Fox­hound pack ‘caused may­hem on quiet lane’

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - CHAR­LOTTE BEALE

APACK of fox­hounds caused may­hem in a quiet street dur­ing a hunt meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to fu­ri­ous res­i­dents.

Cheshire po­lice are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions that the an­i­mals were chas­ing a fox - which was found dead in a back gar­den.

Res­i­dents told of “pan­de­mo­nium” when the pack of dogs came hurtling across a field and into Pen­ning­tons Lane, Mac­cles­field.

Ed­wina Church, 47, said her hus­band Kevin saw dogs which ap­peared to be chas­ing a fox which he then saw killed.

She said: “It was hor­rific. Pan­de­mo­nium broke out.

“There was a stream of dogs run­ning through our gar­den into next door.

“We had 15 of them jump­ing around in our gar­den.

“The dogs were fran­tic.”

Mrs Church’s 82-yearold mother, who has chronic heart fail­ure, saw it un­fold and was said to be “trau­ma­tised”.

Her daugh­ter con­tin­ued: “A lot of peo­ple on this road are el­derly. They were fright­ened to come out. The dogs were fran­tic. I’m an an­i­mal-lover and I was shaken. It was heart­break­ing.”

Cheshire Po­lice said on Face­book they are work­ing with the RSPCA and spe­cial­ist of­fi­cers to in­ves­ti­gate.

They said: “We are aware of con­cerns around hunt ac­tiv­ity in the Mac­cles­field area yes­ter­day. We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing this mat­ter and work­ing with spe­cial­ist of­fi­cers and the RSPCA.”

Pen­ning­tons Lane res­i­dents say they heard a “scream­ing” pack of dogs be­long­ing to Cheshire For­est Hunt run through nearby fields where preg­nant cows were graz­ing at around 12.45pm.

Two quad bikes then came “flying down the lane” said res­i­dent Julie Clark, 47.

Mrs Church claims one of the hunt mem­bers got off her bike and re­trieved the dead fox from the gar­den.

Other mem­bers of the hunt then ar­rived to­gether with the po­lice.

Ms Clark said:“The dogs were huge. God knows how some­one didn’t get hurt. It was dread­ful.”

Farmer An­drew Kidd has preg­nant hef­fers in a field through which the dogs ram­paged. Mr Kidd said Cheshire For­est Hunt Hunts­mas­ter Richard Gar­ton phoned him to apol­o­gise for the in­ci­dent.

The hunts­mas­ter “apol­o­gised 100 per cent”, said Mr Kidd.

Mac­cles­field Coun­cil­lor Bev­er­ley Doo­ley, who owns some of the land which the hun­ters crossed over, said per­mis­sion had not been given to use the land.

She said: “Pen­ning­tons Lane is used by peo­ple walk­ing dogs, by chil­dren on bikes. There were no chil­dren play­ing in the gar­dens when it hap­pened.

“We’re all shocked at the bla­tant dis­re­gard for other peo­ple and their prop­erty – their land, their an­i­mals.”

Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley said he has con­tacted the Cheshire For­est Hunt to es­tab­lish how the events oc­curred.

The Ex­press has tried to con­tact Cheshire For­est Hunt for a com­ment.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion should con­tact Cheshire Po­lice on 101 quot­ing in­ci­dent num­ber 395 of Fe­bru­ary 25.

Po­lice were called at the scene

A hunts­man and hounds on Pen­ning­tons Lane, Mac­cles­field

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