ACIG NEWS 51


Bulletin of the Animal Cruelty Investigation Group 

January 2015

 

 

 

 

Waveney Harriers on A144 after meet at Boundary Farm, Ilketshall St. Margaret, Saturday January 10th 2015.

 

ENFORCING THE HUNTING ACT 2004

I took the above photograph when supporting Hunt Saboteurs as they endeavoured to enforce the Hunting Act following the meet of the Waveney Harriers at Boundary Farm, Ilketshall St. Margaret on Saturday January 10th 2015.

I came upon this scene in mid-afternoon on the busy A144 that runs from Bungay to Halesworth. It is a road on which there have been many accidents in recent years. When I first arrived the hounds were gathered in the field on the western side of the road, with the Huntsman off his horse, amongst them. What had happened I do not know but it certainly looked suspicious and if it was the end of a trail hunt it was a strange and foolish direction to lay the trail in – right towards a dangerous road and when it was blowing a howling gale making the hounds even more difficult to control than usual.

Soon after the Hunting Act came into effect the police officer who deals with hunting issues in Suffolk sat at my dining room table and informed me that he had spoken to all the hunts in Suffolk and they had each assured him that they would only be hunting legally (they would say that wouldn’t they?). That being the case the police officer told me that any film that I might take that might show otherwise could only actually be evidence of an “accident” taking place – so was not illegal. Suffolk police have also been advising hunts how to protect themselves from prosecution under the Act. Hunters that use the trail hunting exemption have been told to film themselves laying a trail each and every morning they go out – as that will give them evidence with which to prove their intent. Hunt staff have also been advised to hang back from their hounds to avoid being seen in the same frame. Hunt monitors have to prove that the hunters could see that their hounds were hunting illegal quarry and encouraged their hounds to hunt that illegal quarry. If the hunt staff are a field or two back they can easily claim that they thought their hounds were hunting a trail, or rabbits or rats and that is why they encouraged them. This may appear to be all well and good for hunters and has undoubtedly helped some to escape prosecution but it does raise two very serious problems for hunting. Firstly “hands-off” hunting means that hounds can more easily run riot and hunt alternative quarry plus pets and livestock. Secondly it is easier for experienced hunt saboteurs, seeing illegal hunting taking place, to intervene and take the hounds away from the hunt staff. Beagle and basset packs and mink hunts, all of which hunt on foot, are particularly vulnerable to the latter.

The Waveney Harriers like all hunts after the ban could have had it easy. They could have obviously and only hunted legally but they have preferred to be secretive and elusive and operate behind a shield of aggression and violence. Their supporters are notorious for damaging any unattended vehicles they find belonging to antis. I have had my car kicked one day, my side window smashed another and mud smeared over my camera lens – all whilst merely trying to observe what they are doing – not sabotage them or interfere with their activities in any way.

Times have now changed. I have had enough of standing on the side-lines watching and filming as hounds hunt our wildlife and then having to try and prove that the hunters knew full well what they were doing so it was illegal. I am not prepared to film animals being tormented and perhaps even killed in some vague hope that months down the line some case might come to court after which even if by some miracle the hunters are convicted they will receive but a slight tap on the wrist. No more than I would stand idly by and watch a violent thug mug an old lady - now if the intent is obvious I will intervene directly and do my best to stop the crime happening.

Hunt saboteur groups up and down the country take a similar view and in recent months have intervened directly and saved countless animals from being illegally killed. Okay so this doesn’t do much for the prosecution figures - and not many registered hunts have been convicted of illegal hunting - but I am sure you will agree that it is far better to stop the crime ever happening and have the potential victim ending the day alive and running free.

Hunters of course loathe being forced to obey the law. Before the ban ever came in some 40,000 said that they would ignore it and many pledged to go to jail rather than obey it. The latter it turns out was an empty threat – no hunters have gone to jail (at least not for infringing the Hunting Act) and even the few that are taken to court twist turn and squirm in their efforts to avoid conviction.

