North Yorkshire County Council is facing calls to no longer host Boxing Day fox hunt meets in Malton.
The League Against Cruel Sports has written to Councillor Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, after a fox was 'chased to exhaustion' during a hunting meeting on 30 December.
In his letter, Chris Luffingham, Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports wrote: "I write on behalf of the League Against Cruel Sports – and our thousands of supporters, including many in North Yorkshire – to request North Yorkshire County commits to never again allowing the Middleton Hunt to hold its Boxing Day meet in Malton.
"Large groups of hunt riders and hounds meeting creates a health and safety hazard – with highways obstructed and passers-by, including families with young children, forced into narrow spaces. It is only a matter of time before somebody is injured as a direct result of these chaotic scenes and no risk assessment can realistically mitigate that likelihood.
"As you may be aware, violent clashes have also taken place between proponents and opponents of fox hunting during recent town-centre hunt meets after deep-rooted
community tensions ran high.
"A terrified fox was chased to exhaustion across the North Yorkshire countryside by hounds under control of the Middleton Hunt during a hunting meeting on 30
December. This is just one of 151 reports of illegal hunting received by the League since the hunting season opened on 1st November relating to fox hunts which claim to be ‘following a trail’.
"A number of local authorities – including Tetbury Council and Elham Council – have already committed to not allowing hunts to meet or parade on public land under their jurisdiction. With 85% of the public opposing fox hunting, there is clear support for North Yorkshire County Council to follow these decisions and instead allow only cruelty-free entertainment in Malton on Boxing Day."