Four hounds from two hunting troops have been killed after they ran onto train tracks during a trail hunt in Somerset, UK.
The tragedy occurred on New Year’s Day when the train was unable to stop, despite the driver spotting the dogs.
Hounds die on train tracks
According to the train operator, Network Rail: “Trespassing on the railway is not only incredibly dangerous, but it’s also illegal.
“It risks terrible injuries to the people and animals involved, as well as causing unnecessary delays to passengers.”
The incident took place near Templecombe, and the hounds are understood to be part of Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunts, ITV reports.
It comes just a week after other hounds were spotted on the county’s lines.
Advocates with the North Dorset Hunt Saboteurs told ITV that this kind of incident is exactly why they campaign against hunting.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that we see the hounds on this stretch of line every time they’re brought to the area. It’s terribly sad for the dogs in this case but we fear it’s only a matter of time before we see a person injured,” they stressed.
Illegal fox hunting
Despite fox hunting being illegal, trail hunting regularly takes its place to mimic the tradition. Here, huntspeople lay a trail using a “fake” fox scent.
It is designed to stop the countless deaths of foxes in theory, but what actually occurs remains much the same in the eyes of campaigners.
Notably, Chris Packham recently outlined this in a recent video with anti-hunting organization, Keep The Ban.
“[Hunters] know it will happen…They know they can get away with a real kill,” he stresses.
More recently, UK politicians welcomed a bill that could see the outlaw of animal scents on these hunts in a bid to save foxes.