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Hunt’s legal fight against saboteurs ‘will be nasty’

The Crawley and Horsham’s ground-breaking legal bid to ban hunt saboteurs from thousands of acres of private land in West Sussex is going to be “very nasty”, warns the Countryside Alliance (CA).

Leading harassment lawyer Tim Lawson-Cruttenden is acting for the hunt in seeking an injunction to stop saboteurs trespassing and causing harassment to its staff and followers (H&H news, 19 June).

CA spokesman Tim Bonner, who has helped to co-ordinate the civil action, told H&H: “We can’t overstate how huge this is for the hunt.

“This will be an expensive case but a test case and will put a line in the sand for those claiming to monitor hunts.”

The hunt hopes the ground-breaking civil action will put a stop to the tactics used by the Sussex Wildlife Protection group and its main organisers, Simon and Jaine Wilde (pictured).

Mr Bonner warned that the animal rights group is aiming to prove to the court that the hunt is acting illegally.

“But the fact that they have followed the Crawley and Horsham around relentlessly for the past three years and not brought a prosecution proves pretty conclusively that the hunt is operating within the law,” he said.

The civil action is being brought under the Protection From Harassment Act. The case was launched last week in the High Court and will be heard over four days starting Monday, 28 July.

The Crawley and Horsham’s lawyers told the High Court on Tuesday, 15 July, they are seeking a ruling by 1 September to be in place for the start of the next season.

If you would like to donate to help cover the legal costs of the appeal, donations can be made online at www.countrysidealliance.co.uk

Read this story in full in the current issue of Horse & Hound (24 July, ’08)

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