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Cornwall stages protest over trail hunting

Cornwall stages protest over trail hunting

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 5:13pm 23rd February 2018. (Updated at 6:48am 25th February 2018)

A protest is being held in Cornwall after the National Trust decided not to ban trail hunting on its land.

Trail hunting is where the hunt follows an artificial scent rather than chasing after an animal.

But campaigners fear that animals still get hurt and that actual hunting does still go ahead.

Now demonstrations are being held across the country, after a review by the charity which resulted in a vote not to ban the trail hunts.

Protesters will be gathering at Lanhydrock, near Bodmin, on Sunday morning.

A spokesperson for the National Trust said: "We have been carefully listening to both sides of a highly polarised and passionate debate around trail-hunting for years.

"People have the legal right to organise demonstrations and express their views.

"We accept these protests on our land, provided they are respectful and do not interfere with conservation or access for our visitors."

So what are the National Trust's rules around trail hunting?

On its website, the charity says: "We are introducing changes in the way we license trail ‘hunts’ this year following an in-depth review of our current processes and procedures.

"Our updated approach aims to further safeguard conservation and access by producing a clear, robust, and transparent set of conditions for licensing."

The changes include:

  • Banning the use of animal-based scents as a trail for hounds or beagles to follow. This will reduce the risk of foxes or other wild animals being accidentally chased. 
  • Prohibit the presence of terriermen, who have no practical purpose on a trail ‘hunt’, and the use of their vehicles.
  • More active management of hunts and how they operate including: mandatory reporting requirements after each meet; the provision of specified maps/areas; and requiring at the time of application details of all proposed hunt days. 
  • Probing the track record of each applicant and establishing a consistent charging regime across Trust land.
  • Greater transparency for our members and the public. We will post on our website the agreed days and locations, in advance, for our members and supporters to view. This will include a primary point of contact for each hunt.
  • We are exploring how we can work more closely with the Police’s independent National Wildlife Crime Unit, which is the proper authority for handling alleged breaches in wildlife legislation.

The Hunting Act of 2004

Hunting wild animals was outlawed in England and Wales by the Hunting Act of 2004: National Trust land is no exception.

The law does allow what is known as trail ‘hunting’ to continue. This activity involves people on foot or horseback following a scent along a pre-determined route with hounds or beagles. It effectively replicates a traditional hunt but without a fox being chased, injured or killed.

Source: National Trust

You can find more information here.

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