedding, fox clothes. I’ve got foxes everywhere
because they are my, like, they are my favourite animal. I like to come back to
bright things, colourful things. All the bad stuff that
goes on in the world out there, this is my sanctuary, this is somewhere
where I come home and feel safe. Here is a picture of a fox rescue. This is where I literally picked
a fox up from the jaws of hounds. Hoi! WOMAN SCREAMS No, no, no. Run. When I’m looking at that,
I kind of think to myself, I did the right thing. With all the tough times that I’ve
faced through it, the violence and all the bad things that I see,
I have a picture up and I can see her and, you know,
that kind of inspiration, really. What are you doing? They’ve killed.
They’ve killed. Get away! I’ve seen a lot of fox kills.
I must’ve seen about seven, eight kills now. SHE SOBS From what we’ve witnessed as a
group, OK, hunts are still hunting. Some have started killing it! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! You look at videos of
what anti-hunt people film and show them against pre-ban
footage, it’s exactly the same. If a fox is killed, it doesn’t mean
that hunts are being unlawful. There will be times that
hunts come across foxes, they’re out in the countryside, they’re naturally going
to cross paths accidentally. It’s no different from
you walking your dog and your dog picking up the scent
of a rabbit and chasing after it. It can happen where
they get onto the trail of a fox, and that can go wrong, but
it’s really not very often at all and it is completely accidental. This is Greenfootsabs. The
huntsman has crossed the stream so he’s now on the south side
and is continuing east, over. Stuck for a plan, isn’t he? DOGS HOWL The hounds are speaking. So if you hear
the hounds are speaking now, which means
they’re starting to scent, which means they’re picking up
on the scent of an animal. Leave it! Oi, you leave it! Yeah, the hounds were
just speaking at the bottom. I mean, the huntsman was
right there. Um, they’re clearly hunting
through this wood, you can hear them speaking. But what he should be doing
is calling them back to him but he’s not.
He’s just letting them carry on. You can see hounds working
further down through the wood. HORN BLOWS Come on out. Come on! So he’s now gathering
the hounds back up, telling them
that there’s nothing here. Which is a good sign. I could actually be found to be
doing something illegal without actually knowing
I’m doing something illegal. For example, if a trail
has been laid through a wood and the hounds hunt that trail
through a wood and a fox gets found,
and out the other side the hounds come out, it looks like
they’re hunting that fox and I don’t actually know about it
because I’m 50 yards behind them in that wood – within a heartbeat
I’m suddenly breaking the law. The law isn’t effective and I think
it needs to be clarified a lot. They need to find a better ground
that everybody is happy with. Since 2004,
we’ve been hunting within the law. But sadly we are plagued every time
we go out with people doing the maximum amount of damage
they can to ruin your day. The sabs have been hiking through
the woods for almost three hours and have lost sight
of the hunt again. Is it? Yeah. Fuck! Where’s the hounds? HE LAUGHS If he’s boxing up, he’s going home.
That’s him, he’s done. He’s had a shit day hunting
and it’s been spoiled by us! HE LAUGHS How does that make you feel? Oh, this is fucking,
fucking brilliant! Throughout our filming, nothing we witnessed suggested
any illegal activity. If the sabs had seen a fox
on the hunt’s trail previously, then it may have been accidental. They do jump to the assumption that
everyone that goes out on a hunt is a horrible person,
they all want to go out just cos they want to kill a fox. So they make these
accusations that, yeah, hunts are doing stuff, just
because of a lack of education. People need to appreciate
everybody else’s perspective. Yeah. And I think this is the way, you
know, compromise needs to be made from both sides. I’m never going to stop sabbing. And the more that I see
of the violence towards animals and the more that I see the violence towards people
who stand up to try and help hunted animals,
the more determined it makes me. Well, they try and stop us
and I think, very sadly, they are beginning to become successful
because people have had enough. These are people
from all walks of life, they’re people of all ages
and we all come together with one common goal – and that’s to go out
and stop hunting on the weekend. I couldn’t see my life
without animal rights activism and that might get in the way
of other things in my life, sure, but this comes first, always.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Sobotage on any hunting is amazing. You like hunt? Sigh the contract join the army and shoot your enemies…. but too much for pussies.

  2. So basically what these hunter are saying is "Oh yes we do love to go out and have fun killing animals and I don't know why people don't like it"

  3. I'm all for hunt saboteurs, but some of the people filmed here are very aggressive and over the top. Grabbing at the horses reigns and pushing at people on horseback is wrong and dangerous for both animal and people involved. The behaviour of the huntsmen is just as appalling, running people down, physical violence and threats is just thuggish.

    I have seen trail hunting and have no problem with it when it's done right. If done correctly, known fox dens are avoided and the dogs should be under complete control where they do not get the chance to catch a fox. But the way some of the hunts are laid out in this short documentary is wrong. The hounds running into overgrown thickets is obviously a live fox trail, no trailer is going to be able to get in there, and the distance between the hounds and huntsmen is going to cause a problem should a fox be spotted. Trail hunting can be done to the benefit of hounds and horses without hurting foxes, but the trails shown above are reckless and irresponsible.

    Foxes are natures pest control, they take sick rodents and rabbits out of the general population, cutting down on pest animals in country areas. If a fox is stealing livestock like chickens or ducks, it's generally because it's natural food source has been diminished due to trapping, coursing, etc. Or because it's habitat has been encrouched upon, these beautiful creatures need protection, and if that means outright banning the hunts until a suitable alternative can be found, so be it.

