with Horse and Hound

Britain’s National Trust Members to Vote on Draghunt Ban

In late October, more than five million members of Britain’s National Trust will be asked to vote on whether or not trail-hunting should be banned on trust-owned land. Seems ironic considering that so many of the donors of the properties and lands now held by the trust were country sportsmen, sportswomen, and foxhunters.

A similar vote was taken just five years ago. Trail hunting prevailed by just one percent of the very small percentage of members who voted. To achieve that result, the board used discretionary proxy votes to defeat the proposal. At the same time, however, the board banned the continued use of animal-based scents like fox urine. The issue is even more divisive today.

“Trail-hunting’ is a cover for foxhunting,” opponents claim. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) plans a protest outside October’s Annual General Meeting. Draghunters insist that trail-hunting does not involve animal cruelty.

Notwithstanding the results of the 2017 vote, last year the National Trust joined a group of other large landowners in Britain who claimed that trail hunt organizers planned to kill foxes. The trust joined those landowners in suspending trail-hunting. If the anti-hunt campaigners win in October, the suspension will become permanent.

“We’ve been listening carefully to both sides of a highly polarized and passionate debate,” the trust said, as reported by Jane Dalton in The Independent.

Posted September 6, 2021