Carrie Johnson-backed animal welfare group seeks trail-hunting ban in move that may anger rural Tories

He said: “Trail hunting has developed into a new recreational activity, which if done correctly should cause no harm to any fox or wild mammal. But `accidents` seem to happen time and time again; harm is caused to wildlife, and the law broken.

“There is no logical reason for the recreational sport of trail hunting to continue to use animal-based scents if the hunt seriously and genuinely wishes to avoid accidentally chasing or killing a fox.”

He argued that training hounds to follow the scent of wild animals causes them to chase after mammals while on a hunt, and inevitably some die.

“For seventeen years generations of working hounds have been trained to follow the scent of a fox. Totally illogical. In simple terms, if you don’t want hounds to chase a fox, don’t use something that smells of a fox.

“So to protect wild mammals, and to preserve and protect the sport of trail hunting in its chase and kill-free form, I have laid amendments to the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, currently at Report Stage in Commons. My amendment calls for the intentional or reckless participation in laying or following an animal-based scent for hunting activities to become an offence, liable to a fine, imprisonment, or both.”

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