Campaigners at the Giant’s Causeway call on the National Trust to end hunting

Campaigners from the League Against Cruel Sports were at one of world's most iconic landmarks yesterday, the Giant’s Causeway, to call on the National Trust to stop licensing ‘trail’ hunting in England and Wales.

Volunteers and staff from the leading national animal welfare charity, gathered at the National Trust's site, to urge members of the public to take action and sign up to its campaign.

Nick Weston, head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “We were given an enthusiastic reception by members of the public. Many were keen to listen to our concerns and were shocked to discover that hunting is still legal in Northern Ireland."

“The vast majority of people that we spoke to are National Trust members, who enthusiastically signed up to our campaign."

Votes cast by Northern Ireland residents could be the deciding factor in whether hunts continue to be allowed on National Trust land in England and Wales under the guise of trail hunting.

The day of action at the Causeway, is one of a series of League actions taking place 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 in England and Wales.

Nick added: “Although fox hunting is still legal in Northern Ireland, members of the National Trust can still have their say in the upcoming AGM.”

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.”

Ends

Notes to editors

The League Against Cruel Sports is working hard to secure a total ban on hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland, one which also prevents excuses such as trail hunting from ever developing here. A bill is currently being written which could finally see hunting with dogs banned in Northern Ireland.

You can find more information on that campaign at www.league.org.uk/ban-hunting-ni

Enclosed are links to photos of the League Against Cruel Sports’ campaign with members of the public at The Giant’s Causeway.

Photo 1

Photo 2

Consent forms were signed by parents/guardians of everyone under 18.

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 pressoffice@league.org.uk

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).

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