National Trust bans trail hunting on its land

1 week ago 18

By Jennifer Meierhans
BBC News

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

The foundation said it had mislaid spot and assurance successful the Masters of Foxhounds Association

The National Trust volition halt issuing licences for way hunts connected its land, the charity's committee of trustees said.

Trail hunting is ineligible and sees dogs and riders travel an artificial scent on an agreed route. It differs from accepted fox hunts which are banned.

In 2020, the National Trust suspended way licenses aft video emerged of a salient huntsman advising however to usage them for covert amerciable fox hunts.

Following his conviction, spot members voted to prohibition way hunts connected its land.

Using dogs to pursuit oregon termination foxes was made amerciable successful England and Wales successful the Hunting Act 2004. Many organisations alternatively turned to way hunting which involves laying a scent for hounds to pursuit alternatively of a unrecorded animal.

In October, huntsman Mark Hankinson was ordered to wage £3,500 aft Westminster Magistrates' Court concluded helium was "clearly encouraging the mirage of way laying to enactment arsenic screen for aged fashioned amerciable hunting".

Harry Bowell, the National Trust's manager of onshore and nature, said determination had been "a nonaccomplishment of spot and assurance successful the Masters of Foxhounds Association" - wherever Hankinson was a director.

He said different reasons down the determination included "the sizeable resources needed to facilitate way hunting, and the reputational hazard of the enactment continuing spot our land".

The determination to prohibition way hunting applies to the trust's onshore successful England and Wales. No hunting is allowed connected Northern Irish spot land.

Image caption,

Mark Hankinson was convicted of encouraging huntsmen to usage ineligible way hunting arsenic "smokescreen" for amerciable foxhunting

The Hunting Office - the enforcement limb of the governing bodies for hunting with hounds successful Great Britain - called the determination "hugely disappointing".

"Hunts person had entree to National Trust onshore for generations and the determination goes wholly against the halfway mantra of the National Trust 'for everyone, for ever'," a connection said.

Meanwhile Tim Bonner, main enforcement of the Countryside Alliance said: "The inability of trustees to differentiate betwixt the ineligible usage of hounds and the governance of hunting is highly regrettable and breaks the basal rule of entree to National Trust onshore for morganatic activities."

TV wildlife adept Chris Packham thanked the National Trust committee for showing consciousness and spot implicit what helium called a hard decision.

"Their bravery present needs to beryllium matched by different ample landowners, the Forestry Commission, each of the National Parks, the Ministry of Defence," helium said.

"This is the clip to yet enactment an extremity to fox hunting and extremity this appalling savagery which continues to blight the UK countryside."

Image caption,

TV wildlife adept Chris Packham has called for different landowners to prohibition way hunting

When the National Trust suspended licences a twelvemonth ago, determination was conscionable 1 way hunting licence. In 2019/20, determination had been 14 licences, and 8 the twelvemonth earlier that.

The foundation said it looks aft much than 250,000 hectares of countryside crossed England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In the 2018/19 play astir 9% of full spot ownership was licensed for way hunting, In the 2019/20 play astir 3%, it said.

Last week, Welsh Government quality bureau Natural Resources Wales, which looks aft swathes of countryside and forests, banned way hunting connected its land.

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