Today saw Melbourne Hunt Saboteurs head out to Camperdown to sab the bi-annual Camperdown Hunt and Parade of Hounds which occurs down the main street.
Melbourne Hunt Saboteurs were also supported today by the Animal Justice Party who arrived with a team of volunteers.
After three months of investigating and intel coming to Melbourne Hunt Saboteurs, this was pipped to be quite the event for us. Sadly the hunt decided not to throw their luck against us. Even with this event being their 120th anniversary. The hunt simply decided not to show. “Where the bloody hell are ya?” We asked.
No one answered. So after being stood up by the hunt, conversations with the locals told us that the hunt master may have called it a day as he has come of age and can no longer get his leg over his horse. Ha!
With quite the drive home, we said goodbye and thank you to our support from the AJP, and headed out even further to some know hunting spots of this hunt and a quick check on the kennels.
Well. Not a hunt insight. Cue some food (vegan of course) and a quick toilet stop and homeward bound it was.
Is this the fate of the hunts here in Victoria? Are they that embarrassed by their bloodlust that they won’t front up???
We also stand in solidarity with Upi III and all political prisoners worldwide
The cost of a coffee and sandwich can support us in our mission to squash these hunts.
Tocum-what? Tocumwal…..Tocum-no show more like it.
Melbourne Hunt Saboteurs did a fair bit of driving today. Close to 600ks to be exact. A trip out to our favourites, Oaklands Hunt Club at their supposedly secret hunting grounds. To our pleasure they had not headed out today. Maybe they were preparing their tea and scones for this wedding thingy.
With that, we drove over the border into New South Wales, to pay a first ever visit to Tocumwal Hunt Club and importantly their open invitational hunt and childrens hunt.
Yup. It’s not a typo, they hosted a childrens hunt. Teaching children to hunt an innocent animal, while allowing hounds to rip it to pieces.
“Wont somebody please think of the children”
Will someone think of the hunt. For an invitational this was a poor turn out. So poorly attended in fact that we drove past the meet!!!
Did people not get the invite to the invitational??? No invite? Did they not get the memo hahaha.
Well. We observed the non-invitational invitational. A rather boring event we must admit. Luckily sabs always bring vegan snacks and treats. Que a visit to the mighty Murray River. While the hunt fluffed we watched them pack up.
Melbourne Hunt Saboteurs are out every weekend. For the price of a coffee you can support the only direct action team exposing this bloodsport and confronting the illegal activities of the hunt
Melbourne Hunt Saboteurs took a bit of a drive on Saturday. To pay a visit to the Barwon Hunt Club. Again as a first for this club, they have not been blessed with the attention of saboteurs. However, their hunt master is an expat from the UK, and we can sadly report that this cruel and barbaric tradition that has no impact on conservation is not limited to egotistical men. Barwon Hunt Clubs hunt master is female. Now we are not ones to ever play or allow sexism of any sorts. So the hunt master was shown no special treatment. Once we found the hunt, oh did we mention it was their opening hunt of the 2018 season? Well, we’ve seen more attendance at a bank on pension day then at this lots opening hunt. With that que our drone. Up up and away. Showing a few horseboxes a good collection of hounds but not many riders.
Wasn’t long before they figured out we had arrived and just like clockwork, the bumpkins came in with their chests puffed out, yelling trespass and to get off their land. Well. It’s wasn’t their land. In fact if we get into it, its stolen land…..but that’s another story.
The usual conversations took place until the land owner arrived, who again tried the usual chest beating. The hunt master even came down for a chat to advise that they were flushing out foxes with their hounds and had seven shooters to account for any foxes. Now while this is a legal method, we know better then to trust a red coat. With the police on their way we headed off to meet them and discuss the hunts activity.
While the police were polite. They had no interest in checking the legal requirements of the hunt. With the bumpkins following us we headed off to meet up with the hunt. What ensured was a lot of cat and mouse with the hunt support. They got in our faces, we got in theirs.
Sadly what followed was us driving up on a flushing of a fox. Three men with rifles all running in different directions and three gunshots. While one of the shooters got in his car and drove off he stopped short of a tree line and out came the field and red coats. No hounds tho. Had they been placed back in the hound van once we arrived? Surely they wouldn’t be stupid enough to shoot at their own hounds?
With that, the field left as did the shooters. The support stayed to give us their usual rants and annoying theatre.
After some deliberation we called it a day.
Melbourne Hunt Saboteurs have kicked off the opening season hunt with a bang and a splash of BLACK! SAB BLACK.
We paid a a very overdue visit to Oaklands Hunt Club in Melbourne. So over due that this was actually the first time in the hunt clubs history that their opening season hunt had been sabbed. The saboteurs headed into the home grounds of the hunt and immediately got on the horn to announce the arrival of Hunt Saboteurs in Melbourne Australia. Now if you could have only seen the face of the bumpkins and hunters when the horn was blown, could saboteurs actually be here in Melbourne ? YES!
After some aggressive confrontation with a measly middle manager of the grounds, we took position in the grounds while the hunt and their bewildered bumpkins attempted to push and intimidate us. To our surprise and the hunts dismay the local police arrived and were understanding of our cause. A brief meeting with the hunt owner, police and saboteurs took place. Where the direct flaunting of the law by the hunt was pointed out. With a move on request from the police, sabs unveiled the HSA flag and promptly told the hunt that “we will see you in the fields in 10 minutes”.More horn blowing and the hunt using their children to attempt to stop photo’s being taken…..caring adults they really are.
We regrouped and drove off to catch the hunt out in the fields.
