Labor called for a ban on trail hunting over fears it was a ‘veil’ on fox hunting
Labour’s shadow environment secretary, Jim McMahon, said it was “completely irresponsible” for the hunts to continue and called on ministers to “close the loopholes that allow people to break the law”.
The Countryside Alliance has accused Labor of promoting “class warfare” over calls to ban tracking on state-owned land.
Trail hunting mimics traditional hunting by placing an animal scent along a trail for dogs to follow, but the sport has been criticized for being a “smoke screen” for illegally killing foxes.
Countryside Alliance spokeswoman Polly Portwin said I: “Hunting and folk festivals are an important part of rural life.
“The Labor Party has had consistently poor results in recent rural elections and it is no surprise to see them pursuing anti-rural policies of the kind being announced today.
“If they ever want to be taken seriously, it’s high time they abandoned their bizarre obsession with class warfare and focused on addressing issues that really matter to rural people.”
Ms Portwin added: “The reality is these biased activists – who often use their propaganda to raise funds – are driven by misanthropy and not by improving animal welfare.”
Both the National Trust and Natural Resources Wales have voted to halt tracking on their land amid concerns illegal hunting has been covered up.
Activists estimate that over 240 hunting days took place on Department of Defense properties in 2021.
Mr McMahon said: “Allowing hunts on public and state-owned land, whether or not the participants are the Prime Minister’s associates, is totally irresponsible.
“The government needs to do more to close the loopholes that allow people to break the law and relegate hunting to the history books, where the vast majority of us believe it belongs.”