POLICE have today confirmed they will be investigating claims of illegal hunting by Eton College at a country estate near York.

North Yorkshire Police has issued a statement in response to video footage the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) alleges shows illegal hare hunting at Aldby Park in Buttercrambe.

LACS claims Eton College's beagling club allowed dogs to pursue a hare at the country estate in October last year.

A police spokeswoman said: "North Yorkshire Police received video footage from the League Against Cruel Sports on the morning of Tuesday 26 January 2016 relating to alleged illegal hunt activity in the Buttercrambe area and will be investigating the matter."

LACS has also called on the famous public school to carry out an internal inquiry.

A spokesman for Eton College said: "Eton College takes its legal responsibilities extremely seriously and expects all school activities to comply with the law.

"We are investigating this allegation as a matter of urgency and will be co-operating fully with the relevant authorities."

The League Against Cruel Sports said it believed members of the hunt were wearing the Eton College Beagles' "distinctive uniform of brown velvet jackets".

A spokesman said the footage, taken during the school half-term holiday on October 27 last year, shows a hare fleeing from dogs after hunt staff and supporters are heard discussing its whereabouts.

The hunt staff are then heard urging the beagles on, the spokesman said.

Tom Quinn, campaigns director for the league, said: "North Yorkshire Police will be examining footage that appears to show the prolonged chase of a hare by the Eton Beagles."

He added: "We urge the North Yorkshire Police to investigate this matter without delay and call upon Simon Henderson, headmaster of Eton College, to carry out an internal inquiry."

LACS' video can be viewed below: