A furious hunt supporter has been caught on camera appearing to repeatedly threaten protestors with a pole.
Video footage taken by the South Wales Hunt Saboteurs shows the moment an elderly hunt supporter raised the otter pole towards protestors following an event organised by the Three Counties Mink Hounds (TCMH) near Neen Sollars, Shropshire.
Members of the association – along with other neighbouring groups, including the Bristol and Severn Vale Hunt Saboteurs – had previously spent the day in late May locating the TCMH, who saboteurs claim had attempted to organise a mink hunt.
After protestors arrived at the site the TCMH began to pack up and leave, however while the majority of supporters began to depart the video shows one vehicle driving towards the group and a man emerged yelling at protestors.
People inside the vehicle can be heard shouting as the man strides from the passenger side door, eventually running after one protestor with an otter pole raised. He then continues towards other members of the group, raising the otter pole several times again and telling them to ‘f*** off’ and ‘f****** go.’
With the arrival of the protestors the day’s events were already at an end, the South Wales Hunt Saboteurs claim to have seen hounds packed up after they were spotted by organisers.
A spokesperson for the South Wales Hunt Saboteurs said: “At that point they’d packed up, that’s all we wanted – for them to pack up and go home. Once they’re gone, we don’t want to engage with them at all. “It was completely unnecessary, he could have just driven through the gate and gone home. But he was absolutely incensed at having his day ruined. He was absolutely furious.”
They added: “He was threatening and furious, in a minute that could have gone seriously wrong. When he takes two hands to the pole, if he’d hit someone it would have really hurt them.”
Protestors claim this is not the first time they have experienced similar issues with mink hunts. A spokesperson continued: “They’re always carrying poles and it’s quite different from a mounted pack, like a fox pack. As they’re on horses there just that bit faster and bit away from us.
“Whereas the mink hunts are slower, on foot, so it’s very much up close and personal.” The Three Counties Mink Hounds have been approached for comment.
Despite the incident the South Wales Hunt Saboteurs have said they will continue to protest similar events in the future.
A spokesperson added: “We know when we enter the fields there’s the potential for them to be violent, but it doesn’t deter us. If anything, it makes us more determined, we’ll carry on and will be focusing on mink hunts throughout the summer.”