Keep The Ban has welcomed the decision from Natural Resources Wales/Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru to end ‘trail’ hunting on its land.

The organisation is one of Wales' largest landowners and so the decision announced today to end all hunting is brilliant news for wildlife. The decision comes after webinars were leaked of senior hunting officials discussing how they would circumnavigate the ban on fox hunting. The former director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, Mark Hankinson, was heard on camera describing how "trail hunting" could be used as a "smokescreen" and he was ultimately found guilty for encouraging/assisting others to break the 2004 Hunting Act.

It also led to a landmark vote in which members of the National Trust voted 2:1 in favour of ending hunting licences on National Trust land.

In a statement released to ITV News, Dominic Driver, NRW’s head of land stewardship, said: "The outcome of the court case against a senior leader of the MFHA has resulted in a loss of confidence in the organisation’s ability to ensure its activities are carried out within the law and terms of its agreement."

Rob Pownall, founder of Keep The Ban commented: "This is a decision that has been a long time coming but it is fantastic to see a major landowner like Natural Resources Wales stand up to the hunts. Time and time again "trail hunting" is used as a "smokescreen" for illegal fox hunting and we would expect other landowners to follow suit in the coming weeks. An example has now been set and we urge all other major landowners to take action and permanently end the licencing of so-called "trail hunts" on their land.

Shockingly the Ministry of Defence still allow hunts to use their land and recently granted almost a dozen licences for land access. Keep The Ban is calling on this landowner as well as many others to stand up to the hunts and help protect wildlife.

Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban

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