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'Insufficient evidence' for further action following fox death in Cheshire

Police investigating the death of a fox in Cheshire say no further action will be taken.

Officers started to look into an allegation of ‘Hunting a wild mammal with dogs’, contrary to the Hunting Act 2004, in December 2018.

It followed the death of a fox in Wrenbury, near Nantwich, during the 2018/19 hunt season.

Detectives gathered video evidence and interviewed a number of people present or with relevant information.

Early investigative advice was also sought from the Crown Prosecution Service due the complexity of the case.

A statement by the force said: "As a result, the investigation team have concluded there is insufficient evidence that the incident amounted to deliberate and intentional hunting, as required by the Hunting Act 2004, and it has been decided that, on this occasion, no further action will be taken.

"All parties involved have been informed of the outcome.

"The Constabulary is still actively investigating a number of other incidents, alleged to have occurred during the hunting season.

"We reiterate our commitment that where allegations of unlawful activity are made, they will be fully investigated."
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “On the back of the independent review I commissioned into the policing of hunting, I have already outlined the need for a parliamentary review into the way the Hunting Act 2004 is laid out. The legislation presents challenges to both investigators and prosecutors.

“Although it would be inappropriate for me to get involved in the decision making process in individual cases, in my role as police and crime commissioner, I’ll be looking to carefully scrutinise the decisions made by Cheshire Constabulary in this case and in a similar case from November 2018 to ensure it followed due process in both investigations and it is fulfilling its obligations under the Hunting Act 2004.”

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