Future of trail-hunting on National Trust land to be decided in members’ vote

  • National Trust members are being asked to vote on the future of trail-hunting on its land for the second time in four years.

    A members’ resolution proposes to ban trail-hunting, hound exercise and exempt hunting on National Trust land. The vote will be finalised at the organisation’s AGM on 30 October.

    The Countryside Alliance is urging members to vote against the motion, so legal hunting activities can continue on National Trust property.

    “The Countryside Alliance will be running a dedicated campaign over the forthcoming weeks and asking for further help to protect the future of trail-hunting on National Trust land,” said Polly Portwin, director of hunting at the Countryside Alliance.

    “Ultimately, to beat this latest attempt, we will need all of our supporters – those that are eligible to vote – to do their part and vote against this motion. As with all our campaigns, the power of the grassroots to mobilise other eligible family members and friends to vote against this motion is crucial.”

    The last vote on the issue was held on 21 October, 2017, receiving 30,985 votes against the proposed ban and 30,686 in favour – a margin of 299 votes. The organisation’s rules meant another poll on the same subject could not be held for four years. However, that four years is up in October and the motion is back on the table.

    The current motion proposes to outlaw legal hunting-related activity on National Trust land “to prevent potential illegal activity” and to “prevent damage to other flora and fauna”.

    The trustees’ position on the matter is that the National Trust does not allow illegal activity and that it only permits hunting within the law, adding: “trail-hunting, using an artificial scent rather than hunting a live animal, is legal and one of many activities that are sometimes licensed on National Trust land.”

    Online voting is open and closes at midnight on Friday, 22 October. Votes may also be submitted by post, and in person at the AGM at Harrogate Convention Centre.

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