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Hunter on quad bike mows down man, breaking his leg

Shocking footage shows the moment a man was mowed down by a South Shropshire Hunt (SSH) terrierman on a quad bike.

The incident took place on the Real Milk Company’s private land on 25 November. The company tweeted a video of the incident, and said:

“First you goad them…..then you evidence them. SSH trespassing yet again on Wild Milk premises didn’t like being filmed so they tried to take out the goader.”

As the man monitored the hunt from a verge, the driver of the quad bike deliberately plowed into him, and the man fell to the ground. Moments before that, the driver was captured on footage saying he’d “f*cking have that c*nt”. According to the Real Milk Company, the man was taken to hospital with a broken leg.

The company reported that the West Mercia Police were called, but in further tweets below the video stated that police didn’t bother to attend the scene and three days later still hadn’t spoken with them.

Hunt illegality

The SSH doesn’t just hunt on land that it has no permission to be on. It also continues to hunt foxes, blatantly ignoring the fact that it is illegal to do so. In November 2022, SSH hunt master Daniel Cherriman pleaded guilty after he was caught by the public making ‘tongue rolling’ noises to disturb foxes. His hounds chased a fox, which, fortunately was able to get away. Cherriman was fined a paltry £607 for trying to murder the fox.

The incident happened on National Trust land, which has banned trail hunting on its land since November 2021. The charity had previously banned the SSH in 2018 after allegations of illegal hunting and having terrier men on Trust land, in breach of an existing ‘trail hunting’ agreement.

After Cherriman’s guilty verdict, foxes scored another victory when local pub The Raven Inn pulled out of hosting the SSH’s Boxing Day meet. Pubs play a significant role in the hunting industry’s public relations. The decision would have significantly damaged the SSH’s attempts to portray itself as a harmless hunt taking part in a ‘rural tradition’.

The poster boy of tearing up foxes

The SSH’s most famous staff member has been Otis Ferry, son of musician Bryan Ferry. Known as the poster boy for the pro-hunting campaign in the lead-up to the Hunting Act coming into force in 2004/2005, Ferry then became the SSH’s huntsman and joint master in 2007. In November 2007 he was charged with common assault and robbery after he targeted two hunt sabeoteurs, alongside one other man named John Deutsch, when riding with the Heythrop Hunt. Between them, the men were involved in smashing the monitors’ car window as the women sat in the vehicle, and trying to wrestle their car keys from them. Ferry stole and rode off with one of the monitor’s video cameras, deleting footage. He then spent four months on remand in prison, before being convicted in 2009 of “causing fear and stress”.

At the time, Ferry was only ordered to pay a fine of £350, so the hunt monitors took a civil case against the men. In 2014, a court ordered both Ferry and Deutsch to pay out £17,000 in damages to one monitor, and £14,000 to the other, with a contribution of £16,000 to come from Ferry. The men were also ordered to pay legal costs of the thousands. But a year later, the women still hadn’t received a penny.

Violence is the norm

Unfortunately, although this latest footage is horrific, it is unsurprising. We are seeing numerous attacks by hunters and their supporters on those who monitor their illegal activities. Week in, week out, Protect the Wild reports on similar acts of violence.

This is why we need to change the Hunting Act and ban hunting for good. Most anti-hunting campaigners are calling for the current Act to be strengthened. But Protect the Wild argues that doing this will only invite more loopholes for hunters to get away with. Therefore, we are campaigning to replace the law with our proposed Hunting of Mammals Bill, which has been prepared by lawyers at Advocates for Animals. If the government passes this law, all loopholes will be shut down, and hunts will no longer be able to exist.

  • Join us to campaign for a proper ban on hunting. Read the Hunting of Mammals Bill here and sign the petition to get this horrific blood sport shut down for good.
  • Header image from video footage by Real Milk Co