The Crawley and Horsham Hunt and 84 landowners, over whose land it hunts, last week launched a ground-breaking civil action in the High Court against the West Sussex Wildlife Protection Group and its two main organisers, Simon and Jaine Wild.

The hunt and landowners are seeking a common law injunction on grounds of trespass and nuisance, and a court order under the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act.

It is thought the case could provide a legal model for shoots that also face difficulties with saboteurs.

Solicitor Tim Lawson-Cruttenden, of Lawson Cruttenden & Co, is acting for the hunt and the landowners. He specialises in obtaining injunctions on behalf of individuals and corporations who have been the subject of harassment, and his clients include Huntingdon Life Sciences.

He told Shooting Times: “The hunt has logged 269 incidents of trespass and harassment since September 2006. The purpose is to seek to curtail the unlawful activities of the saboteurs in the hope that their behaviour can be brought within lawful bounds. Let’s await the outcome of the hearing on 15 July before we assess the implications for shoots. Much depends upon the view of the court at the time of the hearing.”

The rest of this article appears in 19 June issue of Shooting Times.

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