A petition asking Cornwall Council to ban hunting meetings on trails owned by council and on public lands is expected to be debated in County Hall next week.
The petition has collected over 10,000 signatures in support of Action Against Foxhunting Cornwall’s appeal.
It is expected to be debated by Cornwall councilors at their plenary council meeting on Tuesday.
The original petition read: “Action Against Foxhunting Cornwall notes that in January 2019 Cornwall Council declared a climate emergency and pledged, among other laudable policies, to protect our wildlife for future generations. We therefore ask that the council respect this commitment and henceforth prohibit all Trail Hunts meetings on public space and lands belonging to the council.
Deborah Hall, who set up the original petition, said she was happy councilors had the opportunity to debate the issue.
She said, “We want to prevent these hunts from having these encounters and crossing public lands. By supporting this call, the council will also show that it does not support the hunts.
“Wildlife is in decline and the city council has recognized this by declaring a climate emergency and an ecological emergency. These hunts damage wildlife habitats by sending packs of dogs through wildlife areas – not the best way to protect wildlife.
“A lot of people support this – most people thought the hunting ban had stopped all of this from happening and when we explain that dating still takes place, they are surprised. They expected it to be illegal when it was banned, but it still continues.
“We think a lot of them are crossing public land and could cross council-owned farms. If the council supports this ban, it will show that it does not condone this action. ”
Deborah said supporters of the petition will address the council online during the meeting and explain the basis of the appeal.
She added that other councils elsewhere in the country have supported similar bans on hunting to access public lands.
“When we go out on the streets to tell people about it, they are always surprised, we were delighted to get so much support for the petition – we never expected so many signatures.
“We believe the council will follow the opinion of the majority of the public if it supports this call.”
Cornwall Council will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday to discuss the petition.