MailOnline has learned that twenty-three hunters have been granted permission to use Ministry of Defence land for this season.
The packs were granted licences to take hounds on Armed Forces’ property from Salisbury to Catterick, a Freedom of Information request shows.
This comes just as the saboteurs have declared that they would now attack the MoD during their recent war against the rural traditional sport.
They made the move after claiming a slight victory over the hunters after putting pressure on the National Trust to end their use of the charity’s land.
The activists said that they would focus their efforts on military chiefs who they say ‘facilitate illicit hunting on their land’. Pictured: Last week, the Royal Artillery Hunt stood in front of a tank.
Defence chiefs issued licences to 23 hunts to use 10 of the Armed Forces’ sites during the 2021/2022 season, the FOI revealed.
Southern packs included Surrey Union, Staff College Drag Hunt, Essex and Suffolk, North Shropshire, Royal Artillery, Tedworth, Wilts and Infantry Beagles, Palmer Marlborough, East Kent and Westside, Spooners and West Dartmoor and Lamerton.
They were granted permission to hunt on Longmoor, West Tofts, Nesscliffe, Salisbury Plain, Cinque Port and Dartmoor.
Further north were Catterick Beagles, Tynedale, Bedale, West of Yore, Zetland, Border Hunt, Newcastle and District Beagles and West Percy Hound Club.
These hunts were given licences for Catterick, Ouston and North Otterburn.
Meanwhile in Wales, Glyn Celyn Beagles, Brecon and Talybont, Sennybridge Farmers Hunt and Ifron and Towi. They have the rights to ride on Sennybridge.
In the period before the outbreak, 19 grants were made by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to hunters. There were 26 for 2019 and 21 for 2018.
The last season of hunts was restricted to military land in the country for artificial scents.
Hunts pay £75 for the licence to be granted – which can be refunded if a pack does not make it out due to military exercises – plus a further £100 for it to be prepared.
MoD land can be divided into two parts: green land, where everyone following the hunt is allowed to go, and red land which hunters are only permitted to use for stray dogs.
According to the National Trust, which was criticized for being ‘woken up’ recently, the trustees said they had carefully considered the matter before making the decision (file photo).
Huntsmen must also agree to follow the Hunting Act 2004 and Protection of Badgers Act 1992 in their contracts.
The hounds are not permitted to use a natural smell – such as the remains of an animal that has died – and they must follow the artificial scent.
The licences are signed by Ben Wallace (the Secretary of State For Defence), an ex-officio British Army Officer.
However, the MoD agreement can be broken up in just one month according to government documents.
A spokesperson for the MoD stated that trail hunting is still allowed on MOD land. Hunts must obtain and adhere to the laws and terms of the license.
Tim Bonner is the Chief Executive Officer at Countryside Alliance. He stated: “The Government has clearly made it very clear that legal hunting activities will not be permitted to continue on MoD land.
“We’re looking forward to hunting with our friends and family this winter.
“Activists should focus more on projects that improve the welfare of animals and the environment than following their petty-class war agenda,” said a spokesperson.
Last month MailOnline revealed the Hunt Saboteurs Association were focusing their attention on hunting on MoD land.
According to activists, they plan on focusing their efforts on the military chiefs that they accuse of facilitating illegal hunting in their territory.
The latest attempt was to restrict the area in which the sport could operate, they claimed.
Lee Moon stated that the MOD, even though they appear indifferent to public opinion and cannot allow illegal hunting to continue on their land, will become our next target.
“We expect some hunters to go out of business, while others will have to fight for their land.
The National Trust has banned trail hunting from its land last week because it feared for the’reputational risk’ that allowing pack animals to continue.
The National Trust was criticized by hunters and other rural groups for “breaking its fundamental principle” of ‘for everybody, for all’ (file photo).
The charity, which has been blasted for going ‘woke’ in recent months, said the board of trustees had ‘carefully considered the issue’ before taking the drastic step.
The report stated that a conviction in a case against a senior huntsman, and the vote of its annual general assembly – which involved only two percent of its members – are just two of other factors.
Hunting and rural groups slammed the trust for ‘breaking its fundamental principle’ of ‘for everyone, for ever’.
They cited an “engineered” bullying campaign by opponents to legal hunting in order to pressure landowners into stopping this sport.
It is legal to hunt trail hounds. Huntsmen set a scent for the hounds and they follow it through the land.
This mimics the traditional Fox Hunt, but without any animal being injured or killed.
Sometimes, a dog may mistakenly smell a fox. However, they will be stopped immediately by their owners.
Although the Hunting Act of 2004 prohibited hunting foxes and hounds together, there have been several reports about breaches.