More hunt havoc…

The following letter, sent to us by a supporter, was sent to the Master of the North Shropshire Hunt at the end of February. All names have been changed.

Dear Mr Hunt

I feel I have to register my disgust and dismay at the total lack of control of North Shropshire hounds and the mayhem and incursion we suffered when they trespassed over our land, during the meet of Saturday 27th February.

Whilst you informed us prior to the event that you would be in the area, we accordingly stabled our horses, but were unable to house all of our other animals. We were most disappointed when a large pack of hounds, which were supposedly trail (drag) hunting , were allowed to frantically and recklessly run through the areas immediately around our house, through our in -lamb ewes and into where the rest of our animals were, causing disarray and panic.

These other animals are pedigree Shetland ponies and rare breed sheep.

One of our pedigree rams was so panicked by these marauding and rampaging hounds, that he ended up impaled upon a barbed wire fence, extremely distressed. It was equally distressing for me to witness this. Hounds actually trampled over him as they exited the paddock. It is most fortuitous at the time of writing that there appears to be no lasting physical damage to the animal and no large veterinary bill to pay.

The hounds continued to similarly charge uncontrollably and frenetically over fences and through a garden area where pedigree guinea pigs are kept in their run and around our boarding cattery pens, and even into the stable block in the barn (where the horses were stabled in their loose boxes,) before they eventually left our property.

Whilst the amount of physical damage caused has been on this occasion limited, ( 6 broken fence posts and wire pulled off posts ) this incident should never have occurred, especially as I telephoned you prior to February 27th and specifically requested that you refrain from letting hounds run on our land as we have rare breed ewes in lamb.

The unfortunate catalogue of events and the anguish caused on February 27th is totally unacceptable. I have to inform you after legal consultation that North Shropshire Hunt and hounds and all associated Hunt personnel are forthwith banned from our property. Should such an episode ever happen again, we will, after this advice from our solicitor take legal proceedings against you.

I further take exception to the arrogance and objurgation of someone who I presume to be a member of hunt staff. This individual seemed to feel that as hounds are difficult to control they therefore can not be stopped from encroaching onto property and that I should refrain from shouting at them as it has no effect on their behaviour at all.

When this person eventually left our property and went down our drive and reached the lane with several of the hounds, (not all, as the majority took absolutely no notice of him whatsoever) he informed my husband that as they were now on the public highway there wasn’t anything we could say or do to complain about them. Such egotistical behaviour does nothing to encourage good interaction and relationships with landowners.

I suggest that if it impossible for the hounds to be controlled and restricted, you might be better served in finding a different location as there is a very strong possibility that this unfortunate occurrence could be repeated. I do not want to live with the threat of this bad experience recurring as soon as you send out a letter to say North Shropshire Hunt will be in the vicinity.

The West Mercia police have been informed of the contents of this letter and along with us hope that you are able to rectify the problems and resolve the distress, anxiety and damage caused by this incident.

Finally our neighbour who lives across the lane was similarly upset. He did not appreciate the hounds charging uncontrollably and frenziedly through his grounds over an area of land he had recently planted with young trees as part of his business.

It’s been quite a season for hunt havoc. We’re just planning our 2009/10 season Hunting Report, which will be published in May. It looks like it’s going to be a havoc bonanza.

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