A judge has said that the Hunting Act is “difficult to interpret and apply” after ruling that three members of the Holderness had no case to answer against charges of illegal hunting.

Joint-master Charles Clark, former huntsman David Elliot and amateur whipper-in Philip Walker each faced one charge under the Act in relation to a day’s hunting on 21 January 2012.

Tim Bonner, director of campaigns for the Countryside Alliance, said: “The judge’s comments and the result of this case are further evidence that the Hunting Act is a failed law.”