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Thursday, 27 January, 2000, 19:02 GMT
National Trust renews deer hunt ban

stag National Trust banned stag hunting on its land in 1997

The National Trust has renewed its ban on hunting red deer on its land, following a meeting which discussed hunting with dogs.

Fox hunting
The discussion was prompted by a Joint Universities Study, which confirmed the council's preliminary findings that "hunting red deer with hounds caused suffering incompatible with the trust's responsibility for the welfare of red deer on its property".

The National Trust originally banned hunting red deer with hounds in April 1997 following the publication of the Bateson Report. The decision was upheld in October 1997 and most recently in October 1998, based on the preliminary findings of the JUS.

The study was commissioned by the pro-hunting groups Devon and Somerset Staghounds and the Countryside Alliance.

The Council of the National Trust said: "The council decided to make no change in its earlier decision not to renew licences, but to look again at the issue after the Burns Inquiry produced its report."

'Position unchanged'

The government has called for an inquiry into hunting with dogs which will be chaired Lord Burns.

The National Trust said it was aware of the importance of countryside traditions, and that it allowed field sports to take place on its property where traditionally practised.

But it said this could be done only "providing they are within the law and are compatible with the trust's purposes", which include public access and the protection of rare animals and birds and fragile habitats.

"The Trust is a charitable body, and as such cannot take a political position either for or against field sports," it said. "The trust's position on field sports remains unchanged by its decision in 1997 not to renew licences for the hunting of red deer."

It said it would continue to permit other forms of hunting, as well as shooting and fishing where appropriate, subject to controls and licences.

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See also:
06 Nov 99 |  UK
National Trust avoids hunt row
29 Nov 97 |  Background
Deerhunting and deerstalking factfile
16 Sep 99 |  Sci/Tech
Hunted deer 'suffer less than thought'
03 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Hunt supporters scent climbdown
01 Nov 99 |  UK
Royal recognition for Prince's Trust
07 Nov 98 |  UK
National Trust faces stag hunting battle
16 Sep 99 |  Fox hunting
Deer, hare and mink

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