This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Chris B 6 months, 3 weeks ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #1442

    Chris B
    Participant

    I see that Hilary McGrady the new Director General of the National Trust is refusing to be drawn on her stance on the future of trail/drag hunting on National Trust land.

    Trail hunting is legal and involves following a scent trail laid earlier for the hounds to follow. It does not involve the hunting or killing of foxes, or other animals, so why the opposition? I hope that the NT will not bow to pressure to ban it on their land.

    If, as is claimed by the anti hunting movement, foxes are still being hunted under the cover of trail hunting, then why isn’t the solution the prosecution of the hunts if they allow this to happen? Not by banning a perfectly legal sport? I use the word “sport” because that’s what it is, as opposed to setting out to kill something for “so called sport”which is morally questionable.

    As a National Trust member can anyone show me a convincing argument why I should support a call for the Trust to ban trail hunting on it’s land?

  • #1443

    troll
    Participant

    Because it’s widely perceived to be little more than a smokescreen for hunting foxes with dogs. The national trust has a mixed user/customer base and if allowing a niche activity on their land harms their reputation and their core business it makes commercial sense not to allow the nice activity.

    [quote quote=1442]
    If, as is claimed by the anti hunting movement, foxes are still being hunted under the cover of trail hunting, then why isn’t the solution the prosecution of the hunts if they allow this to happen? Not by banning a perfectly legal sport? I use the word “sport” because that’s what it is, as opposed to setting out to kill something for “so called sport”which is morally questionable.
    [/quote]

    Probably because it’s not practical; rural police lack manpower and interest, the legislation is weak and leaky making convictions rare and prosecutions risky.

  • #1444

    Mick
    Participant

    I quite liked this from Mark Avery (https://markavery.info/2017/10/23/national-trust-members-vote-trail-hunting/)

    “The NT keep trotting out the lines that trail hunting is legal and that hunting is traditional as part of their justification for allowing it on their land. This doesn’t wash with me. Many things are legal which the NT wouldn’t be keen to allow on their land (eg playing loud music, kicking a football around indoors and drinking champagne out of a bottle) so the test is clearly not whether it is legal – it is whether it is appropriate.”

  • #1445

    Chris B
    Participant

    [quote quote=1443]Because it’s widely perceived to be little more than a smokescreen for hunting foxes with dogs. The national trust has a mixed user/customer base and if allowing a niche activity on their land harms their reputation and their core business it makes commercial sense not to allow the nice activity.

    …Probably because it’s not practical; rural police lack manpower and interest, the legislation is weak and leaky making convictions rare and prosecutions risky.[/quote]

    Thank you.

    You say “widely perceived”. Are you talking about an unproven “perception” or are there independently obtained statistics available? As for the the NT’s customer base, as I understand it last time there was a member vote on the subject, it was very close. Potentially a ban could result in a substantial reduction in membership, including mine, unless I can be convinced it’s a good thing. The converse is less likely to occur because allowing continuing trail hunting is the status quo.

    Maybe the NT could make it very clear that if the privilege is abused, consent to hunt on their land would be withdrawn from offending hunts? Imposing a total ban seems like a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

    As I understand it one of the arguments against trail hunting has been that it’s difficult to monitor because it occurs on private land. The anti hunting movement could of course overcome this obstacle by joining the NT which would give them equal rights to any other member to go onto the land without trespassing.

    “Probably because it’s not practical; rural police lack manpower and interest, the legislation is weak and leaky making convictions rare and prosecutions risky.”

    I understand what you are saying but is it a healthy thing in a democracy to ban a legal activity because we don’t have a police resources to control it? Isn’t that akin to saying we should ban car driving because we don’t have the police resources to control the behaviour of drivers?

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Chris B.
  • #1447

    troll
    Participant

    You say “widely perceived”. Are you talking about an unproven “perception” or are there independently obtained statistics available? As for the the NT’s customer base, as I understand it last time there was a member vote on the subject, it was very close. Potentially a ban could result in a substantial reduction in membership, including mine, unless I can be convinced it’s a good thing. The converse is less likely to occur because allowing continuing trail hunting is the status quo.

    I just mean widely publicly perceived, it’s something a chunk of the public believe (and I suspect another chunk could easily be convinced of by an astute social media campaign). People hold lots of opinions on the basis of scant to frankly contradictory evidence. I get a pretty good view from the air sometimes and I’ve seen my local hunt on a fox since the ban, purely by accident I’m sure.

    Maybe the NT could make it very clear that if the privilege is abused, consent to hunt on their land would be withdrawn from offending hunts? Imposing a total ban seems like a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

    Perhaps but then the NT takes on the role of police, ‘prosecution’ and court which is some way from their original remit!

