The Countryside Alliance (CA) has told H&H it is “confident” that there is no connection between the Middleton Hunt and video footage of fox cubs being found in a barn in North Yorkshire.

A man was arrested after 16 fox cubs were found in the barn. He has since been released on police bail.

The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) claims the cubs, who were between six and eight weeks old, were being reared by the hunt.

However, both the hunt and the Countryside Alliance refutes these claims.

Covertly filmed video footage, shot last month, shows a man entering a barn, which the activist group claims, is linked to the Middleton hunt in North Yorkshire. The activist group then released this footage to the press.

However, the CA’s director of campaigns, Tim Bonner, said: “The building concerned is neither owned nor leased by the Middleton hunt. The hunt has assisted the police with their inquiries and is very confident, as are we, that no one employed by or connected to it has committed any offence.”

Major Tim Easby, director of the Master of Fox Hounds Association (MFHA) told H&H: “This is a police matter and the hunt has offered its full cooperation. The MFHA is confident that no offences have been committed.”

The cubs were taken by the North Yorkshire Police on 31 May. The police are currently investigating the situation.

“Acting on intelligence, North Yorkshire Police officers conducted a search of an outbuilding, under the Animal Welfare Act,” said a police spokesman.

“Officers rescued the cubs and they are now being cared for in an animal sanctuary outside North Yorkshire.

“The foxes were being fed and had access to water, but police need further information as to how they got in the barn, why they were there, and who put them there.”