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.
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Country lover, amateur naturalist and fox lover fighting to preserve the ban on hunting
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