Prosecute the Atherstone Hunt
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Saboteur Footage Clearly shows Illegal Hunting by the Atherstone Hunt.
On Saturday the 28th February 2015 West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs attended a meet of the Atherstone Fox hunt at Sibson, Leicestershire. They were there to gather evidence of illegal hunting and to intervene if necessary to save hunted foxes.
From the start of the day it was clear that the Atherstone were illegally hunting as they repeatedly put their hounds through areas likely to contain foxes with no evidence that a trail had been laid.
The attached video shows a fox being closely pursued by the Atherstone hounds. The huntsman, Stuart Barton, and whipper in are present at the time and do nothing to stop this illegal hunting. Their only concern is to impede and assault the saboteurs who are filming their law breaking. Barton (in the red coat) can be seen using his horse to ride at a sab and pin them against a wall. The video also shows the saboteurs being assaulted by hunt supporters who try and steal their cameras. One female saboteur received nasty cuts to her face after a hunt supporter dug her nails into her face.
We can confirm that the CPS have decided not to prosecute the huntsman Stuart Barton for illegal hunting, despite the fox running straight past him and no attempts made by him or other hunt staff present to stop the hounds. In fact the first thing the Huntsman does after clearly seeing the fox is to ride his horse violently into the nearest person, pinning them up against the wall yet the huntsman will face no charge for this.
The police have separately charged the woman in the footage for two accounts of assault.
Kelly Watson, spokesperson for West Midland Hunt saboteurs, stated: “Although this video clearly shows illegal hunting and assault we are shocked that no charges have been brought against the huntsman. The hounds were clearly out of control and yet no charges have been made. Despite clear evidence of hunting and assaults, no-one faces any charges, yet when members of the Atherstone Hunt make allegations with no evidence the police are happy to act and issue Police Information Notices to the two saboteurs in this footage. We ask that the CPS reconsider charging the Huntsman with common assault contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and that it is clear that there was no evidence or serious attempts by any hunt staff to call the hounds of a wild mammal contrary to the Hunting Act 2004''
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