A demonstration was held outside the National Trust’s Upton House and Gardens on Sunday to protest at their decision to grant a licence to the notorious Warwickshire Hunt.

The protest was arranged by campaigning group National Dis-Trust, West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs and the League Against Cruel Sports, and stems from concerns the hunt is still chasing and killing foxes under the guise of ‘trail’ hunting, believed by many to be a fraudulent cover for illegal hunting activity.

A spokesperson for National Dis-Trust, said:

“Today we joined other groups to once again protest at Upton House, which hosts the Warwickshire Hunt for Boxing Day, as the estate continually licences this hunt despite their convictions and cautions for assault and fox hunting. In addition to this, estate staff have repeatedly refused to meet with ourselves to discuss our concerns even though we are National Trust members.”

A spokesperson for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs, who have been monitoring and exposing the activities of the Warwickshire Hunt for over six months, said:

“We have filmed foxes being chased by hounds on a regular basis, hounds rampage through people’s back gardens and regularly witnessed hounds spilling all over busy main roads. We’ve also come across freshly blocked up badger setts where the Warwickshire Hunt have been hunting which they have done to prevent foxes going to ground and spoiling their chase. The Warwickshire Hunt often claim that their hounds ‘accidentally’ get onto the scent of real foxes – however the sheer amount of foxes we have filmed being chased suggests that they are either lying or have absolutely no control over their hounds. They clearly pose a danger to wildlife and they certainly shouldn’t be allowed on National Trust land.”

A child holds an anti hunting banner during a demonstration on National Trust


British wildlife is being chased and killed by hunts

Despite hunting being banned in England and Wales in 2004, campaigners are concerned that thousands of animals are still being targeted and killed every year by hunts.

Chris Luffingham, League Against Cruel Sports director of campaigns, said:

“After hunting was banned 13 years ago, the hunts invented ‘trail’ hunting which is lie and a deception and is being used to hide their illegal hunting activity. They are conning the British public into thinking they are operating within the law, and covering up their indiscriminate killing.

“The National Trust’s collusion with this deception is a scandal and damages their reputation. The Warwickshire Hunt is clearly still targeting British wildlife and it should be prevented from hunting on National Trust land.”

The Warwickshire Hunt

The Warwickshire Hunt holds its Boxing Day meeting at Upton House and Gardens and it was witnessed trespassing at the National Trust’s Farnborough Hall in November – yet this didn’t prevent it being issued a licence by the National Trust after the event to hunt on the very same land.

There have been 12 incidents this year alone in which the Warwickshire Hunt have been witnessed either chasing foxes or causing hunt havoc.

  • One incident happened directly behind Upton House itself when a fox was seen being chased by the hunt and there have been at least two other instances of them being seen on National Trust land.
  • There are reports of them rampaging through the village of Oxhill and people’s gardens.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5270815/Hunt-saboteurs-film-hounds-rampaging-gardens.html

  • They have also been witnessed riding and hunting on busy A roads and next to the M40 which presents a very real risk to the public and the hunts and hounds, and points towards illegal hunting rather than them following a trail.
  • Footage of a fox being chased by hounds belonging to the same hunt also featured in the media recently.

www.express.co.uk/news/uk/914201/fox-hunting-trail-west-midlands-hunt-saboteurs-foxes-hounds

  • The same hunt has also been filmed with terrier men, who accompany hunts and encourage their dogs to find, fight and flush out foxes that have gone underground. The involvement of terrier men with ‘trail’ hunts raises questions about their activities and was prohibited by the National Trust in the new conditions it introduced.

https://www.facebook.com/WestMidsHuntSabs/posts/1227213494090389

  • Warwickshire Hunt huntsman William Goffe was convicted of breaching the hunting ban in 2008, after monitors from the League Against Cruel Sports filmed him pursuing a fox.

Chris Luffingham, said: “The Warwickshire Hunt hounds are not following a trail they laid but the trail of live foxes which if caught will be torn apart by the pack of hounds – with 85 per cent of the British public opposed to hunting, it’s time for the National Trust to listen to their concerns and to stop licensing the hunts.

“Every hunt we monitor is still engaged in chasing and hunting British wildlife and the National Trust is being hoodwinked if it believes that they are ‘trail’ hunting – it’s time for the killing to stop.”

Petitions

A petition has been launched calling on the National Trust to prevent the Warwickshire Hunt from hunting on their land.

https://www.change.org/p/farnborough-hall-stop-the-warwickshire-hunt-on-national-trust-land

A petition has been launched called ‘Stop the Killing of Animals by Hunts’ by the League Against Cruel Sports. It calls for the strengthening of hunting legislation and for landowners, including the National Trust, to no longer allow the hunts access to their land to kill British wildlife:

www.league.org.uk/huntingkills

- Ends -

Notes to editor

For more information on National Dis-Trust:

www.facebook.com/NTDistrust/

https://twitter.com/nt_distrust?lang=en

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).