Calls to end fox or ‘trail’ hunting on Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks

National animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports made a special delivery of more than 10,000 campaign postcards to Dartmoor National Park Authority today.

The League’s fox postie delivered mail sacks stuffed with postcards signed by the public, which state that trail hunting is a myth invented by the hunts so they can carry on hunting foxes.

They will also hand in the same to Exmoor National Park Authority tomorrow, Wednesday 1 May.

John Petrie, Senior Campaigns Manager at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “Most national park authorities in England no longer allow hunts onto their land, because what they claim to be doing – hunting a pre-laid trail instead of an animal – has become increasingly discredited and shown to be a sham.

call for a ban

“It’s time for change and for Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park Authorities to protect wildlife and preserve nature by banning fox and trail hunting on their land.”

Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks, along with the Peak District, are the last three national park authorities in England and Wales which still allow fox or ‘trail’ hunts on their land. The remaining 10 national park authorities have policies which prevent fox hunts from using their land and, in recent years, fox hunting has been banned on 2.3 million acres of land run by other landowners including the National Trust.

Trail hunting was recently described by Chief Supt Matt Longman, the most senior police officer in England with responsibility for fox hunting crime, as a “smokescreen for illegal fox hunting”.

The campaign is backed by the Time for Change Coalition Against Hunting representing 34 organisations.

write to the parks

Despite a fox hunting ban coming into force in 2005, the League Against Cruel Sports has reports showing hundreds of eyewitness sightings of suspected illegal fox hunting every year – some of which take place in our national parks.

John Petrie, added: “We need fox hunting laws to be strengthened by the next government so that fox hunts can no longer chase and kill animals, something sadly going on despite the fox hunting ban.

“In the meantime, national parks and landowners need to deny the hunts access to their land so that the cruel and senseless killing of foxes is ended once and for all.”

*Campaigners will be outside the Dunster National Park Centre, Dunster, Minehead, TA24 6SE from 11am on Wednesday, 1 May.


Notes to editors

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 or email

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 2004, the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021, the strengthened fox hunting laws of the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Act 2023 and a ban on the use of snares created by the Agriculture (Wales) Act 2023.

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 wildlife reserves. Find out more about our work at Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).

Animal Charity

The League's foxie postie delivering over ten thousand post cards to Dartmoor National Park Authority calling for an end to fox or 'trail' hunting on their land

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