In­junc­tion is­sued against tres­pass­ing sabs

A judge made the in­terim in­junc­tion against named and un­named peo­ple in­tend­ing to dis­rupt or ob­struct the hunt

Horse & Hound - - News Insider - By ELEANOR JONES

SABOTEURS have been banned from tres­pass­ing on land used by the Fitzwilliam Hunt by an in­terim High Court in­junc­tion.

On 16 Novem­ber, Mr Jus­tice Freed­man made the rul­ing against a num­ber of named hunt saboteurs (sabs), as well as un­named peo­ple, who may go on to or stay on the land in ques­tion, in­tend­ing to protest against or ob­struct the hunt.

The le­gal ac­tion was ini­ti­ated in Oc­to­ber by the hunt “in re­spect of is­sues re­lat­ing to tres­pass on land, ha­rass­ment and other in­ter­fer­ence with law­ful ac­tiv­i­ties”, although the op­po­nents dis­pute the hunt’s claims. The in­junc­tion could be lifted at trial, at which all claims from both par­ties could be con­sid­ered.

The in­junc­tion refers to seven named sabs, and un­named peo­ple.

Mr Freed­man wrote: “I also find in re­spect of per­sons un­known that there is a real and im­mi­nent risk that they will tres­pass on the claimants’ land. The pho­to­graphs of peo­ple with their faces ob­scured ap­pear to be tres­pass­ing on the claimants’ land.

“There is at least a prima fa­cie in­fer­ence that their faces are ob­scured in or­der to make it dif­fi­cult to de­tect their iden­tity.

“This then jus­ti­fies con­sid­er­a­tion of an in­junc­tion against per­sons un­known.”

He con­cluded: “The in­junc­tions are un­til trial or fur­ther or­der in the mean time.

I shall make di­rec­tions for a speedy trial in or­der for this mat­ter to re­strict the time pe­riod of the in­junc­tions and to bring these mat­ters to a fi­nal res­o­lu­tion at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity.”

Three groups of sabs have raised more than £14,000 by crowd­fund­ing to­wards le­gal costs.

A Fitzwilliam spokesman said an in­terim in­junc­tion was granted on 19 Oc­to­ber.

“A re­vised but sim­i­lar or­der was handed down in a fur­ther judge­ment on 16 Novem­ber, pend­ing trial or other or­der of the court,” he added.

“The mat­ter re­mains sub ju­dice, and ac­cord­ingly it is not ap­pro­pri­ate to make any fur­ther com­ment at this stage.”

A Coun­try­side Al­liance spokesman added: “This is a sen­si­ble de­ci­sion to ad­dress per­sis­tent and un­jus­ti­fied tres­pass by an­i­mal rights ex­trem­ists.

“This is by no means a unique rul­ing, but it is un­for­tu­nate that the con­tin­ued ob­ses­sion of ac­tivists with hunts makes such ac­tion nec­es­sary.”

When asked about sabs’ tres­pass­ing, Lee Moon, of the Hunt Saboteurs As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “Yes, we do it, and will con­tinue to do it.

“Whether it’s le­gal or il­le­gal hunt­ing, we’re op­posed to blood sports and we be­lieve that, morally, tres­pass is a mi­nor con­sid­er­a­tion.”

The in­junc­tion cov­ers un­named as well as named saboteurs

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