Hunting Ban Law More Cruel To Foxes

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Hoas, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. Hoas

    Hoas AH Fanatic

    Nov 11, 2014
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    Hunting ban law ‘more cruel’ to foxes

    The first ever scientific study into the use of dogs to hunt foxes in the UK has found that the law banning hunting makes controlling foxes ‘less effective and more cruel’.

    The study says the law in England and Wales had led to a longer pursuit of foxes by farmers attempting to control them on their land.

    It suggests that Scottish law, which allows the use of any number of dogs to flush and shoot foxes, is more effective and less cruel.

    In Scotland the use of any number of dogs to flush and shoot foxes remains legal, compared to England and Wales where only two dogs can be employed.

    The study, published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, concluded that when a pair of dogs was used, as compared with a pack, only half as many foxes were flushed. The period of active pursuit from a fox being found to being flushed was over 5 times less.

    Dr Jeremy Naylor, an equine vet and former senior lecturer at Bristol University and one of the authors of the report, said the decision to restrict to two dogs in England and Wales "seems to have been plucked out of the air".

    He added: "We are making no welfare claims in our study but we are providing data which may inform the welfare argument. In the Burns Inquiry report they considered that one factor that might effectively compromise welfare is duration of active pursuit.

    "Our data quite clearly indicated that a pack of hounds is considerably more effective at flushing in a considerably shorter duration.

    The study was commissioned by the Federation of Welsh Farmers’ Packs (FWFP), which represents hunts and clubs which traditionally used packs of hounds to flush and shoot foxes to protect sheep and other livestock.

    David Thomas, secretary of the FWFP, said: “The law as it stands in England and Wales is completely indefensible. Farmers’ packs were developed for the sole purpose of controlling foxes to limit the predation of lambs using the only practical method in a mountainous region with huge expanses of commercial forestry.

    “The limit of two dogs was plucked out of nowhere. There is no evidence or logical justification for it. Anti-hunting organisations have even admitted that: “pairs of dogs are utterly useless in flushing to guns.”

    He added: “Farm incomes in upland Wales are amongst the lowest in the country and it is simply not acceptable that farmers are not able to protect their flocks. The publication of this study emphasises once again why the law needs to change”.

    The Conservative Government brought forward proposals to amend the Hunting Act in 2015 to remove the limit on the number of dogs that can used to find and flush foxes in order to bring the law into line with Scotland.

    But that proposal was withdrawn when SNP MPs indicated they would oppose the amendment. The SNP Government in Scotland subsequently commissioned a review of hunting legislation in Scotland by senior law lord Lord Bonomy, which concluded that: “Not only [would] searching and flushing by two dogs not be as effective as that done by a full pack of hounds, but also that imposing such a restriction could seriously compromise effective pest control in the country, particularly on rough and hilly ground and in extensive areas of dense cover such as conifer woodlands”.

    Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, which supports the FWFP’s call for a change in the law, said: “We are in a ridiculous situation where everyone knows the law has failed, there is peer reviewed science which proves that it is both inefficient and increases the duration of pursuit of foxes, and yet political prejudice continues to block change.

    “The publication of this research does, however, mean that those who oppose amendment of the law to allow the use of packs of dogs to flush foxes in England and Wales are doing so in direct opposition to peer-reviewed science. The arguments against hunting have always been illogical, but opposition to this amendment is now an indisputable rejection of the clearest science and evidence as well.”
    DavidC and Pheroze like this.

  2. 8 x 60

    8 x 60 AH Veteran

    Dec 1, 2015
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    Out fishing!
    Not so sure this is correct ie "the first scientific study" There was a very in-depth study before the ban became law but most of the recommendations were ignored by the Blairite Government. It must be remembered that Tony Blair - UK Prime Minister who facilitated the vote to ban hunting with Hounds (or "dogs" as they incorrectly called them- most likely deliberately - to incur the ire of Fox-hunters - which says much about the childish yet nasty individuals involved ) in the UK Parliament - himself abstained from the vote. A vote he gave to his supporters which was nothing more than a "bone throwing" exercise to appease his gangster supporters which was, in the main to settle a score or two following Thatcher's handling over the miners strike of 1984. Some people bear a grudge for a very long time and try and even the score in the most ridiculous ways. (ridiculous people?) It must also be remembered that for most of Blair's Blairs Labour government Fox Hunting was seen as a class issue- the welfare of the fox had nothing to do with that vote whatsoever and as such was and remains a travesty.

    I add these points to those who might read the thread and not be aware of some of the background. Opinions will of course vary but this may assist those new to the issue.

    It is unfortunate but I doubt this appallingly shabby piece of legislation will never be repealed.

    (Note. I have never hunted with hounds)

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
    spike.t likes this.

  3. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Jul 6, 2013
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    Cut and Paste to the litigation in British Columbia regarding the Grizzlies.
    ve7poi likes this.

  4. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

    Sep 12, 2010
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    So true.....and long memories they are still at it.....

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