THE Countryside Alliance has urged pro-hunt campaigners to stop attacking branches of Poole-based Lush.

The Poole-based cosmetics company last week launched a campaign against illegal foxhunting and it has made a limited edition bubble bath with funds going to hunt saboteurs.

However, since the launch, stores have been the subject of a direct action campaign.

In Chelmsford a man came into the store three times to knock over a display of the Mrs Fox bubble bars.

In Manchester staff were warned by one customer “there will be trouble” if they allowed saboteurs to hand out leaflets outside.

In Maidstone swear words were scratched into the glass, and in Taunton an anonymous called told staff to “watch their backs”.

The Countryside Alliance said: “The rural community is deeply upset at Lush’s misguided decision to support the Hunt Saboteurs Association, but any sort of direct, abusive or tactical protest, illegal or legal, is not appropriate.”

A spokesman for Lush, which is based on Fleets Industrial Estate, said: “There have been no incidents in Dorset or the New Forest so far.

“We will not be bullied. It’s very important to speak out for issues that we care about.

“Basically, we want to see the law enforced. Hunting foxes is illegal. It’s the saboteurs who are out there filming the evidence – we want the police to go out and get their own evidence.”

Mike Squibb, chairman of the New Forest Hounds, which practices legal trail hunting, said: “Having been on the receiving end of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, I think Lush should do a bit more research into who they are backing.

“We have had the HSA out with us when we are doing everything legally, and they come out and obstruct us.

“So both sides are wrong. I don’t think direct action does any good. People should be aware of where Lush’s money is going, and if they feel strongly, don’t buy their products.”