An e-campaign by the Countryside Alliance (CA) to highlight the issue of masked animal rights activists has resulted in more than 8,000 people writing to their local police crime commissioners (PCC).

The two-week drive came after several incidents — including one violent — with anti-hunting campaigners.

Last month (24 January) joint-master and huntsman Mike Lane was left with two fractured teeth and concussion following a clash between hunt saboteurs and members of the Tedworth.

The CA has thanked the people that took part and sent letters to their PCC.

“Their support has made this a very successful campaign and shows the strength of feeling the countryside has about saboteur violence,” said the CA’s Tim Bonner.

The CA has had 20 responses from PCCs across the country as a result of the letters.

Anthony Stansfeld, PCC for Thames Valley Police, said he was concerned by any “intimidation in the countryside”.

“I agree that the wearing of balaclavas and facemasks, allied with paramilitary style clothing, is clearly intended to intimidate as well as hide the identity of violent protestors,” he added.

Martin Surl, PCC for Gloucestershire said: “I have concerns about the wearing of balaclavas and facemasks in the countryside and have already made public my support for a change in the law.”

However, some of the PCC’s responses have been less positive. More than 700 people from Sussex wrote to their PCC, but the written reply did not touch on the issue.

“The response from the PCCs has been mixed, with some taking the issue very seriously and others seemingly not interested,” Mr Bonner added.

“We shall be following up the issue with the police forces involved and it is clear that we need to work with them and the next government to ensure the legislation surrounding face coverings is fit for purpose.”

  • Pete Hopeful

    The hunt by definition are vile subhuman animal and people abusers. What else can subs who monitor illegal hunting do to protect themselves and their families/property from further abuse by those of a nasty, neurotic nature. Not to mention the recent enlistment of masked up pro hunt rentAthugs on a grand scale. Usually fully boozed up before attacking monitors at the behst of the hunt masters. Its an awful job but thank goodness we have someone prepared to stand up to the cowardly pro hunt thugs.

  • Tidewaterhorse

    They are cowards by covering their faces just like the terrorists and thugs involved in violence.

  • squiblet

    if hunts were following the law there would be no monitors.If police were actually policing the law there would be no monitors.I have not seen any footage of monitors jumping out of hedges to frighten horses or attacking horses/hounds – the photos purporting to show such has always to date been revealed to be the opposite when the video is played.Once the laws are tightened up, perhaps the current nonsense can stop as the police and CPA can act to fully uphold legislation and stop the antisocial behaviours associated with illegal hunting seen week after week – dead cat anyone?

  • Katrina Love

    That’s rich – the PROTESTORS are the violent ones… might want to get the foxes’ opinion on that.

  • claireannejames

    Then go true Drag hunting or Bloodhound hunting, and you won’t be troubled by Sabs.

  • Sunnyhorse

    That is true, but it’s also true that balaclava-clad people jumping out of hedges are going to get someone on horseback hurt or killed (and it might be one of them if they get in front of the wrong horse).

  • KaD

    Only criminals and thugs need to wear masks.

  • squiblet

    that is indeed the law I had in mind 🙂

  • claireannejames

    Not all hunt sabs wear masks. The ones that do so are afraid of the intimidation by the hunt and hunt followers. I wish all of them would stop wearing masks as they are NOT the ones breaking the law. However experience has taught some of them that if the hunt know who they are there will be consequences for them, and some of them are not prepared to risk it. And in any case, I’ve seen plenty of evidence of masked hunt supporters attacking sabs, usually thugs who look like paid security who follow with the terriermen on Quads. And, please tell me, why a hunt that is SUPPOSED to be legally trail hunting, would need terrier men. And yet they are out with hunts every time they go out still.

  • claireannejames

    You mean the law against illegal hunting? Yes they should. Because every week, hunts are still out killing foxes deliberately.

  • squiblet

    the police should certainly be doing much, much more to enforce the law…..