Hunting has been disrupted in various areas due to severe outbreaks of kennel cough in Foxhound and other packs. Packs as far apart as the north and the West Country have been among those affected.

The Quorn have resumed normal fixtures with their own hounds, but they have had to produce sport with visiting packs, including the South Notts, Warwickshire, Cottesmore and Middleton.

The Duke of Beaufort’s were also affected by kennel cough. During a visit by the Vale of Aylesbury, the Beaufort’s huntsman Capt Ian Farquhar was injured in a fall involving a collision with a tree, and has been grounded since.

The outbreak began during the summer, mainly in the West Country, causing withdrawals from the West of England Hound Show. The autumn drought may be connected with the outbreak. It appears to be abating with the wetter weather.

“There has been a number of strains of cough. It’s the worst outbreak I can remember,” says Alastair Jackson, director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, who has commissioned veterinary reports with a view to undertaking group vaccination programmes.