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Two men to appear in court over fox hunt investigation

The hunt travels through the village of Elton, near Peterborough. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Two men have been summoned to appear in court following claims a fox was killed during a hunt on New Year's Day.

The 44-year-old and a 64-year-old, who have not been named, are accused of hunting a wild animal with dogs.

It is alleged to have taken place during the Fitzwilliam Hunt - which is one of Britain's oldest having been formed during the reign of Richard II.

The hunt takes place over 600 square miles of land between Stamford, Lincs., and Higham Ferrers, Cambs. It is claimed the fox was killed when the meet reached the village of Elton, near Peterborough.

The 44-year-old man is also charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Both men, from Peterborough, Cambs., will appear at Peterborough Magistrates' Court on July 27.

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Police investigate fox death at New Year Hunt

A fox has been killed during a New Year's Day hunt in Cambridgeshire Credit: Press Association

Police are investigating the death of a fox during a New Year's Day hunt in Cambridgeshire

Police were attending the annual Fitzwilliam Hunt in Wansford to ensure there was no breach of the peace.

When the hunt reached the village of Elton at about 2pm, officers were made aware that a fox had been killed.

Sergeant Dave Walker said:

"We policed the event to ensure both the hunters and the saboteurs could carry out their activity peacefully.

An investigation has been launched to establish whether the killing was lawful or not, and we have been speaking with a number of independent witnesses, as well as participants of the hunt and the saboteurs.

We are taking this matter seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation to establish whether a crime has been committed."

– Sgt Dave Walker, Cambridgeshire Police

Fox hunting with dogs was made illegal in the UK in 2005. Many hunts have continued operating within the law.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.