UPDATE: Anti-hunt group claims members assaulted by Belvoir Hunt followers at Stathern
Two men have been arrested following reports of assaults in Stathern yesterday.
The League Against Cruel Sports says two of its members were seriously assaulted and their cameras taken off them at a meeting of the Belvoir Hunt in Stathern.
Leicestershire Police say they made the arrests at 3.50pm off Tofts Lane in Stathern. They say two victims sustained injuries which required medical treatment. Two men aged 54 and 23 have been arrested on suspicion of assault and released on police bail pending further inquiries.
A police spokesman said: “Enquiries are ongoing to ascertain the exact circumstances surrounding the incident.”
A spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “Two members of staff from the UK’s leading anti-hunting campaigning organisation have today been seriously assaulted and robbed of their cameras while monitoring Leicestershire’s Belvoir Hunt. The two League Against Cruel Sports employees were attacked by a gang of hunt followers, some of which were on quad bikes and wore masks.”
He added: “Having been attacked by the gang, League employee Darryl Cunnington sustained injuries so serious that a specialist ambulance was called and he was rushed to hospital. League colleague Roger Swaine sustained blows to the head and suffered heavy bleeding.”
Eduardo Gonçalves, Chief Executive for League Against Cruel Sports, said: “Our number one priority is the wellbeing of our injured staff and I am on my way to visit them now. We are all shocked by the violence of the Belvoir Hunt followers and this barbaric thuggery must not go unpunished. Our courageous investigators play a critical role in peacefully monitoring and enforcing the anti-hunting law that some people consider themselves to be above.”
Last year, the Belvoir Hunt hit the headlines when the same investigator, Mr Cunnington, discovered – and subsequently released - a captured fox in a shed on land hunted by the Belvoir Hunt.