North West Hunt Saboteurs

North West Hunt Sabs Group News
September 2005-March 2006

(Click on the thumbnails below to see larger images)

Since the end of last season came to an early end due to the ban, sabs in the NW have been spreading the word and raising money to keep the sab vehicle running.

September saw the usual very early starts as sabs looked for the Cheshire Forest, a local fox hunt. It was a strange time watching a hunt who should normally be cubbing just walk round the fields with two foxhounds and a motley crew of support carrying shotguns. Both hunt and supporters looked quite bored, so no surprise then when the next time sabs we came across them they were using the old bird of prey excuse. The hunt have tried to use this excuse on many occasions, there but it was obvious that they had no intention of using the bird of prey (a Harrier Hawk, see below, whose normal prey is a rabbits!). Still we persisted on following the hunt round ready to film any indiscretion.

Cubbing bird of prey bird of prey

In October sabs were on the way to a hunt when they received a call for assistance at a duck shoot at Hoghton Tower, near Blackburn. When sabs caught up with the shoot, which numbered about 30, they had been shooting for about 15 minutes but already many birds had been slaughtered in the name of 'sport'. Sabs moved into the field straight away, and the shoot quickly came to a halt.

duck shootIt was noticed that a pile shot ducks could be seen in the corner of the field, and as sabs with video cameras went to film the ducks it was obvious that not all of the duck were dead. So much for the birds being killed out-right, with the ones that are not being dispatched (have their necks broken) straight away. One sab then did the kindest thing and put the birds that were still moving out of their pain, he did this while the shooters looked on - as if nothing was wrong with the ducks in their eyes! The shoot then all made their way back to the road followed by the sabs. After a long wait in the pouring rain the shoot decided to call it a day. Two press articles about the sab - Lancashire Evening Post and The Chorley Citizen

PLEASE NOTE : The video footage below is distressing but shows the reality of what goes on at a shoot.

Duck shoot 1 (dial up) 1.5MB

Duck shoot 2 (dial up) 700KB

Duck shoot 3 (dial up) 670KB

Duck shoot 4 (dial up 1.1MB)

Duck shoot 5 680KB

Duck shoot 1 (broadband) 6MB

Duck shoot 2 (broadband) 1.8MB

Duck shoot 3 (broadband) 4.5MB

Duck shoot 4 (broadband) 4.3MB

Duck shooters

click the image above for larger picture
Do you know any of them? please let us know.

Please politely contact Hoghton Tower expressing your distgust at the 100's of innocent ducks that will killed on their land in the name of sport. What have these duck done? except give pleasure to many. Contact details are: Hoghton Tower, Hoghton, Nr. Preston, Lancashire, PR5 0SH, phone: 01254 852 986, email: or via their web site:

A visit to High Peak Hunt in Derbyshire a week later found three police vehicles in attendance for the 12 sabs present (Manchester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield). Sabs followed the hunt into the fields and were stopped by the huntsman and master, who came over to explain what they were going to be doing during the day! They said they were following a scent and we were more than welcome to stay and watch and follow them around the fields. It was all a bit surreal really. Halfway though the day they got onto the scent of a hare, the hounds lost the scent but the huntsman acted quickly to call them off anyway. He then went on to apologise about what had just happened! Sabs then spent the rest of the day watching, and a couple of times the huntsman and master came up and even asked which way the line had gone. They ended the day by thanking us for our help - you couldn’t make this stuff up.

The next few weeks saw sabs alternating between the Cheshire Forest and High Peak keeping an eye on what they were doing.

rough shootOnce into November sabs kept the pressure on the Cheshire Forest, and on one occasion even managed to stop a couple of people found rabbiting with their dogs en-route to the meet. Sabs from Manchester and Liverpool then arrived at the meet late to hear the pack in full cry, and went in to see what was happening. This direct approach wasn’t appreciated by some of the hunt support, one of which seemed to particularly resent the fact that sabs were armed with - video cameras. One sab present was assaulted and the video camera smashed. The assault was reported to the police, and investigations are ongoing. The day ended with sabs packing up a shoot (see left) – so a long day of dedicated action across all bloodsports was had!

Sabs continued to visit the Cheshire Forest and High Peak through the dark winter months, also managing forays into North Wales and Cumbria to check on what various hunts were up to around the region and neighbouring environs.

February saw a memorable return visit to Derbyshire to check on what the High Peak Hunt were doing. This time we had a student film crew in attendance who filmed some very interesting events during the day. Shortly after arriving the hunt were caught in pursuit of a hare, click here for footage (1.5MB) and yes the hare did get away. The hunt staff could not believe their eyes when they saw a film crew stood in the gateway to a field filming the whole thing. Footage obtained during the day included the hunt after hares, a hound running into a barbed wire fence (700KB) , and different excuses as to what they were supposed to be doing on the day e.g., following a scent and hunting rabbits. Click here (2.0MB) to see another hare that got away.

As the end of the season approached sabs managed to find the elusive Forest and District Beagles (below left) who were either just out for a walk, hunting rabbits or following a trail of coyote urine (!) depending who you asked. They were also found a couple of weeks later - this hunt must have been the smallest one ever - one huntsman, one whip (below right) and one supporter who gave up after 30 minutes. And all this in the snow, with gale force winds and freezing conditions. Nice.

forest and district beagles forest and district beagles

Further visits were made to the High Peak to check on their claim to be trail hunting, and sabs are pleased to report that this claim did seem to hold water – with the regular attendance of sabs.

Also during March the NWHSA orchestrated a letter/e-mail campaign against three golf clubs in Manchester who threatened to cull flocks of Canadian Geese who were feeding on the greens. After a week they all said they all would now not be culling the birds, and would look at humane deterrents.

Grouse shoot sab 13th August 2005

Group news September 2004-September 2005

Grouse shoot sab 14th August 2004

Group news September 2004-March 2005

Group news March 1995-January 2000

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