The National Trust’s Horton Court Estate should follow the lead of Tetbury Town Council by banning the Beaufort Hunt from their land, says the League Against Cruel Sports.

The controversial hunt, which has been subject to several accusations of illegal hunting, was this week blocked from hunting on council land on New Year’s Day. The League is now repeating its call to Horton Court to follow suit to prevent the possibility of animals being chased and killed on its land.

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

“Horton Court is a local treasure which showcases English nature at its best. Allowing the Beaufort Hunt – which has been filmed hounding a fox through a nearby village graveyard – to continue accessing its land completely goes against that philosophy. If the Beaufort Hunt isn’t fit for Tetbury Town, then it certainly isn’t suitable for the National Trust’s popular Horton Court estate. The National Trust must now do the right thing by pulling its hunting license as a matter of urgency.”

Baying hounds belonging to the Beaufort Hunt were filmed by hunt monitors chasing a fox through a graveyard near the estate in March. When the besieged animal took refuge in a badger sett, the foxhounds, terriermen driving quadbikes and hunt riders surrounded the small copse.

Horton Court’s licence allows the Beaufort Hunt access to its land. Horses, hounds and followers are being granted permission to use the estate, which the Trust maintains on behalf of the nation, including a conservation area home to vulnerable fauna and flora.

The League Against Cruel Sports has commended Tetbury Town Council for blocking the hunt from council land and recognised the work of local campaigners who helped achieve the result.

Chris Luffingham adds:

“Tetbury Town Council is to be commended in the strongest terms for denying the Beaufort Hunt permission to hold its New Year’s Day meet on its land, as are the local residents who helped make this happen. This outcome reflects the strong public opposition to the practice – with 85% of the public opposing all forms of hunting wild animals with hounds – and sends a clear message that foxes must be given the protection they deserve.

“By denying permission for the Beaufort Hunt to meet on its land, Tetbury Town Council has done the right thing and we hope other landowners in the region, including National Trust Horton Court, will follow.”

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  • 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 league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).