Vandals target anti-hunting Lush

Branches of ethical cosmetics chain attacked after campaign launched in support of saboteurs

They have donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to direct action guerrillas. Now, they have found themselves under attack.

In the past week, the cosmetics chain Lush has seen its branches vandalised and its staff threatened, immediately after it launched an anti-fox hunting campaign. In Chelmsford, Essex, a man returned to the same store on three occasions to knock over a display of Fabulous Mrs Fox bubble bars, the proceeds from which Lush donates to the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA). Staff called police.

Store manager Sue McKenna said: "He first came in on Tuesday, knocked over all the bubble bars and leaflets, and said he was going to come back every day until the campaign stops. Then he ran out. When he came back the third time, an off-duty police officer was in the shop, who told him to leave. It was then that we rang 999." Essex police were unavailable to comment on the incident last night.

In Manchester, members of the HSA had been invited to the Lush store to help with the campaign and hand out leaflets. But a few days before the event, a man entered the shop and told a member of staff that "there will be trouble" if it went ahead. Staff contacted police, and were relieved when the event on Saturday passed without incident.

In Maidstone, Kent, a kebab was smeared over the shop front and the words 'Fuck You' scratched into the glass, while in Taunton, Somerset, an anonymous caller told staff to "watch their backs". Promotional campaign blackboards were also covered with "Keep Hunting" stickers, photos of which appeared on the online forum of the magazine Horse & Hound.

The Countryside Alliance, which has been highly critical of Lush's decision to support the HSA, has urged hunt supporters not to target the stores. In a statement, the charity, which campaigns to overturn the ban on fox hunting, said: "It is important to realise that while the rural community is deeply upset at Lush's misguided decision to support the Hunt Saboteurs Association, any sort of direct, abusive or tactical protest, illegal or legal, is not appropriate and such action will most definitely not be supported by the Countryside Alliance."

The Alliance had previously criticised Lush for supporting the HSA, saying it "advocates direct action and illegal methods to disrupt hunting activities". Head of media Tim Bonner said: "While we support the view that everyone has their right to an opinion, there are groups who legally oppose hunting, and the HSA is not one of them."

Hunt saboteurs have been regularly criticised for the methods they employ in disrupting hunts. Many hunt followers tell tales of having been pulled from their horses by "sabs".

Lee Moon, of the HSA, said: "The only reason the HSA continues to exist is because hunts up and down the country routinely break the law while killing foxes. We are the only ones who see what is really going on in the countryside, and it's we who are responding to it by getting between the hunters and the hunted, much the same as we have been doing for almost half a century. The hunts are still killing, the police aren't policing and so we are still sabbing."

The company, founded by Mark Constantine, donated more than £500,000 to charities and campaign groups last year. In December 2008 it paid the legal fees of the 56 protesters from Plane Stupid who broke into Stansted airport and delayed thousands of passengers.



News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations should be regarded as an offensive act
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
News
people
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices