Anti-foxhunting campaigners have accused a hunt group of thinking they “cannot be touched” after members were caught holding illegal street collections.

Horsham District Council has written to officials from the Crawley and Horsham Hunt to warn them that fundraising on the street is against the law.

The council’s licensing department had not received an application from the hunt to collect cash in Horsham town centre meaning it was illegal to collect in a public area.

Lee Moon, from the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “They have once again been caught breaking the law, this time in their desperation to keep their hunt going without the gaining of the proper authority.

“The Crawley and Horsham hunt continues to ignore the law.

“Our members will ensure they are kept under observation to ensure that any of their illegal activities are reported to the correct authorities and appropriate action taken.”

Antony Sandeman, the hunt master at the Crawley and Horsham hunt, denied the group had been warned for illegal street collecting.

He added: “We have a strained relationship with the hunt saboteurs.

"They are always making allegations against us and are always about when we have trouble with idiots in balaclavas whipping our hounds, but we carry on acting within the law.

“We have received nothing from the council.”

A spokesman for the council said: “We sent a letter to the hunt earlier this year advising them not to carry out unauthorised street collecting on the highway in future without the relevant permits.”