South Shropshire Hunt says its activities were within law when hound died
Members of the South Shropshire Hunt have defended their actions on Saturday which saw one of their hounds hit by a train after straying onto railway tracks.
The driver of the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth train reported there were between 10 and 15 hounds on the tracks close to the Stretton Heath level crossing, between Shrewsbury and Welshpool, just after lunchtime. The train was travelling at approximately 70mph and unable to stop, it hit one of the dogs.
Camilla Corrie, spokeswoman for the hunt, said that members were trail hunting when a dog became separated from the rest of the hounds.
She said: “The South Shropshire Hunt were trail hunting within the law when one hound became separated from the main pack and tragically lost its life following a collision with a train.
“There were no other injuries and our thanks go to the train driver for his support during this difficult time. This is an incredibly distressing incident for the hunt staff for whom the hounds are their priority, and for the puppy walker who spent so much time looking after this hound during the early stages of its life.
“Anybody who has lost a pet will understand how difficult this is for all concerned,” Ms Corrie added.
Colin Lea, customer experience director for Transport for Wales Rail Services, said: “The railway can be a dangerous place so we’d like to remind all domestic animal and livestock owners to ensure their animals do not venture onto tracks.
“Ultimately, this could cause a serious accident and it was only through the quick reactions of our driver that this was not more serious.”
It can take up to a kilometre for a train to stop when travelling at 70mph.
Subsequent trains using the crossing would have been able to continue with their journeys although drivers had been made aware that there had been animals on the line and may still have been in the vicinity.