Search Results for: trail hunting

The National Trust and Trail Hunting 2021

There is no such thing as so-called ‘trail hunting’. It was invented by fox hunts after the passing of the Hunting Act 2004 (which banned hunting with hounds) and is a smokescreen for illegal fox hunting – even the Masters of Foxhounds Association seems to agree with that. Hunts up and down the country routinely break the law, cause chaos on main roads, use violence against monitors (who are only present to stop wildlife crime taking place), lose control of their hounds, and use terrier men to illegally block or interfere with badger setts. Hunting can sue us if it can prove otherwise – it can’t, and it won’t anyway because the last thing it wants is to have its filthy laundry dragged through the courts…So why does the National Trust, one of the nation’s most respected conservation charities and one of its largest landowners, allow so-called ‘trail hunting? Because its Chair (and soon to be former Chair) used proxy votes at the Trust’s AGM in 2017 to vote down a proposal that the National Trust should stop issuing licences to hunts to use their land. The Trust has been forced to explain its highly contrary position of protecting wildlife while facilitating hunting ever since, referring questions on social media to the disingenuous “Our position on Trail Hunting” page on its website.

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Petition | Ask Duke of Westminster to ban ‘trail hunting’

Cheshire Monitors, the group that works to expose cruelty to wildlife in and around Cheshire and the North West, including fox and hare hunting, badger baiting and their related crimes, have launched a petition asking the Duke of Westminster to honour his late father’s wishes and ban so-called ‘trail hunting’ on his Cheshire estate. Cheshire Monitors write on their Facebook page that, “…in 2004, before the enactment of the Hunting Act, which banned the hunting of wild mammals with a pack of hounds, the then Duke of Westminster, who owned the 11,000 acre Eaton Estate in West Cheshire, vowed to stop hunts using his land if they broke the law: “I respect the law and if the law of the land comes in in February I will stick to it.” However, the current Duke of Westminster (Hugh Grosvenor) has continued to allow the Wynnstay, Cheshire Hounds and Cheshire Beagle hunts access to land at Eaton Estate.

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Petition | Govt response to call to ban ‘trail hunting’

As expected, the government has responded to a petition asking for a ban on so-called ‘trail hunting’ by saying that there is no need to change the law because the law already bans fox hunting and allows so-called ‘trail hunting’ (which the government appears not to recognise as a smokescreen for illegal hunting). Does that we mean we should give up though? Absolutely not. Hunts are under enormous pressure right now from leaked webinars, councils banning hunts from their land, ‘trail hunting’ licences suspended by major landowners like the National Trust and Forestry Commission, and a financial crisis (because of lockdown stopping hunts collecting riding revenues) that hunts have never faced before. Hunts are reeling under a barrage of continuous scrutiny, online information, and their own stupid missteps. We may not actually need legislation changing in Parliament – by keeping the pressure on, we’re all helping illegal fox hunting to die a deserved ‘death by a thousand cuts’ anyway…

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Cheshire West | ‘Trail Hunting’ to go under the microscope

Cheshire West and Chester Council has announced plans to set up a cross-party group to examine ‘trail hunting’ in detail. The move has been heavily criticised by a number of Conservatives on the group (apparently because they appear to think the Council can only concentrate on one thing at a time), but – reaching for the pro-hunt lobbyist playbook – has been welcomed by the pro-hunt lobby group ‘Countryside Alliance’: they are quoted in the report below saying that, “the local rural and trail hunting communities would hope to be able to provide input for this group to maintain balance and ensure it is not driven by prejudice”. The CA are evidently trying to appear ‘reasonable’ (a bit difficult after 15 years of slamming the Hunting Act and denigrating the many pro-wildlife members of those same rural communities). They may think that’s the clever option, but as they may learn, once statements have been put on the record they can come back and bite you. If “the local rural and trail hunting communities” were to detail exactly what they do (or more importantly list exactly what they know that they can and can’t do under the Hunting Act), it would be extremely hard to defend themselves if they were then subsequently caught out hunting again. The CA may just be giving local hunts enough rope to hang themselves with…

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Cheshire Council ‘paves way’ to ban on trail hunting

As we noted yesterday, the reverberations from the secretly-recorded Hunting Office webinars released by the Hunt Saboteurs Association in November continue to be felt. In a landmark decision Peterborough Council supported a motion to ban so-called ‘trail hunting’ on its land, stating that “This Council resolves to do everything within its legal powers to prevent trail hunting, exempt hunting, hound exercise and hunt meets on its land”. And now Councillors at Cheshire West and Chester Council have backed a similar motion that paves the way for a ban, voting to devise a new policy reflecting the “damage” caused by so-called ‘trail hunting’

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Language Matters | Smokescreen/Trail Hunting

The so-called Hunting Office was burnt badly when webinars discussing how to avoid being caught illegally fox hunting were leaked by the Hunt Saboteurs Association. An interesting element of the reaction to the webinars has been the way many of us have seized upon the word ‘smokescreen’ that was used in the webinars. The word has a literal origin as in laying down a cloud of smoke to conceal military operations, but it is more usually used now to mean “something designed to obscure, confuse, or mislead”. Several of the speakers in the webinars used the term while suggesting ways to create an element of doubt about whether, for example, a scent trail has been laid or whether a hunt had ‘accidentally’ killed a fox or not. ‘Smokescreen’ will now forever be linked with these webinars, while we’ll happily take whatever stick foxhunting hands us to poke them with, it’s worth taking a pause here because hunts have actually already been using a smokescreen for fifteen years – and that’s the very phrase ‘trail hunting’ itself.

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Hunting Office webinars | Why has ‘trail hunting’ been suspended?

The secretly-recorded and leaked Hunting Office webinars, uploaded to the internet by the Hunt Saboteurs Association two weeks ago, continue to cause huge problems for proponents of so-called ‘trail hunting’ as the number of major landowners banning hunts continue to grow. What follows is pure speculation, but we’re idly wondering why they’ve suspended licences so quickly? All five organisations have been quoted saying that they have suspended licences while the police investigations of the webinars are ongoing. That’s an odd reason to give really. Hunts sabs and monitors will (rightly) say that police investigations can take years and the interview rooms down at the local nicks will have been barely warmed up yet, so what’s going on…?

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Hunting Office webinars | National Trust suspends ‘trail hunting’ licences

The once seemingly impervious walls that fox hunting had built around itself with the invention of so-called ‘trail hunting’ are crumbling fast. Following on from the decision to suspend ‘trail hunting’ by Forestry England because of the secretly-recorded and leaked Hunting Office webinars, the National Trust has just announced that they too have paused ‘trail hunting’ on their land and will not be issuing any licences for the remainder of the season (which ends in March). This is another huge blow for illegal fox hunting. A highly respected charity has taken another look at ‘trail hunting’ and decided that – at the moment at least – it wants nothing at all to do with it.

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