Thousands call for trail hunting ban on Cornwall Council's land

A petition calling on Cornwall Council to ban trail hunts on council-owned land has been signed by more than 10,000 people.

A petition calling on Cornwall Council to ban trail hunts from taking place on its land will be debated next week.

The petition by Action Against Foxhunting Cornwall has been signed by more than 10,000 people - but campaigners have described it as "anti-rural".

It will be debated by councillors at their full council meeting on January 18.

'Many people support this'

Deborah Hall, who set up the petition, said: “We want to stop these hunts from having these meets and going across public land.

Councillors will consider the demands of the petition next week. Credit: ITV News

"By supporting this call, the council will also be showing that they do not support the hunts.

“Many people support this – most people thought that the hunting ban stopped all this happening, and when we explain that the meets still take place, they are surprised.

"They expected it to be illegal when it was banned, but it is still going on."

When the Hunting Act 2004 was enforced in February 2005, many hunts wanted to retain their infrastructure so took up trail-hunting with their hounds to comply with the new law.

Fox hunting was banned in England and Wales in 2005.

There are five trail hunting packs based in Cornwall as well as other packs based on the county's borders.

Deborah said supporters of the petition will address the council online during next week's meeting.

She said other councils elsewhere in the country had backed similar calls to ban trail hunts on public-owned land.

The petition has been dubbed "anti-rural" by some campaigners, who say it is an "important part" of life in the countryside.

Director of the Campaign for Hunting at the Countryside Alliance Polly Portwin said: "For many, trail hunting is important part of countryside life and it would be anti-rural to ban a legal activity.

"In the event that councillors are asked to vote, we sincerely hope they reject this divisive petition."

Credit: Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporting Service