Calls for National Trust to pull Surrey hunt’s licence after fox killed.

Calls for National Trust to pull Surrey hunt’s licence after fox killed.

(Warning: distressing image featured)

The National Trust is being urged to cut ties with the Surrey Union Hunt following a fox being killed this weekend.

Hunting hounds under the control of the Surrey Union Hunt chased the fox across the Surrey Hills near Peaslake on Saturday, 1 December, before making a kill. The wild animal took refuge in a hedge, where it was pursued by hunting hounds and attacked – all witnessed by local campaigners from Guildford Hunt Saboteurs.

The League Against Cruel Sports, which has its headquarters in Godalming, has responded to the killing of the fox by renewing calls for National Trust Polesden Lacey to end its relationship with the Surrey Union Hunt. Hundreds of people have taken to the estate’s social media pages over the weekend to demand the same.

Surrey Union Hunt kill fox on National Trust land

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

“A fox has been chased and killed by hounds under the control of the Surrey Union Hunt, which the National Trust’s Polesden Lacey estate has an active working relationship with through allowing access to its land. This brutal incident, in which a wild animal has lost its life after being torn apart by a pack of dogs, not only reflects on the hunt itself – but on anybody who allows them to continue operating.”

The incident isn’t the first case of the Surrey Union Hunt targeting wild animals this hunting season, the League adds. Earlier in the day on Saturday it was seen chasing another fox which fled into an earth, only to be spared from being dug out by the interventions of brave campaigners. Last month the Surrey Union Hunt stampeded through the grounds of an elderly people’s home in Oakwoodhill, where riders and dogs disturbed residents whilst trespassing in pursuit of a fox.

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 Polesden Lacey 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 responded to pressure from the League last month by cancelling its hunting licence and the Polesden Lacey Estate is facing 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 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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  • Print quality photographs of the fox killed by the Surrey Union hunt (pixelated and unpixellated) are attached for republication with full permissions granted, provided a credit is given to ‘Guildford Hunt Saboteurs’.

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