Two dogs are recovering after suffering from an alleged attack by out of control hunt hounds in Somerset.

Pet rescue dogs, Monty and Alfie, were out walking in the Mendips with their owner at around 8.00am on Thursday, July 13th, when they were allegedly attacked by hunting hounds belonging to the Mendip Farmers Hunt.

Dave Mullin was walking the pair along a country lane in Priddy, when he says they encountered approximately 70 local hunt hounds and two men.

I put my dogs on lead and moved to the side of the track to allow them to pass,” Dr Mullin said.

"While they were going past about 10 hounds got loose and started to attack my two dogs.”

Dr Mullin, who said he was appalled and frightened and left not knowing what to do when the hounds started to attack his dogs, reported the incident to Avon and Somerset Police and the League Against Cruel Sports, via the charity’s Animal Crimewatch line.

He said he did receive a phone call from a representative of the hunt, who apologised that his dog had been injured but said no-one knew what had happened.

"They said they were sorry that my dog was injured and then went on to tell me that no one really knows what happened, yet weren't interested to hear my side of the story.

"Both myself and my dogs are shocked and traumatised by the incident and also by the attitude of the hunt.”

Mr Mullin said Monty has been left shaken by the attack but is relatively unscathed, but that Alfie sustained injuries needing around £200 worth of veterinary treatment.

Chris Luffingham, Director of Policy, Communications and Campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “This incident is unfortunately not isolated, but instead marks the latest in a string of hunt havoc occurrences taking place up and down the country when hunting hounds are not under control or pick up the scent of a fox.

“Reports of people, pets and livestock being disturbed, attacked or even killed as a result of hunting dogs marauding across farms, public footpaths or even trespassing in back gardens – are not uncommon.

“Hunts are also often seen crossing busy roads and railway lines with the hounds – surely not the actions of a pack following a pre-laid ‘trail’, which the hunts claim they are doing.”

Threat of bTB?

The incident raises further concerns around the potential spreading of bovine TB (bTB) by hunt hounds.

The League is calling for an independent inquiry into the potential spread of bTB by hunting hounds, following a bTB outbreak at a Hunt kennels in December 2016. Government statistics showed that the number of bTB cattle outbreaks in the hunt’s area more than doubled immediately after the outbreak.

Chris Luffingham added:“Alongside the obvious harm inflicted on two pet dogs in this alleged attack, the large number of hunting hounds reportedly running loose through the countryside with the concerns surrounding bTB outstanding, is perhaps even more alarming.”

 

ENDS

 

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected]

 

Notes to Editors

  • The League Against Cruel Sports has estimated that more than 200,000 illegal hunting incidents - averaging 16,000 per year – may have been committed by hunt members since the Hunting Act 2004 was enacted. That makes illegal hunting with dogs potentially the most common wildlife crime in the UK.
  • Since hunting with dogs was outlawed, the charity believes most of the hunts in England and Wales have been hunting illegally by abusing hunting exemptions and using the false alibi of trail hunting.
  • The public can report instances of hunt havoc, suspected wildlife crime or dog fighting,  to the police and to the League’s Animal Crimewatch line on 01483 361108, [email protected]
  • 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 league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).