A hunt has been accused of terrorising a family pet days after its master was convicted of racially harassing a protester.
Dad William Ricks claims Ross Harrier hounds chased daughter Anna’s cat after coming out of the Forest of Dean and onto his land on Saturday.
Five hours later the cat Minna was found cowering 30ft up a tree in the middle of the woods.
He has complained to police and the Forestry Commission about the incident last Saturday.
On Thursday, Harrier’s hunt master David Lee Peters was found guilty of using racially abusive words to a protester sitting in her car.
He was fined £720, and ordered to pay his victim £200 compensation.
He was in charge of the pack when Mr Ricks claims dogs ran into his garden from adjoining Bailey Inclosure. “The cat legged it into the woods chased by around six or eight baying hounds,” he said. “It was running for its life. You can imagine how terrifying it must have been for the young cat to be pursued by a pack of hounds in full cry.” He said the family and several neighbours spent more than five hours looking for Norwegian Forest cat Minna.
“We prepared ourselves for the worse because we thought she might have been ripped to shreds,” he said. “In the end she was shaken but fine because she could scramble up the tree away from the hounds.”
He reported it to the police and the Forestry Commission.
“Whatever people think about hunting in principle, I feel very strongly that the hunt should be stopped from riding roughshod over local residents and allowing their hounds to enter residential gardens and terrorise domestic animals,” he said.
West Mercia Police confirmed officers were called to Hope Mansell after a complaint about dogs from a hunt being on the land of local residents.
A spokesman said: “Officers established that no criminal offences had been committed. Words of advice were given to both hunt members and the landowners.”
Nationally, the Forestry Commission allows trail or drag hunting, but not fox hunting on its land.
Only Cotswold Vale Hunt has permits for Lea Bailey two days this season and Deputy Surveyor Kevin Stannard has asked the Harriers for an explanation.
Hunt spokesman Anna Ernsting said: “The Ross Harriers regret that hounds were able to freely access gardens from farm land where we had permission to be. Letters have already been sent to the residents and we will inform them in advance should we be in the area again. We are not the only hunt in the area.”
Source : The Forester