League welcomes NRW decision to end hunting on its land

The League Against Cruel Sports has welcomed a move from Natural Resources Wales/Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru to end ‘trail’ hunting on its land.

The organisation is one of the largest landowners in Wales, and had suspended trail hunting after damning webinars were leaked in which Mark Hankinson, a director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, was heard explaining to more than half the registered hunts in England and Wales how to use the activity as a “smokescreen” for real hunting.

He was found guilty after a trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Subsequently, the membership of the National Trust voted in a landslide result to see trail hunting ended on the charity’s land, and now NRW has followed suit.

In a statement released to ITV News, Dominic Driver, NRW’s head of land stewardship, said: "The outcome of the court case against a senior leader of the MFHA has resulted in a loss of confidence in the organisation’s ability to ensure its activities are carried out within the law and terms of its agreement."

Responding to the news, Chris Luffingham, deputy chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “For such a major landowner like Natural Resources Wales to permanently end trail hunting on its land is hugely significant.

“The NRW board’s robust condemnation of the hunts in the wake of the recent conviction is wholly appropriate, and other major landowners that had also suspended so-called trail hunting ahead of the trial must surely be in the process of ending this activity on their land.

“Trail hunting is a smokescreen for old fashioned illegal hunting, and enough is enough.”

The League is urging other major landowners such as Forestry England, United Utilities, the Church of England, Crown Estates, Duchy of Cornwall, local authorities, the national parks authorities, and the Ministry of Defence to also permanently end hunting on their property.

ENDS

Notes to editors

For media enquiries 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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