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Hatfield hunt was ‘entirely legal’ despite sabs’ claims

Hatfield House has said a hunt on its land was “entirely legal”, after saboteurs claimed illegal foxhunting was taking place.

Hatfield Park, the Hertfordshire home of the Marquess of Salisbury, hosted the Cambridgeshire Hunt with Enfield Chace’s closing meet of the season, an event that dates back to the 18th century. 

Activists from North London Hunt Saboteurs and East Northants Hunt Saboteurs were in attendance to “monitor” the event, with member Rhys Giles claiming the group saw “hounds sent into woodland and hedgerows” as part of illegal foxhunting. 

In a statement, a spokesman for the historic Hatfield House said the event was “entirely legal”, because drag or trail-hunting were taking place. 

“Hatfield Park has always supported the rural economy and country sports operating within the law and realms of good practice,” it said. “Contrary to certain reports, the hunt were drag or trail-hunting with hounds following a trail laid by hunt staff on a quad bike. No wildlife or animals were harmed during the day and the day’s activities were entirely legal. Hertfordshire Police were in attendance to witness events.”