Police inquiry after violent protest disrupts hunt on private land

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POLICE are continuing to investigate violent anti-hunt protests that disrupted a legal hunt in Yorkshire.

One man was arrested after a large group of hunt “saboteurs”, many wearing balaclavas, attempted to break up the Middleton Hunt, which was taking place on private land in North Yorkshire less than a fortnight ago.

The hunt has declined to comment on the incident, but it is thought the protesters, who arrived in two minibuses, tried to intimidate those taking part, shouted abuse, and threw stones at vehicles.

They are also believed to have declined requests to stop and discuss their grievances.

Members of the hunt were understood to be shocked, angry and upset but it is not thought anyone was hurt.

Police said they were taking part in a legal trail hunt.

A man aged 24 from Hull was arrested in connection with damage to a vehicle. He was released on bail until a date next month.

A police spokesman said: “North Yorkshire Police were called at around 11.50am on 30 March, 2013, after reports that protesters were present at a hunt on private land on Birdsall Estate, Malton.

“It was reported that the protesters were trying to disrupt the hunt and during the incident a vehicle belonging to one of the hunt members was damaged.

“A 24-year-old man from Humberside was arrested in connection with the damage and has been released on police bail as inquiries into the incident continue.”

Hunting with dogs was banned in 2005 but hunts using an artificially laid scent are legal.