Closed petition Stop Forestry England granting licenses for Fox & Hare hunts

For the most recent hunting season, Forestry England gave hunting licences for 34 fox & hare “trail hunts”. Despite hunting wild mammals with dogs being illegal, two of the licensed/previously licensed trail hunts have been associated with convictions under the Hunting and Animal Welfare Acts.

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Other licensed fox hunts have recently been in the press for alleged trespass, killing foxes, losing control of their dogs & for another criminal conviction. A saboteur was severely injured at a hunt in early September that ordinarily receives a licence from Forestry England.

It is only a matter of time before more convictions and more bans will have to be implemented. The answer is simple and effective – stop granting licences to hunts that are continuing to use the myth of ‘trail hunting’ to chase and kill wildlife.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 25 April 2022

Watch the petition 'Stop Forestry England granting licenses for Fox & Hare hunts' being debated

Government responded

This response was given on 7 December 2020

Trail hunting is a legal activity. Forestry England permits trail hunting under an agreement with the Masters of Fox Hounds Association. It has the power to suspend or withdraw any permission.

Read the response in full

The Government responded to a petition on this issue on 10 September 2020 and the position remains the same. The full response can be found at

Trail hunting in the nation's forests is currently suspended in response to confirmation that the police are investigating webinars hosted by the Hunting Office.

Forestry England has no plans to end the granting of permission for trail hunting where the hunts concerned can meet the terms and conditions of the permission which are themselves kept under regular review.

The Government will not amend the Hunting Act 2004.