Boxing Day fox hunting chaos: Police launch probes as dead fox found and clashes break out

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Boxing Day fox huntingREUTERS

Ton of the 250 hunts on Boxing Day went ahead without incident

Officers in Suffolk, Cheshire and North Wales are delve into allegations of unlawful fox hunting and disturbances between hunters, protestors and eyewitnesses.

The pursuit of foxes with dogs is outlawed under the Hunting Act.

But ledgered hunts, where dogs chase a scented rag along pre-defined dwindles, are legal, and more than 250 such events were up for Boxing Day this year. 

Suffolk Police have launched an research into an alleged hunting offence after reports a fox had been tormented.

The force is also probing an allegation of common assault after a spot of bother broke out between observers and members of the Great Thurlow Hunt at all 2pm on Boxing Day.

Images posted on social media by hunt saboteurs displays a dead fox, however hunt members claim the protestors were administrative for its death after they scared the animal back towards the track down’s hounds. 

A caption alongside the picture of the mutilated animal posted by Facebook/North Cambs Quest Sabs

Hunt saboteurs posted this picture of a fox which they say was iced during the Thurlow Hunt

The caption adds: “We can only hope the reveal gained in covering its death, will lead to justice being called to the criminal Thurlow Hunt.”

In response to the allegation, a spokesman for the hunt averred: “An incident occurred on Boxing Day which was caused almost entirely by the functions of animal rights protesters while we were trail-hunting within the law.

“Two associates of hunt staff were stopping hounds from following a fox that had hurdled up in front of them while they were legally trail-hunting.

“The saboteurs titillated the fox straight back into the hounds which unfortunately then despatched it. The police have been informed.”

Activists and hunters at the Thurlow HuntFacebook/North Cambs Go over Sabs

Activists and hunters filmed each other at the Thurlow Pry into

Inspector Jo Garrard, from Suffolk Police, said: “The investigation is going and the alleged offences are being investigated by officers in the Suffolk Rural Misdemeanour Unit.

“Officers are in the process of collating evidence and identifying, contacting and attractive statements from individuals at the scene.

“There were a large gang of people in attendance and we would like to appeal to any individuals who may have left side the scene, but have not yet come forward, to contact us.

“We are keen to identify and pick all available evidence which may assist the investigation.”

Meanwhile, North Wales Guard confirmed they had launched an investigation  after a dead fox was found at hand the A55 in Anglesey.

Officers were dispatched following reports of six “hunting” dogs on the relaxed, and a dead fox was discovered in the immediate area.

Chief Inspector Mark Armstrong pronounced: “An investigation is now under way to ascertain if any criminality or other offences were pledged and I’m appealing to anyone who was in the area who witnessed events to contact North Wales Watch, particularly if they have mobile phone or dash cam footage.”

In Cheshire, catchpoles said they were made aware of footage and reports of an forbidden hunt in Allostock, near Knutsford.

Fox hunting protestorsGETTY

A majority of voters are in in support of of keeping the fox hunting ban

The force is appealing for witnesses, with a spokesman speaking: “We are aware of footage and reports that an illegal hunt has taken town in Allostock and consequently detectives and rural and wildlife trained officers are enquiring the allegations.

“The investigation is in the early stages and we welcome further information.”

Theresa May had swore to allow MPs a vote which could see the 2004 hunting ban overturned, degree recent reports suggest she could be preparing to ditch the commitment.

In the lead of the election in June, the Prime Minister expressed her support for fox hunting, but her animadversions were met with an angry backlash from many voters.

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