Inside dangerous life of a hunt saboteur who puts body on the line for wildlife

A defiant hunt saboteur refuses to let bone-breaking beatings stop him saving animals.

Fitz, 25, grew up on team hunt, but that swiftly changed when he saw up close the brutality of wildlife being terrorised for fun.

Fox hunting has been outlawed in the UK since 2004 but the countryside is still crawling with the posh tradition, which sees hounds savagely pull their prey apart.

As a result animal-loving saboteurs up and down the country take it upon themselves to gate crash hunts, in the hope they can be the difference between life and death for vulnerable wildlife.

Northants Sabs say their efforts on the front line are strictly non-violent but Fitz claims the same cannot be guaranteed of all hunters.

The 25-year-old who spends the rest of his week working as a tree surgeon, told the Daily Star: "I've personally been chucked up against trees, I've been hit in the ribs.

"I've been punched in the head. They're constantly trying to trip you over, mainly it's school play ground tactics really, like the whole pushing and shoving without being caught on camera."

According to Fitz, his injuries have been mild compared to others.

He alleged: "A mate of mine who I sab with got six broken ribs, a broken collar bone when he was trampled by a horse.

  • Viral TikTok of dog climbing through Starbucks drive-thru window sparks debate

"He got airlifted to hospital. The violence is standard protocol for them."

"If they do assault someone then you'll get a load of them trying to take your cameras because they don't want it recorded."

A primary school teacher hit headlines last week after Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs published video footage of her appearing to strike and kick a horse on a hunt.

Protecting animals from foxes, pheasants, badgers and horses is exactly why Fitz puts himself in danger on the weekends.

  • Vandal sprays 'Mike is a cheater' on Army veteran's car in case of mistaken identity

He said: "I got into it because I was working in the countryside and a fox hunt went past which really annoyed me, so I messaged Northants Saboteurs just to say there's a fox hunt here and then asked if I could come out with them."

When asked how many foxes Fitz thinks he has helped save in the last few years, he explained: "I could easily put it into double figures, every time we go out there's a glimpse of an exhausted fox running away from them.

"If we go past a pheasant shoot, we'll stop and make the shooters break their guns and give the pheasants a chance, it's not limited to foxes.

But Fitz admits that he has not always been so committed to standing up for animals as he was once on the other side of the conflict.

  • Mum blasts KFC after daughter finds caterpillar in her corn in the cob

He revealed: "A few years ago I was pro hunt and I'm really ashamed to say it I did go shooting, ferreting and other countryside sports – well they're not sports they're murder basically.

"But I stopped and thought this is really, really wrong. It's one of those things where once you start scratching the surface, you start going wow what are we doing here? It's not right."

When Fitz started volunteering three to four years, he says he hid his identity for his own protection.

Now though he doesn't bother, and sees it as important to challenge perceptions of saboteurs being "masked thugs".

For more incredible stories from the Daily Star, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here

He claimed: "Originally I always wore a hoody and a snood because dead foxes can turn up at sabs' houses, there's been saboteurs that have had petrol put through their letter boxes, violence can be extreme.

"But they know me now so I don't worry about hiding my face, but also people get it into their heads that hunt saboteurs are just masked thugs coming into the countryside.

"We want to show the public that what the hunts say about saboteurs is a load of rubbish. We're not masked thugs we're members of the public who share the same view that hunting is wrong and barbaric."

Source: Read Full Article