Hunt sabotage is a form of direct action used to stop fox hunting. There have been many forms of sabotage spanning several decades and the act of hunt sabbing continues to evolve.
There are now hunt sabotage groups all over the country, who go out on a weekly basis, and you can find your nearest group by putting in your post code here.
The majority of press attention hunt sabotage typically receives is negative and mislabelled as violent. Most of these negative perceptions of hunt sabs are in fact caused by the pro-hunt. There is always a potential for violence to take place during sabotage, but in general being a hunt saboteur is a non-violent direct method of saving wildlife.
As hunt saboteur ‘Harky’ explains in our interview with him “you haven’t got to be a bloke, you haven’t got to be big, strong or tough, that doesn’t come into it at all. There’s no perfect sab, you can be any background, any colour, race, age, creed, sex, religion”.
It is important to get across the valuable work undertaken by hunt saboteurs across the country and to start breaking down the common misconceptions that are often created by hunt supporters. As with anything there are always two sides to a story, but through the experience of those within this industry, the commotion and aggression is undoubtedly from the opposite side.
The hunting world know they are under watchful eyes, and know they are taking part in a controversial activity. They are also in more recent years aware of the Hunting Act and how careful they must be to hide any real hunting they are doing behind closed doors. Because of this, they are incredibly territorial and often very aggressive to anyone opposing or watching them; hunt saboteurs. Despite this, hunt saboteurs continue to go out on a weekly basis to protect our wildlife by putting themselves in between the wildlife and the hunt.
There is a role for everyone to play in the fight to end the persecution of wildlife. Whether it be hunt sabotage, online activism, or fundraising. However, the most effective way to save wildlife is undoubtedly hunt sabotage. It is important to make a difference on the ground, directly saving lives, as well as trying to make change higher up to legislation. Therefore it’s paramount that there remains a combination of organisations campaigning against fox hunting as well as hunt saboteurs going out and saving lives.
Hunt sabotage is effective for saving wildlife because it’s so direct. Those monitoring a hunt aim to keep within a close radius of the hunt so that they can intervene if needed, whether this is visually or by listening to the call of the hounds. Without the hunt saboteur's presence, any wildlife stumbled across wouldn’t stand a chance, which is why it is such an important method of action.
When Keep The Ban interviewed hunt saboteur ‘Harky’ in a video series he stated;
“What I've learned over time is that in three years of being a hunt sab, I've only witnessed two kills and that's an incredible ratio of how many lives have been saved. It goes back to the effectiveness of hunt sabs, two foxes unfortunately killed in three years, if we weren't there it would have been 200 foxes.”
If you’re interested in becoming a hunt saboteur or want to find out more about what it involves please get in touch with your local group here.