More chaos has emerged as a result of the ban on hunting. Last weekend allegedly saw serious incidents of assault by anti-hunt campaigners, while Minister Ben Bradshaw says he has received a death threat from a pro-hunt campaigner, and is being targeted because he is gay.
The Countryside Alliance (CA) today released details of a violent incident near Marlborough at the weekend involving members of the Vine and Craven Hunt and a group of balaclava-clad anti-hunt protesters.
Followers of the Vine & Craven, which has killed no foxes since the ban came into force, were allegedly attacked by the saboteurs.
According to the CA, Hunt Master, Daemon Edwards, sustained several broken ribs when he and his horse were pulled to the ground, and Whipper-in, Duncan Cinnamond, was pulled from his horse and hit on the back of the head with a piece of timber.
Commenting on the attack, Delly Everard, Wessex Regional Director at the CA, said: “The thugs involved in this incident are people haters. They have shown total disregard for the law as well as animal and human welfare, while hunt supporters are obeying the law and are now hunting a trail.”
It has been claimed that pro-hunt campaigners have also been breaking the law. According to The Times newspaper, Animal Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw, a vocal anti-hunt MP, has received a death threat from a pro-hunt activist.
A message warning Mr Bradshaw that his life was in danger was left on his office telephone answering machine, The Times reports this morning.
It follows an incident last month in Mr Bradshaw’s constituency, Exeter, when hunt protesters threw an “offal bomb” at his head causing a minor injury. Mr Bradshaw expressed concern not only for himself, but for his staff who accompany him on visits, saying they were mostly female civil servants who had become blameless targets for pro-hunt activists.
Everard said: “By passing discriminatory and divisive legislation, the Prime Minister and the Government have sent a clear message that it is acceptable to display prejudice towards the rural community. The ban on hunting has now caused even more problems for the countryside and the already overstretched police.”