The National Trust has cancelled its controversial hunting licence for the South Shropshire Hunt at the Long Mynd.

The permission to allow the hunt onto its land was rescinded after a fox was photographed by Shropshire Monitors narrowly escaping from the jaws of hounds, during a hunt meet on the estate in December. Terrier men, whose purpose is to dig out foxes which have taken refuge underground, were also filmed accompanying the hunt on quadbikes.

The League Against Cruel Sports, which wrote to Long Mynd’s General Manager, urging the conservation body to body to block those seeking to hunt wildlife on its land, has welcomed the cancellation of the South Shropshire Hunt’s meets.

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

“The Long Mynd Estate is to be commended for ensuring the license granted for the South Shropshire Hunt to access its land has now been cancelled. This outcome reflects strong public opposition to the practice – with 85% of people opposed to hunting fox with hounds.”

Eighteen hunting licenses allowing horses, hounds and followers access to sections of National Trust properties are still active across England and Wales. These include nature reserves and conservation areas, home to vulnerable fauna and flora, which the Trust maintains on behalf of the nation.

Monitoring by wildlife protection organisations, including the League, has revealed how hunts granted access to National Trust estates are pursuing fox and hare under the guise of following a trail - 15 years after the cruel ‘sport’ of hunting was banned.

Chris Luffingham adds:

“By cancelling its hunting licence for the South Shropshire Hunt to meet on its land, the Long Mynd Estate has done the right thing and we hope other National Trust properties will follow suit. There is no doubt the considerable number of National Trust members, visitors and employees, as well as the wider public, now expect the cancellation of all remaining hunting licenses as a matter of urgency.”

The League understands a separate hunt, the United Pack, is having its licence to access the Shropshire Hills currently being reviewed by the same estate following terrier men being filmed accompanying the hunt. This is a breach of the National Trust’s policy which forbids vehicles and terrier men

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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).