Hunt Saboteur groups on social media have been warned they would “struggle to justify” setting up video recording equipment in the countryside to record badger setts, if discovered by police.
In an alleged email shared by 'Cheshire Against Blood Sports', Cheshire Police’s rural crime team has asked the group to “consider the potential for you and your members/ supporters to be transmitting the virus and cease”.
The email comes following an earlier post shared by the group which was put up online on Tuesday 25th March 2020, which shows video footage of a fox taken “whilst setting up some cameras to monitor a badger sett”.
Despite this, the group deny doing so prior to strict guidelines put out by government to stay home to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
In an angry Facebook post to their followers, the group admit they should have clarified that the video had been filmed “pre-lockdown”. They followed up with a disclaimer informing their ‘followers’ that they “do not condone the curfew being broken”.
However, head south to Hertfordshire, and the local sabs are not as keen to dodge criticism for flouting the official guidance.
‘Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs’, which has a small online following, admit to encouraging their ‘activists’ to using “their enforced time off to check known badger setts” in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Showing little care, the group then link to a pay-pal account, for followers to deposit cash to support their dubious activities.
Within the email from Cheshire Police, the group are told “ we have to look at this in the true spirit of the lockdown and the need for everyone to play their part in reducing the risk to human life”.
The culling of badgers, which is carried out to prevent spread of TB, does not take place during the Spring months.
Polly Portwin of the Countryside Alliance said “ This is not the time to flout the guidelines which have been put out by government to stop the spread of this awful virus. It is especially bad form for animal rights extremists to seek to earn money off the back of bending guidance which has been put in place to protect people.”
The post shared on the group's Facebook page, below