Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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nodh.klmKaren L. Myers photoAnti-hunting lobbyists in England are pressuring the National Trust to curtail even drag hunting on National Trust lands. The National Trust in turn has recommended that their members vote to do just that. I feel like I've walked through Alice’s looking glass into an alternate world. Where do these people think this land came from, anyway?

Historically, the National Trust was the beneficiary of English country houses which still make up the largest part of its holdings. Many estates even came with requests that foxhunting may continue there. Now, foxhunters and drag hunters are to be excluded from the very land that their forebears placed into the Trust generations ago. Are fairness and equity totally inoperable concepts in today’s Britain?

The trust describes itself as “a charity that works to preserve and protect historic places and spaces—forever, for everyone.” OK, forget those old-fashioned concepts of fairness and equity in today’s alternate world. Do British citizens intend to ignore the clearly stated purpose of the trust?

To make matters worse, the Forestry Commission, over which lands many hunts ride, is closely watching what is transpiring at the National Trust and may follow suit.

Within a week, members of the National Trust will have voted on whether foxhunters and drag hunters will or will not be allowed to use the lands. Among these trust members, many of whom are urban dwellers and ignorant of the facts, their information comes from activists’ messages on social media where truth has never been an essential ingredient.

Foxhunters are pessimistic over the outcome, and prospects are strong that the National Trust members will succumb to the intense pressure of a rabid group of activists and say to foxhunters: “Thank you for giving us your land; now get off it.”

Even if I were an anti, I could not in any measure of good conscience support such cynicism. I would be nagged by the unfairness and inequity of it. What sort of people are these who would accept the land and vote to disenfranchise the donors and ignore their wishes?

Posted October 16, 2017

Comments   

# Norman Fine 2017-10-24 09:50
The vote was just held by members of the National Trust, and drag hunting was allowed to continue by a 1% margin of the members who voted. However, only 1% of the 5 million members voted. A win for hunting, yes, but a bitter one, considering the new restrictions imposed by the National Trust and the apparent disregard of the donors’ wishes by 49% of the voting members.
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# Guest 2017-10-24 10:29
The National Trust being all but reliant upon charitable donations, though in truth, they maintain a profitable approach to their management, are allowing themselves to be forced in to a corner where they will, if not now, in the future acquiesce. Those who donated their lands and properties to what was at one time, an honourable body, would doubtless have changed their minds, had they known of the likely outcome.
We also have to remember, that the buildings which were given over were all so often a poison chalice, they were in such a poor state of repair and generally, the land which went with those properties was generally sold off, so how much real influence the future decision will have, is unclear. We live in a sad world where those with no more intent than political meddling would sterilise our rural existences and have us follow urban bias.
Perhaps it's time to emigrate to France, I have a liking for the French, their attitude to life, food and wine!!
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# Norman Fine 2017-10-24 16:00
A friend has pointed out my error in stating that the National Trust recommended to its members to vote for the ban. Apparently, they did not. However, the National Trust did send to its members the text of its own motion—a proposal to BAN drag hunting on the Trust lands and asked members to vote on it. At the same time, they changed the rules for hunts. No longer can real fox scent be used for the drag, and the time and place of meets must be publicly disclosed in advance. That will surely lead to more sabs and more conflict at meets. It seems irrefutable that they knuckled under to activists’ pressure, which hardly appears very “pro” to me!
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