Hounds are basically killing machines, so the huntsman doesn’t have to say ‘go and kill that fox’. They find the fox by scent, and they kill it, and they’re not breaking the law because they haven’t been told to.
How ridiculous is this? How illogical and sad too, it’s like saying “Guns kill people, not the person pulling the trigger”. Fox hunting has been a British rural tradition for five centuries—but for the last 12 years, the huntsman’s adversary hasn’t been a furry fox, but a fuzzy law.
Foxhunts kill foxes in one of two ways: by being chased until they went to ground, after which they were dug out with terriers. This was particularly cruel; the underground battles between terrier and fox could be protracted, with extreme digs lasting many hours or days, and severe injuries were often inflicted on both animals. The rest of the foxes were caught above ground by the hounds. There is a myth that, once caught, the hounds killed the fox by a quick nip to the back of the neck: this is not true. Dogs kill larger prey by repeatedly biting it until the animal is disembowelled or dies from its injuries. A pack of dogs normally tears smaller prey apart. Being torn apart by a pack of hounds was probably fairly quick, although if the fox was caught by just one or two hounds death was generally slower. Also, since the fox is often chased to the point of exhaustion, there is cruelty in the chase itself, particularly as the fox started to tire.
Fox hunting has been occurring in different guises worldwide for hundreds of years. Indeed the practice of using dogs with a keen sense of smell to track prey has been traced back to ancient Egypt and many Greek and Roman influenced countries. However it is believed that the custom for a fox to be tracked, chased and often killed by trained hunting hounds (generally those with the keenest sense of smell known as ‘scent hounds’) and followed by the Master of the Foxhounds and his team on foot and horseback, originated from a Norfolk farmer’s attempt to catch a fox using farm dogs in 1534.
Whilst foxes were widely regarded as vermin and farmers and other landowners had hunted the animals for many years as a form of pest control (both to curb their attacks on farm animals and for their highly prized fur) it wasn’t until the eighteenth century that fox hunting developed into it’s most modern incarnation and was considered a sport in its own right as a result of the decline in the UK’s deer population.
These days however, foxhunting in the UK is much better known for the controversial views of those who champion the sport and those that oppose it. The Hunting Act 2004, passed in November 2004, saw the outlawing of any hunting with dogs in England and Wales from 18 February 2005 (the Scottish Parliament had already banned foxhunting in Scotland in 2002 and in Northern Ireland the sport is still legal).
But while the act banned fox hunting, it continues to permit trail hunting which is an adapted version of the sport. It involves the use of an artificially laid scent, usually fox, hare or rabbit based, to provide hounds with a path to follow. In theory it avoids the suffering and killing of foxes, but campaigners argue that the trail hunts often end with the dogs coming across foxes – participants say by accident – and that animals are still being killed.
Also, exemptions are complex and numerous. It allows the use of two dogs to flush out mammals for the protection of livestock, game birds, wild birds, timber, property, and biodiversity, or for meat.
Today 28 May 2017 around 150 foot followers joined more than 70 mounted riders at the Swangrove Estate near Badminton, South Gloucestershire, for the first gathering of the Beaufort Hunt, an event which sometimes includes Prince Charles and Prince William. Up to 30 of Britain’s 300 hunts have been granted licences, and hunts were also resuming today in counties including north Wales and Northamptonshire, according to the Countryside Alliance’s Campaign
The joint master of the Beaufort Hunt, Ian Farquhar has said banning hunting has caused hardship because the industry supporting the hunt (like manufacture of hunting boots) has been brought to a stand-still.
Foxes may be pests in some places but can be culled humanely, not by being torn apart. How would you like to be a Fox terrified for its life and torn from limb to limb????
Fox hunting is a hot election issue in the United Kingdom, with the incumbent Conservative Party—widely expected to hold on to power—promising a vote in Parliament that could overturn the current ban. There have been 431 convictions under the 2004 Hunting Act. The vast majority of convictions have been against individuals, say hunt supporters, noting that by 2015 only nine members of traditional organized hunts had been convicted.
Theresa May wants to bring back Fox-hunting with dogs.
NOTE: this post is obviously about FOXES so there’s no need for cantankerous people reading this to Comment and say “What about the bunny rabbits?” or “There are quite enough Foxes around, so who will miss a few.” What if you were reincarnated as a Fox and chased and torn apart by dogs? If you’ve got a brain you will know this Post is about deliberately killing a FOX in a horrific fashion.
GO IN THE POLL TO HAVE YOU SAY