North West Hunt Saboteurs

Hunt Chaos in The North West
1997-2000
(That We Know Of)

Key to Hunts
CF - Cheshire Forest Foxhounds RRB - Royal Rock Beagles
CH - Cheshire Hunt Foxhounds CB - Cheshire Beagles
HH - Holcombe Hunt FDB - Forest and District Beagles
WWW - Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn's FH

FDB and RRB - Hunt master refutes 'dogs ran riot' claim -17/3/00

A huntsman has hit back at claims from animal rights supporters that beagles from his hunt ran riot on a busy main road. Richard May, master of the Forest & District Beagles, said there was no evidence the dogs were out of control on the A54 and B5393 at Ashton on Saturday. 'We had someone there on the A54 in case of any problems, like we always do. They do not know of any such incident. Police were called but took no action and there has not been any complaint made about dogs on the road. 'We were hunting out near Manley that day and had two hunt saboteurs trying to distract the hounds. Hunters themselves were nowhere the A54.'

Mr May alleged the League Against Cruel Sports, which made the claims, were seeking as much publicity as possible in the wake of the Burns enquiry. He was speaking after the League called for the hunts taking part in Saturdays event - Royal Rock Beagles and Forest and District Beagles to disband. 

The League claims the hunt's beagles ran on to the A54 and the B5393, causing chaos and endangering the lives of motorists. Janet Smart, the League's North West representative, added: 'Already this season we have had numerous incidents involving local hunts, cats being chased, villagers terrified in their own homes, animals killed in private gardens in front of residents, hounds loose on rail lines, and now hounds running out of control on a busy main road. 'This shows just how chaotic and out of control hunting with dogs is. "We will be forwarding details of this latest incident to the Burns enquiry into hunting so they can see for themselves what can happen during these cruel and unnecessary bloodsports". 'In the meantime we call upon these hunts to disband and cease hunting harmless hares, before they cause a serious accident with their cruel and chaotic activity.'

WWW - Hounds ripped fox to pieces in garden - 4/2/00

An angry couple have told how they watched helplessly while a pack of blood-thirsty hounds pulled a fox apart in front of them. The dogs, part of the Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn's (WWW) foxhunt chased their quarry Into the back garden of Ann and Martin Green's home in Shocklach.

The couple, who were relaxing in the garden at the time, could do nothing to stop what happened. 'The dogs came straight into our garden and ripped the fox to pieces in front of us, in our greenhouse. 'It was absolutely horrible to watch and ruined our weekend. The fox was left sprawled on our patio, the dogs having lost interest by then. 'I cannot describe my feelings. Sadness, disgust, anger. They all seem too trivial,' said Mrs Green. She added: 'We have three dogs and I'm Just glad they were not out in the garden at the time or the hounds might have started fighting with them, or worse. 'And our next door neighbour has three or four children. Thankfully they were not in their garden or goodness knows what might have4-2-00.jpg (17396 bytes) happened.'

Mrs Green, who works at Wrexham County Court, asked the hunt members to remove the dead fox from her property, which they did. 'They were not very nice and sneered at me,' she claimed. Mrs Green. who took photographs of the Saturday afternoon incident, alleged that three hunt followers went to an acquaintance of hers to see if they could influence Mrs Green not to release the photos. 'I didn't like that. We were just minding our own business in our own garden. 'What happened to the fox was horrible. But the attitude of the hunters when we showed our displeasure was also horrible and we want everyone to know that,' she added.

Sergeant Andy Agnew, of Chester Police, said a rural beat officer had been out to see Mr and Mrs Green to so. what action the police could be taken, if any. 

The hunt was organised by William Wakeham, one of the four Masters of the Wynnstay Hunt, based in Ruabon. When contacted at home this week. Mr Wakeham said: 'I don't like being bothered at home. You are pestering me He declined to comment further.

CF - Hunt hounds stray onto busy rail line - 24/1/00

CF - 22/1/00

Hunt saboteurs today witnessed the Cheshire Forest Foxhounds trespassing on the high-speed Manchester to London mainline, the same line were the hunt have had three hounds killed in the past two years. Hounds were spotted on the line at Manor Farm, Over Peover, near Knutsford, Cheshire at approx. 12.30pm by hunt saboteurs, who are present in the area using non-violent direct action to prevent the hunt from killing. Hounds remained on the line for approx. 5 mins and a Whipper-In from the hunt (hunt staff) was also trespassing.

Dawn Preston, spokesperson from the North West Hunt Saboteurs Association commented 'Yet again we see the hunt display their blatant disregard for life, whether it be human or animal. This hunt had two hounds killed on the same line in November 1998, and one in the year prior to that. Not only do they consistently endanger the lives of their hounds, but what of the passengers in the trains who use this important railway?'

She continued 'No doubt the hunt will try to blame this incident on us, as they have done in the past. However hunt saboteurs aim to save lives, not endanger them and we would never lead any animal into danger. We have reported the incident to the British Transport Police and have taken pictures of the incident, which we will have developed once the days' hunting is finished'.

