Tag Archives: League Against Cruel Sports

Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt Associates William Tatler and Sam Staniland

#TheList William Tatler, born c. 1973, of The Green, Idridgehay, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 2SJ, and Samuel Staniland, born c. 1987, of Hadleigh, Ipswich IP7 – for illegal fox hunting, with cubs being targeted.

Will Tatler (left) and Sam Staniland received pitiful fines after being filmed illegally hunting a fox
Will Tatler (left) and Sam Staniland received pitiful fines after being filmed illegally hunting a fox

Joint master Will Tatler and huntsman Sam Staniland admitted hunting a wild mammal with dogs at Spath Covert, in Sutton-on-the-Hill, Derbyshire, on October 2, 2018.

The men were charged under the Hunting Act 2004, which says people who illegally hunt foxes can be fined but not sent to prison.

Fox hunter Sam Staniland now of Hadleigh, Ipswich
Sam Staniland has since left the hunt and moved from Sudbury to Hadleigh near Ipswich

Both men are members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt (MSSH), which operates in East Staffordshire.

It was the second time people from MSSH have been prosecuted for fox hunting. Two other men from the hunt – Johnny Greenall and Glen Morris – were caught illegally hunting fox cubs in 2011.

The case against four other associates of the hunt was dismissed.

Charges against assistant terrierman Sam Stanley were dropped
Charges against assistant terrierman Sam Stanley were dropped

They were assistant terrier man Samuel Stanley, 25, of Burton Road, Needwood; terrier man Andrew Bull, 51, of Meynell Hunt Kennels, Ashbourne Road, Sudbury; whipper-in John ‘Ollie’ Finnegan, 33, of Gaddesby Lane, Kirby Bellars; and joint master Peter Southwell, 61, of Tolldish Lane, Great Haywood.

Terrierman Andy Bull also had the charges against him dropped
Terrierman Andy Bull also had the charges against him dropped

All six men had previously pleaded not guilty and were set to face trial, but Staniland and Tatler changed their plea to guilty before the trial.

The prosecution came after the League Against Cruel Sports filmed a fox being hunted and gave the footage to police.

League Against Cruel Sports investigator Roger Swaine captured the footage on 2 October 2018 at Spath Covert in Sutton-on-the-Hill, Derbyshire – the same area where two other men from the hunt were caught illegally hunting fox cubs in 2011.

Mr Swaine said they were “cub hunting”, which is when hounds are trained to hunt fox cubs.

“They were in the same place, it was the same hunt, doing exactly the same thing,” said Mr Swaine, who also filmed the previous footage.

He said he was “disappointed” by the fine.

“The problem is they are very well financed and they have a very good legal defence team,” he said.

“To receive just a fine for this barbaric activity shows the need to strengthen the Hunting Act, including the introduction of prison sentences,” he said.

Still from footage filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports showing a fox being illegally targeted by Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt associates
Still from footage filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports showing a fox being illegally targeted by Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt associates

In a statement issued through the Countryside Alliance, the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt said the Hunting Act was “a difficult and troublesome piece of legislation”.

“It is complex and open to misinterpretation,” the statement said.

“The Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt regrets that in this case some individuals were unable to show that they had fulfilled all the conditions of the relevant exemption, as set out in Schedule 1 of the Act.

“The Hunt confirms that moving forward it will continue to operate within the law, utilising both artificial trails and the exemptions provided in the Act.”

Sentencing: fined £535 and ordered to pay £150 towards legal costs.

Derbyshire Live
BBC News

Longformacus, Duns, Scottish Borders: Alan Wilson

#TheList gamekeeper Alan P Wilson, born c. 1958, of Henlaw Cottage, Longformacus, Duns TD11 3NT – killing dozens of wildlife on Longformacus Estate

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders kept a kill list and dumped 1000 animals into a stink pit designed to attract birds of prey and other animals, which Wilson is suspected of shooting.

Wilson admitted nine charges including killing goshawks, buzzards, badgers and an otter.

The offences were committed on the Longformacus Estate in the Borders between March 2016 and June 2017.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
One source said that Alan Wilson was hellbent on killing anything that moved

The court ruled Wilson was responsible for the deaths of numerous wildlife, including protected species. Investigators found animal corpses including otters, badgers, foxes, birds of prey and more when they searched Henlaw Wood in 2017.

A captive eagle owl which the Scottish SPCA suspects was being used as a live lure on birds of prey who were subsequently shot and killed was also discovered at Wilson’s residence. In 2018, Wilson was fined £400 and banned from keeping birds of prey for ten years for failing to ensure the welfare of the eagle owl.

After an investigation which involved experts from the Scottish SPCA’s special investigation unit (SIU), RSPB and Police Scotland, Wilson was found to have used techniques including illegally set snares and unlawful items such as banned pesticides and gin traps to trap and kill wildlife.

A land inspection also found ‘stink pits’, where dead animal carcasses are left to attract other wildlife. These ‘stink pits’ were surrounded by illegally set snares. Animal remains, including mammal skulls, were recovered.

investigators believe Wilson slaughtered thousands more animals.

One source claimed he was hell-bent on killing “everything that moved” except game birds on the estate that were being bred to be shot by wealthy clients.

One kill list found in Wilson’s home catalogued 1,071 dead animals – including cats, foxes, hedgehogs and stoats.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species

Sheriff Peter Paterson said the offences merited a jail term but he felt he was unable to impose one due to guidelines against short-term sentences.

“The sentencing options open to me at the moment do not reflect society’s views,” he added.

The court was told Wilson had pledged to no longer work as a gamekeeper and was now employed cutting trees.

Police welcomed the sentencing at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at the end of what they called a “complex inquiry” which had been a “large-scale” investigation.

“The illegal killing of birds of prey and protected species cannot, and will not, be tolerated, nor will the inhumane use of illegal traps and pesticides,” said Det Con Andy Loughlin.

An undercover Scottish SPCA investigator described it as a “despicable case of serious and systematic crimes to indiscriminately remove wildlife from an estate”.

“The sheer volume of dead wildlife discovered is truly shocking,” the investigator added.

“We will never know the total number of animals which perished due to Mr Wilson, though had it not been for the robust intervention of Police Scotland, the Scottish SPCA and our other partner agencies, many more would have suffered and perished.”

Sara Shaw, head of the Crown Office’s wildlife and environmental crime unit, said Wilson’s actions amounted to a “campaign of deliberate criminality”.

Duncan Orr-Ewing of RSPB Scotland called it an “absolutely appalling incident involving the illegal killing of a range of protected wildlife.”

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture wildlife forensic scientist Dr Lucy Webster said the investigation had been an “excellent example” of partnership working to “bring a prolific wildlife criminal to justice”.

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports, described it as “one of the worst wildlife crime incidents in recent years”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association said Wilson’s actions were “unacceptable” and “entirely out of step” with conduct it expected from its members.

He said Wilson’s SGA membership would be terminated immediately.

Sentencing: ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and given a restriction of liberty order.

Scottish SPCA
BBC News
Daily Record