A fox hunting

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ENGLAND AND WALES

In February 2005 the UK Parliament passed into law a ban on "Hunting with Dogs" in England and Wales (The "Hunting Act"). The Commons used the Parliament Acts to overrule the Lords. The act has been referred to the European Court of Human Rights but is unlikely to be heard for several years. see more. David Cameron (The leader of The Conservative Party) has stated that when returned to Government his Party will introduce a Bill to "Repeal the Hunting Act" and that "The House of Commons" will be allowed a free vote on the issue. The next General Election will probably take place in 2015. In the meanwhile, there have been prosecutions for illegal Hunting. These have demonstrated that The Act is vague and, in effect, unenforcable. The Case for Repeal is strong and will be put forward where and when appropriate.

SCOTLAND

Legislation on Hunting in Scotland is devolved to the Scottish Parliament. A vote on 13 February 2002 WENT AGAINST HUNTING. A ban became law on 1st August 2002. Several legal challenges were mounted in the Scottish Courts and it will be referred to the European Court of Human Rights. Unfortunately most failed. But challenges will not cease. OUR SCOTS FRIENDS ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

The livelihoods and culture of Scotland's rural minority are being destroyed by the prejudiced autocracy of a majority of the Members of the Scottish Parliament. The Land Reform Bill is no less destructive than the "Anti-Hunting Bill".

Our Scots friends may well need your support again. Please watch their website.

THIS SITE IS CONCERNED SOLELY WITH fox-hunting AND THE "RURAL CULTURE" THAT BENEFITS FROM IT AND SUPPORTS IT. THE BAN SEVERELY DAMAGED OTHER TYPES OF HUNTING (E.G. MINK) BUT FOXMAN HAS NO DETAILED KNOWLEDGE OF THESE.

The Hunting Acts did permit some very limited Hunting.

That allowed in Scotland is somewhat different but also based on the wrong principle that shooting is less cruel than Hunting

Flushing using two dogs

Terrier Work

Flushing to a bird of prey

Rabbit hunting

Rescue

Observation and study.

Trail Hunting

The Countryside Alliance Website http://www.countryside-alliance.org has a download of The Hunting Handbook 2005 that gives excellent guidance as to how the infrastructure of Fox Hunting should be preserved pending the repeal. In essence it recommends “Trail Hunting,” that is following hounds working a man-laid scent of a fox. Because the trail will be laid in a naturalistic way it differs radically from drag-hunting, which often does not use a fox scent and follows one of several set “lines”.

The current "Dire Situation"

NOTWITHSTANDING "TRAIL HUNTING", THE SITUATION HAS BECOME VERY SERIOUS FOR THE LONG TERM WELFARE OF THE FOX POPULATION AND THE "HUNTING ACTS" HAVE DONE NOTHING FOR RESPECT OF THE LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS, RATHER IT HAS BEEN ONE OF MANY CENTRAL GOVERNMENT ACTIONS THAT HAVE DONE THE OPPOSITE.

The Hunting Issue has exposed the persecution of "Rurals" by the Urban Majority. True Democracy is "taking a real beating" in GB.

The bans will gravely degrade the Welfare of the Fox Population in several ways:

The bans will have the effect of making some humans happy because they think they have benefited foxes and prevented "the priveleged" continuing to ride over the "humane concerns" of the majority of the population. Perversely, it will ultimately make life worse for the majority of foxes.

1. Over concentration; (as was shown in the 2001 Foot and Mouth Epidemic) removing the dispersal by Foxhunts leads to more frequent concentration near food sources. Hence increased competition for small mammals etc., some hunger and more predation of farmer's and shoot's possesions. Shooting after Flushing does not move foxes on to new locations, the chase is too short.

2. Decreases in Fox Population where this increased predation requires more shooting to contain the threat of loss of property. It is reported that in some former Hunting Countries numbers a\re down by about one third.

3. Increase in suffering by foxes; more shooting leads to more wounding and severely degraded welfare, quite often slow death.

4. Worsening of Fox Environments; Trail Hunting does not require the degree of maintenance of Fox Habitats that fox-hunting achieved.

5.There is more disease in the Fox Population; apparently due to reduction in selection; shooting, unlike Hunting, does not tend to kill the weak rather than the strong. Also more competition for food. Hence increased competition for small mammals etc. and some hunger.

Independent research is taking place to confirm or disprove the points made above.

The disgraceful way Hunting in England and Wales was maltreated by the UK Parliament.

When faced with a large number of M.Ps, who had been whipped up by the "Anti-Hunting bigots", the Government abandoned its own Bill for a "middle way".
A majority of the Commons decided to follow the "bigots" rather than the wishes of the Government department responsible for Hunting. Despite the evidence and the findings of the Government's own "Burns Inquiry", a majority of "The Commons" believed the unsubstantiated assertion of the "bigots" that Hunting is cruel and should, therefore, be banned.

