So what happens to hounds who riot?

Tiddlypom

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Many folk will have seen the distressing posts on Facebook about the alpaca who had to be PTS after being attacked by out of control hounds on Tuesday. Her cria was seriously injured, and the rest of the herd was left terrified.


The distraught alpaca owners don't want to get dragged into a pro versus anti hunting debate. I certainly hope that at the very least they are properly financially compensated for all their losses incurred by the attack.

But what should happen to the hounds that were out that day?

Destroy them all?
Destroy the ones believed to be involved in the attack, and reprieve the rest?
Do nothing, and hope it doesn't happen again?
 

buddylove

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I read it, and it is all rather sad. I honestly don't remember hearing stories of hounds rampaging out of control when I was younger? Has this always been a problem or are hunt servants not as good as they used to be?
I myself have witnessed a complete lack of control over hounds with one of our local hunts. Unfortunately, they are not doing themselves any favours, not even with farmers and those that traditionally supported the hunt.
 

Tiddlypom

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Was it a drag hunt?
No, it was the Meynell and South Staffs hunt, a trail hunt. I didn't like to name them until the incident made the BBC news pages, which it now has.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-46650980

I was told of an incident locally, not sure how many years ago, when hounds rioted onto sheep. Only a few hounds did the worrying, but every hound that was out that day was subsquently put down. It seems pretty drastic, but perhaps that is the only thing to do. Hounds MUST NOT riot and attack anything they shouldn't do, whether that's a cat or anything else, they must be rock steady.

Interestingly, alpacas aren't classified as livestock, but as 'exotics'. I don't know if this affects the legalities of the case, as I think that livestock has better protection in law. Poor alpaca, I love watching the alpaca lady with her charges on The Yorkshire Vet program, they are such lovely gentle animals.

What are MFHA guidelines on this, I wonder?
 

equi

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A hound that doesn’t listen to the handler and goes rogue is not worth anything. Frankly I think lack of practice is the reason they’re probably doing this, they don’t know their job anymore because they can’t be taught. They have a natural and very strong urge to hunt and can’t do that on a particular quarry anymore so go for anything because they don’t know their purpose. It maybe means the hunts need to train differently and at the end of a trail give the dogs a carcass or something that’s already set out so they have to find it then that’s their reward?
 

Tiddlypom

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I had to check the date and the location as it reminded me of a similar incident earlier this year near me where hounds got in with some Alpacas.
I came across that incident, from Febuary 2018, whilst looking the above one up.

https://www.hertfordshiremercury.co...keridge-hunt-apologises-herts-alpacas-1181769

No alpacas were attacked that day, but the herd were left panicked and upset. The owner was worried that the pregnant females would abort, and apparently stress affects the quality of the fleece, rendering it unsaleable. The trespass was blamed on a 'drifting scent'. Why the hell lay a trail anywhere near an alpaca farm?

Hunts must realise that they are no longer number one priority country traffic. They are a minority activity which must fit in with everyone else who lives and works in the countryside. If your hounds can't/won't keep to the trails, then don't take them out.
 

SEL

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I posted a couple of years ago on here about a local hunt who just seemed to have no control over their hounds. I was volunteering at an RDA type riding school and the hunt actually came into their land - with ponies in the field and lessons going on. They were refused permission to cross the field with the ponies in it but the hounds had a scent and went anyway.

I was pretty horrified at both the lack of control and the rudeness of the hunt staff. Very much agree the culprits are human.
 
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A hound that doesn’t listen to the handler and goes rogue is not worth anything. Frankly I think lack of practice is the reason they’re probably doing this, they don’t know their job anymore because they can’t be taught. They have a natural and very strong urge to hunt and can’t do that on a particular quarry anymore so go for anything because they don’t know their purpose. It maybe means the hunts need to train differently and at the end of a trail give the dogs a carcass or something that’s already set out so they have to find it then that’s their reward?
^^^^ This basically.

Hounds years ago knew what their quarry was, and were taught (via what was called "Cubbing" in those days but is now called "hound exercise") what that was, and were firmly "whipped in" when/if they followed any other scent. Hounds would have been a far more cohesive unit, they'd have understood the boundaries, and in the main there weren't the problems we're now seeing.

Couple this with the fact that - because hunting is "trail" now here in the UK - there is a huge problem with getting good and experienced hunt staff, and/or maintaining continuity of hunt servants who know the hounds, and who in turn the hounds know and respect over a period of time. In the old days hunt service had a much higher status than now; frequently it would've been passed from father to son, with all the shared experience and hands-on involved in that - also hunt servants would have known the hounds and their different idiosyncracies over a far longer period of time - and any "rogue" hound would've been dealt with at a far earlier stage.