CH - Hunt runs riot after cats -12/1/00

Rural resident to contact 'Committee of Inquiry into Hunting' after terrifying ordeal. Yesterday during a meet of the Cheshire Foxhounds, Wettenhall a resident had her property invaded by a pack of 20 hounds, pursuing her two pet cats, chasing them across the garden, before escaping through a cat flap into her house. But it didn't end there as frenzied hounds continued their pursuit by trying to break through the door into the Kitchen where Lisa and her terrified cats were held up.

So ferocious was the attack as they attempted to get at the cats that one hound got its head through the cat flap and split the door. Speaking shortly after the ordeal she said: - "It was awful the hounds were in full cry going berserk after my cats. Thank goodness I kept the door closed otherwise the pack would have come into the Kitchen, it could have been carnage. This is not the first time this has happened, last year one of my cats needed veterinary treatment after being bitten in the leg by a hunt dog. I have contacted the police but they said they were powerless to do anything. People who live in the countryside should not have to put up with this barbaric and traumatic activity. I will be taking legal advice on what action can be taken against these people, furthermore I will be contacting the 'Committee of enquiry into hunting' so that they are fully aware of what has taken place here today"

Janet Smart NW representative for the League against Cruel Sports commented "What happened to Lisa and her cats was just awful but sadly is nothing new. Last Saturday hounds belonging to the Chairman of the Countryside Alliance Sam Butler attacked and ripped apart a pet cat in front of the owner. Just what do people have to do to protect their pets in their own homes?

CF - Hunt in the centre of new war of words - 7/12/99

CB - 25/1/99

A shocked motorist called on hunt saboteurs for assistance on Saturday after seeing vehicles swerving in and out of hunting hounds belonging to the Cheshire Beagles which had steamed onto the busy A534 Nantwich road at Faddiley whilst in pursuit of a hare.

On arrival saboteurs, already in the area on their way to a nearby foxhunt found hunting hounds still running around on the road with not a huntsman in sight and the sad sight of a hare lying motionless in the centre of the road. The saboteurs quickly rounded the hounds up and led them safely away from the road to prevent further accident after it was discovered that nothing further could be done for the hare, which had died from multiple injuries after being struck by a vehicle.

Dawn Preston, spokesperson for the North West Hunt Saboteurs said "This incident has highlighted just how difficult, and often impossible, it is to control hounds in pursuit of their quarry. The hunters should think themselves very fortunate that no-one was seriously injured when the hounds ran out of control on the main road". She continued The hare is a threatened species yet the hunters continue to try and entertain themselves by pursuing it with their dogs in an attempt to obtain a day's 'sport'. All they actually achieved was red faces all round after causing chaos and disruption in the countryside

FDB - 26/12/98

Hunt saboteurs in the North West were today appalled at the complete indifference shown by hunt staff and supporters alike at a meet of the Forest and District Beagles, near Macclesfield, Cheshire after a beagle died after getting caught in a snare. The incident occurred at approx 1.30 p.m. after the hunt had set off from the Cragg Inn public house at around noon. The hunt master, Mr Richard May, refused to comment on the incident when questioned by a saboteur present. Paul Timpson stated 'The complete lack of shame or concern shown by the hunt and their supporters over the needless loss of a beagle's life is disgraceful. I will never forget the pathetic sight of the limp, lifeless beagle being carried down from the hill.

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CF - Stop hunt death track misery - 11/11/98

CF - 7/11/98

Two hounds were killed on Saturday after being bit by a high speed train in an identical incident to one which occurred at the same spot exactly a year ago. The two hounds, part of the pack being hunted by the Cheshire Forest Foxhounds at Bradwall Manor, near Sandbach in Cheshire, were killed as they crossed the busy Crewe to Manchester line. The pack had flushed a fox from a covert (wood) and two Whippers-In (hunt staff) encouraged the hounds on in the chase which led them directly across the rail track.

This incident occurs exactly a year to the day that the hunt suffered the loss of another hound after it too was struck by a train at the same spot. At the time the then Master, Peter Hunter stated 'it is.. very rare for this to happen...I think it is of great credit to the hunt staff that this does not happen very often'.

Dawn Preston, of the North West Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated 'The fact that this is a mirror image of what happened previously, with the terrible exception that it involved the deaths of two hounds rather than one, highlights the hunt's blatant disregard for life - whether it be fox or hound. In light of Peter Hunter's comments last year it is beyond belief that they could allow the same thing to happen again. The complete lack of concern over the fate of the two hounds was clearly displayed by the hunt and their followers who simply continued with the days hunting. Obviously the hounds were deemed to be expendable' She continued 'Although saboteurs were present they were unfortunately not in a position to have prevented the hounds from crossing the line'.

British Transport Police were called to the scene and the incident reported, although at this time it is not known if any action is to be taken against the hunt for trespass.

The Cheshire Foxhounds were successfully prosecuted in May 1994 following a trespass recorded by the League Against Cruel Sports. Three members of the hunt were fined £25. 

In January 1994, following the trespass incident referred to above, British Rail managers issued a memo to all Cheshire train drivers which warned them to slow down when in foxhunt territories in the county.

