Exempt Hunting on the NRW-managed estate

The Hunting Act 2004 banned hunting wild mammals with dogs in Wales.

However, there are exemptions in the Hunting Act to allow certain types of humane control and this is sometimes referred to as exempt hunting. It is sometimes necessary to control populations of some types of wild mammals to protect delivery of our land management objectives including the conservation of protected and priority species and habitats and productive capacity.

Exempt Hunting

Exempt hunting includes stalking or flushing out wild mammals (including foxes) using no more than two dogs.  This may only take place to prevent or reduce serious damage that the wild mammal would otherwise cause to livestock, game birds or wild birds. 

There are other categories referred to in the Act, and you can find more information on legislation.gov.uk

NRW does permit others to carry out exempt hunting in line with the Hunting Act as we have legal responsibilities to enable control of populations of some wild mammals that may be on NRW Estate land that may cause damage to livestock or crops of farming neighbours.

No exempt hunting or fox control will be allowed on any part of the land we manage without express permission

All licences issued for fox control will be in respect of clearly defined and manageable areas.  NRW will periodically monitor these licences to ensure the terms are strictly adhered to.

Trail hunting

The NRW Board decided that trail hunting will not be permitted on the land we manage. You can read the press release issued following this Board decision.

Reporting concerns

We sometimes get concerns from visitors that people in forests we manage may be breaking the law.

If you believe illegal activity is taking place on land we manage, you need to give clear evidence to NRW via the Report It form or by calling 0300 065 3000. You may also want to pass on evidence to the police.

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