Foxhounds used for hunting in the UKFollowing a motion being endorsed by over fifty national trust members including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, a motion to revoke all hunt licences on National Trust land will be debated at the trust’s annual AGM in October this year.

Find out more about the motion and the negative response that has been voiced by pro hunt bodies such as the Countryside Alliance who claim there is no evidence that hunts are breaking the law on National Trust or private land.


What Is Trail Hunting?

Trail hunting is a legal form of hunting whereby, in theory, no animal is killed. The hunt will go out on the morning of or night before the hunt and lay down an artificial scent for the hounds and the hunt to follow.

Why Is There Opposition To Trail Hunting 

The reason for the large opposition to trail hunting is that many hunts use it as a guise to continue hunting as they did before the ban came into place. Hunts can simply claim they were following a trail when the hounds caught scent of live quarry – if this does happen, it’s very hard to prove a hunt guilty as they can simply claim they lost control of the hounds or were not aware of the kill taking place.

There is a lot of footage around the internet that shows hunts crossing main roads, across railways and private land whilst trail hunting, which begs the question ‘why did the huntsman laying the scent choose such an impractical route?’

The League Against Cruel Sports are working closely with the National Trust on the motion.

“We know the majority of people in this country want hunting to stay illegal, and we know they are shocked to find out it still goes on illegally,” she said. “The groundswell of public opinion against the National Trust allowing hunting is already massive and growing by the day, as more people realise it’s happening.” – Philippa King, Acting Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports 

A spokesperson from the National Trust: “We can confirm a members’ resolution has been submitted for our annual general meeting in October calling for the cessation of trail hunting on National Trust land. Members will have the opportunity to vote on the resolution and discuss the matter at the AGM.”

Response From The Hunting Community 

This motion has, as expected, already received a negative response from the hunting community, with many arguing that the majority of convictions under the hunting act are not against hunt members.

The Countryside Alliance stated that “There is nothing to suggest that hunts are regularly breaking the law while trail hunting either on private land or that owned by the National Trust.”. However, this statement can be disputed by the very existence of hunt saboteur and hunt monitor groups that operate up and down the country.

hunting foxes with dogs on horseback at dusk

We will be posting an update on this blog post following the result of the motion. In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions, please drop us a message on Facebook or get in touch via the contact form below.

Update –