Police are investigating a hunt following video evidence of hounds chasing and killing a fox.
This footage of Atherstone Hunt near Grendon, Warwickshire, was taken by local animal rights activists West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs.
Atherstone Hunt state it had been ‘hunting within the law’ when the injured fox came across their path and the hounds instinctively chased down the prey and killed it.
The video shows one of the hounds appearing to catch up with the fox and tackle it the ground before the rest of the pack jump on it.
After its death, the masters, dressed in traditional red coats and black riding hats, can be seen dismounting near the fox pulling its limp body away from the hounds.
The fox was slung over the back of a horse before the group rode away with the dogs in tow.
A spokesman for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs (Sabs) said: ‘The Atherstone Hunt killed a fox. Sabs saw the fox being chased closely by hounds, it stopped and looked to its left and then to its right and saw there was no escape.
‘There were hounds either side of it, they caught it, dragged it to the floor and killed it. The rest of the pack were trying to get at it.
‘I have no doubt the hunt will say it is an accident, but it can’t be an accident if it’s happening every week. They are blatantly hunting.’
Since 2005, it has been illegal to hunt foxes with dogs. The maximum penalty is a £5,000 fine while police can also confiscate and destroy equipment and dogs used in hunting.
Individuals who refuse to comply with confiscation orders or fines issued could face further punishment, including a prison sentence.
A statement from Atherstone Hunt said: ‘The Atherstone Hunt were out on Saturday, November 14 hunting within the law hunting trails and hound exercising.
‘Unfortunately whilst riding across an open field between trails, what we strongly suspect was an injured fox appeared in front of the Hunt within yards of the hounds who very quickly dispatched it.
‘The incident was immediately reported to Warwickshire Police.’
A Warwickshire Police spokesman said: ‘In response to posts regarding the Atherstone Hunt we can confirm that, as a result of allegations made at the scene, we are collating and reviewing evidence and will positively deal with any offences identified.’