National Trust members vote against banning 'trail hunting'

National Trust members have narrowly voted against a ban on "trail hunting" across the 600,000 acres of UK land owned by the organisation.

Trail hunting is when a scent is laid for hounds and the hunt to follow.

It has been widely practiced on National Trust land since the 2005 ban on hunting.

Those opposing the practise said it allowed illegal hunting of foxes, deer and other animals with dogs.

Those in favour said hunts were working within the law and claimed the charity was being used as a "political football".

In total, 30,686 Trust members voted for the proposal to ban trailhunting, while 30,985 voted against - a difference of just 299 votes.

There were 1,925 abstentions from the vote.

The Trust has taken action against trial hunts on six occasions in the past five years.

But a Countryside Alliance spokesman said there is “no evidence to suggest that hunts are breaking the law.”

“There has not been a single successful prosecution of a hunt trail-hunting across National Trust land since the inception of the Hunting Act in February 2005."