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