RSPCA Cymru has welcomed a decision from Natural Resources Wales to ban trail hunting on its land.

NRW, a Welsh Government sponsored body, manages more than 350,000 acres of land.

It was announced yesterday (Thursday 18 November) that NRW will no longer issue licences for trail hunting on land it controls – and RSPCA Cymru is urging other landowners to follow suit.

RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “This is a very welcome move from Natural Resources Wales, and marks a major step towards curtailing illegal hunting.

“The use of the scent of dead animals such as foxes as used by trail hunts is totally unnecessary as it can result in the hounds chasing live foxes rather than following the scent trail. There are other alternatives, such as drag hunting, in which hounds follow an artificially laid scent which is not derived from animals, so does not pose a threat to wildlife.

“We are concerned that legal trail hunting is being used to create a smoke screen to allow illegal hunting with dogs to continue, as a recent successful prosecution showed where hunters were encouraged to use trail hunting as a cover for illegal fox hunting – so this move to ban is wholly welcome, and we urge other landowners to follow suit in the interests of animal welfare.”

Information about the RSPCA’s campaign against fox hunting can be found online.