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Accused huntsman rides again

A HUNTSMAN cleared of breaking Scotland’s fox hunting ban was back in the saddle just before Christmas scouring the countryside for foxes with his pack of hounds.

Trevor Adams, 46, joint master of the renamed Buccleuch Foxhounds, formerly the Buccleuch Hunt, led a group of 22 riders and five men with guns on quad bikes across farmland at Ashkirk, near Selkirk, in the Scottish Borders. They were invited there as a pest control service by Shonagh Hunter, a local farmer, and successfully flushed out and shot two foxes.

As reported previously, Mr Adams was the first huntsman to be charged with breaking the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act. But two weeks ago, after a two-day trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court, he was found not guilty of deliberately hunting a fox with 20 dogs in October 2002.

Mr Adams, who manages the Duke of Buccleuch’s foxhounds, said he was delighted to be back doing his job working with the dogs. "Obviously there is a demand for our service but we are careful to stay within the framework of the legislation."

The Buccleuch Foxhounds, once Scotland’s largest hunt, now offer a free pest control service to farmers and landowners who want to get rid of foxes.