Dogs killed on tracks after ‘drag hunt’ in High Peak

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It is believed seven dogs have died after being hit by train following ‘drag hunt’ activity.

The alleged hunting activity took place near the Cowburn Tunnel and residents are concerned about the safety of animals and people.

The Advertiser was contacted by a Chapel resident who worried about the “dangerous and reckless activities of people claiming to be drag hunting”.

Drag hunting is a form of hunting with hounds usually foxhounds or beagles hunt a scent that has been laid or dragged over a course with a defined beginning and end, before the hunt.

A spokesman for British Transport Police said: “We received a report of dogs being struck by a train at Cowburn Tunnel, Derbyshire shortly before 7pm on Thursday, 25 August.

“Rail staff checked the line but the dogs had been removed from the tracks.”

The resident said: “The incident involved around ten men, several with guns on public footpaths. The men also had a large number of hunting dogs which did not seem to be under any form of control. The ‘hunt’ concluded with dogs being killed after being struck by the Manchester to Sheffield train.

“The two trains which passed at this time were using their horns to warn the hunters who were also on the tracks.

“We are concerned about the increase in illegal hunting in the area, their general reckless behaviour and arrogant disregard for the safety of local people and animals.”

Chairman of Chapel Parish Council, John Brook, said: “If a drag race is organised properly there is little the council can do however if dogs are in distress and lives are at risk then the parish council condemns theses actions completely.

“As it is not properly known what happened I can only say in warning that any sport which crosses train tracks is a dangerous and stupid and does not have the support of the residents or the council.”

A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: “We are aware of concerns about alleged hunting activities in the Chapel area. The investigation is at an early stage and PCSO Pat Findlay-Wilson would like to hear from anyone who has information.”

Contact 101, quoting: 492/25/08/16.