The Banning England and Wales came into force in Feb 2005.

THE HUNTING ACT IS UNJUST

The "The Hunting Act----Banks Bill" is unjust. It is a travesty of British concepts of freedom and fairness. The behaviour of the MPs that voted against Hunting proved that they have no understanding of "true democracy" by riding roughshod over the legitimate interests of a minority without any attempt to reach a compromise. Their action was reminiscent of a dictatorship in that they wished to ban an activity that does not significantly affect the well-being of the majority. The Government's own inquiry did not support their assumption that it inflicts unnecessary suffering. In logic therefore, their reason to ban Hunting can only be dislike of it and/or the people that hunt. As Banks himself says the Hunting Ban is "totemic" ( i.e. something that represents a set of beliefs ). In this case the beliefs are the foundations of Socialism. The most relevant here is that privelege of any sort is wrong unless earned by the priveleged person. By his choice of "totemic", Banks has revealed the true motive behind his Bill. His driving force is his erroneous assumption that Hunting is the sport of those who are priveleged without having earning it themselves. GO TO ANY HUNT AND SEE HOW WRONG HE IS. Furthermore, Alun Michael (the Minister responsible for the Hunting Bill) has admitted that the legislation passed had nothing to do with animal welfare or wildlife management. Dennis Skinner M.P. was honest enough to tell the House of Commons the real reason----"Payback for the treatment of the miners".

A view from Europe

The UK Government's ban on fox-hunting is in stark contrast to hunting's growing support among the European Public and its MEPs. In one election in France, the countryside's political party "Peche, Nature et Traditions" attracted 7% of the vote and had 6 out of 87 French MEPs. About 40 of the UK's MEPs are pro-hunting. There is also growing support among Eastern Europeans. Their countryside was despoiled by decades of urban based bureaucracies. Their Civil Liberties were seriously eroded. The UK Government imposes yet more bureaucracy on the countryside. The Eastern Europeans seek to reduce bureaucracy and restore Civil Liberties. What a contrast. No wonder many Eastern Europeans clamour to join FACE (The Federation of Associations for Country Sports in Europe); a bulwark against a possibility of infection by the "New English Disease" of bigotry, intolerance and neglect of the traditional rights of Rural minorities.

A QUESTION FOR THE UK GOVERNMENT

At the time of the conflict in Kosovo you fought bigotry, intolerance and neglect of the traditional rights of the Albanian minority in former Yugoslavia. 

Does one of your own minorities deserve less?

 

ACTION TOWARDS REPEAL OT THE HUNTING ACT

THE HUNTING ACT IS BEING FOUGHT LEGALLY IN EVERY CONCEIVABLE WAY, IN PARTICULAR THROUGH NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COURTS. THE COUNTRYSIDE WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT THIS BAN. IF WE ARE NOT TO BE DIVIDED AND RULED, ACTIVISTS MUST ALLOW THE COUNRYSIDE ALLIANCE AND EACH HUNTING ASSOCIATION TO CONTROL THE NATURE OF THE FIGHT. WE MUST NOT "GO OFF AT HALF COCK"

David Cameron (Leader of the Conservative Party) has stated that, if elected to power, the party will introduce a Bill to repeal "The Hunting Act"

The primary thrust of our fight is in the courts and in politics. Therefore, we need to keep the courts on our side while continuing to present politicians with stark choices emphasised by representations and protests (please, only when told to do so by "our powers that be" AND ALWAYS RESPECTING THE LAW). Foxman is sure that the very few breaches of "Permitted Hunting", the "Battle of Parliament Square" and the "Invasion of The Commons" were counter-productive. Our traditions of fairness and freedom, for which we are fighting, do not include licence for law breaking, nor for actions very close to riot and trespass. In view of the Conservative leader's pledge to introduce a Bill to repeal the act, our supporters and all those who genuinely care for the fox population will wish to help the fight to restore Hunting by voting against Labour in every local, national and European election.The draconian nature of the bill and the despicable weakness of the Government in allowing themselves to be overriden by a rebellion against their bill by members of The House of Commons whipped up by some bigoted backbenchers will eventually become apparent to many. When added to the government's several actions and inactions that are extremely injurious to Rural Culture (E.g. Post Office closures, failure to properly fund Rural Public Transport) much more more of the Countryside has been turned unequivocally against Labour.

