ORGANISERS of an agricultural show have dismissed calls to cancel part of their event following accusations from an animal welfare charity.

The League Against Cruel Sports has called on organisers of Wolsingham Show to cancel their traditional 'hunting hound parade' event saying there will be a "considerable risk of disease being spread to livestock across the British countryside".

The charity said it has contacted show organisers "warning of recent reports of biosecurity threats posed by fox hounds and urging immediate action to be taken to safeguard animal welfare".

However, show secretary, David Richardson, said the charity had not contacted them and that the hounds were not paraded but kept in pens for children to pet.

In a letter which the charity said it emailed to the show organisers, campaigners cite the recent case of nearly 100 hunting hounds being killed following an outbreak of bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) at Kimblewick Hunt Kennels.

The charity argued the incident is only the "tip of the iceberg".

Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “There is a clear link between hunting hounds and the spread of disease across the countryside, which places both animal health and the rural economy at considerable risk.

"No case shows this more than recent reports of nearly 100 fox hounds being euthanised at a hunt kennels, after contracting bTB from the dirty, overcrowded and dilapidated conditions in which they were housed. When coupled with hunting hounds being routinely fed diseased livestock carcasses, a practice which takes place at hunt kennels across the country, this presents an extremely concerning picture.

"We strongly urge the organisers of Wolsingham Show, as an event expected by all to treat animal welfare and biosecurity with the utmost importance, to cancel its hunting hound parade. Anything short of this outcome places livestock and the farming community as risk of disease and substantial economic loss.”

Commenting on the letter, Mr Richardson said: "The hounds will be running as normal."

Wolsingham Show takes place in Weardale this weekend. For more information visit