Saturday, March 25, 2006


Daily Telegraph

Three huntsmen have been issued with a warning notice under anti-social behaviour legislation following a complaint that hounds had trespassed on private land.

The notice, believed to be the first of its kind against huntsmen, prevents the leaders of the Cotswold Hunt from taking hounds through 30 acres of private woodland on the edge of Elcombe, near Stroud, Glos.

The move follows complaints by Jeanne Berry, who owns part of the woodland, and other residents. Mrs Berry, an opponent of hunting, called in police last month after finding bloodstains on her fencing.

A file was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, but it decided there was not enough evidence to justify a prosecution under the Hunting Act 2004.

The Stroud area anti-social behaviour co-ordinator Colin Peake held a meeting with both parties to discuss the complaint.

"It was accordingly decided that the most effective way to resolve the issue was to serve a warning notice," he said.

"The Cotswold Hunt accepted this and the warning notice has thus been served on three individuals who have control and management of the hunt. Hopefully a practical and long-standing resolution has been achieved."

He said the names of the three huntsmen were "confidential".

A warning notice carries no punishment if it is breached but it can be used as evidence in future legal proceedings under anti-social behaviour legislation.

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