The National Trust has been called on to permanently ban the Surrey Union Hunt from its land on the Polesden Lacey estate in Bookham.

The League Against Cruel Sports – which has its head office in Godalming – has written to the National Trust to ensure the hunt is never allowed again on land managed by the conservation charity.

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

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

“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 Surrey Union Hunt from their land for good.

“The Surrey Union Hunt has 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.”

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).