Breaking News……… On January 24th 2015, following their meet at Mendham in Suffolk the Waveney Harriers became the first hunt ever to be advised by the police to pack up and go home to prevent illegal hunting. Hunt saboteurs were present and their presence brought in eight police officers from Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies. I was patrolling at the edge of the hunt. Hounds were put into fields that were waterlogged and full of hares. The hounds quickly rioted and chased hares in every direction. This was clearly illegal hunting and the police could hardly all stand and watch it happening. A Norfolk Police Sergeant marched across the field putting himself between the hunt and the hares and in no uncertain terms told the hunters that in his opinion if they carried on they would be breaking the law. The hunters could have reduced their pack and changed their method or location of hunting but they preferred to go home – giving a single-finger gesture to the sabs as they went. I have campaigned for 44 years to see the police uphold the law, the will of Parliament and the will of our nation in this way. I have seen good days in the hunting fields and I have seen bad days but this has to have been my best day ever in our countryside! Now let’s see all police forces follow this lead and tell their hunts to hunt legally – or not hunt at all.

 

ELECTION MAY 7TH 2015

When you read this it will be only some three months until we have a new Government. The election in May will shape the future for countless animals in the UK for the next half-decade. All the current polls indicate that the result will be very close – so every vote will count. I am not in the business of telling supporters how to vote. I do ask that people vote and then vote wisely. Read what your candidates have to say, look at the result last time in your constituency and vote for the best possible result. Beyond voting, please also think of campaigning for compassionate candidates. The hunting fraternity have been preparing for years for this moment. They will be out in droves in the run up to the election leafleting for their candidates. If we are to win for animals we need not only to match their efforts we need to far exceed them. I will be doing all that I can both directly and indirectly by injecting a few facts and figures into the debates such as the following that I posted on my Facebook page:-

Here is something for Nigel Farage to ponder over. Hunting wildlife with hounds is a foreign import, imposed upon the English by our French conquerors after 1066. Even the bloodsports rabble know this as confirmed by the following quote from a “country sports” book: “It is an interesting thought that if Harold had won the battle of Hastings and no other Norman invasion had been successful, there would, most probably, be no hunting in the British Isles as we know it today. The Saxons and their kin did not use packs of hounds for hunting by scent; the hounds, the customs and the language of the chase came from France.” From Lurchers and Longdogs by E.G. Walsh. The Boydell Press. 1984. Page 47, 2nd paragraph.

 

YOUTUBE CAMPAIGNING

I have been working really hard to get all the key pieces of video film gathered by myself and colleagues over the years accessible to all on the Internet through Youtube. This can be lengthy and painstaking work as often I have to use aged equipment as that is the only way to play old VHS and VHS-C tapes.

Since our last news bulletin I have uploaded the following videos to Youtube. They are listed here in chronological order according to the date uploaded:-

August 29th: Hare coursing 10/2/2002. This clip taken by myself for the ACIG is important as it shows the moment a dog is slipped against a hare by an illegal hare courser. The clip has been used in Police training videos. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/nCXPKRsyKwo

September 1st: Staghunting August 1995. Filmed by Kevin Hill for the LACS this shows hounds engulfing an exhausted stag as he runs down a slope. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/DscTvtfuaDg

September 4th: Staghunting 25/4/1996. Filmed by Kevin Hill for the LACS this shows the “botched shot” with the Huntsman creeping up on the exhausted stag, shooting him and the stag running off with his lower jaw smashed. The stag was hunted for another 14 minutes before being killed.

Link to clip: http://youtu.be/yT60QyZMu5k

September 8th: Staghunting 29/9/1994. Filmed by Kevin Hill for the LACS this is in my opinion the most powerful expose of the barbaric nature of staghunting ever filmed. It is the infamous river Barle incident. The exhausted stag was shot at least four times without being killed. Kevin had his view blocked, he was jostled and punched and finally mud was smeared over his camera lens to stop him from gathering the truth for the public. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/nuzipLShQlk

September 26th: Ward Union Staghounds, Republic of Ireland 19/1/1999. I took this film for the ACIG. It has been widely shown on television in Ireland and is a powerful expose of the cruelty and violence that is inevitable at the end of a carted staghunt. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/uoVfbu8w2AM

December 12th: Sinnington Cubs 23/6/1998. Myself and a colleague from the ACIG filmed these cubs captive in an artificial earth in Sinnington Foxhounds country. With the help of the RSPCA these cubs were rescued, rehabilitated and then released into the wild in an area safe from hunting.

