The League Against Cruel Sports has welcomed the news that Mark Hankinson, director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, has been charged with intentionally encouraging or assisting others to commit an offence under the Hunting Act 2004, contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crimes Act 2007.

It follows the publication of leaked webinars by the Hunt Saboteurs Association and a subsequent investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police. He is due to appear before Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on 4 March.

However, the charity is seeking answers as to why more charges were not forthcoming.

Andy Knott, League Against Cruel Sports chief executive officer, said: “We welcome the news that a director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association is being prosecuted as a result of the leaked training webinars in which trail hunting was described as a smokescreen by senior members of the hunting lobby.

"Given the content of the webinars, we are astonished that more people were not charged. As the official complainant in this case we will be asking for a meeting with the Crown Prosecution Service to discuss this with them further. We always felt that Mark Hankinson had breached the law in these films and we are very pleased to see that a criminal charge has been brought against him."

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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).