Today whilst talking on the phone and sitting on a tree stump in my lovely garden I herd what sounded like a pack of wild dogs approaching. Then all of a sudden 4 or 5 dogs came bounding through my garden. As you can imagine my dog went absolutely wild and started chasing after them and barking, she’s a German Shepherd and quite big. All but one of the dogs legged it but one stayed and had a bit of a stand off with my dog. In the end after lots of barking and flashing of teeth the other dog was chased out of the garden by mine. I’ve not lived in the countryside for very long and I couldn’t work out where the other dogs had come from. Then after about 20 mins I looked over the valley and saw about 20 people on horse back and about 50 dogs I put 2 and 2 together and realised it was the local hunt.
After watching them for a bit I went inside had a brew and thought nothing more of it till my girlfriend arrived back from work. I went out to meet her and my dog followed. After saying hello I heard the same barking noise again so I put my dog inside the house. Then from nowhere about 50 dogs all baying and barking leapt over the fence, which separates my paddock from the field next door, went bombing through my paddock and into the next-door neighbours land.
Now my question is.
What right have the local hunt go to let their dogs run wild all over the local land and what if my dog would have been out? She would have surely tried but she would have been vastly outnumbered and would have been torn to bits. I’m sure I have the right to let my dog out in my garden whenever I like but with the risk of her ending up in pieces I’m not sure I want to. So what control do the local hunt have to have their dogs under? I’m sure if they’re chasing a fox they’ll chase it anywhere and that includes through my land. Short of sitting out every day with a gun and shooting at the dogs, which I’d hate to do as I love dogs, how do I stop them coming on my land?