ANIMAL WELFARE INFORMATION SERVICE                                                                                                              

NEWS BULLETIN 40

May 2015

What a depressing result the election on May 7th brought, all the more so because right to the last day it was so unexpected. I had campaigned hard both on the streets in our Waveney constituency and on the streets in Derby North where my good friend Chris Williamson was defending a narrow majority for Labour. Sadly Chris lost by just 41 votes.

We could have plenty of recriminations about who could and should have done more in the campaign or who voted 'wrongly' etc. etc. but it would be divisive and serve little purpose. I would offer just two thoughts. David Cameron was elected not because he loves seeing animals killed for fun but despite that fact. Secondly the election was but one more battle in the long war to protect animals. Yes, it was a major setback but surely we all knew that someday there would be a majority Conservative Government? We will have to learn to live with the situation - and work extra hard to ensure that animals do not die because of it. We should draw strength from the fact that May 7th was only an election for politicians - it was not a referendum on the way that animals are treated in the UK. There is no doubt that the overwhelming majority passionately oppose the likes of fox, stag and hare hunting and hare coursing. We now have to find new avenues of campaigning to harness this strength of feeling to protect our wildlife.

 

OUTFOXED PLUS ONE

Moving beyond the depressing news of the election this is my major positive news to report. I have at long last after many years of cajoling decided to issue a reprint of my old book Outfoxed that was published in 1983 and is long out of stock. This book detailed my work as an active hunt saboteur and animal rights campaigner throughout the 1970s and my undercover work to expose hunting from 1981 to 1983.

Here is a review that was published in the Guardian August 11th 1984:-

A COUNTRY DIARY

MACHYNLLETH: At last a book about hunting that doesn’t leave me entirely depressed. It is called Outfoxed, but despite the title it takes us off to tear not only foxes to pieces but also deer, hare and mink, all of which no doubt thoroughly enjoy the fun. The book is certainly original. Its author, Mike Huskisson, is a hunt saboteur who had the daring idea of getting right inside the hunting scene by pretending to be a real sporting character. For two years he attended meet after meet, getting to know the hunting people and gradually winning their confidence in order to witness exactly what they got up to behind the scenes. So now he can tell us in full gory detail what goes on beneath the well dressed and o, so jolly facade of hunting. He gives us a lively account of everything he discovered plus some vivid word pictures of leading members of the sporting world. But perhaps most telling of all, he was seldom without a camera and was able to take the sort of photographs that never appear in sporting literature. For far too long, hunting, patronised by the very best people, has had a marvellous press. So it is only right that now and then we get a book like this to redress the balance a little by shedding light on the bloodsports mentality. A well written and often entertaining piece of writing, it runs to 189 pages with plenty of photographs in black and white and colour. Outfoxed is a soft-back published by Michael Huskisson Associates, 83 Union Street. London. SF11.

WILLIAM CONDRY

Because it will be re-written in parts and updated to include an epilogue reference to the passing of the Hunting Act 2004 it will be called “Outfoxed plus one” – or something similar. My work from 1984 onwards to infiltrate and expose cruelty could then be described in a later volume – “Outfoxed plus two”.

Outfoxed may be old but the cruelty at the point where hounds face their quarry never changes. It is important that people, particularly youngsters, are aware of the savagery that lurks behind the glamorous façade of hunting. If you agree with me please can you help with making this new publication possible? Outfoxed plus one will be self-published by our Animal Welfare Information Service and to help fund the printing costs I am seeking 50 supporters prepared to pay £50 each now. In return you will get a complimentary copy of the book that I can sign personally for you in any way you wish. The book is likely to retail at something like £14.99 in paperback plus postage and packing charges. I am working towards a publication date of November 1st 2015. I had aimed to be just in time to cajole a hopefully sympathetic new Government to upgrade the Hunting Act but the election outcome has put an end to all such positive thoughts. Now we will be doing all that we can to retain the Hunting Act. A reprint of Outfoxed to remind people of the cruelty inherent in bloodsports will be another weapon in our armoury.

All money received for this project will be held in a separate fund so that if in the very unlikely event that anything goes wrong and the publication never happens the money will simply be returned to you.

I am already working very hard on this project - working on the text and gathering extra photographs to include. Can you help me see it through to publication? Please send cheques payable to Animal Welfare Information Service (or simply AWIS) or you can pay the £50 by bank transfer using the following account details: Account name: AWIS ;  Sort code: 20-92-08 ;  Account number: 70490989. [This appeal was sent out originally in our e-mail circular on April 25th 2015. After that appeal 17 pledges of £50 were received. This was an excellent response but still leaves me seeking 33 more. Any further help would be really appreciated.]

 

AWIS TALKS

I am pleased to report that since our last news bulletin I have been able to give a couple of talks about our work. The first on Sunday April 19th was at the end of season meeting of colleagues at Norfolk/Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs. These are an excellent group who work so hard to protect the wildlife of Norfolk and Suffolk throughout the year. I have worked with them on many occasions. The routine is simple: we monitor the local hunts. If the hunters obey the Hunting Act we watch and leave them alone. If they start breaking the law and hunting animals illegally we intervene directly to protect wildlife. We also cooperate closely with our local police and were on hand on January 24th to witness the incredible when following a meet of the Waveney Harriers a Norfolk police sergeant seeing the hunt unable to control their hounds and as a result hunting illegally advised them to go home - and they did so. This was a landmark event in the enforcement of the Hunting Act.

Then on Saturday May 23rd I was delighted to give a short talk at the AGM of the Hare Preservation Trust at Milton Malsor near Northampton about my work - spanning many years - to protect hares. I then manned a stall for the ACIG/AWIS at the subsequent Harefest at the same venue at which I was able to talk about our campaigns to many interested members of the public.

 

INTERNET WORK

In the run-in to the election I really stepped up our campaigning work on the Internet. Every day for months I posted a snippet of information about animal abuse, an image or a link to a video clip or shared another post on my Facebook page. With having some 1900 'friends' on Facebook these posts were widely read and often shared in turn.

I also uploaded a lot of video clips to our YouTube channel. These are taken from our own videos, from videos filmed by colleagues and from old TV programmes. Some of them cover investigations reported in Outfoxed. If you have access to a computer you can easily access them via this link:-

https://www.youtube.com/user/AWISACIG

Please take a look and then share and circulate the link amongst your friends and colleagues who might be interested and might be keen to support our work.

 

LEGACIES

For anyone considering remembering the vital educational work of the AWIS in their will I respectfully suggest using the following form of bequest:

I bequeath unto the Animal Welfare Information Service 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.”

 

We will now be working harder than ever to spread the full facts about the cruel abuse of animals. They cannot speak for themselves to tell of the horrors that they endure. We have to do that for them and with your continued support we will. Hopefully by the time of our next AWIS news bulletin I will have copies of Outfoxed Plus One available for sale. In the meantime have a wonderful summer. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.                                                                             Editor. May 2015

A.W.I.S., PO BOX 8, HALESWORTH, SUFFOLK. IP19 0JL                                                                  

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