Campaigners could only watch in horror today as a foxhound was hit by a train which crashed into a pack of hounds chasing a fox up the middle of a main railway line. The hound was left bleeding heavily and lying on the floor in agony after its foot was completely severed in the horrific accident.
The incident happened at Adber on the Dorset-Somerset border as the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Foxhunt chased a fox hard.
Wildlife Action campaigners were on hand to video the astonishing incident as the fox ran straight up the middle of the track on the main Bristol-Weymouth line with the pack in hot pursuit at 1.30 p.m. today. While the hunt goaded the hounds onto the fox, a freight train on the line was forced to break sharply.
Unfortunately, the train was unable to stop in time and ploughed into the hounds, badly injuring at least one. The poor creature lay in agony after its foot was cut clean off in the horror smash. Only then did a huntsman appear to attempt to retrieve the pack from the railway line.
The hunt took the hound away and resumed hunting. Although it is not known what happened to the animal, it is believed likely it will have been shot; foxhunts routinely kill their hounds when they are no longer any use for hunting.
This appalling incident is just one of many incidents of hunts trespassing on roads and railways every year and yet again highlights hunts’ total disregard for the safety of the public and even their own hounds when they are on the scent of blood. The consequences of such an accident could have been even more tragic had the train been carrying passengers – many more hounds could have been killed or members of the public injured.