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The RSPCA has dropped a private prosecution of two supporters of the Cheshire Forest hunt.

Brian Nuttall, 79, from Holmes Chapel, and Justin Schofield, 42, from Crewe, were filmed covertly by anti-hunt activists near Croton on 3 March 2012.

The RSPCA launched an investigation and summonsed both men to face charges of interference with a badger sett.

At a hearing at Chester Magistrates Court (Thursday 11 April), the RSPCA confirmed it was offering no evidence to support the Badgers Act charges. Defence costs of nearly £10,000 will be paid by the taxpayer, as will the costs of wasted court time.

Tim Bonner added: “This is yet another example of the RSPCA abusing the criminal justice system to pursue its vendetta against members of the hunting community.”

Earlier this year, an RSPCA case against Cheshire Hunt supporter Keith Watson and his partner and daughter, who were accused of interfering with a badger sett in February 2011, also collapsed.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (18 April 2013)