CAMPAIGNERS gathered in Stratford to call on the National Trust to stop licensing trail hunting on its land.
Volunteers and staff from the League Against Cruel Sports, including one in a fox costume, gathered near Bancroft Gardens to urge the public to take action and sign up to its National Trust campaign.
Trail hunting involves laying a scent trail for hounds to follow but some believe it is being used as a way to continue traditional, illegal fox hunting.
Spokesman Nick Weston said: “We got a great reception from the people of this lovely historic market town. The League ‘fox’ was very popular with the public, who were keen to be photographed with this lovely, fluffy character.
“We spoke with lots of local people from across Warwickshire, many of whom were National Trust members, and who enthusiastically signed up to our campaign calling on the National Trust to stop fox hunting on its land.”
The day of action is one of a series of League actions taking place across the country this summer ahead of the National Trust’s AGM in October, when there will be a vote in which members will get the chance to call for a permanent ban on the licensing of trail hunting.
Nick added: “It is evident that tragically fox hunting is still taking place across England and Wales despite the ban, so we are calling on the National Trust to stop licensing ‘trail’ hunts on its land once and for all.”
The National Trust paused its trail hunting licences in November after leaked webinars appeared to show senior hunting figures describing trail hunting as a ‘smokescreen’ for fox hunting. A police investigation was launched following the leak.
Mr Weston added: “The overwhelming majority of the public oppose fox hunting and it’s time to consign this barbaric activity to the history books for good.”