A probe into reports of an illegal fox hunt in Beeston has been closed due to 'no physical evidence', Cheshire police have confirmed.

Distressing footage of a fox being mauled by a pack of hounds emerged on social media earlier this month.

An anti-fox hunting group claimed they shot the video in Beeston on February 4 and the matter was handed over to the police.

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But now the force has revealed that it has yet to receive any statements from alleged witnesses, without which it cannot proceed so the decision has been taken to conclude the investigation.

A statement posted on the Chester police Facebook page reads: "Cheshire police has been investigating reports of an illegal hunt in Beeston which is alleged to have taken place on February 4.

"Contact has been made with witnesses to ask for statements of complaint, original video footage and pathology reports in relation to the fox in question.

"However despite this request we have received no physical evidence and no statements have been provided that would allow us to progress a criminal investigation.

"In light of this, the investigation has now been concluded with no further action. However, it will be re-opened should we receive contact from witnesses willing to provide written statements, the original video footage and any other evidence that may help with our enquiries."

The footage, which was posted to the protest group’s Facebook page, appeared to show a pack of hounds tearing up a fox as protesters attempt to pull them away.

The video shows the fox’s body on the ground after the attack

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting incident number297 of February 4.