POLICE are investigating following claims from anti-hunt protesters that they were hit with whips and suffered head injuries as they were following the Middleton Hunt.

Hunt saboteurs say they were assaulted during a meeting of the hunt at Uncleby, on the Yorkshire Wolds, on Saturday. North Yorkshire Police say they are investigating an incident.

Additionally the saboteurs say their video camera and two body cameras were stolen. It is claimed that one female saboteur was left with cracked ribs, while others reported suffering broken fingers.

The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) say they filmed the incident, but cannot release footage due to an ongoing investigation.

Lee Moon, spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “We repeatedly see hunters using their horses as weapons and, has been shown in recent years, this can result in serious injury.

“We are hopeful that the large number of police who attended the scene are indicative of how seriously they are taking this situation and we look forward to a swift and positive investigation.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “Police were called to reports that a number of people had been assaulted near Uncleby, at about 4pm on Saturday, March 18. Inquiries are ongoing.”

Yorkshire Ambulance Service said they sent two ambulances and an emergency care practitioner to the scene to treat three people with minor injuries, but all three declined to travel to hospital.

The Gazette & Herald contacted the Middleton Hunt, but no one was available for comment.