Protesters slam hunt ‘chaos’

Protesters have slammed a “chaotic” hunt, which was called off early after 25 hounds repeatedly ran across a Peak District road.

Anti-hunt campaigners said huntsmen lost control of their hounds, who ran after hares on numerous occasions, during the hunt near Monyash last Saturday.

North West Hunt Saboteurs Association put a video online which it said showed hounds putting lives at risk by running back and forth over a road while searching for a hare.

High Peak Hunt organisers said they intended to follow a pre-placed scent, but the dogs were led astray by strong winds.

Paul Timpson, from NWHSA, said: “This is the second time they’ve lost control and got separated from the scent they’re hunting.

“Saturday was really bad. It was complete chaos and the dogs just wandered off chasing hares.

“How can this happen if they were following a scent?”

But joint master of the hunt Bob Graham denied the hunt was out of control, and said there were definite systems for crossing roads.

Mr Graham said: “It wasn’t chaos at all, but it really was very windy so the hounds had trouble finding the scent.

“Because of that we ended early.”

He said hares occasionally appeared during hunts and dogs would be stopped, but it was not a regular occurrence.

“I didn’t see that on Saturday, but if it did happen then the hounds will have been quickly called back,” added Mr Graham.

Mr Timpson said since the new hunting act was introduced in 2004 the NWHSA’s main role was to monitor hunts.

It only intervened when animals were being hunted, he added.

Insp Brian Hall, from Bakewell police, said officers filmed the hunt and protesters on Saturday, but were happy with proceedings and no incidents were reported.

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