Police probe launched after hounds filmed attacking and killing fox during Somerset hunt

  • Warning: Contains footage some may find distressing

A police investigation is underway after a group of hounds were filmed attacking and killing a fox in Somerset.

The incident was captured on camera by hunt monitors in Charlton Horethorne, near Wincanton, on Saturday 26 November.

The footage appears to show a pack of dogs chasing the fox and attacking it before a man on foot and a rider attempt to get them away from the dead animal.

Avon and Somerset Police have launched an investigation, which the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt says it will co-operate with fully.

A spokesman for Wildlife Crime Action said the footage was taken by an experienced hunt monitor.

"The fox was filmed crossing a road earlier in the day and was hunted relentlessly thereafter," they claimed.

In response to the video, a spokesperson for the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt told ITV News West Country it conducts lawful hunting activities.

They added: "On Saturday 26 November, trails had been laid in and around the area of Milborne Wick where hounds met at 11am.

"The hunt reported an incident to Avon and Somerset Police force which occurred around 1.45pm following a fox being disturbed in the countryside.

"The hunt will cooperate fully with any police investigation following this incident, however, we would urge extreme caution in relying upon heavily edited and clipped footage provided by anti-hunting protesters.”

A police spokesperson said: "Officers from our rural affairs unit have been in contact with one person in relation to this incident and, working with the local neighbourhood policing team, will look to arrange voluntary interviews in due course.

"If you have any information which would assist our investigation and have yet to speak to the police, please call 101 and quote reference 5222285094."