Thousands of hunt supporters gathered at eight meets across North Yorkshire on Saturday in a show of defiance against the new hunting ban.

Supporters vowed to back a Countryside Alliance-led campaign to take the case for removal of the ban, which came into force last Friday, to the European Courts. They say the ban was pushed through Parliament using an invalid law.

About 500 people cheered and applauded as hounds and huntsmen from the Bedale Hunt rode into West Tanfield, near Masham.

Bedale huntsman and joint master Charles Frampton told followers it was important to stay cheerful. He said people would be arrested in the future over the ban and called on followers to support those at the 'sharp end'.

The Zetland also rode out from Aldbrough St John.

A police spokesman said there had been no incidents at any of the county's hunts.