TWO men have been charged with causing 'unnecessary suffering' to an animal as police investigate illegal fox hunting.

Ian James Kirby Parkinson, aged 64, of Lower Road, Haddenham, Buckinghamshire and Mark Anthony Vincent, aged 53, of Kimblewick, Aylesbury, were charged after the incident happened near Thame.

Thames Valley Police reported the illegal fox hunting happened on January 1 near Moreton Field Farm, Moreton near Thame.

Both men are expected to appear at Oxford Magistrates' Court on July 23.

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Legislation introduced in 2004 made it illegal to hunt and kill a fox and other wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales.

The tradition continues but most now instead operate 'trail hunting', in which hounds chase artificially-laid animal scents such as fox urine rather than real animals.

Kimblewick Hunt, which dates back to 2002 and sees members hunt in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, is held in Moreton in January.

Thames Valley Police has not said whether the suspects were part of this hunt.