Link to clip: http://youtu.be/hCF6UpiExLc

December 14th: Sinnington Cubs 23/6/1998. This is a longer version of the above video showing more of the artificial earth. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/QG-NZ-6fdSA

December 15th: Waveney Harriers 27/1/2007. I took this film for the ACIG when monitoring the hunt. Even though I was alone and armed only with a camera you can see the difficulties that I faced. Hunt supporters blocked my view, jostled me and eventually smeared mud on the lens of my camera.

Link to clip: http://youtu.be/1KCix-7lZok

December 18th: Thurlow Foxhounds 26/2/2009. You can see the difficulties that I faced monitoring this hunt for the ACIG. This hunt supporter used to follow me everywhere I drove and he would have a yellow flashing light on his car roof to indicate my location to the rest of the hunt. He was also in regular mobile phone contact with the hunters. I was not sabotaging the hunt nor interfering with their activities in any way – other than by my presence with a camera – but see how he loses his temper with me. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/x582mV-oPfM

December 18th: Thurlow Foxhounds 26/2/2009 around 3.20p.m. Same hunt, same supporter as before. Now with the hounds in cry in the wood on our right the supporter has calmed down a bit and merely tries to block the view of my camera. One wonders why he would do this if he was confident that his hunt was hunting legally. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/qXVHqpdU-bs

December 22nd: Quorn Foxhounds 8/10/1991. I took this film when working undercover for the ACIG. It proves the protracted nature of a dig-out. This fox was held for 4 minutes 29 seconds by the terrierman before being shot – and there was a lengthy dig before that to even get hold of the fox.

Link to clip: http://youtu.be/zN7i4lkIi40

December 22nd: Quorn Foxhounds 4/10/1991. This is another of my films for the ACIG. See this young cub being dug to and bolted. The cub survived only because the vixen intervened and gave her life for her offspring. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/cnMg1gZn-hE

December 29th: Staff College Draghounds 19/3/2000. I took this film for the ACIG as an observer on the visits to the hunting fields by the Lord Burns Hunting Inquiry team. This is a draghunt in action. See how humane it is – how the only “kill” is a bucket full of biscuits as reward for the hounds.

Link to clip: http://youtu.be/KNaFv4S_E1w

December 29th: Eastern Counties Minkhounds 15/5/2004. I took this film as a monitor for the ACIG. See how my presence with a camera unsettled the hunters.

Link to clip: http://youtu.be/bTRA8WnPpBE

December 30th: Quantock Staghounds 19/3/1982. I took this old bit of silent cine film when working undercover within staghunting. It shows a young Spring stag run down a slope with hounds in close pursuit, jump a hedge but catch his legs on the hedge top and flip over on the road breaking his neck.

Link to clip: http://youtu.be/gCj2YXd_qbo

December 31st: Staghunting mixed. This is a compilation of silent cine film from my undercover work in 1981-83 showing the end of several staghunts. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/v7k-RN3hNG8

January 1st: Devon and Somerset Staghounds 5/12/1981. Another bit of silent cine film from my undercover work. This shows the gralloch of a hind above Porlock Bay.

Link to clip: http://youtu.be/jW3d0k4xAIY

January 2nd: Jim Barrington in a League Against Cruel Sports training interview in mid-1984. This is a reminder of just what an effective speaker for the anti-hunt cause Jim was – he now speaks for hunting with but a fraction of this passion. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/75ZK5ixxmLs

January 4th: Devon and Somerset Staghounds 22/10/1981. This silent cine film of mine shows the end of an Autumn Staghunt. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/N58rRNz1JkE

January 4th: Quantock Staghounds 7/10/1981. This is another silent cine film from my undercover work detailed in my book “Outfoxed”. This shows the gruesome end for a stag that ended up stuck in deep mud. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/-AHMl8pckDY

January 4th: Middle English “Fieldsports…Bloodsports?” This education programme for schools dates to around 1980/81. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/IQTj8dSB79c

January 8th: Jim Barrington speaking for LACS at public meeting in Ringwood 25/11/1991.

