York & North Yorkshire

Video shows hunting dogs mauling deer in Askham Richard

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Media captionA video has been released showing a pack of dogs mauling a roe deer

A video showing a pack of hunting dogs mauling a roe deer as it tries to escape has been released.

West Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs recorded the footage on land north of Askham Richard in North Yorkshire on Saturday.

The group claimed the dogs were from the Badsworth and Bramham, Moor/York and Ainsty South hunting groups and were "out of control".

A spokesperson for the hunt described it as an unfortunate incident, but blamed the saboteurs.

The video showed the deer being caught by the dogs and attacked three times before it manages to escape.

North Yorkshire Police said it had received reports of a deer which had been injured by dogs at about 13:45 GMT on Saturday.

The force said officers had attended the location and appealed for anyone with information to get in touch.

In England and Wales, it is illegal to use dogs to hunt foxes, hares or deer, unless it is defined as "exempt".

Image copyright West Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs
Image caption Police urged any witnesses to contact them

The protesters, who posted the clip on their Facebook page, said the hounds "came across a deer, repeatedly bringing it to the ground, along with killing a rabbit".

The group said "the dogs were not under the control of either huntsman or whipper".

TV naturalist Chris Packham also issued a response to the post.

He said: "Distressing footage of some of the hound pack chasing and mauling a roe deer... It's time for this to end."

A spokesperson for the York and Ainsty South Hunt said: "We are aware of an unfortunate incident which took place on Saturday, 4th January, which happened purely as a direct result of the actions of the anti-hunting activists.

"These hunt saboteurs were blowing a hunting horn and distracting the hounds which took a few of them off the trail which had been laid for them to follow.

"It is desperately unfair on our hounds if somebody else blows a horn too."

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