A NEW group has been established to monitor hunting with hounds in Cornwall.
Kernow Hunt Saboteurs say they are the first active hunt monitoring group in Cornwall since the hunting ban became law in 2004.
The Kernow Hunt Saboteurs Group has more than 1,200 supporters on Facebook and 20 core members in the group.
Many new people joined after the recent Somerset badger cull protests.
Since hunting foxes with hounds became illegal, many hunts have continued to meet and ride, with some following the legal practice of drag hunting, where hounds follow a trail of scent 'dragged' over the ground by hunt organisers.
On Saturdays groups from Kernow Hunt Saboteurs attend hunt meets in Cornwall, including gatherings of west Cornwall's Western Hunt.
Hunting and hunters are filmed with video cameras.
The group say they will use any footage of illegal hunting to help bring prosecutions against hunters.
The RSPCA has secured 26 convictions for offences under the Hunting Act nationwide since 2004, with four of those being of hunts as a body, but none have been in Cornwall.
Kernow Hunt Saboteurs have been a visible presence at recent Feast meetings when hunt masters are given the stirrup cup, and were filming the event two weeks ago in St Ives.
The group say they are currently raising money towards a vehicle and fuel to allow them to follow hunts in Cornwall.
They are urging anyone who thinks they have witnessed illegal hunting to contact the League Against Cruel Sports hotline 01483 361 108 and the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 and to contact the police if they actually see a fox being hunted.