HUNT saboteurs have released video footage of what they claim shows illegal fox hunting by the renowned Beaufort Hunt on the weekend.

Undercover monitors followed the hunt during their opening meet of the season at Worcester Lodge on the Badminton Estate.

The film, which can be viewed at the Standard’s website, shows the hounds chasing a fox across a field near the Cotswold village of Sopworth.

A local hunting monitor, who did want to be named for "fear of retaliation", told the Standard: "Nobody tried to stop the hounds. We had to break our cover to call them off. If we hadn’t been there it would have been killed."

Beaufort hunt spokesman Jo Aldridge said some of the hounds had chased a fox during the hunt, but it was accidental after the fox had crossed the path of a trail, laid legally for the event.

She said: "At that particular moment there wasn’t a member of hunt staff nearby, but they did call the hounds off as soon as they could."