On Saturday 31st October, two Hunt saboteurs were the victim of a premeditated and unprovoked attack resulting in one needing hospital treatment for severe facial cuts and bruising and a suspected broken nose, during the attack the saboteurs were also threatened with a clasp knife.
The attack took place at a public car park on the South Downs Way slightly south of Firle, East Sussex, the car park is usually the haunt of members of the public using the footpaths to enjoy the countryside or for hang gliding off the step hillside.
On this Saturday members of the South Down and Eridge Fox hunt met at Firle Place and proceeded onto the downs. As is usual members of the Hunt Saboteurs were present to monitor the hunt to ensure there were no breaches of the Hunting Act which has made the hunting of foxes illegal. No false scent drags were in evidence but Hunt saboteurs became suspicious as an official of the hunt started to act in a strange manner and seemed to be trying to keep them in one location.
While this was taking place the driver of the group’s vehicle and his passenger noticed that other hunt supporters had suddenly left the car park they were waiting in. Within minutes two land rovers and a quad bike arrived, containing about ten hunt supporters some known to the saboteurs, blocking the movement of the group’s vehicle and an unprovoked attack was launched on the two saboteurs.
The driver while attempting to regain access to his vehicle had the door slammed on his head and was then repeatedly punched in the face causing the severe facial cuts and bruising and a suspected broken nose. He was then threatened with a clasp knife and was told repeatedly that he would be stabbed. His female companion was knocked to the ground and attempts were made to steal her mobile phone.
Managing to break free the two regained their vehicle and were chased by the three vehicles for a distance. The police were informed of the violent attack and later that day one man was arrested.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated: “David Cameron is happy to sing the praises of the hunting community and has promised to repeal the Hunting Act if the Tories win the General Election. We would like to know if he approves of this callous, unprovoked and vicious attack by ten hunt supporters on two innocent people which could easily have resulted in serious and permanent injury. Violence is a way of life for these people whether it is directed towards animals or people.”