ANTI-HUNT campaigners are calling for all Cumbrian fox hunts to be banned from National Trust land after a fox was killed last week on trust land.

The Northwest Animal Welfare group allege that the Blencathra Foxhounds killed a fox on National Trust land at Newlands and that a hunt steward then tried to harass and intimidate a member of the public who filmed the fox being chased and killed. Several alleged incidents involving the Blencathra Foxhounds have been reported to police in recent weeks and police are still investigating claims of illegal hunting by the Black Combe and District Beagles on December 27 at Coniston.

Peter Stratton from the Northwest Animal Welfare group claimed: "An hour after telling police they were trail hunting, Blencathra's huntsman Barry Todhunter was blowing his horn to celebrate his hounds killing another fox. The National Trust must investigate this incident and ban all Cumbrian hunts from their land in the meantime. They cannot allow hunts to kill foxes and intimidate and harass members of the public. The Blencathra Foxhounds made no attempt at trail hunting, which explains the presence of terriermen and their terriers."

Secretary of the Blencathra Foxhounds Edward Hilton Fell, admitted that in recent weeks the hunt had accidentally killed a fox in the Newlands Valley, near Keswick. But he denied that the hunt had done anything unlawful.

"The huntsman blew his horn and tried to call the hounds off but some of the hounds had been taking the kill," he said.

However, the anti-hunt group is critical of police for failing to act on its recent claims. Mr Stratton said "Superintendent Steve Turnbull has a duty to uphold the Hunting Act."