National Trust members vote to ban trail hunting on their land

National Trust members voted to ban trail hunting on their land.

Trail hunting, where horsemen and dogs follow a scent, had previously been suspended on Trust land, fearing that the lawful activity would be used as a “smokescreen” to hunt and kill foxes.

He followed an ITV News report on the content of the webinars hosted by the Hunting Office.

Following our investigation, one of Britain’s leading hunters was found guilty of encouraging or aiding others to commit an offense under the Hunting Act.

Mark Hankinson was director of the hunting office which manages the sport. He got caught on the run online training webinar tell hunters how to hunt illegally.

Mark Hankinson was director of the hunting office. Credit: ITV News

On Saturday, members of the National Trust voted on a resolution proposed by environmentalist and member Dr Denise Taylor.

He said that “the evidence shows overall that illegal hunting continues to take place under the guise of “trail hunting” by hunters who also operate on National Trust lands. “

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

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

League Against Cruel Sports protesters gathered outside the Harrogate Convention Center in North Yorkshire as the event unfolded, to show their support for the proposed ban.

Andy Knott, chief executive of the group, said: “Enough is enough. Now that the members have voted to end it for good, we must insist that the trustees of the National Trust listen and act. . Other landowners should take note and follow suit immediately.

Mr Knott continued: “The Hunting Act needs to be tightened up and law infractions properly punished. Trail hunting is just a smokescreen for illegal fox hunting. We know it and say it. for years the members of the National Trust have known it, and now the courts have known it too.

“Those who allow the trail hunting smokescreen to take place should look again and consider whether they want to be complicit in illegal activity.

“It is time for all other landowners, including the Defense Department and Defra, to see this activity for what it is and to ban illegal hunting of animals on their property.

The League Against Cruel Sports celebrates the vote to ban hunting on National Trust lands. Credit: The League Against Cruel Sports

Following the vote in favor of a ban, the Hunt Saboteurs association declared itself “delighted”, but called on other organizations to follow suit.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the group, said: “We are delighted that the National Trust and its members have finally made the right decision and have banned hunting on their land.

“After the Hunting Bureau’s webinar exposure and Mark Hankinson’s conviction, they really had no choice but to distance themselves from the criminal campaign gangs that the Hunts have become.

“The webinars contained blatant admissions of widespread illegal hunting and the use of smokescreens to confuse the public. Any respectable landowner knows that his reputation will be forever tarnished if he does not move away permanently from the hunting community.

The group called on “other landowners, including Forestry England, United Utilities, the various national parks and the Department of Defense, to also permanently ban hunting.”

In response to the vote, the Countryside Alliance, which campaigned against the motion, said the Trust had no obligation to mandate the vote.

Polly Portwin, Group Director, said: “Today’s vote involved a tiny proportion of Trust members and is absolutely not a mandate to ban any legal activity that has been carried out on National Trust lands. for generations.

“Passing the motion would totally undermine the Trust’s own motto: ‘for everyone, forever’.

“The principle the Trust follows should be simple: Legal activities should be allowed on National Trust lands as long as they do not impact other users. open, transparent and legitimate.

“Hunters who use National Trust lands for these lawful activities are required to adhere to a strict licensing policy. The Trust’s board of directors has stated that it is satisfied with the implementation and compliance with the conditions. license. “

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