Warwickshire Hunt and anti-hunt saboteurs have clashed once again, with both accusing the other of breaking the law.
In the latest war of words, the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs (WMHS) say the Warwickshire Hunt, which met near Broughton last Wednesday, December 15, appeared to be chasing a fox, held up a busy road and that one man caught on film was hitting his horse.
In return, the Warwickshire Hunt released a photo they said was the masked saboteurs, saying the hunt was conducting a 'lawful day's hunting' which was portrayed inaccurately by anti-hunting activists.
The hunt said a man who is filmed swearing profusely at a group member was not a member of the hunt.
The film released to the media by WMHS appears to show a hunt rider hitting his horse hard with a riding crop as it refuses to walk over a wooden bridge. Later a man watching the hunt is filmed swearing at one of the saboteurs in a dialogue the member described 'a tirade of sexist and threatening abuse'. Warwickshire Hunt said the man was not associated with the hunt.
As the video is full of swearing and threatening language, we are unable to attach it to this article.
"As well as repeatedly swearing at her he also issues a death threat which he claims to have no problem carrying out," said a spokesman.
"A second 'hunt supporter' tells the saboteurs not to worry as he has been 'bound over'. He continues shouting at the saboteur for seemingly just being in the same place as he is."
Saboteurs then filmed what appears to be a fox being hunted by hounds and members of the hunt riding through traffic on the busy A4035 road.
"We take threats to life very seriously especially since members of our group have had petrol poured through their letter box," said WMHS
"As for the rider who was caught hitting his horse, this doesn’t surprise us as we know fox hunters care little for animals. When you go out abusing one animal, a fox, abusing other animals will become second nature.
"Finally, there is the fox hunting. When you employ a huntsman who already has a conviction for hunting it doesn’t surprise us that we see foxes running from this hunt on a regular basis.
"It doesn’t surprise us to see the Warwickshire Hunt arrogantly holding up a busy road so they can use it as their play ground.
"In the end what links all these events is violence. A fox hunt by its very nature is violent. Hunting a fox with a pack of hounds is a violent act. Abuse of other animals such as horses is a violent act."
In response Warwickshire Hunt spokesperson said: "The Warwickshire Hunt was conducting a lawful day's hunting which has deliberately been portrayed inaccurately by anti-hunting activists.
"The individual filmed, who is not with the hunt, was passing by and while he stopped to watch the hunt he was then followed, filmed, targeted and provoked by individuals from a group that deliberately sabotages our lawful activities, which includes someone criminally convicted for fabricating evidence against a hunt.
"The hunt does not condone violence or threatening behaviour under any circumstances nor should its members have their personal privacy abused. Members of the hunt are from a wide cross-section of society, most of whom have animals under their care. They are dog and horse lovers with a great deal of experience in looking after their well-being.
"Questions must be asked as to the credibility of these extremists’ motives and the constantly fabricated, highly edited stories they feed to social media with the sole purpose of attacking and intimidating private individuals and businesses. Today, one of our members was physically attacked by one of the balaclaved extremists; luckily he was not badly hurt."