CAMPAIGNERS from an animal cruelty charity gathered in Winchester last week to put an end to trail hunting.

The League Against Cruel Sports are calling on the National Trust to stop licensing trail hunting on its land.

Although fox hunting was outlawed in England and Wales in 2005, the League Against Cruel Sports has said that trail hunting is being used as a 'smokescreen' for the chasing and killing of foxes.

Volunteers and staff from the leading national animal welfare charity, including one in a fox costume, gathered in the city centre to urge the public to take action and sign up to their campaign.

Nick Weston, head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “It’s been a great day in Winchester today, with lots of local supporters joining us in the city centre.

“We’ve spoken to lots of people on both sides of the hunting debate today, which is something we very much welcome. Hopefully we’ve given pro-hunters something to think about when it comes to chasing wild animals for fun, and those who are anti-hunt and members of the National Trust will now consider asking the organisation to ban hunting with hounds on its land.”

They are calling for National Trust members to vote for the ban of trail hunting at the organisation's AGM in October.

The National Trust have suspended licences in the light of the campaign, but the campaigners says the ban has to be permanent.

Statistics released by the League Against Cruel Sports said that between August and October 2020, there were 300 reported incidents of suspected illegal fox cub hunting across England and Wales.

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