The video which accompanies this article is both chilling and at the same time illustrative of the apparent impunity with which so called animal rights activists and where they differ from them at all, criminals, now feel free to operate in rural areas. The experience of the lady in the video, Rebeka Uden, and hunt supporters (which Mrs Uden is not) differ only in one way, which is that having called the police they actually turned up in sufficient time to see the interlopers off the premises. Whilst admiring her courage it remains a matter for speculation about how well Mr Uden or any man might have fared in squaring up to these men. As the Countryside Alliance revealed on its website, one of the six had good reason to cover his face, given that only six months previously he had been convicted of assault and what’s the betting that the others have similar track records.
The six men shown in the video (4 pictured above) perfectly highlight just how outdated the image of hunt saboteurs is. No longer a motley connection of students, class warriors and cat loving old ladies, instead everything about their appearance, hints at impending violence. Dressed more or less head to toe in black, masks at the ready and cruising round the north Wales countryside in a 12-year old Range Rover*, the image they convey – and one suspects they would be happy to own it – is of a group of rural vigilantes, empowered to seek justice for wildlife, but actually motivated by a loathing for what they perceive as privilege.
*A note for fieldsports enthusiasts in the north-west. Keep an eye out for this vehicle in your area. The registration number is PN57 RFJ