Shoppers join campaigners on the streets of Leeds to call for an end to fox hunting on northern national parks

Campaigners from the national animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports were in Leeds today [Thursday] to launch the northern leg of its campaign calling on national park authorities to end fox hunting on their land.

The campaign calls on the 13 national parks authorities in England and Wales – including those which manage the Lake District, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District and Yorkshire Dales national parks – to do everything in their power to stop hunts chasing and killing foxes and wreaking havoc on rural communities.

It comes after a hunting season in which nearly 1,000 incidents related to suspected illegal hunting or havoc caused by hunts and their followers were recorded by the League across England and Wales.

Emily Lawrence, campaigns manager for the League Against Cruel Sports, was in Leeds to launch the campaign.

She said: “It’s time for change. Hunts are still marauding around our national parks despite the fox hunting ban, so it’s time to end this brutal activity once and for all.

“National parks have a responsibility to protect wildlife and preserve nature from the harm that fox hunts cause and the public will be willing them on to end this barbaric cruel ‘sport’ on their land.”

At least 30 fox hunts are still operating across national parks in the north of England.

Campaigners, plus members of the Leeds public, today called on the national park authorities to:

  • End fox or ‘trail’ hunting on the land they own and manage.
  • To show leadership and work with landowners and land managers – who own or manage much of the national parks land – to deny fox hunts access to their land.

The campaign is backed by the Time for Change Coalition Against Hunting representing more than 30 organisations including the RSPCA. It is one of the largest single-issue coalition of charities ever assembled in the UK and is united in calling on the next UK government to strengthen hunting laws.

Emily added: “The vast majority of the public in the north want to see a real end to fox hunting, and denying hunts access to the land where they operate will be crucial in achieving that.

“Today’s event was part of a wider national campaign to strengthen hunting laws in England and Wales and finally consign fox hunting to the dustbin of history where it belongs.”

Campaigners asked the public to add their name to a letter asking them to end fox hunting.


Notes to editors

A fox hunting ban came into force in England and Wales in February 2005.

Trail hunting, a term invented by hunts following the ban, is where hunts supposedly follow animal-based scents but has been described by England and Wales’s most senior policeman specialising in fox hunting crime as a “smokescreen” for the continuation of illegal hunting. Read more here:

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 07496 496454 (24hrs) 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 and the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021. 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 fox outside the Corn Exchange in Leeds

Sign up for our newsletter

We'd love to keep in touch. With your permission we'll let you know the very latest news on our fast-moving campaigns, as well as appeals and other actions (such as petitions) so you can continue to help protect animals.

If you would like to know more about your data protection rights, please read our privacy policy.

© 2024 The League Against Cruel Sports. Registered charity in England and Wales (1095234) and Scotland (SC045533).
Registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee, no. 04037610.
Registered office: New Sparling House, Holloway Hill, Godalming, GU7 1QZ, United Kingdom.