The UK's National Trust has come under fire from The League Against Cruel Sports [LACS] after comparing trail hunting to mountain biking.
The Trust claimed ‘there is no evidence to suggest trail hunts are any more or less damaging to conservation than pursuits like mountain biking’.
But LACS says comparing the two activities is 'absurd and desperate' - and has highlighted the environmental damage caused by hunts in a report.
The League's new report explains the conservation impacts of hunting, which include habitat disturbance, environmental disturbance, as well as the disturbance of protected species, such as badgers.
"Comparing mountain biking to hunting is nothing short of absurd and a bit desperate," said LACS CEO Philippa King.
"Unlike hunts, mountain bikers tend not to block badger setts, or urinate and defecate all over National Trust land. More importantly, they don’t chase and kill foxes, stags and hares as part of their sport."
LACS's report looks into the damage trail hunting imposes on conservation and environment.
The report argues that 'large numbers of horses, people, dogs and vehicles like quadbikes haring across large areas for several months' will cause habitat damage.
LACS has also identified the four main activities that have negative conservation implications, which include the use of animal-based artificial scent, 'exempt hunting', and illegal hunting.