Big game hunting, the end of an era
A recent report claims that in the last forty years the number of wild animals on planet earth has halved. It seems humans are spreading like viruses across the globe slaughtering everything in their path.
Whole populations of non-humans have been wiped out and their habitats destroyed for food, fun and to make way for money making enterprise.
The eyes of the world have recently turned on trophy hunting after the cruel and unnecessary death of Cecil the lion killed by an American dentist for sport. Millions of decent people are outraged at the senseless slaughter of African wildlife yet there are still those who still attempt to defend this vile practice by claiming it’s an act of conservation. Even members of the British royal family go trophy hunting.
Those who could set such a great example prefer instead to just pretend to care about wildlife, whilst indulging themselves in their bloodthirsty hobbies of shooting and hunting.
Claims that canned hunting helps the local poor by paying millions of dollars into the economy is rubbish. Most of the money paid by the super-rich to indulge a bloodlust goes straight into the pockets of the middlemen, large companies and corrupt government officials. A dead lion is worth much more than a live one to many officials on the take. Two hundred million dollars a year and Africa has nothing to show for it apart from dwindling animal numbers and much animal suffering. It’s a frightening thought that greed and a desire to shoot at living targets may see some of earth’s iconic species disappear for ever in our own lifetime.
Another pathetic argument put about by hunters the world over, no matter what the species they want to kill, is that hunting helps wild populations. Unfortunately, this argument doesn’t hold water. No one wants a mangy looking old lion head on his wall. Hunters take animals in their prime for their trophies, leaving the weak or the sick to take care of the pride. The gene pool of an alpha animal is destroyed and the pride is left open to attack by wandering males who may kill a whole generation of cubs. Similarly, the oldest and most experienced elephants are killed because they have the biggest tusks, leaving the younger less experienced to look after the herd with little protection or guidance.
Governments collude by setting up ‘legal’ quotas and the hunters try to invoke moral arguments because they say it’s within the law. But not everything that is legal is wholesome, and any law, whether good or bad, depends on the humanity and the moral compass of the law makers at the time. Estimates of the lion population is the wild are between 20 to 35 thousand animals, not counting poaching and other deaths, hunters are legally allowed to kill around 600 hundred a year. That is an unsustainable annual population loss of approximately 3 percent.
People who simply like killing will always find an alternative excuse. Tell them the wild populations are in danger of vanishing forever and they come up with canned hunting. A sport even more disgusting than killing in the wild. Bred in captivity, hand reared to trust humans, exploited by tourists as fluffy cubs, then sold on to hunting concerns when then are fully grown, to be shot like sitting ducks on a pond. Some argue that breeding lions in this way can be used to repopulate the wild, but these animals are ill equipped to deal with life in the bush. Most are inbred with a poor gene pool and releasing animals this way into established territories can lead to fighting and unstable prides.
Local people with livestock and crops to protect often kill those animals who aren’t afraid of man and who will wander into human areas in search of food or simply because they are used to being around people.
Change comes slowly, and there are always those who will exploit all living things to make money. Fortunately, some African countries are coming to realise that shooting big game with a camera may turn out to be more lucrative. In Botswana, the government banned almost all trophy hunting at the beginning of 2014. Compared to the 1.8 percent of revenue from killing animals, Africa is coming to realise that 98 percent of those who come to visit, come to see the wildlife. Eco tourism provides jobs for guides and spin off industries like holiday accommodation etc.. Those who come with cameras stay for longer and many come back with friends. In the first year of Botswana’s ban, eco-tourism brought in $344 million dollars.
Change is slow, but it is happening. Let us hope that the day of the backward hunter, who likes to use living flesh as target practice, is coming to an end before we lose any more of our world’s precious animals.
[For now people such as this "Africa Safari Hunting Consultants" still make money out of big game hunting]
Canned Hunting, Cowards Killing Captives
Lion trophy hunting Can the Can
Sometimes he will be thrown to the dogs alive, and the men may take videos which are later posted up on social media sites like Face Book or Instagram. The terrier men are also the hunt bully boys who are not above committing GBH on others who attempt to disrupt hunting by diverting the hounds away from their fleeing quarry.
(Today it is illegal to use a hard mouthed, or fighting terrier, underground, and rather than risk taking an injured animal to a vet, the terrier men often stitch their dogs’ wounds themselves without anaesthetic or analgesia.)
The story of Copper the fox, named because he was saved by a policeman’s helmet, illustrates perfectly the misleading statement that foxes may escape unscathed. Copper had been chased down a hole, over which was placed a policeman’s helmet to prevent him being dragged out and killed.
The standoff lasted sometime, but eventually when the hunt gave up and moved off, Copper was rescued, and taken to a wildlife centre to recover. Such was his mental trauma from being chased that he suffered multi organ failure, including bleeding from both kidneys.
The other claim that fox hounds generally catch the old, weak, and diseased or injured fox is pure nonsense.
