In the second episode of our sit-down interview series we uncover the violence that is sometimes encountered by hunt saboteurs. Speaking openly about his past three years sabbing, Harky talked through the time he was savagely attacked by a hunt supporter.

“The violence is shocking but you can’t be shocked by it. My team entered a field and witnessed three guys attacking another sab from another group so as we rushed over one of the stewards came out of nowhere and rugby tackled me into a metal gate and it just totally smashed in the left side of my head and I’ve now got a continuous injury in my ear, a constant ringing because of that assault.”

Is this sort of thing a common occurrence?

“That’s the worst I’ve been hurt in three years and when you look it at like that, I know this must sound quite crazy but it’s not that bad. There’s not as much violence as is portrayed through social media, they’re just the videos that go viral for various reasons. It’s a thing that I think puts people off becoming hunt sabs,and I fully understand that because like I say hunt sabbing is not for everyone. Boxers go into a boxing fight knowing they could get hurt, MMA fighters have an MMA fight knowing they could get hurt, I go hunt sabbing knowing I could get hurt and it is a strange mentality. There are so many angles as to how this context will come across which is why I don’t want to shy away from anything but I also don’t want to sit here and make it out that we fight every week because we really don’t.

This video was one of four in a series looking at what it means to be a hunt saboteur. If you haven’t already done so you can watch the full interviews here. We think it is important to get across the valuable work undertaken by hunt saboteurs across the country and also to start breaking down the common misconceptions that are often created by hunt supporters. This series is just the beginning of a whole host of chats and discussions with not only saboteurs but wildlife campaigners and activists, creating a platform for conversation on issues of importance.

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, we can each play an important part. We encourage everyone reading this to head to our get involved page to find more details about how you can help our campaigns.

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.

Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban