VIDEO footage taken by a hunt investigation group appearing to show a huntsman handling foxes illegally - it claims -  has been published on social media.

The League Against Cruel Sports obtained the footage which, they claim, was secretly recorded at the South Herefordshire Hunt.

The Hereford Times last week revealed in a front page story that three people linked to the hunt had been arrested on animal cruelty charges.

Those arrested included a 37-year-old man from Abergavenny on suspicion of failing to prevent the causing of unnecessary suffering to an animal, and a 37-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman from Hereford, both arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

All were all released on bail until a date in August.

The South Herefordshire Hunt would not comment on the allegations when contacted by the Hereford Times at the time of the arrests and has not returned calls this morning to respond to the video footage.

The League Against Cruel Sports say the footage shows “damning evidence of the reality of fox hunting”.

They add that the footage has been released as part of a major ongoing investigation into ‘cubbing’ ¬- the illegal practice of training young inexperienced hounds to hunt and kill fox cubs.

Yesterday, the Masters of Fox Hounds Association (MFHA) announced an independent inquiry will be carried out into conduct at the South Herefordshire Hunt.

The inquiry will be chaired by The Rt Hon. Sir John Chadwick, a former Appeal Court Judge, and will include Bill Andrewes, a former Master and Hunt Chairman, and Pauline Tolhurst, a practising veterinary surgeon.

It was also revealed this week that the South Herefordshire Hunt has suspended two members of staff.

The hunt's kennels, which are in Wormelow, are currently closed while the hounds are being looked after by other hunts which are members of the MFHA.