ANTI-FOX hunting protestors were camped at the gates of Cirencester Park during the Cotswold Show, to object to the involvement of the Vale of White Horse Hunt (VWH) in the event.

Members of campaign group Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch (CIHW) said they were angry at the inclusion of the organisation’s huntsmen and hounds in demonstrations at the countryside show last Saturday.

The group has alleged that VWH hounds 'killed a fox on April 1 in a field across the road from Cirencester Park' and has a photo of what they claim is a member of the hunt carrying away a dead fox.

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Speaking to the Standard, a group member who did not wish to be named, said they received a lot of support at the protest.

They said: “We were pleased to have support from so many members of the public entering through Cecily Hill and Deer Park School entrances.

"People agreed that the claims of hunt groups across the UK, that they only trail hunt, are now wearing very thin in the light of evidence collected by hunt monitors and sabs throughout the country."

They said CIHW is also concerned about the possible bio-security of hounds potentially carrying bovine TB around agricultural animals, following news that hounds at Kimblewick Hunt kennels had to be euthanised following an outbreak of the disease.

"One member of the public was so disgusted to hear that VWH hounds were being paraded at the show that they decided to go home."

Meanwhile, Gloucestershire Police recently pinned a notice to a tree about a quarter of a mile from Fairford on the A417 Southrop Road, warning people against dumping animal carcasses after 12 dead foxes were found.

The notice says: “It is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to dump animal carcasses here.

“12 dead foxes were removed on February 22, 2017. This area is now being monitored by the police.”

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The spokesperson for CIHW said: “Without knowing how the foxes met their end, we can only guess that a farmer had shot them."

Fox hunting in its traditional form was banned in 2002 in Scotland and two years later in England and Wales, thanks to the Hunting Act 2004.

However, certain modified forms of hunting foxes with hounds are still within the law and shooting foxes as vermin also remains legal.

During this year's General Election, Prime Minister Theresa May said she intended to hold a free vote on overturning the ban in England and Wales.

However, this was not included in the Queen's Speech, leading many to think the idea had been scrapped.

A Fairford resident, who did not wish to be named, in response to the notice on Southrop Road, said: “The content of the notice does imply that management of the countryside fox population has aspects that go beyond the simple fox hunting debate.”

The Vale of White Horse Hunt has been approached for comment.

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