Four men connected with the Isle of Wight hunt have been arrested on suspicion of hunting a wild mammal with dogs.

Police carried out a number of raids, including one on the Isle of Wight hunt kennels at Gatcombe in Newport, at 5am this morning.

Hampshire Police have confirmed to H&H four men are currently being held in custody: a 41-year-old from Ryde, a 61-year-old and 36-year-old from Newport and a 36-year-old from Ventnor.

“This follows an incident in Shepherds Chine, Isle of Wight in November last year,” said a police spokesman.

Stephen Lambert, chairman of the Council of Hunting Associations (CHA), told H&H of his “total astonishment” that the police had prioritised this issue to such an extent that they carried out dawn raids.

Alastair Jackson, director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) added: “Clearly, with these sorts of allegations, the police have slightly overreacted.”