Tory MS defends trail hunting following Natural Resources Wales ban on its land
A Tory MS has defended trail hunting after Natural Resources Wales (NRW) banned the activity on its land.
James Evans, who represents Brecon and Radnorshire, said trail hunting is “perfectly lawful” and criticised NRW for its ban.
He accused the Welsh Government of having “little understanding of the rural way of life” and claimed that “scaremongering on this topic has been rife”.
The Conservative politician described the ban as an “attack on the rural way of life by Government organisations and woke individuals trying to end rural traditions”.
Trail hunting replicates a traditional hunt, with people and hounds following a scent but without foxes being chased or killed. However, many believe that this has been used as an excuse for illegal fox hunting.
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.
During a debate in the Senedd, Labour MS Vikki Howells asked Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Rural Affairs whether the Welsh Government would consider banning trail hunting on all public land in following the decision by NRW.
The Minister said it was a “matter for the Minister for Climate Change”, but that she believes the “Welsh Government would support the consideration of a permanent ban on trail hunting by those responsible for publicly owned land in Wales.”
James Evans told the Senedd: “Minister, judging by your response, then, it is widely known and accepted that the Labour Party running the Welsh Government has little understanding of the rural way of life or the countryside, and I believe that the recent Natural Resources Wales decision to ban trail hunting on its land is the wrong one.
“Trail hunting is not hunting, which was banned in the Hunting Act 2004. Trail hunting is a perfectly lawful activity; it does not involve the pursuit of mammals.
“So, this ban will have no impact on animal welfare, as has been referred to by yourself and the other Member. The scaremongering on this topic has been rife.
“This NRW ruling is another attack on the rural way of life by Government organisations and woke individuals trying to end rural traditions by spreading falsehoods.
“Will the Minister now meet with myself, Natural Resources Wales and relevant stakeholders to have an informed discussion and to look at the evidence and resolve this poor decision?”
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, said: “I disagree with the majority of what the Member said, and no, I won’t meet with him, because, as I say, this is a matter for the Minister for Climate Change.”
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James Evans is a silly boy playing to the gallery. Once a pack is out they will chase whatever turns up in front of them and many a fox has perished because of that. Hunts protest that it’s just an occasional accident but there’s a lot of tongue in the cheek.
I cant believe that he has just said that, only a matter of weeks after Mr Mark Hankinson ( Director of the Master of foxhounds Association) was found guilty in court of hosting a webinar to tell people how to hunt illegally.
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. Train hunting?! That sounds a tad dangerous! 😀 TBH I stopped giving any credence to what James Evans had to say when he started using the word “woke”. Every time I see someone criticising something they’re calling “woke” I instantly disregard anything they might have to say. It’s the same “politically correct” bogeyman that people have been complaining about for decades. Neither concept has ever existed in anything like the way that… Read more »
Do the “falsehoods” include videos of an “animal lover” punching and kicking a horse or the conviction for a huntmaster telling people how to use trail hunting as a cover for killing foxes?
The 100% safety of wild life first, trail hunting last. It’s as simple as that.
This is a other “rural tradition” that is a front for law breaking. Of course Tories are exempt, unlike the rest of us.
As a poultry keeper I am no friend of foxes – which are a frequent threat to my hens, but I don’t blame NRW for banning trail hunting on their land. A bunch of excited big dogs and a bunch of excited horses and riders who may occasionally enthusiastically jump a hedge with all the skill of a bulldozer and may churn up ground especially in the wet, are not always welcome.Landowners permission is sought for this reason.Not everyone has land suitable for the hunt. NRW have land which may need protecting from damage, that which contains valuable plant life… Read more »
No hunting in wales 🏴 stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴
Could you be more specific. What other businesses offering adventure in Snowdonia have had notices to quit.
Repulsive oik. I do hope the police investigate this incitement to break the law and he gets convicted along with that even more odious Hankinson.
This trail hunting is a lie…. I know for a fact that they don’t just chase foxes they allow their dogs to chase and torment deer