SOMERSET Campaigners from the League Against Cruel Sports took to the streets of Bath at the weekend to call on the National Trust to stop licensing ‘trail’ hunting on its land.

Volunteers and staff from the leading national animal welfare charity, including one in a fox costume, gathered on Stall Street, outside the Roman Baths, to urge the public to take action and sign up the campaign.

Nick Weston, head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “It was lovely to speak with families and individuals from around Somerset today, including many National Trust members, and the League fox brought a smile to many people’s faces.

“However, many people were shocked that not only does fox hunting still take place in the countryside but that the National Trust allows this cruel blood sport to take place on its land.”

The day of action in Bath was one of a series of League actions taking place across the country ahead of the National Trust’s AGM on October 30, when there will be a vote in which members will get the chance to call for a permanent ban on the licensing of trail hunting.

Fox hunts have come under the spotlight recently after senior figures within the hunting lobby were caught seeming to admit that ‘trail’ hunting, one of the excuses they use, is a ‘smokescreen’ for the chasing and killing of animals.

The National Trust paused the licensing of trail hunting after the revelations, but the League is calling for the ban to be made permanent.

A fox hunting ban outlawed fox hunting in England and Wales in 2005 but in the 2019/20 season, the League Against Cruel Sports compiled figures revealing 485 separate eye-witness accounts of suspected illegal hunting.

Nick added: “The overwhelming majority of the public oppose fox hunting and it’s time to consign this barbaric activity to the history books for good.”