Campaigners have called on The National Trust to cut its ties with hunters in Surrey after a fox was killed in the Peaslake area at the weekend.

Activists from Guildford Hunt Saboteurs say they witnessed hunters from Surrey Union Hunt chase a fox on Saturday (December 1) into a hedge, before it was savagely ripped apart by hunting hounds.

The League Against Cruel Sports has responded by renewing calls for National Trust Polesden Lacey to end its relationship with hunters, though the fox was not killed on the estate itself.

Hundreds of people took to the Polesden Lacey social media pages following the incident to demand the same.

Chris Luffingham, Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “A fox has been chased and killed by hounds under the control of the Surrey Union Hunt, which the National Trust’s Polesden Lacey estate has an active working relationship with through allowing access to its land.

“This brutal incident, in which a wild animal has lost its life after being torn apart by a pack of dogs, not only reflects on the hunt itself – but on anybody who allows them to continue operating.”

Campaigners say they had already had to save one fox from hunters that same morning in the area.

Mr Luffingham added: “There is no doubt that, when hunts are behaving like anarchists with no regard for wildlife, landowners or the spirit of the law, the correct thing for the National Trust to do is to scrap its hunting licences immediately.

“We urge management of the Polesden Lacey Estate to now do the right thing by banning hunting on its land – the public expect nothing less.”

The hunting of wild mammals using hounds was made illegal by the 2004 Hunting Act.

A National Trust spokeswoman said: “We are aware of reports that a fox was killed over the weekend. This is now a police matter and as such we cannot comment further. The alleged incident did not take place on National Trust land and we would urge anyone with more information to contact the police."

A Surrey Police spokesman added: "On Saturday, December 1, we received an allegation that a fox was killed during a hunt at Ewhurst (near Cranleigh) in Surrey.

"We have contacted the individual who reported this and are looking into the circumstances.

"If anyone was witness to the alleged offence and has evidence please contact the police on, quoting reference PR/45180128302, or by calling 101."

Surrey Union Hunt was contacted for comment.