Cumbrian hunt supporters cautioned following assault
Two supporters of the Coniston Foxhounds in Cumbria have been cautioned following an altercation in which a hunt monitor was pushed off a wall.
The incident, which took place in March this year, was captured on video camera used by the hunt monitors, who were working for the animal welfare charity, the League Against Cruel Sports, which has now published film of the assault on their website. They had been monitoring the Coniston Foxhounds but, on losing sight of the hunt, they were returning to their vehicle when the incident took place.
Ed Shephard, the League’s Investigation Officer who was on the scene on the day of the incident, said it had been a “terrifying” experience and it had been one of the worst experiences of his many years hunt monitoring. “I’m very disappointed that these bullies are getting away with a caution. The police dealt with the case admirably, but the CPS decision to leave it at a caution makes no sense.”
In the film, also published on the YouTube website, an elderly hunt supporter is seen pointing at a hunt monitor and saying, “that bugger needs doing”. The monitor is then pushed off a wall down a steep embankment.
The League Against Cruel Sports’ chief executive, Douglas Batchelor, said that this was only the latest example of the verbal and physical abuse meted out to his staff and volunteers by hunt supporters. “If these thugs were carrying on like this down some high street, there would be hell to pay. There seems to be one law for the hunters and one for everyone else,” he said.
Mr Shephard was informed on Friday that Cumbria Police has cautioned two men in relation to the incident.