Keep The Ban has been calling for major landowners and local councils to stand up to the hunts and ensure hunts can no longer use their land to continue their barbaric and outdated activities. When the Hunting Act was brought in, the hunts had to work out a way to get around this without breaking the law, their solution being ‘trail hunting’ - where they would claim to be following a pre-laid artificial trail as opposed to pursuing a live mammal. 

When leaked Hunting Office webinars last year revealed that ‘trail hunting’ is merely being used as a smokescreen for intentional illegal hunting, amid the press coverage and police investigations some landowners temporarily suspended trail-hunting licenses on their land. This was in their own best interest being in the middle of a public storm, however it would be in the foxes best interest for this ban to become permanent. The landowners that implemented a temporary suspension included: The National Trust, Forestry England, United Utilities, Lake District National Park Authority and Natural Resources Wales. The landowners that didn’t budge at all included: The Ministry of Defence, Duchy of Cornwall and Defra. 

Trail hunting is not what it says on the tin- we have known for a while that hunts use this term as a front and claim any foxes killed are ‘accidental’. Since the leaked webinar we now know for definite that this is the method they adopt, and we won’t sit back and let it continue,nor should these landowners. 

Temporary bans aren’t good enough, this still offers hunts a possibility of returning to trail hunt on that land in the future, and therefore leaves the door open to more foxes being killed ‘by accident’.Permanent bans are the only solution, and the excuse of trail-hunting being legal is no longer effective. An overt admittance of a law being actively broken on a regular basis shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet. 

An email tool developed on our website enabling the general public to send an email to a chosen selection or to all of the listed landowners has sparked a huge response. Over 37,000 emails have now been sent to landowners urging them to permanently ban trail hunting on their land. This is a huge amount of people power, taking action to try and protect our wildlife and call out deliberate illegal pursuit of wildlife.  

Thank you to everyone who has sent an email. To those who haven’t, it takes less than a minute and every email sent contributes to putting very necessary pressure on these landowners who are guilty by association.  

Amy Schouwenburg

Head of Social Media