Masked thug takes hammer to saboteurs during Bassetlaw hunt
This video shows the chilling moment a masked thug takes a hammer to a hunt saboteur van in a brutal attack.
The footage - filmed in Letwell, near Langold, on Saturday - unfolded as Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs tried to stop an ongoing fox hunt.
It shows the violent attacker jump out of a Subaru car with no registration plates which speeds into view.
After smashing two windows the unidentified man viciously strikes the side of the car before driving off as other hunt supporters look on in the background.
A member of Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs who arrived on the scene moments after told how the van’s occupants were ‘petrified’ their assailant would strike them inside the vehicle.
The saboteur, who did not want to be named, said: “They were very shaken up - they were a mess.
“After the police arrived to investigate they just wanted to get out of there.
“Our driver thought the guy with the hammer was going to go for him as well.”
The witness, who has been disrupting hunts ‘for a long time’, told how he had seen violence before but was still shocked but what he had witnessed.
He said: “I’ve seen a car windscreen smashed by a brick thrown from a moving quad bike before this but I’m still shocked by it.
“It’s the fact that it was premeditated - the vehicle had no registration plates and they were masked-up.
“Emotions often run high but when something like this happens you realise how much forethought has gone into it - which is pretty scary.”
A spokesperson from the hunt said: “The Grove and Rufford Hunt does not condone violence in any form, even in the face of extreme provocation. Although we are regularly subjected to foul language and abuse by anti-hunting activists, we still support their right to peaceful protest, as much as it is our right to carry out the lawful activity of trail hunting.
“It is a disgrace that their vehicle was attacked in such a way by these individuals who are not known to the hunt and we will willingly help the police with any enquiries. Meanwhile we have sent a contribution towards the repairs as a gesture of goodwill.
“It is important though that we point out how misguided the saboteurs are and how their actions are far from peaceful or law-abiding. The hunt narrowly avoided an accident on Saturday when hounds left the trail having been enticed away by a saboteur blowing a horn. As a direct consequence of their actions the hounds went in the opposite direction to where the huntsman was directing them, and although neither the hounds - or any other animals were harmed - it took over two miles to stop the hounds on the outskirts of a village. When the antis effectively take control of the hounds in this manner, they can not only put the hounds and other wild mammals at risk, but can also endanger the public.”
They added: “We constantly remind these animal rights activists to stick to footpaths and away from private property, however on Saturday, a dozen masked saboteurs walked all across crops, down private drives and onto other private land. They show no respect for anybody’s property or the law and then claim the hunt - who carefully lay trails every day to comply with the Hunting Act - are the ones breaking the law, despite there being no evidence to support their allegations.
“If animal welfare was really their objective then they wouldn’t behave the way they do nor spray substances on the hounds which interfere with their scenting abilities. The antis’ real objective is to discredit hunting by posting carefully edited footage on social media to gain support and funding for their activities however we urge them to reconsider their tactics and stay within the law as we do week in week out.”