Fox hunting

As you will know, fox hunting is banned under the Hunting Act 2004, and following this legislation, many hunts have turned to trail hunting as an alternative to hunting live foxes. This involves a pack of hounds following an artificially laid, animal-based scent.


I know that many people are concerned about illegal fox hunting continuing in violation of the Hunting Act. However, for an offence to be committed it is necessary to prove that a wild animal is being hunted intentionally. I understand that between 2013 and 2019, a total of 471 individuals were prosecuted under the Hunting Act, and 227 individuals were found guilty. I would encourage anyone who believes that an offence has taken place during a hunt, including during a trail hunt, to report the matter to the police.


While it is not my position to comment on specific cases, I am aware that all trail hunting has been suspended on Forestry England land while the police investigate content of webinars that recently came to public attention. Ultimately, it is up to individual public bodies to decide what activity takes place on their land, and for local authorities to decide whether trail hunting can take place on public land within their jurisdiction.