It was a grisly scene that brought an abrupt end to the rural tranquillity of the morning bus ride.
Passengers watched as a pack of hounds chased a fox out of a forest and tore it to pieces in the road.
Up to ten hunting dogs savaged the animal on the edge of a lay-by, although a bus traveller who took this image of the attack said a hound also died when it was struck by a car.
Yesterday police were investigating the circumstances surrounding the fox’s death as local hunt organisers distanced themselves from the incident.
The hounds pounced on the fox on the A40 in the village of Abergwili near Carmarthen, South-West Wales.
It came to light after the unidentified bus passenger posted images – taken by mobile phone – on Facebook.
The passenger wrote: ‘This morning on the A40 just coming out of Abergwili a group of hunting dogs came running down from the forest on the hill on to the busy road with a fox and started tearing it to pieces. One of the dogs was hit and killed by a car in the process and it was one of the most horrible things to experience.’
Police are studying CCTV from a security camera mounted on the front of the bus. The local Carmarthenshire Hunt denied responsibility. Joint huntmaster Martin Walters said: ‘Our hounds were 20 miles away in the village of Pendine when this happened.
‘We are a registered pack and we are regularly monitored. We were being monitored by the National Trust on Saturday when this happened.’ Mr Walters added that unlicensed hunting with foxhounds went on in the area.
He said: ‘There are so many rebel packs at the moment. These hounds could have come in from anywhere with people hunting on foot.’ The Hunting Act 2004 made hunting with dogs a criminal offence, although exercising hounds, chasing a scent trail and flushing out foxes to be shot are legal.
Animal rights campaigners claim loopholes in the law are continually being exploited.