As one of the newer members of the team at the League I have spent the last few months getting used to the various processes that the organisation uses in it day to day operation.
One of the services that the League provides is Hunt Crimewatch, which is a confidential number 01483 524 250 that members of the public can use to report illegal hunting activities. I recently took my first call on the Hunt Crimewatch line and I was really shocked to hear first hand the havoc that hunts inflict on ordinary people.
The caller told me he was opposed to the killing of animals for fun and he had objected when the hunt trespassed on his land. As a result he was shouted and sworn at and his home was vandalised; members of the hunt smashed his windows and broke his garden furniture. The hounds chased his cats, but luckily they escaped.
This was only that start of his story.
He went on to tell me how his daughter had to move schools as she was viciously bullied by the sons of the men who rode out with the hunt. His car had been damaged and he and his family no longer felt safe in the village. He has been the victim of a cruel and calculated intimidation campaign, started because he was brave enough to say 'no' to the hunters.
The hunts and organisations which support them, like the Countyside Alliance, claim to be the voice of the countryside and to represent millions of ordinary people. What do they say about this kind of hunt havoc?
They simply say it doesn't exist.
What a convenient view of a very inconvenient truth.