Cheshire Council vote to suspend trail hunting

Credit: PA

Councillors in Cheshire have voted to suspend trail hunting on council owned land over concerns that foxes are still being hunted illegally.

The practice uses scent instead of a live animal to recreate a traditional fox hunt which sees riders and hounds follow along an agreed route.

Trail hunting is legal but chasing wild mammals with dogs was banned in the 2004 Hunting Act.

This activity involves people on foot or horseback following a scent along a pre-determined route with hounds or beagles.

It effectively replicates a traditional hunt but without a fox being chased, injured or killed.

General view of a hunt on Boxing Day, when traditionally many take place across the country. Credit: PA

The council established a cross-party group to look at the impact of the practice, with the group's final report set to be delivered in November.

Animal rights campaigners have said while it's legal, it can still lead to foxes being killed by dogs.

Cheshire West and Chester Council temporarily halted trail hunting and will now hold a public consultation.