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Last Updated: Friday, 4 November 2005, 19:58 GMT
First huntsman in court over ban
The hunting ban came into force on 18 February in England and Wales
A huntsman has become the first to be summoned to court for allegedly defying the hunting ban.

A private prosecution has been taken out on behalf of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) against Tony Wright, of the Exmoor Foxhounds.

He is facing a charge of "hounding foxes with dogs" on 29 April at Drybridge in Devon.

He is expected to appear before magistrates in Barnstaple on Thursday 24 November.

A LACS spokesman said: "The League's decision to start a private prosecution follows analysis of film taken by League staff on 29 April at a location in the south-west of England."

Challenge lost

The Parliament Act was used by the government last November to push the ban on hunting with dogs through following continuous opposition to a ban in the House of Lords.

The ban came into force on 18 February in England and Wales, making hunting with dogs a criminal offence.

The latest legal challenge to overturn the ban by the Countryside Alliance was lost last month after nine Law Lords unanimously ruled it would remain.

Exercising hounds, chasing a scent trail and flushing out foxes to be shot are still legal.

Devon and Cornwall Police have submitted a file to the CPS containing video evidence alleging that the ban had been breached in at least one hunt.

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