The “Trail Hunt” lie is over - it’s time for landowners to ban the hunts

The “trail hunting” deception has reached a turning point. With the release of the secretly-recorded Hunting Office’s webinar in which high-ranking hunt officials are heard and seen to train over 100 hunt masters to use trail hunting as a “smokescreen” (their own words) with the deliberate intention of concealing illegal fox hunting, landowners have been given an opportunity to detach themselves permanently from the controversy.

Tuesday night’s ITV News broadcast on the story reached millions of people and exposed the “trail hunt” lies to members of the public who probably had no idea fox hunting is still happening despite it being illegal.

It is now time for landowners to take action. The lie that is “trail hunting” is over and organisations such as Forestry England and National Trust have already responded by suspending all trail hunting on their land. It is time for all other landowners to follow suit and ensure that no more animals are hunted and killed on the nations’ land.

Keep The Ban have been leading the campaign against Forestry England “trail hunt” licences for the past few months and we urge all those reading this to sign our Government petition.

In the words of Forestry England – “We strictly control trail hunting with permissions and licences according to an agreement with the Masters of Fox Hounds Association”

However, the leaked webinar shows Mark Hankinson, Director of the Masters of Fox Hounds Association (the very same organisation that Forestry England gives its permissions and licenses in agreement with) admitting the following;

It’s a lot easier to create a smokescreen if you’ve got more than one trail layer operating and that is what it’s all about, trying to portray to the people watching that you’re going about legitimate business.”

This is a clear and open admission that “trail hunting” is simply used as a smokescreen to portray that nothing illegal is going on.

Below are the video and full transcripts of the recent leaked webinar that document how “trail hunting” is nothing but a smokescreen – uttered from the mouths of the most senior hunt officials in the country.

In a statement published by Forestry England on Wednesday 25th November, they have confirmed that all licences for trail hunting in the nation’s forests will be suspended until the police have concluded their investigation. This is good news for wildlife for now but we urge Forestry England to go one step further and to permanently ban all “trail hunts” on their land.


Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban