The Countryside Alliance is continuing to raise awareness of suspected animal rights activists inflicting criminal damage on shoots.

We highlighted this threat prior to the shooting season, and as we are made aware of another case we ask all members and supporters to remain vigilant, especially in high risk areas such as those in the badger cull zones. If criminal damage takes place on your shoot it is essential you report the incident to the police and contact the Countryside Alliance to help us build our intelligence on animal rights activities and lobby Police and Crime Commissioners to take action.

The following is an extract from a syndicate captain near Bude in Cornwall, where criminal damage occurred last week:

“Last Sunday (17th September) my 4 year old daughter and I went down to our shoot which has been run by our family for 30 years. We checked one pen and all was good, came up across the field into the next and noticed a lot of poults wondering the hedges, a bit strange as they have held very tight to the pens. When we got to the next pen, we walked into the woods and immediately noticed the untold damage. The wire mesh and posts were broken and scattered across the floor. The electric fence energiser, leisure battery and drinkers were gone and the feeders were tipped over with the wheat on the floor. All shelters had their legs broken and the galvanised sheets were laying on the floor. King feeders had been taken and all the springs from feeders gone. Even 2 ladder sections had been taken that we were going to use to help a few of the older members get up and down from some steep banks. The barb wire fence had even been cut at this pen and the diary cows had got into the woods.

We made our way to the final pen on the land, fearing the worst. The bridge over a 6 foot gully was gone, I managed to jump over to find the bridge on the other side and came across the same mess as the previous pen. At this pen they had also emptied a bag of grower pellets and a bag of wheat onto the floor and taken a spare electric fence energiser, which was in a small open fronted store shed.

On making the farmer aware of the damage and the loose cattle, he said that his badger traps (as part of the pilot badger cull) had been smashed a few days prior. The farmer had reported the incident to the police, so when I got home I did likewise.

We have built the shoot up to what it is today over the last 30 years, so trying to find the money to replace all the stolen and damaged items is going to take a lot of money and time to achieve. Our poults currently have no readily available shelter, clean water or food, leaving them susceptible to disease and predation.

We are only a small DIY syndicate that charges members a bare minimum for a season to cover costs. Due to the damage caused we have lost half of our shoot for the coming season, causing massive implications for the future.”

The Countryside Alliance has years of experience challenging criminal behaviour among hunt saboteurs, and will continue using this experience to defend shooting. Read advice from Countryside Alliance members whose shoot was targeted in Kent.

 

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