Two West Somerset huntsmen have been charged with breaching hunting laws in the first prosecution brought by police, a spokesman said.

Master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds Maurice Scott, 63, from Watchet, is charged with two counts of hunting a wild mammal with dogs.

Hunt servant Peter Heard, 23, of Exford, faces one similar charge.

Police say the alleged breaches took place on Exmoor on 25 April.

The two men, who are on bail, are due to appear before Taunton Deane magistrates on Thursday.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said this was the first time police had brought a criminal prosecution against huntsmen for allegedly breaching the Act.

Twp previous prosecutions have been brought by the League Against Cruel Sports.