The League Against Cruel Sports has renewed its call for hunting to be banned on the National Trust’s Buscot and Coleshill Estate following a fox being killed.

Hunting hounds under the control of the Old Berkshire Hunt chased the fox onto the grounds of the Oxfordshire estate on Saturday, 17 November, before making a kill – all witnessed by local monitors from Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch. The League warned less than three weeks ago that the estate’s controversial hunting licences could lead to wildlife being pursued and killed. Estate Management is understood to have launched an investigation.

Chris Luffingham, Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, says:

“A fox has been chased and killed by hounds during a hunt given the go-ahead by the National Trust’s Buscot and Coleshill Estate. This brutal incident, in which a wild animal has lost its life, comes less than three weeks after the League warned estate management of the considerable risk posed to wildlife by its hunting licences.

“The sad reality is that, had the estate management taken heed of the League’s warning, the barbaric death of a fox in the jaws of baying hunting hounds would have been avoided.”

The incident isn’t the first case of the Old Berkshire Hunt targeting wild animals this hunting season, the League adds. A fox was photographed by Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch being hounded across countryside near Alvescot on 7 November – on the same day the hunt had planned to meet on National Trust land but cancelled for reasons the League believes include to avoid being monitored.

Chris Luffingham adds:

“There is no doubt that, when hunts are behaving like anarchists with no regard for wildlife, landowners or the spirit of the law, the correct thing for the National Trust to do is to scrap its hunting licences immediately. We urge management of the Buscot and Coleshill Estate to now do the right thing by banning hunting on its land – the public expect nothing less.”

The National Trust’s Ashridge Estate in Hertfordshire has responded to the League’s concerns by cancelling its hunting licence and the Buscot and Coleshill Estate is facing unprecedented pressure to follow on.

The National Trust allows ‘trail hunting’ on its land, in the belief that trail hunting is a legal activity. The League Against Cruel Sports and many other organisations have produced large amounts of evidence to show that animals are still being chased and killed by hunts under the ‘guise’ of trail hunting.

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●        For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected]

●        The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).