• Becci Pigeon

Hunters finally admit it: 'trail' hunting is a lie!

Updated: Jan 20

Breaking news from the League Against Cruel Sports has revealed hunters admitting what anti-hunt campaigners have known for years: 'trail' hunting is nothing more than a masquerade which allows hunt groups to continue to kill foxes.

According to LACS, two leaked Zoom training meetings saw hunt officials and directors openly discussing how to thwart the law. The meetings included all the big names in the hunting community, including Lord Mancroft and Mark Hankinson, chairman and director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA), Countryside Alliance police officer Phillip Davies and more than 100 hunt masters--more than half of the country's fox hunts.

'Now you know more about hunting than the saboteurs or courts will know but what it will do is create that smokescreen or that element of doubt that we haven’t deliberately hunted a fox, so if nothing else you need to record that and it will help us provide a defence to huntsman.' (Phillip Davies, Countryside Alliance police liason officer)

'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 your legitimate business.' (Mark Hankinson, MFHA director)

'Make sure that we only record all the legal things that we do because of course we only do legal things.' (uncredited speaker, ITV news)

Police and the Crown Prosecution Service are investigating. And in the three days since this has been announced, Forestry England, United Utilities and the National Trust have suspended all licenses for hunting on their land. LACS has set up an easy form to help members of the public contact DEFRA, the Duchy of Cornwall, the Church of England, etcetera, and ask them to suspend their hunting licenses as well.

hunt protesters holding signs
VKind activists at NI's annual New Year's Day Hunt, 2020

Hunting foxes with dogs is still legal in Northern Ireland, unfortunately, as we weren't included in the 2004 Hunting Act which made the 'sport' illegal in the rest of the UK, but as anybody who has protested NI hunt groups knows, they are as equally insistent here as anywhere else that they are merely trail hunting. But we know the truth--and now everybody else does, too.

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