Also, when hounds did go out for a day's hunting; they'd go out and would be expected to follow a single trail, and ONLY that trail. They'd literally follow that to the Kill, and be satisfied from that, would come home to Kennels tired from the day, and wouldn't ever seek to pick up on anything else.
 
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30 odd years ago, some of the drag packs were last stop for an errant hound, bit like borstal for them. However, turnover on occasions was high, so even our closest one started breeding programmes again. No hound gets more than a 2nd chance. Once is a problem and they address it, a 2nd time and its game over.
 

Tiddlypom

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As Equi and Mijods have said, it must be very frustrating for trail hunt hounds. They're taught to follow a particular scent, then they keep getting called off it. It was much simpler all round in the pre ban days.

TXF, your point about rogue hounds sometimes getting a second chance with a drag pack is interesting. How do the drag packs train their hounds to follow an artificial trail? Is it something that post ban trail hunts could learn from?
 

ester

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I suspect the fact they only seem to take out about 3 couple probably helps - I’ve not been out with drag but having watched vids of friend have asked where all the hounds were/they didn’t seem to feature much so I wonder if they are more ‘guided’ than those trying to replicate ‘real’ hunting?
 
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Ester, Staff College has 13 and a half couple, usually they have 10 couple as a minimum at each meet, not 3 couple or so.
Tiddly, you'd have to ask, am not au fait with initial training. It's very very rare for them to go off line tho, but has happened on odd occasions, but (as far as I'm aware) nothing has occurred that shouldn't.
 

Lammy

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Honestly I don’t think hunt staff give a toss whether their hounds are under control or not. I think the fault lies completely with the humans who are meant to be training these hounds to be safe in the countryside. If I can call my dog off a rabbit (sometimes a Fox!) or a scent I’m sure the pro’s should be able to.

Our local hunt were recently about near the farm and can hunt on the land that’s not near the house (or the horses or the cattle, cats etc), master rang the farmer and asked if he could follow a scent down by the stream, farmer says yes but in no uncertain terms let the hounds come through the front fields. Two minutes later there’s about 6 couples charging through the field of cattle and calves and winding them up a treat. Farmer rings the huntsman furiously and his excuse; “well I can’t control where a fox will run!”

I never had any real feelings either for or against hunting until this season where the attitudes of some hunts have put me off it. I think I’ll go out with the farmers bloodhounds instead, looks a lot more fun and less standing around!
 
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The truth is that it is one hell of a job for a huntsman and a couple of whippers in ,to control a pack when the **** hits the fan. Forty years ago he would have had the assistance of a significant number of followers who knew the ropes, Capable of heading off hounds rioting. Following and controling a split pack. I do despair of the average follower these days. They just havnt a clue what is going on.
 

Red-1

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This might be a really stupid question, but I have no experience of hunting. Do bloodhounds 'riot' as it were, or do they just follow the human runner?

I am no hunt pro, but did many years with bloodhounds, and IME bloodhounds only follow the scent they should, and once they lose the pack they wander around aimlessly, hopefully looking for a rescuer! They were not the Einsteins of the dog world. :p
 

mule

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We don't have trail hunting in Ireland. I know it was brought in post hunting ban in the UK but I don't understand what it is. How is it different to drag hunting?
 

honetpot

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I used to look after a drag hunter, and as I understand it the course is a lot faster and the fences tougher than a normal hunt. A trail hunt would be probably be aimed at all types of rider. In an old hunt you would not have to jump fences if you didn't want to.
I think its far tougher for hunts now, the country side is getting more cut up and divided and you need a really good Master to foster good relations with landowners. The better hunts keep their staff and use other income streams to fund wages.
As to hounds not responding, they are working dogs and like most working dogs if they are not doing a job they are supposed to do they usually PTS. They are a danger to themselves and road users.
On a lighter note this is my cheer up hunting video, it always makes me laugh.
 

ihatework

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We don't have trail hunting in Ireland. I know it was brought in post hunting ban in the UK but I don't understand what it is. How is it different to drag hunting?
Trail hunting is what the old foxhound packs do. I’m not a huge supporter of the foxhounds but my understanding is they are trying to recreate following a scent as if they were still foxhunting .... no further comment ;)

The drag hunts are a bit different in my experience (and preference). The day is shorter and more structured. The emphasis is more on the riding & jumping rather than the act of hunting. They ride over 3-4 ‘lines’ which is very much pre-defined and usually quite quick, with breathers in between.
 

Orangehorse

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I was at a meet of the local Mink Hounds 4 or 5 years ago and I asked where the hounds came from, drafted from other packs they said. As they moved off from the meet one hound turned and went in the opposite direction. Not sure he had much of a long term future...….
 
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