  4. When they showed the hunter's side… they were all ugly and pathetic ? they don't have the guts to do it themselves so they ride their horses and send their dogs do the job for them

  5. What is a hunt saboteur dresses up as a hunter and pretends to be part of the party then they’ll give him all the information and he can relay that to the other hunt saboteurs

  6. I think its okay to do the hunting sport with the horses(jumping over stuff and so on), but without the dogs and the foxes in it.

  7. Fox's cause at least £12M in damage to agriculture every year in the UK. They've got to be shot yearly to keep down the numbers so we can feed the country more cost efficiently.

  8. British fox fur is the shit, just bought a big fuckoff foxfur from England, warmest fur i've owned to date.
    Shame about these kids harassing hunters, shouldn't they be in school? or uni?

  9. Crazy getting dogs to kill a little fox, and they're complaining, that they're stopping them. They have mental issues. They need psychological help.

  10. What a ridiculous statement by the sab "they say they've laid a trail but you can't physically see it". How the hell are you supposed to "see" a scent?

  11. As for that blonde woman: you were TRESPASSING. The Hunt was there with permission. You were not. How would you like it if I stood in your garden with a camera filming you? I suspect you wouldn't offer me tea and biscuits!

  12. Why would you go trespassing on a farmers land ? Just pure stupidity, how can you block their cars and trespass then moan when they react ? I don’t blame them for running you over whatsoever

  13. “They still need to exercise, they still need to exercise their hounds” ?? who’s going to tell them that you can exercise the animals in ways other than hunting, hunting isn’t the only form of exercise in the entire world try being creative!!!

  14. I don’t agree with fox hunting particularly but imagine being that unemployed and having that much of a sad pathetic life that you put a balaclava on and chase people on horses round fields and live off donations ?

  15. Fox hunting is not part of our heritage because working class people don't do it. Only the upper classes go fox hunting.

  16. Ugh it the saboteurs who are the evil people here.

    Its just predators killing prey, would you ban wolves, because they hunt and kill other small predators, such as foxes without eating them? No.

  17. Lmaooo this shit would not fly in the United States. If I'm hunting ((legally)) on MY land and I see a group of thugs dressed up in black wearing masks, stalking me through the brush. They're gonna regret they didn't ban ARmalite15s earlier lmao. They act all hard and empowered because the fox hunt doesn't really envolve everyone having guns.

  18. How about instead of a fox hunt you have a sabb hunt.

    Train the dogs to go for the protesters.

    I'd pay money to watch that?

  19. why do you need to go out with a load of hounds why don't you all go for a jolly ride together we used have dog fights and bear baiting in this country but we dont it was stopped

  20. Domestic terrorists are all these people are. Causing havoc for country folk. Just people from the city who think they know best.

  21. the clips of the woman tipping the person off their bicycle did not show that they were deliberately riding in the middle of the road to stop the procession of traffic for quite some time

  22. These lemmings are led by folks who don't care about the beasts. If they really cared about the beasts, they would begin with the slaughterhouses and the fast food restaurants, not the hunts. They are foes and infiltrators. Whom they work for? Surely not in the interest of Britain.

  23. If you are animal activists how come you unsettle horses and hurt dogs and horses you can also hurt children by doing this

  24. In the hunt clearly shown in this video they say they will intervene if they see an active hunt. Proceeds to kidnap the hounds without any evidence except they think so

  25. People that hunt are as bad as them that kill dogs in china for dog meat and thay should be banned from keeping animals.

  26. Not gonna lie as someone who crossbows hunts in the US this form of hunting seems really unfair having a battalion of dogs and horses to hunt foxes personally I think that hunting should be you, your gun or bow range finder, camo and natural I just don't see the allure of this form of hunting . Then again I don't fox hunt I'm only Turkey, deer,

  27. Basically, most people who drag hunt just do it because they like cantering about the countryside, and have no intention to hurt foxes, hounds or their horses.

  28. I don't know y they don't just keep hunting but muzzle the hounds, that way the hunt gets there day n no foxes killed.

  29. Hunt saboteurs are stupid and are as bad as criminals. They could literally die there in dangering animals on the scene and humans

  30. The hunters need to fight fire with fire– cover their faces too. Mob that rover and rip out any comms gear they have.

  31. Interesting occurrences on FB 3/1/15:.

    In one place, I see a message from an anti-hunting lady in wales, absolutely disgusted because the Hunt Saboteurs visited her local hunt today and deliberately lured hounds onto a busy A-road so that several of them were struck by a car. She knew at least one witness and the driver of the car and has repeated quite categorically that the sabs were definitely blowing their horns beside the road to lure the hounds onto it.

    This is how Bristol Hunt Saboteurs reported the same event on their FB page:

    Out with the Curre and Llangibby Hunt today and what a day it was! ? Soon enough we spotted the hounds ? so sabs stepped into action with horn calls and had the entire pack at our feet within seconds ? we repeatedly took them off the hunt and to our feet. ?

    Ok, so here we have them openly admitting that they know exactly what they are doing when they blow the horns and that they can lure the hounds exactly to where they want them to go.

    However, when it comes to the road incident, suddenly they tell a rather different story

    Later in the day we witnessed the hounds being hunted right next to a main road which

    was shocking to watch. The riders looked ashamed to be a part of what was going on and we made sure no hounds went near the passing whizzing traffic. Another rider later told us he 'didn't agree with that at all'. ? we sabbed the ** out of the Curre today.

    It would appear that truthfulness is not one of their assets.

    When the lady who commented on the first page disagreed with their version of events on their page, her comments were deleted and she was barred from their page. They are now deleting all questions about the incident.

    So there we have it. Hunt saboteurs prepared to deliberately lure hounds onto a road, trying to cause a crash in the hope of getting the hunt bad PR. If people or hounds get injured in the process, well, that is a price that the sabs are apparently prepared to pay…


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