Vote The Hunts Off The National Trust!
Guest blogger – National Dis-Trust.
Over time, The National Trust have carved for themselves a reputation of covering the arses of
bloodsport fanatics i.e. those who continue to hunt with hounds despite The Hunting Act 2004. It’s
not really certain why they do this; it’s actually illegal for them to knowingly host these hunts, which
they do by issuing so-called ‘trail hunt’ licenses, with ‘trail hunting’, of course, being the go to false
alibi for most of these particular criminal hunters. Unfortunately, the licenses are perhaps the most
useless documents ever created – not only do the hunts ignore them completely, The National Trust itself acts as if they, along with its own ‘trail hunt’ policy, don’t exist (the licenses might as well
be fictional; The Trust is asked almost daily on Facebook about the details of the 50 hunts it
licenses, including how they think ‘trail hunting’ actually works, and it does not appear to know). As
an example, have a look for yourself at the contrast between The Trust pretending to pay attention
to the reports of ‘those who wish to monitor hunts activities’ and the sheer amount of field reports
compiled by The League Against Cruel Sports (n =4,000+) in which nothing even resembling ‘trail hunting’ was witnessed, along with The Trust’s refusal to accept any support in monitoring hunts from The League. If anyone from The National Trust wants to try & explain why thousands upon
thousands of reports from hunt monitors & saboteurs are ignored when you claim that you actually cross-reference them with what hunts are saying (i.e. the folk who clearly have a vested interest in lying to you) then feel free to give it a go… just pop a message to email@example.com
Dame Helen Ghosh, The Trust’s current Director-General, is overseeing the current policy. At a talk she gave earlier this year, she appeared to know that approximately 50 hunts are given licenses by
The Trust but when anyone in The Trust is asked specifically which hunts, they are met with
stonewall responses. No central register of hunts exists, they say (apparently), even though Dame
Helen clearly has one. It’s not even something that anti-hunt activists alone might regularly ask to help their work; two of the hunts that the Trust licenses for ‘trail hunting’ (The Cury Hunt & The Mendip Farmer’s Hunt) have this year had their out ofcontrol fox-hounds maul pet dogs, and, in the case of The Cury Hunt, members of the public as well. The Trust have a responsibility according to S11 of their ‘trail hunt’ licenses to publicise which hunts they license when asked, which would clearly benefit the wellbeing & safety of members of the public who have no wish to encounter large groups of bloodsport fanatics or have their pet dogs attacked whilst simply going for a walk. It would also help those who have no wish to see protected wildlife end up being eviscerated for sport (this should include The National Trust, in theory, who recently pledged to do more for wildlife)…alas, they do no such thing.
‘…would you say that the NT is one of Europe’s leading nature conservation organisations? Have you heard anyone other than the NT itself describing the NT in that way?’ – Mark Avery, 09/01/2012
It’s interesting that the talk that Dame Helen gave in March was focused on the subject of how The National Trust responds to societal change. Bloodsports are one clear area that The Trust ignores when discussing this subject, and it’s not good enough that they simply reiterate their tiresome & unwavering belief in the discredited alibi of ‘trail hunting’ when asked about it. Opposition to fox
hunting & hare hunting, both of which The Trust allows (i.e. The Minehead Harriers & their worthless code of conduct who use The Trust’s land in Somerset) has been growing year on year according to the independent polling conducted on ‘Attitudes To Hunting’ by Ipsos MORI. The Trust need to recognise this; The Conservative Party didn’t, and it cost them dearly at the most recent General Election.
Fortunately, there is some chance that The National Trust can redeem part of its reputation; simply kick the hunts off, and stop issuing these absurd licenses. This idea hasn’t come from The Trust itself, but its membership, who recognise that The Trust can do some positive work but that the wanton destruction of wild animals for the sake of a few sadists undermines this. These members have submitted a resolution to this effect; it will be voted on at The Trust’s AGM, and we need every compassionate member of The Trust to support it. The members who submitted the resolution can support you through the voting process if you contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org