The membership of the National Trust voted in a landslide result to see trail hunting ended on the charity’s land, and now NRW has followed suit.
The League Against Cruel Sports has welcomed a move from Natural Resources Wales/Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru to end ‘trail’ hunting on its land. The organisation is one of the largest landowners in Wales.
It suspended trail hunting after damning webinars were leaked in which Mark Hankinson, a director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, was helping more than half the registered hunts in England and Wales use the activity as a “smokescreen” for real hunting. He was found guilty after a trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Subsequently, the membership of the National Trust voted in a landslide result to see trail hunting ended on the charity’s land, and now NRW has followed suit.
In a statement released to ITV News, Dominic Driver, NRW’s head of land stewardship, 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."
Responding to the news, Chris Luffingham, deputy chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “For such a major landowner like Natural Resources Wales to permanently end trail hunting on its land is hugely significant.
“The NRW board’s robust condemnation of the hunts in the wake of the recent conviction is wholly appropriate, and other major landowners that had also suspended so-called trail hunting ahead of the trial must surely be in the process of ending this activity on their land.
“Trail hunting is a smokescreen for old fashioned illegal hunting, and enough is enough.”
The League is urging other major landowners such as Forestry England, United Utilities, the Church of England, Crown Estates, Duchy of Cornwall, local authorities, the national parks authorities, and the Ministry of Defence to also permanently end hunting on their property.
Ruby Harbour is the editorial assistant at The Ecologist. This article is based on a press release from League Against Cruel Sports.