Maintenance of a healthy population of foxes through planned selection, the weak are more likely to be caught than the strong, not so with shooting.
Maintenance of stable numbers of foxes by balancing the needs of farmers etc. to safeguard their possessions on the one hand, with the Foxhunts' and Conservationists' need for foxes, on the other. There are already (2007) signs that the fox population is declining in several areas.
Maintenance of a delicate balance which had developed over 200 years of fox-hunting
between fox numbers and the populations on which they prey; small mammals, rabbits
and small birds predominantly.
Keeping down fox suffering by reducing worse methods of fox control.
Helping reduce the worsening of
the environment for foxes and, incidentally and free from state expenditure, to produce several other advantages to conservation.(E.g. Reduce destruction of
hedgerows and small woodlands).
predation by foxes where
shooting is not
of foxes, these worsen predation and lead to Fox Diseases (E.g. Mange).
Providing a significant part of the Society and Culture of Rural Areas
A sponsor of a significant part of Britain's Horse related industries and competitions
To a limited extent, some of these advantages are being preserved by Trail Hunting, but its popularity may well wain. Permitted Hunting is providing a much weakened version of some of these advantages but the cruelty and unselective nature of shooting now prevails.
To expand on the above click here
THE FOX POPULATION
After a ban did the number of foxes settle at a number acceptable
to farmers etc, as the Anti's claimed?
It has started a decline due to more shooting of foxes because the acceptable level is now lower since there is no longer a desire to please the local Hunt.
We now know from actual relevant experience
that the experiences after the '39-'45 War in the UK are being repeated.
Elliott Morley MP (a former Minister covering Animal Welfare) recognised that
foxes need controlling.
Did fox-hunting play a significant part in controlling foxes?
Gamekeepers shot some 150,000 foxes a year; because, when uncontrolled,
they kill large numbers of young birds.Therefore, the fox population where
shooting predominates is very low and hunting did, indeed, play only
a minor role in controlling foxes. These shootings have increased since the Ban.
Foxhounds accounted for some 18,000 foxes a year; because, when foxes are
not controlled, they kill farmer's possessions where every loss is significant
to the farmer. Unlike Gamekeepers, relatively few farmers would claim
to be expert at shooting foxes. Inexpert shooting always runs risks of
a slow painfull death. It is not always possible for the farmer to know
that he has wounded. Neither can the farmer always own a suitable dog
to guarantee catching a wounded fox. Many types of wound leave a fox able
to run at its normal speed for a substantial time, but will cause the
animal to die later from the wound. Very many farmers acknowledge the
problems of shooting foxes themselves and have no access to a professional
shot. Therefore, they preferrd the Hunt to control the foxes in their locality. This option is now restricted to flushing to guns which still has a significant risk of wounding or Terrierwork that can involve long periods where the fox is denied the ability to follow his "flee instinct", his adaption to the chase no longer applies and he is highly stressed.
Near motorways, busy main roads and urban areas
Motor vehicles wound and kill a very large number of foxes. But the majority
of farms and shoots are sufficiently far from these hazards for them to
have little effect on the number of foxes which concern farmers and gamekeepers.
Over the last 200 years ( barring interruptions for wars) the highly selective
cull by fox-hunting had maintained the fox population around farms in Hunting
Countries at a virtually constant level just acceptable to the farmers
In Norman England, Hunting of deer and boar in the UK was confined
initially to the Royal Family and those whom they invited.
It took place in "Royal Forests" which were areas where the
quarry species were protected by making it a serious offence
to kill them there except as part of a "Royal Hunt". Later
the privelege of "Hunting Forests" was extended to notable
land owners (Eg; Bishops). As early as the 13th century the
Crown granted licences to hunt foxes and some crown servants
were employed for the purpose. Eventually the laws protecting
the quarry species became those covering trespass and poaching
which applied on land owned by anybody. Gradually Hunting
in the UK was opened to Hunts (with hounds) and stalking (with
guns) for which Sports anybody can apply to take part.By the
mid-16th century quite a number of private landowners had
formed packs of foxhounds but Staghunting predominated.
In France, the Revolutionaries won the right in the Constitution
for any citizen to Hunt. Before then only The King, who allowed favoured aristos to Hunt.
In the 18th century many factors were making Stag Hunting
more restricted. Some Hunts started to chase foxes and found
that they were worthy quarry. Furthermore, farmers well outside
traditional Stag Hunting Areas welcomed Fox Hunting as one
method of helping to control numbers of a significant "thief"
of their possessions of lambs, chickens etc. Thus the Sport
of Fox Hunting spread until it covered much of the UK and
acquired the dual purpose of sport and fox population management.As
Fox Hunting grew in popularity it became better and better
regulated until it became the well disciplined sport we see