No hunting licences issued for National Trust land in Shropshire
The National Trust has confirmed that it has not issued licences to allow two hunts in Shropshire to use its land for their meets.
The South Shropshire Hunt and the United Hunt both traditionally use the Long Mynd for hunts.
Earlier this year the National Trust took the decision to suspend their licences.
Now the body has confirmed it has not issued licences for the forthcoming season.
It is understood the hunts in question had taken the decision not to apply for licences.
In January this year, after monitoring group the Shropshire Monitors filmed the South Shropshire illegally chasing a fox, the National Trust suspended its licence. The monitoring group also spotted terrier men – people whose role it is to dig out foxes which have taken refuge underground – accompanying the South Shropshire Hunt on quad bikes.
Today the Countryside Alliance said that the National Trust had reached out to the South Shropshire Hunt early in the summer and asked if it wanted to apply for a permit.
However, it said: "The hunt took the decision not to apply for one this time round because it didn’t want to expose its members or followers to saboteur bullies and extremists."
Neither the South Shropshire nor the United Hunt – the other hunt group that rides across the Long Mynd – have applied for licences for this season.
Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The Long Mynd Estate is to be commended for ensuring that fox hunts will not be allowed to hunt on its land again."
A spokesperson for the Shropshire Monitors, said: “We are delighted with the news, as are locals who have had to witness trespassing and illegal hunting by these so-called trail hunts.” Figures issued by the League Against Cruel Sports at the end of the last fox hunting season showed there had been 284 reports of illegal hunting activity and 43 reports of foxes being killed by hunts in the UK.
This includes eight cases in Shropshire.
Chris Brett, spokesman for the National Trust, confirmed that currently there are no active licences in Shropshire but added that this could change in the future. The South Shropshire Hunt and the United Hunt were both contacted for comment.