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27th August 2017

Calling All National Trust Members #TrailHuntLies

National Trust members will be voting whether or not to properly prohibit illegal hunting on its land at the AGM on Oct 21st 2017. Hounds Off urges all members to vote against bloodsports and false alibis.

If you belong to the National Trust then you may be aware that there’s a big vote coming up for members to decide whether or not to stop illegal hunting on NT lands. The vote takes place at the AGM in Swindon on October 21. It’s important because after twelve years of hunts riding roughshod over the law and public opinion, and decades of hunts abusing our wildlife and damaging delicate habitats, you’ve a chance to cast a vote which says “No hunting, enough is enough”.

The reason why you’re able to vote now is because of a resolution before NT members. According to our sources, this is it:

“That the members agree that The National Trust will not permit trail hunting, exempt hunting & hound exercise on their land, to prevent potential illegal activity in breach of The Hunting Act 2004 & The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and to prevent damage to other flora & fauna by hunts, their hounds, and their followers.”

Don’t be confused by terms like trail hunting, exempt hunting or hound exercise. These are just false alibis for illegal fox, hare, deer and mink hunting. It’s what the hunters say they’re doing so they can cynically circumvent the law and carry on killing on the sly. Your vote for the resolution will create hundreds of thousands of hectares of land where wild mammals can find safe sanctuary away from a minority of cruel and/or ignorant people who want to hunt them with dogs and kill them for fun.

Trail hunting is the commonest false alibi. It’s been used by most fox and hare hunts around the country for the last twelve years. Having been complicit in the whole trail hunting charade, or maybe just not being aware, the NT recently changed the conditions it imposes for licensing so-called trail hunting on its land. We think this a move in the right direction but fundamentally misses the point, which is that trail hunting doesn’t really exist. The International Fund for Animal Welfare published a complete exposé of trail hunting in a report called Trail Of Lies (Casamitjana, 2015). If you’re in any doubt about what you’re reading here then please, take a look.

Exempt hunting is how staghunters in the West Country get away with continuing their sport. They supposedly use two hounds running in relays, plus an army of people with vehicles and horses, to chase deer to an exhausted standstill so they can kill them and then conduct bloodthirsty celebration rituals.

Under certain conditions it is legal to stalk and flush wild mammals with two dogs. But staghunters abuse both word and will of the law and, as if to poke their tongues out as well as two fingers, often claim to be conducting simultaneous ‘scientific research’.

Back in 1997 the NT actually banned staghunting on its land and for a very good reason – staghunting causes extreme and unnecessary suffering. In response to concern from members, the NT commissioned an independent scientific study into the welfare implications of hunting red deer with hounds. From this it was concluded that the negative effects of hunting on deer were so severe that the NT banned it the day after publication. However, there is much evidence to suggest that, to this day, in parts of Devon and Somerset deer are still hunted on ground where they should be able to live in peace.

Hound exercise is a pretence for a particularly barbaric and sick practice, originally called Cub hunting (later sanitised to Autumn hunting). Hound exercise is a ruse for when foxhounds are trained to find, hunt and kill foxes as a pack. You’d be forgiven for reading the words “hound” and “exercise” and not thinking of fox families being split up and massacred by people with packs of dogs in the countryside, but that’s the idea.

The hunting community has been skilfully using words to create smokescreens and disguise their illegal intentions since the Hunting Act passed into law twelve years ago. Now it’s time to call time on their deceptions, confusions and #TrailHuntLies.

Members, your AGM/voting packs will be with you by mid-September. Please vote by proxy, online or in person on Oct 21 for the National Trust to prohibit trail hunting, exempt hunting and hound exercise on their land.

To be continued….

© Joe Hashman

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14 Comments | Leave a comment

  • annmilne says:
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    No way will I continue with my N.T. membership if any form of hunting or anything resembling hunting by way of excuse is allowed to continue on N. T. land

    Reply to this comment >
    • HoundsOff says:
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      That’s totally understandable. But think about how best you can effect change. We would encourage everyone to remain as members regardless of the outcome otherwise the pro hunt people will have less opposition with influence.

      Reply to this comment >
    • Marian Thomas says:
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      I’ll never join or visit national trust areas unless hunting is banned on National Trust land.

      Reply to this comment >
      • HoundsOff says:
        Posted August 31, 2017 at 12:13 pm

        An understandable position but it does leave the NT vulnerable to entryism by blood junkies. We encourage all to join and work for positive change from within.

        Reply to this comment >
  • Jayne Darby says:
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Could you please tell me if I can vote via email as I will be traveling then

    Thank you

    Reply to this comment >
    • HoundsOff says:
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      Sure. You’ll be able to vote electronically, by proxy or in person. AGM/voting packs will be with you by mid-September. Does this help?

      Reply to this comment >
      • Liz says:
        Posted August 30, 2017 at 9:05 pm

        Will all NT members be sent packs automatically or do we have to request them specifically?

        Reply to this comment >
        • HoundsOff says:
          Posted August 31, 2017 at 12:11 pm

          Yes members will automatically receive them. We understand that they should be in circulation by mid Sept.

          Reply to this comment >
    • Nathan says:
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Please keep your membership if you still have it. Simply so you can vote on Saturday, October 21st, 2017 at the National Trust AGM.

      Reply to this comment >
  • John Rimington Hare Preservation Trust says:
    Posted August 28, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    We will be telling our members, some of whom might also be NT members, to vote to stop the renewal of this right to access NT land by organised hunts.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Ken Smith says:
    Posted August 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    As a member of the NT I will be voting against the use of NT land for any form of hunting.

    Reply to this comment >
    • HoundsOff says:
      Posted August 31, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Brilliant Ken, let us hope that the majority join you in this action.

      Reply to this comment >
  • Mark Morley says:
    Posted September 02, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Can you tell me if there’s a cut off date for joining and being able to vote at the agm 2017.

    Reply to this comment >
    • HoundsOff says:
      Posted September 09, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Mark, yes. You had to be a member on or before Aug 12.

      Reply to this comment >

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