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Last Updated: Saturday February 19 2005 13:37 GMT

Hundreds of hunts out despite ban

Two hundred and fifty hunts are taking place today despite hunting with hounds now being illegal in England and Wales.

Under the new law packs of hounds can't chase and kill a fox. If they do, their owners could be fined a lot of money.

On Saturday thousands of hunt supporters turned out to show they're still going to ride with hounds.

But they say they'll be staying within the law by letting dogs flush out foxes to be shot.

Anti-hunt groups are watching for anyone breaking the law and say they'll report it to the police if it happens.

Although hunting with dogs is now a criminal offence, its still legal to:

  • let hounds follow an artificial scent
  • hunt rabbits/rats instead of foxes/hares
  • let two dogs flush out foxes to be shot

The League Against Cruel Sports says some of its supporters are hiding in fields videoing hunts.

The police say they won't be breaking up hunts but gathering evidence and dealing with people who break the law afterwards.

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