Dorset

Illegal fox kill claims: Dorset Police take no further action

Portman Hunt Image copyright PA
Image caption The Portman Hunt is based in north Dorset

No further police action is to be taken over allegations that a fox was killed during a traditional hunt meet.

The League Against Cruel Sports had claimed the animal was chased and killed near Sturminster Newton, Dorset, by hounds from the Portman Hunt in a breach of the ban on hunting with dogs.

Following the claims, the hunt insisted it operated within the Hunting Act.

Dorset Police said there was "insufficient evidence to take further action".

A police spokesperson said: "We wish to be clear that we will investigate any alleged breaches of the Hunting Act 2004 and other legislation and work closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to determine if a case could be taken to court.

"We do find that many of the reports posted on social media are not referred to us and without this happening we have no ability to investigate," he added.

The League Against Cruel Sports had said a "disembowelled" fox was recovered following an incident at Fifehead St Quintin on 2 January which was witnessed by hunt saboteurs.

The campaign group has called on the National Trust to revoke the Portman Hunt's trail hunting licence.

Following the claims, the hunt said it operates within the Hunting Act 2004 and was "regularly subjected to spurious allegations of illegal hunting".

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