It is now October and the autumn (Cub) hunting season will soon to be over and ‘trail’ hunting will be starting for the 2019/20 season.

There is much controversy over ‘trail' hunting. It is thought to be an invention of the Countryside Alliance after the Hunting Act 2004 was enacted in 2005. It enables the hunts to carry on ‘legally’.

Therefore, the retention of evidence should demonstrate that hunts are operating completely within the law and is extremely important.

I noted that a Trail Laying Seminar was held on August 22 last year. (see online:

So, I contacted the hunts* that are based in and around Wiltshire, to ask them if they had attended and what records are kept and available to see.

Despite several emails to each hunt, I’ve had no answers to these questions, their silence and secrecy on this issue makes me concerned.

The questions I asked, are:

Did you send a representative to the trail laying seminar?

If not, have you received feedback from the seminar?

What records do you keep on laying trails?

Do you have records for the past season?

Will you have records for the 2019/20 season including ‘autumn hunting’?

Where are these records kept and who currently has immediate access to them?

Are these records available on request or do they require a freedom of information act request to obtain them?

Maybe your reporters or indeed readers could help?

* The hunts contacted were the Avon Vale hunt, Vine and Craven hunt, Vale of White Horse hunt, Royal Artillery hunt, Tedworth hunt and the Wilton hunt.

Peter Matthews