Police have raided 30 addresses linked to animal rights extremism across the UK and Europe.

About 300 officers, including some from Sussex, were involved in the "substantial" operation, which was part of an investigation into criminal activity linked to animal rights extremism, a Hampshire Police spokeswoman said.

The operation was carried out by UK and EU police forces and other agencies.

She said: "Police officers are executing warrants to enter and search premises at 30 addresses throughout the UK and Europe.

"The warrants have been obtained as part of an ongoing investigation into criminal activity associated with animal rights extremism.

"This is a substantial police operation led by forces from the South East region and supported by a number of other UK and EU police forces and European law enforcement agencies.

"Around 300 police officers and supporting staff are involved in the operation.

"There is ongoing police activity at the addresses, and officers are working with the local communities to minimise any disruption."

The spokeswoman said more information would be released as the operation developed.

As well as Sussex Police, other UK forces involved in the raids include Kent, Surrey and Thames Valley.