Police appeal for eye-witnesses as they step up their investigation into claims of illegal foxhunting near Lutterworth

The latest development comes as police are also probing another report of a fox being illegally chased by hounds in Leicestershire

Police are appealing for any eye-witnesses to come forward as they step up their investigation into claims of illegal foxhunting near Lutterworth.

The appeal is being issued today by a senior detective investigating allegations that the Fernie Hunt’s hounds chased a fox through a village at the weekend, as we reported yesterday.

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The Great Bowden-based hunt’s dogs are said to have pursued the fleeing animal through the middle of Peatling Magna last Saturday afternoon (January 8).

It’s not known if the fox managed to escape or was killed.

The latest development comes as police are also probing another report of a fox being illegally chased by hounds near Loughborough.

“Police received a report at around 2pm on Saturday (8 January) in relation to an allegation of illegal hunting in the area of Main Street, Peatling Magna,” said Leicestershire Police this afternoon.

“A report was also received at around 2pm yesterday (Tuesday) in relation to an allegation of illegal hunting in the area of Rempstone Road, Belton, Loughborough.

“Both reports involved a fox being allegedly chased by hounds.

“The reports are not being linked by officers and are being treated as separate incidents.”

Det Insp Charles Edwards, of Leicestershire CID, said: “We have received these two separate reports and are carrying out full enquiries into both to establish the full circumstances.

“Our enquiries are including speaking with witnesses and analysing CCTV.

“As part of our ongoing investigations, we are appealing to anyone with any information in relation to either report who has not yet made contact with us to speak with us,” said Det Insp Edwards.

“Anyone with any CCTV, dashcam or phone footage in relation to the reports should also get in touch.”

The Fernie Hunt told the Mail in a statement yesterday: “While conducting hunting activities within the law on Saturday on farmland within the general vicinity of Peatling Magna, we became aware that some hounds had become disorientated during a torrential cloudburst and got detached from the main group.

“They were safely retrieved immediately.”

Anyone with any information should contact police quoting reference 22*13886 about the Peatling Magna incident and reference 22*19957 over the Belton report.

You can report online at www.leics.police.uk or by calling 101.