CF - Foxhunt terror of village children - 14/3/98

Furious parents are demanding that action is taken after a fox hunt caused chaos and frightened their children as they made their way home from school. They claim that about 50 horses and a pack of loose hounds invaded a country road in Byley, near Middlewich, last Wednesday; forcing them to walk in the middle of the road where they had to avoid oncoming traffic.

The incident which occurred last Wednesday, brought back bad memories for Middlewich residents who suffered similar problems four years ago when more than 20 dogs ran riot in Croxton Lane.

One mother, Joanne Marsh, who was collecting her four-year old son Loren from Byley Primary School called the police to the scene when the Cheshire Forest hunt showed no signs of moving. She said: "The hunters were just shouting at us and only moved when we told them the police were on their way. "They were here in November and again just before Christmas and it can't go on much longer. Some children were surrounded by loose hounds and must have been absolutely terrified. They were hysterical."

Joanne's friend Sam Stanway, was picking her daughter up from school and was also caught up in the mayhem. She said: "A member of the hunt was calling me stupid for walking my daughter home and I suffered verbal abuse from other riders. "Then as I neared our home the horses were all over the public footpath and the hounds were fouling the green where children have to play. When I asked them to move they refused and told me I had to move. "This type of behaviour from so-called adults is disgusting and they also subjected my daughter to some of the most disgusting language I've ever heard."

Although it was reported that hunt master Peter Hunter had issued an apology for using this route, the parents maintain that they have heard nothing personally. Mr Hunter, who was not present at the hunt, said he was sorry if there was a problem and that they were looking into it.

The Countryside Protection Group is now taking up the matter with the council on the parents behalf with NW representative Chris Owen determined to end the miser of those in Byley. He said: "Already this year the CPG has been swamped with calls from rural residents complaining about the activities of fox hunters, revealing that it isn't just the wildlife that suffers from their activities. "People joke about the Hooray Henries of the countryside but to the rural communities whose villages and access roads are clogged by riders, hounds and followers this is no laughing matter. "The distress and disruption it brings is simply unbearable to many. To them it is the hunters who are the real pest. They just want to see an end to this barbaric and chaotic activity which is a continual blight on the countryside."

CF - Hunt protesters watch in horror as dog dies - 14/11/97

Animal welfare campaigners are calling for MPs to support an anti-hunting bill following an accident near Sandbach last Saturday. Hunt saboteurs watched in horror as a hound was hit by a high speed train while chasing a fox at Bradwall, near Sandbach. at about 2.3Opm. The dog called kingwood, was part of the Cheshire Forest Hunt chasing the fox through woodland near the main Crewe to Manchester railway line. As the fox tried to escape it veered across the railway line with the pack of hounds giving chase as a high speed train ploughed through them.

Janet Smart, North West regional representative for the LACS said: "I feel very sad for the innocent hound that was killed and I expect the driver of the train will have found the experience very, distressing just as myself and many others did having witnessed the incident."

A spokesperson for the League Against Cruel Sports added: "We ask MPs to give their over, whelming support to bring about much needed legislation to end the chaos and the suffering that hunting brings to the countryside, which was so exemplified in Saturday's incident."

Master of the Cheshire Fox hunt Peter Hunter said he was not there when the incident happened but added: "The hound was one of the hunt's favorites. It's very, very unfortunate, but it also very, rare for this to happen.

"It has happened once before, about nine years ago, and I think it is of great credit to the hunt staff that this does not happen very often."

CH - The hounds, the sound and the 7 o'clock fury - 1/9/97

HH - 26/1/97

Two hounds from the Holcombe Harriers were killed on Saturday 25th January after chasing a hare across an ice covered reservoir. The incident happened within an hour of the hunt setting off from the Egerton Arms, Ashworth Valley, near Rochdale, when hunt staff lost control of the pack of dogs as they chased a hare. Members of the North West Hunt Saboteurs Association, who were present on the day, worked with hunt members to rescue hounds from the icy water.

Saboteurs and hunt staff reached the far side of Ashworth Moor reservoir, off the A680 between Rochdale and Edenfield, at the same time to see half the pack were in the water whilst chasing a hare which had run across the ice in a desperate attempt to escape. A saboteur was first on the scene and called the pack out of the water and off to safety. However a small number of hounds remained in the reservoir and saboteurs raced to join hunt members who were breaking the ice around the hounds in the hope that they could swim free.

This succeeded in getting most of the hounds out but three remained stuck far out in the ice. Two saboteurs and one hunt member then waded out into the reservoir tied on a makeshift rope line to reach the dogs. Despite the freezing temperatures they managed to reach one hound which was hauled ashore and quickly dried and warmed up by the saboteurs. Unfortunately the other two hounds could not be reached and they drowned in the water.

Whilst this rescue attempt was going on other saboteurs held half the pack some distance away, however hunt staff failed to look after the other half and three hounds were knocked down as they ran loose along the busy A680.

Paul Timpson from the NWHSA said: "This tragic incident highlights the reckless and careless attitudes of hunting people who seem to care as little for their own dogs as they do for the foxes and bares they kill for fun."

CH - Hunt chased fox on land of animal rights leader 16/1/97

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Hunt Chaos


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