It’s feared that pregnant alpacas could lose their young after out-of-control hunting dogs tore through a farm.
Police are investigating after hounds terrorised around 65 animals at Herts Alpacas in Buntingford, Hertfordshire.
According to the farm’s owners, the ordeal may have left some of the alpacas so stressed that they could miscarry.
The farm has now closed temporarily so that the animals can ‘de-stress’.
Nigel Beckwith, who owns the farm, said that they were feeding the animals when the dogs ripped through a four-foot fence.
‘The dogs came tearing across our field, terrorising our animals,’ Beckwith, 60, said. ‘We’ve got pregnant females and one of our old girls ran into a fence and has done some damage to herself.
‘A lot of these animals will probably abort, or they will give birth two or three months premature.’
He added: ‘They terrorised the hell out of the animals. We have now put our farm into shut down because these animals do not react well to stress.’
The dogs reportedly ran straight through a group of 24 pregnant alpacas, as well as a field full of young studs.
Afterwards the Puckeridge Hunt confirmed that some of its hounds had ‘unexpectedly entered the property’, claiming that they were ‘removed as quickly as possible’.
In a statement issued through the Countryside Alliance, the Puckeridge Hunt said: ‘Regrettably it appears the scent of our trail must have drifted from where it was laid and some hounds unexpectedly entered the property belonging to the Beckwith family.
‘We removed the hounds as quickly as possible and apologised immediately to Mr Beckwith for this unintended access onto his property.
‘We have repeated this apology and are hopeful there will be no lasting damage to his alpaca herd however we have been very open with Mr Beckwith and requested that if there are any further concerns then he should immediately raise them with the Puckeridge Hunt. We also discussed this with the police on the day.’
Beckwith claims he has not received an apology from the hunt.