Boxing Day Hunting
The traditional torturing of harmless wildlife is almost upon us once again.
The Boxing Day hunt is the biggest event in the hunting calendar.
It’s a culmination of the cruelty, and hunts up and down the country will be parading in town squares and pub car parks getting drunk on their stirrup cups. Immaculately turned out horses and riders in their scarlet jackets and tight white pants, the dogs, tails up, milling around, looking every bit the chocolate box scene.
The images will be in all the pro-hunt press, with captions describing how noble is the tradition of hunting, in a bid to convince those of us against the sport that it is a humane and popular part of wildlife management. Of course this is all staged, like a hall of mirrors, nothing is real or as it seems.
Behind the pomp and the spectacle lies a sinister truth which the hunters and the Tory government prefer to keep secret. These deceitful people have tried every sleight of hand to overturn the hunting ban and to date every trick has failed. It has failed because hunting is a cruel and vicious blood sport which has no place in modern Britain.
Pre-ban hunts killed about 5% of all of the foxes that die in a season, and almost half of those animals are killed during cubbing when hunts encourage new fox hounds to be savage with their quarry. There are actually many less foxes in Britain than there are hedgehogs. At a static quarter of a million animals, they are not overbreeding and they are no real threat to poultry or lambs. DEFRA (Department of Environment & Rural affairs) says foxes are no more than grade 2 pests, not even pesty enough to be grade 1.
It’s not only foxes who suffer in the war for Britain’s wildlife. Anyone who stands against the cruelty is labelled an extremist or even worse a terrorist. They are mocked and humiliated on social media and even sometimes threatened. The hunt saboteurs, who will be out in force on Boxing Day, are often beaten and bullied by the hunt stewards (terrier men and women) and sometimes the riders themselves like to join in too. To avoid reprisals many saboteurs cover their faces, a practice emulated by the hunt minders who cover up so they cannot be recognised when committing acts of violence or damaging cars or stealing cameras etc. from the saboteurs, many of whom are young females.
The terrier men, or hunt heavies, who accompany the hunts and who act as their personal police force, won’t be around at the Boxing Day spectacle. To allow them to parade on their quads would spoil the image the hunters are trying to portray. Their job is to intimidate saboteurs and block pathways in order to prevent them gaining evidence of illegal hunting. The terrier men also block up badger setts so that the poor fox has nowhere to hide. If the unfortunate animals ARE able to go to ground, the terrier men dig them out and either shoot them, bludgeon them or they are thrown to the dogs.
Eighty per cent of the population, including people in rural areas, are against the horror and the cruelty of hunting, yet in spite of this the hunting ban is in great danger of repeal because most of MPs on the Tory front bench are hunting enthusiasts themselves. David Cameron has promised repeal before the end of this parliament, yet how can we let this barbaric practice become legal once again? The legislation we have today was 10 years in the making and when the Bill was eventually brought before the MPs for discussion, it took over 700 hours of Parliamentary time and so powerful and determined were the hunters that in the end the Labour Government had to use the Parliament Act to force the legislation through into Law.
So what can we do?
The first thing and the most important is to join the League Against Cruel Sports and join or support the hunt saboteurs. It is also vital that everyone against this vile form of entertainment writes to their MP and explains why we must keep the ban on hunting.
Tradition is no excuse for this savage cruelty; we must fight hard because the hunters never give up.
Lamerton Hunt - Illegal Hunting? https://youtu.be/m98BSocqkfI via @YouTube
Country lover, amateur naturalist and fox lover fighting to preserve the ban on hunting