National animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports is today highlighting the shocking scale of hunting with hounds still taking place across Great Britain, fifteen years after the Hunting Act came into force.

It is launching a groundbreaking interactive map as part of a new campaign, which shows the territory of the 299 hunts still operating in the British countryside and the species they target – foxes, hares or deer.

From today it will be used by tens of thousands of League supporters to urge their local council to table a motion calling for an end to trail hunting, exempt hunting and the exercising of packs of hounds on their land – all excuses used by hunts to justify their behaviour.

Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“The shocking scale of hunting still taking place in the countryside, 15 years after the blood sport of hunting with hounds was banned, is heart-breaking.

“Most people believe hunting has been consigned to the history books but as this map shows, it is sadly still rife across Great Britain.

“This map allows the public to find out what hunts are local to them, which animals are being targeted, and how much land is still being used for this brutal blood sport.”

The Hunting Act was passed in 2004 but enacted on February 18, 2005.

The League has received more than 300 reports of foxes and other animals being chased by hunts and regular eye-witness accounts of wildlife being torn apart by hunt hounds since the fox hunting season began in late October.

Motions have already been passed by two councils in 2019 banning hunting on their land – Nottinghamshire County Council and Bassetlaw District Council.

Chris Luffingham, added:

“Hunts have essentially ignored the ban since it was introduced and carried on chasing and killing British wildlife.

“The hunts currently exploit weaknesses in the law or use the excuse they are following scent trails that have been laid, but it is evident they are simply covering up their bloodthirsty hunting activities.

“This map shows the scale of the hunts’ activities and will help us to hold them to account as we campaign to limit the land they can access, and end once and for all the savagery of hunting with dogs in Great Britain.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

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).