Link to clip: http://youtu.be/_UrfRRMk_8A

January 14th: Three Counties Minkhounds 11/9/1982. Working undercover I took this silent cine film that shows the hunt where the Joint Master and Huntsman at the time was also the Conservation and Education Officer for the British Field Sports Society taking a chainsaw to an old willow to evict a mink that was seeking sanctuary in the tree. Link to clip: http://youtu.be/i2JD7Ig2uxg

January 16th: “Affairs of the Hart”. This clip is a short extract from this 1988 ITV programme that shows hunt saboteurs in action against the Devon and Somerset Staghounds in the mid-1960s. It is the earliest film of hunt saboteurs protecting wildlife that I am aware of.

Link to clip: http://youtu.be/r-R1rIRw97Y

 

PET RESCUE – a report by Lucy-Ann Huskisson

After Kai, the Shar-Pei crossbreed, who was left at Ayr train station with a suitcase after being purchased off Gumtree had gained international news coverage, I thought I would share with you my own experience with the website. When my parents were away, an advert caught my eye from the site offering a rabbit 'free to a good home'. Whilst I wasn't exactly looking to take on a rabbit, it wasn't long before Sofia had nestled her way into my heart.

            There was very little information provided. I knew from the fuzzy photograph that she was a white albino lop, and that the advert listed her as sixteen weeks old, but that was about it. I promptly contacted the owner to find out if Sofia had found a home yet, and once it was confirmed that she hadn't it was clear that she would soon be finding one with me.

            When I went to collect Sofia I discovered that she had originally been purchased from Pets at Home for the couple’s young children, only to later discover that they were allergic to her. She hopped out of her cage happily enough although after being hotly pursued by the young children and a lot of shrieking and screaming, it wasn't long before Sofia was back in her cage and pressed as flat to the floor as she could get. She was living as a house rabbit and being kept in a cage (bought at the same time she was) that was advertised from Pets at Home as suitable for a guinea pig or a small rabbit.

            The reality of this became even more heart-breaking and frustrating when we later learnt that Sofia was a French Lop, a breed that is commonly considered to be semi-giant. In fairness to the couple that had originally bought her, they honestly seemed to have wanted to do the best for the rabbit. For me the primary fault lies with Pets at Home for selling a cage in conjunction with a breed of rabbit that would soon grow to be far too large for it.

            When I first bought Sofia home I allowed her to have a run around our dining room. For about the first ten minutes she was too scared to even move, but after that she began to explore. Before long she was rushing around; jumping over chairs, onto boxes, having a nose around the fireplace and generally getting up to no good.

            Thankfully, I was raised by parents who (although a little shocked at the new addition to our family) instantly fell in love with her just as much as I had. Three months on Sofia has grown into one of the largest rabbits we have ever had! She is housed in an outbuilding with plenty of floor space and levels for her to explore. She is incredibly friendly and inquisitive and now (following her full recovery from being neutered), she is preparing to be bonded with an equally lovely neutered male rabbit who we are adopting from a nearby animal sanctuary to be companions for each other.

            I wanted to share the experience of Sofia with you for two reasons. Firstly to show that whilst there are horror stories on the internet (I would never condone the exchange of animals on websites such as Gumtree or Freecycle) there are also those rare occasions in which the stars align and the right person happens to spot the right advertisement and perhaps avert an otherwise awful situation. 

            Secondly, to further show that we all really can have an impact on an animal’s life, even if it is on a more individual basis. At sixteen weeks old, Sofia was being advertised as a young female rabbit with a very uncertain future. She could have easily been collected by someone wishing to breed from her, or on a whim by another family simply wishing to please their children. Instead she has found her forever home and will spend the rest of her life being thoroughly loved, pampered and cared for by us. 

 

POWERFUL EXPRESSION OF ALL THAT WAS AND IS WRONG IN FOXHUNTING

A colleague sent me this excellent article that was printed in the periodical “The World & His Wife” dated 1907. I shared it on my Facebook page and am pleased to reprint it here below for those supporters who cannot access my Facebook campaigning work. It may be old – pre-dating the First World War – but little has changed in the hunting fields of today – even after the hunting ban.

