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Thread: The death of a fox

  1. #1

    The death of a fox

    In an effort get away from the CA thread about the Newsnight programme and just to debate the more humane way of killing a fox, shooting or with hounds I thought I would try to start this thread.

    There are those that say that fox hunting with hounds is more humane than shooting because of the element of possible wounding when shooting and death is always instantaneous with hounds. The logical conclusion to this, must be then that hunting deer, rabbits, hares and indeed any ground game is more humane with hounds than by shooting or stalking. ???????

    If death by fox hunting is instantaeous, then this surely can only apply to the moment that a fox is actually caught by the hounds. What about the stress caused to the fox during the chase itself? Is this not cruel?
    If this is not cruel then what about the argument used by stalkers the world over in support of stalking (hunting with rifles), that ideally the animal does not even hear the shot, drops on the spot and is spared the suffering of farm animals being transported to slaughter in a state of stress?

    There are those who also say that hunting with hounds is more selective. This one I personally don't get. What can be more selective than stalking? One does not have to pull the trigger unless everything is right i.e. a clear shot, vixen with cubs or dog fox??

    These are all questions which have evolved out of the CA thread but maybe it would be better to talk about these issues without any accusations of CA bashing.

    ....and please don't shout at me, nothing I have said or asked above means that something is my own opinion ........just asking!!!!!!

  2. #2
    By saying that hunting by hounds is selective is quite correct.

    The fitness of the hunted animal is tested by the hounds and as a general principle the fittest escape whilst the sick or injured are caught. Stalking may also be selective, here too the sick and injured may be culled, but there may be other considerations, e.g. trophy hunting or just shooting a deer for the pot that finds itself on your patch.

    But for those opposed to killing animals for "sport" all these arguments serve no useful purpose as their objection is to the death occurring at all, and divisive discussions such as these IMO merely play into their hands.

    atb Tim

  3. #3
    SD Regular
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    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    I come from a ffamily where my late father's brother, my uncle, weby mad keen on hunting. Riding with the Quorn inthe heyday of Tom Barker and before much of the Quorn's country in the western part was lost to the M1 motorway.

    I also myself followed the Oakley Foot Beagles.

    So having been hunting and ”on top" of the kill more than once or twice I can tell you that the quarry' fox or hare, is literally torn to pieces. If it is dead at that time it doesn't matter I suppose.

    But is it?

    The other issue is the cruelty of the chase itself. Do animals feel fear? Apparently not. But they do feel physically is the pain of lactic acid burn as they push their muscles to the extreme.

    People follow hounds for three reasons. Because they like to see hounds work and a skilful huntsman handle his pack, because they like to ride cross country on a long "point", or because they enjoy (as my uncle described it) the "frivolities and fornication" associated with hunting.

    All three don't really need a fox. But what the fox adds is unpredictability that chasing a drag never can. And that I suspect is the true reason the Baroness wants it back. Just as we, as stalkers, might prefer the twist and turns of luck and chance of a true woodland stalk to that of shooting park deer.

    The houndsports lobby can't bring themselves to admit that. "We enjoy what we animal might have to die to facilitate that...but so what". But instead seek to dress it up as "fox control".

    And because they have been dishonest they have found themselves on the losing side of the argument. Had they been honest in saying they enjoyed it and that it also did offer a service to keep the countryside with hedges and fences instead of barbed wire and a free removal service to farmers of dead livestock and etc. it may have perhaps just survived.

    But they could not themselves. Being fundamentally dishonest. "Hounds will have to be put down, horses for hunting shot, the countryside overrun with foxes, foxes will be caused suffering by being shot and wounded and dying from gangrene..".

    And all that . Well the only real "rot" involved was the "Tommy rot" coming out of their own mouths. And by these lack of honesty they did hunting a disservice and being exposed in each lie they told lost the argument.

    That the Baroness still seeks to seek to advance riding to hounds by deriding shooting of foxes shows they still have not learned.

    And for that reason they deserve to have fox hunting remain banned.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 21-11-2014 at 09:59.

  4. #4
    actually Hunting with hounds is the only way to control Foxes that does not require the animal dead or at least all the Animals in an area

    Shooting is only effective when the animal is killed

    I know this is Odd but Years before the Bann (93 ish ) I knew a farmer who had the Hunt on his land

    But had to Stop them Because the activist's where Threatening this family and children

    over the next few years He had to get Shooters in to deal with it instead they shot many times the number of foxes than the Hunt Killed and the fox attacks where still far more in the area

    Hunts may or may not catch the Fox they find It may frighten it out of the area and it can also disperse youngsters so reducing concentrations
    this was the Conclusion he came to over the years.

    Is that is true in any other area.......... i dont know

  5. #5
    Tim, I think that most discussions or debates tend to be "devisive" by their very nature but perhaps in this age of wanting to qualify or justify what one does, it is good to hear opinions without yet again being told we are playing into someones hands.

  6. #6
    There is no way to resolve these arguments because they always come down to an entirely arbitrary and personal decision about personal ethics. Every field sport inescapably involves a degree of aviodable cruelty and every attempt to deny this is dishonest and doomed to tortuous sophistry.

    Each of us has a personal 'line in the sand' about the level of cruelty we're prepared to accept in the persuit of our sport. For instance, I think catch and release fishing is an indefensible nonsense, so will only fish where I can kill and eat what I catch. But that is my own arbitrary cut off, and I aknowledge that others differ.

    Hunting with dogs, whichever way you slice it, is both stressful for the quarry and hugely time consuming and expensive for the hunters. It cannot and should not be defended on management, efficiency or welfare grounds. People should be up front and honest about it: they do it because its fun. At which point, there can be a mature and honest discussion about the level of cruelty that is acceptable in persuit of fun.

  7. #7
    I'm in complete agreement with Mungo on this, especially the catch & release point.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    So having been hunting and ”on top" of the kill more than once or twice I can tell you that the quarry' fox or hare, is literally torn to pieces. If it is dead at that time it doesn't matter I suppose.
    But is it?

    Do animals feel fear? Apparently not.
    I am sorry I am not and have never been anti fox hunting but to say that the animal dies "instantly" or is not feeling fear is utter my opinion of course.

    if you have ever seen a fox in a cage or cornered you will know they feel fear
    20 pair of hounds behind them? I am surprised they don't literally crap themselves

    first hound in? the fox is fighting for its very life until there are enough dogs or injuries to cause death

    I grew up in hunting country, my father was a vet to the kennels and numerous hunt horses, we went to the puppy judging, as a kid I went beagling and it was very much part of our lives.
    I don't agree with the ban as it had absolutely nothing to do with animal rights and everything to do with smashing the image of a classist society.
    Something the pro lobby failed to highlight.
    more farmers and lowly blue collar types involved in hunting than all the red coats and hoi polloi put together.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Hirsch View Post
    Tim, I think that most discussions or debates tend to be "devisive" by their very nature but perhaps in this age of wanting to qualify or justify what one does, it is good to hear opinions without yet again being told we are playing into someones hands.
    Perhaps the point that I was trying to make was that discussions about the relative merits of shooting vs hunting matter not a jot to the antis who object to both, and in fact all these sort of discussions do is to give them the respective negative opinions from both sides to use selectively against each.

    To be clear about this, the more one side criticizes the other the more the hand of the antis is strengthened.

    atb Tim

  10. #10
    If you are minded to be better informed about the welfare implications of fox hunting and cubbing, digging out etc. you could do no worse than read the report of a committee of inquiry from 2000.


    It runs to 223 pages including the references.
    It might be that further expert opinion and information from members will fill in the gaps left by the above. Not least because the report was published in 2000.

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