The spectacle of horses and hounds will be absent from Tenby’s Tudor Square this year after the town council voted against inviting them back.

The South Pembrokeshire Hunt has held its closing meet of Hunt Week in the centre of the town for the past two years, following a 17-year absence.

Last November’s meet saw nearly 50 demonstrators holding banners urging against any moves to repeal the Hunting Act.

The mayor at the time, Councillor Sue Lane, came in for calls of ‘shame on the mayor’ and ‘disgusting’ when she greeted the gathering of around 50 riders.

But last week, Tenby’s current mayor, Councillor Julie Evans, used her casting vote at a town council meeting against asking the hunt back this year.

She said afterwards: “I based my vote on the unnecessary burden it would cause the police and local authority, and don’t really see the need for the hunt to meet in Tudor Square when it brings no real benefit to the town.”

Hunt master, Hugh Harrison-Allen of Cresselly, commented: “I think it is sad, but we will go with the council’s consensus.”

He explained that, to enable him to plan the Hunt Week programme, he had asked the town council if they planned to invite the hunt back next month.

“I was under the impression that the majority of Tenby loved us being there,” he said.

This view was not shared by Michael Sharratt, of West Wales Animal Aid – who was among the demonstrators at last year’s Tenby meet.

“A lot of people were quite shocked when the hunt was greeted by the mayor,” he said.

“We are highly delighted at the town council’s decision.”