A Somerset huntsman is appearing at Taunton Magistrates on Tuesday, January 21 accused of hunting a fox with a pack of hounds.

Peter Mark Doggrell, of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, will appear in court in a case expected to last two days.

The case follows an investigation by Avon and Somerset Police based on evidence obtained by Hounds Off and Somerset Wildlife Crime.

A spokesperson for Somerset Wildlife Crime, said:

“We welcome that a fox hunt is up in court and facing charges for the alleged illegal persecution of British wildlife.”

Joe Hashman, founder of Hounds Off, said: “We look forward to the court case involving one of the biggest fox hunts in the region and we hope that justice is served.”

Mr Doggrell faces a charge of hunting a wild mammal with a dog contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004.

The alleged offence is said to have been committed on Saturday, February 23, 2019 in a churchyard in Charleton Horethorne in Somerset.

Read more: Fox killed in hunt involving dogs in Dorset

Martin Sims, director of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports and former head of the police’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, said:

“We’d like to thank Avon and Somerset Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for bringing this case to court under the Hunting Act, and we will now await the outcome of the trial.”

The case comes nearly 15 years after hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales with the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004, which came into force on February 18, 2005.