THE Buccleuch Hunt has described a report to Police Scotland concerning footage obtained by the League Against Cruel Sports as "spurious" and "politically-motivated" and insisted that it operated within the law at all times.

The footage, said to be filmed on 22 December, shows a dog chasing a fox over the wall.

Then around 25 seconds later, a fox can be seen in the distance - with a dog in pursuit.

Police Scotland confirmed that they were aware of the report and said that officers were waiting for further details and inquiries would be carried out to establish the full circumstances.

The 2002 legislation was framed to ban hunting with dogs, but not hunting foxes altogether. An unlimited number of dogs are still allowed to chase foxes from cover so they can be shot.

A statement from the Buccleuch Hunt said: "The Buccleuch Hunt operates within the law at all times to comply with the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act.

“The hunt is absolutely clear that it was operating wholly within the law and in accordance with the Scottish Mounted Foxhound Packs Fox Control Protocol on the 22nd December.

"There is no evidence to support any claims to the contrary and the hunt urges animal rights activists to stop wasting police time by making spurious, politically-motivated allegations."

Robbie Marsland, from the League Against Cruel Sports, the country’s leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport told BBC Scotland: "They say they're shooting foxes. We never see any guns being effectively used but what we do see is pictures like this of foxes being chased by hounds.

“We reported it to the police because it looks illegal to us but whether there's a successful prosecution will depend on the courts."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We are aware of a report relating to fox hunting on land near Kelso on Wednesday, 22 December, 2021. Officers are awaiting further details from the complainer and enquiries will be carried out to establish the full circumstances.”

The Buccleuch Hunt was founded in 1827 by Walter Montagu Douglas Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch and is the largest in Scotland.