Weymouth Animal Rights monitor attacked with metal bar

“They would have left him for dead.” Hunt monitors are calling for witnesses after a 77-year-old man is beaten with an iron bar

On 20 December, a monitor from Weymouth Animal Rights (WAR) was hospitalised after two masked-up men beat him round the head with a metal bar. WAR was monitoring the South Dorset Hunt, along with Mendip Hunt Sabs, when the brutal attack happened. They are asking for any witnesses to come forward.

The attack took place towards the end of the day, after the monitors had witnessed the hunt’s hounds chasing numerous deer, as well as a fox. WAR explained that their monitor started screaming down the radio that he was being attacked:

“Sabs raced to the location and we found our monitor barely conscious and on the ground. His head pouring with blood. He had been jumped by two masked up men from behind who repeatedly beat him with a metal bar over his head and body. They also ripped off his body cam and stole it.”

A hunt sab on the scene was a medic, and provided immediate first aid. Police and an ambulance were called, but because the attack took place in such a remote location, sabs rushed the man to hospital themselves. WAR explained the extent of his injuries:

“He has had his extensive lacerations stitched and glued and has severe bruising on his face, eyes, arms and hands. He has had a CT scan and again thankfully his skull is intact.”



Protect the Wild asked WAR whether they had experienced violence from the South Dorset Hunt before. The group replied:

“Yes, we have experienced violence from this hunt in the past and they have hassled our workplaces and homes.”

WAR went on to tell us that the group believes that the attack was planned:

“We feel that this was a premeditated attack. There was nothing that happened during the day that suggested that anything like this would happen… It was dark at the time of the attack and the hunt were heading back to the meet. Our monitor is 77-years-old and quite frail, really. He is defenceless. He said himself that if we hadn’t arrived when we did, these men would not have stopped beating him. It was our arrival that scared them off. They would have left him for dead.”

Weymouth Animal Rights monitor attacked with metal bar

Illegal hunting

Of course, hunt monitors and saboteurs are thorns in the sides of hunters. After all, without anyone monitoring them, hunts would get away with illegally killing our wildlife with total impunity. Just a couple of months ago, Mark Pearson, huntmaster of the same South Dorset Hunt, was found guilty of illegal hunting after the pack killed two foxes in November 2021. Unaware that he was being filmed, Pearson continually encouraged the hounds to “carry on” chasing one of the foxes. Footage from WAR monitors was used to prosecute Pearson, and was key to finding him guilty. Pearson was fined £6,810 including costs.

The attack on the WAR monitor should, therefore, be seen in this context.

Furthermore, Pearson could be facing court once again, this time in his role at the Portman Hunt. Footage from North Dorset Hunt Sabs shows Pearson encouraging hounds onto a fox on his own land. The sabs are waiting to hear whether he will be charged again, not only for hunting, but for allowing his land to be used to hunt a wild animal with dogs. This is illegal under Section 3 of the Hunting Act.

Appeal for witnesses

WAR is asking for the public to come forward if they have any information on the attack. The group says:

We are appealing for ANY witnesses from the day. A passerby, a walker or maybe a CCTV on someone’s house that may have picked up a quad or hunt support from the day. Please message us in complete confidence or contact the police on 101 online.

Meanwhile, the hunt monitor is recovering at home, but is eager to get out and continue monitoring the South Dorset Hunt. WAR told Protect the Wild:

“He is adamant that this will not stop him. He even tried to get out yesterday, but we stopped him! He is angry.”

WAR continued:

“He is our hero.”


Donate to monitors at WAR, who are putting their lives on the line when they’re on the ground monitoring the South Dorset Hunt. The group would like help with funds to buy a new camera for their injured monitor. Donate here.

Donate to Mendip Hunt Sabs, who were key to helping the injured monitor that day. Donate here.


Featured images via Weymouth Animal Rights