Hunt hounds 'run amok' while 'chasing fox' through Chesterfield businesses
Businesses near Chesterfield say they are counting the cost after dogs from a Derbyshire hunt ‘ran amok’ while ‘chasing a fox’ across their land.
Hounds from the Barlow Hunt allegedly ‘rampaged’ across a former golf driving range and a reclamation business at Barrow Hill on Tuesday, February 4 at about 1pm.
John Wood, who previously owned the Handley Wood Golf Driving Range and still lives at the clubhouse, said the dogs were ‘obviously chasing a fox’.
“I was looking out of the window when I noticed eight or 10 dogs and wondered what was happening. The dogs just kept appearing.
“They started tearing down towards where we live at the old clubhouse and ran amok.
“I later saw the fox with the dogs just behind it. I hope it got away.”
Nearby business Roundhouse Reclamation took to social media to criticise the hunt and the damage the dogs had caused at the site.
The firm posted on Facebook on Thursday, February 6: “Opened this morning to find destruction! Barlow illegal fox hunt on Tuesday came through our land and business. Luckily we weren't open, otherwise there would have been families with children.”
A spokesperson for Locals Against the Barlow Hunt said it was further evidence that ‘trail hunting’ was not working.
Attempts have been made to contact Barlow Hunt for a comment.
The hunt’s website describes itself as ‘a legal trail hunt with hounds following a scent laid down by a trail layer’.
Fox-hunting was outlawed in 2004, although trail hunting is permitted. It sees a scent laid for a pack of hounds to follow, to simulate hunting.
Earlier this year, anti-hunting campaigners protested outside Chesterfield’s Casa Hotel as the Barlow Hunt held its annual ball at the venue.
An online petition calling on hotel bosses to cancel the event on Saturday, January 25 was signed by more than 3,000 people.
Derbyshire police have been asked for a comment on the story.