The Countryside Alliance has denied recent newspaper reports that it will encourage hunt supporters to embark on a campaign of civil resistance, including refusing to pay council tax and TV licence fees in the event of a ban.

The reports referred to a leaked document that outlines plans for civil unrest, extending as far as an “invasion” of Chequers.

Chief executive designate Simon Hart states that the alliance’s priority is ensuring that anti-hunting legislation does not reach the statute books but he adds: “We have received many suggestions of the action country sports supporters would be prepared to take. Parliament should not ignore the fact that a substantial number of law-abiding people are prepared to take drastic action in the name of an issue they feel so strongly about.”

He continues: “We have said that we will support those who feel that they cannot obey a ban on hunting, even if disobeying it means breaking the law.”

The Hunting Bill returns to the House of Lords in September, and peers are expected to overturn the “total ban” clause introduced in the Commons.

However, ministers have suggested that the Parliament Act could be used to force the legislation through before the next election.

The article was first published in Horse & Hound. For all the latest news on the progress of the hunting bill click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.