THIS shocking video shows the moment animals rights campaigners were targeted by masked, hammer-wielding men who smashed up two of their vehicles near Rotherham.
The Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs — who were in Letwell to protest against the Grove and Rufford Hunt ride-out — claim the men were part of the hunt with dogs and “called in as support”.
The saboteurs said they been attacked twice by the masked men on Saturday but the hunt has distanced itself from the incident and said it does not “condone violence in any form”.
The animal rights campaigners and their West Yorkshire counterparts said two red Subaru Foresters with their number plates removed had blocked in their vehicles, before a driver smashed their windows in with a hammer
A spokesperson for the anti-fox hunting group said it was a “deliberate and planned attack” carried out by “supporters of the Grove and Rufford Hunt” who had blocked in their vehicle.
The spokesperson added: “West Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs filmed the attack from their nearby vehicle, and were attacked half an hour later, this time with bricks through their windows. Both groups were left shocked and covered with broken glass shards.”
The spokesperson said the attack had happened near Gildingwells as hunt saboteurs monitored the hunt.
Both groups claim each other are abusive and hostile.
Earlier this month, the Grove and Rufford Hunt were also caught on camera by the Sheffield saboteurs on a railway line with horses and hounds near Retford. British Transport Police are investigating the incident.
A Grove and Rufford Hunt representative called the Letwell attack a “disgrace” and said the men were not known to the hunt, adding: “We will willingly help the police with any enquiries.
“Meanwhile, we have sent a contribution towards the repairs as a gesture of goodwill.”
The hunt said it supported the saboteurs’ “right to a peaceful protest, as much as it is our right to carry out the lawful activity of trail hunting”.
Since the 2004 ban on fox-hunting in the UK, hunts claim they are following “drag trails” — an artificially laid scent — which saboteurs dispute.
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “We received a call at around 1.20pm on Saturday (25) of a report of threatening behaviour and criminal damage on Lamb Lane in Letwell.
“It is reported that the victim was parked on Lamb Lane when a man driving a red Subaru pulled up, exited his vehicle and smashed their window before fleeing west on Lamb Lane.”
Information can be passed to police on 101, quoting incident number 448 of January 25.