Countryside Alliance claim trail hunting ban is a ‘political’ decision
The Countryside Alliance has claimed that the decision of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to ban trail hunting on its land is a “political one”.
The pro-fox hunting group has responded to the move by the Welsh Government-sponsored body, which it says is part of an “ongoing attack on the rural way of life”.
NRW, which is one of Wales’ biggest land owners, made the decision after a court ruled that a leading huntsman had encouraged the practice as a smokescreen for illegal foxhunting.
It said it decided to ban train hunting completely because it could not be sure that it was not still being used as a “cover” for illegal activity.
Rachel Evans, the Countryside Alliance’s Director for Wales said: “We are concerned that the decision taken by NRW today is a purely political one, fuelled by the Welsh Labour Government’s ongoing attack on the rural way of life,”
“This decision comes after a similar ban was implemented on game shooting, an activity which is incredibly important to the Welsh rural economy.
“It is indeed disappointing, but not wholly surprising that, NRW have again channelled the political wishes of the Labour government in Cardiff.”
The group has suggested that this decision is not going to have an impact on a huge number of packs.
‘Loss of confidence’
Dominic Driver, the head of land stewardship for NRW, said: “The outcome of the court case against a senior leader of the MFHA has resulted in a loss of confidence in the organisation’s ability to ensure its activities are carried out within the law and terms of its agreement.
“In order to assure ourselves properly that trail hunting on our estate wasn’t being used as a cover for illegal activity, we would have to invest in skills and resources that we currently don’t have, to police it properly.
“Given what has historically been a minor use of the land we manage, this does not represent good use of our limited resources. All trail hunting activity on the NRW-managed estate will end with immediate effect.”
The decision by NRW was welcomed by opponents of fox hunting and animal rights campaigners.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “The fallout from the leaked webinars continues and these landowners now realise they’ve been duped by the hunting community.
“It’s only a matter of time before more large landowners follow suit leading to the loss of millions of acres of land and the total demise of some hunts.”
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