THE manager of a wildlife sanctuary and animal rights activist has blamed hunt supporters for a string of attacks on her property.

Hunt monitor Penny Little said that the latest incident, when her car tyres were slashed, was the 19th time in the past decade that she had been the victim of vandalism.

The car was damaged at her home in Great Haseley, where her Little Foxes Wildlife Sanctuary is based.

She has been monitoring Oxfordshire’s hunts for about 10 years and continued to do so after the hunting ban came into force in 2005.

Police are now investigating her claims.

She said: “I don’t doubt it was some people from the hunting fraternity. They come up at night into my property. This is what we have to deal with.

“We are non-confrontational – even if these unpleasant people are confrontational.

“There are some terrible things going on. I feel persecuted by their behaviour.”

Ms Little’s tyres were slashed at about 10pm on Monday, September 28.

Hours later, Nick Potter, a hunt monitor from Aston Rowant, found a gate keeping three of his horses in a pen had been sabotaged.

He said: “We were terrified the horses were going to get out into the road and cause an accident. I phoned Penny to tell her and heard what happened to her tyres the same night.

“Let’s just say it was a bit of a coincidence.”

Mr Potter added he believed the two incidents were an attempt to distract monitors from attending hunts.

In recent years Ms Little said the wheel nuts on her car had been loosened, she had been followed and a dead fox had been left at her house.

She added: “My motivation is to protect animals. I’ve hated fox hunting all my life.

“Stopping would be a terrible thing. It would give out the message that thuggery and bullying works.”

Her sanctuary takes in injured wild animals from across the country then nurses them back to health to be released into the wild.

Thames Valley Police spokes- man Chris Kearney said: “We are exploring all possible avenues, pwhich include the owner’s activities in anti-hunt protests.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0845 8505505.