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National Trust follows Natural Resources Wales in banning trail hunting

25 Nov 2021 3 minute read
Picture by Henrik Jessen (CC-BY-SA-2.5).

Last week, Welsh Government nature agency Natural Resources Wales, which looks after swathes of countryside and forests, banned trail hunting on its land.

Now the National Trust has followed its scent, in a decision announced by the charity’s board of trustees. The ban applies to land in Wales and England.

Hunting wild mammals with dogs was already banned in Wales and England by the Hunting Act of 2004, but trail hunting is exempt from the ban.

The move comes after National Trust members voted by 76,816 to 38,184 in favour of banning trail hunting. Those who proposed the motion claimed that “overwhelming evidence leads to the conclusion that ‘trail hunting’ is a cover for hunting with dogs”.

Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, has however criticised the move.

“The National Trust’s decision breaks a fundamental principle,” he said. “The charity claims to be “for everyone, for ever”, but by prohibiting a legal activity it has decided it is actually just for those who its board approves of.

“The inability of trustees to differentiate between the legal use of hounds and the governance of hunting is extremely regrettable and breaks the basic principle of access to National Trust land for legitimate activities.”

The Countryside Alliance had also claimed that the decision of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to ban trail hunting on its land is a “political one”.

Both Natural Resources Wales and the National Trust made their decisions 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.

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.”

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Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas
2 years ago

More good news great stuff

2 years ago

We need to draw a line under this part of our nations journey to a better future. Bear bating,

Children up chimneys or down the pit at 13 or Hare coursing and live circus animals performing party tricks are viewed with horror by most folk and so we now have a chance to end chasing animals to their death.

The emerging more confident Wales needs to face this while of course we will be judged by our descendants for allowing child abuse and world 🌎 poverty to continue unchecked.

Last edited 2 years ago by Richard
Ro Lewis
Ro Lewis
2 years ago

I fancy trying a bit of train hunting.

Grayham Jones
2 years ago

Ban all hunting in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it an English thing we in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

2 years ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Pwyll and Arawn would surely disagree that it was an English thing. However hopefully we’ve moved on since the days of the Mabinogi, so yes – ban it.

Keith Rowley
Keith Rowley
2 years ago

Hunting is a natural human (and animal) activity.

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