    I understand what you are saying but is it a healthy thing in a democracy to ban a legal activity because we don’t have a police resources to control it? Isn’t that akin to saying we should ban car driving because we don’t have the police resources to control the behaviour of drivers?

    Ultimately it’s private land. That’s exactly what the private industrial estate I work on does, they prohibit driver training on their roads among other uses. Yes, I think it is healthy that people and organisations have the ability to control how their assets are and aren’t used. Do you object to the BMC dictating how their land assets are and aren’t used? Is it not reasonable that my gliding club restricts and enforces when necessary dog walking on our runway to on-lead and on-footpath only for the safety of all? We also exclude boy-racers and flytippers.

  • #1448

    el
    Participant

    Well I have 4 sisters who ride horses and trial hunt.

    It is most definetly not a smokescreen for hunting foxes with dogs- exactly the opposite – as you would be surprised by how many horseriders are also opposed to hunting foxes.

    I assume from your comments you have never riden a horse nor know anybody who rides, which is generally the case.

    Trial hunting as been around for years0- well before fox hunting was banned. – and was widely used by riders who opposed fox hunting.

    Maybe get your facts right.

  • #1449

    troll
    Participant

    @el I’m not sure what you’re so angry about. Yes I rode horses for years, I’ve owned one in the past and I have several friends who still or now ride. A friend’s father lost his job keeping a Cheshire hunt’s hounds to the ban. All I said is plenty of people think drag hunting is a smokescreen for hunting foxes with dogs. I offered that the evidence for this is variable but I’m inclined to believe on the strength of what I’ve seen with my own eyes that at the very least it occasionally still happens. Frankly it doesn’t matter what the reality is, what matters to the NT is what their customers believe, where the commercial risks lie and which decision is in the better interest of their business.

    I’m well aware drag hunting pre-dates the UK fox hunting ban, it’d be hard to miss growing up riding in the decades before the ban, in a country without any foxes yet with an active ‘hunt’. Trail hunting I’m not familiar with, it seems to have been a modern reaction to the fox hunting ban. Somehow related to drag hunting but designed to more closely simulate fox hunting, I guess in reality the terms are used interchangeably and in the decade since the ban practices have evolved locally, with some hunts complying with the letter of the law, some with the spirit of the law, some flaunting it.

    Good for your sisters if they ‘hunt’ responsibly and within the spirit of the law as well as the letter of it, I’ve no problem with that.

  • #1450

    scarymary
    Participant

    If the NT are to ban trail hunting, there should be sound reasoning behind the ban, it is a perfectly legal country pursuit, that can only be carried out in the countryside, large sections of countryside that the NT have been left in trust. If trail hunting is proven to suddenly be doing immense damage to the countryside then I can accept there may be grounds for a motion to ban it, but individuals not liking it or approving of it is not a reason to ban it. By the same token, should they ban sheepdog trials, fell running, horse riding etc. If members take against them?

    Ultimately it’s private land. That’s exactly what the private industrial estate I work on does, they prohibit driver training on their roads among other uses. Yes, I think it is healthy that people and organisations have the ability to control how their assets are and aren’t used. Do you object to the BMC dictating how their land assets are and aren’t used? Is it not reasonable that my gliding club restricts and enforces when necessary dog walking on our runway to on-lead and on-footpath only for the safety of all? We also exclude boy-racers and flytippers.

    I think the examples you have given for the above bans are probably very justified, I bet there are safety grounds or something similar, but for the life of me I can’t think of a good reason to ban trail hunting (whilst allowing horse riding, dog walking) other than disapproval.

  • #1451

    el
    Participant

    There are loads of riders who trial hunt and never go anywhere near foxes.they have no interest in fox hunting.

    Stop tarring people with brushes when they have no interest in fox hunting.

  • #1452

    el
    Participant

    So just because something’s legal doesn’t mean the NT have to allow it.

  • #1453

    Chris B
    Participant

    So just because something’s legal doesn’t mean the NT have to allow it.

    No, I understand that, what I don’t understand is why? There is no logical reason, other so far as I can see that some members have an unproven “perception” that trail hunting is a smoke screen for fox hunting. This perception is vigorously rejected by many, including contributors to this forum with knowledge of the sport who are themselves anti fox hunting. Trail hunting is a country sport and takes place on land in the country. The NT is a large land owner, and as Moley has said, why chose trail hunting? What about horse riding generally, cross country running etc etc?

    There is also the historical angle to consider. Much of the land owned by the NT used to belong to the big landed estates on which traditionally and before the abolition of fox hunting very much supported this historical pursuit on their land. The abolition of fox hunting to be replaced by trail/drag hunting helps to preserve this historical spectacle in a sanitised way. Isn’t this worth preserving, particularly where we are already preserving the estates?

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.