British Police Reach £30,000 Settlement with Anti-Hunt Protesters

The Wiltshire police department recently reached a £30,000 settlement with 10 animal rights activists who were arrested in October 2001 while protesting a pheasant hunt.

Gun-handling safety guidelines require a shooter to use a breaking type shotgun and to break the shotgun if approached by a member of the public. Animal rights activists developed a tactic whereby they would approach and stand directly next to shooters, forcing them to halt and break their guns.

At an October 2001 pheasant hunt, activists used this tactic. Police, however, over-reacted and arrested the activists on charges of physically assaulting the shooters. They were detained at a police station, interrogated, and then released on bail. All charges were eventually dropped.

Police wouldn’t discuss details of the settlement, except to confirm the £30,000 amount and that the settlement was reached without any admission of liability or wrongdoing on the part of the police department.

Sources:

Protesters get £30k compensation. The BBC, February 15, 2005.

£30,000 police payout for animal rights protesters. The Daily Mail, February 15, 2005.

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