BRUTALIZED BY FOX HUNTING

A stirring article, in which a recently returned Anglo-Australian sets forth his impressions of the sport of fox-hunting. We do not in any way identify ourselves with his opinions, but insert them as the expression of one man’s opinion

Although an Englishman by birth, I have lived abroad for the last twenty years; consequently my knowledge of what I am told is the national winter sport of the middle and upper classes was, until recently, very limited. Being a fair horseman, curious also to see something of this far-famed sport, I accepted an invitation to visit a friend in the Midlands, and on one occasion rode out to the meet and followed the hounds. Once was enough.

I have difficulty in finding words to express my opinion of this so-called sport. Fox-hunting is a relic of barbarism and should be relegated to the same category as bull-baiting, cock-fighting, and occupations of a similar nature, wherein our ancestors took delight.

For them there was some excuse. The country squires of the olden time were a hard-drinking set, uncultured, scarcely educated; so it is not surprising that their favourite amusements should have been rough, and tinged by barbarity. But what can be said in excuse of educated gentlemen of the present day, who find pleasure in hunting a wretched animal to death? Allow me briefly to recount my personal experience – what I saw with my own eyes.

It is not necessary for my purpose to mention names; sufficient to say that one day recently I was at the meet of a well-known pack of foxhounds. ‘Twas, I admit, a gay and cheery scene. Many of the men wore red coats, and, judging from the attention they had evidently bestowed upon their dress, the occasion was invested with no small importance in their estimation. Quite a number of ladies were present, some mounted, others in carriages.

A Revolting Ceremony

The meet was obviously a social function of repute and standing. Before long the hounds ejected a fox from its lair in the woods, and the hunt began. It was but a short one. Scent was evidently good, and after traversing a few fields the fox was run into by the eager pack. There ensued a truly disgusting exhibition. Dismounting, the huntsman rescued the poor creature from the hounds, cut off its head, tail and feet (mask, brush and pads are, I am informed, the “sporting” terms); then, holding aloft the bleeding remains of the animal, he gave a wild yell, doubtless to stimulate the ardour of the baying pack, and flung the maimed body into their jaws.

The “trophies” of the chase were distributed among some of the riders. The tail, or brush, was presented to a lady, one of the whippers-in fixing it to the head-stall of her horse’s bridle.

Worse remains to be told. Among those who were in at the death – another “sporting” term – was a boy of about twelve on a pony. He had never before, it appeared, achieved that highly esteemed honour of seeing the “kill,” so had to submit to a revolting ceremony, more suited for a tribe of savages than educated Englishmen. The boy was – as it is called – “blooded.” I hear that quite babies are submitted to this barbarity. The huntsman smeared his face all over with the blood of the defunct fox. Can one imagine anything more brutalizing, more calculated to destroy refinement and encourage coarseness?

The friend with whom I was staying was a clergyman, also a keen fox-hunter. As I came to understand the real nature of the business, I experienced a strong feeling of repulsion towards him. It seemed to me nothing short of scandalous that a clergyman of the Church of England should encourage by his presence and example such a hideous mockery of sport. Had I followed my inclination, I should have gone home immediately after the first fox was killed, but I wished to see the thing out and ascertain the lengths to which English gentlemen would go in their craze for fox-hunting.

Fought for his Life

The hounds did not get on the track of another fox for some little time, but at length one jumped up in a field of turnips right before them, and away they went full cry in pursuit. This proved to be a stout animal; and he fought bravely for his life. Far and fast the pack sped away; and after a time my horse began to tire. So, with some twenty other horsemen, I kept to the roads and lanes, piloted by an elderly gentleman, who evidently knew the country well.

After about an hour, from some rising ground we caught sight of the hunted fox, at no great distance. I had seen it at the start, when it jumped away full of life and vigour, with its coat thick and glossy, and its bushy tail carried jauntily. A sorry spectacle it presented now. Its tail and coat were all draggled; and it was evidently in the last stage of exhaustion. The hounds were not far behind their fox, and it seemed as though nothing could save it, when suddenly it disappeared from view in a burrow or drain. I imagined, in my ignorance, that the wretched animal would now be left in peace, never dreaming that the refinement of cruelty I was about to witness was possible.

