Police investigate death of a fox near Clavering after Boxing Day meet

Main image - A police car; Inset - A dead fox

Police in Hertfordshire have launched a probe after a fox died on December 27 between Brent Pelham and Clavering - Credit: Matt Powell; Inset: South Cambs Hunt Saboteurs

An investigation is under way to find out whether a Boxing Day hunt resulted in the death of a fox near Clavering.

Police in Hertfordshire launched the probe after the animal died between Brent Pelham and Clavering on Monday, December 27.

Self-titled hunt saboteurs claimed they pulled dogs from the fox but arrived "seconds too late" to prevent the death.

The Puckeridge Hunt began at 11am on December 27 - one day after Boxing Day.

An organiser of the nearby Puckeridge Hunt said they alerted the police to the incident and are assisting in the investigation.

A spokesperson said: "The Puckeridge Hunt was conducting lawful trail hunting activities on Monday, December 27, when an incident occurred which the hunt immediately reported to the police.

"We will, of course, assist with any further enquiries."

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A Hertfordshire Constabulary spokesperson said: "Police were called to reports of a fox being killed in woods near Brent Pelham on Monday, December 27 at around 3.15pm.

"Officers attended and an investigation is under way.

"No one has been arrested."

A censored image of a dead fox and its wounds

A fox was allegedly injured by a dog on December 27 - Credit: South Cambs Hunt Saboteurs

They declined to say whether the death of the fox is connected with any hunt.

A South Cambs Hunt Saboteurs spokesperson said "sabs" from Hertfordshire, Essex, north London, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire spent the day trying to see foxes to safety within the trail hunt area.

They alleged that the incident took place at Beeches Wood, on the Essex-Hertfordshire border.

The spokesperson said: "Hertfordshire police officers arrived and are investigating."

They added: "We feel it is important to recognise that we managed to save several other foxes that day." 

The North London Hunt Saboteurs group posted an image of the fox to Twitter.

It received more than 870 'likes' and 660 'retweets' on the social media platform.

Trail hunting is legal, but participants and their dogs must follow an artificial scent along a pre-determined route.

Setting out to "hunt a wild mammal with dogs" is an offence according to the Hunting Act 2004.

Traditional Boxing Day meets were held on December 27 this year, because December 26 fell on a Sunday.