Following a battle broke out after the discovery of a dead fox, professional and anti-hunting groups have accused each other of violence.  

There were exchanges between opposing groups.

The Silverton Hunt has denied breaking any laws, and said that the saboteurs attacked among the followers after the fox was killed ‘accidentally’.

The incident led with each side alleging they were met with violence against the opposition, between saboteurs and hunt followers.

A member of the Devon County Hunt Saboteurs cradles the lifeless body of the fox (pictured)

The Silverton Hunt has denied breaking any laws, and said that the saboteurs attacked among the followers after the fox was killed ‘accidentally’

In a statement issued via the Countryside Alliance said: ‘The Silverton Hunt functions by complies and trail-hunting with all the Hunting Act 2004.

‘On any event, if we know that hounds have deviated in the trails which have been placed and are after the scent of a fox that was live the hounds are ceased whenever possible.

‘The authorities are advised once we think into a fox turned back to the 30, that there was a fox murdered on New Year’s Day.

‘It is that among our hunt supporters – that followed the hounds on New Year’s Day – was hurt in an attack with a hunt saboteur and subsequently required hospital treatment.

‘The authorities are investigating the footage of this attack and we are unable to comment further at this stage.’

A group calling itself Devon County Hunt Saboteurs contested the search’s version of events and issued photographs of a dead fox that it said had been killed during the hunt.

The incident led to angry confrontations between saboteurs and hunt followers, with each side alleging they were met with violence by the opposition

Devon County Hunt Saboteurs claimed the fox had obtained pieces to its face and abdomen

A spokesman explained: ‘Hounds had caught the fox and also disemboweled him.

‘The fox, a youthful man, lasted bite wounds all over his face and abdomen. The huntsman had been promoting hounds on and made no more efforts to call off them.’

The group claimed that a number of its ‘sabs’ were attacked on the street and a camera has been busted.

The spokesman added: ‘One sab was held in a headlock, another was caught by the throat and injuries to his throat and many others were struck in the face and kicked.’

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed they were called to the scene in Cullompton on New Year’s Day are investigating the incident.

A spokesman explained: ‘Physicians are now investigating allegations of all offences committed under the Hunting Act 2004. No arrests have been made as of yet.

‘We consider all reports of criminal activity extremely seriously and always seem to bring those responsible to justice, so this involves we can attain a probability of prosecution gathering evidence.

‘We’re asking anyone who might have witnessed the incident or have some proof to contact authorities via 101@dc.police.uk or simply by phoning 101 quoting CR/000441/18.’

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that they were called on New Year’s Day to the scene at Cullompton are investigating the incident