TV FAVOURITES have thrown their weight behind calls to ban fox hunters from tens of thousands of acres of woodland, moors and farmland.
Stars Bill Oddie, Tony Robinson, Paul O’Grady, and Chris Packham are supporting a vote at the National Trust AGM this October on the issue.
The charity is Britain’s biggest private landowner with about 620,000 acres and has about five million members.
Although fox hunting as a sport was made illegal under the Hunting Act of 2004, campaigners say it continues under the cover of “trail” hunting, in which hounds follow a pre-laid scent trail.
Trail hunting is allowed on National Trust land in England and Wales.
TV presenter Paul O’Grady said: “The National Trust’s responsibility is to care for the precious wildlife that lives on its land and we all know there’s nothing caring about hunting.”
The League Against Cruel Sports acting chief executive Philippa King said the reasons fox hunters give to justify being on National Trust land are “mere excuses covering up illegal hunting.”
And the league’s president Mr Oddie said hunting was “a piece of history that belongs in the past and for the National Trust to allow it on their land — and thereby condone it — is retrogressive and highly regrettable.”