The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) is a worldwide organization using direct action to stop the hunting of animals. HSA activists use a model of leaderless resistance and have been using the same basic tactics since their inception in 1963; the underlying principle being to directly intervene in a day's hunting, historically by delaying or confusing the horses and hounds.
In 1964 John Prestige founded the Hunt Saboteurs Association in Brixham, England, after being assigned to report on the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, where "he witnessed the hunters drive a pregnant deer into a village and kill her."  Designed to "actively oppose blood sports,"  the HSA eschewed parliamentary reforms and instead went directly out into the fields of Britain to do everything they could, within the law, to prevent the killing of British wildlife. "Within a year, HSA groups appeared across England in Devon, Somerset, Avon, Birmingham, Hampshire and Surrey. Ronnie Lee, founder of the animal rights group Band of Mercy (and later the Animal Liberation Front), began his activism within an HSA group in Luton, England. HSA now operates throughout Europe and North America. Hunt saboteurs are often referred to as by the abbreviation "sabs".
A group of hunt saboteurs both appear and are a critical part of the plot in the 1963 film The List of Adrian Messenger.
The HSA uses tactics as varied as using hunting horns and whistles to misdirect hounds, scent dullers, laying false trails and locking gates to disrupt a hunt. In the mid 90s sabs used a "gizmo" (a portable cassette tape player linked up to a megaphone or other portable amplification equipment) to play the sound of hounds in cry, causing the dogs to break off the chase. The HSA has expanded into countries such as the United States and Canada, so tactics have shifted depending on the type of hunting being disrupted. The HSA now routinely disrupt deer, waterfowl, turkey, mink and hare hunts, as well as angling and other types of fishing. This type of action has been deemed illegal in numerous states with those states passing laws against the disruption of legal hunting activities.Template:Citation needed
HSA UK publishes a quarterly journal, Howl.
See also Edit
- Hunt Saboteurs UK
- The American Hunt Saboteurs Association
- Hunt Saboteurs N.Ireland
- Hunt Saboteurs Ireland