The Black Combe Beagles have lost a court action over the care of two of the hunt’s beagles.
Borrowdale fellrunner Billy Bland and his wife Mary successfully argued at Whitehaven County Court that the Black Combe Beagles, based at Waberthwaite, Cumbria had failed to respect an agreement that they could have safe custody of two beagles they had cared for in the off-season.
The Blands from Mountain View, Borrowdale took the legal action as they said they had been concerned about the welfare of beagles. The couple looked after the dogs from March to August when the hounds are not hunting. But because of their concerns to ensure the hounds’ long term welfare they drew up an agreement with the hunt for the dogs return to them after their hunting days were over.
In the county court action the case was brought against Stan Ellwood and Bruce Porter, master and chairman of the Black Combe Beagles.
Mary Bland said after the case: “We act as walkers for the hounds in the off-season. You get attached to the dogs and we paid vets bills and feeding. Because we had concerns about what might happen to Farmer and Fiddler after their hunting days were over, we had an agreement drawn up so we could look after them. But the hounds were not returned to us. Thanks to the judge we have got Fiddler back, but we were told his brother Farmer had been ‘put down’ by a kennels in Ireland. But we do not accept that version and we may use the £200 we were awarded to go over to Ireland to try and find out more.”
Bruce Porter, chairman of the Beagles said any comment should come through their solicitors, but he rejected any claims that the beagles were not cared for at the Waberthwaite hunt kennels.