Animal Welfare campaigners have accused police of wasting taxpayers' money and resources following a duck shoot a Hoghton Tower at the weekend.

The North West League Against Cruel Sports (NWLACS ) claim 18 officers in seven police vehicles, including an undercover surveillance team, were deployed for the full eight hours of the shoot on Saturday.

They claim this was to prevent just two campaigners legally monitoring the shoot and that meetings with police and the tower had made this clear.

Campaigners said a mutual understanding was reached with agreements which would safeguard both the rights of the shooters and animal welfare monitors.

A spokesperson for NWLACS said: "Lancashire Police knew we had only allocated two monitors to the Hoghton Tower shoot.

"The police's response, and not for the first time, was a blatant waste of police resources and not in the public's interest.

"I'm sure many victims of crime will be wondering what they need to do to get that level of police action.

"If there are these numbers of police officers working in rural areas, I expect to see undercover officers monitoring the local hunts too."

Superintendent Dawn Copley, operations manager for the police southern division, replied: "The police were present to ensure that there was no breach of the peace, to allow those who wished to exercise their right to protest to do so and to allow the shoot to take place.

"The event passed off peacefully and the policing operation was a success."