Digging out a Fox

Most of the people now dismounted in order to ease their horses, many of which were fairly done. The huntsman proceeded to inspect the burrow in which the fox had taken refuge. A fox-terrier was procured, and, being shown the spot, was quickly out of sight, fighting hard to come to close quarters with its enemy, and barking furiously. But the burrow being too small to admit it, one of the whippers-in obtained a spade and proceeded to dig down upon the fox. Presently a bedraggled, miserable object emerged; it was barely able to crawl, already half dead. The poor creature was allowed to run some little distance, then the pack started in pursuit, and bowled it over. Once again we were treated to the same degrading exhibition, and I turned my horse homeward, sad at heart to think that my fellow country men – and women – should lend themselves to such scene of cruelty.

A Lingering Death

It is time that the barbarity of fox-hunting was exposed, and I trust that you will find room in your influential journal for these expressions of opinion. I am convinced that to the vast majority of Englishmen the real nature of fox-hunting is altogether unknown.

Consider what this so-called sport means – preserving the race of foxes in order to hunt them to death. Sometimes the poor brute escapes the cruel fangs of its enemies, only to die a lingering death from exhaustion. It was stated in the Press recently that a fox which had found refuge in a drain or open “earth” was occasionally extricated therefrom with an implement resembling a corkscrew, which was forced into its body.

It seems incredible that such things should be, yet the statement, so far from being contradicted, was more or less confirmed. It was explained that unless the barbarous implement were employed the fox might bite the person endeavouring to pull it out. This is a matter which is deserving of very particular attention on the part of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The influence of fox-hunting on those who take part in it cannot be otherwise than lowering the moral tone. Accustomed day after day to witness the acts of cruelty I have attempted to describe, men and women grow callous. Not one iota do they care for the sufferings of the hunted fox, so long as they enjoy a good gallop. The result is that sensibilities become blunted, not only as regards fox-hunting, but in reference to the ordinary affairs of life. I will not shrink from saying that the code of manners which obtains in regular hunting circles leaves a great deal to be desired. Fox-hunting tends to brutalise.

On the one and only occasion that I indulged in the sport (?) ladies were pointed out to me who were regular followers of hounds. I was not surprised at the information, as they showed plainly in their appearance and manners the effects of their habitual occupation. With their complexions rendered coarse by exposure to all kinds of weather. Loud of voice, free of gesture, they appeared to me to offer an interesting object lesson of precisely what a woman ought not to be.

I am afraid that on this subject of fox-hunting my voice will be lifted in vain. The greatest men in the land lend their support to the wretched business. It will be said that fox-hunting gives employment to thousands, who otherwise might be out of work. Also, that it causes money to circulate freely in the country districts where it is most wanted. I reply that no such specious arguments should be entertained for a moment. Nothing can justify the degrading scenes and revolting cruelty which are inseparable from fox-hunting. Imagine a young girl, refined, cultured, looking on calmly while a poor brute of a fox is dismembered, and then torn up by the hounds! Custom sanctions these brutalities. The girl does not realise what she sees, because she has never thought out the matter for herself. But I cannot think that the mothers of England, who read your journal, will approve of the scenes and practices I have endeavoured to portray. They will, I am convinced, condemn them, and with no uncertain voice.

ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

You are welcome to quote anything in our literature or on our web site.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Whilst we pride ourselves in never pestering supporters for money we do need funding. Vehicles, fuel, cameras and computer equipment all cost money. If you do not already support our investigation and education work by standing order please consider doing so – a small regular amount such as £1 a month, or £12 a year, makes a big difference – if enough people do this. Thank you. You can now set up your own standing order directly with your bank yourself using the details on our supporter form.

INFORMATION SPREADING

Please help us to spread far and wide the true facts about the mistreatment of animals. You can do this by passing on our news bulletins – physically or via the Internet - and if you have access to the Internet by sharing my posts on Facebook and passing links to our Youtube videos to friends and colleagues. People need to understand the full measure of the cruelty that is inflicted upon animals if they are to be motivated to do anything effective to stop it. The suffering has gone on for far too long – now let’s make a real push to end it.

ELECTION WORK

May 7th 2015 will be a key day in the history of animal welfare campaigning. It is likely that we will only get two chances a decade to make our views heard so please make yours a loud and clear voice for the voiceless.

