ORGANISERS of a trail hunt say they still hope to welcome 'huge crowds' on New Year's Day, despite two participants being convicted for animal cruelty.

Two men were found guilty at Oxford Magistrates' Court last week, for causing suffering to a fox during the Kimblewick Hunt near Thame, in January.

Last week Thame Town Council voted to refuse permission to hunt members, if they wanted to meet in a council-run car park as has become tradition in recent years.

READ AGAIN: Men convicted for illegal fox cruelty at Kimblewick Hunt

In response, a hunt spokesperson said: "Having already made arrangements for the New Year’s meet to be held at a different venue this year, the Kimblewick Hunt has not approached the council in relation to the meet, which has historically taken place in the town centre.

"The hunt looks forward to welcoming huge crowds over the festive period yet again and thanks the residents of Thame and surrounding areas for all their incredible support in previous years."

The spokesperson did not specify the location of the upcoming meet, nor if it will still pass through the town centre.

Following the convictions, a spokesperson at the Countryside Alliance said: "Hunts should be open and accountable whilst operating to the highest possible standards at all times.

"There is no justification for this type of activity."