Hounds chasing foxes in wildlife sanctuaries as hunts trespass

Talking to the League, they both recount seeing their local hunts chasing live foxes, despite the hunts claiming they are ‘trail’ hunting - where the hounds follow a pre-laid animal scent.

Paul Tillsley has run the League’s wildlife sanctuaries for almost 20 years. When asked whether he believed that the local fox hunts were ‘trail’ hunting he said:

“There’s absolutely no visible difference between what they’re doing now and what they were doing back before the hunting ban.

“The hunts have never accepted our right to be here because they think they can hunt where they like, and to an extent they still do. We have to be on our guard the whole time if we know that there’s a hunt around.

Adam Hawker, who owns a private wildlife sanctuary in Truro, has described similar encounters with his local hunt, the Four Burrow Hunt.

Despite him banning the hunt from his land, he explained how they repeatedly trespass every year. He says that they purposely send the hounds in while the horses stay outside.

He claims that the hunt have also refused to provide warning of when they will be in the local area, despite him asking each year. He frequently has groups of school children visiting the sanctuary and so would like to ensure their safety.

Mr Hawker said: We’ve witnessed foxes being chased through our land, with the hounds being bayed on to kill the foxes. If they were trail hunting there would be no reason for them to come anywhere near the land.

“The sad thing is that they’re blatantly, openly hunting, and being allowed to do it.

The League Against Cruel Sports received 184 reports of hunt trespass during the hunting season, which ran from October until March. In 74 of these incidents, hunts trespassed on protected land including nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

The National Trust continues to license ‘trail’ hunting on its land. If you would like end hunting on National Trust land, sign up for more information on hunting here.

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