TEXT OF IFAW ADVERTISEMENT
It's a disgusting habit.
But one that fox Hunters seem loath to give up.
In an average year, they get through around 20,000 cubs,
dog-foxes and vixens.
Even heavily pregnant vixens are considered
Selective with the truth. some fox hunters maintain there is no cruelty.
examinations of foxes savaged
by hounds prove otherwise.
Typical findings include, "Extensive
wounds to abdomen and thorax, intestine hanging out"
and "death caused by
A 'quick nip to the neck' it
Foxes that manage to go to ground during
a hunt face a terrifying and protracted ordeal.
Escape routes are blocked, and terriers sent in to corner their prey.
The ensuing underground battle is nasty and brutish. It is not short.The
fox may well die underground fighting for its life. (The terriers also
If it's still
alive, the hunters' digging will expose it. The best the poor creature
can hope for now is a gunshot.
Those animals that escape the
necessarily escape the
The stress and exertion of the
chase is traumatic beyond
the fox hunters insist, is
71% of the British
people disagree. They think hunting with dogs should be banned
"Cubs" are mentioned as quarry
without pointing out that by the start of Autumn Hunting most are already adept killers of small mammals and birds.
We are accused of killing "Heavily pregnant
vixens". But they have so little scent that on nearly every
occasion that hounds seek to follow it in the spring, the Huntsman will
soon realise that they are on a pregnant vixen and will
call them off.
The advert claims that Hunting is cruel because "post-mortem findings
include extensive wounds to abdomen and thorax, intestines hanging out, death caused by pathological shock". But most caught foxes have FIRST received a nip
to the neck which has severed the spinal cord. The fox, therefore
felt nothing during the short time while the wounds and shock mentioned
were inflicted. It is easy to mislead about anything by quoting rare
exceptions to the normal.
IFAW claims that terrier work results in an"underground
battle that is nasty and brutish" and not short,also
that a fox "may well die underground fighting for its life." In fact, with rare exceptions, the fox is brought to bay by barking
and dug down to as quickly as possible or bolted; so that it may be shot certainly at close quarters. The rules for Terrier-work
state that terriers that fight their fox must
never be put to ground again.
The advert states that "the
stress and exertion of the chase is traumatic beyond imagination". In fact foxes are conditioned to being chased. I have seen them
catch and eat a small mammal in the middle of a hunt. For more detail
on the cruelty issue please see some academic views on suffering of animals while
The implication here is
that if 71% of the British people think that hunting with dogs
should be banned then Parliament should ban it. In other words that
the will of the majority should prevail in all circumstances. This position
is dangerously undemocratic because "democracy is defined as government
vested in all of the people". That is on behalf of small minorities
(such as people imbued with "Rural Culture") as much as the
In truth, Parliament is elected to govern wisely.
This requires it to balance the sensitivities of the majority against
the interests of all minorities in the light of the well-being of the
nation as a whole. HOW MUCH WOULD THE WELL-BEING OF THE UK BE IMPROVED
BY BANNING HUNTING? I CANNOT SEE ANY, BUT THE DAMAGE TO THE INTERESTS
OF THE COUNTRYSIDE (INCLUDING THE FOX POPULATION) WOULD BE SIGNIFICANT.