Four members of the Middleton have pleaded guilty to an offence under the Hunting Act, but two further charges have been dropped against each man.

Huntsman Tom Holt, whipper-in Shaun Marles and hunt supporters Lee Martin and Brian Cuthbertson appeared at York Magistrates Court last week (13 August).

Mr Holt was fined £200 plus costs. Mr Marles and Mr Martin were each fined £100 and costs. Mr Cuthbertson was given a conditional discharge.

A further charge under the Hunting Act and another under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 were dropped against each man.

The incident took place in December 2012 at Full Sutton, East Yorkshire. Members of the League Against Cruel Sports filmed the men flushing out a fox from a stack of hay bales into hounds.

Tim Bonner, of the Countryside Alliance said: “The Middleton Hunt has accepted that the fox should have been shot in accordance with the exemption rather than killed by hounds. While the Hunting Act remains a ridiculous and illogical law, pleading guilty, to minimise the time and money wasted on this case, was the sensible thing to do.”