A MILITANT animal rights group marked the third anniversary of the ban against fox hunting with dogs by launching covert overnight attacks against two Cotswold hunt headquarters.

ALF (Animal Liberation Front) was daubed over the main building at the Vale of White Horse hunt's base near Daglingworth and at the Cotswold Hunt near Cirencester.

The vandals also slashed the tyres of horse boxes and lorries parked at the Overley Yard horse stables adjacent to the Vale's office which were not connected to the hunt.

Ian Farquhar, master of the Beaufort Hunt, said: "This was a cowardly and senseless act of vandalism by people creeping around in the night like terrorists."

A similar attack took place at the Masters of Foxhounds Association headquarters in Badminton.

Police are linking the attacks, believing them all to be the work of Animal Liberation Front.

MFHA spokesman Brian Fanshawe said: "It was a really cowardly way to get at people, and it's sad when people who aren't even involved are attacked.

"They attacked horse boxes and lorries next door when they are nothing to do with hunting."

Mike Hellens had all the tyres on his horse box slashed and ALF scrawled on the side during the attacks which took place overnight on Saturday.

"It's despicable. They targeted the wrong people and it's just stupid really," he said.

"We have got absolutely no association with the hunt, we are just next to their office.

"There's a lady up here who has multiple sclerosis. She has a horse box which was attacked and she just uses her horse for riding as therapy."

Police are appealing for anyone with any information on the attacks to contact Gloucestershire police on 0845 0901234.