Claims that hunt saboteurs were injured in an attack by hunt supporters have been dismissed as “grossly exaggerated”.

The Hunt Saboteurs Association claimed its supporters were assaulted at the weekend while monitoring Modbury Harriers' meet near Holbeton.

Police have launched an investigation. A spokesman said: “We are currently investigating allegations of robbery and assault which happened on Saturday, March 31, between 3pm and 3.45pm in a field in Noss Mayo.

“Officers received reports that victims were set upon by six men on quad bikes and also had their radio and camera equipment taken.

“This is currently a live and active investigation.

“We take reports such as these extremely seriously and ask for anyone with information to contact police or by 101 quoting CR/027453/18.”

A saboteurs spokesman claimed two of its supporters were viciously attacked by a group of six terriermen attached to the hunt. They alleged a woman was pulled to the ground and punched in the head repeatedly.

In a statement the group claimed a man tried to protect her but he was pushed down a hill before he was too was punched and then kicked.

The association alleged: “Two quad bikes were driven into him, knocking him to the ground, and a quad bike was deliberately driven over his legs multiple times while he was on the ground. They then pinned him against the quad bike and ripped his body camera and radio off him.”

The group claimed the ‘thugs made away with all the sabs’ equipment and personal possessions, including bags, a radio and the cameras that had footage of the fox being hunted and the assaults. The assaulted sabs received black eyes, leg injuries and cuts and bruises.”

But Modbury Harriers has refuted the allegations.

A spokesman said: "The Modbury Harriers carry out legal hunting activities which comply with the Hunting Act 2004.

“On Saturday, March 31, some anti-hunting activists attended our closing meet of the season. Throughout the day these activists persistently trespassed while harassing and provoking hunt followers. 

“Allegations were made regarding an incident involving hunt supporters and some activists, however it is our understanding that details of this incident have been grossly exaggerated. We have been advised that the paramedics who were called to the scene by the activists at the time were unable to identify any injuries to the alleged victims.  

“The Modbury Harriers does not condone violence, even in cases of extreme provocation."

In a separate incident, animal welfare charity Ash Rescue Centre, near Dartmouth, complained a couple of weeks ago: “We had a loose hound run through our fields (with horses in), and through our garden, wedding venue and yard which upset all our dogs and cats.

“We have asked for prior notice when they are in the area but as yet we have had nothing.

“Last year we lost Smuggler after a day of cantering around (hunt were in the area all day) caused his old legs to give up.

“We also had horses with cuts to heads, legs and one lame. We have had the whole pack of hounds run through our wildflower meadows, woods and bird seed mixes on a number of occasions.

“When will this stop?”