League reveals impact of hunt activity on badgers The League Against Cruel Sports is today revealing the extent of illegal badger sett interference associated with ‘trail’ hunting. During the last fox hunting season, which lasted only four months, the national animal welfare charity received 102 reports relating to suspected badger sett blocking. These have been released today as part of the charity’s campaign to urge the National Trust to ban the ‘sport’ on its land. Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League, said: “If trail hunting is real, there would be no need to block setts like this.” Before hunting was banned 15 years ago, setts would either be blocked to stop foxes escaping during the hunt, or a sett would be blocked with a fox inside it so it can be flushed out just in front of the hounds. Since then, hunts claim they ‘trail’ hunt, in which the hounds follow pre-laid scents. Today we ask: if ‘trail’ hunting was real, why would badger setts ever need to be blocked? Chris added: “Interfering with a badger sett for any reason is illegal. Fox hunting is illegal. “The only reason this happens is because trail hunting is a sham. It’s another example of hunts making a mockery of the Hunting Act in that no trails are ever laid for the hounds to follow. Instead, hunts carry on as they did before the ban.” Trail hunting is an activity the National Trust licenses on its estates, but there is expected to be a vote at the Trust’s annual meeting on October 31 on whether that activity should continue. With one in 12 people being a member of the organisation, we’re calling on the public to help stop trail hunting on National Trust land. Find out how, here.