In the early morning hours of November 20, animal rights extremists broke into the kennels at the Essex and Suffolk hunt, releasing dozens of animals and setting a couple of fires.
When police arrived shortly after 1 a.m., they found 82 dogs and 5 horses and been released, and the gates to the kennel, which opens into the road, left wide open. Additionally, the extremists set a couple of fires and spray painted “hunt scum” on the road.
Gary Thorpe, huntsman for the Essex and Suffolk hunt, told the East Anglian Times,
We are appalled. They let all the hounds and horses out of their stables and left the gates wide open so they could get on the road. Thankfully this did not happen, but that was more by luck than anything else or they could have caused a serious accident. These people call themselves animal lovers, but what kind of animal lover does this. We are hunting completely within the law and they still persist in coming out and disrupting what we are doing. It is very worrying when they are prepared to set fire to something and release your animals in the middle of the night.
A spokesman from the UK’s Hunt Saboteurs Association said that no one from that organization was involved in the action,
I can say categorically no member of the HSA would take any action that would endanger the life of hunting hounds and horses. We care for their welfare.
There’s no evidence that anyone from the HSA was involved, but unless the HSA actually knows the identity of the attacker, this categorical denial is a bit silly (hint, next time just say your organization does not condone such irresponsible actions and leave it at that).
Saboteurs blamed for hunt attack. The BBC, November 20, 2005.
Fury as hunt kennels attacked. Helen Skene, East Anglian Daily Times, November 21, 2005.
Arson attack on hunt kennels. Anna Tyzack, Horse and Hound, November 21, 2005.