ACTION PLEASE BY:

  • All who support Hunting directly.
  • All who genuinely care for the fox population.
  • All who support our Rural Culture as set out in the RURAL AGENDA
  • Hunting is an essential part of this culture; so supporters of it please help a campaign to Repeal the Hunting Ban.
  • The March has shown that, notwithstanding the minority of the population within Rural Constituencies, the "rural vote" can be a significant factor. We defeated many "anti-rural" candidates in the May 2003 and 2004 local elections and we can do it again in future elections of all types. At least 100 constituencies are in rural or semi-rural locations. The results in these constituencies will be significantly affected by coordinated and intelligent activity at appropriate moments chosen by "our powers that be" as well as by increased turnout.
  • ALL WHO ABHOR GROSS ABUSES OF THE POWER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS BY TREATING WITH CONTEMPT THE LIBERTY AND LIVELIHOOD OF A SIGNIFICANT CULTURAL MINORITY OF THE POPULATION OF OUR NATIONWHO KNOWS WHICH OF OUR CULTURAL MINORITIES (NON-CHRISTIANS, IMMIGRANT GROUPS, HOMOSEXUALS, LESBIANS etc.) THE BIGOTS IN THE MAJORITIES WILL NEXT TRY AND FORCE TO THEIR VALUES? WHERE NOW THE OFT-PROCLAIMED CULTURAL DIVERSITY OF THE UK? WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO CULTURAL TOLERANCE?

PROPOSED ACTIONS

Please wait to be asked to act by the Countryside Alliance or a Hunting Association (E.G. The Master of Foxhounds Association) before doing any of the things marked with square brackets [ ] on this page

A PROPOSED LONGER TERM SOLUTION

THE "BANKS BILL" IS UNJUST LAW because no logical reasons to ban Hunting have been found by the govenment's own work. THEREFORE, IT MUST BE REPEALED EVENTUALLY. In which case, there would be risks of further attempts at a Ban. Foxman believes, therefore, that in conjunction with the repeal, there ahould be longer term actions to achieve a longer term blunting of attempts by the "bigots" to reintroduce a Hunting Ban. Foxman proposes a longer term solution, please see here.

Other sources of information


The Countryside Alliance, "www.countryside-alliance.org" which incorporates the British Field Sports Society, is leading the fight to save Hunting in the UK. They have an excellent site which covers some concise summaries of  the sport and the case for it.

The Master of Foxhounds Association of the UK "www.mfha.co.uk" has a site linking to sites of UK Hunts.

The Master of Foxhounds Association of America "www.mfha.com" has another excellent site which covers the USA and Canada. It explains the significantly different arrangements and rationale for Hunting there. 

The North American Foxhounds Association this is a "club" to which Hunts as such and individuals can belong. They have a Website but seem not to like to publish the address. If you want to contact them, please contact via the discussion group quoted below. 
 

Another view on the moral issues etc http://users.ox.ac.uk/~mert1230/handout8HT04.rtf

A place to start to search the "net" about fox-hunting http://dmoz.org/Recreation/Outdoors/Hunting/fox-hunting

Liam's Hunting Directory - http://www.iwbeagles.co.uk/
Lots of information about hunting with hounds, including beagling and beagle field trials. Hunt club directory, news articles, audio and video clips.

Beagles In Peril - http://www.beaglesinperil.org.uk/
Hunting site includes an extensive introduction to beagling, a year-long diary about a hunting pack, news and photo galleries plus the current status of the Wye Beagles which were dognapped by ALF in 2001

Support Fox Hunting - http://www.supportfox-hunting.co.uk/
Includes hunting ban timeline, background material and the latest news coverage plus petition, poll and message board about fox-hunting in the UK, including necessity, history, rules, and research. An excellent site, rather similar to Foxman

Baily's Hunting Directory - http://foxhunters.net/bailys/
Annual directory of over 750 hunts worldwide plus map of hunt countries, major hound show results, photographs, annual reports and special articles. Ordering information.

Old Norris' fox-hunting Page- http://www.btinternet.com/~countryside.webservice/
A collection of songs, verse, quotes, photographs, illustrations and links. Especially good maps of hunting territories in the UK. Excellent links to Hunting Sites.

The Game Conservancy Trust: Foxes - http://www.gct.org.uk/research/predation/frameset.html
A Bibliography of Research about foxes and the Trust's current projects, scientific publications, policy statements.

The Burns Inquiry

An educational pamphlet putting both sides of the case

A considered view on the environmental impact of a ban

A sensible site about environmental issues. http://www.igreens.org.uk

Want to chat?

I propose "Foxhunters On Line". A great discussion group.  
Email them to join in a worldwide discussion of everything to do with fox-hunting

Want to debate? 

A sensible and moderated forum for debate was at the UK Hunting Forum.  The site still works but has been dormant since November 2006.

Want to comment?

Email me Plese help me to sort you out from the Spam by including the word fox-hunting in the subject of your eMail. I will try and answer all but abusive mail. 

Want to help save Hunting?

Please join the force leading the fight to save all Field Sports and their infrastructure and highly influential in supporting Rural Culture and its infrastructure (Post Offices, Village shops/Schools etc.}----- The Countryside Alliance.  

IN THE END THE ARGUMENT BOILS DOWN TO THE WISDOM OF RESTRICTING LIBERTY AND LIVELIHOODS BY DELIBERATELY ERASING PART OF THE CULTURE OF THE UK AGAINST TRUE DEMOCRACY .

GOOD HUNTING

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