18th February 2005 saw a day that many decent people had thought to believe may never come - the day that hunting with hounds was relegated to the history books.
The North West Hunt Saboteurs Association (NWHSA), is an organisation that is dedicated to the saving of the lives of hunted animals. Whilst the 18th February marked a very special day, it did not signal the end of that fight. There is still much work to do to ensure that the hunters do indeed desist with their sick pastime, make the switch to drag hunting, or face the consequences of breaking the law. The police, due to enforce the ban, have been quoted as being doubtful that they have the resources to do so. This is a situation we do not accept, as after all, they’ve always had the resources to police our activities.
What now for the NWHSA? - Since the Hunting Act 2004 came into force hunt saboteurs have been out with local hunts as normal. Of course not all of our red-coated friends are quite so law-abiding, and we do know that some blatant infringements of the law are taking place.
And it’s in cases such as these that hunt sabs know what constitutes illegal hunting, we know what those horn calls mean, or what riders are doing. This of course doesn’t mean that we won’t intervene to save the life of the hunted animal - after all that remains our sole aim as hunt saboteurs.
Together we can ensure the end of hunting and so the NWHSA continues, and will do so until such time as we can honestly hold up our hands and say ‘job done’ in the battle against bloodsports.
You can help us by joining, sending a donation or better yet by becoming active in the field. The North West Hunt Sabs need volunteers to work either as monitors in the field, gathering evidence against the hunts or to do the vital background work of fundraising, leafleting, etc. Without which no group can function. There will still be a hunt saboteur group near you who wants your help. Whatever your age, skills or experience, you will be able to make a crucial contribution.
The Red Fox is an iconic species in the UK, immortalised in stories and legend for its cunning and stealth. This orangey-red dog, with its famously bushy tail, can be seen in town and country, day and night.
The brown hare is known for its long, black-tipped ears and fast running - it can reach speeds of 45mph when evading predators. It prefers a mosaic of farmland and woodland habitats and can often be spotted in fields.
The black-and-white striped badger is an iconic species in the UK and our biggest land predator. It is a common species, turning up in gardens, as well as inhabiting woodland, farmland and grassland.
The Pheasant is an introduced species that has settled here with little problem. It can be spotted in its farmland and woodland habitats, although you'll probably hear the loud, croaking call of the male before you see him.