Deer mauled in “horrendous” trail hunt in St Albans fields

PUBLISHED: 12:56 25 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:34 25 January 2018

A pack of hunting hounds following a trail.

A pack of hunting hounds following a trail.

PerfectStills

An animal lover is challenging what she describes as “horrendous” hunts using dogs across fields in the district.

Christine Pedder said a deer had been mauled by at least 25 dogs near Coopers Green Lane around midday on January 23, caught up as collateral damage in the baiting sport.

It has been illegal since 2005 for a pack of hounds to track real foxes but using artificial smells remains legal, albeit controversial.

Christine said there were 20 riders struggling to control all the dogs and blocking traffic: “We are very traumatised because these people are aggressive and arrogant, they don’t care that the whole of traffic on Coopers Green Lane was at a standstill. This shouldn’t be happening.”

When Christine called attention from her car to the injured deer, she said a rider replied: “Don’t worry love, we’ll take care of it.”

She said: “To me a life is a life. I have dogs - but dogs, deers, rabbits, they’re all lives, they all feel pain, they all suffer, it’s a life.

“Anyone with common sense knows that a drag hunt is an excuse to get the dogs out. It’s horrendous. Taking pleasure from the suffering and pain of another creature - is that what humanity is all about?”

Christine believes many animals are still harmed in the what is supposed to be the more humane sport of artificial drag baiting.

Herts Police were called to the scene, and a spokesperson said: “Police were called to reports of a hunt in the Coopers Green Lane area.

“They attended the scene and spoke with people allegedly taking part in the hunt.

“The Rural Operational Support Team are aware and reviewing the incident.”

They noted that no humans were injured.

A spokesperson from the League Against Cruel Sports said: “The deer was described to me as gashed, bleeding, and screaming.

“It seems quite barbaric in 2018 that people are killing British wildlife with a pack of dogs. They are killing foxes and deer and they are killing them for fun and we don’t think that is acceptable.”

He believes the public would be “staggered” by the number of animals still killed in hunts around the country.

Anyone with information about the Coopers Green Lane incident should contact 101 quoting ISR 332 of January 23 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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