TWO West Somerset huntsmen are facing prosecution after allegedly breaking the hunt ban in a second private prosecutioin brought by anti-hunt campaigners the League Against Cruel Sports.

Huntsman Richard Downs and whipper-in Adrian Pullivant, of the Quantock Staghounds have received summonses after an alleged incident near Holford.

Now, the hunt is seeking legal advice.

Alison Hawes, regional director of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, told the County Gazette: "We will support Richard Downs and Adrian Pullivant to the hilt and do whatever is needed.

"They were doing their best to operate within the law, and we have always said we will give full support to hunts that are hunting or attempting to hunt within the law."

She said the exact details of the alleged offence were still unknown as the League had yet to produce its evidence.

She said the Alliance believed the alleged incident had taken place at Longstone Hill near Holford, when the Quantock Staghounds were out with two hounds.

A spokesman for the League said he could not comment on the case for legal reasons.

The latest move comes weeks after the first prosecution against a hunt in England saw the master of the Exmoor Foxhounds, Tony Wright, 52, of Simonsbath, fined £500 and ordered to pay £250 costs at the beginning of August for illegally hunting foxes after a private prosecution brought by the League.

Mr Wright is appealing against his conviction, and the first hearing is expected within two months.

The League brought the action at a total cost believed to be in excess of £100,000 after Avon and Somerset Police declined to take on the case based on the evidence available.