CLAIMS on social media that the Ledbury Hunt hounds killed a fox at Pigeon House Farm, Eldersfield, have been strongly denied this week by the Ledbury Hunt.

The claims centred around the body of a fox found at Pigeon House Farm, Eldersfield, on Friday, February 19.

Hunt spokesman, Donald Haden said claims that the hounds had killed the fox were "simply not true".

Hunting foxes with dogs is against the law in the UK.

The Ledbury Hunt said the fox that was found was already dead and had a gun-shot wound.

Mr Haden said: "The Hunt always conducts its activities within the law and was in that area in the afternoon with

hounds, hunting a scented trail that had been laid earlier.

"A dead fox was found in a hedgerow and one of the Hunt staff had an opportunity to examine it before hunt protesters took it away. The carcass was found to be cold and therefore obviously had not been killed recently. There was a gunshot wound in part of the body."

Mr Haden added "We are now into the lambing season and farmers quite understandably are not hesitant in

shooting any foxes they see disturbing their sheep. We believe that in this particular case the fox had indeed been shot by a local farmer several hours or possibly days before and the dead carcass then thrown into the hedge."

Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs reported on the Ledbury Reporter Facebook site that the body of the fox had been taken away for a "post mortem".

Pictures of the dead fox were posted on the site and elsewhere within hours of it being photographed, together with strongly-worded claims that the Ledbury Hunt had killed it.