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Hunt saboteurs attack Hunt Master


'I slipped over and on the ground one of them kicked me in the head twice and knocked me out.'

He added that after that, he has no recollection of what happened, but recalls 'iron bars being swung on lengths of rope'.

'Luckily there were still enough people around who came to my aid and they ran back to their vehicles and drove off at speed.

Mr Lane said the group had been 'harassing' them throughout the drag hunt and were 'spraying the hounds with citronella spray' and he had remonstrated with them when the scuffle broke out

Mr Lane said the group had been 'harassing' them throughout the drag hunt and were 'spraying the hounds with citronella spray' and he had remonstrated with them when the scuffle broke out

He claims he slipped over on the ground and was kicked in the head twice, which knocked him unconcsious

He claims he slipped over on the ground and was kicked in the head twice, which knocked him unconcsious

'Lots of people videoed what happened, and it is quite disconcerting to see yourself being knocked out on film.'

Police have now launched a major investigating into the incident, which happened near the village of Everleigh in Wiltshire as the meet closed, and are trying to identify those responsible.

Mr Lane was taken to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon where he was treated for concussion and several broken teeth.

A spokeswoman for Wiltshire Police said: 'The Tedworth Hunt had been out on a drag hunt and according to the hunt, a group of up to a dozen people - both men and women - wearing balaclavas had been harassing the hunt throughout the day.

'The protesters had left the scene by the time police arrived.

'We can confirm that a 39-year-old man from the Marlborough area who is involved with the hunt was assaulted and needed treatment at Great Western Hospital.

Mike Lane, 39, is the Joint Master of the Tedworth Hunt and sustained injuries that left him needing hospital treatment following the attack in Everleigh, Wiltshire, on Saturday

Mike Lane, 39, is the Joint Master of the Tedworth Hunt and sustained injuries that left him needing hospital treatment following the attack in Everleigh, Wiltshire, on Saturday

'The man was knocked to the ground and received injuries to the head and back and was briefly unconscious. Police officers gave him first aid until an ambulance arrived.

'We are gathering evidence from witnesses, including video and still images recorded by Tedworth Hunt supporters.'

Police said they are treating the case as a serious incident of ABH and potential public disorder.

Inspector Paul Longden, of Wiltshire Police, said: 'Whilst we have no issue with people lawfully protesting, this was a totally unacceptable assault involving a group of men and women wearing balaclavas.

'We are making every effort to find and bring to justice the people who inflicted these injuries.'

The incident is the latest in a long line of violent confrontations between hunt saboteurs and hunts, with both sides claiming the other to be the more violent.

Tim Bonner, campaign director for the Countryside Alliance, said the incident showed that saboteurs needed to 'unmask'.

The hunt saboteurs were captured on camera by hunt members but are almost completely covered up

The hunt saboteurs were captured on camera by hunt members but are almost completely covered up

The police has described the attack as 'totally unacceptable' and has launched an investigation to try and identify those responsible

The police has described the attack as 'totally unacceptable' and has launched an investigation to try and identify those responsible

'This was a particularly nasty and cowardly attack by people who hoped by wearing face coverings they would avoid prosecution,' he said.

'The number of people involved in saboteur activities is far fewer than in the past, however we are concerned that the extremists who remain are increasingly resorting to violence.

'There have been a number of incidents over the past few years involving assaults on hunt staff and supporters by people who have masked their identities.

'We are particularly worried about the increasing tendency to violence by those wearing balaclavas and face coverings in a bid to escape the law.

'We call upon the police to use their powers, wherever possible, to unmask people who wear face coverings to hunt meets before there is violence.'

Mr Lane has been advised to rest for at least a week following the attack.

The Tedworth Hunt attempting to take place on Saturday but it is tailed by the masked hunt saboteurs (right)

The Tedworth Hunt attempting to take place on Saturday but it is tailed by the masked hunt saboteurs (right)

 


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