A TOTAL of 45 complaints about alleged illegal fox hunting in Cumbria have been reported to the police since a law banning hunting with dogs came into force last year.

However, Cumbria Police said that no prosecutions were "pending" in relation to violations of the ban on hunting with dogs which came into force on February 18, 2005.

"If people come forward we will investigate any complaint," said spokesman Harry Macdonald.

Regional director of the Countryside Alliance, Tom Fell, said that Cumbrian hunts had adapted "surprisingly well" in the first year of the new legislation. But he added that hunts were still hoping that a "bad law" would one day be reversed.

He added that the cull of foxhounds, which had been predicted by hunt supporters before the ban came into force, had not taken place, although some hunts were breeding fewer dogs.

Peter Stratton, of Warrington-based organisation the Northwest Animal Welfare group, said that members from the organisation had been monitoring Cumbrian hunts.