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.



Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week