POLICE are investigating an allegation of illegal fox-hunting.

The Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt has been accused by anti-hunt monitors of hunting a live fox, The Argus understands.

The alleged incident being investigated took place on December 2, 2015, at Billingshurst, police said.

Simon Wild, from West Sussex Wildlife Protection, said video footage of the alleged incident had been handed to police.

He declined to comment further on the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

Trish Morley, secretary for the hunt covering parts of West Sussex and Surrey, said it was unaware of the allegation and the police investigation and could not therefore comment.

Police said they had also looked into an allegation of illegal hunting against the Crawley and Horsham Hunt, relating to an alleged incident in Shipley on Saturday, November 28, 2015.

Officers filed the case after getting advice from prosecutors and deciding there was insufficient evidence to bring charges, the spokesman added.

A spokesman for the hunt said it was "unaware of any alleged incident on November 28 as the police have not contacted us about this or asked any questions".

Hunting wild foxes with dogs has been illegal since 2005, but the issue remains controversial and there are regular clashes between hunters and hunt monitors.

In 2012, three people from the Crawley and Horsham Hunt became the first to be convicted of illegal fox hunting in Sussex.

Video footage of hounds “in full cry” chasing a fox at hunt meets at Marlpost Wood, Southwater, on January 18, 2011, and Shermanbury Place on January 25, 2011, was shown to the court during a seven-day trial.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said in a recent meeting that she had a "huge amount of correspondence" from the public around the issue of illegal hunting following a recent report by the International Federation of Animal Welfare.

Olivia Pinkney, then deputy chief constable of Sussex Police, said her officers' role was to police protests of hunting to keep people safe and investigate allegations.

She added: "What we don’t do though is lie and wait for allegations to arise.

"If there are allegations then we take them seriously and do investigate, and we have had some success in the past."