According to the BBC, Natural Resources Wales has decided not to renew its agreement with the British MFHA which had previously allowed drag hunting on its lands. The decision is said to be strongly influenced by the recent conviction of an influential foxhunter in England who instructed hunts how to use the appearance of draghunting as a cover for contravening the Hunting Act of 2004.
The particularly cruel decision disenfranchises all hunts, even those that hunt the drag in compliance with Britain’s ill-advised Hunting Act of 2004. This and other renewed attacks on foxhunting come on the heels of this foxhunter’s highly publicized court decision. Natural Resources Wales manages 362,000 acres of land in Wales.
British MFHA director Mark Hankinson was convicted in magistrates court of instructing British hunt leaders how to use the appearance of drag hunting as a cover for live hunting in contravention of the law. His actions, inadvisable as they were, have furnished anti-hunting activists with new ammunition for expressions of outrage at all persons connected with foxhunting, whether law-abiding or not. While the NRW decision will accomplish little of benefit to the fox, it will surely deprive many innocent sportsmen and women of the pleasures of a day riding horses after hounds following a scent.
As justification for the NRW decision, Dominic Driver, head of land stewardship, said it had “lost confidence” in the MFHA’s “ability to ensure its activities are carried out within the law and terms of its agreement.” Driver added that NRW had neither the funds nor the manpower to police the hunting on its lands. The forest under NRW management alone accounts for forty percent of total Welsh forestry and six percent of the country.
“Trail hunting is a smokescreen for old-fashioned illegal hunting, and enough is enough,” claimed a spokesperson for the League Against Cruel Sports. The LAS is calling for renewed activity by other major landowners to end drag hunting on their land.
The MFHA Hunting Office said, “It is disappointing that NRW didn't consult with the MFHA before making this decision, however, we hope that further consultation may be possible following the review that we are currently conducting.”
Click for the entire BBC article.
Posted November 26, 2021