Clampdown on Isle of Wight Hunt after terrier attack

A TERRIER that savagely bit a woman while exercising with the Isle of Wight Hunt hounds is reportedly still causing trouble in the Gatcombe area.

Following the incident, which the County Press reported in July, an agreement was made between the IW Council, Chillerton and Gatcombe Parish Council, police and the hunt master Rupert Inglesant, clamping down on exercising the hounds in public.

A route has been stipulated, along with specific times they can be taken out.

A 55-year-old Gatcombe man was given a conditional caution following a police investigation into the terrier attack. The woman suffered an injury to her leg, and her dog was also attacked.

Although the terrier was exercising with the hunt hounds, it is not owned by the hunt.

An Isle of Wight police spokesperson said: “The conditions are that he must pay any vet bills for the victim’s dog as a result of the bite, his dog must be muzzled in public, and the dog must not be exercised with the hounds.”

However, the County Press has been told by a Gatcombe resident that on November 10, the terrier, without a muzzle or lead, ran into a property on New Barn Lane.

The woman said: “It terrified the owner, who recognised it as the hunt terrier that had been attacking both people and dogs locally, and she shut herself in the stable.

“Her partner then shouted at the dog and defended himself with a broom until the dog’s owner turned up.”

Another resident said she and a friend had also been attacked by the terrier, on two separate occasions.

Police have been informed of the incidents.

A meeting was held between police and concerned residents on November 14.

One said those present were asked not to contact the County Press — a claim the police dispute.

A police spokesperson said: “I can confirm police have received allegations the dog has breached its conditional caution. Enquiries remain ongoing in relation to this.”

The resident who spoke to the CP said she still had concerns about the hunt exercising in Gatcombe, and she had not had the courage to walk alone since hearing about the original attack.

She said: “Thirty unleashed exuberant foxhounds with two helpers has been demonstrated as woefully insufficient.

“Having published set times (for exercising the hounds), does that mean the public take some blame if they exercise their right to use public Rights of Way, if they too are injured by hunt dogs?”

The Countryside Alliance has issued a statement on behalf of the Isle of Wight Foxhounds.

It said: “The hunt continues to work with the local community to ensure their legal hunting activities and hound exercise do not cause any disruption or leave any cause for concern.

“The joint masters would be delighted to meet any local residents who would like to know more about their activities and would welcome the opportunity to show them around the kennels to explain their daily routine.”

They declined to comment on the terrier, as it was not owned by the hunt.

In other news, the hunt has not been allowed to use National Trust land on the Isle of Wight this hunting season.

The hunt organisers failed to submit the required documentation, so a licence has not been granted.

Robin Lang, countryside manager for the Isle of Wight National Trust, confirmed: ” did not receive all the required documentation by the stipulated deadline.”

In an email to a member of the public, seen by the County Press, the trust said the decision was unconnected to the terrier attack.

It said: “The trust issues very strict terms and a code of conduct for all hunts taking place on National Trust land, which are actively monitored, and does not permit terriers to accompany any hunts.

“For matters unconnected to the incident, we have decided not to issue a licence for the 2019/20 season.”

Forestry England, which owns several parcels of land on the Island, has confirmed dates for the upcoming hunts and said permissions were in place.—-clampdown-isle-wight-hunt-terrier-attack/

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