Police appeal for information after a train kills ‘hounds’ in Devon

Eggesford station
Support us and go ad-free

A train reportedly hit and killed seven “hounds” in Devon on 27 October. British Transport Police are now appealing for information on the incident.

Confusion about hounds

Initially, Devonlive quoted Devon and Cornwall Transport Police as saying that “a number of dogs… passed in front of a service” on the day in question. But it didn’t confirm a collision with hounds. The Canary approached local line operators, who also couldn’t confirm the incident.

Network Rail told The Canary:

It was reported that a train hit some dogs but no damage or evidence to suggest this was found on the train. … No delays were caused.

Great Western Railway, the line’s operator, also told The Canary that it:

can confirm that the 1153 Exeter to Barnstaple service was delayed by 35 minutes due to a report of animals on the line; but Network Rail were unable to confirm this when they visited the site.

A further Devonlive piece confirmed that seven dogs were struck. It said British Transport Police is now investigating the incident and appealing for more information. The collision reportedly happened between Eggesford and Lapford stations.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The Canary approached Network Rail again after the police confirmed its investigation. It said:

Our records show no dogs were found when the next train went through the area. However, it is possible they were already moved by someone else or their owners.

‘Distressed passengers’

A post on social media claimed the hounds belonged to a local hunt. After the alleged incident, Devon County Hunt Saboteurs said:

We have had reports from a distressed passenger that 6 hounds believed to be from the Eggesford Hunt have just been killed on the railway line between Morchard Road and Eggesford. The train was delayed by half an hour while railway people tried to console the driver and the dead hounds were moved off the line. One survived the collision but by the time help arrived it too had died.

The Canary approached the Eggesford Hunt and Countryside Alliance for comment. They did not respond by the time of publication.

Accidents

Foxhunting was banned by the Hunting Act 2004. Since then, most hunts claim to trail hunt. This legal activity sees hounds following an artificially laid scent without intention to chase or kill wildlife.

There have been a number of incidents of hounds ending up on roads and railway lines. Three hounds died after being hit by a car in North Yorkshire in 2017. Seven hounds were killed by a train in the Peak District in 2016. By the time rail staff arrived, the bodies were removed. In 2014, another train struck and killed six hounds near Ivybridge, Devon.

Such incidents have led campaigners to ask why hunts would lay trails in these locations.

Featured image via Rosser1954/Wikimedia

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed