Historic trail hunting vote could restore trust in the National Trust and end cruelty to foxes

Trail hunting and the National Trust

The National Trust is one of the most beloved heritage organisations in the UK  - and rightly so. This charity does wonderful work protecting and conserving Britain’s history. But there’s one part of our heritage that shouldn’t be treasured: fox hunting. And, unfortunately, National Trust policy is allowing it to continue.

Despite the 2004 Hunting Act, we know that foxes are still being killed by packs of dogs, often under the guise of ‘trail hunting’, a made-up “sport” that was invented after hunting was banned, and is used as a cover for illegal hunts. Our “Trail of Lies” report exposed trail hunting for the ruse that it really is, demonstrating how hunters use it to keep hounds trained to chase and kill in the event that the ban should ever be lifted.

What does this have to do with the National Trust? Well, it’s estimated that a third of all trail hunts take place on National Trust land, and the National Trust issued 79 licences for trail hunts last year.

All that could be about to change, though. A group of compassionate National Trust members, dismayed to see the organisation they love associated with cruelty to animals, have proposed a motion to stop the trust issuing licences to trail hunters. The motion will be voted on at the upcoming AGM on 21 October – and all National Trust members have the chance to vote on it, either in person or by nominating a proxy before 13 October. We’ve included more details below.

We’re hopeful that the National Trust will listen to this grassroots movement of its members, and do the right thing for animals by ending these unethical – and quite possibly illegal – hunts on its land. Please, if you’re a National Trust member, join the movement and make your voice heard!

The National Trust has 5 million members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Even if you’re not a member, you’re bound to know someone who is – so please share this information to encourage more members to vote against hunting before 21 October.

National Trust members: How to cast your vote against trail hunting

There are two ways to speak out against trail hunting:

1.     Attend the AGM in person at 10:30am on Saturday 21 October at the STEAM Museum in Swindon and cast your vote.

2.     Nominate a proxy to vote for you – if don’t know anyone who’s attending personally, you can put down William Morton as your proxy. He’s a NT member who has been working with anti-hunting groups, and who will then cast a vote on your behalf in support of the resolution for the cessation of trail hunting. You can do this either online here or by post using the voting forms that have been sent to you. Your request must be received before midnight on 13 October 2017.

It’s so exciting to see people engaging in the democratic processes of the National Trust to make it reflect the values of its members, and of modern Britain – and to help create a kinder world for animals like foxes.

--RH

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