A Dorset hunt will be able to resume hunting activities three weeks after they were suspended for illegal foxhunting.

North Dorset-based The Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt was suspended on Wednesday, January 24 after video footage showed a fox being killed by dogs during a trail hunt in Buckhorn Weston near Gillingham.

Traditional fox hunting has been illegal in the UK since 2004.

The hunt was subsequently banned by the British Hound Sports Association (BHSA) - the sporting body which governs hunt groups, pending further investigation.

Six men were interviewed by police under caution and were all released under investigation; no arrests have been made.

Two weeks after the ban came into effect, the BHSA announced that the Hunt will be able to resume hunting activities on Thursday, February 15.

Two Hunt Masters will remain suspended until the conclusion of an investigation by the BHSA.

A spokesperson for the British Hound Sports Association said: "As a result of a meeting of the BHSA with representatives from the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Hunt on Wednesday, February 7, the hunt will be able to resume hunting activities for a probationary period with effect from Thursday, February 15, 2024.

"The hunt will be restricted to four days of trail hunting during this probationary period which lasts until the end of their trail hunting season on February 24.

"The hunt will have to reapply for accreditation for the 2024/25 season to demonstrate that they remain able to satisfy the relevant criteria and conduct their activities in accordance with the BHSA’s core principles.

"The two Masters of the hunt who were in charge of the hunting activities which took place on December 4, 2023, will remain suspended from BHSA membership until the conclusion of the Hound Sports Regulatory Authority’s investigation which is underway."

Dorset Police are continuing enquiries into reports of an illegal fox hunt.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: "Dorset Police received a report at around 2pm on Monday, December 4, 2023, in relation to an illegal fox hunt in the area of Buckhorn Weston near Gillingham.

"It was reported that the hunt occurred on the same day and a fox was killed.

"Officers attended the scene. Six men were interviewed under caution in relation to the incident. They have been released under investigation.

"Officers are currently following several active lines of enquiry. No arrests have yet been made."