by Countryside Alliance

The National Trust’s board of trustees has today (25th November) announced that the charity will no longer issue licences for trail hunting on Trust land. 

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Trail hunting has been suspended on Trust land since November 2020. 

The decision follows the Trust's membership voting to end trail hunting at the AGM which was held on 30th October. Although the vote saw a significant increase in support for trail hunting compared to an identical vote in 2017, the motion was carried. In total (both for and against), 115,000 votes were cast, representing less than 2% of the charity’s membership.

Since the AGM and prior to today’s announcement, the Countryside Alliance had engaged in discussions with the National Trust directly, with the view that the Trust should follow a simple principle – legal activity should be allowed on National Trust land as long as it is not impacting on other users.

Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance said: “The National Trust’s decision today breaks a fundamental principle. The charity claims to be ‘for everyone, forever’ 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 National Trust has, however, confirmed that drag hunting will continue to be permitted and packs can continue to apply for licences. 

As of 2020, one pack had a licence to trail hunt on National Trust land. In 2019, 14 packs were licensed.

The Alliance remains ready to work with the Trust to ensure that everyone can have confidence that all hunting activity is open, transparent and legitimate.

 

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