DESPITE the rain, campaigners and local supporters gathered in the heart of Cardiff today to spearhead a campaign against illegal fox hunting in Wales’s national parks. The initiative, led by the national animal welfare charity, the League Against Cruel Sports, aims to cease fox hunting activities in the 13 national parks of both Wales and England.
These national parks, including renowned areas such as Bannau Brycheiniog, Eryri, and the Pembrokeshire Coast, have witnessed the turmoil brought by illegal hunts. Following a hunting season riddled with almost 1,000 incidents related to potential unlawful hunting and the disruption caused by hunts and their supporters, the League has intensified its efforts.
John Petrie, the senior campaigns manager for the League Against Cruel Sports, declared, “Hunts continue to plunder our national parks, blatantly ignoring the fox hunting ban. It is paramount to put an end to this cruel practice.”
He urged national parks to stand by their duty to preserve wildlife and nature. Petrie asserted, “National parks owe it to wildlife to shield them from the havoc wreaked by fox hunts. The locals we’ve engaged with are overwhelmingly in favour of eradicating this savage ‘sport’.”
Recent data reveals that at least nine fox hunts persistently operate within Welsh national parks, spanning a significant 20% of the country. Today, both campaigners and Cardiff citizens pressed national park authorities to halt both fox and ‘trail’ hunting on their lands and encouraged these authorities to collaborate with other landowners to restrict fox hunts from accessing their territories.
This endeavour has the backing of the Time for Change Coalition Against Hunting, a coalition representing over 30 organisations, including the RSPCA. This union is arguably one of the most extensive collaborations focused on a single issue in the UK. Its collective voice calls upon the forthcoming UK government to bolster hunting laws.
Petrie concluded, “The Welsh populace overwhelmingly wishes to see a genuine termination of fox hunting. Prohibiting hunts from accessing the lands they exploit is pivotal to this goal. Our gathering today is but a fragment of a broader national push to reinforce hunting regulations in both England and Wales, striving to consign fox hunting to history.”
The fox hunting ban was established in England and Wales in 2005. Subsequent to the ban, “trail hunting” emerged as a concept, wherein hunts claim to track animal-based scents. Yet, England and Wales’s top policeman in fox hunting crime has referred to this as a mere “smokescreen” for ongoing illegal hunting.
For a deeper insight into this issue, including compelling visuals from today’s gathering, or for interview requests, kindly reach out to the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office.
The League Against Cruel Sports, Britain’s premier charity opposing animal persecution for sport, has been pivotal in ushering in significant acts such as the Hunting Act 2004 and the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021. More about their endeavours can be discovered at www.league.org.uk.