What ensured was multiple attempts from hunt support to try an intimidate us, bully us. They quickly learned that we would not buckle. As we drove off to he next vantage point it became clear we are off the grounds the police had asked us to leave, so we were clear of any trespass grief. As the hunt (if we could call a handful of riders on opening weekend a hunt) came into sight a fox ran for its life. With only a meters gap from the hounds we used the gizmo to full effect along with voice commands. The look on the redcoats faces when their hounds abandoned a live fox, and came running towards sabs running at them with the gizmo was something like a thing called karma. We took control of the sounds for a brief moment, allowing the fox to escape to safety. A second fox also made a dash to it set and was seen to safety by the sabs.
Now we almost forgot to mention that we had the complete pleasure of meeting up with a UK sab who came out with us. Poor buggers first Australian hunt sabotage and the hunt tried to ride him down as we ran in to save a fox. Yes, the hunts here are as brutal and careless as in the UK. Thankfully our UK comrade survived and the hunt and rider were treated to very stern and colourful reminder from the Australian saboteurs of just what would occur if they tried that again.
It is important to point out the following. Fox hunting in Australia has zero overall conservation
value. Rather, these hunts are nothing more than an excuse for Victoria’s rich and heartless to dress in stupid costumes and get off on defenceless animals literally being torn apart.
The following is taken from the Invasive Species Council’s ‘Is Hunting Conservation?’ report:
“Victoria had a fox bounty in 2002-03 that resulted in 170,00 dead foxes, but was abandoned because it didn’t work. A 2005 review of the scheme by DPI biologists Fairbridge and Marks found that it reduced fox abundance in less than 4 per cent of the state, and that numbers would quickly bounce back or climb even higher as a consequence of hunting
On the 3rd of April 1993, Tom Worby, a 15 year old hunt saboteur attending his first foxhunt protest, was crushed under the wheels of the Cambridgeshire Foxhounds hound van.
After a successful day’s sabbing, the hunt had boxed up and sabs were making their way back to the meet down a narrow, high-banked lane. As the hound van came up behind them, revving its engine, sabs scrambled for the roadside; however Tom’s jacket became snagged in the vehicles wing mirror and he was dragged some distance before he managed to gain a foothold on the van’s running board. Although he banged on the window the van kept going, and when Tom finally lost his grip, he fell onto the road and under the truck’s wheels. His head was crushed by the rear wheels of the vehicle and he died shortly afterwards.
No action was taken against the driver of the hound van, 53-year-old huntsman Alan Ball.
Tom Worby, never forgotten – Cambridgeshire foxhunt, never forgiven.
North West Hunt Saboteurs Association
To travel half-way around the world to see how we sabotage English hunts may seem a bit extreme but a lot can be gained from experience and late night conversations about tactics and history, if only because we have been doing this a long time.
The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) has been in existence since 1963 and hunt sabbing started before that. It is the longest running direct action organisation in the world, longer lasting than the likes of Sea Shepherd or Greenpeace and unique that is still to this day run by volunteers with no paid staff, offices of other structures that would inhibit our actions. The local groups are autonomous, recognised and supported by the national organisation but free to plan and organise as they see fit.
With that in mind we have always been keen to see groups arise outside the borders of the UK, like animals have no national borders neither does the Hunt Saboteurs Association and we welcome Melbourne Hunt Sabs into the sabbing community with open arms. Let us hope it does not end there with other groups springing up across the country.
Becoming a hunt saboteur is about joining ’community of resistance’. It is people who will stand up and say no matter what your laws, what you call ‘tradition’ the hunting of wild animals is wrong and you will be opposed. Movements for change have never been able to rely on the law or the state to move forward social change, and activists have always been at the forefront and dragging the ethical framework to a better position.
We’ve been told a lot has been learnt from the three week trip, at least the application of malted vinegar to chips and eating of pickled onions has been indorsed. Let’s hope our sabbing tactics was also well learnt. With modern communications we can continue to offer help and support but as important friendships were formed over the past weeks. This is what builds movements, not money or offices but people making connections and working together for the greater good of all wildlife. There is no English hunt sabbing or Australian hunt sabbing, there is just hunt sabotage taking place where it is required.
Join us today…
Well, I made the long trip home.
So many feelings right now. Immediately missing the glorious saboteurs of the UK, my hosts and my now family and their dogs.
Jetlag is also a wild beast. The 22-hour flight home was mammoth. Tho entirely worth it. Emirates have rather good vegan food!
I’m struggling to find the right words to describe this trip. What an outstanding bunch of saboteurs I met. Their dedication to the cause is immeasurable. Not only are they fighting a hunting community of considerable wealth. These scum won’t let go of their so called right to fox hunt.
The law is on the side of the saboteurs, however the police are not. They don’t hide it either. Their inaction is cartoon-like. From openly ignoring road rules for illegal quad bikes to refusing to take statements from abused saboteurs, to even delaying, losing evidence and scuttling court cases to favour the hunt. The courts enforce minimal punishments handing out fines that are piddling compared to the deep pockets of the hunt clubs…and they call it a sport. Nothing is even, it’s all one sided. The hunts side.
Yet three to four times a week saboteurs from all over the UK get together and do everything they can to ensure the ongoing safety of foxes and the demise of the hunt. All while being heavily watched by a corrupt police force, violent hunt thugs and supporters.
I had a taste of the life of the Hunt Saboteurs. My home team Melbourne Hunt Saboteurs are one season in and gathering momentum. The skills are here. The drive is hard and wild. The battle is the same.
I’ll be back you glorious saboteurs. Every year til I die. Thats my promise.
“Wether it be bandanna, balaclava or mask. Where the fox is, so shall be the saboteur”.