- January 27, 2022
- Posted by: Vikki Howells MS
- Category: Latest News
Cynon Valley Senedd Member Vikki Howells has called on the Welsh Government to bring in a complete ban on trail hunting on public land in Wales.
The call comes after Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which manages the Welsh Government’s woodland estate, and the National Trust took the decision to ban trail hunting.
There is an increasing body of evidence that trail hunting is used as a smokescreen for the hunting of live animals such as foxes, deer and hares, which has been illegal since the 2004 Hunting Act.
Charities such as RSPCA Cymru have called for trail hunting to be banned on all public land in Wales, and for safer alternatives such as drag hunting to be promoted instead.
Vikki Howells MS asked:-
“We know that trail hunting is used as a smokescreen for the hunting of live animals. Following on from the examples of NRW and the National Trust banning trail hunting, will you look to bring in such a ban as a matter of urgency to ensure that our public land isn’t used for this cruel, illegal and archaic practice?”
Replying, Minister for Climate Change Julie James MS said:
“I absolutely welcome the decision made by NRW. Of course, NRW makes the decision on behalf of the Welsh Government on its public land, so a very large amount of public land is now covered by the decision not to allow trail hunting on that land.
“We certainly will be working with other public landholders—local authorities, and so on, across Wales—when there is land that is used for trail hunting.”
Notes for editors
- Trail hunting involves laying a predetermined trail for hounds to follow, using urine, body parts and/or carcasses from animals such as foxes, deer and hares and can lead to live animals such as foxes, deer and hares being disturbed, flushed, chased and killed if the dogs pick up the scent of a live animal on the trail.
- In addition, the hunts’ dogs may well disturb non-targeted animals, such as domestic cats, who then may also suffer from injury and stress.
- Drag hunting does not involve the use of animal-derived scents and therefore poses less of a risk to animals such as foxes and deer.
- Evidence of trail hunting being used as a smokescreen for illegal hunting: Leading huntsman fined over advice on how to hide illegal fox hunting | Hunting | The Guardian.
- Full transcript: Plenary 26/01/2022 – Welsh Parliament (senedd.wales).