A WOMAN from Suckley has spoken of the blind panic when her pet alpacas were attacked by hounds from the North Ledbury Hunt.
The incident occurred at about 8am on Saturday, September 24 when the dogs got into fields owned by Rachel Simon in Acton Mill Lane, leaving two of the six pets requiring stitches.
Miss Simon and her partner ran around the fields in their pyjamas trying to get the dogs off the land as they singled out two-year-old Louis, with four or five dogs hanging off him at one point.
Miss Simon was concerned they had been given no prior warning of the dogs’ presence and many of them seemed young and inexperienced.
She said: “It was awful, all hell broke lose. They jumped the fence and started randomly attacking the alpacas, biting them, barking and chasing them. There was such blind panic it seemed to go on forever. We were completely helpless as the dogs ran in all directions.”
She added: “They had no control over their animals. I just hope that they keep well away so this situation does not happen again.”
The alpacas are have mainly stayed in the back paddock since the attack but Miss Simon said they had begun interacting with her again after spending the weekend looking after them. Though Louis was still limping quite badly.
She said: “They are sensitive creatures so they could have collapsed and died from the stress.”
Once the dogs were brought under control a further three came into the field but with the help of neighbours they simply joined the rest of the pack.
An emergency on-call vet tended to the injured animals as well as caring for those suffering from stress and shock. North Ledbury Hunt has apologised for the attack and will be footing the veterinary bill.
Valerie Allfrey, joint master of North Ledbury Hunt, said: “The North Ledbury Hunt regret the incident which took place on Saturday and we apologise for any injuries caused to the alpacas. The hunt are paying for any veterinary expenses required at the time.”