In 2004 - the Hunting Act made it illegal for hunts to chase and kill foxes. This meant the hunts had to come up with a way to get around the new legislation - they had to be seen to be acting lawfully and not deliberately or intentionally killing wildlife. The solution was the notion of trail hunting - where hunts would claim to be following a pre-laid artificial trail as opposed to pursuing a live mammal.
So from this year forward the hunting lobby began their PR drive - to convince the public that they weren’t out chasing foxes but actually taking part in a cruelty free alternative but this couldn’t have been further from the truth. For the past 16 years hunts across the country have continually and knowingly hunted foxes and broken the law - with loopholes in the Hunting Act allowing them to get away with it - through a variety of exemptions.
Time and time again saboteurs and monitors have watched on as the hunts fail to lay trails and refuse to call off the hounds as foxes are ripped to pieces in their thousands. The notion of trail hunting is nothing but a trail of lies and a means of confusing the public as to what is really going on. And for too long major landowners such as the National Trust and Forestry England have chosen to hide behind these lies as hunts have used their land to kill wildlife over and over. However in recent weeks their lies have started to unravel.
A leaked webinar hosted by the Hunting Office showed senior hunt officials admitting to using trail hunting as a “smokescreen” for illegal fox hunting - and even showed ex police officers advising hunts how best to get around legislation.
The lie that is trail hunting has been shattered and the public now knows the truth.