A Scottish hunt has purchased a pack of Bloodhounds so that its supporters can continue to enjoy riding across its country
The Berwickshire hunt has acquired a pack of Bloodhounds in an effort to provide cross-country riding for its subscribers.
One of 10 Scottish mounted packs affected by the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill, which came into force on 1 August, the Berwickshire is continuing to offer a “gun pack” fox control service for farmers and landowners. The Bloodhound pack is said by joint-master and huntsman Jeremy Whaley to be a separate venture – “a form of diversification”.
Two trial days have been held and the first formal meet took place last weekend. Jeremy denied that the move was in any way an alternative to foxhunting, suggesting that country not suitable for Foxhounds, such as that close to the A1, railway line or East Coast cliffs, would be used, although not exclusively.
The Bloodhounds are now owned by Jeremy and were drafted in from hunts such as the Coakham and one or two others, and they are kennelled alongside the Foxhounds.
He said: “It’s early days yet, but everyone seems fine about the idea and is looking forward to it. We had planned to do this regardless of which way the court case went. In fact, we even had the hounds before it.”
Subscribers will be given unlimited days with the Bloodhounds and non-subscribers will be able to enjoy day tickets as long as they book in advance.
Joe Scott-Plummer, joint-master of the Duke of Buccleuch’s and Scottish MFHA representative, commented: “Many hunts are considering activities separate to their fox control service to provide mounted entertainment for subscribers, and the Berwickshire’s enterprise is just that.”
Campaign for Hunting chairman Sam Butler agreed, saying:”All of the Scottish packs are determined to maintain their infrastructure while we win the legal challenge, and keeping the support of their subscribers is an essential element of that.
“While there are those that will enjoy following Bloodhounds, for hunt enthusiasts it is no substitute for the unique relationship between huntsman, hounds and quarry.”
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