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Cheshire police appeal for video following 'illegal hunt' allegations

Detectives are investigating but police stress inquiry is still at an early stage
Hunting with hounds became illegal under the Hunting Act 2004 but many hunts lay trails for the hounds to follow pursued by the riders on horseback and others on foot. Photo credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Cheshire police are appealing for video footage after allegations of an illegal hunt taking place on Boxing Day in rural Cheshire.

Specialist wildlife officers and detectives are investigating activities at Allostock, within Cheshire West and Chester, on Tuesday, December 26.

There are reports on social media a fox was killed but this has not been confirmed.

Hunting with hounds became illegal under the Hunting Act 2004 but many hunts lay trails for the hounds to follow pursued by the riders on horseback and others on foot.

Boxing Day is traditionally a big day in the calendar for hunts across the region.

Cheshire police posted a tweet asking for more details and any video in relation to the Boxing Day incident.

A spokesperson said:”We are aware of footage and reports that an illegal hunt has taken place at Allostock and consequently detectives and wildlife-trained officers are investigating the allegations. The investigation is in the early stages and we welcome further information.

A ban on hunting foxes with dogs in England and Wales was implemented in 2004(Image: Getty Images)

“The role of the police is to investigate alleged or apparent breaches of the Hunting Act, to gather evidence and to pass evidence to the appropriate authority to consider prosecution. It is not a police matter to determine what is or is not hunting as this can only be determined in court.”

Back in October 2017 Chester police investigated reports a dead fox was discovered in the garden of a private house near Kelsall around the time a hunt was in the area.

Police confirmed the incident was reported on Wednesday, October 25, after The Chronicle was alerted by an anti-hunting group who alleged the involvement of Cheshire Forest Hunt.

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A spokesperson for the hunt firmly denied a fox was killed that day but did not wish to comment further. Police decided to take no action due to 'lack of evidence'.

Anyone with information in relation to the latest alleged incident, including video footage, is asked to contact Cheshire police on 101, quoting incident number 238 of 26/12/2017.

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