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Cats missing after hunting hounds ran into sanctuary
Police attended to help round up the dogs, which took over an hour, according to the Celia Hammond trust. (Stock photo)

Celia Hammond trust says 60 cats fled during ‘terrifying’ incident 

The whereabouts of nine cats from the Celia Hammond Animal Trust in Sussex is unknown, after a “terrifying” incident saw a pack of foxhounds run onto the sanctuary’s land during a hunt.

Initially, 60 cats fled the scene but many have since returned or been found by staff and volunteers.

The charity wrote on its Facebook page yesterday (10 January): ‘There has been a terrifying incident yesterday afternoon at our Greenacres Sanctuary near Hastings. A pack of fox hounds ran into the Sanctuary and then split into two groups one chasing a fox and the other chasing a deer…

‘The hounds invaded at afternoon feeding time, there were dogs running everywhere, completely out of control, terrified cats were fleeing in all directions. Staff and volunteers who were present tried desperately to chase the dogs off and protect the animals.’

Police also attended to help round up the dogs, which took over an hour, the trust said. Staff and volunteers at the sanctuary searched in nearby woodland amid heavy rain overnight. Whilst many returned or were found, nine cats are still unaccounted for.

The sanctuary shelters around 130 cats (largely feral and semi-feral), who are free to roam the house and 100 acres of land.

A spokesperson for the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt was quoted by the Independent as saying: “We can confirm that hounds met at Udimore, near Rye on 9 January and were legally trail-hunting throughout the day to comply with the Hunting Act 2004.

“Although nobody from the hunt witnessed hounds following anything other than their original trail, it is suspected that a few hounds might have deviated from their trail onto the scent of a live quarry which they followed into the wildlife sanctuary.’

The spokesperson said staff removed the hounds “immediately” with the help of police and apologised to the owners for “any inconvenience”. According to the statement, the hunt has agreed to repair any damage to fencing but “is not aware of any missing animals or of any injuries caused”.

Sussex Police wrote on its Twitter page: ‘Incident at Celia Hammond Animal Trust near Hastings on Tues (9 Jan): We attended on the day. The circumstances are being reviewed by a dog legislation officer to establish whether any criminal offences have taken place. If so, they will be investigated. We'll update when able.’

 

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Newborn okapi named after Meghan Markle

News Story 1
 An endangered okapi recently born at London Zoo has been named Meghan - after Prince Harry’s fiancé Meghan Markle - in celebration of the upcoming royal wedding. Okapis are classed as endangered in the wild, having suffered ongoing declines since 1995. Zookeeper Gemma Metcalf said: “We’re very pleased with how mother and baby are doing. Oni is being very attentive, making sure she regularly licks her clean and keeping a watchful eye over Meghan as she sleeps.” Image © ZSL London Zoo  

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Ten new cases of Alabama rot confirmed

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists has confirmed 10 new cases of Alabama rot, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the UK to 122.

In a Facebook post, the referral centre said the cases were from County Durham, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, Sussex, West Somerset, Devon, and Powys.

Pet owners are urged to remain vigilant and seek advice from their vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions/sores.