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Regulars to this blog may recall an earlier entry celebrating the conviction of Alastair Robinson, a terrierman with the Ullswater Foxhounds, thanks in large part to evidence obtained by League observers.
What wasn’t mentioned in the various articles in the press covering the conviction of Robinson was the shocking fact that this criminal activity took place on land belonging to none other than the National Trust (NT). That’s right the organisation that lays claim to the following on its website:
The National Trust has a great responsibility for a variety of wildlife and habitats
Needless to say this is just one sentence amongst a whole host of worthy statements from the NT website celebrating the Trusts’ commitment to conservation and biodiversity.
How odd then to discover that the Trust appears reluctant to discuss with the League the catalogue of apparent licence breaches and seemingly cavalier disregard for its byelaws demonstrated by the Ullswater Foxhounds and Mr Robinson on October 26 2009. Instead this is what they’ve said:
“I am writing to let you know that our local staff in the region are aware of this problem and are looking at ways to ensure that illegal activities like this are prevented on our land in future.”
I’m sure some of you will think that this sounds reasonable and I would normally agree if it wasn’t for one nagging doubt I have about how this will work ‘on the ground’. You see on the day in question when League observers recorded two fox chases by hounds belonging to the Ullswater and the clubbing to death of a fox by Mr Robinson they also observed a National Trust warden in the vicinity of the hunt.
I am certain that the warden in question had a very busy schedule that day so in future, to lessen the load for the local staff, wouldn’t it be sensible to simply refuse licences to hunts that cannot adhere to the terms and conditions of the permission?
Needless to say it will be interesting to see which hunts get licences to hunt on the NT estate for the 2010/2011 season, but one thing is for certain, the League will be keeping an eye on the usual suspects.
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