When animal lovers turn to hate and violence they call it ‘caring’.

When Welsh farmer Gareth Wyn Jones posted a film on social media, showing techniques he uses to help a ewe adopted a lamb, he suffered a wave of hate abuse, including death threats, all in the name of ‘caring’, for animals, for the planet.

Gareth says he received a voicemail, and the language was terrible. He says: “In the middle of it, he says, ‘I want to come and cut your throat and cut your family’s throat.’ And you could hear this guy was deranged.”

Antis send abuse and death threats

Gareth, who farms in North Wales, has notified the police. He says his wife was shocked and upset by the message too.

He says: “It’s absolutely disgusting behaviour from an individual. He works for a charity in the Netherlands.”

Fieldsports Nation member and former Metropolitan Police detective Ian Jensen says the police have limited powers to tackle hate crimes. Ian says: “Making threats to kill somebody is a specific offence if the person sending it intends you to fear that it will be carried out. So even if you’re not frightened it doesn’t matter because it’s the intention of the person sending the message. That’s the important thing.”

Animal rights extremists can take their hate to your front door. As reported in Fieldsports News, men came to Syed Rizwan’s house in Essex after dark following an article about him hunting in the Daily Mirror that revealed his home address. He spoke to them, and they left without causing damage. 

Syed says he has received every type of abuse a person can possibly receive, including phone calls, emails, text messages, voice messages, and messages on his social media pages. He says: “They call my company lines and have spoken to my staff, swearing at me, calling me names. I feel awful because I’m a law-abiding citizen of the UK who has done nothing wrong, nothing against the law, not committed any crime whatsoever.”

Ollie Williams has received thousands of abusive messages

Ollie Williams, who runs the Cornish Sporting Agency, is frequently the target of abuse and death threats, following his appearance on hit TV show Love Island.

Ollie says he has received around 15,000 abusive messages or death threats.

He says: “ You shouldn’t let these online messages get to you because they’re not real.”

Deer stalker Niall Rowantree, of West Highland Hunting, says antis are targetting his way of life

Niall Rowantree, a deer stalker from Scotland, is also all too familiar with the problem. Niall, of West Highland Hunting, says the abuse has escalated in the last 4 years.

He says: “It’s got considerably worse. We’ve had telephone calls to the house that the children have answered. The messages say your children should be run over, or that they should die of some horrid disease, or that we should die of some horrid disease.”

He says people have also shared vehicle registration numbers and put photographs of him online without permission.

Ian Jensen says Fieldsports communities need to report absue

Former police detective Ian Jensen says that hunters and shooters are not good at being victims. When people are threatened they need to take action.

He says: “It’s important that the authorities, the police and the people who run social media platforms realise the threats, harassment and trolling that people involved in fieldsports are subjected to on a regular basis.”

He says antis are much more inclined to report abuse than fieldsports enthusiasts. “They’re rather better at being victims of this sort of behaviour than people involved in fieldsports.” He encourages people who receive abusive messages to report it to police and social media platforms so the behaviour can be challenged.

Gareth Wyn Jones farms in Wales

Gareth is determined the antis will not win and he will continue to share the realities of farming life rural people are targeted because there’s so much misleading information out there.

He says: We’re living in a world where 80% of people live in cities and have lost connection with the countryside and the reality of food production.”

He says people live in a bubble and think food just falls from the magic supermarket tree and lands on the supermarket shelves, and nothing dies. He says: “People are just so, so far removed from reality. As somebody that’s hunted, and fished, I know what it takes to put food on a plate. I know what is needed for me to grow my veg and fruit.”

Ian jensen says police need to know about all abuse

Ian says the fieldsports, and rural communities are used to people disagreeing with them. He says: “You accept that not everybody agrees with fieldsports, but if you could just have a fair chance to explain it, people may agree with your way of thinking.”

He says it’s important that the kind of abuse Gareth received isn’t ignored. He says: “It’s got to be nipped in the bud and not accepted in the way we do.

He says the way to take action is to get a screen grab as evidence, give it to the police and insisting that they do something.”

Syed Rizwan was subject to a wide range of abuse after a newspaper article in the Mirror

Niall says abuse is stressful and impacts his family. He says: “It can affect them when they’re at school. It can affect you when you’re at work. People can comment when you go into supermarkets.  I don’t think it’s an effort to correct us. I think it’s an effort to destroy our way of life and people’s ability to make a living.“

Ollie says he received a letter that threated to kill him within 12 months. He says the worrying thing was the person knew his routine. He says: “It was pretty terrifying to receive a letter like that.”  He says the police traced the person, but he only received a slap on the wrist.

He says the police didn’t take it seriously. He says: “It’s a shame because it’s just normalising this behaviour.” He says the abuse won’t force him to give up shooting.

Ian Jensen says antis make better victims than the fieldsports community

Gareth says it’s not easy being a farmer. He says: I think we’re an easy target for these animal rights activists because they’ve got it in their lives. They are lost souls and they’re looking for something.”

He says sometimes he feels really sorry for them because they’ve got so much hatred towards people. He says: “They say they’re kind and caring individuals, but I think that’s totally deluded.”


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