Should Cornwall Council ban trail hunting on its land?

Over 7500 people have signed a petition by Action Against Fox Hunting (Cornwall), encouraging Cornwall Council to ban trail hunting on its land. Will the Council listen?

They note that in January 2019 Cornwall Council declared a Climate Emergency and pledged, amongst other commendable policies, to protect our wildlife for future generations.

The group feels it follows that the Council stand by this pledge and now ban all meets of Trail Hunts on public space. In a controversial statement, the National Trust said:

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.

Not sure how they can guarantee that. Indeed, it animals other than foxes are also at risk. The BBC reported recently that a cat (Mini) was killed outside her home by hunting dogs in Cornwall. The body was then thrown over a fence by huntsmen, leaving the owner distraught.

In the petition statement, they say:

“It is widely documented by many wildlife protection volunteers that these hunts do not and have no intention of abiding by the law and do still train the hounds to follow animal based scents. They state it is an accident when wildlife is harmed but even in that circumstance without the documented law breaking we simply cannot afford to lose any, as per all species foxes are estimated as having a 40+% decline in numbers (BBS survey mammal statistics). The Western Hunt for example clearly state on their website they find it thrilling to chase a fox and are working hard to repeal the ban to allow them to do this legally, their ex master Paul Oliver was found guilty of feeding live fox cubs to the hounds in Herefordshire.

These facts led to a ban being implemented by St Ives council on this particular hunt parading at the annual feast.

If Cornwall Council are serious about their promises then they surely can do no other than immediately ban these people from promoting this activity or it will only be seen, by the estimated 85% majority of the public that rightly oppose this, as the actual condoning of and colluding in further wildlife destruction and crime”.

The League Against Cruel Sports calls trail hunting a “smokescreen” to get round the hunting ban. It tells us that Peterborough Council banned trail hunting in December, 2020, and since then, the following major landowners, along with other councils,  have taken a stand and banned trail hunting:

• Thames Water
• Anglican Water
• Yorkshire Water
• Wales Water
• LafargeHolcim
• Network Rail
• Brecon Beacons National Park
• Northumberland National Park

Altogether that’s over 448,000 further acres denied to the hunt.





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