There is no fun chasing an old or sick animal who is quickly caught. Hounds will chase and kill anything, including pregnant vixens and even our pets, when their blood is up. It is also quite despicable to even think about setting a pack of dogs after a creature who is too old or too sick to run away. And why would it be necessary in the first place? Foxes only live for a couple of years in the wild and an animal that is sick can be easily caught and either treated or humanely euthanised by a vet.
Hunters also like to compare their dog-packs to packs of wolves. They pretend that the whole grisly business is nothing more than hounds emulating nature. Nature does not select specifically for a long chase, neither are wolves followed by people on horses, nor do they line the trail with supporters who cheer them on and keep an eye on the quarry for them, whilst preventing it from going to ground or escaping by hiding. Wolves most certainly do not keep terriers in little boxes on the back of quad bikes, nor do they go out equipped with nets, radio collars and spades. Nature determines the health and size of the fox population in the UK.
There are approximately a quarter of a million foxes in Britain, including urban foxes, and that number has remained static since records began. Like all predators, foxes control their own numbers according to food supply and habitat, they are not over populating and they never were. It’s worth asking why, if the hunting set is so concerned with the rest of us being overrun by foxes, that they go to so much trouble to build artificial earths to encourage foxes in areas where they are scarce, or where they can be safely killed out of sight of prying eyes. Pre ban foxes were imported from abroad when their numbers were so low that there were not enough to provide a day’s sport.
Hunting can NEVER be acceptable morally or practically. Hunters don’t kill enough to be termed controllers and foxes don’t need to be controlled. Attempting to justify hunting by claiming that other methods of killing foxes cause worse suffering is simply ignoring the fact that foxes don’t need to be killed in the first place.
It is not entirely certain that the Tories will have the numbers to repeal the hunting Act and the Donoughue proposal is being touted as an alternative. This is nothing more than a Trojan horse which will reinstate hunting exactly as it was pre ban with no possible hope of prosecutions for cruelty.
It’s all smoke and mirrors, all designed to make us believe that hunting is necessary and humane animal welfare. Dr May had it right when he said the only truth the hunters tell about hunting is that they enjoy it.
Every single poll to date, be it a scientific poll like the ones commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports or IFAW, or the newspaper polls that invite people to answer yes or no questions, have come back with a resounding NO we don’t want repeal of the hunting Act. It all falls on deaf ears. The hunters of course are cock a hoop, they thought their nasty pastime was about to be snatched away permanently with a Labour win, and indeed if that had been the case, protection for many other animals, not just foxes would have been on the table.
The skulduggery and sneaky tricks started long before the general election, with pro hunting Vote OK people canvassing but not declaring an interest in hunting whilst visiting potential Tory voters in their homes. Vote OK claimed after the last election in 2010 that their dedication and commitment to bringing back hunting gained the Tories 20 extra seats in marginal areas.
Lord Mancroft back in 2008 wrote in a hunting journal four years after the ban,
"The reason that we shall win the battle to preserve hunting and our way of life for future generations is simple. We will outlast our enemies. We will keep our hounds and horses, keep our wonderful staff, keep our communities together, keep our farmers' and landowners' support, and we shall put together the necessary resources, both financial and otherwise, to achieve all of this, and we shall continue to do this until this Labour Government falls."
And indeed this is what they have done by killing fox cubs in secret to train their dogs and carrying on illegal hunting with the protection of the police and the Courts. It is a disgraceful state of affairs and one which has opened many an eye to the corruption and collusion in UK politics.
Hunters don’t claim hunting is sport these days. They call it humane animal management. This was not the case pre ban, however. In 1998 on TV’s Face the Public, Chris Ogilvy, Master of the Coniston Foxhounds was happy to admit when asked, that hunting is not fox control, its sport, carried out for pure enjoyment. Difficult to see what enjoyment one can derive from pulling apart a helpless animal for the fun of it.
(Watch the 3 videos posted at the end of this article. A Minority Pastime Parts 1, 2, 3.)
Since the election four days ago, the whole dynamics of the United Kingdom has changed. Five more years of this uncaring, compassionless government will see the land run red with the blood of tormented animals. England’s green and pleasant land will not seem so pleasant, nor will it be a safe place to visit if you object to the killing of its wildlife for sport. The hunters, and their thugs the terrier men, will rule in rural areas and once the ban is lifted they will take it as a red light to maim and insult the saboteurs who will be the only protection our poor animals will be able to rely on.
What can we do? We certainly won’t roll over and give up. There is a very slim chance that with public pressure and overwhelming objection to hunting becoming legal once again, we may be able to salvage some kind of deal from the wreckage.
Please sign this important petition and join the marches and Internet protests that are sure to follow on.
People are still in shock at the re-election of the worst Tory government in living memory; they need a little time to regroup. One thing is for sure, if the nasty party is not for turning and repeal of the hunting Act goes ahead, we will not get another chance to revisit any anti-hunting legislation for maybe 30 or 40 years. The psychopaths will indeed rule the asylum
Country lover, amateur naturalist and fox lover fighting to preserve the ban on hunting
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