National Trust members vote to ban trail hunts on its land

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit

National Trust members have voted to ban trail hunting on its land amid fears it is being used as a “smokescreen” for illegal foxhunts.

The Hunting Act 2004 banned using dogs to chase or kill foxes. Trail hunting simulates a traditional hunt by laying an artificial scent for riders.

A total of 76,816 votes were cast to ban trail hunts on trust land, with 38,184 against and 18,047 abstentions.

The results of the vote are not binding and trustees will consider the outcome.

Getty Images: The vote came after a huntsman was convicted for advising people how to use trail hunts for covert foxhunts

The vote was taken at Saturday’s annual general meeting at Harrogate Convention Centre in North Yorkshire.

Members who proposed the ban said “overwhelming evidence leads to the conclusion that trail hunting is a cover for hunting with dogs”.

Demonstrators from the League Against Cruel Sports gathered outside the event and welcomed the result, saying “enough is enough”.

But the Countryside Alliance, which campaigned against the motion, said the number who voted represented only a “tiny proportion” of the National Trust membership of more than five million people, and therefore gave no mandate.

Mark Hankinson was convicted of encouraging huntsmen to use legal trail hunting as "smokescreen" for illegal foxhunting

In 2018, the National Trust permitted 25 groups to trail hunt on its land and said it would follow the same approach in 2019.

But in 2020 it paused licensing after video emerged of a prominent huntsman giving advice in webinars about how to covertly carry out illegal fox hunts.

Earlier this month, director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association Mark Hankinson was found guilty of intentionally encouraging huntsmen to use legal trail hunting, which a court heard described as “a sham and a fiction” covering for the unlawful chasing and killing of animals.

He was ordered to pay £3,500 after Westminster Magistrates’ Court’s Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram concluded he was “clearly encouraging the mirage of trail laying to act as cover for old fashioned illegal hunting”.

The National Trust released a statement that said after Hankinson had been found guilty it would “digest all the information… before making a decision on whether to resume the trail hunting licence application process”.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Great Articles

News

National Trust members vote to ban trail hunts on its land

National Trust members have voted to ban trail hunting on its land amid fears it is being used as a “smokescreen” for illegal foxhunts. The …

Read More →
News

Climate change puts Scotland’s coastal wild camps at risk, say researchers

Some of Scotland’s best coastal wild camping areas could disappear because of increased coastal erosion, research suggests. Climate change has increased the effects of wave …

Read More →
News

‘Nowhere to hide’: Campers share their most embarrassing stories – ‘rolled down the hill’

CAMPING has never been more popular, but the holiday option can be fraught with embarrassment and mishaps. Many Britons are keen campers. However, a camping holiday …

Read More →