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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 December 2006, 13:58 GMT
Hundreds turn out as hunts gather
Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt
The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt met at Penshurst
Many hundreds turned out for traditional Boxing Day hunts in Kent for the second year since the ban on fox hunting with dogs came into force.

The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, which met in High Street, Penshurst, claimed nearly 600 people attended its meet alone.

Kent Police urged people who were not involved with the gatherings to avoid roads likely to be affected.

The Ashford Valley Hunt met in Tenterden and the East Kent in Elham.

Officers were at all the events to police the activities of anti-hunt groups as well as hunt supporters.

Traffic problems

"Everyone can enjoy themselves safely and we'll be there to help ensure that as well as manage traffic in the area," said Ch Insp Gill Ellis.

Nick Onslow, an East Kent Hunt supporter, said: "The Boxing Day meet is a great tradition which is as much part of Christmas as turkey and mince pies."

He said that, in common with other hunts, the East Kent now hunts a fox scent trail laid by supporters.

Police said it was likely there would be road congestion during the morning gatherings.

Roads affected included High Street, West Cross and Smallhythe Road in Tenterden, The Square in Elham and High Street in Penshurst.

Boxing Day hunts meet after ban
26 Dec 05 |  England

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