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Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Pair 'transgressed' hunting ban
Hounds with a hunt
The League Against Cruel Sports filmed the chase
Two huntsmen "blatantly" transgressed the law by leading a hunt on National Trust land, a court has heard.

Richard Down and Adrian Pillivant are accused of jointly hunting wild deer with dogs during a meet at Longstone Hill, Somerset, in February 2006.

The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) has brought the private prosecution at Taunton Magistrates' Court.

Mr Down and Mr Pillivant are both denying the allegations and the hearing continues.

Richard Furlong, representing LACS, said: "They made no attempt to call the dogs off.

'Shout and clap'

"The facts of this case are that no reasonable person could have believed this was exempt from the hunting act.

"They made no attempt to control the dogs.

Mr Down, 37, and Mr Pillivant, 44, both of Kennel Lane, Bagbrough, Somerset, both deny breaching Section 1 of the Hunting Act.

Witness Edmund Shepherd, a league member who filmed the hunt, said the pair made no efforts to pull back their hounds during the chase.

He said he heard two gunshots go off more than two hours after the hunt began.

Mr Shepherd said: "I would expect someone to get very near the hounds and loudly shout and clap to get them to move away. This was not done."

The hearing continues.



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