A hunt monitor said she was violently knocked to the ground by a supporter as she tried to film a hunt taking place in Oxfordshireo.

Judy Gilbert, 60, a hunt monitor for Protect Our Wild Animals - an Oxfordshire anti-hunt organisation - was filming the Heythrop Hunt in Dean, near Chipping Norton when she claims a supporter of the hunt attacked her.

She said the man barged into her, causing her to fall down a slope into a patch of brambles. Mrs Gilbert, of Watlington, suffered scratches and bruises.

She called the police to report the incident, but no officers attended. Mrs Gilbert said: "I am very disappointed that this totally unprovoked and violent attack upon me was treated as low priority by the police.

"We hunt monitors are struggling against impossible odds as we try and fill the void left by the police, who have chosen to ignore the Hunting Act and are leaving hunts to do exactly as they please.

"We are constantly harassed, threatened and obstructed as we try to collect evidence of what is happening in the hunting field."

A ban on fox hunting with dogs in England and Wales was introduced on February 18, 2005 Mrs Gilbert, who has given footage of the incident to the police, added: "Before hunting was made illegal, police were frequently present throughout an entire hunt, and we would see anything up to a dozen officers patrolling around all day.

"Since the ban, the police are nowhere to be seen. If they had the resources then, why not now?"

Although the Hunting Act is not a high priority in the National Policing Plan, Thames Valley Police said they were committed to investigating allegations of illegal hunting.

Insp Pete Downing, of Thames Valley Police, said: "We have had very few allegations of illegal hunting. Where we have received them, we have investigated them thoroughly and where appropriate sought the advice of the Crown Prosecution Service.

"The behaviour of all parties engaging at a hunting activity must be lawful. The depth of feeling over these issues could lead to further conflict or disorder."

Police said they were still investigating Mrs Gilbert's allegation of assault.