Hounds on New Year's Day hunt run over railway line near Fenny Compton, claim animal rights activists

British Transport Police were called to the railway between Fenny Compton and Bishop's Itchington, according to the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs
British Transport Police were called to the railway between Fenny Compton and Bishop's Itchington, according to the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs

Hounds of the Warwickshire Hunt followed a scent onto the railway line at Fenny Compton today (January 1), according to animal rights activists.

British Transport Police were called to the railway between Fenny Compton and Bishop's Itchington, according to the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs

A report from the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs (WMHS) this afternoon (Wednesday, January 1) said trains were stopped and delayed and British Transport Police were called to the mainline railway. The officers were seen at various points along the track from Fenny Compton to Bishop’s Itchington according to onlookers.

The paper has contacted Warwickshire Hunt and the transport police for details and a comment.

A spokesman for the WMHS said the group was not near to the hunt when the incident occurred.

"We were the other side of the hill in at Watergall. We are in contact with several eye witnesses who saw what happened. We are unsure at this time if any hounds were injured or killed," he said. "This is the fourth time in a month that the Warwickshire Hunt hounds have rampaged out of control and caused chaos."

The hunt has apologised for incidents in which hounds have gone 'off-trail' through a field of rheas in Avon Dassett early in December, a graveyard in Idlicote just before Christmas and through gardens in Horley in mid December.

WMHS said trespassing on a live railway line is the only form of trespass that is a criminal offence.

"The Warwickshire Hunt have tried to pass the blame on to saboteurs for previous incidents of hound chaos, but they were nowhere near the hounds when this incident happened. They will have to come up with a different excuse."

On previous occasions the hunt has maintained that interference by saboteurs has confused hounds and led them away from a trail hunt that does not contravene the 2004 Hunting Act, which banned hunting wild mammals with dogs.