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Dogs in Road Chaos

By Jo Deeks on Thursday, 18th July 2002.

AN ANIMAL sanctuary owner has slammed a local hunt for failing to respond quickly when its hounds were found loose on the main road between Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds.

Carol Outhwaite of the Jaybeth Animal Sanctuary at Barnardiston said someone had knocked on her door early Tuesday morning thinking it was one of her dogs which had been knocked down close by.
Carol said she found foxhounds all over the road and estimated around 50 of the dogs were running around and passers-by were stopping to try and catch them.

A vet was called to attend to one dog that had been injured and later put down. Police tried to round up the dogs and deal with the build-up of early morning traffic. The Thurlow Hunt kennels are nearby and Carol said someone at the scene had phoned the home of millionaire landowner Edmund Vestey, who is Master of the Hunt, to tell him the dogs were lose.

“There were cars crashing into each other and complete strangers helping me to round up as many dogs as I could. I would have thought they would have rushed here straight away to make sure the dogs were safe.

“I had perfect strangers putting hounds into their cars to protect them, but there was no-one there from the hunt and no-one has been in touch to ask for them back. I have got seven of the dogs here and they are staying here until someone comes to get them and proves to me where they came from,” Carol said.

Nathan Brown of the Hunt Saboteurs Association said he had been told of the incident by Carol. He said his organisation was concerned about the welfare of all animals, whether they were those that were hunted or the dogs used to hunt them.
“These people have a duty of care for these animals. We will probably get the blame for it, to try and discredit us, but we would not put animals’ lives in danger in this way,” Mr. Brown said.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police confirmed they had received a number calls about dogs on the road, although there had been conflicting reports about how many. Some traffic congestion had been caused while the dogs were rounded up, but police had no information about how they had got out. No investigation would take place into the matter unless a complaint was received.

A spokesman for the Thurlow Estate Office confirmed their dogs were involved, but declined to comment further. Neither Mr nor Mrs. Vestey were available for comment.

Haverhill Weekly News

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