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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 January, 2005, 06:42 GMT
Rockets 'left by hunt saboteurs'
Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt
The fox hunt continued after the fireworks incident
An incident where fireworks were found in a field close to where a fox hunt was due to meet is being investigated by Kent Police.

Officers have confirmed that rockets were found next to a car park in Hever before the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt met on Saturday.

The hunt now claims it is being targeted by saboteurs.

Supporter Nick Onslow said there would have been serious injury and possibly deaths if the devices had gone off.

He said hundreds of supporters had already gathered when supporters noticed a burning smell.

Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt
Police say that rockets were found in a field nearby

Mr Onslow claimed time delay fuses had been set to detonate seven incendiary devices.

"The area was full of children, adults and horses in amongst the cars, trailers and boxes," he said.

"Whoever did this certainly does not love animals. In fact they must hate them as much as they hate hunting people."

He said the hunt took place as planned.

"Police received a report of fireworks - rockets - being found in a field next to a car park in Hever where the hunt members were due to meet," a spokesman for Kent Police said.

"Officers in the area attended within two minutes of the call being received and dealt with the incident which is now being investigated."

Legal challenge

A ban on fox hunting is due to come into force on 18 February but could be delayed while the Countryside Alliance prepares a legal challenge.

The legal challenge is based on claims the 1949 Parliament Act, used to force the ban into law against House of Lords opposition, is invalid.

The High Court will also hear written submissions from a supporter of the hunting ban, the League Against Cruel Sports.

The group is concerned that the Countryside Alliance might use the law, by obtaining an injunction, to delay the introduction of the ban next month.

The government has said it would not oppose the Countryside Alliance if it seeks an injunction delaying the ban.




SEE ALSO:
Hunt master welcomes legal delay
27 Dec 04 |  Berkshire



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