Animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports is calling on the National Trust to turn hunt licence suspensions into permanent bans at three of its properties.

The Surrey Union Hunt had its ‘trail’ hunting licence for Polesden Lacey suspended by the National Trust in December 2018, after it was witnessed killing a fox in the Surrey Hills near Peaslake that month.

The Portman Hunt had its trail hunting licence for Kingston Lacy suspended by the National Trust in March 2019, after it was witnessed killing a fox near Fifehead St Quintin in early January.

The South Shropshire Hunt had its trail hunting licence suspended by the National Trust in December 2018, after it was witnessed chasing foxes on the Long Mynd estate, and was accompanied by terrier men who use terriers to flush out foxes that have fled underground.

Chris Luffingham, Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“These fox hunts have proven to be untrustworthy and to allow them back on National Trust land would be a grievous error in judgement and a betrayal of the reasons for which they were suspended.

“On behalf of the 85 per cent of the population who oppose the brutal blood ‘sport’ of fox hunting, we call upon the National Trust to act decisively and ban the hunts from these properties for good.”

Hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales 14 years ago with the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004, which came into force in February 2005. Trail hunting was invented after the ban by the hunts to mask and cover up their continued, illegal killing of wildlife. The National Trust currently issues trail hunting licenses to fox hunts.

Chris Luffingham added: “We would also call on the National Trust to stop issuing trail hunting licences elsewhere – trail hunting is simply a cover for illegal hunting, designed to deceive the authorities and make the prosecution of illegal hunting very difficult.

“Banning the hunts already suspended will undoubtedly get the backing of a grateful animal loving British public.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected]

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).