Police have confirmed they are now investigating an incident where hunting dogs caused chaos at a cat sanctuary, which could lead to prosecution.
The dogs, from the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt, entered land owned by the Celia Hammond Animal Trust in Stubb Lane at around 4.30pm on Tuesday, January 9.
Around 60 of the 130 cats there went missing, and 12 are yet to be found. Click here for more.
A Countryside Alliance spokesman speaking on behalf of the hunting group said the huntsman apologised to the sanctuary for what happened.
Police were called to the scene to help round up the dogs – but now they are formally investigating the incident.
On Twitter this evening, Sussex Police said: “We are now investigating the incident at @CeliaHammond Animal Trust, which potentially involves a number of complex areas of law, including dog legislation and the Hunting Act. If criminal offences are identified, we will move forward with a view to prosecution.
“We will update when the investigation is complete.
“Many have asked why no action was taken immediately by the officers who attended at the time. Much of the detail of the incident has only come to light since we assisted sanctuary staff remove the dogs from the land to reduce the impact on the affected animals as quickly as possible. The sanctuary owner has provided more information and officers are in touch with her.
“We have to focus on fact and the law, which we uphold, but do not make.
“While we appreciate this is a very emotive subject, we would respectfully ask that you do not use other posts on our social media to make your points as this is having an impact on other important messages to keep people safe from threat and harm.”