Campaigners against the hunting ban claim the low number of prosecutions show it is unworkable.

The East Essex Hunt, which regularly rides in the Braintree district, is backing the claims of the Countryside Alliance to repeal the act which it says is wasting police time.

Since the ban came into effect in 2005 21 people in Essex have been prosecuted or fined, three of which were in 2010.

Sally Greenlees of the East Essex Hunt said: “Organised hunting has continued to survive by operating within the law with hounds following trails laid using an artificial scent.

“Despite this many hunts are followed by saboteurs who harass and intimidate them and then waste a considerable amount of police time by trying to prove that the law has been broken.

“The East Essex fox hounds hunt within the law and will continue to do so until the act is repealed.”

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