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The National Trust is being urged to cancel its controversial new hunting licence issued for Mottistone Estate.

Leading animal welfare charity, The League Against Cruel Sports is calling on the Trust to take steps to prevent wild animals being chased and killed by hounds.

It has written to management of the Mottistone Estate in a bid to persuade the conservation body to block those seeking to hunt wildlife on its land.

Chris Luffingham, Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“The Mottistone Estate is a local treasure which showcases British nature at its best. Allowing a hunt to trample across the land, taking part in an activity which many people believe involves the killing of animals, completely goes against that philosophy.

“It’s sad that this licence has been issued. But now it’s been done, the National Trust estate need to show their members and the public how they will ensure that animals are safe on their land. We need to hear from them as to exactly how they will prevent foxes being killed by the hunt.”

The League Against Cruel Sports says horses, hounds and followers are being granted free access to sections of the Mottistone Estate, which the Trust maintains on behalf of the nation. This area includes a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), home to what the charity says is vulnerable fauna and flora.

Isle of Wight Radio has asked the National Trust for a comment.