Barry Hugill, spokesman for LACS, admitted its membership subscriptions had plummeted from 5,500 to 4,500.

The news comes as the number of people attending hunts has seen a marked increased since the introduction of the 2004 Hunting Act.

Barry Hugill said: “The reason why more people than ever are supporting the hunts is because they have removed the cruelty by going drag hunting rather than killing foxes and stags.”

The Countryside Alliance’s Tim Bonner told Shooting Times this is the first time for about a decade LACS has actually admitted how low its membership is: “The organisation has been in denial for years. The figure is the clearest possible illustration of how marginalised the anti-shooting and hunting campaign has become. One of the most important ways of measuring the success of our own campaigns must be that an increasingly informed public wants nothing to do with LACS.”

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