Much of what we consider ‘our’ land is in fact either privately owned or controlled by other bodies. Many of these landowners still license ‘trail hunting’, despite the recent revelations that trail hunting is ‘a sham and a fiction’ as demonstrated in the Hunting Office webinar exposé, subsequent court case and conviction. Indeed, trail hunting is so toxic that the National Trust has permanently banned it, despite protestations from the hunting community.
Some of these organisations are partly funded by the public purse, such as The Forestry Commission, some of which has now been re-branded as ‘Forestry England’. Currently Forestry England have suspended trail hunting licenses pending the outcome of any investigations or appeals, but state that they won’t ban a ‘legal activity’.
“We control trail hunting with permissions and licenses according to an agreement with the Masters of Fox Hounds Association (MFHA).”
We wonder how they will continue to issue and monitor licenses in the future now the MFHA and its leadership have been completely discredited.
Surely, with added public pressure, it would be simpler to ban this illegal activity and find more sustainable and cruelty free ways to ‘‘increase the value of woodlands to society and the environment’ as their mission statement suggests.
Other large landowners have adopted a similar temporary position. United Utilities for example, one of the largest water companies serving over 7 million customers and with one of the largest pay-outs to shareholders in the industry, has a temporary suspension of licenses pending further information. How happy are you if you are one of their customers?
They claim ‘We also monitor the hunts – our employees attend meets to ensure they are acting in accordance with the license. We will take action if the hunts operate outside the conditions of the license’ – Sabs have never seen any such monitoring!
They state that ‘trail-hunting is currently a legal activity and does not impact water quality, then we do not consider it our role to ban a legal activity.’
It’s time to challenge these big land owners, make the temporary bans permanent and put an end to the cruelty and lies.
So what can you do?
Contact Forestry England
Chief Executive Mike Seddon at [email protected]
0300 067 4000
Twitter – @ForestryEngland
Contact United Utilities
Facebook – United Utilities
Twitter – @unitedutilities