Calls for an end to fox hunting on National Trust land as campaigners take to the streets of Godalming
Campaigners from the League Against Cruel Sports took to the streets of Godalming today to call on the National Trust to stop licensing ‘trail’ hunting on its land.
Volunteers and staff from the leading national animal welfare charity, including one in a fox costume, gathered outside The Pepperpot on the High Street to urge the public to take action and sign up to its National Trust campaign.
Nick Weston, head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “After campaigning across the country it was lovely to take to the streets of Godalming where our head office is based. The League fox was met as ever with lots of enthusiasm by the public, bringing a smile to many people’s faces.
“We spoke with many local people from across Surrey, the vast majority of whom were National Trust members, and who enthusiastically signed up to our campaign calling on the National Trust to stop hunting on its land.”
The day of action in Godalming is one of a series of League actions taking place across the country this summer ahead of the National Trust’s AGM in October, when there will be a vote in which members will get the chance to call for a permanent ban on the licensing of trail hunting.
Nick added: “It is evident that tragically fox hunting is still taking place across England and Wales despite the ban, so we are calling on the National Trust to stop licensing ‘trail’ hunts on its land once and for all.”
Fox hunts have come under the spotlight recently after senior figures within the hunting lobby were caught seeming to admit that ‘trail’ hunting, one of the excuses they use, is a ‘smokescreen’ for the chasing and killing of animals.
The National Trust to its credit paused the licensing of trail hunting after this, but it is now time to have the ban made permanent.
A fox hunting ban outlawed fox hunting in England and Wales in 2005 but in the 2019/20 season, the League Against Cruel Sports compiled figures revealing 485 separate eye-witness accounts of suspected illegal hunting.
Through much of 2020, hunting activities were disrupted by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. However the League still gathered figures showing 300 suspected cases of suspected illegal hunting during the cub hunting season in the autumn, although this is not something that is licensed by the National Trust.
Nick Weston added: “The overwhelming majority of the public oppose fox hunting and it’s time to consign this barbaric activity to the history books for good.”
Notes to editors
Enclosed are links to three photos of the League Against Cruel Sports ‘fox’, staff, and members of the public in Godalming.
Social distancing, masks and hand sanitisers were used at all times and staff took a Covid-19 lateral flow test in advance of the day of campaigning.
For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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).