Wildlife Crime Investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports were ambushed and assaulted by hunt supporters in Cumbria today.
The League deploys highly trained undercover investigators across the country to help detect and prevent wildlife crime.
Two such League investigators were preparing to go home after spending the day covertly monitoring a local hunt suspected of illegal activities, when they were spotted by a pro-hunt supporter who attempted to take photos of them. The situation quickly escalated as more hunt supporters arrived, shouting abuse. Appallingly, one of the investigators was then physically assaulted before he could get away and call for help.
Retreating from the scene, the investigators called 999, only to find that they were being followed by the hunt supporters. One car gave up after only a few miles, but the second pursued the charity workers for many miles at high speeds down the M6.
Once the chase was finally over, the investigators headed to the local police station to report the matter. Shaken, but thankfully on this occasion, not seriously harmed.
A League Investigator comments: “This kind of behaviour comes as no surprise to our team of investigators. Pro-hunt groups increasingly seem to resort to intimidation tactics and even violence. Perhaps we have them rattled, they should be! Our recently enlarged operations team combines the knowledge and skills of experienced investigators, legal experts and ex police officers to make sure that these wildlife criminals are brought to justice”.
Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports says: “If hunters have nothing to hide and if they are hunting within the law why do they resort to violence and intimidation? We can only assume that they are trying to scare off investigators so that their illegal activities are not witnessed. It won’t work and this type of behaviour just makes us more determined than ever”.