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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 January, 2005, 14:25 GMT
Pro-hunt group's signs 'mislead'
Hunting in Oxfordshire
The ban on hunting is due to be implemented in February
A group has claimed responsibility for unofficial notices warning dog owners their pets could be destroyed if they allow them to chase wild mammals.

The notices warn pet owners they could be liable after 18 February - the date the hunting ban is to be introduced.

The Countryside Action Network (CAN) said the signs came from them and said they sent 4,000 to members asking them to place them strategically.

The League Against Cruel Sports branded the action "unacceptable".

Douglas Batchelor, chief executive added: "The Hunting Act is clear about what does and does not constitute hunting."

'Misleading and inaccurate'

Janet George from CAN said: "The law is nonsense. I've got three dogs, if I take them into the woodland opposite my home and I let them off the lead, they will hunt.

"How do I prove I didn't intend them to hunt? This is the problem ordinary dog owners will face."

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation told the BBC the notices were "misleading and inaccurate" and designed to cause distress and alarm.

The notices claim that after the Hunting Act becomes law, it will be an offence for owners to allow dogs to chase a wild mammal or scent a wild mammal trail.

They also say landowners are equally responsible and claim anyone allowing dogs to engage in these activities could be fined up to 5,000 or have their animal destroyed.

'Let courts decide on hunt ban'
11 Jan 05 |  Politics

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