A sheep grazing on common land had to be destroyed after it was chased by hounds from a south Shropshire hunt.
Two dogs from the Ludlow Hunt pursued the ewe at Silvington Common on Clee Hill, near Cleeton St Mary. Mr Andrew Booton, chairman of the Clee Hill Commoners’ Association, said: “This is a bad thing for farmers and the hunt.”
Mrs Janet George of the British Field Sports Society said it was not clear whether the hounds attacked or the ewe was injured on wire, a fence or a sharp object in the pursuit.
Hounds which killed sheep were normally put down, but no decision to destroy them would be taken until it was known what caused the injuries. Hunt master, David Palmer, said the hunt had not expected to go on to Clee Hill. The pair of hounds were young and in their first season. He said the pack was tracking a fox in bracken when the ewe jumped out. The injured ewe was immediately humanely destroyed.
The sheep’s owner, farmer Keith Bowen, was contacted and compensated in an “amicably agreed settlement.” Mr Bowen did not want to comment today.
“This was a very regrettable incident. We shall pay particular heed to what has gone on and not take young hounds on to the hill,” Mr Palmer said.