A NATIONAL animal rights group who seek to end cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of sport has set up a group in Gloucestershire.

The League Against Cruel Sports seek to tackle illegal hunting.

Emily Lawrence, who works as the regional campaigns manager for the League Against Cruel Sports, discussed the threats facing animals in Gloucestershire.

"Wild animals in Gloucestershire are under threat from those who take pleasure chasing them down with a pack of hounds, or shooting them for sport," explained Ms Lawrence.

This comes as opinion polls indicate that 85 per cent of people are opposed to hunting, according to the group.

"We would like to thank the people of Gloucestershire who have supported the launch of the League’s regional group, added Ms Lawrence.

"By standing together, we can ensure wildlife across the region and further afield is given the protection they rightfully deserve."

Hunts have been seen crossing railway lines, busy roads and rampaging through gardens, this places hounds and other animals at risk.

Despite the concerns that have arisen over hunting in the region - there are those who say hunting practises have changed to become more ethical and that they are part of British tradition.

Miss Jo Aldridge, who works for the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt said:" Since the Hunting Ban in 2005, the vast majority of hunts in the country have changed their practices.

"This involves hunting on an artificial trail using a full pack of hounds.

"The intention has always been to keep our hounds and the hunting community together," added Miss Aldridge

For some, this is surprising when considering that 85 per cent of people now oppose hunting, according to the animal rights group.

"Whereas hunting used to be one of the major methods of managing the fox population it is recognised today by many animal welfare experts that the ban has not saved the lives of foxes."

To get involved in the new group, prospective members can visit outreach stalls and attend demonstrations, one example of this would be the stall at Stroud's Vegan Fair last July.

You can join the League Against Cruel Sports at league.org.uk or contact emilylawrence@league.org.uk

Alternatively, you may contact the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt at beauforthunt.com