Police in Cheshire are investigating a wave of criminal damage on hunt-friendly farms during the Christmas period. Some 17 livestock farms in the Cheshire Forest Foxhounds’ country were vandalised, resulting in damage worth thousands of pounds.

The damage included gates being smashed, stock-proof wire boundary fencing was chopped into 6m lengths and pipes to livestock water troughs were slashed.

Four farms in the Manley area of north Cheshire, where the Cheshire Forest were due to be hunting, were attacked just before Christmas Eve, and a further 13 farms were vandalised before the hunt on New Year’s Day. Most of the damage was done at night.

Northwich Police are investigating 23 incidents since mid-November, and a spokesman says: “We are looking at the set of similar offences collectively. We have to keep an open mind, but we wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the offences are related to hunt protest groups.”

Tom Fell, CA regional director, says: “These actions reveal contempt for human life, because the farm animals strayed on to busy highways. It beggars belief that those who claim to care for animal life can do damage that could easily kill humans and livestock.”

Local hunt saboteurs have denied the attacks.

Anyone with information should contact Cheshire Police (tel: 0244 350000) or Crimestoppers (tel: 0800 555111).

  • Read the full story in the current issue of Horse & Hound (15 January).


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