UK: Fox ‘Trail Hunting’ Must be BANNED on National Trust Land (620,000 Acres), Members Say. Could Be A Big Win for Anti Hunt.

 

(Getty Images)

Fox ‘trail hunting’ must be banned on National Trust land, members say

Hunt saboteurs insist trailhunting is used to cover up continued illegal foxhunting

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/foxhunting-national-trust-land-hunts-b1947332.html

National Trust members have voted to ban trail hunting amid fears it is being used as a “smokescreen” for chasing and killing foxes.

Members supported a motion not to allow the activity on trust land, with those who proposed it stating that “overwhelming evidence leads to the conclusion that ‘trail hunting’ is a cover for hunting with dogs”.

A total of 76,816 votes were cast for the motion, with 38,184 votes against and 18,047 abstentions.

The results of the vote are not binding, but the board of trustees is expected to consider the outcome following Saturday’s annual general meeting.

Animal-lovers, who had lobbied members hard to back a ban, were jubilant.

With the trust owning 620,000 acres of land, the ballot was seen as having the potential to disrupt the future of foxhunting in England because a ban will severely restrict space for the bloodsport.

Together with other major landowners, the charity suspended “trail-hunting” a year ago after a leak of Zoom meetings at which hunt chiefs from across the UK discussed how to create “a smokescreen”.

The webinars led to Mark Hankinson, director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, being convicted of encouraging people to illegally chase wild animals and being ordered to pay £3,500.

Several councils also banned trail-hunting on their land.

Hunts insist they go “trail-hunting” – following a trail laid with an artificial scent – to stay within the law after hunting mammals with dogs was outlawed in 2005. The trust had allowed this on its land ever since.

But hunt saboteurs who have repeatedly filmed hunts out riding with hounds insist the claim is a sham to cover up continued illegal foxhunting.

The National Trust vote on banning “trail-hunting”, exempt hunting and exercising hounds had divided animal-loving members, some of whom gave up their membership as a protest. Others had argued it was important to remain a member to have a vote this time round.

Four years ago members who backed a ban were in uproar when they narrowly lost the vote after the board used discretionary proxy votes to defeat the motion, prompting claims of unfairness.

When Hankinson was convicted, deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram said of his talk to the webinar: “The only reasonable interpretation of those words leads to the conclusion that a need to make something plausible is only necessary if it is a sham and a fiction.”

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30/10/21 –  National Trust members vote to ban trail hunting amid concerns it is a ‘cover’ for hunting with dogs

Trail hunting involves people on foot or horseback following a scent along a pre-determined route with hounds or beagles without foxes being deliberately chased or killed.

Members of the National Trust have voted to ban trail hunting over fears it is being used as a “smokescreen” for chasing and killing foxes.

Trail hunting involves people on foot or horseback following a scent along a pre-determined route with hounds or beagles without foxes being deliberately chased or killed.

Voters who supported a motion to prohibit the activity on trust land state that “overwhelming evidence leads to the conclusion that ‘trail hunting’ is a cover for hunting with dogs”.

Saturday’s vote saw a total of 76,816 votes were cast for the ban, with 38,184 votes against and 18,047 abstentions.

The board of trustees is expected to consider the vote result following Saturday’s annual general meeting – since it is only advisory and not legally binding.

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Demonstrators from the UK-based animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports gathered outside Harrogate Convention Centre in North Yorkshire as the event was being held in support of the ban.

Andy Knott, chief executive of the charity, welcomed the result, saying: “Enough is enough. Now the membership has voted to permanently end it, we must insist the National Trust’s trustees listen and act.

“The trust must ban ‘trail’ hunting on its land for good. Other landowners should take note and immediately follow suit.”

We won. No more trail hunting on National Trust land. Thanks to my cracking, Gold Medal winning team. @LeagueACS @domdyer70 @RSPCAChris @ChrisGPackham @MeganMcCubbin pic.twitter.com/BL8uorGJ1e

— Andy Knott (@AndrewLacs) October 30, 2021

However, Countryside Alliance, which campaigned against the motion, said Saturday’s outcome represents a “tiny proportion” of national membership and therefore gives no mandate.

The Hunting Act 2004 banned the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales.

Last November, the National Trust and Forestry England suspended licences for trail hunting on their land in light of a police investigation into webinars involving huntsmen discussing the practice.

The vote also comes several weeks after prominent huntsman Mark Hankinson was convicted after giving advice about how to covertly carry out illegal fox hunts.

Hankinson, director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, was found guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court of intentionally encouraging huntsmen to use legal trail hunting as “a sham and a fiction” for the unlawful chasing and killing of animals via two webinars held in August last year.

WAV Posts associated:

The judge ordered him to pay £3,500, and concluded that he was “clearly encouraging the mirage of trail laying to act as cover for old fashioned illegal hunting”.

Polly Portwin, the Countryside Alliance’s director of the campaign for hunting, argued that adopting the motion “would totally undermine the Trust’s own motto: ‘for everyone, for ever'”.

She said the alliance remains ready to work with the trust “to ensure that everyone can have confidence that trail hunting activity is open, transparent and legitimate”, adding there is “absolutely no mandate for prohibition of a legal activity which has been carried out on National Trust land for generations”.

Regards Mark

Link: With lots more news all about this; visit the LACS site – link given below.

LACS

https://www.league.org.uk/

Photo – Mark (WAV).

 

 

 

 

 

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