10 October 2017
++++URGENT National Trust Members Vote++++
The National Trust’s AGM takes place in a few days - and with it a debate on the future of fox hunting on the Trust’s land.
With that in mind, Jane Dalton’s article describing how fox hunting is tearing communities apart in Cumbria (19/09/2017, http://ind.pn/2xfdvVp) could not be better timed. We’d recommend reading it, but if you don’t, we will at least share this brief extract…
‘“About four years ago a fox was killed in front of my husband. The hounds appeared over the fell near our home, chasing this poor fox, which was absolutely exhausted. It got to the road and the hounds got to it. My husband got the fox but a hunt follower was there quickly and tried to grab what was left of the fox – it was dead and its entrails were out. But my husband wanted it for evidence. More followers arrived and tried to get the fox off him. In the end he had to relinquish it, but he was called all the things under the sun. As they were tussling with the body the hunter said, ‘I know what your game is. I know where you f-----g live, I’ll burn your house down’.”’
The witness accounts of those who constantly observe the criminal pursuit & slaughter of foxes in Cumbria by the fell packs who, in some cases, are only able to survive with the use of National Trust land, blows open what hunts (and the so-called Countryside Alliance) desperately try to suppress. This is, of course, that ‘trail hunting’ is a scam, one that the National Trust has been happy to collude in since the Hunting Act 2004, even though to knowingly host an event involving the pursuit of a wild mammal with dogs is an offence in itself under S3 of that Act.
So why haven’t they been prosecuted along with the 67 (approximately) hunts that they licence? This is because the ‘trail hunting’ excuse, although clearly a false alibi, is taken at face value by authorities. It works as a false alibi when the hunts pretend that they have laid a trail of fox urine for the hounds to follow, thus mimicking the pursuits that took place when fox hunting was legal. Inevitably, of course, these hounds then ‘stumble’ on to the line of live quarry, and the huntsman, who conveniently is never told where the ‘trail’ has been laid, is ‘none the wiser’. The subsequent kills, therefore, are considered ‘accidental’.
The Trail of Lies report (http://g.ifaw.org/2kD1orC) from the International Fund for Animal Welfare explains how this false alibi works in more detail. It additionally states that in 99% of the hunts observed in the 443 field reports provided, there wasn’t actually any trails laid, demonstrating that whilst ‘trail hunting’ is the go to false alibi for hunts, they very rarely actually bother to lay any trails to prepare themselves for scrutiny. It is also of interest that by law you need an import licence for bringing in fox urine from North American fur farms, a commonly cited source for UK fox hunts. When the Animal Plant & Health Agency were sent a Freedom of Information request to determinewhether any such licences had been granted, they said they had issued one licence between 2014-2017 (http://bit.ly/2tm7DYW). The plot thickens…
The National Trust are well aware of all of these findings. Their Director-General, Dame Helen Ghosh, stated she had read Trail of Lies at a lecture she gave in March (http://bit.ly/2u8XKua).
In the minutes of Borrowdale Parish Council, representatives of the National Trust stated that they had confirmed no fox urine had actually been imported (http://bit.ly/2t8Je7K).
Sadly, the Trust still didn’t ‘get it’, and instead of banning the hunts who have openly flouted both the law and the Trust’s own licences for over 12 years, they gave them another chance.
Have the hunts changed their ways since such an update? What do you think?
There is a chance for National Trust land to become a genuine sanctuary for British wildlife which, residing in one of the most environmentally degraded states on the planet (http://bit.ly/2pJXaA9), has suffered immensely.
Even the intelligent & adaptable red fox has declined by 39% since 1996 (http://bit.ly/2dGQw7X). That chance has not been brought forward by the National Trust’s Board,nor its management, but by its members, who submitted a resolution to revoke the hunts their access rights to Trust land.
This resolution, along with the supporting statement and the response from the Trust’s Board who naturally oppose it, can be seen here on P8-9 (http://bit.ly/2gNK8mc).
The results will be realised either at the AGM, or after, but please note that for those voting online or by post, your vote must be received by 23:59 on October 13th.
Our voting guidance can be seen here (http://tinyurl.com/y94gmkkk).
We hope that if you are a member of the National Trust, the resolution will receive your support!