HUNT saboteurs have forced town councillors in Selkirk to go into hiding.

Officials who sit on Selkirk Community Council have been hounded by the cruelty campaigners ever since accepting an invitation to rekindle the New Year’s Day hunt traditions.

And now secretary Alistair Pattullo has been forced to pull down every member’s contact details from the council website as the abuse continues.

Mr Pattullo said: “I have now taken all of the community councillors’ details off the website.

“Some of the correspondence we are receiving is pretty nasty.

“It appears that there are still a lot of anti-hunt groups out there and they all seem to know about us.

“We have had some letters and emails of support but there has been at least twice as much opposition.” The Border Telegraph revealed in August that an approach to Selkirk’s elected town councillors had been made by representatives of the Buccleuch Hunt.

They hoped that after a six year hiatus their horses and hounds would be welcomed back into the Market Square.

And that a historic tradition of New Year’s Day hunts being held on alternate years between Kelso and Selkirk could be established again.

Members of the town council voted unanimously in August to bring back the hunt.

But the move has sparked anger with animal rights groups.

In September chairman Graham Easton received a threatening letter from an anti-hunt campaigner in Midlothian.

And this has been followed by dozens of other angry emails and letters from other groups and individuals on both sides of the border.

Mr Easton said: “A lot of this is not very nice.” Mr Pattullo revealed that plans to reintroduce the New Year’s Day hunt were still taking shape.

He added: “We are currently organising the event and things are progressing.” The Buccleuch Hunt was founded in 1827 by the 5th Duke of Buccleuch.

Despite the Scotland-wide ban of 2002 the St Boswells-based hunt has adapted its methods to stay within legislation and it continues to have strong support - meeting up to three times a week during the winter season.

Selkirkshire councillor Michelle Ballantyne doesn’t believe the cruelty campaigners should get their way.

She said: “These factions are not from our community while the support is - why should they have a say?”