A member of the public was left distressed and shaken up after being caught up in an incident of hunt havoc when the Buccleuch Hunt lost control of its hounds.

The incident happened last week (Wednesday 15th January) on the A6105 Gordon to Greenlaw road. Debbie Smith, who was driving along the road was forced to brake suddenly when a mounted huntsman jumped onto the road immediately in front of her car.

Debbie Smith said: “A man on horseback jumped  over the hedgerow at the side of the road on my nearside on to the eastbound carriageway immediately in front of my car causing me to brake harshly to prevent hitting them.

“I then saw all the hounds jumping the hedge on to the road and then jump into the parallel fields with their noses to the ground. The man on the horse blew a horn but the hounds were all over the road again and then jumped back into the field some of them were running down the main road. It was mayhem causing traffic to come to a standstill in both directions.”

The incident was reported to the police by Ms Smith. She added: “I was very shaken and worried about the hounds getting run over. I called the police once I managed to slowly drive away from the scene after being harangued from a dismounted male rider telling me I was holding up the traffic.

“I was worried as the dogs appeared out of control and I was concerned for the safety of road users and that of the animal the hounds were obviously chasing, it also appeared to me that the hounds were in a highly excitable state.”

Robbie Marsland, Director of the League Against Cruel Sports, Scotland said: “This is yet another example of hunts having absolutely no regard for anything other than the pursuit of their so called 'sport'.  

“This was an extremely distressing incident for Debbie Smith who found herself caught up in the middle of a hunt to the detriment of her own safety while witnessing hounds, endangering not only themselves but other road users due to the inability of the hunt to control them.

“When the Scottish Government strengthens the current law and no more than two dogs can be used, incidents like this will be completely avoided”.

Hunting foxes with dogs was banned in Scotland in 2002, two years before the rest of the UK. In over seventeen years there has only been one successful prosecution of mounted huntsmen for illegal hunting. The League has been campaigning for the law to be strengthened to close loopholes which it believes allow hunts to hunt in a manner which is very similar to pre-ban, traditional hunting.

Ends

Notes to editor

 

  1. The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).
  2. Media enquiries to Louise Robertson on 07930 539832 / [email protected].co.uk