UNWANTED ITEMS THAT CAN BE SOLD TO RAISE FUNDS

The car boot sale season will soon be starting again. Small unwanted items that are easily sold are a good way for us to raise funds for our work. In particular we appreciate old UK (pre-decimal) and foreign currency, coins and notes and broken or unwanted items of jewellery.

LEGACIES

You have seen after many years of ACIG successes that we have a proven ability to win for animals. For anyone considering remembering the vital investigation work of the ACIG in their will, to enable us to continue to achieve, I respectfully suggest using the following form of bequest:

I bequeath unto the Animal Cruelty Investigation Group of P.O. Box 8, Halesworth, Suffolk,

IP19 0JL, the sum of ............................. free of tax and I direct that the receipt of an authorised officer of the group shall be a good and sufficient discharge of such legacy.”

Please note that neither the ACIG nor the AWIS is a charity. We have given a lot of thought to and taken legal advice on making one or other, or perhaps both, of these groups a charity but as yet we have not done so. Whilst many animal rescue centres are charities most of the large campaigning animal welfare groups are not. Like them we are at present unwilling to restrict our campaigning activities which would be the inevitable result of taking on charitable status. Please do not allow your solicitor to discourage you from leaving your money to whomsoever you wish, whether they are a charity or not.

 

IN MEMORIAM

Tragically, far too many people working for animals have suffered appallingly at the hands of the abusers. Several have paid the ultimate price. They will never be forgotten. The memory of their sacrifice should inspire us all to do much more for the causes that we know to be just. ALL who give their lives for animals are remembered but we do particularly recall the following whose lives were taken by our opponents:-

 

James Piper, RSPCA Inspector: Died in 1838 after sustaining severe injuries tackling cockfighters at Hanworth, Middlesex.

William Sweet, LACS member: Murdered 6/1/1976 after altercation with man shooting birds. Assailant was jailed for life but has long been released.

Fernando Pereira, Greenpeace photographer: Murdered 10/7/1985 by the French Secret Service when the vessel “Rainbow Warrior” was sunk by two explosions, Auckland Harbour, New Zealand.

Michael Hill, Hunt Saboteur: Killed 9/2/1991 protesting against hare hunting at the Cheshire Beagles.

Thomas Worby, Hunt Saboteur: Killed 3/4/1993 protesting against fox hunting at the Cambridgeshire Foxhounds.

Jill Phipps, Animal Rights Activist: Killed 1/2/1995 protesting against live exports of farm animals, Coventry Airport.

Paola Quartini, animal activist for LIPU (Italian League for Bird Protection - UK) from Genoa, Italy and Elvio Fichera, a volunteer for the Association of Abandoned Animals:  Both were murdered 12/5/2010 whilst trying, with police, to serve a warrant on Renzo Castagnola for cruelty to animals. Renzo Castagnola shot them dead, then injured his wife, then killed himself.

 

It will all be over when next I write a news bulletin. We will have a new Government. We will be doing our best to ensure that we have as many compassionate MPs as possible but beyond that whatever the complexion of the new Government we will strive to push animal welfare high up the political agenda – to a position that accurately reflects the high regard that so many give to this issue. I am particularly keen to ensure that all the evidence that we have gathered to date should at least be accessible to anyone seeking it. We cannot make people view a photograph, read a page, open a book or view a film but surely we must at the very least make it possible for them to do so if they wish. I have just uploaded to Youtube a short piece of film of Hunt Saboteurs in action against the Devon and Somerset Staghounds in the mid-1960s. This is the earliest example of hunt sabotage that I am aware of. Until a few days ago it had remained buried in our archive on an old VHS tape of a 1988 ITV programme. Now it is accessible the world over via our Youtube archive. I know you will agree that this is important work. I now divide my time between fieldwork and archive work – and none of this would be possible without your continued support. It is your generous donations that enable us to win for animals. Thank you. Our next bulletin will be written in July.                  Editor. January 2015

Animal Cruelty Investigation Group, PO Box 8, HALESWORTH, Suffolk. IP19 0JL

E-mail: acig@btinternet.com                 Web site: www.acigawis.org.uk