Two hounds from the Wynnstay Hunt were killed on the A41 after straying from a pack of dogs being exercised in rural Cheshire.
An eyewitness reports ‘carnage’ on the 60mph road at Edge, near Malpas , following the upsetting incident which happened just before 7am on Thursday (May 31).
The witness claims to have seen three dead dogs with ‘blood everywhere’, upset drivers and Whitchurch-bound traffic backing up as far as the Broxton roundabout.
Police are inviting witnesses or anyone who ran over a dog to get in touch in line with their legal obligations.
Polly Portwin, from the Countryside Alliance speaking on behalf of the Wynnstay Hunt, insisted two not three dogs were sadly killed and none were injured during what she described as a ‘horrible day’.
She said: “We can confirm that two of our hounds sadly lost their lives during routine hound exercise on bicycles early this morning (Thursday). The hounds were not in pursuit of a wild mammal but strayed away from the rest of the pack where they were unfortunately hit by a car.
“Thankfully incidents of this nature are very rare and this was, of course, distressing for all those concerned. Our thoughts are with the driver of the vehicle who was understandably upset to have injured the hounds and with our hunt staff who devote their lives to looking after the hounds on a daily basis and care deeply for each and every one of the pack.”
The eyewitness, who has supplied their name to The Chronicle but did not wish to be named, said about 40 dogs were let out of a horse transporter-type vehicle into a field but believes the pack were ‘out of control’ which was how they ended up going the wrong way towards the fast-moving A41.
“It was absolute carnage. I kid you not. Never in my life have I seen anything like it,” said the witness. “You cannot send 40 odd dogs out with two men on push bikes and expect them to go where you want them to go.”
The witness, who said they had anti-hunt sympathies but were not a member of any group, claimed ‘at least three dogs were killed’ although the hunt insists it was two. And the witness believes at least two drivers were in collision with the dogs – a man in a black jeep and a woman in a Mini.
“There was blood everywhere. The young lady was inconsolable,” added the witness, who is thankful no drivers or passengers were injured.
League Against Cruel Sports spokesperson Nick Weston said: “This tragedy is one of many reports we’ve had this year of packs of hunting hounds being out of control and wreaking havoc on busy roads.”
Cheshire Constabulary wildlife officers are investigating.
A police spokesperson said: “We are aware and will be looking into the circumstances. Anyone who witnessed the collision involving the dogs should contact Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number IML 79743.”
Drivers involved in an accident with certain animals including dogs must inform police under the Road Traffic Act 1988.